She sits there in the empty parking lot, sheltered by the shadow of the high school—if there was even a shadow anymore. The clouds overhead had turned to blankets, and the blankets were woven in deep threatening grays. Grays made out of carelessly crafted thread, ready to burst at the seams and let out a sea of blue, clear blue tearful drops.
She sits there in the empty parking lot—the middle of the parking lot, because that matters a lot—and takes in a deep breath, filling her lungs with a scent in the air that nearly became a drug to her. The addictive, beautiful taste—not scent really because it was more interactive than that, to her anyway—of the atmosphere that preceded a thunderstorm. It was impossible to describe, that feeling that she got when she was intoxicated with that all-natural high. But then, that was the way that she liked it.
She sits there and the parking lot isn't completely empty, she has to admit. But the car that was there, the lone mustang in the far spot facing the grass field—long forgotten since the new turf field was built adjacent to it. Poor field. She knew the feeling of being ignored. It was funny that the ignorer's car was facing the ignored, completely head on—wasn't even a factor. It was too much of a load to care about the car or care about the person driving the car. She looks up at the clouds that growled in response. Yup. They knew. There was only so much one could do before opening up and pouring out their very essence to the ground. His car, she thinks, is pretty symbolic. Symbolism was too complicated to ruin her simplistic pleasure; the car to the left was ignored. Let's see how he likes it.
He probably wouldn't like it. Nobody would like it. She didn't like it. But he wouldn't know and he might not have cared if he did. She turns her head further to the right so that it wasn't even in her peripheral vision.
She had to wonder where he was, though, to be the only senior—the only person (other than her. Does he count her? Should she count her in that context—dealing with him anyway?) left at the school.
She stretches out like careless ramen noodle—it was what she had for lunch. She picked it because he was in line and he picked it. She figured he might have good taste. Eating those noodles with that in mind made them the most bittersweet salty dollar meal she had eaten in a while. There was nothing poetic about her form and she really didn't care. She wasn't the poetic thing today—that was the rain's job. The pending rain was going to be explosively beautiful and she almost preferred the fact that she had taken on the foil role.
Grumble. Groan. Growl. Grow.
Heavier, aching, the rain is coming, she waits and lies down on her elbows, feeling the grating uneven pavement immediately imprinting into her pale arms (only shielded by the rolled up sleeves of her uniform button down). The pleats in her skirt had become a little wrinkled, one knee sock was higher than the other and she never felt prettier. She takes her hair out of the pony tail and lets it fall freely around her shoulders as she just looks up at the sky (not for long though—the shade of gray is too bright for her eyes to take in. Don't stare too hard for too long at something you consider to be too beautiful—it'll blind you, she thinks.) Her eyes close and her senses stand on end.
Maybe not as on end as they should have been.
She's startled, her alarmed movement rather great in feeling—her elbows press hard against the pavement and she can feel the grooves forming.
He walks over, his steps careless, his demeanor confident, his appearance casual. His brown eyes are light—in this light they look green, but there's really no light is there? She guesses it's all just an illusion.
He smiles that smile and she's seen it before—not directed at her but when he's around her brother (they're friends, you see, she sees, he sees her as her brother's kid sister and that's all he sees) it comes out. And it's courteous to smile, so she smiles back.
A rain drop falls and thunder claps. She looks up at the sky because she has to look away from him; he's going to blind her if she continues to stare.
"You're gonna get wet," he observes, stopping and standing next to her. Another threatening thunder clap and she looks back up at him, squinting a bit because it was nearly too bright to look, and smiles a serene smile.
He looks down at her and raises an eyebrow. She motions for him to take a seat in a casual way—a flick of the head so that if he rejects the notion she could just say that she was stretching her neck awkwardly.
A second drop lands on her nose and she lets it sit there.
He looks down at her, back up at the sky, down at the pavement, back up at the sky and down at her before sitting next to her, placing his book bag behind him.
"It's calming," she says. "It's weird…but it's nice."
They fall into silence and he looks over at her—she's simply looking over at the field across from his car (it's the only place that she can look without being blinded for now. The field is ignored most of the time, but she can still see that even though the better turf overshadows it, the original field still holds its own and shines in a battle-wounded way.)
Plop patter pitter
The drops fall quickly and decisively, hitting their grounded targets like well aimed bullets. They hit her faster and faster, lighting striking and reflecting off of her abnormally green eyes. She throws her head back and laughs, her hair turning to waves—maybe in mockery or imitation. Maybe both.—and she laughs. Her laugh is light, carried on the backs of the surprisingly gently blowing winds. The thunder roars, and lightning strikes—cracking through the sky like a torrential whip.
He looks at her and there goes that smile of his. That lightning smile that strikes through his face, illuminating his eyes. Interesting how only the light he emits from smiling can completely erase the effect of the outside environment—the traces of the cloudy weather completely gone. And he's smiling like that for her. She feels self-conscious, because (of course) as the second lightning cracks through the clouds. she has chosen that exact moment to look over at him.
She finds it hard to look away—it was too much light but if that was the last thing that she saw before being blinded then she would have been happy cherishing that in her mind's eye. That light would have been enough to keep away the darkness, the blinding blinding darkness.
For a moment she forgets how to move and he forgets to stop smiling. She carefully lifts the corners of her own mouth—oh yeah, I remember now—a grin that she knows is inferior to his makes its way upon her already lighted face, none too dramatically.
Her veins pulse beneath her skin as they make eye contact, her heart pounds and she wonders if he can feel the shockwaves and sparks he's sending her because, she guessed, he probably didn't know they were even there to be sent in the first place. She has to move—she has to move and she has to move now, her inactivity threatening to explode the heart that pounds in her chest.
