“I love you, I do… but I can’t do this right now,” He says, letting go of my hands and walking away.
“Wait, Cameron, we can make this work. Please.” I start walking towards him.
“Lyla, stop.” He stops walking and turns around. “This won’t work. I love you but you need to let me go.”
I don’t say anything. I watch him walk away with tears in my eyes. As the tears fall, the first memory comes.
I start walking to my regular lunch table when a cute boy catches my eye. He’s sitting alone at a table in the corner. I decide to go up to him.
“Hi! My name is Lyla. I’ve never seen you here, are you new?” I say sitting down at the lunch table.
“Yes” He answers hesitantly.
I stare at him. I tilt my head as I study him more and more.
“Um, can I help you? He asks as he finally looks up at me.
“You’re strange,” I slap my hand over my mouth, “Oh my god, I am so sorry. I didn’t mean it that way. You aren’t strange, just different. Okay. I’m going to shut up now. I’m just embarrassing myself. I’m really so-”
I stop talking as I look up to see him smiling at me. I start blushing.
“What are you smiling at?” I start giggling.
“Just you. You are so cute. I’m Cameron by the way.” He reaches his hand across the table.
“Hmmm, Cameron and Lyla, that has a nice ring to it.”
A crash of thunder brought me back to present day. I don’t know how long I had been standing there. All I know is that Cameron was nowhere to be seen.
I didn’t expect him to end things. He asked me to meet him in the park. I thought it was going to be something special. I still know exactly what he said when he asked me out… right here in this park.
Then I collapsed, tears in my eyes. Screaming and crying.
“Do you know what today is?” Cameron asked as we walked side by side in the park.
“Lyla is awesome day?”
“That’s every day, silly. Today has been exactly three months since you sat down across from me at lunch.”
“Oh! I feel so stupid. I should’ve known,” I say, shaking my head.
“It’s okay.” He smiles.
Everytime he smiles, it gives me so many butterflies.
He stops walking.
“Are you okay?” I ask.
“I need to ask you something.” He seems super nervous.
“Will you be my girlfriend? These past few months have been unforgettable. I wanted to ask you out sooner but I didn’t know if you felt the same way. I still don’t know if you feel the same way but I just thought I should get it over with. If you don’t feel the same, it’s okay. We can forget that this ever happened, but I ju-”
I cut him off by smashing my lips into his. After a few seconds, I pull back.
“Sorry, that just seemed like the only way I could shut you up.”
“I should ramble more so I can get more kisses.” He laughs.
“Who says you need to ramble to get more?” I smile and lean into him.
As our lips touched, it felt as if it was just the two of us left in the world. He grabs my waist and pulls me closer. I run my hands through his hair.
He pulls away and puts our foreheads together.
“Was that a yes to being my girlfriend?” He asks.
“Yes, yes, yes. A million times yes.” I put my arms around his neck and pull him close. I bury my head in his chest and just take him in.
I bolt upright. It had started pouring. I probably look so dumb. I’m on the sidewalk of a park, crying, and curled into a ball while it’s pouring rain.
I try to stand but my legs won’t let me.
I collapse down again, back into my memories.
I got a text from Cameron:
Meet me on the big hill @ the park. 9:00pm.
Don’t be late;)
He was being very mysterious, but I couldn’t wait for tonight. I got dressed up in leggings and a cute shirt, and made my way to the big hill.
“You’re late. It’s 9:02.” He rolled his eyes.
“Hello to you too baby.” I say, giving him a kiss.
He grabbed my hand and pulled me to a blanket he’d laid down.
“What are we doing?” I ask.
My eyes get so wide.
“Of course. I remember you telling me that your dream date is to go stargazing, so why not do it tonight?”
“Oh my god!! You’re the best!” I give him a huge hug.
The night goes absolutely perfect.
I looked at my phone.
“Shit, shit, shit. My mom is going to kill me. My curfew is 11. I have to go.” I grab my jacket and get up.
“Wait.” He gets up. “Lyla, these past few weeks with you have been amazing. I knew from the very moment I saw you that we were going to be something special. I can not tell you enough how much you mean to me. I look forward to your texts every morning, or your FaceTimes every night. If I could talk to you forever, I would. I know that we are only 15 but I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I’ve been in love with you since the first time I met you. I love you.”
“My god, Cameron. You’re perfect. I love you too.”
He pulls me in by the waist and crashes his lips into mine.
“Baby, I have to go. My mom is going to get so mad at me,” I say, pulling away.
