30 Seconds

‘What?’ She scowls at me, looking at me with her dark brown eyes. It’s not like I was trying to get her attention, I mean, it’s not like I tried messing around with fireworks or something.

But maybe setting her phone to loud, and calling it in class was a bit… inappropriate. I know people think she’s a lesbian… I doubt it, to be honest. But Katy Perry as her ringtone…

that’s sure to get the stories flowing.

‘What?’ She scowls at me, again. I swear, this must have been the fourth time today.

I know, I’m only talking in my head, but I think she is gorgeous, you know? I feel bad, I’m always messing with her head… but she is… mighty fine. Mighty, mighty fine.

I turn around to her. It’s kinda… she has beautiful eyes. I can’t look her in the face. I blush, look down at my feet.

‘Yeah, you do that.’ She gives me this look that could break glass.

‘I’m… I’m…’ I stutter, trying to start speaking, to try and utter some words, begin speaking.

‘What?’ She repeats the same thing again. I hate it when she asks me that, I know what I should be saying something… But I can’t.

‘Sophie… could… could we talk?’ I manage to splutter out these words. It sounds so cheesy… like I’m trying to talk to a police officer, holding a stash of drugs.

She looks taken aback, startled. I don’t know if I should be worried…

‘Joseph… why should I talk to you?’ She seems… shocked.

‘Thirty seconds… please.’ That’s all I can manage to pull out of my mind.

She looks at me. Stares, for a minute. Trying to get a glimpse into my mind.

Frowns… This can’t be good.

‘Joseph… you’ve got thirty seconds. No more. No less, ok? You treat me like crap, sometimes… but I think I should hear you out.’ She looks to her watch, I can hear a beep, as she hits the stopwatch button.

I can hear it beep as each second passes… five seconds, ten seconds… fifteen… and I’m paralysed to the spot.

Twenty five seconds…

I look at her. She seems… sad.

I decide… I’m going to take the risk.

I drop my things to the floor, take the two steps over to her. Slip one arm behind her back, the other up to her shoulder, to flick the wave of hair from in front of her eyes.

She gasps. I think… I surprised her.

I hear the seconds ticking over… its the twenty eighth second.

I lean my head over, so it’s positioned that I’m looking right into her eyes.

I kiss her. Gently, softly… I try to be gentle, I don’t want to hurt her.

I hear the watch tick past thrty seconds. I break away, twisting myself away from her.

I turn around, and begin to walk away… I don’t want her to see me blushing.

Then…

‘Joseph!’ I hear her… she seems… faint.

I turn around…

She looks at me, with slightly bemused eyes…

‘Can I have thirty seconds?’ She asks me, quite cheekily.

I look at her for a split second…

‘Umm… ok.’

She turns me around, as I count the seconds in my head…

She kisses me back, gently at first, but holding me tighter as the seconds past. This is… strange. I didn’t expect that.

After twenty seconds.. she breaks away.

‘I’m not dumb, you know.’ She breathes quietly. ‘I know you like me.’

I pause, in shock. Take in a quick breath…

Then I hear her finish..

‘I like you too.’

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Guitar

She’s got a guitar, rocking out those tunes, to sunshine and shadow, storms and cloudy skies, snowstorms, and rainstorms, and cyclones, and hurricanes.

She stands there, on that spot waiting for the guy of her dreams to sweep her off of her feet, to take her breath away.

Making that music, sweet, sweet music, scream across the skies, with her voice, powerful and strong, guiding her heart.

She waits, night and day, for that guy.

Time passes, years, months, years… Guys come along, find her heart, waste it, crack it, fragment it… but she stays hopeful, and patient.

Like, a light that shines, brighter than us all, illuminating every horizon, blinding us with its brilliance, and beauty.

One day, she knows, she will find the perfect guy for her.

One that doesnt hurt her, doesn’t try to make her into someone else.

One, that treats her right, doesn’t treat her like shes dirt, or something stuck on the bottom of his shoe.

One, that doesn’t abuse her, ask for things from her that she’ll never give, one that doesn’t convince her to make silly decisions that she neednt have done.

She looks to the sky, at the stars glimmering in the skies at night, the pale white clouds in the days that pass.

She sings her tune, under the skies that shine, and she looks around. Sees the lights surrounding her, her little miracles, that will always be around her, in spirit and reality, and she knows.

One day, she will find the guy, that treats her right, no matter how tough, or how hard it gets, that’ll never hurt her, never upset her.

She just has to hope, and then it’ll all fall into place.

Part One

She’s sitting down on the front step. There are tears in her eyes, as she looks through her text messages. He wants to talk to her. But she just doesn’t. She put her phone back inside her pocket.

They’d been together for a while now. Just over a year.

