“Stars can’t shine without darkness.” -Vibhusha
"Can we go to the hill, Theo?" I asked quietly. We were laying in his bed together, holding hands and staring at the ceiling and at each other. I saw Theo nod and sat up, dragging him with me out of bed. He laughed lightly as I pulled him out of the house.
"Wait, I don't have shoes on, Christian!" he said and I stopped tugging on his arm, crossing my arms and waiting as he put his shoes on, then put my shoes on my feet for me.
"Are you gonna be calling me Christian now?" I asked curiously when he was ready to go. I swing our hands back and forth as we walked towards the cluster of trees in front of my house. Theo shrugged and smiled lightly.
"I might switch back and forth, I don't know, Carson," he replied, making me let out a quiet laugh. I guess I'm already accustomed to answering to Carson so it won't be too much of a change. My phone dinged, in dictating a text and I opened my phone. There was still quiet a few minutes to sunset, so we could take our time.
Hey, Christian. Just checking in. Are you okay? Wanna hang out today or tomorrow after school?
Yeah! Is it okay if Theo tags along?
Well you sound better. Of course your boyfriend can tag along 😏
He's not my boyfriend >~<
Yeah, yeah ooookay
Oop. Tea. 😳
I like him I think. Like as a boyfriend. He said he liked me and we DID kiss a couple times, but I don't know if that means anything...
Hold up. EXCUSE ME?! WHY ARE YOU LEAVING ME OUT OF ALL THE DRAMA! You're filling me in school tomorrow. Are you with Theodore right now?
Well I don't wanna be a cockblock. Have fun on your little date~ ;)
It's not a date! I'll talk to you tomorrow, okay?
I shoved my phone back into my pocket.
"What was that all about?" Theo asked from beside me. The hill came into view and we began trudging up it.
"Just Scott," I answered briefly. I heard Theo 'hmph' and looked over.
"Gotta say, I'm a little jealous of him. He probably knows you better than everybody and can make you laugh genuinely pretty often," he admitted.
"Yeah probably. You shouldn't be jealous, though. I'm with you, not him after all," I said, shooting him a small smile. He smiled back and pulled me to the top of the hill in time to see the sky fade from blue and pink to a bright orange, red, and purple. We laid down next to each other and watched as the sun sank lower and lower until it finally disappeared from out sight. Stars began to twinkle as they popped up in random places in the darkening sky. The temperature dropped a bit, causing me to shiver slightly. Theo pulled me closer to him.
No words were exchanged, we just laid in silence, occasionally sharing short kisses. I gazed up at the moonless sky, lit up with the tiny specks of light I'd grown to love. Looking at the sky always reminded me of how big the world actually was. I was only one small person under a sky of endless stars and space. I looked over at Theo. We were nothing out of the ordinary; just two boys who shared the same feelings. A genuine smile spread across my face. I really liked Theo, didn't I? Maybe I wasn't ready for a relationship right now. Maybe I was. Maybe I'd get hurt. Maybe Theo would get hurt. Thoughts swirled around in my head, but none of them mattered, because right now, in this moment, there was only Theo and I.
"Scotty!" I exclaimed, running into my best friend's arms. He was not aware of my suicide attempt, and I didn't want him to be. It would worry him and that was not good.
"Tia!" he shouted, hugging me tightly. I didn't even yell at him for the nickname. I had to embrace my past and let it go. Of course, I wouldn't ever forget about her, but right now, I was going to focus on the present and the future. My past will always be a part of me, just another factor of who I am, but I would never grow if I was still holding on to it. I smiled into Scott's shoulder, glad to see him after so long.
"Okay, give me all of the details!" he said, excitedly pulling me down the school corridor. I left Theo grumbling behind me and followed Scott, shooting him a text.
Gonna hang with Scotty later after school. Told him you'd be there :)
Alright, alright. Anything for you 😘
Okay, bye bye!
Scott looked over my shoulder and I felt my face heat up.
"Ooo, a heart next to his name? How romantic!" he teased, poking my reddening cheek.
"Stop..." I grumbled, pouting. I ended up spilling almost everything that had happened since I last saw him throughout the school day.
I slammed my hand down on the bench with a shout.
"I... won..." I panted out. Scott smacked the back of my head.
