Without

01: A cool summer breeze is what distracts him—takes him away. But that small moment does not last long, and he reverts back to his old self. She smiles from a distance, knowing that within that small moment, he had been a child.

02: He is embraced by the warmth of the room; a warmth that only comes with familiarity. He looks around to see if anyone is there—then giggles in delight. He hopes to remember how beautiful everything…how beautiful this world is. Before he grows old, he hopes to remember. Again, she hopes so too, for he is a beautiful person.

03: Today, he goes on a journey. It's a rather small journey, but he wants to see the world today. Well, as much as he can, of course. She watches him, wondering if she can protect him. She always wonders—that's all she can really do right now. So she wonders once again, can she show herself one day?

04: She is watching again on this cold winter day. He is shivering; the window in his room has been open for three hours. Snow begins to pile in the room, and she is terrified. She tries to scream, but can't find her voice. But that isn't surprising, because she never could find her voice. So she runs—or tries to—and finally reaches that hateful window. Pushing with all her might (which really isn't much), she stops when he tries to walk towards the snow. She panics—what if he can't get over the snow? What will happen to him? But she knows she can't stop to think, she needs to act. Again, with all her strength, she manages to get some of the snow out. She slams the window down, making sure it closes multiple times. After all that, she knows she can't do anything else for him. So all she does is smile, taking her time while walking away. She's glad she kept him safe, but she's frustrated.

Why can't she be with him?

But unnoticed by her, he has discovered something new, something wonderful. And in his child's mind, he knows he'll never let that thing go.

He will always remember that face.

05: He can't stay still this Sunday, he really can't. Of course, he's jittery, fidgety. But this emotion he's feeling is not joy—it's fear. He knows he has to do this, but that doesn't mean he has to like it. After all…

He just doesn't like going to church!

He can't do anything, nothing at all! It's too tough, too boring for a child. All he can do is sit down and shut up, and he loathes it with a passion he doesn't know he has.

Why is church so scary?

That is the question he keeps on asking himself.

She feels sorry for him—and she doesn't like the fact that he is unhappy. Once again, she begins to wonder…

What if she went with him to church?

But that is something clearly out of her reach. She panics once again—no!

That…that can never happen, she's known that for a long time. She has learned far too much to think such thoughts now. And those lapses can't happen again…not now, not ever.

No matter how much she wants—longs to be seen, she can never, ever let herself be discovered.

06: The empty school only has one person standing outside. Cold air passes by, but he stands firm. He needs to wait just a little longer. Just a little while longer until…

He stops himself, knowing that will never happen. That he has his keys and he'll just trudge on home.

He doesn't really want to be alone.

Again she worries and frets. She's always there, wondering, worrying, hoping, and fretting. She knows it's been a while, but she's been attached to him for a long time. When he's happy, she's happy. When he's sad, she's sad. That has become a fact of li—being to her. And she doesn't mind it at all.

When he finally begins to walk, she snaps out of her daze and realizes she's in his way. Running away, she realizes he would never notice in the first place. So why, she asks herself, did she run off like that?

Somewhere deep in her heart, she truly hoped he notices her. Somehow, even when all the odds are stacked against her.

No, she doesn't notice. She never does when she's thinking.

She doesn't notice that he looks back.

07: The autumn leaves blow by, and he watches them without a single thought. He has a cold today, and there's nothing to do except lie down and wait. Of course, he's impatient. He hates doing nothing; he hates waiting, like many children do. So he figures he should think of something. After all, it's not like he's going anywhere. Not anytime soon, at least. So he begins to think—he thinks of many things. To see the world, that is a good dream to have. It's a good dream for him…for any kid nowadays. But for now, he knows (even though he's not very sure) that he can wait this time. He's fine with the ways things are, even when he says he's not.

He's perfectly satisfied with the orange and red and yellow of the autumn leaves as they blow by his bedroom window. He's satisfied with the life he has in his hometown.

With a loving smile, she prays for his dream—any dream he has (whether it's right now or far into the future) to come true in the most beautiful way possible.

