As much as I regretted moving here, it was much better than home. I'd left everything behind and this was a new start for me-for us. The summer heat clung to my skin like a vice, but the trees provided the necessary shade that allowed me to move forward.
I'd ventured into the woods behind my aunts house several times now since I got here. During the day, I would walk aimlessly over the soft ground, over roots and rocks and quiet streams to enjoy the complete and utter solitude of being alone with only nature as my company.
I looked up through the canopy of trees and noticed the puffy, white clouds that glided across the sky gracefully. I wondered what it would be like to join them. To see where they had travelled. I'd remembered to bring water this time. I'd last much longer perched on the rock I usually sat on to read if I had refreshments in this heat.
I didn't know many people here in Vancouver but Emily Adams. She was fifteen, like me, and promised to make me feel welcome and comfortable once school was in session, too. I was grateful that I would at least know one person before I entered the world of the unknown.
The high school I had come from was much, much smaller than Kistalino, probably only five-hundred students; I'd have to learn to adjust quickly if I planned on surviving.
I stopped beside a tree to pull out the water bottle I had packed in the small carry-on, and took a long swig. My rock wasn't much further as I realized the small flower patch to my left I passed on my way to get there everyday.
It clearly wasn't fate, but an accident. I'd stumbled upon it my first visit: several medium sized rocks near a small stream that had made a great convenience for me to sit on. I'd pretty much gotten myself lost but was lucky to have my cell phone on me. My aunt Joslin had called and I described where I was. She found me within an hour, knowing the woods better than anyone I presumed.
I'd taken my younger brother Jamie with me once, but he quickly became bored of hiking and wanted to go get ice cream. I dreaded walking in to town with him-the sucker I was. So many unfamiliar faces packed along the sidewalks and parks. I'd only ever lost Jamie once here; I'd found him sitting on a park bench with a mother and her son reading.
Emily wanted to take me to the beach to meet some of her friends. I had politely declined, but Joslin forced me to go. We were going to the beach again tomorrow with someone I hadn't met yet. His name was Jem.
I pushed my hair back behind my ears and padded forward. I was wearing my favourite white shirt that slopped at the neck line kindly and thigh high cargo shorts. Despite the muggy heat, it was a beautiful day out. The bugs weren't irritating and the air wasn't thick with condensation-nor was it dry. I wished most days could be like this. I could stay out here forever if it were possible. Maybe that's why I enjoyed it so much. Being alone. The silence. Everything that was out of place was already in place. I loved the naturalistic sounds that came with being outdoors. There were no people, there were no rules. . . it was just me.
The rock greeted me like it always did with it's deformed spherical shape. It was almost flat on the top, perfect for sitting, and grooved together with the others for proportion. It wasn't too much of a hassle to climb on-a near by branch usually assisted me. It's surface was warm and rather spacious. Enough space so that I could extend my legs out and they would just hang over, or cross them lazily and still have room.
Once I was settled, I pulled out the novel I was currently reading and set the bag beside me. The light leaked through, brushing my slightly pale legs and arms. I kicked off my flip flops and flipped open to the current page I was on.
Before I knew it, I had become lost within the pages and my water bottle soon became empty. I had entered the woods at about four in the afternoon and knew I had to have at least been sitting here for three hours reading. It was amazing at how easily I could become transfixed on words and be lost for hours. I could do it with almost anything that captured my mind.
The heat had dulled a tremendous amount and the sun had lightened against the woods. I figured I should get back before Joslin returned from the amusement park with Jamie and noticed I had been gone so long.
I slid off my rock and began to pack my things neatly into my bag. As I reached down for my shoes, I heard the sound of sweet serenity beginning to emanate from within the depths of the woods.
Confused yet astounded, I straitened up slowly, straining to hear the notes that came together beautifully more clearly. From what I could make out, it sounded like a violin was being played in the near distance. I wasn't sure if I should be afraid or grateful for the appreciable music that flowed through the trees.
