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Because of a Kiss
Darkness, a cold black darkness swirls around this room and consumes me. The only lights are pale rays that shine through the grime covered windows. Their weak beams illuminate an overturned cardboard box before me. Anyone who looked upon me would think I was lifeless, but unfortunately that is not the case.
That April had been quiet, lit only by the orange glow of the sun as it descended over the quiet suburban neighborhood. I could remember a gentle warm breeze wrapped around me like a mother cradling her child, as the grass swayed back and forth in unison with the dimly illuminated evergreen trees. I took a seat on a park bench, leaning back against the old but sturdy wood and closed my eyes.
But my nap was short, for in a moment a twig cracked, jolting me out of my silent reverie. I glanced toward the path quickly locking eyes with a lone figure. The sunset shined upon him, illuminating his form. It was Emil, my lifelong friend.
He smiled briefly before taking a seat beside me. As usual he gave his watch a glance, as if to say: “It’s getting late, I don’t have time for this.”
“So why did you want me to meet you here?” Emil asked, breaking the silence. His haste caught me off guard and I squirmed apprehensively, sneaking a quick glance at him. But he wasn’t looking at me. My heart echoed rhythmically like the beating of a gigantic drum, pounding throughout my entire being. If I was blushing he certainly did not see it, for a dark veil had begun to lower over the park.
“I don't know. We don't seem to talk much anymore. Thought we should." I took another glance at Emil, hoping he had turned towards me; but he wasn't looking back. "Do you still play?" He eyed my hand, which rested shockingly close to his. I could feel my blushing deepen.
"Play what, baseball?” He nodded. “Nope, quit last year. What about you? How's that um… soccer team of yours?" I felt a sudden, gentle stab in my heart, But I laughed it off.
“Dude, I stopped playing soccer in eighth grade. You’d know that if you paid more attention to me.” I winced as I heard the words leave his mouth. I felt his weight leave the bench.
“I’m leaving. If you just wanted me here to whine about how much you wanted me to be around then I’m out. You’re pathetic.” He was about to walk away when I grabbed his arm. It was as shocking to me as it was to him.
Why did I have to stop him? Regret fills my mind as I stare down my feet, becoming pale as I notice my shoes. They were still dark and mud covered, the same ones from that night. In horror I continue to fixate on them, my mind transforming the mud into dried blood.
“I’m sorry. That’s not why I wanted to talk to you.” I could feel my pale face flush again. He turned and for the first time that evening stared straight at me, his eyes boring holes right through me. Then I noticed something; he hadn’t tried to remove my hand from his arm.
“Then why ask me here? To make out?” He chuckled softly to himself. Without a second thought I grabbed him by the soft, silk collar of his shirt and kissed him.
The kiss was soft at first and it had the feel of a fluttering butterfly, or soap bubbles drifting across my lips. I expected him to be startled, and instantly throw me off, but to my surprise he did not. I nipped at his bottom lip gently, and he pulled me closer like a boy would pull a girl, shielding me if only for a moment from the world. His fingers laced themselves through my disarray of dirty blonde locks.
But this moment of seclusion would not last, for out of the corner of my eye I saw a large light getting brighter. Suddenly the headlights came into full view, passing through the shrubbery and casting a spider web of shadows upon us.
I tug my own fingers though my hair trying to remember how it felt, to recapture the bliss, to be happy again. But all that comes to mind is what happened after. Tears are welling up in my eyes, further clouding my muddy hazel irises.
The headlights blinded me, sending icy, numbing waves of fear throughout me. The sound of tires rolling over the gravel could be heard as the car pulled closer. There was no longer any doubt within me that whoever was driving the car was not just an ordinary passerby.
Emil turned towards the car, a scared look on his face, then pushed me away. He ran from the scene like a rabbit pursued by dogs, leaving me alone. The headlights flicked off as the car came to a halt, and I began to stumble backwards, my legs shaking with each step. I saw that it was a cop car, and felt the need to flee, but fear had frozen my legs in place. An officer stepped out of the car and started towards me, with a calm, almost friendly pace. I wanted to run, but my scamper was not like Emil’s. If he was a jackrabbit, I was a tortoise, fear weighing down my steps.
“Hey!” I heard the officer shout and take off after me. His legs were much longer than my own, and it wasn’t long before I felt a tug on my collar. I yelped, ice water trickling through my veins.
“What were you doing there Boy?” His voice rang through my ears, his hand clutched my throat, and I struggled to speak. I began to stutter, but was cut off.
“You sick little f*****, I‘ll teach you a lesson!” The scent of iron filled the air, his knuckles cracking against my face with shocking force. I stumbled backward, clutching at my already bruised head. A faint whimper escaped my lips. I lifted my head to see him, only to be shoved to the ground once more.
He was relentless, and I thought then that he was going to kill me. He kicked in my side, the scent of blood growing stronger in the air, and I felt something crack. I scrambled desperately, flopping around like a fish as I tried to get up. Then I felt something collide with my face, hard. The agonizing pain that swam through my veins disappeared and was filled with a blank nothing, I was knocked out cold.
I can feel the tears sliding down my cheeks, hot and moist. I keep wishing that I never did that, never kissed Emil. I want to report that cop, but if I do, I’ll be exposed for who I am, they’ll know I love Emil. My eyes scan the basement. I can see a flicker of light from the top step where the door meets the staircase. A voice breaks through my thoughts.
“Nick, sweetheart, Emil’s on the phone for you.” I get up wipe away the tears. I compose myself and begin the dark trudge up the staircase. Yet even from the bottom of the stairs, you can still see the bright light shining from underneath the door at the top of the steps.