It's a Long Way Down

20:30:: October 31st

All sorts of freaky things happened on Halloween.

My best friend, Nevaeh (which, if you were wondering was heaven backwards) found her long-lost twin on this day. They stumbled over each other like on Twitches and totally dropped their mouths. Alright so it didn't quite end up like that – actually Nevaeh had to search for ages and they arranged a meeting on the night of Halloween. Now they see each other twice a week, but it would have been more of a happy ending if they ended up living with each other.

My brother, Julius, got his first kiss on Halloween. That's a pretty spectacular feat, right there. The lucky girl to dethrone him as the oldest virgin kisser ever was Daisy, who had platinum blonde hair, blue eyes and a round middle. I think Daisy was drunk, because Julius was dressed up as a zombie with green slime and fake blood sprayed onto him.

My mother, Savannah, found her contact lenses in a field of grass when they popped out. Even though they were useless, she was in such a good mood that she let Julius and I stay out till two am. Apparently finding your contact lenses when you dropped them in grass was like finding a needle in a haystack.

So, as you see, all sorts of freaky things happened on Halloween, and this Halloween was no exception. But instead of them all happening to my closest family and friends – lucky buggers – this time it would happen to me.

This kind of made me a lucky bugger.

Nevaeh smacked her full lips together and admired herself in her full-length mirror surrounded by little fairy lights. They were lit up for the occasion, and made the mirror look Hollywood worthy. Nevaeh, with her butt-length dark-brown hair made for a pretty kickass wood nymph. Long legs, tanned skin, short little green ragged dress and made-up smoky eyes. Pretty impressive.

But of course, it looked like an epic fail next to me – the masterpiece of four laborious hours.

I had decided to dress up as a sexy clown.

It was done all the time with nurses and doctors, policewomen and in some cases – police-men, so why couldn't it be done with clowns? Clowns could be sexy. They could be smoking hot, if they wanted to. All it took was a little of Bee magic and boom! You have a sexy clown.

I had a red wig on, but instead of it in an afro it was silky and I had gathered it as a bun on the top of my head and held it in place with a thousand bobby pins. That alone had taken an hour. Then there was the make-up – another hour an a half. The white make-up (which was a must-have if you were a clown…or Marilyn Manson) took ages to get just right and then I used eyeliner to represent black-paint, really heavy around the eyes. Then red lipstick, but not bright fire-engine red, but dark red that was kind of seductive if I do say so myself. And the dress – gosh. It had red lacy frills and was all multi-coloured and had huge paint splatters and was crazy all around, and it had a modest neckline, but still showed some if you get what I mean. I had slashed really light red stockings, and huge big clown shoes with high-heels. They were a bit chunky but well-worth it. And of course to top it all off – the big red nose that was getting rather annoying, but it was like the cherry to an ice-cream sundae.

And that is one kick-ass sexy clown.

Nevaeh patted down her hair one last time and dragged me to her mirror. I made some minor adjustments and smiled.

"Don't do that," Nevaeh tsked, bringing her pointer fingers up to stop me from smiling. "It makes your make-up all crackly and anyway, you look evil. Like an evil clown. Did I fail to mention I'm scared of clowns?"

I swatted her arm.

"I'm a sexy clown thank you very much," I said.

"Oh, so does that mean you usually perform for only one person then?" Nevaeh asked. "Unless you're into kinky stuff or something."

I smirked. "I like groups. Safety in numbers!"

This time it was Nevaeh that swatted me. "You sexy beast!" she squealed. "Anyway, where are we dragging our hotness to tonight?"

I thought. Allison had this huge mansion with horses out the back but simply all the Golden Children will be there dressed as Cinderella and Prince Charming. Patrick had the connections with his older brother for tons of booze, good taste in music, and free lollies all around. I pondered and posed a question.

"Do you feel like dancing to Rihanna or rocking it out?" I inquired. "But keep in mind – the Rihanna choice means we might have to gatecrash because we ain't invited."

