I was three days from turning 20 when I met Her.
They were all 14, and therefore She was much too young for me.
But when did rules ever get me down before?
It was an annual music festival in a city closer to where I lived than where She did, but the hour-long drive with Her friend's road enraged father did nothing to dampen Her spirit.
I wish I could say that it was love at first sight, but I only spoke to them because I thought Her friend Namine was cute.
Namine, Her other friend Kairi, and I had apparently met at last year's concert, however it was Her first year coming. Namine wouldn't stop blushing whenever I said anything, and Kairi was bubbling with excitement for the show to start.
But She was... different.
Unnerved by the masses of people, She maintained a cool façade by cracking sardonic jokes to their other friends and showing Her still obvious excitement for the bands to start playing.
By the end of the second band's first set, I had both hands on Namine's hips as we danced to the music.
She, on the other hand, was jumping around to the beat and flipping Her long brown hair around as if it was just Her and the music; She was alone in her little world and perfectly happy.
After making a run for drinks with Kairi, conveniently leaving Namine and I alone, She found that She had lost Her cell phone somewhere along the way.
Wanting to impress Her so that I could get Her blessing to be with Namine, I helped look for it everywhere.
Without finding it, at 2 a.m. they all had to leave. Namine and I exchanged numbers, and texted for the rest of the night, although I hate texting.
The next day I went back to the festival grounds to check the lost and found. My best friend Hayner was working there, and told me that only one phone hadn't yet been claimed.
Following protocol for once, he had to have me recite one number in the phone in order to claim it.
Of course I did Namine's.
But he was smirking as I tried to memorize it quickly from my own phone. Even if he's my best friend, sometimes Hayner can be a real pain in the ass. He enjoys seeing me squirm.
I called Namine to tell her the good news, and arranged to meet them at a mega-mall about a half-hour away.
That was the beginning of the clandestine meetings.
Once a month I would meet them at the mall.
Of course Namine was the reason I went, but I got to know Kairi pretty well, too.
It took me a while to see that She was orchestrating everything, but after a while I noticed that She was always the one making phone calls, assuring parents, giving rides after She got Her driver's license, and tying up all the other loose ends.
I doubt they ever even reimbursed Her for gas.
Not like She would have let them.
I was almost 22 when I realized that I was in love with Her.
Somewhere between having Her mad at me for taking Namine back to my car with me because I "forgot my wallet" (and then making out in the backseat), and sitting with Her on a beanbag in LuvSac, talking about Her family, my family, biology, nerd-stuff, her dumb dog, my dumb cat, and anything else we could think of while Kairi and Namine were getting lunch, I fell in love with Her.
She was amazing.
When Namine and I would have fights, I would call Her for advice.
We would talk for about half an hour, and then get back to our respective lives.
I found more meaning in those 30 minute conversations with Her than I did in the 2 hour ones with Namine.
One day, after a particularly long make-out session with Namine, I found that I was happier seeing Her on "our" beanbag chair in LuvSac than I had been a few minutes prior in the backseat of my car. Namine proceeded up to the foodcourt to meet Kairi, while I plopped down right next to Her. We were pushed closely together, and I could feel the warmth of her body next to mine. That's when I knew. For some reason we started talking about rabies, which led her to a story about her creepy neighbors who raw-fed their dogs whole rabbits and didn't have them vaccinated. Halfway through Her story, I pretended to brush something off of Her forehead. She halted mid-story and looked me straight in the eye, looking perplexed.
"Fuzz?" She asked in that voice of Hers. That musical voice that ranged from raspy when tired to high-pitched when She was angry or stressed.
I was addicted to it.
I nodded, lowering my hand, but She didn't continue on with her story. She raised an eyebrow in question; Her signature gesture.
"What would you do if I kissed you right now?" I asked boldly.
Without hesitation, She answered, "I guess I'd have to slap you."
I would have thought She was serious if I hadn't been able to tell that She was holding back a smile.
I grinned. "You hate me that much?"
"I don't hate you Roxas, I just dislike you." She stuck Her tongue out at me and smiled.
I kissed Her on the forehead. True to Her word, She lightly slapped me across the cheek.
We didn't stop laughing until Namine and Kairi came back.
Sometimes I wished I had kissed Her on the lips.
Then the whole business with Riku might not have happened.
I was 22 and a half when She started bringing him to our meetings.
Of course, Kairi had steadily been seeing a guy for a year or so, but she never brought him to our meetings.
The meetings were sacred.
By the time She started bringing Riku, Namine and I had been "off" in our on-and-off relationship for a while.
But the jealousy I felt when I saw him sitting with Her in LuvSac, in my place, talking to her, laughing with Her, brushing Her chestnut bangs out of Her beautiful green eyes, made me grab Namine and give Her the back-bending kiss of a sailor who hadn't seen his girl in months.
I started trying to constantly one-up Riku.
When he had his arm around Her, I would pull Namine close to me and kiss her cheek.
When they held hands, I took Namine back to my car to make out.
Kairi, was of course, very confused by our strange behavior.
In retrospect, I feel awful for using Namine like that, but all's fair in love and war, and she had her revenge.
The worst part was that even in my jealousy, I didn't hate Riku, because I saw how happy he made Her, and I knew that as long as Her best friend still had feelings for me, She would never leave Riku for me.
And I never made Her.
I got the best news of my life the summer I turned 24.
Namine had cheated on me with Riku.
Riku realized that, like me, he had fallen for the best friend of the girl he was with, and Namine just got tired of me.
She nearly died hearing it, though nothing in Her demeanor or actions showed it to anyone but me.
She always put up walls to hide Her emotions, but two nights post-breakup, She drove an hour to my apartment to cry.
