“You’re as beautiful as blood”  

“As blood?” She asked him.

“Yes as blood, and then hear this… it turns out to be his sister.”

“His sister? Oh god, what have you been watching?” She said disgustedly. His eyes lit up as he laughed and stared out into the lifeless sky.  Together they sat on the roof of her house and watched the sky turn different colours, all while talking about where their lives had led them.  Not a care in the world or their future.

“Aria you are as beautiful as blood” She glanced at him with a disgusted look as she playfully shoved him away.

However, those were how times were before, now they will be different. Now they will be strange and new. She pulled the blanket closer around her and lay by herself on her rooftop. It had only been 24 hours since he had left, but it felt like an eternity. She missed the way his eyes lit up when he talked and how he laughed when he had something funny to say. How she longed for this to be a joke and that that sooner or later her phone would ring and he would be calling her to go walk with him. The phone buzzed and she jumped. Nothing. How many more times will it be nothing? The time read 2:04 am. She sighed and slowly climbed off her roof. She’ll go by herself.

“It’s 2 in the morning, what do you want?” She answered half asleep.

“Come on a walk with me?”

“Are you crazy? Do you have a deathwish?” 

“I know you want to.” She could imagine his smile behind the screen. “I’ll meet you outside your house in 2 minutes.”

“No! Wha-” He hung up. Slowly she got out of her bed and did as he asked. A hoodie would be enough, it’s not that cold. He was standing on her driveway holding another sweater.

“I knew you would come, and I also knew you would only wear a hoodie so I brought you a jacket.”  She felt the cold breeze sting her arms.

“Give me that!”

Aria shivered, once again she had forgotten her jacket but it was too late to turn back now. She walked the same route that she usually would’ve, it was a full circle and led her right back to the start of the trail. She had music playing as she tried so hard not to get frightened by the little things around her. She walked past two benches that were dimly lit by a streetlight. Aria turned back, she surely couldn’t miss the one spot they stopped at each time. It would bring me bad luck and misfortune to break that, she thought to herself. It was now 2:14 am, she turned the flashlight on and brought it closer to the left side of the bench. There it was.

“This is a terrible idea.”

“Can you quit worrying and let loose for a bit.” Aria watched him carve the letters into the bench, balancing a flashlight in one hand and a knife in the other.  She was too worried about getting caught to let loose. “There, all done! Do you like it?” She looked closely into the bench.

He had carved “A & P” Aria spread her hands across the letters.

“Yes, I do.” She looked back up at him, into his sparkling green eyes. His hair had grown quite a bit and was starting to cover them. She reached up and pushed away a curl that fell in front of his eyes. “I think you need to get a haircut sir.”

“And lose my precious curls? I think the hell not! 

“How do you even see? Plus, you know your coach is going to be mad.” He started to walk again and she trailed behind him.

“I can deal with getting yelled at, unlike you.” Aria ran at him and he ran even faster. They chased each other all the way home.

Soccer. It was his life, he spent days training for games and never spent a waking moment without it on his mind. Aria didn’t even play but knew more than an average player would. She didn’t mind, she loved his passion and hoped one day she’d feel the same way about something. She could spend hours on hours listening to him speak as if he had won a million dollars. It gave her a little hope. She was back on her roof, scrolling aimlessly through old texts until she stopped. She started to read them one by one.

“You have reached the voicemail box of…” Still no answer! It was 9:30, he was 30 minutes late. Aria stared out her window, and still no sign of his car. The conditions on the road had gotten worse. Anything could’ve happened! Or his coach made him run a little late, you never know. But if that was the case, he would’ve let me know. She spam texted him.

“Where are you!” 

“I’m worried”

“Call me please”

“HELLO”

“I swear if you see these and you’re perfectly fine, don’t talk to me”

Aria threw her phone across her bed and waited. That’s all she could do. Sure enough his car pulled in 10 minutes later, and he was  holding a Mcdonalds bag. A MCDONALDS BAG for goodness sake. She worried her whole butt off only for him to be fine. The phone rang, Aria ignored it, and kept doing so until he finally came over.

“I’m sorry.” Aria turned away from him. “Aw c’mon my phone died, I didn’t know!” Still no response, he moved her. “I brought you chicken nuggets! Look!” She didn’t take them.

“You know how worried and stressed out I got, maybe keep your phone charged next time!” 

“I know I know, I said I’m sorry. How can I make it up?” Aria thought for a while.

“I’ll let you know, but for now give me those chicken nuggets!” 

“Woah calm down.” She laughed.

She knew how he had made it up to her and held the blanket a little tighter. The smell of grass and sweat on his jerseys after his games wafted through her mind. She would remember screaming on the sidelines and proudly watching over him. That’s my best friend! She would think to herself. Goals were scored and he would run back flashing a smile at her from the field. Her stomach filled up with butterflies everytime. After the games he would run over to her but she refused to get near him till he showered. How she would do everything she could for him to hug her at this very moment, dirt-stained jerseys and all. 

“And it’s another one for the greens.” Aria screamed with delight. They were now in the lead 2-1.  She yelled at the top of her lungs when he scored, which seemed very often.  He ran across the field and flashed her a smile. The game had ended and once again they had won.   

“You’re going to be one heck of a soccer player one day.” 

“One day? I already am! Don’t you think?” She shoved his water bottle at him. Of Course she thought that, but she wasn’t going to let him know that easily.

“Eh, I’ve seen better.” He raised his eyebrows. She looked at the dirt that covered him, his hair a mess and he was drenched with sweat from the sun. “For someone who’s name is Prince, you certainly don’t suit it.” He had enough with her little remarks and pushed her. “Ew! Don’t touch me!” 