I left my things near the rock and began walking towards the sound. It was harmonious, indeed. I'd never heard anything so breathtaking and enchanting in my life before. The closer I became, the closer I wanted to be.
I found my legs heading slowly but hastily towards the sound. It wasn't a fast pace harmony, it was unhurried and smooth. As if it were telling a story. A grieved one.
The more I walked, the more the sun was setting and the more apprehensive the music seemed. There was a thicker cluster of trees and shrubs that appeared; their loose branches brushing against my now outstretched arms as I carefully navigated my way through.
As the cluster began to thin, and the music became much louder now, I went down into a crouch and eventually to my knees. The pine needles tickled my legs and palms as I moderately shuffled through, trying not to make a sound.
I stopped, as I was now able to see through a small opening, and noticed that there was a meadow ahead. I'd never been this far into the woods before so of course I wouldn't have found this. It was rather large and circular, with lushes flowers and trees surrounding its border all the way around. That wasn't what caught my attention though.
In the middle of the meadow was a figure. The remaining light of day left an ominous glow that spilled over and around him like an aura. I couldn't pull my eyes off of the boy. He was tall, at least 6'2". I couldn't see his face though because his back was to me. His clothing was dark and clung to his skin, protruding a slender yet muscular build. His hair was black, but the light turned certain sections a bluish colour. Nothing I'd really ever seen before.
The boy was holding his arms up, and upon further inspection, were moving to the beat and tone of the music that still enticingly exhaled in the space of the meadow and woods. So he was the one playing. His movements were suave and elegant; as if he'd been playing for years.
I sat back on my knees and placed my hands on my thighs. I figured because he hadn't stopped playing, he didn't know I was here. I'd listen to him finish, wait till he left, and retreat back to Joslin's house.
If only I knew his name. . .or could see his face. I wanted to match some facial features to his body. Surely they would be just a s beautiful as the rest.
I bit down on my lip, blushing slightly. This felt extremely silly. . .it felt like I was almost stalking him. For all I knew, he was a cereal killer in hopes of luring oblivious, unpretentious girls with his wondrous gift of music.
So I watched in the shadows, letting silence and stillness grip my limbs. I leaned forward on all fours, quietly observing his posture, the way he hit the notes perfectly. Before I knew it, the boy had dropped his arms and began putting everything back into it's case.
"I know you're there," he said, "I can smell you."
I froze, utterly stunned. The boy hadn't once turned around to acknowledge me. He surely couldn't have heard my careful movements over his own music-it just wasn't possible. You can't literally smell a person either, can you?
I watched carefully as his long fingers gingerly-and abnormally swiftly-placed his violin into it's proper position. When he finally turned around, his eyes like the moon improvidently shifted to my general direction.
My face began to burn and I cringed back into the trees. I couldn't quite see what he looked like, but even from this distance I could tell his face was oval-with a strong jawline and beautifully proportioned features. His full, red lips were slightly curved downwards, as if he were frowning or bored.
"Are you going to stay hidden in the bushes all day, or am I going to have to come and get you?" his voice was like the rest of him: smooth and bewitching.
As my stomach rioted with unnecessary butterflies, I scowled. Who did this guy think he was exactly? Though my thoughts were much bolder than my outer façade, I knew I could never yell at him despite the fact that he was beautiful. It was just my character.
He continued with his cynical questions.
"Are you scared?" I watched as a black eyebrow rose in mock curiosity. He slung his case over his shoulder and stuffed his hands casually into the pockets of his black pants. His shirt was a button up and, also, was black, I noted.
Stop looking at him! I hissed. He probably isn't even real. . . you've been out in the fresh air practically all day. It only makes sense-
"I see." he turned and began walking in the opposite direction of me, "have a nice night, scaredy-cat."
My body suddenly shot upwards and I stepped into the clearing, "Wait!"
The enchanting boy paused and turned slightly. Our eyes locked together, "Hm?"
