Boy is quiet at wrong times, speaks at wrong times, and there are never any right times for him.
When in class, he falls out of his chair and is loud and disruptive, trying to get attention.
When at lunch with friends, he just sits and listens to them, never adding his voice to the table.
When he gets a job, he’s loud/social on the job, but in the break room or before/after work, he’s quiet and pretty much keeps to himself.
He’s never had a girlfriend and all his best friends have left.
He wants to go to college to become a music and/or math teacher but when he gets there, he hates it and quits.
He gets an apartment and works more and lives alone.
He invites friends over and has parties free of drugs and alcohol and he meets a girl.
The girl is beautiful (unconventionally) and shy. They meet in the kitchen where the boy went to be away from the party.
She was sitting at the table, alone, drinking something, staring out the window and didn’t notice him come in.
He then gets a drink himself, and sits down. She doesn’t notice at first, and continues to stare at the constellations, until she takes a drink and sees him sitting there, looking the other way.
After she finishes drinking, she says, “this party sucks, doesn’t it?”
He looks at her, smiles and responds, “yeah it does.”
“I never have a good time at these things. Everyone’s always drunk or stoned. I hate it.” Although the boy wished for the party to be alcohol/drug-free, his guests brought their own paraphernalia.
“Yeah, I know what you mean…”
“So, what’s your name? I’m April,” she said staring from her drink to the boy.
“Well, it’s nice to meet you April. I’m Stephen.”
They shake hands and smile. “And it’s nice to meet you, too, Stephen.”
She thinks for a second and then asks, “Wait, the guy that lives here is Stephen… Is that you?”
“Unfortunately,” he says with a weak laugh.
“Oh, stop. So, if this is your party, what are you doing in there?” She asked.
“Well, I don’t’ know. This was the first party I’ve had or been to, and it’s just so boring. I said no alcohol and no drugs, but no one listened and they’re all high and drunk.”
She says with her eyes, “Yeah, I know what you mean.”
“I had to get away from it. No one paid any attention to me, and they all did what they wanted, so I came in here to escape.”
“I understand. I did the same. This isn’t my first party; my friends keep dragging me with hopes I’ll meet some guy, but all of the guys I meet at these things are moron drunks.”
“Well, you met me here,” he says with a somewhat nervous smirk. “I’m not a drunk.”
“And you don’t seem like a moron, either,” she says with a chuckle.
They both laugh awkwardly, and he then asks if she wants more to drink.
“Sure, that’d be nice,” she said, and then turned her stare back to the stars. “What I really want is to get out of here, though.”
As he got up and opened the fridge, he agreed, “yeah, but I can’t tell everyone to get out. They’ll hate me.”
“So, just leave then. They don’t need you,” she said with a big hopeful grin.
He gave her the drink and reciprocated the smile. “Alright, let’s go then,” he said, paused and then asked, “do you have a coat or something?”
“Yeah, it’s in the living room.”
He gleefully asked what it looked like and then retrieved it.
When he returned with her coat and his sweatshirt, she smiled. “Thanks. So, how’re gonna leave without them knowing?” She asked while pointing to the living room full of loud, drunken fools.
“Well, we can go down the fire escape… if you want, or we can just go through the front door. It’s not like anyone would notice.”
She stood up as he was talking and put on her coat. When he finished, she said with a half smile, “let’s take the fire escape.”
They both smiled and walked toward the window. He tried to open it, but since it was the middle of Autumn, it was too cold to budge as easily. She reached over and helped him and it opened. He got out first, and then held her hand as she stepped out. They closed the window and climbed down the ladder.
After they reached the ground, they both looked up and smiled.
“So, where to, now?” She asked as they started walking through the alley between the two old brick apartment buildings.
“Well, I don’t know,” he said with a nervous laugh.
“Do you have a car?” She wondered as she turned to see his answer.
“Unfortunately, no. Do you?” he asked, hopefully.
“I do, but it’s at home. My friends brought me. But, that’s okay. I like walking.”
He looked at her and smiled, “yeah, me too.”
So, they slowly walked down the street away from the loud party.
“So, do you go to school?” he questioned.
She paused for a second, and then answered, “Yeah. I go to the community college.”
“Oh yeah? What year?”
Again, she hesitated for a second, looked away, and said, “freshman.” Then she turned to him. “What about you?”
“I was a freshman, but I dropped out after first semester. I couldn’t handle it anymore. It didn’t seem to be helping anything, and I feel so much better now.”
She smiled and looked at him. “That’s good. Whatever makes you happy. You shouldn’t do something you don’t like.”
“Yeah. So what’re you majoring in?”
She paused once again and then responded with, “I don’t’ know exactly, yet, but I’m thinking maybe some kind of art, like maybe photography.”
“Cool, cool. I wanted to major in music, but couldn’t at the school I was at… Man I hated that place.”
“Damn, that sucks.” she said as they crossed a street continuing to distance themselves from the apartment.
“Yeah, but at least now I have time to work on what I love; my writing.”
“You write? That’s awesome. What kind of stuff do you write?”
As they passed a broken street light, he said, “All kinds of things: poetry, stories, music, free-writes, fantasies, movie ideas. You know, whatever’s on my mind, really.”
“Yeah? That’s cool. I have a few poems but that’s about it. I’m more into the visual arts, like photography and drawing.”
“That’s cool. I used to draw.”
“Why ‘used to’?”
“Because after drawing class in high school, I could never really draw anything good on my own.”
“Oh. Well, I bet if you wanted, you could draw beautifully,” she said, warming him up with her smile.
As he walked, with his hands in his sweatshirt, he stared at his company.
Her brown, curly hair perpetually falling in her face, covering her beautiful pale green eyes, would be pushed aside with her small hands during each conversation.
“So, are we walking anywhere, or are we just walking?” She asked, staring straight ahead.
Snapping out of his trance, “well, I guess it’s up to you, but I should probably get back soon.”