They met in the evening by the bandstand, every Tuesday. He had extra code club and she had extra band practice. They walked and talked. Sometime they held hands. Then it was twice a week and it became harder to give excuses. After a few weeks they knew they would have to think of something else.
She suggested a camping trip. He wasn't sure; code club didn’t really do countryside, but perhaps a geotagging exercise exploring satellite GPS wifi beacon navigation. She could see his mind racing through the possibilities for his fictional event. She thought her chest would burst with the ragged ocean of feelings that swelled inside her, as she watched his brain whirl and soar. The plan was made and they left, both heads twisting and turning, unable to look away for too long.
Eventually with s clothes, first aid, motherboard and soldering iron packed as full as the lies he fed his parents, he walked to the bus stop, every step alternating heavy with hope and fear that she would be there
She was sat, beer in her small rough hand. Small rough rucksack on one shoulder. A rare smile as wide as the road before them. She didn’t think he’d come and tried to hide her relief.
Later they walked through the forest, hand in hand, free from parents, school, judgement. Eating his meticulously packed lunch, drinking her beer. Every tender moment drawing them closer. As evening closed in she asked where he wanted to camp. He asked her where the tent was. She laughed. Then they both realised at the same time, as the summer sun, embarrassed, slinked away.
Night came, cold and frosty with an atmosphere matched by their silent walk back through the forest. After a while they admitted the path had disappeared and it began to rain. He was exhausted, terrified and teary eyed. Desperately he ventured the quiet idea of a cave to her sloped, sullen back a few yards ahead.
The wind whipped the branches into a fury and the blinding rain cut into them like needles until finally they saw a deeper dark of an entrance. Dark but dry.
She was annoyed at herself for forgetting the tent, for being angry, for not bringing more clothes and for ruining it all as usual. He was scared of the storm, the dark, his feelings, of her embarrassment of him, of not knowing what to do.
Cautiously he suggested they could make a fire from his soldering iron, gas powered. She gave him a smile that warmed him more than any flame. She made the fire. He watched as she laid wetter wood out to dry. Watched her use the dry moss first, then feed it bit by bit. Her brave, intelligent face shifting in the shadows, changing constantly but always heart stoppingly beautiful.
He noticed then in the new light, markings on the wall. Scratches and colour here and there. Ancient, perhaps undiscovered, traces by the faint brush of his fingertips. He called her over, explaining the meaning and how they were made. Of course she laughed to herself, unable to look away from his rare, unashamed enthusiasm, his eyes on fire with their possibilities until he caught her watching him and shyly quietened.
They sat close and talked for hours, unplugged and released. Their hands edging closer until they touched and held. Then when there was nothing left to say, they turned and kissed. Clumsy, unsure but with a fire that lifts them spinning into a perfect, endless summer night.