Sadly, it was true. Nevaeh and I weren't exactly High School Royalty. We weren't even mildly popular. People just failed to see our hotness, our extreme charm and our witty personality as good company. Instead they liked mindless drones better. I guess I could kind of understand that. They did what they were told, what was the better choice to get higher on the High School Pyramid, and didn't do the unpredictable.

"As much as I love gate crashing," Nevaeh sighed, "I really think we should go with the easier route, today."

I 'awed' but agreed. I just didn't feel like taking a ride in the back of the police car in a clown suit, sexy or not. So I simply grabbed my sexy fanny pack (which I clipped around to the side of my body) and skipped down the stairs with Nevaeh following me. We knocked on her older sister's door and she grumbled, but opened it anyway because she promised and Nevaeh's sister always kept to her promises.

Joslyn had a lime-green post-it note stuck to her face and her shoulder-length brown hair was tied into a cute ponytail at the top of her head. Noticing us staring at the green post-it, she ripped it off and stuck it to her mirror and grabbed her keys.

"Come on, munchkins," she said and walked past us. Joslyn had grown to an impressive height of 5'8, and me and Nevaeh both stood at a measly 5'3. So even though she was only one year older than us in her first year of the nearby state college, liked making fun of us on a regular basis. She was just a bit boring but every once in a while we'd coax her out of her lobster shell (because she was so posh) and get her to act out a bit.

To make fun of us further, she waved her new keys in front of our faces. I still hadn't bothered to get my license yet and Nevaeh had failed hers twice. Truthfully, deep inside, I was probably afraid of failing too. And there was nothing more depressing than failure.

"Tell us we look hot," Nevaeh said as we were settled in her car. Both of us had opted for the back seat. We were actually one of those weird individuals that liked the backseat. I didn't understand what was all this fuss about the front one – especially when he had the backseat all to yourself and even though this wasn't the case now well…it was still pretty darn awesome.

"You look insane," Joslyn replied, dead-panned.

Turning it around so I took it as a compliment, I beamed. "Thank you, Joslyn," I said, reaching forward to pat her on her shoulder. Joslyn looked bewildered but she had been around me too often to be too alarmed.

"Where are we going to again?" Joslyn asked as we drove onto the main street. Around here basically everything was off this one main street that we called – surprises, surprises – Main Street. It was highly unoriginal and hurtful to such a creative mind like mine (cough) but it stuck and there was no way of changing it, unless you want to use this super-dangerous lab-ray that hasn't been invented yet to manipulate people's thinking. Oh yeah we already have invented such a lab-ray – it was called celebrities.

"Patrick's place," I quipped. We had hit Friday night traffic where a few wannabe-cool's always tried to set off a honking-your-horn train. In fact at this very moment, a blaring horn could be heard and then after that another one. Fortunately most people had the sense not to follow as it was a possibility we could all go deaf.

"Oh," Joslyn said. "I don't know how I feel about that."

The last time we had gone there were a couple of people vomiting on the front lawn into Patrick's fish pond and a few rebellious kids running in their birthday suits around the house. It was a sight to see, let me tell you. Joslyn had pulled up at the house and had refused to let us out but we finally wore her down.

"Come on, Jos," Nevaeh begged, clasping her hands together. "Do you take us for the kind of people that would do that sort of thing?" And then she re-thought her sentence.

"Wait," she said. "Don't answer that."

Joslyn gave us a stern look, but her sisters begging seemed to have worked. We pulled up at Patrick's house ten minutes later, which looked like a lame Halloween store had spewed up all over it. Cobwebs, glowing eyes, axes through gory people's heads, fake blood, white shapes with black spots for eyes thrown over unidentified objects. It was all there, and for a second I regretted not pushing to gate-crash Allison's party.

'Wow' Joslyn mouthed. She scanned the area, and when not finding anybody in the nude with their bits flying as they ran, unlocked the doors diligently. We grinned, opened the doors and stepped out. I nearly twisted my ankle with those high-heels as I landed on the concrete ground, but I grabbed onto the car for support. I wondered if these would be my murderers tonight. Seemed likely. The media would have a field day with it too.

"Damn, Bee!"

