FALL TO PIECES
Set-up: After an accident at a concert that leads to her losing her leg, wannabe rockstar Meridian has had to forgo the transient life she has with her travel-writing mother. She moves to suburban Massachusetts to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin, Natalie. Most people in town think she’s an attention-seeking brat, except for Kyle, the boy next door, who is the only one who doesn’t treat her like a snobbish foreigner. In this scene, they’re sitting in her front yard, waiting for her aunt to get home.
“I have a theory about why you’re avoiding me,” Kyle said.
“Stop trying to dissect my motivation. I'm not one of your characters.” I reached for my crutches, but his breath was brushing my cheek in a way I couldn’t bring myself to pull away from.
“You’ve never told anyone so much about yourself. You’re used to people either knowing everything already, or not caring about the past.”
Enough. I put one hand against the trunk of the tree and lifted my butt up a couple of inches.
“Don’t.” His pressed his hand against my knee—my left knee. His face didn’t show that he’d even noticed where his fingers landed. He didn’t care.
“Your freckles,” I said, tilting his face to examine them. “They’re like tiny clusters of musical notes without a scale.” He leaned back a little and squinted at me. I smiled. He didn’t always know what I was thinking. “I wonder what they’d sound like.”
“Can you play them?” he asked. The blush in his cheeks went up a notch, and the curiosity in his eyes was even more intense than it got whenever I told him about my most fascinating Parisian nights.
“You know it.” I pressed my lips against one of the freckles, then moved it down to the next one, varying speeds based on the width of the dots, like they were whole-notes and eightth-notes dancing around without a time stamp. “How’m I doing?”
Writer Boy didn’t respond with words. He moved his neck just enough for our mouths to meet, and in the beat before my mind processed the tingling in my lips, I realized that silence could express as much emotion as song.
Kyle kissed without desperation or impatience. He put his arms around me, but his hands didn’t go straight to my waistband. Too soon, he drew back. The flower slipped out of my hair, but he caught it. He swept it across my mouth and then offered it to me. “I just want you to know, it’s okay. You can tell me things. I won’t use it against you. Ever.”