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Insomnia

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The party had been great, and that was just an understatement. Your parents were out of town for the night, so you and your new friends decided to chill at your place, which meant drinking and passing around blunts while listening to loud music. You had moved to South Gloucestershire about six months ago, but you had already been able to find a great group of friends. They were all about your age, seventeen or eighteen. There were two boys in the group though that you had never seen before. Your friends had told you before that they were in a band together and had been home-schooled years ago. They also had been touring Europe for the past months, so you never got the chance to meet them. Not that you talked much to Charlie and Leo tonight, since everyone else was already craving for some stories about the tour they did. It wouldn’t have felt right for you to talk to them when all your friends, who had missed them for months, wanted to catch up with them so badly. You had looked up their music when you first heard about them and had to admit that they were pretty good. Charlie was very social and did most of the talking, but Leo on the other hand was more closed-off. But you were pretty sure that it was only made worse by the fact that they were both as high as kites. You sighed and looked up at the clock, seeing that it was already 4 am. All your friends had passed out in the bedrooms about two hours ago, but you hadn’t been able to fall asleep. This wasn’t a weird occurrence for you, since you were used to having insomnia. The effects of all the joints and beer had already worn off, so you were left alone with your clear mind. You were awoken from your train of thoughts by the kitchen door opening. Your head jerked up as you looked at the person who just walked in. It surprised you to see Leo standing in the doorway, with a shocked look on his face. ‘Oh, I’m sorry. I wasn’t expecting anyone else to still be awake.’ He smiled awkwardly and you could see that he was debating on walking away.
‘It’s okay, I don’t mind.’ You returned his smile and watched him as he walked towards the cabinets in the kitchen.
‘Sorry to ask, but where do you keep the cups?’ He looked back at you confused.
You pointed to the cabinet on his left. As he filled his cup with some water you thought to yourself that this must’ve been the first sentence you actually had spoken to him. He turned around and leaned against the counter. An awkward silence fell upon you two, both not knowing how to act around each other.
‘So…’ you said, ‘Why are you still up?’
He sighed and relaxed a bit, the icy tension between them being broken. ‘Just insomnia, nothing special.’ He put the cup back down. His longer, brown hair was tied up in a small ponytail. He was wearing this oversized hoodie with no pants, but the hoodie was big enough to cover up most of his upper leg. It was the same sweater he had worn the entire night. Nobody had actually planned on crashing here, but it just kind of happened.
‘Same, insomnia is a bitch.’ you sighed.
An innocent smile appeared on his lips. ‘Really?’ He walked towards the kitchen table and sat across from you.
You nodded and shrugged. ‘Yeah, I usually take medication for it but I ran out.’
‘Me too, but I didn’t plan on staying here for the night.’ The corners of his mouth were curled up in an adorable way. ‘And I’m way too lazy to head home now. I’m pretty sure there aren’t even any trains that go to my neighbourhood at this hour.’ He furrowed his eyebrows.
‘Pretty sure you’re right.’ you responded.
‘It’s kinda funny how we are part of the same group of friends but never even talked.’
You shook your head and grinned. ‘It is. I heard lots of good things about you though, so I was lowkey excited about finally meeting you. Everyone always described you as this goofy, lyrical, genius.’
He laughed softly and nodded. ‘I have heard that one before, sadly. It must be weird to meet me and Charlie, after already being here for six months.’
You shrugged again and looked at the young boy in front of you. ‘Maybe it’s a little weird, since you were more like a ghost than a real person to me at some point, but it’s not that bad.’
He nodded and looked back at you. Something about the way that his lips were shaped made it look like he was always smiling. And suddenly, you didn’t mind your insomnia as much.

