above me the wide blue sky

Finished the first draft of my novel!

‘Any teas, coffees, panini, snacks?’ asked one of the flight attendants, smiling wide, holding onto a trolley filled with plastic bags and paper cups. She wore her chestnut-brown hair tied in bun at the back of her head. Her skin was tanned and flawless, her English sprinkled with a mild Spanish accent. A long apron covered her pale yellow shirt and ocean blue skirt.

I shook my head and she moved the mini-bar one row past me. It would be at least an hour before they come back with perfumes and those damn lottery tickets.

Blessed with a window seat, I stared at the vivid azure of the sky above the clouds for a minute before getting back to tapping on my phone. With my wife’s head rested on my shoulder, I was trying not to move too much. She’s fast asleep and I didn’t want to wake her up. The crammed seats sure didn’t make that any easier.

Our plane would be landing at Mallorca in an hour and 40 minutes and that made me nervous. I was meant to be done by now so why the hell was I still working? For the third time I selected the whole last paragraph and deleted it without any idea what to write instead. I was stuck.

This is the story of the first draft of my first novel.

It all started back in December 2015. I’m one of those people who like to take at least a week off around Christmas. But besides celebrating the holidays, I don’t usually do much. As the year comes to an end, I sit back and reflect. I want to see what I’ve missed before it all gets flushed down the drain of history.

I did a lot of disorganised writing in 2015. This year, I wanted to start something new; something with a purpose. I had a hazy story idea in my mind, way too complex for a short story but not developed enough to become a novel. So I though I’d do an online serial: 26 chapters published bi-weekly over the whole year, 3000 words per chapter. If people liked it — great, no big deal if they didn’t. It’d be free on the internet.

When the fireworks launched on New Year’s Eve, I had a basic outline. Many questions and not enough answers. It took one more week of agonising and a number of revisions before I started writing. The story arc was nowhere near ready, but if I were to hit the deadline for the first instalment, I had to dive in.

I wrote the first 500 words on 10 January, another 500 on the 11th and 500 more on the 12th. The words added up and when the deadline was due, I had enough for not one but two instalments. I stayed up late, scrolling through the draft, cup of coffee in hand, struggling to keep my eyes open. The copy was raw and the story too.

How can I do this without knowing exactly what happens next? I thought.

The more I wrote, the more precious the story became to me. The fear of putting something out there that I couldn’t fix later became real. I went to bed without publishing either of the chapters that night.

The next morning, I filed everything I wrote so far in a folder called CHAPTER 1. I set my goal to 80,000 and suddenly, I was writing a novel. The math was pretty simple. Inspired by my previous daily successes — if I wrote 500 words a day, I’d be done by 18 June. That sounded like a plan.

The transition from a pastime activity into a major project put an abrupt end to my epic writing streak. I produced no words on that day or the one after. The resistance had crept on me from behind, unwelcome and unexpected. When I started caring whether it was shit, everything got a lot more difficult.

With mixed success over the following month, I stopped to re-work the outline. Two weeks later I scrapped four of the seven chapters I had written so far and started over, making a promise to myself that this time I’d stick with it till the end. Oh, well.

Wake up, try to write, go to work, try to write, go to bed — my next few months in a nutshell. I moved the novel forward as a snail moves its house; it was slow and frustrating. The thing got heavier and heavier as I filled the manuscript with imperfection.

June arrived earlier than expected. I had just finished chapter 12 and the manuscript sat at around 55,000 words, whooping 25k short of the target. That sucked and I didn’t want to write another word ever again. My writing sessions went on an on, if I wrote anything at all. Four hours in, 117 words done — less than a half a word per minute. I quite literally dragged myself through chapters 13 and 14 until I couldn’t possibly carry on with this excruciating endeavour any longer.

I stopped writing completely in July, 14 chapters and 62,000 words into the manuscript. I barely passed the midpoint and keeping up the same pace, I’d be stuck with this project till Christmas at least.

The problem with first drafts is that they give you the benefit of the doubt. When you quit mid-draft, you’ll never get to see how bad your story really is. Your work goes into a folder of wishful thinking. You could make it awesome if you wanted to, but not now. Failing to finish is very different from finishing and failing. You don’t get to face the reality and never learn from your mistakes.

