Timeless (Chapter 2)
By Pamela, age 26, South Africa
Chapter 1 appeared in last month's issue. The complete novel may be purchased at Pamela's website: pameladianeking.com.
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
Chaos swept through the beach party. Everyone was there. It was the famous seniors' welcome party that always took place at the beach the first Friday night of senior year. Music pulsated from the loud speakers mingling with the warm August breeze.
The week had passed by quickly. I had seen Tommy in English every day and at the cafeteria. But the only contact we'd had was when a book had fallen out of my locker, and he'd picked it up as he was walking past. As he gave it to me our fingers touched and a jolt of electricity passed between us. The touch of his silky soft skin sent shivers up my spine. He looked deep in my eyes like he was trying to tell me something.
Cheerleading practice had ended late that day. It was every Monday and Friday. I had hoped to see Tommy again but he didn't come. It was probably better judging by the way Brad had reacted to his unexpected appearance the first time. With seconds to spare I managed to be ready when Brad arrived to pick me up for the party. I put on a light blue halter dress that sat just above my knees, and silver gladiator sandals. I left my long blonde hair loose, but clipped the one side behind my ear with a silver flower clip. I applied some shimmery make-up.
Exhausted I just wanted to curl up in bed with a good book, but everyone expected me to be there. I had never been a party animal, in fact, I got claustrophobic in crowds. The minute we arrived, Brad was engulfed by a mob of his friends from the football team. I was standing with Kelly and Natalie who were commenting on the other girls' outfits.
"What the hell is she wearing?" Kelly asked in mock shock, wrinkling her nose at Sarah's mismatched outfit. Sarah was a sweet girl but she wasn't considered "cool" by their standards.
"I think she looks cute," I said in her defense.
They raised their eyebrows at each other, and sipped their punch.
Natalie flipped her long auburn hair over her shoulder. "I'm going to dance, you guys coming?"
"Yeah, I love this song, let's go," Kelly shouted. "Jess, are you coming?"
I nodded and followed them. We found an empty spot on the sand and danced to a Justin Timberlake song. They twirled each other around and laughed. We had to fend off a few over-eager guys who tried to dance with us. The guys were too busy talking to each other by the punch table to notice.
Thoughts of Tommy haunted me, but I didn't even try looking for him because I knew that he wouldn't have come. I was trying to push him from my mind when suddenly I heard a motorcycle roaring above the music.
"Did you hear that?" I asked them hopefully.
"Hear what? I can barely hear you above the music," Kelly shouted.
I sighed. It must have just been wishful thinking.
A wall of bodies closed in on us. Overwhelmed by the music and congestion, everything suddenly started spinning. Dizziness and nausea flooded over me. I excused myself to Kelly and Natalie, and fled to the outskirts of the party.
Fresh air caressed my face. I felt better after a few deep breaths. Warm sand enveloped my feet as I dug my feet in. The beach was my favorite place, night or day. Cool water wet my feet and legs as I took a walk along the shore in the opposite direction of the party. Silver beams of moonlight shimmered on the sand. It was a beautiful night. Waves lapped against the shore creating a hypnotic rhythm.
Suddenly there was a shadow moving in the darkness. Looking back at the distant lights from the party I realized that I had wandered too far. I started walking back quickly. The shadow moved closer. Fear attacked me. I broke into a run, but tripped on a rock and fell. The cool, soft sand cushioned me. I jumped when someone grabbed me. Hands were on me, touching me, pulling me up. I screamed and kicked my legs frantically.
"Don't be scared, I won't hurt you," a deep male voice said calmly. Moonlight illuminated his face. It was Tommy.
Relief washed over as I realized that it was him. He was much taller and bigger than me and could have easily overpowered me. I should have still been afraid, but I wasn't. His big, rough hands pulled me up off the sand. "What are you doing here?" I asked weakly.
"I'm sorry I scared you. I was worried when I saw you wander off from the party. I didn't want you to get lost or fall into the ocean or something. So I followed you. My name is Tommy, by the way."
I already knew his name, but I didn't want to tell him that. "I'm Jessica," I said, shaking his outstretched hand. The feel of his warm skin sent a jolt of electricity through me like when he had passed me my book in the hallway. "But why would you follow me when we hadn't even met?"
He hesitated. "I saw you looking at me in English class and in the cafeteria."
Luckily it was dark so he couldn't see me blushing. "You saw that?" I asked sheepishly.
"Yes, it's weird. I feel strangely drawn to you, like we know each other or something."
"Is that why you came to the football field during cheerleading practice on Monday?"
He nodded. "And why I came tonight."
My heart pounded. "I didn't think that you would come tonight."
"Because I'm a loner?" He smiled.
"Well, yeah, and I just didn't think that parties were your thing. They're not really my thing either."
"You're right about them not being my thing. But you seem like the type of girl who loves a good party."
"Because I'm a cheerleader?" I joked.
He laughed softly. "Well, yes, you seem like you're popular and social."
I shrugged. "Well, I'm actually kind of shy. I'm more of a home-body. I love curling up with a good book or writing poetry."
He nodded. "Really, I write poetry myself. But I've never showed anyone my poems."
"I'd love to see them sometime if you don't mind."
He smiled. "I prefer the classic poems like the one I read in class. They seem to express what I feel better than I can myself. I also write songs and music, but I've never had actual lessons, I taught myself how to read music."
