Thursday, April 9, 2015

Willow 2

[Part One of the Story]

Haoyi held his arm out as I sat on the window sill, peering at the ground under my feet.  I lived on the second story, so his outline swayed a little with the ground whenever my legs dangled.

"Jump!" he said, his eyes bright, a dimple flashed across his right cheek.
"No. You are crazy." I shook my head, scooting back further.
"I am catching you, nothing will happen. Come on!"

I closed my eyes and shifted my seat, lifting my hand to reach for the window frame behind me.  But I must have leaned forward a tad too much to accommodate the space for my arm, and I lost the edge before I could scream.  A ferocious gush of wind grabbed me, pulling me down despite of my dancing arms and legs to stop the downward motion.

I slid into Haoyi's arms before crashing him backward with me onto the grassy dirt.  It smelled damp, tangy and wild.  His grip loosened with the fall but his arm still wrapped around my waist. No one had held me like that before, his fingers burned my skin through my T-shirt. My heart raced against Haoyi's chest.  He winced in pain.

"You are a lot heavier than I thought." he said.
"You! You, you made me jump! It could have killed me." I punched his shoulder.
"Ah, ouch, uh.  I think you broke my ribs."  He made a pained face, coughing under my weight.

I yelped, scrambling to my feet and reached to touch his ribs.  He held his breath, as if the labor required for breathing was too much for a man, no, a fifteen year old boy with broken ribs.  I ran my finger down his side, looking for signs of breakage, trembling.

His ribs seemed - whole. When I sniffled and blinked furiously, his eyes snapped open, flashing a familiar grin.  I froze.  He grabbed my hand and leaped up, leaning close and whispered.

"Come on, you could have broken it.  No, not even... a little, ...kiss?"

His eyes flashed into me, deep pools of chocolate melting at the center. I stilled my breath and stared back. Ever the prankster since the first day we met, I could never tell if he were playing for real or for a laugh.

"Don't be gross. I'm not like Yanyan.  If that's-"

"Haha, I can never fool you. Come on, let's go!"  Haoyi tipped his head for a good chuckle, before pulling my hand forward and lead me to the back seat of his bicycle.  We rode in silence until the sound of the river rushed into our ears.

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