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 23

The happiest 5k on earth

Aarons pov

I can’t stop thinking about it. About her. I didn’t mean to stare at her like a creep for so long but I just couldn’t figure out why I reacted the way I did around her. She flips a kind of switch for me and I just feel lighter with her around. 

I don’t know why my brain just shut off the whole way back home and throughout the whole night. Maybe it was too frenzied or something but it was blank until the moment I finally fell asleep. 

Unfortunately, that leaves me now to think about it. The twentieth. The morning I’m supposed to meet Rowan for this ******* color run. I make a mocking face “The happiest 5k on earth” I roll my eyes.

Why did I agree to do this? To spend time with Rowan. Why? Well that’s what I’m trying to figure out. That moment we had made me anything but certain. I was so confused with everything, her eyes were filled with fire and gold and were staring at me with a look that was enough to make my heart dance. 

I kept looking at her hoping to find the answer to why she evoked such a feeling in me. My breathing was loud in my head and with the pounding of my heart, I couldn’t think. I looked into her eyes hoping to look far enough to see what it was about her. That she’s kind? Fun? Carefree? Bubbly? Eccentric? Absolutely wonderfully crazy? She’s all kinds of beautiful, inside and out. 

I don’t know how I didn’t see it, but she brings out a part of me that hasn’t been touched in such a long time. 

Like the absolute idiot I am, I’m studying the directions to park square where I’ll meet Rowan like it’s a test. 

In the midst of my ‘studying’ Jackson walks in tired as ever. “What the **** are you doing?” He peeks over my shoulder at the directions I printed out and he laughs like an idiot “Where are you going?” 

I ****** the directions off the table and shove them in my pocket “Not your ******* business” 

He wiggles his finger at me “No need to be so grumpy you grump. I swear you are grumpier than grandpa Jack”

Grandpa Jack is worse than me. He’s a man of criticism and pessimism, it’s a handful to work with but grandma Elle is always there to straighten him out. Quite the pair they make. 

I roll my eyes at Jackson and put my hands in my pockets as I get up and go to leave.

“Holy ****! How didn’t I see it? What are you wearing? You’re like the grumpiest angel in the entirety of heaven!

He’s laughing his ass off clearly at my white attire. I don’t wear white usually so I know it’s different but he doesn’t have to be a drama queen about it. And he calls me the drama queen. 

I didn’t dig in my closet for twenty minutes to find all white clothes making me look like a snowman for myself. I didn’t do it for him to laugh at or for anyone on the street to be blinded by. I did it for the ******* color run. And Rowan.

I walked out of my room originally in a black shirt but I paused when I could actually hear Rowan in my head scolding me for wearing the ‘incorrect attire’ so I turned around and changed into the ******* Halloween costume. 

“I don’t care.″ I proceed to walk away and out the door. I can’t be late. Rowan would be upset if I left her to start without me when she was so clearly excited for me to come. And I guess that made me excited too.

I closed the door shutting out the sound of Jackson’s laughs and I tried to remember the way to park square. 

I haven’t gotten around much so this is proving to be harder than I would like it to

I really don’t want to look like a tourist who can’t find their way and is using a map. 

I think this is the street.. I pass a corner and really am tempted to put my pride in my pockets and look the map 

******* I wish my phone’s map app would work without wifi. And I wish my idiot brother hadn’t used all my data when he took my phone for the car ride here when his died. Most definitely a bad idea because now I have no clue where I am and may be leaving Rowan all alone right now because I don’t know when this thing starts. 

She probably could have said a little more than ‘early’ 

Making it a little farther down the street I notice parts of the sidewalk are smeared with random colors. Now, I’ve either walked into candy land or I’m nearing the right place. 

I continue to follow the colors until I’m standing across the street of a giant set up. Almost everyone in white, there are tents lining the whole street, crowds of people are here and I suddenly feel awkward being the one person looking in. 

