The late October winds stroked my face, stoking the engine of my skateboard. The eastern air ran its icy finger's through my thick hair, whipping it up. I pushed a few brown strands out of my face, rubbed my roughed cheek and pushed off, trying to push away my memory of the day's events. Boarding always helped me forget everything and relax; though today it tensed me. I thought of going home, but knew it was out of the question and headed in the other direction. The sweet winds hit my faces, beseeching me to forget. The memory still was fresh in my mind.

I was rushing down the third floor stairs at school, not wishing for me and mom to have another, "little talk" about missing the city bus, when some asshole stuck his big 'ol foot in the way. I fell, no, flew down the steps. I heard disturbed mutters through the concrete that now housed my ears. I could just see his smug face twisted in a delighted grin and this simple thought infuriated me.

"Are you ok," he asked choking back laughs as he reached out to flip over what he thought was my limp body. I whipped around and kicked him in the stomach. I watched him fly back onto the third step of the stairwell. His mouth was open, probably because if a mix of astonishment and lack of oxygen. I threw my arms over my head and launched myself to my feet. I hadn't been in a fight in a while, so I was almost prepared for it. I grabbed him by his collar, which by the way almost ripped off and gave him a fighting chance if I hadn't thrown him when I did. He almost cracked his head open against the back wall. There was a good ten feet from the stairs to the wall. He landed three feet shy of ten. I jumped on him, throwing punches to the stomach and head, which had to hurt considering his trembling body. I beat him until few classmates pulled me off him. I yanked away. "Don't you ever touch me again," I whispered and walked away.

When I got home, I tossed my bag on the ground and slammed the door. "What's the matter with you?" mom asked, and then she saw the bruise. "What happened? Did you get into another fight? You know what I told you about…"

"Mom, he tripped me!" I interjected.

"Don't interrupt me young lady. I told you not to…"

"Mom, you don't get it! He tripped me and…"

"I don't care! You're grounded!" My mouth hung open. Do you hear this! I get tripped nearly die in freaking stairwell and I'm grounded! I was nearly a grown ass woman and she still grounds me like a child. I thought going to college was the end of this crap.

She just stared at me with her "I'm above you!" look of superiority. There was nothing I could do but close my mouth and go upstairs. I got upstairs and plopped on my bed. 'Life stinks!' I looked over at my closet. My skateboard stared back. I got an Idea. I grabbed it, wrote mom a note and climbed out the window.

The air ignited my boards' engine once more, and I snapped back to reality, wheeling me on blindly into an intersection, fueled by my thoughts. A warm, bright light fixated on me and I was put completely at ease, until the light began to make a disturbing noise and I blinked. My thoughts returned in waves and I froze. The light drew closer, closer. Something much smaller cut into part of the light. I placed my concentration on it, up until it pushed me to the grass and the light passed me by. I blinked, becoming aware of what just happened, watching the semi pass me by, its lights beaming, and its horn still blaring. I looked out into the street to see my skateboard crushed and felt a moment of sorrow, and then it all came to me. "I'm alive."

"Yes, you are." A quiet voice rang out beside me. It came from a boy on all fours, his back heaving up and down as if he had just run a marathon. He looked up at me a moment late and I saw his flush face. His light brown hair matted and mess up, his lips slightly parted.

I finally came to and rushed to his side. "Are you ok?"

"Yeah, I'm good." He had begun to catch his breath. "Question is, are you?"

"I'm fine. My boards totaled, but that's beside the point." I touched his back gently. It still heaved, but much less now. "Why'd you do that?" I questioned. "You almost got smashed."

"I couldn't help it. Say, what were you doing out there? You looked lost." I thought a moment and couldn't think of a good lie. 'Well, I'm caught!'

"Honestly, I was just thinking." I stood and held out my hand. He took it and stood slowly, wincing. "Are you ok?"

"Uh, yea, I'm fine, now back to you. What were you thinking about?" We started walking.

"Oh, a fight I had earlier. It got pretty nasty. Got so mad, I threw the guy. Just imagine."

"Yeah, I did too." He seemed to be covering his lip.

"Oh yeah, small world..." I began and stopped. I looked at him. He turned, refusing to show me his face. I walked around to face him. I moved his hands and lifted his chin. "Oh my…" I looked at him with a wide open mouth and realized I hadn't got a good look at the boy in the stairwell. "You're the boy from back at the school…" he nodded watching me, almost apologetically. "Wait, why did you…?"

