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Loving Rolling Stone, Loving Sunshine
This isn't the full story, but rather the first few chapters.
My parents stopped questioning my loud music after I turned 13. I told them blasting my music helped me sleep. Dirty money by Weathers was blasting as I waited for Rolling Stone to come.
Rolling Stone wasn't an actual rolling stone, he was a normal teenager. I call him Rolling Stone, he calls me Sunshine. Those are our nicknames. He never learned my real name and I refuse to tell him what it is; when we first met I said for him to call me whatever he wanted, Sunshine just stuck around because he claimed I was the sunshine to his nighttime. Cheesy.
I was putting on my green varsity jacket and combat boots when I heard noises of someone climbing up the fire escape outside my window (my family lived in the city and we lived in an apartment complex). I was standing a good 5 feet away from my window. I walked over cautiously. I don’t know why. Everything from the marrow in my bones to my hairs standing up on my neck knew what the noise was. Yet, mother always said looks are deceiving. I hadn’t even opened up my window when pic-a-boo a face popped out in front of my window. My gut was right, Rolling Stone it was. His deep breathing was causing fog to clog onto the window. He must’ve climbed up hastily. Crazy boy.
I haven't opened the latch to the window yet. The window glass kept us away. I squatted down on my knees and I was faced with him. I took in his features a bit. He tilted his head to the side. He was also examining me. I tapped the window glass a bit. He didn’t do much, only put his hand, fingers spread on the window. I did the same thing in the same place. If only the window glass wasn’t blocking our hands' urge to touch.
I shook that thought away and pulled my hand away. He bit down on his lip, harshly. I unlocked my window and pushed it up. I was hit with the smell of the aftermath rain and moist cold air. I admired the rain. The aftermath was the best part. The way the small droplets of water were like magnifying glass, zooming on small parts of an object. Masterpiece.
“Admiring I see?” Rolling Stone said, breaking me out of my trance of the fresh night air. I rolled my eyes a bit. He had a small smile and an amused look on his face.
“It’s a beautiful sight,” I gave him a side glance with a tranquil voice.
“Just like my sunshine,” Rolling Stone whispered.
“What?” I raised my eyebrow.
“What?” He looked at me, he too looked confused. I honestly couldn’t tell whether he was acting or not. I did hear what he said. He meant nothing to it. I learned that people talk too much and say things they don’t mean. I won’t lie to you, Rolling Stone did say things that he meant. This time though, and all the other times he complimented me, I knew he only said it because he wanted me to understand. He wanted me to understand him. Truth was, I understood him like no one else.
I doubt that nowadays. Things aren't what they used to be. Time equals change, change also means patience. Patience to give what your heart needs to understand.
I know there’s no forever. Only between hello and goodbye. Except with Rolling Stone, my first words were “You’re welcome.” How we met wasn’t your average shy girl, cool guy love cliche. Nonono.
We were in the homeroom,assigned seats. Never spoke a word to this guy in front of me. He always wore his hood on and looked down at his phone. I always had my headphones in but I wasn’t listening to music. I observed patterns in human behavior. And every other day, a girl from our homeroom sitting across from me and this dude; would put lipstick on her lips and pucker them. She would then come over to the dude and flirt with him. He never gave in. In all honesty, he looked annoyed. He would always give quick glances and respond uninterested.
The same ritual went down, only this time the girl had sat on my desk and tapped his shoulder. He looked up and turned around. She put on a phony smile. I pushed her off my desk with daggers in my eyes. She looked at me with an annoyed bitchy look. You know, those glasses you get when you talk bad about someone everybody worships?
The same old routine went down, but this girl just didn’t understand the hints he wanted to be left alone. I was thinking that she was hoping that he would just give in.
I put some gum in my mouth as I purposely chewed loudly. I made sure the noise of the squishy moist gum being chewed in between my mouth was irritable.
“Would you quit that?!” The girl asked me, her eyes were narrowed a bit.
I popped a bubble, “When you leave I will,” I smiled. My lips twitched up amusingly. It’s fun how her lips turned pouty and her eyes narrowed with her arms across her chest.
“Why should I do what you want?” The girl practically sneered at me. I rolled my eyes at her.
“Why should I have to listen to you waste your breath on a guy who clearly is tired of you and clown friends thinking something could happen?”
It wasn’t even a good insult, but the girl scoffed and walked away. I turned to look at the guy, he went back to staring at his phone.
I leaned over my desk and pulled off his hoodie. He turned around, annoyed and pissed. “You’re welcome,” I rolled my eyes at him. I bet this guy thought he was entitled and didn’t need to thank anybody for anything.
