Author: iGoldilocks PM
It's funny to think that the slightest occurrence or meeting can shape someone's fate. If I hadn't decided to take the long route walking home that day, I probably wouldn't have met her, and I probably wouldn't be in the screwed-up position that I'm now.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Sci-Fi - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,111 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 04-06-11 - Published: 03-19-11 - id: 2900409
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title not final, names of places not final, skeleton incomplete. Drabbles that may become something someday. No, this was not put in the wrong genre, it is indeed Sci-Fi... details have yet to be worked out. I'm challenging myself by writing in the voice of a seventeen year old boy reflecting back on little things that seem a lot bigger in retrospect.
oo1 . hey, you
Like most things in life, she came out of nowhere. One day I had absolutely no knowledge of her existence, and the next? There she was, just sitting in a tree, ready to drop down and change the core of my very being for the rest of my life.
It's funny to think that the slightest occurrence or meeting can shape someone's fate. If I hadn't decided to take the long route walking home that day, I probably wouldn't have met her, and I probably wouldn't be in the screwed-up position that I'm in now.
I stopped just under the tree and squinted up at her, shielding the sun from my eyes. She just stared back with this blank expression and didn't say anything, which was a bit weird. We just stood like that for what felt like hours, staring at each other, not saying anything. As most people would, I began to feel a bit awkward at that point and tried to break the silence with a polite greeting.
"Hey, you!" I shouted stupidly, waving my arms as if she couldn't see someone that she'd been staring at for the past however-long-it-was. The only response I got was a slight head tilt and a blink.
Suddenly conscious of how ridiculous I must have looked, I stopped waving my arms and coughed. "So," I started again, a bit sheepishly, "what's your name?" The girl said something barely audible. "What was that?" I asked again. She repeated herself again, though I still had to strain myself to hear her.
"Nera." she said, and that was that. Nera continued to stare, apparently thinking that small talk wasn't really that necessary. I coughed again and shifted my feet.
"Well, in case you were wondering," I said, looking up again, "my name's Forrest." Nera continued to stare at me with the same blank expression, which I assumed meant that no, she hadn't been wondering. I shrugged, waved, and turned away from her. "I have to go. Later, Nera." I said, continuing my walk home.
I heard a small thump, and then quiet footsteps walking in the same direction. I turned around to see Nera about two feet behind me. Now that she was at my level and I wasn't squinting through sun and leaves to see her, I noticed three things: one, she was shorter than me; two, she had dark-brown hair; three, other than her large eyes, her appearance was very plain.
"Sorry, do you want something?" I asked. It came out a bit harsher than I meant it to, but Nera didn't seem to notice. She just shrugged and blinked her eternally wide eyes at me.
"No, not really." she responded.
"Okay, um, so…" why are you following me? I thought about asking, but she spoke before me.
"I'm sorry," she said, glancing down at her feet and then back up at me, "do you mind if I walk with you?" I stood there for a moment, blinked a few times, and then nodded my head a bit too enthusiastically. It was probably the first time I heard her say more than three words at a time. Again conscious of how stupid I must have looked, I stopped nodding like an idiot… it's not like she noticed in the first place, but when you're twelve, stupid things matter.
"Sure, fine with me," I said quickly, "where do you live, anyway?" Nera pointed in the direction I was walking, which really didn't help to narrow things down at all, but I didn't feel like asking for specifics. I turned and continued walking, and Nera followed.
"You know," I started, turning a corner, "you don't have to walk behind me. I don't bite that much." Nera didn't say anything. Just when I thought she hadn't heard me, she appeared at my side, wordlessly matching her quiet footsteps to mine. We just walked like that for a while, not saying anything. Maybe it felt weird at the time, but I look back on the memory as one of my best.
On Crescent Corner, Nera stopped and looked left.
"You're going that way, then?" I asked, pointing in the direction where she was looking. Nera nodded.
"Yeah, about a block that way," she said, finally looking at me. I nodded and shoved my hands in my pockets awkwardly.
"Well… bye, Nera." I said, giving her a small smile. To my surprise, she actually smiled back.
"See you tomorrow, Forrest." she turned and walked away, leaving me standing there, frozen by something as simple as a girl's smile.
Now that I look back on it, there were other things that should have affected me more than Nera's wholly unremarkable smile. For starters, the last sentence she spoke before heading home: "See you tomorrow, Forrest." I didn't think much of it at the time, but about half past nine and my math homework, it kept replaying in my head.
First of all, wasn't it kind of weird that this strange, partially-mute girl who expressed no interest in my own introduction actually bothered to remember my name? I didn't think so, but I guess my twelve-year-old self sucked at placing judgment because she distinctly said Forrest, which is my name.
Also, what about the whole "see you tomorrow" part? I'd only half-met this girl, and she somehow expected that we'd be seeing each other again the next day. I had never seen her at school, I didn't know much about where she lived, I virtually had no idea who she was and (as far as I knew) she had virtually no idea who I was, either. Yet for some reason, she thought she was going to see me the next day.
Maybe it's stupid to dissect one sentence, but I'm not used to strange girls jumping out of trees and tumbling into my life. I may not have known then, but that's exactly what Nera was doing. Yeah, I did see her the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that… she was here to stay, at least for the next five years.
This time, I didn't find her in the tree. I found her in science class, sitting in the previously vacant desk in front of mine. To say the least, I was surprised to see her. She looked up and blinked, of course, but I really couldn't tell if she was expecting this or not.
"Hey, Nera," I said, not moving or taking my eyes off of her, "what—"
"Hi, Forrest." she interrupted, giving me that slight smile again. I stared at her, nonverbally asking for some explanation, but of course she just stared back, not saying anything. I cleared my throat.
"So, um…" I started, "what're you doing here, anyway?" again, the question came out harsher than I had expected, and again, Nera didn't seem to notice.
"Going to school," she raised an eyebrow in a what-else-would-I-be-doing manner, "just like everybody else here." I nodded slowly, mentally berating myself for being such an idiot, then mentally doing a double-take when I realized that she was making me feel like the strange one.
"Right," I said, still staring, "but you weren't here yesterday…"
"I know," she started, "I just moved here yesterday." I felt like an idiot – well duh, of course that explained it, why didn't I think of it before? Maybe it was because the answer was so expected, and Nera herself was anything but.
"Where from?" I asked stupidly, trying to make small-talk. Before she could answer, the teacher came in and told us to sit down. He briefly acknowledged the new student, went over the homework, had us take notes, and I don't remember the rest because I fell asleep only to be woken up by the bell about ten minutes later. Everybody got up and started walking out, but Nera stood there waiting for me.
"Linton." she said as I stood up. I gave her another confused look.
"What?" I asked.
"You asked where I was from," she shrugged, "I'm from Linton." I nodded, pretending to recognize the name even though I'd never heard of it. I figured it was some small town near here, but I wasn't really that curious.
"So, you're walking home again?" I asked.
"Yeah," she said, and we headed out the door, past the tree, and down the road, not saying a word until we reached Crescent Corner, and somehow again not minding. She wasn't going anywhere, and we'd find plenty to talk about in the next five years… just enough to make the strange relationship something that mattered. Just enough to nearly kill me when I lost her.