While I walk through the mass of people my eyes scan for something familiar. Her laugh, her smile, her eyes, just..her. 

“*******it Rowan, where are you?” I mumble as I sigh in frustration

I scan the area and walk towards a tent where people are handing out water. She’ll need water eventually.

I try and look as casual as I can in a terribly awkward situation, putting my hands in my pockets and tapping the ground with the tip of my shoe. I look down trying to draw the least amount of attention to me as I can without looking sketchy. 

Standing has never felt this difficult.

My head shoots up when my name is called “Aaron!” 

A wonderfully familiar brown headed girl runs my way squeezing through the crowd. She runs in my direction and I’m a little worried she’s going to knock me over with the speed she’s going. 

She runs and much to my surprise, jumps and wraps her arms around me. I don’t have a single moment to comprehend what’s happening before we both go flying to the ground.

My arms quickly wrap around her in a protective way and we hit the ground. The air is knocked out of me from the impact with the ground, certainly not Rowan, she’s a little thing, but the ground, although had no rocks, was still rock hard and managed to kill my ability to breath for a second. 

While refilling the air that was lost from my lungs I feel Rowan move from on top of me. Her arms are still wrapped around my waist and her head is cradled to my chest with my arms around her. 

Despite the circumstances, this feels right. I feel right. 

“How eventful” I hear Rowan speak with her face in my shirt

She goes to sit up and I almost tighten my hold on her but I unhappily let my arms fall from around her 

She gets up and brushes off her pants. She picks at a light grass stain and whispers “Aw man” she then focuses her attention to the guy on the ground watching her with a warm heart. Me. “Oh! Aaron, I am so sorry. Here” she then holds out her hand.

I take her small hand in mine and she tugs hard. I stay still simply relishing in the feel of her hand in mine. “Gosh! You weigh about as much as a million bricks!” 

I roll my eyes and push myself up also wiping down my clothes “I don’t think so” I pause narrowing my eyes at her “I think you’re just tiny” 

She opens her mouth to retort with something im assuming will be about her not being tiny and actually scarier than some sort of loch ness monster.

Of course before she can, someone with an annoying as hell loudspeaker stands on a chair and starts announcing how the run will be starting soon and all participants should gather at the end of the street. 

She takes my hand and starts pulling me towards the starting area. My heart rate increases as she takes hold of my hand and my eyes widen.

She pulls me over to a backpack that’s resting on the side of the tree. She snatches it in her hand and quickly moves her hand from mine to grasp my shirt.

I blink, surprised at her actions

She pulls me close and whispers in my ear “look what I brought”

“It’s not drugs is it?” I would be very surprised if it was

She tsks in my ear and pulls away a little to show me her bag. 

My eyes widen at the sight of maybe twenty water balloon sized balloons inside

Her smile widens like a kid about to enter a candy store “its glitter!” she squeals in delight and I purse my lips.

don’t do glitter. It’s bad enough I’m going to look like a rainbow threw up on me but now it’s becoming a sparkly rainbow. 

“Just keep it away from me” I grumble at her

She slaps my chest and pulls her bag on her shoulder walking with me to the starting area “no need to be so grumpy” 

She’s practically bouncing with excitement and although I’m not sharing that same emotion, my body feels as if I’m floating on sunshine when she looks so happy. Her bright eyes look into mine and they stun me as if I’m looking straight into a star. 

The annoying person with the ******* microphone starts yelling again. “Participants, get ready! We will be starting in just three minutes!” 

Rowan then turns to me seriously “what’s the game plan?”

“Excuse me? I ask 

“Well, we need to know how we’re doing this. Do you wanna run? Or we can walk, or skip or jump” she hops once in place for emphasis 

I nod “let’s run for a bit, then when one of us gets tired, we can walk. You are welcome to hop”

She looks at me slyly “you sure you don’t wanna dance?” she then proceeds to do various dances 

I just shake my head with a smile 

“Places runners! Twenty seconds!” the announcer shouts once again

Rowan starts stretching and running in place. I just stand there looking at her. 

