I picture myself, when songs like these play through my mind, telling him, confessing the truth to him. But not on a day like today. On one of those cold nights in late December, I think my birthday, when there's a bitter, biting breeze rushing over the trees and a rustling of leaves can always be heard. I ask him, maybe over the phone, or maybe, because it's important, and to get my point across, I go to his house. Sitting in my car in his driveway, I'll have turned my headlights off, or maybe parked across the street. I don't want Murphy to bark. I'll stare at his front door blankly, listening to the sound of my breathing.
So I scuff up the driveway slowly, and reluctantly I tap the door. I rub my hands together and tuck my nose underneath my scarf as I wait for someone to answer. It opens with a squeak, and a smile breaks across his face, I'm hoping it's because of me. "Hey," he half mumbles. He makes a joke about Christmas carolling, I smile slightly and shake my head. "What's up?" he asks with a slight raise of his eyebrow. I shrug as I stick my hands in my pockets. "No, not carolling," I mumble, and I cast my eyes down to his feet. He's barefoot. "Do you think you could meet me somewhere later?" I ask. My pulse is shaking my whole body. "What for? Where is somewhere?" he asks. "Well--" I begin, but he cuts me off to pull me inside. "It's freezing," he says with a chuckle and a comment about how thin my jacket is. We walk to his room, he restrains Murphy until he can close the door behind us, and I sit on his bed slowly. His lamp on his drawing desk is on, so he must've been doing homework. Or a drawing. "What're you asking me, now?" He asks, spinning around in his chair. I bow my head and concentrate on a loose string in his carpet. "I just...can you meet me, I guess at the lakefront, a little later? Whenever your parents are in bed or not doing anything?" I force myself say, stuttering uncontrollably. "I guess. Why?"
"You'll see," I respond. "I guess around ten...if that's okay?" I can feel him looking at me now. "Sure."
And I leave, shaking on the inside, and more noticebly, the outside. My breathing is short as I drive home. Two hours and sixteen minutes until sleep can finally be a consideration, I think with a quick glance at the clock on the dashboard. My stereo is playing really soft, and I don't bother to turn it up. It'll cloud out my thinking.
The time in between then and ten o'clock drags by, and I practice what I'll be saying for the eighteen hundred and fifty-fourth time.
There are a few people at the lakefront when I pull up. A couple walking their large, black dog, a young woman jogging in sweats, and someone fishing near the gazeebo. Despite the pitch black sky, clouds can be seen floating across the crescent moon, and a few stars peek out at random times. Well, I think, at least I can't feel my fingers. My butt goes numb from the cold cement benches and I see his headlights down the road. Cars have been driving by for the past fifteen minutes, but I feel my stomach go into knots, so I know it's him. And as he parks, my mind races to remember everything while the jingling of his keys can be heard before he puts them in his pocket. He comes out from behind his large, black SUV and juts up the small incline to where I'm sitting. He's got a black sweater on, I don't pay attention to what it says, and blue jeans. He goes to say something, but all I can think about is having him keep me warm by wrapping his arm around me. His nose is red, so he must've been driving with his windows down. Lunatic, I think, and smile. My nose must be red, too. He sits down across from me and hunches over a little. He smiles at me as he looks up. The gaze of his blue eyes weakens me a bit, and I feel myself get goosebumps. "Why'd you want me to meet you here?" he asks. The vapors of his breath fade quickly, but are replaced by ones from his breathing, and for some reason, I feel that there is something good in this world.