As I am walking through the park I see a guy sitting on a park bench reading a newspaper. He is not just any guy though. He is older but I still recognize the face of my tormentor. His dark hair is still thick and wavy like in the commercials and his body is more filled out but he is still the same to me. I have been so preoccupied in my perusal that I don’t notice that he’s put the paper down and is watching me. I go to turn around and the voice that has starred in many of my nightmares says “Wait don’t leave without saying hi.”
I turn back and look at him like he’s a demented soul.
“Excuse but why would I ever say hi to you?”
He looks slightly confused and even taken aback by my tone. He cocks his head to the side and I clench my hands. Anytime he had something witty and cutting to say he’d cock his damned head.
“I guess I thought you were staring because you were interested. You’re a very pretty girl and who knows we might have fun if we hung out.”
He had no idea who I was and as my eyes filled up I wished I’d never walked through the park.
“I wasn’t staring because I was interested Shane, I was hoping that time would turn you into a horrible mess to match your rotten self. After all you put me through in school from the name calling to posting pictures of me on aim when your friends stole my clothes during swim class and having everyone in school laugh at the ugly ass duckling I really wish you had a bald patch, beer gut and adult acne along with nasty teeth.”
As I tried to stop myself from bawling, Shane stood up. I backed up too quickly and almost hit the ground. Shane managed to grab me and I tried to push him away. He let go as soon as I was standing. He looked at me with a combination of sorrow and horror.
“I’m so sorry Abby. I was an ass…”
“Don’t call me that. My name is Abigail!”
“I’m sorry Abigail. I really am.”
I turned around and started walking away hoping that I would never lay eyes on him again. What I didn’t expect was for Shane to follow me.
“Abigail please wait. I want to talk to you. Please.”
He’d run in front of me and was blocking my way.
“Please just hear me out. Give me two minutes. Please!”
I turned around and tried to walk away a second time. Shane grabbed my arm and I instinctively swung my arm to hit him. My fist glanced his shoulder and he dropped my arm.
“Don’t touch me! I don’t want to hear your bullshit. I don’t care so leave me alone.”
He started to take a step towards me but stopped.
“I’m really sorry and I wish I could make it up to you. I wish I had been a better person.”
“You can’t change the past and I frankly wish you’d disappear. You are the boogeyman in my nightmares and no amount of apologizing will change that.”
“OK I’m going to leave you alone. I am sorry and I hope that one day you believe me.”
He turned and walked away slowly almost like he was hoping I would stop him. I didn’t and when I could no longer see him I turned the other way and reached the subway station. Soon I would be home where I could try to forget about Shane Mallerton.