Plot The first day we laid eyes on each other, we knew we were meant to be. It was the first day of third grade, in Mrs. Freeman's class. Even then, we'd known that something drew us to one another. At the time, it was friendship. We were inseparable, we gave new definition to the term. Unless our lunch trays, our school desks, our raincoats were right next to one another's, we were nigh-inconsolable. By the time high school came around, friendship had budded into small bulbs of romance. Even then, no one else would do. Stolen glances, blushed cheeks, love letters and (admittedly awful) poetry shoved into each other's lockers. It was abnormal, in a way, but so serenely beautiful, our need for one another. In ways, it was maddening. Nights spent texting or talking in whispered tones on the phone, until the sun rose and we could be near one another again. Days at school were skipped in lieu of private company with one another, hidden away in the park on the far side of town. We would sit and watch the small boats float by on the river, wave to the old men that walked old dogs along the pathways. You'd braid your hair while I looked for Poseys to stick in the loose knots, and we would lie in the tall grass, sharing kisses and affections too sentimental for our young skin. It was here that the idea sparked. This place would tear us apart, eventually. Small towns always did. We needed to leave, to escape the jaws of time and the clutches of societal expectation that was foist upon us. That was when we were seventeen, and two years later, we made our move. Surely it was a scandal, not that we'd have known. We saved our money, working jobs as much as we could. By your nineteenth birthday, we had enough, and one summer night, we made a break for it. No goodbye letters, no sentimental elements that could be chased by our old lives. Just two grand between the two of us, two suitcases full of clothes, and two one-way bus tickets to New York. The bus was empty when we boarded, and we tucked into a seat near the back by the window. It rained most of the way there. But it was worth it, to have each other, to have beaten the odds and claimed one another irrevocably. That was two years ago, and through everything since, we have clung together like two otters washed to sea. Fingers locked, we slept under bridges, begged for money, did everything to survive. And it paid off. Now, in our early twenties, we were actually living. Our means were meager, admittedly: a simple one bedroom apartment, nothing in the way of opulence, but we were self-sustained. You’d found work as an assistant museum curator. I worked as a bartender at a local hole-in-the-wall. But despite everything, we loved each other, and made this life better than what it could have been. Home-cooked meals often scented the humble abode, poetry was still left for the other to find in the medicine cabinet and long walks were taken together under the high city sky. It’s the rain that wakes me this Saturday morning. Gray clouds had hung for a week, and finally begun to blossom into rainstorms proper. Distant thunder rumbled the glass window in its pane, ringing through the apartment like off-kilter bells. You were beside me, still sleeping soundly with an arm thrown over my chest. Drowsily, I stroked your hair, murmuring how beautiful you were. How much I loved you, as my fingers trailed down along the soft braid of your hair. Character Charles "Charlie" Lennox 23 Year Old Male October 23 Race: African-American Build: Tall and slim, about 5'11" and 140 lbs. Orientation: Straight Occupation: Bartender at Wooden Door Pub in New York, NY, freelance session musician Personality: Calm and upbeat, often described as a "glass half full" individual. His parents were upper-blue collar, instilling in him not only a strong sense of work ethic and morality but also an appreciation for the arts and for his heritage. He is passionate but reserved, romantic without being obsessive, and worrysome without being cloying. He places a high value on his relationships, since he came to the city with only a relationship to keep him centered and focused. He adores music, and has worked to teach himself to play multiple instruments. His previous instruments and such were abandoned when the two of them left home, but in the time since, he has worked to replace some of it. Some of the instruments were cheap and cheerful additions but his pride and joy are a secondhand Gibson Les Paul and a re-issue Fender Starcaster. Those, he kept in their cases underneath their bed.