What Lies Beyond the Eyes

Chapter 4: A Fight

”So how long have you known Gia? I only just moved in with her in the middle of the last school year. ” Sandy asked me.

”I only knew her when my brother started dating her, so about one or two years I think? Im honestly shocked theyve stayed together this long, but Im not exactly a relationship expert. You two seem to be a lot alike, so Im sure you guys will get along. ” I said as we weaved our way through the crowds of people at the park.

Which is true, even though their physical appearances are not similar at all, their personalities from what I can pick up seem to be almost identical.

She looked off in the distance a bit, spacing out while admiring the slides. ”I guess she really likes this kind of stuff, huh? ” I thought to myself as I studied her.

I eventually tore my eyes away because I became self-conscious of me staring. And it was lucky that I did look away because I saw a teenager standing in front of us talking with his two friends by a diving board that she was about to run into. I hurriedly grabbed her arm and moved her closer to me and out of the way of the teenager (who him and his friends admired her um qualities as we passed).

I quickly let go of her because I felt awkward having our bare skin touch so much, which is a really virgin reasoning I know, but we did just meet. I also couldn help but feel a little pissed off at the teen for automatically looking at her like that. I know its supposedly in a teens nature, but something about that concept gets me peeved.

”You good? ” I asked partly because she seemed a little off compared to her previously bubbly self, and partly because of the boys looks.

She told me apologetically, ”Sorry, I was staring off into space again. Thanks for that. That would have been embarrassing haha! ”

I smirked at her giggle, and her obliviousness to her surroundings and stares. ”Its chill. ” I responded gruffly.

She seemed like she wasn telling me the whole truth because thats exactly how I respond to people when they ask if Im fine, but its not my place to pry.

We finally made it to the stairs, and I begrudgingly began to climb up them to the taller slides. Sandy leaned over to look forward at me, and she asked, ”So what college are you going into? You
e the brother that Gia went to watch graduate with Danny, right? ”

Feeling a twinge from her earnest eyes, I tried to focus on the stairs I was climbing and said, ”Yeah I was… The brother that she went to see anyway. Unless there is another brother Danny has that I don know about haha! ”

”God, that was so cringey. ” I lamented to myself.

Sandy thankfully didn seem to mind, however. I glanced up at her nervously and she was playfully giggling. I couldn tell if that was a good thing or bad thing though.

I continued, ”I planned on going to Howard University, pretty close to here. ”

I didn want to tell her about what I want to major in because I didn want another one of those weird looks like all those people from graduation gave me when I told them my goals. It wasn exactly a ”normal ” major. I continued walking up the steps expecting to hear a normal response back like, ”Oh, thats cool ” or ”Im going to such and such college. ”

I was instead greeted to her bounding up the stairs in front of me, and she beamed a smile at me as she stopped me in my tracks, ”I am too!! Im going to be majoring in film to be an actor! What are you going to be majoring in?! Maybe we will have some of the same classes?! Howard is supposed to be an arts school, right? ”

I could feel my face grow redder as I felt the eyes of the people standing on the lower-level slides start staring at the commotion she made. ”Umm… Im going to be majoring to be a director and screenwriter, so well probably have some classes together. ”

”Phew Thats a relief. I was afraid that I wouldn know anybody in my major. Most of the people I went to school with just gave me funny looks when I told them my major Haha! ”

In a way, I felt relieved by her words. Not because we will probably have some classes together, but because now I know that I wasn the only one getting those looks or unsure of myself going into this major. I felt a little vindicated and encouraged that someone experienced the same things I have.

Unknowingly, a warm smile made its way onto my face as we finally made our way to the top of the tower of slides. We talked about why we wanted to go into our majors on the way up, and it made me forget our steadily increasing height off the ground.

When we got to the top and started waited in line, I looked down off of the tower, and the realization of how high we were suddenly hit me. I wouldn say I scared of heights, but when the structure we
e standing on is so unstable and so high up it literally shakes in the wind, needless to say it doesn help my anxiety. I suddenly had second thoughts about going down the slides.

Sandy must have seen the indecision flash upon my face, and she gave me a reassuring smile nudged her shoulder into mine as she said, ”Its going to be fine don worry. This place wouldn be open if it wasn safe. ”

”Mhmm. ” I responded nervously as I kept my gaze looking down off of the shaking tower.

