Heavy Hearts

Heavy Hearts


So it has come to this, another night staring at a computer screen, I mean it’s 4am and realistically I would love to be asleep right now, that would be ideal but it’s not as simple as that.

Rubbing at my eyes for the umpteenth time tonight, I have a headache from staring at a computer screen, I should be wearing my glasses. All my body wants to do is shut down and go to bed but my mind won’t let me, and so I get up and throw on track pants, a old grey hoodie and my brand new converse. Sliding back the old thick glass to my bedroom window, having no fly screen comes in handy when I sneak out at night. The window is much quieter then having to trek down the creaky steps of my house and potentially wake my parents. They don’t like the fact that I go out at night, granted it’s mostly just to go for a jog you know try and wear myself out to get some sleep. But they are parents and they worry and they know my insomnia effects me.

Nights like this happen often for over a year now I have suffered from insomnia and granted tonight seems to be more difficult then most, sleeping is tough in general. I have this theory that I can wear myself out to a point where my body wins over the insomnia, some nights it works others not so much.

And so I sneak out the window and down the lattice and make my way into the middle of the street and just jog. My mind is blank and my legs are going and I don’t know how long I have been running for before I hear police car sirens. And then almost on cue I register all the other sounds around me, like the blaring of house music from about three houses away and putting the pieces together I believe the cops have crashed the party. Stopping my jog cause lets face it I don’t want to get caught up in some bullshit house party I stop. And I finally realise how exhausted I have become, legs aching, lungs gasping for breath, I hunch over on the side walk trying to regain some sort of normality to my lungs when someone runs into me and we’re both thrown on the floor.

“Fuck” she mumbles holding onto her ankle, and I stumble back onto my feet. I recognize her instantly as Lily Fields this tiny little prima ballerina who is ever so popular and happens to live in the house across from mine. She is a snob and wouldn’t be seen caught dead with me.

“Sorry” I mumble back extending my hand out to help her up but she quickly shakes her head and dry heaves into the gutter. And I realise that she was trying to make a quick escape from the party, drunk and underage does not mix well with cops.

I know that at this stage I can walk away, we have lived across the road from each other for five or so years but I don’t remember ever speaking a word to her. So if I left now it would be completely acceptable, except I feel obligated to stay, to help her home.
So I wait for her to continue to dry heave and as she does I notice a few other teenagers try to make a quick escape, I wonder if the cops are going to try and stop them. To chase them, I know I need to get her out of here quickly.

“Come on, let me help you.” I reach out to her again and she looks up at me with those deep blue eyes that look scared and helpless and she takes my hand as I gently ease her off the ground.

Back on her feet she winces “fuck.” She mumbles again it must be her word of the night “I’ve sprained my ankle” she rubs a hand over her face, and I hold her around her waist to help her stand on her bad foot.

“You’ve got to get out of here, there are kids running around everywhere love.” Its as though it all finally sinks in for her, her surroundings and she nods and tries to hobble back in the direction of home. In the process she steps away from me, as if to leave on her own, like I'm not trying to help her. So I watch her for a minute as she curses under her breath and looks a down right mess, as she can’t even walk back home.

“Let me help you.” I yell out after her

“Why” she yells back

“Because look at you.” I can’t help but laugh at her.

“Don’t laugh at me Ashton,”

“Oh so you actually do know my name?” I snapped back

“Hey, you offered to help, don’t get snappy at me.” I had to step back at that, she was right.

All of a sudden another cop car was heard making its way up the street, sirens blaring and kids scattering everywhere.

“Come on get off the main street.” I pulled her back to me, not caring anymore that she was a bitch in general or that we don’t speak, I just knew that I had to help her.

With one arm secured around her waist to help her we maneuvered down a side street, it would essentially take us longer to get home but at least we were safe from noise and cops and kids.

“Let me carry you?” I asked after she had tripped again, by this stage I was guessing that she had sobered up a bit but her foot was giving her hell...

