Lisa and Joe say goodbye...):
"Um, Joe?" I began, unsure of how I was going to word my sentence. Joe, however, was not paying attention. He had a faraway, dreamy look in his eyes as he stroked my hair and was obviously not taking in anything I was saying. Normally, I didn't mind, but what I had to say right now was important!
Joe flopped backwards on the bed so that he was lying on his side. Following his lead, I laid down on the bed next to him and tried again to get his attention, "Joe? I need to tell you something." Joe still seemed to be oblivious to what I was saying. His gaze was fixed on something behind me.
Just as I was about ready to whack him on the head and yell, "JOE!" as loudly as I could, Joe finally turned towards me and blinked, "Oh, sorry Lisa. Did you say something?" I nodded and started over as patiently as I could, "Joe, there's something I want to say to you. And it's really important so make sure you're listening, okay?"
"I always listen," Joe replied promptly, his gaze now focused on me and me alone. Hoping I could keep his attention, I frowned, "You weren't paying attention earlier. You just admitted that yourself!" Joe blushed slightly and shrugged, waving his hand for me to continue on with whatever I had to say.
Taking a deep breath, I said, "You know how we're not going to be able to see each other for a long time, right?" Joe cringed at my words and nodded, scooting over on the bed so he could be closer to me. I continued, "Well, I don't think it seems fair to make you promise to not get into any other relationships while I'm gone. I don't wanna influence your future love life."
Joe's brow creased and he moved so close to me that I could feel his soft, warm breath on my check and the heat of his body against mine. Joe looked right up into my eyes and said, "You know that I'll never be able to love another girl the same way I've loved you. It's always just been the two of us. It's like we were meant for each other, you know?"
I did know. It was the thought that had been going through my head all day and night. It was the thought that I knew was one hundred percent true. Sighing, I admitted, "Yeah, we were. We were perfect for each other. But now...well, I don't know what to do. You can't not date girls for the next six or seven years until we see each other again."
"Who said it had to be six or seven years?" Joe exclaimed, eyes bugging out. "That seems like an eternity! Stop being so pessimistic. It's probably only going to be three or four years until we visit each other again." I shrugged; three or four years still seemed like an eternity to me. Any day away from Joe was a wasted day.
"Well, I just want you to know that I don't mind if you decide to date while we're apart, okay?" I said, trying to wrap up this conversation that was dampening my mood. "I don't want you to feel like you'd be cheating on me if there was another girl you wanted or something." But even though I was saying all this, I secretly wished deep in my heart that Joe would stay loyal to me.
"Okay, I guess," Joe murmured while his finger traced the line of my chin. "That means you can do the same thing. You know, date another guy if you want or whatever." I couldn't keep the horror off my face at the thought of being with anyone but Joe. Joe was perfect; he was meant for me. Why the fuck would I want to waste time with anyone else?
Seeing the disgusted look on my face, Joe laughed for the first time that day, "Hey, I'm just returning your favor. It's not like I want you to date any other guys obviously." I nodded. Ever since my night with Joe, I had made a silent vow to myself that I wouldn't even let myself look at another guy, let alone let another guy touch me. I was Joe's and Joe's alone. I would save myself for Joe from here on out and not let myself be tainted by any other guy's dirty hands.
Joe pressed closer against me and ran one of his hands down my side. Next thing I knew, he had grabbed my arm and flipped me over so I was straddled on top of him. I could feel the bend of his chest and the the bulk by his hips as I pressed myself down against him and slid up his chest so that our mouths were on the same level. Not able to resist anymore, Joe started kissing me almost aggressively. I didn't mind it though; Joe could kiss me as hard as he wanted to.
I pressed my mouth against his just as passionately, pushing and kneading against his soft lips. Joe somehow wrapped his arms around my back and slid a hand up and under my shirt. Without parting, Joe and I started rolling around on the bed together as our legs tangled up and our bodies entwined, fighting to become one underneath our thin shirts and jeans.
Joe and I were so absorbed by the moment that neither of us heard the door as it swung open. As a matter of fact, we had no idea anyone was standing in the doorway watching us until Mr. Perry coughed loudly, "Ah hem." Joe and I quickly separate and try to return to sitting positions. But as we fight to sit upright, we just bang into each other and end up lying on our backs side by side once more. The situation would've been quite funny if Mr. Perry hadn't had that murderous glint in his eyes.
"Lisa, your parents are waiting for you outside," Mr. Perry remarked sternly, giving Joe a bad look. I nodded at Mr. Perry, but didn't move an inch. I didn't have any intention of leaving Joe anytime soon. There were still so many things to be said before I left. Mr. Perry sighed and finally retreated from the doorway, calling over his shoulder, "Make this quick, guys."
As soon as Mr. Perry vanished from view, I quickly readjusted my shirt and sat up in the bed, running a hand through my hair in case it had gotten tangled. Joe sat up next to me and for the first time, I can see that Joe's eyes are actually glassy. I turned and looked at him, about to say something. But the moment I looked into his eyes, I forgot my thought. There wasn't really anything left for us to say. I was leaving now and that was reality. I couldn't procrastinate any longer.
