I seal the envelope with a shaky lick of my tongue. The sourly unique taste of the adhesive lingers in my mouth as I think about what I had wrote to him. Maybe I should type more I thought again for the thousandth time. Indecision put me in a terrible sort of limbo as I stared down the back of the white envelope containing my own two beating hearts.
Feeling the uneasy hot feeling that fills my belly when rash acts of life changing importance happen, I grasp the envelope enclosed note gingerly as I walk slowly out of my house early in the morning. The sun barely illuminates the top of the mountains that entomb our valley. But I suppose anyone who grows up somewhere dreaming of somewhere else would feel as trapped as I do.
Southern California was a place that most people would love to live. An infuriatingly perpetual warmth pervaded the area with temperatures rarely dropping below 50℉, going above 100℉, and the mercury always seeming to hover around 70-80℉. I had never experienced seasons. There was no winter with fall and spring being laughable affairs in length. Summer seemed to reign throughout my town most of the year. Hell, my Christmas last year was spent sweating outside taking Christmas photos in 87℉.
Not an ideal place for a pale reclusive writer like myself. I spend most of my time now in the air conditioned safety of my house with my books and the silence. At seventeen I am too young to move out, travel or do anything other than wait. Three more months. Then my whole life would change forever.
What would he do when he found out? Would he ask me to take a test in front of him? He was kind and I didn’t want to burden him with this but I couldn’t do it alone now that my parents had found out.
The leaves underneath my sneakers make a loud crunch like the tortilla chips he ate the time we went out to eat together. My mind drifts back to that night and I smell his cologne as suddenly as if I was sitting with him in that tiny hole in the wall Mexican restaurant again. That gorgeous perfectly white smile that seemed to radiate happiness to the entire room grinned at me as he munched on the chips heartily before our food came. He had always been a ravenous creature he explained to me when I asked him why he didn’t save his appetite. He proved that to me in more ways in one that night.
The trees rustle softly as a morning wind that comes with the rising sun shoots down through the valley. The sidewalk underneath my feet gradually clears of leaves as I leave my neighborhood and come upon my school.
I only had the last few months of this year and then the eternal summer would arrive that would change my life forever.
I make my way slowly through the gate leading into my high school. The place is deserted this morning as I knew it would be so I could have privacy. If this envelope were to fall into the wrong hands… I shook as I thought about the implications and the contents rustled around ominously. I was so nervous as I turned the corridor leading to his classroom that I seriously considered turning around and burning the evidence even as my feet carried me towards my fate.
Twenty feet away my mind turned-yet again-to his family. His wife. His two children. What if they found out? Should they find out? Should I be the one to tell them?
Ten feet and I want to turn around and run rather than burden this man who is so much to me. Teacher. Mentor. Friend. Lover.
Five feet, I can’t do this alone… I clutch my two beating hearts close to my chest and inflate myself with a deep breath of faked confidence as I prepare to ask someone to care for these hearts as their own.
I am in front of the door and before I can run away and never come back to this place I knock my knuckles on the door. I wait for the span of a few seconds that stretch into a sweaty eternity of nervous palms and shaking frames. Then he is there and the door opening.
Standing almost a full foot in height above me, he has to look down with those grey blue eyes that take my breath away every time they hold my gaze. I cannot dare speak as I fear I might retch all over his suit. My beautifully dressed-well maybe not my… His decision would have to come regarding that subject after he had looked through the contents.
Silently handing him the envelope containing two hearts I watch his face as he takes it looking slightly nervous underneath his constantly stoic resting face. This makes me feel even more nervous as he had always been so full of confidence. He takes the pregnancy test out first and stares at it for almost a whole minute. My shaking increases by the second as I await his judgement. He finally looked up from the two red lines and I could see the rejection had already formed in his eyes and mind as a slow shaking of his head accompanied an explanation of all the reasons why he could not.
I like being at school when it’s quiet like this long before the first period bell would ring. No one talking loudly, pointing at me and making rude jokes. No crowds pressed against me. Us. In three months my life would change forever and my eternal summer would be spent with a partner-not one that I had in mind when he was first thought of but a miracle nonetheless.
‘I promise to never tell you why we can not do something Roderick’, I write in his first diary entry. ‘You will only ever hear from me options on how we can achieve the dreams we have in this world. Anything is possible my love.’