Shaking her head, the girl laughed at his response. “That makes two of us… except I could barely stay afloat.” The weather patterns had never really bothered Carina, as each new season brought a happiness of its own. Fall brought cozy sweaters and an even greater appreciation for bonfires, as the heat was needed to keep warm. Sitting down next the the boy, her legs crossed out in front of her as she leaned back on her arms and relaxed. “I’ve been fine I suppose. Avoiding others is a full time job you know… what about you? Anything exciting?” shrugging, the girl was the first to admit her life had never been one of excitement. Though the house was filled with chaos, Carina was never a part of it. Even if she was, the girl often felt more like a mediator than a participant.
Scanning the dark tunnel, she continued to speak. “You know, I remember when we all first discovered this place, I was scared out of my mind of it. I hate the dark.” Carina chuckled at one of her more childish traits. “I could have sworn there were monsters down here or something…” Letting her gaze turn to where the tunnel dispersed into the darkness, the girl had never dared to venture down where she couldn’t see. Feeling a twinge of fear, Carina looked back at Jared and smiled, hoping he hadn’t been able to read the fear on her face.” Scanning him she pushed the thought of darkness away from her mind. “You know for a swimmer, water seems to bother you an awful lot…” Smiling, Carina knew from Jared’s posture that he was most likely cold, uncomfortable, or both.
Avoiding others was a full time job. Jared let out a deep, exhausted sigh. He knew the feeling all too well. He’d spent the past week locked up in his room with the door shut, but that didn’t mean he could fully block out the sound of yelling, fighting and crying that seemed to fill the halls of the Nottingham house. Sure, there were times when the house was full of life and laughter, but these days, it seemed to be rare. “Exciting?” he raised an eyebrow. Jared clasped his hands together, intertwining his fingers as he rested them on his lap. “I’ve spent the past week hiding in my bed with a box of tissues, Netflix and F Scott Fitzgerald,” he declared, “Not exactly thrilling.”
“Really?” he asked, immediately interested. “Halloween’s coming up,” Jared teased, nudging her side lightly. He wasn’t necessarily a huge fan of the holiday, but it would be fun to spook Carina on the 30th. “Yeah,” Jared nodded, “I suppose.” He shrugged. As they spoke, their voices echoed eerily down the tunnel, which only confirmed Carina’s suspicions. “You look so creeped out,” Jared couldn’t help but laugh at the expression on her face. Jared followed Carina’s line of vision down towards the dark end of the tunnel, “We could always go down and explore,” he suggested, “You know, to confirm whether there really are monsters down there.” Carina looked over at Jared, eyeing his discomfort. “Don’t get me wrong, I love to swim, but wearing soaking wet clothing after recovering from the flu isn’t ideal,” he noted matter of factly.
Laying on her stomach on the freshly made bed, the girl hung her head and hard over the edge as she reached underneath and pulled out a box. Upon sitting back up, Carina quickly admired her stash of candy and other foods she’d kept hidden away from the rest of the house. Grabbing the large bag of marshmallows, the girl stuffed the box closed and carefully placed it back in the sacred hiding spot before bouncing off of her bed, marshmallows in hand. As she grabbed the small leather bag hanging on her bed frame, the girl realized just how happy she was to be spending time outside the house with someone her own age. Stuffing the marshmallows in the bag, Carina turned to face her full length mirror. Skirt, tights, boots, a crop top, and a warm caring all looked fine, but somehow she felt the look was incomplete. Grabbing her go to beanie off her bed stand, she admired herself once again in satisfaction. “There.”
After making a quick visit to the kitchen to grab their other needed ingredients before venturing into the night. Though the night’s weather was abysmal, Carina figured a little rain wasn’t going to hurt her. Checking the time on her phone before arriving at the entrance to the underground, the girl smiled. Carina was, as always right on time. And if Jared as anything like usual, we would have been there five minutes before her. Smiling at the thought of not having to sit alone of the temptation of ‘smores, the girl made her way down the stairs. Upon spotting the teen, her grin increased into a full on smile. Setting her bad down, Carina attempted to fix her hair. “So dId you have to swim here like I did or…?” Referencing the fact that he, unlike herself, was perfectly dry.
The rain, which had initially been a light sprinkle, began to pour down like it as no yesterday as Jared made his way towards the underground. He quickened his pace, before abandoning his umbrella and breaking into a jog in order to reach the shelter. It was unusual for the weather to be so temperamental, but it was the mark of the change in season and the welcome for fall. Arriving at the underground, Jared ran his fingers through his wet and now messy brown locks. He stopped for a moment, trying his best to recover his breath, before sitting down and leaning against the edge of the tunnel. He stretched out his legs and pulled out his phone, playing a game of Fruit Ninja as he waited patiently for Carina to arrive. He always arrived early. It was sort of a natural instinct. As he waited for the girl to arrive, he couldn’t help but notice that he’d come empty handed, but he hoped she wouldn’t mind. After all, he could always whip out the casual joke that he was in fact the whole package.
Soon, he spotted the tall girl making her way into the dimly lit tunnel. “Yeah, I started with a breast stroke and then quickened into freestyle,” he groaned, “The weather’s being a bitch.” He stood up and gave her a light hug, careful not to drench her with his wet Abercrombie and Fitch hoodie. Jared then returned to his spot on the ground. He sat with his knees hugged tightly against his body. “So, how’ve you been?”
Jared quickly pulled on a warm hoodie and slipped on a pair of dark washed jeans and his favorite pair of red converse low tops. It was a cold day out, which wasn’t the best, considering he had just recovered from a terrible cold. He’d spent the past week buried underneath his doona, sleeping, eating and watching Netflix with a box of tissues by his bedside. Fortunately, after seven days of antibiotics and endless amounts of honey and hot cups of tea, he was feeling better. Carina had offered for the pair to go down to the underground. She’d promised him a bonfire, a good time, and most importantly – s’mores. Jared could never turn down s’mores. They reminded him of his pre double digit days, riding at the back of the school bus on the way to camp. It’d been a much simpler time. It was raining lightly out, so Jared grabbed an umbrella and headed off towards the underground. He was looking forward to spending some time with the tall, brunette, who never failed to put a smile on his face.
Well… you can’t go around telling people about my stash though! I have all sorts of candy stashed there… I may or may not have an addiction.
Wow, you really are six years old.
Sweet! No one can refuse ‘smores … and if they say they can, they’re lying to themselves! I’ve got marshmallow stashed in my room, so as long as we find some chocolate and whatever else we’ll be all set!
You’ve got marshmallows stashed in your room? Now I know your secret. Sounds good.
Not really. You just taught me so… I figured I should show you? But hey if you don’t like that we could go chill int he underground and make a fire or something. I can bring smores!
I was only kidding. I’m not really up for going to the pool today. Going to the underground sounds fun and I can’t refuse s’mores.
Well when you say it like that, I think of drugs… but I mean just like something where kids can’t infiltrate it. Hey, I could show you my new swimming skills!
Someone’s a bit of a show off.
And you reached the point where you can gladly fuck off too.
I’m going to remember this tomorrow.
That actually sounds really good even if it’s just for when your sick… whatever it was, I hope I don’t catch it. I think we nee to get out of here and do something that required an adult state of mind, yeah?
And what is this so called activity that requires an adult state of mind?