“Oh really?” He charged at her, giving her a full hug. “Better?” 

“Gross! Now I’m covered in dirt.” 

“I’ll make it better.” He picked his water bottle up.

“Don’t you dare!” But he did dare and soon she was soaked. “I am so going to get you back for this”

It was almost 3 am, and still none of this made sense to her. Why on earth did he have to choose a different city to play soccer in, he was doing just fine here? It was getting colder by the second and she still refused to go inside. For him, I can do it! She had promised to call when she wanted to talk, but she couldn’t get herself to pick up the phone and do it. Instead, Aria watched cars drive by on the road ahead of her. It was a school night, but she had no intention of going to school in the morning so she stayed. She was sick of looking at cars, if only she could drive, and get some ice cream. For the bad days. 

“Does it have to be so loud?”

“Yes! It’s called blasting music at 3 am for a reason Aria.” 

“I’m trying to sleep though.” 

“If you fall asleep, you aren’t getting any ice cream.” She forced herself awake. There were no other cars on the road, it was so peaceful except for the music blaring in her ears. 

“It’s giving me a headache!” He lowered the volume a bit and drove into the night. It was their thing, to get ice cream on random school nights at 3 am. 

“My moms going to kill us.” 

“You didn’t tell her? PRINCE!” 

“Who in their right mind would tell their mom, they’re sneaking out at 3 am to get ice cream?”  He had a point. 

“Then we gotta get home now!” They had just pulled out of the drive-thru and were racing home. 

“You don’t have anything important at school tomorrow right?” She glanced at him, and knew exactly where this was going.

“Probably, but I don’t care.” He nodded.

“Me too.”

They would stay up watching videos, singing, playing video games, and slept until the sun shined brightly in their room. Then they would wake up, go get breakfast and drive elsewhere. Anything to get them both away from school, although on most occasions he would force her to go. Aria wondered how it would be like if they went to the same school, he was a grade higher but they could still meet up and hang out. Pointing out girls that had crushes on him and spending afternoons studying. Getting a ride to school instead of that awful school bus. She sighed, it was far from that.

“WAKE UP! RISE AND SHINE!” She threw a pillow at him.

“Who are you? Kylie Jenner?” She threw another one. “Shut up and let me sleep or else.”

“Woahhh I am just so scared of you.” He sat up and threw a pillow back.

“I have every authority to drive you to school right now.”  Aria stopped. “That’s what I thought.” She walked out of his room and down to the living room. The house was quiet as his parents were at work and his sister was at University. Aria sat there until Prince finally walked down.

“About time!” She cried. He opened the fridge, looked around and closed it.

“Want to go to Tim Hortons?” He asked. She jumped off the couch and off they went.  She always got an iced capp even though cold drinks were really bad for her. “That’s the last time I’m getting you that! You’re going to get sick Aria.” 

“You said that last time.”

“Hey, do you want it or not?”  She kept quiet. Sometimes they’d go back home and chill for a bit, or he’d drive to a park nearby and they’d eat there. It depended on how tired they still were from last night.

Prince was always her biggest supporter, and she was always his. Throughout his dreams and goals, there was no one who believed in him more than she did. That’s why when moving to a different city for University became such a big deal for him, she stuck by his side. Aria opened her eyes, a part of her wished she hadn’t. No! That was such a selfish thought, he was happy. So therefore, she would be too. She remembered the first time he got his acceptance letter and how they had jumped for joy. They celebrated the next morning with his family. She was so proud of how far he had come and how far he would go. This was just the beginning.

“What if I didn’t get in?” He nervously paced around the room.

“Are you stupid? Of course you did! Now open the email.”

“You look first, I’m too scared.” 

“No! This is your moment, you have to look.”

“If I don’t get in then I guess I just suck at soccer.”

“How can you say that? One rejection means nothing!”

“But what if-?”

“No! Open it right now!”She watched him nervously stare at his inbox. One email determined his future and she knew how devastated he would be if it was a no. But it couldn’t be a no! He was too good for his age.  Finally a click, she closed her eyes as he read through the email.

Silence.

“Oh my god Aria.”

“What? What!” She flung open her eyes and took the laptop. ACCEPTED flashed back at her. She screamed and jumped. “I knew it Prince! I knew it.” They rushed downstairs to tell the rest. She could see the tears of happiness in his eyes and felt tears forming in her own, but she didn’t know if they were from sadness or happiness.

Which brings us here, exactly a year after he had gotten accepted. She gave up, and inside she went. It was now 4 am. She had spent hours on that roof sulking for nothing. If she missed him that much, just give him a call! She had done it before, it couldn’t be that hard right? She pulled up his name and put it away, she did that until she got fed up with herself. God damn Aria, just do it! She pressed the call and waited.

“Hello?” She sighed with relief.

“Hi! How is it?” 

“Good, but why aren’t you asleep?” 

“I could ask the same about you sir.” He laughed. His voice was sleepy and she could tell that she had accidentally woken him up. “Okay fine, I was on the rooftop thinking about the past you know.” Aria heard lights flicker on and off in the background. 

“Facetime?” She picked it up and he talked to her, showed her his new room, the view. “I can still see your house, I promise. It’s a little distant but it’s there.” She laughed, he definitely knew how to make the situation lighter. Sooner or later it was now 6 am and she was almost passed out.

“Hey Aria.”

“Hm?”

“You are as beautiful as blood.”

“Oh god Prince, shut up.” He laughed and flicked his lights off.

“Goodnight  Aria.”

“Goodnight Prince.” 

The facetime call beeped.


THE END