Today is the day we're going on a field trip, to a camping center, and spend a few days out of the town. I had forgotten how many days we would be away, so I brought enough money for at least a week. I overslept today, so I had to ask my mother to drop me at school, before everyone left me behind. We had quite a hard time taking the things out of the car... I didn't bring my tent.
I arrived and stood behind the last person on the line, the teacher responsible for us looks at me in disbelief as I give my bags to the driver so he can store them in the bus trunk. " Hi... " I say, waving and shrugging.
" I can't believe it. Of all people, you're the one who's late today. " she said, letting out a smile as she ran her pen down the list she had on her hands, to make sure everyone was here. " Alright, you are going to sit next to that pretty lady over there. "
I hadn't realized before, but as my teacher pointed at her, everything seemed to slow down. It almost feels like I had been given some time to think about it. The 'pretty lady' my teacher was referring to, was Ellie... our classes were mixed together, to go on this field trip. As I walk across the bus, all the way to the back, I see Ricardo on the last seat, and mine is right in front of him. He's staring at me as if he was ready to pull out the best prank in history. As soon as Ellie saw me, she turned away, looking out the window, avoiding to look at me. I get to my seat, trying not to accidentally touch her hands, or bump into her. I feel like I've been put next to a Nuclear bomb that could explode at any second.
The Driver turns on the engine, ready to set off. The two teachers responsible yell at the class, asking us to keep our voices down. And I stay still on my seat, in the strongest state of awkwardness I have ever experienced, while I try to ignore Ricardo who's kicking the back of my seat, non-stop. I am assuming he knows what happened between me and her, so I guess he wants me to talk to Ellie. She's staring out of the window, with her arms crossed. She doesn't look bothered about Ricardo also kicking the back of her seat. A few seconds later, she pulled out her earphones, put them on as she turned up her music, leaned her head against the window, and closed her eyes.
Ricardo suddenly stops the kicking, but then he grabs my shoulder, tightly. " Hey! Are you gonna talk to her or what? " he whispers to me.
" No? I'm not gonna talk to her. " I whisper back.
" Come on, man! She's not gonna talk to you if you don't talk to her first. "
" Whatever... " I say.
" Don't you forget you made her cry. " he said. I looked at him, from the corner of my eye, then look down. A few seconds later, he released me and leaned back to his seat. " Ok... you know what you're doing... "
I took a deep breath.
I wonder what's going on in her mind. Hasn't she thought ONCE to apologize? Is she gonna keep waiting for me to talk to her first? What if I don't? If I never talk to her again, will she do it?
I rub my hand on my face, then I look at her for a few seconds. Her eyes are open. She's just staring out the window.
" Never hesitate to forgive people for what they've done to you. Even if you're on the right side of the story, you must never try to push them off of the page. The Universe always finds a way to reunite us with the ones who hurt us the most. There is always place for forgiveness. " my mother would say. I guess it can't be helped...
" Hey... " I call her. She doesn't seem to notice, so I reached out my hand and poked her shoulder. " Uh, Ellie. ". She then quickly takes off her earphones, almost dropping them, and looks at me, apologizing in the most awkward tone she could've made. She then cleans her throat.
" Look, uh... I wanna say sorry... " I started as she stared at me, nodding and humming. " I-I don't know... look, I think I just... I really didn't meant to call you what I did the other day... you know... "
" Oh, yea... " she says, with a forced laugh. " I... I guess I have to apologize too. I mean, I hit you... o-on the face. " her smile suddenly dropped as she stared down to her hands.
" It's okay. " I tell her. She looks up at me, in surprise. " I mean, I made you cry... " I shrugged. " So, I guess we're even? " She started laughing.
" How is that okay? " she said. " How is THAT okay?! If I were you, I would've never apologized to myself... " she said, pressing her hands against her chest. " I wasn't expecting you to ever talk to me. AT ALL. " she let's out a chuckle, then turns at me face to face, crossing one of her legs. " I... look, I'm sorry, I'm just... " she makes a long pause as she stares down drumming her fingers on her leg. " Honestly, I just cried because I was scared... I mean, y- you... you looked SO MAD. I really thought you were gonna hit me back. " she said as she took the palms of her hands to her face, grunting in frustration. I then called her name as I grabbed her hands, telling her that it was okay.
" Just forget it, alright? Just focus on this moment." I say as she nods. " What matter now, is that I'm here... and you're here... and we are... trying to start over. Trying to... solve things together. As friends. Alright? " I tell her. She let's out a laughter.
" Oh wow, you're... " she stopped for a moment, then she smiled. " I'm sorry I hurt you... you're... "
" I'm sorry I hurt you too. " I say as she sighs in relief.
As our trip proceeded, we talked through the afternoon, Ricardo looked happy when he saw that we were good and joined us along with other friends from our class, and we spent most of the time talking about everything we could've come up with, trying to make the most of this moment.