08: She's been walking a lot lately, because watching him requires a lot of travel. He's at the playground now, all by his lonesome. He had snuck out in the dead of night to play some more, and she is with him now. She's in a good mood, so she sits on the swing, rocking back and forth. She worries a little less, for it's late in the night, and no one notices the happenings in a small town playground. He's on the brand new slide (installed just a week ago), but he's been staring at the swings for quite some time now. Once again, she wonders (and hopes) if he can see her. Once again, she reminds herself that reality is only wishful thinking. But when he sits on the swing next to her, rocking back to forth (he goes along with her rhythm), she really can't help herself. She laughs, and remembers one small detail (except it really isn't small at all…it's quite important).

She joy she lost a long time ago, she finally finds it within that moment.

09: Again, it's summer vacation. All in this small town—and in many other places— is bright and vibrant. However, he is rather dismal, for being stuck at home is simply bothersome. He hates the loneliness he feels, he hates being bored. But he knows he has to wait, he has to cope. Going to Great America is a very serious matter, and he doesn't want to waste a second anywhere near his hometown.

She sighs, still at a distance. She wants to go with him—she really does—but she doesn't think she can. But on this warm summer day, doubts and sadness drift lazily from their minds.

10: The sky's tears match his own, and it's worrying her far too much. She's walking on the gray street, and he's crying as he walks on the sidewalk. He had been jeered at today in class, because his drawings were claimed to be for "sissies". He managed to hold back his tears until after school ended, but let them out as soon as he was far away from all his schoolmates. Now, he cries, his tears mingle with the newly formed raindrops.

She wonders—for a very brief moment—if when the rain dries, that (by some miracle) his tears will dry as well.

11: "I just don't get this!" is what he yells on that cool spring day. He is in his room—which was recently redecorated to fit his more "grown up" tastes—clutching his pencil in sheer frustration. He has always been good—decent—at math, but this problem is simply far too annoying. But while he clutches, she giggles. She's still watching him from that window, that very same distance between them. She wonders if she could help him, then shakes her head. She's become frustrated as well, but she shakes it off. She has to be patient after all.

He stomps off, grumbling about taking a break (which will last for much more than a few minutes) and how stupid this homework is. Who needs algebra for real life anyways?

She's laughing right now, and remembers a (somewhat) distant time where she felt the very same way. But she doesn't count the years; she knows that will only depress her. However, she does decide to help him out a bit. Just a little, she thinks, he'll never know it's her anyways.

She wonders how she'll get in, but she finds a way.

Climbing through the window, then realizing she didn't have to climb at all, she arrives in his room. She looks up at his bed—which also doubles as a desk—and notices his homework and his pencil. She struggles to grab the pencil, and it does take effort to carry one now. Again, she thinks of old times, but not for too long. She hauls herself onto his bed, looking at the problem. But she doesn't laugh, even though she really wants to (she settles with chuckling). Still struggling to hold his pencil, she writes the answer and scurries away.

x=7, he wonders where that answer came from.

(But he doesn't really care, because the next day, he learns it was correct.)

12: Fast asleep in a room too large to be his own, she is still there with him. The thunder roars and roars, she hopes and prays that he won't wake up. But she knows a distance won't help him, so she's close to him (for now). After all, it'll be like she was never there in the end. She sighs at the thought, but soon focuses on him. Storms were never something that bothered her—and they still aren't. But she also knows that he's rather scared of the. As a boy in his preteen years, he often says he isn't afraid—has never been afraid, but he is afraid (and he always has been). He's alone in this house of his, sleeping (somewhat soundly) in his parents' bed. Things are somewhat peaceful, but that doesn't last for long. Again, the beast of the storm roars, and he wakes up. Tears begin to streak his face, and he sobs quietly. She's afraid—afraid of him being afraid—and she has no idea what to do. So she sings, loud and clear. Because she knows no one can hear her, but for a moment, she hopes he does. She hopes her song can comfort his crying self.