Scruffy Matt, dressed up as a bee as he promised, came up to me and pressed a kiss dangerously close to my lips. As such, I slapped him away but he didn't let it break his good mood. No way – instead he raked his eyes from my hair all the way down to my toes and almost wolf-whistled. Thankfully I got him in the ankle before he could even let it out of his mouth.

"Surprise, surprise," I beamed, jumping up. It was a hard task in those shoes, but I managed. Matt followed the movement of my chest and I slapped him again.

And then I walked into the house.


22:30, October 31st

This party was lame.

I had already: a) danced in ten different ways from the waltz to the jumping up and down that they did in concerts to the chicken dance, b) drunk juice spiked with alcohol, c) scared the people making out on the couches, d) took over being the DJ for twenty minutes, e) sang karaoke on a sturdy cardboard box that served as a made-shift stage, f) held back some random person's hair as they puked, g) given stickers stored in my fanny pack to all the best costumes which was not many and h) played 'I Never' which just turned out to be 'How Much Can You Drink'.

And there was nothing else to do anymore.

I sighed, bobbing my head up and down to some unknown band that had a one-hit single out, sipping Coke out of my can. Nevaeh had abandoned me for bigger and brighter things, ie. the funny kid who had dyed his hair orange. He originally had black hair so it actually looked pretty cool. An out-of-place disco ball hung limply from the ceiling and I stood up on a chair to grab it, the cellotape ripping off easily. Juggling it in my hands, I pushed past people to get some clean, non-alcoholic breath air.

And that was when I saw it.

Naked flesh – a girl – running, was chasing another seemingly naked person – this time a guy – with her hair wild and her head thrown back. It sort of reminded me of when you were five and you played Kiss Chasey, the game where you ran to tag your crush-of-the-day and if you did manage to catch them you could kiss 'em. Well it was like that, except err…more mature. Well things did have to evolve with the times.

Suddenly I felt like feeling that free – because I never had before. I had tried a lot of strange and exotic things like eating fish eggs (which by the way, weren't that bad) and licking a telephone pole for curiousity, but I had never run naked before. But then I realised I had sort-of promised Joslyn I wouldn't.


So instead I walked down the street, relishing in air that actually didn't smell like Britney Spears perfume, alcohol and sweat. Sometimes those smells mixed together could actually be what I need, but not now. Definitely not now.

I squinted my eyes, a habit I had developed when I was a child and very, very naïve. It had been approximately 13:30 when it happened, just after we all had a nice lunch that left me rubbing my tummy and firing off a quick succession of jokes I had found on the internet. And then Mom just exploded. Just like that.

My hands formed fists and I squeezed. If I thought back, it all started in June, really. Four days after my supremely summery birthday, with grass skirts and a bonfire that I tossed my old clothes that didn't fit anymore in to signify that I was growing up.

It had started as something little. Dad left the computer on the whole night. Mom shouted at him, asking if he thought electricity was cheap. Dad had replied 'Why are you always trying to control my actions? This is my house, and I have to pay for the electricity, so if you don't like it, get the fuck out!' Well, Mom did. Get the fuck out, I mean. She got the fuck out for a whole week, actually.

And then it just got worse after that.

But what really hit me though, what really hit me hard, was what Julius said. What he said to me just today after Mom blew up; what I had no reply for.

I feel a flashback coming on.


14:21, October 31st

"We have to talk about this, Bee," Julius said. He crossed his arms across his chest – something he always did when he meant business. He spun my chair around and straddled it, staring at me intensely. I fidgeted under his gaze. I didn't do serious. Serious wasn't me. I joked, and I laughed, and I made life fun, but I hated being serious.

"Talk about what?" I squeezed out. It came out nervous, shaky, weak. And then I laughed, but that came out weak also. I closed my laptop shut, where I had been watching funny video's on Youtube. I often did this, for a laugh and maybe to give someone else a laugh. I liked making people laugh.

"You know what I'm talking about," he said.

"No, I don't," I said. "Are we being all soap-opera-y now? Okay, let me try." I then adopted a seriously over-the-top dramatic expression, looking all serious and then stricken and all depressing.

