Blue Meets Orange - Chapter 1

The road ahead is long and exhausting, the occasional bumps in road kept him from falling asleep, finally he just accepted he wasn't going to be able to nap, so he sat up and looked out the window. The vast trees, the endless clouds in the sky, the sun rained light down from the heavens onto the moving ground. Somehow it felt peaceful, watching everything fly by, just as life does in a certain way.

He was pulled out from the moment when he heard a familiar voice, "Hey Steve? Whatcha doing?" Shayne called.

Steve turned his head to face his friend, "I'm just watching a movie." He held up his phone to show him. "It's only a recording from my favorite movie, but I can watch this all day."

"That's a great movie, but your boring dude." Shayne turned to talk to someone else.

Steve turned in his seat to look forward, he noticed they we're now crossing a bridge, which made him excited. He leaned over and looked outside the window, the river of water always brought him joy, because he loved swimming and the crossing of the bridge also meant they we're close. For some reason he felt as if he was being watched, like someone had their eyes set upon him, he simply ignored the feeling and payed more attention to the view.

Finally, they arrived at their destination, Camp Grundy. He had been to this place before but this time he was looking forward to it, because it was his chance to get away from the city life and enjoy his roots. The bus eventually pulled into the camp grounds, he smiled and stood up to exit the bus. He stepped off and gathered his belongings.

"Hey Shayne?" Steve called out, "Where do you want to setup our tent?"

Shayne looked at his surroundings and shrugged his shoulders, "I picked before so um... You can pick this time." Shayne moved over to the bus to receive his suitcase.

"Hm okay." Steve remembered last year's spot and how terrible it was. "Alright, let's do something different." Steve stood still and looked at the opposite side of the camp grounds, the tress leaned over in a nice way, and cherry on top. It was in the shade.

Steve grabbed a tent and two sleeping bags from his worker's van, then began to setup. First, he cleared the twigs and small rocks in the area. Secondly, now it was time to assemble the tent, he always hated this part. After what seemed like an eternity, Steve and Shayne had finally assembled the damn tent. Thirdly, it was time to go swimming, Wait what? He thought to himself.

"Hey Steve?" Shayne had given him a five star on his back. "Want to go swimming? Me and Trinity are going."

"Who?" Steve was rubbing his back to numb the slap he had just received.

Shayne had already begun to walk away and didn't hear him, "Alright, looks like we're going swimming." Steve unzipped his tent and walked in.

He changed quickly and stepped out to take his shirt off, the twigs beneath his feet pressed against his skin lightly, but it didn't matter he was used it. He threw his shirt inside the tent and reached for his towel, that's when he saw her. She was sitting on a bench beside Shayne, the way the sun beamed through the trees and glistened on her hair was nothing short of amazing, somehow the both of them locked eyes, Steve was caught in a trance, he was speechless. Somewhere, somehow, he found the courage to walk forward to her. Why is this so slow? Why am I talking to myself? What am I doing? These thoughts we're constantly racing through his head, each step forward seemed like another step into oblivion. Then before he knew it, he was sitting beside her. He was starting to sweat, he'd had never been this nervous around anyone. He started to feel something he'd never experienced before, it was a weird energy, like the person sitting next to him wanted to talk. But he just couldn't open his mouth to speak, he was frozen.

"I'll be right back because I got my $20 bill stuck in the vending machine by the bathroom." Shayne walked over before either person could say anything.

Steve had never been this nervous in his life, he was practically sweating buckets at this point, and they haven't even spoke to each other yet. He wanted to spark a conversation, but what would they talk about? Ask her how old she is? No god no that's weird. Then a light bulb turned on inside his head, Wow did it really require that much effort? Sometimes Steve really questions his intelligence.

"Hey, I'm Steve." He looked into her eyes and gave a genuine smile, and reached out to shake her hand. "What's your name?" I hope to god she doesn't think I'm a loser.

"I'm Trinity, nice to meet you." She reached out and shook his hand, she smiled back.

The smile she gave melted his heart, they haven't even known each other all but 5 minutes and he was already falling for her. He sat beside her in silence, waiting patiently. Finally he got tired of waiting and wanted to see what was taking so long. He got up and started to make his way to the bathroom, about halfway on the walk to the bathroom he noticed Trinity was close behind following him. If Steve was nervous back at bench, then this was a whole another level he never knew existed.

