Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 426 - Distraction

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:17:24]
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"What kind of distraction do you want?" Noah asked as he signaled for the check.


They had polished off their pancakes and Violet was feeling a bit better already, though she was totally embarrassed at being caught out and about in her pajamas now. It might be best going to a clothes store to pick out a new outfit first.


"Can I get something to wear that isn\'t pajamas before we figure that out?" she asked nonchalantly to hide her mortification.


"Sure."


Once they made it back to the car Noah drove them straight to a nearby mall. Violet ended up buying the first thing she tried on: a white spaghetti strap romper covered in sunflowers.


The state of her bedhead was still something to worry about so as they walked by an accessory store she saw exactly what she needed. It was a hair clip with a sunflower on it.


Violet excused herself to run to the bathroom and try to smooth her hair out as best she could with water. The end result was a messy braid held together by the clip but at least now she looked boho chic rather than rolled-out-of-bed.


When she came back out, Noah was shaking his head with an amused smile on his face. "No one would ever guess you ran outside in your pajamas this morning."


"That\'s what I was going for," Violet replied crisply, though she was relieved to hear she looked okay.


She still hadn\'t decided what kind of distraction would be best when Noah pulled into a parking lot close to Central Park. A small, nostalgic smile appeared on her face. They had spent a lot of time here together when they were younger.


He led her towards the playground and more specifically, towards the swings. Only one was free so he gestured for her to sit on it so he could push her.


Violet laughed. It had been years since she had been on a swing. As soon as she was old enough to stay home alone, her mom didn\'t drag her to the park when her little brothers went anymore.


"If you\'re trying to distract me by drowning me in nostalgia it\'s working," she informed him.


Since Noah was behind her she couldn\'t see his smile but she could hear it in his voice. "Good. That was definitely my plan. Plus it couldn\'t hurt exposing you to some sunshine. Vitamin D is important, you know."


She rolled her eyes. Everyone was always on her case about not going out enough. Wasn\'t the time it took to get from place to place enough exposure to sunlight? She had better things to do inside.


That being said, Violet did like reading in the hammock on the terrace at home. Unfortunately, she didn\'t have much time to read these days. Schoolwork had only gotten more time consuming over time. Even with her speed reading skills she spent hours on it each day.


A lot of the time she ended up bringing her homework with her when she met with Noah so they could work on their separate assignments at the same time. That way she could help him if he needed it but could also get her work done.


Before her workload got heavier, Violet completed everything while still at school and had plenty of time to herself after ballet practice. Life did get crazier the older you got.


Things were so much simpler when she was younger. She didn\'t have to worry about her image or her twin brother or her future. Back then all that mattered was playing with Noah and Kaleb, her two favorite people in the world.


As much as she looked forward to the future and craved romantic excitement, Violet had always struggled with change. Going to new schools, trying to make new friends, having a new schedule…those things took her a while to adjust every time.


Now she had one more unpleasant change to adjust to: life without her grandpa. He had always been an important part of her life so how was she supposed to get used to a world without him?


"What are you thinking about, Vi?" Noah asked as he pushed her higher.


She had been so wrapped up in her thoughts that the occasional feeling of his hands on her back was the only indication he was still there.


"Change," Violet said sadly. "It\'s going to be weird not having Grandpa around anymore. It was already hard enough when he moved into the care center and I didn\'t see him as much but now I can\'t see him at all."


"I\'m not sure what to tell you," Noah replied a bit hesitantly. "When my grandma died I was sad but I only saw her a few times a year so the difference wasn\'t as noticeable. It was easier to feel like she was still alive out there like always."


Jennica\'s mother had passed away about a year ago. The funeral was all the way in Ohio so Violet wasn\'t able to be there to support her friend even though she wanted to go with them. Her mother told her she couldn\'t be a burden on the Singletons when they were already grieving.


Reluctantly, she conceded her mother had a point. Jennica shouldn\'t have to focus on taking care of an extra minor when she was mourning the only parent she really had.


It was obvious that Noah wanted to make her feel better but didn\'t have the right words. That alone nearly made her feel better. Her friend\'s care and consideration were better than any sage advice he might have to offer.


The little girl on the swing next to her went running back to the playground so Noah was able to join her on the swings. He sat down and rocked back and forth gently by moving his feet against the ground.


Violet continued using the momentum his pushing had given her to pump her legs and go as high as possible. Maybe if she went high enough she could leave her melancholy completely behind.


"I don\'t need advice. I was just getting my thoughts out. You did ask, after all," she said simply.


"Right. Sorry," Noah replied.


"Don\'t apologize! I really appreciate that you\'re here with me right now. I don\'t know what I would have done if I\'d been forced to stay home with all of the doom and gloom."


"Cry more?" he asked with a slight smile on his face.


Violet rolled her eyes at him. He wasn\'t wrong but he didn\'t need to know that.


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