"what's buggin' you, bumblebee?"
it had been the end of the school day, and angel was drained. her mind was still racing with the occurrence that took place just a couple of hours ago, that occurrence being the james fiasco.
the images of james' disappointed face and her friend's mocking laughter had been on replay in her mind, which caused angel's mood to go sour for the rest of the day.
not only had the girl felt unpleasant, she had furthermore began to question her intelligence.
was she dumb?
these reflections were what prompted angel to power walk towards fulton park after her friends had dropped her off at home. she knew slash would be there to listen to her internal quarrels.
approaching the park, she spotted the personable man underneath the sycamore tree, smoking away to his heart's content. she beelined towards that tree.
fast-forwarding, the couple now sat side by side, their backs against the ridged bark. the newfound time together was calm, with slash exhaling fume, while angel picked at the grass blades underneath her.
until slash had asked that question, angel had managed to maintain her composure. unfortunately, the girl had been holding everything in for such a long time, and slash had been the first person to ask her what was wrong that entire day. what happened next, was out of her control.
she let out tears, right there, for the second time underneath the tree.
"oh no, no, no, " slash comforted, instantly putting out his cigarette. "oh honey, what happened?"
a couple of sniffles escaped the girl. "i feel stupid, " she began, tucking her knees to her chest, rolling herself into a ball. "something happened at school and i feel stupid because i didn't understand what the big deal was and my friends did and-"
slash cut the girl off mid-sentence, shushing her as he pulled her into his arms, rocking her back and forth as a means for solace.
"just let it all out, " was all he told her, and angel didn't need any more nudging. she sobbed, loud and clear.
slash, of course, wanted to ask the girl what exactly had caused her to be this stressed, but disregarded that thought. he wanted to see if he could provide a solution to her anguish, but if angel was breaking down like this after giving vague details, it wouldn't be wise to ask her for specifics.
instead, the boy continued to soothe her, holding the little thing in his considerable arms. he found himself being a nurturing figure a lot after meeting the sweet creature.
although both parties reveled in the warmth radiated as they held each other close, they knew they had to separate soon. this time, it was angel who moved away, wiping her remaining tears with her wrists.
"you okay now?" slash softly asked, to which he received a small nod.
"okay, puppy." he nodded back.
"let's get you a popsicle to cheer you up."
angel, now relaxed, had been sucking on a scribbler as she rested her head on slash's shoulder. the boy himself dragged on a cig while laying his left arm over his girl's shoulders.
the pair were blissful as they lightly embraced each other. they were sitting on a bench on mystic seaport, enjoying the beautiful sight presented before their eyes. they watched how the waves ricocheted off steamboats as they trudged through the spring; they watched how the water glistened with gold thanks to the fading sun's beams of light; they watched how the sky slowly deviate from its original baby blue color to a marigold flower hue; they watched how birds bathed by the shore and even began to splash each other.
angel felt like she was witnessing heaven on earth.
"it's beautiful." angel whispered, afraid that she'd disturbed the peace if she were to speak louder.
"my mother used to drag me up here up until i turned eight, " slash said, softly massaging angel's scalp. "i never understood what charmed her about this place. i never understood why she found this place beautiful. but then, i realized..."
angel felt herself slipping, with her scalp being soothed and slash talking with his rich, cigarette induced raspy voice was all angel needed to be lulled off to drowse.
"...the reason she loved this place so much, was because she was here with the person she cared for the most. i only understood now, because i'm here with you."
unfortunately, the flower wasn't able to hear slash's explanation, since she dozed off right there on the boy's chest. the adonis smiled to himself as he watched how sweet angel looked in this unique moment: her cheeks were flushed and rosy, thanks to the heat emitting from the retired sun. her sunshine hair was either sticking straight out or stuck to her face, but slash's favorite aspect would have to be how angel's lips puckered around her popsicle as she sucked on it, the perfect visual example of innocence.
his heart jumped at the sight.
"wake up, bunny." slash requested, pulling the sugary treat out of her mouth.
the absence of the candy in her jaws caused the girl to wake up groggy. she tucked strands of loose hair behind her ears, while slash just eyed her.
"how old are you, slash?" the nymphette asked, extending her arms above her to stretch.
"eighteen, " he replied, bouncing her a little after discovering she'd fallen between his legs sometime during her nap. "my birthday was the day before we met."
that woke the girl up immediately. "what?! how come you didn't tell me sooner?! i would've gotten you a gift!"
"you wanting to spend time with me is your gift to me."
angel smiled, but quickly snapped out of it. "no, that won't do! i want to give you a real gift! we're not leaving this place until you tell me what kind of gift you want!"
slash laughed. he truly didn't wish for anything, but he decided to just comply with the demanding girl.
"how about a kiss?" he tested. "on the cheek."
she grinned, and in an instant, she was on him. angel was peppering kisses all over his face.
"happy..." five little kisses on his left cheek. "birthday...." six little kisses on his right. "to you..." seven kisses on his nose.
slash chortled because of the ticklish sensations while angel giggled, obviously very pleased with her work.
however, the laughter would soon be deterred, because slash whirled his head around, causing angel to accidentally land a strawberry-flavored kiss on his lips.
they pulled away from each other faster than you can say "beetlejuice." both teens were panting, trying to catch their breaths and equanimities. painful awkwardness soon took over the playful and joyous energy, since the pair refused to look at each other in the eye.
"ok..." slash started, getting up off the bench. "let's get you home."
the voyage only took twenty minutes. slash watched angel jump up onto her porch stairs, getting ready to depart.
"alright, i'll see you l-"
"are we still friends?" angel interjected, eyes widening in anticipation at what the boy's response would be.
slash raised an eyebrow. "of course we're still friends, honey. we're whatever you want us to be."
angel nodded, pleased with his answer. "oh!" she exclaimed, jumping a little. "give me a minute, don't move!" she ordered, running into her home while closing the door behind her.
slash chuckled but followed her orders. he leaned against the porch landing, waiting for his angel to emerge. in less than two minutes, the door opened again as angel walked out, this time with a pen and two post-its in tow.
"let's exchange numbers!" she sweetly asked. to which they did.
with a post-it note that has now been written on, it was time for slash to take his leave.
"i'll make sure to call, hon." he ensured. " I gotta go now. sweet dreams, love." with that, he left after angel herself had wished him a goodnight and waved a farewell to him.
the rest of the girl's night was spent on homework, heating up leftovers for dinner, and getting ready for bed. it was only around ten when she got into her soft, baby pink bed, trying to rock herself to sleep.
just then, the hello kitty landline phone on the desk beside her ringed, she picked it up and smiled once she heard the familiar voice speak to her.
"i told you i'd call, doll."
for about thirty minutes or so, angel and slash talked about nothing yet everything both at the same time. they talked about school, their long-time life goals, and what they even wanted to name their kids -if they even wanted kids.
after hearing the angelic thing yawn on the phone, slash shortly ended the conversation. "i know you're tired. go to sleep, i'll promise to call you tomorrow."
"okay, " she responded, hanging up the phone.
that night, angel slept like a baby for the first time in days, with slash's deep voice running through her mind, guiding her to sleep as if was a lullaby.