Boy, was I wrong.
This guy put his hoodie back up and growled a bit. “Why did you do that?”
“Because,” I answered, “You didn’t thank me.”
“Is it really needed?” He asked.
“I mean you always hate it when girls talk to you, or anybody for that matter.” I said matter of factly. I could see it in his eyes. He seemed taken aback that I noticed that.
“Wh-what’s your name?” He asked me.
“Call me whatever you want,” I smiled a bit.
And the rest is history.
June 9, 5:45am was around the time we left. I brought my phone with me. You never know what you might need.
Paranoia slipped into the cracks of my veins as Rolling Stone and I climbed down the fire escape. We were on the final level as he jumped down swiftly and harmlessly.
“I can do this-”
“Hurry up!” Rolling Stone shouted at me. I rolled my eyes at him. I slid myself under the brown rusted railing and jumped down. My feet buckled and my knees bent. I almost fell on the paved asphalt. Rolling Stone looked at me, he had a worried look.. Something I hadn’t seen in a long time.
“I’m fine.” I reassured
“Uh-huh” Rolling Stone put his hoodie up and his expression went away.
“I am!” I contradicted myself. He didn’t say anything else on the matter but kept walking away into the streets. Even though I knew where he was going, I didn’t want to lose him. Nothing lasts forever, I know that, but don’t let it go either.Hold onto what you have. For me, It was Rolling Stone. It’s not that I didn’t trust him, but rather I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t trust my own mind to keep my secrets. I didn’t trust I’d get lost trying to find an abyss which in end would be vain.
The road was empty. Puddles of rain were on the sidewalk and every gutter dripped water. The stoplight changed from orange, red, and green. The walk signs changed from the white woman walking and the orange hand. The orange numbers counted down. We walked down “Peony St.”
This street brings back memories.
Rolling Stone and I were coming back from a school dance. Some idiot kids had doused the punch with alcohol, long story short, almost everyone was drunk when the dance was over. I was wearing a maroon dress with black leggings and combat boots. Rolling Stone was wearing a black leather jacket and a shirt that said “where did the dreamers go?” with jeans and boots.
Like a majority of the students… he got drunk,
Odd part was that he saw them pour the alcohol (as he claimed) yet he still got some?! This boy…
What surprised me the most was how he was walking and acting. He was walking fine, even for the occasional trip over his own feet or almost walking into something but that’s because he was looking down. I don’t want to lie to myself and say he is all good and doesn’t make poor decisions. We all have. I have. That being said, it will not surprise me if he does go to bars and get drunk, or sneaks out and drinks with Reaper or anybody else. This is just a theory though.
As we continued walking we didn’t say much. He was more of slurring words to himself, and spinning around on lampposts. I was trying my hardest not to snort or roll my eyes playfully. Whenever I did that he would make a pouty lips. Child he is. That’s why you gotta love him I suppose.
I didn’t know what time it was. I was safely assuming Rolling Stone didn’t know either. My phone was halfway dead so like any sane person would do: I stole his phone to check the time.
“Hey!” He pouted out as he sheepishly tried to get it back from me. I ran off a few feet and checked the time. Almost midnight. Luckily my parents somewhat knew Rolling Stone and trusted him. Trusted him to an extent that is. How far that extent I didn’t know.
As I checked the time I saw a quick glance of his background. At first it was just a girl. Looking back again I realized his lockscreen was me. I didn’t remember taking the picture but it was of me covering my face and giving the middle finger. My signature sign. I could feel my eyes soften and my grip tightened on the phone. I wanted to hold it closer to my heart.
I gave it back to him.
Looking back at this memory, and using common sense, Rolling Stone won’t remember. The dance he might, but as for walking through the streets he won’t. I never brought it up with him, and I think I’m doing him a favor for doing that. If he does remember, he’d rather not bring it up. He once told me and I quote “Remembering these memories can bring so much into your heart, making it swell until it explodes.”
Poet with words. He could slay you with his tongue.
There are a few things over the years I’ve learned about Rolling Stone. Ones he told me, few I observed, and others Reaper told me. This specific one I asked Reaper about and he confirmed it with me: Rolling Stone is unpredictable.
“Where are we going?” I asked as we got into Rolling Stone’s car.
“You’ll see.” Is all he said. I rolled my eyes and got into the passenger's seat. His car was a standard car. The inside smelled like smoke and sex. Apart from the smell, the back seats had a few miscellaneous things piling on top of one another. I looked back at him as he had a sheepish look.
