Remember Last Knight

roll with the punches


Roll with it, Elle. Roll with the punches. Roll with the words and the feelings and emotions. Roll with it, with all of it.

I felt the release I’d been craving. I could feel it, pulsing through my veins and nerves and bones. I had barely taken a step into the house, before I opened the door and stepped back out. I think it’s time for a little run.


The drive from Elle’s to my house was a blur in my mind. After looping the neighborhood and hitting the main road, my foot hit the accelerator and didn’t let up. You could say I was a madman, you could say I was lucky to have not gotten pulled over and arrested. You could also say that I’m a complete tool who was lucky he didn’t ruin his car’s upholstery by peeing himself after a pretty girl kissed his cheek.

You could also say that I don’t care.

I called out to my parents before I even got the front door open, bounding over the threshold. Of course, they were in the kitchen, drinking tea and talking, until I made my entrance. They both hurried to the doorway of the kitchen, looking out at me.

“Well, what’s the yelling for?” Julie asked. I shook my head, already making my way past them into the kitchen, where I took a seat, a breath, and launched into my day.


The nice thing about the neighborhoods in town is they all link to each other, through side streets or intersections over the main road, which means that you can run between them without putting yourself in too much of harm’s way. Which, in this case, is pretty good, since my neighborhood and my destination neighborhood aren’t exactly close, which is okay with me.

This run is simply the final coat over this painting that I was finally letting paint itself.

Moving on.

Moving up.

Growing up.

I’m thankful for my quick decision to slip into the side door of the garage and slip on my running shoes, once I realize just how far I’ve run thus far. In one path, I’m running the whole cycle of my routine trip in my neighborhood. This feels better. I’m seeing houses I’ve never seen, passing by parts of the suburbs I’d never focused on before. My eyes are open. My heart is beating. My arms are pumping at my sides, my breathing is steady, and most importantly, my steps are hitting the ground nicely, whap-whap-whap.

I remember the road, but not the house. I look for things I do remember, like the mailbox with tulips and 4 o’clocks planted around it, or the car, his car, an off shade of blue-green, boxy and sluggish.
It’s easy to spot. Parked horribly on the side of the road, barely missing the mailbox and the precious tulips, is Knight’s car. In front of Knight’s house. Where hopefully, please God, Knight is inside.


I don’t slow to a walk, I just run through the yard, right up to the steps, right to the door, where I ring the doorbell before I can change my mind.

I wait. As I stop moving, I think. What am I doing? Sure, he said those things. He also said that he’s messed around. He’s also a flirt, a drunk, a pothead, a smoker… How could I be so naïve? How could I be so completely dumb and just let the first boy to have an interest in me, a real interest, have that chance? I dropped everything, ran over here, not thinking otherwise, and for what, a boy who wanted to get in my pants?

The door creaks open a small bit, and it’s Allison. She opens the door wide, seeing me, the most welcoming smile I’d ever laid eyes on emerging on her lips. Knight has her smile, so breathtaking, and some of my nerves slip back away, but not completely. I tuck my top lip in, biting, smiling, as she lets me inside, holds a finger to her mouth, shhhhh, don’t make a noise, takes my hand, and leads me into the kitchen.

“I don’t know what to do, Mom, just… did I mess this whole thing up? I don’t know, I just… why is everything so difficult and frustrating and complicated and why am I so confused by it all?”

“You didn’t mess anything up, okay, Knight, do you understand me?” I hear Julie, and then I see her. We’re in the kitchen, in the doorway, and Allison is dropping my hand, returning to what I presume to be her seat.

Allison sits, reaching out to lay a hand on Knight’s arm. “You didn’t mess up, sweetie.”

He’s sitting between Allison and Julie, who are sitting across from one another. His head his down, his arms outstretched, holding tight to the other side of the table. His fingertips are red, his knuckles white, the skin of his arm tan and taught over the muscles that cover his bones as he’s stretched. He shakes his head, the table creaking some, releasing the table and pulling his arms back and covering the top of his head. “I wish I could believe you,” he mumbled. I take a step back, not thinking, bumping into the frame behind me, and knocking the calendar that had been hanging there to the ground.

He looked up.

He looked at me.

Without meaning to, without thinking, I took another step back, into the living room, towards the door.

He was up fast, rounding the table, calling me, stuttering. “Elle, wait! Elle!” A few tough strides and I could be gone, I realize. A few easy strides and he would be right beside me. He was faster, reaching out for me. He grabbed my arm, pulling me back. Like that first night, impulse hit me. Only now I didn’t step back, or swing my arm back; I just let go. I let go of everything of my past, all of my problems and fuck-ups, and I just looked at Knight, who was looking at me through wide, hazel eyes; green rims, golden flakes.

I wouldn’t know what to do, if I thought it through. So I didn’t. I let go, and Knight held on, arms wrapping around me, pulling me so close. My head was buried right under his right shoulder, his head resting on my left, my arms wrapped securely around his back. His chest was rising with each breath, his heart beating in my ear. I held on tighter. I let him hold on. I let myself let go. Figuratively, of course.
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I couldn't wait to get this out there.