Wonderstruck

Do you ever just see a beautiful stranger? Not just a stranger that looks nice, but a really beautiful stranger who just captures you with the way they look and the way they act and makes you think about them at 2 am. A beautiful stranger that leaves you wonder struck and makes you somehow want to see them again and be with them forever yet at the same time, make you want to stay away from them so they remain this mysterious beautiful person that's in the world that would never hurt you.
I should have gone with the latter.

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Do you ever just see a beautiful stranger? Not just a stranger that looks nice, but a really beautiful stranger who just captures you with the way they look and the way they act and make you think about them at 2 am. A beautiful stranger that leaves you wonder struck and makes you somehow want to see them again and be with them forever yet at the same time, makes you want to stay away from them so they remain this mysterious beautiful person that's in the world and that would never hurt you.

I should have gone with the latter. 

My parents like castles. We live in England near a lot of old castles so I guess that feeds their habit pretty well. Every single Saturday we drive out to a new castle. I really do not know where they're getting them from, it's like they're having them built so that we can keep going to castles as a family, them, my fifteen year old self, my ten year old brother Rain and my nine month year old baby sister Noah. I think that's a pretty ironic pair of names, Rain and Noah. They might as well have named him Flood. I also think it'd be hilarious if I was called Ship or something, but I'm just called Rose. It's like my parents had me and named me after a flower and then realised that they wanted to take it to the next level and be the kind of parents to name their kids after precipitation or biblical figures. I bet my next sibling will be named after a hobbit and there's no doubt there will be a next sibling. My parents want an army of children apparently, the proof being that nine years after last having a baby, they sat Rain and I down and said "your father and I are planning to have another baby". Planning.

Anyway. Castles. We go to castles a lot. They aren't grand palaces or anything, just old castles that you can have a little walk around in and look at and think "wow, royalty has stood here.". My parents take a lot of pictures and read all of the information signs. Rain runs around with whatever toy weapon he has bought from the gift shop that day and Noah either cries, sleeps or laughs. I just stand and think about what royalty must have done here but that thought gets worn down after a castle or fifty. 

I do not look nice when I go to castles. I try and look nice when I go to school or out for dinner, but why look nice when you go to castles? It's on a Saturday afternoon, usually after a Friday night with my best friend having a sleepover, I usually look gone beyond repair and it's a freaking castle. There are only going to be old people or young families wandering around. They're not going to care that my hair needs to be washed or that I didn't wear mascara that day. Princesses have lived in these castles. I'm never going to look as pretty as them so why try and look nice when you go to castles? 

Because sometimes your parents had the same idea as other parents. Parents with attractive teenage sons. 

There he stands, not quite admiring the paintings on the wall but not quite seeming bored by them either. I don't know whether this boy would be attractive elsewhere or whether it's just because we are in a castle and there are no other teenagers for me to admire. 

He's tall and blonde with blue eyes that stand out and a body that doesn't, whether in a negative light or a positive one. I find it quite positive. He is wearing jeans and a checked t-shirt but he's wearing these boots that say he cares more than he lets on about his appearance. The kind of boy my uncle would sneer at because the boy cares about his looks but I personally think that's because my uncle doesn't have much to talk about in the looks department. The boy doesn't seem like a quiet person, but he's being quiet as he looks around. I sigh internally at his beauty, painfully aware of my parents and siblings being in this room. I pretend I'm not with them, not going anywhere near them. Not that I'm ashamed or embarrassed by them. Not that if they weren't there, I'd speak to him. Not that if he didn't think they were my family he'd speak to me. Not that I want to speak to him. But I do want him to notice me in the way I noticed him. I want him to look over and think "there's another teenager. She's pretty. I don't know whether that's because she really is pretty or whether that's because there are no other teenagers around. I like that she's interested in castles." and I don't even care that I'm only pretty because we're in a castle and there are no other teenagers here. I just don't want to be another person here with their family. 

Noah starts crying. My mum smiles over at me hopefully. I take the baby which I don't mind doing but I do mind now that the boy has glanced over at me and not because I'm admiring the castle which is so rare in a teenager but because I'm holding a crying baby and because my brother is stabbing me with a plastic sword and my parents are laughing fondly. I wanted to have a moment with this stranger where we're like "woah you're a teenager, I'm a teenager too, hi" and then we walk away, happy that our boring day at the castle has been made a bit better. It would have been cool. But now I'm another dork with a family. I know everybody is a dork with a family, but now I'm just here with my family and he's still a cool guy admiring a castle which is so rare in a a teenager.

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