A/N: Okay, so I wrote this when I was 13 or so, and it was my first short story *don't judge me* It's the next on my endless-list of 'things to fix', so any mistakes/errors/things that could be better phrased, feel free to point out ^_^ Go raibh maith agat for reading, daoine :)
He kissed me.
Granted, I’m only eight years old, but still- he kissed me! And I pushed him away. I told him we could be friends, but nothing more. He was upset about that; we’ve been friends since we were two.
He asked why he couldn’t kiss me, and I told him it was because I didn’t like him like that- one of the biggest lies I’ve ever told. I like him; I always have, always will. He is my best friend and we do everything together.
I’m scared, worried and out of my mind with fear. I overheard mother talking to her friend, Elaine, about their other friend in the kitchen earlier today. They were talking about her in a mean way, a way I’ve been told to never talk about anyone yet, there she was; the person who told me to never talk that way about someone, talking that way about someone. A friend; and a close one by the sounds of it, but that didn’t stop them.
She’s a disgrace, mother said to Elaine. One kiss and then she’s pregnant.
That was all I heard before I ran into my room and started crying.
I can’t have a baby! I’m eight, a baby myself. I can’t be a mother; I don’t get on well with babies and get annoyed when they keep crying all night. I dread the nights when my baby cousin comes over to stay; I usually try to go for a sleepover to my friend’s house whenever that happens, but I’m usually not allowed. Instead, I sneak out to the tree house we built in the field behind my back garden a few years ago. He comes with me and we spend most of the night talking, before going to sleep in the blankets we leave out there for occasions like those.
But I can’t have a baby myself!
I spend the rest of the night crying my eyes out and trying to think of ways to hide it, so mother won’t find out.
The next day, I ask mother if I can go shopping, and she takes me. I see him in his garden, watering the tree we planted a few years ago, but I don’t look at him. He would see something is wrong with me and I can never keep things from him very well.
I buy baggy trousers, hoodies and t-shirts that are much too big. Mother looks at me funnily, but she lets me buy the clothes without comment. I throw away all my other clothes and fill my wardrobe with the new ones, wearing the hoodies every day- to school, around the house, outside and everywhere else.
I don’t know how long I can hide the baby for, but I’m going to try my hardest to.
Seeing him at school every day is hard. We don’t talk, we don’t sit beside each other, nor do we do anything together. I hate it. I miss him so much it hurts, but it’s my fault that we don’t speak anymore.
After he kissed me, I stayed away from him. I didn’t know about the birds and the bees then and didn’t want him to find out I was having a baby. I was scared he’d tell someone and that I’d be in trouble. If mother was talking that way about one of her closest friends, what would she be like to me? I stayed away from everyone in school, not talking much in case I let it slip.
He knew something was up, but I didn’t tell him. It killed me to stay away from him, but I couldn’t risk it. Mother eventually asked me what was wrong and I broke down in tears and told her. I learnt a bit about the birds and the bees earlier than most people, but I was so happy I wasn’t having a baby that I didn’t care.
I went back to my old self, talking and laughing in school again, but he wouldn’t talk to me. We had a fight, him saying I could tell him everything, and I saying that nothing was wrong; we haven’t spoken since.
That was ten years ago.
We still live beside each other now and it is torture to see him every day, but not being able to speak to him. I’ve had a few boyfriends, but none of them were too serious. He’s had some girlfriends, though he broke up with the latest last week. I shouldn’t be as happy as I am with that piece of news, but I can’t help it. I know I have no chance with him since we haven’t even spoken since the fight, but I love to think I have.
I still hate babies crying and go to the tree house when my newest cousin comes to stay for the night. I do wish he would follow me there, though I gave up that hope a few years ago. That doesn’t stop me from glancing at his bedroom window whenever I pass it though.
His bedroom window is across from mine. We used to spend hours at them, talking until the sun rose. We had walkie-talkies that never left our reach as we were too young for phones.
I love him; that’s common knowledge to me and I don’t know how I didn’t know that all those years ago. Sure, I was scared that I was having a baby, but I was eight years old! You can’t blame me for that, especially after what mother said about her friend, but I shouldn’t have stopped talking to him.
I should have told him and we could’ve worked it out together; then I wouldn’t have to watch him kissing another girl and holding her hand. That should be me and it could’ve been if I wasn’t so stupid.
I don’t have any interest in any other guys and usually end up breaking up with them after a few weeks. I’ve given up trying to find someone else to take his place for now; it’s not going to happen. That place will always be for him and no one else.
I’m only eighteen and will probably find someone else I love; I have years ahead of me for that and what I should be worrying about now is college. School ended last week and I’ve been sorting through all the letters I’ve received from the colleges I’ve applied to, but my heart isn’t in it.
We were meant to go to college together- we had it all sorted out. He would take a year off until I finished school and we’d go together, but then he got held back a year when he was eleven, and we’ve been in the same year since.
