On The Streets

This story is just a little something I made after a dream. The night of this dream I was texting a friend and she was making up a story, to witch I would have to write one back. So as the messages continued I became obsessed over what to write about. I must of been really into the idea because I then had a dream, of witch I rarely have, and the entire way through the dream I would stop and say..."This would make a great story! I have to tell her!" So I did and she loved it! She begged for more chapters. And so I made three. I am continuing these and more will be added. Basically, this story is about a girl, at the age of sixteen turning seventeen on a search for answers. She has lived a hard life but remains put together, but she is willing to go through what ever may tear her apart to regain what she once had.

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4. Smoke

Take small sensitive steps I told myself, as we walked down the ally to Jose's place. It was dark and smoke blocked the light. It was hot and sticky and though it was spring, everything look dead. Like the heat burnt it all. Plastic trash bags thrown out in the allies, chewed up by rats and raccoons.

The smell of rotting fruit emanated from behind the fresh market, we were getting closer. I followed Ben's lead closely for fear of being jumped, this place can be pretty hectic. He makes me feel safe. He's taller than me which is a rarity considering the fact that I'm five, eight. He's also perfectly proportionate which again is an oddity.

Like in those movies, taking place in a high school. They are all the same hight and size and weight. Of course with the obvious exception of the nerd, who is always exaggeratedly slim and week and super tall with a slouch due to the fact that their glasses bigger than their face.

The crowd we were once surrounded by has now swallowed us whole and squishing us into a pulp. We slow down and I use Ben as a buffer for the people in front of us, curling up with my arms crossed and my shoulders to my ear lobes. We reach the edge of the street. On the other side awaits our destination, but first we must cross the river of swarming vehicles, like wilder beast. We wait for the little white man to appear, glowing and bright, so we can cross the street.

Finally we turn the fortieth corner and there's the red door. Three knocks and Ben steps back for an answer.

"Who is it?" A young voice responds. I here shuffling behind the door as the man peeks through the peep hole. "Oh it's you." He says, with a sarcastic tone. We laugh as he lets us inside.

We sit. An elderly woman smokes outside and Jose walks up to shut the window, looking back at me he says,"Got to keep those lungs young."

Well, what's that supposed to mean? I'm not a little girl anymore. Sure I may have depended on my brother and Ben some but that does not mean they can treat me like a weight on their line.

I sat patiently waiting for a conversation to come up but we just sat there silently and stared out into the yard. The grass was yellow almost everywhere. I look at the glass coffee table, the reflection of the turning ceiling fan kept me busy until Jose broke the silence...

"So... I heard you and the guys were going to get together again! When is that gonna happen? Or is it?" Ben looked at me with what I thought was a 'you weren't supposed to know' look,"Yeah... yes actually we're doing it on April's birthday..." I soon realized he was giving me his word, and making a promise. Joe just shook his head and looked at me like I should be celebrating.

He was the one who kept the group glued up. Of course he would do anything to see them back together at the cost of any ones opinions or concerns.

I was glad, don't get me wrong, but my birthday isn't exactly the best time for getting 'The Gang' reunited. The first birthday in seventeen years of life without my best friend was going to be hard. But a birthday with all the people who could possibly remind me of him? I'd rather just party alone.

"Thanks Ben. It means allot."

Ben goes in the garage to see how the Mazda is going. That thing was a clinking piece of motor with a seat. I don't know why he waisted his time with it. I wandered my way outside to take a breather from the smoke filled house and took down a starburst. Then as I peered down the street I saw the shape of a familiar friend. He was walking at a jumpy pace as if listening to music. The figure pops out of the smog and looks up...

 

The head bobbing stops as he pulls out a headphone and stares. You could hear the music from the two yards where he was standing. At first he just stands there, the beat made me want to dance like crazy, but we both stood motionless. The birds went mute and I could smell the discomfort. I break the ice in fear of making the silence worse.

"Long time!..." My smile stays straight and my eyebrows are up and gesturing that I'm nervous. He just comes closer, slowly and shyly, and three feet away he lays himself on the wall and looks across the street and then to his old red vans.

"Yeah, seems longer than it is..." he pauses, then continues with hesitant stutters,"...I miss you. What brings you to Jose's?" He's still the same hight but much tanner and a bit more built.

"Nothing, Ben is just checking out how his pile of junk is coming along, you?" I turn my body towards him and lean my right side on the wall, the sharp red brick scrubs my shirt. Despite the prickly feeling I pull all my attention to keeping my eyes glued to anything but him.