"Damn it, Brianna!" Julius exclaimed, frustrated. "Why can't you be serious for once? Why can't you see the problems right in front of you? You can't make a joke of everything forever. There are times to be funny, and there are times not to be. It's like…it's like you're hiding behind your smiles, and jokes, and laughs. And you know what? Someone needs to snap you out from that. And apparently…I just can't be the one."

And then he slammed the door behind him.


22:45, October 31st

I was walking nowhere, just walking down the street. It was quiet now, eerily so. Candy-craved kids no longer roamed the streets in their amateur non-sexy costumes; they were probably all asleep in bed. Some older ones in their early teens who probably thought they were 'all that' might still be around, but I couldn't hear anyone. I was being uncharacteristically moody – which sucked. I had come out tonight to forget about today, to have a good time and not feel sorry for myself.

Was what Julius said true? It wasn't, I decided, told myself firmly. It couldn't be. I could be perfectly serious. I was perfectly serious everyday. I was perfectly serious yesterday when I sat for a Chemistry test – wait, no, I had hummed and practically broke out into song in the middle and Nevaeh had accompanied me using her pencil as drumsticks.

Blah, no. I didn't want to think about this now.

'It's like you're hiding behind your smiles, and jokes, and laughs.'

I took a deep breath and kicked a pebble into a metal trash-can on the sidewalk. It made a huge ringing noise, and then I decided to pick a pebble up and throw it into the trees. The next thing I knew I was making a game of how far I could throw it – and then I was cracking up laughing, bending over, laughing all by myself.

It was much better than crying all by myself.


23:00, October 31st

I checked my watch.

It was 23:00, and I recorded the time in my head because it was the time that I first heard him.

He was singing. He had an awful voice, scratchy and low and terribly out-of-tune, but I found myself drawn to it anyway. But it was the lyrics he was singing, well saying really, that caught my interest.

"She hides behind her smile…where she buries a hurting heart…when she laughs and tears leak out…you'd never guess that she's covering up a million tears…"

Talk about coincidences.

"Hello?" I shouted out, hopping on one foot as I craned my neck around. It sounding like it was coming from up-up-up, and I was short and my neck was short too. The hopping on one foot thing was invented by me and my friends from when I was in fifth grade. It was for luck, and it seemed like I needed luck now.

The singing stopped and I was startled as a head popped out from overhead me.

"Holy shit!" I swore, jumping straight up in the air. I landed on a bad angle – the heels totally failed me as I slowly tumbled to the ground, twisting my ankle. "Ow."

The guy above me snickered. I could hear his snickers clearly, even though I wanted to block them out. "Epic fail," he remarked and then scanned me quickly with his eyes as I looked up at him menacingly. Okay so far, not a good start. "Nice costume."

I stuck my tongue out at him and brought myself up. "Yep, I'm a sexy ass clown and you're just jealous you don't get to know any of the tricks I have up my sleeve."

He tsk-tsked and clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth. "Shame, really. I always liked clowns when I was little."

"You from Patrick's party?" I inquired. I studied his face. I wasn't really a pick-the-features-apart kind of person…at least not at first. I usually just looked at the whole big picture and that was fine with me. Unlike other girls, the first thing I notice is not the colour of their eyes, or whatever. So unlike everyone else, I took in the overall picture of his face. Not bad. Attractive. Then I looked at the features. He had dark-brown hair, lightened at some bits. Dull blue eyes, not like bright sky blue, but it was pretty. (Pretty? Could I use that to describe guys?) And he had high cheek-bones but a nose that has been broken a few times. His mouth, I couldn't help but notice, was pouty, not perfectly kissable, but it could happen.

"No," he said. "I'm from Allison's."

I looked surprised. Honestly, I looked shocked. I decided to re-discover my inner soap-opera self so I gasped. And then I clutched a hand to my heart.

He threw his head back and laughed. So I did too. Laughing…it felt good.

