One would think my life might have fallen together like pieces of a puzzle that suddenly became aligned. That Sanguinello and I would easily make a couple but that was further than the truth in the beginning. If I thought I had walls up that kept people out Sanguinello had a whole fortress that was near impenetrable. At first I chalked it up to nerves but it was hard to get close to Sanguinello both figuratively and literally. He avoided any questions about his past, refusing to answer them beyond. “I lived with my Aunt while I was in high school.”
It wasn't until I asked Ms Grey who turned out to be a girl named Mizu how she and Toff knew Sanguinello their whole lives after finding out that she and her boyfriend were from Huckleberry Sprigs. "Oh that's because Sanguinello was from Huckleberry Sprigs too. We all grew up together there." Mizu said as she finished applying another coat of gloss to her lips after I had run into her in the girls bathroom and had enough of Sanguinello's secretiveness to ask her about him. It was dingy as usually a place where girls either came in to grab a quick smoke instead of going outside or just to get in and out as quickly as possible.
"Did something happen to his parents?" I asked as my mind jumped to conclusions that they must be dead or something and it was just too painful for Sanguinello to talk about it. Oh my berry I'm a horrible not yet girlfriend. I began to think to myself before Mizu answered.
"I guess you could say so. But they're still alive and well living in Huckleberry Sprigs if that's what you mean." Her frame stiffened before she replied and as Mizu said this she turned to look at me. “Sanguinello is really a great guy and I don’t know what the future hold for you two but I need you to promise me one thing, that you won’t break his heart? He likes you a lot and I don’t want him get broken.”
“Why would I break his heart?” I asked instead of making any promises to the girl I had rarely talked to before today. “I don’t know. I really don’t know you but I know Sanguinello and I really don’t want to see him get hurt.” She replied before she left me alone in the girl’s bathroom with my thoughts.
Mizu’s and my conversation left me bewildered but not as much as Sanguinello himself did.
On weekends he would disappear only to return Sunday night without a word of where he had been the whole time. “Where’s Sanguinello?” I asked his roommate who turned out to be Toff the first weekend after he had given me the sketch. I looked everywhere for the boy but turned up with nothing. “Uhh he’s out. When Friday hits he’s gone after class’s dude.” Toff answered without even looking up from the video game he was playing by himself. I didn’t want to seem like the needy girlfriend when we weren’t even at that point yet. We weren’t even technically dating yet. As of now we were only at the get to know each other point. So I didn’t ask him and he didn’t tell me.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if I had something to go on. Some sense of knowing who he really was beyond Sanguinello Moro the cute boy who liked me. Something that I could hold on to and trust, and right now that something wasn’t Sanguinello. Physical contact between us was nonexistent; there were no holding hands, no goodnight kisses or cuddling on one of the couches in the basement like every other couple in school. If I sat down to close to him he would inch away while acting like nothing was wrong as he kept talking.
“You should just walk up to him one day and give him the biggest smooch in the whole world.” Was Can-Can’s advice while she wrote something down in her notebook. Lately these days she seemed wrapped up in her own world of writing letters and watching the mail for any that would come in return. When questioned if they were from someone special she would only answer with a blush “Oh I don’t know yet. It’s too early to tell and I really don’t want to jinx it or anything but I really, really, really hope so.”
Just when I thought that Sanguinello and I were doomed to be friends and that I’d resign to being alone living a spinster’s life with a hundred cats since even Froot had moved on with Mai Tai, something rather unexpected happened. It was the day before Spring Break and classes were done, everyone was happily getting ready to go on vacation. I was hanging around wasting time with Sanguinello before I would take the train back home tomorrow. Can-Can had left earlier as soon as her classes were done to what I guessed was back home. I was getting fed up with everyone being so secretive these days.
Maybe I should just take the late train tonight and have mom pick me up from the station. I mused to myself feeling quite a bit irritated at everything that was or in my case wasn’t going on. “Yeah… So I’m going to call it an early night and jus-“I started to say before I found myself up against the wall with Sanguinello’s lips pressed against mine as he cupped my face in his hands. My heart immediately began to pound in my chest as they both began to move. One hand found its way up to the back of my head slipping in between the strands of hair while the other traced down my side before finding its destination as it moved across the small of my back before it settled on my hip.
