The Sugar Quill
Author: Scout  Story: Two Friends  Chapter: Default
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Two Friends

Two Friends

 

OR

 

“a series of moments that led to this”

 

 

“Hello”, she says.

 

 He frowns because she is a girl, and he doesn’t like girls. But she sits down and doesn’t go away, so he has to talk to her and then they are friends.

 

* * * *

 

They like to watch the clouds in summer, and make shapes, and she always sees faces, and he always sees sweets and makes her laugh.

 

* * * *

 

Her hair is brown and everywhere, and when she yells at him to do his homework her face goes red, and it is fascinating to watch.

 

 Another thing – her eyes narrow when she gets mad, but they sparkle when she laughs.

How can it be that he likes them both ways?

 

* * * *

 

It is very hard for him to get ink off his fingers, even though she tells him again and again how to do it, and he never listens.

 

But she tells him a lot of things and he never listens, and it infuriates her.

 

* * * *

 

One Christmas he buys her a book, because she likes books, and this one has lots of words he doesn’t quite understand, and it is just like her to laugh when he confesses this is true.

 

But she reads it so often that the cover becomes worn, and the words ingrain themselves into her heart.

 

* * * *

 

When they fight (which is often), she wishes she could stay mad, and she tries, but her face betrays her.

 

And it is awful because he knows it will, and he does it on purpose.

 

* * * *

 

As they grow up, he notices that her face is very pretty, and thinks about her even when they aren’t together.

 

They understand soon that life is frightening, because that happens, and on occasions she cries, but he is clumsy, and can never make his arms do what he wants them to do, which is take her, and hold her.

 

* * * *

 

In the winter, he throws snowballs at her back, and she marches right up to him and pushes him backwards, and he wonders at how he can feel so warm when it is so cold.

 

Sometimes he gives her his jumper to wear, and his smell lingers with hers for the rest of the evening.

 

* * * *

 

A fight.

 

She tells him he’s selfish and he tells her he’s sick of her, and its such a lie because he could never be, and surely she knows that.

 

But when she doesn’t come for many days he begins to wonder.

 

* * * *

 

Soon she finds daisies in front of her door, because they are her favourite, and because he cannot say, “I’m sorry” without saying all the rest.

 

She knows this, and smiles.

 

And they are friends again, like always.

 

* * * *

 

Sometimes she says odd things, and he tells her she is strange, and she looks down and he knows she is wondering if that’s what he really thinks.

 

And it isn’t, because actually, he thinks she is lovely, and notices how the breeze curls the hair near her neck.

 

He would like to touch her there, and wills his heart to say it, but the words get lost in his mouth and she must think he is so stupid.

 

* * * *

 

There was another boy once, who always told her she looked nice, and other things.

 

And when she tells him, he finishes for her in his head “…and I like him back”, and bites his lip in confusion before blurting out in a rush “But he doesn’t even know how many colours there are in your hair!”

 

They are both blushing, but she never mentions that boy again.

 

* * * *

 

Sometimes, as they laugh together, she looks into his face, of which she has memorised every freckle, and her chest aches as she wonders if this is all there will ever be.

 

When she looks at him like that he gulps awkwardly and tells himself that she couldn’t be longing for the same thing he is.

 

Because honestly, why would she?

 

* * * *

 

Spring again.

 

A circle of seasons, and other circles too, like the one they are always dancing in.

 

And each knows that there is no life without the other, because every time their hands brush her stomach jumps, and his ears go red, and there’s electricity all around.

 

And they know that it all means something.

 

Not something. Everything.

 

* * * *

 

It is at this time, then, when the grass is greenest and the sky is bluest, and his grin the widest, that they sit by the lake, the one that glistens with rainbows in the morning, and hold hands.

 

So small, so insignificant, and it’s a complete accident, their fingers meeting after he knocks her knee with his big, lumbering foot, and all she did was go to rub it and where did his hand come from?

 

And for a long time they forget how to breathe.

 

* * * *

 

Here is the moment of truth.

 

Because if its not now, when there si this stillness, and the whole world is soft and beautiful, then when will it ever be?

 

* * * *

 

“Did you know your eyes are the exact colour of maple syrup? The kind you put on pancakes?”

 

It comes spilling out of his mouth before he even realises what he’s saying and how ridiculous it must sound, and his sweaty hand is clutching hers so tightly, as if he is willing her to love him back as desperately as he loves her in that moment, and in every moment.

 

* * * *

 

She lets out a strange noise, somewhere between a laugh and a sob, and gasps quickly for breath, and he’s breathless too.

 

Suddenly her arms appear from nowhere, and they around his neck in fierce determination, and it’s all finally real.

 

And that stillness from before, it’s all gone, because now there are whispers and movement and sighs and limbs everywhere, and everything is tangled and good.

 

* * * *

 

The wind is speaking, they both hear it, or is it the wind?

 

I love you, I love you, I love you

 

* * * *

 

 

 

She leans back.

 

Looks at him closely.

 

He is touching her face as if he is amazed that she is really there, that they both exist in this very instant.

 

“Hello”, she says.

 

The End

 

 

 

               

//
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