"We've only been going out for a week, Haley... I can't lose you." he says, tears flooding his eyes as avoids eye contact. I reach out and touch his shoulder.
"Why would you lose me?" I ask quietly, turning nervous and scared, with one single sentence.
"It's the reason I went to Juvie..." he said, pressing his palms against his eyes, leaning forward on his elbows, in the frigid cold. His breath puffing up like smoke.
"But I already know that, you said you beat up a kid..." I say, trailing off as he looks up at me. His eyes showing that, that story was just that, a story. I drop my hand off his shoulder. "Wh-what did you do Ryan?"
"I have to tell you, I do, and I will I just don't know how." he starts rambling, only stopping when I put a finger to his lips. He looks down, "You're gonna leave when you find out. I shouldn't have done it, I was a stupid kid. I didn't mean to do it, well I did, but I don't know why."
"Ryan! Could you please just tell me?!" I ask, frustrated, scared, and worried, wringing my hands in front of me.
"I-I... I just... I touched my little sister when I was 12..." he stammers, avoiding eye contact, looking down as he cracks his knuckles. A habit I've noticed he does when he's nervous, and scared. "Sh-she was 9 at the time... She came out with it 3 years ago..."
I sit there, staring at him. Letting my mind process this, having known this guy since 4th grade. For 8 years! I couldn't imagine him doing something like this. But I could he was a child...
"I don't expect you to stay... I had to tell you, it's part of my probation rules." He says sighing, running his fingers through his very curly brown hair. I stare at him, the love I've felt towards him for 8 years, swelling up in my chest. I reach out and catch the lone tear, rolling down his cheek. He jumps slightly, surprised by my touch.
"It was in the past Ryan, something you did when you were 12... You were in middle school." I touch his cheek, willing him to look at me for the first time in the last half hour. "My feelings towards you don't change."
At that his head snaps up in surprise, his eyes boring into mine. "Really? Y-you aren't leaving me?" I give him a small smile, thinking back to my past. Knowing I can't judge him for he doesn't judge mine, and so I nod. I lean forward and kiss him on the nose. He smiles, more tears falling down his face. "Wow..." he pulls me closer, into a bone crushing hug and I giggle.
"Ryan, there is a reason after 8 years we're together again, there is a reason I still have that ring, there is a reason that neither one of stopped thinking about each other after you left. As you said earlier, fate." I smile, thinking back to our earlier conversation. In the house, where it was warmer.
And at that thought, the porch lights flash, and I see my little sister peek her head out the door. "Dad's sleeping, it's one o'clock in the morning, and you need to get in. Mom is wondering where you are."
"Ok, give me a minute." she smiles and goes back in. I turn back to Ryan, smiling.
"Text me when you get home, ok?" I say, and he smiles and nods. Running his hand through my hair then pulls me closer by pulling it, pressing his lips against mine gently. I kiss him back gently, never wanting the night to end. Never wanting this kiss to end, but unfortunately it does.
"Goodbye baby, I'll text you ok?" I nod as he runs his thumb along my cheek.