Where have you been?
I'm sorry, I-
Don't interrupt me! Get in there a write a story! And it better be a good one.
I inwardly groan at the whisper making its way from my bedroom floor to my ears, successfully running me off the course to dreamland. "Ellie?" The voice whispers again. "Are you awake?"
"No," I answer grumpily. As you know, I'm normally a lot nicer (or at least a little), but, according to the glowing red numbers on my alarm clock, it's three in the morning. Normal people are asleep at this hour! But Alvin and normal go together like…two things that don't go together!
What? I want to see you wake up at three in the morning and try to think of something better.
"Ellie," He sighed. "I can't sleep."
I shift in my bed so I'm leaning towards the edge and looking down at him. "So keeping me up is the solution?" I'm thirteen years old; I need my eight hours, and I need them in a row!
Alvin is laying flat on his back, arms folding behind his head, looking thoughtfully up at the ceiling. "I don't know. I just- wanted to…talk." He mumbled the last bit.
I raise my brow a bit at the request. "Talk?"
"Never mind. It was stupid." He shakes his head before settling his eyes on me. "Sorry to wake you."
"No, it's okay." I respond quickly, all reasons for my earlier grumpiness is forgotten. This must be his subtle, and oh, so Alvin, way of telling me he wants to talk about something that's bothering him. It's a strange route to take, even for Alvin, but he's been my friend for years and I'm ready to help in anyway I can.
Even at three in the morning.
"What did you want to talk about?"
He raises and drops his shoulders and turns to look back at the ceiling. "I don't know."
I stare blankly at him. I don't say anything even though every fiber of my being is screaming to say something sarcastic. But due to the time of day, I'm not up to it, so I let it go. "Well…" I pause, attempting to think of something that would spark a conversation that would lead to the base of Alvin's emotions. "How you doing? You good?"
Alvin chuckles at my typical small talk. "Yeah, I'm fine." He looks back at me. "How are you?"
I shrug, a small smile appearing on my face. "So…" I try to think of another question. "It's good to have you back."
Even in the dark I could see the smile across his face. "You sound like a talk show host." He chuckled.
I laughed too. "Yeah? Am I any good?"
"I don't know. You've barely started."
"Well, Alvin Seville, it is so great to have you back in my bedroom! Let's give it up for him!" I cupped my hands over my mouth and quietly began making noises similar to a crowd cheering. "Whoo! Alvin, yeah! Marry me!"
Alvin laughed out loud at this. "I don't know about the talk show host thing, but you make an excellent fan-girl."
"I aim to please." I respond casually, turning on my back and looking towards the ceiling. I began to wonder if Alvin wanted to talk about anything at all. Maybe he just couldn't fall asleep.
Silence followed Alvin's laughter. He didn't say anything for a while and I just laid there and waited. "Ellie," He called again.
"Yeah," I answer immediately.
"I feel like I hardly know you anymore." He answered.
What? My brows came together in wonder. I turned back onto my side in order to look down at him again. "What do you mean? Have I changed?"
Alvin turned on his side too so he was also looking at me. "No, just…" His face scrunched up in thought. "…different." He finished. My confusion only grew at this statement. "We were best friends back in elementary school."
"We're still best friends."
"Yeah, but somewhere between fifth grade and now we've grown apart." I stared curiously at him. I wasn't sure how to respond to that. I can count on my fingers how many times Alvin had openly expressed his feelings to me, and sometimes it would happen at the oddest times.
Once I offered him a cookie and he ended up telling me that he didn't want to date Brittany anymore.
But that's another story for a later time of day.
"I mean, is your favorite color still green?" He asked. It was then I realized Alvin was still talking to me and I had completely zoned out on him.
"Well, Alvin, what do you mean by different?" I looked over myself. "I don't feel different."
He let out a huff. "I used to be comfortable around you, now I feel like I'm walking on egg shells whenever I talk to you." He turned onto his back and folded his arms over his chest. "I even considered not coming today because of it."
I was taken back by this confession. "Well, that wasn't hurtful." I mumbled. I felt a small unintelligible feeling in my chest, but shook it off. "Why do you feel like that? Was it something I did?"
"I don't know!" He threw his hands up in frustration before letting them fall back to his sides. "One moment I'm sitting on the couch watching soccer with my best friend the next I can barely form a coherent sentence around you." I could practically hear the pout in his voice. "You think I would've gotten used to this by now, but over the years, it's just gotten worse."
My eyes grow at least two times their normal size. "Years?" I exclaim, then I remember it's early morning and my sisters and Miss Miller are still asleep. "Why are you just telling me this now?"
He sighed and I once again saw his shoulders shrug. "I figured you could help."
"I can't help if I don't even know what I did."
I studied the shifting form on my floor. "You-" He trailed off, looking uncomfortable with whatever he was about to say. "You…became a…girl." He finally blurted.
It was silent. Was he serious? All of that…because I was a girl? The sides of my mouth began to twitch. I bit my lip turned onto my stomach, burying my face into my pillow.
"Are you crying?" Alvin asked from the floor.
You couldn't really blame him. My expression was hidden by my pillow and from the slight shaking from my shoulders and the muffled sounds I was releasing, I would think I was crying too.
I lifted my head, revealing the large grin spread across my face. "No," I continued laughing. "Alvin, I've always been a girl!"
Alvin sighed again. "I know that, but you didn't always act like it. Before junior high, you might as well had been one of my brothers."
There was that pain again. What was that?
"A girl." I finished for him. We both let out simultaneous sighs. Mine was out of frustration; his sounded more thoughtful than frustrated, but the frustration was there. "Alvin, this doesn't make any sense."
"Welcome to my life." He grumbled back.
Almost nothing about that conversation made sense. Now that I thought about it, back in elementary school I was a little rough around the edges. I would prefer to jump off the swings into a pile of mud and then proceed to join a bunch of other guys in a mud war then sit around the jungle gym debating the cutest member of the latest boy band. Now, I find the thought of rolling in dirt disgusting and juvenile, and the cutest member of the latest boy band is worth debating over.
That part made sense.
Why Alvin would think any different of me, didn't.
The weird dull ache I feel doesn't. Why I cared whether Alvin thought of me as a friend, a girl, or a girlfr- the point is that it doesn't make sense.
"Alvin?" I called to him this time.
"Being a teenager is confusing."
I didn't have to look down to know he was nodding in agreement.
I don't know how I feel about this.
It's been a while. I just needed to see if I still had it.
But, hey, number sixty-nine! For those you who can count, why don't you tell me what comes next.
So, anyway, there's a poll in my profile. Go vote when you have a chance, but since you're here right now…
Click it. Click the button.