"I like you."
“So, you’re a man-hating feminist?” I thought it was a fair question.
Juliet groaned, “Let it go Brendon.”
“No way. You hate prince charming!” I loved the rise I got out of her when it came to Disney movies. “That’s who every boy is raised to be like so you like, hate every single man in this world!”
“I don’t know many prince charming types.” Juliet responded.
I frowned, “Hey now… Who do you think I am, Batman?”
“More like Robin.”
“Ouch!” I gasped for air, clutching my chest dramatically.
Juliet just rolled her eyes. “So, are we going to watch anything good?”
I poked her in the head causing her to pull away in surprise, “What the hell?” She swatted my hand away as I went to poke her again.
“How come you’re not normal? Even I like Cinderella!”
“I like the movie just fine. It’s just the message behind the movie isn’t so great and I’ve grown up and come to realize this so…”
“So, you don’t like it.” That’s what she was getting at.
“I do.” She argued, half-heartedly. “What do you want from me?”
“I want you to admit that you like it.” I wasn’t going to give up either. I could drive her absolutely insane. “Admit that you want to be swept off of your feet. Admit you want to have a fairy tale romance.”
Juliet cocked her head to the side and sighed heavily. “I don’t want an evil stepmother and I don’t want someone to try to kill me with an apple and I don’t want a guy that can’t even remember what I look like though he’s completely set on loving me but yeah, I do like the idea of romance and yeah, sometimes I think about what it would be like…” The admission didn’t make me feel as good as I thought it would. She looked sad.
“I think about it sometimes too.” I admitted, much to my own surprise.
I was sad too though because something so simple really wasn’t simple at all and Juliet was right… It was something neither of us understood.
Yet it was something we couldn’t stop ourselves from wanting.
“Have you ever thought of writing books or some shit? You’re pretty damn smart.” Jon said, leaning against the couch in my living room. He still hadn’t left. We argued about romance for a while and then we just sat in silence… Then we argued about guitars and then we just sat and well; now it seemed it was time for praise. I had to admit Jon was growing on me.
“I’ve thought about writing music.” I admitted, glancing towards my guitar. It felt weird not holding it. “I actually have written some music.”
“Can I see it, or hear it, or read it, or whatever?” Jon asked, nervously playing with his fingers.
“Um, sure.” I’d never felt quite so nervous before.
“It’s almost clean!” Tonight had been so exciting oddly enough. Brendon and I hadn’t really done anything but it felt as if we had done everything. I didn’t really want tonight to end. I couldn’t remember ever feeling so happy. “I can see floor.” I grinned, glancing at Brendon.
He laughed, “I can’t guarantee it’ll stay this way.”
“I’ll have to take pictures.”
“Now that it’s clean… are you ready to decorate?”
“How did you want to decorate?” I asked, glancing around his room.
Brendon disappeared, saying nothing. I found it kind of odd but I stayed in place, looking around. His room was kind of bland once the posters were gone. It didn’t really feel like Brendon’s bedroom. I guess I expected something else. The posters didn’t surprise a part of me but the other part was glad they were gone, despite how lonely it left the room.
An odd smell hit my nose and I glanced towards the door to see Brendon with… paint.
“I’ll definitely be needing pictures.”
“Brendon, the wall not me!” It seemed I’d scolded him a thousand times and yet he still kept getting paint on my jeans instead of on the wall, which was now becoming a deep red color.
Brendon pouted and it was too late so I just shut up. My clothing was already ruined with the paint. I didn’t really care though. I was having fun. This was fun.
“It’s all splotchy.” We hadn’t really painted, more like flung paint at the wall. “I like it.”
“I like you.” Brendon blurted out, quickly looking away.
Brendon dropped his paintbrush on to the newspaper we’d laid out to keep the carpet from getting paint on it. “N-nothing, I guess.”
“I heard you just fine. It wasn’t nothing.” I just needed clarification because I was quite confused.
“Then why do you need me to repeat myself?” Brendon’s cheeks were heating up, turning a reddish pink color similar to the paint now on his walls.
“Because I think I misheard.” I spit out, knowing I hadn’t. Had I? He didn’t stutter. I wasn’t Deaf.
Brendon finally turned towards me. Two more steps and we’d be touching. He made those steps so easily, while I remained in place. “I like you.” He repeated. “I like you a lot Juliet.”
“I- I have to go.” I turned away quickly, not leaving just yet. “I have to go Brendon, I have to.” Why did I sound like I was desperately attempting to convince myself of this?
Brendon didn’t say anything and because of my tendency to have no guts whatsoever I found myself rushing from his bedroom, down his stairs, and out of his house.
It wasn’t until I was outside that I realized I was running for absolutely no reason. I kept running though.
The air whipping through my hair felt good. The burning that began in my throat even felt good. The distance I put between my problems was what felt best.
I was a coward; weak and destined to be alone forever.
I’d have more cats than I could count.
“Juliet?” I was breathing too hard to greet my mother in return and when she found me leaning against the kitchen counter I was sure she thought I was on the verge of passing out seeing as how I kind of was. “What’s wrong?” She asked, confused. “Have you been… running from something?”
