Where is he? I've been standing at our lockers, waiting for Jason for almost 15 minutes. He told me that he had to talk to the teacher about a homework assignment and to just go on without him. I didn't think it would take this long.
"Hey." I jumper, and turned to see who dared to poke my side. Jason was standing there, smiling. "I didn't know you were ticklish," he said. "I'll have to remember that."
"Oh, ha ha. I swear, if you tickle me again, I will punish you. And I won't show any mercy." I glared daggers at him. All I saw was a twinkle in his hazel eyes. I sighed, then half-heartedly smiled back. That made him smile even bigger, if that was possible.
"So, ready to go to the park?" Jason asked.
"Ready as I'll ever be," I replied. We started walking towards the school exit.
"Good. And be prepared. I'm going to ask you all sorts of deep and embarrassing questions," he warned, smirking.
"Pfft. Go ahead. Don't know how far you'll get..." I trailed off. That made his smile falter unsurely. The rest of the walk to the park was just silence between us. But it wasn't an awkward kind of silence. We were both thinking. I glanced at him and could see the concentration on his face that only comes when you're thinking of something. When we reached the park, we headed towards the path, partially shaded by trees. As we walked slowly, we listened to the chirping of the birds and gazed at the beautiful meadows and lake. That was until Jason started talking.
"So, first thing's first. I still don't know your name," he said, though I didn't know that he was lying."
"Ok, my name is Melody Breanne Farley," I said, watching the glistening water.
"Well Melody, it's a pleasure to meet you." I chuckled at his cheeky response. "Now, where should I start?" he paused, thinking. "Oh! What's your favorite color?"
That was a hard one. "Um, I'd have to say either white or any neon color. What's yours?" I asked back.
"Mine's like a forest green. I like green because I used to live near the woods, and walking through them would be my safe haven. And I like the grass when it's green. It makes me happy," Jason explained, smiling.
"Oh. I guess I just like white and neon because they're bright and pretty colors," I replied, sighing and watching the trees sway. "Next."
"Um... what's your favorite animal?" he asked. I looked at him with a puzzled expression.
I sighed. "I don't have one," I answered.
"Oh. I'd have to say mine is a bunny," he chucked. I gave him an 'are you serious?' expression. "What?! They're cute! I hope to raise some one day," he sighed.
"Then why don't you?" I asked.
"Well, I live on my own, and I'm not supposed to have any pets in the apartment," he said sadly.
"You live on your own?" I slightly gasped.
"Yeah. My mom died when I was two, and my dad has been a drunk ever since. He would abuse me and say it was my fault she died, but he never told me how she died. Anyway, finally my uncle had had enough of my dad's shit, so he took me away. I'd lived with my uncle until he died last year. Then I decided it would be better to go on alone instead of trying to find another family member somewhere in this country. I haven't seen my dad for seven years, but I've a lot about him on the news and stuff." By now, Jason had broken down to a choked whisper, and I was on the verge of tears. He noticed and stopped walking, causing me to stop as well. Then, I unexpectedly felt warm, strong arms wrap around my delicate body. With him being at least a couple inches taller than me, my face was pressed and his broad, hard chest, and I could smell what was strictly Jason's smell. No one else smelled like him. And I loved that. He caressed my head, petting my hair.
"What's wrong?" he asked, never breaking the tight embrace. I sniffled.
"It's nothing. I just can't believe how strong you are. All I have is my brother, and I know I would die if I lost him," I explained.
"Shh," he kept petting my head. "It's ok. You have me now. And I'm not as strong as you think." I looked up in his now tear-filled eyes in confusion.
"What do you mean?" I said. I felt him loosen his grip on me, and I felt lonely for a second. But I shook it off, ridiculing myself. He shoved the sleeves of his grey sweatshirt up his arms, revealing tan skin. Then I noticed the faint white lines covering his forearm. I gasped, realizing that he is wearing something long-sleeved everyday. Now I know why. Unconsciously, my fingers ghosted over his scars, and I felt him flinch under my touch. "Jason," I breathed. He had his head bowed away from me so his brown hair hid his eyes.
