She was the sun. Beaming, vibrant, so bright that it puts the other stars in the sky to shame. Even her name, Alina, was brilliant, and all of her features matched. Long hair, so blonde that it glowed in the sunlight. Grassy eyes that reflected the world. Freckles decorated her perfect skin, like snowflakes on a lawn. And her lips held secrets that she would only spill to him.
He was the moon. A softer glow, much more subtle. His best features only came out when he was with her, like the moon’s light glimmering only at night. Dark brown hair that loosely fell down to his ears in curls, sloppy and unkempt. Eyes such a deep brown that they almost looked pitch black. But when he was with her, the stars lit them up. His lips belonged to her, and he would say anything to make her day better.
Their contrasting personalities made it seem like they would never work together. How could two things that are so different be so perfect for each other? It didn’t seem possible.
But somehow, against all odds, they made it work. Her heart existed to beat for him, and his for her.
"Shhh," he hissed as he held his finger up to her secret ridden lips.
She laughed lightly. "Neil calm down, no one can hear us from up here," she responded while removing his hand.
"You don't know that," he griped settling onto his back while keeping his inky eyes trained on her profile.
"Don't be so dramatic," she said continuing to stare at the sky.
Neil and Alina were laying on Neil's gray shingled roof observing the sky. The sun had already set, and the moon had begun to show itself. Stars began to dot the darkening void above them, like the tanned freckles dusted on her nose and cheeks.
"Alina," Neil whispered gently.
She moved her head to face him. Her piercing green eyes meeting his black ones. Her dilated pupils almost drowning out her emerald pools, only leaving a thin ring of green when she looked at him.
"I love you," Neil breathed raspily only allowing her to hear his secret that he wouldn't dare tell anyone else for fear of judgment.
"And I love you," Alina said back just as quietly.
It was barely audible, only allowing them to be the ones to hear their secret. If only they could tell the world because on that day, even Romeo and Juliet would have competition.
While they were on the roof, anything was possible. They could stop time, send the earth spinning off its axis, and freeze hell over, just by giving each other a look. It was their bubble, and while they were confined to their bubble, space was the limit. The disapproving comments from Alina's friends vanished. The condescending looks from Neil's best friends floated away.
Their friends knew they were too different. Their likes and dislikes clashed too much for them to ever work. But what their friends didn't know was the moments they shared while on Neil's roof. Those times were sacred, and they solidified the relationship between them.
"It's getting late," Alina commented.
"Stay with me tonight," Neil responded hopefully.
A smile appeared on Alina's lips and she giggled lightly. "You know I can't do that. What would Max think when you pick him up in the morning and I'm in the car with you?"
"I don't care. Please stay Ali."
She stared at him for a minute debating. They'd be able to stay in their bubble for a little bit longer, but she'd also have to deal with the stares from Neil's best friend Max that he takes to school. The difference between Ali and Neil however, is that Ali doesn't care about what their friends have to say. She loves Neil and she wants everyone to know. Neil takes the judgment they receive to heart. Every belittling comment would chip away at the heart that belonged to the girl he wasn't supposed to fall in love with. And every night when they were on the roof, Alina would have to pick up the broken pieces.
"But Neil you do care. I know you do," Ali uttered while sitting up.
Neil finally broke their eye contact as he looked down at his shoes. He studied the red and white surrounding the black swoosh.
"You know I'm right," Ali pushed.
"Yeah I do, but I still want you here," Neil said looking back up at her.
"And you know I want to be here with you too. But you're not ready yet because you care too much about everyone else's opinion."
"But you know I want to be with you. Why is that not enough?" Neil questioned.
"Because you only want to be with me in private. Which I'm willing to do until you're ready, but it's hard when it seems like you don't even want to be with me when we're in front of your friends," Ali explained.
"But your friends don't think we'll work out either."
"The difference is that I don't let their opinions affect the way I feel about you. I don't care what they think because I'm not dating them, I'm dating you."
"So you won't stay with me tonight?" Neil asked in a melancholy tone that almost broke her heart to hear.
Alina put her soft hands on his chiseled jaw, forcing him to look at her.
"Not tonight, but I'm going to wait until you're ready," Alina whispered.
"Ready for what?"
"To let go."
She leaned in and closed her emerald eyes and Neil closed his starry black ones. She gently pressed her lips to his, stopping time and shaking the universe. It was delicate and soft, but just enough to seal their love.
"Same time tomorrow?" Neil questioned as they pulled away from each other and stood up.