New Beginnings, Episode 1, Part 4
People always talk about where they were when they first heard about The Correspondent. She came out of nowhere and tried to make a difference. Some saw her as a beacon of hope, others as a sign of how far down the slope we had come. I never paid attention to all of that. I was too busy. Too busy working to pay my bills, too busy trying to figure out life. I was seventeen when it started. I was The Correspondent. This is my story.
Meeting Kate was a relief. Someone new, who knew nothing of what I had been through. No pitying look because my dad had been shot, no unrestrained questions about my prom date going crazy, just a new person. Since my helmet was on she couldn’t see the way my mouth hung open as I tried to figure out what to say.
“I just needed some air,” I said, knowing how lame it sounded.
“Oh,” Kate said, “I haven’t seen you around. Are you a new student?”
“No. I just graduated from high school.”
I realized it was rude to stand there with my helmet on and pulled it off, my hair drug along by the static. Setting the helmet on the handle bars I leaned against the bike. While I got situated Kate continued.
“I just moved up here for the summer program. I was excited to leave Burlington and get to an actual city.”
I had no idea where Burlington was so I just smiled.
“Where are you going to school?”
“I have no idea.”
After that it was quiet for a little while. I couldn’t think of anything to say and Kate seemed to be waiting for me to say something.
‘Well I should get going,” I said, picking my helmet back up.
“Do you wanna hang out sometime?” Kate asked.
Kate got out her phone and, after taking my picture, asked for my number. Once she had it, my phone beeped.
“Now you have my number.”
Kate surprised me with a hug, she must be one of those people, and headed back into the coffee shop. I put my helmet on and started up the bike. Before putting on my gloves I saved her number into my phone. Before starting home I stared at the coffee shop door, debating if I should go back in. A text from my mom, broke me from my thoughts and I headed home.
The ride home was slower. My mom knew where I was coming from and if I arrived home too quickly she would know I was speeding. This gave me plenty of time to think. And for once I wasn’t thinking about what had happened to me but was instead thinking about the future.
Kate seemed like a friend. Or as much a friend as one could make in a five minute conversation. Maybe I needed to get out of Greeley and try someplace knew. Was it too late to get into CSU? Did I have the grades to get in? As I pulled into the condo complex I realized that my mom was going to be so happy. I was finally moving forward.
I parked the bike in the garage, and smiling for the first time in a while, headed inside.
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Dylan Reed has always been interested in a good story. Raised without a TV he spent a lot of time with books and loves reading. Dylan has been a professional entertainer, studied commercial diving, and loves random trivia. He brings all of this and more together in his stories.