I had failed to finish too many times before. This time, I wouldn’t have it.

Even in January, I wasn’t naive enough to think that I’d finish by June. But I wanted to get the book done before the beginning of September when I booked my holidays — in exactly 39 days. Out of curiosity, I worked out what would it take to finish the book by then. The calculator showed me a number I didn’t like one bit: just over 1,000 words every day for the entire month.

My daily output at the time averaged at 150 painful words. Doing this for a couple of days? Maybe. But thinking that I could keep writing over seven times that for 40 days straight was an absolutely ludicrous idea.

Luckily, a part of me that I still don’t quite understand said, 'Fuck it. Let’s do this.’

I was in for some serious hustle, every single day, no exceptions. Slip one and miss it. I woke up early and stayed up late, drunk coffee by the litre, adding cans of Red Bull when that would no longer do.

And 39 days later, I found myself three quarters into a flight from London to Palma de Mallorca, still working. The words were stubbornly refusing to leave my head. I saw sea already beneath us. It was exactly the same colour as the flight attendant’s apron. There were three ships floating at the surface, each the size of a grain of sand. The rocky north coast of the island emerged out of the blue shortly after. I forced my eyes away from the beauty, took a deep breath and woke my phone up again.

Bullshit, I’m not stuck. I know how to do this, I thought. I hammered out the last two paragraphs of chapter 26 as the crew wrapped up the perfume trolley and got the cabin ready for landing.

The Boeing 737-800 touched down and my novel was done. 39 days, 44,000 words. The most productive writing streak of my entire life. Commitment and hard work made all the difference.

The whole manuscript is 26 chapters and 109,475 words long. I overshoot the target quite a bit. I can always delete some stuff.

When we disembarked into the heat of late afternoon, I felt calm and relieved. Eight long months of grappling against the resistance came to an end. I was happy; really happy. But it was an entirely different kind of happiness than I had imagined I’d feel when I wrote the first page in January.

Writing the first draft is only one step on the journey from an idea to a finished book. Now that I’ve got all the ingredients in a pot, it’s time to step away and let it brew.

And when the time comes, I can’t wait to start editing.

Thanks for your support; I’ll keep you guys posted.

Origins of Neuora

Chapter One: Baba 

Copyright 2017 Gloria Frimpong


His voice rippled through the atmosphere, softly spoken but strong as if lightning struck. “My dear.”

His daughter was lying in a field of color shifting flowers- a meadow of red, purple and blue chrysanthemums slowly twirling in the breeze. Her rich brown eyes shined at the sky, hearing her father call for her. Black hair fell down her shoulders like silk, positioned away from her warm, copper skin. 

He flew down to her and lifted her above his shoulders. She giggled as he took her high above the ground, showing her all the sights. “Follow me, child.” 

She laughed. “I’m here, baba.”

It was music to his ears. He was invisible to her, but he took the form of wind and carried her far and wide. The skies were a bright baby blue with clouds floating gently on the current. He shaped them for her and watched as the excitement bloomed in her eyes. 

“That one looks like a butterfly!” 

“And that one?” 

“Like a deer!” 

“What about that one over to the right?” 

“ … Is that me? I look pretty!” 

Then he carried her to a mountain range. On the top of the highest one, he sat her down. Clouds floated around her like cotton, deeply knotted into one another.

“My child, tell me everything you see.” 

 “We’re on top of a mountain. There’s a big blue sky, a bunch of clouds … um.” 

“Do you see something else?” There was a faint heartfelt chuckle in his voice. “Beyond your mountains and blue skies and clouds?” 

 “No, baba,” she said with a wry smile. “But you can.” 

“You can go there and see, my child. You can go anywhere and see what you wish. Knowledge is here– from me and from my art. You’ve seen Soma, haven’t you, sweetheart?” 

“The earth beyond the borders?” 

“It’s yours. It’s yours to enjoy and explore and build and create.” 

“I can learn anything I want to?” 

