Obscura ~ Age 5

Never take off your glasses.

That was the number one rule of the house. Never remove the shades. Bro never took his off. Dave never took his off. Together they ruled their apartment palace.

Dave never questioned why. He would wear them inside. He would wear them outside. He'd wear them in the goddamn shower because sometimes Bro would pull some weirdass ninja shit just to see if he was still wearing them. For fuck's sake, who wears shades in the shower?

But Dave was young and didn't know better and just assumed that this was what all the cool people did. It seemed legit. Cool people wear shades inside. Cool people wear shades at night. So why wouldn't cool people wear shades in the shower?

Sometimes, when he was sure Bro wasn't around, he'd sneak to the bathroom mirror and push his shades up. He had long outgrown the style—stupid pointy anime shades—but had nothing to replace them with. You could almost see where the faded tan on his face met the white skin around his eyes. It had been worse before, when he had gotten an awful sunburn. It had looked like he was wearing goggles.

Dave blinked at his own reflection. It looked so unfamiliar without glasses on.

So this is what my face looks like, he thought. He thought this every time. It was always a sort of dull surprise. Not that Dave got surprised, of course—he was too chill for that. He was too chill for a lot of things.

Dave slipped the glasses back on. His ninja sense was tingling and he knew Bro would be home soon. He didn't want to be found without his shades on. He'd look so uncool. He didn't want to look uncool around Bro. Bro was the fucking epitome of cool.

He met Bro in the kitchen.

"Hey man," Bro said, cracking open a can of Faygo. Why Bro liked that shit, Dave never knew. Except that it was sugary and awesome. Dave was too cool to like something for such an obvious reason.

"Sup," said Dave.

Bro smiled a funny half-smirk of a smile and ruffled Dave's platinum hair. "A cute girl just moved in. Wanna meet her?"

"Fuck no," said Dave.

"A man's gotta have his chicks, bro. Life'd be too boring. Besides, man, she looks like one of those hippy artist types. Those are fun."

"Fuck no. You're just trying to sleep with her sister or her mom or something, aren't you."

"Jesus, Dave. What kind of five year old are you?"

"The cool kind, obviously."

"Obviously. Anyway, you're going. It's good to play with other kids, man."

"I'm not a goddamn kid."

"Yes, you fucking are. Now go teach her the ways of cool."

Nevertheless, Bro had to drag Dave out the door. Dave was too cool to throw a tantrum, but he was hella good at bracing himself against various blocks of furniture. If he couldn't win, he might as well make it as difficult for Bro as he could.

He stopped at the doorway of the girl's room. Her black hair was cut short and stylish. She sat beside a sewing machine, lips pursed.

"Hello," she said distantly.

"Yo," said Dave.

"I suppose our respective guardians have decided to copulate, leaving us in a bit of a situation. I am Karina." Every word she spoke was like its own goddamn sentence. She crossed her legs beneath her long red skirt, folding her hands in her lap. "It's rude to wear sunglasses indoors, you know."

"Nah, man, that's a lame rule. I'm too cool for that," Dave replied. There were scraps of fabric around her room. "What are you, uh, making, anyway."

"Right now? A friend requested that I make her a rabbit."

"Cool, cool." Jesus, the way she spoke could drive a guy crazy, and not in the good way. It was so…so…refined.

"I would request that you take off your glasses, however. I would like to see your face."

"Man, you can see the important parts. That's all that matters, isn't it."

"Nevertheless, as your host, this is my most formal order."

"Jesus, fine." He pulled his glasses off and folded them over his shirt. "You fucking happy. That was a question, by the way."

"Oh my."

"Yeah, I'm beautiful. I know. No autographs, please."

"Are you a demon?"

"Am I a what." Dave paused, confused.

"I have done the most exclusive research on all that is grimdark. Are you a demon?"

"Fuck no. Why would you think that."

"Your eyes are red."

"So? Your eyes are green."

"Yes, but green is normal in the human spectrum. Red is not. Perhaps you are albino? I doubt it, though."

"What are you talking about."

"Your eyes are very odd."

"No, they aren't. They're fucking normal. Mundane as hell, except they're on my face and my face is as cool as a goddamn iceberg."

"Perhaps I will have to stop you."

"Stop me from what."

"Possessing that poor boy."

"Jegus, I'm not possessing anyone. Ugh, man, you made me screw up my words."

"You're speaking in tongues."

"I'm not speaking in tongues, for fuck's sake." Dave grimaced the kind of grimace only someone fighting back tears could make. Fuck. Crying isn't cool. Cool guys never cry, they just stoically accept things like the chillest of the chill. "Man, I gotta go now."

"I can't allow you to leave."

"Fuck, man, leave me alone. Learn how to speak like a normal girl while you're at it."

"Enunciation is respectable."

"It's fucking creepy. Peace."

Dave slouched out of the room faster than what he thought was cool. He was too confused, he couldn't help it. He would confess his sins of cool to Cal later and all would be forgiven. Probably.

Dave found bro sitting across from some random chick and grabbed his sleeve. "We're leaving."

"We only just got here, bro, chill."

"No, we're leaving right now."

It was at this point that Bro noticed the shades dangling from Dave's shirt collar. "Jesus, Dave, you didn't—"

"I said we're leaving!" Dave shouted. Dave never shouted. Shouting wasn't cool. Cool guys speak in a careful monotony. They show no feelings.

"Okay, Dave. I'm coming."

They moved the next month.