This is a story that I have been terrified to share, one that cripples my heart each time my fingers even think about typing its chaos. But my black and blue heart has lessons to teach from its battle, and this is the one that my spirit screams to bring to life.
He was a fearless spirit, with audacity for a heartbeat. I held my dreams in my cheekbones and wore innocence like a wrinkled sundress.
Confident and anything but quiet, he stood in the center of a crowd of people, which seemed to be a place where he felt most comfortable. Every pair of eyes was on him, laughing and gawking at his obnoxiously charming facade. I was just feet away, leaning against a pole, making my best attempts at looking casual, while chaos, also known by some as spring break, erupted around me. Sun in my hair and freshly born freckles on my cheeks, my lips were tied into a smile, curiosity blooming in my chest.
I’d never seen anything like this, except for in the movies. Teenagers of all kinds, awkward but way too sure of themselves to compensate, the over-the-top “look at me, look at me” types, the too much skin-put on a different swim suit girls, and you can’t forget the “I think I’m way better looking than I really am”- fake tan-body builder dudes. You name it, they were around every corner. I was fascinated, examining each person that walked by, wondering what their story was, writing them into the ever growing poem of my mind. Dazed, I leaned against that same pole, warming my face with the glow of the sun, fading in and out of shade caused from the backs of peoples heads.
At this point, no longer alarmed when an overly confident boy, drink in hand, approached from behind and offered up their half mumbled name, unwelcome hand on my hip, and watered down alcoholic beverage, I would politely declined and proceed admiring my surroundings. Strange, I think they all began to see me as. The other girls, stumbling around in their cute bikinis, dancing on each other and every boy that came within a five foot radius of their half blurred judgement. I laughed to myself at the redundant chatter occurring around me. A few different boys captured my interest long enough to hold brief conversations, taking sips of the drinks given to me that I was too nervous to decline. Sun kissed skin and sparkling eyes, each one was intriguing in their own way, offering up surprisingly intellectual information about themselves; Passions, summertime memories from years ago. My throat was tingling from all the stories I was swallowing.
All the while, keeping a close eye on my tanned goddess of a best friend, in the sun long enough to begin to transform races. She was off wandering around, learning stories of her own, a bit more timid and reluctant to conversation. Lucky for her, the people surrounding us, halfway intoxicated with sunshine, halfway with alcohol, were anything but reluctant; Leading to her plethora of new friendships, blossoming, and maybe escalating a little too quickly. Boys can be very affectionate creatures. Running to her rescue every once and a while, removing hands and giving looks, I’d always return to my spot against that pole. It was like my territory that I had marked. Being in such a foreign place, it only felt right to have a place of my own.
It must have been hours of standing, mingling, watching, until I noticed him.
He was standing probably ten feet away from me, behind what seemed to be a wall of incredibly loud and ever moving people. A dozen sets of eyes for him to lock with, but somehow his met with mine. A couple double takes and a sudden shift of his body, he looked directly at me, dark tan skin, tussled brown hair, looking as if he had been on the beach for hours on end. I smiled, not with my mouth though, more with my eyes, it was one of those happy feelings that felt like it was making its way up, and hadn’t quite hit my lips yet. All I knew was that when it did, I was afraid of the aftermath it may cause. Sun getting in my eyes, I squinted to see his face, but the crowds of people began to blur together. I quickly looked down, nervously, at my terribly bitten fingernails, out of habit, as I usually do, until a shadow abruptly blocked my view. Slowly looking up, assuming another half hearted gawker was in my prescence, our eyes met again. His were smiling too, brown, but not that muddy brown where you want to compliment them on the color of their eyes but in all reality they’re just plain old brown. No. His were this sand color, like they matched with the beach underneath our toes. They pulsed with danger, piercing into mine with this certain contentment. The smirk on his lips quickly turned into a crooked smile, protruding more towards his cheek on the left side. It made me giggle.
“Woah.” Was the first word to come out of his mouth, not quite as charming as I imagined.
“Those eyes.” He followed up with, compensating for his previous statement up with. He just kept staring at me, crooked smirky smile on his face. I didn’t say anything for a little while, which is unusual for me, the nervous speed talker.
This gave me time to look at his face. His cheeks were lined with little crinkles from places that his face tensed when he smiled, clearly he smiled a lot. Freckles covered the bridge of his nose and the skin beneath his eyes. There was a scar on his forehead, that moved like a wave each time he blinked.
“Hi.” I stuck my hand out to shake his. burrowing my brow at the fact that I just shook his hand. “Am I partaking in a business deal?” I mumbled to myself.
“What?” He laughed with a puzzled look on his almost sunburned face.
“Sorry, I meant hi.” I said with cheeks that I’m sure were the color of tomatoes.
“Hi.” He imitated back, the smile on his face growing bigger. “I don’t know why, but if felt like something was pulling me towards you."
I remember feeling like he was pulling the words out of my mouth. It was creeping me out.
"Me too.” I said with a growing smile on my face.
Those few words spoken, and I already felt safe.
It was this sort of safe where I wanted to be in danger, just so I could remember that I was protected. I now realize it wasn’t the way he looked, or any certain thing he said to me, it was his soul. It was shining out of his skin and dancing on mine. I felt his chaos in each breath he took and saw his passion in each blink of his mystery coated eyes.
Conversation wasn’t this tedious chatter about weather or two people talking about people who can’t stop talking about other people. We talked about the constellations in our freckles, our mothers favorite flower, the thing we thought about most when our bruises were on our hearts instead of our knees. First loves, last loves, not-so-much-loves-after-all-loves. He told me his dreams and his plans and how alike he thought the two could be. I memorized his stutter and the uncertainty in his voice when he described who people thought he was. There was this certain kind of sadness in his laugh, that I wanted to spend my life washing away with happy.
I smiled at his fondest memories, mostly because his eyes would do this thing where they would light up each time he remembered the next part of his story. He didn’t realize he was a story. I wanted to teach him that. Every five minutes he would reiterate how important loving yourself is, his confidence was intriguing. I took notes.
Two opposite souls, absorbing, swallowing every ounce of character they could from each other. Finding similarities under the most unlikely circumstances.
They were the times my body felt most alive, the closest to being sure that my bones have ever been, and might ever be.
His spirit is far away, thunder storming its way through this world that we stood still not so long ago. Mine’s here, spinning circles around the earths poetry. Some nights, it sends electric shocks through my body and time stands still, long enough for me to know that his is doing the same. Souls like these don’t exist alone anymore. I don’t have the courage to cut our heartstrings that have been attached since the sunshine tied them together. But I know that when I do, our spirits will still whisper to each other across the power lines,