The two of you were now sitting on the couch. The clock had already struck 5, meaning that you had been talking for more than an hour now. You started out talking about the small things, like the tour he just came home from. You discussed your life before you moved to South Gloucestershire, and his experience on British Got Talent.
‘Alright, but there is something that I have been wondering. Ever since I listened to your music, I wanted to ask: Are they lyrics true? Do you relate to them?’ you asked.
He fell silent and pressed his lips together. ‘Yeah, I guess they are.’
You instantly regretted asking him, noticing how his mood had shifted. ‘Doesn’t surprise me. You look like a pretty genuine person, and someone who has this whole “problematic” vibe around them.’
‘Is that an insult?’ He frowned, not quite getting if what you were meaning.
You shook your head. ‘Oh no, it really isn’t. I’m quite the troubled one as well.’
‘Tell me.’ he said softly, almost like he was afraid of being to personal.
You bit down on your bottom lip, thinking about if it would be a smart idea to trust Leo. You barely knew him, but somehow you felt like you had met him years and years ago. But then again, she knew his music. And knowing that those lyrics were all based on truth made her more comfortable with telling him more personal stuff. ‘My trust issues are out of this world. The last time I truly opened up to someone it blew up in my face. I met this guy, and I made the stupid mistake of befriending him. We became insanely close and I told him everything there was to know about me. Feelings got involved and we started messing around. In the end he suddenly broke the contact, not wanting to see or talk to me again. He said that if I would tell anyone about him and I, he would tell all my problems to others. And since we had a shitload of mutual friends, I was too scared to speak up. That’s why I moved away. It didn’t matter where I was, he was always there. Every party, every class, every get-together. Always there to haunt me, even when he wasn’t physically attending.’ you explained, talking quickly. You felt vulnerable, but still dared to open up.
He nodded slowly and smiled kindly, looking down. While you had been talking he had moved closer to you, in interest of what you were saying. He had rolled up the sleeves of his hoodie messily, something that he did a lot. ‘Thanks for telling me.’ He looked up and his gaze met yours. ‘I know that it must be hard to trust again after some jerk like that screws you over.’ His voice was kind and soothing, and only the sound of it already made you feel better. It became silent between you two, for the first time this night. But, unlike when he had walked in the kitchen, it wasn’t awkward. It was a comfortable silence. You were staring at your hands, which you were resting on your lap. You felt his stare burning against your skin, and you knew that he was studying your face. You couldn’t help but feel self-conscious. Not being able to handle the feeling of being watched, you looked up at him. His facial expression was serious, but you could see a hint of excitement in his eyes. Only now did you notice how close you were sitting to him. There were only a few inches of air left between you and Leo and you could almost feel the space around him move. He looked down upon you. ‘I really want to kiss you.’ he whispered in a daze.
You inhaled sharply and swallowed, getting nervous. ‘What’s holding you back?’ you responded, trying to sound confident, yet your voice came out weak. He slowly put his hand in the back of your neck and pulled you up. Very softly and careful he placed a sweet kiss upon your lips, like he was scared of going too far. Within a few seconds he shyly pulled away. His cheeks turned a dark shade of pink as he turned his head the other way, but you could see that there was a joyous smile on his lips. ‘I’m sorry, I usually never do things like this.’ he whispered.
‘You mean kissing someone within two hours of knowing them?’ You bit down on your lip and tried to contain the grin on your face.
He laughed weakly and nodded. ‘Yeah, I never get feelings this fast. It usually takes me quite some time before I want to kiss someone…’
‘Me too, don’t worry. And I didn’t mind at all, so no need to apologise.’ You put your hand on his hand and softly squeezed.
He looked back at you. ‘In that case, would you mind if I kissed you again?’
You smiled and put your arms around his neck. ‘No, I wouldn’t.’ Your lips reconnected sweetly. You moved slowly, not feeling the need to rush it. The connection you felt was like silk, softly but vulnerable. Like you would break if you moved to fast. But you enjoyed the innocence in your actions. It was more genuine. You slowly pulled him down as he laid down next to you, kissing you softly.

A few hours later Charlie woke up without his best friend next to him. Ignoring the headache he searched the other rooms, worrying about his missing friend. But when he walked down the stairs, and into the living room, his worries disappeared. There he found his friend lying next to the new girl, asleep. They were both fully dressed, but he could see that there was something between them. The girl was laying on her side, with her head on his chest. Leo had his arm around her loosely, a very small smile on his lips as he slowly breathed in and out, still deep in his slumber. Charlie, after taking a picture to bug his best friend with when he would wake up, walked away, leaving the two alone again.