Joe finally stood up and held out a hand to me, "Come on, I'll walk you back to your car." I knew that if I spoke now, my voice would break and I would burst into tears. So I just nodded silently and let Joe wrap his warm fingers against my cold ones and lead me downstairs. I tried to walk slowly, wanting to cherish these last few moments in Joe's house.
But before I know it, Joe and I are standing outside in front of my waiting car. My mom stuck her head out of the window and yelled, "Lisa, we've gotta go now if we're gonna be to our new house by dark!" I rolled my eyes at her and turned to Joe for the very last time. Joe's dark eyes were watering as he pulled me tightly against him and stroked my body. I let my lips wander up to his and place a gentle goodbye kiss on his mouth before whispering, "Promise you won't forget me, Joe?"
"Never," Joe whispered back, his voice thick with emotion. Knowing that it's now or never, I slowly took a step away from Joe and called, "I love you," before turning and running back towards the car. I can just tell that if I stop and look at Joe again, I'll break down completely. The last thing I need is for Joe to have a last memory of me in tears.
I jumped up into the back seat of the car and slammed the door shut behind me, reaching for the box of tissues in the seat next to me. My dad started the car back up and slowly pulled out of the Perry's driveway. I quickly turn my head so I can look out the window as we drive away. I need just one last look at Joe before we leave.
Joe stood in the driveway, trying to keep a straight face, while he waved vigorously at me. Sniffling slightly, I hold back my tears for one moment longer and wave back at him. I tried to memorize that last image of Joe as our car started to pull away and as Joe became a smaller and smaller image. I want that picture of him to be in my mind forever. He looks so handsome standing there in the driving waving at me with his rich dark locks waving in the breeze.
I stared at Joe for as long as I could before we turned the corner and I can't see him any longer. That's when the tears came. I just couldn't resist anymore. They poured down my face and puddled into my lap as I cried out. Nothing could make me feel better. I was being taken away from my own true love. Without Joe, I have absolutely nothing. Without Joe, my life is totally different. And without Joe, I no longer feel like myself.
~ ~ ~ ~
"Lisa?" my mom called into my bedroom the next morning. Here we were, in our new house in New York. I had to admit that the house was actually pretty nice. It was a lot bigger than our last one and it was really clean. Almost too clean though. It didn't have the same feeling as our old home did.
Even though I'd been awake for hours, I decided not to answer my mom's call. I mean, I really don't want to go to school today. Going to a new school with a whole lot of new, strange kids isn't exactly fun. On the contrary, it's one of my worst nightmares. I just don't get along with kids my own very easily with the exception of Joe and Mandy. As soon as the though of Joe popped into my head, I felt like crying again. My whole life felt so upside down right now.
Unfortuantely, my mom didn't seem like she's was going to let me miss my first day of school. She took another step inside my new, larger bedroom and said louder than before, "Lisa? You've gotta get up. It's not Saturday. You've got school today, you know. Just because we moved yesterday doesn't mean you can skip school."
Resisting the urge to curse under my breath, I just closed my eyes and tried to make my breathing as even as possible. Maybe if my mom thought I was still asleep, she'd leave me alone and let me skip school. Just as I thought that maybe my mom had left, I felt a hand clamp down on my shoulder and a voice in my hear, "Lisa, I know you're awake!"
Fuck! How had she figured out I was awake? Oh well, there was no point in feigning sleep at this point. Reluctantly, I sat up in the bed and rubbed my sleepy eyes. I hadn't been able to sleep last night. This bed was just too unfamiliar and I couldn't stop thinking about everything I had left behind at home.
"Uh mom?" I said as I decided to take a new approach, "I'm feeling really terrible today. I have a horrible headache and stuff. And since I want to make a good impression on my first day of school, maybe I should skip today and go tomorrow?" I hated the way my voice ended up sounding hopeful and not at all sick like I was claiming to be.
Mom shoots me a bad look and shakes her head, "Your excuses are not going to work on me today! You are gonna go to the first day of school." Making I face, I slid out of bed and stomped over to my new, polished dresser and pulled out a pair of faded jeans an a black sweatshirt. One of the good things about this school was that we could wear whatever we wanted. No uniforms! But what was the good of wearing normal clothes when Joe wasn't around to see me? I wasn't at this school to show off my body or to attract guys. Like I had told myself earlier, I was going to stay away from every single guy at this new school. It wouldn't be hard to do. I mean, it's not like I'd ever be attracted to anyone but Joe anyways.
As I stomped out of my room and into my bathroom, my mom put a hand on my shoulder and said, "Lisa, please don't start school with a bad attitude. It's not going to do you any good." I resisted rolling my eyes at her. Sometimes she just really didn't get it. Couldn't she see that my life was falling apart? Couldn't she see how much pain I was in? Apparently not.