when they met

By @cecilyrise
when they met

There was him, and there was her. Both with seemingly average lives. Together, that was when it all changed. When they met.

Chapter 22

Like no other

“Please please please!?” It’s the end of the school day and I really need this. It would be so hard to convince someone over the phone. 

“I’m sorry, but it’s really not my scene. I don’t run” 

I stare at him blankly “you’re on the freaking football team” 

Brayden sighs. “I don’t run long distances” 

I groan “why does everyone say that? You don’t even need to run! I would even walk it with you” 

I suddenly freeze at the voice behind me “I’ll go” 

Both Brayden and I’s attention is diverted to Aaron who’s standing behind me.

I feel suddenly flustered “what?”

He shrugs like its no big deal “I’ll go” 

Oh but this is a big deal. I’ve asked Reece, Brayden, Oliver, Hunter, Owen, and Alex. I couldn’t find Archer, I even asked Hunter where he was but he didn’t care. I proceeded to scold him for being rude after that but I still couldn’t ask him. I’ve stopped talking to Val Taylor and Shawn, I guess we just grew apart.

If we were even close

I was very prepared to go alone. And it wasn’t that I didn’t want to ask Aaron, I just didn’t want to overwhelm him with me. I’m not sure what our friendship includes but I didn’t want to pressure him into saying yes just because he said he would be nice.

I wasn’t sure if he would want to go and was a little too nervous to ask him

“That’s amazing! Thank you! I can’t believe no one wanted to go, who would have thought Mr bitter would go to the happiest 5k on earth” I laugh a bit to myself at the thought and Aaron gives a tiny smile. 

Brayden clears his throat “well, I’ll see you around Rowan” 

I wave at him as he turns and disappears around the corner. I then turn back to Aaron with a big smile on my face.

Don’t hug him, don’t hug him, don’t hug him.

“Ok, so it’s on the twentieth at park square. Oh! And wear white. Wait, you run?” I go on and on, I’m just excited someone said yes. I could have gone alone, but I most definitely didn’t want to.

“Alright, slow down there Walker, I’ll be there. And I can run” amused at the use of my last name, I nod in acknowledgment. 

He signals for me to follow as we walk down the hall and out of school. He suddenly stops and I bump into his shoulder and stumble forward 

“The twentieth? That’s in like two days! ****, you could have given me at least a weeks notice” 

“Shoot” I whisper after my breath. Now I feel a little bad. I was too nervous to ask him and now that he said he would go, he has no time. “Sorry” I say a little louder

“No need to worry too much love, I’ll be fine” 

My breath catches at the little name he just said. ‘love’ it was gorgeous coming from him. And I guess I liked it. He said it so casually I wonder if he said it at all. It was so surprising, I never would have guessed that he could be so..endearing 

I resist the urge to giggle and jump around at the sunshine that so suddenly appeared inside my body.

“Ok” I say quietly with a little waver in my voice 

Get it together!

“You cool if I walk with you?” he asks and my stomach turns a little with an excitement I haven’t felt before. “Yeah, yeah, go ahead no problem mhm” 

What did I say about getting it together Rowan?

Taking a breath I train my eyes on the sidewalk and try to sort out my scrambled egg emotions. 

He was mean, now he’s volunteering to go to an event with me. Should I still be weary? It’s natural for me to forgive so I don’t see why his case would be anything different. I’m not weary, but there’s an ache in my stomach and a flutter in my heart. Like butterflies, but everywhere. 

I couldn’t like him, could I? No, he’s just a friend. Like Brayden or Owen or Reece. Then again, why don’t I feel like this with them? 

Is this some sort of ‘bad boy attraction?’ I’ve read how some girls like the whole ‘bad boy’ persona. But Aaron isn’t bad. Sure he was mean and cold and still is to everyone. But he’s not mean to me and I guess I’m happy about that. Satisfaction, that’s what I’m feeling. Satisfaction and happiness.

Keeping my eyes away from Aaron apparently doesn’t make me invisible. “Are you okay?”

My head shoots up. I’m confused. “Yeah I’m fine” 

“You’re unusually quiet” he points out 

Not in my head “what would you like to talk about?” 

Half a smile graces his lips “I’m sure you can find something random” and he’s totally right. I don’t even need to think to start spewing words.

“After my whole pokemon disaster I’ve decided to swear Pikachu off and move onto scrapbooking. I’m channeling my inner artist, I’d say she’s pretty good! Hopefully, this hobby is fountain free” I speak happily thinking of all my scrapbooking ideas. Then I remember I should probably start taking pictures. 