"You have longer legs, you fucking giraffe," he whined and I snickered, straightening up so I towered over his 5"8 frame. He glared up and me, his eyes suddenly widening and focusing on something behind me. I looked behind me to see Theo smirking down at me.
"Not fair!" Scott whined, gesturing to us. "Why did I have to friends with such a giraffe! You were shorter than me in forth and fifth grade! And why do you have to date a literal skyscraper! How tall even are you?" he asked Theo.
"Almost 6"2," he answered proudly. I frowned.
"What? I thought you were six foot!" I exclaimed. How is this guy still growing? Theo shook his head, smirking and bending down to get in my face which I pushed away.
"And we're not even dating!" I exclaimed after realizing that Scott had said that. Theo raised an eyebrow.
"We aren't?" he asked. My face heated up into a dark blush.
"Don't say those things!" I whined and Scott laughed. Theo just kissed my cheek and whispered an apology into my ear.
"That doesn't help!" I squeaked, causing Theo to laugh along side with Scott.
"No, but really, we aren't dating?" Theo asked when the two had stopped laughing. I looked down at my feet and grumbled out an answer.
"What? Speak up, Christian," Scott said. I glared at him, grumbling out the same answer a little louder. Theo sighed.
"I still can't hear yo-"
"You never asked me out!" I interrupted. "So we're not technically dating yet."
My face had to be super red by now. Even Theo was blushing a little. He cleared his throat.
"Oh, well, Christian? Would you like to be my boyfriend?" he asked before Scott cut him off.
"Well since you haven't said yes to him yet, I can treat you better! Go out with me instead!" he snickered, obviously joking. Theo still shot him a death glare, pulling me into him.
"No! He's mine," he said quickly.
"I haven't said yes yet, so I'm not," I informed him, making him 'hmph' again. I smirked a little before responding, "Actually, I think I'll take Scott's offer up."
I slipped out of Theo's arms and dropped my arms around Scott who just looked surprised.
"Uh, yeah. Sorry, Theodore, he's mine actually," Scott teased. Theo frowned.
We laughed at Theo's pouty face and I went over to hug him.
"I'm just joking! Yes, I'll by your boyfriend, Theodore," I said and he smiled again and kissed my lips softly.
"Hey hey! I'm still right here!" Scott exclaimed, fake crying, "I just got broken up with! Be more considerate, gosh!"
The three of up cracked up in laughter and ran around the park for a solid half hour until my phone began to ring. I answered the call.
"Hello?" I asked curiously.
"Christian. I'm visiting. Clean the house and make lunch by noon tomorrow. You're skipping school, if that wasn't obvious already. Bye," my dad's voice rang from the speaker, surprising me.
"O-oka-" I began to answer but he had already hung up. "What the hell?" I said under my breath.
"What is it?" Scott asked.
"My dad just called. He's visiting me tomorrow! Oh gosh, I gotta clean up! Gotta go, bye guys!" I said happily. Even though he had hurt me, I still loved him and he still loved me. I couldn't bring myself to hate him for punishing me a little too hard that one time. It was probably an accident anyways.
"Wait, I'll drive you."
I nodded, following Scott to his car.
"I'll come help clean up," Theo called after us, getting into his own car. He followed us to my home when the cars were parked in the driveway. Scott pulled me aside when we got inside.
"Are you sure it's a good idea to let your dad back into your life? He abandoned you, remember?" he whispered. I winced.
"He didn't abandon me... he's on vacation."
"You and I both know that's a lie. Come on, Christian. I'm not going to fight you or force you or anything, but just please think about this, okay?" he asked. I nodded. I'd think about it, but I doubt I'd change my mind. This was my dad we were talking about. He was my family. If he was taking the time to visit me, it showed he cared about me right? I followed him out to Theo who was wiping down the surfaces in the kitchen and living room. I took a broom out of the cleaning closet and threw it to Scott. Grabbing a duster, I began to reorganize the items in the house, starting with the kitchen.
A couple hours later, it was almost seven PM and the whole house was sparkling clean. The three of us had collapsed on the couch and were just silently on our phones when there was a knock on my door. Scott and I both looked at Theo who grumbled before getting up and walking towards the door, swinging it open.
"Theodore?" I heard a voice say before the door was slammed shut. I stood up curiously and walked over to the door to see an angry Theo.
"Are you okay? Who was that?" I asked. The knock came again and I pushed last Theo and opened the door. Caleb stood on the other side. His eyes lit up when he saw me and he smiled. I waved at him.
