You carefully scribble the word, "Unicorn" on a piece of paper from your notebook. You rip it out and shove it under your pillow before you rest your head on the plump object, allowing yourself to fall into a deep slumber.
It was your nightly ritual that soothed you ever since you were a child. You would write something you wished for on a piece of paper, put it under your pillow and one day it would hopefully come true. For now, you stick to wishing for things that can never be. Unicorns, a rainbow appearing right in your room, etcetera, etcetera.
You greet your friends with the typical bright smile and a loud hello as you sit at the usual lunch table. Your tiny hands fumble to open your milk carton as Tori rants on and on about some sort of problem she has going on, which she does often.
And here they come.
His hand is in hers and he's smiling and she's being sarcastic and time seems to stop for everyone because they're here. She's evil, she's heartless, she's cold. And yet she's managed to snag up her opposite, but they seem so right, like they can keep going and going like two parallel lines. Forever and ever.
Time forgot to tell you that it started back up again because Tori is screaming your name, shaking you. You glance around the table and see that the soulless woman and her perfect prince are now seated, engrossed in their own discussion. You glance back at Tori, who points out that you've managed to open your milk carton and spill it all over the table. A loud screech erupts from the deepest parts of your stomach as you feel the cool liquid seep through the fabric of your jeans.
Jumping up from your seat, you look around for some napkins, a homework sheet, anything to clear this mess you've made. And all of a sudden here comes the perfect prince Beck with a handful of napkins, helping you clean yourself up.
And the only thing you can focus on is the look Jade gives you as he helps you clean up the mess.
You don't know how, but you suddenly find yourself in the detention room, drawing pictures with your mind on the white wall in front of you. The teacher announces that she'll be back after some staff meeting and leaves the room. You don't notice the light brush of a shoulder as someone sits next to you. You don't notice him jabbing you in your ribs, repeating your name as if it's the first word he's ever learned. But what do notice is when he shouts your name as loud as he could without getting in trouble.
It's then that you shriek, alarmed by his booming voice beside your ear. When you finally compose yourself doing a strategy that your psychiatrist taught you, and he asks why you're in here. You are Cat after all. The goody-goody, psychotic, happy red haired girl that never did any wrong. You simply answer that you were late to class too many times and start to pick at your nails.
His eyes are planted on you, and you know it. Even if you're not looking at him, you can feel his eyes boring a hole into you and it's so awkward, and exciting, and strange for you. He grabs your hand, gently extending your fingers out from the little semi-circle they were in. You ask him what, looking at him as if he were from another planet. It takes him a minute, but he finally tells you that he's never seen polish that bright and happy and he lets go of your hand.
There's a silence between the two of you that chills you as the other detention kids talk amongst themselves. It's an awkward one, but you don't mind.
You're far too busy thinking about what color you could wear tomorrow to catch his attention.
Summer was one of those times when everything would become a blur for you. Some days were moving too slow, and others too fast. The things that used to make you frown were now things that made you happy and so on and so forth.
Kind of like the day the perfect prince knocks on your door looking slightly disheveled. His perfect prince hair is a mess and his shirt is stained and he's not wearing his black boots and you just know something is wrong.
Perfect prince and the soulless woman have broken up. Well, the soulless woman decided on this, perfect prince had no say in her decision.
He stumbles into your house telling you that he didn't know where else he could go. His voice is broken is battered and you want to cry for him because it's breaking your heart to see the perfect prince in pain. You awkwardly pat his back and he tells you that he doesn't want to go home because he'd be alone in a place filled with memories and laughs and screams and he doesn't want that. Not yet. So you take him to your room and push him down on the plush carpet of your floor and turn on the TV. There's nothing on except cartoons, seeing as it's 3 in the afternoon on a Sunday, but he doesn't seem to mind.
You sit down beside him, cross your legs, and lean on your hands for support. He does the same and you feel so totally in-sync that you feel like he's your twin. He adjusts himself and your pinkies brush and you can't help it, but you feel so alive and happy and free. You try to hold back the smile that's beckoning to happen, so you keep it in until something funny happens in the show and then you smile for dear life. You smile so big that your eyes can't see past your cheeks and nothing seems real anymore.
And for some reason, you feel like that won't be the first time you spend time with him this summer.
Your back is on the ground. The soft feel of carpet tickles your neck and you kind of regret wearing a tank top today, but it's okay. It's always okay. He grabs a bag of marshmallows from his bedside and stands at your feet, looking down at you. You smile and open your mouth and throws the marshmallows to you and you try and catch them.
You feel perfect and happy and you're totally comfortable being who you are for once. Maybe it's because that's what he likes about you.
You pull your shoes on after running around his RV for hours and tell him that it's getting late and you need to go home. Before you can turn around to leave, he pulls you in by your small waist for a hug. His head is in at home in the crook of your neck and you're pretty sure he's sniffing you right now, but you don't care.
