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Oculos Patentes

applying glitter on the walls,

Her skin felt like velvet under my fingertips, the softness of her hand a nice contrast to the roughness of my own. The wind was blowing her hair into a wild mess as she sat beside me in the passenger seat, the sun beating down on her tanned skin through the open window. Her eyes were shielded by my sunglasses- “they look better on me anyways,”- and her hand that wasn’t intertwined with my own was hanging out the window, resting against the side of my truck. I tore my gaze away from her, looking out in front of me and beaming alongside her at the sign clearly displayed on the side of the highway.

Welcome to Florida. She laughed out of pure happiness beside me, my name falling off her lips. John. John.


My eyes snapped open, trying to force themselves closed again as the light from the open window nearly blinded me. My black curtains had been pushed aside from both windows in my room, letting in more light than I had seen in this place for years. I sat up, pushing myself against my headboard as I rubbed my eyes, willing the spots to fade away as my eyes finally began to adjust. My guitar had fallen off the edge of my bed and onto the floor, the papers I had spilled my thoughts onto last night now littering the surrounding area.

“Finally sleeping beauty, I've only been trying to wake you up for five minutes.” My head snapped in the direction of her voice, a small smile coming to my lips at the sight of her standing in my presence. She looked even more amazing in person than in my dreams, but I wasn’t going to tell her that as I took in her appearance.

Avery’s hair was pulled back in a French braid that reached the center of her back, a headband holding back the wisps of blonde hair that were just dying to fall into her face. A pair of khaki shorts hung low on her hips yet rested high up on her thighs, a long expanse of bare leg available for my eyes to trail over before they were met with a pair of toms adorning her feet. Aside from the crewneck sweater displaying a bambi lookalike, the best thing about Avery’s look that day was her smile- it reached her eyes.

A blush was high on her cheekbones due to my staring and her hands fiddled nervously with the strap of her purse slung across her chest. Her eyes met mine for the briefest of moments before she averted her gaze, her tongue coming out to run across her chapped lips before speaking,

“Get dressed and meet me downstairs, we've got a big day ahead!” Her excitement made her sound like a little kid and I nodded before swinging my legs over the side of my bed, a yawn escaping my lips as I stretched, trying to loosen up my joints. She watched me and I could feel her eyes on my skin, but I resisted the blush that tried to surface. I cleared my throat and stood, shooing her out of the room, a sly “unless you want to see me naked” escaping my mouth before she scampered out of the room, closing the door behind her and leaving me alone with my thoughts.

I was beginning to find that the worst part of this newfound friendship (the word still sounded foreign, even in my brain) was the abundance of curiosity that Avery’s mere presence instilled in me. It seemed like every time she left the room I was left with more things to think about, and part of me hated that, but part of me found it almost exhilarating.

I tried to shrug my thoughts away as I walked to my dresser, pulling out clothes and slipping them over my skinny frame before exiting my room, picking up my wallet and keys off the floor and stuffing them into the pockets of my khaki cargo shorts before finally descending the stairs. I made sure to brush my teeth and examine my tired appearance in the bathroom mirror before I made my way down. I looked good today, but I would still pale in comparison to Avery.

I found her waiting in the foyer, a pair of sunglasses perched on the bridge of her nose and her fingers attacking the key board of her phone in what looked like an angry fashion. I could tell something had made her mad in the time between waking me up and coming back downstairs, but without even really knowing Avery I still knew she was the type of girl that would tell me on her own, if she wanted to. It made her all the more harder to figure out.

“So what are we doing today?” I asked, stopping to stand in front of her. Her head snapped up to look at me but I couldn’t tell what her expression was without seeing her eyes. A small smile came to her lips as she put her phone away, turning to walk out the door before she said,



I felt like I was back in middle school, where getting to know someone meant playing “twenty questions,” but in reality you asked as many questions as you wanted until you ran out of interesting things to say. We had ended up at the park, sitting on a grassy expanse of ground and watching the people as they walked by. We sat in relative silence for the first twenty minutes until she turned to me and said,

“I've noticed we’re pretty good at not talking to each other, so I figured we should work on the part of our friendship that involves verbal interaction.” I had laughed for at least two minutes at that before suggesting twenty questions, she had scoffed and teased, “What are we, fifth graders?” but upon realizing she hadn’t a better idea finally settled on asking the first question.

So that’s where we found ourselves an hour and thirty minutes later. We had abandoned our sitting positions to lay back against the grass instead, my arms folded behind my head while hers rested lazily beside her, her hands absentmindedly plucking pieces of grass from the ground. It was my turn to ask a question, but my mind was blank as I sat there staring up the sky. Birds flew by and I counted them, one two three four,

I snapped out of it when Avery waved her hand in front of my face, leaning over me slightly with a raised eyebrow. “Hey pretty boy, it’s been your turn for the last five minutes,” she laughed, shaking her head at me. I smiled along, racking my brain for something to ask when it finally came to me:

“How did your dad die?” The sharp intake of breath I heard from beside me told me that my question had crossed the line into unchartered territory. I looked over at her, trying to catch her eyes in mine in a silent apology, but she purposefully avoided my gaze as she sat up, bringing her knees to her chest and wrapping her arms around them.

“Guess we’re past the whole ‘what’s your favorite color’ stage, huh?” she laughed but I could tell it was forced. It made my stomach twist as I continued to lay next to her in silence; waiting got what felt like hours before she spoke again. “He committed suicide.” I clenched my eyes shut and turned my head in the opposite direction. God, I was so stupid. I let out a breath I hadn’t realized I was holding in, listening to the grass rustle beside me as she resumed her laying down position. I didn’t want to look at her, to see the hurt in her eyes, the hurt I had put there by bringing it up.

“Aren’t you going to ask why?” Her voice sounded so close it startled me. I turned my head in her direction, opening my eyes to see her lying on her side, her hands folded beneath her head as she stared at me. The look of complete indifference on her face was worse than the look of sadness I had thought I was going to be met with. It made a chill run down my spine.

“Not if you don’t want me to,” I told her, trying to get her to lock eyes with mine. But she continued to stare at the ground as if it was the most interesting thing she had ever seen. I sighed and she looked up, a barely noticeable upturn to her lips as she reached out one hand, brushing away fringe I hadn’t even noticed had fallen in my eyes. Her hand lingered for a second and her eyes stared into mine with such intensity that I had to look away after a while, an involuntary blush creeping up the back of my neck and into my face as she quietly laughed at my expense, bringing her hand back to rest under her head.

“You’re a good guy, O’Callaghan. Remember that.” Her words hung in the air, the silence that followed after thick with questions I wanted to ask but couldn’t. Remember that? She said it as if I would have a reason sometime soon to forget.

She was right.
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Oh my goodness I am so sorry for the delay! Things have been crazy with school & poms season started again and I had soccer, then I broke my hand and had surgery, and AHHH things have just been hectic haha. I'm trying to get back on track though, I promise! Sorry for any mistakes as well!

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