Love Like You

I have a curse of character names. It’s either Oswald, Jack, or character names beginning with the same letters. Mostly the latter. I gotta broaden my name horizons… something in Latin? French? Next time this will be split up into two parts. As much as I don’t mind procrastination, it really catches up with me.

Also… I had “Love Like You” from Steven Universe stuck in my head near the end of writing this. It hit me to title this after the song. Besides it perfectly fits along the story. God I love Steven Universe, I wish CN would show it more :'(. Listen to it if you haven’t heard it!!

-EchoFox


 

It’s strange to think that people wanted to live on a beach. Do they think it’s eternally beautiful? Or they’d find a hot guy/gal running across the beach and they’re “the one”? Sleeping on the sand isn’t all that great; Crabs, bugs, seagulls pecking at the miniscule crumbs from last night’s dinner off of your chest and hands. Then it gets incredibly cold, despite the several layers of blankets on my bed. And seaweed. Getting caught in that is disgusting. Other than that it’s really tasty when cooked or with other tasty dishes. Sun will slowly rip your skin off your back if you stay there too long. I’d watch them lie in the sun, play in the water and multiple ball-related games. At times I would join the kids with playing in the water, or go prank the teenagers with shark fins. My place of being belongs here, so say my parents. Something about guarding the ocean… it reminded me of Haku from Spirited Away. At least I don’t have to work in a bath house.

Overtime, mom and dad kept coming and going out into the city. I never minded them leaving, they always brought stuff back. Toys, movies, almost anything that I wanted. Pets were not allowed, even though beach goers brought them all the time. Maybe they thought that was enough? No lions or dogs for me… for now. One night, they left for an out of town business thing and never came back. Multiple stories surfaced about them, none of them made any sense: they got promoted and can’t be with me anymore, died in a car crash, took a vacation, or more absurd they were fed to sharks. All I understood is that they’re not coming back. Less people showed up after they left. Maybe it’s because of me, or that summer’s almost over and school is starting soon. Besides the stray animals that’d show up, no one was here.

At one point, I began to leave the house for the store for food. I wish I asked my parents to stay over other people’s houses… it probably wasn’t a big deal for me to not leave. Though I don’t stay out for too long or far away. When I’m at home, I’d stare out the window hoping for someone to show up. Cars passed by my house constantly, flying right past the beach. Even the animals stopped visiting, except the annoying seagulls. Today was the worst out of them. Rain beating down the sand like miniature bombs, it’s more humid inside than outside, and there’s nothing to watch or do. I’ve been through everything I had in the house, watching movies, playing with all of the inside toys, tv and it’s still 10 am. Eventually I came to the couch and window, watching the raindrops drip down the window slowly. My mind wandered around the weird things that I don’t understand. Why does the rain make windows so cold yet it’s so humid? I tried to think of logical answers but I noticed someone outside. A blonde haired girl roughly my age walked across the beach in the rain… in a dress. My mind screamed to go outside with her, but I wanted to watch her instead. She played around in the shorelines, attempting to make a sand castles or diving in the water. It was like I was imagining it… I swore I was until she lied down on the sand for a few minutes. I pulled out a few towels and put on over my head. I walked out with the towels, holding onto the one on my head. Standing above her head, I lied a towel on top of her body.

“Pffft” she started awake as she sat up “What is thiis?”

“Sorry, I thought you died of hypothermia” I replied

“Yes, I have risen from the dead!” she dramatically said, sticking her arms out. “I’z come for your brainz”

“And somehow you’re going to crack open my skull?”

“You’re no fun. But interesting. Why’re you wearing a towel?”

“I rather stay dry, so should you. Follow me” She smirked then put the towel on her head, and followed me inside. I gave her the rest of the towels I had in hand to dry off. After we got inside, she darted straight to the bathroom. I waited a while before checking on her. The door was cracked open, silence filled the air with an ominous feeling. I crept into the bathroom, holding my breath. Everything was perfectly in order, nothing out of place or moved. Something was off. The shower curtain slightly moved, I walked over to the bathtub and pulled away the curtains. The girl let out a blood curdling scream, scaring me half to death. A chill from my feet climbed it’s way up to my head, making me unconsciously bolt out of the room. I fled to my room and hid in my ginormous Baymax toy.

My heart pounded against my chest, ready to burst out of my body. Something rose from my stomach up to my throat, but I pushed it down. Rather not clean up puke again, especially on Baymax I thought. A distant laughter grew louder until the door opened.

“I’m sorry!” the girl said, still laughing hysterically “I’ve been dying to pull that off for years!”

I could hear her rummaging through my room, probably making my room a bigger mess.

“Come on, I won’t do it again.” She stopped in front of Baymax and knelt down. “Have you seen a scared kid come by?”

“No, I have not” I said with my best impression of Baymax, which sounded like Baymax on helium.

“Would you tell me your name?” she asked “I’m Luna”

“Noé” I said, peeking out beyond Baymax. “Since it’s still raining, you wanna watch a movie?”

