He was indescribable.
She was everything.
You were witness to their brilliance.
"There's no way you know them. They're the couple." You roll your eyes at the girl whispering in your ear who had only noticed your existence after they waved at you.
"He's my neighbor and she's my friend. What's so hard to believe?" You say flatly as she stares at you, mouth gaping open unattractively.
"I don't know. You just don't seem like the kind of person who they talk to." She says it easily, like it's some fact that you just aren't that cool.
"Yeah? Well they do." You state before turning away from her and walking to your next class, ignoring the feeling of her glare on your back.
They were absolutely beautiful when they were together.
He had shaggy brunette hair and a hockey player's body (more often than not it was covered by a leather jacket), the classic bad boy.
She had light brown hair falling straight down her back and vivid blue eyes that were startlingly bright against rosy skin.
They shouldn't match and they didn't, not really.
But they contrasted each other wonderfully.
And sometimes contrast looks even better than matching.
"No way. Sports are not more important than fashion. Change the channel. Now." She's nearly growling at him (it's the Academy Awards, goddammit) and he's laughing at her (not really) threatening demeanor.
"Dear. It's the semi-finals. Not just sports." He's grinning smugly, like he's won (she's nearly spitting now) and you can see how it's going to play out before anything even happens.
"Fine." She snarls the word, (she's acting irrational, but whatever it's Casey) and stomps from the room.
He sits there for a few minutes before huffing and chasing her up the stairs and you hear muffled shouts overhead.
You roll your eyes and grab the remote, switching the channel to E! and watching as stars glide gracefully down the red carpet. They come back down the stairs, him grinning and her attempting not to, and sit down together in his favorite armchair. He grins at you when he notices that you changed the channel and you smile quickly back, turning towards the television when you notice his hand slip around her waist.
You're their friend. (Which is kind of funny, because you aren't her friend and his friend anymore but now you're their friend.)
They fought like cats and dogs on some days (some days? Who're you kidding? It was all days). It didn't matter what he said or what she did, the other one took it the wrong way and an argument quickly escalated into a fight and you felt the need to put a sign flashing 'danger-zone' around them.
Afterwards, they got along so well that people passing their cuteness in the hallway grimaced or fake-gagged. They always laughed, his more of a chuckle and hers more of a giggle, and the person passing by grinned too.
But no matter what, they were inseparable.
"You know the rules. No excessive PDA on school grounds." The teacher's stern voice echoed throughout the courtyard as he glared at the two of them disdainfully.
"What's the punishment?" He smirked slightly as he asked the question; his hand twining with hers and his thumb rubbing small circles into her palm.
"One week detention." The teacher smirks condescendingly as he says it and you have a moment where you wonder why someone who hated kids would choose to become a teacher. But then the hand intertwined with hers pulls her closer, bright brown eyes glimmering with a mix of defiance and amusement as he wraps his arms around her waist and grins brightly at her.
"I'll take it." Voice full of confidence and laughter and eyes smiling brightly he pulls her in for another kiss and you can hear the teacher grumbling disapprovingly and all of your classmates catcalling and she pulls away from him slightly and they both begin to laugh loudly, smiles bright on their faces and you haven't really ever seen anything so stunning before.
You can't remember the last time you saw them without each other.
They lived next door to you and they were always late because of Edwin and Lizzie stopping them to talk about their observations (what they spied on) or Marti refusing to let go of her Smerek.
You walked with them to school, their hands intertwined, and normally it was they who talked and you who listened.
Once you got to school you separated from them (they went to his locker to get his stuff then her locker for her's) and you didn't see them again until lunch.
At lunch they sat next to each other, close as they could without getting yelled at by the lunch attendant, and then they went to they're afternoon classes and you walked with them home from school and then the next day everything repeated.
But then, one day, everything changed.
"I don't care if you want to backpack around Europe. We're going to college." He spits out the words, eyes narrowed and lips drawn back into a feral snarl.
"I'll go later. I want to go to Europe first." She says it in a monotone, but her eyes are flashing with defiance and you know that she isn't going to back down on this one.
You were so confused when this fight broke out, not because they were fighting, but because they were backwards.
He was supposed to want to leave and she was supposed to want the security of college.
But that wasn't how it turned out.
And that worried you.
Because if they weren't in the right places, then they wouldn't know how to fix it and how to stop arguing and what to do once the fighting stopped. She wouldn't know how to apologize without actually apologizing and he wouldn't know how to get her to agree with him so that they did the right thing.
So you were concerned.
And you considered interfering.
But you couldn't, they had to figure it out for themselves no matter how much you wanted to fix it for them.
However, the problem with you not interfering?
They didn't fix it.
That was the end.
It wasn't supposed to be.
It was supposed to be like the movies and the books. Where they broke up and realized they were wrong and then they got back together and you went to college with them and met a cute boy and the four of you lived next to each other and babysat each other's kids and everyone lived happily ever after.
But that wasn't what happened.
They didn't realize how stupid they were being and she left for Europe right after graduation and he went to film school in California.
And you were alone.
You knew that people thought you were crazy for liking hanging out with them (don't you hate being a third wheel?) but they were your friends.
They were your best friends.
They were your only friends.
And now they were both gone.
And you had to go to college on your own, no support or security or stability.
You didn't see them again.
Sometimes you heard stuff from your mom, who heard it from his mom and her dad. There were stories about how she found some Italian guy and got married and began to teach some dance course (you always thought she'd be a good teacher, but she could have been so much more). And you heard about how he was quickly moving up in the film business, the new guy that everyone wanted to know (yeah, he was good at this but he wanted to direct and he would've been great at it). And how he had found a girl and they had had 2.5 kids and settled down in a house with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and a whitewashed picket fence.
And you were slightly disgusted.
Because the two of them had been so beautiful and so extraordinary and now they were nothing more than another statistic.
They had challenged each other and they fought all the time (and who knew you were going to miss that?) and they didn't know how to live without each other, made obvious by the fact that as soon as they were separated they became the people that the three of you had mocked all throughout high school.
They became these boring people that didn't follow they're passions and didn't love life and you hated that that happened to them.
You hated that that happened to you.
Because you had been beautiful by proxy, which was just as good (maybe not just as good but it was good enough).
But they broke each other and left you alone.
And all three of you became so much less than you could've been (more them, but still you).
So sometimes you cried at night and your perfectly respectable (boringly safe) lawyer husband asked you why and the first time you tried to explain but he looked at you uncomprehendingly, like you were insane, so you didn't try to explain it anymore.
And sometimes, when you were sitting there with tears running silently down your face, you could almost hear her sobs (she couldn't cry quietly) from Italy and almost see his hidden tears (he hated crying) all the way from California and you hatethem for doing that.
For breaking the three of you (who cares if you weren't in their relationship? It still affected you and they knew that).
But you hate yourself even more for not being strong enough without them, that you weren't beautiful all by yourself.
That you would never be anything but beautiful by proxy.