As I walk down the stairs of my school I can’t help but wonder what Arrow has planned for this evening. He had told me yesterday he would meet me after school, that he had a new place he wanted to show me. School hasn’t been the same since he graduated last year, I miss seeing him in classes and at lunch, but at least we still get to spend our evenings together. Kids are walking past, hurrying out the school doors to leave and go home. I’m so thankful that the school day is finally over. I finally make my way through the large glass doors. I take a moment to stop, inhaling the fresh air as the breeze dances through my red hair. I look around seeing the other kids scramble around the school yard, heading to their cars, laughing and speaking amongst each other.
I glance to my right instinctively to see Arrow leaned against his old pick up truck. It’s blue color bringing out his crystal blue eyes. I flash him a smile as he gives me a wave over. The breeze picks up again, tickling my face. I watch it caress Arrow’s dark curly hair, moving it across his face and into his eyes. I find myself reaching out for a hug as I get close to him. He steps forward, wrapping his arms around me. I embrace him for a moment before pulling back.
‘I missed you while you were away. How did the trip go?’ I ask him as I begin to walk around the front of his truck, to get into his passenger side.
‘It went well Case, just a bunch of business hoopla with dad and the others. Sorry I wasn’t able to call or text much, things were kept pretty
busy.’ He replies back to me as he climbs into the driver side.
He starts up the truck and begins to drive. I look out the window and see some of the other kids still standing in groups in the parking lot talking with each other. I look over at Arrow, his eyes focused on the road. His dark curls framing his masculine face. His eyes so blue they look like ocean contained into beautiful little pools. I don’t know why but I have felt drawn to Arrow since he transferred into our school his senior year. I didn’t want to admit it but part of me felt attracted to him, while the other part not daring to put our friendship at risk.
He glances over at me and gives a quick, crooked smile. His white teeth gleaming at me.
‘You’re being awfully quiet today Case. Thinking about that birthday you’ve got coming up?’ He asks.
‘Honestly I had forgotten about it for a while. Although mom and dad never let me forget for long, they’re very excited about their last kiddo turning 18.’ I reply back to him.
‘Any big plans for the party?’ He asks, but it seemed as though his thoughts were somewhere else.
‘Mom and dad was planning a party for me the evening I turn 18 to celebrate it with every one. My sister and her husband is coming, and my brother is coming in just to go to it. They plan on making a nice dinner and I’ll probably invite a few friends over to celebrate it with us. Would you like to come?’
He glances back to me and says,’ I would love to Case.’
I turn to look out the window for a few. Seeing the trees and hills passing by us, the landscape a beautiful painting of different shades of green all working together to create its beauty. I turn back to look at Arrow, he still seems like his mind is wandering else where which just isn’t like him.
‘So what all happened at the business trip? Good news?’ I ask him.
He quickly replies back,’ just an approaching deadline my dad and some other, the others are nervous about. They wanted to talk about all of the possible situations of the deadline and the possible results. I’m not to worried about it though, just anxious for the deadline to be here.’
‘What kind of job are y’all working on now? I’m sure you’ll do a fantastic job at it. You and your dad’s business is doing great.’
He just smiled as he brought the car to a stop. I look around confused to see us pulled off into a dirt patch on the side of the road. I look back at Arrow, confused as to why we were stopping here.
‘We will have to walk the rest of the way. The truck won’t be able to drive us to where I’m taking you.’ He tells me, while trying to contain his excitement.
I nod and follow his lead as he opens his door and exits the truck. He begins walking and I follow beside him, anxious to see the place he wanted to show me. Something we both had in common was our love for hiking and nature. We both agreed there was nothing more peaceful and mind clearing than walking through nature. He walked in silence, and I didn’t speak. I could tell he was mentally distracted, which wasn’t like him. I fear the business meeting was more stressful and intense than he had let on.
We continued to walk through the woods, and it continued to thicken. Before long I was completely surrounded by nothing except the occasional woodland animal, trees, and of course Arrow. I could feel the stress and tension he was carrying, almost a fear as well. I never quite understood it but Arrow and I had always been so in tune with each other it was like we could feel what the other was feeling. I begin thinking back to the day we met, he had transferred in and started his senior year at my high school. Even though he was a year older than me we still had several classes and a lunch period together. It was like instantly I felt a connection with him, we began talking and that was it. Immediately we were best friends. He’s always been there when I needed him, and we spent all the time together we could. Several people assumed we were a couple, although Arrow had never asked me to be his girlfriend sometimes I wondered if it would change the way things were between us for us to officially be a couple. I wondered if he ever thought of me that way or if I was more of a little sister in his eyes.