It's a strange little song, she song she sings, one she remembers from a distant time. However, by some miracle, this song comforts him (or maybe it doesn't). He sleeps soundly, and his tears are long gone. She smiles and signs in relief, because he's no longer scared. She knows she can leave now, that she has no reason—no excuse—to be close to him anymore. But she stays there anyways, thinking that he may wake up. That she needs to protect him from unknown and false dangers. That she can be just fine when she can no longer find reasons or excuses to be with him. That she'll leave him alone after he's 100% safe.

She doesn't quite realize that she's already made the perfect reason and excuse. To protect him from the world, that is a task that can never be completed. After all, the world is not (and will never be) a safe place for someone like him.

It's a selfish wish of hers, she knows this now more than ever. But she…

She wants these days to continue on forever.

13: "Dude…what do you mean she isn't hot? Are you…gay or something?"

Those words are on repeat in his mind, those stupid words. Those stupid, stupid words! Christ, just because he didn't like what all the boys in class like does notmean he's gay. Seriously, it's annoying how much people seem to assume nowadays. Again, he's sitting on his bed. His homework has long since been finished, and all he can do is think of stupid things. He sighs loudly, burying his face in his hands. He stays like that for a while, but his mind wanders. Soon, he groans in frustration, wondering and wondering.

Why does he hang out with those guys in the first place?

He can't stand them, he doesn't like what they like, and they don't like what he likes. In a sense, he hates them. But at the same time, he doesn't, and he hates that even more. However, what he hates the most in this situation is the fact that he hangs out with them.

"One day," he thinks, "I'll be more honest with myself. I'll stop hanging out with those guys and everything. Yeah…I'll do that for sure…"

He hopes he has the courage to do so, but for now, he rests and thinks of nothing.

She's angry now, really angry. How dare they treat him like that! Why does he keep on hanging out with those guys? She clenches her fists, and almost screams in frustration.

Why can't she be there for him? Why does he have to struggle like this? Why does he have to struggle on his own? But…

She pauses, and finally shrugs and smiles.

At least he wasn't born a girl. She manages to chuckle, a bitter smile on her face. Girls can be much more vicious and cruel than boys could ever be. She knows that much by experience, experience she doesn't quite care to remember. Her smile of bitterness turns into a smile of relief after she sighs. Things could have been worse, things could have been much worse.

She'd like to say she hasn't thought of all those awful scenarios, but she has. And although they are quite terrible, she knows she would have protected him. She would have kept him safe—she'd have always kept him safe. And she would be keeping him safe right now, would have been protecting him from much worse things than a few stupid schoolboys.

She lightly smacks her cheek, realizing how far off she was. Those 'what ifs' didn't matter then, they don't matter now, and they never will matter. And she hopes she won't ever forget that. But soon, she drifts from sad and frustrating thoughts. Soon, she focuses on him. He's sleeping now, probably dreaming of strange fantastical things.

As cold winter days roll by, she hopes he can be honest someday.

As cold winter days roll by, she hopes she can too.

14: He's moving today, on the very first day of summer vacation. It's unusually hot outside, and he's overjoyed. It's the perfect day to move after all.

That's what he'd like to say, but that simply isn't true. Sure, he's had his troubles here. He's had his bad days, just like everyone else. But this is his hometown; he isn't ready to leave (he wanted to leave when he was an adult). He still…he still wants to do so many—too many things here. He's finally made some real friends, and he wants to spend his summer vacation with them. But he doesn't have much of a choice, he never had a choice at all, and he probably never will have a choice. Till he becomes and adult, this is the way it's going to be from now on.

He sighs knowing that life sucks; that it's the most unfair thing he's ever known. It never cared about him…it doesn't care about anyone.

He asks himself a simple question. Too simple for most to ever be able to answer.

"When will I ever be happy?"

She wishes she could answer that question, but she really can't. Teenagers are naturally unhappy, and she doesn't want that to happen to him. But her hopes are easily crushed; she knows that far too well already. She knows what he is going through, not because she's all knowing, but because she's been there. And she can't…won't let him be unhappy. Not like she was…that will never happen. Since his happiness is her happiness, she can't let herself fail. She really can't let herself fail in protecting him, even if…

But that has already happened.

What she does focus on is not her past, but her present. She will never fail in protecting him. No…she will always, always protect him.