"The physical pain helps me forget about my emotional pain," he whispered through clenched teeth. I pressed my hand to his wet cheek and turned his head to see his beautiful hazel eyes. He looked at me with wavering eyes and I saw a broken little boy instead of his usual fun-loving, normal guy. And I was going to fix the broken boy. This time, it was me who pulled him into an embrace. I rubbed my face against his arm, and he bent down, resting his head in the crook of my neck. His breath was warm on my neck, sending shivers down my spine. Then he started sobbing. It was one of the worst things I've ever experienced, and it broke my heart. I never expected to be holding someone to comfort them, let alone a guy, when I woke up this morning. Everything was confusing me. But I need to be strong for Jason. When he paused from his sobbing, I lifted my head, making him do the same. I wiped his tears away from his face and smiled, but he turned his head in shame.
"I understand if you don't want to see me anymore, or be friends. That's what usually happens when I tell anyone about my past," he whispered. "It's ok. I've gotten used to it." Then he started to walk away from me. His head hung down as if he were sleepwalking, and I watched, too shocked to move, as his sweatshirt billowed with the breeze.
He was about 200 feet away before I finally gained some sense back. "Jason!" I yelled, nervous he didn't hear me. But he did. He abruptly stopped and lifted his head slowly. Before he turned, I sprinted towards him. When he did turn around, I had just enough time to see his eyes wide with surprise, until I ran into his arms and we fell on the ground. I was trying to catch my breath as he gazed into my eyes deeply. I blushed, realizing the position we were in and hurriedly stood up. He just stayed on the ground, paralyzed.
"I don't care that you cut. I would prefer that you didn't, but that's not going to stop me from being your friend." And I smiled genuinely.
"Why?" he asked, still frozen on the ground.
"Well, you're the first friend I've had in a long time. And I've connected with you better than any other human being." I paused, sitting on the ground next to him. "Normally, I would've never let anything like this get this far, but as I kept talking to you, I realized that having someone other than a sibling isn't all that bad. And you're different than all those other jerks at school. I like that." We smiled at each other, then stood up and went through another 10 or so minute hug. "So, now that we're cool again, I'd probably better get home so my brother doesn't throw a hissy fit," I explained. His eyes instantly brightened.
"I'll walk you home," he offered. I smiled at his thoughtfulness.
"No, that's ok. You don't have to," I said.
"But I want to!" he whined playfully. I snorted. He can be such a child. He smirked at my reaction. Seeing that he won't take no as an answer, we started on our way to my house, 3 blocks away. I honestly could've walked home alone, but I like his company.
When we passed the first block, we saw all of the houses, with their owners peeking out of their curtains, as if I was going to turn them to stone. I've learned to live with it. All of these people are the parents of the school's jerks. Their kids have told them all kinds of stories about me. That's why I don't even bother anymore. I don't need them in my life anyway. I live just fine without them. What concerned me was Jason had seen plenty of the creepers, and now I could almost hear the gears in his head turning. I lifted my head to gaze at the now faltering sky. There was a storm on the way.
"Jason? Is there something wrong?" I questioned. He sighed.
"What happened when you were younger? What made everyone hate you?" he asked quietly. My heart skipped a beat, and I couldn't breathe. I was standing as still as stone. How did he know?
"I-I don't know... what you're talking about," I stammered. But even I didn't convince myself. My eyes glanced at the dark clouds rolling in. Not again, I thought. Jason sighed loudly.
"Melody," he started. "I can tell you're lying to me. I know we just met and all, but you can trust me. I swear," he hesitated, thinking of what to say. "I swear on my mother's grave, I will never do anything to hurt you. Please, just trust me." I unfroze and turned to look at him. I was so confused with my emotions right now that I was getting dizzy, and my head ached. Soon, the dizziness got stronger and I could no longer see straight. My balance failed, and all I could see was Jason's beautiful hazel eyes filled with concern, before I fell and hit my head hard on the concrete. And everything going black.