"Hey Shayne? Did you get your money back?" Steve asked.

"No I have to wait on the park rangers to come."

"How long do you think they'll be?" Steve leaned on the tree closet to him.

"The guy said 5 minutes but it could be longer."

"Do you want to meet him down there?" Trinity asked with a great big smile.

Oh no...

Steve looked at her and returned a smile, "Sure."

The pair we're now walking down the road to the water, she had come prepared clearly. She was wearing flip flops while he was barefoot stepping on tiny rocks, he tried his absolute best to try and not scream everytime a rock pinched his foot, but at this point it was inevitable. Every other step onto the ground he said ouch, Trinity chuckled lightly everytime Steve tried to hide the pain, eventually they made their way down to the water. This was a pretty popular swimming spot, people from different campsites around Grundy all loved this spot. It was really beautiful, it was a huge rock that had been resurfaced due to the receding water levels, but the sunsets here we're the most beautiful he'd seen in awhile. The treeline would meet the horizon ever so slightly, and when the sun went down it was almost as if you we're leaving this world, and going into another universe.

Steve and Trinity ambled their way through the bushes and branches, they walked past the huge crowd of people and found a nice open spot for them both, he unfolded his towel and set it up nicely. He stood up and watched her entered the water, she very lightly touched the water to check the temperature, it was doable. Slowly she entered the water and turned to face him.

"You coming in?" Trinity's voice broke a little due to the cold water.

Her smile completely left him speechless, she was so beautiful. Everything about her seemed so familiar but mysterious, like he had known her his entire life. He took of his glasses and set them down, "What to see something cool?" He asked.

"Sure." Trinity's enthusiasm gave him the courage he needed.

"Just making sure there's no sharp rocks." Steve seen his chance and he ran into the water, Steve used the moss on the rock to slide into the water somewhat smoothly. Trinity laughed at Steve's emotionless facial expression as he slid into the water. Both young people we're treading water lightly, they we're about 3ft apart. Steve used this chance to get to know her better, "What's your favorite colour?" He asked.

"Orange... How about you?" Trinity moved to get closer to him.

"Blue." He returned a genuine smile and the two continued to learn about each other.

His dream ended...

Steve was awoken by his drunk mother screaming at his father, she screamed about wanting more money to buy alcohol, she screamed about anything that came to her mind. Steve put on a random shirt and shorts, then made his way to the bathroom, he ran the water and grabbed his toothbrush. This was something he'd done a million times, he could practically do it with his eyes closed, he finished up his morning routine and did his business, and made his way downstairs. Steve knew his mother had a very rough childhood, but at last there was nothing they could do for now, she was drunk. His father kept calm and was very reserved, he didn't raise his voice, he never raised his hand to hit her, after the whole situation was over Steve's dad walked over and hugged him before he left for work.

Steve always hated watching his father leave, it was almost as if watching that door close, he was like watching his father leave his life. Once the door was closed Steve looked around the house for something to do, he always cleaned and did what he could, but today it looked there was nothing to do. Except maybe one thing, he could go explore the forest connected to his backyard, he was never allowed to go past the treeline. Steve's brothers we're out at school probably playing with their friends so he couldn't spend time with them, his mother was too drunk to do anything, and his sister was too little to comprehend the world around her.

Steve always wanted to have friends of his own, no one at school ever really liked him, they called him racial names and bullied him, but as much as they hated him he never thought of anyone else he could talk too, but that was if he could get to school. His father was too busy with work related responsibilities to take him to school, his brothers constantly left early to avoid their mother's grief and drunken rage, as for his sister. She was constantly watched by his mother, she was never let out of her sight and was never left alone with men who weren't her sons or the father. However there was an exception with what he could spend his time with doing today, there was one person, his cat. Admittedly it's pretty sad besides his family, his cat is his only real friend, well kind of. Buster was given to him at birth, as a gift by his great grandmother before she died, but Steve hasn't really connected with Buster since, every now and then Steve will try and pet Buster but he'd pull away.

Everytime Buster pulled away it hurt him, but he didn't blame him, he didn't really like himself either. Steve sat up and walked over to his mother who was slumped on the couch. "Hey Mom, can I go play in the backyard?" Steve cuddled beside her.

His mother looked over at him and smiled, "Of course you can, don't go too far please? I don't want to lose you."

"Don't worry Mom, you won't ever lose me." Steve jumped from the couch and kissed his mother on the cheek, then walked towards the back door.