His packing is finished now, and he sits on the floor of his old room—in his old house. He doesn't really know what to think now, because it's all going to end. And what he thinks or does or... none of it matters now.

He hopes to return someday, because this place is precious to him, more precious than any place in his life. When he's all grown up, it could happen. When he grows up, he knows he can come back. And there will be a day when he can do that much.

She's grateful now, because he's feeling a little better-and that makes her happy. But she doesn't do anything different, watching him through that same bedroom window. She knows she'll miss this place, these memories, and those moments that will never leave her heart. She's been with him for fourteen years now, and that time is going to end. Now, he's leaving her. He...he won't come back for a long time. He may not come back at all. And she...she doesn't know what to do.

Tears drop onto the sidewalk. But those tears are not seen; they are not heard. And she knows no one will ever know she cried. She really doesn't want to cry, but she does. Because she can't take it anymore, she's a coward in every sense of the word.

Why? Why is this all happening to her? And more importantly, why is this all happening to him? ...

Why?

Why does it all have to be like this?

Those tears are soon wiped away. She looks through the window once again-for the last time.

She sees him looking straight at her, but soon shakes her head-what a ludicrous thought! But she still wants to hope that he could see her-at least for this moment. It's a selfish thought, but she still hopes.

When she sees him, she knows. She knows what she wants to...has to do.

Again, she glances at him. He's yawning, getting up to walk to the car. He knows he has to wait, but this house is a place he can't stay in.

For once, he admits he's getting teary eyed.

She follows him to the car, climbing into the trunk and sitting on the ice chest. He turns around for a moment; then climbs into the trunk as well. He reaches for the ice chest, and she retreats to the corner of the car trunk. He sighs, opening the ice chest and grabbing a soda. Plopping back into one of the car seats, he pops open the soda can. He chugs it down, constantly glancing back at the trunk.

She wonders if he really can see her. He falls asleep before she can confirm her suspicions. Instead of observing, she crawls to the seat next to him. Ruffling his hair (something she's always done), she kisses his cheek (something she never did before).

"Thank you for being born." is what she says before she runs back to the trunk.

A few seconds later, he blushes as he opens his eyes.

15: Hot spring days are not uncommon where he lives, but today is not in his usual routine of slacking off. He has a huge test tomorrow, and he's beyond the realm of desperate. He needs to study, no matter what happens. So as he sits in his (new) room, he wonders.

What should he study?

There's so much to go over, and he has absolutely no idea where to start. So he tries to get himself into the whole process.

When he finally manages to study "properly", she's pleased (as always). She remembers another time when he was stuck on his homework, and giggles. Memories like those, things he wouldn't remember; she enjoys those memories (more than she'd like to admit).

The focus doesn't last. Soon, he's pacing around the room, mumbling and grumbling (mostly things along the lines of 'Dammit!' and 'Shit!'). But he does plop himself back in his chair, staring absently at the textbook in front of him. Then, he notices something. Something very convenient.

He grabs his laptop, quickly flipping the screen and pressing the power button. She sighs, remembering what she used to do when she turned on her computer. But she watches through his new bedroom window, because that's just the way she is. She smiles and sighs from a distance. But even that peace is quickly interrupted.

He's blasting his music now, but his textbook is open. She can tell he's trying his hardest to study, but she wonders why he played his music in the first place.

Instead of worrying, she decides it would be better to have a little fun. So she grins and begins to dance. A burst of laughter exits her lungs, and she spins once. Soon, the spins multiply, and she's laughing like a child. She never remembered dancing could be this fun, but she certainly doesn't mind.

She doesn't notice, because she never does. She doesn't notice he's long since stopped studying. She doesn't notice that he still has his music on.

She doesn't notice how he's blushing as he watches her dance.

16: Even though it's ten in the morning, his room is still very dim. Winters are always cold and dark in the mornings, and he is fast asleep. After all, today is a Sunday. And Sunday mornings are usually the times when he gets extra sleep. Because it's very rare for him to be able to snore away, he treasures these mornings more than any other mornings. But there's one thing that's slightly strange today (for a Sunday morning).