“Ashton.” She protested

“Lilly” I groaned back, “This is going to take forever to get home at this rate.”

“Ok” she was so quiet I wasn’t even sure she had said anything.

I lifted her onto my back easily, she was only tiny, her legs wrapped around my waist her arms around my neck while her head lolled in the crock of my neck. Her breath, even though smelt faintly of vodka, on my skin was soft and feather like and was driving me mad.

“Are you okay, your not going to throw up on me are you?” I asked

“I’m okay, I’m sorry I ran into you and that I got so drunk, I just…I don’t know…” she trailed off for a moment before she changed the subject.

“You weren’t at the party, why are you out here?” for the first time all night it dawned on her that I wasn’t at the party, and yes this was a little weird.

“I ummm, I couldn’t sleep so I thought I would go for a jog and well yea…” I don’t know why I was so self conscious about telling her I had insomnia.

“Why are you alone? You shouldn’t have run off on your own.” I asked

“My friends all left me got out before I could even register what was happening. They don’t really care about me.”

“Then you should find better friends.” I mumbled

“Like who?” she asked and I didn’t respond, I didn’t think I had to.

Making it to our houses I stopped on my lawn and let her gently off my back. For a long moment we are both just very silent and I breath in the crisp air and believe that maybe, yes I am ready to fall asleep now.

“I don’t want to go home yet, can we just lie here instead?” she asks

And I give into her cause even though I could probably now get a few hours of shut eye in, she has asked me to stay, almost pleaded and I can’t turn my back on her.

She sits on my damp grass and pulls me down next to her by the hem of my shirt and she lies, back to grass and I collapse next to her.

“I have insomnia,” I tell her after a moment of silence “that’s why I was out, I couldn’t sleep so I was trying to wear myself out by going for a run.” I confess and I don’t know why.

“Seriously, for how long?” she asks like she cares

“Over a year.” I sigh heavily and turn to look at her for the first time since we have laid down, only to find her already staring at me.

“I notice your light on some nights, really late.” She tells and I nod.

“Why were you at some shit party getting absolutely shit faced?” I asked even though I had no right to.

“I wasn’t shit faced.” Were still looking at each other and I have to laugh at her response and after a second she bursts into laughter as well and it’s a sweet sound. Sweeter then most and I want to be the reason for it again.
“I don’t know I'm actually exhausted trying to keep up with the rest of them.” I know she means her friends the cheerleaders and the baseball team.
“I often think it would be nice to be like you.” Her voice is so quite “you don’t have to fight to keep up appearances.”

I shake my head at her telling her that being me kind of sucks. “Yea well you would get sick of being me pretty quick when you can’t sleep.” I know I suddenly sound aggravated and I don’t mean to take it out on Lily, it’s just frustrating and she is the only one there.
“I am tired of being tired and I feel like its taking over my life.”

“You’re not who I expected you to be.” She admits

“Ditto.” I laugh

“Come find me when you can’t sleep, I’ll keep you company.” I must be staring at her gob smacked, staring at her like she is crazy because not even my closest friend has offered to keep me company. “I'm serious.” She mumbles rubbing the soft pad of her thumb over my cheek.

And on instant I want her touch closer, I want her closer and maybe its my lack of sleep or that I'm really just crazy but I reach my hand out and cup her face in my hand placing my lips on hers.
Its not rough and her lips are soft she tastes a little like vodka and a little like cherries. But she hasn’t pushed me away if anything she has pulled me closer. And I know that yes this could be a one time thing, that maybe I will never get this chance with Lilly Fields ever again but while I have it I'm going to make the most of it as I deepen our kiss and slide my hand up the inside of her shirt feeling the soft skin of her back.

This is better then getting sleep, and better then jogging to wear yourself out, maybe Lilly Fields will be the thing that helps me sleep after all, ill take her up on her offer to keep me company.