START AT THE BEGINNING
I will always remember the night at the beach—it was so romantic. There was no moon, and the candles were our only light. We hardly spoke and we lay quietly next to each other on the blanket looking up at the stars, with him holding my hand in his softly, caressingly.
He dropped me off later on the corner to my street, and I walked up the hill toward my house.
The next morning my dad asked me curiously, what time I got home because he did not hear any cars. I successfully avoid telling him the truth by changing the subject. I feel guilty I have to lie to them, and I have to meet Vincent without them knowing. If I had to tell them, they would be furious and they would prevent me from ever seeing him again, so I keep lying and pretending, just so I can have this time with him.
After my parents leave for work, I look out my bedroom window, and I see him standing outside his car, waiting for me.
I am slightly shocked to see him there. Although I know the suburb we live in is predominantly black, and none of my neighbours would think twice seeing a black boy standing outside his car.
It is also not as if they would tell my parents because we are not close to being friendly with any of our neighbours. If my parents had enough money to move us out into one of the outer-suburbs, we would have moved long ago.
Feeling excited I run down the stairs and then I lock the front door behind me. Devoid of all inhibitions, I run into his arms, and he lifts me off the ground. His strong arms around my waist, he brushes his lips over mine, and then he lets me go gently.
He walks with me to the other side of the car and waits for me to get in before he closes the door softly. We drive into Charleston and we avoid mid-town where both our parents work.
We go to a coffee shop and it is still hours before lunch, so I know there would be no possibility of running into anyone we knew. Both Vincent’s dad and my mom worked in the city centre. We sit in the back of the café across from each other. Our heads closely together and we talk softly.
“I wonder where we will be ten years from now,” he wonders.
“Oh, you’ll be a household name, with a million girls running after you.”
He laughs exuberantly. “And you will work somewhere in a high rise building. You will be wearing a fancy suit with your hair up in a bun, with a few wisps hanging loosely around your ears.”
“Yes, I’ll be stylishly fashionable,” I agree and I look up. It is with shock I recognize my mom standing in the front of the café at the counter. I wonder, briefly, what she is doing here, in this particular coffee shop, on this particular day. Her office block is not even within walking distance of this café.
I stare at the back of her head and I know I should look away because any moment now she is going to feel eyes boring into the back of her skull and she is going to turn around and see me sitting here with Vincent.
I feel a cold hand crush my heart and I stop breathing. Vincent sees the look on my face. He turns slightly in his chair and his gaze follows my stare. He looks back at me, and I recognize my own fear in his eyes.
When eventually my mom walks out of the café with two paper cups of coffee, I cannot help sighing with relief.
Vincent and I wait a few minutes and then we leave the café, too preoccupied with our own mixed feelings to enjoy the day any further.
We get into Vincent’s car hurriedly and then Vincent shuffles through his CD collection. He picks out a CD, and then he lets it slide into the player. He cranks up the volume, and I can feel the bass reverberating through my body. I feel the tension which dropped onto me minutes ago shake loose.
We drive aimlessly through the streets for hours and by the time we reach my house, I have forgotten, once again, why I cannot see Vincent. I have remembered why I love him. I love him because I know he feels the same as me. I love him because our souls recognized each other. I love him because my heart will not be able to take it if we said goodbye forever.
He drops me off with enough time for me to cook dinner and without me having to worry if either one of my parents will be there to see us.
Continue Reading CHAPTER FIFTEEN
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