HAPPY MONDAY here's some more of your favorite stargazing sad boy.
chapter five: Jupiter
"This is my chance," Jasper is saying as the bus is pulling out of the school parking lot. It's been a week so far and my mood has not changed with the new meds. My hands shake a little more than they used to and my mouth is always dry but that's it. I fold them together in my lap as Jasper continues explaining his plan.
"So, at the beach, you need to start a conversation with her," he whispers. "And I'm gonna stick to you like glue. I need you to be my wingman, got it?"
"Aye Aye Captain," I say and he gives me a wary glance. He's been freaking out about this for days but I'm not sure why. It's as casual as we can get and other than the fact that Jessica seems to be distancing herself more and more from us, everything's been normal. I see her at the front of the bus, talking to Angela, her head turning to look at the bus in front of us every five seconds. The bus that they are on.
Jasper's knee bounces the entire twenty-minute ride to La Push beach and in truth, it's making me anxious. I shake my head at him, trying to tell him to chill and his answering smile is feeble but apologetic.
The air is more humid on the beach than it is in Forks, but it still smells like the sea, salt lingering in the air. Even though the wind is strong and the sun is hidden behind a wall of gray clouds, this Indian summer is keeping the temperature up. Mr. Banner, the bio teacher, is passing out lists and sample jars but I take a moment to let my eyes close. Waves are crashing and people are laughing and I am completely at ease. Jasper says my name, bringing me out of it and the first thing I see is Bella Swan standing outside of the group of our peers, her head cocked just slightly as she stares at me with an expression that looks as if she's trying to solve a difficult equation.
"Come on, let's go get some water samples over by Alice," Jasper whispers and he nudges me towards the surf and Bella Swan. It's funny, watching Jasper try to appear completely oblivious to the trio standing ten feet away as he crouches down, jar ready.
It takes about three seconds for Alice to say a bright, "Hello, Edward."
"Hey, Alice," I say as she makes her way over to us. Jasper stands up immediately, the jar he's holding falls out of his hand and splatters on the sand, the tide almost sweeping it away. Alice snatches it just in time and hands it back to him, her face lit up with a grin. Rosalie is glaring a what the fuck kind of glare into the back of Alice's head and Bella looks mildly curious.
"Thank you," Jasper says hoarsely and I can see Rosalie starting to inch away from us.
"You know Jasper, right? And Jasper, this is Alice," I say, trying my best to be the wingman he needs me to be.
They say in unison, "I know," before dissolving into quiet laughter.
"I think I saw some tide pools over there," Alice says, her pinkie finger twisting the cord of her earbuds. "But I didn't get a jar. Can we share?"
I'm pretty sure he's going to explode but he nods and they start to walk away. I don't see the hesitation Alice showed me when she talks to Jasper. It's almost like she's jumping back into a conversation they'd already started.
"Alice? Are you serious?" Rosalie calls after her and the next gust of wind is colder than the ones before it. Alice doesn't even turn around and Rosalie's eyes darken.
They literally darken.
"It's fine, she's fine," Bella says softly and Rosalie spits a "whatever" before storming off towards the rest of the group. I wait to be left alone but Bella doesn't follow either of her friends, sighing instead as the wind whips her hair around her face, her painted lips in a tight line and eyes in their usual position: upwards to the sky.
"Cold?" I ask, taking in her too-big maroon sweatshirt and faded jeans.
Still not looking at me, she smirks and says, "Always."
"I don't ever get cold. I think I run warm, you know? My mom says I'm practically a space heater." I'm rambling and she knows it.
"You talk a lot," she says slowly, finally turning her gaze to meet mine.
"I'm sorry," I tell her automatically. Her eyes always throw me off, the intensity of them, the endless depth.
My heartbeat quickens at the sight of her mouth twisted in an honest to god smile, the sound washing over me and leaving me light.
"I like that you do. Talk a lot, I mean." I can only blink because what she's said has shifted the sand beneath my feet and the sun finally peeks out from behind a cloud. She looks exhausted, like she hasn't slept for weeks.