I had been lost in my own thoughts and didn’t even realize Arrow had stopped, causing me to walk right into his back. I bounced back off of him, stepping backwards and snapping a small twig that laid on the muddy ground. He looked back and smiled at me, pointing ahead of us.
‘You can see it from here, although we still have a small hike ahead of us to reach it.’
I step forward, my gaze following the direction. of which he pointed. I see the most beautiful waterfall a few hundred feet a head of us. I had been so deep in my thoughts I hadn’t even noticed the faint roar of the falls. I took in a deep breath and could smell the fresh scent of wild flowers blooming nearby. Arrow had found smaller waterfalls before, but nothing this big.
It had to be at least 100 foot tall. I look at him, he has the biggest smile on his face, I could feel the excitement radiating from him as he showed me this incredible piece of nature in front of us. I reach over and give him a hug, I can feel the stress begin melting off of him.
‘Arrow this is absolutely gorgeous! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything so beautiful! So tranquil! It’s truly stunning!’
‘I knew you’d love it as much as I do. I was going to wait until your birthday to bring you here, but I just couldn’t wait anymore. Let’s walk a little closer so you can see it more up close.’
He reached out and grabbed my hand to help hold me steady as we began descending down a steep hill. There were several rocks we had to walk over, each covered in moss. Also a large tree had fallen over, it’s damp, rotting wood making it difficult to climb up and over. Arrow seemed to scale the wood effortlessly, I assume being over a foot taller than I helped. Sometimes only being 5ft was extremely unhelpful in situations like this. We reached the spot where we could feel the mist of the water fall. It was so loud we had to yell to speak to one another. After a few moments we decide to walk back a little bit to where we could talk. We go back to the large fallen tree, and Arrow helps me climb up it. He follows behind me, and we sit on the log. We continue to just talk and relax for the next couple hours until we realize the sun is starting to set and we need to get back to the truck before it gets dark out.
The walk back to the truck was much faster than our walk to the waterfall. We had to pick up our pace into a speed walk to make it out of the forest before nightfall. It was a relief to make it back to the truck, I was scared of getting stuck out in those woods in the dark. We had both left our phones in the car, so we would have had no flash lights. The drive back home has been quiet and peaceful, occasionally I would feel Arrow look over at me. He had felt relaxed and happy at the falls, but I could sense his stress and tension coming back.
We pulled into my parents driveway, I could see my mom putting away dinner through the large window in the front of our home.
‘Arrow would you like to come in and hang out for a bit before you head home? I really missed hanging out with you while you were away, and I know my parents missed seeing you around the house too.’
‘Thank you for the invitation Case, normally I would, but with this deadline coming up my dad really wants me to spend more time with him getting it all planned out and finished up. I definitely missed you too, and wish I could spend the rest of the evening with you, but duty calls.’
I could hear the genuine sadness at needing to leave me to return back to business. I could feel his sadness, mixed with my own disappointment of his leaving.
‘You’ll call me when you can? You know my birthday is in a couple days so Sunday we’ll be busy all day with the birthday party. Maybe we can hang out tomorrow?’ I ask, trying not to show my disappointment in him not staying.
‘Absolutely! I’ll call you tomorrow.’
I grab my back pack and my phone, and hop out of his truck. I give him a light wave as I head into the house. I always hated being apart from Arrow, it felt so empty with out him around. I walk in the door and mom immediately meets me with a smile.
‘Hi sweetheart, did you and Arrow have a good hike? I’ve got a dinner plate for you in the microwave, it just needs heated.’ I could see my mom was excited to see me home, she always worried about our hikes, concerned one of us would fall and get hurt or get attacked by a wild animal.
‘Yes mom, Arrow had found a beautiful waterfall he wanted to show me. It was huge! At least a hundred foot high. Beautiful crystal clear water coming down it, crashing into small pool at the bottom. It was surrounded by large rocks and trees. It was some of the most incredible scenery we’ve scene so far.’ I say before shoving large bites of warm dinner into my mouth.
‘That sounds incredible. I can only imagine it’s beauty.’
Mom and I continue small chit chat while I quickly eat my dinner. I try not to just rush off but I’m exhausted and still need a shower before going to bed. She and I talk about the upcoming birthday party, but I tell her just plan whatever she wants and I will love it. I slowly sneak out of the room and head to the bedroom to gather some night clothes before I head to shower, and then go to bed.