Pretending Ch. 02


Pretending Ch. 2 © 2009 All Rights Reserved Simon was frustrated over the next few days. Connie went to lengths to avoid him, although since they lived together, she couldn’t avoid him all the time. After three days, frustration turned to a strange sort of admiration. It was impressive how she managed to see him for the barest minimum of time every day. She left early, came home late, then went straight to her room. He wondered when she ate, since she declined any invitations to eat with him, whether it was in the apartment or out at a restaurant. She was never rude—she didn’t ignore him or not speak to him—but she acted like she was afraid of him. Connie had never done that before, and he began to think perhaps he’d said something to offend her without knowing it. When Friday rolled around, Simon took advantage of having worked extra hours the previous couple of weeks and went home before lunch. Today, he decided, Connie was going to talk to him beyond “Hi, see you later.” He would plant himself in front of the door if he had to, and make her say something. This was ridiculous. He missed her and wanted his friend back. He sighed as he thought back to high school days, Ataşehir escort and how they had become fast friends their first year. He had just moved into the area, and they were in the same homeroom. She had sat in the row next to him, and when she saw him reading a copy of Dune one day, she started talking to him about it. It was one of her favorites, and they became so involved in their conversation they almost missed the first period bell. She had introduced Simon to her group of friends, and they’d all gotten along well. It had been great for Simon. There had always been someone to talk to, go to a football game with, and things like that. The circle had remained pretty intact for all four years, with only a couple of people leaving because their families moved. Simon, Connie and the others had attended their senior prom in a large, friendly group, with no defined couples. It had been all he could do not to gape at her that night, she looked so lovely. She had worn a sleeveless red gown with a straight skirt, and a shawl that her mother had made, from yarn that had some kind of sparkles in it. Her eyes had twinkled as they all talked Ümraniye escort bayan and laughed, her long black hair tossing from side to side. For the first time, but not the last, Simon had wished he was her boyfriend. The group had decided they would go to the beach afterwards. It wasn’t fair, Simon thought now, as he had then. None of them had been drinking; they hadn’t even brought anything with them. Not that each of them hadn’t had a beer or some wine at one point, but they’d seen enough schoolmates die in alcohol-related accidents after proms and graduations that they’d all pledged not to do it for their own prom. They piled into three cars, with changes of clothes and picnic baskets, and headed off to the beach. He and Connie had been in separate cars; she had gone with her friend, Rachel, who was driving her brand new Corolla. How Rachel had loved that car. He should have made Connie ride with him. Rachel had panicked when an SUV full of drunk college students came tearing around a bend. She had turned the wheel the wrong way and the SUV had hit the little Corolla, flipping it up and over through the air. Simon’s heart Escort Bostancı had caught in his throat as he pulled over when the car came back to the ground, and he thought he’d be sick as it flipped over two or three times before stopping. One of the other boys had called 911; all Simon could think of was getting to Connie and the girls. Everything was a blur until they got to the hospital, and even then all he remembered was sitting in the waiting room until he was allowed to go sit by Connie’s bed. Rachel, Connie and a third girl had all survived, but had sustained serious injuries. Rachel had a broken arm, and a concussion. The other girl, in the back seat, had fared better, but still had a broken collarbone and several broken ribs. Connie, on the passenger side where the SUV had hit, had taken the worst of it. The airbag had deployed, but it hadn’t helped. She, like Rachel, had a broken arm and a concussion, and she shared some broken ribs with their other passenger. Her leg had been the worst. It was broken, the bone had poked through the skin, and some skin had been sheared off by the force of the landing. Simon had sat countless nights, it seemed, by her bedside, sharing the duty with her parents and older sister. Connie had borne up well, and gone through months of rehab and physical therapy. Now, years later, she had only the scar and a slight limp to show what she’d been through. Since the accident, he’d only seen her in jeans, slacks, or long skirts and dresses.

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