Always There

Follow the main characters as they go on their own paths through life while struggling with their own inner battles.
Alisha Reynolds: A spunky keep-to-herself kind of gal. She likes having someone who at least acknowledges her existence. Moonlit walks and dark chocolate are romantic but too much can sufficate her.
Brandon: A proud bi-sexual, he constantly puts up face with the other kids. Meanwhile at home his family is falling apart. Still he attempts to prevail.

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1. Alisha

I sat criss-cross on my blue square plush stool. The color always reminded me that there were worse things out there than a bad break up. Didn't matter anyway, the guy was such a sneeze. I mean seriously what girl wants to go out with a guy who stretches his arm around you just to try and get some booby action? I mean, sure, he had super gorgeous brown eyes, and the most perfect of perfect haircuts. Hell, he even had the most amazing athletic body any girl could want.

He stood a little over six feet; his abs were marvelous. If you had seen them like I did, you knew he had a 12-pack instead of a 10-pack. His skin was tanned to perfection and he had such wonderful smile. Acne was all over his face, but then again who doesn't have acne? Being the star quarter-back of our high school and the junior prom king entitled him to ultimate popularity. Yeah, who would want that? To think, he used to be mine.

Sighing, I shook my head. It was typical me. Worrying about boy drama, ha! I should be more focused on studying for my pre-calculous test. Ugh, the thing gave me a headache. Whoever had invented the different versions of basic math must have been a social outcast. Still, with that mathematical degree I can go on and continue with my lifetime dream of being a marine biologists/veterinarian for aquatic animals. In order for me to give them the right amount of medicine I needed to know how to convert measurements for different animals. That was the entire reason I was going through this trouble.

Looking straight ahead I stared at the one woman who inspired me; my mom had the most gorgeous eyes. Her deep dark emeralds stared at me with a mischevious look in her eyes as if to say "Yeah. You know you can do it." Her smile held such confidence, it broke my heart. If only she was here, she could see how much I have accomplished.

My phone rung a familiar pop song: "So What- P!nk, Brandon" flashed across the screen showing my ringtone and current caller. Of course it would be Brandon. The only guy who knows almost as much as I do about my mom and family. My best friend. My true hero. Haha. Corny names such as "hero" would make him and I crack up all the time.

Flipping open the top, I faked my own voicemail, "Sup, this is Alisha Reynolds. You know what to do." Pressing a small button, the sound that came out sounded just like the beep of my voicemail. I held back a laugh as I heard his sweet voice come over the phone, "The phone clicked A, I know it's not your voicemail."

Finally I cracked up, "Busted.I really need to research how to make phones that don't click when you answer. What's up."

His familiar voice created a warm spot in the middle of my chest, "Well seeing as you just tried to send to me to your voicemail, I just guess I better skedaddle." he sniffled a little at the end to emphasize fake hurt feelings.

"Ouch. so much for a warm summer. It just got cold in here. Brr. Keep the snow at your end of the call. Seriously, though. What's up?"

"Not much. I just sensed you were upset. Wanna talk about it?"

"I'm just thinking of my mom. Staring at her actually. She has the prettiest smile and eyes." I sighed depressed yet again.

"Stalking a picture much?? Oh honey. Come on. Cry into the phone. It's okay. Come on, let me hear it."

Suddenly I didn't want to hold back. I didn't want to do anything but talk to him all the time and tell him how much I felt wronged. He was just so easy to talk to. A sad chuckle escaped my lips.

"A? You there?"

"Yeah I'm here. Can't say that I'm in the best shape though."

"I understand." I could see him nodding as he said these words. He knew me so well.

"I just miss her so much! She had no right to up and run away. I was only five years old! I mean come on! What woman would do that to her own daughter?!? I understand the fathers leaving but I thought there was supposed to be a special bond between the mother and daughter! What happened? What did I -"

"No honey. Don't even say it. You did not do one single thing that affected her desicion. I don't want to hear even the begining of that thought anymore. Not one bit. Do you understand?"

I had to laugh a little even though a piece of my sadness made it's way down my cheek and found a place on my little plush piece.

"I understand." I responded.

He made a little 'hurumph' sound proving his bi sexuality. Being gay and straight made him the perfect friend. He understood how I drooled over the cutest guys, and he knew the male point of view when it comes to dating. He was just awesome! That and he had a funny way of showing how he hated each outfit I wore and how I desperately needed some Fashion 101 advice.

"No more negative talk from you about yourself. That's my job. That and liking boobs and dicks at the same time." He added so much sass in that sentence I couldn't help but forget about my mom even just for a second.

"Hey, hey, hey. Watch it!" I laughed over the phone.

"No. What you need to watch is that horrible sense with clothing. Girl how do you even expect to catch a guy's eye with a catastrophe like your closet?" He scoffed.

I had expected this. He would pick on my sense of fashion just to get me to smile. I had to admit, it worked. I was officially grinning ear to ear to the point I swear that if I grinned any longer than I would break my jaw.

"Whatever Brandon. So what are you doing?" I said between giggles.

"Why don't you look out your window and see?"

I lived in a two story house which wasn't that tall. It was more like those everyday family-owned businesses where the store is on the bottom and the owner lives on top. Me, I had a window that looked upon my cookie-cutter neighbors. Lucky for me although, I had a tree to help me out of my window.

