I still haven’t heard from Michael, even on Monday morning. I am a little disturbed about this, but I try to not let it bother me. Today is the first day of my Winter Quarter classes and I want to be focused. That said, it is hard to concentrate when you are continuously wondering if someone is mad at you or not.
I get out of bed and check my clock. It’s an hour before my first class starts. I walk over to the window and peer out. It looks peaceful outside, but I can tell from the clouds that it is going to be rainy. Maybe I will pack an umbrella just in case. Stretching, I look around the room and notice Janice’s bed is empty. She must have had an early class. Still, she managed to leave a little note on my bedside table reading:
-Lets meet up at the café downtown at five.
I smile. Sounds like a plan to me.
After stashing the note into my backpack, I head into the bathroom to get ready. Within the next thirty minutes, I have bathed, gotten dressed and prepared a bagel for the road. I then leave the house and hurry down the sidewalk to my first class.
Just as I predicted, it starts to rain, but not before I enter into my class building. It was wise of me to bring along my umbrella. I don’t know why, but all of a sudden, Abby crosses my mind. As mad as I still am at her, I can’t help but wonder if she got home okay Saturday night. She seemed far-gone that night before last. I don’t know what she sees in that Brad Roberts guy. It is so obvious that he is a player, but Abby refuses to see it. How was it that she was looking for him that whole night at the party, but was never able to find him? Meanwhile, I saw him several times that night, all with his frat guys, but also with Abby’s fellow Tri-Fruhm member, Clare. And from what I saw, they seemed a little too comfortable with each other. But I guess it doesn’t matter. Abby wasn’t going to believe any of it. If she didn’t believe me over Christmas break, I doubt she is going to now.
I then shake her from my mind and enter into class.
I am a bit relieved that I did some light reading before class. After introducing himself, my psych professor automatically starts giving a lecture on the first three chapters of our textbook. I see students looking panicked and scanning their textbooks for answers, and I feel relieved that I at least understand what is being discussed.
When class gets out, I see that it is still raining. It only downs my mood. I still haven’t heard from Michael and it is really starting to worry me. Maybe he was mad. Was it because of me leaving to go talk to Kendal? But if so, why would he care?
I’m still thinking about this as I make my way into the downtown café. The smell of baked muffins and pastries fills my nostrils as I enter, along with the usually scent of coffee.
“I’ll take a cranberry muffin,” I say to the cashier when I reach the counter, and I pay her two dollars and fifty cents. I have to say, this café has the best muffins I have ever tasted. I finish mine in just a few minutes, and then walk back over to order a coffee. Just as I am about to reach the counter, someone walking through the door catches my eye.
“Kendal,” I say, almost a little too quietly. From behind him, I see Janice, but when she sees him, she stands back quietly.
“Hey Elizabeth,” He says quietly. I have forgotten how much I love the way he says my name. It just rolls off his tongue so perfectly. I feel my heartbeat start to increase.
“W-what are you doing here?” I then realize what a stupid question that was. What did I think he was doing here? It was a coffee shop.
“Just picking up some coffee,” says Kendal. “I was studying in the library, and I felt like I could use a break.
“Oh.” I still feel so stupid for asking. He must think I am an idiot. Suddenly, I want to be anywhere but here. I have lost my interest in getting a coffee and if I could just motion to Janice, maybe we could just go meet somewhere else.
“I should go,” I say, but Kendal stops me.
“Wait,” he says.
I stop and look at him curiously.
“If I’m being completely honest, I came in here because of you.”
I frown. “What?”
“I saw you come in here earlier and that’s why I’m here.” He sighs. “Do you think we could talk?”
As much as I want to say “yes,” I also don’t want to let him off easy.
“I don’t know what you want to talk about. You made it pretty clear how you felt the last time we talked.”
Kendal sighs. “I know what I said, I just…” Kendal pauses. “Can we please talk somewhere private?”
