Second Chance Ch. 01byS-Des©
He made it to the dorm without being noticed. Slipping up to the room, he scanned the hallway, then quietly entered. When the door closed behind him, he looked at the bed and couldn't help remembering his first day back when Donna surprised him. Every detail about that day was etched indelibly in his mind; the way she looked, the way she smelled, how aggressive she had been in making love to him...
'Stop it,' he scolded himself. It was going to be hard enough without thinking about her.
It only took about an hour to pack everything and start moving it to the car. Tim was looking forward to getting away as quickly as possible. He'd have just over three months of doing some part-time work at the company with Pete, then was off to his mentor's Alma Mater. It's where Pete wanted him to go in the first place. The young man reminded himself never to doubt his friend's advice again.
He went back to the room for the final load. Taking a last look around, he reflected on how amazingly his life had changed in just a week. He checked the last suitcase and looked at the ring he had bought for Donna. It was pure dumb luck that somebody hadn't stolen it. It sat unguarded in a drawer for the whole week, not even locked away.
He couldn't help remembering how happy he'd been when he was able to buy it. All the plans made about their future together...
I'm an idiot, he scolded himself. With a sigh, he closed the box and stuck it back into the suitcase before heading out.
Just as he reached the front door of the building, he saw a familiar face walk by. He made it halfway out the door when Donna's friend Cindy said, "Tim, is that you?"
With a frustrated shake of his head, he turned, averting his gaze as much as possible. "Hi Cindy, what are you up to?"
She walked up to him slowly and pushed the hood back. "Oh my gosh! What happened?" She sounded genuinely concerned.
"It doesn't matter, I'm fine. How are you?"
"I'm all right," she replied, still appearing worried. "I'm so sorry about what happened with you and Donna. You know how much we all think of you, right?"
"That's nice to hear, I really like you and the other girls too. You've always been great to me and I appreciate it. Please give them my best." He looked around anxiously, not wanting to get sucked into a long conversation. "I'm sorry, but I really need to get going."
She stared unsure of what to say. "Have you seen her? She's been trying to find some way to get in touch with you to explain things. I know she feels terrible about what happened, she really cares about you."
Tim couldn't suppress a sarcastic laugh, "Yeah, I saw that she was so worried that she forgot to put her pants on." Cindy cringed, making Tim regret his harsh words.
I don't know if she knew anything, he reminded himself. I shouldn't take it out on her.
"Sorry, I'm just not in the mood to worry about her concerns right now."
Cindy nodded understandingly. "Don't worry about it; that was a terrible thing to do. You have every right to be pissed off. I want you to know that I meant it when I said how much we all like you. Any time you want you are welcome."
Although her statement surprised him, it didn't do much to lighten his mood. "Sorry, but that's not going to happen. I'm just heading out now."
She looked shocked. "You mean you're leaving school? I don't understand."
"It doesn't matter; I'm all packed and ready to go. Listen, I don't want to be rude, but I'm really looking forward to getting out of here. I just want to ask one favor. Don't tell her you saw me. You don't want to be in the middle of this and I promise you that I don't want to talk to her; ever."
"Are you sure about this?" she asked. "Leaving school is such a big step. I hope you're not just doing it because of her."
"Don't worry, it's more than just her," he said, glancing at his watch impatiently. "I'm sorry but it's getting late. I need to hit the road. But thank you for what you said. It means a lot to me." He leaned in to give her a kiss on the cheek, but instead she caught him in a hug. He tried not to let her know how much it hurt. She didn't seem to know about the fight, which was a relief.
The less people that know about it, the better, he thought.
They said a final goodbye and he headed out the door, before anything else could happen. Tim threw the suitcase in the front seat and pulled out of the parking lot. Just as he was about to turn on the road leading out, he saw what he had been fearing since he decided to retrieve his possessions. Donna was fifty yards away, walking by herself across the grass. Even though he felt like his guts were being ripped out, he stopped and watched for a minute, taking in every detail one last time. She had her head down and looked like she was deep in thought.
Tim allowed himself a moment to think about how much he loved her and how much he would miss her. Then he wondered how he could have been so wrong about who she was. Letting his eyes linger for one last second, he swore to himself that his life was going to be so spectacular that he wouldn't even miss her.
Turning back to face the road, he pulled out of the lot and never looked back.
Despite what you might think, the title of the story has nothing to do with Tim's relationship with Donna, or any other woman. This is a long story with many twists and turns. With any luck, it'll keep you guessing until the end. I know those are the stories I enjoy the most, and I did my best to capture that spirit.