Steve opened the door and walked towards the treeline, today he was going to finally explore the vast forest. Ever since he was little it always enticed him, he liked the feeling of exploring the unknown, even though he was alone it didn't really bug him, he was used to it. The sun was high in the sky, the clouds we're visible but they didn't block the blinding sunlight, he readjusted his focus. The trees and their gigantic figure's provided some much needed shade, it was really peaceful exploring the forest by himself. The sunlight breached through the leaves and looked beautiful. The moment came to halt when he realized he wasn't alone, he heard the sound of branches breaking, and the sound of dead leaves rushing behind him.

At this point his heart was racing, he didn't know what was making all this noise, he acted quickly and picked up a good sized stick to defend himself. The sound suddenly stopped, of all places it had to stop it had to be behind him. He turned and was very surprised as to who it was, it was his cat Buster. Somehow the little fellow had followed him from the house, Steve kneeled down and attempted to pet Buster. The cat looked confused and threw a jab at him.

"Hey, what was that for?" Steve wasn't hurt by the quick jab but just surprised.

Buster had lost interest and strolled through the forest away from Steve, not knowing what to do Steve followed the cat. Buster had lead him to a water reservoir, he had heard the sound of rushing water earlier but didn't know where to look, Buster leaned down and started to drink the water. Steve was feeling thirsty too so he kneeled down and drank the water, Buster raised his head and gave a confused look. Not knowing how to react Steve smiled nervously and threw a thumbs up, Buster ambled his way over and purred beside him. Steve lifted his hand began to pet the cat, Buster curled up beside him and threw another jab, Steve laughed then stood up to chase Buster.

The two weaved in and out through the trees, over bushes, through ditches. It was the most fun Steve had in a while, eventually he tagged Buster back, not knowing the rules the cat continued to run. Steve didn't care and continued to chase his friend, Buster ran through every obstacle he could fit through, the two continued to learn about and have fun through the afternoon. Steve was thoroughly enjoying his company, even it was just a cat.

The two chased each other for awhile, Buster had a significant speed advantage but he could only sprint so long before having to pant, to regain the energy to run. Steve on the other kept a reasonable pace, something he'd saw on the TV in the stores. The athletes he watched we're so good at what they did, one day he wanted to be like them. Eventually he caught up to Buster, who had now caught a small mouse. The tail of the tiny creature was the only part sticking out from Buster's closed jaws. The feline continued to munch down on the small creature for the next couple of minutes, Steve sat down beside the base of a tree and waited patiently, he twiddled his thumbs in boredom waiting for Buster to finish his meal. As he watched the cat continue to eat he got hungry himself, he grabbed the thought in his head and locked it up, there wasn't going to be any food on the table till his father was back, and that's a long time considering how late he usually comes home from work. He was pulled from his moment of reflection when Buster coughed up a bone, now that was disgusting.

The sun was starting to set, Steve and Buster we're starting to wrap things up, they both walked over to the water reservoir from earlier, for some reason walking side by side with Buster felt like something he could get used too. One long walk and a thousand twigs later, they finally reached the water. Feeling exhausted Steve kneeled down to drink some water, Buster followed suit. He washed his face from the sweat and looked over at his furry little friend, Buster had been watching him from distance.

"That's not creepy at all." Steve chuckled.

He was overcome with a strange feeling, Steve dried his hand and raised it to touch Buster's forehead. Buster stared at him and then the palm of his hand, Steve watched Buster make his way past the branches and make his way towards him, Buster stopped just before Steve's hand was able to touch him. Steve began to feel really nervous, he couldn't take it and he closed his eyes, it seemed like an eternity had pasted. What's the point he said to himself, Buster was obviously going to leave him like those other friends he tried to make at school. Steve was just about ready to give up, before he even considered that thought he felt Buster's head in his palm. He opened his eyes and seen him, Steve smiled and continued to pet his cat, he laughed quite nervously.

"You and I are going to be bestfriends forever." Steve smiled and hugged Buster, the cat continued to purr. Steve looked up and the sun was just about to go down, "Alright, let's head home little buddy."

Steve and Buster side by side, walked through woods and began to head home.

3 years later...

