Summary: Best friends since birth, Poetry and Aiden have grown up and grown apart. Poetry has found her way of living with her art and shyness, but Aiden fell down the wrong path of drugs and alcohol. Now, aged sixteen, and they have crossed each other's paths for the first time in four years. Poetry, only ever wanting her old friend back, attempts to crack Aiden's habits, while Aiden tries to lure Poetry out of her protective anti social shell.

Rated T for drugs, alcohol, and cursing.

POV changes: - - - - -
Scene change: divider
Thoughts: 'italics'
Dialogue: " ... "
Flashback: italics

Poetry Winters strolled along on the sidewalk, her sweater-covered arms wrapped around her in a protective cocoon to keep warm from the cold October air. Her grey and black striped scarf was wrapped around her pale neck, covering it from the icy wind. Golden yellow, vibrant red, and pumpkin orange maple leafs blew off of dead trees and to her tattered dark red Converse. She stepped on one, listening to the satisfying crunching sound. Dark hair blew in her eyes for her only to shake away into the strong wind.

School wasn't close to her house, but she never chose to ride the bus home, she couldn't stand it. The students were immature and loud on her bus, always throwing paper balls with notes scribbled on the blue lined paper. A few had hit her on the head in her past experiences with the school bus. After that, she decided she would walk. The fresh air was better than the musty-smelling and uncomfortable school bus anyway.

She was only a few short minutes away from her house, and not until then, a strong wind hit her, almost knocking her off of her feet and into a leaf-filled ditch. A smell had been carried with the wind and she scrunched her nose at it, squinting to see where it was coming from. The smell was revolting and all-too familiar, and so were the people that stood behind the old closed high school.

'Oh, they think they're cool', she thought sarcastically, thinking the younger students were trying to show off, 'getting high behind the high school. Eventually killing every brain cell in their little noggins.'

An uproar of laughter was heard in the distance, and she then realized that they weren't the junior high students. Four bodies appeared from the side of the school, each one a face from school. Finally, a fifth person stepped out. His light hair and familiar clothes made her walk slower to stare. Poetry shook her head slowly at the person that Aiden Cullen had become. They had been close friends in their childhood, but now in their teenage years, they were polar opposites.

Poetry was a shy bookworm, sitting alone in the library at lunch times, her headphones glued to her ears while she read a book or wrote one herself. If it wasn't the library she was found in, it would be the art room painting a mural or black and white picture on canvas. She loved the smell of the library, the smell of old ink on paper, stacked alphabetically on the shelves. The art room also held the aroma of fresh paints, charcoal pencils, and new sketchbook paper.

Aiden played guitar and was an average student in school. It was too bad that his extra curricular included alcohol at parties and drugs, but nothing hard enough to get him addicted. He had only been doing it for a year and a half, but found that it was something to do in the boring town. His room was lined with journals, scribbled with jot notes of guitar tabs and lyrics. His room was his safe house, his safe place, where he could write freely without interruptions from the outside world.

As the small group of five walked from behind the school, Poetry started to walk faster away. She noticed that they were quickly approaching her. Soon they were walking straight behind her, close enough to reach out and touch her. This made her feel uncomfortable at the least.

"Hey, doll," one of them drawled. Poetry turned around slowly, facing the guy who reeked the smell of smoke and pot. He had long black hair that was disheveled from the high wind. "Got a light?"

She shook her head and continued to walk away, but an arm shot out and grasped onto her upper arm and spun her around. She tried to pull away but remained in his strong grasp. She looked at his empty blue eyes circled in red from the smoke. She gagged and coughed at the lingering smell on his clothes.

"Come on, now," he said, looking her straight in the eye and then over his shoulder at the group. "I think she's afraid of me." He stared back at her blankly. She knew in her mind that he had no clue what he was doing, from seeing others do the same.

"Leave her alone!" A voice yelled, jogging over from the small group to pull his hand from her arm. Poetry had already managed to free it from the grasp and step away. "What the hell is wrong with you, Tan?" Aiden pushed him and he stumbled backward but caught himself.

"I just asked for a. . . " Aiden cut Tanner off right in the middle of his sentence as he scolded him again.

