Where We Meet Again (Arrow Creek 1)

Page 76

The tears physically hurt as they trailed down my sensitive cheeks. I fisted my fingers into the soft duvet on his bed.
“Why now, Law?” I whispered.
“Cami? Are you all right?”
Law’s father stood in the entry to Law’s room, gripping the doorframe almost as if he were holding on.
I startled and dashed away the tears on my cheeks, but it was no use. They kept falling. “Y-yes. I’m sorry for barging in.”
“Did something happen to Ritchie?” He asked with the same tone of concern his son would have, and that twisted my heart further.
“No, sir. Nothing like that.”
“Law?” This time his voice held fear for himself. He stepped further into the room and stopped at the end of the bed, fingers gripping the footboard.
“No! I-I’m sorry,” I choked, another sob taking hold at hearing his name aloud. This might be the last time I sit in this house.
“Then what is it?”
I dropped my head, sucking in a deep breath through my nose. “We had a fight,” I muttered.
“I love him, and he’s on a date with another girl.”
His father sighed and rounded the bed to sit beside me. “It’s no surprise to me you love my boy. The two of you have been nearly inseparable since we moved here when he was seven.”
A fresh wave of tears assaulted me at the years of memories.
“That said, he’s gonna do what he wants. That might mean seeing other girls. That might mean the two of you don’t end up together. But, Cami.” He waited until he had my attention. “As clichéd as this sounds, if it’s meant to be, he’ll come back to you.”
“That’s bullshit boys say so they can fool around while the girl waits for them to come back.”
He laughed, and his eyes focused faraway. “Yeah, maybe.”
“I don’t want to wait for someone who isn’t coming back.” I started crying again. I couldn’t get a handle on the pain and talking wasn’t helping me.
“Aw, girl. Come here. Don’t cry over my boneheaded son.” His father opened his arms wide, and I accepted. It’d been a long time since I’d had comfort from someone other than Law, and having spent so much time in his house, his dad was probably the closest thing I had to a parental figure. I didn’t view him as such, but so long as his son cared for me, he did as well.
Which meant if I lost Law, I’d lose his parents, too.
I was sick of loss. Why couldn’t anyone I loved stick around?
The tears wouldn’t stop. They worsened with the hug, so his father eventually pulled away. He handed me a tissue from the box on Law’s bed. “I don’t want to know why these are here,” he joked, getting a small smile from me. “Let me get you some water.”
When he left, I crawled up to Law’s pillow and curled into a ball on my side, facing the room. My head was a million miles away, in the land of memories and futures that would never happen, while my heart was lodged in my throat. Tears leaked continuously until the cotton beneath my cheek was soaked and strands of hair stuck to my face. The tissue clenched in my hand became useless.
It took a while for his father to return. I assumed he was calling Law to come deal with me, because what adult male wants to deal
with a hormonal, crying, teenaged girl? But he came back with a soft look on his face and a glass of water in his hand.
He sat down close, the side of his left hip near the crook where mine bent, and handed me the water.
As I came up on one elbow, I noticed the unmistakable smell of booze on him. Law’s father wasn’t a big drinker, but it seemed the last few weeks he’d been picking up the bottle more often.
I wrapped my fingers against the cool glass; the condensation made them slippery. “Thanks.” I chugged it.
He took the glass from me and placed it on the nightstand. I flopped back onto the pillow and tucked my hands beneath my head.