"I can't pretend to know what you've been going through. And I'm incredibly selfish for allowing this to make me so happy, but the idea that you loved me that much really touches my heart. I realize you sincerely got over a death or were in the process. I never experienced that on my end. It was another lost relationship on account of normal bs from dad and mom. My presence in your life must really be hard for you."
Rylie looked at Delia as he said this. Part of Delia couldn't believe he understood her so well, like he always did in the past, and another part of her knew he was right. It was difficult. And it was no doubt he and her were on different levels here.
"Let's not dwell on it ...... instead, let's change the subject. Am I only going to expect to see you during art class?"
Rylie thought for a moment.
"Not likely. I planned to call you all week, but Fran, friends, schoolwork, and my parents took up all of my time. Also, that business we discussed from earlier, about hiding out and all, isn't over. All of our lives are still in danger. I'm really in the woods about all this. Dad swore he saw someone the other day hiding out in the lower bushes of his and moms house. I looked all over his yard and found nothing. It's so weird, now playing a personal part in all this, whereas when I was a kid, when we were together, I had been in the dark. I mean, they really are nasty people Delia. Do you know what it's like to have masking tape placed on your face so tight you can't even breath. When they abducted me, they took me to a room and wrapped masking tape around my head over and over again, covering both my mouth and nose, so tight I could hardly breathe. I swear, I almost choked on saliva and mucus. It was awful."
"Rylie ...... I had no idea. Really, I can't begin to express how sorry I am you're going through all this. And your family."
Delia shook her head as if she didn't know what else to say.
"Let's change the subject again."
Rylie was happy to. All to thrilled.
After the dinner at the café, Rylie had to leave early due to a family emergency that he insisted he go and take on alone. Delia had not wanted to be rude and interfere but she was so worried about him. He had been the love of her life. She knew she was still not over him. Outside on the pavement infront of the café, she touched his arm.
"Be careful," she said, then kissed his cheek, which made him smile.
"I will. You go home and get some rest. We can talk later."
So she did.
Delia and Rylie did not talk again for another week. However, something very scary happened several days after their 2nd date.
Delia was actually on campus. She had just spent the afternoon with several girlfriends lounging around outside on the campus grass, when someone tapped her on the shoulder as she was about to leave the area. Her friends had done left, but she wanted to soak up a last few minutes worth of rays.
The tap was rather forceful. It took Delia by surprise and slightly unnerved her.
She turned to see a skinny, sophisticated looking red-headed girl with curly hair and blue eyes standing there. She gave Delia one hell of a glare. It actually sent chills down Delia's spine.
"May I help you?" Delia asked. "And would you mind explaining to me why you tapped me on my shoulder so hard? I'm not your punching bag and I'm not about to be a target for you to take your anger on. If you had a bad day, walk it off."
The girl, two inches taller, stepped forward, closer into Delia's face.
"I have a lot of reasons to be angry at you, you plain looking harlot. Just who exactly are you?"
This girl is making no sense, Delia thought. Delia turned to leave. Out of nowhere, the blazing red-headed girl lunges forward and grasps Delia's wrist with one hand, then grabs her upper sleeve with the other.
"You aren't going anywhere. You are going to sit down right now and explain to me just who exactly are you?" Then she slings Delia backwards and Delia trips over the curb that separated the pavement from the grass, and she lands hard on her butt. The girl then stands directly infront of Delia, towering over her, her hands on her hips.
Delia is floored. Who this girl? And did she seriously just put her hands on her? And for what reason? Outraged, Delia pulled her butt off the ground into a kicking position and she kicked her high heeled boot as hard as she could into the girls upper thigh. The girl did not expect this from Delia and Delia's heel struck home. The girl cried out, staggered backwards, and lost her own footing. Delia used this as an opportunity to stand up to face the girl. Now on her feet, Delia rushed at the girl before the she could even get up. Delia clumsily grabbed the girls hair and slung her back down to the pavement floor. The girl lay there and cried. Oops, I didn't mean for her head to hit the ground that hard! Delia thought as she reached down to help the girl up.
The girl screamed. "Get away from me!" She slapped Delia's hand away.