With any luck this will become something much longer, but for now it’s this and you guys can have it.
An Introduction: Caleb and Bethany
Bethany was twelve when we first met. Her eyes were brown and wide, almond in shape. Her hair fell just beyond her ears and the bit in the front rested along her brow bone. Her cheeks and collarbones were sharp and her body fairly gangly. Just under her eyes, across the expanse of skin from one side to the other were freckles speckled like ground pepper. Her brows were dark and full, just like her head of hair. Her lips were often turned down in a scowl or pout, painted the palest pink. Her complexion complemented the pale shade beautifully, appearing cool and powdery, she was comparable to a porcelain doll and something strong, like a future feminist of America. She was twelve and astonishing, brilliant.
I was an entirely different story. I was thirteen, nearly fourteen, and covered in terrible acne instead of perfectly peppered freckles. My hair was short… terribly short for so long. My mother kept my head shaved to save me looking like a hooligan. To this day she still believes a mop of hair belongs on a criminal. I wasn’t very tall, I was of average height but that still left me with my head above hers which I was more than giddy about. Females enjoyed that, at least that’s what growing up with three sisters had taught me.
Bethany didn’t seem to care about silly things like height though. When I tried in an incredibly awkward manor to present to her how my head hung above hers as if she were the crest of a wave moving through the ocean She seemed unimpressed by both my stature and my stupid poetic words. I remember how her thick eyebrow raised in reply and out of her mouth tumbled the words “are you sick, Caleb?” I wasn’t, of course, until my ridiculous plan had awarded me with such a disappointing response. She had probably not even given my height a thought. Why had I?
When Bethany was sixteen she asked me to buy her cigarettes. I had never smoked one myself until I bought her first pack. Marlboro Reds. My mother used to buy them for my father. They were all I knew anything about so that’s what she got. We shared the pack and I refused her money, we enjoyed them together, sitting in the bed of my truck most evenings after I punched out at work. I remember avoiding my thoughts on the stars and her eyes, afraid they would come rolling off my tongue in a tone that left her heading for some metaphorical hills. Most nights we sat in silence with the exception of each other’s exhales. I imagined her cigarette smoke was her and felt it engulf me with every puff.