Dear, Kenneth

"Meet me behind Shakey's, Ollie." It wasn't a question, nor did you care if it was.

Mom didn't like the idea of me seeing you. She knows you. Everyone knows you. And they know who you are and what you've done. I know, too. My adopted mother understands my choices and only tells me to be careful and keep a watching eye on you. So I went, knowing that I would not have to. As strange as it may be, I trust you. But you told me to meet you behind Shakeys and I could not say no. It would have been easy to. "Sorry, I'm afraid I can't." But I didn't say that. I said, "Sure, I'll be there." And why? Being around you makes me stutter and trip in my imagination yet I always keep one eye on the door in class, waiting for the precise moment you walk in with your backpack strung over one shoulder and your orange parka covering only half of each eyes and a perfectly shaped nose. There's something about your cheap cologn smell and diamond eyes that draw me in.

And I see you standing there, one foot propped up on a stack of bricks and the other holding your structure still. There is a cigarette in your hand and you're smoking it. Taking lengthy sucks and spitting them out disdainfully in the cool winter air. I'm sure you're feeling pretty proud of yourself right now, breathing nicotine coated smoke into the clear and virginal air of December. You've always liked ruining things; you think it makes you seem more troubled. Like you're something more than a dumb kid from the hood who's Daddy is drunk all the time and who's Mom simply doesn't care anymore. I wish I could tell you how much smoke affected your lungs and how many chunks of your life it stole but you'd probably blow some smoke into my face and stare at me with that ironic expression I know you practice in front of a cracked mirror.

I'm just in time. Thankfully. Three on the dot, just when you said to meet me here. I didn't wish to disapoint anyone, although I could have easily explained my way out of it. Lying didn't seem necessary, though. The only reason I would was because of the way I always say wrong things around you and when I argue my side of conversation, you just come back even stronger. It was if you were lion and I was the prey that tried to run to stumbled and it was over like that.

I, Olivia Jackson, know where Kenny McCormick and I stand. It took a while to figure out - one would not think otherwise - yet, I understand.

When I finally get close enough, you'll ignore me for a time just to show me how little you care for me. And then, when you get bored of punishing me, you will speak to me in that condescending tone you hope hides your sorrow. Your sorrow that beholds how you are always forced to bring stale bread for lunch while everyone posses cafeteria food. But I know you're scared. It's just another facet that helps make up the complete picture of you-ness that I've come to love and despise almost equally.

You still haven't noticed me, and I take this precious time to study you and your face befitting of Adonis, I told you once, during my brief with Greek mythology and you demanded I didn't compare with a "some Roman fairy." You walked away when I informed you that Adonis was, in fast, Greek.. The next day, I spotted you reading a Greek mythology book in a quiet, dark corner where you figured nobody would look. I did. And I loved the sight. But the moment you saw me look your way, you did not waste time to switch you body position and toss the two-inch-thick book into the nearest puddle of mud from the previous snowy night. Just the rudeness of it all - it was enough to make me leave you.

But, obviously, I stuck around. And I'm not sure why. Maybe I do it for the challenge. The way you throw little insults at me and I try desperately to throw them back.

But I went to Catholic school and have learned to hold my own against the most horrendous kinds of people. I always attenmpt to return your jab with a quick retort, specially meant to remind you of your place, and remind you of where we stand.

You say something that I wonder if you copied off a movie and I reply with, "Oh, yes, well, so is your face." And you laugh at me. And I want to laugh at myself, as well, but I'm too preoccupied hiding my face in shame for the awful improvisation. You always smirk from under you fringe of blonde hair, seemingly pleased that I could not come up with something more creative. After all, the most hurtful of remarks are always the cleverest. I don't know why you let me speak like that to you. I think you like being hurt at my halfhearted insults. Or at least you do it to keep up appearences.

You've spotted me now, or at least heard the snap snap snap of my boots across the pavement and the smush slush of the snow cowering in my wake. You cut your blue eyes at me, trying to construct a look that is colder than the air. It doesn't work; instead I can tell you were worried I wasn't coming. Worried I wouldn't show up. And it occurs to me that maybe that was why should have let myself be late. And it occurs to me that I should feel guilty about making you worry. But I don't.

