Author: cherrypiesizzle PM
A dream, a promise, a farewell - he gave me that smile of his and told me not to worry. I'll see him soon, I know it. An inspiring romance story...because there is no such thing as impossible.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Words: 5,086 - Reviews: 3 - Published: 04-22-08 - id: 2508246
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: What can I say? School and sickness are getting to me.
April 22, 2008
The sun was setting, a warm fiery gaze dying a beautiful death. I liked to think that the sun was giving birth to the moon, because I was never sure what to call this moment in time; it was neither night or day and somehow the word 'sunset' just wasn't enough. I watched silently, knees drawn up to my chest and chin resting lightly on them, listening to the wind rustling through the trees.
A shiver made its way over my body. I snorted. All the stories that claimed emotions made a person immune to the cold were liars. It only made me more aware that I was outside and trying to seek comfort in the view before me.
"You know, you're going to get sick," a hand touched my shoulder, and I jumped. Familiar grey eyes met mine. My heart plunged and rose all at the same time, and I thought about how pathetic I was again.
"Shut up," I scowled as he smirked. "You're not wearing that much more than I am,"
He dropped to the ground beside me, t-shirt riding up to expose some of his stomach as he stretched his arms to pillow his head. I forced myself to look away, back to the city before me. There was a long silence.
"It doesn't have to be like this," he finally said quietly, voice unreadable. My eyes remained stubbornly glued to the scenery, refusing to let him read me.
"I have no idea what you're talking about. We're still going to, you know, call and…email," my voice faltered, "We'll still be friends,"
My neck prickled as I felt his long gaze on me, and I was so tempted just to turn my head to the side; was he angry? Hurt? Regretful?
"Friends?" he whispered softly, "Yes, you're my friend, my best one." A pause, "It's really beautiful tonight,"
Taken aback, my eyes slid incredulously to the side and right into his gaze, and I frowned. One side of his lips tipped up.
"Got you," Despite myself, my own mouth twitched and I leaned forward to hide my face in my knees, but he knew anyway. Picking my head up, I plucked some grass from the ground and flicked it in his direction. He sneezed.
"Don't tell me you're allergic to grass now too." Rubbing his nose with a finger, he glared at me and grumbled,
"I'm not allergic to everything. Just seafood, dust, and cockroaches,"
"Cockroaches? When did that one come around?"
"I had to go take an allergy test the other day to see if I was growing out of any of them…"
"What use is that, knowing that you're allergic to bugs?" I snickered.
"Cockroaches, not bugs." He corrected.
"Maybe one of them will crawl all over you in your sleep and then you'll wake up in the morning with hives,"
"Oh, your concern makes me warm all over,"
The scenario played itself over in my head, and a snicker escaped me. His own smile mirrored mine, and he made no move to even pretend to watch the stars coming out.
"I'm sorry," I let a breath out, vaguely feeling it tickle my arms. Everything rushed back to me; for a moment, it felt like nothing had happened, but now the heavy weight of knowledge, of just knowing, rushed back to me. Watching him, I observed the way his dark hair fell across his eyes, the way that his shirt just wouldn't stay covering his stomach, and the way that he was looking at me as if…as if…
I couldn't look away.
"No," he shook his head slowly, eyes not letting go of mine. "When I told you, I thought that you would start screaming, or even slap me, but all you did was stand there. I don't know which is worse,"
"I thought I told you, I'm not one of those bimbos. My slaps never hurt anyway,"
"That's why I like you so much," he smiled a little. My heart lurched, and something hurt inside.
"Stop saying stuff like that,"
"Why not? It's the truth,"
"Because it's—it's over now, isn't it? We're over," Somehow saying it out loud made it even worse, and I couldn't take anymore of this beating around the bush, dancing around the issue like we were afraid to admit it. Okay, so maybe we were. Standing up sharply, I dusted off my pants.
The sound of my name made me stop. Glancing up, I saw that he was standing up now too, and there was a desperate edge to his face, one that wasn't there before.
"I didn't want this. If we go to college or University, we can apply for the same one though, right? We're not over. I…I really like you,"
Oh, I was breaking inside for sure now. He did care. He cared. And I could hear the words he didn't speak, hovering between us and tickling the edges of our awareness.
I could love you.
Shaking my head, I met his eyes determinedly.
"You know I want to become a doctor. Don't you want to start your own business? I wouldn't make you come to college with me; you would be miserable. What are we going to do now?" Softer, I said, "I like you too,"
"I don't suppose we could…just run away together?"
"And be bums on the streets? I don't think so." My head was starting to hurt, and I just didn't want to think anymore.
