Friday afternoon, the usual meet up time.
Xavier and Bella walk down Xavier's street, hand in hand like they did every other Friday afternoon after their long, dragged school day. Xavier jokes with Bella as they walk, and when they reach his house, he unlocks the door, and pushes it open wide enough for them both to go through. He guides Bella through first with a gentle touch on her lower back.
She knows the routine. She'd been here every Friday for three months. She kicked her shoes off in the doorway, her white school socks keeping her feet off the cold tiles. Xavier did the same, and pulled her schoolbag off of her back, dropping it beside his Crisis 2 bag which had cost him a fortune. Him and his games.
He pulled Bella in close when his own shoes were off.
"You know what I hate?" He says, face inches away from hers. He had brown, warm, welcoming eyes and thick black eyelashes to match his deep black hair. He often caught Bella staring, she thought he was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen, though lots told her she was crazy and rode against her, she knew she loved Xavier, she saw his inner beauty.
"What?" She asked, seeking his eyes, but getting distracted by his full baby pink, chapped lips. She smiled when he did, straight, almost too perfect white teeth peeking through those lips.
Xavier ran his hand through her hair, his fingers curling around the hair at the back of her neck, tickling her so that shudders went up her spine. She wove her arms around his neck and played with his school uniform's collar, biting her lip as she tried to hard not to stand on her tip toes and kiss him.
"School." He says, brushing her fringe from her eyes with his left hand. "Everyone is so judgemental there, and we can't be together there, not like we are now. And the things they say, just because we're years apart."
It was true, the teachers Xavier had for Graphics, Film and Television and Home Economics didn't even know who Bella was, because she was in year 10, and wasn't a senior like Xavier. She had known him for years though, and she trusted him. The teachers didn't trust them together though, and they were only looking out for 'innocent' Bella. They didn't know what Bella and Xavier were like together, they hadn't known them both for years, but to them, Xavier was the demon, and Bella was his prey. Little did they know they were happy together.
Their peers were the same. Only they were more judgemental.
They often told Xavier that Bella was all wrong for him. And Bella received the same from her classmates. They often got stares as they walked down the halls, hand in hand, or exchanged a peck before saying goodbye. Some were jealous; others just thought it was weird. But that never bothered Bella and Xavier. Oh well, maybe the time apart did and the distance that different classes put between them.
Bella leaned into Xavier, putting her face in the crevice of his neckline where he always wore one necklace, the white half to the Yin and Yang symbol. She stared at it, as she nestled into him, taking a deep breath and smelling him as he pat the back of her black razor cut hair. She wore her own necklace similar to his, as long as she could. The black half to his necklace, and when the couple stood together, the halves joined together to make a whole.
Only a month ago, Xavier and Bella had been walking through a shopping mall when they ran into their friend Caitlin. Caitlin was closer to Bella, being in her year level, but she was a year older, kept down a grade when she was younger. Xavier was simply polite to her, because he knew her relation to Bella and she was once with his best friend, Drake.
Caitlin had chatted up both Bella and Xavier for around ten minutes before she looked at Bella's necklace.
"Hey," She said, pointing to her collarbone, "That's a cute necklace. Who has the other half?" Bella had turned to Xavier and smiled as he looked down at her. Caitlin glanced between them and looked back up at Xavier, and his necklace, the other half to Bella's. It sounded corny, but this was just what Bella and Xavier did. Caitlin's face gushed as she saw both glass pendants around their necks. She leaned in.
"Aw, do they connect?" They had done this a thousand times before, and as Xavier took Bella by the waist from behind, he leaned over shoulder and they both smiled, as his necklace fell over Bella's shoulder, sliding right into place with Bella's pendant like two magnets, making a whole symbol.
Caitlin smiled. "That's probably the cutest thing I've ever seen on a couple. Ever."
Both Bella and Xavier had been pleased that they could have been classed as something even remotely cute. They often kept their relationship private so that no one could judge them, but in shopping malls they could hold hands at free will or flirt with one another without it being weird. There, no one knew them, no one cared, and Bella was tall enough to look like a senior, so they often fooled those total strangers.
Bella closed her eyes in Xavier's arms.
"Mm," she murmured as he kissed the nape of her neck. "I know what you mean." She sighed.
Xavier pulled Bella away from his body and held her at arm's length.
"Well it doesn't matter, because we're happy right? And they hold no opinion over me, and that shouldn't happen to you either. Maybe we even belong together."
Xavier leaned into Bella, his pale face coming closer to her tan skin, Bella saw his dark eyes look down at her through his thick lashes, shrouding his face and making him appear even more beautiful to her than usual. She smiled at his beauty that she always saw in his eyes. She couldn't resist him. She hoped he saw something in her like she saw in his eyes, a loving soul who would do anything for the other. Her eyes were green and shallow, but in staring contests, Xavier would tell her she had beautiful eyes, and that she had the most gorgeous gold flecks in her eyes, with deep brown lashes. She hoped that meant the same as what she saw in him.
