It’s the warmest summer since ’63.
That’s what Mom says anyway.
It was the summer of 1978 when I met him. Sebastian Arlo Grey.
It may seem like I’m getting ahead of myself but, this is the beginning.
It was late July, possibly early August. I had only recently begun my job at the bakery run by the Addington family. They were the upper class people that could afford to keep it in this shithole of a place. I couldn’t figure out why they had taken such a shine to me when I was so close to the poverty line. The only reason we weren’t seen as utterly broke was because of the fact that we owned a house. It was small, one floor with a basement - where my room was located - and a single bathroom and two bedrooms. I had my own bathroom downstairs though so, that was cool.
Anyway, it was my first day off since I’d started two weeks earlier. They had me in for training most of the time since. I was so happy to have the day to myself and I decided to go for a walk. There was some kind of parade-like fair going on in the more ‘upper class’ town a few minutes away and I happened to stumble upon it.
The sun was absolutely blistering and I had on a pinkish-orange tank-top with my ripped jeans. I regret letting my hair get longer as of now. My faux-pink hair was curlier than usual and clung to my sticky skin. Everybody seemed to be having a blast, wearing too-bright clothing that was also far too small and short.
A few girls whistled at me when they passed and one even gave me her number. That was a bit bizarre if I’m honest.
Somebody gives me a mask that covers my eyes and some of my cheeks and a passer-by puts it on me. Almost everybody was wearing masks. I couldn’t tell you what for because, honestly, I’m not sure myself.
I hear somebody speaking loudly from behind me, I glance over my shoulder and said person crashes into me, I fall and he stumbles.
“Hey! I am so sorry!” He gives me an award-winning smile that stops my heart. His face is mostly covered by a ‘Phantom of the Opera’ style, rainbow mask. He holds a hand out to me and I take it. He pulls me to my feet with little effort and dusts my arms off. “Are you alright? That was one hell of a fall.” The way he speaks sounds far too sophisticated for the words he’s using.
“Fine, yeah,” I nod at him. “Scraped my hand is all.” I show him the little cut. He grasps me by the other hand, it was in a way that was more romantic than I would expect in public and especially from a total stranger. That was probably just my imagination actually. He had soft hands.
“Come with me, we’ll bandage it.” He tugs me along, close behind him through the crowd.
I let my eyes wander over him, like a fine piece of art, which, I for one, am convinced he is. He has on tight black skinny jeans and ratty, old, pink converse with a tie dye, very tight, tank-top that gracefully showed off his muscles. His shoulders and arms were slender but buff at the same time and his back was perfectly sculpted from what I could see through that tight shirt. His hair was long, bleach-blonde and straight-ish, light waves could be spotted, woven throughout the mostly straight strands. It looked incredibly soft. It stood high in a swooping coif. But, my favorite feature about him was his wonderful olive skin. It looked like he were Egyptian or something close to that.
He was quite the sight even when I couldn’t see his face.
He stops and I crash into him. “Sorry!” I gasp as I stumble back.
“It’s okay,” He grins as he turns to me. I melt at the way he looks. “The infirmary.” He nods his head to it and I glance in that direction.
“Oh, thanks.” I nod and step back from him a bit, only then realizing that he was still holding onto my hand.
“Uh! Sorry!” He pulls away and instantly I feel the want to reach out and take his fingers within my own again.
I shake my head in response instead. “It’s fine. I didn’t mind.” I say, causing him to let out a large smile.
“Okay…” He whispers lightly. “I’m Arlo by the way.” It doesn’t quite fit him but, that’s fine.
“Elliot.” I nod at him and he grins yet again.
“I love that name.” He tells before linking our hands again and my heart vaults.
“Let’s get your hand fixed up.”
The day carried on from there, it seemed like a date and I was very okay with that. Arlo held my hand and told me I was nice looking, that I was pleasing. I think I fell in love with Arlo that day.
The night fell upon the city far too quickly and we watched the fireworks before he walked me home.
“Elliot.” He says and his voice is so smooth, like caramel and bourbon and honey.
“Arlo.” I reply and glance his way. I had still not seen his face nor had he seen mine.
He catches my cheek in his soft palm carefully and he kisses me. “Thank you, Elliot, for the best day I’ve had.” He talks so quiet, so sweet and his mouth brushes mine as he speaks.
“I-... Thank you, Arlo.” I breathe back, not moving away from him.
“That’s my middle name by the way.” He admits to me.
“That’s okay,” I nod. “When can we meet again?”
“Someday, Elliot. Hopefully, someday.”
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“You make me feel some type of way, Elliot. I hope that this isn’t forever.” He kisses me again and backs away a moment after. He flashes me that smile again.
“I’ll see you again.” I say and he nods.
That is how I met Sebastian Grey, the heir to the throne, without even knowing it was him.