So last night I woke up at 5:30 in the morning in horrible pain. I took pain pills and went back to bed, but couldn't fall asleep because it hurt too much.
To keep my mind off of it, I let myself wander and two characters popped into my head simultaneously. Of course, now I don't remember much. Just their names: Liam and Audrey.
I feel like I should start writing their story...
Liam loved the feeling of wind in his hair when he ran. It was so different from walking. It was the reason he wouldn't let his mom cut his hair no matter how many times he got teased at school for it. When his hair was short, he didn't feel like he was flying. He couldn't pretend he was superman, saving the world. He was just Liam running through a field, playing by himself.
At least with long hair he could convince himself that there was a reason he didn't have any friends at school. At least, not any more...
Audrey was watching Liam through the leaves, sitting on the third highest branch of the large Oak tree. She pushed a strand of hair off her face, and lifted a leaf that was blocking her view.
Liam was so weird. I mean, she'd been watching him since she first heard him running through the wheat field. He wasn't very quiet about it. At least she was stealthy when she climbed trees. And this was her favorite, her oak tree. Yeah, ok, so it was in Liam's backyard, but still! His backyard was gynormous and she doubted he had even bothered to climb it once. She had climbed it a bazillion times. Therefore, logically, it must be hers.
But now here was Liam, running around the field, and she couldn't very well just fly down in front of him. And she didn't think she could climb down, even if she wanted to. She loved climibing up trees, but the down part was scary. So she watched him. Waiting for him to leave.
Boys could be so frustrating.
When his legs started feeling like over-cooked spagetti noodles, Liam looked around to find some shade. It was after noon and the May sun was starting to get hot. He looked back toward his house and realized he had gone farther than he meant to. Walking home for some lemonade sure sounded nice, but as soon as he stopped running, his spagetti legs stubbornly refused to acknowledge that they were capable of going that far. Stupid legs.
So home was out, but he didn't want to just sit in the wheat field. The wheat tickled his face when he sat in it. So he looked all around for a clearing. Aha! A tree! Shade sounded so good at that point. He didn't realize how sweaty and hot he was until he stopped running and the wind stopped cooling him down.
He limped in toward it, wishing his legs weren't so gooey. When he (finally!) reached the tree, he sat down with his back to the trunk. He was a little annoyed at how uncomfortable it was. He always thought sitting in a tree nook sounded cozy. But the ground was uneven and the trunk made his back bend in a weird direction, and one of the roots jutted up right under his butt.
He scooted forward, trying to evade the bump, and leaned farther back, looking up into the branches when he heard a voice: "Don't you dare look up here, Liam McGregor, or I swear I will kick you in the balls!"
He would have laughed if it hadn't been for the fact that it was Audrey and he knew she wasn't lying because she had kicked Elliot in the balls just las week when he asked her to show him hers if he show her his. His eyelids flew shut.
"Not looking! I swear, Audrey."
"You better not!"
"I'm not! Jeesh. What are you doing up there?"
"Go away, Liam. I was playing here first."
"Go away? But..Audrey, you're in my backyard!"
"So why are you in my backyard, Audrey?"
"Uhg. I don't have to explain myself to the likes of you, Liam McGregor."
"Ok, fine. But this is my tree in my backyard, and I'll sit here if I want to."
"You are so annoying! Just go away, ok?"
"No I won't."
"Fine. Then I'll go."
"Um...You know...you don't have to...if you don't want to, I mean..."
She hadn't expected that. She always assumed that Liam liked playing by himself. I mean, he was always running into the secret woods that they weren't allowed to play in during recess. If he liked playing with other kids, then why didn't he just, you know, play with them? This must be some kind of mean trick.
"Is this some kind of mean trick, Liam McGregor?"
"What do you mean?" Liam had started holding his breath when he asked her to stay. I mean this was Audrey. No way would she want to play with him. He was a boy. He had cooties. At least, that's what she had told him last year in second grade when he asked her if she wanted to be on his capture the flag team.
"I mean...are you gonna, you know, poke me, or, I don't know, chase me around or something? I mean, that's all you boys ever do at school and it's getting so boring."
"I don't do that," he said. And he didn't. He couldn't understand why David and Joel thought it was so funny. I mean it was obvious the girls hated it when they did it.
Audrey thought back and realized he was right. All the other boys did, but not Liam. Because he was always off in his own little world. "Ok. As long as you promise, Liam McGregor."
"I promise. But would you stop calling me that? Why can't you just call me Liam?"
"I don't know. Sure, fine. Ok. Keep your eyes closed. I'm coming down. And I swear if you peak even once--"
"I know, I know, you'll kick me in the balls." Boy, Liam thought, she really doesn't want me to see up her skirt. Liam covered his closed eyes with his hands to prove he wasn't peaking.
When she was certain he wouldn't see, Audrey leapt into the air and flew to the ground, landing gracefully on her tiptoes. She searched Liam's face for some reaction that he had seen what she could do, but he just looked impatient.
"I would have, you know."
Liam flinched. "Jeez, Audrey, you scared the bejebus out of me. How'd you get down here so fast? Wow, you should be a spy! I didn't hear anything!" He said all this still covering his eyes with his hands
"Then you weren't listening hard enough!" she said defensively. "And why are you still closing your eyes? I'm already down here, dummy."
Liam took his hands off his eyes, looking amused by her anger. "'Cause I don't want you to kick me in the balls."
They looked at eachother for a second and then both started laughing.
"Yeah, yeah, ok," Audrey said, and started wandering off into the field.
Liam grinned from ear to ear, following after here
"So what were yo doing out here?" Audrey asked. "I mean, you were running all over, but you weren't even going anywhere."
"I like running," Liam said, a little embarassed. He didn't like that she had been watching him. It seemed silly now to want to feel like you were flying.
"You like running?" Audrey said. "That's it?"
"Yeah. I just like running."
"If you say so." She paused and looked at him like he was an alien for a second. Then she started a quirky, crooked smile and pounced towards him. "Tag!" she screeched and then started running away from him.
Liam laughed and started running after her. He was having the time of his life.