“Sure!” Luna eagerly said. We went to the living room and watched a movie. She was… interesting. She’d reenact to scenes in the movie, sit really close to me, try to somehow braid my hair even though it’s too short. But it was kinda fun to watch her do villain impressions, sometimes I’d join in for fun. After the rain stopped, we went outside and made sand castles. Her’s was inferior to my elegant sandcastle making, but I still complimented her work. Once it got darker, she said her goodbye and left. While I did make friends with some other kids, it was different.

Everyday after that, we’d hang out on the beach or at my home. From playing in the water to building an empire with legos, days felt like hours. I’d eagerly wait for her by waiting by the window, watching out for her. She’d always stroll into the beach, never running or showing excitement. It was almost dream-like, but if it were one something weird would happen after five seconds. We never asked about our families or personal lives, it was never brought up. Maybe she was parentless like me? I hope she’s not, but it’d explain why she can wander around without an older person watching her. But one day, we were sitting on the beach and she asked me a weird question: “Why’s your hair blue?”

“Eh? My hair isn’t blue…” I said unsurely. She came up close to me and grabbed a chunk of hair from my head.

“Yup, a dark blue. Do you dye your hair Noé?” she asked “And you always are here. Why’s that?”

“Um… cos my parents said I had to guard the ocean?” I wish I wasn’t in my own world when they explained why I’m here.

“Oh! Sorta like Moana!” she exclaimed. I had no idea what she was talking about but I agreed. “What can you do? Control the ocean?”

“I think so… I know how to bend the water and be a dragon” Luna stared at me with big determined eyes. She’s going to make me do it, isn’t she? I thought. She grabbed my arm and dragged me outside. It’s almost funny how she would drag me out of the house sometimes. It’s usually her showing off a new trick she can do. Sometimes I’d try to mimic it, to my failure and possible injuries. We walked to the shorelines of the ocean, then she sat down on the ground.

“Show me!” she demanded. I walked into the ocean a bit more until the water level was half way up to my knees. With a few deep breaths, I lowered my hand then slowly rose it upwards, raising some water. Once I had enough, I used both hands to mold the water into a ball.

“Woah!” she said amazed. I threw the water ball back into the ocean. “Can you do bigger than that?”

“Not now, I’d have to work on more moves. This is the first time in awhile that I’ve done this” I replied.

“Can you do the dragon thing?” I nodded in agreement then focused on myself. Everything went silent as I only focused on my breaths and the water brushing ashore. My first focus point was the wings, since they are the easiest to create; then the arms and legs for similar build; tail; and finally my face which was the hardest part. Once I finished transforming, I walked ashore to Luna, whose mouth dropped to the ground.

“That, is awesome!!!” she squealed as she got up from the ground. She ran over to me and began petting me. Her small hand lightly brushed against my sides, tickling me like crazy. I tried my best to not flinch and resist laughing. Soon she came up to my face and petted it. “Can you fly?” she asked. I lowered myself to the ground for her to jump on. Luna struggled getting on at first, but she got on quickly still. I took off from the ground and flew around the ocean. It’s been ages since I last did any of this. Last time I did this was my discovery when I played knights with a 5 year old. He never came back with his family. I didn’t stray too far from the beach but I could see a few islands in the distance. Luna remained quiet throughout the trip, but I might’ve not been able to hear her very well. I headed back to the beach and in the most shallow area. Luna hopped off quickly as I began to transform back into a human.

“That was amazing, Noé!” she said excitedly then ran over to hug me. Her hugs were like a loving strangle on your hips.

“Thanks” I said happily. I tried to squeeze my arms out to hug her back, but they’re locked in between hers.

She broke away from me and said “I gotta get going soon. I might not be back for a while cause I’ll be outta town”

“Will you come back?” I asked her

“Of course silly!” she laughed “Bye Noé!” She ran off into the road again, this time it was hard to see her go. My mouth formed words but nothing came out. I wanted her to stay here, at least for a sleepover. Weeks passed by quickly, I waited by the window everyday for her return. Snowflakes began to fall and cover the beach with haste and the ocean became too cold to go in. Most of the time I stayed indoors, but I still hoped for a simple knock on the door from her. On Christmas morning, someone knocked on the door. I quickly ran over to it and opened it wide open, expecting Luna. But it was just a package, the mailman trudged through the snow back to his truck. I brought the package in and opened it up. It was a letter from Luna and a plush toy of a dragon who looked similar to me. I read the letter quickly, then read it a second time but slower. The plush toy was store bought, but it had my name on the tag. After months of silence, she finally responded! I relaxed on trying to look out for her. She was visiting her grandparents during school, and will come back in the summer. Just gotta wait until summer, I thought to myself.

And she did, every summer after that. She’d come back every late May or June, strolling down the beach. It was like before, sometimes she’d sleep over and/or bring her own stuff animals to play with me. Everytime she got back, we’d compete to see who’s taller. I’d always turn out to be the winner but she’d claim we’re equal by standing on her tippy toes. We’d play with other kids whenever they visited the beach, even I’d transform into a dragon for fun now. I’d overhear some of the adults saying that we’re brother and sister, which was really weird. Then again, we acted like one. Once it was September, she’d say her goodbyes and leave for the next several months. We’d send each other presents for our birthdays and around christmas time. Summers became dreams, it was never ending fun and nothing could ruin it. But when it was time for her to go, I was back in reality.

