edited and added to, still slightly influenced by Wes Bentley's character in American Beauty. written while listening to Get Up Kids, edited while listening to Alk 3. going to be submitted as a short story in a Scholastic contest. wish me luck.

So there's this boy she doesn't know.

She's interested in him… Not that way though.

But he's interesting, and different and fascinating. And he says things no one else understands. Not the way she does. But she's not in love with him, no, never love. But the look in his eyes, like he knows that she's the only one who understands him.

She just goes a little weak for that look.

He broods, with his top hat and trench coat and combat boots, leaning against the wall as snow falls, gathering by his feet. She pauses as she walks out the door, admiring the monochromatic view. From far away he seems colorless, but his eyes, which seem a watered-down gray, are actually silver and blue. Streaked like fractals, spreading in a kaleidoscopic pattern, outwards and inwards at the same time. If she was in love (but she's not), it would have been for his eyes.

He speaks and acts with an economy of motion that, in a women or at least a more effeminate male, would seem like grace. During their few conversations, she finds herself filled with certain disquiet; he is so unlike everyone else she knows. She has never heard him gossip. Never heard him lie, never heard him speak of something that can be considered recent. He lives in the present through the past and the future. She once spent fifteen minutes listening to him explain how the present never really existed.

He hasn't always been here. He just appeared one day, without all the usual speculations and announcements and clique-assertion-of-dominance fights over normal new kids. She wonders about that still, as their friendship grows, slowly. Despite how mysterious he naturally is, no matter how many strange theories he spouts outs to her, (all of which he can back up with math or logic, or both) no one talks about him. He isn't even the elephant in the room. He's a mote of dust in the room. But not even that, because he's there and he's noticeable. But nobody avoids talking about him, they just don't do it. Ever.

She makes a point to talk to him, or listen to him, weekly. Her friends call it her weekly dose of insanity and roll their eyes as she wanders off with him; she refers to it, in mind only, as her weekly dose of reality.

He doesn't see a difference.

He's changing the way she thinks, she's seeing beauty everywhere in places she had always ignored. She finds it in the position of a rock against a wall, the bend of a blade of grass, the freckle next to someone's mouth.

She's learning that life is completely dependant on perspective, and he's changing hers. Every time she realizes that she will never be the same, a warm tingle works its way up her back and her body is filled with the thrill of life. 'Life is beautiful,' she whispers to herself at dawn, dusk and every beautiful moment in between. Life is beautiful.

Sometimes she has to remind herself that other people can see him. Sometimes she wants him to just be something she's made up. Sometimes, she's not sure he isn't.

He laughs a lot. But no one ever sees him when he does. Because it's quick and painless, like nothing else in life ever is. This is his fourth school in 3 years. Most of the people here are no different than they were anywhere else. But there's this one girl.

He has hope for her.

Oh gods, he has hope.

Because it's not love, no, never love. But she listens to him and doesn't call him crazy and believes him when he says that beauty is found every where. He has to remind himself to distance himself because she brings out emotions he had thought he could control and suppress. Not because emotions make you weak, no, never that, but because he doesn't know what to do with them. And he never likes not knowing what to do.

He watches her, when she doesn't notice. She's like a whirlwind of motion, a dancing, thriving, pulsing mass of life. And he has never met something, someone, like her before.

He knows she thinks that she's not special, but he believes otherwise. No, he knows, because she looks at him with curiosity quirking her lips. And he goes home and draws her face, her eyes, her hair a thousand different ways and then burns each drawing. Because he's not a stalker and he's not obsessed. He's just curious about her.

And because charcoal burns so well.

He waits for her each day, after school. He's pretty sure she doesn't know he waits for her, but everyday he takes her home in his beat up old car that smells faintly of imported brown vanilla and new paper and they talk. Or he talks and she listens. But normally, she has something to say, or to add, that just strengthens his belief that she is special, different… unique somehow. And he knows that her friends don't see it.

He's teaching her to see beauty. She's already reminded him of how to laugh.

One night, three and a half months after he really started talking to her, he calls her cell phone at 2 am. It's a school night and he can tell that he's woken her up. He tells her to get dressed, that he'll be at her front door in less than five minutes, then hangs up.

In four minutes and seventeen seconds he's standing on her front porch, in four minutes and twenty nine seconds, she's joined him. And within four minutes and forty three seconds they're both in his car, driving to the stadium where he spreads out a blanket and lays her on the ground to point at the sky.

He watches her instead of the sky as the meteor show starts. He still hadn't told her why he had woken her up at this ungodly hour when the first one streaks across the sky.

She gasps, eyes widen in delight and wonder.

A volley of them arcs across the sky as she turns to him and says grinning, "I didn't even have to look for the beauty this time…"

They return home around 4:30 in the morning, tired but filled with wonder and feeling insignificant, but liking it. On the way home he gives her his art folder and tells her to open it once she gets home. She nods and promises that she will. She mentions that she didn't know that he was an artist; he grins and says he's not.

They part ways and during the drive back to his house his senses are on hyper-alert. He knows that, if he's wrong about her, he could have just given her every reason and more to never want to speak to him again. But he feels more alive than ever, because he's sure that he's right about her, he couldn't be anything else.

She waits until she's inside to open the portfolio, but only just, simply because she needs more light to see. The cover page is simple, with the words "When the Snowflake Meets a Meteor" written in calligraphy in blue and burgundy inks. She smiles softly, touches the letters and shakes her head in disbelief.

Inside are pages upon pages of charcoal sketches of her eyes, her hands, her hair, her face. She flips through them, incredulity slowly painted along her uplifted eyebrows and her dropped jaw. She feels as though she should be bothered by this, but all she can think of is how he always manages to find beauty somewhere. She just never realized that he saw it when he looked at her.

At home he's sitting in his room, phone lying beside him, fingers twitching to reach for it, to dial the number he knows the way he knows chaos theory or charcoal pencils. He knows this isn't love, no, never love, but he's never felt this uncontrolled, never felt this vulnerable.

Never felt this desperate.

And as they both sit in their own forms of denial, snow begins to fall through the branches of the trees onto quiet, placid streets as the last of the meteors burn up upon entry to this violently passionate world.

And the snowflakes fell like meteors.