Sometimes at night I get up out of bed and crawl, blind, out my window into the dark. I used to stumble and hear my heart pounding in my chest for fear that I'd miss my footing and tumble to the ground below.

But then I'd feel the hand start from my shoulder and glide down to my hand.

"Trust me." The husky sound of someone in the blanketed black would smile and I'd grasp his hand quickly to show that I did.

We'd follow the terrain of my roof until we reached the back porch and then I'd wait until I heard the almost indecipherable sound of the foot falls hitting the ground before I'd follow their path and land in the same place those boots had been before me.

Like a little girl trying to grow into her father's shoes but not knowing she'd never be able too.

I follow that same worn path with my eyes closed tight and take deep breathes as the air whispers fall.

This is the only time I feel lucky or honored to be me.

I run full speed up and across the log gurgling in the river bed and land clumsily on the other side. I still can't accomplish silence even after all these years.

I walk across the mud and fallen leaves until I see the dock standing forgotten through the growth. I push my way into the mass of branches until I make it through to the other side. Scratched and bleeding and dirty, he used to go ahead of me and move them so I wouldn't trip and fall, I finally step out onto the first plank of wood and hear the creak of my weight.

Even after seven long years (and the many before I'd ever seen it) the dry rotted wood still held strong under my toes. I could feel the ash against my feet as I focus on the shine of the water in the distance.

Summer would be gone and another school year would pick up as it had left off.

Smiles and hugs from friends I haven't been in touch with for the last two months would take place. But none of that compares to the chill of the water against my skin.

I slip down onto the dock and dangle my big toes into the dark. I could make out wisps of fog rolling up from the water and knew that morning was coming soon.

Five forty-two am.

"Hey." I could see the smile on his face without even trying. It was always there.

"Hey." I hesitate and then remark quietly back. "I didn't know if you'd come."

He pauses in his efforts to take a seat and I feel his eyes staring into mine.

"I said I would." He waits for my response but when he realizes I'm not going to give him one he sighs and falls into the space next to me. I can feel his warmth through my long sleeved shirt and though I don't mean too, I let his arm drape my shoulders and pull me close; like best friends.

Nearly eight years of friendship. If my mother only knew.

His breath comes out in big puffs and he watch's the horizon like we have since we were kids. Since that day my brother had given him that nose bleed so long ago.

I pull my legs up to my chin and stretch out my shirt over them.

He'd taken Danny's watch, the one our grandfather had given him, and threw it into the lake. No reason really, just to be cruel.

My grandfather had died that summer and the wound was still fresh for my brother. He was never one of those kids that didn't understand what death was. He was also never one of those kids who felt bad about hitting someone three years younger than him.

Bryn deserved it.

I'd gotten him a towel for his nose and walked him home that day, while Danny stormed into the house and slammed the door loudly behind him.

"What's his problem?" Bryn had commented. But with the plugged nose it came out muffled and comical.

"That watch was passed down to all the guys in my family. It was supposed to go to my dad but he was killed when I was little and my grandfather gave it to him.

"Mom's going to be really mad. Well… as mad as my mom can be." I pushed his head back by the forehead. "You're a jerk, you know?"

"So I've been told." He smiled.

"It's not funny."


We didn't talk to the rest of the trip and I left him there with full intention to never speak to him again.

But the next morning he was standing on our porch dripping wet and holding a watch smugly in his tiny hand. My brother politely snatched it from him and confirmed that he was not, nor would he ever be, forgiven.

But me, I wasn't very good at holding a grudge.

"I want to show you something." He'd declared and I had followed.

"What are you thinking about?"

I try to grin but my mouth stays motionless and indifferent.

"How much you cried when Danny punched you."

"Did not." He rolls his eyes and I can't tell what color they are in the dark.

"Did too." I whisper back but this time, he doesn't argue.

He used to argue with me just for the sake of arguing. He grew out of that and into brooding silences masked by distant smoldering shining eyes and a crooked mischievous grin.

A grin that sort of scared me; it was like the tight lipped smile that hid the canines of a wolf.

"So? Sophomore year?" He pulls me into his side and I close my eyes against his shoulder. "You'll be able to drive." He jokes.

"I don't have a car." I answer simply.

"Get a job and stop spending all your damn time volunteering."

It was my turn to roll my eyes. "You know that's never going to happen."

He shrugs. "Worth a try."

