I'm 20 and finally moved out of my parent's house after a lot of fighting and whining about me leaving. I went to L.A, it had always been a dream of mine to get to the big city, perhaps not a great dream for a writer but I'd always been different.
Oh and Will I'd forgotten all about him around the age of sixteen.
Right now I was working for a small magazine where I wrote trashy romance shit once a week for rent. I'm actually pretty good at it mind you it's just not my thing. I'm slowly working on my own novel, this one is about zombies but I'm stuck on it right now.
I have few friends in the city despite the size and the people that I know I only really hang out with four people. I'm going to meet one right now, her name is Sarah, she's an artist or that's what she likes to clam anyway. She spray paints crap on the city walls, large quotes and sometimes actual art, I'm totally not bitter about that five digit pay check she gets for it by the way.
Sarah and I are meeting up at our usual coffee dig where we actually have a regular due to going there so often.
She's standing outside waiting for me, her breath forming small clouds outside her mouth and she's attempting to keep warm by rubbing her blue gloves together.
"Sam!" she shouts seeing me in the distance.
I quicken my pace to a small run to get to her faster so we can get in the café quicker where there are small heaters lying about.
"Hi, sorry I'm late I got distracted," I said.
"S'all good," Sarah said giving me a quick hug. "Look I got an idea,"
"Oh?" I asked, Sarah's idea's scared me sometimes, and sometimes…actually most of the time they were not legal.
"Look it's ok I just want to try a different café," Sarah said.
I actually took a breath of relief at her request, it was far better then last weeks attempt of breaking into the bank to get some of her art inside. How I've not been locked away for life still gets me sometimes.
"Were did you have in mind?" I asked.
I groaned a little, if it wasn't legal art painting then the next thing was always about a boy. This was defiantly a double date set up. Sarah didn't like that I didn't date which was completely untrue, I dated, just never long term, I don't know why and that shouldn't state that I sleep around a lot because I don't but I've never found the right guy for me.
"Shut up and listen," Sarah snaps slightly.
I do as I'm told.
"He told me about this cute little dinner on main and he said he'd be there with some friends," Sarah explained.
"Led the way," I said.
I'd pretty much given up on attempting to get out of these nasty set ups, in fact I'm sure even if my mother was dying I couldn't get out of it. Sarah smiled in triumph, grabbed my arm and before I knew it we were standing out the front of this small dinner in main street, a place I'd past every single day on my way to work.
"There he is and oh look he has a very cute friend too," Sarah said nudging me in the ribs.
I looked over to the men she was pointing too, they were sitting in the front booth both with coffees and both pretty average looking guys. Sarah of course saw them as the hottest things that graced the earths ground but that was only until next week when she found someone better.
We walked inside and Sarah pulled me over to the booth where she plopped herself down next to the man wearing a tux and I was left with the only place left which was next to the man who looked as if he hadn't shaved or showered in weeks.
Apparently I was wrong about the average looking bit.
"Sam this is Harry," Sarah said introducing me to her new man who had already made himself comfortable by throwing his arm around Sarah as if they had been dating for weeks.
Which was possible with Sarah.
"And this is Larry," Harry said introducing his friend.
Larry held out his hand to me and I took it with thanks trying to send out a signal that this was all he was getting tonight. It was a possibility that Sarah had promised him a little more. The signal did not work.
"So what do you do with yourself Larry?" I asked trying to be polite.
"I'm a light tech for the board way musical," Larry said.
That I did not expect, I for one am a huge fan of musicals I would love to live in a life where everything could be solved by breaking into song.
Bills to pay and no money sing a song!
Break up got you down, sing a song!
Problems solved in a matter of a few minutes it would be grand.
"I'm hoping to move onto more main steam and get onto feature films," Larry said attempting to show off.
If he had just left it at the Broadway life he'd totally have at least five minutes of a non-fake conversation with me. Pity.
"What do you do?" he asked, stationary question.
"I'm a writer," I said.
"Oh what do you write," he asked interested but he wouldn't be for long.
"I write trashy romance pieces for Women, you know the kind that women only read when they can't get some or they are not satisfied about what they are getting," I answered.
Great now it sounds like I'm writing porn. Looking at Larry with that smug smile he defiantly thinks I'm writing porn and thus I must be very experienced. A small laugh caught me off guard.