“Wait, what fountain?” he asks swiveling his head towards me 

Shrugging, I say “I fell in a fountain” then I hold my phone up and take a photo of him while accidentally flashing the flash in his half shocked half laughing face.

“Oh my god, Rowan you are literally walking destruction. I swear every time we hang out I get hur-” 

His words fade out while a giant smile takes over my face. He laughed.. It was so gorgeous and melodious I honestly expected a halo to grace his head. My heart beats wildly at the sound and if I wasn’t so entranced I may have felt a little silly at my reaction but in all the moments we’ve had it’s been one sided laughter and to finally hear his, it’s an amazing sort of satisfying. 

“Rowan?” 

My attention is drawn back to Aaron as he looks at me strangely. With my smile still intact I whisper out “you laughed” 

His face grows confused “huh?”

I repeat myself a little louder “you laughed” I then start a chorus of giggles myself, I cover my mouth as my giggles continue. I’m sure like usual, I look crazy. 

Aaron doesn’t look at me that way though. He smiles, just a little like usual, with a little something more in his expression. I’m not sure what it is but because it doesn’t look like hate, I’m happy. “You’re right. I did”

His face changes through a multitude of emotions before he runs his tongue across his top teeth and gives a thoughtful nod. He then pauses and swivels in my direction. 

I also pause and turn so we’re both facing each other. My eyes are wide looking all over his face which is so close to mine it feels his brown eyes are mixing with my own. 

My heart beats erratically and my mouth is parted hoping to gain more air into my lungs which is proving to be a bit difficult. His body is emanating heat that engulfs me making a blanket of heat surround me in a comforting sort of way. 

His eyes dig into mine as if he’s looking for an answer. His face is tender and boyish. Like he’s seven years old again, curious and learning about the world around him. But now, the world is seemingly inside him. 

He looks confused and I promise I could stay here as long as he was. That is unless I die of my heart bursting out of my chest. That’s exactly what I’m worried about when he leans in a little and my breath gets caught and my mind is sent into a frenzy. 

I’m not sure what’s in my mind at the moment, I could be thinking of everything or nothing but I just cannot focus, my mind is on him and his curious and almost vulnerable look on his face as he looks intently at me. 

He then lets out a heavy breath as he straightens back out and I close my mouth and blink out of my haze. 

“Um- your house” he mutters as he nods his head behind me. I tilt my head to see the bright purple of my house. And while I want to ramble out a goodbye possibly keeping us here another minute, I just can’t find my voice from the moment we just shared. I can’t really wrap my head around my feelings nor my voice. So I nod with wide eyes and swallow as I intertwine my fingers together. 

I turn and walk up the steps to my house only to pause with the door open and look behind me to see Aarons eyes on me. “Bye Aaron” 

He raises his hand “bye Rowan” and I walk inside with heavy feet.

I rush up the stairs before Natasha or Megan can interrupt my thoughts or feelings. 

That moment. It was nothing but a simple gaze and yet it was so much more. My heart spoke in a language that beat to a tune of a song like no other. 

We were something else in that moment. Not Aaron and Rowan but something more ethereal. 

This was not something I could just shake my head to make disappear. I was tethered to the moment which I had a feeling wouldn’t leave me so easily. I don’t think I wanted it to. 

My feelings may have been tangled in knots but they shone brighter than they ever have. Aaron has brought me through years of friendship in a matter of weeks. The stages of hardship, the fun, the tenderness, and now, this connection that has gripped itself around my mind, heart, and body has my thoughts of friendship blurring.

These feelings were far from reach with Reece, or Owen, or Brayden or Hunter or anyone else besides Aaron. Everything was different. My reactions, my feelings, my thoughts were all beyond the things I was used to. 

My past gave me bad memories, people were mean and it left an imprint on me. Now, I have friends, my past is folded and tucked away and although it may surface like that one time coincidentally with Aaron, things are changed now. I’m making memories and my feelings of happiness and joy have become my default. 

And Aaron. He evokes something so magical in me. Something I’m diving into farther than I would ever imagine. He brought cold to everyone, even myself, but he then gave me fire, he lit something so deep within my heart, my soul, and it only glows and glows. 

This friendship was not what I thought it was. It’s more, it’s different, I guess it could be called magic. 

Engulfing me and flying me into empty space as the stars shine back out through my eyes.

It’s crazy, it’s absurd. But, I just can’t ignore the fact that I think.. I think I like Aaron. 

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