His lips were insistent against hers and she could taste the mint and coffee mixed in his breath. And for an unknown reason his kiss aroused something in her that she couldn’t describe but it made her feel bold.
And alive, truly alive.
This wasn't a kiss like the ones she had before. His kiss was intoxicating and… addictive.
And she felt as if had been waiting for it her whole life.
They were breathless, gasping for air but couldn’t pull apart of the other, they couldn’t stop even if they want to.
The kiss was desperate and overwhelming… and full of need.
Months of unsatisfied desire unleashed at last.
He slid his tongue around the contours of her lips and she moaned surprised by the strange tickling his caresses elicited in her body. He took the opportunity to deepen the kiss.
Sabrina couldn’t deny it anymore.
She wanted this. She had been longing for this since the moment their eyes met for the first time. She always knew there was a kind of magnetic attraction between them. An exquisite tension charged the air every time they were in the same room.
It was like fire running through her body. And she was burning.
They were burning together.
He had one of his hands on her neck drawing invisible circles in her sensitive skin while the other kept her pressed against him by the waist, Sabrina’s hands gripped his broad shoulders tightly. She needed him closer and couldn’t have enough of him. Not now.
She yearned for something she was too shy to ask aloud. Sabrina knew that maybe she was exceeding the limits of what a first kiss was but he didn't complain about it. When she was laying on the couch and looked up at him, with his disheveled hair, swollen lips and panted breath Sabrina realized there was no turning back. So she pulled him down taking him by the collar of his sweater and couldn’t help but part her legs to him, letting out a needy moan when felt him cradled between her legs. She gave him a playful smile aware and pleased with the effect she had on him. He smiled back at her in a mischievous way and bend down to kiss her again.
Sabrina knew this was wrong. Terrible wrong.
But why it felt so good…?
“Oh… I’m going to miss this” Sabrina said with a sad voice.
She and her friends, Roz and Theo with her boyfriend, Harvey, were sitting at their favorite booth at Dr Cerberus’s, they had chocolate milkshakes and an almost untouched bowl of potato chips in the center of the table.
It looked like just another friday night at Greendale. Except this time, it wasn’t.
It was their last night together that summer.
“Me three. But it’s just for a couple of months, guys. The four of us will be together for the Holidays”
“But it’s not the same, Theo” Roz said to him.
“Well, at least you’ll go to other places” he replied.
He felt a little pissed by his friends attitude, they were going to leave Greendale for the first time in their lifes to live in new cities but they didn't seem excited for it. He, however, had to stay in Greendale for the time being.
“I’m sorry, Theo, I didn’t want to sound so harsh” Roz apologized feeling really ashamed by her reaction “This is bad enough without me screwing our last night together”
“It’s fine, Roz. Really” Theo shrugged, downplaying the situation “After all dad needs me here. He can’t take care of the farm alone, I have to help him and in my free time I still can take some part-time classes at the Community College in Riverdale”
“It’s going to be hard” Sabrina spoke again. She was resting her head on her boyfriend's shoulder, looking around the table at her friends with a sad gaze. “We never were separated for more than a couple of days. And now we’ll be in different parts of the country for months”
The four friends remained silent looking at each other while they considered Sabrina’s words. After all, this was what they were waiting for and fearing at same time.
Roz was the first in breaking the uncomfortable silence that had established between them.
“I better get going. I still have some packing to do”
“Yeah, me too” Harvey told them “I have to take the first bus to Rhode Island if I want to be in time for the orientation” he could feel how Sabrina tensed up at his words. He gave her hand a soft squeeze trying to comfort her.
But it didn’t work.
“What time are you leaving?” Theo asked.
“The bus leaves the station at half past seven”
Sabrina didn’t say anything and just looked at him with glossy eyes, all her unsaid fears in them. She was sure their goodbye was going to be the hardest one because even when the four friends had been inseparable since kindergarten, she and Harvey had been practically joined by the hip since her 15th birthday when they had started dating.
Neither of them wanted to say goodbye.
The friends stayed at Cee’s a little longer, none of them actually ready to leave because this was going to be the last time the four were together. At least for several months.
