The station was busy that day. Everything about it screamed, "Run away, you'll get trampled to death in here!" But the deafening bellows of the crowd seemed to lure Rose in like a siren's song. A beanie-hat stretched over her ears, hiding nearly all of her short, fine hair. A few fiery tresses seemed to find their way into the light despite the hat.
Her breathed curled in front of her. It was one of the small things. The things that reminded her of her childhood, the way she used to breathe gargantuan huffs of air into the cloudy winter sky, just to watch the smoky steam billow from her lips.
Rose spotted the small clock hanging off the wall to the right, just a few feet in front of her. She smiled as she approached to see that the bench was completely empty. She ripped the "Caution: Wet Paint" sign from the back rest and smirked. She gripped the cardboard circulating the coffee cup she gripped tight in her hand.
People walked, and talked. She scanned the crowds. The stations and platforms were packed with people in too-big-sweaters and brightly colored scarves. Rose sported a pair of jeans and a long sleeved tee. She didn't dress-up to go out. That was more Wiatt's thing.
He was the person you could point out in a crowd, unlike Rose. Standing at 6' 2", it was hard to miss him, as he was a full head-and-shoulders above the rest of the crowd. Happiness seemed to radiate off of him in waves of pure sunshine and rainbows. His personality seemed to clash with everyone around him, he always had time to talk, or to console, give advice, or whatever the hell someone needed.
Rose spotted him and Asher practically skipping towards their bench. It was routine, Rose in on the left, Asher in the middle, and Wiatt on the right, directly underneath the bronze colored clock. Asher decided that that was how it should be arranged. Every Sunday Wiatt would clamber his giant, giraffe-like self to sit underneath the clock without somehow cracking his head open.
As his best friend and boyfriend, Rose and Asher found this absolutely hysterical. Wiatt would make the strangest noises as he slowly squatted and, finally, plopped down on to the bench. And, every week Wiatt would ask --almost always at 9:38-- if "They could pretty please change things up?" with, of course, a playing batting of eyelashes.
Every week --almost always at 9:40-- Asher and Rose would simultaneously tell him no.
Asher and Wiatt were perfect together. They were adorably clash-y in personalities but they couldn't be cuter together. They had been dating for 4 years now, ever since 8th grade. They were a middle school couple that had outlasted any other. It wouldn't surprise Rose if they outlasted lots of married couples in the future. Asher was one of those kids who, in freshman year of high school, tried to be a "bad boy", but dreadfully failed after his friends found out he was gay. Wiatt just hung out with the girls, no one seemed to mind either. Wiatt just seemed to surpass all societal norms like magic.
Rose sipped her coffee and stated, facing the boarding platforms, "First day of Senior year starts tomorrow." Everything about the sentence was harsh and unforgiving, the articulation, the tone. The boys seemed t easily catch on.
"Oh come on. It's not that bad. You like your drama classes, right?" Wiatt said, bending his head in a clearly uncomfortable manner to avoid the clock.
Asher laughed, as if calling his boyfriend out, or teasing him. "Did you really not tell him, Rose? You've known him literally your whole life," Asher gawked, "or are you...," he paused, "embarrassed?"
Rose blushed hard. She felt the blood rush to her cheeks. "Fuck off Asher. How did you even find out about it?" Rose asked, shoving Asher over, and into Wiatt (who was still completely in the blue) who clanged his head softly into the clock.
"Rose got kicked out of Musical Theatre class for being," he smirked, as if warning her to prepare herself for humiliation, "too 'profane and immature.'" Asher honestly felt bad for Rose, but s her friend, it was only his job to dangle it in front of her.
Rose exploded. "Okay! All I did was add a few swear words into a script to make it more relatable then BAM! Kicked out of the class for both of the semesters this year!" she exclaimed, practically yelling. She went even more red in the face.
Wiatt reached over Asher and patted Rose on the shoulder as if to say "Meh, it'll be okay."
Rose dug into her purse after a few seconds of silence to retrieve four pieces of paper. On of which happened to be the wet paint sign. The other three were train tickets to Minneapolis. "You guys ready? Or should we miss the train that leaves in, oh, I don't know, five minutes?" Rose demanded, handing the boys their tickets.
"Let's go!" Wiatt exclaimed, springing up from his seat as well as he could without giving himself brain damage from the clock.
"It's about time you said something," Asher stated, "I thought you had forgotten the damned tickets all together."
"As if!" Rose retorted as they all handed the attendant their round-trip boarding passes.