Now, none of that’s going to happen since I don’t know what college he’s going to. I should know; we should both be going together, but I don’t.
And I hate not knowing.
I’m leaving for college tomorrow morning. My bags are packed and in the car, but I need to go to the tree house one more time before leaving. If I can’t say goodbye to him in person, I’ll say goodbye to him in the place that’s ours.
The walkie-talkie is in my hand as I climb up the ladder. I debated as to whether or not I should bring it with me to college, but decided against it. I need to move on with my life, and bringing things that will remind me of him will only hold me back.
I haven’t been up here in a few months now, but nothing has changed at all. The blankets are still by the rickety table, two chairs surrounding it. The material is still covering the open gap we called a window; the chest by the back wall still has all our books, papers and pens in it which we used for drawing.
I couldn’t get rid of anything that reminded me of him, no matter how hard I tried. I needed some connection with him and, since I couldn’t have him, this would have to do. I probably sound like a stalker or something, but I just don’t care.
I sit down on the rickety chair and place the walkie-talkie on the table. I don’t know where I’m going to put it- in the chest? Under the blankets?
Getting up from the chair, I kneel by the chest, opening it up and looking at the pictures I drew when I was a child. Mine are piled in the right corner; his are in the left, with the writing materials in the centre, like a barrier between us, separating the two piles. Looking through the pictures, my eyes fill with tears, some even spilling down my cheeks as memories of happier times come back to me, before I messed everything up.
There are pictures of things we did, things we saw; things we wanted to happen and everything else in between. The page is wet with some of my tears, the now dull colours spreading and merging into each other. I don’t wipe the tears away; this is my grieving time.
A static noise reflects somewhere in the back of my mind, but I don’t hear what comes after it. My hands trembling, I put the pictures back in the chest, wanting to move the crayons out of the way; let there be no barrier between the piles, but I don’t. Instead, I pick up the walkie-talkie and, taking a deep breath, place it on top of the sheets.
Turn around, it tells me, causing me to freeze.
I look at it, my brain trying to remember the last time it spoke to me. The walkie-talkie only takes in the noise it hears from one other- his walkie-talkie.
My heart pounding loudly in my chest, I slowly turn towards the door of the tree house. I see him; he’s standing there, in front of the open space that we used as a door, the walkie-talkie in his hand. He just stands there, his blue eyes bright as he looks at me.
Slowly rising to my feet, the lid shuts noisily behind me, but I don’t take my gaze from his. I don’t know what to do; I didn’t expect to see him here. Should I leave now? Do I say goodbye; give him a hug; tell him I’m sorry?
With his gaze never leaving mine, he walks across the dusty, wooden floors, stopping when he arrives in front of me, but he does nothing. I’m shorter than him by a few inches, so I have to tilt my head back to see him; I do so, and we stare at each other.
Goosebumps cover my skin when his hand comes forward and takes mine; he looks almost hesitant as he does so, but just that one touch and my heart will exhaust itself within a few seconds. I don’t care about that though; he owns my heart 100%, even if he doesn’t know that.
Slowly, he trails his hand up my arm, the skin tingling in its wake, and cups my jaw, stroking my cheek with this thumb. My eyes flutter closed at his touch, my breathing quickly increasing and colour darkening my cheeks.
Open your eyes, he tells me, his voice but a whisper.
Hesitantly, I do so, wondering if this is real. His face is so close to mine as his blue eyes look into mine, like he thinks mine will tell him the secrets of the world if he looks long enough. Our noses brush, like an Eskimo’s kiss, as his lips graze my cheek.
Many emotions flicker through his eyes, ranging from shock and anger; from relief to something else… but I don’t say it, for it would only be jinxed.
I know what I can see, as it’s the feeling I’ve felt for years. I want to say the words; the three little words that are common knowledge to me by now; the eight letters that have been buzzing around in my head, like bees I can’t get rid of. It would be so easy to say them; to let the words slip out and tell him the truth, but before I can do so, his lips touch mine and I forget everything I’ve ever wanted to say.
He pulls me close, both is his hands gripping my waist tightly, but never enough to hurt. My hands trail up his chest, around his shoulders, where they join together, not letting go, for I don’t want this moment to ever end.
My lips are tingling from his, but I don’t stop; nor does he. The fierce kisses turn to light brushes against my lips, then my cheek, before ceasing completely. He pulls back, staring into my eyes, but doesn’t let me go; I don’t let him go.
The thing I saw in his eyes, before the kiss, is still there. I know what it is now; I’m sure of it. I love you, I tell him, never straying from his gaze. I say it softly; loud enough for him to hear, but quiet enough for him to not, if he doesn’t feel the same way.
He strokes my cheek. I love you, too, he tells me, before our lips join again.
The words I’ve wanted to hear, for so many years, have finally been said. The feeling I feel couldn’t be described; it’s like I am floating in the air, bypassing cloud nine, as it’s not good enough for me.
I have a cloud of my own, only for him and me, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever felt.
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