"I umm, just got here," he said nervously. "I shouldn't have come. I should go," he said, quickly turning to leave.
"No, wait!" Brie exclaimed grabbing his arm to stop him from leaving. "Kristopher, we need to talk."
He knew she was right, but was he ready for what was about to happen? His life was already about to make such a drastic change, he wasn't sure if he could handle another one.
He nodded his head and followed her outside. Kris knew exactly where they were headed. Brie took a seat on the swing that hung from the old oak tree at the very back of her yard. It was her thinking tree; and the gentle gliding motion of the swing had helped her make some tough decisions in her young life. Kris took his regular spot behind her and instinctively gave her a push. She sat swing and he stood pushing her in silence until she found the courage to speak.
"Kristopher, I'm so sorry," she said quietly.
"I know," he replied, giving her another push. "I'm sorry too."
"No! Don't do that! Don't make this easy on me. I was horrible to you and I need to face the consequences. You can't just make it okay so easily."
"I'm sorry Brie, I just hate fighting with you and these last three days have been hell. I just want to forget about it and move on."
"But we can't move on until we clear some things up. There are things that need to be said and you need to let me say them before I loose my nerve."
"Brie, seriously, we don't need to go there. I just want to spend what's left of the summer with my best friend before we go our seperate ways."
"That's part of it though Kris. Going our seperate ways is exactly what led us to this point. I was so hurt and so angry when you told me you were leaving that I never stopped to consider how you were feeling."
"It's tough Brie. I'm so excited; this is what I've worked so hard for and now it's finally happening, but I'm so sad because I have to be so far away from you."
"And I made things worse by being mad you for leaving when I really was mad at myself."
"Why would you be mad at yourself?"
"I was mad at you for doing to me the exact same thing I was about to do to you. I was so busy wallowing in self pity over the fact I was loosing by best friend, I was completely oblivious to the fact I was going to be doing the same thing to you."
"Now I'm really confused. What are you talking about Brie?"
"I'm leaving for school at the end of August. I got accepted to Carleton in Ottawa."
Kris was at a loss for words. She was right. This was exactly what he had done to her only a few days before, but there was one major difference. He told her right away.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"I was scared; I didn't know how to; I didn't want to hurt you; I didn't want to think about leaving you behind; you name it, I had every excuse in the book."
As he continued to push her on the swing, Kris felt the anger and disappointment growing inside him.
"How long have you known?" he asked slowly.
"It really doesn't matter..."
"It matters to me," he said in a slightly raised voice.
Brie closed her eyes; pumped her legs with the push he gave her and took a deep breath before responding to his original question.
"I got my acceptance letter in May."
"MAY! Damn it Brie, that was almost three months ago."
"I know, I'm sorry Kristopher. I wanted to tell you...I just...couldn't."
"I can't believe you kept something this huge from me for three months," he said with the hurt and disappointment oozing from his voice. "And everything you've put us through the last three days? I don't even know what to say to you right now Brielle."
He only called her that when he was angry with her.
"Then don't say anything; just listen," she said stopping the motion of the swing so she could turn around and face him. She was met by two pools of chocolate staring at her and for a moment, Brie was sure she was going to loose her nerve. But she couldn't. Her entire relationship with Kris was on the line and that was something she wasn't prepared to lose; at least not without a fight.
Brie sat back down on the swing, just in case her legs decided to fail her, and held the hands of her best friend; the hands of the boy she was about to pour her heart out to.
"Kristopher, this whole mess is because I'm scared."
"Of everything! Of telling you I'm going away to school; of leaving you behind; of not being with you every day; of you going to Val d'Or and forgetting about me. But most of all, I'm scared of what will happen if I never admit the truth, and I'm scared of what will happen if I do."
"Admit the truth about what?" he asked cautiously.
Brie's entire body began to tremble and tears started to fall freely down her cheeks.
Kris tenderly wiped the tears from her face.
"Come on Brie, you can tell me anything."
