Sunday, August 14, 2011

Origins IV

Everything was perfect.

The night was cold, crisp, and clear. All the clouds had been swept away, leaving the starry sky a smooth dome that protected the world. Each star was watching someone, whispering unheard secrets across the infinite ocean of space between them. They spoke with their light, each flaring twinkle a few words of a larger sentiment. Hovering directly above them was the moon, a flawless crescent of light. Though everyone who looked into the sky would see the same moon, she liked to think it was even brighter, just for her.

"The crescent moon is the bowl from which God drank after he made the world."

"I'd be thirsty too, after all that work."

It was Amara who spoke first. She was seventeen, laying on the roof of a boy's house. Music was playing quietly from the small speakers they had brought up with them. The boy's name was Jaren. He was tall and graceful, with long arms and delicate fingers, which she always watched whenever he played music. She loved watching him play, loved listening to his songs. That was his F.A.T.E., a musician and songwriter, a far cry from her cold world of medicine. A world without much by way of art or passion, a world without music. His music was poetry that he could read to her heart. Even now they were listening to his work, the speakers were playing a recording demo he had done for his class project. She had sat in the studio watching him, eyes fixated on his hands, flowing from one chord to another without hesitation, without conscious thought. It was beautiful.

Right now, his soft hand was interlaced with hers. It had taken twenty minutes of him slowly twitching his fingers closer to hers to get where they were. It was kind of cute, so much that she didn't mind the goosebumps that covered her exposed arms. They hadn't thought to bring a blanket up with them, or at least Jaren didn't.

Jaren's head rolled towards hers, his hair falling over his eyes. Amara smiled, chewing on the inside of her lip. She was about to say something, but as soon as she began to move closer to him, Jaren suddenly had the immediate need to sit up.

"What's wrong?" She sat up, adjusting her weight so she was leaning against him slightly. She rearranged her glasses more comfortably, tucking an errant strand of hair behind one ear. They were still holding hands, even though his was a little sweaty. She scooted a bit closer, trying to siphon some of his warmth through his thick jacket.
"I still can't believe you came by tonight. Shouldn't you be burning night hours with a brain surgeon or something?" He had asked her if she wanted to come by and study together, just for some company while I go over some boring notes. That she said yes seems to have surprised him more than if she had sprouted wings and taken flight straight from this rooftop.
"Jaren, I chose to come over tonight because I wanted to. I spend the majority of my waking hours in the company of people who are all studying the same material. It is not like your music class, where you are all working together to write lyrics or make a song. We are all competing for the best scores, the best chances at getting picked up by a big name company during finals, and we are all studying the same information. While I have some friends - we obviously have a lot in common - I cannot imagine dating any of them."

Jaren's cheeks flushed as a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth, "Is that what we're doing, then? Are we dating?"

Amara rolled her eyes, sitting straight up so she was not leaning against him anymore. Letting go of his hand, she pulled her knees up to her chest. A quiet chuckle slipped out and was snatched away by a passing breeze, "You really are a bit hopeless, aren't you?" One eyebrow

The following silence started to stretch, tempting the line between comfortable and awkward. After a minute or so it was well into awkward territory, clearing a path through the jungle of social ineptitude with a very large machete. Unable to keep watching each other, they looked at the roof. At the next house over. Eventually they looked up at the sky, and the map of stars above them aided slightly in relieving the discomfort.

They were both watching the stars when suddenly a streak of light cut through the matte darkness of the night sky. Never too old to make a wish, they both murmured a quick prayer and then closed their eyes to cast their wish into the great beyond. After a few moments, Amara opened her eyes again, "So what did you wish f-" she was cutoff as Jaren leaned over and kissed her.

They were frozen for a moment; Amara was caught off guard, and Jaren had used all of his gumption to get to the point of kissing her. Now that he was here, he didn't have the strength to break away. The moment passed, and she smiled against his lips. She reached up and ran a hand through his hair, and they broke the kiss. Jaren met her gaze firmly, one eyebrow lifted slightly, and the faintest of cocksure smiles on his face, "My wish was that you would kiss me back."

Amara actually giggled. Giggled, if you would believe it, though she would later edit that detail out when she described the nights events to her friend Mila. She pushed him back and down so he was pressed against the roof. Then, slowly, she lowered her lips onto his.

Everything was perfect.


"Hey, did you want to use my jacket? You look kind of cold."

[Author's Corner]

Watch your step people, this thing is dripping in teenage sappiness and stereotype. I think some of it got on the floor. Given the flak and criticism I normally dish out to teenage romance novels, I think I have spun plenty of rope with which to hang myself here. Still, it was kind of fun to write (which puts said romance novels into a terrifying new perspective), and I had been picturing this moment in Amara's youth for some time. I was listening to This Song by Explosions in the Sky, which was recommended to me this last weekend at a wedding I was attending. While I had been wanting to do a piece with Amara sneaking out to a boys house, this whole scene was inspired while listening to this song. I wrote most of it in one sitting listening to it on repeat, and then I wrapped it up the following day. Overall I'm satisfied with it; it's hardly a literary masterpiece, but I think it fits the moment. The writing is a little awkward, but so are they.

Enjoy, and feel free to share in the comments if this reminded any of you of a special moment in your past.