Not only did She sob about what had happened with Riku, She laid all of Her problems and insecurities on me.
After She cried for an hour, we watched Zoolander, Her movie of choice when She needed to get Her mind off of something.
It's not like I bought the DVD for the brilliant plot.
When Rufus, Brint, and Meekus died in the fraek-gosline-fight-accident, She started crying again.
When I asked her why, She said it was because She couldn't find a roommate for the coming school-year.
She had just finished Her first year of college, and was still looking for a place to live closer to campus come September. Dorms weren't Her thing; too many parties, even for one of the best schools in the country.
Lucky for me, the campus was a five minute walk from my apartment, as I was finishing grad-school there myself.
I turned Her crying face to look at me.
"What would you do If I asked you to move in with me?"
She laughed, rubbing eyes puffy from tears.
"I guess I'd have to do it." She smiled.
Then I kissed her; A kiss that had been building in me for years.
I wanted to make it last.
I fit my lips softly to hers, and held them there for a moment.
She didn't do anything.
I started to pull away, afriad that She was rejecting me.
Instead, She wrapped Her arms around my neck and rested Her forehead on mine.
"Did I say you could stop?" She whispered, before pressing her lips to mine. We went on like that for another twenty minutes, until, breathlessly, I carried Her to my bed.
I'm not gonna go into that.
Those details are for Her and me alone.
I will say, though, that I woke up the next morning the most happiest and most satisfied I'd ever been in my life.
Until I noticed that there wasn't a warm girl lying beside me.
Just a note.
Hastily scrawled on the back of a piece of junkmail.
The note that broke me.
I'm so sorry. I don't regret what happened. But I can't be with you. I wouldn't be able to live with myself. I'm almost as bad as Namine. Goodbye.
Ahh, Guilt. You old fiend you.
Guilt was her weakness, along with anyone who needed her help.
At least she didn't regret it.
I ldidn't know what to do.
So I called Hayner.
I told him everything.
"So what do you think?" I aksed. He had been uncharacteristically silent during my story.
"Roxas, don't freak out, but I'm looking at Her right now. She's asleep on my couch."
"WHAT THE HELL, MAN? YOU DIDN'T CALL ME!"
"Woah, woah, owah. Calm down. She told me not to. She's been in love with you for a long time, man. I think She felt like She would be betraying Namine to get with you, even after what that bitch did to both of you."
"But I don't care!"
"But She does."
I sighed heavily. "Therein lies the problem."
"I don't know what she sees in you. You're such a jackass. Who uses words like 'therein'?"
"Who tries pick-up lines on McDonalds employees to see if they work and to get free food?"
"Could you tell Her, when She wakes up, that my offer still stands? And that all She'd have to do is come back."
"You didn't propose, did you?"
"NO! I asked her to move in so she could be closer to campus."
"Oh, so it's a nerd thing. 'Kay."
"Don't mention it."
I chuckled. "Okay."
"No. Really. Don't." Click.
He hung up.
I spent the rest of the day sitting around, waiting for Her to show up at my door.
Of course She didn't.
But just in case, I went and got a second key made that night.
I left it with the old homeless man who lives outside my apartment.
She always says hello to him when She comes to see me.
He told me that She reminds him of the girl who he let get away.
I gave him explicit instuctions to give Her the key if She came by, so I wouldn't have to buzz Her in.
He said he'd stay up all night if necessary.
I smiled and tried to slip him a twenty for his troubles.
He pushed it away.
"Oh no sir," He started. "This is a matter of the heart. I'm honor bound to give the young Lady the key. I can't accept money for this." He inclined his head in a bow.
I was speechless.
Sometimes, the nobility of people astounds me.
"If I may, I'll still pay you back somehow. Dinner?"
He grinned. His teeth were grey and worn. "A sandwich every now and then would be much obliged, young sir."
I couldn't help myself. I grinned back.
I walked inside. The clocks said 10 p.m..
I collapsed on my bed and fell asleep.
I dreamed that She and I were together, somewhere far away.
Frank Sinatra was crooning in the background.
They have the same birthday, actually.
She's always felt a special connection to him because of that.
The dream was amazing.
The kind that you're sad to wake up from.
But that moment had to come.
I woke up.
I was sure She wouldn't be there.
I inhaled deeply.
It smelled like grapefruit.
It smelled like Her.
Then I felt something shift next to me, and move closer.
It was warm.
Then I opened my eyes.
I saw long, unruly, brown hair.
Slowly, I raised myself up on my elbows.
She couldn't be real.
She was just a figment of my imagination.
Then, lazily, She opened Her eyes.
"Morning." A smile lifted the corners of her mouth.
I didn't know how to react.
I wanted to cry.
I wanted to yell.
I wanted to tackle Her and make love again.
Instead, wordlessly, I pulled Her into me and held Her tightly.
She tensed at first, and then relaxed in my arms.
"I love you so much." I whispered into her hair.
I felt Her grin. "You're an idiot," She said with a laugh.
I smiled. That was as close to an "I love you too" as I was gonna get.
"What would you do if I said I wanted a repeat performance of what happened the other night?"
She kissed my ear. "I guess I'd have to give you one." She whispered softly.
Her stomach grumbled. "After breakfast." She pulled away and bounced off the bed.
I noticed that She was wearing a pair of my boxers and one of my old shirts.
I laughed to myself.
That's my girl.
A/N: Phew. First Roxette thing I've ever written... Feels good to get it out. =] ((Took long enough... I started this in June.))
This story is, for the most part, based on real events of my life. Well, more like inspiration is taken from them. My Roxas is more of a brother than a lover. But that Namine stuff happened. And that is why I no longer have a Namine in my life. Or a Riku.
Different writing style and couple. Tell me what you think! R&R!