He's all by himself. Again.

The night before, he knows he got home at roughly 3:00 AM, and there wasn't anyone there. No one to greet him, no one to scold him, no one to even yell at him and ask him what the hell he was doing. There wasn't anyone there then, and she knows there isn't anyone her now. So she watches him sleep while she thinks about many things. She remembers all the things she did back then. All those moments seem like yesterday, but she knows it has been a long time. She wants to understand him; she longs to be near him. But she knows that is...not possible.

So, she asks herself, why does she still hope?

That's all she can do. Wonder if it could be, hope it's possible, and remind herself that it isn't. She never belonged, she doesn't belong, and she never will belong. But she knows...she knows she can't stay away from him. She never has been able to stay away, and she knows that's the truth.

She looks at him once more, and knows. She knows it's all so-too -impossible.

She hates how these tears seem to drip down her face. She hates how she falls to her knees. But she does those things, and she sobs. Rocking her body back and forth, she realizes why she's so upset.

She's so dependent on him, that she can't have a life without his presence. Slowly but steadily, she's forgetting who she was before.

And she doesn't mind at all.

But she has to, because she knows she doesn't belong here. She knows she should leave now, before it's too late.

She knows she has to, but she still stops.

"Please..." he murmurs, "don't leave me..."

She glances at him, and realizes he's still sleeping. Again, she realizes something.

She holds back bitter laughter, because those words aren't meant for her. She knows that, but she still sits next to his bed. Lightly stroking his cheek, she sheds her tears.

This time, she doesn't think of it as a bad thing. So she stays with him now, and knows, this time for sure, that she'll end up staying with him forever.

He opens his eyes for a moment. He sees her smiling face.

17: He doesn't remember what happened, but he knows something's wrong. His body feels heavy, and he doesn't know why. But he soon decides that he doesn'tlike this feeling.

He soon changes his mind.

Now, all he can think about is that feeling, and how free he feels. Within that moment, the heaviness in his body is lifted, and he loves it.

Before he knows it, he's flying-no-floating. He likes it though, regardless of his confusion.

"What's going on?" is what he asks.

"Who cares?" is his response.

He suddenly sees a sky, a bright blue sky with white clouds and a golden yellow sun.

It's exhilarating, even though he knows this sky is too good to be true. He decides that he loves this sky; he loves it too much to ever let it go.

He wonders if he's dreaming, he realizes he is. But he quite likes this lucid dream of his. So as he floats, he looks at that beautiful sky.

Then, he beams; he's a child again. He knows now, more so than ever, that he's dreaming. But there's blackness-darkness beneath him. And there's that sky, and that's when he laughs. Suddenly, energy bursts through him, and there are wings. Wings of feather and a waxy substance, but they're growing out of him at a rapid pace.

His longing for that sky grows once again, and he knows he has to have that sky. Again, the wings expand, and he knows what he must do.

Hop, step, and jump. With those movements, he breathes. Before he flies for freedom, he breathes, and his wings flap. Wearing feelings that aren't his own, he flies.

Soon, he flies too high. The wax drips, but it does not splatter onto a solid ground. Instead, the darkness drinks every drop. And it gets what it wants.

The wings melt quickly, and the darkness drinks the wax like wine. It is not satisfied, but that feeling soon disappears.

He falls quickly, and the darkness swallows him before he can scream for help.

Yes, he thinks, this is the end.

Except it isn't. He wakes up, and she wonders what his dream was about. He's clearly startled, and a more than a little frightened. So he rushes to a wall in his room, grabs a bag, and proceeds to throw various materials and tools onto his bed. Then, he turns to the easel near his bedroom window. He knows he needs this Icarus painting done after the break, but he didn't have much inspiration last night.

Last night, she wanted to help him. But she wasn't any good at painting, so she spent the whole night thinking of ways to help him. Today, she realizes he doesn't need help, and she'd like to say she's glad. But she soon turns to wondering.