"You didn't have to grab her. . ." Those were the last few words that echoed in Poetry's ears before she ran.

Poetry ran away from the group, not wanting to face them anymore, not wanting to choke on the horrible smell of smoke. She didn't want to watch her childhood friend waste his life away, especially with the musical talents and writing abilities that he had. They used to play around when they were younger, pretending to be rock stars in concerts, pretending to be famous. Poetry had no doubt that Aiden was going to be a musician one day.

Aiden noticed Poetry's fast departure and started to chase after her, not stopping at the sounds of his friends calling for him. Eventually, Poetry's legs pained for her to stop running away from nothing at all, and Aiden caught up to her.

"Are you okay?" Aiden asked her awkwardly, placing a cautious hand on her shoulder. She nodded shyly, not daring to look at him. "Sorry about Tanner. He's just . . . not in his right mind right not."

'You've got that right', she thought, taking in some deep breaths of cold air and releasing them. Her breath floated like white mist, dancing carelessly in the autumn air.

"I just wanted to say sorry," said Aiden, "about Tanner grabbing you like that." Aiden's golden hair fell in his eyes as he shook his head in shame of his friend. He always had to apologize for Tanner.

Poetry finally turned around and glanced up at Aiden, his clear blue eyes boring into her emerald green ones. They stayed like that for a while, soaking in each other for the first time in four years. They hadn't spoken since they were in grade seven, when all this had happened. They just did occasionally nod toward each other in school, or short glances in classes they shared without the other knowing. Conversation was minimal, almost nonexistent.

"I'm okay," she finally spoke, breaking eye contact with him. "It's all right, but you don't have to apologize for your friend. I could see the . . . state he was under."

Aiden chuckled nervously and stuffed his hands in the pockets of his tight jeans. In the distance, four people were walking toward them. One of them was Tanner, who was a year older, and the other three were people in their grade. They stopped a few meters away to give Aiden and Poetry privacy, and to not scare her again.

Aiden looked back at his friends and motioned to them that he was coming. "I'll talk to you some other time, then." He gave her one last smile before departing. Cold shivers ran up and down her spine. "Good-bye, Poetry."

His smile imprinted into her memory as he moved almost as though he was in slow motion into the wind. The smile still played on his pink lips as Aiden departed Poetry, leaving her on the empty street alone to think about their awkward chat.

I waved a good-bye to my childhood friend as she stood there in the chilly wind, obviously still the shy girl I knew her to be. As far as I know, she doesn't have any friends at school, just her books and her music. It was awkward enough talking to her for the first time since we were younger, it's even worse that she had to be around after Tanner had acted up again.

I wonder what Poetry thinks of me now, a sixteen-year-old who enjoys parties as much as the next teenager. I don't think she really understands why I do it. The drugs and alcohol, I mean. They make me forget about why my family looks down on me, and how I'm not even related to them at all.

Aiden left with his friends, walking down the street, leaving me standing cold on the side of the empty road alone. The leaves still dancing around me in swirls of fall colours, the wind was still nipping at my ears and nose, turning them a bright shade of red. The cold shivers may have gone away, but the awkward feeling of his presence hadn't.

I continued walking, the messenger bag slung across my body so it hung at my side, hitting my leg hard every time I took a step. The grey sky looked heavy, entrancing me in its dark shadowy clouds. I could tell that rain was starting to build up in the clouds, just waiting to let go and pour on our small town.

Just as soon as I made it to the paved driveway of our two-story home, little drops of cool rain hit my face, slowly ascending into a downpour. By the lack of vehicles in the driveway I could tell that my parents were still working. They worked a lot more now that my two brothers and I are older and can take care of ourselves. When we were younger, they tried to spend as much time as possible with us.

I pushed open the pale purple front door to our house and heard two things: "Die! Die! Die!" from my younger brother Indy, who was screaming at the television as some heads of zombies were blown off by green lasers; and I also heard, "Where were you?" from my older brother Jeremiah, who has yet to move out.

Jeremiah Winters is the over protective older brother figure. He's three years older than I am and works in an old record shop downtown called Roxy's Records, since unable to grasp the concept of leaving home to go to university and do something useful with his life. If I come home at least a few minutes late, he goes into a round of twenty-questions.

