I shake my head, trying to get all my nervous, jittery thoughts out of my mind. I wasn’t going to think about how Dre had called me sexy – even though I said it first – and how every time I was around him, I made a complete fool of myself. No, I couldn’t think about that. On the other hand, my wings were pretty cool, so I guess I could focus on that.
I walked over to the window and lifted it up, carefully this time, and cautiously lifted myself through the window, careful not to scrape my wings. I went in on my stomach, and got halfway stuck again, but only because my too long clown feet were stuck outside the window. My shoe came off, but then fell inside the house, making my feet trip in so that I landed right on my nose, smashing it against the floor.
“Oh, Mel, are you okay?” Dre asked, rushing over to me and holding me on the back.
I waved my hand off and slowly lifted to my feet, cupping my nose the whole time. “Oh yeah, I’m fine,” I said dismissively, and then realized that my nose was bleeding like a fountain.
“Oh wow, your nose is really bleeding,” Dre said. He reached over to get a tissue, but I waved it off again.
I waved my hand again, even though I was freaking out because my nose was seriously spurting. “I’ll just take care of it in the bathroom.” I said, like I wasn’t completely panicked, even though I really was to the max. I stumbled over to the bathroom, accidentally bumping into the door frame.
“Ouch, ow, that really hurt,” I groaned aloud.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Dre called to me.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I’ll take care of it!” I said before closing the door behind me and plopping down on the toilet seat with my head in my hands.
“I. Am. Such. An. Idiot.” I groaned aloud to myself. He completely flusters me, and I make a complete fool of myself in front of him each and every time. I get stuck in a window, I trip like an idiot and make my nose bleed, and now, I completely ran into the doorframe like a huge idiot.
“Come on, Mel, pull it together,” I growled at myself in the mirror, trying to put on a tough face. I gave myself a little slap in the cheek and plastered on a fake smile. “Alright, let’s do this.” I whispered to myself, but I sounded really stupid to even myself in the end.
I opened the door and flicked off the light behind me. There was Dre, sitting on my bed, flipping through my sketchbook. My eyes widened in alarm and I ran over to him, snatching it out of his hands.
“What the hell are you doing?!?” I shrieked. “Were you looking through my stuff?”
Dre gave me a confused look, like he didn’t know what I was talking about. “What’s the big deal? It’s just a sketchbook.”
“Yeah, but it’s not just a sketchbook,” I retorted, my cheeks flaming as I held it in my hand. “There’s stuff in here, drawings that are extremely important to me, and it would be horrible if someone…including you, Dre, saw them.”
He gave me a dubious look and then stood up in front of me, a good five inches taller, he basically towered over me. He cocked his right eyebrow as he said, “What, you got porn in there or something?”
“What? No!” I yelled, getting a little rattled. “I’m not a 17 year old boy; I think about other stuff than…sex and stuff.”
“But you do think about it,” He smirked at me, knowing that he was putting me in an even more embarrassing spotlight.
“I-I…,” I couldn’t help but stutter, my eyes glued down to the floor so I wouldn’t have to meet his gaze, “Who hasn’t? Just a least once? Besides, I don’t see the appeal in look at a magazine with a guy who’s completely naked. I mean, what’s there for me to like? ‘Oh, this guy’s shoving his dong in my face, that’s so hot’.” I said in a different voice, forgetting about how nervous I was around Dre.
“Yeah, because I’m sure that tons of 16 year old girls, like you, I might add, say that.” He said sarcastically.
I rolled my eyes, but smirked back at him, not the slightest bit nervous or flustered by now. “Yeah, tons of girls that are exactly like me, but not me, say that. Obviously.”
He just laughed at me, seeming to have forgotten about the whole sketchbook thing. “You’re weird.”
“You like weird.” I countered.
He suddenly seemed solemn as he said, “Yeah, I do.” Dre said quietly, which was followed by a sudden silence.