He works on his painting due to sudden inspiration that came from too much coffee and a lucid dream. And while he does that, all she can do is wonder. What canshe do for him now, since he's growing more and more independent? He's learning, growing, and loving, things that have always seemed to be on pause for her. She knows he'll soon leave this place as well, and she wonders if she will go with him.

But that question was already answered a long time ago. So she continues to wonder.

She wonders if she'll watch him-watch over him-for the rest of his life. She wonders if she'll watch him adjust and make friends. She wonders if she'll watch him fall in love.

Maybe he'll get married; maybe he'll have kids. Or he could be alone. Or he could suffer. And she knows she'll watch all of this, upset no matter what happens to him. Because she's selfish, because...because...

She laughs, because she knows moping won't do her much good. After all, he's still here. He's still a child, and she's glad that's the truth.

As he works, he wonders why she's laughing.

18: "I don't feel like I'm an adult." is what he says in the lukewarm room. He feels somewhat-way too numb, and he opens his eyes with great caution. The room is filled with bright, dull colors-mostly white-and he gets very bored very quickly. Then he realizes why he's in this room in the first place.

He broke his ribs, his left arm, and his right leg last night, and now he's stuck in a hospital bed. And the worst part of it was that this all happened on his eighteenth birthday.

Plus, all the stupid things he did that day. Of all the stupid things he did that day, why...just why...

Why did he have to jump off the roof of his school building while he was drunk?

Why did he have to do it shirtless?

He manages to glance at the clock, and then learns it's one o'clock in the morning. He wonders if his parents will come. He figures they won't, that it'll never happen. But he can wonder, because he has a lot of spare time.

Of course, he knows he's officially an adult now, which means he should really stop doing stupid things that break his bones. Or just not do anything stupid at all. But at the same time, he wanted to be stupid, at least for his birthday.

He wonders why he's thinking so much, and then he remembers he's still in a hospital bed with broken bones.

That's when he decides to sleep, because he has way too much time for his own good.

While he falls asleep, she holds back her laughter. What he did was just plain idiotic, like something out of a bad reality TV show. But that doesn't mean she isn't worried, because she's always worried (a well-known fact by now).

However, she doesn't know what to think. She knows he's all grown up now, and he'll soon stop doing these stupid things. And she'll lose another reason to stay with him.

She wonders if she'll have to make one up. But she laughs at her silly thought, because she doesn't need a reason. So she hopes instead.

She hopes he'll recover quickly. She hopes he'll learn his lesson. She hopes she can be there for him.

She hopes she can be there for the rest of his life.

19: There's silence in the apartment, and he appreciates that silence. He has a ten- paged paper to work on, and he's only on page two. So it's given that he's completely stressed.

He's been drinking coffee like it's water for over three hours straight, and he's been cramming homework for six. He's only slept in the form of short hour-long naps, and he hasn't had one of those in about four hours.

Now he's mumbling and grumbling as the computer goes tap tap. He takes another gulp of coffee, sighing and typing at a rapid pace. He's been frowning for a while now, and he's still frowning when he realizes he's done.

He lies down on the couch, yawning loudly. College life isn't all that fun when you have hard courses, that's something he's learned recently. He's an 'adult', a title that was supposed to grant him freedom and independence and happiness. But that simply wasn't so, and he doesn't know how he should feel about it.

He decides he doesn't like this feeling, whatever it is. But he's honestly exhausted, too exhausted to think about things like that. Because his routine bores him, and he wants to do something other than sleep.

That's when he grabs some blank paper and a blue pen. That's when he begins to draw a single face. A face he knows, a face he loves. A face that's full of vivid emotion, a face that...a face...

A face he always wants to see. He draws this face out of selfishness; he knows that now. But he hides this drawing from her, and she notices. She's curious, toocurious for her own good. Within cruel coincidence, he moves in a way that prevents her from seeing the penned picture. But that does not stop her from trying-trying far too hard. She grips and grabs and runs and hides (for no real reason). Then she realizes that she's having fun, too much fun. She realizes that the picture isn't her concern anymore, so she runs. She runs around the apartment, screaming and shouting. Because no one can hear her voice; and she wouldn't care if they did.