Cue interrogation.

"I had to walk home and it was cold," I told him, unlacing my sneakers and kicking them off to the side of the porch. I dropped my bag to the floor with a thud and proceeded into the kitchen. Jeremiah followed like a lost puppy, only not as cutely as a puppy.

"Why didn't you call me? You knew I didn't have to work." I pulled a bright green apple from the glass fruit bowl and started to polish it with my long sleeved shirt. It shone in the pale light hanging from the ceiling of our kitchen.

"There's obviously no car in the driveway," I pointed out, taking a bite into the shiny apple. It crunched underneath the pressure of my teeth, leaving a big crater in the side of the apple. "Besides, I don't mind walking."

He looked suspicious and observed me eating, taking one bite of the juicy apple after another. I stuck my arm out, my mouth muffled by the sound of the apple, and asked, "Do you want some?" He shook his head slightly and moved to the side as Indy hopped into the kitchen.

Indy, who had only started his first year of junior high school this year, had a four-year age difference with me. He was a short, skinny twelve-year-old with the same brown hair and dark-green eyes that I have. His hair was shaggy, always misplaced and sticking off in whichever direction it pleases. He is twelve but he looks fourteen, and has the mentality of a six-year-old.

"What's for supper?" He asked, opening the freezer to take a peek of whatever remaining food was left. In the freezer lay some French fries with frost bite, two tubs of chocolate ice cream, and half of a tray of ice cubes. There was nothing too appetizing or edible.

Jeremiah picked up the cordless phone from its plastic cradle and started to dial a number. "Vegetarian pizza for you, Poetry?" I nodded, finishing off the apple and tossing the core for compost, then I made my way upstairs without Jeremiah's questioning.

After the pizza was delivered, eaten, and the leftovers were wrapped up in Saran wrap to store in the refrigerator, Poetry made her way up to her room. She took a step on the dark hardwood stairs and started to climb, her hand gently gliding on the hand rail.

She studied the walls. Pictures from birth to the present days hung in frames from the bottom of the staircase to the top, and hung throughout the long hallway. Her father had been into photography when she was younger, snapping a picture of every moment of their childhood as a memoir of the past.

Poetry reached her room, which was the first door on the right. She pushed open the white door lightly with her left hand and entered the dark room. She groped around the walls for the light switch, and finally, she found it. The room lit up, revealing a medium size room, complete with window seat, carpet flooring, and murals hung on the dark red walls. All of the murals she had painted herself and hand-chosen as her favored artwork.

The rain was stopping and fading into the inky night sky. Stars appeared behind the clouds and twinkled in delight. She sat at her bedroom window, picking up a book laid there from before and continued to read it.

After a few sentences, Poetry realized that she wasn't actually reading the book. Her mind was too focused and clouded by something else. She thought hard about Aiden and their childhood memories. She remembered having a photo album dedicated completely to their birthdays, childhood games, and good moments. She hadn't looked at the photo album in years and almost had forgotten that it existed altogether.

Poetry marked the book with a bookmark and laid it down again in its spot on the window seat. She got on her knees on the carpeted floor and opened the built-in drawer underneath the seat to pull out a dusty box. Inside that box contained over a dozen photo albums. She pulled out the cover that she knew it belonged to. A dark blue album with 'Poetry and Aiden' engraved on the fake gold plate in front. She had received it as a birthday present one year.

She opened the cover and saw the pictures, only to drift away as if she was eight again.

The memories were vivid and clear, like it had happened just yesterday. She remembered everything, though it hurt to remember again. She missed the little plays and shows they put off. It was depressing, but so entrancing. Poetry ran her pale fingers over the pictures safely tucked away in the protective plastic. A tear started to swell in her eye, but she shook it away before it fell down her cheek.

Where was her dear friend that she once knew?

He was all grown up in a house where no one understood him. He was the misunderstood musician with no place to go when his life was spiraling downwards, except the spot behind the old school with a lighter and a joint between two slim fingers.

Note to readers: I updated this chapter a little bit to add on a part in the end so I wouldn't have to include it in the second chapter. Thank you for the author alerts and the reviews.