“Is something holding you back?” was the first thing that came to mind. She wasn’t herself and neither of us were liking it. “Tell me what’s wrong, Carly,” I pulled her note out of my pocket. “You can trust me,” I said with a reassuring smile.
Carly’s eyes lowered to her note in my hand. She took a deep breath as her face softened, giving a small smile. That was easier than I thought it would be, but I didn’t care. I just wanted her to be her happy and perky self again. Surprisingly, she stretched her arms towards me and walked over to me for a tight hug. Now that’s different. She’s not usually one for such close contact. Then again, I’m not complaining, for her sake.
“I’m scared that I might lose you tonight,” she said in a shaky voice. My left shoulder started to feel damp as Carly cried on my shoulder. Oh no.
“Whoa whoa, what are you talking about? Why would you say that,” I pull back from our hug to look her in the eyes, wiping them with my sweater sleeve.
“Nicholas… I’m not… normal,” Carly said through chocking sobs.
“What do you mean? I don’t understand.” My eyebrows furrowed
“Of course you don’t! You can’t! No one can and never will!” Carly shouted as she tightly clutched onto my sweater and shook me roughly. Her knees buckled, falling onto my chest and burying her face into my sweater. I tightly embraced her, shushing her gently as we slowly collapsed to our knees. She took slow and deep breathes. I rested my chin on her head as I held her tightly against me. Carly’s sobbing quieted to sniffling.
“Talk to me, Carly.” I say gently.
“Nick…” She starts softly, weakened from her hysterical release. “I meant what I said. No one can comprehend what I’m… capable of.” She whispered, pulling herself off my chest to look me in the eyes. I shook my head. What?
“Carly, that was way too vague. You’re just coming off as an angsty teen,” I say as I wipe her tears with my other sleeve.
“Look, I don’t know how to phrase that better without coming off as stupid. But this isn’t some teenage edgy emo shit I’m dealing with, it’s just too ridiculous to put into words,” sighed Carly exasperatedly.
“I understand you’re afraid of prejudice. But unless you’re about to reveal yourself to me as a sick murderer trying to kill me out here in the open, I’m not disowning you like you think I will.” I say firmly.
Carly grabbed my sweater and roughly pulled me close to her face. “I… it’s… Y-you can’t… It’s not humanly possible…” she fumbled with her words as her eyes shied away with each stammer.
I brought the hand that still held her note close to her face. “Whatever it is, just tell it to me straight, Carly,” I gently say with a little smile.
Ah, stargazing. Just lying down on the grassy ground in the chilly outdoors, taking deep breaths , while staring into the dark night sky dotted with pretty distant stars, is very relaxing. Looking down back at earth, the bright full moon dimly lights the field. My adrenaline rush from that ten-second dash was already coming down.
For some reason, I found myself sneaking a look towards Carly. She seemed to be distracted from the stars, not by them. Her eyebrows were furrowed and she seemed to be nervous about something. This didn’t feel right. I’ve never seen her like this before. The subject of her zen activity was just above her, yet her eyes darted and wandered with impatience. I had to snap her out of it.
“Carly!” I called out to her. If concern was a sound, it’d be my voice.
“Ah! What?” she yelped, giving a startled jolt.
“That’s the most amount stress I’ve ever seen ruin your face,” I said as I scooched closer to her and turned on my side to face her.
“Talk to me, hon. Nicky is here for you,” I said to her with light-hearted reassurance.
“Heh, ‘Hon’…” Carly breathed out a chuckle as her face flushed. “I’m just worried about that thing I want to show you,” she mumbled as she nervously shifted her weight.
“What’s stopping you from showing me this one? Are you scared?” I ask.
“Yes,” she said as she stood herself up with an exasperated sigh. “I think this is a bad idea,” she walked towards the apple tree’s trunk.
“Why is that? Nothing’s stopped you before. Why now?” I got up as I spoke to her retreating back. I heard her inhale as if she wanted to say something. Nothing came out.
“I thought you trusted me, Carly,” I blurted out. My tongue was tied, taken by surprise by her sudden change of mood and heart.
She gave a sharp gasp of disbelief as she turned back to face me. “Nick, I do trust you!” I could see a red coloration her eyes as they glistened.
Caught off guard by this sudden shift in tone between us, we paused and stared at each other, speechless. I took this time to gather my thoughts.
A few hours into the game, my phone buzzed. It was 11: 52 and Carly had sent me a text. ‘Time to go, bubs!’ it said. I got up from bed and turned off the entertainment machines and peeked out of my door. All the lights were off and everything was quiet. Good. I put on a thick hoodie, set the timer on my phone for the last few minutes till midnight and pocketed it. I opened my window and snuck out onto the roof, closed it, climbed onto a tree next to the house then landed safely onto the ground.