Because he said he liked weird, and I’m weird, and I’m not forcing things here, they’re just happening. And even though he says he likes me (he’s said he loves me, but I don’t even want to go there) he said he can’t be with me. Even though I don’t really know why and he won’t exactly tell me, I guess I just have to accept that. Even though it’s complete horseshit. Because he knows that he wants this, this whole, package that I’ve created for him. I mean, seriously.
“Anyways…” Dre said, stretching out the word, since I was sure that he could feel the effects of the awkward silence, also, “I’m stealin’ your sketchbook.” And he grabbed right out of my hand, got on top of my bed standing up, and held it high over his head as he opened it.
“Dre, no!” I growled, getting irritated and nervous as my palms started to sweat. I had drawn some things – things about me and him, or characters that represent us – that I’m not exactly proud of and I really didn’t want him to see.
I climbed on top of the bed and jumped up and down on my tippy toes, trying to get it out of his hands. But he was just too tall, and I couldn’t even reach it.
This was worse than the time that Marshall had stolen the L.A. cap that Dre had given to me on my birthday (which I totally went insane over, I mean, it was a gift from Dre. It deserved to be gone crazy over) and we were in the backyard near the pond, and I was trying to get away from him, and I’d accidentally started to trip into the pond. Instead of being a nice brother that day, Marshall had started to laugh his head off at the side of me falling into a body of water, and I’d felt so enraged that I pulled on his shirt so that he would fall down with me, sending me, him, and my beloved, new hat into the pond.
I haven’t gotten that hat because the pond is so deep. We have to wait until the summer to get it back once it dries up.
Sometimes, I just really, really, really don’t like my brother.
But anyways, I thought of that day, and before I could comprehend what I was doing, I had grasped Dre’s belt in my hand, and gave a gigantic pull. But little did I know that a transaction of motions would happen:
- I pull out Dre’s belt, causing his pants to drop.
- He reaches down to pull up his pants, natural, and drops my sketchbook.
- I’m so flustered that I try to grab the sketchbook, but wobble over and grab involuntarily onto Dre.
- The off-balance motion causes him to tumble over the edge of the bed with me clinging to him.
- The door at the top of the stairs swings open, revealing Marshall in his boxers, looking dazed, as I’m on the floor on my back, with Dre lying next to me with his pants pulled down.
You know, I think I should win the most awkward teenage girl award, that is, if there is one.
“M-Marshall?” I stuttered, feeling panicked as my heart began to race. I jumped immediately and stood in front of Dre, just an extra measure so that Marshall wouldn’t see him.
“Hi, Mom!” Marshall greeted cheerfully from the tops of the stairs.
At first, I was confused, and thought that he might be on some more drugs, but then I realized that he was probably sleepwalking again. I opened my mouth to tell him to go back to bed, that usually did the trick, but I watched in horror as he fell down the stairs, rolling across an angry Bojangles, and fell to the bottom. His eyes were closed, his mouth open just the slightest, and I realized that he had fallen asleep mid-step as he fell down the stairs.
“Oh wow,” I said, slightly impressed by the sight of him dead asleep at the bottom of the stairs. I heard shuffling behind me as Dre pulled his pants back up, making me embarrassed, my cheeks turning a bright red. I had been in the room, where Dre had been half-naked. I could have gotten a sneak peek at his…
Get your head out of the gutter, Mel! I yelled at myself, feeling a little ashamed. Just a minute ago, I had been explaining to him that I wasn’t a perv, like the average 17 year old boy, and here I was, thinking of checking out his downstairs…junk. But it wasn’t like I was going to stare full on at it, I just wanted to see how big of a bulge that it would make inside his boxers. That’s all.
“Is that a side effect from the drugs he took, or does he normally do that?” Dre said, suddenly right next to me, behind my shoulder.
“A little of both,” I admitted truthfully. I nudged him with my foot softly. “Wake up Marshall.”