It was great, just him and her, at the start, free as the wind and as happy as the skies. They went everywhere, long walks on the beach, movies, secret picnics by her favourite spot, those moments where she just melted into his arms, and he held her, and she didn’t need to say anything because he just knew what was wrong.

It went on for a while, but to her, it felt like an instant, a single fleeting moment, when in reality, it was a lot longer than what she thought. She loved every minute of it, cherished the moments that she had with him. She wondered now, if he had too.

Then… her phone sparked into life, inside her pocket. Her ringtone, quiet at the start, increased in tone to the sound of a siren, blaring into the red sunset skies. It was their song, the song that was playing when they had first kissed, the song they sang to, the song that made her think of him when he wasn’t around, that made her smile, when she was sad.

She loved the song, so much. She wondered if he still did.

She takes the phone out of her pocket. Clasped in her right hand, she wonders if she should answer it, hear him out… the song still screams out. She starts to cry, but she answers the phone.

‘Hello?’ she asks, sniffling.

‘Hey, are you ok?’ he asks. He wonders what’s going on.

‘I saw you, today. With that girl.’ she sniffles, once again. ‘Why?’

‘I can explain, babe. Please…’ he pauses.

She cuts in. ‘I don’t want to hear it. I love you, and you cheated on me!’

Her voice rises as she begins to scream at him through the phone.

‘I love you, and you cheated on me with some girl, right in front of me, and you didn’t see me! Just her! Why? We’ve been going out for over a year, and you decide to do that to me? What did I ever do? All I did was love you, and I love you, so much… Why would you just do that?’ she pauses again, catching her breath, and wiping the tears away quickly.

‘Please…’ is all he says.

‘Did you ever love me, did you ever care? Did you just play me like I was some sort of toy? It hurts, that I loved you, and all you ended up doing was hurt me! I don’t want to speak to you EVER AGAIN!’ She screams through the phone, and hangs up.

Then, she gets up from the step. Turning around into the house, she rushes inside, slamming the door, and upstairs to her bedroom, diving under a million sheets and blankets.

Her phone rings again. And again, and again.

You can’t hear it over her tears.

Music in the night

She’s sitting at the piano, running her fingers along the keys. A quiet tinker, as the keys turn her touch into sound, emanating all around the room. She plays a lonely tune, increasing the tempo of her motions as she moves, tapping those keys faster and faster, as if shes running from something she doesnt want to see.

She plays a tune that screams sadness, calls for happiness, and an end to the misery that surrounds her. As she plays, tears roll out, like soldiers out of her eyes, crystalline soldiers running down her skin. As she plays, the tears fall, leaving wet streaks on her face, and as they drop onto the keys, her fingers slip as she plays.

It’s a beautiful tune, but no one is supposed to hear it. She only plays it when she believes shes truly alone in the world. When she feels that no one is there for her, that she doesnt have anyone left for her.

What she doesn’t realise, that theres a guy outside. The guy she likes. And tonight, he’s listening to her music, and wondering if he should knock on her door.

He’s heard the music before. From her, and only her.

He’s known her for a while, has a crush on her. Wishes he could ask her out.

When he tried to, the first time, he heard her music, from the window. Hiding next to the window, he heard her play. Heard the emotion, heard the feeling of her, of her heart. How she played, like she wanted someone to set her free, to be with her, for what she is and what she wants to be.

Tonight is the fourth night he’s tried to gather up the courage to ask her out.

He stands by the window, listening to the tune playing, but tonight, theres a difference. He’s got his guitar, and as he stands by the window, he starts to play her song, in perfect timing with her tune.

And as he begins to play, she hears him. Looks outside the window, and sees him, leaning by the window, looking at her.

She smiles at him. Then runs to the door, with a beaming grin on her face.

He smiles, and walks to the door. When she opens it, he puts down his guitar, and embraces her, softly and lovingly.

Quietly, he whispers in her ear: ‘That was beautiful, that music. Would you like… would you like to make music together?’ He blushes.

She blushes even more, but smiles.

‘Yes. Yes, I would.’

She leans over and kisses him.

The loner, and the coolest girl in the school

He’s a quiet boy, silenced in his noisy world.

She’s a loud girl, in control of her own little universe.

By chance, they meet.

The roles change. She becomes the shy, quiet, gorgeous bombshell that he sees in her.

He becomes the leader of the group, no longer a poet in the shadows, merely an artist by design.

She likes him.

He likes her.

Everybody knew it, but they didn’t.

He transforms into something different.

Something that she hates.

He turns from the shy guy, to the leader that she sees, to a player, a manipulative and malicious boy that hurts the girls he goes near.

She transforms into something he loves.

She becomes the quiet poet he used to be.

She turns, into a shadow, and he himself into a fire.

He loves her, still.

She hates him, for how he changed, the way he treated her.

The way he convinced her to change, and just walked away.

He likes how she changed, the person that she is today.

He asks her out.

She rejects him.

Nobody knows.

