This Chapter was like described. She was sweet, innocent, and seemed good-hearted; always walking on sunshine, like nothing bad was happening around her. She wasn't much of a talker, in what little amounts of time I saw her.
She was friendly enough that whenever she mentioned how her father overlooked at me talking to her, wondering who I was, that she would plainly tell me her father thought of me as a creeper.
I won't lie, that hurt. But not enough to stop me from talking to her. Perhaps because I was in that phase where I slowly started to learn more about myself and embrace the feeling of relief that came whenever I stopped caring what others thought--about me, in particular.
I started to learn more about her, how she was always "The Good Girl" of the family and how she was focusing on her studies and wanting to do more with her life. It was apparent this was a nice quality she had, but the mere fact that she seemed so pure was what raised all kinds of flags inside my head.
Something was clearly too good to be true and something started to bother that whisper in my head.
Perhaps it was because that part of me knew it wanted to test her, to corrupt her, to see how far she'd go. But because of our extremely short talks we never fully had that chance to explore that test.
I wouldn't have wanted that anyway; her father was a scary man.
And she was as delicate as a flower, or she seemed so anyway. In our small chances when we finally got to get personal and talk about something deeper than just how our shifts were going, we managed to learn a bit more about each other.
Then one day, when Chapter Twenty-Six appeared before me while I was walking the store before my shift, my heart jumped and I felt the anxiety kick in, the fear that anything could happen, that anything small could trigger her to ruin my life, and all I could do was run. I was still weak, I still didn't have the strength to act in fight mode instead of flight.
So I ran through the aisles, searching for a safe place, and so I turned to that corner and saw that innocent face looking up at me with confusion. All I could muster for words was, "hide me."
So I hid in the corner, away from eye-shot, and as I informed her that I had seen my ex through the store, she remained confused but offered safe haven.
It was then that I opened up about my DUI and the mistake I had made. It was then that I could see the strength in her eyes, and as she put her hand on my chest, she felt my heart about to pierce through in fear, and she comforted me. She told me it would be okay, that she was there for me.
It was at this moment that I knew I could trust her, that I could confide in her and that she'd be there for support.
However, as time passed, we grew apart, and then slowly we started to fade from each other.
Time and space seemed to always get in the way; but I knew that no matter where she was, or went, she'd be happy.
And perhaps I could reconnect with her one day.
I have never been good at keeping in contact; that wasn't apparent to me until years later when I stopped talking to close family relatives living a country apart.
Sometimes it feels so hard to just put out there a simple "Hello" and hope that they see it.
Sometimes it is much easier to say nothing at all.