I strolled through the park looking for Sky. I’d asked her to meet me here after school. I squinted at the bright sunlight, feeling grossly irritated at the memory of this morning.
Alex hates me. I thought, wrinkling my brows in frustration as I searched for Sky. The Heat was biting at me. Why can’t I just keep my cool around Alex?
I walked around for a while, pausing to scan the place for Sky. I stopped in my tracks at the sound of a whistle, before turning to meet Sky waving from a spot on the lawn.
She was lying on the grass, earpiece on, and chunks of her red hair was in its usual disarray, the bandana she had on barely held it back.
I waved, approaching her. Walking closer I saw that her face was red from the heat.
“Sorry for keeping you,” I muttered, joining her on the grass.
“No problem,” she said, taking off her earphones and tucking her phone into the side pocket of her jeans. She brought her knees to her chest, hugging them as she gave me a wary smile.
“So, what do you want to talk about?” she asked, bending her head to the side, which made her curly hair to move in the same direction. I opened my mouth to say something, but nothing came out. I shut it, feeling ridiculous. I didn’t really talk to Sky, but I couldn’t bring up what was happening with Sam.
“You called me here, right?” she asked. I nodded, sighing as I tried to clear my head.
“Sorry,” I said, running my hand through my hair. “I’ve been acting ridiculous lately.”
“Does it have anything to do with Paul?”
“What, why would it?”
“Oh nothing, just brainstorming,” Sky coughed out awkwardly before looking away. I frowned at her suspicious behavior before thinking about it. I did kind of hurt that kid.
“I’m sorry about Paul,” I blurted out, hugging my knees to my chest as well. I concentrated on the rip design at the knees, feeling sort of awkward. What in the world was happening to me? I never, and I mean never used to do apologies.
“You better be,” she sighed, giving me a calm stare.
“Do you have something for the kid?” I asked, turning to face her. She didn’t say anything, just shrugged indefinitely.
“Plus he’s not a kid,” she muttered, giving me the ‘a matter of fact’ look.
“So, what do you want to talk about?” she asked again. I sighed, turning to look at the park. Why was I acting so awkward? I asked her to come here, right?
“Alex,” I finally said, turning to face her.
“Alex?” she said, frowning as if asking me if I was joking.
“I—I kissed Alex. No, I—We kissed,” I said, trying to put the situation into words. Sky’s eyes went wide.
“And?” she asked as if she’d been half expecting it.
I licked inside my mouth, wondering what exactly she wanted me to say — to narrate. I let my eyes drop halfway at the thought of Alex.
“I want more,” I confessed.
“Um...” She trailed, running her green painted nails through her hair.
“Travis, he has a boyfriend. You know that, don’t you?” Sky whispered, scooting closer to me on the grass. I rolled my eyes. As if I haven’t told myself that a million times.
“I know. I just—I really don’t...” I sighed in frustration, tucking my head between my legs.
“I want him Sky,” I muttered, feeling my voice quiver.
“...but he’s being so difficult!” I groaned, looking towards her. She sighed, patting my shoulder affectionately before looking away.
“Sky?” I called as I stared at her.
“You can’t have him — date him,” Sky said firmly as she shook her head.
“You’re Alex’s friend, you could tell me what he likes.”
“Travis, are you even listening to me? You can’t date Alex. He’s messing with you,” Sky said, brushing the hair off her forehead.
“I know that. He kind of already explained that.”
“You told him how you feel?”
“He turned me down. Well, sort of.”
“Then why are we still discussing this?” Sky asked, shaking her head. “I mean, he has already turned you down—”
“I get it okay!” I groaned, startling Sky. “I just—I just thought the kiss meant something,” I said, sighing in frustration.
“It really doesn’t mean anything Travis,” Sky said, as I felt her fingers entwine with my own on the grass, her many bracelets making the hair on my handstand. I could feel my face heat up slightly. I never in a million years would have imagined myself engaging in ‘Girl talk.’
“How would you know?” I asked, tightening the grip on our hands slightly so she wouldn’t notice. I would never admit it, but I needed the contact. It was soothing.
“He has kissed me, Trav. We just stared at each other afterward then burst into laughter,” Sky said, giving me a pitiful look.
“It doesn’t mean anything, nothing at all...” she trailed. “Get over him Trav.”
“I can’t,” I muttered, biting my bottom lip. How on earth does she expect me to just get over him?
“Travis, you’re not in love with him. Well, I assume you’re not. How hard can it be to get over him?” she asked.
“I can get him to like me back,” I said firmly, giving her a sour look. I definitely didn’t come here to get scolded.