My heart began to beat erratically all of the sudden, "I-I-that was really good-what you just played, I mean." I blurted.
The boy smirked, "Really good?"
I nodded hesitantly, cursing myself when I felt another scalding blush creep onto my face.
He rolled his eyes and started in the direction away from me again, "I know."
I realized I had probably just offended him. I walked after him.
What was wrong with me?
"I'm sorry. . ." I called, my voice uneven, "I didn't mean to. . . insult you. . . if that's what I did."
The boy stopped again and turned fully to face me. A rich, heart-wrenching chuckle emerged from the back of his throat, "You didn't insult me. Do you usually eavesdrop on other peoples' business?"
I blinked, "N-no!"
"You're a terrible liar." A smug grin spread across his lips.
I quickly diverted my eyes to his and grimaced. Sure, everyone lies. . .but I didn't eavesdrop if it wasn't my business. . . I wasn't a compulsive deluder, either.
"I'm not lying. . .do you usually find joy in accusing people?" I retorted, shocked at my abrupt and snappy comment.
His face suddenly went expressionless, but was quickly replaced with a another smirk, "Usually."
I crossed my arms loosely over my chest looking away, "Still," I said, "you shouldn't have stopped playing."
The boy smirked again, "Perhaps."
I rubbed my arms as a gust of wind blew past, lifting my clothing and hair slightly. I shivered, looking down.
"Perhaps it's time for you to go home." he suggested monotonously.
I looked up at the now darkening sky, "Yeah."
"Next time, bring a coat." he chastised, turning once more to leave.
There would be a next time?
Suddenly afraid, I bolted forwards after him, "Don't go. . . ! Please?"
I heard him sigh. He didn't turn this time though, "What is it now?"
I stopped, holding my arms more tightly against my body for warmth. I didn't ever stay outside this late. I wasn't use to the chill. "I, um, I don't remember the way back. . ."
I wasn't going to walk home alone in the dark but at the same time I wasn't about to admit my timidness, either. Whether he be a complete and total stranger or not, I had an odd trust towards him. Besides, I hadn't even brought my phone this time. Stupid, stupid, stupid. . .
"You're a slow human, aren't you?" his tone was mocking as he walked past me and in the direction of my aunts house.
I just turned and watched him blankly. I wasn't really sure why he had just referred to me as a human, or why he had just called me slow, but I had a strong dislike for this guy and yet, I was instantaneously attracted to him. I came to the conclusion that I was crazy.
"Are you going to follow, or not?" he seemed slightly irked.
I stumbled after him, almost having to jog just to keep up with his long, easy strides.
Walking in the woods was much darker than the meadow. Every sound had me on edge as I pressed as closely to the boy as possible-without actually touching him-for security.
"You really are a scaredy-cat, aren't you?" he chuckled quietly.
My face flushed again, "I am not!"
He ignored my defence and spoke smugly, "Would you like to hold my hand?"
"Are you sure?"
"Yes." I pursed my lips trying to hide the fact that I actually wanted to. I internally slapped myself.
"That's interesting." he noted quietly after several moments of silence. Well, except for whatever was lurking about at night.
I looked up at the side of his perfectly angular face, "What's interesting?"
He glanced down at me briefly and I quickly looked away, embarrassed. "You're the first girl to reject me."
"Reject you?" I echoed stupidly.
"You don't want to hold my hand?"
My eyes widened in shock. I just couldn't keep up with this guy, "I-um-well, I-"
He chuckled again but this time it was pure amusement. A real laugh. "I sort of enjoy teasing you." he admitted, "It isn't with difficulty, frustrating you."
My face, once again, burned furiously. I huffed feeling the need to explode. Here I was with a beautiful boy-whom I had probably conjured up in my mind and was actually talking to myself alone-to which I was continuously walking into his petty traps.
