"People are sad."
The words were uttered with such a stance of carelessness, of something that Leo could not quite place as he finally reached the roof in time to hear the sentence roll off of his friend's tongue. "What do you mean?" he asked carefully, walking a few steps closer to her, shivering slightly in his jacket at the breeze that threatened to barrel him over. How was June not falling off? She was sitting on the very edge of the roof, her hands planted firmly behind her, her arms supporting her. From this angle, Leo could see the soft, white underside of them: scarred with white and purple lines, standing up like goosebumps, and the new, angry red cuts.
"They don't know what they're missing," she answered, her words carried back to Leo by the wind. June's long blond hair blew behind her, giving the impression that she was almost in flight. "Come sit by me."
Carefully still, and hunching up further in his jacket, Leo made his way over to June, head ducked against the force of the wind. He sat down on June's right, farther back from the edge than she, but close enough to be able to turn his head and look at her. June had always been pretty, but in the fierce wind she looked almost inhuman, almost mythical, something from one of the books Leo would read. An elf, he decided, as he caught sight of her blue eyes cutting a glance towards him, their usual daring look submerged beneath resignation. "Aren't you going to ask me why I'm up here, Leo?" she asked, a slight smile curving her lips upward. Her legs swung as they dangled off the roof, long and thin, denim-clad toothpicks in the wind.
"Okay, I'll play. Why are you on the roof of the university, June?" he asked, smiling in return even as June turned her gaze back towards the horizon, her eyes growing distant.
She shrugged then. "I dunno. It seemed fitting."
This comment stumped Leo; what did June think the roof of the university was fitting for? He knew that if he asked her that, however, that she wouldn't bother with an answer for him; it was probably another riddle. For as long as Leo had known June (since they were freshmen in high school, and now they were sophomores in college, and Leo quickly realized that it had already been six years), the girl had been a mystery. She had kept her secrets and her personal self wrapped tightly under control, the same control that had kept June looking so well put-together every time Leo saw her; even when June wore sweatpants and had her hair tied up, she still looked flawless. Leo had heard others whispering about her, wondering how she managed to look so nice and still have good grades and not be a drug-addicted junkie or sex addict or worse. High school hadn't been kind to either of them; Leo had barely escaped it without being labeled gay, though he wasn't. It had simply happened that the girl he liked had never once noticed him the way he had wanted her to.
After these few moments, June spoke again. "Do you want to what everyone is missing?" she asked again, her voice soft, though Leo could still hear her clearly. She didn't wait for an answer, though; June continued. "They're missing life. They don't realize how short life is, how - how nothing lasts, you know? Everything is always changing and if you blink or look away, you're gonna miss it. And they're all so, so wrapped up in their fucking petty ways, always fucking fighting, Leo, you know? Like TV has gone to shit, and movies have gone to shit, and damn near everyone has gone to shit." She paused, and then turned to look fully at Leo, her blue eyes deep and unreadable. "Except you. You haven't left or changed or gone to shit."
Leo again had no idea how he was supposed to respond to this, though he had half a mind to ask if June was feeling all right. She could become introspective, yes, but rarely had it happened in daylight - waning daylight, Leo reminded himself with a quick glance to the sunset. "I would hope I haven't," he answered, and maybe the bemused tone fought its way through what Leo had originally intended as a somewhat dry comment, because June flashed him a quick smile and returned her gaze to the setting sun, though this time she looked more focused, a bit of a firm look about her, as if she had made up her mind about something. "Are you okay?" he finally asked, letting June have another moment of silently gazing outwards.
It took a while for June to answer, and Leo had been about to ask again when she finally spoke. "Not really," she answered, and her voice was neither firm nor soft; Leo wasn't sure what it could be called, if it even had a tone to it. "I don't see what my life is for, Leo. I don't know why I'm here. Am I just another face? Another salmon struggling to swim upstream? Or am I already dead? I sure as hell feel like it most days."
"You're not dead," Leo argued immediately; he had always been one to argue, and this time he did have a case. "Your heart is beating and your lungs are expanding and then shrinking as you breathe. Your stomach is probably digesting whatever you ate for dinner and you're blinking and thinking, aren't you?"
June laughed. She threw her head back and she laughed, her whole body shaking with her mirth. Leo was confused; this wasn't something to laugh about. "It's not funny," he tried to argue, but weakly; it only made June laugh harder when he spoke, and Leo half-smiled, unsure whether or not June was laughing at him or for him or at something she had thought of. "What?" he finally asked, once June's laughter had died down and she was only grinning, her head still tossed backwards and her long, swan-like neck exposed.
She rolled her head sideways, lolling it comically to look at Leo, a lopsided grin on her face, something that Leo had never before seen on June. June always was poised, always had a perfect smile on her face and never wore such exaggerated expressions or moved in such a fashion. "You're right, is all," she said, "but I could be dreaming." With that, June stood, her toes hanging slightly over the edge of the roof and only now did Leo notice that she wasn't even wearing shoes. Leo stood with June and took a good look at her, at her disheveled clothes and hair and at the fact that, for the first time since the day there had been a city-wide power outage their junior year, June wasn't wearing any make up.
"June. What's going on?" Leo was through with her nonsense now; he was honestly worried for her, because a disheveled June was just wrong and that meant that something had to be wrong. When she didn't answer right away, Leo asked again with a deep frown that reached even his eyes, "What's going on, June?"
June turned abruptly, facing Leo with her whole body. Leo paused, holding his breath at the sudden movement. She was so close that Leo could see each individual eyelash that framed her perfectly clear blue eyes and each faint freckle that ran across the bridge of her nose. Leo hadn't even known that June had had freckles. And then she leant forward and closed the space and kissed Leo, kissed him hard, her arms thrown haphazardly around his neck, tugging Leo down and closer as she pressed against him, her soft, wide hips pressed against Leo's and Leo knew that her hips were soft because one hand was now gripping each as if his life depended on it, returning the fierceness of the kiss.
And as soon as the kiss had begun, it was over and Leo was half-gasping for breath, his eyes wide as June smiled at him, a small, sad smile, then turned away and walked off the roof, not a sound escaping her lips as she fell.
A/N: I got struck with inspiration watching television and I had to write, even though it's now 2:30 in the morning. I seem to do soem of my best work at this time of night/day anyway, so I suppose that's good. :) So here this is, literally fresh off the presses, and I do hope you all enjoy it. Please leave a review and let me know what you think? :)