Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 104 - Stupid Aaron[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:15:20]
Keeley tied the laces on her roller skates with slight trepidation. This party was insanely crowded; she could hardly even see anyone from her group. Her chances of smacking into someone on the skate floor seemed rather high.
Every single person she saw was dressed up somehow, even if it was a hastily made DIY costume. She had never seen so many Halloween costumes in one place before.
Colored lights pulsed on the floor to the beat of the music. The bass was so loud it practically shook the floor. She had the random thought that Aaron would absolutely hate a place like this. Stupid. Why think about him when he wasn\'t even here?
She whirled around for the source of her name and saw Ryan waving at her, dressed as a superhero from a popular movie franchise.
Wobbling slightly since she hadn\'t skated in a long time, she made her way over. "Hey! Where\'s everybody else?"
"Jennica\'s talking to some guys by the lockers but everyone else is already on the skate floor. Shall we?"
Keeley followed him out onto the skate floor and got into her groove relatively quickly, though she did still worry about smacking into people. She knocked elbows with strangers a few times but that was the worst of it.
There was something oddly relaxing about going around the oval shaped track again and again. The smooth repetition and catchy music helped Keeley\'s thoughts all melt away.
She zoomed past Valentina, who was struggling not to fall over, several times before finally stopping to help when she fell on her butt. "Do you want to hold onto my arm?"
Her roommate smiled gratefully and accepted her offered hand. "That would help, thanks."
"So," she said loudly so she could be heard over the music. "Do you see any guys here you like? This is a singles\' party after all."
Valentina shook her head as she clung desperately to Keeley\'s arm.
"I only came here because you guys did. I might have a small crush on the TA in my anatomy lab but I doubt it will go anywhere. I\'m here to focus on school."
She respected that. Valentina may be a romantic at heart but she knew her visa only supported her during her studies. That was where her focus needed to be so she could become a doctor and go home.
"I\'m going to be thirty by the time I finish," she said with a sigh. "All of the good men in Lima will be gone."
Keeley wasn\'t sure how to comfort her. She didn\'t care to ever be married again so she wasn\'t worried about that sort of thing in the slightest.
"A lot of people get married later here; why not marry an American and take him with you?"
Valentina raised an eyebrow. "You think an American would want to move to Peru permanently?"
She shrugged. "He would if he loved you. Besides, you\'re going to be surrounded by doctors! There are plenty of them that volunteer in places like Africa for fun that would probably enjoy working in another country."
Her friend\'s expression grew thoughtful. She was seriously considering what Keeley said. "You may have a point. I guess I\'ll have to see what happens."
"If you really want to be in a relationship, you\'ll find someone. You\'re brilliant, beautiful, and fun. What\'s not to like?"
Valentina\'s radiant smile lit her face. "Thanks, Keeley."
She meant it. Her roommate was a lovely person; if she wanted to get married, it shouldn\'t be too difficult to find a willing candidate.
Personally, Keeley didn\'t see the appeal of marriage. With the right person it could be a partnership where you spent your life with your best friend—her parents had been like that. But with the wrong person…marriage was a constraint. A shackle.
Too many women in the world suffered like she had, giving up their dreams and catering to their husbands\' every whim. Her marriage was cold, isolating, and emotionless but at least Aaron never beat her.
Some woman weren\'t that lucky. So why would anyone ever want to get married with that sort of risk?
People changed. Aaron certainly did. She really thought he loved her once.
Back then, she thought she would be happy because she was marrying her best friend. He may have been her best friend but she wasn\'t his—he didn\'t need one.
The more she thought about it, the angrier she got until she couldn\'t take it anymore. Valentina was doing well enough that she decided to skate alone again so Keeley started pumping her legs as fast as she could.
Zooming around the track would release her pent-up anger since she couldn\'t punch the object of her frustration. She raced around, dodging people as she went, with a fierce look of concentration on her face.
Stupid Aaron. Stupid singles party. Why was she even here?
And why, for the love of all that was good in this world, did he insist on acting all chummy and nice now when she hated him? The role reversal between the two of them was ridiculous.
She chased after him relentlessly until he gave in and it was the worst mistake of her life. He was with her reluctantly so their relationship started out on the wrong foot and it only got worse from there.
Now he was chasing her even though she wanted nothing to do with him! She wouldn\'t do what he did—she refused to cave to the pressure.
Running away to college hadn\'t worked in the end. All it did was give her a break.
Keeley truly believed he would lose interest in his little game after high school. That the random kiss on New Year\'s Day was a fluke because he left her alone for five and a half years.
She finally thought she was safe. She had been thinking about him less and less and then he just had to shove his way back into her life.
What on earth was he doing? It had been more than four months now since he came back and his intentions seemed sincere to other people.
It was a game of cat and mouse in high school, nothing more, so he shouldn\'t be doing this now…