“Yes, my dear. But heed this. Stay away from any person who claims to have seen me but has not been with me. This person has knowledge and wishes to share his knowledge for all the wrong reasons.” 

“Okay,” she said, squinting her eyes in the distance. “Baba, how far do the mountains go?” 

Her father laughed, picking her up in the air again. As wind, he carried her across the clouds, letting her run her hands through them. 

And the mountains– they went as far as she wanted them to.


Chapter Two: Soma will be released Sunday, September 3rd. If you enjoyed this, please share! Follow @the-raven-series for more.

something-resembling-gumption  asked:

So. Each direwolf reflects their Starkling. But I never got how Ghost reflected Jon? Or is he not supposed to...? Maybe I need to read more carefully...

Hey, sorry this sort of got lost amidst the wreckage that is my inbox, and while I’m sure there’s a discussion like this already out there, I’m gonna go ahead and put together the evidence I gathered because both Ghost and Jon are very important to me, and Ghost is my favorite direwolf as well as the one who is downright chockfull of symbolism.

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4

❝When he closed his eyes, he dreamed of direwolves.❞ 
↳ A Clash of Kings, Chapter 51 || Jon’s wolf dream
The weirwood had his brother’s face. Had his brother always had three eyes? Not always, came the silent shout. Not before the crow. […] Don’t be afraid, I like it in the dark. No one can see you, but you can see them. But first you have to open your eyes. See? Like this. And the tree reached down and touched him. […] And suddenly he was back in the mountains, his paws sunk deep in a drift of snow as he stood upon the edge of a great precipice. […] Then a sudden gust of cold made his fur stand up, and the air thrilled to the sound of wings. As he lifted his eyes to the ice-white mountain heights above, a shadow plummeted out of the sky. A shrill scream split the air. He glimpsed blue-grey pinions spread wide, shutting out the sun … “Ghost!” Jon shouted, sitting up. He could still feel the talons, the pain. “Ghost, to me!" 

promised I won,t write about you

so I,m writing the sky

spacious

hanging above me

undiverted

blue

like your eyes

no

so I,m writing the grass

meadows

crawling to the brims

intertwined labyrinths

of knots

like your hair

No

so I,m writing the ground

soft clay

wide black earth

extending

dunes

like your hands

No.

No writing.

As technology slips deeper into our daily lives, there are many distractions to turn us away from nature. Storytelling asks us to turn back towards it, towards something deeper, more communal, more complex. It asks us to step out of time, to sit together around a fire, sparks spiralling into the dark, starlit sky. To listen to the sounds deep in the undergrowth, to feel the textures of things with our animal skin. To taste the weather, to hear, to look, to really see; as someone starts to speak, to weave a story, to remember.
—  David Harradine, Above Me the Wide Blue Sky
and they are the stars they see

for @a-cat-and-his-love-bug. adrienette/ladynoir. stargazing.

2nd prize for my 3,000 follower giveaway: 1,000+ words

WC: 1062


There is a breath–one expands all the air sacs in his lungs–and before he knows it, he is racing towards the sun, following the rays to new beginnings. Bright lights, warm lights kiss his skin, his hair, his face. 

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@thexdragonxbecomesxme

A fresh Spring breeze blew through the branches of the towering cherry blossom trees which surrounded Hanamura. A peaceful atmosphere surrounded the village of Hanamura as people went about their normal daily lives.
But would that tranquil ambience last?
The clunk of a peg leg hitting concrete flooring echoed down the quiet roads of the village as Junkrat wandered through the streets with Genji. Wide amber eyes gazed upwards at the bright blue sky above, before they scanned over every building they passed by, admiring the architecture that looked so different to the run-down buildings he was used to back in Junkertown.
It was fascinating.

“Nevah seen anythin’ loike this before!” the scrawny young man muttered as he spun around upon his heel to take n the sights around him, before a bright smile was directed towards his lover. “Glad y’convinced me ta come along~?” he asked with a light chuckle, hands resting upon his bony hips.

freshprinceof-pyke  asked:

do you think there's any significance between varys' spies being called his little birds and sansa being called a little bird while in king's landing? i tried to look through your tags but couldnt see anything.

