27th of November, 9:44pm
It was exactly 5:57am. An unenthusiastic winter sun was thawing out the remaining clouds, which left a patchy, watercolour- like residue. Though I didn’t notice it then, there was a heavy fog that smothered the surrounding outhouses, making the optimistically lime painted barns almost indistinguishable in the murk. It was difficult to see but Emily and James were due any moment and I wasn’t prepared for their new found adoration nor was I dressed.
Emily was unusually pretty. I have always been captivated with stars and when I saw the constellations stippled across her cheeks and the bridge of her nose I found that stargazing was much easier during the daytime. I’ve also noticed her eyes squint endearingly when she reads her favourite books; she told me she likes the old ones with the yellowing pages and that sweet, dusty smell. Usually Emily takes three after school nights to finish reading a fairly average sized book, this is depending whether or not she has unfinished homework or if her sister is sick. I don’t really have much interest in those types of books; I know that James does however. James is tall with untidy brunette hair, he has ‘big chocolatey eyes’ as my mum says and ‘he’s a very handsome boy’. James is early to biology on Tuesday afternoons but he won’t tell me why when I ask, he sits on the back row and occupies my seat with his backpack until I come in, on time, 2:30pm.
They arrived twenty-two minutes late to my house and greeted me with flushed faces, vacant lungs and snowy knuckles (which I presumed was from the excessive hand-holding). I didn’t question their delay as I imagine stopping to kiss is quite time consuming.
I wish I never introduced them to each other; I thought ‘Hey what a good idea to acquaint two of my very best childhood friends, I won’t have to divide my time between the two and we can all hang out and get overpriced coffee together or something’.
My mum was close with Emily’s parents until the accident – When I was younger we would visit regularly and her big sister would make us strawberry jam sandwiches on brown bread whilst our parents chatted about PTA and the Smith’s new garage conversion.
James on the other hand was the quiet, athletic boy I met at Holden Park when I was 8. He had no siblings and too many marbles for just himself, so I kindly relieved him of such a burden and we were friends from then on. His family are wealthy and his house is the size of our school but you would never guess.
We were aiming to set off to Snowpeak Lodge around 8am to ensure that the fog had reduced enough for us to see our destination. However it wasn’t until 9am we even discussed leaving. Emily and James were repulsively matched; I couldn’t hold a conversation with them for more than a minute, their syrupy narratives grated on me. I couldn’t help but imagine to myself that I was the one she was fussing over. I couldn’t help but imagine being sat across from her in ‘Pete’s Pizzeria, just by the boulevard’. I couldn’t help but imagine that we were together.
“Last weekend James and I wen-“She barely finished uttering whatever adorable activity they accomplished before I interrupted; it was best to nip something like this in the bud sooner rather than later. Her eyes narrowed fiercely; I had upset her, I could tell by the way her top lip twitched and for some reason I didn’t rush to apologise. James shot me a strange, cautionary glance and those ‘big chocolatey eyes’ of his darkened. His face solidified into an unnecessary, protective scowl.