"I dunno, alright. I don't know. I had a sucky day and needed a laugh."

"So you trip me?"

"I know, It's wasn't cool." I sighed.

"Well you did save my sorry butt, so… It's ok. I mean, I did cause you to get bruised like a banana, twice! So I guess its ok." He breathed, and smiled sheepishly. We started walking again. It was silent for a moment. He broke the silence.

"So where do you live?"

"Down the street, in the house with ugly make-shift mailbox, you can't miss it! My dad had to make it!" The boy laughed.

"He sounds like a pain."

"Yeah, he was."

"Oh, uh… Sorry."

"Hey, it's cool. You didn't know."

"Yeah, my dad's still around to annoy me, tell me to turn my music down, and all that." I giggled.

"Well, here I am." I said. I was actually a little sad. I liked talking to him. I enjoyed it. Then a thought hit me… I didn't want to leave.

"I guess this is it. I'll see you at school." He turned and left. I watched the whole way until the words ate right through me.

"Wait," I called. He turned, nearly looking relieved, "maybe not."

"What do you mean?" I could tell he could see the mischief in my eyes.

"I'm going to get my skates and some stuff and you're going to stay right here, ok? Think you can manage that without getting run over?" He smiled, and for the first time I noticed how handsome he was.


"Ok. " I stepped backwards.

"But how are you going to get up there?"

"You'll see." I heaved myself toward the wall; pulling a 'Kim Possible' and bouncing off it, grabbing a tree branch. I hung a moment, and swung around it's roughness until I reached the top of in and stood strait up. Heaving myself toward the window, I grabbed the top of it with one hand, opening it with the other. Once it was open, I rolled inside. "Ha, total cake!" I quietly rummaged through my closet for about two minutes before hearing an, 'Oof!' followed by a heavy thud. I turned to see a big oaf, rubbing his head, planted of his butt. "I thought I told you to stay put!" Before he could reply, I yanked him off his rear and pressed a finger to his lips. "I'm going to go get some loot and you're going to stay right here, understand?" He shook his head silently and I ducked out of my room, shaking my head.

At the end of the hall, saw 'mommy dearest' parked on the couch, nonchalantly sipping her coffee like nothing had happened, which was so very typical. Crawling behind the love seat, I sat underneath the counter taking a silent breath, and reaching up for the tip of the counter. Her brown wallet peaked down at me, daring me to grab it. My fingertips scraped the leather, once, twice, and nothing. Then, two hands grabbed me from behind. I tried not to scream. The hands covered my mouth hard. I tried to breath. It was him. I ripped off his hand. "What are you doing," I whisper-screamed. "I told you, AGAIN to stay put!"

"I couldn't help it! Now get that cash and let's scram."

"Fine, now shut it!" I reached up again, missing the taunting moola.

"Here, sit on my shoulder.

"But…" by that time, he had already scooped me up. I snatched the wallet and nodded. "Ok, back down." But unfortunately, he had begun to wobble, holding my leg frantically and the weight of our bodies sent up crashing down. I rubbed my butt, and then heard it. Mom had stood up. "Crawl, damn it, Crawl!" We raced frantically down the hall on our hands and knees until we reached the window and bounded out.

We ran, ran and ran some more, until we reached the corner of Oakville and Oak Park, leaning against the sign post. I fell to the ground beside him. And to my utter surprise, the kid busted out laughing, making him even more winded. "Dude," I groaned, "What is you damage?"

"Irony's a bitch!" He exclaimed, still rolling hysterically.

"I still fail to see the hilarity." I had stopped panting. He laughed harder, loosing balance. His arms shook, and he began to fall, reaching for something to hang on to, grabbing me instead, and we went tumbling. He fell, putting his arms out to brace himself, his arms landing beside my arms. I was stunned at the perfection of his fall, if by perfection you mean completely awkward. He stare at me a moment, then laid his lips on mine. He pulled back and I stared at him coldly, and then smiled. "You're quite bold, aren't you? I mean, it's not often I kiss total strangers." He blushed and began to sit up. I grabbed his nearly-off collar. "So, I'm Ileana. And you are?" His mouth dropped.

"Uh, Caleb..."

"Well uh Caleb, I might as well teach you how to kiss right while we're at it. You mind?"

"Oh no, why would I?" I grinned

"Thought not," I quipped. With that, I gripped his shirt, kissing his soft lips once more. Caleb dug his nails into the grass and groaned. This lasted long enough for to hear disturbing noise to pull up apart; the scream of police sirens.