"Yeah, I know, right?" he said. "But Allison is my cousin, so I had to go. But then as soon as I got the chance I gapped it over here and found these people running naked along the lawn so I just joined them. Thought it looked fun, you know? And then someone chased me too far and then ran away – and this someone was like on the track team or something, honestly. And then I just climbed up the ladder on this house because I wanted to look at the stars. Dunno whose house it is, but I think their out."

"Shit," I swore again. Even I wouldn't do something as crazy as that. And wait…did he say…

"Yep, I said naked," he said. He looked faintly amused. "Wanna join me?"

I recoiled, and then decided to smile a sexy smirk. I bit my bottom lip and looked skywards as in contemplation.

"No," I finally said. "My Mom and Dad made me sign a no-sex-till-marriage thing and I don't know if I will be able to resist your sexy ass."

He grinned and cocked his head to the side. He didn't even blink at that comment, as if expecting it from me. "Unfortunately I grabbed a blanket that the owner of this house was gonna throw out before I climbed up here so my sexy ass is covered…but I can always take it off if you want." He waggled his eyebrows at me and I noticed that he felt slightly uncomfortable doing it.

I noticed the ladder leading up to the roof. For safety measures, I went up to the windows and peered in, but the tiny crack I could see through the drawn curtains was pitch black. Obviously they were out, or just slept very early and quietly. I bit my lip and weighed the options on the reliable scales in my brain. Well perhaps they weren't quite so reliable – because if they were the 'go-back-to-the-party' side would probably have been heavier, but my Brain Scale told me that this could be fun.

So I trusted my Brain Scale and shrugged, then started to climb up the ladder.

"Whoa there," he said, reaching out to grab the ladder to steady it. "It's a pretty busted up ladder."

It was true. It was dented in most parts and I think it was missing a rung – or it was just manufactured wrong, I don't know. And there was some brown stuff along the side, not rust that I was sure of. It barely reached the roof, and my heart thudded as I climbed up.

And that was when everything went wrong. He lifted his hand from it for just a second, and that was how long it took for me to screw it all up. I reached the roof and then I accidentally kicked my leg back. It hit the rung and fell down onto the ground with a huge thud.

"Oh," he said. "I forgot to tell you. The ladder was not very well balanced."

I gave him a look to which he grinned too.

"Oh well!" he chirped, clapping his hands together. "I guess we're stuck here now."

I finally found the time to turn to him…and then I just couldn't look away. It was true, he had this old, dusty thing around his waist covering his goods but his torso was bare to the whole world to see. Eye candy in its purest form. It was defined, not scarily defined though. It was just one of those sights you couldn't stop staring at, no matter how much you wanted too. And well what added to this was that I was a hormonal teenager and so was he.

But I managed to get a hold of myself. Well after I stared at him for a good five minutes.

"Aren't you cold, eh?" I purred, sliding closer to him. We were about five feet apart now, my hands flat down on the bricks. I looked up into the sky. There were stars, and I was reminded about how Dad tried to teach me to pick out different constellations in the night sky as we were out camping. However I was too impatient and wasn't interested and had gone to the Burma Trail that the people camping in the same area as us had cooked up. Suddenly I wondered what path this conversation would have taken if I did know some constellations. Would he find me too intellectual, or too serious? Or would he have appealed to that side of me?

And why oh why was I even that fussed?

He smiled – almost wistfully. "No, my mother used to leave me out in the cold when I was younger in the winter with only a singlet and shorts on. I've gotten used to it."

My mouth formed an 'o' and I was actually speechless for once.

And then I heard the unmistakable sounds of laughter being muffled, and then it occurred to me that he was just joking.

"Oh my god," I squealed, laughing along too. I squeezed my hands down further to stop from going over and slapping his arm. "You don't just joke about stuff like that." Although the tone I said that in didn't sound very convincing, he promptly stopped his laughter and nodded sombrely.

"So, Rosebank," he said, stating the town we were in. "It's a bit different, eh?"

He turned towards me, his eyebrows raised. I cocked my head to the side, and realised he must be new in town. We weren't a big town – nor we were a particularly small one – but he looked to be around my age and usually I would recognise faces easily. And besides, he said he was Allison's cousin, and I'm pretty sure I would know of him if he was her cousin.

