Chapter Twenty Eight: Chasing Pavement
Natalia had a hard time forgetting Western. Try as she might, nothing was helping. She would go to school only to hear who had gotten in to what university.
Both Clara and Dawn were going to Seneca College, they had gotten in to some fashion and design program. Taylor had deicided to go to York for computer engineering, while Andre and Steven were both going to the University of Waterloo, they had both gotten in to the mathematics program. Even her cousin Matthew had called to tell her he would be going to York in the fall for chemistry.
Only Natalia was left with no where to go. It felt horrible waiting for the replies of the remaining universities. Rejection was something Natalia had never been able to swallow. She couldn't help but feel disheartened. After all the work she had put in, she was still stuck in limbo.
Natalia packed her things slowly, she didn't have much work today.
Natalia walked out of the school, heading straight for Dallas's car.
“Hey, Lia!” Dallas greeted her cheerily. “Hello.” She tried to hide her misery from him. She didn't need him worrying over her, she felt horrible making him upset over her.
“How was school?” Dallas asked pulling out of the school parking lot. “Fine.” She told him.
Natalia stared out of the window. They weren't going the usual way home.
“Where are we going?” Natalia asked. “You'll see.” He told her mysteriously.
“Dallas, tell me.” She said to him. “I told you, you'll see when we get there.” Dallas told her with a grin.
“It'll get you out of that sullen mood you've been in.” He told her, glancing at her.
“Okay...” She muttered. Sometimes she hated him knowing everything she was feeling.
“So how was your day?” Natalia asked, changing the subject.
“I didn't have practice today. We have a break for a week or so. I spent the morning reading.” He told her.
“What did you read?” Natalia asked. No wonder he had had the time to think of something for her to do.
“I was reading on tornadoes.” He told her, he sounded sheepish.
“Really? What did you find out?” She was interested. Dallas looked at her, smiling.
“Edmonton had one of the worst tornadoes in Canada.” He told her as a matter of factly. “I'll show you the picture when we get home. It was huge... I'm not any good at explaining things.” He told her.
It had become quiet in the car. Dallas decided to turn on the radio. He flipped through the stations once the car had stopped at the stop light.
He finally found one and concetrated on the road again.
Natalia was still sulking. Dallas had thought maybe she wouldn't let it get her down. He knew how much she had wanted to go to Western, and as many times as he had told her it wouldn't matter which school she went to, it was like she closed her ears and mind to him.
It was hard trying to get her to forget. She wasn't very good at hiding her feelings. As much as she tried to act nonchalant she was still brooding over being rejected.
Dallas listened to the song that was playing. He wouldn't have admitted he knew the words, but it was only Natalia sitting with him. It was Jesse McCartney on the radio.
“I shouldn't love you, but I want to, I just can't turn away. I shouldn't see you, but I can't move, I can't look away.” He sang along to the song.
“Just so you know this feeling's taking control of me, and I can't help it. I won't sit around I can't let it win now. Thought you should know I've tried my best to let go of you but I don't want to. I just gotta say it all before I go...Just so you know...” He looked at Natalia.
Natalia was laughing at him. “You're so corny.” She told him. “What it's a good song.” Dallas tried to defend himself.
“Dallas...you need help...musically.” She told him, shaking her head.
Dallas ignored her comment. At least he had gotten a laugh out of her. He turned another corner.
“Alright, fine. You sing something.” Dallas dared her. Natalia shook her head.
“I never said anything about your singing. I said that you were corny...meaning that you were singing a corny song.” She clarified for him.
“Whatever.” Dallas had known that much already. “Go on, sing something.” He prodded her.
“Nope.” Natalia had folded her arms across her chest.
“Please.” Dallas said, trying to convince her. Natalia was smiling.
“Nah uh.” She told him stubbornly. Dallas sighed. She wasn't going to budge.
“Alright, but I'll get you...and it'll be worse.” He warned her, smiling mischieviously.
Natalia looked at him, trying to figure him out. Dallas kept his face blank. He would get her back. In due time.
It was a few more minutes before Dallas parked the car.
“We're here!” He chimed.
