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Hiding Jason And Calli

I remember when we’d sit in the gigantic willow tree drooping over the sluggish river. We were only finger-painting, mess making, little brats back then, eight or nine. We had so much fun though. We used to sing made up songs at the top of our lungs and laugh for hours about the stupid things our parents did. I even remember when you brought your first guitar to the river bank because you were afraid you might drop it into the river climbing the tree and you played a song you wrote for me. We were too young then to be embarrassed. It was actually a pretty good song.

But then, the very next day you turned 12, you moved away. Your mom had said that she “had to get out of town for a while”. Something about a guy harassing her. It’s funny, to this very day, I remember every single detail of that moment. I remember your sad green eyes looking deep into mine. It wasn’t the first time I saw you cry, but it was the first time I had anything at all to do with your pain. Which only made the situation worse, of course.

We were standing in the street as rain pelted down on us like no tomorrow- a bad amen I had said. The orange hued streetlights made your hair look almost angelic, I remember reaching my hand out only to hover it above your head, afraid to touch it. You slowly reached up and gently took it in yours. Tears were streaming down our faces.

“It’s time to go, Jason!” I turned to see your skanky mother leaning out the driver’s side window.
You quickly hugged me and softly whispered, “I’ll find you.”
Then you leaned back and just looked at me. You sighed and took your favorite baseball cap off, slapping it on my head. It smelled of you.

“Jason! Come on!” Your mom yelled again, lighting a cigarette.

You started to walk away. “Jason! Wait!” You stopped and turned back to look at me with tortured eyes. “I…”

You dashed back and hugged me again, speaking the words that wouldn’t come out of my mouth. “I love you.”

Then you sprinted back to your mom’s car, slamming the door with anger. I watched as you drove away, the shadow of your guitar case illuminated by a passing car.

“I love you, too, Jason.” I spoke out loud, but it was too late.

*****

He ran his finger along the scares on my wrist as I felt tears run down my face. “You know how you had that baby book? With all the names in it and their meanings? I nodded. “Well, when I was... there,” He said “there” as if it were Hell itself. “I looked up your name online. Do you know what it means?” I shook my head no even though I was very sure what it meant. I just didn’t want to hear my voice cry as I knew it would. “It means a mythological muse for epic poetry.”
I took a deep breath. “Jason.”
“Calli.”
“Am I your muse?”
His hand stopped and he looked up at me. I searched his eyes for his face was expressionless. “No, Call. You’re more than that, you are so so much more than that.”
I wasn’t sure what to talk about now that we had found each other, in the café of all places. I needed some more notebooks for my writing and you were shopping for your mom because you guys had just moved back in.
I sniffed a couple times. “Do you remember the night you left?”
“Yeah, of course, I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.”
“You…” I wanted him to say it himself, but I knew it was my turn to say it. “You said you loved me.”
“Call, could we not talk about this right now?”
Fresh tears poured down my face. “When you drove away, I said something back! But you didn’t hear me! You didn’t turn around!” I sobbed loudly, making a fool of myself. “But you never came back! I loved you, Jason! I loved you! I still love you!”
“Oh, Call.” He tried to hug me but I pushed him away.
“No! Don’t touch me!” I took a deep breath and stood up. “Why don’t you still love me, Jason? What did I do?”
I waited for an answer, but he just sat there on the floor looking up at me. I rolled my eyes, how stupid was I? Did I really think any man would ever act human at all?
I ran out that door, never looking back. I was too angry to care that I was loosing him again. I ran and ran, my legs the only thing I truly saw. Left right, left right. They were always there in front of me. They never left or hid, so I kept running until it got dark.
I didn’t even know where I was. The only thing I could see was trees, but I heard the sound of a river flowing in the distance.

*****

A couple days later, I went to his house and we went for a walk down by the field. For the longest time we just sat in the itchy gold grass and didn’t speak a word.

“Every song I’ve ever written is for you.” Jason spoke, falling back against the tall grass.

My jaw dropped. “Really?” I was shocked after what had happened before.

“Yeah! Well, except that one I wrote about how much I didn’t want to be like my parents.” He chuckled, acting as if nothing happened.

I shook my head, glad he was willing to forget it. “How did you deal with having no one to talk to all this time?”

“I didn’t, obviously.” He chuckled again.
“Whatever! You know what I meant!” I punched him in the arm. I didn’t want to focus on the fact that he slashed his wrists too. It was a part of him I hoped was gone, a part of me I knew was gone as long as we both stopped.

“You wanna piece of me?” He punched me back. “Huh? Do ya?” He started tickling me and I laughed. “Do ya, ya little punk?”

I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe and I toppled to the ground right next to Jason. We were both laughing hysterically and our faces were bright red.
Jason stopped laughing and just stared at me, his face totally serious. I stopped laughing and stared back at him, very confused. He leaned down, tilted his head, and slowly closed his eyes. What was he doing? Oh god! No, no, no! He couldn’t kiss me! Mayday! Mayday! Abort!
“Jason!” He stopped just inches from my lips; I could see each strand of color in his mystically green eyes. Did I want him to kiss me? “I want to show you something.” Apparently, the answer was no.
He stood up quickly and helped me up from the cool grass. I just stood there for a while, my eyes boring into the ground, trying to think of something to say.
“Calli, I’m sorry, I should have asked first.”
“No, it’s okay. I’m just…” I thought about it. “I’m just not ready yet.”
Jason nodded his head. “I understand. Now where are we off to next?”
I smiled, forgetting what just happened in an instant. Just like old times. “To the creek.”
“That’s still there?”
I laughed and tugged on his shirt. He started running and I followed him. It felt so good to run with him again. The sun shinning on us, it was so good to have him back. Jason and Calli, little kids trapped in teenagers bodies.




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