"Yeah," I admitted. "We're a bit crazy around here."

"No," he said, shaking his head. "It's not that. Everything is just so…perfect around here. Like the example of a perfect neighbourhood, like Wisteria Lane on Desperate Housewives."

I snorted and flashed him a coy smile. "You watch Desperate Housewives?"

He did the craziest thing – he blushed. "My sister used to watch it."

"Well…you know," I said. "Appearances deceive, just like on Desperate Housewives."

"As long as we're not dealing with serial killers and shit like that, I think I'll be alright here," he said, sort of bitterly. I looked at him again. He had that wistful look on his face, matching his previously wistful smile. I wondered what got into him. I thought I met someone like me – joking, laughing, and not really giving a crap.

"So," he said. "What's your secret?" He scooted closer to me and leaned forward so his ear was placed strategically near my parted lips.

My lips stayed parted and they refused to move. Should I spill out my darkest secrets? Should I tell him about Mom and Dad? Should I tell him about my problem about being serious? Should I tell him all my insecurities, everything I squished down inside until they were nothing bout a nagging, persistent thought at the back of my mind?

He looked up at my eyes, grave and serious. This conversation had taken a turn too alien for me to process. I couldn't do this. It just wouldn't do.

"I steal children from their houses at night," I started and he looked up at me, suddenly alarmed. "Only to give them the best goddamn time of their life!"

And then I took out my cane that burst into flowers that I had placed in a place that shall not be named (magician's, or clowns in this case, never reveal their secrets) and chucked it at him.

Realisation dawned in his eyes as he got to joke. His mouth twitched and he started chuckling lowly, slowly, with breaks in the middle. Disappointment flashed across his face but I refused to acknowledge it. So who cared if I didn't exactly spill my guts out to a complete stranger? Certainly not the complete stranger!

"Do you have a secret?" I whispered. It was a whisper, soft by my standards but you could still hear it clearly. It was silent after all. Well not complete silence, because I don't think I had ever experienced that in my life. There was always something going on. Once my mom had said the only time she had ever not heard one thing was when she was scuba diving and she was down deep in the sea. I had never been scuba diving before.

"Everyone has secrets," he replied, giving me a lop-sided smile. I noticed a dimple at the side of his mouth. I used to want a dimple when I was younger – just because my best friend at that time (Evan) had one. He used to purposely smile harder on his right side just so he could show off.

And then suddenly, I plunged.

"My brother told me I couldn't be serious," I blurted out, unable to keep it in. There was just something about his presence. "He told me I hide behind my laughter and smiles and stuff."

"The song I was singing…" he said, trailing off.

I nodded. "You have an awful singing voice by the way. It's kind of like mine. Do you want to hear me sing? I bet you don't."

Then I stood up and I started singing and dancing – what song I do not know. All I knew was that this was a distraction, a good one. I think I was singing Milkshake. You know that song that was so catchy that you couldn't help but dance too? It used to be my ringtone until Dad made me change it…when he finally figured out the meaning of the song.

"What's your name, sexy?" he said. The way he said it made me feel all tingly inside. I was suddenly hyper-aware of all my little movements.

"It's Bee," I said, stopping and collapsing on the roof. The roof was not really sloping – only slightly. But there were a few feet where it was flat. "Well, really it's Brianna. What about yours?"

"It's Liar," he said.

"What?" I gasped. "What do you mean it's Liar?"

He chuckled again, the same way he did after he heard my 'secret'. "I mean…this is not me. This whole town…this whole thing…it's not me."

"Explain?" I demanded and sat on my hands again. It was like quarter past eleven at night, and I couldn't lie and say I was superwoman. Because I wasn't, and it was damn cold.

"Um," he started saying. He stared straight ahead, unable to meet my gaze. "My sister died…of leukaemia a few weeks ago. My mum died in a car crash two years ago and my Dad dumped me at Aunt Melissa and Uncle Evan's place – that's Allison's parents – and I don't know where he is. I told myself I would try to re-invent myself. Be more out there, try new things, you know."

He cleared his throat uncomfortably, and I knew he wasn't lying like before.