She gets to her feet with remarkable speed for a person who doesn't really remember what mobility is. His eyes follow her and she relishes in and hides from his gaze at the same time, not deciding which end of the spectrum she wants more. The attention makes her thrive but when he concentrates on her, she forgets to concentrate on anything.
Her feet move, she twirls in place slowly, eyes closed, head tilted towards the heavens, soaking in everything they are soaking her with. She twirls a little faster, laughs a little more, arms fling and flail around her body in what she actually feels is slightly graceful—a huge accomplishment for a duck who desperately wants to be a swan anyway in front of the crowd at hand (swans are always liked better. Swans always get the better people to feed them better food.). She twirls and laughs and spins in mirth, dancing to no music, feeling the rhythm from the pulsing in her veins and the beat beat beat of her swelling heart.
Her eyes land on him and he's simply sitting there, watching her with an odd expression. Admiration? Envy? What is it? She never really had the time to read his eyes, she was always too busy timing her glances. She stops moving.
She waits for him to continue the sentence but he seems like he really cannot find the words.
"You've…"she prompts. He averts his gaze to his feet.
"I've never…I've never y'know." His head nods noncommittally towards her. Her confused expression remains in place because there are a million things that she doesn't know and she can't pick which one to maybe take her chances on.
Thunder claps and she just picks the safest thing.
He pauses, deliberating for a second and she wonders if she was right. "Never."
"In the rain?"
"The cliché of all clichés and you call yourself a well-rounded 17 year old?" she ribs. He laughs and shrugs his shoulders.
"I just never thought of it."
She looks up at the rain and it races down towards her. She can't find a rhythm in its uneven taps as it hits the ground or her skin or his bag or anything else and the pulsing in her veins and the beating in her heart have gotten too out of control to set any sort of rhythmic flow.
But then again, dancing with no rhythm, with no music, with no inhibitions at all was the best kind of dancing to her.
She's frozen for a moment, trying to decipher the words that were clearly spoken even over the downpour, the thunder, the wind. She walks over fearlessly (?) and takes the hand that was carelessly left without a surface when his elbow was placed on his bent knee. He looks up at her curiously but she doesn't notice. The second her hand touched his—and oh look his hand is closing around hers—it was an intense thrilling shock. The sparks were out of control, fireworking without her command, the pulse had come alive with electricity that she could only assume was transferred from him and his smile and his eyes and his beat beating heart.
He smiles again and it sends a painfully wonderful blush rushing to her cheeks. She wonders if he can see it through the transparent curtain of droplets. If he could, he probably wouldn't say anything. He's good for that—not saying things that he probably should, not pointing out things that in her that are there. Yeah, that's his turf.
"I'm not a very good dancer," he puts in his disclaimer. "I can't…I can't…" he looks flustered—but maybe that's just the lighting or the lightning or it has nothing to do with light in any way shape or form but she's too preoccupied with the thought of electricity to even put together a better excuse. Maybe it doesn't need an excuse. Maybe he was just flustered.
"You'll be alright," she reassures kindly, gently pulling him to his feet. She takes the other hand in her own and he clasps his palm around hers easily in a trusting sort of way.
"Okay, I'm all yours," he says and the words hit her like a wrecking ball. She smiles because obviously he means that he's all hers to teach, he's all hers to guide, he's all hers to show but not in any other way but at the same time it's nice to think that there was more to it.
She pulls at him, making his feet move, making him spin and twirl just like she was before. He laughs and she laughs and she feels like a child in the best possible way. They were moving, they were spinning, their hands locked and they were going faster and faster.
And then he stops.
She stumbles a little bit but his hands hold firm and stop her from scraped knees and bruised pavement. She looks at him innocently and his eyes travel down to the generator of their locked hands—the one that he didn't bother to drop from hers. It's still there and she likes it that way and he's not complaining.
She looks down too, smiles a bashful smile, cheeks glowing redder, body heating up, hands locked tight and he doesn't help it by smiling that damn brilliantly electric smile of his. He moves his hand slowly and she lets it drop in an almost sad manner (if hands can be sad, that is) and she looks back into his eyes.
His hand places itself on her hip. Her head looks down in surprise and he chuckles at the reaction, putting his other hand on the other side. Her arms curl around his neck and she smiles reassuringly at him. It's okay to hold me, don't burn me but hold me and electrify me and we'll be okay.
"I know how to do this," he says and pulls her closer to him, swaying just a bit as if he was using up the remnants of their momentum before. "I like this much better."
"Less chance of error?" she guesses, unable to stop that smile of hers. That smile of hers the one he sees and doesn't look away, yeah that one.
"Greater chance of error, less chance of regret," he says. Her eyes, her abnormally but brilliantly (?) green eyes, hold shock—interestingly electric shock, he notices. And still he pulls her closer.
Danced, I know, she thinks.
Well now you have.
"I've never noticed…you're grown up," he finishes.
She hasn't noticed that they've stopped swaying but he has and he kind of intends to keep it that way.
"Grown up?" Into what? "What do you mean?"
"Just that…you're kind of…beautiful," he says, and his eyes have never been that concentrated on her before but she for once can concentrate on his.
Well. Now you have.
She isn't sure when her eyes had closed but they did. She isn't sure how they got so close but they were.
She doesn't know how to do this but she likes this much better.
But it's alright because his lips meet hers and all she can feel is the magnetic pull, the pulsing vein, the throbbing heart, the heat without burns, the sparking explosion, the fiery sensation—a flame that no amount of rain could ever put out.
And when she pulls away and he grins broadly, matching her own incredibly glowing smile, she doesn't even notice the timely lightning that traced its way through the clouds above her. She doesn't even notice that it's still raining. She's too blind from staring—still staring—at something so beautiful to bother looking at anything else.