“And you can’t do that either unless you are willing to change everything about you,” Sky said, lying flat on the grass.
“I could do that.”
“Like hell,” Sky said in a sarcastic tone.
“I’m sorry Trav, but I highly doubt it,” she said before closing her eyes.
“I mean, think of it this way. You like soccer. Alex prefers programming. You go to parties to hang during your free time. Alex sits at his phone or computer to edit Wikipedia. You go on Twitter and Instagram. Alex — Alex goes on online debate forums.
How on earth do you ever think you’ll be able to carry out a conversation with him? And don’t give me that bullshit about opposites attracting.” Sky said opening her eyes to look at me.
I cringed, seeing her point. All the times I’ve managed to have a conversation with Alex he eventually got frustrated or annoyed with me.
“I could change. I could try to.”
“Just assuming you can change...” Sky trailed cutting me short. “Are you willing to come out, or whatever they call it these days. What will Jasper think? Heck, what will the whole school think? I mean, you’re one of the most influential seniors Travis.”
“No one judges you for group hopping—”
“I’m not part of a group Travis,” Sky said, waving her hand dismissively over her head.
“I don’t care what people think of me. If people want to hate me that’s okay with me, I’ll still have friends. And if everyone decides to hate me — well, I won’t give two shits,” Sky said, turning to face me, giving me a look over.
“Are you ready to come out? And even if you eventually do I doubt Alex would want you. No offense,” she said, turning away.
“You keep talking about Alex not wanting me—”
“Look, I don’t know if you’ve noticed. Heck, I doubt Alex himself has noticed, but he really likes Chris,” Sky said, closing her eyes again.
“You should hear him talk about Chris. It’s always Chris did this, Chris said that. He’s like someone experiencing puppy love for the first time,” Sky said, sighing.
“Sometimes I wish I could hit him over his head for his oblivious behavior,” Sky groaned, holding her forehead.
Silence washed over us. Only the rustling of the nearby bushes disturbed it. I thought of what she just said, about Alex and Chris. I couldn’t stop the small wave of jealousy the washed over me.
“I want to play something for you, sort of give you an idea of what I’m trying to explain,” she said as she fished for her phone in her side pocket. I watched patiently as she unlocked and headed for audio.
I listened carefully as laughter began to ring out as she pressed play, laughter obviously belonging to her and Alex.
“What, it’s true!” Alex’s voice rang out followed by a period of him and Sky in deranged laughter.
“I can’t... I can’t believe you!” Sky laughed accompanied by a thump sound that rang out. Then there was more laughter.
“Say it again,” Sky giggled.
“No, it’s extremely embarrassing,” Alex’s voice muttered.
“Oh, come on!” Sky whined.
“There’s nothing special about it.” Alex insisted, followed by laughter from the two.
"Okay, okay I’ll say it,” Alex said, giving in.
“He’s like a copied assignment, I can’t just explain him.
He’s like a calculator during a math exam, I can’t do without him.
His laugh is like the common cold, it’s pretty contagious.
He’s like an alarm clock, the only reason I get up each morning.
He’s the nipple to my areola,
The prostate to my Anus,
The yin to my Yang,
The nimanie wagoto to my aragoto,
The owner of the largest part of my affection...
Wait, are you recording this?! I’ll undoubtedly kill you one day Sky!”
There was some crashing followed by laughter before the audio finally went off.
“What — what was that?” I asked, a tad confused by the odd poetry I’d just listened to.
“It’s Alex’s horrid attempt at reciting poetry. You know, Chris is a literature student and all, and Alex just wanted to do something that could match up to Chris’ horrid drawings to make it even, but you know, no matter how ridiculous every bit of it sounded, I think he meant it,” Sky said, putting away her phone.
“So you’re saying I don’t have a chance with him?” I asked feeling the taste of bile on my tongue.
“Well yes, unless you get Alex to hate Chris or something,” Sky sighed, frowning at the now close to setting sun.
“I could get him to like me,” I said, standing with my previous argument. Sky shook her head firmly, believing otherwise.
“I don’t know who told you otherwise. Well, ignoring the usual teen fiction that is, but you’re a jock. Well, sort of, and Alex is an introvert genius — in a broader sense a Nerd. Forgetting the sappy rubbish we all love in teen fiction books and movies, these two very different people don’t mix well,” Sky said, sitting up as she began to put her shoes on.
I got up as she got up, realizing that marked the end of the conversation. I almost believe what she said — almost. I don’t want what she said to be the case. I want Alex, and I’m sick and tired of getting rejected.
Then it’s operation eliminate Chris then. I concluded in my mind as Sky and I went our separate ways.