I choked on some unprocessed air and was about to respond when more footsteps were heard. I checked the clock. My dad wouldn’t be off work yet.
“Dear Brendon here was concerned about you.” My mother quickly explained, just as Brendon appeared in the doorway. “He said you ran off before he could offer to give you a ride.”
“I- exercise- it’s good for you.” I choked out. “I need-“ Breathe, “to exercise more.”
Brendon was choking back laughter but then finally let it go when my mother started laughing. “Oh dear, you’re a strange one.” She commented, “Did either of you want something to drink?”
“Water please.” Water had oxygen in it, right? I needed oxygen desperately!
“No thank you Ma’am.” The polite tone Brendon used with my mother caught me off guard but she was all smiles.
Two glasses of water later and I was finally able to focus on what my mother and Brendon were talking about, which wonderfully enough happened to be me.
“I’m really tired.” I faked a yawn, hoping to kill the conversation. “I have to be getting to bed.”
Brendon smirked before whispering in my ear, “Want me to tuck you in?”
My mother nodded, not catching Brendon’s added comment. “I’m tired as well but Brendon; you must come over again soon!”
“Of course.” Brendon nodded, “I’d love to.”
I walked Brendon to the door, hoping the butterflies were just from my sudden heart rate increasing activity. “Well, here we are.” I stopped at the door, looking everywhere but at Brendon.
“Hey, look at me.” Brendon glanced down in to my eyes as I desperately attempted to avoid his. Finally I gave in, glancing at him. I shouldn’t have. It was a trap. An awful, nerve-wracking trap.
“Don’t run away like that again, okay?” Brendon requested, leaning down slightly. I jumped as his fingers brushed hair behind my ear, the motion incredibly seductive. “You scared me. I couldn’t find you and then, then I came here and your mother hadn’t seen you… That’s twice now; I don’t think I can handle a third time.”
“I’m s-“ My apology was cut short by Brendon’s lips.
I felt as if my entire body was set on fire, each nerve crying out in pleasure. It was in the way his lips so gently pressed against my own lips; the way his fingers played with the hair now tucked behind my ear, and the way his lips curved up in to a smile.
“Goodnight.” Brendon did a small bow before leaving me standing in place, the sound of the door closing echoing through my head.
I was getting ready for bed when my bedroom door opened and my mother peaked in, “I meant to knock.” She immediately said, glancing around as if she were going to find Brendon hiding.
I just shrugged, “It’s okay, I was just getting ready for bed anyway.”
She could hardly contain the smile breaking out across her face, “I like him.” She finally admitted. “He’s so handsome!”
“He is.” That was the truth but there was more to him, I just couldn’t figure it out. “And… sometimes he’s nice.”
“Yeah.” I couldn’t really elaborate though. I was finding that Brendon was hard to explain. The words just wouldn’t come and the ones that did seemed wrong. “I don’t know.” I finally admitted, frowning.
The laughter from my mother was unexpected but she simply shook her head, shaking off whatever joke had just played through her mind. “We rarely know when it matters.” She finally commented, “Sleep well Juliet.”
She closed the door and I turned off the light, feeling an urge I hadn’t felt in a while. I didn’t need the light to find my guitar, which was hiding under my bed. I didn’t need the light to feel the chords, and it only took a few minutes to tune it.
It only took a few aimlessly played tunes before I realized what I felt like singing, and it was a song I’d never thought I’d feel like singing because it wasn’t something I’d ever felt before.
I closed my eyes and let the words take over everything that had ever been me. I watched as all of my sanity slipped away, with each note so expertly played. It was as if I knew how feeling like this felt. It was as if I knew what to do when my heart decided to take control.
It all made sense in a way that I knew could never work out yet the words kept coming and the notes kept pressing back against my fingers, letting the guitar sound against my voice.
“I really wish you would drop everything now, meet me in the pouring rain, kiss me on the sidewalk, take away the pain cuz I see sparks fly whenever you smile.” The words so sickeningly sweet felt so good and all I could see was Brendon’s beautiful smile.
It felt good but I knew it could feel just as bad if I let it continue. The sad thing was I knew I had no choice. I couldn’t back out now. I had to play this out. I had to see who ended up with the broken heart, though I already kind of knew the ending of our story.
“I’m captivated by you baby, like a firework show.”
This could only be bad or worse but right now it felt great, and I was going to hold on to that because there really was nothing I could do.
You couldn’t choose who your heart decided to let in.
There was no override button.
So, why fight it?
I didn’t realize my mother was listening from the other side of the door. I didn’t see the smile on her face, or just how she felt knowing her daughter had gotten her first taste of teenage love.
I didn’t have the grace to go out and talk to her. I didn’t know any better than what I was doing.
I didn’t know a lot of things, and even when I found out it wouldn’t really make sense. That was the pain of life. It was the choices we all made, and it was the consequences we all paid.
Not everything always made sense but some things felt good, those things usually held painful consequences but they felt good for a little while and that was all that mattered, right?
(The song was Sparks Fly by Taylor Swift. Here are the lyrics if you wanted to read them: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/taylorswift/sparksfly.html)