He groaned a little, and just rolled over to his other side. I gave him a full on kick in the ribs, and he slowly started to wake up.
“What?” He grumbled, only half-awake. “What’s goin’ on?”
“You fell asleep Marshall,” I said. “Go back to bed.”
“Oh.” Was all he said before standing up. “Later.” He added groggily, then padded slowly up the stairs. Right after he closed it behind him, I heard him collapse again. Well, I guess he would be fine right there in front of the basement door. I turned around just in time to see Dre hurriedly flipping through my sketchbook again, and I let out a frustrated sigh.
“Dude, what is your obsession with my sketchbook?!?” I screeched, rushing over to him fast enough that I could rip it out of his hands. As I snatched it out of his hands and held it over my hand – a weak, feeble attempt since he was way taller than me – something solid (definitely not paper) fell out and hit me square in the eye.
“Ow, son of a…” I cried, holding my eye in pain. I was even more shocked to see that there was blood on my hand. Through my other eye, I could see Dre staring at me, his eyes wide with alarm.
“Mel, are you alright?” I asked, walking over and putting a hand on my shoulder.
“No, I’m not alright!” I shouted, like the answer was obvious. “My eye is bleeding!” I yelled, really starting to freak out. I sprinted into the bathroom and turned on the faucet. It hurt just to open my eye, and I realized whatever it was had cut the whites of my eyes. Oh god, I’m really screwed now. I said to myself in my head, looking at my damaged eye. I braced myself before bending under the water and holding it over, let it wash out all the blood.
Dre walked into the bathroom beside me, looking worried and a little guilty the whole time. He knew that I knew that if he hadn’t been messing with my sketchbook and just gave up on it, my eye wouldn’t be cut and damaged now.
“Alright, I think I’ll be okay,” I announced as I turned off the water and slowly tilted my head back upwards.
“You sure?” Dre asked, still giving me that guilty puppy dog look.
I nodded, and then pushed past him (gently, might I add) and went to inspect whatever had cut me in the eye. That inanimate object was gonna pay. I walked over to where my fallen sketchbook lay; the torn out pages scattered all over the floor. I gathered them all together, grimacing at the one where I had fallen asleep in the living room with it open and Marshall had drawn penises on it, and put them back in a neat stack. Picking up the actual book itself, the small object that cut me clang against the ground.
“I don’t believe it,” I whispered, my eyes wide and my jaw slack as the stack of papers I had just gathered slowly slipped out of my hands again.
“What?” Dre said, finally coming out of the bathroom. He stopped, right next to me, as he looked at the object lying on the floor. “Why does that look familiar?”
I picked it up off the floor daintily, holding it between the tips of my fingers. It was the ring I had been wearing – along with that crazy ass dress that was like, half dark and half light, in Dre’s mind – the same antique looking ring: gold band with a gold frill along the large, slate blue oval stone. But how did it transfer from a place that wasn’t even physical…to a place that was?
“I was wearing it. In your mind,” I mumbled, closely examining it as I held it up to the light. “How in the hell did it end up here?”
“Let me see it,” Dre said quietly. I handed it to him, and he examined it, lying on his palm as his hand cupped upwards. “Some objects…they gain enough power – light or dark – and can manifest into a physical form outside the Twilight Realm. This is an example of that.” He explained.
“So…if it can maintain the right amount of energy, it becomes real,” I stated, absorbing in the energy. “Something about that tells me that the process is a rare occasion.”
He nodded, absentmindedly, as he slipped it on my finger, giving me a silent smile. “It is. In order to do so, you need a lot of energy. So, the things that do manifest are pretty important.”
“Mmhmm,” I said, a little distractedly, as Dre’s hands ran over mine again and again as he slipped the ring on and off repeatedly. One last time, he put it on permanently and then lifted my hand, as if he was going to kiss it.