Natalia looked around. They were in the middle of no where. There were no cars passing them. There were signs of a building having been demolished a long while ago. A feild surrounded the pavement.
“Where are we?” Natalia asked in confusion.
“We are on the spot of an abandoned farm.” Dallas told her.
“Why are we here?” She asked him. He looked eerily calm.
“I thought we could have some fun. I'm going to teach you how to drive.” He told her.
“What?” Natalia almost shouted. It made no sense.
“You are going to learn how to drive, and I'm going to help you.” Dallas told her with a grin.
“Are you kidding me?” Natalia told him. “I don't have a license! It would be illegal!” She told him.
“I know...” Dallas mumbled.
“We could get killed because of me!” She rounded on him. “Or worse! Arrested!”
“Are you serious? You think being arrested is worse than being killed?” Dallas asked her incredulously.
“Well if we're dead we couldn't get arrested and get killed by my parents...and if we get arrested...I'm going to be in so much trouble!” She told him.
“You seriously need to have your priorities straightened out.” Dallas told her, he was laughing at her.
“It's not funny! You're not going to teach me how to drive.” She told him adamantly.
“Natalia, why do you think I brought you out to the middle of no where? Because you need something to take your mind off things...and this is where Derek and I learned to drive. So come on, you only get to live once.” Dallas knew he was not supposed to be encouraging the worse in her...but if it meant she would stop thinking for a few hours, he would do what ever it took to make that happen.
He stepped out of the car, and opened her door. “Come on, go and take the wheel.” He told her.
We're going to die becuase of me, Natalia thought in panic. “If anything happens...this is all your fault.” Natalia told Dallas, shaking her head in disbelief.
How he had managed to seat her behind the wheel, was beyond her.
Natalia clutched the wheel tightly. She was freaking out.
“Natalia, calm down. You're going to be fine. I'm right here.” Dallas told her.
“What if I wreck your car?” She asked him in sheer panic. “Who cares? It's a car. As long as you're alright, I'll be fine.” Dallas told her.
She couldn't believe how calm he was, sitting in the passenger seat. She felt like pinching him to see how real this situation was.
“Okay, now start the car.” Dallas told her. Natalia turned the keys. The Audi roared to life.
“Dallas...I just want you to know...” Natalia started. “That if anything happens...” She saw Dallas looking at her intently. “I'm going to blame you for this, for all of eternity.” She told him.
Dallas laughed at this. “Okay.” He said to her. “But if nothing happens, your going to have to...” She saw Dallas trying to formulate a proper punishment.
“You'll have to...okay I'm fresh out of ideas...I'll think of it when I get the chance.” Dallas said, turning his attention back to her.
“Okay now change the gear to first, keep your foot on the clutch. As soon as you put it in gear, put your foot on the accelerator, and press it lightly.” He commanded her.
Natalia did as she was told. When the car jolted suddenly, Natalia let go of the accelerator. The car shut off.
“Lia, stop panicking. You'll be fine, just press lightly on the accelerator.” He told her.
“Easy for you to say.” Natalia muttered. She tried again, this time she got the car going.
“Okay, now turn. Slowly.” He told her. “See, you're getting the hang of it.” He commended her. “Now go a little faster, and take your foot off the accelerator before putting your foot on the clutch and changing gears.” He told her.
Natalia did just that.
This is actually fun, She thought to herself.
Dallas could see that Natalia was enjoying herself. She had managed to learn quickly. He had gotten her familiar to switching gears. She wasn't as hesitant now. She had been driving along the borders of the pavement.
He had just one more surprise left for her.
“Lia, head over that way.” He motioned for her to turn in the direction her was pointing to.
Soon she had brought them to the straight. It was a long road which had once lead to a barn. The barn had been long torn down.
“Now you are going to drive as fast as you want. And your going to forget.” He told her.
“Forget what?” Natalia asked, she looked puzzeled.
“Forget Western, forget everything. It's just going to be you and the long path ahead. And as soon as you start reaching the end, you're going to start pressing the brake slowly, until the car comes to a stop.” He told her.
Dallas watched as Natalia started to accelerate. He could see her losing herself in the moment. Dallas watched Natalia, and he could see she was letting go.
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