There was nothing awkward about it and I had never felt anything like it before. What I had heard about first kisses from Wisteria gossiping to her friends or Indy telling me about hers, this was nothing like that one bit. There was no thinking just doing and I didn’t want this moment to stop, not right now. So I put my own hands on him trying to mimic his moves since I didn’t know exactly what I was doing. That only served to make him tighten his arms around me crushing me to him as his mouth moved from lips to my jawline feverishly kissing the whole way.
As he hit along my neck with warm lips that continued to travel down to my collarbone my hand involuntarily dug into his soft hair as I made pitiful sound that might have resembled a moan. The sound of a zipper loudly cut through the quiet room and as my hoodie loosened around me my mind clicked back to reality.
“What the fudge Sanguinello! You can’t just go and do that. You can’t just go this whole time without anything and then kiss me like that.” I gasped as I pushed him away feeling a muddled mess of emotions rush through me. I wanted to let him continue on more than anything and it was confusing. “Like what? This?” Sanguinello asked as he easily pulled me back to him as he kissed me again. But the spell had been broken and I just pushed him away again.
“Seriously Sanguinello, what the fudge?” I asked, my first kiss and I was feeling angry, confused and somewhat hurt. “I’m sorry I’m a little impulsive sometimes.” He immediately apologized as he blushed while he tried to keep from smiling. “These past few weeks you haven’t even done anything to make me think that hey you really do like me, let alone hold my hand or something and now you just go and do this.” I said angrily as he quickly lost his smile and began to look worried. “I’m sorry. It’s hard to explain but even though I like you a lot I had to kind of… get used to you first. I know it doesn’t make any sense but that’s just how I am. Like the first time I saw you I spent the whole day smoking and I don't even smoke. I just saw them in the corner store earlier and bought them on a whim. Because I had to do it."
“Maybe it would make sense if I knew who you are. I feel like I don’t really know you. The only you I know is the you that’s here right now. I want to know how you became you. You have to give me something beyond when you were 15 you went to live with your aunt. What did you like to do as a kid? Where did you grow up before you came here? Do you even have any brothers or sisters?” I asked or rather demanded of him and as I continued I could see his demeanor change radically as he begun to pace but still I pressed on. “I mean since we’ve started talking and hanging out you’ve found out practically everything about me. You have to give me something to know about you when I’ve given you everything to know about me.”
“What do you want to know? When I was younger I used to have a stuttering problem and you know what happens when a kid stutters? They get a nickname, in my case it was Stuttering San because the kids I went to school with were oh so clever. So that’s why no one is allowed to call me anything besides my full name. What else do you want to know? Huh? How about you try this one on for size, the last time I saw my father was the night I put him into the hospital because I was so tired of his mentality that he could make me be normal by physical means. You think my mother did anything to stick up for me? Huh?” He paused for a moment but not long enough for me to answer as he stood right in front of me, his eyes locked on to mine. “Nope… She wanted me gone. The only person in my family that was willing to be around me after that was my Aunt and that’s probably only because she felt sorry for me. So what else do you want to know or is that enough for now? Because I can tell you a lot more that would probably scare you away.”
“No…No you can stop now if you want.” I said shakily before a moment of silence passed between us as I absorbed what he had told me. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know more but I knew from his agitated state that he wanted to stop but I couldn’t help but ask “Will you ever tell me? On your own I mean?”
“I guess one day when I feel comfortable enough to do so. My past and I is not easy subject for me… with you. For one thing it brings up to many memories and I don’t want those memories while I’m dealing with today. I don’t think that you would stick around that long if you really knew me.” Sanguinello said before turning his back on me and walked over to the window. I didn’t need to see his face to know how he was feeling his stance was enough to tell me. From the way he had his arms crossed tightly against his chest as if trying to comfort himself to his chin that laid tightly tucked into his collarbone.
I wanted nothing more than to hold and comfort him when I realized that I could, that it would be alright if I did. Just as tentatively as the day he gave me the sketch I crossed the room taking one step after the other as my clunky boots made noise the whole way. I watched as his back stiffed and felt him slightly jump when I put my hand on that back before I wrapped my arms around him, holding him as tightly as I could.
His arms slightly unfolded so he could he could cross them back over my own but this time his hands were gripping onto his own arms but mine. I could feel each of his fingers through the fabric of my hoodie as they pressed down firmly for a while before Sanguinello sighed and both they and he began to relax. As he leaned against me I could smell the cherry fragrance from his shampoo and he asked “You’ll stay with me even when you find out?”
“This may come as a surprised” I teased though I was serious, this complicated boy had captured my cynical heart. “But I really do like you and I’m not going anywhere unless you’re going too.”