“So you’ve come back to Lawrence then?” Jess asked as she aimed the cue ball at the number seven.
“Yup. I’m here to stay it seems.” Melissa replied as she watched the number seven ball go straight into the right corner pocket. Jess walked around the table to aim the next shot.
“You seen Cindy lately?” Jess inquired.
“Not for a while. I saw her a lot in my first two years at College, but after that I lost touch with her. I was in a relationship after that and didn’t give her much thought, to be honest.”
“So how did that go?” Jess asked as she hit the number one ball go into the side pocket.
“The relationship? It was good until my partner suddenly broke up with me for no reason after we had been living together for several years. She never said why.” Jess made a face after hearing Melissa’s news.
“That’s too bad.” Jess replied as she hit the number three ball into another corner pocket.
“What about you? Have you heard from Cindy lately?” Melissa asked, wondering if her holding the cue stick was merely for decoration as she watched the number four ball go into another pocket. Jess was on the black now.
“No, we lost touch as well. She went to college and we got more distant as time went on. The last time I saw her was when her grandma died. She came back to Lawrence for the funeral, but then was gone again before I had a chance to see her again.” Jess told her.
“I passed by her Grandmother’s farm a few days ago. It’s all overgrown now.” Melissa commented.
“I know. Cindy’s father still inherited the farm after all he had done. He’s chosen to let it sit there and fall into ruin. Pity, as it’s good land there.” Jess struck the cue ball and the black went into the side pocket. “Loser buys the next round of beers.”
“Yup.” said Melissa as she headed for the bar. “If we play again, could I get at least one shot?” Jess watched Melissa go. She thought Melissa was looking rather hot these days with her long brown hair and tight jeans…
After they finished playing pool, Jess offered to drive Melissa home, but ended up driving Melissa back to her own place instead. There they ended up drinking some more and then fell into one another’s arms and started kissing…
Later in the night Jess woke with Melissa’s arms around her. She carefully got out of bed without waking her. She looked down at her sleeping form. She liked Melissa, but she did not love her, not in the way she loved Cindy. Jess also sensed that Melissa had some dark journey of her own to make that she could not be a part of. Tomorrow morning she would drive Melissa home, and would leave it at that.
Jess looked out a window. Everything was still. After all that had happened, she was still waiting for Cindy. To her, it seemed like everything here was waiting for Cindy to return, including the land itself. All she could do was wait.
This story follows School’s Out, Forever! though is set several years later.
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