The souls of the just are in the hands of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in view of the foolish, to be dead;
but they are in peace. Alleluia.
For the Feast of All Saints--
Except for the two of them, the playground was deserted. Not really a surprise, Seth Cavanaugh reflected, considering it was the middle of the night. There wasn't a sound to be heard except for the squeak of Cara's swing going up and down, up and down--Jeez. Isn't she tired of this, yet?
As he rocked back and forth on his own swing he shivered at the eerie noise, at the chill fog that had begun to creep across the yard, at the lonely, desolate feeling he was starting to get in the pit of his stomach. He still couldn't figure out why Cara wanted to come out here in the first place. They were both seventeen, far too old to be playing on swings. Or, so he'd thought.
He sighed impatiently, wishing she would stop goofing around and ask him to take her home. That's what he should have done in the first place, what he'd wanted to do...
But she wanted to come here, instead, and even though he was beat to shit after everything they'd been through tonight: nearly getting burned to death, nearly watching his sister burn, running through fire, busting through walls--he figured he owed her something. If it hadn't been for Cara, his little sister would be dead right now. So, yeah, he owed her. He owed her big time.
"Look," he said, after a minute. "I'm gonna take off now." Maybe she'd get the hint, he hoped. But, no such luck.
"Okay," Cara replied, with a careless shrug; not looking at him, not even turning her head, still swinging. It was a pretty good act, but he knew her too well to be fooled. Given the conversation they'd just had, that I-don't-give-a-shit attitude could only mean one thing. He'd gone and hurt her feelings, again, hadn't he?
He hadn't meant to, but what the hell had she wanted him to say? Didn't he want to go out with her again? No, damn it, he didn't. What was the point? He didn't love her--he was never going to love her. That wasn't her fault, and it sure wasn't his either.
Didn't she know he'd give his left nut to have fallen in love with someone who wanted him to? Or, who cared at all about him? Someone who, at the very least, lived in the same town as he did, or who he could even hope to catch a glimpse of, once in a while?
Even as crazy as Cara Matthews was and always had been, Seth wished like hell he could have fallen in love with her instead of with Deirdre. But that's not the way things were.
And nothing was going to change that.
"Are you gonna be okay?" He glanced around the yard again, frowning at all the darkness. "You sure you don't want a ride?" There was a real creepy feel to the air tonight. Cara had to be nuts to want to stay here, and, obviously, she was. Although why that should still surprise him was a fucking mystery.
"Nope. I'm fine," she answered, not being bitchy about it, not being much of anything. Just swinging. Crap.
He stood there for another moment, simmering in his own frustration. He was sure there had to be something he could say to make her feel better or, at least, to make her change her mind and let him drive her home. But nothing came to mind. "Okay, well, I guess I'll see you around."
"Yep." She pumped faster, breathing hard, smiling just a little--as if to prove how much she didn't care.
Yeah. Right. Like he wouldn't love to believe that fiction, too.
"See ya, Seth," she called softly, but he didn't turn. He didn't even wave. Long good-byes weren't easier on anyone. They were just longer.