All Around

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Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:39 pm
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All Around

Post by PKMNthiefChris »

It's dark out now. I can see the lights from the town in the distance and the stars twinkling above but otherwise darkness surrounds me. Darkness and the arms of a girl as we lay back on the grass. "Josh," Ela says quietly, though her eyes are still fixed on the sky.

"Yeah?" I ask, just as softly. Something about the night air seems suited for hushed tones. Not every night. But this air, somewhere between crisp and chilly, feels just right for soft tones.

"Do you trust me?"

The words hit me unexpectedly hard. It would be easy to just say yes and try and set her at ease but... Do I trust her? Heck, do I trust anyone at this point? When I can't even trust my body to behave itself? My family cast me adrift into the sea that was St. Dymphna's because they, along with my old school, couldn't cope. With the broken boy they'd built that shook like a miswired android. A failed experiment, a flawed copy of one of their own. The spitting image of his father, but no control like his father. Ma hadn't spoken in my defense, not this time, when I was tossed aside, tossed here. Clearly I shouldn't be trusting anyone, if those that I belong to can throw me away that quick. But... A princess who wore a beret instead of a crown had refused to treat me like a bad copy. This beautiful girl, this regal runaway, had claimed me for her court. She wouldn't let me be alone when I said I wanted it but didn't need it and cared enough to give me space when I actually did.

And that night at the gala... The gala was bright. Almost too bright for someone like me. Too warm. I'm used to the dark places inside myself. And it isn't warm, it's not warm at all under those black waves that crash behind my eyes. But I came at her request because I had nothing better to do. I went like the guy I knew I wasn't. I fumbled my way through steps I didn't know, even after all the dumb school dances I'd gone to back home. Once the buzz wore down, I could slip back under the water. Into the familiar, if uncomfortable, cold that surrounded me. But... That's not how the story went. The waves crested over me and the princess called out to me in her own way, reminding me to swim. The princess saving the not-so-dashing rogue. She kept him out of his comfort zone, out of easy survival. And I stopped denying her attempts to help, eventually. Eventually I held tight to her hand when she tried to pull me free of the water. The princess and the rogue sit on the shore out of the waves reach, if only for now. But now is fine. Now is enough. How can I not trust her now? She knows everything after all. And still she helps me stay on the shore.

I can feel her gaze shift to me when I finally speak. "Yeah," I tell her. "I do."

There's a sound of movement, a feeling of her shifting on my arm, and then there's warmth against my cheek. "I trust you too, Josh," she whispers against me. "Don't let go of me."

I want to promise I won't. I want to promise her everything in this world. But those are the wrong words, so I promise her the only way that'll sound real, coming from me. "Don't ever lose sight of me and I'll never lose sight of you, deal?"

Against my cheek, I feel her lips twitch in a smile. "Absolutely. Not the most romantic way you could've put it," she says, "but I suppose it will do." The warmth on my cheek recedes as she pulls away.

I slip on my usual mask but I'm only doing it to put a show on for her, not pretending to be someone else, since she knows the real me by now. "Well I mean, I'm no gentleman so... that was the best I could offer." We both laugh. I'm not a gentleman by any means, but we both know that has no effect on my being a romantic. Those words were just the way I am when I'm being the most real and I needed her to know I was sincere.
"It's a nice day to steal Ponyta."

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