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Paper and Glue
Rain beats down upon the gray forest floor. The sound echoes around the clearing like a hundred hoof beats. Surrounding trees are twisted in grotesque ways, like people in agony. The raindrops fall even harder now upon my head and I am chilled to the heart. I don't care if the saying says bones or heart, it doesn't matter. All of it, my bones, my flesh, my heart, is his.
If only he would accept it. His ringing words of rejection still play in my mind, playing over and over and over again. They slowly drive me insane. A part of me has to wonder if I'm a fool for loving him. I still love Drake, despite everything.
I had told him a few minutes earlier. Or was it a few seconds? Everything is moving so fast. He hadn't reacted the way I had thought he would. He hates me. He had said so before running deep into the forest. Maybe it would be better if I left. I wouldn't have to remember the rejection and the hurt.
No, not while the fool inside my head still wants to believe that this is possible for us. I don't want to give up yet. If I give up now, a part of me will be lost. I'm a better person when we're together and I know he is too. I need to find him.
I know I'm being stupid as I begin to race forward into the dark trees, but I've never been one to think things through. I run faster and faster, occasionally tripping over the gnarled branches of the tortured trees. My body begs me to stop but I refuse to slow. I'm being stubborn, but if I give up now, I've lost it all. I finally see a break in the trees ahead. I struggle out of the dark forest and into a clearing. And there he is.
Drake sits beneath one of the tortured trees, his eyes are miles away. His hair is sopping wet, and he is beaten down by the weather. But my heart still skips a beat when I see him. I remember when I used to be afraid of how he looked. He was so strange, with black eyes and dark hair that grew wild, in front of his face. But now I couldn't ever see what I had been afraid of.
He's beautiful, but something is wrong with his expression. I wish he'd glare at me and tell me how ridiculous I'm being or smile at me awkwardly before lightly whacking my arm. Just like he used to. But he doesn't look my way and I feel a sick twisting in my stomach. Maybe he really does hate me? No, I can't believe that.
'Drake?' I whisper. I meant for my voice to be louder, confident, but it's strangled. He
doesn't look over to me and my heart tears more. 'Drake?' I ask again. He still doesn't react. Boiling frustration rises inside of me. 'You're not being fair!' I blurt out, while stamping my foot down. I have his attention now, so I continue. ' You don't make sense! I mean, if you love me one second and then hate me in the next, I deserve to know what I did, at least! Because that's not fair, doing that to someone...' I trail off.
He glares at me, shock mingled with frustration. It's obvious that he's not happy with me but at least I can take comfort in the familiar face.
'Why?' he says, quietly mumbling into his hand.
I nod firmly, though I really don't feel strong.
'It should be obvious,' he says a bit louder, lowering his hand.
I know the reason, but I won't ever admit to it aloud. I shake my head firmly. His glare hardens like ice and intensifies like fire and before I can blink, he's on his feet.
'Don't be so stubborn, Summer! It's time for you to grow up and see that we're too different! It doesn't matter if this all works out in your head! This is life!'
I wince at his words, because they're true. I used to think that we were two halves of one whole; our differences completed the other. Now I have to wonder if maybe we're too different. I'm the girl with golden hair who skips and picks flowers and goes through life as if it were all a dream. And he's the angry boy who dresses in black and picks fights and swears. The stubborn part of me thinks that we could still be okay. But my headstrong side is usually wrong.
He relaxes a bit more and looks to the ground. 'We're just two very different people. It would never work. Maybe...' He hesitates. 'I'm no good for you, Summer. Maybe we should separate. And this time for good.'
I hear what he says but I can't believe it. Separate after all this time spent together, laughing and loving and growing? It's true that we're very different, though. Maybe my heart doesn't always know what's right. This really was never to be. Perhaps it would be best for us to separate. My heart was wrong, that was all...
But my heart still remembers. I remember a time when we were walking. Drake was trying to keep track of me. He always is. He was worried about me, so finally I held his hand in mine.
'It's okay,' I had said. 'See? We stick together like paper and glue.'
It was the best I could come up with. And it wasn't much but I had meant it. The memory fades from my vision slowly. I can't believe that my heart is wrong. If I'm rejected again, then so be it, but I will not give up.
'I- I don't care!' I exclaim. He stares at me shocked and I begin to sob. 'I just don't...' I
blabber on,'It doesn't matter to me if we're different! I love you anyways! I love you for you!' The tears fall harder and harder. 'I want us to stick together! I want us to stick together like paper and glue!' It sounds so stupid, but it's the truth. The tears blind me, and continue to run down my face. I know I'm being childish but it doesn't matter. I was never one for acting the part of the grown up.
I feel an awkward hand on my shoulder and he is standing in front of me. He tries to smile but he can't quite get it. Drake opens his mouth and close it again, as if he wants to say something but isn't sure how.
'Don't be such a cry baby,' he finally scolds me gently. He tries one last attempt to smile and then his face slowly crumbles. A few tears fall from his eyes and he is so vulnerable. But it is the most beautiful I have ever seen him. He had always told me that it wasn't possible for him to cry but I had always believed he could.
'Sorry,' he whispers. And in that word, I am filled with relief.
'I never thought I'd hear that from anyone,' He says, smiling a little. He looks at me with clear eyes. 'I want us to stick together, too.' I reach out for his hand and squeeze it reassuringly.
'Like paper and glue?'
I smile a true smile for the first time in what feels like an eternity. We have a hard fight ahead of us. The world isn't kind to people like Drake and I, who stay together despite our differences. But I don't think it matters much. It's what we were born to do.