Four miles ran. 600 calories loss. Exhaustion. Doubt. Fear, and determination. This was the path that young Nicolas Cole chose for himself. A long road of eternity that symbolized his heart and passion.
Seventeen years of his life was dedicated to his family and time in school. Endless hours spent in his room, studying to be the best that he could be. Helping his parents around the farm they had under the blazing hot Oklahoma sun, and spending the amount of time he had left in his room, alone to himself. In a way, Cole lived a pretty normal life as an Oklahoma native, but also a quiet life because of the introvert characteristics he had, something his parents only understood.
No real friends. No true individual to relate to besides the ones that raised him. Just useless encounters with others and knowledge that could not be given to others. In some ways, he did not have anyone to really share his own humanity with.
Until she came.
Ana Vacantes. A Puerto Rican figure of beauty. A living body that stroke temptation into the eyes of many men, and a person who caught the blind eyes of Cole.
It was on a misty and cold November morning. History class, 9:15 a.m. Ana came in as a new student from California. Wearing a thin black dress that ended at her knees, a push up bra that blew her puppies high on her chest, black slippers, and a beautiful sun tan that radiated from her skin, Ana caused the ten men that were in the class to explode with abnormal morning wood; and in some cases, caused them to leak out sudden drops of sapp.
The women in the class also found themselves dripping with pleasure as well.
Staring Ana down with his newly found love goggles, Cole quickly fell in love with Vacantes. Known as the quietest dude in his high school, he had never had a girlfriend before in his life. Virgin in the finest. Besides countless dates he had with the voluptuous women he encountered during the strike of midnight in his room, door locked and all, Cole had never been truly infatuated with another specimen of the opposite sex, until this moment.
After many rolls of toilet paper wasted, Cole’s time had finally come.
The two hit it off well with each other. Paired up for group work, the two got to know each other while braving the war zone of history class. Ana loved the color blue. For Cole, it was orange. The two talked small with each other at first. After a few more meetings though, they became comfortable with one another and began to open up.
During the month of May, five months after their friendship had started, Cole and Ana began walking home together. Speaking about their lives as the sun set on them, Ana explained about her life in California and how to her, hell was forgotten home she had left behind.
“I grew up with my father . . . a lying and disgusting son of a bitch that beat the shit out of my mother when I was young. He did it right in front of me at the age of seven, almost beat her to death actually. One night when he almost did kill her, I got so scared that I called the cops on him. He saw me with the phone . . . I still have scars,” she explained to Cole.
“When the cops came, they took that fucker and locked him up into jail. After that, me and my mother lived in hell for as long as I can remember. We had to move all the time because my mom kept getting laid off at her jobs. She wasn’t the most intelligent human being, but she really did care. She sold herself, her body and all, to give me a better life. While she was dying slowly inside and out, I worked the best I could to make her proud.
“When we moved here, it was a new beginning for me and my mom; in someway, it was an escape from the hell we lived in. At first, I thought everyone was gonna be the same like in Cali. Thirsty assholes, horny bitches, and fake people that only wanted to get a piece of ass and not even TRY to understand me, but then you came along Nic . . . thank you for being a real friend . . . it’s hard to explain all at once, but you’ve helped a lot. You were quiet at first, but after talking to you a few times, you reminded me of myself, just reserved in someways with no real friends around.
“Everything we’ve been through has been great. All those times in history class, all the walks we’ve had, you talking about the times your parents caught you in your room masturbating, it’s all been fun.
“Thank you again, Nic. I hope this can last forever, cause to be honest, I’ve never been happy for this long. Like you’ve told me “jack holes may ruin your life, but they can never take away your smile.”
“My smile hasn’t left my face since coming here, Nic.”
As Cole walked Ana home, the two parted ways. Making his way back to his house, the words of Ana kept echoing through his head over and over again. Her smile hadn’t left her face since coming to Oklahoma. After five months of their friendly relationship, Nic had impacted Ana with the righteous heart that he had been raised to have. While listening to her stories, he would do his best to give her the greatest advice a friend he never really had would give. In a way, his duties were done and his passion was shown.
On a late Oklahoma afternoon though, the phone would ring.
Ana had not shown up for school on this particular May day. It was the end of the school year and students were ecstatic. As the excited boys and girls talked about their summer plans, Nic stared out the window that showed off the endless grass fields, wondering where his friend was.