"You're very talented." I felt so comfortable with him. We walked a bit and then sat down on the sand a few feet from the water. He was wearing a sleeveless black shirt, long jean shorts, and black flip-flops. He placed his leather jacket beside him on the sand. Softly his bare arm brushed against mine and goose bumps covered my arm.
"Are you cold?" he asked, noticing my goose bumps.
"A little," I lied. I just wanted to feel his arms around me.
He shook the sand off his jacket and gently placed it over my shoulders. I wanted his arms around me, but his jacket was second best. I wrapped it around me, enjoying having the feel of him so close to my body.
"The moon is so beautiful tonight," I said gazing up at the silver waxing moon.
"Not as beautiful as you," he said softly. "I can't tear my eyes away from you, yet you are almost too beautiful to look at."
I smiled and blushed again, this time more intensely. "So, where are you from?" I asked, trying to take the attention off of me. Also, I was desperate to know more about him.
"New York," he said uncomfortably.
"Wow, I've always wanted to go to New York. It looks amazing, but I'd miss the beach."
"The beach is great. It's the best thing about California. Well, the second best," he said smiling at me.
I looked down trying to suppress a huge grin. "If you don't mind me asking, what brought you to California?" I asked, trying to sound casual like I hadn't heard all the rumors about him.
He looked at the sea sadly. After what seemed liked minutes, he responded hesitantly, "My mom died."
His statement knocked the air out of my lungs. I was desperate to question him, but he didn't seem to want to get into it, and the words wouldn't come out of my mouth. So we just sat in silence for a few minutes listening to the rhythmic sound of the water lapping against the shore.
After a few seconds I had the courage to look at him. My heart ached when I looked at the raw pain on his face. Tears welled up in my eyes. I put my hand on his. "I'm so sorry, Tommy."
"Are you okay?" he asked noticing my tears.
"I'm fine. I just feel really bad about your mom."
"Thank you, that means a lot."
Disgust raged in me when I thought of the nasty lies people were spreading about him being some kind of juvenile delinquent, when he had actually just lost his mother. He must have noticed my preoccupation because he put his arm around my shoulders and looked deep into my eyes. There was such softness and sensitivity in his beautiful blue eyes.
"Please change the subject," he said looking at me hopefully.
"So, what's it like to ride a motorcycle?" I asked, trying to distract him.
"You've never ridden one?" he asked surprised.
"Nope, my parents would have heart attacks."
He laughed and looked at the ocean again. "Well, you feel free, like no-one can touch you. At that moment, nothing matters. It's amazing feeling the wind in your hair. Having the freedom to go anywhere is powerful."
"Wow, sounds pretty cool."
"Do you want to go for a ride?" he grinned.
I hesitated for a few seconds. Going for a ride on a motorcycle with the school rebel was crazy. But I wanted to do something crazy. I had been safe and good my whole life. Now I wanted to do what I wanted to do.
"Yes, let's do it," I smiled excitedly.
"Awesome," he smiled back. He jumped up and put his hand out to pull me up. In one swift motion I was on my feet.
Music grew louder as we walked towards the party. Before we were in sight he led me around the back to the parking lot. There sat his shiny black motorcycle. Nervousness and excitement sparked in me. "This is such a cool bike! It looks like a vintage bike, just like those bikes the T-Birds ride in Grease and Grease 2."
"Yeah, it's a 1950s model."
"But it looks brand new," I remarked.
"It was preserved or restored I guess. So are those films?" he asked quickly, changing the subject.
"Yes, they were set in the late Fifties and early Sixties but were made in the Eighties. Haven't you ever heard of them?" I asked surprised.
"No, I haven't." He picked up the helmet and was about to put his helmet on me, but someone called my name.
"It's Brad. He must be looking for me," I said anxiously.
"Is that the guy who gave me the death stare at the field?"
"Yes, that's him."
"Is he your boyfriend?"
I bit my lip. "Yes, but it's complicated. I don't want him to see me with you, he'll cause a scene." I handed him his jacket back reluctantly.
He put his jacket and helmet on. "I'm not scared of him. But I don't want a scene either. I'll take you on the bike another time." He climbed on the bike and started it up. Instantly he was gone. The sound of the bike died out.
Every part of me had wanted to jump on the bike and speed off with him. But it wasn't the right time.
"Jessica, there you are?!" Brad shouted. He was visibly relieved. "Where have you been?" He hugged me so tightly that I struggled to breathe.
I eased out of his arms. "Um, I felt claustrophobic from the party so I went for a walk along the beach and got a bit lost. But as you can see I found my way back."
"I was so worried." He hugged me again.
"I'm fine really. Can you please take me home? It's late."
"Of course, Jess."
In the car on the way home, I pretended to be asleep, not wanting to have to explain anymore to Brad. I felt slightly guilty for having left the party without telling anyone where I was going. I knew that Brad had been genuinely worried about me.
Lying in bed, I looked out the window at the silver moon. My heart swelled with happiness when I thought of Tommy saying that I was beautiful. Just one look from him made me melt. He had surpassed my expectations. I knew that we were meant to meet that night. I couldn't wait to see him again.
Exhausted, I fell asleep thinking about him, and he followed me to my dreams. In my dream, his jacket kept me warm as the wind whipped through my hair. My hands wrapped around him tightly. I felt completely safe even though there was danger. I trusted him with my life. There was no place I'd rather be. I felt like I was floating in the blue sky above us. I never wanted to come down.