After a couple of years, her visits grew less and less. Luna became more and more busy with her studies, from what I understood. I didn’t go outside as much, even when there were people to play with. I noticed that my wings began to come out unconsciously, especially at night. At first I tried to tape the hole they came out of, but that made it uncomfortable and really painful. Eventually I learned to deal with it, Luna said it was beautiful to show off. Whenever she did come over, she wasn’t as energetic like before. I’d try to cheer her up with telling her strange trips to the store, watching comedy movies, even competing for the coolest sand castle. Nothing made her feel better. One day, after 2 weeks of not seeing her at all, she knocked on the front door.

“Hey Noé, long time no see huh?” she said tiredly.

“Hi Luna” I said “You doing okay? You seem tired”

“Uh, not really… can I stay here for the night?” she asked

“Sure, I guess” I let her inside and closed the door behind me. She took a seat on the couch in the living room. I sat across from her on another couch, and waited for a conversation to start. Other than her hair nicely put up, she looked like a trainwreck. Her eyes were half open, jacket off on one shoulder, shirt loose and baggy, shorts more torn than before, even her socks didn’t match at all.

“You decided to keep them out?” she noted my wings.

“Only inside” I said softly. I kept them closer to my back. “How are you fairing?”

“Not too well, recently can’t sleep at night” she responded “You?”

“Fine, not a lot of people on the beach anymore”

She fiddled with her jacket’s buttons. “You know how we don’t talk about our families as much? Something happened recently and I don’t have anyone to talk to. Do you… mind letting me…?”

I grabbed the tissues and brought them over to her. She vented about her sudden loss of grandparents and death in general. It was hard to see her crying so much, eventually I had to grab another box of tissues. Constantly repeating how she loathed death, she went on for an hour before falling asleep. Must’ve not been sleeping well too, I thought as I slipped out of her grasp. I grabbed a blanket from the other couch and put it on her. Luna didn’t stir a whole lot, despite me making some noise in the kitchen. Sometimes she’d mutter my name but didn’t ask or say anything beyond it. She slept through the next day and didn’t eat at all. Concerned for her well being, I woke her up.

“Nngh… Noé? What’s up?” she said half asleep.

“You doing okay? Do you need something to eat?” I asked her. She shook her head.

“I’ll be going… soon” she responded

“What do you mean?”

“But I’ll be back… sometime…” she mumbled then dozed off. I didn’t take it seriously, since she was half asleep when she was talking. I cooked up some soup and set it on the table in front of her, along with some water. I’d check back with her every once in awhile to see if she woke up at all. By the time I went to bed, she didn’t touch anything, though her position was slightly different than before. Luna remained on my mind as I tried to go to sleep. I wanted to do something to make her feel better, but nothing came to mind. Maybe I’ll get more ideas tomorrow morning, I thought. I rolled over and fell asleep. The next morning, I walked into the living room to see the blanket folded and a note on top, where Luna was originally. I took the note and read it:

Dear Noé,

Thanks for everything. I’ll come back soon, hopefully. Wait for me on the beach, though be careful. Gsvb’iv sfmgrmt blf.

Love like you,

Luna.

I looked out at the window near the front door and saw the police drive slowly past my house. Guess I should watch the local news more just in case, I thought. Though it was heartbreaking, I knew she wouldn’t stay. How could she when she never had a place to stay? At the time, I searched for her as much as I could. Places she lived, stores visited, locals, but no one saw her. I swore that they were paid to lie by her so I wouldn’t search beyond the beach. Then again, there’s no real benefit or reason of doing so. Occasionally I went outside to greet beachgoers and tried to be more sociable. As I got older, I became less approachable and more of a hermit. However, after giving up on the search for Luna, I decided to be more of an extrovert just to have people to talk to. Even if it’s just talking to adults, it was still pleasant at the very least. Every sunset, I’d wait for her return. I’d sit on the beach and watch the sunset, rain or shine. It’s kinda weird to not see anyone else watching the sunset around here. Warm colors would bleed the sky surrounding the sun. The ocean would sparkle with highlights on its ripples. Shame no one’s out here, yet I thought.

I didn’t care how long it took her. I’ve went on years without seeing her, so it’s not too out of the ordinary. And whenever she came back, she didn’t struggle to remember my name. She’d be excited to see me and almost crack my rib cage. No matter what happens to me, I’d just love to see her one more time. Sometimes I’d think I found her in stores or on the beach, but they end up being hallucinations. Sooner than later, I noticed the people began to question about me. I did my best to keep them away, but I know they’ll find me in time. On the last day in August, I hummed a tune as I sat on beach that lingered on my mind. It was a love song that wasn’t directed to anyone, but to everyone. I always thought of Luna whenever it popped up on my mind. The sun was close to vanishing into the horizon, and I saw her. She sat right next to me and sang along the tune. I looked behind us, then said to her “Let us have this night together”. Luna rested her head against my shoulder as we watched the sunset.

Fin.

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