Staring down the tree I saw the man who made me laugh a few moments ago stand and lean against it's great northern maple bark. His cute, shaggy, short, black hair fell and framed his own precious brown-hazel eyes. His smile lit up the tree as if it wasn't alive unless he was there.

Smiling exhuberantly I waved with enthusiam down below. His sure hands waved back up at me. Closing the phone shut I shoved it into the pocket of my old worn jeans. Grabbing my Jurasic Park hoodie, I hid my face in it's fabric when it fell into place over my shoulders. As I climbed from my tree he tossed a pebble at my window, as if I was still there in my room moping around. (Romeo much?)

"What's up?" I heard my voice come from my mouth as I leaped down from the last branch. My hoodie fell back no longer protecting my bummed face from my friend's worried eyes.

"You know," he said as he met me in the green grass and gave me a hug, "one day you're gonna break your own ankles jumping from that height.

Giving him a playful shove I responded, "And when I do you'd call nine-one-one right?"

We laughed at the obvious as we started to make our way to his house down the street. It was nice outside with the gentle breeze to cool you off from the alomost-to-much-to-bear heat. Trees swayed gayly and tulips that fell in line with the sidewalk danced in the breeze. Those little weed things (the ones with the white round puffs on top that you blow in the wind to make a wish) said goodbye to their seeds as the trusting wind carried them off to spawn elsewhere.

As I surveyed nature inside a neighborhood, I did occasionally glance at Brandon. He was starting his usual Brandon nonsense about the latest catastrophe with mens' fashion wear. Nobody apparently could ever sew menswear right. He was saying how in some jeans the seam was obviously done by sloppy hands or it would stick out, or the pants would be made too tight (even for skinnies? Hmm).

He stopped me short when he reached and grabbed my hand, which was dangling blindly at my side before now. His warm fingers intertwined and fit perfectly with my smaller ones. They seemed to say "I'm here and nothing will harm you." I forced myself to remain calm. This was not normal proceedure. Still Brandon just kept on walking down the street, with our hands linked together like roots in the ground. I honestly didn't want to let go.

This small gesture gave me hope (I didn't know what for yet) and I instantly felt a small grin leak across my face. His words pulled me back to reality (what was I dreaming of?).

"Oh quit you're smiling. This is a serious issue. I mean Ashley is nice, but so is Drake. They're both drop dead H.O.T. Don't you agree?"

I stared blankly at him, weren't we on mens' fashion designs still?

"Oh my god, you weren't even listening were you?" He took his hand from my grip and placed it on his hip like popular girls sometimes do. Then he literally leaned on that leg and started to tap his other foot. I mean tap-tap-tap-tap. Wow. I love him so much (in a friendly way-I think.) He was so gay and yet he totally wasn't. It all depended on his mood.

I bursted out laughing and so did he. He once again grabbed my hand and egged me on. We were officially almost a block away from his house when he finally stopped and turned at me.OMG, what was going on in this guy's mind? We had stopped what two to three times already. Not a normal walk and visit to his house.

The wind had stopped and the tulips were behind us. A bright sun was shining no doubt across my face enlightening what he would call "your pretty facial features" (when he was feeling more straight than gay.) His brown eyes shocked me with their deepness and intensity. His face was filled with an unknown emotion. Still, I couldn't help but feel semiconscious about the space between us.

We both were leaning towards the other. I didn't know he smelled twice as good up close (I literally was breathing and sniffing his scent. He smelled so good!) We were now no more than two inches apart. His eyes only got deeper and we were both breathing hard. That's when he kissed me.

It wasn't an intrusive kiss, or an 'I-want-to-get-in-your-pants' kiss either. It was soft, gentle, and warm. He was soft, gentle, and warm. Everything about him was sweet and caring. There was no feeling that he was doing this to go further in less than a minute. I wrapped my hands slowly and unsurely around his neck. What was I doing? Kissing my best friend? He didn't seem like a best friend at the moment.

The kiss continued and I soon became unaware of my surroundings. Unaware that his parents were sitting on his porch a few feet away, unaware that I was actually enjoying him and myself. He tasted salty, and good. His lips soft and nice against mine. He was everything.

When the kiss finally ended we were left breathing rugged and just staring at each other. What now? After what was it, almost twelve years of being friends and now this. He was talking about liking Ashley and Drake a few moments ago. (Wasn't he?) He didn't mention my name at all. He hadn't showed interest in me until now. I started to shed a tear but I took a breath.

While Brandon continued to stare at me, I kept thinking 'Why now?'. His hand reached out to caress my face. Instead of leaning into him, like I guess I wanted too, I leaned away gasping. That's when the tear finally dropped from my cheek. I saw hurt of some kind appear in his eyes, but I didn't stay long enough for it to mean anything. Instead I started running.

I ran past the tulips, past the swaying trees. I was sobbing by the time I got into my tree and climbed back into my room. I was just fine with being friends. Just fine with his gayness/straightness. Completely ok with laughing and making fun of me and my wardrobe. Normal friend activities. But a kiss? What was that? I mean how was I supposed to take that?

My tears had caused an exhaustion to the point I fell asleep. All my worries fading into a dream. In that dream, I was faithfully kissing Brandon. He was the best kisser and we were going out for about 5 years. High school was over and I had come home from college during the summer. This is when he bowed down on one knee- I woke with my face in the pillow. Sighing I relaxed and fell back into my trance. This time dreaming of T-rexes and Spinasaurases in Jurasic Park Three, still unsure of what I was going to do about Brandon.

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