I glanced my eyes over to his, and he froze, my hand mid-air, as his eyes locked with mine. He stared at me, really stared at me, silent the whole time. Something in his eyes flickered, as he realized that I was conscious of what he was doing to my hand, and suddenly dropped it, letting it drop down to my side. He cleared his throat and turned away, making an awkward silence for the both of us. How ironic…he didn’t even want to touch me anymore. Times really do change.
I suddenly didn’t feel like Dre, and his stupid awkwardness around me. One minute, things were back to normal, the next, he was cold to me, and then he was all lovey-dovey with me again. This dude was really sending me mixed signs, and I was really getting confused. But, then again, Dre knew just about everything of the Twilight Elements, so I just needed for him to tell me about it and then we could figure out our friendship later. I guess.
“Sit,” I ordered, bringing the both of us out of the whole awkward silence coma. When he gave me a confused look, I put my hand on my shoulder and pushed him down so that he was sitting on the edge of my bed. I sat down next to him, ignoring my flustered and nervous thoughts so I could focus on business.
“You ready to talk about the Twilight Elements?” I asked, and expected him to get mad and leave, but he didn’t.
“Yeah, sure.” He said. It wasn’t one of the most exciting responses, but at least he was still going along with his word. Which he never breaks, he’s just been procrastinating a little lately.
He laid down on the bed next to me, and when I didn’t move, (because the thought of lying next to Dre put me in a temporary paralyzed state) he pulled me down like I had done to him so that I was lying down next to him.
Dre didn’t say anything – hell, he wasn’t even really paying attention to me at all; just roaming his eyes around my room – before he pulled me into his arms (aw damn, I’m starting to get all sappy and romantic; gross) and I was stiff as a board as he tried to get me to lie my head into the crook of his arm and neck.
“Relax, Mel,” He said, pushing my stiff shoulder down. I felt like I was being silly. After all, he was my best friend, and I decided that it would be okay to loosen up. Just a little. I lay down next to him and then turned towards him, full body while we just lay there on my bed.
“Remember when I visited you at the hospital and I laid there with you?” He suddenly asked quietly, kicking me out of my spaced outness. Well, that’s not really a word, but you get what I’m trying to say.
“Of course I do,” I said with tones of ‘duh’ in my voice. “That happened like…three weeks ago.”
“Oh yeah,” He said lamely. “Right.” We didn’t say anything to each other for a while, he just moved his arm over me and faced me, our noses just about five inches away from each other.
“I missed you.” I said quietly. I wasn’t one for feelings, really. I mean, if I had never met Dre, I would have probably never told anyone I loved them besides my mom when she forced me to. I’m definitely not an emotions type of person, and I kinda hate the fact that Dre brings that side of me out. It’s…unsettling, really. But I just couldn’t help admitting that little fact then, it just felt kinda right.
“I missed you a lot too,” He replied, shrugging like it wasn’t a biggie. But it was. We both knew it; we were just extremely stubborn.
I stopped my gaze from wandering and look back to him, and noticed that he had been staring at me the whole time; instead of just staring off into space like me, which I had thought he’d been doing.
“I don’t want you to kiss me anymore,” I whispered, feeling naïve and childish for even bring it up. Just thinking of the word ‘kiss’ makes me feel weird, like I’m some prissy girl who thinks about rainbows and sunshine and boys all the time. Because I don’t. I’m not that self-centered and idiotic. At least, I don’t think I am. I could be wrong.
I don’t really know myself.
Is that bad?
He didn’t even react; he just asked me calmly, “Why?”
“Because I don’t want to have feelings for you anymore,” I admit, although I think I already know that I’m permanently hooked on him. Like he’s a drug. “You…no, we just end up pushing each other way.”
He gave me a shrug in his eyes, not his shoulders. “So? What’s wrong with that?”
I struggled for words. What did he mean what’s wrong with that? That’s not normal; it’s weird. It’s not…good. For any of us.
