I stared at him. He wasn’t looking in my direction yet, but a little more staring and he’d start to get the feeling we all know that someone was watching them. I’ve felt dead inside for as long as I can remember. My family was no good and everyone in my life has turned out the same.
He turns to find the person staring is me. I quickly try to make myself busy with getting out of the store as soon as possible. I saw my exit and was about a foot away from walking out the door into the foot traffic of New York City when he grabbed my wrist.
“Hey! What are you running away for?” He let my wrist go upon stopping me.
I’d been avoiding his eyes this entire time; for my sake and his. I slowly trailed my eyes up to his from the ground and had to try my very hardest not to gasp. His eyes were like steel, cold and hard, but his smile lines around his eyes contradicted them making you believe he was looking at you mischievously rather than seriously.
“Um. I- uh. I found what I- I found what I was looking for,” I looked away from his eyes before he could complete his thrall on me.
“What’s your name?” He smiled at me, I could tell without looking.
“Callie. Callie Love.” I didn’t ask for his. Everyone that went to Cornell University knew without a doubt the star 6’6” basketball player, Jerry Rhodes. His family came from money and while he enjoyed it, he loved basketball more. He went to this school because they had basketball and it would satisfy his parents rule to get a business degree. At least those are the rumors on campus.
“Nice to meet you, Callie. I’m-”
“Jerry Rhodes. You’re not the type of person that someone wouldn’t already know their name.”
“So you’ve at least heard some talk on campus then.”
“Yeah, I really just keep to myself and I actually have somewhere to be.” I try again for the door. I needed to get away from his gaze. I walked out the door.
“Now what’s this mysterious place that’s dragging you away from a good old-fashioned conversation?” He had that damn mischievous grin again.
“I don’t really wanna talk. Much less to you.” I kept pushing myself to move faster, but he always caught up with his damned long legs.
“Now why would you say that? What have I done to make you react like this towards me?”
“Do you really wanna know?” I stop dead in my tracks in the middle of Times Square making a few bystanders angry with me.
He stops in front of me only about a foot away and stares deep into my dead eyes, “Yes. I really want to know.”
I stared into his eyes, silent for a moment, thinking of how to phrase what I wanted to say without coming off too harsh until I realized I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. Whether it was from excitement, the look he was giving me, or the fact that after feeling dead for so long from all the bullshit my heart has been put through, I genuinely want to let someone in, but I can’t. I’ve been good on my own thus far I don’t need someone complicating things.
“I can’t talk about it.” I turn to start walking away again until Jerry grabs my wrist to pull me back.
“Can’t or won’t?” he’s standing closer to me now, like half a foot away.
“Won’t. Now let me leave.” He released my wrist from his grasp and stood there watching me walk away.
I turned at some point to see if he was still there, but couldn’t see through all the people crowding the sidewalk. I kept walking. I didn’t know what this all meant, but I’m sure I’d find out soon enough.
To be continued....