The drive home from Thunder Bay to Pickering was peaceful. The sun was shining most of the way, and I liked seeing the blue water of the many lakes and the tree’s growing their green leaves. Mum, Dad and I talked about my second semester and what all went on. I didn’t bring up anything about Devon though, I was scared too at that time. I also slept a lot. I was tired and needed to rest. My body and mind were tired of the stress of being with Devon and the stress and anxiety I had about having him come to see me in Pickering.
After settling back home my sleepless nights were playing on me. I was having flashbacks and nightmares of Devon in my dreams.
“So Aime, tell me about Devon.” Mum and I had gone out for lunch one day soon after I got home from university.
“He’s sweet and caring. Sometimes too caring though. And I’m confused and I can feel the stress of him coming here.” Looking at Mum biting my lip.
“Tell me why you are confused and feeling your stress Aime.” My Mum said taking a sip of her tea.
“Over the Easter weekend Devon wanted to know where I was going all the time and who I was with. I wanted space and Devon didn’t like that. Devon didn’t like or want me seeing other friends the Saturday of Easter weekend at all. We had spent the morning and part of the afternoon together already. I slept over at a friend’s place on her floor that night in a different part of the dorm scared to be alone with Devon.” I had no emotion; I was numb when telling her. I said it as if I was a robot, I didn’t smile, or anything when telling Mum about my Easter Weekend.
“Aime, that doesn’t sound good. I’m worried about you.” Mum responded after me telling her about the weekend.
I took a breath and looked at my Mum. “Oh, I have been feeling my stress and confused and sort of not wanting Devon to come here in a couple of weeks. I want him to get a job. I feel free when I am at home like I don’t have to report to anyone.”
“Only you can make up your mind.” Mum smiled at me.
“Thanks Mum, I’ll see how things are after he comes to visit.”
Devon did end up visiting a couple weeks later. He took the bus from his hometown to Pickering and I picked him up from the bus station in my car. I missed my car; it was fun driving around in it. The car was a GM Pontiac Grand Prix, white 2 door.
The day I picked him up from the bus station I was happy, nervous, and cold feel my stress and anxiety all at the same time. I shuffled my feet on the pavement as I waited outside my car. I finally saw Devon’s dusty blond hair and piercing blue eyes get off the bus.
I waved at Devon. Smiling he saw me and came over to me.
“Hey babe!” Devon kissed me hard and with a powerful force. He had me in a big bear hug, that was squeezing me a lot.
What? Stress leveled up. Where did that name come from? He never called me babe in university.
“Hi Devon! Welcome back to Pickering!” I said after I got a breath.
“Have you eaten? Want to go for lunch?” I looked at Devon. It was around 1pm when he got into town.
“Yes, that would be awesome.”
We walked back to my car and Devon had his arm around me the entire time.
“I’ve missed you, a lot. I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I love you so much.” Devon had tears welling in his eyes again. He kissed me when we got back to the car in the parking lot.
“Missed you too sweetie.” I smiled back. Doing my best to not let my stress level alter my voice.
I drove us to the mall and then we went into the mall and sat at a table in the Italian resturant we were eating lunch at. The table was facing the mall area, and we watched the people walk by.
I looked up from my pasta and saw someone I knew from high school. I watched as he saw me, and smiled, walking towards Devon and I sitting at the table I smiled back. Devon saw me looking at this guy walking towards us and was putting down his fork and looking like a cat wanting to pounce on prey, his eyes were like daggers towards the guy walking towards us.
“Hey Aime! So great to see you! Welcome back to town! How was university? Did you get any swim time in?” Andy looked at me with happily.
“Hi, I’m Devon, I’m Aime’s boyfriend. Who are you?” Devon stood up attempting to make himself look bigger than Andy threw out his hand to shake Andy’s.
“Oh, hi. Nice to meet you. I’m Andy, Aime and I were on the swim team together for 2 years and now I’m a senior on the team this year. I looked up to Aime and her leadership and teamwork abilities.” Andy was quick to answer and shook Devon’s hand.
“How were the coaches? When is the banquet for the athletic teams?” I started to quiz Andy. Again doing my best to keep my stress level down, as to not alarm either Andy, or Devon.
“They were great we got a bunch of us to OFSSA this season, your sister being one of them. The banquet is in a couple of weeks.” Andy was quite excited sharing this information with me.
“Yes, I remember Aren qualifying for OFSSA again, I was so proud of her. Mum and Dad told me she did.” Smiling at the memory of that.
“We need to get back to our food.” Devon snapped at Andy and me.