“I-it’s dysfunctional!” I cry after stuttering. “It’s weird. It’s not—,”
“But we are weird,” He counters me. “So what’s the big deal?”
I sighed, getting a little frustrated. “Because. I like playing with people; not the other way around. And I hate having strong feelings for someone; you know that! And feelings always complicate things…they ruin them. I don’t want to like you anymore, but I do. And I can’t stop it. That’s what scares me; that I can’t even control my own feelings.” I rant on, not even realizing just how much I’m talking. Just blubbering on like a whale.
“We’ll figure it out one day,” He interrupts again, closing his eyes, looking so peaceful. “I know we will. So we just forget about the present, for now. And come back to the past later…in the future.” He says hopefully, like he really believes in what he’s saying.
I turn over, the seriousness of the situation gone (in my eyes) and smirk at him. “You know, you sound like a really wise philosopher.” I say.
He turns onto his elbow to face me. His posture tells me that the seriousness is gone for him too, and that it’s just two best friends talking to each other. Under the circumstances that both of them are hybrids of supernatural races, two different elements, two different races, and two different genders. But yet, somehow, we find similarities. And really, there are many of them. How could I have been so stupid to end up liking him? This guy that seems like a good guy, but used to literally steal people’s souls. Sometimes, the thought of it just makes me sick, as I think of all the good people’s eternities that were taken away. Just so he wouldn’t be in pain. But he’s changed now, and he’s going to kill his father…and make everything better. Even when I say it in my head, it all sounds forced, like I’m lying through my teeth just so I’ll feel better for the future.
Damn, I’m a horrible liar even when I’m lying to myself.
“I try,” He replies softly. “I try.”
He looked over to me, and surprisingly, I can’t read his face like I had been able to for the past couple of moments. All I know is that he suddenly just leaned into me, and my arms were open, like I was welcoming him. And then just suddenly, we were kissing – man that word just seriously creeps me out – and I didn’t really care about what I had said just a few moments earlier. Because yes, everything I said about us was true, but maybe the future that Dre half-expected for us was true, also. So, I guess I could accept that prospect.
His hands were under my shirt, on the small of my back, while I ran my fingers through his wavy hair. I had waited long enough to do that, and now, I finally was. We gripped onto each other for dear life, like we knew that this was one of the few things that we could share together that wouldn’t be completely tainted by the darkness we accidentally shared together.
It was urgent and fast-paced, but that’s how I liked it. At least, when I was with Dre. The fact that I had to specify with who made me think of just how hoeish I was, but I didn’t let the thought spread throughout my entire mind. I just let it slide, and focused on him.
I was out of breath when we both stopped for air, and our eyes locked as we realized the gravity of what we were doing. We were engaging what people did when they had an exceptional amount of love for another person, or, in a more modern description, when two people were drunk and decided to be idiots. But that’s not how it was for us.
Before I knew it, Dre had turned around so that his head was on my pillows, and I was on my knees, basically straddling him. I took off my light shirt jacket type thing over my shirt and bent back down to get business. Kissing business, that was.
We rolled around the bed a little more, it became more urgent, and I thought for just a minute – actually, perhaps just a second – that things would go further, but I didn’t even want to go there. We needed to focus on the present, like Dre had said, and that’s what I wanted to do.
I fell asleep on the bed, with Dre lying right next to me peacefully. I wasn’t in his arms anymore by the time we went to sleep…we were friends again. After all, Dre had established the obvious: we’re best friends. But we have feelings for each other. Those feelings will never grow. Because, just like I said, we’re friends. And I will always pine after Dre…and he will never accept me.
The sudden though of forever pining after him makes tears flood my eyes and I cover my mouth with my arm from crying loudly. I knew what I was doing…I knew what I was getting myself into; we had a whole deep conversation about it right beforehand. I had nothing to cry for.
And even though I love Dre and I can never be with him, that love will never fade. And I will continuously hate myself for that.