Looking over I'd expected to see Harry laughing but it wasn't Harry it was the man in the other booth who had his head down nursing his coffee reading a book.
"Would you ladies like something?" the waiter asked noticing the lack of drinks or food in front of us.
"I'd love a cappuccino," Sarah answered with a too large for life smile.
The waiter jotted it down like remembering that would be a step too hard then she turned to me.
"You dear?" she asked like I was sixteen.
"A banana thick shake," I answered.
The lady was a little taken back from my order but jotted it down nonetheless, she quickly rushed off to the counter to get the orders ready.
"Isn't it a bit cold for that?" Larry asked.
"I have to have a banana thick shake at every new café or diner I go to," I explained.
"Why's that?" he asked.
That's not really something I like to answer it's something I do because it's what my mother and I did on those random chances we'd get alone. She's dead now, cancer got her and so in her memory I always buy a banana thick shake. You could call me lame but that's just how I am.
"So have you boys been good for Santa?" Sarah asked saving the day.
"No I think I've been bad," Harry said quickly kissing Sarah on the neck.
I think I'm going to puke.
"So have I," Larry said looking at me hopefully.
Defiantly going to puke.
"I've got to pee," I said quickly taking a stand from the booth in order to get away from Larry's eager hands.
"Ok…" Sarah said looking at me with eyes that said, stop acting insane Larry is cute.
I made my way to the toilet only to wash my face, I didn't really need to pee of course but I wish I had more to do then sit around this toilet wondering if I could find a way out.
Every way ended with Sarah dragging me back in by the feet screaming if needed.
Sighing and giving up for now, I'd laid down a plan that involved the use of a dragon which was something that would need to be placed on hold, I walked back out to have a quick glance at Larry who actually had the balls to wink at me.
I turned to the guy who laughed before his head still buried in the book and finally I had my plan.
"Will!" I shouted as if I hadn't seen the man in years.
I of course had not seen Will in years but it was the only name that had come to mind when I'd formed the plan on the spot.
To my surprise the man actually looked up and I saw him…it was Will, the man I met when I was only seven years old in the forest. He was younger yes but it was defiantly the same man.
I stood there in shock for a moment we both did though I'm sure he was just trying to work out just who the hell I was.
Slowly I sat myself down on the other side of his booth, uninvited yes but I hated standing up looking at him as if he were some kind of ghost.
"Sorry," the man said but then he leant in closer. "I don't actually know you," he whispered this time so that my friends couldn't hear him.
"I know," I said with a wink. "You don't meet me till your 45,"
That took the man back; his eyes grew wide with fear as if I'd just uttered the world's greatest secret. Oh actually I probably had.
"Sorry that was rude of me," I said quickly. "Hi I'm Sam Grey,"
I held out my hand to him.
"Will Grayson," he said taking mine.
"You know you made me think I was insane for a good four years of my life," I said with a smile.
"Sorry," he said.
"It's ok I told you I was going to find you anyway," I said.
The conversation I had with Will was all coming back to me, the forgotten memory now clear as day in my mind.
"Sorry…could we talk as if this were the first time I'm meeting you," Will asked.
"I guess but it's really going to ruin the plan I had going here," I said motioning back to Sarah and the others.
"Well let's just keep the you-know-what talk to a minimum," Will said with a twinkle in his eyes.
"At least until we get out of here," I suggested.
"Yes," he agreed.
Sarah made her way over to the booth with flames in her eyes telling me to get back to my seat but then he eyes laid on Will and suddenly she approved of my ditching.
"Who is this Sam?" she asked.
I could tell she wanted a trade and I couldn't blame her Will just had this rather handsome look about him, the kind you see those rugged movie stars having expect Will had longer hair that fell on his face in dark near black curls.
"This is Will," I said. "He's a fan of my writing, we've been keep in contact though letters and giving advice about you know,"
I added that last bit and it worked Sarah's face feel she officially thought that Will Grayson batted for the other team.
"Oh well don't forget about poor Larry ok Sam," Sarah said dropping the worlds most unsubtle hint.
"Shall do," I said giving her a wave good bye.
It was about time she got stuck in the awkwardness of everything.
