Snow angels

I find myself alone on the streets all at once, it seems. I run from home, from my mother, and a threat which i fear. My only companions are my dog and a scar.

Desmond, of course he's here again- the beautiful stranger. His face like a knife and his words that stick in my mind. I know, he's special. He knows things that nobody should know.

This is my story. A story of love, loss and temporary insanity. Read if you please.


8. Melting

Time spent inside a shed, however clean, drags on. I gnaw at a granola bar, not for the taste or nutrition, just out of boredom. I collect all of the gum in my backpack and chew it in one big blob. I work on a drawing in my notepad- the same one of the night sky and the city that i started not long ago at home. And I read a few of the short stories. They are mostly awful, but they pass the time.


Felix does eventually bring me a blanket and a bit of food, but he has to go back inside so his parents don't suspect anything. But I give most of it to Angel- I'm more bored than hungry.

It's 11pm according to my faulty watch when i finally attempt sleep. The floor is hard, and Angel keeps on barking at any sound from the outside, so sleep comes slowly and uncomfortably.


There is someone next to me. Someone in the shed next to me. I feel their smiling breath, warm on my neck. I jump and try to hit them, but they grab my wrists and pull me close to them.


I pull away from the forceful hug, and I'm in a kitchen. A warm, sunshine-y kitchen. He takes my hand and twirls me- somehow, I can dance. I laugh.


"Des, this is absolutely brilliant." I say to him. There is the smell of pancakes everywhere. Desmond fiddles with the edge of one of the pancakes. 


"Happy twenty-first." He flips a pancake, then leans to kiss me on my forehead.


"You've said that about a million times already." I beam. "Okay, i get to flip the next one."


I pour thin batter onto the pan, and it starts to bubble.


"You know," I say. "Every one on their 21st birthday seems to run off to Las Vegas to get drunk. But staying in and making pancakes is just as good."


"Better." Desmond says. I have never seen him smile this much.


"Okay, I got this." I hold the pan tightly in my hands, and toss the slightly undercooked pancake into the air. It catches on the edge of the pan, exploding into more pieces then possible. In the percipitation of badder and burnt bits, Desmond starts to giggle.


"That was excellent." Desmond says after a pause.


"Shut uup." 


"No really, that was the most skillfully flipped pancake that I have ever seen in my whole life!"


"I will hurt you. With this spatula."


I push him playfully, and the sun in the kitchen seems to get a little bit brighter. As he whispers "Happy Birthday." I kiss him, over pieces of the murdered pancake.




It's a dream, of course. A weird, weird, strangely realistic dream. But it's more than a dream, its a reacurring dream, which is slightly horrific.


"Angel, you there." I fumble for the light switch ( Yes, there is a light in this shed. It's extremely high class, okay? )


My dog seems to roll his eyes in annoyance, and turns over out of the light. I start talking to him anyway.


"That was a freakish dream, buddy."


"But really, there is so much in my life right now, good and bad. Why do I keep on having stupid, idiotic dreams about Desmond."


My heart beats a little faster all of a sudden. Mom... Mom... mom.... And I cry out a pitiful "Mommy." I sound no older than three. I'm scared. It's two days, or maybe one, however you count it. I need to call her, but i'm trapped. But I can't change it, Desmond says. I can't change it with out causing someone pain. 


I use my hands as a pillow, and try to fall asleep into them. My watch just says the number 72 so i have no idea what time it is. 


After minutes or hours half awake in my hands, the door opens. I freeze by instinct.


"I saw you light was on." Felix says softly, creeping around Angel's sleeping body to sit next to me.


"Oh." I reply. "You scared me."


"Are you okay? It's 2 am." He asks. 


I show him my watch and smile. "Actually, it's 72 o'clock. I just couldn't sleep."


"Neither could I. This is pretty crazy, you being here. It seems like it isn't real."


I nod along. I'm so tired that it's a surprise that i can't fall asleep. But it's good to have someone sitting next to me, even if we aren't really saying much.

"You know what," I say after a while. "If my life was a story, it would be pretty cliched."


"I thought you said everything is cliched."


"No, but really. I even have the dead parent." That came out more bitter than intended.




"So there's the dead parent. My mom and I are on bad terms. There is some action, because I sorta... ran away. And then, there is an aspect of mystery. And there is the mysterious hot guy who happens to be a creep. I'm practically living a teen novel."


"Wait... Am I the hot guy?" He asks cheekily. 


"Idiot." I shove him. He doesn't ask who is, and I don't plan to tell him anyway. However much I cannot stand the presence of Desmond, I can't let anyone know about him.


"Where's the love triangle?" Felix asks, smiling.


I think through my possible answers. "Nope." I say. "Hey, thanks for coming out and checking on me."


"No problem." He removes his arm from my shoulder, and he stands up. He's a few inches taller than me, but so scrawny that he must weigh the same. Though I may continue on idly crushing on him forever, i know that i can't do anything more. He's the best friend I could ask for, and i couldn't destroy that.


"You know, Felix. You just moved up to my fourth closest male friend who wears black glasses."






"It's technically morning."









I wake up to the sun, which gives me enough knowledge of the time. My useless watch still just says the number 72. 


Angel whimpers at the door to go out, but i don't want to be seen, so I ask for him to wait a few minutes.


Thankfully, Felix isn't one to sleep in late, and I hear light knocking on the door. A few crispy oak leaves follow his feet.