His form was silhouetted against the sunlight…the sun was setting. What were we doing?
I took a step forward, and then another. Another. Soon, I was right in front of him and I could count every one of his eyelashes. His breath made my hair flutter around my head, and his eyes were darkening.
"I think you've ruined me for anyone else." I pressed the words into his chest as my arms wrapped around him fiercely, making him stumble back and catch me. His arms encircled my shoulders for a moment, hugging me back like he would any friend, but his grip was too strong for that to be true. And then, after several moments, his hands slid down circle my waist, almost tentatively. I shivered.
"Didn't I tell you that you would be cold? You never listen to me," he murmured, eyes a brilliantly cloudy haze.
My finger drew a line down the back of his neck, and a quiver went down his spine. Softly, I teased,
"It has nothing to do with the cold,"
"I have the better grades, you know,"
"And who's better at math than you?"
And then I kissed him, under a sky full of endings and new beginnings.
I remember when I first met him. It was before I knew that he woke up at eight o'clock, every morning, without fail. Before I knew that his favourite colour was actually yellow but that I had to tell everyone else it was blue, and before I knew that he liked his pizza with ketchup. I was ten, it was my birthday, and I broke one of my presents that day.
"Mom, I can't believe Dad gave me this!" I scowled, brandishing the toy in front of her nose. She pushed it away.
"Well you liked them last year, it's not his fault. Now stop bothering me. Go outside and play with the neighbors or something,"
"But that was last year. I'm ten now. He should know that I don't like playing with baby things anymore,"
"Of course, honey," I got the distinct feeling that she wasn't even listening to me. Huffing and because I didn't know what else to do, I marched over to our closet and hauled out my old baby stroller. "I'm going outside because you're not being a good mother!" I yelled behind me as I wedged my feet into my shoes.
"Don't come back too late! And don't talk to any strangers because they're dangerous."
Opening the door, I made a face and briefly thought about running away for a few hours just to scare her, but quickly decided against it. Those ghost stories from my cousins were still haunting me, two months later. Shielding my eyes from the bright sunrise, I hopped down the steps to our house, opening the stroller in the process. I dumped my present into it.
"I think I shall name you Dugly," I said, leaning down and peering into the doll's face. "Because you're a doll and you're ugly,"
The doll opened its pink mouth wide.
"I am HUNGRY," her voice came out, scaring me half to death. I jumped away from it, blinking rapidly, before inching closer and tapping its plastic head.
"Feed me!" the voice came again. It was a demonic doll, I thought, horrified. "FEED ME!"
I clapped my hands over my ears.
"Stop it!" I shrieked, squeezing my eyes shut, but then peeking through one eye. Spotting a spoon hanging from Dugly's suspenders, I shoved it into her mouth and waited out the chomping noises. Then, with a loud burp, she fell silent again.
Slowly, I wheeled the stroller onto the sidewalk, bewilderedly thinking that maybe I should have been a little nicer to Dugly.
"Wha?" I turned just in time to catch dark hair and gray eyes, right before he crashed and sprawled all over me, knocking my stroller over and sending Dugly soaring into the air and onto the road. Sitting up, I struggled up from under him, hand flying to my elbow. "Look what you did!" I gasped.
"What? What happened?" Sitting up, he rubbed his head, meeting my own green eyes with his gray. Contrary to popular belief when it came to couples, this was not love at first sight. We were ten, and the only thing I saw in him was a boy who didn't know how to skateboard.
I shoved my elbow into his face, and scowled at the stinging sensation.
"See," I said, pointing to the angry gash. Much to my dismay, all he did was shove his hand into his pocket, shrug, and say,
"Sorry," Then he stood up, retrieved his skateboard, and was about to continue on, if it were not for the fact that Dugly chose that moment to fall on top of his head.
"Dugly?" I exclaimed incredulously, as he yelped and clutched his skull. And then I realized that a car ran her over, sent her flying in its wake, and that her eyes were swirling, her body had all sorts of wires poking out of it, and she was saying in a warbling voice,
"Hungry…SLEEP! Now. I love you,"
He stared, one hand still on his head, and prodded it with a foot where it had landed in front of him.
"What is that?"
"It's my doll," I said defensively, running over and snatching it up. "And you broke it!" Then I suddenly remembered, "You made me hurt my elbow too,"
"It looks scary," he said bluntly.
And that was the beginning of our very beautiful (not) friendship. His mother chose that moment to come running after him. Needless to say, he got the scolding of a lifetime, that morning during sunrise. To this day, I never told him that he could have completely squashed Dugly and I wouldn't have cared, but only because it didn't really matter anymore.
