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Oculos Patentes

'cause I don't wanna sleep at all,

She was quiet next to me, had been ever since we had left Pat’s house and gotten into my truck, driving with no particular destination in mind, the sun setting behind us and crappy music coming out of the radio to serve as background noise. Her elbow rested against the passenger’s side door, her head cradled in her hand and a tiny frown on her lips. Despite the setting sun a pair of sunglasses was still perched upon the bridge of her nose, covering her eyes in a way that annoyed me to no end. If I couldn’t see her eyes I couldn’t really tell what she was thinking.

I pulled to the side of the road, shutting the truck off and watching as she looked over at me, her brow furrowed in confusion. “What’s wrong?” I asked her but she shrugged her shoulders, looking out the window and purposefully ignoring me. I reached out and flicked her nose, smiling to myself as her lips twitched in an attempt to stop herself from grinning. “What’s wrong?” I tried again. She sighed, her shoulders slumping as she removed her head from her hand and brought her hands to her lap, looking down at her fingers as she traced unknown shapes into her palm.

“Your friends didn’t like me,” she mumbled, almost so quiet that if I hadn’t been straining to hear her I wouldn’t have heard her in the first place. Part of me wanted to laugh at her insecurity. It was like she had never met herself before, or heard herself talk or seen herself smile or laugh or just breathe even. She was impossible to dislike.

I ran a hand through my hair, turning to face her more and leaning my back against the car door. “You’re crazy, you know that right?” It was meant to be a rhetorical question but I could see her mulling over my words in her mind. Avery was the type of girl who overanalyzed every little thing. I reached out, pulling her sunglasses from her face and sweeping a piece of hair that had fallen from her messy bun back behind her ear. “My friends are just weird, they can be jerks at first but they’re just looking out for me, ya know?” I regretted the words as soon as they were out of my mouth, watching as her shoulders slumped even more. She looked like a turtle trying desperately to crawl back inside its shell.

“I don’t really know, John,” she took a deep breath, twiddling her thumbs and glancing at me nervously before going on, “I’ve never had that many close friends. Everyone I’ve ever told about me has walked out of my life because of it. You're the first person who tries to look out for me and take care of me and I guess-“ she broke off then, turning her head away from me and leaving me to wonder what she would have said, but I knew asking her wouldn’t provoke an answer.

We sat there for the longest time, her avoiding my gaze as I tried desperately to get her to meet my eyes. There were so many things I wanted to say, but no real right way of saying anything at all.

I started my truck, listening as the engine roared to life and disturbed the eerie silence that had crept between us. “I’m not going anywhere, okay?” I glanced at her from the corner of my eye and saw that telltale sign of a tiny smile on her lips.

But I knew deep down she didn’t really believe me.


Pat was standing by my locker as I approached it at the end of the school day, his small frame coming in and out of my line of sight as people walked by, hastily trying to make it out of the door and to their cars to beat the line of traffic that would be exiting the parking lot. I smiled at him as I walked up but got a glare in return, my smile instantly dropping at the sight. An angry Pat was almost unheard of.

“It’s been a while, man,” he said to me as I opened my locker, stuffing books that I didn’t need into the tiny space and grabbing books that would be of use to me and cramming them into my backpack. I closed the locker, hauling my backpack onto my shoulder and beginning to walk toward the front of the school, Pat falling into step beside me.

“What are you talking about? I was just at practice with you yesterday.” I was sure the confusion was evident on in my voice and I saw Pat roll his eyes at me as we continued to walk at a brisk pace.

“Yeah you were there, but you weren’t really there, if you know what I mean.”

“Not sure I do, actually.”

“I just mean you’ve been spending a lot of time with Avery and-“

I stopped abruptly in the middle of the hallway, turning to face Pat as he stopped beside me, a glare on my face and my voice dangerously low as I asked, “And what?”

Pat glared right back, not missing the angry tone in my voice. “And you’ve been missing a lot of practice to hang with some girl that you could’ve cared less about a month ago, so I expected you to be focused the first time you come to practice in a while but instead you were off in La La Land trying to show off. I just think you need to get your priorities straight.”

I could’ve punched him, I wanted to, at least. The anger bubbling in my stomach was starting to make me feel sick and I had to look away from him to try to get my thoughts straight. I started to walk again, faster than before but Pat kept my pace, matching my stride despite the considerable differences in our height.

“John I’m not trying to offend you,” I wanted to cut him off just to say too late but I held my tongue as he continued, “But I think you need to look at the big picture. We’re your friends, your band, and we’ve always been there for you and plan on always being there for you, but this girl, something just doesn’t seem right.”

“You don’t even know her,” I snapped, rolling my eyes and letting out an exasperated sigh as I saw the doors leading out to the parking lot come into view. Pat grabbed my arm, turning me to face him, his tight grip not loosening any less as we stood among the crowd of other students trying to filter out.

“Do you even really know her? Because I just think-“


My head immediately turned in her direction and I watched as she tried to push past the people to get to me. I looked down at Pat, shaking my arm from his grasp and muttering a small “see ya around” before I left him there, open-mouthed and stony-faced as I met Avery with a brief hug and a promise to tell her what that was all about later. She didn’t argue, just glanced back at where I assumed Pat was still standing and turned back to me with a reassuring smile.

I could practically feel Pat’s glare burning a hole in my back, but more prevalent than that were his words burning bright in my mind. I glanced down at Avery- Avery with her big smile and odd hand gestures as she told me about her day. Avery with her blonde hair that looked effortlessly put together, her sunglasses that forever sat on the bridge of her nose. Avery, who seemed like an open book half the time, but within that book she was a mystery even Sherlock Holmes couldn’t figure out.

Did I really know her? Or more importantly, would I ever?
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Sooo this is extremely overdue, but I promise I'm trying to get back in the habit of writing/updating regularly! Don't give up on me (:

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