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Starbursts

Something about his presence made her quiet and concealed. Maybe she was silenced by how much she seemed to care for him, or maybe she was scared that she would say something stupid and he would disappear. With her friends, she was loud and even borderline obnoxious; she hated that all her self confidence disappeared around Keaton. She knew she was in love, but she could never manage to say those three words, "I love you." If she even thought them, she stiffened like a dried up starfish.

One late evening, when she was walking home from her neighbor’s house, she called him and he met her outside. The dark night sent ruthless amounts of rain down on them; drops of the cool moisture splashed upon the asphalt and pools of water began to mesh, just like their bodies as they embraced.

“You’re soaking,” She giggled shyly.

“It was worth it,” he managed to get out between breaths. He had run all the way there, but was still smiling his beautiful smile, his mouthed closed, but the tips of his soft lips curling up boyishly. It made her stomach lurch and tingle.

He looked into her eyes, “Ally,” he whispered.

Their eyes locked intimately, they didn’t need words, which Ally was glad of. His wide innocent brown eyes looked up pleadingly into her own. The smell of wet grass, fresh and barely detectable wafted about them. She wrapped her arms around his neck instinctually and their lips slowly met. She had become accustomed to kissing him in the rain. It was January, it was always raining, yet the romantic essence never seemed to ware off, unlike the weathered words “STOP” slowly fading on the sign behind them.

That night she couldn’t stop thinking about him. She wanted to tell him how she felt, but was way too scared. A few weeks before he had asked her if she had ever loved anyone.

“No,” She had said, “I think it takes a while though, right?”

She immediately regretted it. He informed her that yes it did and that was that. She wondered if now he thought she wasn’t in love with him, that it hadn’t been long enough yet.
She fell asleep staring at her bottle of starburst wrappers, their favorite candy. Big white S's stood out amongst the array of tropical colors. She had been collecting the wrappers since September, when she had been delighted to find out they both loved them. At lunch they would often sit in the bleachers by the track, watching people get dreadfully muddy out on the dirty field playing football, and eat their wonderful starbursts.



Valentines Day was when everything began to fall apart. Ally could tell by the way he was acting something was very wrong. It almost seemed as though he only talked to her because he had to, not because he wanted to.

That day in Spanish class she made him a valentine’s card that said “Mi Amour”; he had always liked it when she called him “my love” and writing it down on paper gave her hope. When they kissed that day however, something was different. She had never, not even once, opened her eyes while kissing him before. To her it seemed less amorous and way to impersonal. Yet this time her eyes were wide open and she noticed it with horror, pulling away and slipping into class.

Similar days passed and Ally grew more and more worried about her relationship, but she didn’t do much to fix it. She was too scared he’d turn her away if she tried to talk to him about it. The longer it lasted, the better; even if it was terribly awkward and unbearable.



One particularly cold February afternoon, Ally sat in art class and knew, today was the day. She could have avoided the halls, knowing it was coming, but she did quite the opposite. She asked for a hall pass in art and walked down the hall way, deep in her thoughts. Keaton came out of nowhere, as if on cue.

“Ally,” He said in a frowning monotone, “could you come here a sec?”

It was over. She immediately knew it. She considered just turning around and walking the other way as panic overtook her. What had she been thinking? She should have stayed in class.

“Yeah?” She walked up to him cautiously, as if each step was a plunge into immense danger. She remembered all the other times she had met him during this class. He had P.E. and sometimes he would sneak out and they would just talk in the halls, like one of those cute couples that never can get enough of each other.

“I think, maybe, we should break up. Things have been, uh, kind of weird.” He was talking slowly like he thought she was some sort of deaf cow and wouldn’t understand, “I think we should be friends though. Okay?”

She wanted to scream or cry, or anything, but a thick numb blanket covered body and seeped into her mind. He wrapped his arms around her one last time, but she hugged back as if she didn’t even know him anymore.

It took her two whole weeks to cry, but when she finally did, the burning salty droplets were relentless. Tears cascaded down her cheeks, making them puff up like big red clouds. She finally took it all in, she finally understood. He was gone forever, and she never even got to tell him how much she really loved him.





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autumngirl<3 said...
Jan. 19, 2010 at 11:33 pm
This story has such power in it. I really felt like I knew Ally and the emotions and experiences that she's going through. I really liked how the story was somber yet there was an air of comedy in it. Almost bittersweet writing. Good job, natalieyesthatsme, you've really captured the picture of a teenage romance.
 
opalsofmoonlight said...
Jan. 19, 2010 at 7:56 pm
This story is so wonderfully written! Everyone can relate to that feeling of...plunging as well as regretting never saying those 3 small fearful words.
 
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