I stare at him for a minute thinking things over. It was funny that all I wanted Saturday night was a chance to talk to him and now here I am, unsure of whether I should or not. But after a nod from Janice, I take a deep breath.
Kendal looks relieved. “Follow me,” he says, and I follow behind him out of the café.
I can tell Kendal must be nervous, because when we leave the café, he doesn’t say a word to me. Instead, we both go walking down the sidewalk in complete silence. We walk along for a while before we stop in front of one of the downtown movie theaters (the larger one). Kendal and I had always made plans to tour this theater, but we had never gotten a chance to do so before we broke up. It also makes me think of something else.
“Do you remember the first time we went to the movies?” I ask Kendal.
He looks up at the theater sign and smiles. “Yes, I remember. We saw that film festival movie “From Within.” That was the weirdest movie I have ever seen.”
I giggle. “I remember. That was really bizarre. But it was a really nice night.”
We both are quiet for a minute, and I wonder if we are both thinking about the same thing, what happened before we said goodnight.
“Look,” Kendal says, snapping me back from my thoughts. “I want to say I’m sorry.”
My eyes widen. “You what?”
“I want to apologize for the way I treated you and the things I said. I was wrong.”
I am stunned. Was Kendal seriously apologizing to me?
“I meant it. Look, when that whole thing went down at that party, I guess it just caught me off guard. And then when I saw the video, I just thought… I don’t know…”
“Kendal, I told you that someone spiked my drink at that party. I had no idea what happened until I got that video the next day. Not to mention the fact that I found out that my own best friend was behind-”
“Lizzie,” Kendal says, making me fall silent. “I believe you.” He moves closer to me, and I feel my heartbeat increasing again.
“Yes, and I’m sorry I didn’t believe you before. I saw that video and got all these assumptions, ones that weren’t fair to you.”
“You really hurt me Kendal.” I bit my lip hard trying to hold back tears.
“I know, and I’m sorry. I really am.”
I sigh. “Okay fine. I accept your apology. But why are you saying this now? What do you want?”
Kendal then surprises me, by placing his hands on both sides of my face and pulling me toward him. I can feel my cheeks heating up.
“I want you Lizzie,” he says, his voice soft and gentle.
My voice is caught in my throat. I am completely speechless. Was Kendal saying what I thought he was?
“I’ve been going crazy since the day I let you walk out of my apartment like that. I was such an idiot and I know that now. I want another chance with you Lizzie. And I hope you will give me that.”
I am so happy that I feel like I will burst. “I-I want that too Kendal,” I say and a moment later, his lips are pressed against mine. I didn’t realize how much I have missed him until this moment. Everything seems to stand still and for a minute, I forget that we are standing in front of a movie theater. All I can think about is Kendal and how after all those weeks of missing him, he is here and kissing me.
“I’ve missed you,” I say when we finally pull apart.
“I’ve missed you too Elizabeth,” he says, and we both smile at each other.
I then hear a beep from a cell phone and look down.
“Who is it?” ask Kendal.
“Just Janice. She wants to know if I’m coming back to the café.”
“You should go.”
“What? No, of course not. We just-”
“We can meet up later.” Kendal smiles. “I now have something to look forward to.”
I smile. I feel like my heart is melting from happiness. “So do I,” I say, and give him a kiss goodbye.
As we kiss, I hear the doors of the theater behind me open and close. From the corner of my eye, I see someone familiar exit through the doors and pause outside. He glances at Kendal and I for a few seconds and then walks off down the street. “Michael?” I think.
After Kendal leaves, I turn and search the street for him, but he is nowhere in sight. It’s funny, I could have sworn it was him. Had I just imagined him there?
I call up his number again for like the fifth time today, but again it goes straight to voicemail. Maybe I had been wrong. The guy I had seen was probably someone else and I had just confused him for Michael. I sigh and then click off my phone. What on Earth was going on with Michael? Well, with luck I would be seeing him tomorrow in class, so maybe then I could get to the bottom of it. Tucking my phone back into my pocket, I jog back to the café to meet Janice.