The Space Between Us(10)By: Anie Michaels
“You look different too, but you're still so small,” he said. I shrugged.
“It's a curse.”
“No, it's ok. I like you small. You're like those cartoons we use to watch back in fifth grade. What was it called?”
“We watched a lot of cartoons, Asher.”
“It was on Nickelodeon and it was about those little people who lived in the forest.” I scrunched up my eyebrows, thinking hard.
“You mean The Littl' Bits?”
“Yeah! That's them. They were tiny too, just like you. You're my little bit.”
I felt the blood immediately rush to my face as I started blushing. I looked down at the ground to try and hide the crimson shade of my cheeks and the ridiculous smile I wore.
“Do you have some time? Can we go for a walk?”
“Yeah, I have to be back for dinner, so I've got about an hour.” We started walking, with no real destination, and ended up back at our elementary school. We both took seats on a swing and just sat and talked. He told me about his summer on the farm and how his grandpa taught him how to drive on his old truck. He told me about how they took some cows “out to pasture”, whatever that meant, and that they had to sleep in a tent for a few nights. He heard coyotes howling close to this tent and was really scared, but too afraid to say anything to his grandpa because he wanted to seem like a grown up. I told him I would have peed my pants if I heard a coyote outside my tent. He laughed.
“So, Bit,” he said with a smile. I shook my head at his new nickname for me, pretending to be annoyed by it. “Did you and Reeve meet any cute boys at the mall?” I looked up at him when he asked the question, but his gaze was on the ground, his feet digging small holes in the bark dust. I shrugged my shoulders.
“Not really. Whenever Reeve would engage any of them in conversation I would just nod at them and smile. It was really boring.”
“Good.” He said. I couldn't look him in the eye.
“Did you meet any cute girls on the farm?”
“Well,” he started. “There was this one girl. She was just there for the summer too. I spent a lot of time with her and we became really good friends.”
“Oh,” was all I could say as my heart fell all the way into my shoes.
“She had really pretty brown hair and a big black spot over her left eye.” I looked up at him curiously. “Her name was Cupcake,” he said, smiling again. I smacked him, an involuntary movement that I had no idea was occurring until it was over. “She was my horse,” he said through the laughter that trilled out of him. I was too angry at him for his joke to notice how beautiful his laugh was, almost.
“Yup, she was pretty great. Best friend a guy could have on a farm.”
“So you didn't meet any cute human girls?” This time he shrugged.
“There were a few girls who came around, mostly the daughters of the other farmhands. They weren't anything special. Besides, any time they tried to talk to me, somehow the conversation always came back to my best friend who was back home.” I didn't try to hide my smile that time. I wore it proudly.
“Come on, Asher. It's time to go home.”
It was the first day of high school. Reeve and I stood at our very first locker which we were sharing. Something about having a locker was so cool. I was nervous about my first day, but I felt a little better because Reeve was so excited and confident.
At this point in our development, Reeve and I were pretty opposite. Her boobs came in during eighth grade and she was very proud of them. Her boobs got bigger, her waist got smaller, legs longer, and skin tanner. It was hard not to notice her or notice all the boys noticing her. Sometimes it was a little intimidating being next to her walking down the halls, but most of the time I didn't mind because it meant no one was looking at me. She wore clothes that accentuated her newly formed body and she liked that other people admired what she worked so hard to show off.
“Hey, Bit,” I heard Asher's voice behind me. I turned around and rolled my eyes at him.
“Is this nickname going to stick?” I asked, trying to sound exasperated.
“He gave you a nickname? That's cute,” Reeve commented, turning back to the mirror that was magnetically stuck to the inside of our locker as she finished putting on some lipstick.