“Okay, fine. I love you.” He leans in for one last kiss.
I’m soaked. I need to get up.
I walk towards the playground where there is cover.
When I get there, I cry harder. I see the sidewalk where he asked me to prom junior year.
“Cameron, where are you?” I yell.
His best friend, Josh, told me to go to the park after school. He wouldn’t tell me why, no matter how many times I asked.
“Camer-” I stop talking as I look at the sidewalk. He’s laying on the sidewalk, outlined in white. To the left of him, written in big chalk letters, it says; Lyla, I’m dying to go to prom with you.
“Oh baby, you’re such an idiot,” I say giggling as I walk over to his “dead” body.
He sits up, pulls me down on top of him, and starts tickling me.
“Ahhh, stop it.”
“I’m not going to stop until I get an answer.”
“Okay, okay, fine. I’ll go to prom with you.” I roll my eyes and give him a kiss.
“Good. I wasn’t going to take no as an answer,” he says with a huge smile.
Junior prom was an actual dream. I will never forget it.
I cry harder as I realize that we won’t get to go to senior prom together.
“Lyla, hurry. Cameron is waiting… woah, sissy, you look so pretty.”
“Thank you, Josey,” I say as I bend down and kiss her on the head.
Josey is my five-year-old sister. She likes to think that she’s dating Cameron as much as I am.
“Camy. your girlfriend is so pretty,” she says giggling and running out of the room to Cameron
I look at myself in the mirror one more time.
I’m wearing a tight fitted light purple satin dress with a slit running up the left side. My earrings are silver dangles that dazzle in the light. My hair has two braids pulled into a bun, with my curtain bangs curled to fit my face. I’m wearing three-inch silver sparkly heels.
I feel like an absolute princess.
“Baby, come on. we’re going to be late for our reservation,” I hear Cameron yell.
“Okay, I’m coming,” I say as I grab my purse from my bed.
As I’m walking down the stairs, I look up to see Cameron looking at me in awe.
“My god, you are so beautiful, Lyla,” he says breathlessly.
“Thank you, my love. You don’t look so bad yourself,” I say with a smirk.
He slips the corsage on my wrist, and then my mom takes pictures.
“Okay, Mom, we have to go. Bye, Josey. I love you both.”
As I’m walking out the door, I hear my mom whisper to Cameron, “Don’t have her out too late, mister.”
“I won’t, ma’am. Have a good night.”
I look back and smile at him. This night is going to be amazing.
I’m shaking so much. It’s so cold. Then all the sudden, I stop shaking and freeze when the worst memory comes to my mind.
Sirens. Sirens everywhere.
“Breathe, baby, breathe.” I try to calm Cameron down.
He takes a few more breaths but then his dad comes out of the house in handcuffs.
Suddenly Cameron stands straighter, balls his fists, and storms toward his dad.
“HOW COULD YOU?” He screams and starts punching him.
I run toward him and try to pull him off of his dad, but he pushes me to the ground.
“I hate you, Dad,” he says and then walks to the house.
I scramble to my feet and try to stop him from going in there.
“Cameron, don’t. You don’t need to see it again.”
“RIGHT NOW, LYLA.”
I stand my ground.
“My mom was just murdered by my dad. Let me say goodbye.”
“I can’t let you do that, baby. You watched it happen. You don’t need to see her again.”
“Lyla. Move. Right. Now.”
I still don’t.
Then he shoves me and I hit my head on the house and then fall to the ground.
“Shit, Lyla, I'm so sorry.” He tries to help me up but I push his hands away.
“Don’t,” I say, rubbing my head and walking away.
“Lyla, wait, please,” Cameron says walking after me.
I stop walking and turn around.
“I tried my best to help you, but instead you pushed me out of the way. Go look at your mother’s dead body. I don’t care anymore. Just don’t call me when you regret going to look at the crime scene again.”
I turn back around and walk away.
That was one week ago, and I still remember everything like it was yesterday.
I tried my best to help him, but he wouldn’t let me. He shut me out of his life for the next week.
Just like that, the past three years… gone.
I thought we were going to get married.
He’s the right person but it’s the wrong time. Maybe it will never be the right time.
I start walking home.
I turn around one more time and look at the sidewalk where he asked me to be his girlfriend.
I turn around one more time to look at the big hill where he told me he loved me for the first time.
I turn around one more time to take everything in one last time.
“I will always love you,” I whisper.
Then I turn my face away from the park, and I don’t look back.