A Different Blue Page 41

“Blue? Are you all right? What happened at school?” The concern was evident even through the intercom, and I bit my lip to hold back a sob. I shook myself briskly. I didn't sob.

“I'm fine. I just need . . . to talk to someone.”

“I'll be right down.”

I sank to the step, waiting, wondering what in the world I was going to say. I wouldn't tell him I was pregnant, I was sure of that. So why was I here? The sob rose up again, and I moaned, wishing I knew how to let it out without coming completely undone like I had in the dark hallway of the school, listening to Wilson play, two months before.

The door opened behind me, and Wilson plopped down beside me on the step. He was in jeans and a T-shirt again, and I fervantly wished he weren't. His feet were bare and I looked away, suddenly overwhelmed by despair. I needed a grown-up – an authority figure – to reassure me, to tell me it was all going to be okay. Wilson in jeans and bare feet just looked like another kid without any answers. Like Mason or Colby, like a boy who wouldn't have a clue what to do if he were in my shoes. I wondered if his feet were freezing and decided I needed to get to the point.

“Remember when you told us about Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon?” I blurted out.

Wilson reached over and touched my jaw, turning my face toward him.

“You look knackered.”

I wrenched my chin free and pushed his hand away. I rested my head on my knees.


“No, I'm not knackered, or knickered or whatever the hell that means.”

“Knackered means exhausted, knickered means something else entirely, but I'm grateful you are neither,” Wilson said dryly. I made a note to find out what knickered meant.

“So . . . Julius Caesar, eh? You needed to talk to me about Julius Caeser?”

“You said he knew when he crossed that river that he wouldn't be able to go back, right?” I prodded.


“Well what if you crossed the Rubicon . . . and you didn't know it was the Rubicon. What then?”

“I assume we are speaking hypothetically.”

“Yes! I messed up! I can't fix it, I can't go back, and I have no idea what the crap I'm going to do.” The sob broke from me once more, and I covered my face, regaining control of myself almost immediately.

“Ah, Blue. It can't be that bad, can it?”

I didn't answer, because that would require telling him how truly bad it was.

“Nobody died.” Not yet. I pushed the guilt away. “No laws were broken, I'm not suddenly growing a mustache, I don't have terminal cancer, and I haven't gone deaf or blind, so yeah, I guess things could be worse.”

Wilson reached over and gently swept a strand of hair from my eyes. “Are you going to tell me what the problem is?”

I swallowed, fighting for composure. “I have tried to change, Wilson. Remember when we talked about redemption? That night my car wouldn't start, that night we were rescued by Larry and Curly?”

Wilson grinned and nodded, tucking my hair behind my ear. I tried not to shudder as his fingers touched my skin. He was trying to comfort me, and I welcomed it, wishing I could lay my head against his shoulder while I unburdened myself. He pulled his hand back, waiting for me to continue.

“That night . . . something happened to me. Something I've never felt before. I was heartbroken and sick inside. And I prayed. I cried out for love, not even knowing that love was what I asked for. I needed to feel loved, and it was just . . . just poured down on me. No strings, no ultimatums, no promises required. Just freely given. All I had to do was ask. And I was . . . changed by it. In that moment, I felt . . . healed.” I looked at him, willing him to understand. He seemed engrossed by what I was saying, and I felt encouraged to continue.

“Don't get me wrong. I wasn't perfected by it. My trials weren't even taken away. My weaknesses weren't suddenly made into strengths, my struggles weren't any different. My sorrow didn't miraculously become joy . . . but I felt healed all the same.” The words poured out of me, words that described a feeling I had pondered over and over since that night. “It was as if the cracks were filled, and the stones around my heart were broken up and swept away. And I felt . . . whole.”

Wilson stared at me, his mouth hanging open slightly. He shook his head as if to clear it and rubbed the back of his neck like he didn't know what to say. I wondered if I had made any sense at all, or if he would start insisting I was knackered all over again.

“That is possibly the most beautiful thing I've ever heard.”

It was my turn to stare at him. His eyes held mine until I turned away, embarrassed by the praise I saw there. I felt his eyes on my face, clearly pondering what I'd said. After a minute he spoke again.

“So you have this incredible experience. You call it redemption. You've obviously thought about it a great deal . . . and now you're convinced that you've messed up so badly that, what? You can't be redeemed again?”

I hadn't thought about it that way. “It's not that . . . not really. I guess I just believed that I had moved beyond my old self. And now . . . I find that I can't escape the mistakes I've made.”

“So redemption didn't save you from consequence?”

“No. It didn't,” I whispered. And that was it. Redemption hadn't saved me from consequence. And I felt betrayed. I felt like the love that had been poured over me had been withdrawn before I'd had a chance to prove I was worthy of it.

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