They were leaving their families, friends and hometown behind to take their first step into adulthood. There won’t be more friday’s nights of double feature at the local cinema and milkshakes at Cee’s until mid december.
There would be new people, new movies, new places to go… maybe even new friends by then.
And it was scary but also a bit exciting.
While Roz and Theo parted ways to return to their respective houses, Harvey accompanied Sabrina to hers, the walk to the old house, which also was the town only mortuary, was a silent one. Neither she or he knew what to say to comfort the other.
When they reached the old house, Sabrina hesitated before going up the porch stairs, she couldn’t let go of Harvey’s hand yet.
She needed to extend the moment a little longer.
That night she had a dreadful feeling in the pitch of her stomach.
“Harvey…” Sabrina said breathlessly before kissing him in an almost desperate way.
After they separated, Sabrina kept her eyes closed with her hands still around her boyfriend’s shoulders. Silent tears were trying to escape from her eyes.
“Brina we'll be fine” he said holding her close “I know is going to be hard being away from each other, but we can do this. I know we can”
Sabrina was going to say something but he stopped her before she could utter a word.
“Do you remember when I told you that we’ll always be together?” she nodded, it was their Prom Night and she remembered that night for a lot of reasons “I mean it when I said it. Yes, we won’t see us every day but nothing is going to change between us. I love you and I always will”
“And I love you too, Harvey but…”
He placed a finger against her lips stopping her protest.
“Nothing is going to change between us” he repeated “I’m not going to let you go anywhere” Harvey added with a sad smile before embracing her.
"Harvey, I’m not sure I can…" she said against his chest, even when she wanted to believe him, a part of her was a little bit skeptical.
He took her head between his hands, his thumbs brushing her wet cheeks trying to wipe away her falling tears. Harvey gave her a soft peck on the lips.
"Yes you can, we can do it. I'll prove you. We’re going to different places, yes, and I’ll miss you like crazy” he smiled at her again “And I know you will miss me too, but we can call us every night, you can text me any time you need it and in no time we will be back here, and all will be the same”
Sabrina wanted, no, she needed to believe in his words, in his promises to her because she knew he wouldn’t change his mind. There was no point in continue arguing about it. So she just nodded before reaching for him for another goodbye kiss.
“I’ll see you tomorrow at the bus station” Sabrina told him after they separated.
“You don’t need to go...” Harvey answered “I leave early and you need to sleep well, you’re leaving tomorrow too”
She shook her head. Sabrina won’t give up this time.
“I’ll be there. I’ll always be there for you, Harvey, because I love you” she kissed him again and then another time. She couldn’t let him go.
When she entered the house almost half an hour later, she discovered that her aunts were still awake, the light in the parlor was still on. They probably were waiting for her. Sabrina stopped at the threshold of the parlor door and saw them, her aunt Hilda was sitting in one of the couches with one of her trashy romance novel in her hands, her lecture glasses hanging on the tip of her nose. In the other side of the room, her aunt Zelda was sitting at the sofa with her eyes closed. A glass of her usual late-night bourbon on her right hand a lit cigarette in the left one.
“Don’t you think is a little late?” Zelda asked without opening her eyes.
Sabrina shrugged even when her aunt couldn't see her.
“It wasn’t easy say goodbye to my friends, auntie” she answered before she sat in the closest sofa.
Zelda was going to say something to her, but surprisingly Hilda talked first.
“Of course it was hard, darling. It’s going to be hard for us too, not having you here every day. But this is a part of growing up…” Hilda left her book and came to her niece’s side, she placed an arm around the girl shoulders “It’s ok to be sad, my love. Saying goodbye is never easy, of course not. And it may be a little hard at the beginning, being alone in an unknown place and all that, but it's going to be alright, you’ll make new friends and live new experiences too. But you can’t let the sadness stop you enjoying the experience”
Sabrina nodded even when she wasn’t so sure if her aunt Hilda’s words were going to become true.
Aunt Zelda exhaled in a dramatic way and clucked her tongue with disappointment when Hilda finally stopped talking.
