The day after it was decided, they spent the day apart. It was summer and warm. They were both pretty young. Kelly took advantage of the free time to go sit on the floor of the Barnes and Noble in front of the Bridal section, talking to her girlfriends on her cellphone. Once, she accidentally referred to Todd as Ricky, her last boyfriend, while on the phone with Cheryl, but they both decided that it didn't mean anything; it was an innocent mistake. Todd drove out to the parking lot of their old high school and sat in his car, a '97 Mustang, and huffed spray paint while listening to "Black Magic Woman" on repeat from his car stereo. He got sick and there was a blue jay screaming from the pine trees so it got on his nerves real bad. At one point he may have fallen asleep on the hood. It's hard to say.
They never married. It was dramatic. Todd threw a hissy fit after he was told that Kelly and Ricky were hanging out at the Dairy Queen where she used to work in high school. Kelly insisted that there was nothing going on, they were only talking (mostly about Todd), that he was just being jealous and crazy, and who knows? Maybe he was. Kelly wanted to know who it was that was spreading gossip about her. Todd never told.
It didn't matter. Whatever magic had happened in the springtime, whatever hormonal flight and dive and spin had lifted their spirits and left them breathless and sweating on top of their folded-out sleeping bags at Trevor's party at the lakehouse, it was spent now. Kelly's mouth tasted funny, like she had eaten dirt. Todd was out of there, he declared. And he was.
Two months later, he was picked up for statutory rape in Memphis, where he was staying with some guys who were in a heavy metal band. It was a party house and there were always these high school girls hanging around and one of their parents found out and things went bad from there. Kelly heard this news over the phone while she was at work at the veternarian's office where she was a receptionist three days a week. Cheryl called to tell her; she had heard it from Christy, who was Cheryl's boyfriend's Ray's sister. Kelly went outside to take the call. On the whole, her behavior that day was very professional.