Once upon a timethere was a love. Pure and simple, the most unremarkable and criticized of all. It was said that everybody could give away their hearts. It was said that everybody was destined to failure to love in such an improper way. It was said that anyone who believed themselves to be different were only examples of such failure.

She didn't believe in love at first sight. That wasn't the first thing she said to him. What she said first was that she didn't like music that growled at her, or even dared scream. If it couldn't be understood then it had no place being said. The boy glanced at her through strange eyes, wondering if she could possibly be crazy. The girl stared at those strange eyes patiently, waiting for his response. The boy decided to oblige the stranger.

They were in a subway station in the middle of winter. Crowds milled together to keep warm, but she kept her distance from the boy. It felt right that way, to give him his space. It didn't matter how much space he had though; they would become companions. It was written.

Her favorite color was blue. He preferred green. The boy was an artist. The girl's specialty was words. She loved to sing. He could play a mean bass guitar.

She didn't believe.

And he did.

The steady rhythm of clock chimes kept beat to their hushed whispers in the hollowed night tunnel. She called him Darling, and she was his Dollface. When the clock struck four in the morning, they had been friends for five hours.

Five hours and twenty-eight minutes.

Six hours and thirteen seconds.

One day and exactly three seconds.

Two months.

She loved watching life dance by and he had a fascination with death. He wanted to be a ninja and she firmly believed in the abilities of pirates. They both hated sunlight and had strong aversions to hordes of people. When he smiled she smiled.

They were well aware that love wasn't easy.

Some nights they couldn't find each other in the streets or tunnels. She would wander through the snowflakes, chasing a familiar shadow that turned out to be a stranger. He ventured through cemeteries, hoping to find her among the angel sculptures. At the end of the evening she returned home, her nose red and her fingers numb. Sometimes he fell asleep among the gravestones.

When they found each other again she would hold his gaze and not his hand, no matter how much she longed for the warmth. He would resolve to draw her likeness a thousand times over, until he could get her curious eyes just right. They never spoke of nights spent searching for the other.

Instead they dreamt together.

He wanted to walk underneath the water without drowning. She wanted to touch a melting sky from atop the tallest tower created. He wanted to hold the stars. She wanted to see the sunset from every angle of the world. He wanted to have his own spotlight in the darkness, to play his music and have it be appreciated for what it was. She wanted to give him his dreams.

When he moved from the city the snow fell the hardest it had in ten years.

A week of silence strangled her heart.

He wrote love songs that no longer made sense. She read words that held no meaning. His melodies felt dull and lifeless. Her voice was too sore to bother with singing.

The week that followed physically pained him.

Snow clung to her hair and boots uncomfortably when she slumped through the bustling city, alone and unsatisfied. Lines marked his previously smooth complexion, his insomnia worse than ever.

By the twenty-third day they were in agony.

He would pick up a pencil just to slam it back into its place on his desk, knowing he'd never get her eyes right. She wouldn't walk past a cemetery for fear her heart would shatter right there.

On the twenty-sixth day he got into the car.

It took twenty-seven days for a boy to stand in the girl's doorway; lead smeared messily on his nose and cheek. Her hair was disheveled and eyes rimmed with sadness. It was the picture he could never capture, the angel in flesh carved from stone. She wept for him.

She wore her heart on her sleeve and he wore it beneath ten pounds of hurt. He ran. She walked. He left. She waited. When destiny stood in the shape of a boy with a beautiful smile and kind soul she didn't hesitate. When fate lingered over the form of a girl with curious eyes and an accepting heart he only nodded at his good fortune.

He believed in the power of a kiss. That wasn't the first thing he said to her. What he said first was that it didn't matter if a band growled or even screamed. It was about the emotions they were trying to convey. She opened her lips to protest and he opened his in love. They met together when the world was just becoming warm again.