Chapter 18: The Adventure
We’re all in the need of a little adventure.
The only problem is finding one.
In which The Boy That Hates Books creates an adventure, that becomes the beginning of all beginnings, in a place where it will all end.
My truck juddered to a slow stop.
Rocks crunched on the pavement as my fists relaxed against my thighs. The whole journey had been petrifying, and I had begun to regret letting The Boy That Hates Books drive. Which reminded me, I still didn’t know his actual name.
“How was the ride?” He spoke before I got the chance to, a smirk pulling at the corner of his mouth.
“Scary.” I sighed, unbuckling my seat belt with shaky hands.
“So’s this truck but you don’t hear me complaining.”
We’ve stopped driving now, but his hands are still clutched around the steering wheel, as if he’s preparing to make a sudden escape at any given second. My question about his name is tingling at the tip of my tongue.
“How can a truck be scary?” I frown, trying to hurry an end to this pointless conversation. A lot of the things we spoke about were pointless, yet somehow they still had some kind of meaning.
“Because it’s so run down I feel like it’s going to fall apart.”
“Says the guy that traded his car for a journal.” I laughed.
“That has nothing to do with-”
“What’s your name?” I couldn’t wait any longer. If we were going to be friends, surely I had to know his name?
He paused for a second, as if he was collecting his thoughts. Maybe he was deciding whether or not to tell me. He seemed to like keeping things buried six feet under.
“Shh Sunshine,” His voice was barely a whisper, “We’re on an adventure remember. It’s supposed to be mysterious.”
“No questions,” He reached over and placed a single finger to my lips, “Questions lead to answers and answers only lead to more questions.”
“Full of wisdom aren’t you?” I giggled, but it sounded pathetic. I told myself there was nothing off about him refusing to tell me his name, but that sounded pathetic too.
“Not going to deny the truth.” He yanked open the car door and jumped out, landing with a thud on the ground. I stayed still for a few seconds, watching him as he examined his surroundings carefully before turning to the car window. He peered inside and met my eyes.
“Getting out?” His voice was muffled by the glass separating us.
He had no problem denying the truth, but he didn’t seem to say much at all. It’s one thing telling lies, but its a whole other thing keeping them to yourself.
Maybe I should turn back home, I didn’t know anything about him except for his tendency to answer back to everything I said and his hate for books. But the problem wasn’t the not knowing, it was the wanting to know.
Plus, despite how much I wanted to ignore everyone’s threats about the ‘blood-thirsty fugitive roaming the streets’ it didn’t completely set it out of my mind. It was dangerous to be out of town at the moment, especially since I could see the orange hues of the horizon slipping under.
“Actually I think we should turn back, It’s getting late...”
He couldn’t hear me. Or if he could, he wasn’t listening.
“We don’t have forever Kirsten.” I could barely see his face through the darkened window, but I could still see his eyes as clear as day. They danced with mine as I inched closer to the fragile glass.
“Forever’s overrated...” I hummed.
I imagined placing a single finger to the glass between us, and it shattering beneath the touch. I would touch it so gently, but it would break into tiny pieces.
This is what I wanted to do to this boy who spent most of his time in the library, when he hated even the thought of reading. This boy who never took anything seriously, but had bought me to a place that I’d never even known was here and by the looks of it, was beautiful. This boy that hadn’t told me hardly anything about himself, and who only called me sunshine until just a moment ago when he called me Kirsten.
I hadn’t even told him my name.
Just one fingertip and I could shatter through his glass shield and see beneath. But to do that I would need to get closer and closer until I was too close to turn back. And if I touched the glass with too much force, it would become unrepairable. He would be broken and my skin would be cut, scarred with what I’d learnt about him.
Maybe it was best he stayed a mystery.
“How do you know my name?”
I didn’t know why I was still bothering to talk, I knew he couldn’t hear me. But in that moment it didn’t matter, not at all, because these past couple of days I’d had no one to talk to, at least no one to listen aside from my mum, and now he was here right now with me. Standing opposite me but with a protective shield between us.
I wondered in that moment, which one of us would need protecting, and something in the back of my mind said that it would be me.