The night crackles, and in a odd place two people bond.
And the story of it is called:
“Count with me,” she said, her eyes as bright as the flash, her hair pressed up under the covers. “One, two, three, four, five.”
I laughed, and I could feel the impact through the covers. The air seemed to hum with the force of the sound. The hair on my arms stuck up into the air.
“Is it really true that it’s equal to miles?” I asked.
Her mouth drew back into a smile. A big, wide one. The kind that made her face brighten. “Probably not, but this is more fun.”
I nodded in agreement and waited for the next one. I didn’t have to wait long. The light ripped the night to pieces, shattering the dark.
“One,” I began.
“Two,” she added.
The rumble lasted longer than the count. Off in the distance the sound of moving vehicles. Off in the distance the scream of the wind.
“See, aren’t you glad I woke you up,” she said. “How could we miss this?”
“Yeah, you’re right. This is awesome. Good idea.” I held out a fist for her to bump, and she smiled again. She knocked my knuckle but ran her thumb on the side of my hand at the end.
I felt it, internalized it, but didn’t say anything.
“Thanks, it wasn’t easy pulling it off. So I hope the show is good,” she said.
She arched herself up so the blanket moved away from the top of my head and pulled back on my feet. It felt cold, and I yanked her back down, the blanket falling in slow motion onto our heads.
“That reminds me,” I said, “how did no one catch you? You’d think they’d be careful about this.”
“Eh, they were kids once too you know. They probably let me come in here. But just in case…”
Yet again she let the cold of the room in and pulled up the blanket. I peeked my head out as well, the warmth holding on my shoulders.
In front of us the white door remained closed. The foggy glass contained no encroaching people. The words “ward #12” written backward visible with the next spark.
We both pulled in our heads, the warmth rushing through my body. Her hair brushed against my face and I felt my heart hammer in my chest.
The sound shot through the blanket, and the ground shook like a meteor was hitting it, and the light fixtures above us creaked.
“Wow, that was a good one. I bet all the adults are just sitting in the viewing room and watching,” she said.
“Yeah,” I agreed. “So you think you’re not the only one breaking into the boy’s area then?”
“Nah, I bet I am. I think most of the boys went for the girls.”
I laughed, feeling my face flush. Not visible in the dark. I thought. I hoped. “Yeah, you’re probably right. Tomorrow will be an interesting day.”
“But first an interesting night…” she said and looked at me. When I opened my mouth to say something stupid, she broke out that smile again, and it stopped me in my verbal tracks. I could see the thought run from her head to her mouth, her eyes glowing with the passage of the spark.
“I can feel it coming. Ready?”
She held up her hand and bounced them in small motions, until she brought them above her head and dropped them like she was hitting a drum.
Around us, the flash came.
She cut off my count with her fingers ticking down: one then two, and then…
CRACK, BOOM, RUMBLE
We both gave out involuntary shrieks at the noise. It broke into giggles. And she in one move hugged me. I froze, my muscles already half-way stiff from the sound and the force. It took a second, but I melted in that embrace. A smile formed on my face, unlike all the others before it. I liked this smile more.
“Hey,” I said.
“Hey,” she responded.
The light outside rose in seemingly slow motion. The wind humming. Multiple flashes of light.
“What do you think the others are doing? With the night?”
She hugged me harder, her breath a bit thick, strained. A wetness appeared on my neck. “Being teenagers. Loving, living. Like us.”
“I think I’ll miss that most of all.”