Growing up, Kiyua and I were plainly inseparable. We never seemed to want to sit in front of the television or play video games like most of the other kids in the neighborhood...to us, an afternoon spent trekking all over town and exploring the woods was a day well wasted. And we spent almost everyday and opportunity we had to do just that. We spent so much time wandering (and unintentionally trespassing) that the couple across the street jokingly began to call us 'her mini-Davy Crocketts'.
We told each other nearly everything, but over the years, there was one thing that I could never summon the guts to admit. I had always loved that we were close (definitely more so than most kids) and loved spending time with him, but I always managed to convince myself that we were just tight knit friends. So when I finally came to the realization that I did in fact have a serious crush on my best friend...I was very scared of what that meant. I managed to make myself scarce for an entire week in an attempt to avoid him, but my luck ran out as I had already committed to going on one of our local scout troops' camping trips...which of course he would be at.
I figured I had to play it cool, though inside, I was a wreck...running through every scenario in my mind of how he would react (or my parents for that matter...). I spent the first few hours trying to dodge him (or at least keeping busy trying to help our scoutmaster setup camp), but he was never that slow...he knew something was bothering me. ...just for once I wish I wasn't so easy to read sometimes!
While back home the weather was nice and calm, we were camping in mountains of Tennessee, in January...so as you might expect...the snow was raining down up here. After we had set up, Kiyua called me over to walk around the abandoned lake cabins not too far away. I was still scared as hell of slipping up, but I had no more excuses up my sleeve.
He tried to get me to open up about what was bothering me as we walked, but as I couldn't even look him straight in the eye, he eventually dropped it. A few moments later of walking in silence he must have thought it a grand idea to stagger back and launch a snow ball at me...which at first I was pretty ticked about...but soon enough I was into it, at least it gave my head a break from thinking. We had our own 'legendary' snowball fights in the past, so after 5 minutes, it was all that occupied my mind. That is, until I decided to go for a headshot as he was running for cover behind some rocks. It was a beautiful throw, but was a poor call...especially when it knocked him flat on his face and he didn't get up immediately.
Forgetting the game, I ran over to make sure he was alright, but even then he wasn't responding to me shaking him, which had me even more worried! But luckily after a moment he started to break out laughing as he couldn't hold a straight face any longer. And as he sat up out of the snow only a foot from my face...all my worries from before came crashing back. Frozen, all I could manage to do to calm my mind was to awkwardly point out that his scout neckerchief was messed up...and without thinking I reached to spin it back around...but I paused. And in that moment I finally looked him in the eyes...and to my surprise...he was grinning ear to ear. To this day I swear he must have read my thoughts, but given how well we knew each other, it dawned on me...he knew. I tried to mumble something, which I can't even recall...but he was having none of it and cut me off before the second word by quickly countering with a kiss.
...sometimes it's not so bad to be more than 'just friends'.
I'm not much of a story-writer, but since this piece was more personal that most, I figured I'd have some fun typing out the mental backstory that was meant to go with the picture. The story is meant to be as much as a personal catharsis as an explanation, so it ended up being much longer than anticipated, but if you do happen to read it, perhaps the picture will make more fluid sense! (:
I couldn't avoid drawing Kava and Kiyua as Khaki Scouts (a la Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom
) and I really did enjoy this piece...flaws and all, it put a smile on my face to finish.
Hopefully you all will like it too, always glad to hear your thoughts, and hope everyone is doing alright!
Secondary inspiration from Rosenstolz's Ich bin ich (www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1aSGR…
, which is one of my favourite music videos <3 and Ludovico Einaldi's 'Indaco'
Estimated time: A long time.