What do the Cloud's Look Like?

Phillip Hamilton

"I think I'm dying," Arnold said, followed by a rather dry cough.

"Why do you say that?" said Kayla. The two laid on the dry grass in the hot sun, trying to make shapes of the clouds.

"I just have a feeling," he said, "you know? You can just feel these things."

Kayla pulled a handful of grass from the ground and threw it at Arnold's face. He immediately flew up onto his ass and spit it out to the ground between his feet. Kayla laughed, her short black hair flowing around as she did so. It looked lighter with the sun.

"What if I was dying?"

Kayla rolled her eyes.

"Seriously!" Arnold looked to Kayla, "what would you do if I just rolled over dead on this hill right now?" Kayla thought about this for a moment. She played with the hem of her short skirt, ending just before her knees.

"Well I would call someone, I guess," She answered, "an ambulance or a cop or something. Whoever was really needed." Arnold made a small 'huh' noise. As if he was now pondering on this response—overthinking it, of course.

"'Huh' what?" Kayla looked to Arnold, who was staring up at the clouds again.

"Nothing. I just expected your answer to be a little more… dramatic. You know?" He looked to Kayla and smiled a little smile.

"Dramatic?" she smiled back, "how's this; I would flip you over onto your back and I would straddle you like you were a horse," just then, Kayla threw Arnold to the ground and straddled over him. He could have died happily at that point.

"And I would scream and cry and try to pump the life back into your still heart. When that failed," she lowered her lips toward Arnold's face, closer and closer…

"I would press my lips against yours and try to breathe the life back into you." Arnold knew he was not dying now. He could feel his heart beating with excitement, her lips so close to his. And then she pulled back and smiled wide, still sitting dangerously near his crotch,

"But of course, you're not dying," she said, "in fact, you seem quite alive. And excited." Arnold was confused by this statement, and then realized what was going on. He went a little red and softly rolled Kayla back into her spot on the grass.

"Sorry." He apologized.

"No problem," she said, "I'm very glad I have that effect on people." She laughed softly, and of course, Arnold joined in. He could hardly ever not laugh when she did. Her laugh was infectious. Like a cold, only nicer. Much nicer.

Kayla fell silent after a few seconds of laughing. She looked back up at the clouds and sighed.

"You think this is as good as it gets?" she said. Everything got a little darker out as the sun became hidden behind a cloud. The wind seemed to stop and everything fell silent.

"This?" Arnold asked, "What is this?

"You know," she said, "sitting here in the grass, watching the clouds pass by, trying to make shapes of them that will never really be there." She pulled more grass.

"Would it be bad if it was?" Arnold pulled grass now too. They made two little piles in between their legs.

"Maybe not. But maybe." Kayla now dug into her grass pile, emptying the center of it like a volcano, "I mean, what does it all mean… you know? Why are we even here? To sit and watch clouds and flirt without conclusion?"

All Arnold could think about was the word she used; flirt. They were… flirting. His mouth started to go on automatic.

"I don't really think that's something you should worry about," he said, "I mean, who cares, right? What happens happens. Life is kind of like the clouds, I guess. Everyone sees a different shape, a different image. A constantly changing image. It's up to you and your eyes and your mind what to make of it and when."

"So everything is random?" Kayla said, looking at Arnold now. He looked into her eyes.

"Yeah," he said, "I guess that's what I'm saying. There's nothing that can be done about anything and in the end," he slid a little closer to her,

"I think that's alright. I think the best thing we can do is just enjoy our time right here, right now." Their eyes didn't leave each other's gaze for a single second.

"So what if I died right here, right now?" Kayla asked now, smiling with not only her beautiful red lips but her gorgeous, big green eyes. The sun came back out. The wind picked up, blowing hers and his hair beautifully toward the road across from the hill.

"Then I would really regret not kissing you right now." And without another second of delay, Arnold pulled Kayla in toward him and kissed her. He had waited for this for a year now. Everything had finally come together. Everything, in this one perfect moment. It was like they were having a thousand conversations with their lips sealed together. Like parting would be a crime against nature and humanity—like it would cause the earth to explode. It was the most perfect seven seconds of Arnold's young life. Nothing could ever have amounted to this.

The two parted lips and looked at each other. Arnold was smiling, almost laughing and crying with joy. He wanted to shout to the heavens how perfect that moment was. But all that joy was sucked from his face when he saw Kayla, who was not smiling at all. Her lips were pursed and there were tears in her eyes. Arnold pulled her back in and hugged her.

"Jesus, are you okay? I'm sorry. I wouldn't have done it if I knew you were uncomfortable I'm so sorry. I-"Kayla pulled herself back.

"No, it's not you," she said and wiped her eyes, "I've wanted that. I've wanted it for a long time. It's just…" she took a deep breath and the tears swelled up again. One rolled down her left cheek.

"I'm pregnant, Arnold," she said. Arnold's heart stopped. "I'm sorry. I wanted to tell you… I just…" she started to cry fully now and Arnold opened his arms. She fell into them and soaked his shoulder. It was okay though. Of course it was okay. Arnold said nothing. There was nothing to be said.

Kayla pulled her had from Arnold's shoulder after a couple of minutes and she looked him in the eyes. The kiss didn't seem to matter to either of them anymore.

"What do the clouds look like, Arnold?" Arnold looked up into the sky. Only two small clouds remained, just past the sun. They had no shape. They were only white and wispy.

"They look alright, Kayla," he said, "they look just fine."

The end.