Kyle called a taxi to pick him up to take him to the bus station.
"You didn't have to do that, we could have taken you?" Ellie told him.
"I'll feel better this way. You know, just leaving the house instead of having to say good-bye at the bus station. And somebody needs to be here when Rosie wakes up." Kyle kissed his two fingers and touched her forehead. He didn't want to wake her. "I dunno if I can do this," he felt physically ill. But he'd planned this trip a long time ago. It would only be for a few weeks. He'd be home to start school on time. It was going to be OK. He had to keep telling himself this.
"I really am sorry. I feel bad that I didn't tell you as soon as Kelsey told me." Ellie winced.
"I would have been mad at you," Kyle tried to smile. "Its OK." He nodded even though he didn't believe that. He never wanted to see Amanda again. He just couldn't deal with this right now. Maybe he'd be better once he got back, but right now, he hated her. And he'd hate her even more if he saw her.
He left then feeling so lost, yet he knew he had to get to the bus station. Naturally, it didn't take long to get there. He was about an hour early. He didn't have much to take. He'd spent more time packing up stuff for Rosie than packing for the trip. He found some of her treats in his back pack. He smiled thinking he'd think of her every time he saw the Gerber cookies.
Kyle walked around a bit because he was restless. He wanted to listen to his mp3 player, but he didn't. He was afraid he might miss something. He thought about going to the diner nearby, but he wasn't hungry. He was so afraid he might miss the bus.
"Kyle!" He thought he heard his name. But he couldn't have. Perhaps there was another Kyle. He kept walking around taking a look about as if he were scoping the place out in case someone might have left a bomb.
"Kyle!" He heard again, but as he turned around a flood of people walked by him. He felt like an idiot now so he turned around and started walking toward the waiting area.
"Kyle." He felt a tap on his shoulder that time. He almost took off his backpack to whallop who was behind him but then he saw it was Kelsey.
"What are you doing here?" He hadn't expected to see her.
"I'm going with you." She just said looking straight at him.
"No, No you're not." He winced.
"But I am. I have it all figured out. I can do this. I have some money saved up. I want to be with you." She told him.
"No, you don't. You've got a lot of things to do before school starts and-and you can't." He
shook his head.
"I don't care what you want, I'm coming because you need me." Kelsey nodded.
Kyle walked toward the gate.
"Why are you doing this to me?" He squinted.
"Because, I-I care about you." She was right behind him. "And I know you don't want to hear me say that other word. Because you say I don't know what that is, but I do. I know what love is when I'm with you. And I want to be here for you. And you know that."
"You have to stop talking like this." He closed his eyes for a moment thinking she wouldn't be here when he opened them, but she was. He went to get on the bus. He went all the way to the back, and she followed right behind him.
"This is a bad time for you." She told him. He swelled a frown.
"Like I needed to hear that." He looked out the window seat. She sat next to him.
"I was really a good girlfriend to Nick," she told him. "I really was. Its just thats all I really was to him. We were just good friends. With you, its different."
"OK." Kyle wasn't sure he wanted to look at her.
"Everything was always an adventure with you." She smiled. "I wouldn't be taking this trip with Nick. I mean, I never felt quite as safe with anyone, as I did with you. And, and I miss it. And if I'm selfish, or the worst friend in the world to Amanda. I'm sorry. But I don't think I could ever forgive her for what she did. I would have never been her friend if it hadn't been for you."
Kyle wasn't sure what to say about the loyality matter.
"I dunno." He started crying for no apparent reason as the bus started to roll. Could they go back? Really? A part of him knew he shouldn't, yet it felt like the summer before he started middle school with Kelsey. Like a warm night when fireflies were about and everything seemed magical.