7Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡVznDXPScOo
Her smile is different this time, not forced, not too big and wide, it’s soft as if she understands me and won’t run away. I know it’s stupidly hopeful of me to think that she’ll stay. She won’t. But after seeing her with her brother, the deep and hidden agony she hides every day to make other people happy, I had to do something to show I was sorry. More sorry than she knows. I feel her staring at me, her gaze like a brand on my skin. She just doesn’t look, she sees. And if I’m being honest, it kinda scares me. It seems as if my layers and defenses are just mere glass she can see through.
“I don’t hate you either.” She says casually as if they were just meaningless words and didn’t make my heart flutter inside. I know I shouldn’t be doing this, shouldn’t be feeling this, yet when I look at her, I can’t help it. Does she know how much those words mean to me? I’ve been so awful to her just because I was scared, and I still am. But a part of me doesn’t want to be scared anymore, out of the fear of becoming like Emeel. I’m not sure what to say, so I just finish off my sprite, as we stare at each other, neither one of us looking away.
“That night, when you were having a bad dream, what were you dreaming about?” Something shutters in her eyes, the ghost of pain so bone-deep it hurts. Great going Othello. Billie just plays with her frosty eyes and looks away. She’s hiding something, she’s always hiding things.
“You already know all about me, tell me something about you.” I mean, fair enough. But what do I say? That I’m a traumatized little boy running away from his life to hide in this stupid little town. Yeah, that sounds perfect. I'm sure that’ll make her like me even more. Since when did I start to care if she liked me or not? But ever since seeing her up on that stage, her bright eyes, were soft and determined. I knew at that moment that I would do anything for her, well, most anything. The truth is always hard.
“What would you like to know?” Please don’t be anything personal. I internally beg as she ponders my question.
“What’s your favorite color?” The question is utterly not what I was expecting, and I find myself smiling at her.
“Dark blue, like the depths of the ocean.” Billie nods, her lips pulling up in a knowing smile.
“Makes sense, mine’s pink.” She fingers a strand of her faded pale pink hair and I take a sip of my soda to swallow down the words I was going to say. I know I said I'd get to know her better and be nice, but I don’t need to get attached. But just sitting here with her, I know that I'm already closer to her than I want to be.
“Tell me one secret.” Billie faces me, her hazel eyes peering into mine and it feels like she’s staring through my soul. My tongue flicks out to trace my lips as I think about what to say.
“I’m claustrophobic.” A cool night breeze rolls in as I put the windows down. The wind sweeps my hair over my forehead and I freeze as Billie's warm fingers gently push it back into place. Breathe Othello, breathe! I tell myself, but her hands are on my skin, her face so close, pull away, stop this! I don’t listen to my thoughts anymore. I sit perfectly still, until Billie perfects my hair, giving me a lopsided grin, although her cheeks are stained a pleasant pink. My heart constricts in my chest.
“Any particular reason why?” She whispers, and without thinking of the consequences, the words slip out of my mouth.
“My brother, Emeel, used to lock me in a closet when I was younger. It happens whenever he has friends over if I don't stay out of his way.” The words are rough and I realize that I've never told anyone anything about emeel or what he did. Billie doesn’t give me pity, she doesn’t look at me like I'm a kicked puppy. It feels good.
Instead of Billie giving me apologies and sad smiles, she offers a piece of herself, a secret to me.
“When I was seven, my older sister left me in charge of her pet mouse for a week. I was vacuuming the living room where its cage was and didn’t realize I forgot to shut the cage door. I sucked up her mouse and broke its spine. I blamed it on the cat.” Billie’s cheeks are pink and she smiles slightly, the moon making her look like an ethereal fairy. She never says what I think she will. I was expecting some deep and dark secret, but instead, she didn’t.
“Now that is a true crime, very devious.” Billie chuckles, stuffing her hands under her thighs. Right, the cold. I go to roll the windows up but she stops me.
“Drive, I wanna do something.” She points back to the street and I cock my brow but start the car. Billie sticks out her head and leans out the window, so far I'm afraid she is going to fall but never does. My heart surges at Billie, so carefree, so alive, it makes the blood pump through my veins. I flick the radio on and “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, spills out. I bob my head to the beat as the lights speed by. Billie lets out a whoop! And pulls herself back inside, laughing with windswept hair. Her cheeks are pink and her eyes bright as she beams.
“Woo, I’ve missed doing that! Next time we go on an adventure like this, I’ll have to drive so you can try it.” Billie gushes and I raise my brow, next time. I wait for her to correct herself, or mumble about something but she doesn’t. She’s so certain that there is going to be a next time, and I want there to be. I want there to be hundreds of times. Times where I can just breathe with her, learn how to slowly break down these walls.
“I’ll keep that in mind.” I smile at her, a real one this time. She deserves it. I pull into our apartment complex and find that I don’t want this night to end, but it’s already really late.
“Thank you for this, I had a really fun time,” Billie says as we walk up to our separate rooms. A jarring thought echoes through my mind as we stand in front of our doors.
I don’t want to be alone anymore.
“Of course, anytime you want to escape, knock on the wall.” I wink, trying to cover up my revelation. I don’t want to be alone anymore, I want to be with her.
“Goodnight, Othello.” She waves and all the words I want to say are lodged in my throat, but I manage to squeeze out two precious words.
“I’m sorry.” Billie blinks and cocks her head.
“What for?” A scoff leaves my lips as I motion to her apartment.
“For being a dick to you, and for all the shit I said. I’m sorry.” yeah, great apology Othello. You screwed up, big time, and now you can barely manage to say a half-ass sorry. Billie shrugs and nudges my shoulder.
“It’s alright, I'm always here to play nurse.” She smirks at me, as she goes inside, leaving me to stare at her door. I press a hand to my cheeks and realize they are warm. God, was I blushing in front of her?! What the fuck is going on with me?
I can’t get the thought of Billie, leaning out of my window, her hair flowing around her face like a halo and her wild grin.
I don’t want to be alone anymore.
7Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡNZq1q2y5Ut