"What about you." I counter. "Senior year? You going to spend it getting drunk and failing classes?"

"Among other things…" He trails off.

The suns leaning over the horizon in the distance and I can't even make out my ankles in the depths of the steam rising from the surface of the lake.

"Well… you have fun with that." I return.

My heart starts pounding in my chest and I flip open my phone to see the time once again.

Six oh three am.

He snakes his arm around and wraps a hand over the part turned up; shuts it.

"You want to get rid of me that much senora."

"Its senori-"

"I know Cat. That was intentional."

I force my eyes to remain on the glow. I can feel the seconds ticking by. My insides sinking down towards my stomach were they seem to always try to seek comfort without prevail.

"I think I'm going to miss you." My eyes willfully find their way to his unfamiliar grey green orbs and the corners crinkle just like I knew they would.

"What are you talking about freak? I'll see you all the time."

See me… but we won't talk.

"I know… but… I'll just miss this summer."

Like this summer I missed the ones we used to have.

Bryn's eyes catch mine and trap them. "We'll have more summers Catherine. Stop being such a girl."

But that doesn't work with me. He blinks without feeling and leans in to leave a wet kiss on my cheek.

I can't help the smile from making its way onto my mouth even if I don't mean it.

"Okay." I pretend I believe you.

"God." He pushes my messy hair out of my face and tilts back to let the sun illuminate my flushed cheeks and red nose. I can make out the outline of his sharp jaw line from the halo of light surrounding him. "You're such a disaster." He grins. "I'm kind of embarrassed I know you."

I smack him lightly and straighten out my knotted locks.

"Thanks for the compliment." I deadpan.

I had to wonder if maybe he really means it though.

"You know I'm just joking." The smile falls off his lips and he stares me down. "You do right?"

For a moment I think about telling the truth. But instead I bring up a hand and take hold of his.

"I know," I mumble, "jerk."

I try not to think about the fact that tomorrow I'll be smiling polite fake smiles towards people I call my friends and Bryn Williams will be laughing with people who don't even know I'm breathing.

If he catches my lie he doesn't say anything. I don't expect him too really.

It's just something that happens with the male race. They just reach a certain age and you… well… you fall off their radar.

It happened with Danny first. He was about thirteen at the time. Suddenly he didn't want to hang out with me anymore. Suddenly he didn't want to talk to me in school and he had real friends to hang out with and I was just his little sister…

For some reason I'd thought that maybe Bryn was the exception. We made it this far.

I can't blame him though. When you look like Bryn who can expect much out of you.

Not that I noticed until recently how his back ripples when he moves his shoulders. Or when he looks up at you through his eyelashes you can forget to breathe. Or how you can't tell what he's feeling unless you pay attention to his hands.

He taps them when he's nervous, clenches them white when he's angry, it's hard to follow them at all when he's excited, and when he's upset… he hides them. I've only seen him do that once.


"Hm?" Thumb and index finger pulling at his heart shaped lips means, he turns to me.

When his fingers on near his mouth… it means he's lost in thought.

"You want to go swimming with me?"

His eyebrow raises in question. "Really?"

"Yeah." I nod.

"But you said fish creep you out?"

"They do." I slip I legs out of my shirt and stand up.


"Shouldn't we celebrate?" I cut him off. "I mean… I can drive."

Crooked grin, he stands up and shrugs out of his thin black cotton shirt. Old Navy stamped on the back as a tag; I watch it fall to the ground as he yawns and roles his shoulder blades.

"Good point."

"Show off." I mutter before turning towards the lake.

He grabs tight to my hand. "Better hope there isn't any snapping turtles."


"Well you're not wearing shoes. They might bite your toes off."

My jaw falls open. "What? No. No. Bryn. You didn't say anything, Bryn-"

He ignores my protests and laughs as he falls back; hand still tight around mine.

I watch him, it seems, almost in slow motion. His body relaxed as its falls towards the surface beneath him.

The water drowns out my last remaining screams of outrage as the sun shines from above us.

Summer… is now over. And I think… so is me and Bryn.

Um... I always been better at starting stories than sticking with others. And this feels weird and random and awkward. Which I love. There's nothing to figure out so far and I'm kind of enjoying it, I think.

If you really like Material though I'll probably continue it sometime.

Not really sure about the title. Thats always the thing that matters least to me usually. It might change. In fact this might be taken down. Like I said... it was pretty random when it popped into my head.

Please please review.