Steve's family was in a bit of a rough spot, his father had been arrested and lost his current job of being a loss prevention officer, his mother was to blame for that arrest, since she tried to kill herself that night. Steve's oldest brother had just moved back in from being in a foster home for 2 years, his second oldest brother always spent time with his friends so he barely saw him, his sister was starting to grow up more and she was a pain in the ass. But his mother was going a tough time, about 3 months ago his aunt Veronica died of cancer. Veronica was constantly around when he was younger, she was practically a second mother to Steve, but now that's she gone and he doesn't know what to do. But today was about to give him a harder time, Steve and his parents recently received news that their beloved uncle was murdered in a gang war.

Now granted he was a crazy uncle who drank constantly, like Steve's mother. He was still a good person when he wasn't drunk or high on drugs, you could really see he cared about his family. But when Steve found out what happened, he was completely devastated, he stood still and didn't know how to react, his mother broke into tears and was inconsolable for a while. This day was just really turning into a shit day like all the other days, he always hated going to school, Steve really loved to learn everything he could and loved reading, but whenever he went to school was constantly bullied.

They called him fat and more hurtful names, sometimes they really did get to him and he would cry, but he was always happy when he got home. He got to see his father and sometimes got to see his brothers, but he was more even fulfilled with joy when he got to see his bestfriend. Buster was always super excited to see Steve, every day when he gets home he was always waiting at the door, ready to jump at the site of his bestfriend. Steve sprinted his way upstairs to talk to his friend.

"Hey little buddy." Steve pet Buster on the head, "Well things are pretty bad today, we just found uncle Sam pasted away. So it's a bit of a understatement to say I'm sad." Buster curled up beside Steve and purred.

"Thanks for being here bud, I know I have no friends but everyone at school sucks, I'd choose you anyday or any of those assholes." Steve laughed and hugged his bestfriend. Buster continued to purr and embraced it.

The moment came to a ceasing halt, his brothers we're fully dressed and getting ready to run out the door. "Hey, what's going on?" Steve was very concerned.

"Don't tell Dad or Mom okay Steve? Trust us, we'll be back soon." Before he could say another word his brother's snuck out the door.

Steve sat straight up and looked out living room window, his brothers we're running across the street with what looked like a ball. Those losers didn't even invite me to play? I'll show them.Steve put his shoe's back on and made his way toward the door.

"Steve?" His father called out, "Where are you going?" He had never lied to his father ever, so he told the truth.

"I'm going to the park to play Basketball with Neil and Stephan." Steve lightly open the door more, "Can I go?" Steve closed his eyes and hoped yes for an answer.

"Only for a little bit." Steve's father walked out from his bedroom, "Then you come right back with one of your brother's, don't do anything stupid or dangerous."

"Okay Dad, I got it." Steve turned to pet Buster, "I'll only be gone for a bit little buddy, I'll be right back I promise." Steve stuck his hand out like he did that day, Buster didn't hesitate and rested his forehead in Steve's palm.

Steve then ran out the door and jumped down the staircase, he made his way outside and kept at a joggers pace to speed his journey up. He waited at the lights and crossed the road, looking both ways of course. His father constantly edged safety first into his head. Steve approached the park and started to look for his brothers, he couldn't exactly see far. He didn't know why that was but everything seemed very blurry at a distance. Wondering through the park for a bit he found them, they we're sitting at the furthest table with a couple of hooded strangers. Huh? That's weird.

Steve kept his distance and continued to watched, he couldn't exactly hear what they we're saying but he was close enough to where he could see them arguing. Something clearly went wrong and his brothers stormed away from the table, the hooded figures walked away in the other direction.

"Some build up." Steve shrugged his shoulder's and started to make his way out of the bushes he was hiding in.

He took another, longer route. But it was too avoid being seen by his brothers, he was walking through the parking lot when a mysterious car pulled up beside him. The car stopped in front of him and the shotgun window rolled down. A mysterious masked individual started to speak.

"Get the fuck out of here kid, you don't want to be here." The masked person exited the car with 3 other mysterious masked people. They we're holding what looked like airsoft guns, but they didn't have the orange tips he was used to seeing. "What the fuck did I say? Get out of here kid."