“Don’t mind the smell,” He gulped down a bit “It’s actually Reaper’s.” I just nodded as he avoided eye contact as he started the ignition. I think he’s still surprised I actually agreed to this. It hadn’t even been a month since I pulled down his hoodie and called him entitled. I didn’t talk to him after that. I didn’t realize until after that how many classes I have with this guy: Homeroom, Gym, Math, and Lunch. I never learned his name either. That’s what I get for never paying attention in class.
He had asked me during lunch to meet him after school in the parking lot. I agreed. He seemed surprised. I only agreed to see what kind of boy he was. I know he didn’t hate me, but didn’t like me either. He seemed… infatuated. I was a puzzle to him, a-
Rolling Stone stopped walking abruptly, making me come out of my nostalgia. We were at the place. Our secret place. The abandoned tree house.
The school somehow got enough funding to take our high school class on a trip camping. I normally didn’t do these things because I had no entertainment. Reaper convinced me though. He, and I quote said “You’ll have fun. Rolling Stone is coming too if that helps influence your decision.” Well, that f*ckboy was right. Maybe not mine, but my parent's decision. When they asked why I wanted to go and who I was going with, I was truthfully honest. They didn’t know I called him Rolling Stone, only as the boy in my homeroom. Being hesitant, they nodded but said I must call them everyday. I complied.
The day of the trip I waited by my locker since I left my backpack full of my things in there. I hadn’t seen Reaper, nor Rolling Stone that morning. Did they lie? Surely not. I was about to head to the charter buses like everybody else when I felt vibrations from my back pocket. I opened up my phone. A text message from Reaper.
Head to the back parking lot behind the gym. Rolling Stone is here too.
I rolled my eyes, grunting, and slung my bag over my shoulder and headed over to the gym. I took the long way of course, since teachers were monitoring the hallways to make sure no kids were skipping the trip. How did they pass the teachers?
The gym back parking lot was empty except with one beat up vehicle. I looked both ways and sprinted over to it. I saw Rolling Stone standing there talking to Reaper as I got closer. He was wearing his usual jacket, boots, and black pants. I couldn’t stop myself in time as I braced myself into Rolling Stone’s side. He let out a hurt grunt and looked down. “Oh, hi. You made it,” was all he told me.
I jumped into the backseat of the car as Reaper and Rolling Stone sat in the front. Reaper was in drivers seat. I saw the charter buses parked and kids entering and being accounted for the trip. I felt my lungs drop into my stomach. What if they count me absent? Will they contact my parents? What if we show up and they realize I wasn’t counted on the roster? All these thoughts raced through my head while I regretted doing this. Why did I even agree? To two boys I didn’t even know?? I could feel myself scooting closer to the door and to make a bolt out the door to run off, but they locked it and started the ignition. There was no going back.
Reaper sat there a little longer after the charter buses left. My anxiety was getting worse as I could feel myself tugging on the string of my cheap black $12 Walmart brand jacket. It was big on me but it made me feel safe. I hated jackets that fitted me, I wanted them bigger than me. They made me feel protected and safe, not revealed or exposed to anybody.
I lost track of time but I ended up falling asleep in the car, the last noises I heard was the thud of my book falling on the car floor. We still hadn't left the place even then.
When we arrived at the camp, I was still groggy and sleepy. I knew we weren't nowhere near home due to the tall trees and falling droplets of rain on the car window. I pretended to be asleep as I heard Rolling Stone and Reaper talking.
"We're earlier than the buses," Reaper amusingly scoffed, "Told you that short cut was a good idea."
"Whatever, I'll get her out," Rolling Stone replied. "Get our stuff will ya?" I didn't hear much afterwards expect the car doors opening and the trunk opening. I saw Rolling Stone standing outside my car door talking to Reaper, making hand gestures to him. As he opened my car door I closed my eyes and tried avoiding his eyes staring at my 'sleeping self.'
"Uh.. How do you wake a sleeping girl?" Rolling Stone asked
"Why?" Reaper walked over and looked at me, "Well Romeo, you just kiss her awake like sleeping beauty," Reaper chuckled and slapped his back, causing Rolling Stone to growl under his breath. I could feel his eyes look back onto me as he stared at me for a few moments. Why though? Was he looking at my outfit? What was he thinking? What did he think of me? These thoughts had passed through my mind before but never have I felt more self conscious than when he gazed at me, even if I was fake sleeping.