This is all for that dumb boy, am I right?“ she said.
“Zelda!” Hilda admonished her, knowing too well what her sister was going to say.
The redhead just ignored her. As she usually did.
“Sabrina, you can’t let some high school boyfriend defines your whole life” Zelda added in a scornful tone “You’ll know new friends as Hilda says, maybe even a new boyfriend and God knows you need a good one”
Hilda and Sabrina looked at the other woman with their mouths hanging open by surprise. It’s wasn’t a secret that Zelda never really liked Harvey. She may had tolerated him for Sabrina’s sake in the past, but she wasn't going to let him be a burden on her niece's future.
She won't let that happen.
“I love him, aunt Zelda” Sabrina said with a soft voice when she finally overcome the shock she felt at her aunt words.
“Oh, Sabrina, you’re still a child, you don’t know what love really is…” her aunt told her with a pejorative tone.
“Zelda, stop. It’s Sabrina’s last night at home and I don’t want you two arguing…” She turned to look at Sabrina “She didn’t mean all those nasty things she said”
“But I did!”
Zelda smoked her cigarette as she tried to keep her irritation at bay.
“Sabrina… You know I love you, but you need to stop being so naïve and stubborn. Just let things take their natural course, right now you think you love that boy, but you can’t let that love you believe to feel stops you from living your life” Sabrina opened her mouth to refute, but her aunt raised a hand stopping her “I just want you to enjoy this new chapter in your life without feeling restrained for some childhood's love back home” with that last words Zelda leaved the room. Her half-drunk bourbon forgotten on one of the tables.
“Your aunt Zelda didn’t mean to be so harsh, Sabrina” Hilda said before embracing her “She just doesn’t know how say the things in a more, emm… diplomatic way”
“But she meant what she said”
Hilda aunt sighed defeated.
“Zelda may be a little sharp-edged but she loves you with all her heart and just wants the best for you”
“But Harvey is the best that…”
Her aunt gave her a compassionate gaze.
“I know you love Harvey, but you must understand that this separation is only temporary. And it's okay to be sad about it, but you can't let it consume you "
Sabrina wiped her tears with the back of her hand.
“You think the same that aunt Zelda, don’t you?”
Hilda struggled to find her next words. She didn’t want to be as severe as Zelda was before
“I don’t share my sister’s method or words… And you know I really like Harvey, but you two are too young. You both need to see the world, learn new things, meet new people and discover who you really are before you get in a more serious relationship. And maybe being separated from him will help you realize what you really want in your life”
“I’m not going to break-up with him if is that what you want” Sabrina said in a defensive way.
“No one said you should do that, honey” Hilda assured her “That is your decision and yours alone. As I said you before, this is just a temporally separation not the end of the world. But you need to understand that you’re going to start a new part of your life and there is a possibility that things change between you two”
A wave of fury pierced her body at her aunt's words. She wanted to refute her, to tell her that what she and Harvey had was not just a "childish" love as her aunt Zelda had said.
Because even when Hilda's words were sweetened, in the end, hers and Zelda's intention were the same.
But she won't change her mind. She was going to show them that her relationship with Harvey was more serious than they thought.
What they had was real and pure.
“I better go to bed. I'm tired ... ", she told her aunt.
Sabrina didn't want to continue the conversation. She was sick of the whole situation.
Hilda decided that it was better not said anything more to Sabrina, she knew how stubborn her niece could be. And if she kept pushing her in one direction, Sabrina was going to take the opposite even if it was the wrong one.
“Ok... Sleep well, honey” her aunt Hilda said.
Sabrina just nodded before heading to her room with hurried steps. Once there, she leaned against the recently closed door and took time to calm down. She closed her eyes feeling them burn with tears, Sabrina didn't want to end the night in such a bad way. She loved his aunts with all her heart, but sometimes they could be so annoying.
She inhaled and expired a couple of times to relax.
Once she felt calm, Sabrina opened her eyes and found Salem asleep inside the half-packed suitcase she had left on her bed that same day.
She felt sadder than before.
This was, after all, her last night in the room that was hers since birth, in the house that saw her growing up and with the aunts that had raised her as their own since her parent’s death.