"What are you doing here? I thought I said I couldn't hang with you anymore?" I asked nervously.
"Yeah and you blocked me so I couldn't respond. I thought it was Theodore who sent that and blocked me. Was it really you? I didn't think you were the type to block people for no reason. After all, I've never done anything bad to you, have I?" he asked. I hesitated before shaking my head no. But he hurt Theo, so what would stop him from hurting me too?
"Well, do you want to come over?" he offered but I declined. "I'll bump it up to two hundred if you want."
"No. Go away. He's with me," Theo said suddenly, stepping in between the two of us and glaring down at Caleb. Caleb's eyes grew wide and looked at me for confirmation. I just looked down which gave him his answer. He smiled sadly and turned to walk away.
"Oh, okay. Sorry to bother you guys. If you ever need anything, you know where to find me, Christian," he said and I nodded. Theo shut the door behind him and I glared at him.
"Don't be so rude!" I scolded. Theo rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly and we looked up when Scott came into view.
"Who was that?" he questioned.
"Carson!" Theo exclaimed, embarrassed. I just shrugged.
"Wanna go to the hill? The suns about to set," I asked. Theo nodded and Scott just raised and eyebrow and nodded too.
"I don't know what that is, but if you like it, I'll probably like it," he said. I turned towards him.
"Oh, you're not invited."
Theo burst out laughing but I didn't know why. I was just telling Scott that he couldn't come with us. The hill was a special spot for me and Theo. No Scotts allowed.
"Damn okay, I see how it is. I'm gonna head home then. You two have fun without me!" he pouted. I smiled and waved, pulling on shoes.
"Wait, I'm not coming to school tomorrow because of my dad. I'll see you after school maybe," I said before Scott left. He gave me a thumbs up before leaving in his car. Theo pulled his on shoes on and we left the house, locking the door behind us.
Our fingers intertwined as we walked in silence past the trees and along the path. I pulled my phone out with one hand and played some music as we walked.
Meet me on Thames Street, I'll take you out
Though I'm hardly worth your time
"Oh I know this song," Theo said and began to sing along with the music, "Fall in the grave I've been digging myself but there's room for two, six feet under the stars."
We climbed the hill and laid beside each other. The sun was gone and the moon had come out, complimented by the stars.
"You and me; we're like the stars and the moon!" Estella pointed out.
"You and me; we're like the stars and the moon."
Theo looked over at me and I continued.
"I'm like the stars and you're like the moon. I'm quiet and shy. I twinkle; shining bright, but then flickering out. Off and on, off and on. You're bold and steady. You're either there or you're not. You have your bad days when you disappear completely, but you eventually become whole. Everybody sees you. But in reality, we're just another circle in the vast area of space in the universe."
"I think differently," Theo began, "I think you're forgetting that the sun is also a star. The sun is the most important star in our lives. It gives us warmth, life, and light. In fact, the moon can't shine without the sun. You wouldn't even be able to see the moon without the sun shining on it. You're underestimating the stars."
"I've never thought about it like that. Without the sun, the moon can't shine," I mumbled. Theo smiled and looked at me. I stared back. He opened his mouth to talk,
"Stars can't shine without darkness..."
"... and the moon can't shine without the sun," I finished. We both looked back at the sky. I closed my eyes, turning the music a little louder.
I don't know how to say it
But I can see it
Don't know how to express it
But I believe it
"I feel icky," I announced. Theo let out a chuckle and stood up, helping me to my feet. We walked down the hill and listened to the song playing from my phone. I stood in my doorway, facing Theo. I leaning forward to kiss him softly before going inside and closing the door. I watched Theo pull out of my driveway and drive away after standing in front of my door for a whole minute. I smiled to myself and gathered a pair of clothes and turning the water on.
"Meow! Meow!" Moody mewled loudly. I turned around.
"What do you need? You still have a little food left!" I scolded. Theo had been taking care him for the past few days. I grabbed his almost empty water bowl and filled it up. Then I poured a little more food into Moody's food bowl. He scratched my leg as I pulled my shirt off.
"Ouch! What?" I asked, putting my hands on my hips. He stared at me with big green eyes.
I sighed and reached down to pet him for a couple seconds before stripping all the was down and jumping in the warm water.
"Moody! Get out of the shower, you pervert!"
[December 24, 2020]