”Hey. ” She said to me as she leaned her head down over the railing for me to see her better, ”Its going to be fine. There is a slide up here that allows two people to go down it at the same time. Want to do that one instead of the individual one. ”

”S-sure. ” I responded, too nervous to fully understand the implications of that. Sandy probably thinks Im so lame, and I don want to even look at the jealous eyes of the teenagers behind us.

Sandy giggled a bit and said, ”So a person who is good with blood isn good with heights huh? Hehe! ”

I looked at her with wary eyes, and I told her with my right hand on the back of my neck, ”Thats different, and besides, there wasn that much blood anyway. It was just a cut, but blood is wayyy easier to deal with. Blood can kill me, but if I fall from here… ”

”It was too much blood for me to handle… and its fine! Everybody has irrational fears. I promise itll be fun though. I wouldn have dragged you up here if it wasn . If you don want to go again after this, I won force you, but I wanted to at least try it! ” She said before grabbing my arm saying, ”Now cmon! We
e up next! ”

She dragged me to the slide on the far right and then immediately plopped herself on the front end of a spare double inner tube the lifeguards had at the top. I watched her elated face look like a little kids as she waited for me to get on, so she could then embark on her joyous journey down the wide, red slide.

I didn get on right away though. I looked down the slide, and I began to have second thoughts again. ”Hey, are you going or not? ” The lifeguard in charge of the slide asked me.

”I…uhhh… ”

Before I could give an answer, Sandy grabbed my hand again and pulled me onto the back of the double inner tube saying, ”Yes, he is. ”

I felt a sliver of annoyance rise within me. I didn really appreciate her volunteering me for this. I don get what could be so amazing about this. She turned her head slightly to me, so only her right eye was looking at me. ”Now put your hands on the handles and put your legs around my waste tightly! ”

I followed her instructions to a T immediately. ”Yo, your legs are a lot more muscular than the rest of your body… ” She started to say, slightly blushing. She mustve just realized the consequences of her suggestion. I was kind of offended though. I mean sure Im not an absolute unit like my brother, but I kind of have a six pack (admittedly just because Im really skinny though). I defensively started to tell her, ”Hey I was really good at track okayyyyyy?! ” Before I could finish what I was saying to her, we were pushed off down that slide by the lifegaurd.

My body immediately lurched backwards from the momentum and Sandys flew back into my lap. My eyes were clamped shut, and I lowered as my body tensed up. I could hear Sandys ecstatic laugh as we zoomed down the red slide. I felt the wind go across my damp hair and face, pulling it back and around my head, and I felt the slight spray of water as we went around turns.

All of a sudden, Sandy stopped her joyous laugh for a moment, and I felt her hair suddenly stop hitting my body, ”Its okay. ” She sweetly said, ”Open your eyes! Itll be fun haha! Im right here! ”

I barely opened my eyes to catch a glimpse of Sandys beaming face looking at me. I could see her tan skin glowing in the afternoon light, and she laughed as she turned back around and said in a playful tone, ”There you go haha! Woohoo! ”

”Why does she care so much for me? Someone that she just met? ” I thought to myself. I couldn help but feel apprehension behind the motives of this. I wish I could go back to being a kid, so I could easily accept kindness without second thought, but maybe itll be fine… just for today. I gradually got used to the slide. It seemed a lot more stable than the top of the tower, and the closer and closer we got to the ground the more and more relaxed I felt.

I gradually opened my eyes to the glowing hue of the golden hour sun. I watched the blur of the red slide go by me, and I looked up and saw the clear-orange afternoon sunset. The hard turns of the slide whipped water onto my face, and I felt a slight smile crawl onto it. The rush of adrenaline along with the breeze blowing across me was exhilarating.

I looked upward, and I had to lean a little to the right so Sandys hair wouldn bombard my face and eyes. Right when I looked forward, I saw the end of the slide coming up fast, and I braced for impact.

Whooo, Splash!

I flew backwards off of the inner tube, and I was engulfed by the water. I bolted back out of the chest-deep water and shook my head off. ”See! It was fun Hahaha! ” Sandy exclaimed when she saw me bolt out of the water. She was right next to me holding the innertube and staring warmly into my eyes with a gleam on her face. I couldn help but smile back, ”Yeah, it was. Haha! ” I said in a surprised tone.

Sandys wet, black hair with one bleach streak covered her right eye, with her hair on her left side over her ear. I went out of my comfort zone, and I actually had a little fun! And as we both looked at each other before heading out of the water, I couldn help but think, even though I wanted to keep a distance,

”What a beautiful smile… ”

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