And there she was, arguing with them.
Sabrina had to apologize to her aunts, but she couldn't find the right words to tell them, her mind was so confused with so many thoughts inside. She felt a horrible headache and needed something to distract herself, but she didn't feel the energy to do anything but get into bed and sleep.
Maybe she could see things more clearly in daylight.
She went to the side of her bed and lifted Salem from his makeshift bed inside her suitcase. The cat meowed in protest, but immediately huddled in her arms purring happily when he realized who had woken him up. She hid her face in her black fur. It was warm and soft and made her feel nostalgic.
Not without some reluctance, she left Salem in her bed and closed the suitcase before leaving it on the floor. She was going to finish packing in the morning.
Sabrina didn't put on her pajamas and just lay over the duvet with Salem curled up beside her.
She cried until she felt asleep.
Before opening her eyes, she knew it was late. The sun was higher than it should and when Sabrina looked at the clock on her nightstand she only confirmed her fears. She got out of bed so fast she felt dizzy from the sudden change of position, but she didn't care. She put on her shoes with clumsy hands, the time it took to complete that simple task only increased her frustration.
She ran out the door of her room to the stairs without even looking in the mirror. Sabrina was probably a mess with her hair tangled, her swollen red eyes and her clothes from the day before completely wrinkled after she slept with them, but she didn't care about the way she looked because she just had something in mind.
She needed to get to the bus station before it was too late, so she ran as fast as she could through the town.
Her heart was beating faster than ever had and her lungs felt like she was breathing fire, there was an insistent ache in her ribcage that threatened with stop her in any moment. Her body almost surrendered to the pain when she finally saw the old building of the only bus station in the entire town. She was almost there.
She prayed Harvey was still there.
When she entered to the old station courtyard, where all the buses were parked waiting for their departure time, Sabrina looked for him in the crowd. She found Harvey’s dad first, he was on the further platform at her left, she looked at the bus parked there and saw Harvey, who was getting up the bus. She shouted his name at the top of her lungs while she ran to him.
Harvey turned around and saw her.
Her cheeks were flushed, her eyes were bright and her hair was a mess with her tangled blond curls.
He thought she had never been more beautiful than at that moment.
Harvey opened his arms to her and felt her body press against his when she reached him. He hugged her so hard that he could hear Sabrina's heart beating fast, his own heartbeat rushed to match hers. Harvey hugged her even closer as if he didn't want to let her go. They stayed together, lost in their personal world, for a few minutes, but it was almost time for Harvey's bus departure and that meant that their time together was coming to an end, so with some reticence he pulled away from their hug.
Sabrina looked at him confused when she saw him looking for something in the pockets of his jacket, her eyes were wide when she saw the little blue jeweler in his hands.
"Harvey ..." she said breathlessly.
He gave her a silly smile and opened the blue jewelry box revealing a small and delicate silver reliquary on a blue velvet padding.
"I was going to wait until your birthday to give you this ...", he explained, "but I probably can't see you until the beginning of December, so I couldn't wait any longer."
"Oh, Harvey, it's so beautiful," she said with a big happy smile on her lips.
Sabrina felt really moved by his gesture. Harvey had given her other gifts before, but this felt different. Harvey smiled back at her before taking the locket out of the box and carefully placing it around her neck leaving a soft kiss on one of her cheeks after he closed the brooch of the locket.
"I hope you think of me when you use it"
"Of course I will," she replied as she gently touched the smooth silver surface of the locket with one of her fingers. "I promise you that I will never take it off. I will use it every day ... to feel you close to me."
He smiled again and so did she.
Behind them, the driver started the bus engine pointing out that it was time to leave.
Their time was over.
Sabrina kissed Harvey for the last time. She didn't take her eyes off him while he got on the bus and looked for his seat. She stayed in the bus yard, surrounded by other people who also said goodbye to their loved ones. Tears ran down her eyes as she watched the bus move away from the station, from Greendale, from her.
She touched the reliquary again. Sabrina knew it was a symbol that contained an unspoken promise between them.