She was the kind of girl our parents warned us about. The kind that came into your life in a reckless whirlwind and altered your opinion about everything. The kind of girl that many compared to drugs, the hooking one after whom you would run straight into the Hell.
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Storm was her name, as fitting as it was. But my God, what a beautiful storm she was.
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We met in the waiting room of a psychologist office, which, in retrospective; should have been alarming. Fed up with the never ending "How does that make you feel"s, I was waiting for my brother to pick me up. She was there for her own session of forced rambling and pointless, answerless questions.
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There was nothing extraordinary about her, at first, nothing to make me pay extra attention. Little on the bigger side, tall and plain; she possessed nothing that was worthy of a second glance.
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But then our eyes met, and I remember the world stop turning. She had an entire universe in her eyes, all new born stars and those dead long ago, all new planets unexplored and wild. They sucked me in like a Black Spot, using their own gravity to pull me and spurred curiosity in my mind. Suddenly I wanted to know everything about her, and she let me.
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That was all it took, one look into her eyes was enough for everything to start. That was the day when I lost myself with the girl who had the universe in her eyes. She would come to my house in the most unexpected hours, propose the most shocking ideas and take me to the most amazing places; and I followed. Like a lost dog searching for home, like a drug addict seeking for another fix.
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One night, as I was struggling with the crippling insomnia that was gripping my brain for years now, her head popped from my opened window, scaring the hell out of me in the process.
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"Charlie boy," she beamed. Her face was one of true giddiness, as if she wasn't hanging off of a window in two in the morning. "Get up, get ready. We are going to an adventure!"
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Perplexed, I could only stare numbly at her for few moments. "Storm...it's two in the morning."
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Storm gave me a look, silently trying to find a reason for my statement. I wasn't surprised, Storm conformed to no laws of propriety. "So?"
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With that, she wiggled out from the window, pulling half a curtain down in the process. A second before she disappeared in the darkness however, Storm stuck her head again in between the mess of the curtains and said, "Oh, and you are going to need a bandana!"
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That was how, one hour later we found ourselves sneaking in to the water tower with a bright orange bandanas wrapped around our noses and mouths (a present from Storm) and a backpack filled with different colored spray cans. We laughed like lunatics we were, both stood on opposite sides of the tower, painting our "masterpieces". I didn't think about my painting, my hands moved on their own accord, pulling one can after the other until I was starring into those eyes. Those mesmerizing, marvelous eyes filled with different galaxies unbeknownst to humankind.
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"Okay, I'm done," Storm proclaimed, racing down the ladders, and I followed suit. "I want to see what you painted."
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Before I could stop her she skipped towards the side of the tower on which I was standing just minutes before. She stopped abruptly, caught in the moment. For the first time since I met her, Storm was unusually calm. Silently, her eyes stared at the painting, at my poor attempt to show the world the miracle she was.
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"Wow," she uttered after a while. Shaking her head, her trademark grin slowly slipped on her lips. "Didn't peg you as an egoistic person, Charlie boy. Painting your own eyes on the water tower is a little...narcissistic."
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Blinking, I tried to understand her words. My eyes? She thought tha--
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"Anyway, way to make me feel silly. There's no way I would show my own kid's scrabble after this masterpiece."
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Interrupting my thoughts, Storm attempted to pick up all the cans and make a getaway, but I was having non of that. Before she could react, I ran to the other side.
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And there, in bright colorful tones; scribbled in a messy handwriting, proudly stood:
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My reaction was blunt, I burst out laughing the second I grasped those words she spent more than an hour working on. She hit me on my arm repeatedly, yelling loudly for me to stop but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't. Storm blushed a bit, an expression so out of place on her plump cheeks. Mesmerized, I froze. My hand flew to brush a stray strand of her short hair, and our eyes locked. My head was approaching hers, and she looked nervous for a bit. Right as our mouths were about to clash, a sound interrupted us.
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"You two! Stay put!" A plump middle aged man shouted. Dressed in a security uniform and armed with a flashlight, he stood few feet away from us. Storm spared no time to think and clasped my arm, tugging.
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"Run Charlie boy," she yelled. "Run for your life, or else you're toast!"
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And with that, hand in hand we ran, laughing wildly while the plump security guard chased after us. His shoutings and the rambling of the spray cans in our backpacks mixed with our laughter, freezing everything in a reckless, nothing short of a happy memory.
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Our adventures continued, and I continued irrevocably falling for Storm. It was inevitable, I knew that much, for she bewitched my sould ever since the first time we met. Storm made life easier, any baggage lighter and every day more happier.
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However, she never shared much about herself. The bits and peices I knew about her familly were exposed unintentionally, but that never bothered me. Every other aspect of her personality was worn on her sleeve; every emotion visible. She was never ashamed of guffawing like an idiot, or sobbing like a baby. A mystery Storm was, yet so evident and sincere. Her whole existence was a contradiction, one that kept pulling me in more and more.
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It was on her birthday, several months after we met, that she told me the reason she was in that pshycolocist's office that day. And her words shook me to the core, left a huge inexplicable hole in my mind; and I couldn't grasp it completely.
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''My father died in a car crash last year,'' she said quietly. It was her birthday, and the first time I got to chose our destination. We were having an impromptu picnic in the middle of the night, settled atop the tallest building in our little town; drinking cheap beer and gazing up the marvelous sky above us. Storm was unusually serene that night, her voice nothing more than a whisper breathed into the peacful darkness. No loud guffawing, no wild behaviors. Only sad confession from a sad girl in disguise. ''I was diagnosed with depression. Pretty ironic, isn't it? It's easier to label someone as depressed and send them to psychologist--a stranger who doesn't give a shit--than to let one be sad and mourn. All they needed to do was to hug me and feed me lies that everything was going to be okay.''
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Speechless, I didn't know what to say. Storm's eyes were not an universe anymore, but misty forest drowning in the downpour. They were set on her wrist where her fingers played with the charm braclet, a present I gave her just moments before her confession. The charms represented different memories of our adventures, and judging by the abrupt, bone-squeezing hug she gave me, Storm loved it. So I mimicked her action and wrapped my arms around her shoulders, craddling her in a soft hug. Mouth on her ear, my voice was a shuddering whisper, ''Everything is going to be okay.''
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Storm chuckled at that, a sound so sorrowful and echoing in the night. Shaking her head she stood up abrubtly, wrestled with her phone and turned on the music. The moment of real Storm came and went, her wounds were hidden under her grin again; and she twirled and ran around in circles. The bottle of cheap beer dangled in her hand, the little sway in her moves evidence of her drunken state. Cracking a smile myself, I stood up to catch her just as she was about to fall. She leaned her head on my chest, wrapped her arms around my waist and swayed us. I took no time to wrap my arms around her too.
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"You're a good person Charlie boy," she murmured suddenly. "Your soul is kind and old. You don't question or judge. I'm lucky I have you."
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"I'm lucky to have you too."
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Somewhere the midst of out hushed words and synchronized heart beats we stopped dancing and our gazes intertwined again.
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"You're a lunatic sometimes," she said timidly. "But I love lunatics."
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"And you're drunk," I whispered. "But I love drunk."
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And the moment our lips touched, a thousand galaxies exploded around us. Nothing mattered anymore, the world could spin out of control, the moon could disappear and all the stars could fall down. All that mattered were we at that exact moment, a girl in my arms and a storm in my heart.ns188.8.131.52da2