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Bianca and the Soldier — Part 4

by Maryann Pisano on December 16, 2015


Although wintertime in Chicago is pretty brutal, Christmastime at Dominican is stunningly beautiful because of the Christmas trees, snow, and lights.  I couldn’t complain as I walked to my last final before Christmas break.  I hadn’t been home since Thanksgiving, which felt like 20 years ago.  The past month has been filled with tests, papers, and projects. I hardly had a moment to myself.

I got to my final and saw my teacher at her desk.  Of course, I was one of the first people there, because, being early is my style.  I went up to her desk and grabbed those dreaded blue booklets, the kind that we use to take tests.

“I told the other students who were here early to begin,” Mrs. Peterman said to me.  “Take as much time as you need.”

I sat down at a desk in the front row.  One more test, one more test, one more test.  The words seemed to ring in my ears.

I studied for this test for about four hours last night.  As my fingers flew across the page to answer the essay question, my brain was able to tune out.  Theo.  After I walked out on him at the cyber cafe that one day three months ago, I haven’t heard or seen him since.  The days after the event, I began thinking maybe I made a mistake by blowing him off like that.  Maybe I should’ve taken him up on his offer.  What would one dinner do?  Now that I’m ending my first semester of college, all I remember is studying, doing homework, and staying in the library.  I didn’t really go to parties or do much socializing.

After about an hour and a half, I finished the test.  Just give me an A, I thought as I handed Mrs. Peterman the test.

“Have a wonderful holiday break,” she smiled.

“You too, Mrs. Peterman.”

I walked out of the building and straight to my car.  The snow was coming down in heaps now, and suddenly the Christmas spirit at Dominican wasn’t leaving me too merry.  I had to drive all the way home to St. Louis in this huge storm.  I couldn’t stay in the dorms and leave tomorrow morning because I had already checked out.  My car was packed and everything.

My phone began to ring.  I flipped it open.

“Hi, mom.”

“Honey.  Chicago is getting hit with a huge storm right now.  Dad and I want to pick you up.”

“Mom!  Come on!  I can do it.  I did it over the summer, remember?”

“Sweetheart, it’s really bad.  What about if you ship your stuff home, and then just fly home?” she suggested.

“Mom, how can I do that?  I can’t just go to the airport and get on a plane!  Come on.  There’s no other way.  I’ll be fine.”

I could hear the fear in her voice.  I was afraid, too, but I couldn’t let her know I was scared.

“I will call you every hour,” I said.  “Come on, mom, I’ll be okay.  I love you so much.  It will be so worth it by the time I get home.”

“Okay, sweetheart,” she said.  “I love you, too.”

I hung up the phone.  This was it.  I turned on my car and put it in reverse.  As I backed out of my spot, I hit a large pile of snow.  I pulled the car forward, and hit another pile of snow.  Crap.  I did this for about 20 more times.  After another five more tries, I began to cry.  What was I going to do?!  

“Need some help?”  I jumped, and looked out my window.

“Why do you always show up at the worst times!”  Theo was standing outside my window with a hood pulled well over his head.

He started laughing.  With that, I began to cry.

“No, no, come on Bianca, don’t cry.”

“I can’t get out of this spot and I have to drive home to St. Louis.”  I wiped the tears away from my face.

“Get out of the car, I’ll help you.”  I looked at him again.  He looked like he genuinely wanted to help me. I got out of the car and Theo sat down in the driver’s seat.

With ease, Theo pulled out of the spot.  He got out of the driver’s seat and smiled at me again.

“Got it, Bianca.”

I sat back down in my seat.  Before I closed my door, I looked at Theo.

“Thank you, very, very much.  Now, I just have to figure out how I’m going to get home in the mess.”  I smiled, looking down at my pants.  “How can I repay you?”  I asked.

“I’m going to put myself out there by saying that I came here today to see you.  I couldn’t stop thinking about you since you ran out on me the day we got frozen yogurt.  So will you please, please, have dinner with me when you get back from Christmas break?”

I looked into his eyes as the white snow fell around him.  He looked like he belonged in a Tiffany’s Christmas catalog.  I shut off the car and closed the door behind me.  I stood up and looked at him without saying a word.  The cold engrossed us for several moments as we looked into each other’s eyes.  Maybe it was the snow, maybe it was the cold, maybe it was the relief of being done with school for the semester, but I kissed him.  Our tongues met each other and danced around.  When I finally pulled away, I felt dizzy.

“Yes,” I breathed.  “Yes, I’ll have dinner with you.”

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