"Hey." I say. I haven't yet talked enough to clear my voice of grogginess, so i sound like an unhappy bull frog.


"Morning." Felix says, not feeling the need to create conversation. He comes with food, and that is where my real focus is on. He gives me an out-of-season pear and a slice of swiss cheese on crusty bread. It probably isn't actually too good of a meal, but I haven't eaten much other than cereal and granola bars for the last few days, so it tastes like heaven.


"Where are you parents?" I ask him.


"My mom has to work, even though it's a weekend. And my dad, he's sleeping, as always."


"But we should probably stay outside." I assume. I'm not complaining, of course. Most of the snow has melted into the earth, and it seems nearly like spring- unheard of for alaska.


"I need to show you something." Felix says, jumping up in one swift motion.


"Okay..." My legs complain under my weight, and i hop up and down a bit to wake up.


"Is it in your house?" I ask.


"No... I wouldn't risk it." Felix says. I feel like he fears his dad a bit. I do- he is tall and broad chested, with a cocky smile and a jungle of nose hair. He has done nothing to earn my distrust, he is just one of those people that scares me.


I call Angel, and he follows me at my heels. I follow Felix at a pace between a run and a skip- you are never to old for skipping. We walk over sunny grass, then moss, then leaves. I haven't been in weather for this warm for a while. With a grin, i unzip my hoodie.


"So how have you been?" I ask, realizing that most of the focus has been on me.


"Fine. School has been annoying as always. And i've been hanging out with Troy and Olivia and the guys."


I bite back criticism for 'the guys.' I know that they are Felix's friends, but i don't know why he hangs out with them at all. "Great." I say. I'm a terrible actor.


"I know you don't like them, Rylee." Felix laughs. "It doesn't matter. They're just fun to hang around."


"But you are basically just their laugh track. You laugh at their jokes and keep a low profile so not to make them dislike you. That's not Felix Valentine." The whole rant comes off much harsher than I intended. I'm very opinionated person and I tend to speak my mind, but i feel like that went too far.


"I'm sorry." I say. Felix doesn't look hurt, but he never does. He is smiling strangely though, which makes me worry. He only smiles like that when he's trying to mask another emotion.


"Yeah, it's okay. It's sort of true anyway." 


"No it isn't." I say. "I'm sorry." I repeat.


We pass the yards of some other people. An skinny old lady rakes at her garden. Her coat and gloves are way to big for her, and they flop back and forth making her look like a scarecrow. That's the last yard we pass, before heading deeper into the woods.


"Can you tell me where we're going." I ask. That Felix, becoming such a Desmond.


"If you tell me who the 'Mysterious stranger' is." Felix grins playfully, forgetting my tactlessness. 


"You don't know him." I try to keep my tone light, but i'm sort of panicked talking about Desmond to somebody other than my dog.


"Tell me. I'm a little bit worried about you..."


"Lets say his name is.... D." For some reason, I avoid using his real name- even though that would give Felix no other evidence about him. "I have known him since I was six."


"Is he dangerous?" Felix asks with a copious amount of concern in his eyes. I smile despite myself.


"No." I murmur, doubting myself slightly. "He appears a bit creepy, but he... he wouldn't hurt me." 


"Guys are jerks." Felix says. "Be careful. And also, what you said about my friends- it's sort of true."


No, not this again. I am the most tactless person ever.

"They sort of are not the best." Felix continues. "But we have been friends for a very long time. It's much easier just to stick with them."


"And you still have me and Zahra and Hailey." I elbow him. "Your cool friends."


Reason number 135, of why Felix is awesome; Even if you insult him, he will bounce back.


Alaska has been formed by glaciers and rivers, and even in the dense forests you can see the evidence. I follow my friend over crumble boulders. My inner child comes alive from the sight of caves and possible forts. The only sign of my dog is his little white head popping out of the leaves as he snuffles for squirrels. He's in heaven.


I laugh- a rare laugh where nothing is funny. Just because i'm happy. My heavy winter boots weigh down my feet, and I'm tempted to kick them off and run barefoot.


"Do you have any idea where we're going?" I ask Felix, hardly caring at all. 


"Don't worry, we're almost there."


I don't remember us starting to run, but running is sort of customary while exploring the woods. We jump over a tea-colored stream, and land in pockets of clay. I'm still laughing.

Ahead of me, Felix stops. Between the trees, rising up twenty or thirty feet, is a massive cliff. And at it's base- Snow.


"What..." I murmur.


The cliff is indented on it's side, like someone took a piece out of it with a giant spoon. It's halfway a cave, halfway not.


"How is there snow?" I ask. The temperature must be above 60 degrees.


"It has it's own ecosystem." Felix says, leaping into the snow with his sneakers. The indented cliff protects it from melting. It's at least twenty degrees cooler in here.


He's right. It's amazing. I jump through the snow that refuses to melt. It comes nearly to the rim of my boots.


"This is amazing." I run my hand along the face of the cliff, my fingers snagged by lichen, moss, and a few out of place icicles. 


"I know." Felix puts both of his hands on the cliff and looks up.


"You know what we need to do," I say, looking at the snow. "We need to make snow angels."

"We'll get all wet!" Felix protests.


"Who cares!" I squeal a little bit as i fall butt-first into the snow. My jeans are instantly soaked. Felix tentatively falls a little bit away from me. I flap my arms up and down, and  giggle from the ridiculousness. 


As we look at the sky, the cliff the moss and trees, we laugh for no reason, and make snow angels.


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