Author's Note: This is a Part 2 to a story I've written called "Spring Formal", at least it uses a couple of the same characters. You don't really need to read it to enjoy this one, but I recommend reading it. That's all, enjoy it!
You still love pictures. How do I know? I’ve been stalking your Instagram, watching sadly as you drag other boys, boys who aren’t me, to photo opportunity after photo opportunity. What I would give to be in their shoes, cheeks aching from the smiles, eye-rolling at every ‘Say Cheese’. Of course, giving in to your puppy dog eyes, because who wouldn’t?
Is your mom still overprotective? Or are you your own woman now? Do you go by your own rules? Have you convinced your mom that you’re mature enough, responsible enough, to set your own boundaries?
She obviously let you go to college, dorm there even. How do I know? Well, I watch your youtube channel too, where you’re constantly posting stuff about how great Notre Dam’s living quarters are. It didn’t surprise me when you made it to such a good college. I’ve always envied you for your smarts.
You became a photographer, naturally. Though you don’t need schooling for that. I guess you probably didn’t want to let go of having a system. And considering how smart you are, it’s a shame…You should’ve become a doctor, you had the intellect.
You always hated blood tests though, and blood in general. I don’t think you could have endured it for a living.
Do you miss me? I don’t know. After I left...you never answered any of my texts, any of my calls. You were probably mad, not that I blame you. I can’t believe I just left. I’m so stupid. I had so much time to tell you. I mean, sure, long distance might not have worked too well, but at least if we were going to break up, it would’ve been...would’ve been less messy. Nope, I did it at the dance. And I nearly left you without a ride.
And now, for some reason, you’re walking into this coffee shop, practically radiating light. Why are you here? I know for a fact you didn’t say anything about moving on any of your social media pages. I run my hand through my hair, straightening out my shirt.
Should I do it? Should I say hi?
You’re at the straw table now, mixing your drink. I take a deep breath and walk over, pretending to be immersed in the types of sugar on the table. My hand brushes yours as you reach for a packet. I feel a familiar spark as you look up.
“Oh! Sorry!” you say, a blush creeping up your cheeks. I look up too. Nows the time to say it…
“It’s no problem, really,” I say, grabbing a random sugar packet and preparing to leave.
“Derek? Is that you?” you say. I freeze in my tracks turning around.
“Kate…”I say awkwardly. You finish stirring your drink and come up to me, pulling me into a hug.
“How have you been?” I stiffen at your touch but eventually hug you back.
“Why didn’t you text!” you say, breaking away from the hug. I motion for you to come to the table I was sitting at, formerly alone. You sit in front of me.
“Aren’t you mad?” is all I say.
“Mad? Come on, Derek, I’m not a teenager anymore. We broke up, I cried, but I got over it. How come I never saw you at school anymore?” you say, making me feel like a teenager as you stare at me with your big brown eyes, waiting for me to answer.
“No one told you?”
“Told me what?”
“I moved. Day after the dance actually…” I say, looking down into my cooling coffee as I await your reply.
“Really! Well, that still doesn’t explain why you didn’t stay in touch.”
“I- I tried. Didn’t you get any of my calls, my texts?”
“Oh! Oh. My. God. Stupid me. I got a new phone the day after the dance. I know, what a coincidence. Well, I didn’t get a new phone, just a new number. I forgot why… It was a while ago. But, anyway, that’s all behind us now.”
“Yeah, yeah… How come you’re here?” you blink in surprise.
“I wanted….coffee? Oh! You mean here in California. Just, sightseeing…” you say, looking out the window of the cafe.
“How’s everything? I heard you went into photography?” ugh! Now she’s going to know I stalk her Instagram!
“Oh! Yeah...It’s really fun, I mean, I don’t know if you remember my obsession with photos…” I laugh.
“What?! You?! Pictures?! No…” I say sarcastically. You laugh too.
“What about you, Mr. Author?” how do you know that?
“Wha- How do you know about that?”
“Oh really? I could say the same about you. How’d you know I’m a photographer?” I laugh, knowing your joking tone. Is it weird that I still remember all of this about you?
“Social media exists you know…” You laugh, and it’s such a sweet sound, I can’t help but smile with you.
“Yeah, I know. You know what else I know? "Curses and Creations" is the best book series ever written.”
“You read my books?!” no, Derek she’s talking about the other Curses and Creations book series.
“Yeah, I did...I...I’ve missed you, Derek,” you say finally, taking a small sip out of your drink, which I assume is coffee. My drink is long forgotten, probably cold by now. “I’m sorry for hugging you earlier, you probably have a girlfriend waiting for you.”
“Girlfriend? Does going to get coffee alone really scream ‘dating’?” I joke.
“Ah, well, I guess not.”
“What about you? Now that the cats out of the bag and you know I follow your Insta, don’t think I haven’t seen your posts with your countless boyfriends.” I say, my voice light, but my words heavy. I’m curious…
“My heart was never into it Derek...You should know my fake smile more than anyone…” you say. You smile again, but it doesn’t reach your eyes. If you know I know your fake smile, why do you bother? You look out the window again, taking another sip of your coffee.
“You staying for long in California?” I say, changing the topic.
“The whole summer, at least. I came by car, so technically I can really stay as long as I want. And there are always gigs for a freelance photographer around…” you say, looking straight at me.
“We should do this again soon,” I say. You nod, smiling and reaching across the table to grab a napkin. Your hand brushes mine again, which is resting on the table. You leave it there for a moment, then quickly grab a napkin.
“You have a pen?” I nod, reaching into my pocket for my trusty ballpoint. It’s an author thing. You scribble something on the napkin and hand it to me.
“My new number. And...the address to the hotel I’m staying at. See you around?” you say, getting up and grabbing your drink. I nod, getting up too.
“See ya,” I say, but you’re already out the door, brown hair blowing in the wind.