Josh was the only one who really understood.
Tyler knew he was exaggerating, but that's how he felt sometimes. On the days where it was clear no one understood, on the days when people would talk like they did. They didn't, though. Empathy was on the brink of extinction.
His parents would try. Of course they tried. And he wouldn't ever tell them, but it was painful to watch them reaching out like that, unable to really understand. Other people, and even his friends would say they understood, they would look into his eyes and decide what they thought was true. And most of the time, he allowed it. Played along.
But it got so frustrating. It ate at him, got under his skin and drove him insane sometimes.
There was something about Josh that felt different, though. He could look at him and see that Josh understood.
He knew that sometimes Tyler wanted to just drown himself in music. He knew that Tyler wrote a lot of things that didn't always mean as much as it did originally. His emotions would change, his thoughts would change, the way he saw lyrics would change sometimes.
And at night, when Tyler couldn't, or didn't want to sleep, he didn't need to explain to Josh why that was. Or when he felt like never going back to Twitter, or Facebook, Josh knew why. Even when it was something Josh couldn't relate to, he could still see why Tyler was the way he was.
That's how it felt right then, anyways. As they walked side by side through the large forest. It felt like Josh knew him. On so many levels. He glanced over at Josh, his red hair messy and distracting, his eyes dark and kind.
"Thanks, for, you know--walking with me." Tyler muttered, feeling like he needed to thank him just for walking next to him. For being with him.
Josh smiled softly at him, reassuringly, "I don't mind. It's nice out."
Tyler nodded. It was very nice out. It wasn't as dark as he would have imagined, though, especially since it was 4 am. And he wasn't as tired as he should have been, either.
Leafs crunch beneath their shoes, nostalgia mixing with the strange emotions he was already feeling, and for a moment he smells that odd smell, the aroma that takes him back to when he was young.
He breaths in before slowly exhaling, the crisp night air relaxing in the oddest of ways, and the moon came down in rays through the trees around them, like something just out of a dream.
"Tyler, can you promise me something?" Josh asked then, staring at Tyler as Tyler met his eyes.
"Just...whenever you can't sleep, you can always come to me, okay?"
Tyler couldn't help smiling a bit and laughing a little, "Thanks. Thank you," he paused, becoming a bit more serious, "You don't have to worry about it that much, though."
Josh nodded, but Tyler could tell something was still bothering him. "I know. But I'm serious."
Tyler swallowed uncomfortably, "I will, I promise," Tyler told him quickly, but the conversation had taken a very serious turn, so he added playfully, "But the distance will be so difficult."
He grinned as he watched Josh smile, turning to Tyler dramatically, "We'll manage! We'll text, and face-time! The distance won't ruin what we have!"
Tyler laughed, "But it doesn't work for most people, what if the distance is too much, Josh?"
Josh grinned back at him, but it started to fade slightly, "We'll be okay."
Something heavier set in then, and Tyler found himself staring at Josh in the darkness. They were silent, though, and stayed that way for a few minutes. Josh met his eyes in the darkness after some time, and that was when it clicked in Tyler's head. He smiled softly at Josh, "Whenever I can't sleep, I'll let you know. I promise."
Josh forced a smile, concern clear on his face, but nodded, bumping his hand against Tyler's, and Tyler grabbed his hand loosely in his own.