And bonus, chapter two is done!
Chapter Two - A Blue Moon
Colin stood in the park, dazed, but not for very long. A realisation smacked up in the head like the strange girl's glove earlier. He knew where she was going. He knew just where she would be for at least the next 30 minutes.
He knew he should be heading home before it got too dark, and get ready for his return to school the next morning. However, Colin had more important things on his mind. To a 16 year old boy, nothing is more important than a pretty face. Some might even say that holds true for the entire lifespan of your average male, but it was ever moreso for a teenager.
The young man was quick to formulate a plan in his head. The plan consisted of little more than, 'Run after the motorcycle as quick as he could' but it was a start. What he would do when he got to the pizza place, what he would do...well, that was a work in progress.
The last thing anyone would think of when they thought of Colin was sports. He would rather be in a deep corner of the library than in a gym class. If he could get out of those, he felt his life would be complete. But never before had Colin been given any excuse to be even the slightest bit athletic. Not until that day.
His feet pounded the pavement as he ran after the bike. It was long gone from sight, and he couldn't hear it, but that was still his goal. Colin weaved in and between his fellow pedestrians, none of them giving the kid even a second glance. They were too wrapped up in their own worlds, and what is one more kid running somewhere inexplicable?
By the time he reached the small house that had been converted into a pizzaria, Colin's heart was pounding. He would wonder later, when his head was clear, just what people saw in exercise. He sure failed to see the appeal in that moment.
Colin leaned against a telephone pole to catch his breath. He stared across the street where the pizza place was, just a mere 20 or 30 feet between him and the doorway.
His heart pounded in his chest, pounding a beat that felt like it threatened to crash through his ribcage. As he scanned the parking lot, Colin felt the pounding stop in an instant, and his heart sank.
There was no motorcycle there.
Not the metallic, sparkling red one, or even any other.
Colin held out hope that maybe it was just out of view, maybe parked behind a van. That thin thread of hope was so fragile though, he knew it would snap with far too much ease.
Part of him did not want to find out. He didn't want to walk across the street and take a closer look. If he didn't know, he could live forever in hope. However, that would just leave him always wondering what might have happened if he didn't take a chance and walk over there, and she was just out of view.
Another part of him thought he could just stay where he was and wait. If the blonde was there, she had to come out sooner or later. Again, though, Colin knew that it was just as possible she was not there, and it could be a long wait indeed.
The best thing he could do was suck it up and just look. Look and get it over with. Then he could see this woman again, or go home and be done with it.
Colin felt like his feet were glued to the sidewalk beneath him, and it took all of his strength to put one foot in front of the other. Once he was moving though, each step became easier. The die had been cast, and now he just had to see how his roll would come up.
He felt the rough gravel of the unpaved parking lot crunch underfoot as he entered. He tried to imagine how it would sound under the thick, heavy boots of the woman he sought out.
Colin looked around, and came upon the only van large enough to hide anything behind. This was the moment of truth, he thought. He took a deep breath, and before he knew what he was doing, Colin jumped around the back of the van like he was trying to scare someone.
And there was nothing.
Just an empty parking space.
There was no bike here, and almost no cars at all. If the van had not been there, Colin could have seen just how empty the parking lot had been from across the street and been along his way.
Colin stood there in a daze. He scratched his head in befuddlement. The woman said she was coming here, he was sure of it. He knew he was out of shape, but it hadn't taken him that long to get here.
There was only one conclusion Colin could come to; she had changed her mind and moved on. A notion that left the boy with quite a conundrum.
He knew his obsession had not turned around. He would have heard the bike as it drove past, he would have seen her. Part of him believed he would have even sensed her.
This strange woman that had breezed into town, with no rhyme or reason, or any hint as to her purpose, had driven right back out, as mysterious as she had appeared.
She had driven along her way, to wherever she was going. The worst part was, now Colin had no idea where she had gone. He had no idea how to pursue her.
Colin thought how now the chances of ever seeing her again would have been as possible as seeing a blue moon. At least, that was his thought until he realised that there was a blue moon that very weekend. This served to just depress Colin all the more. Even nature was against him.