We stumbled upon the old tree house on the third night there. Rolling Stone and I ditched Reaper and went on our own adventure. I hadn't had any alone time with Rolling Stone since I first met Reaper. Rather, I avoided it, due to the fact I barely knew the dude. Nonetheless, that night he was quiet and kept to himself. Hands in his pockets and eyes on the dirt. I kept my head up at the stars.
The tree house was on a tall old oak tree. The tree house wasn't anything grand. The roof was flat with a shed roof that was still in tact. The wood was old and dark. The ladder looked broken too, and the support look unstable. Rolling Stone tried to climb it but he almost busted his leg so we left, but we left marks just in case we ever wanted to come back.
Even after the school trip, Rolling Stone, Reaper, and I fixed the old tee house. Reaper took wood shop class and his dad knew how to build, so he took a couple of tree house books from when he was little and had a dream of building a tree house. We kept the frame and the wood, but we fixed the ladder and supports. What was inside the tree house? When we did go inside we found old wooden board games, school books, crayons, and some hunting knives. We kept the hunting knives and board games. But everything else we buried in a nearby tree in memory of the people before us.
Now whenever Rolling Stone visits me, we go to the old tree house. We usually take the bus to the out skirts of the forest, then we walk the rest of the way. My parents don't know I sneak out to the tree house with him, if they did they'd kill me, revive me, then kill me again. They'd never understand, they can't understand. I know their intention is to protect me, but they failed at that. They couldn't protect me from this. They would say me loving Rolling Stone is dangerous. But I don't love him, I just simply understand him.
Rolling Stone isn't terrible, simply...misunderstood.
The final hours of nighttime were showing once we arrived at the tree house. The tree house entry was small but we somehow could still climb through even after all the inches we grew. In a way, this tree house has seen us grow together from strangers to close people. It has seen everything. Felt everything before us. I don't know if fate was meant for us to find this tree house, but I'm glad Rolling Stone and I did.
As we stood outside the tree house, the old routine went down, a debate. I usually started the debates, but I'm no good at defending so I always lose unless Reaper is on my side to help me win. The debate was always the same thing though: Rolling Stone going up into the tree house to make sure it was safe. It always ended with him chuckling and saying "Don't worry Sunshine, one day, one day." I muttered my breath as usual as he grabbed a hold the sides of the ladder and skipped up the steps inside the tree house. He said it was for my safety. Why does he care for my safety though? He shouldn't, and never will. I refuse to let him. Besides, he doesn't let me protect him, why should I let him protect me? Simple logic.
As I stood with my arms crossed and foot tapping, I took in account Rolling Stone and how hastily he climbed. How have I not noticed it before? Maybe due to the fact I was always pouting and being petty at the loss of the debate?
I noticed how his boots were muddy on the soul of the boots, how his wallet stuck out as he climbed out. It was packed with money and cards. Most likely old gift cards and bus passes. Rolling Stone never bothered to cleaned things out anyhow. I also noticed how his backside stood out, his broad shoulder blades. He wasn't wearing his jacket right now (I was holding it like the best friend I am).
He lowered himself even more and entered into the tree house. I waited a few moments before he poked his head out. I could see sunrise now and make out his features. He was looking down at me, and I was looking up at him. He was giving me a half smile, and held his hand arm out. He wanted his jacket. I could barely make out the markings on his arm, the scars and bruises. On his wrist he had a tattoo that wrapped around it. I took off the jacket hanging over my shoulder, and tossed it up in the air for him to grab. Rolling Stone effortlessly caught it. That's another thing I noticed about Rolling Stone, he always effortlessly did things. He made everything look easy, explained it so simply. He had a way with words you could say. He mastered them. He tamed them. He tamed them to where they meant nothing if you repeated them over and over. It was a trick which he never taught me, but I could clearly see. He even used it on me. Aware of it or not, I didn't care in those moments when he tamed my words with his own. When he made me lose my tongue. All I knew was I was seduced with words, not with looks. His looks were never apart of this either. His words were all you thought about afterwards, never the way his hazel eyes glared at you intently into your soul. Or the way he his lip twitched up amusingly because he knew he wouldn't lose this battle. Not to a lowly mortal at least.
Rolling Stone gestured for me to come into the tree house, indicating it was safe. I jumped onto the ladder and climbed up. I hunched over and entered the tree house. The inside looked the same from the last time we came a few days ago. The tree house window was covered with a handmade blanket that we nailed in, easy to lift up if we wanted to let in any light. A small circle rug with faded rainbow colors in the center of the tree house floor. On the sides was a table and a few tiny shelves full of board games, hunting knives, books, and some essentials just in case we had to stay in here (food, water, flashlight etc). At the very end was a small red and black bean bag chair Rolling Stone was sitting on as he watched me enter the tree house. The inside was a little dark. I could barely make out his hazel eyes. I pretended I was staring at the window, but in the corner of my eye I could Rolling Stone. His eyes were gazing at me diligently.