I still had time to kill with the walk to the park, so I had time to think about what would happen tonight. Carly and I have hung out on that hill to stargaze before dinner several times before. So coming at a time like this either meant Carly was going to show me a magic trick or we would probably just stargaze like losers who may or may not be attracted to each other.
Even I’m not sure if I like her that way. She had told me several times that I’m the only one she trusts in this town. Really makes me wonder why I hold so much value to her to have earned her trust without even trying.
Turning round the corner, the grassy, wide open field of Le Ranger Park came into view. I stepped off the sidewalk and walked past the public baseball diamond. As I walked closer to the hill’s base, I saw a flash of yellow on the hilltop under the tree. I waved to the golden mop and it waved back. Yup, that’s her. 11:59 and just the jog up the hill was the last leg of the trip.
“You’re on the dot, Nick! I’m impressed,” Carly called out.
“I’ll be on the dot once I get to you in about twenty seconds! Look here, see,” I pulled out my phone and looked at the timer. “Eighteen, seventee- ah shit! Ten, nine, eight,” I sprint up the hill, only halfway up to Carly’s spot under the apple tree.
“Looks like you’re running late, Nicky!” said Carly, laughing at me.
“No no, I ain’t making a liar outta me!” I shouted as I scrambled closer to the top. “Five, four, three, two…!” on two, I squatted down and took huge leap for the hilltop. “Oof! Ha ha, one! Beat the clock,” I said triumphantly, landing on my stomach as my phone’s timer buzzed and flashed zeroes.
“Now, you’re on the dot,” Carly chuckles as she offers a hand to help me up.
“Thanks, Carls. Oww,” I take Carly’s hand and pull myself up from the ground. I pated dirt off of my shirt and rub my sore belly. “So, what now? You gonna show me a new constellation on tonight’s stargazing session?”
Carly gave a small chuckle. “Well, I don’t how to segue into the surprise after that noisy little stunt. I was hoping this meeting would be a little quieter. And by quieter meeting I mean quieter you,” she smirked as she flicked a finger on my forehead.
“Ow, my forehead and my feelings, I guess,” I say as I rubbed away the stinging on my forehead. “Alright, so what now?”
“Stargazing sounds good to me,” she said, sitting down on the hilltop’s edge, looking back expectantly at me with a smile.
“Alrighty then,” I said as I sat down beside her. We gently flopped onto the grass and as stargazing requires, we aimed our lines of sight towards the night sky.
“Hey, Carly,” I said as I closed the door to my room.
“Hi, Nicky! So, you up for our little midnight date on the hill?” Carly squeaked
“Sure, I’m up for-”
“Under the moon light?” she asked in a suggestive and joking tone.
“Ahem, sure, you know I’m up for it,” I said as my face rapidly heated up while I grabbed a game disc and controller off my shelf in one swift motion.
“I just called to check if it really was from you,” I turned on the game console and T.V., inserted the disc then took a giant leap for my bed.
“Of course it was from me, silly. Who else plays mysterious and hard-to-get in school?” Carly said bombastically
“Hard to get, huh? What, are you keeping me to yourself?” I joked with great regret as I waited for the game to load.
I cringed so hard I cramped my cheeks. To my surprise, my outward joke didn’t cause an awkward silence between us as she just giggled.
“Ooh! Are you firing shots or are you flirting with me?” she said. She seemed genuinely entertained by that comment.
“Heh, was that a flirt?” I chuckled nervously. I suck at talking to girls.
“Yeah, I guess it was, dork. You tried to catch me by surprise with that, huh?” she shot back at me. I swear, I could hear the smirk on her face.
“Well, you got me with the ‘under the moonlight’ thing so get off my case for trying will ya?” Oh my god, game, please load.
“You need charm to catch anyone unawares with words like that! Good try, but your execution was weak. Being the New Kid does that to you, but don’t worry, I will teach you, young lady-killer!” she said, jokingly impersonating Mr. Miyagi
“So says the ‘Mysteriously Hard-to-Get- Loner’ who only talks to me in school! Oh sure, you’re highly credible to help,” Shots fired, game loaded, playing now.
“Wow, you just lost points with that one, ALL the points. You jerk!” That escalated quickly.
“Yeah, that did not feel good to say. I’m sowwy, Carly.” I felt legit sowwy.
“Aw, it’s okay, jerk face. Alright, that’s enough about our sad social awkwardness. What are you doing to kill time?”
“Eh, just playing some Final Installment 15,” I said as I lit up some monsters with some fire magic.
“Oh, that’s cool. I’m playing some Super Jumpy Italian Space Adventures,” said Carly as her phone’s microphone picked up the protagonist’s ‘Woohoo!’ from her T.V.
“Oh man, I love that game! It rocks.” I said. Carly's got good taste in games.
17, Senior Highschooler
I want to be a filmmaker and actor, but the most I can do at the moment is practice writing, photography and voice acting.