introduction. by DarkandLovely
Okay soooo….. this literally just popped into my head…. I was watching something related to the opiate disease that is plaguing American society, black communities at large. Um… and this happened??
I can tell you that right off the bat that this will NOT be for the faint of heart and it will get really hard to read (and write) at times but in the end… our lovely couple will make it. Y'all know me lol.
So, we know that from the topic matter it will involve drug addiction. As if my way, it will involve two friends… best friends. lol. (I don’t enjoy making my sistahs suffer but this type of male character I don’t think I’ve written yet either… the happy go lucky, comedic relief, soft cinnamon roll kind? Yeah… that’ll be new for me lol. Let’s get to the plot shall we fam?
Young-nam is a complete corn ball, laughs at everything when he should be taking things seriously…he has way too many dad jokes and is a total dork. But that’s her dork she would suppose. He’s been the sunshine to her rain for as long as she can remember. He’s carried her when she couldn’t bear to walk…when she’d lost strength in her own two legs. And truthfully. oftentimes she’s not sure she even deserves him as a friend. Yet, he stays. Time and time again, even when she intentionally tries to push him away. Even when she’s scared to show him her deepest ugliest scars. She guesses…. deep down under all of it.. she’s just scared… scared…to love him.
Seo Kang Joon will be Kim Young-nam (29)
Mouna Traoré as Lark Jones (26)
Lark could be called every thing under the sun but he prefers to call her ‘Larkbird’. Sure, they’ve grown up together in this small, unbearably suffocating port town but it’s home. And… in a way… so is she. Deep down… he finds himself jealous. Of the fact that she can be so open… so…free in what she feels… even if her feelings are negative or self destructive. Yeah she’s misunderstood and troubled but she just…just needs time to sort everything out. He doesn’t care how many times he has to tell those corny ass jokes or tease her to oblivion. As long as he keeps a smile on her face, he knows he’s brought her a little closer to what he imagines happiness should be like for her. And the closer he brings her to healing and happiness… the closer he hopes to bring her to receiving his love.
“Why can’t a nose be 12 inches long?” Rain pelted the window of the small cozy cafe and the smell of coffee beans, chocolate chip muffins and pumpkin bread wafted in the air. Sitting across from her sat the lamest man in Wasboro Harbor. Rolling her eyes, she eyed him as he grinned, elbows up and arms crossed on the table.
“Do I even want to know?”
“C’mon Larkbird… just humor me.” Letting out a loud exasperated sigh, she rolled her eyes again.
“Why Namu?” At that, his cheesy grin grew.
“Because then it would be a foot!” She groaned just as he began to laugh and she swear she wanted to choke the shit out of him.
“You are so fuckin corny you know that?”
“Well, it got you to lighten up didn’t it?” He replied back, laidback grin on his face.
“Aw come on Larky don’t be like that.”
“Besides, aren’t you going to miss my jokes when you go back to school?”
“Hell nawl. Not at all.” She answered with no hesitation, prompting him to laugh again, much deeper this time, the actions bringing out the handsome little craters in his cheeks that other people called dimples.
“Hey, least you’re honest.”
“Well I for one am gonna miss you.”
“Dude, I’m literally going to be one town over from here. I ain’t going far.”
“Doesn’t matter. I’m still gonna miss you.” Pursing her lips, she lifted her cup of coffee to her mouth and watched him as he mirrored her action. Her cheeks grew warm as she watched his pouty champagne pink lips close around the rim of his cup. Licking her own as she watched him drink, she lifted the cup up to her own set of plush shapely lips. She wasn’t going to even do it. Do that. With him? No. Placing the cup on the saucer, she sighed again and when she looked up at him again, she found him looking at her, a soft teasing look dwelling in his amber brown eyes. The sooner she got out of this small non existent town the better.
“SOMEBODY CALL THE POLICE!” Pushing past the small group of people that had gathered, he felt his heart stop for the briefest second. There she was, crumpled up in the bath tub, arm dangling across the edge, syringe still attached to her, needle still embedded deep into her vein.
“Druggie bitch. She could get us kicked out of here.”
“God, I never took her as a user.”
“I think I heard Daryl telling me he saw her sucking dick for a bag once.”
“Shut up!” He turned angry eyes onto the group of now alarmed students.
“You.” He locked eyes with the owner of the voice who spewed the ugliness about her.
“Shut the fuck up. You?” Turning eyes onto the only person who held a phone.
“Instead of gossiping about a girl you don’t even know, I’d focus on calling the police. Now.” The short chubby bastard gulped but he followed instructions, dialing 9-1-1. Shoving frustrated hair back from his face, he turned and knelt, lifting a hand to her cheek, clammy and cold to the touch.
“Larkbird…I’m gonna get you outta here okay? Just trust me.” He couldn’t lie and say his heart wasn’t breaking each and every time he happened by that fucking needle still jutting out from her arm as if to say ‘you lost motherfucker. I won.’ Lark was supposed to be the strong one. He was supposed to be the damaged one. They had a good thing going until… until now. Seeing her so weak, defenseless and vulnerable crushed him and for the first time he knew he’d have to be the strong one.
