Tears spilled over my face as I stared up at the dark night sky. There were no stars tonight, nothing to shed light on a broken heart. But I liked it that way. I felt the grass beneath my hands; it was soft and thick as it tangled around my fingers. Sitting back I wiped my cheek, not wanting anyone to see me cry.
“Look Nick, up at the moon.” Lacy pointed out from the bottom of the hill, my arm wrapped around her as we both lay in the field. The sky was fading into night, and the glowing rays of sun slipping away. Soon fireflies danced in the warm summer air, nestling among the treetops.
“Don’t you see it?” She asked, her arm lowering before she glanced up at me, her blue eyes glistening like two silver ponds. I couldn’t help drowning in them.
“Uh-sorry what?” I stammered, giving a sheepish grin while she explained the smile on the moon’s face.
“It looks more like its gazing downward to me.” I told her, shifting my position so her long blond hair draped over my shoulder.
“Well, it definitely looks like a smile when it’s a croissant.” She said.
“But for that you’d have to turn your head sideways.” I tilted my head to the left as she turned hers to the right. Our eyes met and I stared for what seemed like an eternity into those big silver ponds. Before I knew it I was leaning towards Lacy, my eyes closed as I felt her warm lips touch mine. My heart raced as I pulled away. I kept my eyes closed, not wanting to the moment to be gone. At last, I peered in front of me, Lacy filled my vision, her tumbleweed of hair flowed over her face, a shy smile spreading across her lips. Those lips that were so perfect.
“I love you, Lacy”. I whispered
“I love you too.” She breathed back, our noses nearly touching.
“No.” I continued, “Really, this isn’t just a game for me. I love you, and I want you to know that.”
She blinked back for a moment, “I do know. I’ve always known.”
There was silence for a moment; it felt like every breath she took sucked away the air in my lungs. Searching my way through the grass I plucked out a dandelion, its petals softly fluttering in the breeze. Drawing a breath I blew on the flower, the wind carrying the seeds into the air. They swirled and jolted in the breeze before surrounding Lacy like a protective shield.
“Make a wish.” She giggled, her clothes riddled with tufts of dandelion. I closed my eyes and thought about my wish carefully, being sure to choose the right words, so that maybe it could come true. I felt Lacy’s hand slip into mine. It was soft and warm; it felt right that way, like two pieces of a puzzle matched together.
“What was your wish?” She asked, her eyes gleaming with excitement. I wondered if she knew it was about her.
“I can’t tell you.” I teased, “If I do then it won’t come true.” Lacy gave me a disapproving look before begging to hear the wish.
“Alright, alright.” I held my hands up defensively, “My wish was-” I stopped. I swore I had heard something in the woods close by. After a long silence a barely heard her speak.
“Was?” she pressed, her eyebrows pulling together as she studied my face. I didn’t look at her; I decided to move on as if nothing had been there, yet my body was tense.
“Nick what is it?” I could hear the strain in her voice.
“Nothing.” I answered honestly, I peered deeper into the night, no sounds were heard, no images could be seen.
“I think we should go.” Lacy muttered, taking ahold of my hand. Soon we were both on our feet, my gaze still fixed on the woods.
Don’t let anything hurt her. I told myself, letting my arm slide around Lacy’s waist. The air had grown cold and I could feel her shivering next to me. Removing my jacket I wrapped it around her, she took it gratefully, leaning her head on my shoulder.
We walked up the field and onto the gravel road outside of town; small houses and shops were lit with a welcoming glow as a nearby river gushed downstream. I was thankful to be here, where it was safe. We continued farther towards the park and sat on a swinging bench, the swaying motion was soothing as we rested. With our hands in a twine, Lacy’s eyes slowly closed and her breathing became heavy. I cradled her silently, trying to stay alert. Darkness was everywhere and the bench swung slow and steady, my mind fighting the oncoming sleep.
I awoke to the wind lashing at the branches above. Looking up I saw Lacy smiling down at me, my head in her lap.
“Good morning.” she sang, her hands collapsed on my arm. I rose from my position and sat on the bench beside her, small twigs sticking out of my brown hair. Laughing, Lacy picked out the pieces and smoothed down the rough ends. I watched her carefully; her eyes were so intent and focused. Noticing me staring she smiled and kissed my cheek. I tried to laugh but it only turned out to be a crooked smile.
“We shouldn’t have stayed here.” I said, my expression hard. It was my fault.
“It’s okay.” She replied, twirling a fallen leaf in her fingers.
“No, no its not. Lacy, do you honestly think our parents would be okay with this?”
“Well,” she paused, “probably not, but I’m sure if we explain things will be alright.”
“What? We’ll tell them that we heard something in the woods and instead of coming home we went to the park and spent the night?” I knew I was being stubborn, but I was worried that if we both were punished, I wouldn’t be able to see her again.
“You’re right.” She sighed, rising from the bench. I should go anyway; I’ll let my parents know where I’ve been.”
“You don’t want me to walk you home?” I asked
“It’s fine. Probably best I go alone anyway.” She muttered, her gaze drifting to the sidewalk.
“I’ll see you tomorrow then?” I said, trying to hide the hopefulness in my voice.
“Yes. Tomorrow.” She agreed, smiling as she threw her arms around me. I held her tight, not wanting to let go. Watching her leave I thought of last night, and how she wanted to know my wish.
“Lacy wait!” I called, waving my arm so she could see. “My wish was that I could be the one to love you forever.”
I knew she heard me when a huge grin spread across her face. I sat back on the bench once more, closing my eyes not to sleep, but to remember.
That’s when I heard the scream.
Followed by the gunshot.