When the bottle green fluorescent blinking numbers said 11:32, the phone rang and it was shrill and cutting through the quiet bedroom. It was that noise that woke up the boy. He had been sleeping, dreaming of rock bands and white sands and green palm trees.

"Jason. I need to talk to you. Please." Her voice was just above a whisper, the underlying tones of urgency and sadness were desperate and he was frightened for her, for she had always been a happy girl. She might not have showed it, but she had always been happy. Always. He knew it because he had been the one to make her happy.

"Now?" He was still groggy and still foggy from sleep.

"Yes, now. Meet me at the old playground. Please. I need you, Jason." She was still desperate, as if what she needed to say was sitting on her chest, crushing the air out of her until she had to struggle to breathe.

"Okay." He said this simply word then heard dead air and the recorded buzzing that meant the other end had disconnected.

Jason scrambled from his bed and in his haste, managed to stub his toe. "Fuck." He hissed, shoved his glasses on his nose and his room burst into focus. It was no longer tall shadows of blues and grays and deep purples of day old bruises but the shadowed shapes of bedroom furniture. His closet, an abandoned bookshelf, his nightstand, his bed and the clothes on the floor; all were shown in stark relief next to the paleness of his skin.

He slammed musty tennis shoes on his feet, crept down the stairs and out the back door and ran as hard and fast as his feet would allow.

She was there, waiting for him. She was sitting on a swing, pushing the dirt beneath her flip-flops into shapes. She looked up when he approached and motioned for him to sit and he did.

There was a street lamp near the park and it was almost a full moon and when he looked up at her, her face was a contradiction. Her features were pulled into a graceful sadness, but the light from the lamp and the moon shone on her forehead and the bridge of her nose and her cheeks and it was bright. Like the light was trying so hard to make her happy, but had no success. Jason looked at her and he was filled with infinite sorrow. Her face was grim, her hair tousled, her eyes were puffy with pink rims that stood out against the green of her irises. Her bottom lip was red and cracked and almost bleeding from being bitten on.

He had the unbidden thought that she was still beautiful, always beautiful, his Sidney, his best friend Sidney.

She spoke and her voice was strained and raspy as if she hadn't used it in a while or had been crying for a very long time. "Jason." He liked his name when she said it. It was smooth and pretty and innocent and all the things that he wasn't. His chest hurt and he didn't know why. He didn't want to know why and he said nothing.

She continued speaking in the scratchy, abrasive intonation that hurt him because it meant that something was hurting her.

"I like you, Jason."

It wasn't like the movies where he would have said, "I know, I like you too. You're my best friend." He didn't say anything like that because he hadn't any need. He knew what she meant, just as he knew she put butter on her PB&J sandwiches, and she always tied her left shoe first and he knew what she meant like he knew that hypocrisy annoyed her and how he knew she was a partial vegitarian simply because she didn't like the taste of some meats. He knew because she was his best friend and because he was hers.

Because they finished each other's sentences sometimes without meaning to and because their favorite movie was Top Gun and because when she didn't understand the biology assignment he would help her and because she would him with math. Because she didn't have to ask what kind of pizza he wanted or what he wanted to do that day. Because he was her and she was him.

He was silent for a while and so was she and so she looked at him. His floppy brown hair was in his eyes and his t-shirt hung off his too-skinny frame, as did his shorts. His running shoes weren't tied, and she didn't have to look to know he wasn't wearing any socks. His glasses hung on his aquiline nose and made his large blue eyes look that much larger.

"Please say something. Please."

She was almost whimpering, pleading and that alone made him want to cry, but he didn't because he never cried and because if he cried, so would she, and that was something he had never been able to handle very well. He was still silent and she wanted to shake him in a hurried dance until he made some sort of noise.

She stood, "Jason, say something. Anything." All that followed was silence and the rushing in her ears that meant her heart was breaking, torn into pieces by the red Swiss Army knife he always carried in a pocket, the one she had gotten him for last Christmas.

He stood too, the lamp and moon light making him look almost angelic, a deity sent from above.

It started to rain, big, wet drops like alligator tears, like the tears she had cried before coming here. It was a warm rain, warmed by the still hot ground and the air and the two bodies that it was crash landing on. Jason could barely see her, but he caught her by the arms and tugged her against him and kissed her.

He couldn't stop. It was meant to be chaste, so he could buy some time to think, but he couldn't stop. And he couldn't think. He was kissing her and he knew somewhere in the back of his mind that he shouldn't be kissing his best friend like this, but he couldn't not kiss her.

He left her lips and kissed all over her face, much like the rain that was pouring upon them, and she tasted like rain and sweat and something sweet that seemed to be a part of her. She tasted wet and salty and sweet and like Sidney.

She was breathing a sound, he realized. He kissed her still, her cheeks, her eyelids, her forehead, her eyebrows, her nose, her jaw and it dawned on him as to what she was murmuring. "Jason," she said, repeating it, echoing herself, like a mantra. "Jason, Jason," and he still loved that sound when she said it. He loved it more each time she said it.

He pulled away and looked at her. Rain ran in rivulets down her face and that made wonder what the rain would look like on the rest of her body. Her eyes closed and she was smiling.

"I can't."

She barely heard it over her pounding blood, the whisper. It made her curious, so she opened her eyes slowly, and still she smiled. He turned and ran. Ran like there was something big and scary he had to get away from. But it was only her.

And so she was alone.

In the rain with just the swings and the most deafening silence she had ever known.

The silence and the swings and the rain and the hurt; the physical ache, the rushing, tearing sound in her ears that meant her heart was breaking.

Again.