"Come closer," Rolling Stone broke the silence. It didn't scare me. Not like it used to when we first met. I walked over to him slowly with my hand out. I was standing in front of him. He was still sitting back in the bean bag gazing me. His hazel eyes were holding a barricade. I knew this barricade. He knew it too. It was either the one where he put on fake emotions, the unreadable one, or the emotionless one. The fake emotions were if you looked at his eyes, they would give you emotions, but they weren't the ones he was actually feeling. Unreadable one is self explanatory. Emotionless one is where his hazel eyes were showing nothing, just hazel color and reflection of yourself. I hate the barricade. I hate his eyes. The eyes may be the windows of your soul and they never lie, but they were wrong for Rolling Stone. Even Reaper claimed the barricade can sometimes trick you into thinking too deep, and you'll drown in timeless wander.
I love his mouth though. Words can mean nothing, as everyone say, so look in the eyes. Look at the actions. Not for Rolling Stone. I break the rules for him. His words seem to be the most honest thing about him. His words made the eyes seem like liars. They are rare instants when he does show his emotions, and those. Those are the treasures. I know they are real because his mouth and eyes are in coordination together.
"What are you thinking about?" I softly whispered. I felt my eyes soften and my heart race speed up.
"Whatever you're thinking about," Rolling Stone responded with ease. I was still standing. He pulled me closer than I was already, and wrapped his arms around my waist, nuzzling himself into my stomach. His head was done and I couldn't see his face. I wrapped my arms around him, carefully twirling his hair. He purred gently. He found that reassuring. He always did.
"I need you," He said.
"I'm right here," I reassured instantly, "I'm not going anywhere." I gulped down quietly as I twirled his hair more.
"Is that what you were thinking about? Needing me?" I asked. I didn't expect an answer immediately. I didn't get one either. That was okay though. I enjoyed this silence. The waiting.
"No." Is all he said. "I thought about.. how simple people decide what's worth it." My forehead crinkled a little. But he kept talking. "People are the reason we live. We live for ourselves too, since we're people. There's always one thing though, or multiple things that make up our world. That define us. If we lose it, we decide what is even living? To find another thing? It doesn't replace what you had, and it never will. I think that's why people kill themselves. They can't bare the idea of living without a reason, or rather keep going to find out there was no other reason." Rolling Stone finally looked up at me slightly. I saw one of his hazel eyes. His lip was being bitten hard on harshly. His eyes were once again emotionless. A barricade. He made himself only vulnerable to an extent, but not all the way. The times he did, he was broken. Broken and desperate anyone could guess.
"Don't bite your lip." I brushed my finger tips over his lip, causing hesitant in letting his teeth go of his bottom lip. "It'll damage your skin." I offered a small smile. He nuzzled back into me, carefully going and resting.
"What were you thinking?" He finally asked me.
"How we regret the moments, the people, because time likes to take them away." I sighed out. I stopped playing with his hair. I tried letting out of his embrace, but he wouldn't let me go. He muttered 'just a little longer.' I complied.
"Then let it out." Rolling Stone advised. "Maybe you'll regret it later on, but you won't regret not telling them the truth. Truth is more precious."
"I can't." I said, he would ask why. Curious old soul he was. That killed a cat I would tell him, but he said unknown also killed a madman. I never knew what to respond to him. "I can't because knowing the truth kills you. People say it will tell you if it was worth it though. That's the thing. I want to live a beautiful lie." I could hear him breathing carefully. He was thinking what to say. I would too. I didn't even know my mouth could comprehend what I said.
"Living a beautiful lie," Rolling Stone "Is everything something wants. If we had it though, we'd want the harsh truth. Because for once somebody would want to know we're still human. We'd want to bleed to know we're human. We'd want troubles." I nodded softly. I couldn't disagree.
"You're right." I said.
"I always am," He chuckled softly. He sat back farther into the bean bag, making me fall into his lap. He pulled me into chest. I wrapped myself close to him. He's done this before. He needed to know I was aware of where we are. Where to be, in the moment. I lied myself over him as I huddled into him. Rolling Stone was naturally warm heater. We stayed together in peaceful melancholy air with his fingers rubbing my cheek gently. He knew this would make me soft. The tree house moments always ended like this. We would talk, then sit together. It was ritual almost. Had to be.