"I'm in love with you Kristopher," she blurted out.
There! She said it. It was out there and there was no taking it back. She looked at him, waiting for him to say something, but no words escaped his mouth.
"You're...in-love-with-me?" he finally questioned slowly.
She nodded her head up and down. "Yes."
"I can't believe this. You're kidding right now right?"
"No. I've been in love with you for...well forever, I was just to scared to tell you. We've been best friends our entire lives, and I was afraid if I told you, I'd loose you and I couldn't bare the thought of that," Brie sobbed.
"So why now?"
"Because I have nothing left to loose. I couldn't let you leave without telling you how I feel. I couldn't leave without finding out if you feel the same way."
"I can't even wrap my head around this Brie. You can't just drop something like this on me and expect me to say the right thing."
"I don't want you to say the right thing, I want you to say how you feel; I just want you to tell me the truth. Do we have a chance Kristopher?"
He looked at the girl sitting in front of him. The girl he had shared every important moment in his life with. The girl who had indeed given up everything she loved to be there for him and support his dreams. The girl who he could not and would not want to imagine his life without.
"How Brie? How could we have a chance when we're both leaving? We're going to be miles away from each other."
"Love," was her simple reply. "If we love each other, that's all that matters."
He shook his head in disagreement. "I just don't see it Brie. We'll never see each other and it's so hard to..."
She put her finger to his lips to stop the words from coming out of his mouth.
"Our whole lives have been about getting you to this point," she said. "You are what's important to me Kristopher. If you tell me you're in love with me too, that's all I need to hear. If you love me I'm there."
"What are you saying Brie?"
"If you love me, I'll go with you."
"You can't just forget about school and move to Val d'Or. There's nothing there."
"You'll be there."
"Brie, that's insane. What are you going to do, give up school and do what? Work at Tim Horton's for the rest of your life?"
"I don't know, I can still go to school, I just won't go right away."
Brie was feeling more and more energized the more they talked. Why she hadn't thought of this before was beyond her. Maybe because she never thought it was possible; but now, as they talked about it, she was getting a good feeling. This was the happiest she'd felt in months. Her future with Kristopher was about to fall into place.
Kris felt like he was on a merry go round that was spinning out of control and he just couldn't get off. A million things were running through his head; but what stuck out the most were the words of a girl he didn't even like. 'She's given up everything thing for you, but what have you ever done for her?' She was right. He had done nothing for Brie; but that was about to change.
"Hmm?" he mumbled.
Brie took a step closer to him, put her hands on his chest and looked up into his eyes. This was it. She had laid everything out on the line; well, almost everything. She reached her hand up and gently snaked it around his neck and up through his hair. She pulled him towards her until at long last, their lips met. She swore sparks were flying and the heat ran through her body immediately. Her other hand found it's way through his hair and when his hands found the small of her back another shock wave ran through her body. All the hurt and anger from the last few days melted away when she was wrapped in his arms. A sense of calm enveloped her whole body and she finally felt like she was...home.
When they finally parted she smiled up at him.
"I knew it," she whispered. "You love me too."
It made him sick to his stomach to think about what he was about to do to her.
"I'm sorry Brielle, but I don't love you, not like that."
Brie couldn't believe what she was hearing.
"No, I don't believe you," she argued. "That kiss...I felt it..."
"Brie, I'm sorry. I just don't love you that way."
Brie dropped to her knees and began to cry uncontrollably. Kris put his hand on her shoulder and said "I'm sorry Brie..."
"DON'T TOUCH ME!" she screamed trying to shrug his hand off her shoulder. "JUST GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!"
"Brie, come on."
"I SAID GO! JUST STAY AWAY FROM ME!"
The sight of her on the ground crying broke his heart. When he couldn't stop his own tears from falling he started to walk away. He turned to take one last look at her.
"I'm sorry Brielle. It didn't have to be this way. I never wanted to hurt you."
And just like that, he was gone.