Soon, she grows tired. She glances at him, still curious. But she figures she could hold back for him, just for a little while longer.

For the first time in a longtime, she lies down (on his bed) and falls asleep.

20: He's finally coming back. For that, he is happy. And he remembers so much just standing in front of his hometown, he wonders if this is all real. Stuffing his hands in his pockets, he sighs, and his breath seems to travel. He's all grown up, but he still doesn't feel too great about it. As a kid, he'd always dreamed of coming back, meeting his old friends, and he'd be happy.

He'd be happy, right?

But those dreams have long since passed him by, and now he's lost in a place filled with childhood memories.

So he walks around, realizing how small this town really is. Those shortcuts and sidewalks that used to be endless, he's able to stride through them with ease. All the childish magic and thrills leave him suddenly, poof! Yes, they're all gone now. But he can't say he doesn't mind, and he knows why.

He's grown up, and he's lost that inner child of his. Six years is a long time, that's what he realizes. Even when this town barely changed, there's the cruel fact staring straight at him.

He's changed, and not for the better.

Again, he sighs, watching his breath travel and return to its maker. In a way, it's amazing. But that short moment ends, and he's carelessly tossed back into reality.

The first thing he does when he returns is check his watch. 4:40 PM, he has thirty-five minutes until he meets up with them. So he decides to wander some more, and he knows where to go this time.

He walks to his old elementary school, and knows...he knows that he should do this. It's a Wednesday, so he figures he could go inside the building. He opens the door, and realizes how small this school really is. Those endless hallways, those large stairs, they don't exist anymore.

With a small laugh, he walks to his secret spot.

Room 130 hadn't been used in over twenty years, and he notices it still isn't being used. It's an isolated room, so only the school janitor went in this room. He knows what back then; the door was always unlocked. The door opens, and he's instantly relieved. He remembers this room; it's where he went when he wanted to be alone. The smell of cleaner, the large cupboards he used to hide in during games of hide and seek. He remembers the old red stepping stool, and the white walls that never seemed to dirty. When he realizes something, he's happy.

Nothing changed at all. And once again, he feels like a child. But the moment doesn't last, and he checks his watch, 5:10.

"Shit!" is what he says. He jolts up, and runs out of room. With a face full of lost joy, he runs.

She follows him, follows his excited face. But before she does, she stops. She glances back at the room, because she remembers it very differently than he does. She remembers it as a place he went to when he was lonely. She remembers how when he was sad, he would go here and cry. She remembers it well, because she couldn't comfort him back then, and she still can't comfort him.

But she only stops for a second, then the follows him. She's happy, because he still has his inner child.

She's glad he isn't lost anymore.

21: It's a crowded sidewalk, but he's still isolated. But he doesn't mind at all, because isolation is quite nice every once in a while.

He can feel the warmth, the warmth of the hand he's holding. The warmth of her hand.

She's blushing, because she knows this feeling. And so does he.

Without it, neither could have lasted. Things wouldn't be the same without...


DreamswithJoy from FFN

The Colour of the Last Half of 2012: Sable

For the Month of November: L is for Love

Write a story base on this quote:

"Who travels for love finds a thousand miles not longer than one." Japanese Proverb

Any fanfiction/fiction, genre, pairing is allowed.

Requirements:

-A minimum of 5000 words.

-Have a timeline of at least 10 years.

-Strictly include only two characters in the whole story.

Submission:

-You can post it on your own account. ALTERNATIVELY.

-PM me your application and create a Docx connection with me.

-Send it to me through the Docx connection. I'll post it on the Forum's account and community. (August Dynasty)

-Latest by 30th November 2012.

-In your summary, state "For the AD's Sable Year: November's Love".

Results:

Your story will be given a critique by the Dukes/ Duchesses and a recommendation review by the Counts/ Countesses.

If you get a rating of 8.5 and above, your story will automatically enter the Hall of Fame.

Criteria:

-Language (Grammar, Vocabulary, Spelling etc.) - 30%

-Smooth inclusion of all requirements and relevance to quote - 30%

-Well-developed plot and characters - 20%

-Writing Style - 20%