"There are three minutes left," he said, foot tapping nervously. I stepped on it.
"Stop thinking about it," But I was a hypocrite. My heart hammered inside, and I couldn't stop myself from checking my watch every few seconds. "I could go with you..."
"You need to go to school and do your English exam. I already finished all of mine, and my parents are already angry because I told them to go to the airport without me," he said firmly, putting both of his hands on my shoulders.
"Just for me right?" I smirked, and he smirked back at me. Then, suddenly, he laced our fingers together and closed his fist, drawing me into his embrace.
"Listen, I've been thinking,"
I blurted out,
"Wait," He wasn't the only who had thought about it. Last night while in bed, I'd thought about our predicament of him moving so far away until I couldn't fall back asleep. I needed to say my piece before he did anything to end…everything. Avoiding his eyes, I picked at his shirt and said,
"I think, well no, I know that this is too much to ask of you, and I know that I should have asked you sooner. But I was too scared, I guess. You, uh, don't have to say yes, and I'll totally understand if you don't, because if it were you just loading it onto me out of nowhere I would be totally overwhelmed too,"
He said my name, a smile in his voice. Great, I sounded like an airhead. He didn't prod me further, which I was very grateful for; that, in turn, made me miss him already.
"Just…just, all I want to ask of you is, when you go, it just won't be the same just talking to you on the phone and emailing you, so," I paused, because he looked pained. His hand came to cup my face, and to my shock, I realized that it was shaking a little.
"Please wait for me," he said in a rush, and then his face coloured, as if he couldn't believe he just said that. "I mean, let's move back here when we're older…" he stopped, embarrassed. I stared, and muttered his name.
"You—you—that was what I was going to ask you!"
"Really?" his face broke out into a smile, white teeth flashing across his face and eyes crinkling; the one that took my breath away, every time. I could feel myself mirroring it.
"So we'll wait for each other," he sealed, gray eyes gleaming, and triumphantly, he picked me up by my waist and spun me around. Laughing and hitting his back, I told him to put me down but we both knew I didn't really mean it.
When he finally put me down, he leaned his forehead on mine and brought out entwined hands to his lips, kissing our knuckles. A strange prickling began in my eyes. I squeezed them shut; I would not cry, because I was not that kind of girl.
"This is like The Notebook all over again," I said, voice wobbly. Scoffing, he declared arrogantly,
"Please, I am way better looking than what's-his-face could ever be,"
"You mean Ryan Gosling? Hah. You wish,"
"I think someone's in denial," he grinned, and then his eyes slowly slid down to my lips, suddenly looking dark and hungry. His hand stroked my lower back. But instead of kissing me like I thought he would, he lowered his head and buried his face against my shoulder, trying to memorize what I smelt like.
First impressions are always hard to shake off, and second impressions even harder to make; such was the story of him, me, and Dugly for the first few years we got to know each other. Still, as much as I could have raved on about our mutual hatred, we were not childhood enemies. There were no devious pranks.
…Alright, so we were childhood enemies. However, we only pulled a few pranks, courtesy of the same Prank Wars book that we both ordered from Scholastic. Though when we realized we were playing strangely familiar pranks on each other, and then found out we owned the same book (gasp), the pranks miraculously stopped. My book is now buried under the junk beneath my bed.
We didn't go to the same middle school, but it was around grade eight that we came to an unspoken, mutual agreement to tolerate each other. It was the beginning of sophomore year that it all changed.
"You're in my spot," I said flatly, already knowing who that head of dark hair belonged to. Sure enough, he turned and leveled a stare at me.
My friends rolled their eyes at us and turned around, despite my subtle signals for them to help me out. It seemed my misfortunes did not matter to them.
"This table doesn't belong to you," he declared, and smiled at a friend of mine, whom I'd always suspected found him hot. She flushed and looked away.
"Trouble in paradise? Did your friends finally realize that a loser was sitting at their table?"
"Well, actually…my friends sort of kicked me out of their table," he admitted sheepishly, and I laughed at his expression.
"What did you do?"
For a moment he appeared a bit wary of disclosing such information, but after seeing that I would not relent, he finally said, exasperated,
"I told them that the cheerleaders were dumb and that talking to one of them was like talking to a doorknob. Or your weird doll," My eyebrows rose, and without thinking, I set my tray beside his and sat down. I chose to ignore the comment about Dugly.
"No way; you, saying something smart?" I waved away his protest, "And you must be gay. I don't know anyone that doesn't think that the cheerleaders are gorgeous,"
"I never said they weren't," he pointed out. My mouth dropped open. Any thoughts of a deep, soulful person disappeared and all the reasons why I disliked him and those grey eyes of his rushed back to me. One: those eyes looked like the manifestation of a disease.