It’s an interesting question. I’d normally say that there’s no significance because the contexts are just so different.

Varys’s “little birds” come from the idiom of “a little bird told me”, information you hear from a secret source:

“How could you know all that?”
“The whisperings of little birds,” Varys said, smiling. “I know things, sweet lady. That is the nature of my service.”

— AGOT, Catelyn IV

And furthermore, he didn’t always call his spies “birds”:

“We both grew rich, and richer still when Varys trained his mice.”
“In King’s Landing he kept little birds.”
“Mice, we called them then.”

— ADWD, Tyrion II

Very probably Varys switched to calling his spies “birds” when he came to Westeros to make them sound more palatable and less like vermin. Mind you Littlefinger still refers to them as “little rats”, so it didn’t necessarily work on everyone.

Whereas Sansa’s sobriquet initially had an entirely different connotation:

“Some septa trained you well. You’re like one of those birds from the Summer Isles, aren’t you? A pretty little talking bird, repeating all the pretty little words they taught you to recite.”

— AGOT, Sansa II

Sandor isn’t calling Sansa a secret-carrying bird, he’s calling her a parrot, someone who only repeats what they’ve been told, with no ideas of their own. Though “little bird” soon loses its original context; Sandor begins to use it to refer to Sansa as a caged bird, and also to associate her with singing and flying. He still uses the term to mean “parrot” now and then, but most frequently it’s simply a pet name, just something he calls her. And by the time he’s on the road with Arya, he refers to Sansa as “the little bird, your pretty sister,” with no context at all.

Note unlike the show, Cersei never refers to Sansa as a “little dove” in the books; her association with birds first came from Sandor only. Sansa does call herself “a little bird” to chide herself for using courteous terms to her captors, but after Sandor leaves she never thinks of the phrase again. But her connection to birds does pick up again after she comes under Littlefinger’s control — notably in her last AFFC chapter, she fastens her cloak with “an enameled mockingbird that had been a gift from Petyr.” And the falcons of House Arryn become significant symbols in her narrative as well:

A falcon soared above the frozen waterfall, blue wings spread wide against the morning sky. Would that I had wings as well.
— AFFC, Alayne I

The sun was bright, the sky was blue, and there were falcons circling overhead, riding on the wind.
— AFFC, Alayne II

“they will love their Young Falcon”
— AFFC, Alayne II (referring to Harry Hardyng, Sansa’s new betrothed)

There’s a lack of “little” in any of those mentions, however.

Nevertheless, the fact that Varys’s “little birds” are introduced and heavily referred to in the same book where Sansa’s nickname is first given does make me wonder if GRRM was intending some kind of connection. It’s possible that Sansa’s potential future role as a player of the game will include some spying or working with spies. And if Sansa does ever develop her skinchanger abilities, it’s possible she may be able to connect with birds — and perhaps use them to spy on people, like Arya did with the cat in Braavos.

I think it would be very interesting if something ever comes of this. We’ll definitely have to keep an eye out for it in the coming books. :)

lil drabble i put down that’s a sequel to this

———

When Fenris wakes up he hurts.

His stomach. The pain is awful. He tries to reach for the spot but nothing happens.

“Can’t,” he rasps. “Move.”

There’s a clear blue sky above him. No. A wooden roof. “Don’t try to move.” Someone is talking. A gentle voice. The Dread Wolf? “Please. These wounds are—very bad.”

“Help me,” he tries.

“Just try to relax. You’re safe here.”

He can’t turn his head either. But his eyes move, sliding down to his right, where a wide open plain stretches out into the distance—no, there’s a window, and the plain is—

“Shit. Fenris, your lyrium—can you make it stop?”

“Where am I?” A warm breeze whips across the plain, brushing over his cheeks, making his hair flutter over his forehead.

“No, no, no, Fenris, please, you have to control it.”

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3

Bird’s eye view

Awake the stars, cuz they’re all around you

Wide eyes will always brighten the blue

Chase your dreams

And remember me, sweet bravery 

Cuz after all those wings will take you up so high

So bid the forest floor goodbye

As you race the Wind and

Take to the Sky

- To The Sky, Owl City

HEADCANON:

Jack remained in a child form for a few days, and on one of such days, he decided to take Elsa flying high above the clouds and among the stars. 