“Oh sorry. Anyway, it was nice to see you Aime. See you around this summer?” Andy asked.
“No, I go out to Camp Adelaide at the end of June. Have a great swim year and say hi to the coaches please form me.” I smiled and waved by at Andy.
“Aime, I was worried and ready to pounce on Andy as he was walking towards us. I thought he was that guy who touched and kissed you years ago and also followed you around the school and home.” Devon grabbed my hands and kissed them. “I was afraid he was going to do something to you.”
“Andy? No, Andy would never hurt a fly. He was a great member of the swim team. The boy you were thinking of who I told you, was African Canadian. He had very dark skin. It was not him. My reaction would be different too if it was him.” I didn’t know what to think or feel about how Devon responded to Andy. Stress level raised again.
“And you were talking about high school stuff again. I do not like hearing about you talking about high school things. I wasn’t with you at that time. I want to be with you here now. And not hear about high school stuff.” Devon huffed and raised his voice slightly at me.
A couple days later the weather was nice and Aren gave us buttons for the zoo. “Here Aime, these are buttons to get into the zoo for free.”
“Thanks, Aren! That’s awesome! We’ll use them for sure.”
Devon and I arrived at the Toronto Zoo and stood in line. Devon was holding me at my waist as we stood in line. The sun was shining bright and the sky was peacock blue. At the booth, we showed the buttons.
“Thank you, and where are your cards?” The clerk at the booth was student like us and continued “The buttons have an ID card from the zoo to go along with.”
“Oh, I didn’t realize that. We’re sorry.” I said to the clerk. Devon avoided talking in public a lot of the time because of his stuttering.
“It’s $12.50 to get into the zoo today each.” The clerk smiled at both of us.
“Oh, that’s not that much.”
I said smiling at Devon.
“No, we’re not going in.” Devon pulled me away.
“But why? I am okay paying that price.” Looking at Devon, with a frown and worried look.
With a cold voice, Devon said “That’s too much money. I don’t want to pay.”
“We’ve come all the way down here, and the zoo is awesome. I want to go in.” Getting worried on how Devon would respond I took a breath.
“No, we’re leaving. Come where did you park?” Devon pulled on me again.
“I’m sorry” I said to the clerk and turned away.
“I’m sorry for taking up time.” I said to the people behind in us in the line.
Sad an angry I drove us home.
“Hey Aime, come over for fireworks! Would love to meet Devon too.” Ashley was on the phone. She was happy to hear Devon was visiting for the May 24th weekend holiday. Her street was hosting a firework party and invited us to come. Ashley was another friend from the swim team we were on the senior team together.
“Okay cool! We’ll be over later!” Smiling and feeling happy to introduce my friends to Devon I hung up the phone.
“Hey Devon a few of my friends from high school are getting together for the fireworks. They are excited to meet you.” Smiling happily at Devon.
Devon frowned back at me. “I don’t want to go. I just want to be with you while I’m here. But since you already told your friend you’ll be going I had better come along. To make sure you don’t get into trouble or anything.”
“Aime!” The girls yelled as I walked in the door with Devon behind me. I was excited to see the girls too. Yet I could feel my stress and anxiety level rising. We all squealed when we saw each other.
“Remember when we went roller skating and did the all nighters at the roller rink? You are drinking Jolt Cola to stay awake because you don’t drink coffee?” Joy was laughing. Joy had red hair and freckles.
“Yes, I remember that, and then sleeping at your house and our sleep schedules were all out of wack. Thank God I didn’t work the next morning at the pool. That would have been rough!” I laughed and smiled at the memory.
Glancing over at Devon, he didn’t look happy, he was deep in thought it seemed when I looked at him. And every now and then I swear I saw glaring eyes at me from Devon too.
The night was fun, sort of. It was great to see Karen, Ashley, Joy and others. But I was worried about Devon the entire time.
“That was not fun.” Devon said in a huff as he bucked his seatbelt.
“Why?” I weakly said as I put the car into drive. I already knew what was coming.
“Because you and your friends were talking about stuff I didn’t know about. And I didn’t like that. I wasn’t with you then, when you all were in high school.” Devon was getting upset.
“I’m sorry, my friends and I had not seen each other in months and we had lots to catch up on, and talk about. Including memories from high school.”
The rest of his visit was like that. Devon getting upset at different things, jealous and angry, and my stress level was up and down, and I was anxious a lot.
After he left I took a big breath a few times to bring my stress level down and sat down to write a letter. I didn’t expect the response I got though…