With his shoulders slumped and his eyes downcast, I can hardly see the boy I once knew. But he’s in there somewhere, and every part of me wants to find him. More than that, I want Camden to find himself.
Whatever I’ve been through without him is nothing compared to what he’s been through. Forgiveness creeps into my heart, slightly freeing me of the weight I’ve carried for seven long years.
I can’t hate the boy who left me any more than I can prevent my lungs from breathing.
Smiling broadly, I take Camden’s hand, and he laces his fingers through mine.
Warm familiarity sears into my skin while butterflies explode in my stomach, expelling the knot I just had moments ago. Turning on the tips of my feet, I spin around to face him. He arches an eyebrow, and I laugh.
He’s still my Camden.
He might have left me, but he also gave me the best parting present imaginable.
Without reservation, I tightly wrap my arms around his stomach and rest my head on his chest, listening to his erratic heartbeat.
So skinny, I think when I reach around and clasp my hands behind his back.
Camden doesn’t hesitate as he puts his arms around me, leaning his head on top of mine.
“You left me,” I whisper into his chest.
He lifts his head and takes my hair out of the bun. He begins to comb his fingers through my hair and I hold back a sigh. “I know.”
Two words. That’s all it takes to break my resolve.
Face flushed with resentment, I push off of him and square my shoulders. “You left me with just a memory!” I accuse. “You tore me to pieces, and now? Now, you want to come back into my life. No. No, no, no, Camden! You don’t get to pick and choose when I’m convenient.”
I shove him again, each shove getting harder, until his back is against the wall. Tears stream down my face, the witnesses of my despair. When I move to walk away from him, Camden takes ahold of my hand and brings me to him. He wraps his arms around me, pressing my body to his, until we are flush with one another. Struggling in his grasp, I lift my head to yell at him, but he crushes his lips against mine.
“I’m sorry,” he murmurs against my mouth. “I’m sorry, Yan. I’m sorry,” he continues to whisper between the light kisses he presses into me.
The taste of his despair is my undoing, so I kiss him back. Harder, wanting to take away his pain.
When we finally separate, we look at each other, breathless. Words go unspoken as our panting settles.
Yessi Smith lives in South Florida with her husband, seven-year-old son, and newborn baby. She is also owned by a neurotic border collie and “ferocious” rottweiler.
She has a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s in human resource management. She has held several jobs, from picking up dog poop to upper management positions. Now, she hopes to leave the business world behind, so she can live full-time in a world that does not exist until she places her fingers on a keyboard and brings it to fruition.