In his mind, he knew that should be the end of it. The choice had been made for him, taken from him. There was nothing he could do. But in his heart, he tried to think of some way, some thing he could do.
But there was nothing, and so with a heavy heart, Colin trudged homeward, the start of school now seeming like the furthest thing from his mind. As the full moon rose, he heard a wolf howl in the distance.
It may have been far from his thoughts, but it was closer than he would have liked. There was no avoiding returning the next day, and Colin went through the motions in a daze.
No one expected much from him on a good day, so no one was that surprised that Colin was sitting in the back and quiet through most of his classes. He listened as best he could in his state, but he just was not in it.
Part of Colin hated how he felt. He hated how someone he met for all of five minutes could leave such a hole in his life. How could she have done this to him? How could he be acting like this? It made him feel weak, powerless, and useless. How such a brief encounter could capture his spirit in its entirety.
He made it through the rest of the week in much the same state, half in a daze, half there. It was no worse than his usual, at least. He just had more of a reason to not care about school.
Colin was grateful when Friday came, and he would have the weekend to shake himself out of his funk that he was mired in.
He hefted the weighty backpack laden with books for all the classes requiring homework by Monday over a lone shoulder.
Colin stared down at his feet as he walked home, not a care for anyone he might bump into, his mind consumed by a mixture of thoughts. Half of them were on school, and how he dreaded trying to survive the year, and the other half were on the blonde. Only half may well be too kind, but Colin tried to focus more on how much school sucked, which was a new tactic for him.
When he heard it, at first he ignored it. Colin was so lost in his thoughts, that he believed it was just his own mind playing tricks on him.
Then, the sound rumbling down the road became clearer, and Colin knew it was more than just in his head. It was real. But was it her? It was a motorcycle, that was for sure. But it could be anyone. He had caught himself before, over the last several days, looking up at every bike that drove nearby.
But this one...there was something different about it. It sounded right. It had a distinctive rumble he remembered from that day, frozen in his memories. Or was it just his mind playing tricks on him, being unnecessarily cruel?
The answer soon came as the sound grew louder. It was almost upon him, and he saw it. Saw her. It had to be her. The purple bike was heading in his direction, and he thought he could make out that distinctive helmet, even at this distance.
No, Colin hoped that she would skid to a stop in front of him again, that moment from the start of the week playing out again in reality instead of just in his head.
But all he received was disappointment as the bike sped past, not even slowing down or acknowledging the boy.
She didn't even wave, or give a nod, or look back as Colin turned to watch the bike fade away once more.
Colin could not help but notice that she passed him by just as he was walking by the pizza place he thought she would be at days ago. It was as if he had met up with his past self, and saw what happened. The irony was not lost on him, not one bit.
It was her, wasn't it? he wondered. It had to be. There was no way there was another biker with that style, that colour, wearing a purple leather jacket and hood.
Was there a chance that he may yet see her again, as more than just a red and purple streak past his vision? Colin thought he may have been turning a corner, and putting this mysterious stranger behind him, but then this happened.
Colin wanted to scream. His life no longer felt like his own, which is a terrible feeling for any teenager, at a crucial point trying to carve out their own identity.
He continued to stand and stare down the road, long past there was any chance of even seeing a fleck of red in the distance, until someone bumped into the kid obstructing the sidewalk. If he had stopped in the entryway to the pizza place, there was a strong chance Colin would not have moved until a car ran him over.
Once he had been shaken out of his frozen state, Colin turned his back on wherever the girl had gone. He forced himself to put even more distance between him and wherever she was going as he walked home.
He made it back to his place, and headed straight to his room, tossing his bag into a corner with a thud, and he fell onto his bed, muffling a scream in his pillow. Homework could wait, now was the time for depression and teenaged angst.
It was like the last few days had never happened. Any recovery Colin had made was gone in an instant. It was like placing a can of beer in front of an alcoholic, or a needle in front of an addict. He had fought through the withdrawal, but now his craving for this woman was back.
And on a blue moon, no less.