Part of the My Little Guardian series. I was bored in the middle of class and made this in the dark on my Venzi(a much cheaper Moleskine) notebook while watching a film. Now look what I’ve gone and done. Looks like I have something new to cheer myself up with when I feel down. ^__^

Your POV:

I threw the covers off me and pushed myself off the bed. I sat on the bed for a moment, rubbing my eyes. My eyes then wandered to the digital clock on my bed stand. 2 AM, it read. I got up from the bed and walked over to the balcony, sliding the door open. The cool evening air hit my face, relaxing me. I took a deep breath of the balmy summer air and exhaled slowly, my eyes attached to the glittering stars above. It was too hot inside to sleep. And I was wide awake now. The sleep had left my eyes. Just walking out on the balcony seemed to give me all the energy in the world.

The stars twinkled ceffortlessly in the midnight blue night sky. The moon was full and shining to its full beauty. Not a single cloud floated in the sky. It was completely clear. And it seemed a bit too bright for it to be 2 AM in the morning. I let my elbows rest on the balcony’s fence and my face fell to the palms of my hands. It seemed as if an age had passed while I was looking at the glittering stars, disconnected from the world and worldly matters. It truly seemed as if it was a picture painted on a canvas. So perfect, so untouched, so pure, so unperturbed…

Realizing that I had to go back to bed eventually, I decided to go back inside. With a real effort I slid the door to my room open and went back inside. But as soon as I was back in bed I felt the same sleeplessness coming over me. I stared up at the ceiling, not feeling the least bit tired. I pushed myself off the bed again and sifted through the drawer on my bed stand for my phone. As soon as I felt its smooth surface against my skin I pulled it out of the drawer. I winced at the brightness of the screen as I turned it on.

My eyes quickly getting used to the bright light transmitted by the screen of my phone, I unlocked it and turned the WiFi on to check what was going on in the online world. Almost immediately after logging into my Facebook account I got a message.

Matt Espinosa: Why are you online at this late hour? Or should I say, early. It’s 2 AM in the morning.

I smiled at the message and tapped out a reply.

(Y/N): Why are YOU on at this hour, Mister?

I got an immediate reply.

Matt Espinosa: No, seriously. Why are you on? Is everything alright?

(Y/N): Everything is fine, Matt. I just couldn’t sleep.

Matt Espinosa: I couldn’t sleep either. But I have a solution for us both.

Just as I was about to send a message asking what kind of solution that was he went offline. I assumed that he was teasing me and his so-called “solution” was just going to bed and expecting me to do the same.

And that’s why a few minutes later I was baffled when I heard the sound of pebbles being thrown at my bedroom window. At first I thought it was a burglar. Then I wanted to slap myself for thinking stupidly, because if someone had wanted to rob or burgle us they sure wouldn’t be throwing pebbles at one of the residents’ windows as an announcement.

The thoughts of it being a burglar or someone dangerous not clouding my clear judgment anymore, I stepped outside on the balcony wanting to see who was just so anxious to see me at this late hour of the night. And then I was even more baffled than I had been before.

“Matthew Lee Espinosa, what are you doing here?!” I hissed at the boy I had been dating for almost a year now.

“Introducing you to my solution.” he said nonchalantly, shrugging his shoulders.

“What?” I asked, flabbergasted. Why was his solution to me not being able to sleep coming to my house at 2:30 in the morning? “You’re not thinking of sleeping over, are you? When my parents get back from their business trip tomorrow they might get the wrong impression if they see you just lounging on my bed.” I said, wincing at the thought of what my parents might assume had happened if Matt decided to stay the night. I would never do a thing like that, but you can’t blame them if they thought about it. Matt and I were teenagers after all.

He shook his head. “No. I never mentioned anything about sleeping anywhere, now did I? But if you feel sleepy you can sleep in the car.” he clarified. Well, at least he thought he clarified. I was as confused as ever.

“The car?” I repeated, feeling a bit like a parrot. “Matt, what are you talking about?”

