Welcome Noah, We Missed You

Chapter Four

“Where are we going?” I had asked you as we traipsed through a thicket of underbrush. I hadn’t told you but we both knew I wasn’t really one for adventures. I preferred the things that didn’t exceed my comfort zone. Those things usually started with my bike and ended with the books I liked to read. “You asked me that already,” you responded, turning slightly so I could see the grin lit up by the moon on your face.

“You didn’t answer me though,” I retorted trying to pull you to a stop but you held tight to my hand and continued to drag me through the woods. “Shhhh,” you responded a finger to your lips that were pale in the darkness. I could barely make your figure out except for when we passed under patchy trees and the moon ignited you like a flame. So we had walked in silence, and I thought only about you, which to me seemed unprecedented because I was already with you. But I thought about you anyway. I thought about how you smiled, and for a while it was all I could see. And then for a while I just kept thinking Sawyer Sawyer Sawyer. I felt like your name had become a tune my heart played to.

Until finally, you came to a halt, and so I did too. You stood very still and just stared ahead of you. I stared too but I just wasn’t seeing it. I hated that I had to ask, but I did. “So…what’s this?” You walked up to a large three, with this thick base and even thicker branches that whipped out far above my head. “This is it, Noah,” you told me, and then you turned around to face me.

“Right,” I said not able to help the smile that had formed on my face. It was late, and I was tired but I felt like I had the energy to do anything as long as I was with you. You laughed; it sounded giddy to my ears.

“This is the tree that we’re going to build our fortress at—in?” Your eyebrows furrowed unsurely. “This is the tree.”

“Fortress?” I questioned, less concerned with the grammatically correct way of putting it and more concerned with what we were actually about to become involved in. Which seemed to be the building of a fortress.

“Tree house, fortress – it’s going to be our headquarters. And it’s also our first adventure.” You had your hand on the bark of the tree and you were looking at me fondly but I was sure that the look was meant for the premise of adventure and not actually me.

“Our adventure,” I had repeated; you had smiled at my use of ‘our’. “Building this fortress.” I had stated it but it kind of sounded like a question too. But you wouldn’t have it. You bounded over to me, and grabbed my arm, pointing up at the tree.

“Don’t you see it, Noah? This is it! This is the start, and it’s only uphill from here.”

“I think the saying is downhill from here, I’m pretty sure,” I told you but you shook your head. “Oh no, not for me,” your smile was so big, “that’s not how it goes. Up, up, up.” Your excitement filled me with excitement.

“So we’re building a fortress,” I said simply, acknowledging it.

“We’re building our fortress,” you corrected. “Starting tomorrow.” I thought that meant that we were to head back home now but it didn’t, not to you it didn’t. “But first we have to mark our territory.”

I couldn’t help the laugh that escaped me. “Like dogs? You want to pee on the tree?”

“Not exactly. We mark it by staying here all night – by pulling an all-nighter.” You started toward the base of the tree and sat down, pressing your back against it. You then proceeded to pat the spot beside you.

I shook my head. “Isn’t your dad going to worry about you?”

You shrugged. “Your mom will probably worry about you too. But that’s just adventure fallout. Can’t help that.” You had slapped the spot beside you again. “Are you coming or what?” I walked over to you slowly, you watched me the whole time. It made me self-conscious of my scars so I crossed my arms and sat down beside you.

“I collect things,” you said into the silence around us. Your voice was just a breath. “And I imagine at times I scare a lot of people. That doesn’t get to be your thing.”

You were pushy, that was something I learned. You also liked to know things. It was almost like you collected people too. “I learn a lot of things.”

You smiled because cooperation was one thing you valued in me. Not many people gave into your crazy, wild ideas, and demands, but I did. Lord knows I did. “Like what?” We hadn’t looked at each other since we’d sat down on the tree, and I wanted to see your face but it was too dark. I felt like I was only able to talk to you because I couldn’t see your expressions anyway.

“Like that the capital of Uzbekistan is Tashkent,” I told you in a tone that was matter-of-fact because with me things were always a matter of facts. You moved closer to me then, I could hear the sound of your sliding against the roots of the tree. Then your hand was cupping mine in the dark. I couldn’t understand how you’d known where it was. You laced your fingers through mine and whispered, “Why do you learn a lot of things?”

You weren’t the type of person that accepted lies for answers. And you weren’t the kind of person that accepted silence for answers either. I know this now but I feel like it was something I always knew about you because I never did the things you didn’t like. “I don’t know,” I answered. “I find comfort in things that are true.” I expected you to laugh. Because it didn’t make any sense, and it sounded crazy but you didn’t do that. You never once laughed at the crazy things that made me me.

We were silent. It was, for a while, the sound of leaves brushing each other in gentle, sighing hellos, and the wind making its downward ascent through the fissures between the trees. But then you broke that silence with a very clear, very honest question. “Can I keep you?”

“Yes,” I answered too quickly with too much enthusiasm. You were smiling then; your teeth shone in the dark like iridescent pearls.

“Well okay then.”
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longer chapter for the long wait haha. if you love noah and sawyer raise your hands! jk guys but really
btw I made a soundtrack for this story and here it is please click for soundtrack