At the end of his history club class at around 6:30 p.m, the teacher asked the class to keep Ms. Vacantes in their prayers because a sudden emergency had occurred in her family.
“Her mother just called me and told us that the situation isn’t terrible . . . just hellish, as she put it.”
Hellish. Hell. The pieces were coming together. Ana’s father. The fucker. The son of a bitch. The asshole that caused pain to the women he was in love with.
He had to do something. For Nic, this was the path he had chosen. His heart and passion for Ana, that is the road he desired.
“WHERE IS SHE NOW? I NEED TO HELP HER DAMMIT,” Cole screamed out.
Gasping, all of the students could not believe that he had actually spoken out loud during the class. Even in the club he was in, he was silent until this moment. Stunned, the teacher accidentally spilled his coffee before answering.
“Shit — sorry Nic. Um . . . Ana’s mother said they were going to the airport at around eight thirty.”
After hearing his teacher tell him the info he needed, Cole suddenly burst out of his seat and stormed out of the classroom. Not caring about anything else at this point, Cole only had one objective in his mind: stop Ana from leaving to go to back to California to see her father. Whatever she was going to do, he had to stop her before she would do something she regretted.
The fucker was not going to win.
Running out of his school building, Cole began to run as fast as he could to the airport. Committing extreme jaywalking, Cole ran across the street and almost got hit by a black F-150.
“Watch out, dumbass,” the driver yelled.
Sprinting down the sidewalk, Cole remembered a short cut to the airport he had found while walking home before. Turning sharp to his right, Cole raced against time as he entered the endless grasslands of Oklahoma.
As sweat rained down from his forehead, exhaustion began to plague Cole. He could not stop now. Everything that him and Ana had went through; the walks they had, the passionate talks, the friendship they shared, the love he had for her, it all was too important for Cole to just let be ruined. It was not any of his business, not by a long shot, but within his heart, he knew he was doing the right thing.
“Thank you for being a real friend, Nic.”
“You understand me. Thank you, Nic.”
“My smile hasn’t left my face ever since coming here, Nic.”
Flashbacks. Words. The impact that Ana had on him was powerful. Running on a path towards the sun that was setting in front of him, time was slowly disappearing and his love was soon to leave on a plane back to Cali. He had to hurry before it was too late.
Making it to the airport in a sweaty mess and bugs biting him all over, Cole rushed into the building before Ana’s plane took off. Eight Twenty, that was the time that read on his wrist watch. He had time, but no guarantees.
Rushing to the front desk, Cole quickly asked where the Vacantes family were waiting for their plane. Unfortunately for him, the woman worker told him that he could not pass without an ID or authorization from the family themselves that he was coming with them.
With all that, he did not even have a ticket to show for.
Sitting in defeat, Cole sat in a chair while he scared off people with his odor and sweat. He had lost her, the woman he loved, to the man that made her life into a living hell. He did not want her to do anything to him that she would regret. That is what he feared, and after a battle against time, his mission was a failure, until her voice echoed through his head.
This time around, it was real.
Looking over to his right, Cole saw Ana and a certain male figure standing with her. Because they were both infused with clouds of people, Cole was safe from being seen by Ana.
While looking ahead, Cole witnessed as she began to cry and shed tears. At the same time, she wrapped her hands around the old man in an act of joy and love. Doing the same, the old man also embraced Ana with tears coming down from his eyes as well.
Putting the pieces together, Cole finally understood what was going on. Growing a delighted smirk on his face that shined in from the reflection of the sun set, Cole slowly got up from his seat. Leaving his puddle of sweat and grass behind, he walked through the crowds of people and went back on the path he had come from. Walking home as the sky glowed in a rainbow of glossy, warm colors, Cole thought about Ana once more.
“My smile hasn’t left my face ever since coming here, Nic. I don’t know what I’ll do if I ever saw my dad again. I may kill him, or even forgive him. Like I said, I don’t know, but all I do know is that while he may not have changed, my mom and people like you have helped me change and try to see things in a different perspective.
You helped change my life, Nic. Thank you.”
Choosing the right path in the end, Cole knew that the passion that his friend had now for all people in general was stronger then ever and that his duty as a friend was now truly done.
“Nah Ana, thank you for changing my life.”