The first time, I saw him, I was too young to remember. The second, I was in middle school. It was that day, the day of my dance recital, that my mother chose to tell me about him. "His name, was Liam." I remember her say. We were standing in front of the school doors, when he had shown up. "One day, my dear, you will be his." She smiled, her voice innocently sweet.
Looking up at her, I remember feeling betrayed. Even after she explain it all to me, her reason behind giving me up. That day Liam took me to get ice cream, and then to feed some ducks at a pond. And it wasn't until my junior year in high school would I see him next. This time, more embarrassing than the last. At first, I was too caught up in the moment I was sharing to remember what happened next. One minutes I was kissing my boyfriend Shon, the next, I wasn't. "Liam, stop it!" I called out.
My voice echoed in the darkness that swallowed us, and when he looked back, for the first time, I saw his eyes. Those stark amber colored eyes, that seemed to cut right through me. To say Shon and I were over after that, was an understatement. Liam didn't even give me a chance to explain that night, before picking me up, and carrying me away. "I can walk, you know?" I had said, though it mattered little to him.
By the time he set me down, we were somewhere along a roof top, in the middle of down town. We spent hours looking out into a sea of stars so clear, I hadn't thought it was possible. "So what's wrong with your eyes?" I had asked, finally bringing myself to say anything. At first I wanted to ignore him, but I didn't see that helping my situation.
He laughed, for a bit at that. Smiled, and then looked at me. I felt my breath catch. "They are the eyes of royalty," he said. "One day you will look upon yourself, and see them too."
"My eyes are hazel," I was quick to respond.
"For now." Was all he said, his lips pulling into a sweet seductive smile. I averted my eyes, and cleared my throat. Forcing myself to then look anywhere but those eyes.
I hesitated, waiting to judge my next question, and then asked, "So are we like betrothed or something?"
He smiled, and leaned back against the panels of the roof. His arms flexing as he brought them behind his head, his shirt pulling tight across his chest revealing the muscles underneath. For a split second, my mind lingered on those muscles, taking them in like a fish needing water to survive. And then I blinked. He had noticed. "Something like that." he said. Sat up, and then really looked at me. His hand, in that instant, coming up to brush a few fallen strands of hair from my face. "Rielle, I will never hurt you." His voice came out in a whisper. "You have nothing to be scared of."
"I'm not afraid of you," the words spilled from my mouth. I could feel myself entranced, caught up in whatever this was, and I knew that what I had said was true. "I just want to know why."
At that, his hand dropped from my face, and he stood up. "In life," he said. "not everything makes sense. Throughout all these years, that is one thing I've learned to be true."
"What does that me-"
"It means, stop trying to figure out why, and try to enjoy the now." Taking his hand, which was held out to me, I stood up. My foot slipping on a loose panel, and I hadn't even had time to process what had happened before he was there, steading me.
"Thanks." I smiled breathlessly. My hand still gripping his arm.
"Anytime," He smiled "What would any Romeo do without his Juliet."
I arrived late to my house that night, my mother asleep on the couch. Covering her, I still couldn't forgive how she had chosen her own life over mine, but, at least now I saw a future where amber eyes meant more than a tragic ending. I covered her with a blanket, and went to sleep myself.
Another year would pass before I saw him again, though this time something had changed about him. He was cold, and distant. It was graduation day, and I had just walked across the stage when I saw him. Standing along the back row, watching me with a deathly gaze. I waved but, received nothing in return. Afterwards he met me out along the field. I was taking pictures with friends when his hand on my wrist ripped me from them. "Juliet!" he said between gritted teeth. His grip tightening, his tone annoyed.
"Romeo, you're hurting me." I forced myself to smile. My friends turning to leave, the second they saw his eyes. That urethral amber color, that suits him.
"Ah, so I have your attention then." he smiled, and then continued. "Good. Listen close my love, for things are quickly about to change."
When he released my hand, I pulled back immediately. "What happened to you?"
"That matters not." he said without a moments delay. It came off short and rehearsed. "Very soon my love, I will come to you one final time. The world is changing, and to survive, we will need each other."
Then he left. His words fading against the wind, and I blinked trying to determine whether or not that had really happened. He had disappeared into thin air. The only proof I had of its reality, the faint bruise forming atop my wrist. Covering it, I ran home. Packed a suitcase, and left that night. I told no one of where I was going, I couldn't. My mother wouldn't keep my secret, she hadn't even wanted to keep me. I was alone, running from death. My only goal, to survive.