Hey everybody! I guess with no books to read I kept myself busy with this. I didn't think I would be putting anything up for a while but it was something I've had sitting in my head for some time so I had to get it out. I have no idea if anyone thought of it or has done it but I'm just going to put it up anyway. Reviews are appreciated and if anyone has seen my profile you will see why it is essential that you do so. ;) Enjoy!
I walked silently to school wishing Owen was with me. We spent the night out like we usually do when my father and his mother went to sleep drunk, but this time we got back late. Owen's mother found out but she couldn't hassle him about it until the next day. I knew he must have gone to sleep quickly to avoid her. Now this morning when I stopped by his apartment he told me he wasn't able to walk with me. I saw his mother glaring at us behind him.
I sighed but understood. His mother didn't like me and thought I was a bad influence. To be fair, my father thought Owen was weak in every way and didn't like him either. I left and began the walk to school alone hoping he would catch up or I would see him during the day. He didn't catch up to me but I managed to see him at lunch. We sat together on a bench to ourselves. We found comfort in each other that way; removed from the others who could not understand our long standing bond.
We sat quietly today without talking. I glanced at him once in a while to make sure he was ok. At the same time I thought back to the day I met him. He already lived in the apartment complex when I arrived. Los Alamos was new and different to me and I remembered feeling lost. I received no comfort from my father who hated the weak and took great joy spouting out lectures after heavy drinking. I put up with his behavior, knowing he was just drowning himself in misery ever since mother died. Emotion was a sign of weakness to him so he never expressed how much he loved her, but I knew he did very much.
One particular night I left to get away and sat outside on the court yard's jungle gym. Owen had come out and sat on the other side after some hesitation. We didn't talk right away but when we did we disagreed a lot. We were both naturally introverted. After some time passed, he began to open up and we started talking more often. I learned his mother was like my father. After his father could no longer put up with his mother's religious babble, they got a divorce. His mother drank a lot after that. We got along due to our similarities; sharing the same feelings about the world around us while experiencing the same problems at home.
We kept meeting at the same spot and now we were the best of friends. Although we only had each other, it was enough. We stuck up for each other when things got tough, and comforted each other when things at home became too much. We met when we were twelve and were stuck in this never ending cycle for three years. The bullies never stopped teasing us, and our parents never quit drinking, but our relationship held strong. Owen stared ahead unseeingly so I gently shook him. He jumped slightly and glanced at me before sighing. He seemed just as lost as I was a moment ago.
"What's wrong?" I asked with concern.
"My mom told me she didn't want me to see you anymore. She's going to have to deal with disappointment though because that isn't going to happen," he replied. I smiled, hearing the determination in his tone. He used to be so quiet he never stuck up for himself. After we met, I told him to fight back. Now, he would try fighting back more often than submit; but of course, that never stopped whatever was threatening him, it just held it off a while longer and made it easier to handle.
"Owen, please don't get her too mad. I don't want her to physically keep you from seeing me," I told him with some worry.
"No problem. That won't happen. Nothing can separate us ok?" he reassured me. I huffed out an irritated breath. Of course, with his stronger attitude came stubbornness.
"Just promise me you won't get into major trouble. We are going out tonight remember? I want to go pick up a new stock of Starbursts. I know you're running out of Now and Laters," I said. He nodded.
"I know. Don't worry I'm not grounded or anything. We will still go just listen out for me through the wall. I'll let you know when she's out," he responded. I nodded and at that moment the bell signaled the end of lunch. We hugged before parting ways for the rest of the day. We met back up at the entrance to the school like we did after every day. Then we walked back home together.
"What should we do tomorrow night?" he asked me.
"Maybe we could go check out that creepy room under the apartments. You said that guy Tommy and some guys hung out there didn't you?" I replied.
"Yeah, but they are long gone now," he responded.
"So do you want to check it out?" I repeated.
"Sure," he said simply with a shrug. Exploration was yet another great way we passed the time together. We arrived at the complex and parted at the junction of wall between his door and mine.
"So I'll see you later for sure?" I questioned him.
"Yep, see you then," he answered as he reached out to tug playfully on my hand. I smiled and turned to enter my apartment. I heard him enter his and shut the door. I shut my door too and tensed as I walked forward. The TV blared in the living room. My father yelled that there was left over pizza on the stove but I ignored him and quickly walked straight to my room. I wasn't hungry at all; especially not for pizza. I must have had that just as much as Owen had mac and cheese. I laughed as I imagined the disgusted face he made when he first told me that piece of information. I dropped my bag on the floor and began pulling off my thick jacket when a series of knocks sounded against the wall.
"Wow, that was fast," I murmured as I climbed on my bed and settled close to the wall.
MOM IS OUT. LET ME NO WHEN DAD OUT TOO
He sent the message and waited. His mother must have broken out the stronger wine today. I raised my fist and began to reply.
OK. I WILL
I laid back and relaxed for ten minutes before getting up and starting homework. When I was finished, I carefully checked on my father. Sure enough, he was asleep on the couch with a can of beer still grasped in his hand. I grinned and hurriedly ran back to my room. I threw on my jacket before I hopped on my bed.
I knocked out on the wall. I waited some time before he answered.
I jumped from my bed and quietly left. I found him sitting on the jungle gym waiting for me. He smiled when he saw me.
"Let's go," I said as I pulled him to his feet in excitement. His grip held mine momentarily before he released it. We walked slowly side by side until we reached the store/hangout place. As usual I got a handful of Starbursts and Owen got a handful of Now and Laters. We preferred them over any candy there. Owen stopped by the Mrs. Pac Man game, hoping to get a higher score than last time. However, just like almost every time before, he got a low score and cursed the game. I laughed at his behavior. That was his usual reaction every single time he lost. We left and returned to the complex to talk and eat our candy. We sat next to each other on the jungle gym. I ate my candy slowly; kicking my feet back and forth, letting the weight of my boots keep the momentum. Owen sat still next to me eating one candy after another and dropping the wrappers.
"Why do you always do that?" I enquired. He shrugged.
"I don't know, I guess I'm too lazy to find a trash can," he replied jokingly with a small one sided smile. I returned the smile with a small shove. He laughed and pushed me back. I loved the time spent with Owen. He was the last bit of happiness in an otherwise bleak world. I looked at him and realized just how much he grew since I met him. He took his work out classes seriously and the results were noticeable. I remembered back when he was so small and fragile looking. Even his face changed from the innocent little boy features.
"Hey Abby, I was wondering…well, we've been best friends for a long time and I wouldn't ask if I wasn't sure but…" he stuttered out nervously. Times like this were the only clue to his small, shy, little boy self in the past. He came a long way and wasn't as shy anymore though.
"Spit it out, you know you can ask me anything," I encouraged him.
"Could we go steady? I mean, if you don't want to I understand. I don't want to ruin our close friendship or anything. In that case, you can just forget I said anything," he responded hastily. He looked everywhere but at me. I was slightly surprised that he felt that way about me, but when I looked back on everything we went through together, I realized it wouldn't really be all that different. We were already pretty close.
"Sure," I replied. He did a double take before grinning.
"Really?" he asked in disbelief.
"Yes," I said with a smile. He pulled me into a big hug. I held him close and thanked anyone listening that I had Owen to keep me sane.