My booted footfalls echoed from cobblestone, muffled only by the grass as I stumbled my way into Harbor Park. Attentive mothers watched their children play on slides and climb through plastic obstacle courses. I found a cherub statue and balanced myself on a corner of its pedestal. It looked forlornly across the grass to its mate on the other side of the playground.
"I know," I said, as if the thing could hear me, "not fair at all."
I sat there, trying to understand why I ran. But that's what I'd always done...before.
Father would find me in my room at night. He'd leave me empty, bloodshot eyes peering at me over his shoulders, daring me to tell anyone. So I ran away. He would always find me, beat me and then I'd stay. But the cycle repeated until my brother stood up to him, protected me, unlike my mother who cowered at his feet. When my brother graduated high school and left for boot camp, the cycle began again, more vicious. Dirty. Filthy. Death a much better option.
But I couldn't even die right.
Father Quanon showed up and I didn't have to run anymore. I could end the cycle. I could do more, be more, just had to accept that I could not love.
Then Basil. Now love. Running didn't help before. Won't help now. Basil lied, true enough, but I hadn't exactly been honest either. His "I love you" meant everything good and wonderful that my father's never did. Basil's touch comforted me. I'd finally found what I needed in my enemy, loving him, Harvestor and all. Running hadn't changed that.
I looked around and saw him striding, purposeful, all my stuff in his hands. He knelt before me. "Where you run, I'll follow." Truth of his words flooded my soul.
I leaned toward him, pressed my lips to his. No bolt of lightning to break us apart. No shattering earth to tear him away from me. Soft. Gentle. Wanting. Tingling erupted setting my nerves on edge. He brought a hand to my face, cupped my cheek as my lips parted, opening to his desire. Fierce heat stirred my core. A breeze cooled my tingles, and nothing more perfect could have happened.
Until someone, very loudly, cleared their throat.******
Awww, Abby has dealt with a lot. To finally find love when she isn't allowed...? And who interrupted their first kiss?