Welcome Noah, We Missed You

Chapter Five

We stayed there until the sun rose on our faces, and warmed our noses; until our teeth chattering was drowned out by the birds waking, and our breaths no longer shown like steaming teapots. You were still holding my hand as you blinked up at the sun and let its rays reflect off your eyelashes. I was staring at you as you stared up at the sky, and I felt something creep through me, from your fingers to mine. I don’t know how to explain it now; I didn’t understand it then. It was like the blood in my body was trying to break through and mix with yours. I was sure our hearts were beating at the exact same time, and I knew that if they cut our brains in half you could take mine and I could take yours and nothing would change. We’d still be the same.

You started to stand so I followed you, and you silently led us back through the woods. You were only silent, I learned, when you were scheming. When you were trying to figure something out. You finally said as we reached my house, “We’ll take the three o’clock train into Chicago, ok?”

I wanted to say ‘I might be grounded’ because that was a very big possibility. But I knew that parental units and punishments could not keep me away from you. I would walk through war zones for you – you must have known that. I would climb the shores of Omaha Beach during D-Day for you – surely, you knew that. “Alright,” I had responded and you let go of my hand to cross the street to your house. “Wait,” I called and you stopped on the curb as I looked both ways twice and then shouted, “Okay, you can cross.”

You were smiling, I could tell by the way you walked to your house. There was something about your smiles that affected your whole body. It rang through very clearly. Your shoulders went up, your hair shown like sea glass, your walk became more of a skip – that was the Sawyer smile. When you got to your door, you turned around to look at me. You must have known that I’d still be standing on the sidewalk, watching you. You waved; it was slight. It wasn’t ‘Goodbye’, but more ‘See You Soon’.

I waved back, and knew that it should have been ‘Until Then’ or ‘See You Then’. You frowned slightly, and with one last blink, disappeared inside, and I knew you knew that I was waving ‘I Miss You’. Already, just like that, I missed you. If I had been hesitant before to leave you, I didn’t know what I was then. I knew once I walked inside I would have to face both my parents. My father’s car was still in the driveway, which meant he was late to work and if I knew my parents at all, they had probably called the cops as well.

I eventually did walk inside. Sleep was all I could think about, besides you, Sawyer, and standing didn’t make time fly quite as fast as sleeping did. My mother was pacing the living room in her work clothes; I saw her as I crossed the foyer towards the staircase. Her heels were clacking against the wood in a rhythmic step-step-step-stop, step-step-step-stop. My father, I could see, was sitting on the couch with his cell phone in one hand and the house phone in the other. I considered, momentarily, running to my room. They hadn’t seen me yet.

I decided to face them, instead, and walked into the living room quietly. They didn’t notice me until I spoke; my mother’s back was to me as she looked out the window and my father was in the midst of checking his phone. “I’m home.” My father jumped up from the couch, whipping around to look at me. I thought he was going to yell at me, but he simply walked around the couch and hugged me.

My mom came around too, joining my father with her own vice-like grip. “Noah you scared me half to death!” she cried; she might have actually been crying then. I felt her tears fall into my hair and soak into my scalp like she was watering seeds.

“I’m sorry,” I told her because I was. My arms felt heavy. The weight of my scars made them sink to the ground. I wanted to scratch my wrists.

“Noah,” my father said as he pulled back to look down at me. “Where were you?”

“I was with Sawyer,” I answered honestly. “She wanted to spend the night outside with me.” Both of my parents looked at me funny. “We’re adventurers.” I thought that basically described what was happening between you and I. I couldn’t explain to them that if you wanted me to steal a car and drive you to California I would. I couldn’t tell them that you were Sun and Moon; I was on an orbital that followed you only.

“You were out all night?” my mother asked, her voice full of disbelief. My father kissed her on the cheek and started to move around me. “I believe him,” he said to her. “I have to get to work.”

“Wait, what about a punishment?” she called to him; he was in the front closet putting his coat on now. They were speaking as though I wasn’t standing right there.

“Sawyer wants me to go into town today with her.” I wasn’t asking for permission; I was demanding it.

My dad popped his head into the living room. “Noah, go up to your room.”


“You heard your father,” my mother had snapped before I could respond. I didn’t debate with them; I went upstairs and sunk onto my bed. If I had to, I’d climb out of my window for her. I had lied down and tried to get some sleep but all I could think about was you, and how when I was with you I didn’t want to hurt myself anymore.
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sleep is a gentle reprieve