“All will be revealed shortly.” he said, gifting me with one of his cheerful and very attractive grins. “Just get dressed and come downstairs.”

I would have asked him more questions. I would have tried to persuade him to tell me what was on his mind and what this strange “solution” of his was. But I, as well as anyone, knew that Matthew Lee Espinosa could not be persuaded to say anything if he’d already made up his mind not to do so. So, like a good little girl I took off my pajamas and put on a pair of skinny jeans paired with one of my favorite Aeropostale shirts. I padded down the carpeted stairs and let myself out of the house, locking the door behind me. I latched the gate as well once I was out. I had no idea what Matt was planning on doing, but it was better to have everything locked in the house, seeing as there was nobody else at home. I jogged over to Matt, who had gone to his car where he had parked it on the road beside my house while waiting for me. He had been leaning on the hood of the car, but as soon as he saw me coming he pushed himself off and stood there just grinning at me.

“What’s this all about now?” I asked when I reached him.

“Patience is definitely not one of your virtues then.” he joked and I glared at him to which he reacted by pouting. “Don’t I deserve a kiss? Here I am, coming to the rescue and I get no reward.”

I rolled my eyes, holding back a laugh. If anyone can make me laugh it’s Matt. I stood tall, raising myself on my tip toes just a bit – Matt is taller than I am, which I guess is normal him being a guy and all – and leaned in toward him. My lips just barely came in contact with his when I moved to his right and kissed him on the cheek. Hey, I can be a tease when I want to as well!

Once I had pulled away Matt grimaced. “That’s so unfair.”

“It may be, but you won’t tell me about your plan either. When you do I’ll kiss you.” I smirked to which he replied by laughing.

“You and I, (Y/N), are going on an adventure.” he said, as he slid one arm around my waist and led me toward his car.

“Come again?” I asked, blinking at him in confusion.

He opened the car door for me and, still feeling puzzled, I stepped into it and sat down on the passenger seat. Matt went over to the other side and sat on the driver’s seat. He turned the ignition on and the car roared to life as he powered the engine, slowly pulling out of his parking spot.

“You said you couldn’t sleep,” he started as he maneuvered out of the narrow street on which I lived and steered the car on the right track. “So, I decided that we should go to be beach.”

“The beach? Matt, that’s a three hour drive!” I exclaimed.

“I know.” he answered. “We’ll get there by 6 AM, if not earlier. The highway should be relatively empty this time of day. We’ll probably be there at sunrise.”

“But my parents-”

“Are not coming back until late in the afternoon. I’ll have you back by then. And trustfully, I don’t think they’d mind. They trust you. They trust me. Who needs to know that we left this house at 3 AM in the morning. I promise you it will be beautiful and it will be worth it.”

I turned his words over in my head. He was right. My parents trusted us both and it wasn’t like we were doing anything wrong. We would just be going to the beach together. And everyone who knows me well knows that I love adventures.

“Okay.” I shrugged. “Let’s go.”

“That’s the spirit!” he said and grinned at me. I grinned back at him.

Soon we were on the highway. Matt turned on the radio and we listened to the disco mixes playing on the radio, entertaining ourselves with guessing which songs had been remixed. I looked out the window and admired everything that was passing by in a haste. Everything passed by so fast and in such a blur. You’d see splotches of lights here and there. Silhouettes of hazy objects you couldn’t make out. But you could never really focus on anything. It passed by swiftly and you moved on to the next thing. I guess that’s how you’d explain life most times as well. Everything passes by so fast. And you can’t stop it. You can’t just tell it to slow down. It won’t. That’s its pace and it’ll keep going at said pace. All you can do is look away and forget about it all. Live in the moment.

Matt was keeping his eyes steady on the road, but I knew that from time to time he was glancing at me, checking what I was doing. He always does that. And he’d always had done it. He used to do it even before we were dating. I would sometimes catch him glancing at me in class and I would give him a smile, but in reply I would only get a crimson embarrassed face and he would quickly look away, ashamed that he had been caught. I didn’t think much of it at the time. It was when he asked me to go to prom with him that things had spiralled out of my control. Not that I minded much. I liked the fast road on which we were on. After that we’d gone out together non-stop and one evening under the stars he’d asked me to be his girlfriend and I’d accepted. And that’s when he told me about the whole glancing-at-me situation.