“What’s the status on the police?” He asked, voice low and hard, so uncharacteristic of him.
“T-They’re on their w-way…”
“Good.” Reaching up, he tried as gently as possible to untie the multicolored stretchy band she’d used on her upper arm and tossed it away from them. Taking a shaky uneven breath, he eyed that syringe and knew it would have to come out. Right that minute. Reaching up, he grabbed a wash towel that had been hanging up on the towel rack and wrapped it around the slender device. He pulled it out, not even caring about the aghast gasps from the little gallery behind him. Making sure it was wrapped up carefully, he put it down where it was away from them.
“Lark…” Taking her face in between his palms, he could see that she was covered in sweat but at least her body heat was starting to come back.
“Can you hear me?” A long disoriented groan drifted up from her throat. Before he could ask any other questions, a hand came to rest on his back.
“Son, step away from her. We got it from here.” Swallowing tightly, he allowed them to lift her out of the tub, place her on a stretcher and wheel her to the awaiting ambulance.
“Be careful, the syringe is on the floor right there.” He pointed and soon numbly followed them out, following the flashing red and white lights. Lark was going to make it. Because if she didn’t, all hell would break loose. And he didn’t want to imagine what the world would look like when it did.
“What did the coffee report to the police?” Lips smiled and the lap of the lake upon the shore was still so close, the smell even closer.
“You might as well tell me.”
“A mugging.” She snort and rolled her eyes, pushing away the man who had slowly come behind her.
“Just stop while you’re ahead Namu. Your jokes aren’t funny.”
“Yeah then why’re you smiling?”
“I am not smiling.”
“This sure as hell ain’t a frown.” Playfully squishing her cheeks, he chuckled as she protested, lifting her hand to smack him across the arm.
“You’re so cute Larky…I swear I’d kiss these wittle cheeks all day long.”
“Boy….quit…” Grinning, he let her go feigning pain as she hit him again.
“Why you bring me all the way up here anyway huh? This ain’t like you.”
“What’s not like me?” He questioned curiously, crossing his arms, smirk on his face.
“This.” She motioned around them and he chuckled again.
“So, me bringing you for a little getaway isn’t like me huh?”
“You laid this dress out for me, told me to put it on and dragged me all the way out here on this boat in the middle of nowhere. That sounds like kidnapping.”
“You put it on though didn’t you? You came didn’t you?” She didn’t say anything so he took the opportunity to approach her.
“Last time I checked, kidnap-ees don’t stuff their face and then beg their kidnappers for dessert.”
“I did not beg.”
“You did beg. But that’s okay. It was cute.”
“Oh for God’s sake…”
“What is like me Larkbird? I’m curious.”
“Clumsy big ass man-tree, the one that trips over oddly placed shit and wouldn’t know how to clip the wings off a butterfly if your life really depended on it.”
“So basically, you’re saying that I’m a wimp.”
“Ha-ha. Very freaking funny.” He smirked, reaching for her arm. Extending it, he playfully pulled her closer and the smell of her perfume combined with the smell of the lake just steps away had him high and dry…or perhaps it was high and wet…moist…leaking?
She looked absolutely divine, the emerald green dress he’d purchased clinging to her curves just right. She’d always been too hard on herself, always wanting to gain more weight… become ‘thicc’ like those instagram baddies she once tried to emulate. But everything about her was perfect. The spaghetti straps emphasized her small petite shoulders encased in smooth Godiva like melanin, clung to small but shapely breasts, clearly not bound by a bra.
From where he stood the night air from the lake had reduced her once unnoticeable nipples to hard little nubs. The silky fabric of the dress outlined delicate round hips and the daring slit from the side of the dress teased him with a peek of a buttery soft thigh. Already, his nerve endings were on overdrive and his tongue was pressed against the roof of his teeth; the desire to run it along her gorgeous brown skin hitting him in the stomach.
“What are we doing here Young-nam?” She asked again, voice steady. But he could damn near taste her nervousness, uncertainty and fear. She knew didn’t she? She had to know… No one was that dense.
“Take a wild guess.” He traced the slender curves of her wrist and forearm with soft fingers, settling eyes on one of the places he knew she was most vulnerable about. She noticed that he was looking the same as she and tried to yank her arm back but he only tightened his grip.
“I don’t know but it’s weird. This is weird and you’re weird. Let go.”
“Can’t a man do somethin nice for his best friend? You’ve been gone for God knows how long and I just wanted to do somethin special for you.” She pursed her lips and turned her eyes to the calm waves that lapped against the side of the boat. A boat she knew he’d spent ever penny nickel and dime saving up for.
“You’ve gotten away from this little shit town and gotten a career. You’ve managed to grow up and maintain your sobriety. You’ve evolved. When will it be my turn?”
“Your turn? What are you talking about?”