She wondered what he saw in her, as he leant down toward her, his chapped lips connecting with her soft, supple lips, a small tender kiss, a kiss that would lead to nothing else. They couldn't risk being caught by his parents, Dianne and Gary. Bella lightly touched the side of Xavier's face as though he was the most fragile thing in the world and Xavier brushed her hair from her face, as they kissed. Bella was the first to pull away and she smiled up at Xavier as he leaned in, his forehead pressed against her, their noses slightly touching, as he continued to stare into her eyes and stroke her cheek. She had moved her hands to wrap around his waist, and she lightly scratched his lower back with her soft yet sharp nails that often left his skin in prickles and sent shivers down his spine.
His eyelashes tickled her eyelids, as he blinked, but she couldn't look away. Maybe she was the prey stuck in a sorcerer's net. The net, being his eyes. She smiled up at him, her lips moving to a gentle wave of happiness, and as he looked down at her, her smile was contagious. He smiled too, and took a deep breath, closing his eyes. He kissed her forehead and held her tight.
Bella could always remember the days she spent with him when she stared into his beautiful eyes. Every day she spent with him, she'd be home late, no matter what time her curfew was, she was always delayed because of those eyes. One afternoon she had been late by two hours, simply because their goodbye took a whole hour. They had sat on the edge of his bed, a Nickelback song being blasted from another room in the house as they tried saying their goodbyes. They had to be 60cm apart, but she couldn't bring herself to say goodbye. She stared into his eyes as though she were a pirate seeking adventure and treasure. But she didn't seek anything, because he was her everything already. She stared into those eyes, not even touching him. She didn't want him like everyone assumed, not in that moment. She smiled as she looked at him, knowing she loved him like no other.
He didn't touch her. His hands were folded in his lap, and he wore the similar smile, as though he were her mirror, always smiling with her. He stared too, searching her face and coming up with nothing. She was nothing special, and she didn't expect to be anything but another girl to him. They had discussed their ideas before, and neither of them believed in 'teenage love' yet here they were, both, silently convinced that this was nothing BUT love. For the first time in ten minutes, Xavier had leaned over to Bella, his hand outstretched. She was still locked onto his eyes.
"I just want to try one thing." He whispered into the silent room, though the rest of the house was nothing but loud. Bella could only hear his voice as the sounds from the other rooms were muted to a dull throb in another world. Bella trusted Xavier and knew he wasn't going to pull anything, so she closed her eyes and waited. It wasn't the surprise she wanted. It was the feeling, to be touched by someone who loved her, and feel that love through the touch. Not the touch of lust, but of love.
Xavier lightly brushed her cheek with his fingertips, and slowly dragged them across her face. His thumb traced the shape of her face, his index finger tracing all the lines and crevices in her face. It tickled, but she didn't care. She took a deep breath in, as he moved around her face. His finger slid down the bridge of her nose, and over her lips, touching them so lightly, she could barely feel it. His fingertips moved to her eyelashes, resting upon her cheeks. He tickled the tips, and his fingers, lighter than ever, skimmed across her eyelids, gently sweeping the many crevices of her eyelids. When she opened her eyes finally, she found him infatuated in watching her, that her opening her eyes caught him by surprise. He looked like an artist, gently painting a portrait. Actually, it was nothing like that. Words simply couldn't sum up the amazement Bella witnessed in his face right at that moment. He had smiled, guiltily. He knew he had been sprung.
But Bella didn't mind.
She leaned over to him too, and whispered three words.
"Close your eyes."
Xavier trusted Bella, just as she did him, and she too traced his face with her hands, getting to know his features better, and feeling the warmth of his skin. She had seen his face a thousand times before, kissed those lips one hundred times a week and stared into those mud pool eyes for hours, and yet, this somehow made her know him more. She felt connected to him more now than she ever had been before, and she understood it. She understood what love was, and how it felt to love and be loved. She finally knew that love didn't target a general age or type of person. It could sweep anyone away by surprise. And that victim just happened to be her. She was smitten by Xavier, and she knew it would be a long while until she finally, properly got over him. This was love.
"Xavier," She had said, cautious. He smiled and murmured a response. "I love you." She said, swallowing her pride and hoping for the best.
Xavier opened his eyes and stared at her shocked. His smile was gone, replaced with amazement. But soon, he smiled and his eyes gleamed. "I love you too." He whispered, closing his eyes and leaning into her hand.
He was her first love.
She had loved him for two years now, and little did they both know that another year of desperate love would be underway. She could envision herself with him for the rest of her life! But she knew that was too rational. In only a few months, Xavier would be leaving her and this house. He was going to study at University and Bella would be stuck back in school, where no one quite understood her love or pain for Xavier, how much she longed for him and missed him. No one knew, and they judged her as a pathetic love struck teen, though she was now old enough to know the difference between love and just sex. She knew what Xavier meant to her, and none of them did.
Hour long video chats with Xavier would have to subside for her loss of him, and her lips had not been kissed in almost a year, and Bella planned it to stay that way until she got to see him again.