He whispers to you that you're his first best friend and you can't stop smiling and giggling and being, well, Cat. He laughs at you and pulls away from the hug and you open the door of the RV, the pink and orange and blue shades of the sky welcoming you as you begin your walk home.
That night, you write Beck so many times on that lined sheet of paper that you think your hand is going to fall off, but you don't care because it's him and with him, you feel safer and happier and real, even if it's just his name on a piece of paper.
You shove it under your pillow and hope and wish and want so desperately for your wish to come true.
There are tears in your eyes. They're glossing and coating them so wonderfully that you could be considered a porcelain doll. But you don't feel like a doll. You feel like an ugly, horrible, troll.
You'd gone to his RV at 2 in the morning, simply telling him that you were in the neighborhood. He doesn't question you. He never does because he's perfect that way.
He lets you in and you lay down on the floor, crossing your ankles and propping them on his bed. He sits next to you, mimicking your position. You tell him that sometimes you feel lost. He asks what you mean by that and you tell him that you've never felt comfortable being you. He tells you that you can change and be comfortable. You let him know that change scares you. His fingers find yours and weave through the spaces between your thin fingers and he tells you that he'll never let anything you scare you.
There's a peaceful silence that fills the air for a while before you sit up. He follows suit and asks you what's wrong. You look down at your hands and then back at his eyes. You're searching for the words to answer him, to let him know that not being able to have him also scares you, but you can't. All you can do is lunge forward and press your lips to his in a swift, sudden movement.
He's startled by it, sitting there wide eyed and then you pull away in a dreamy haze. He just sits there, looking at you and you don't know if he wants to scream or tell you that that was the best thing he's ever experienced. And finally, he tells you that he likes you, just not like that. And in a matter of seconds your entire world is broken into little pieces.
You're sitting there, fighting back tears. You don't want him to know you're broken, but you can't help it. You let one tear fall and then you're jumping up from the floor and screaming. You don't care that's it's two in the morning or that you might possibly be waking up the neighbors but right now, that doesn't matter.
You're screaming and crying and hissing and hurting and you can't deal with this, you can't take it. It's too painful to be reality and you want it to be a dream, but it's not and you can't pretend it is.
You bolt from his RV and run. You hear him calling your name, but you don't stop. You keep running and running until you can't feel your legs.
And then you run faster because you don't want to feel your heart either.
Perfect prince has a new woman. And this time it's not the soulless one. No, this time it's the beautiful goddess Tori. You're walking beside them in the mall (Tori's idea) and you can't help but think that they're cute. It's been a good month since you've seen him and you notice his hair is different. He's gotten a little taller and he smiles bigger with the beautiful goddess than he ever did with you.
You're a third wheel here and it's uncomfortable and sometimes you feel his eyes burning into you and it's saddening you. Because you can't even look at his direction without thinking of all the memories you two shared and it makes you want to cry because everything happened so fast between you two that sometimes you forget little bits and pieces that created one of the best beginning to a summer in of your life.
It's been about an hour and Tori announces she has to go home. She kisses Beck and walks out the mall and it's just the two of you again, like old times. You're just looking at your toes that are peeping out of the sandals you're wearing because looking at him would be allowing yourself to fall back in again and you're not ready for that level of pain just yet.
So you just let the awkward silence fill the air as people walked past you two, enjoying their lives. You're considering different lies you could use to escape this situation until you hear him tell you that he misses you.
And you look up at him and say that you missed him too. And things just sort of...fall back into place. And it's like nothing has changed between you two. Like after the kiss, time stopped for a little while and now everything is better.
But you still wish you could rewind back and delete the most embarrassing moment of your life.
It's been around two weeks since the two of you made up, and already Beck's in your room, telling you about how he found the beautiful goddess Tori broke up with him because she thinks that he's spending too much time with you.
And once again, the perfect prince is all mismatched about the entire ordeal and you're watching cartoons again, like before. But he doesn't laugh when anything funny happens. He doesn't even crack a smile. He just sits there, staring into space. And he seems distant and unreal and he's fading away. You want to extend your arm and grab him, pull away from this almost depressing trance he's in but you don't have the courage to. And then you see something that makes you feel like someone just kicked you in the face.
A tear slides down his tan cheek and lands onto the floor.
You quickly wrap your arms around his neck and squeeze him tightly because that's just how these things work. He squeezes you back and no words are spoken. Because the two of you are so perfectly in-tune with each other that words would just be a waste of time.
That night, you put Tori down on your list of people to try to not be friends with.
There was one more week of summer and then school would start back up again and so would begin the annual process of trying hard and doing good and not letting it all get to you because high school is vicious like that. So you've decided that you're spending your remaining summer week with Beck simply because you can.
