Chapter: Mixed Emotion Rendezvous

Swiftly and silently, Marina grabbed up an oversized sweatshirt hanging on the small chair in front of her make-up mirror and shoved it on, gently stuffing her keys in a pocket. She knew it was warm outside but that didn't matter, she just needed something to wear, so she wouldn't be too indecent driving through the town at this hour. Tears were brimming in her eyes, planning out what she would say to him when she got there.
She hastily poked her head out of her door and made sure that the house was sleeping, before inaudibly closing and locking her door. This was a common thing for her to do, locking her door at night, since she had two younger siblings that had a bad habit of sneaking in and reeking havoc on her personal and private things. But it was also handy when she snuck out to meet friends or boyfriends for late night rendezvous.
There was only a slight noise when the window jutted upwards, but not enough to rouse anyone. Still, she stopped a moment and listened anxiously for sounds of movement. As there were none, she slipped out and shimmied along the wall behind the bushes to the corner of the house and then tip toed quickly to the sidewalk, where she broke into a run to the back of the house where her car was parked, holding her keys tightly in one hard to keep them from jingling. She climbed in and set the car in neutral without shutting the door. She rolled it down the street a ways, out of earshot of her house, then closed the door, put it in drive, and sped off to Robert's house.
"This isn't going at all how I thought it would . . ." she whispered to herself, looking at the picture of her, Scarlet, Robert and Jamie dangling placidly from her rear view mirror. She sighed and turned the radio off, driving the rest of the short way in silence.


He sat on the corner of his bed, trying desperately to concentrate on the video game in front of him. He'd turned it on to cover any noise opening the window made, or any noise someone climbing through the window would make. And as it sat, playing through its opening video, he couldn't help but pick up the controller and play, even if his concentration was horrible at the moment, and his hands shaking.
He decided the best thing to do before she got there was to leave, rather than her coming in, and he quickly grabbed his remote, climbed through the window, and shut it most of the way, leaving it slightly open with enough room for his hand to stick through and turn off the TV, and walked slowly towards the street. Just as he got to the end of his driveway, headlights appeared at the end of the street, slowly advancing on him. He walked towards them and they met two houses down from his. He climbed in and they drove off.

"Marina . . . thanks. I know you're risking a lot leaving like this . . ."

"Me? You're in more danger than I am of getting caught I thought."

"Yeah, but my parents aren't crazy."

"Good point."

They stopped in a vacant parking lot outside a 24 hour grocery store, so they wouldn't look completely suspicious. If they saw cops they'd just drive off and find somewhere else. But the place looked deserted, so Marina put it in park and turned to her friend, who was staring out the window.

"Robert," she said gently, putting an unsure hand on his shoulder.

"I was gonna marry her, you know. When we both finished school and stuff I was planning to. And now she's gone and my future is so fucking unclear again, just like it was before I met her." His eyes were watering and he let his forehead fall loudly onto the window.

"I know, Robert. I know you loved her, but she left us. She left us for reasons none of us knew about. I mean, if neither of us knew she was going to do this then . . . maybe she was a little more insane than we all thought. No, that sounds horrible. God, I don't know what to say. But I don't want to lose you too, Robert, I can't lose you too. Do you understand that?" She pulled him around to face her and stared into his tear stained face. "I cant fucking lose both of the people I care the most about in the whole fucking world and expect to be OK. You and she were the only ones keeping me from doing what she's done. I loved her and," she sighed and looked away a moment, then stared deeply into his eyes, "I love you Robert. So please, please, please don't go. Don't leave me . . ." She threw her arms around him in a tight embrace and he sat holding her close to him for several moments, thinking about what she'd said.

~She loves me. I mean, I knew it, but she's never said it before. And not like that. That was like how Scarlet would have said it. Maybe she thinks she can take Scarlet's place. Which she can't of course, but I think she wants to. Or maybe I'm wrong and she just loves me like a friend and wants to help. Or~

His thoughts were cut short when Marina let him go, and after a moment to steady her self in her actions, she kissed him. Gently laid her lips on his and he suddenly felt cold all over. He pulled back and looked at her, studying her eyes for a sign of why she'd done this. But he knew why. He'd just been thinking about it.

"I just want to help . . ." she said meekly, casting her eyes down to her lap.

"Please take me home," he said quietly.

Without saying a word, she started the car and pulled out of the parking lot, heading back into the night to his house.

She dropped him off, with nothing else spoken between them. She then sped home, hoping no one had had the strange inclination to check on her in the half hour she'd been gone. She looked at herself in the rearview mirror.

"So, what's the plan now?" she asked herself out loud. "Things went well. Maybe I can make this work . . ."


"I feel like . . . I feel like I just cheated on Scarlet. With the one person she was the most fucking scared about me cheating with. Oh God Scarlet why the hell did you leave me? Why did you do this to me? God fucking damn it, why? I love you baby. I hope you can hear me, wherever you are. I love you more than anything, or anyone. I don't know what Marina thought she was doing but she can't make me happy like you did. No one could. But I can't leave her. Not like you left us. Goodnight love . . ."