"I'm not gay," Will said a little hurt that I might be thinking so.
"That's good for me I guess," I said.
"I have a girlfriend," Will said.
"That's not good for me then?" I quizzed.
"What are you reading anyway?" I asked changing the topic very smoothly.
"The Catcher in the Rye," he answered showing off the book cover.
I knew that book well; I had three printings of it kept at work, the bedroom, and the bookshelf unsure when the feeling to read it would rise.
"I love that book," I said.
"I don't really get what all the hype is about," Will said.
Well there went any chance of us being together on that note, a man who didn't love the same books I did, how ever would we get though our lives! That and Will had a girlfriend.
"It takes a smart person to understand it," I teased.
"It just seems like some depressed kids few days," Will said.
He had completely missed the point of the book, what an ass. I didn't have time nor the patience to tell him every little thing about that book so I let it slide.
"You're a writer…kind of," Will stated. "You're probably better at understanding authors intentions then I am.
"I take offence to that kind of mister," I said. "Trashy romance novels will be huge one day,"
"I just work at the library picking up books for people, never really read," Will explained.
"So you thought to start with the greatest novel of all time?" I stated. "Brave, but I would have gone something a little lighter like how to kill a mockingbird,"
That was possibly one of the furthest things from lighter you could get but it was a great book and a classic that everyone should read.
"I'll make a note of it," Will said closing his copy of the book and placing it to the side.
"Oh would you like your shake here sweetheart?" The waitress asked noticing my new location.
"Yeah thanks," I said, I had no intention of moving now.
The waitress placed down the tall metal jug full of foamy goodness smell of banana flowing out of it.
Taking a sip I knew that this place would become a regular for me, it was to die for good.
"So why the smoothie?" Will asked curious.
"Thick shake," I corrected. "Something my mum and I did before she died, keeping her memory alive one thick shake at a time,"
I regretted my words, I didn't like to joke around about my mums death, it still hurt even though it was years and years after.
"That's one way of doing it," Will commented.
"Try it," I suggested moving the jug to him.
He hesitated at first then took a sip before swinging it back over to my side.
"It's good," he said.
Better then good but I let that slide.
We sat there and talked about everything really, Will made small talk easier to deal with, probably because I was actually interested in what he had to say. I learnt that he was 23, working at the library because it was easier with his condition, happily dating…no so happily by the look of his face…a girl called Olive from New York attempting to be an actress but not doing so well and the most important thing was that Will preferred English soccer over American.
Jack pot, minus the girlfriend thing.
When I was seven I thought that we'd end up in some epic romance together but that dream died around the time I met Caleb a sweet guy in my Math's class who let me cheat off him.
He of course learnt the same kind of things about me.
20, writer but wanting to write better things, not dating but no interest yet anyway, English fan.
When we got all that out of the way his coffee was at it's last few drops and my thick shake now all bubbles.
"Let's get out of here," I suggested.
He nodded and as I grabbed my coat I said my farewells to Sarah and Larry who I had successfully gotten out of a awkward night with. Victory was mine.
Once we were outside that taboo topic finally came into play, Will took my hand and we were off down an ally way. Most girls would be sure about now that they were going to be raped.
"I can't control when it's going to happen but I start to feel it," Will explained leaning against the wall.
"Yeah you said that," I mentioned.
"Did I see you often?" he asked.
"Only the once and you told me you'd never see me again," I said. "Of course that was a lie because here we are,"
"Are you sure I was serious?" Will asked a little concerned.
"You were dead serious, you crushed a poor seven year olds heart you bastard," I joked but Will didn't seem too impressed.
"I can't change what's happened…" he whispered a little confused.
I was confused.
"Guess I wreaked that theory," I said.
"Damn it," Will said taking a sharp breath.
"What's wrong?" I asked. "Should I call someone, I mean I have my first aid certificate but I didn't pay attention in class,"
"Just promise you'll find me again," Will begged.
"Promise," I said. "Hope it won't be five years from now too,"
Will smiled and then he disappeared leaving all of his clothes behind. Awkwardly I bent down and picked them up bringing them back with me to my place where my cat Mango deiced that it would now be her bed.
I'd clean them in the morning before work and give them back to him when I tracked him down at the library.