Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 51 - Something To Remember Her By[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:14:59]
Max didn\'t realize how badly things would blow up in his face. He thought Aaron would have his way with the girl and keep his mouth shut so he wouldn\'t get in trouble.
Now Lacy was mad at him but at least she wasn\'t suspicious that he contacted Aaron. She trusted his blind devotion too much, not realizing he had his own agenda.
Gliding his way through the police\'s interrogation was simple.
He told them everything he did that night excluding the twenty or so minutes he and Lacy spent going up to the fifth floor to get those pictures.
He hoped Lacy had enough common sense to destroy the SIM card of the camera so it couldn\'t be traced back to her. He might have to remind her later.
It was unfortunate that his plan didn\'t pan out. Aaron clearly wasn\'t happy that he didn\'t get the girl—the ice emanating off of him was at least five times stronger than usual.
Max tried. He couldn\'t be blamed for the other guy being on a moral high horse. Unfortunately, with graduation just around the corner, Aaron\'s chance was probably lost.
Keeley couldn\'t be used as a pawn to get Lacy to lose interest in Mr. Tall, Dark, and Boring anymore.
Max would figure something else out eventually. Lacy was meant to be his.
Aaron couldn\'t help but think about how his first high school graduation went the closer finals became and it soured his mood even further.
His parents didn\'t bother to show up because they had a prior engagement.
It seemed like he was the only student there without at least one family member to cheer him on but he was too jaded to even be upset about it.
He saw Keeley hugging her father tightly across the football field where the graduation ceremony was held. Her eyes were bright and brimming with excitement and her smile was too big for her face.
Aaron was drawn to her like a moth to a flame; he found himself zigzagging around other graduates and their families to reach her. She spotted him and waved her arms over her head to get his attention.
"Aaron! We graduated; can you believe it?"
She scrunched her face in confusion when she noticed he was alone. "Where\'s your family?"
"They didn\'t come," he said matter-of-factly.
Keeley was horrified. "The most important day of your life so far and they didn\'t come?!"
She reached out and grabbed his arm to pull him closer to where her father stood.
"Unacceptable. You\'re coming out to dinner and celebrating with us. You only graduate from high school once!"
"That really isn\'t necessary," he began although he couldn\'t deny the warmth he felt at her indignation on his behalf.
"Shush. Dad! Can Aaron come to dinner with us?"
Sympathy tinted Robert\'s smile as he realized Aaron didn\'t have anyone else to celebrate with.
"We\'d be happy to have you join us."
"Thank you, Mr. Hall," he said politely.
Before they went to dinner, Keeley insisted that her father take pictures of Aaron since no one else did. She also insisted that they take a bunch of pictures together.
His favorite, which later ended up in his wallet for years to come, was of Keeley squeezing her eyes shut as she beamed for all she was worth. She gave him a pair of bunny ears using her fingers and he wore a satisfied little half-smile as his arm rested around her shoulders.
Dinner was a pleasant affair even though the restaurant was part of a chain and he never would have been caught dead there on his own. The food was mediocre but the company more than made up for it.
Aaron almost felt like a part of their family that day. It was a novel experience.
He wouldn\'t be so lucky this time.
His parents still wouldn\'t come (not that he cared) but since he hadn\'t spoken a word to Keeley since the disastrous night of her birthday, he doubted the same invitation would be extended again.
Burdened by guilt, he didn\'t know what to say to her. Keeley didn\'t know he was the reason she had to suffer through such an ordeal or that he nearly gave into her intoxicated advances but he still couldn\'t bear to face her.
Robert had called him to let him know she woke up late on Sunday afternoon. He had a lot of torturous time to think while worrying and waiting before then.
The conclusion he came to was that it was time to let Keeley go.
If he stayed in contact with her, Lacy wouldn\'t give up. Her next attempt might be even worse than this one.
It would be irresponsible to give her the chance to act again. His best bet now was to act as if Keeley had been nothing more than a passing fancy.
Aaron lived twenty-seven years without her; he could survive a few more.
He would let her go off and spread her wings in college without having to worry about being schemed against. She deserved that much.
Once he had enough footing in the business world to protect her properly, he would hold her tightly and never let go.
Two rows ahead of him to the left, Keeley\'s ponytail bounced as she scribbled in her notebook. Was she actually taking notes or doodling again?
His heart ached at the sight of her. He could count the number of times he would see her before graduation on one hand.
If only he had a picture to remember her by. They hadn\'t taken any together in this life.
He narrowed his eyes, trying to decide if he could make the angle work so the side of her face was visible. He shielded his phone behind his other hand and snapped a few.
Only one of them turned out but he would take it. She even had a slight smile on her face as she tapped her pencil against the notebook absentmindedly.