But those purple circles under her eyes don't take anything away from how pretty she is. No, she's more than that. Her porcelain skin, the stormy darkness of the rest of her, she's a mystery and she's goddamn beautiful.
And I'm standing next to her on a beach on a Thursday.
"So," she begins, bringing us out of the pause we'd fallen victim to. "How are you liking school?" Her tone is mocking, but not of me. Instead, she glances at the group of classmates hovering closely. I shrug.
"It's the same as every other school I've been to." This is the first time I've answered that ever present question with something other than, "fine".
"You've been to a lot of schools." It isn't a question.
"Yeah, you could say that."
"That sucks. May I ask why?" I shrug.
"My mom just likes to change things up, I guess." She lets out a breathy laugh.
"Usually people just paint their living room or something."
"Go big or go home."
Down the beach, Alice and Jasper are walking back in our direction, deep in conversation as Alice moves her hands animatedly. He's smiling so big it almost hurts to look at him.
Bella hums a little, her eyebrows pushed together at the sight of them.
"Strange," she murmurs so quietly I don't think I'm supposed to hear it.
When they reach us, both of them have pink cheeks and bright eyes, flushed from each other's presence. Bella and Alice lock eyes for a moment.
"We should go," Alice whispers and Bella nods, tucking a wild strand of hair behind her ear as they turn towards the busses, no parting words to us, nothing.
Only Alice throwing a small grin over her shoulder and Bella Swan's clenched fists.
I close my eyes so I don't have to see the wild girl disappear into the crowd, an unfamiliar ache taking up space in my chest.
"She is," I reply softly, the words getting lost in the breeze.
It's another perfect night, the stars are out early and I'm still reeling from my talk with Bella. It was brief, just skimming the surface of a shallow topic but I keep going over it in my head. At home after school I couldn't sit still to do homework, I just kept pacing my room. So after dinner, I decided to walk and I'm going the same way I went the other day. I'm looking for that bench. Maybe I'm looking for Bella Swan.
Really, I just want to explore the town.
That's all. Nothing else.
I kind of wish I had brought my iPod or something. Tonight feels like that Foxing song that Alice showed me a couple of weeks ago but less sad. I don't know, there's an anxiousness in my chest and my mind feels like it's going at a million miles an hour. The clear calmness from the other day is gone, I'm lost in melancholy wandering.
I can't find my footing.
I've never thought about a girl this much, because sure, I'll admit it, she's been on my mind since I learned her damn name. It's not like I haven't been with girls; I'd rounded home base when I was 15. But it's never been more than that. I can't even remember half of their names, girls who let me feel all of them when I was lonely or frustrated or high.
I'm a dirt bag, closer to being Zeus than I'd ever want to acknowledge.
I kick up a patch of loose gravel, frustrated with myself and frustrated with my life. It's stupid, really, for me to blame all of this on the moving around because I know that's just what all those therapists want. They want me to break down, to tell them that I have so much apathy towards living and being because I don't know what it's like to actually have even a semblance of a life. I've avoided letting roots grow so it won't hurt when they get torn out.
Huh, maybe I am as fucked up as they say.
I'd kill for a Xanax right now but since the whole incident in New Jersey in which I had nearly overdosed on some pills that James had scored from some girl he knew at NYU, Mom keeps all medication (except my daily antidepressants, of course) under lock and key.
In order to get them, I'd have to explain why I need them.
I want to tear my hair out, I want to lay in the middle of the street, I want to run screaming across that beach at La Push.
But then I see Bella Swan perched on the same bench I found her on before, head tipped up.
The only difference is that instead of sitting in the exact center of the bench like last time, she's left the right side open.
"You can sit down, if you want," she says quietly and my heart thrums wildly as I do. She's cross-legged and so our knees are nearly touching. If I just move over a few inches…
No. I can't.
"It's nice out tonight," I say, just to prevent an awkward silence and to give myself something to think about other than touching her. One corner of her mouth lifts, she closes her eyes like she's in on a secret joke.
"I think so, too."
See you by Thursday at the absolute latest xx