'Wow' I mouthed. Again I was speechless – this guy seemed to make me speechless a lot more than any other person in the world, and I had only just met him. Then I wondered how he could just be so…trusting all of a sudden? Unload this on me? Did he expect me to return the favour, unload all my troubles on him, not just that one about hiding behind laughter?

"So," I finally said after three silent minutes. I counted. "Who are you, really?"

"I'm Luke," was all he said.

"Luke," I said.

"Yeah," he replied. "That's who I am."

And then, and then for reasons I could not explain, I started crying.


23:36, October 31st

"I really needed that."

I was curled up under his arm, because I could. He told me that it was so he could keep warm – body heat and all that – but I think it was just a cover-up. At least…I hoped so. My tears were dried and I was finally not hysterical, so I started to talk.

"I guess Julius is right," I said. "I guess he's right. I can't face the facts. I don't like facing the facts. Because I always thought…why would you when you don't have to. Why would you when you can have fun, and laugh instead, you know? And…I don't know what will happen if Mom and Dad get a divorce. I'm not strong like that, you know?"

Luke looked down at me and smiled. "I think you'll be just fine."

"I'm sorry," I blubbered. "I mean here I am talking about my measly problems, when you have like…gargantuan problems. Like colossal."

"Colossal, eh?" he said.

I squirmed out of his grip and scooted to the edge of the roof, and then looked down.

"It's a long way down, Luke," I whispered.

"It sure is," he said, and then pulled me gently around, placing his lips against mine.

They were warm, and soft, and sent tingly's down my spine just like before. But this time they were multiplied by one hundred and just – wow. I pulled him closer to me, wrapped my arms around his neck and then slowly we pulled away, and I thought…

…that was one kick-ass kiss.

He looked at my lips at chuckled. "Don't tell me I have lipstick on my lips now, do I?"

"Don't worry," I said. "I wore absolute kiss-proof lipstick. It was like it was meant to be." I sighed dramatically against him and then…he chuckled again.

"Tell me, Luke," I said. "Tell me everything is going to be okay…with you, with me…with my parents…" I reached desperately for reassurance.

"I can't promise you that," Luke said. He looked at me again. I struggled with his gaze. "But I'll help to make it okay. I will."

"I'll help to make it okay, too," I replied and reached up to give him another kiss. But before I could, in perfect movie-timing, a car rumbled up the driveway of the house we sat on.

"Oh, shit," we both swore.


23: 45, 31st October

"We promise we will never do it again," I reassured to the mid-thirties couple that stood there with their fancy ball gown and tuxedo. They also had a mask in their hands, obviously coming back from a masquerade ball. "We just wanted to see the stars!"

The man looked at us sternly, and then lo' behold, he laughed.

"Well, this would be a story to tell your kids, eh," he said, nudging his wife and staring at the closeness of how we stood. "On a rooftop with their father naked!"

Oh my God.

"Umm…yeah, sure," I said, and tugged at Luke's hand. "Thanks, we better go now. Bye!"

We ran until we got to a patch of grass that sometimes served as a park to the little kids around this neighbourhood. It was small and didn't even really have grass – just dirt. We sat down.

"That was mortifying," I laughed. "And inconceivably funny!"

"You amaze me with your vocabulary, Bee," he laughed too.

"Hey Luke," I said softer. "Thanks for listening."

And when my lips met his again, with the chirping of cicadas in the background, I knew that even though no-one could predict the future, I'd be okay.

"Wait…you were just kidding about the no-sex-till-marriage thing right?" Luke said.

Then I slapped him.

And laughed with him together, thinking how laughing with someone else was a thousand times better than laughing by yourself.

It was exactly 23:51 when I felt like nothing could go wrong. Even though I knew it couldn't last, I snaked my hand to find Luke's and sat there, content.


Author's Note:

Hi everyone (: Hoped you enjoyed Bee's and Luke's story of how they met – that was kind-of hard to write, especially the ending. If you find any mistakes, have any comments, criticism etc, be sure to review, because all authors sure love reviews, and I'm not exception!

- Jean.