The boy didn't come up with an over exaggerated self-opinionated response like I thought he would, in stead, we both walked together-me slightly behind his tall form-in silence. It was rather nice, I must admit. Even when I would look up at him occasionally to steal a glance at his god-like features. That was still rather nice, too.
I was still convinced this was my minds way of saying "you're walking by yourself in the woods in the dark, you know. . . but here's someone to "protect" you if the boogie man attacks you". In case my over-active imagination decide to flop, I suppose this would suffice. I was pretty impressed with myself though. Art wasn't my best subject, but apparently it was very good at creating testosterone.
I felt like laughing at myself.
I wanted to speak to him, but was too humiliated to work up the courage to say anything. I wasn't even sure why or how I was allowing myself to be next to him. I didn't know him. This wasn't right. He was a stranger. But did that really even matter to me?
No, it didn't.
And suddenly, my foot caught onto a loose branch, wrenching me from my thoughts and causing me to come crashing to the ground. I gasped in surprise when a cold hand grabbed at my arm and reefed me back upright-slightly into his side.
"Watch it," he hissed, letting go of my arm.
"S-sorry," I pushed away from him, fighting to gain my composure-and dignity-as I looked at the ground again.
I'd caught a glimpse of his hard expression softening before I'd looked away, "Just be more careful. . ."
I nodded, hurrying ahead of him. I was too traumatized to look at him now. The boy was practically ahead of me again in mere seconds.
I wasn't really sure why I kept calling him "the boy". I mean, I didn't know his name or anything, but he didn't really resemble the true mannerisms of a boy. Perhaps not a man, either, but closer to one than anything else. He was probably older than me by a year or perhaps even the same age as me, though I highly doubted it.
"Are you in a hurry?" his rich, masculine voice broke the silence and caused me to shiver slightly. He was so close that our arms brushed together.
I shook my head, gluing my eyes ahead of me so I wouldn't run into anything.
He chuckled, "Are you going to speak to me?"
I looked up at him, "I am speaking to you. . ."
"If this is how you normally communicate with others, then yes, I suppose you are." I could hear the amusement behind his voice. I wished he wouldn't stop speaking.
Ignoring his slight sarcasm, I quickly changed the subject, "Do you come out here often, then?"
"When I feel like it," he confessed, "which isn't often."
I felt my stomach strangely sink in disappointment. What was I hoping for? To see him again? That was absurd. . . it didn't make me feel any better though.
I could see the lights from the house and my chest squeezed together in panic. We hadn't walked for that long, had we?
"I wish I could play like you," I found myself saying, "I've never heard anything like it." my voice seemed to die out as I finished my sentence.
He smirked again and I had to look up at him after several seconds to see if he had even heard me. The moonlight poured down through open cracks of branches and onto his fair complexion. I swallowed, not being able to find a single blemish on his perfect face. He was like an angel.
"Well, here we are," he said as we came to the edge of the woods.
The boy stopped walking as I continued just as I had left the trees. I paused, unsure, "Aren't you coming?"
His hands were still in his pockets, his violin case strapped to his back, "This is as far as I go."
I looked over my shoulder at the house and then back at him, "Well. . . thank you."
His silver eyes gleamed in the dark beautifully. I had to remind myself not to stare as another breeze rolled through, his hair shifting gracefully. "Wh-whats you're name?"
I watched his lips turn up into a crocked grin, "Wind."
I started walking up to the house, confused. I wasn't really sure if I had heard him right, "That's an odd name, don't you thi-?"
As I turned, I blinked several times as my eyes adjusted. The boy was gone.
And then it hit me that I was alone. I turned on my heel and bolted to the front door, bounding up the steps. The door was unlocked so I twisted the handle easily, swinging it open and then slamming it behind me. I flipped the lock and pressed my back against the glass, trying to catch my breath.
I wanted to see him again . . . and I would.
If you didn't notice, the song being played is the one "the boy" is playing when Winnie hears it. :) Don't forget to vote and comment for more!
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