He places his hand on her leg and she smiles, how long she had waited for this night, for years Clint never paid any attention to her, not once showing any signs of interest and then two days ago he sat down next to her at lunch and asked her out, she was shocked at first thinking why someone like him would even pay any attention to her, but he did. For the next two nights that followed they had intense hour long phone conversations, they walked to and from school together and he even introduced her to his mother. And now they were sitting together in the theatre, watching a movie, sharing popcorn like a real boyfriend and girlfriend. The movie passed quickly and soon they were put into the night and he noticed her shivering in the cold.
“You should have brought a thicker jumper,” he says as he quickly pulls off his coat and wraps it around her, she blushes.
“Now, won’t you be cold?”
“It doesn’t worry me,” he replies with that cute smile he always flashes around the school. They slowly make their way down the street, talking about what they would do if they had been the ones to find the old treasure map like the kids in the movie did until they come to a great water fountain that stands in the towns centre.
“Can I ask you something?” she says.
He laughs, “Asking to ask a question is never comforting.”
“I have to ask, because I haven’t yet, I mean, wait, it all made sense before I said anything,” she says nervously, he grips her hand tightly.
“You want to know why I asked you out?”
“Well yeah, I mean we’ve never had a conversation, we’ve never hung out in the same crowds, the closest we’ve ever come to each other before two days ago was six years ago when you wanted to sit next to Debbie Heshnear on the bus and you asked me to swap seats.”
“Debbie Heshnear, was that really six years ago?”
“Don’t avoid the question, why now? Don’t take it the wrong way, I’m not complaining, believe me, but why now?”
“Because, it was supposed to be now, not twenty-five years down the track,” he replies.
“Sorry, what does twenty-five years have to do with it?”
“Everything,” he looks at her through shimmery eyes as the moon shines off the water in the fountain and bathes him in its reflection. “I’ve been thinking this over, wondering how I was going to tell you this, and I still don’t know how, but I guess the easiest way is to just tell you and hope you don’t think I’m crazy,” he says as he motions for her to sit on a bench with him. “Twenty-five years’ time from now we’re going to bump into each other in a book store, and we’re going to have coffee together, and reminisce over school days, what we’ve been doing with our lives, and what we plan on doing. That coffee is going to turn into dinner and then that dinner is going to turn into breakfast,” He says as he takes a deep breath. “And that breakfast is going to turn into the best four years of our lives, and then…” he stops as tears run down his face, she place a hand on his arm and squeezes it.
He looks her in the eyes and slowly runs a hand across her cheek, “And then you’ll be diagnosed with stage four cervical cancer, and I’ll watch the woman I love more than anything else in the world slowly die before my eyes and I’ll powerless to do anything to save her. I’ll throw every cent I have at it, I’ll sell my Dad’s business, I’ll do anything I can. But nothing will stop it, no amount of surgery, no amount of money, not even the best will save you, and I’ll watch it all, not being able to do a single thing to help, and then you’ll die….” He wipes his tears from his face and takes a few moments to gather his thoughts, “After you died I hit rock bottom, nothing was worth anything without you, I was lost, beaten and alone. whatever time passed after your funeral was a blur, I was just so fucking done with everything, wishing every night that I could have you back in my arms, wishing I had just come up to you in school and asked you out. I wished for that every second of every day for weeks, until I ended up in hospital, I wasn’t taking care of myself, I couldn’t and almost died, but i didn’t care anymore, in fact I almost wanted it, and then, I woke up in my bed, at my parents’ house, I thought it was a dream at first but the longer it continued the more I realised I was actually back, I actually had a chance to save you, to build our lives together like we were supposed to,” he looks at her and can see the doubt in her eyes. “Ask me anything, ask me things I wouldn’t know, things I couldn’t know and I’ll answer them?”
“Does it matter?”
“Does it really matter? Honestly, I think you’re crazy, but so am I, so what if you’re story’s true, so what if it’s not, does it change anything now? Does it change this moment and the last few days? I mean this could all be a dream and this is all in your head or you’re dead and this is whatever follows, or maybe you’ve just lost the plot. Who really knows what the truth is, the only thing that matters is this, in the end does any of it matter?” He grabs her quickly and kisses her passionately, taking her by surprise, but she does not fight it, she in fact encourages it.
They part and sit there with their foreheads pressed against each other, staring into each others eyes.
“I guess it doesn’t,” he says with a smile.