"I was just heading down to the gas station for some snacks-- Benjamin's here? Tell him I said hi!" I see him drift off to little topics as we continue to talk. As if he forgot what had happened and where we left off. And me and my stubborn self, I refuse to bring it up until he does, for fear of turning this wonderful unforeseen run in into an odd 'I got to go' situation. We finally start making eye contact, frequently pulling away from each other's gaze before we become mesmerized in one an other's eyes. Those same eyes that came to me at lunch in the eleventh grade. Those same cheeks I kissed after school. Those same hands that I wish I could of held. That same nose that gently swiped my cheek as he sweetly kissed me back with those same lips.

So many times I tried to see him as a friend, but I couldn't bring my self to give him such a meaningless title, for he was much more than that, he was my world.

The conversation became a part of the background as I just watched his mouth spill a clear river of sound, and I listened to it, not as words, but as a song. The birds wove into it creating a harmonic melody that drifted me into space...

"Hahaha are you even listening to me?" he says with a crooked smile. I immediately snap my eyes to look back at his and subtly raise myself from my day dreaming slump. He smiles with a bright grin. "Still the same old, distracted girl. Always up in space, up in the smoke."

I laugh and then go back to my nervous silence. He asks to see my hands. I look at him like he's being weird but I knew perfectly well why. I pull them out in front of me and turn them several times to show both sides.

"I knew it; you're nervous." he says and falls silent. He knew it was his fault. My hands stopped shaking as I let them hang by my sides. He looks at me and tilts his head to his right, wearing a questioning face. "Why? Is it something I said? Am I making you uncomfortable?" He spits it out like bullets from a pistol. A very concerned pistol. I shake my head aggressively and laugh, "Of course not! It's not you it's me!"

We both pause and I knew I said something provocative. He looks at me as if he was suspicious, "What do you mean?"

"Nothing, I'm just shocked that I'm seeing you after so long. My brains thinking about allot and I'm just trying to pick up where we left off but that is all too confusing." I look to the ground becoming sort of small and realizing nothing will happen, that we are just going to leave each other with out a hug or a handshake or anything.

"It's okay," he comforts me, "same here. But we have time to figure all this out now, right? Want to walk with me? I'll get you something!" he teased.

I ran inside and walked in on Jose and Ben, mid-conversation. They look at me and then Joe turns to Ben as if to signal that I'm here.

"Yeah?" He says holding a beer. "Need something?" He wasn't supposed to be drinking but I'd punish him later. Resuming my attention to why I came in there in the first place, I ask, "I'm a' go to the gas station with a friend. I'll be back before the street lights turn on. Kay?" He nods and I fly out of there.

My jog slows to a lazy walk as I land beside Jason. The gas station was two blocks away and the sun had an hour and a half left, we had plenty of time. We strolled along and at first it was silent but by half an hour we had become comfortable enough to have full, sensible, conscious conversations. At one point we even spit our lungs out laughing at something that had happened to his friend Juan the day before.

"I need you to understand that it wasn't working out because of distance and not being able to hang. It wasn't because I didn't love you anymore. It was just too hard to keep." He said after a minute of silence. And I knew at that exact moment he regretted his words. In the corner of my eye, I could see him digging his front teeth into his lower lip and his arms stiffen, jingling his house keys in his pockets. I looked at him after a couple of seconds, "Oh no I understand. I agreed, remember? The love was there for you but you couldn't be." I rested in thought for a moment...

"Burlington, right? That's your street's name?"

He looked at me and shook his head. And I waited. He looks at me, trying to instigate some more out of me. Like a game of trying to hint to each other with out giving it away. "You still live on the other side of the city right?" Jason guessed. Hoping for a contradiction.

"Yeah, no actually I moved down to the hood by the park, on Monroe Lane. It's terrible, but it's all I could afford."

He grins, and teeth start to show more and more. "That's really close! I mean it's two miles, but, it's better then twenty!" he stops to take a breath and then pulls his hands out of his pockets and starts to gesture, "We could go to the park! Or listen to music! Or... We can do what ever we want!" He grabs me by the shoulders and shakes me and my head bobbles as I shake him back. Laughing once again we walk into the gas station and head straight for the chips isle. After five minutes of junk food shopping he holds the door open and we sit down on the curb to watch the sun descend right into the suburbs, and the moon come out of the dense city. "This is like fresh start for us." he says, and I look at him, his smile wide and his eyes smiling. I have been avoiding the topic all day, but I couldn't play stupid for much longer...

"Hey, can I be honest with you?" he turns his full attention along with his body towards me, "Are we going to be the same. Like just friends? Or are we going to try to work it out again?"

He just looks at me and smiles nervously. He moves his hand from where it was on the concrete, and hovers it over onto mines on the pavement. He braids his fingers in with mines and smiles wider than I thought would be possible. And I was stunned beyond belief. His skin touched mine and a charge ran up my arm and into my spine, where it dispersed into the rest of me. I couldn't hold my smile so I just did, and I giggled a little. My hand was embraced by his. That same hand that I wanted to hold in the eleventh grade was finally mine.

"I'll take that as a yes."

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