[child!PxP] You used to say you were "just fine".
Tiny hands, recycled cans, the metal bands I could not stand..
The time you cried and threw your crayons across the floor...
These are the things I think about when I'm alone without you
I wonder of your whereabouts and hope like hell you're happy where you are.
You used to say that you're just fine,
But I still wonder all the time.
"It's ruined!" he cries, a wet pout settling on his lips. You look up from the crayon-marked white paper in front of you and your eyes are met with the most angry-slash-sad face one child could ever make.
"What's ruined?" you ask, rummaging through the pile of crayons, searching for something that would go great with fuchsia. Purple? Nah. Green? Ew. Yellow? OH NOES!
"Everything!" he exclaims, grabbing the pile, your fingers almost not making it out alive, and sending them flying across the room. "Everything's ruined, 'Tricky!" You barely got over the initial shock of his crayon-throwing-syndrome when he broke down in huge sobs.
"Aw, Petey," you coo, pulling him into your shoulder and stroking his back in a comforting manner. "Everything's not ruined, you actually made it all better!"
You hear him sniffle a bit and pull away, rubbing his eyes in that 5-year-old way. "I don't get it, 'Tricky. I made it ugly!" You giggle at his renewed pout and grab the pad of paper he'd been doodling on. On it were two stick-figures. One was taller than the other and one wore (what were supposed to be) glasses and a hat while the other had a mass of black hair scribbled on. In between the two was a heart in bright pink with ''Tricky + Petey' written messily in the center. You only giggle.
"Ugly? Petey! I think it's amazing!" you smile at him and held the picture to your heart. "I think you're amazing."
Another sniffle and a "Really?"
You glance at the picture again. "Yea, really."
That was so long ago, you think. A good 15 years (and more) long ago and sometimes you realise you kind of miss it. Those were the carefree days of playing tag in the yard and picking berries in your mother's garden even thought she'd told you "not to touch my gorgeous berries" a million times. Playing ball in the yard and breaking windows. Dancing to your mom's old record in the basement. Yup. Those were the days.
But those days don't really mean anything now. Now, you're so-many-years older and have so-many-evil responsibilities. The days never seem to be long enough and the nights even more so. It's overwhelming sometimes.
You smile sadly and think of him. Fond memories intertwine with not-so-fond ones. Warm and frigid. Comforting and awkward. They're all there and you have no regrets yet you regret them all. It's a paradox. Your smile is a frown and your tears are laughter, because those memories are the world to you.
Some might think that you hadn't seen him in ages. Oh no. Very much the contrary. You had just seen him almost an hour ago but you just couldn't help your own mind when it was left on it's own. You just seemed to think of him when you're without him. You hope he's happy in the next bunk, in the next room, or in the next state. You just hope and wonder. You used to ask if he was happy. He'd reply with: "I'm just fine" and you'd leave it alone, but that didn't stop you from hoping and wondering.
Do you still believe in the stories told
To you by my friends and I when you were four years old?
How it got so cold that words just froze?
We had to wait 'til summer to find out what was said
One of the best times that we had.
I know I say that I'm just fine,
But I hope you wonder from time to time.
"I don't believe you!" he huffs, crossing his small, pudgy arms. You smirk and look at the other boy beside you and he gives you a little nod.
"Why would I lie to you, Patrick?" you ask, feigning hurt and pulling a dramatic pose. He looks at you with scared eyes (though he tried to look disbelieving) and uncrosses his arms. You almost felt bad when he startes to visibly shake. Almost. I mean, why would you, a big bad six-year old, feel bad for a little four-year-old who would believe anything you and Chris told him.
"Are you sure, Petey?" he asks. You nod. "B-but! I don't want to be eaten by a one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people-eater!"
He starts crying frantically. It's now that you start feeling bad. Why'd you let Chris talk you into scaring him in the first place? You decide to elbow Chris in the ribs when he starts to laugh loudly.
You step forward and pull him into a bear-hug of sorts, considering you're quite small and he's slightly rounder than you. "Shhh, 'Tricky. It'll be okay." you shush. "There's no one-eyed, one-horned, flying, purple people-eater!"
He sniffles, trying to stop his crying. He looks up at you and says, "Good!" before huffing and walking off to play with your He-Man set.
That night, he stays the night. Chris had gone home, making it a two-man (boy?) sleep-over. Your room is so cold, you can see your own breath as well as his. "Petey! I'm cooold!" he whines, crawling into his sleeping bag and snuggling tight to it in an attempt to warm up.
"Then come up here," you reply after a few minutes of thought. Your bed had to be a lot warmer than his flimsy bag, so why not be kind, especially after the joke you'd played earlier.
"But..." he starts.
"Just get up here!" you roll your eyes and open the blankets to let him in. He sighs and crawls out of his bag and jumps in beside you. You smile when he pulls the comforter up to his pudgy face and snuggles in adorably. "That better?"
"Yea. A lot better," he giggles tiredly. "Thanks, Petey."
"No problem, 'Tricky."
He yawns and his eyes close slowly, "Love you, Petey."
"I love you, too, Patrick."
Why'd it have to end, you ask yourself. Those were the days you looked forward to when you were younger. The sleepovers and the lessons you'd teach him, being as you were a whole six years old while he hadn't even turned five yet. You were so much wiser than he, after all.
Too bad that was never true. He's always been wiser, no matter what, but you really don't mind. You think about all the advice and lessons he's taught you and you realise that he really is wiser than his years. You think about that a lot. Especially on the nights when sleep slips through your skinny fingers like gas and your mind slips straight to him. He's what you think about when you're without him.
You think about his advice and his lessons and his caring attitude and his smile and his... everything. He's everything. He cares so much that you wonder if he ever cares for himself. He always asks how you're doing and you always reply: "I'm just fine" and he just lets it go. Sometimes, though, you wonder if he wonders from time to time.