a/n: i will start off by warning you this story is similar to ice cream; if you've read it already, sorry to possibly spoil this story's ending and if not, don't read it yet. actually you can if you want to, i think it's better than this anyway. :P anywho, i wrote this for my english short story final and it was the only idea i could come up with and i hate it cos it's ridiculous but i just wanted to post something. my last work was from february. ): so i hope you enjoy it at least somewhat...
p.s. this is the unedited version. just sayin'.
I can't say when I first knew I was officially and deeply in love with Will Nevelson, but then again, it doesn't really matter much to me. I have given much thought to this thing called time and have concluded that there is no such thing. How can it, if a three hour plane ride that leaves at noon from the east coast arrives at the west coast a little after… well, noon? How is it that three hours can so easily become ten minutes, giving your day a total of twenty-seven and not twenty-four hours? How can that even be called a day? Thus, I figure time is nothing more than another way to keep the masses in line— I will admit it'd be difficult to have everyone in class "when the sun looks to be three feet above the horizon" right on time— so I try not to be too vocal about my lack of belief in the system. If time can be manipulated so easily, I see no reason why other aspects of life can't be, too. It is, after all, much nicer to think that you have control over not only your own life, but your own reality. If you want to live until you're two hundred and sixty four, why can't you?
And if you desperately want to run away with your soul mate to Never Never Land where you both live happily ever after and stay forever young and beautiful and never have to turn in another essay on why so and so did this or that in whichever book you're supposed to be reading for English, why can't you?
According to my mother, it's because you're still in high school and have a better future ahead of you. I say he is my better future. Really, there is only so long a girl can wait for her guy.
So while I wait, I dream. I dream about him, about me, but most of all about us and our better future together. I figure the more I dream, the greater the chance at least one will come true. Perhaps it's not the most reliable philosophy, but at least it helps pass the (nonexistent) time, until Will and I can finally be together forever. I won't have it any other way.
Will moved to my town in the middle of seventh grade, and we first met when I was walking to my bus after an especially stressful day of school. I was walking to my bus, close to tears, when he walked up to me and without saying a word gave me the biggest hug I had ever received. It was exactly what I had needed, and at that moment…
Okay, fine, I lied.
I guess that was the moment when I first knew I was officially and deeply in love with Will Nevelson.
Most of my friends are convinced that what I feel for him is nothing more than a silly infatuation, but they have no idea. When a guy lets you call him at two in the morning on a school night to cry over lost parents and even drives over to your house, despite having a driving curfew, just so he can give you one of his extra special big hugs because he knows that's all you really need, you don't just have a typical middle school crush on him. You most definitely fall in love with him.
"I can't take this anymore, Annie. I'm telling him how I feel today, after school."
"Wait, seriously? Nadia, you know he's been going out with Vanessa for five months; please don't do that to him, especially when you're already such great friends."
"I know what I'm doing."
"Listen, Nadia, I'm really sorry but I just don't feel the same way about you. I appreciate you telling me your feelings, but I don't know what else to say other than you know I already have a girlfriend and that I still want us to be friends."
Friends?Nowhere in my plans for the future have the words "Will" and "friend" had any sort of association with each other. It was completely unnatural, like pairing the purine DNA bases adenine and guanine: that sort of stuff just didn't happen. Yet it had, and I felt like the ground beneath my feet had suddenly disappeared and suddenly I was falling, falling, falling down into that place where you're never really sure what's fact and what's fiction.
"Excuse me?" I said, struggling to find a foothold, a ray of hope, something that would negate everything that had been said and allow me to continue living as I had before.
He looked at me sadly and said again, "Really, I'm sorry. I was serious about being friends, please don't—"
But I refused to listen to anymore of his lies and without saying another word, I turned around and flew back into my dreams.
I have no doubt you think I sobbed my eyes out as soon as I was out of his eyesight, but you couldn't be farther from the truth. I knew what he had said had been nothing but an act, that he knew he couldn't break up with his girlfriend just yet, that all I had to do was to wait a little longer and be a little more patient and then everything would go as I wanted.