Steve listen the stranger's demands and started to walk the other direction, he walked away for about 10 seconds before he heard loud gunshots, people screamed and he started to run. More and more gunshots followed very soon after, rather than run away like his father told him, he ran towards the danger. This was either going to be the dumbest decision of his life or the bravest, maybe he'll get the chance to prove his bravery to his father like he always wanted too. Steve heard more loud gunshots and took cover, the shooting didn't go on for much longer. Steve sat behind a concrete bench peering over looking for the shooters, suddenly he was grabbed by the shoulder, his heart sunk to his knees and he gasped. It was his father and brothers, Stephan grabbed his hand and all of them left together in a hurry. The gunshots continued, as they rounded the corner the overwhelming sound of police sirens we're approaching.

Multiple police cruisers drove by towards where the danger was, his father and brothers never looked back as they continued to run. Once they reached their home Steve's Dad spoke out. "Neil, take your brother inside. I need to have to have a serious talk with my son." His father's voice sounded very threatening.

Neil did as ordered and took Stephan inside, "Go easy on him Dad, I'll see you back home soon."

His two brothers went heeded their father's orders, Steve watched them walk inside. His father walked forward and he followed, Steve kept a decent distance. After a short walk they arrived at the nearby park on the north side. "Steve!" His father never turned his back, he continued to stare out into the horizon for the sunset.

Steve approached his father slowly, "Dad, I'm sorry."

"You disobeyed me Steve... I'm very disappointed in you, you could've been killed!" His father angered tone cut through his emotions. "The worst part is you put and yourself and brothers in danger too."

"I'm sorry Dad, I just wanted to be like you. Your so brave all the time, you never get scared." Steve's voice was breaking.

"You think I don't get scared?" His father kneeled down to look him in eyes, "I was today... I was so unbelievably scared today, I was so afraid I was going to you lose you or one of your brothers. That was incredibly stupid what you did Steve, have you forgotten everything I taught you."

Steve felt like crying, "No! Never! You have the courage to face danger all the time, I thought I could do the same." Steve fell to his knees.

"Courage isn't the absence of fear Steve." His father rested a hand on his shoulder, "Real courage is knowing that fear is always going to be there, and deciding the right thing do in that moment."

"I'm sorry I put myself and you in danger Dad." Steve looked up into his father's eyes, "The last thing I ever want is for you or someone to get hurt because of my mistakes." Steve started to cry.

"I'm sorry too my son, for yelling at you. But now you know, so please be smarter next time and remember what I said."

Steve wiped the tears away and hugged his father, his father returned the embrace. "Hey Dad? We're bestfriends right?" Steve said.

"Of course! Now and forever you and I will always be together." Steve's father looked at the sunset, "Let me tell you something my father told me. One day I won't be here, one day you'll be all grown up and you'll realize who you are. You'll have a life of your own, friends of your own, and your own responsibilities... It's a little bit scary, but it's also surprising, it's beautiful. When you make mistakes, you learn from them. When life inevitably hurts you, remember it, learn from it because the hurt is good. It means your growing, it means your changing, because that's life. Image it as everyone climbing trees, they're some people who are faster than others, they're some who get stuck and can't find the next branch, they're some people who get to the very top and watch the others climb, some get to top and grow wings, they fly. But that's where you come in, you can help those people who can't find the next branch." His father turned to face him.

"You are my greatest creation, everything about you I look up too. You are my son, and I'll never leave you. Because I'll live through you, just as my father lives through me." His father raised Steve's hand, "It's time to go home Steve, but let me show you something." His father raised his hand and took off his ring.

"This ring has been passed down many generations, it belonged to my father, and my father before him, now it belongs to me. It's my duty to carry this ring within our family, when I carry this ring I carry everyone with me who's previously held it." He took it and let Steve hold it, "One day you'll wear it too, when you've earned it."

"How long do you think that'll be?" Steve asked very excitedly.

"That's for me to decide, it could take you your entire life or you can earn this tomorrow, fancy way of saying you simply don't know. You have to learn, grow, and be a good man in order to earn it, but trust me you'll be ready soon." His father hugged him once more then stood up, "Let's start to head home, your mother must head over heels worried about us."

The two began to walk back, Steve went to tie his shoe so he stopped. His father kept walking but when Steve caught up he noticed on the wall beside him, he was in his father's shadow. The light casted a really big shadow for his father meanwhile for Steve, his was but an insignificant small figure. It was just slightly behind his father's but then he thought to himself for a moment. How am I ever going to compare to my father? How am I ever going to be my father? Over and over again he questioned himself, thinking about it. He didn't get much sleep for the rest of the night. There was only one divisible answer he came too, I guess you can only try.