I stop next to you, adjusting the green hat nestled on my straight blonde hair. When I bought it, you told me that it made me look stupid, like I'm pretending to be French or something. But you haven't said anything about it since, and I have the sneaking suspicion that you've noticed how it brings out the green in my eyes. And I think it has grown on you. You say I wear too much green. Perhaps your right. But you and I both know it's my favorite color and I believe it represents me; Ollie.

You take a puff of your cigarette, blowing the smoke into my face. The scent clinging to my hair, letting others knows that I've been with you. Effectively reaffirming our "us".

"Late," you say, staring in front of you, and not at me. I have yet to earn your gaze but I've already earned your speech. This is a good sign.

I push my blonde hair over my shoulders (worn long because you like it that way) and respond with, "I beg to differ. I am right on time. Perhaps you should actually buy a good watch next time." And I must let you know how gutwrenching it was to say that to you. It was as if you chose to have less money than others and I was rubbing my fair wealth in your face like you were a dog begging for a treat.

And this hurts you, and you look at me with your dark eyes. My comment has done its dirtyjob. You're looking at me.

I hold that look, twitching the corners of my overly glossed lips into a little smile to cover up my shame. You don't smile back but you don't look away.

"What were you doing?" you ask, holding a strange amount of interest in my daily activities when you really want to make sure I wasn't getting close with that guy you saw me studying with a few days ago. To be honest, I can't even remember his name (it was Nathan or maybe something without a M). But I like that you're jealous, it's the closest you get to expressing your love for me. I'm not complaining, I never tell you either. But, that's mostly because I don't know if I love you (sometimes I'm sure that I don't).

"Studying," I say, with an innocent little shrug.

"Studying what?"

"Math."

I can't keep the disdain out of my voice or the disgusted crinkle of my nose off my face. You laugh at me, it's breathy and not at all joyful. But it's a laugh all the same.

"Why'd ya take it if ya hate it?" you ask, slurring your words to convey your boredom. But you aren't bored, you're just good at lying. It comes with being a writer I guess. Writers have to be naturally talented at lying. And you're exceptionally gifted, with the way you try to hide up your concern for me when you see me trip or fall or even when I sprained my ankle that one time. You rushed to my side but didn't exagerate or call for help. No. I took notice to the obvious worry in your eyes yet you shrugged and told me to walk it off.

"Sometimes you have to do things you don't like."

You look at me in a way that says 'I'd never do anything I don't want to do' but that doesn't impress me. I'm willing to work hard for what I want, taking every step necessary to get what I want. But you're content to stand here on the side of the road, smoking your cigs and spitting lies at the pedestrians, waiting for life to fall in your lap. There are even times when we (Stan, Kyle, Eric, you, and I) are in a dangerous situation and something is about to crush me. Yet, as I close my eyes to wait to death to kiss me, said object is suddenly moved. I am on the ground and you are gone. Of course, it'll take me a moment to catch my breath but when I realize you are no where in sight, I feel desperately alone, despite the fact I am surrounded by Eric, Kyle, and Stan.

And I want to turn around right now, just so I can leave you standing here, smoking, and staring after me. At least it'll give you something to write about.

But, instead, I take the cigarette out of your mouth, bring it briefly to my lips, then drown it in the snow. Before you can get too annoyed I press my lips to yours and remind you why you like me. And just like that, without anything more than a kiss and a smile, you're following me down the sidewalk, willing to do anything I say.

I think I just like being in control. I like that you're a little scared of me, a little jealous, and too nervous to try something on your own. And I think I like that I have the power to leave whenever I want to. And I wonder if that makes me a bad person.

But I'm not going to worry about the moral ambiguity of our relationship right now. Instead, I'm just going to walk next to you and listen to the songs you sing about Love and Hate and Faith and Trust. Because, even though I don't know if I love you, I do love that you'd do anything for me. And your voice. I've always loved your voice.

So now that you see my opinion of you, Kenny, I hope you understand our relationship even more now. I get that you don't get it. But I only hope you will soon.

Love,

Ollie