"Go find another table to sit at. I'm sure this hasn't been the first time you've been kicked out."
"But I'm a loser. I don't have any other friends," he made puppy eyes at me, but I knew it was only because he wanted to annoy me for his own entertainment. It miffed me how quickly he could switch roles.
"You have lots of other friends, and when you become my friend is the day that pigs fly. No offense."
"None taken," he replied dryly, before gathering himself again and giving me a vaguely curious look. "So, what's this I've heard about a boy? The one with the green hair? Going for the bad boy? Dang, I thought you were better than that."
"What boy? And green hair?" No such guy existed at our school; well, there was that one guy with bluish-green hair, but it was more blue than green. Squinting at his face, I said suspiciously, "And more importantly, why do you even care?"
"I was just wondering. I mean, he has to be some guy to tolerate you. Have you even had a boyfriend before?" My teeth gnashed, and laughter lingered in his eyes.
"I won't even ask what that's supposed to mean. And yes, I have had a boyfriend before," If a boyfriend in grade two counted, but he didn't need to know that.
"Really? Must not have lasted too long…you're so frigid all the time," he shook his head morosely. I scowled, and without realizing it, fell for his trap hook, line, and sinker.
"Just because I don't get along with you doesn't mean that I'm the same way with my boyfriends. And it's none of your business,"
Warm fingers moved over the top of my hand; lightly, the barest of caresses. Shocked, I swallowed and stared at our hands, a shivering sensation flooding my insides. It was a few moments before I finally came back to my senses. Snatching my fingers away like they were burned, I clutched them in my other hand and looked around to see if anyone else saw. There was no one.
"What are you doing?" I hissed. A strange look passed over his face for a moment, before he shrugged,
"You can't even stand someone touching your hand. Do you really expect me to believe you?"
"Yes." The tingling feeling in my hand refused to fade. "I can get along just fine with someone I'm going out with,"
"I mean, I have," I corrected stiffly.
"I bet you can't," he said seriously, his eyes suddenly looking into mine with an uncomfortable clarity.
"I bet I can," I whispered, determined and wondering just what was happening.
"Are you sure about that?"
"What is your problem?"
And suddenly, he was watching me with contemplative gray eyes, and I thought, for a moment, that they looked more like one of those fuzzy, cloudy days rather than a disease.
"How will you prove it?"
"It doesn't need proving. You're supposed to get along with someone if you date them,"
He nodded thoughtfully.
"Go out with me?"
It was so sudden and anticlimactic I almost missed it. And even when it finally registered in my head, I almost didn't believe it.
Seeing my shocked expression, a smile blazed across his face—his first time smiling at me like that. My mouth formed a silent O. I grappled with words I wanted to say; tried to shape them into an 'of course not' or a 'you jerk, you just want to be around to piss me off everyday,' but the words just wouldn't come. I sputtered for a moment.
"We sort of get along, you know," he said, shrugging, staring at me with challenge etched into his face. The comment about the non-existent green-haired guy, and his strange behavior from before all flashed through my mind. It was all so deliberate. Even as I stewed, I sort of admired it, but I'd never tell him. I was never one to refuse a challenge, anyway. Still, I couldn't help but notice how the midday sun glinted off his hair in a halo of dark against light and the way he was smiling at me like he meant it…and I found myself saying the strangest thing of all.
His smile widened. I checked the weather outside and found that it was still scorching and that the asphalt looked just about to melt. Yes, that girl to the right of me still had a wedge and the world was still right side up and nothing had changed. Just my world.
Suddenly, suspicion wrinkled my brow. He looked just a bit too smug for someone who claimed not to like me very much. And just why did he ask me out?
"Your friends didn't kick you out, did they?"
I moved closer until my face was inches from his, a bad habit of mine that I actually liked, and spat,
"You did this on purpose,"
"I won't lie to you," he rubbed a hand on the back of his neck, "My friends dared me to ask you out, but I think you knew that I wasn't too serious anyway,"
Sitting back, I stared at him. At first, everything in me rebelled at being used like some…some pawn in a sick game, but then, the troublemaker in me reared its ugly head. There was no harm in a little fun, was there? Perhaps part of the reason was because I didn't take him seriously, and I'd known him far too long to be uncomfortable with him.
"I could never turn down a challenge,"
"Got you," he murmured, smirking, those words a joke. Neither of us knew just what we'd gotten ourselves into.