Of course I was right. Later that night— or was it early the next morning?— as I lay in bed, staring at the glow-in-the-dark stars splattered across my ceiling, I heard something hit my window. I smiled, slid out of bed, and looked outside.
It was him.
I knew better than to call out excitedly, so instead I opened the window and beckoned for him to crawl inside. Luckily for me, our house was only one story, as my mother and I did not need a house any bigger since my dad died years ago when I was six. I was old enough at that time to recognize the emotional changes my mother had undergone following his death; namely, an apparent indifference towards her only daughter. It was then that I discovered the wonders of the world of make-believe, how you can manipulate reality into something much more manageable. Perhaps an evil creature of the night had locked my mother in the castle's dungeon for an indefinite amount of time, but at least the fairies that fluttered about our garden would come out to play whenever I needed them.
That was then, however. Now I had no use for fairies, for I had my own prince charming standing right beside me, looking like nothing more than a dream come true. He reached for my hand and pulled me into an embrace that I had been longing for ever since we first became friends. As quickly as it had disappeared earlier, the ground beneath me reappeared and not only was I back on my feet, I was finding my place amidst the stars on my ceiling and staying there.
"I am so, so sorry about earlier," he said. "It's just that—"
"You have a girlfriend," I finished for him. "I know."
Will seemed as anxious to see me as I was to see him, and that made me all the more happier. He ran his hands through his soft brown hair that, because of the breeze coming through the open window, swayed back and forth above his eyelashes. "Do you also know that I don't love her? That the only girl I have ever wanted is and always will be you?"
"Of course I do," I replied, "and I don't think I can stand another day without you." Or another day watching her receive love that's meant for me.
"So then we'll run away," he said excitedly. "Just you and me. When the time is right we'll steal away into the night and have our very own happily ever after."
We sat down on my window seat, two conspirators planning a secret way out of the real world and into their own, better one. Will thought for a moment and then said, "Soon. A week from today. Enough time for us to get our things together and find enough money to live off of until we can get jobs…" He trailed off and took my hand in his. "I can't wait."
I smiled and leaned into him. "Neither can I."
We stayed there for the rest of entire night and for the first time in many years, I did not dream. I did not need to dream. My dream was right there beside me.
Will left right before the sun came up although the possibility of my mother discovering us was minimal, as she rarely emerged from the darkness of her room until long after I had left for school, if ever. As the following day wore on I found myself struggling to stay focused on the world I was about to leave behind. What was the point of associating with people whom, after next week, I would never see again?
I happened to bump into him on my way to lunch. While I knew we couldn't give ourselves away, I couldn't help myself: I gently nudged him and when no one was looking, whispered, "I hope you're still as excited as I am."
He gave me a half smile and raised his eyebrows. "For what?"
My confidence wavered briefly and once again I felt like I was standing precariously on unsteady ground, but the events of last night flitted through my mind and prevented my fall. Maybe I didn't know what I was doing, but there was no doubt he did. He was merely following along with what we had discussed last night, that we couldn't breathe a word of our plan to anyone lest they ruin everything we had worked for.
"Oh, never mind. See you later?"
"Sure," he replied. He smiled back at me before walking away from me and towards her. As I saw their fingers intertwine, I could feel the angry heat rise to my face and its intensity caused the room to spin around and around in circles, forcing me to grab onto a nearby water fountain for support. I had to bend over to get a drink of water to cool myself down.
Relax, my mind said soothingly, and remember that he must keep up the façade to ensure no one gets in the way. You must maintain this reality until you two are able to make your own.
This was, of course, the truth, and as soon as I had calmed down I reprimanded myself for letting something so insignificant get to me like that.
I chose to eat my lunch alone.
The next few days passed by slowly, especially since I had to make a point of staying away from the person I wanted to be with the most. The only thing that made it possible for me to keep going was knowing that at night, when the moon cast shadows on the street and millions of stars sparkled brightly against the dark night sky, I would climb outside my window with and Will would be there. It didn't matter that the grass was wet with dew or that neither of us had remembered to brush our teeth last night; the only thing that mattered was right there with us. It was above us, it was below us, it was around us, and it was within us.
It would never leave us.
