He's lonely, just another dreamer-boy with his head in the clouds.
For a boy who would never be loved, he had so much love in him.
She runs her tongue along her teeth. Are you afraid of dragons? she asks.
I imagine her with scales and wings, breathing fire. I tell her no, I'm a knight in shining armour.
Oh, she says with mock seriousness, you're fearless then.
I'm afraid, I say softly, I'm afraid of falling.
She leans in close. I feel her breath on my lips as she whispers, What about falling in love?
I forget how to breathe. The world starts to spin and I close my eyes.
Then she kisses me full on the mouth and my spine turns to feathers. I feel hollow, weak, like I just might blow away in the wind with this fairytale reaching across my tongue. I feel her lips against mine; my heart starts to beat too fast and I feel a tingling sensation across my chest. I think my lungs are going to catch fire.
He likes to run the broken sidewalk and sing love songs to the moon. He doesn't need to sleep because he dreams with his eyes wide open.
I try to tell him that I'm not perfect.
Imperfection, he says, is subjective. Like, my eyes are too dark and my hands are too small. I'm not perfect either.
I put a hand on his shoulder. Take a breath. I shouldn't have kissed you, I say.
He looks at my hand, then back at me. You should watch the moonrise tonight, he replies.
Then he walks away and I can't figure out how I feel inside. I watch him go and I feel a sense of loss: if I let him go, maybe he'll fly away deep into the sky and never come back. I want to call after him, I want to hold him tight and tell him that I never wanted to break him like this. He's so damn fragile.
He lies awake at night, too sad to sing to the moon. He gives her a rare little smile that says, I'm here, look at me.
She looks into my eyes and asks me why I've missed school for the last week.
I look away, trying to breathe normally. Trying not to let her see the truth.
Have you ever, I ask, have you ever wanted to ask the wind what it's like to be free?
She puts an arm around my shoulders. Her hand is warm. I've wanted to ask you, she says.
I look at her and feel the warmth of her hand begin to spread across my body.
I missed you, she says.
Suddenly my eyes are crying, and then the rest of me is, too.