Meet Me at the Spot

Meet Me at the Spot

Prom night senior year, Landon battles demons from his past. The ultimate goal: be back by midnight for the love of his life, Ava Green.


Romance / Women's fiction


Reagan Harper (United States)

“Meet Me at the Spot”

“L! Put your enormous filthy shoes in your room!” Martha Park exclaimed from the bottom of the stairs. Landon raced from the room he shared with his adopted brother, Alex, to meet her. At 18 years old Landon towered over every member of the Park family; Martha scolded him at least twice a week for “crowding her” when he stood too close.
“Sorry Mom.” Landon muttered, retrieving his black Jordan basketball shoes from their post in front of Martha. “What time are you meeting Ava?” She asked.
“I’m picking her up at six and then we’re going to Trey’s for pictures.” Came the response. Martha smiled up at Landon with her warm blue eyes. “Sounds good. Dad wants you home by four though, okay?” Landon nodded starting back to his room.
“Yeah that’s fine.”
“HELLO?” a familiar voice boomed from the kitchen door leading to the garage. The patriarch of the Park household, James, had returned from work. In all the time Landon lived with this family, James consistently entered the house with this loud, inquisitive greeting, as if he was forever unsure if his family were home to greet him back. James was the first person Landon met after he was removed from his father’s wrath four years prior. James invoked a compound emotion of fear and awe in his peers, and for that Landon admired him. Not only was James Park a strong personality, Landon also had experience with him on a personal level; James was always kind, always strong, always an advocate for the weak. These traits made him an excellent lawyer, and an excellent parent.
“Hey baby.” James embraced his wife as if he hadn’t seen her in years. Martha let out a muffled giggle and attempted to free herself from his grasp. Every day. This was the routine.
Back in his room, Landon scrambled to ready himself for the evening’s events. He was meeting Ava at the spot in fifteen minutes so he needed to be swift with his packing. In all honesty, he didn’t need much to carry out his plan. Landon plopped at the foot of his bed and pulled his black Jordans on without bothering to tie the laces. He raced to his armoire and yanked a plain black hoodie out of a bottom drawer. After properly dressing, Landon took one last look around his space. He wouldn’t need anything else; Landon figured if he encountered his father he could easily take him out with his bare hands. Landon was not the small fourteen years old he was four years ago. All he needed to handle this was his size and a healthy dose of rage. Landon possessed both.
Landon forced himself to be quick down the stairs without making much noise. He needed to be sure his family was not at the front of the house in order to make a quick escape. Sounds of forks and knives hitting plates echoed to him from the kitchen. “Yes.” He muttered. The only flaw in this plan now would be explaining why Landon had no photographic proof of the lie he’d told his parents a week before:
“I’m meeting Ava at her house for Prom. We want to walk together to Trey’s house for pictures and then we’ll be gone most of the night. It should be cool.” James’ only response had been: “I’ll extend the curfew to 4 A.M.” They had no idea what Landon would actually be doing this night. That information he reserved for Ava and Trey.
“BYE!” Landon shouted from the front door. ‘Pleasedontgetuppleasedontgetup.’ He thought. Relief flooded him when his family responded separately: “HAVE FUN!” from his mother, “BYE!” came Alex, “BACK BY 4!” from his father.
Landon shut the front door behind him and stole next door to the Greens. The Green family had inhabited the residence to the right of the Parks far before Landon took up there. The family consisted of Jeff Green, the owner of the local supermarket, Lacey Green, a homemaker, and Ava Green, high school senior, and the most incredible person Landon had ever met. She was the first person to introduce herself at school when Landon moved in with the Parks. She had been so sweet to him; she would never fully understand Landon’s gratitude for her kindness. She was the only person who knew his past. He had to make it back tonight for her. He had to be back by midnight.
The plan was as follows: Landon would meet Ava at their spot, an old Weeping Willow in her backyard, at six P.M. Landon would relay any information she needed for the evening, the two would part until midnight when the couple was to reunite under aforementioned tree to attend a party at a mutual friend’s, Carson Dawes.
Part One of the plan went off without a hitch. Ava was indeed waiting for Landon underneath their tree. Landon watched her adjust her black-rimmed glasses and fold her arms across her chest. These behaviors were classic Ava. Always these two. Always in that order. Landon also couldn’t help noticing her sheer beauty here. It was imperative he return to her tonight.
“You’re late.” Ava stated flatly.
“Yeah, I’m sorry I had to make sure my family wouldn’t meet me at the front door. I’m not exactly dressed for Prom.”
“Me either. I had to tell my mother I was getting dressed with Julie at Trey’s house.” Ava readjusted her arms. It was clear she was trying to stifle trembling hands. Landon pulled her close to his chest. Ava nestled in: “I love you.” “I love you too.” Landon responded.
“Are you sure I can’t come with you?” Ava inquired after the two pulled away. Landon snorted. “Absolutely not. Just follow the plan. I will be back by midnight I promise.”
“Just make sure your sisters are all right, okay? No need to take on your father because you’re holding a grudge.” Landon slumped so as to be at eye level with his girlfriend. “Back by midnight.” He repeated.
“If you are even a minute late tonight I’m breaking up with you. I mean it, I have been sick over this all day.” Landon made direct eye contact with her beautiful brown dinner plate eyes. “Twelve.”
Ava backed away and looked around her in every direction. “Go. Do what you have to do. I’ll be at Trey’s if you come back before midnight.” Landon took his leave. “Twelve!” He yelled over his shoulder. “Twelve!” He heard her respond. Landon raced to the end of his block and turned left for downtown. ‘Twelve.’ He repeated with every step.

Competition: June 2015 Pen Factor, Round 1



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