She is so pretty. Her hair is down in slight waves and she wears all white looking like both a tennis player and an angel.

I have become such a cliche. 

“Get ready! Set-”

Rowan takes my hand “GO!” 

She practically yanks me when everyone takes off. I run beside her as she runs with a little skip in her step. 

A little ways in, I’m taken off guard. Someone could have warned me that blue powder would be flying in my face. 

My looking at the beautiful girl beside me is interrupted and I glare at the crowd of people next to the running line who are cheering. The **** blue powder culprits.

My attention is diverted when I hear Rowan giggling as she slows down to spin and hop in the color. 

She pauses and looks at me with her hands in fists clutched tightly to her chest. She smiles up at me and I give a soft, endearing grin watching her. 

“If you glare at every color your face will be stuck like that” she says with her eyebrows raised in a scolding manor. 

“Alright, whatever you say” I then take her hand and pull her along. 

We run a while longer, Rowan throws glitter at people and once she throws it at me. I pause and glare at her before walking up to her shaking my glitter covered head at her and hugging her, picking her up, and twirling her around getting glitter all over her and the ground while she shrieks and laughs. 

Running once again we get covered in green, pink, and yellow before Rowan slows a little. 

I glance at her “tired?” 

She shakes her head. I squint my eyes at her and tilt my head “oh?” 

She groans “My feet hurt” 

I glance at her shoes which are now covered in colors and look back up “Alright, get on”

I turn around and hold my hands out behind me

She wastes no time before I hear a pitter-patter of steps getting closer until I feel her land on my back. I almost laugh at the fact that she had to get a running start because of her height but I stop when she starts to slip. I hoist her up and she sits up “Whoo Hoo!” 

I smile at her antics and I start walking. She has her hands out beside her in a titanic kind of way with her eyes closed. 

I suddenly spin around and she’s quick to latch onto my head partially covering my eyes 

“Don’t do that!” she yells 

This time I laugh.

“Look look look! There it is!” Rowan shouts while still on my back

She points like she’s the captain of a ship towards the end line of the color run “We’re almost there!” 

I pick up my pace until we’re a few feet from the end line “WAIT!” she cries and I halt in my steps abruptly 

She then hops down and takes my hand “I want to finish together” she says sweetly 

I smile at her sweetness and nod “Okay” 

We then walk together, steps in sync over the line. 

“Oh my god, that was so fun! I can’t believe we just did that, I can’t believe I didn’t have to do it alone, I mean how sad would that be right? I actually can’t believe you were the one to do it with me, although I couldn’t be happier I’m so glad you decided to come, I had an absolutely wonderful time-” 

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, she is beautiful. And I just couldn’t stop myself, it’s not like I can go against my brain that always thinks of her and her smile, or my heart that beats harder for her voice, every atom in my body that begs to be near her, can I right?

No, I couldn’t stop myself if I wanted to. I don’t, absolutely not. Never. And so I do it.

I kiss her.

I place my lips on hers and her voice dies down as she slowly grips my shirt with her hands and pulls me closer.

I put my hands on her waist and kiss her with everything I have. All my feelings, each emotion varying from desperation confusion to happiness, I kiss her with all the light that erupts in my body every time she looks at me, every apology for every mistake I’ve made, every memory with her, my wishes and fears, they are all for her now. It’s all for her. 

Fire fills my body with a warmth and light I have never had, my heart feels pure as gold, as if my past has nothing to do with me and it’s just us, just her. 

I pull away just a few inches and rest my forehead on hers when I see a tear drop caress her face I wipe it away “what’s wrong” I whisper quietly to her as if it’s just us in the world

She looks up at me with teary eyes and a soft smile on her face “i guess it’s called the happiest 5k for a reason huh?” and she reaches up on her toes to press her lips back to mine 

And it was just us, that was it, there was no one around us, no noise, nothing except her and I and the colors surrounding us.

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