Soleil’s story, from the perspective of the boy who loves her.
When most people think of sunshine, they think of joy, happiness, the colour yellow, heat, summertime, and smiles on the faces of every person in the world! That is, besides Soleil Grace Soto, whose first name actually means sunshine. She is the complete opposite of what you’d expect. And I am absolutely in love with her.
I’ve known Soleil since we were in first grade together. From the moment I saw her walk through those doors holding her dad’s hand, wearing a flouncy purple dress with her hair up in pigtails, I knew she was going to be important. She hugged her dad goodbye, then came and plopped down right next to me. And I mean right next to me, her arm hair pricked up to connect with mine.
“Hi, I’m Soleil, what’s your name?” she asked me.
I was so in shock I stared at her for a good twenty seconds before she got impatient and nudged me, “Hello, what’s your name?” she prodded.
“W-Will, my name’s Will,” I told her, my face burning up and paling at the same time.
She looked me over then, “Well, it was nice to meet you, Will,” and that was the last time she spoke to me until senior year of high school.
Now, Soleil went through some phases before she got to where she is now. There was the girly phase which lasted about three years. The tomboy phase lasted a good five years, and the goth/emo phase has been going on since our freshman year in high school. Now she’s into metal and rock music, poetry about death, stuff like that. The last time I saw her smile was when some kid got punched in the face by the school bully during first lunch because he took the last cupcake.
Soleil and I have had our fair share of experiences together. Once, we went on the eighth grade trip to Catalina Island, where I threw up on her lap because I was seasick. But she said nothing, just led me to the bathroom, gave me a water bottle, then walked off to who-knows-where.
Then, our sophomore year, we won homecoming court. She was crowned princess, me the prince, and we needed to slow dance at the homecoming dance. Of course, I had no idea how and was stepping on her feet left and right. But once again, she said nothing. Just danced with me, smelling overwhelmingly like a bouquet of roses.
And now, here we are. A foot or two away from each other, standing outside the school doors with people pushing past us to get in before the bell.
“We need to talk,” she said to me, standing there in her black high tops, her black jeans, and her black sweater. Blinking those big brown eyes surrounded by black eyeliner at me. She had recently cut her hair too, right at the jawline. And I was standing there, getting lost in the galaxy of freckles on her nose and cheeks, when she nudged me, just like how she did in first grade.
I blinked out of my daze and pushed my glasses up onto my nose, “Oh yeah sure, what’s up?”, I asked her, shuffling my feet around, trying not to act too obvious about the fact that I think she is the most perfect person in the world.
“In private,” she motioned towards the school and led me into a broom closet.
She looked out, checking to see if anyone had seen us, then closed the door with us inside. Let me tell you, I have never been so close to a girl before in my life. Even the sophomore dance I had with her, we were farther apart than this. But now, our noses were just touching, me breathing her air in, she breathing mine. From this close, I could see the mascara on her eyelashes, the curve of her lips. I sucked a breath in, trying to slow my heartbeat down.
“Oh geez, calm down Will, it’s not like you haven’t seen a girl before,” she said sarcastically, emphasizing the word girl.
I raised my eyes to meet hers, “Uhm, right. What did you need to talk to me about?” I said, thinking about how easy it would be to kiss her in this private place, inches away from each other.
She sighed and I got a taste of her minty breath, “I need your help with something.”