With only two days left to go, I had become fidgety and increasingly impatient with anything that didn't have to do with me and him. It was as if there was a wall around me, separating my world and everyone else's.
In history that day while our teacher took a break to use the restroom, I felt Annie's eyes on me.
I turned around to look at her. "What?" I said, managing somewhat successfully to conceal my impatience.
"You haven't spoken to anyone in days, Nadia, and I'm seriously worried about you. What happened with Will? Is this vow of silence all about him?"
I rolled my eyes. "No, not at all. We're perfectly fine."
"Are you sure?" she persisted.
"Yes," I replied shortly, and because it was then that our teacher returned, the subject was left alone.
I was so ready for the last day to end that I simply left school early, my own little way of speeding up time. I didn't care if they called my mom and told her I had skipped school, because hopefully by then I would be long gone. I gathered the remainder of my belongings into my backpack, including the $300 from my savings over the past few years and a snow globe my dad had given me before he died, and forced myself to take a nap so night would come faster and I would have more energy.
Finally, it was time.
Like the week before, I was lying awake in my bed and staring at the stars on my ceiling when I heard the sound of a rock being thrown against my window. I hurried over to open it and stepped out into cool night, shivering as the night breeze blew right through me. Wisps of hair that had fallen out of my ponytail brushed over my eyes and I pushed them out of the way so I would be able to capture every last detail of the night beginning my new life.
"You have no idea how hard it was for me to stay away from you this week," Will said as we made our way down my street and toward the forest.
I giggled and took his hand in mine. "You have no idea."
For days we traveled by the light of the moon and let the birds' morning songs sing us to sleep.
"NADIA! Can you hear me? Please, if you can hear me say something. Nadia?"
"Here," I said with my eyes still closed, smiling and reaching for Will. Then a little louder, "I'm right here."
When I heard the sound of crunching leaves and snapping twigs come from somewhere behind us, I shot up from my position, immediately wide awake. "Will, we have to hurry, someone's coming…."
My breath caught in my throat. He wasn't there, and neither was his backpack. Had he been kidnapped? Were the people who had captured him coming to get me, too? Was I going to die before I got my first kiss? Was I—
"Oh Nadia, I was so worried about you."
It was my mother. She engulfed me in her arms and rocked me back and forth, but the action must have been only to calm herself down because I could do nothing else but sit stonily in her embrace. "Where is Will?" I said loudly. "Where the hell is Will?"
She smoothed my hair gently and pulled away to look at me. "Honey, who is Will?"
"Will," I spat, feeling myself grow angry at the motherly concern I had not received in years, "and I were doing just fine until you came along. What a great time to make a first appearance, mother." I saw the hurt on her face but didn't care. The only person I truly cared about was the one who had always been there for me when I needed them most; my mother, who had spent years clothing and feeding and sheltering but never loving me, was anything but that person.
"Nadia, please, I—"
At the sound of more footsteps running in our direction, we both turned around to see who else would appear. I recognized a few people from our neighborhood, my uncle who lived in the next town over, and… no, it couldn't be.
"Will!" I tore myself out of my mother's arms and ran over to throw my arms around him. "Why did you leave?"
He gave me that same bemused look he had given me a few days ago. "Leave? What are you talking about, Nadia? The real question is why in the world are you out here all by yourself?"
"You know. Our plan."
"Yes, our plan! Our plan to run away together live the rest of our lives together and you were with me just last night, you were, Will, and there's no need to play dumb any longer seeing as now it's ruined!" I felt hot tears spring to the corner of my eyes and wiped them away angrily.
"Nadia," he said slowly, like he was speaking to a young child, "we never made such a plan. I have been sleeping in my own bed and going to school and doing my homework after school like always. I have not… I have not been with you."
"Yes you were—"
"No, he wasn't, he came to me last night and insisted that we start looking for you," my mother interrupted.
I searched desperately for validation as panic began to pulse throughout my body. "But last week, Will… you were with me at night, don't you remember? Don't you remember how we sat outside my window and counted the stars? Don't you remember how the freshness of the early morning dew would seep through our clothing and through our skin and make us feel more alive than we had ever felt before? Because I remember, I know I remember…" My voice faltered.
I didn't remember.