“When am I gonna be given permission to evolve? When am I going to be given the chance to change?” She inhaled deeply.
“There’s… there’s nothing about you that you need to change or re-invent Namu.” He laughed but it held no humor in it.
“Am I gonna remain the loser guy with all the funny jokes forever? I don’t think I want that. Hell, I’m pushing thirty. Don’t you think it’s time to hang up the fish puns?”
“You’re never going to hang up the fish puns Nam and you damn well know it. You don’t have it in you.” Chuckling, he lifted eyes to hers. He drew even nearer, his body heat and the citrusy sage scent on his body intoxicated her. It didn’t make sense how he always smelled so good and used so very little of scented products. Of that he did use, it always stuck around and was always potent. She wanted to bury her nose in the crook of his neck and inhale him. Instead, she eyed his fingers that had wrapped themselves around her hand, turning it towards him as if it were an offering of some sort.
“As clueless as I should be over women it seems I got somethin right after all doesn’t it?”
“What’d you get right corn ball?”
“The dress you’re wearing. It fits you so well.”
“Hm. Guess you did. Now if only we can upgrade what you be wearin we be straight.”
“I’m sure you’ll teach me.” He pulled her in for a hug and the ferocity of it took her breath away. For a moment, she wasn’t sure what she should do. But he leaned her back against the railing of the drifting craft and pressed his face against her soft pillowy Afro with a sigh. It was then that she lifted her arms and wrapped them around his neck.
“With you being gone for so long… it made me realize something. Something that I didn’t want to admit for so long. I was so scared… scared of losing you… losing what we had built. So I hid behind the lame ass jokes… all the smiles and shits and giggles. I did it for you and…I did it for me too. To cover up the truth. To cover up what I felt…what I’ve always felt.” He pulled away from her, hands sliding into his pockets, a soft little smile on his lips. A gentle wave rocked the boat and she felt her mouth grow dry. Clothed in a simple linen shirt and trousers, he stood tall, strong and powerful. His shoulders had grown broad and the short sleeves of his shirt stuck to firm muscular biceps. The burst of wind rustled his silky obsidian hair and forced the collar to blow open, revealing peeks of his collarbone.
“I guess I want to change because I’ve been in the shadows for so long. I just want to be able to be me and…be honest.”
“How I feel about you.” A chill ran through her and she lifted her arms to wrap around herself.
“How do you feel about me Young-nam? Honestly.” She asked it but her heart was pounding out of her chest.
“I love you.” He answered with no hesitation. But, he wasn’t looking at her. For the first time since the evening began, a pink blush decorated his cheeks and he looked nervous, uncomfortable…afraid. Her eyes grew wide and her mouth dropped open.
“Y-you can’t be s-serious.” He didn’t reply, only lifted those beautiful almond shaped amber eyes from his feet to hers.
“I’m not…not the one you want. I can promise you that.”
“It’s okay to say you’re scared Larkbird.”
“It doesn’t have anything to do with being scared Nam! It has everything to do with what makes sense. You…you and I don’t make sense.”
“Like everything else you’ve decided for me that we don’t make sense. You haven’t even given me a chance to determine that myself. Why do you do that?”
“Because…I hurt you before…. I hurt you bad. I don’t wanna do that again.” Coming to hover above her, he took her face in his palms.
“It doesn’t matter what you did. What you do or what you will do in the future. I’ll always love you Lark.” He took hold of her wrist again and exposed that tiny cluster of needle scars. Gliding his lips glided across them, he smiled at her sharp inhale of breath. small cluster of scars caused by syringes. He kissed them, trying to let her know that it was okay. Her eyes closed, her lips part and her body relaxed and he, pleased at that, let his tongue trace the scars. To his surprise, a delightful little moan of surprise and arousal left her throat, a beautiful little throat that he couldn’t wait to kiss, sink his teeth into, hold in the palm of his hand, beneath his fingers.
Letting go of her arm, he gently pulled her against him and pressed a kiss to her cheek.
“I brought you out here with the intention of confessing. I’ve done that…finally…shit.” Opening her eyes, she took a shaky breath but smiled as he entwined their fingers.
“I know this isn’t like the movies. But I…I just want to know…I have to know if you feel the same way Lark. Depending on your answer, it’ll determine how the rest of this night will go. If… if you want it to go anywhere…” For the first time he sounded dead serious, the goofy humorous tone as if it never existed. The intensity of his eyes on her made her flushed and for the longest time they stared into each other’s eyes. Licking her lips, she felt a shred of fear travel through her belly but swallowed it down.
“I feel the same way about you Nam…I…I just…” Wrapping his arms around her he let out a familiar laugh, warm and lilting. He felt his chest unleash all of the butterflies that had traveled up from his stomach as he leaned down and finally took claim of her lips.
“I know baby. I know.” Surrendering her mouth up to him, she let him lift her up into his arms. After so long of living in fear, maybe… maybe tonight under the millions of stars that seemed to twinkle and shine, she could learn to let it go. They could learn to let it go.