The taxi was here. Three minutes were up, and in the background the taxi driver hollered at us and muttered about the delusions that kids got themselves into these days.
It was so tempting to plead, to abandon all notion and ask selfishly 'don't go…,' but I knew that I couldn't. For a moment I worried that he would find someone in his new city, someone more beautiful than I could ever be. But then I remembered his sincere voice, asking me to wait for him.
His hands slid off my waist, but before they could fall, I caught them.
"Friends are the beginning—the beginning of lifelong companionship; of unwavering loyalty; of heartbreaks; of…of love. I'll always be your friend," I whispered fiercely, hoping he would understand. It was all I could say. My breath held, as I watched comprehension dawn on his face, followed by a rapid flicker of emotions.
The cab driver chose that moment to holler,
His face went tight with annoyance, eyes flickering sideways, before returning to mine. Misery and pleasure warred in his face. And then, suddenly, an intense determination.
Bending down, he pressed his lips to mine. His mouth told me everything that he couldn't express, and the way he tasted flooded my senses, making me think of nothing and everything all at once. My hand rose to touch his jaw. His skin felt smooth and I could feel the way his breathing grew rough, and I shivered as his hand cupped my head. But all too soon it was over.
Pulling back, his eyes smoldered as we both caught our breath, the fire still dancing wildly through our veins. He leaned back in, lips barely touching mine.
"And I'll always be your friend," he murmured, every movement a small kiss. And then he was gone, picking up his lone carry-on backpack, leaving me devoid of his warmth. Oh, I was so pathetic and I didn't care.
As if through a thick haze, I watched as he climbed into the cab, never once looking at me. He shut the door…
This was the end? Even though we said we would talk, we'd still be together, something died in me.
I wouldn't accept this.
Running forward, I put my hands on the glass and looked in. He was staring unseeingly at the seat in front of him, but hair subtle frown, hair falling forward to shield his face, and half-closed eyes gave him away. Without thinking, a smile split over my face. A stupid smile—but I couldn't help it. He cared. He really did. And he was just trying to be strong for me; though I tried to be angry about it, all that I could inspire was a meltingly warm feeling.
I leaned my forehead on the glass, a slight smile still playing over my lips. After a few moments, he leaned forward to speak to the driver, probably inquiring as to why they weren't moving, and then looked up. His eyes flashed with something too fast to catch. I gave him a thumbs-up, and a wry grin filled his face. I miss you already, he mouthed, laying a palm on the window, right against mine. My fingers tightened against the glass.
The engine suddenly roared, and my only warning was a widening of his eyes, before my hand was ripped from the window and I was left in the dust of the car traveling down the road. I felt as cold as the morning was that day.
"Moron." He acknowledged. My hand rose to pillow my head and I stayed silent for a long time. Then,
"That wasn't too bad."
"Of course not, you were with me," he said seriously, and I turned to scowl at him. "Alright, alright. Yeah, I guess it wasn't too bad for a first date."
"Actually, I think this is better than the dinner," I sighed, and gazed at the sky above me. He shifted, his clothes rustling, and when I turned to look, he was giving me an incredulous stare.
"What? You mean you prefer being on my dinky little rooftop to a dinner that I paid for?"
Shrugging sheepishly, I nodded.
"You're the one who wouldn't let me pay in the first place. And do I have to remind you that we had dinner at McDonald's?"
"That was your fault. I wanted to go to that diner, but it seems like you don't like any food but junk food,"
"Well, uh, actually, I didn't have enough money to be able to afford to eat there," I peeked at him from the corner of my eye. For a moment, the moonlight bathed him in such a way that his face was awash in silver. It made him seem almost ethereal. Shaking my head, I thought sourly that I really must be going mad.
"But didn't I tell you that I would pay for you?" he sat up, indignant, and turned towards me.
"But I wouldn't want you to pay a forty dollar meal for me," Though I was just the slight bit touched at his fervor. He paused, staring fiercely at me for a moment, before groaning and falling back onto the roof.
"There aren't even any stars out," he said grumpily, scowling at the moon. I shrugged,
"It's still pretty. Just looking at how big the sky is makes me feel so small. It reminds me that even after everything I do, I'm still only going to be one person, and that nothing's going to change that…" my voice grew more and more melancholy, and I silently berated myself for telling him, of all people, such a thing.
But he surprised me.
"Sometimes one person can do a lot," he smirked, and I met his look with surprise. It was our first moment of clarity.
A/N: No, it's not over yet x) This was supposed to be a one-shot but I dunno...seemed like it was getting too long to be one. So, this will have two chapters.
And...please REVIEW my lovely readers (and please, no flames)