The player becomes the poet, again.

Tries to change, in the way that she wants.

She turns back to where she used to be, the popular fool.

He turns back to the unpopular shadow, the poet in the darkness.

She likes him again, for the person that she sees, the pure heart, not the burnt jealous fool he turned into.

He changes, understands that he shouldn’t have treated her the way he did.

He falls in love with her, not for the flawed personality that he sees.

But for the heart of hope, the person that she longs to be, but the person she hides away.

He writes a letter, tells her how he feels.

She gets it. Reads it.

Makes her bring a tear to her eye.

He tells her that he loves her.

She asks him to talk to him in person, at a public place.

The next day, he shows up to talk to her.

All her friends are there, looking at him with a puzzled look.

Wondering why the loner is trying to talk to the coolest girl in the school.

She agrees to walk with him.

Questions are asked: What’s going on?

They talk, she smiles, like gladwrap.

He talks, slowly, and as he gets further on, he decides to go for it…

They sit down on a bench, in the middle of the school.

Leaning next to her, he turns his head.

‘Do you want to know how I feel?’ He asks.

She turns to look at him.

He sees the part of her he longed to see, a long time ago.

‘Yes.’ She whispers, faint as the gentle breeze.

She leans over, and kisses him on the cheek.

She leans her head on his shoulder.

He smiles, gently grasps her left hand in his right.

‘ I loved you, since the day I saw you. From when we just… walked into each other. I thought… I thought you were shallow, changed, to what I thought you’d like.’

‘And… I regretted it. Honestly, I did. I saw you, turned into something I thought you’d like… and I hated it. Then, I realized… you don’t want that. You never did.’

‘I misjudged you, thought you were something that you weren’t, changed into a monster, and I hate myself for doing that, for hurting you.’

‘And, I’m so, so sorry, for treating you the way I did, for exiling you from your own friends, the people you cared about… for asking you out, when I was such a jerk and a bully.’ A tear wells up in his eye, he quickly tries to wipe it away.

He doesn’t get it, it drips down his cheek, along his short stubble, and, eventually, falls, onto her hair.

She looks up at him.

He looks her in the eyes, and says to her.

‘I still love you, I always have, and I always will. I never want to give up, never want to let you go, I want to kiss you in the rain, and carry you past the sunsets, the sunrises, through every day and every night, to hold your hand, and never have to let go, or hurt you again.’

He smiles, a little smile that illuminates his entire face.

She looks at his light blue eyes, a tinge like the sky.

And she says to him:

‘I love you too.’

People walk past, wondering what’s going on.

Why there’s a loner with the coolest girl in the school.

Why, he’s got a tear in his eye, and she’s got her head on his shoulder, and why they’re both smiling at each other.

He looks at her, a calm, yet piercing gaze.

She looks at him, strange eyes that try to piece the meaning of what she sees in them.

And she sees hope, and seriousness, and kindness, and love.

And with that, she makes her choice.

She gently pulls her head off of his shoulder.

He wonders what’s going on.

And… she takes away her hand.

But she leans in, says a few word in his ear.

‘Follow me.’

Taking his hand, and tugging him up, he brings up her hand, to her favourite spot.

She takes him to her favourite place, a small classroom, that’s quiet and serene, like a flower palace, a crystalline fortress.

She takes out her iPod.

Puts on her favourite song, gives him an earphone.

They start to listen.

A quiet melody, a simple tune.

He takes her other hand.

And, gently, he pulls her close, in a comforting embrace.

They start to dance.

He looks into her eyes.

‘Do you… would you like to go out, sometime?’ He asks.

‘Yes… yes, I would.’ She replies.

‘But…’

She pauses, looking at him quietly.

‘I love you too. Always have, always will. I never gave up hope, on you. You hurt me, but I didn’t mind. It hurt… but I forgave you. Because I don’t want to lose you again, to see you become something that you’re not.’

She leans her head on his shoulder, once more, looking into his eyes.

‘I know I want to go out with you, I think it all matters on this, though.’

‘Do you want to go out with me?’ She looks at him, swaying to the music in her favourite spot, with the guy she cares about, dancing with her too.

‘Yes. Yes, I would.’ He replies, with a faint smile on his face.

‘How do you reckon they’re gonna react?’ He asks her. ‘If it’s not too much trouble, I’ll stay quiet, if you want me to.’

She looks at him.

‘No. No… I don’t want you to do that.’ She replies.

‘Let’s ignore them, not care what they think.’ She kisses him.

‘Let’s go.’ She takes his hand, takes him outside.

To the point where she knows everyone could see her and him.

They start to dance again.

A different song, a quiet tune, but still a good song.

She pulls him close to her, again.

And, as they look into their eyes, rain starts to fall.

She leans over him, and he leans over her.

They kiss.

The loner and the coolest girl in the school.

Together at last.