"Us"

October 21, 2010
I guess you could say it all started with an open window.
I had been waiting all day for him to get to my aunt’s house, really I had been staring at the clocks in the house, at times wishing for them to go faster but then there were moments when I felt they were edging on a bit too quickly. Needless to say, I was losing what bit of sanity I had, I was just so nervous! I wondered to myself what it would have been like, finally meeting face to face. I pondered all the things I would have said at the first meeting, but everything I thought up sounded utterly ridiculous, either immature, corny, cliché, and sometimes just plain stupid. Funny thing, earlier that day I had literally spent about 3 hours looking for an outfit, one that said “oh this? I just threw this on last minute! I look beautiful? Why thank you!” This was so unlike me it came as a slap to the face.
Really, why was he so different than any other guy I had known? He was my second-cousin, and my best friend, it was frightening how alike we are… well were, so why should I be getting so crazy? He’s nothing out of this world, your average 5’5 tan, well more of an orangey-brown glow, Dominican-Puerto Rican male. Alright he isn’t average, he has this amazing personality that just makes me want to smile until my face cracks, deep-set eyes;” near-death black” as I like to say, and maybe most un-usual of all; his ability to read my mind at random moments. You see, we’d been talking for about 3 or 4 months non-stop by instant –messenger. At first, it was just to get me to know his best friend who had sort-of a crush on me, then it evolved into a close friendship, there was nothing I didn’t tell him, and there was nothing he couldn’t tell me. Everything was perfect, that is except the fact he lived in New York. That was a joy-kill for me on so many levels.
Summer eventually rolled in, along with my growing anticipation for summer vacation, id finally get to jump on the first plane out of Miami and into New York, well, it would land in LaGuardia and we’d have a relative drive us to New Jersey where the rest of my family resides. Beggars can’t be choosers in these situations. When the day came, I was just so breathless and excited I didn’t know what to do, except to call him to relate the news of my arrival. Plans were made, and he was coming to Jersey to stay with his grandfather who lived right next door with my aunt, lucky right? I sure as h*** thought so.
Lying in my aunts soft and plushy light-tan leather love-seat, I lazily kept glancing outside the window, watching for any sign of him. Eventually, there’s a good chance I got tired of waiting and dozed off, only to be woken by my noisy cousin Josh practically screeching in my ear.
“Nate’s here!!! He’s outside on the porch! Look! Look! Are you sleeping? Wake UP! “
When what he was blathering about processed in my brain, my cat-like reflexes kicked up and I peered out the open window, now, no one has any idea how my heart seemed to speed up and squeeze at the same time. He was looking up directly at me, a smile playing on his lips. I did the only thing I could think of; I fell back with a huge smile on my face. I hoped he never saw that. I wasted no time with stairs, I simply leapt all the way down and out the door, but when I turned the corner, my mouth had sealed shut and I could feel my heart race for the second time. Nate was busy talking to Josh for a bit, at first, we were extremely awkward, and seemed like strangers who faintly recalled seeing each other, perhaps at a party or something like that. This was not what I expected, but none the less the three of us had races around the block, had a berry fight with the berries growing on Nate’s grandfather’s tree, and we ended up on his porch, simply talking and lighting matches for no apparent reason.
The Sun started to set, and the sky was tinted with magnificent reds, oranges, and the dark blue of nightfall, with that we took it as the cue to go inside my aunt’s house. As we reached the top of the staircase, Nate & I realized josh was missing, of course we shrugged it off, thinking he’d come sooner or later. With that we made our way to the living room and plopped ourselves in the love-seat, that’s when I can truly say, we finally recognized each other. He was the boy I had told all my secrets, my dreams and thoughts too, the one who made me laugh against all odds and I was the girl who brought him out of his shell, and knew about the graves he had dug.
The things we spoke about don’t really register with me now, bits and pieces stayed with me, like when we had plugged in our music and had turned into Metallica’s “All Nightmare Long”, I air-guitar, and he the air-drummer having a seizure of happiness simply because he could show off his skills.
“You like that. Don’t you!?” He exclaimed at some point, getting cocky & making me laugh and nod.
At the time, my parents, aunts and uncles and other random parts of the family had started playing Bingo in the dining area or watching TV in the kitchen, the older cousins retreated to my older cousin’s room to talk and whatever it was they did. Nate & I were pretty invisible, just the way I liked it. It was all so perfect to me, nowadays I wonder if it was as perfect to him too. It’s a beautiful thing to find everything you’d want in a person, it’s an insane notion that the person is a distant cousin, there had to be exceptions…right? Every time he’s smile at me or his knee would brush mine, I could feel the blush rising and my heart squeeze, not right not right said my brain, shut up and enjoy the ride said my heart. Now, people always say to listen to your heart, right?
So as everything was quieting down throughout the household, my head was resting on the loveseat pillow as I felt something warm sliding over my hand. I glanced down to see…Nate’s fingers slowly intertwining with mine, pulling my hand in between our legs so no one would notice us. He gave my hand a light squeeze and looked at me with a soft questioning smile. I leaned in slightly, smiled and squeezed back. We laughed about it of course, we can laugh about practically anything, now that I really think about it, and we laughed because we knew. We knew what the family would say, we knew what would happen, and we frankly, could really care less.
As always in life, all good things come to an end. The family was dispersing off into their lives, and kissing each other goodbye and whatnot. I walked down stairs with Nate, clinging to the little bit of time we had left together, talking about whatever came to mind really. Eventually they called me to leave, my aunt and mom, I couldn’t leave without saying goodbye now could I? He gave me a long tight hug, and before letting go, pressed his lips to mine quickly. I was stunned; I touched my lips softly and playfully glared at him.
“WHOA!”
“I know right?” he smirked and walked away with a huge cocky smile.
That left me smiling all night, even in my sleep; just the memory brings a small smile into place of my usual bored expression. It’s really depressing enough to bring me to tears to think of that as such a distant memory, a memory where everything was so much easier, so fictitious it belonged in a romantic collection. Even now as I sit and type, I wonder what I could’ve done, should’ve done, and where would we be now if not for that night, the night where all h*** broke loose, unleashing its wrath upon the masked Romeo and Juliet imposters. These thoughts all came flooding back to me, just as he uttered the word that sparked the flames that fuel my inspiration.
“Be My Inspiration, give me a word , a line, anything please”
“..Us..”





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