Your eyelids are drooping slowly and everything's a blurry haze, even though it was dark in the RV. You twist a little on the bed to get comfortable when you hear his voice call your name. Your eyes lazily look over the edge of the bed to where he lay on the carpeted ground. He's quiet for a moment before he asks if you remember when you kissed him. You feel your face become hot and your hands are clammy in a split second and you don't want this to be brought up. You nod, and even though he can't see you, he understands. Best friends are like that sometimes.
He's gets on his knees so that you're face to face and you can just see the faint outline of his body in front of you and he asks if you want to try again. Before you can even respond, he plants his lips against yours and you're just kind of hanging there for a few seconds, trying to process what just happened and before you know it, you've got your hands tangled in his hair.
And everything is magical. You feel beautiful and happy and complete, thanks to this one boy.
It was kind of strange now that things were official.
Now, when he held your hand or kissed you or told you that you looked nice today, it meant so much more than just a friend being nice or trying to make you feel better. It meant that for once, you didn't feel so alone. It meant that you could just reach your hand up and touch the sky because someone finally believed in you and that feeling alone was enough to make you forget that you and him were never in love in at one point.
He pushes your back against the cool metal of the RV and places his hands on either side of your head. You've never been one for being trapped, but it's okay because as long as you're trapped with your perfect prince, everything is all right. He presses his forehead against yours and just stares into your eyes. It's a clash of brown eyes and brown eyes and right now, it doesn't matter if a tornado rips through the city and picks up the RV because you're with him and you're happy and everything is amazingly gratifying because you're floating whenever he's within ninety-nine million feet of you.
He tells you that he loves you so much that it hurts and you tell him that you feel the exact same way about him. You pause and then tell him that you feel like that about puppies and kittens sometimes too. He laughs in that perfect prince way and kisses you, because that's what people like you two do. You don't care that you two have homework to do, or that he needs to get a fan in his RV because he's so amazing that sometimes just looking at him makes you forget how to breathe for a minute. That's just the way it works.
You'll never tell him, but you love puppies and kittens a lot less than you love him.
You want to die.
Right now, in this moment, you would give anything for John Wilkes Boothe or anyone really to just shoot you in your heart so that your life is over. That would hurt less then this pain. He tries to pull you in for a hug, but you push him off of you, the tears leaping from your eyes because you need to have something escape your body to diminish the feeling a bit. You scream at him to go away and that's really the last thing you want him to do. You don't care if everyone in the cafeteria is looking at you the two of you. He begs for you to listen, to give him a chance to explain. But what explanation do you need? You saw your former perfect prince and the beautiful goddess trying to suck off each other's face.
No is all you shout at him and right now, it's the only thing you think you can say. He still protests, so you grab the closest thing and throw it at him and it kind of helps to watch the tray of cafeteria food slap against his chest and slide slowly down the fabric of his black shirt. He tells you that you're overreacting and you can't even think anymore. Your mind is blank and all you can think to do is run. Run until you're standing at the edge of the world. Run so long that no one remembers your name or who are you because at this point, you want it to happen so badly that you take off without grabbing your things.
And you're running and running and running and you can't stop, you refuse to stop. Everything is blurry now. The trees, the street, the pain. You start to slow down to catch your breath and you realize you're standing in the center of your bedroom. You don't remember coming up the steps or even opening the front door for that matter and you decide that it's better that way. You fall onto your bed and look up at the ceiling. The tears are all gone and all you do is wish.
You wish that you had never said hello to this not-so-perfect prince when you first met him. You wish that you were pretty like Tori, because that's probably why he went back to her. You wish that he wasn't so good looking and nice and sweet and kind. That would make this "trying to hate him" thing a whole lot easier.
But you could never hate him. Not even if he shattered you.
You're questioning why you came here. No one wants to see their first love get married to someone that isn't them, so why did you come? So what if Tori invited you? You're her friend and she knows that you and Beck had a very special, wonderful, magical thing.
They're doing it.
They're saying "I do" and then he's gone forever. Any chance you had with him is through the window because the priest is saying that they can kiss. And when their lips meet, you start to think about how it felt when you two were in love. And how everything was unexpected and you finally had something good to look forward to each day.
They pull apart and he takes her hand in his and lifts it high into the air and smiles and he looks around the crowd as they stand up and clap. And then his eyes fall on you and you're staring at him and it's like a blast from the past when the two dark eyes would clash in his RV.
You can't do this anymore. You can't pretend that you're okay with this situation anymore. You stand up and walk out of the church and sit on the steps in front of the door and you cry. So what if he's moved on with his life? He's the perfect prince and you're the psychotic little girl that you've always been. You tuck a strand of your hair behind your ear and come across a realization.
Fairytales do happen. Just not to you.