“You’ve probably noticed the looks I sometimes throw you in class,” he’d said, his cheeks dusted with a pinkish color.

“I actually have.” I’d said, giving him a warm smile. “At first I thought that maybe I had something on my face or shirt and it was attracting attention, but after you did it a few more times I realized that I couldn’t have had something on my shirt or face every day.”

He’d shaken his head and had let out a chuckle. “No, it was you that attracted me. Everything about you, really. I’ve had a crush on you for quite a while now, but I always seemed to think that you were out of my league.”

“Matt,” I’d said softly, “I’m not out of your league.” I’d shrugged, hesitating whether I should tell him the next part or shouldn’t, but I decided to do so, because, I reasoned, if this relationship were to go anywhere we’d have to honest with each other. “I actually have had an enormous crush on you too, but I was too afraid that you didn’t share my affections.”

He’d laughed at that and said, “He likes her. She likes him. Everyone knows it except them.”

“Well, now they both know it.” I’d chuckled.

“And they’re both going to act on it.” He’d said and leaned in to kiss me. And that was our first kiss. Under the stars, sitting on an edge of a sidewalk, overlooking the city park.

“What’s on your mind?” Matt’s voice suddenly pulled me out of my reveries.

“Our first kiss.” I smiled and I felt my cheeks flush a deep pink.

“Is that why you were smiling?” He was still watching the road, but I could feel his eyes mentally boring into me. The ghost of a smile was visible on his lips.

“That’s exactly why I was smiling.” I confirmed.

“It was a beautiful kiss.” he said.

“It was, wasn’t it?” I said, thinking about the way our lips had touched for the first time. Thinking about the softness of his lips on mine. The tenderness. His being careful not to apply too much pressure. My hands around his neck, pulling him in closer. His hands tangled around my waist, making sure that I was as close as possible. It was beautiful. And it was electrifying. In a good way.

“To think we almost missed our chance to be together.” he suddenly said with a thoughtful expression on his face.

“But we didn’t. And that’s all that matters.” And that was all that mattered.

We spent the rest of the journey in light conversation listening to the music the particular radio station we were on decided on playing. It was a relaxing journey. Time spent with Matt had always been time well spent for me.

After a few hours of driving we finally arrived to our designated location. It was almost 6 AM in the morning and I immediately jumped out of the car as soon as Matt parked it.

“Someone’s anxious.” Matt joked and came to stand next to me. We both stood still looking at the calming sight in front of us. The sun was rising and it resembled a gold coin dipped into a fountain as it rose from the glittering crystal blue surface of the ocean. The water was calm, because only a soft breeze was present. Slow languid waves hit the sandy surface and were gobbled up into the ocean almost immediately afterwards. The sound of seagulls added to the tranquil atmosphere.

I felt someone’s hand clasp my own and I looked down to see Matt holding my hand. My gaze travelled upwards to meet his eyes and he smiled at me. I smiled back. He released my hand and put his arm around my shoulder, pulling me toward him. I melted into his embrace. It truly was beautiful. And he’d promised it would be. As always, he was right. It was pure perfection. And it was worth it.

Suddenly I noticed the sound in the background. I’d been so concentrated on the sound of the ocean that I hadn’t realized that we’d left the radio on. A slow remix of Maroon 5's Sunday Morning was playing in the background and I was surprised to realize how much the song fitted the situation. Apparently Matt had realized the same thing because when I looked toward him he was looking at me with a curious smile.

Driving slow on Sunday morning and I never want to leave." he whispered in my ear, singing along to the song, before moving his lips toward mine and connecting them. I dissolved into the kiss, our lips moving in sync. After a few seconds he pulled away and his lips curved into a smile. I returned the smile, because I knew exactly what it meant.

When I saw you I fell in love and you smiled because you knew.

"I’m happy just being with you too.” I whispered before giving him yet another kiss. Because that’s what life is all about. Enjoying the little things and just living in the moment.