Venus traced Jules's lips with her fingers and although they were cold it left a trail of fire against his skin.
He thought of nothing, then everything as he held her. He thought of how clouds of gas and dust collapse into itself to form galaxies, he thought of how she was a star that had a person's name. Vee-nuhs. He thought of Venus.
When he closed his eyes he could still see her engraved on the back of his eyelids asking the same question she asked the day they met. Are you alive or just existing?
He opened his eyes finally ready to answer. "I'm alive."
She smiled like she knew what he was talking about but she probably didn't—since it all happened in his goddamn head, after all—or maybe she did, maybe she was lying when she said she couldn't read his mind.
He looked at her. Can you hear me, Venus? If you can I just wann
"What do mean you can't come home?! Now you listen here Johnathan you better get your ass back in this house in the next 24 hours!" Marie screamed over the phone.Jules let his head rest on the door with a thump he wasn't really eavesdropping he could already hear Aunt Marie having a screaming match with his father over the phone from his room upstairs, so he decided to come downstairs to feed the pain growing in his chest. He listened to the one-sided conversation outside his father's study."—Johnathan," Marie gasped. "That boy is your son! Why would you ever say that?""—that's no excuse! I can't believe you left him alone for this long! What would Moria say? Do you think my sister would have wanted this?!""—Don't you dare raise your voice at me, Jace! She was my sister first before your wife.""—shut up! Just shut up!" She sobbed. "That boy did not
Venus took him away from the field and they ended up in an indoor swimming pool. She acted like she didn't see the closed sign as slipped through the window at the side of the building that just happened to be cracked open. She opened the front door for him with a Cheshire cat grin."We are trespassing!" Jules hissed even though he had already stepped into the foyer looking around."Do you really think someone will catch us?" She smirked. "Mind reader, remember?""What if another Jules comes along and you can't read him until he find us?"She laughed then, boy did she laugh like he had uttered the craziest thing. Jules never wanted it to stop because just being there, hearing it—made a part of him light up inside like a fucking bonfire and suddenly, the world was a beautiful place. "You're the only Jules, in the whole fucking universe and don't you forget!"Fuck my life
"It's not fair!" Kenya murmured, lethargically while rubbing her eyelids."Stop, moving." Jules scolded from behind her. He had been given the task of taming her wild fro into cornrows, something he had gotten experience from the countless times he did it for his mother. "And what's not fair?""Why do you have to go to a fair with some girl? When we came all the way here to go with you and have fun."He laughed. "You did not come all the way here to go to the fair with me, don't be ridiculous besides we are still going to have fun together. I'm just going there a bit earlier with Venus."Venus had been smiling before he popped the question. She'd just finished rereading one of her favourite books, Black holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays. "Listen to this, Jules" she'd said eyes closed and cheeks flushed. "Black holes of stellar mass
Jules didn't die—he wasn't all that certain though.Although his limbs were still attached to his body, his heart, stomach, and ego had taken some serious clobbering.The drive to Oakville's annual fair was just half an hour and during that time Jules thought he just might die."Jules!" Venus had screamed when his hold on her neared suffocating. "You're crushing me!""Ah, sorry." He'd said loosening his grip. Just a little."You know," she'd slowed down for a second, turning her head to give him a backward glance, visor up. "If I didn't see it for myself in people's heads I wouldn't have ever believed you were Oakville's very own heartthrob/football star. I mean aren't you supposed to be all male with testosterone oozing out of your pores."OuchJules had responded with. "Keep your eyes on the road."
"I still can't believe that you emptied Mr. Alston pocket so easily," Jules said shaking his head.Venus fanned herself with the wad of cash in her hand. "It's not my fault he kept putting his wallet on the line."They had just closed up shop. After a dispirited Mr. Alston left Jun had spared word (like Venus predicted) about the psychic that could see all your secrets. Safe to say in the next hour they were flooded with people, some actual wanted their fortunes read, some wanted to speak to deceased loved ones but the majority just wanted to see if Madame V could actually read minds.She could, obviously.It was fun but Jules was glad it was over and thankful that other than Mr. Alston (who will never be able to look Venus in the eye again) no else found out who Madame V actually was."Come on, let's drop this in the dona
There was a hole in Jules's chest.Literally, figuratively? He wasn't sure, all he knew was Venus was not awake and—He. Couldn't. Breathe.The lack of oxygen in his lungs wasn't because the hospital room he sat in was bursting with people, it wasn't because he was trapped between the man who accidentally cushioned Venus's fall, probably saving her from dying instantly and David.It was because Venus was not awake. It had been 13 hours. 13 hours since she fell, 13 hours since they transported her to the hospital, 13 hours since she opened her eyes, 13 hours since Jules smiled, 13 hours since Jules breathed."Dude," David said after another hour of Jules asphyxiating. "Do you need an inhaler or something? You're breathing kinda funny."Or something, Jules thought. Or Venus. Just Venus.
Jules didn't realize when a fly appeared in his bowl of oats."Are you listening to me, Jules?"Why did you have to mess with my food, fly?"The school called, apparently you haven't been to school for two days!"You don't see me sticking my head in the trash can, now do you?"You leave the house every day with your bag to go to school—"If you just asked I would have given you some."—so where are you going?"Okay, I'm lying I wouldn't have given you but asking is the polite thing to do."JULIAN!" Marie slammed her hands on the table.Jules blinked slowly, dazed. "Why are you shouting, all of a sudden?""All of sudden? I have been talking to you for the past three minutes!""Yeah?" His head felt heavy, but not as heavy as the weight on his chest."Where have you been going during school hour
Trigger warning: depression, suicideIt took three seconds for the smile on Venus's face to melt away. Three seconds for her to fall apart. Three seconds for Jules to realize what a fool he was.Just three seconds.Venus laid back down on the bed gasping. Jules came closer hovering unsure what to do, where to touch, how to make it all better. Their eyes met for a second.And he was reminded of the unrealistic Bollywood movies his mom loved to watch. Where the actress always had makeup on, no matter the scenario. Wake up from bed? Flawless. Get hit by a car? Flawless. Venus looked the opposite of that.She looked-worn, tired, pale and small. There was a big lump under the sheet that happened to be her leg. There were a lot fewer wires than the last time he saw her. The bridge of her cheek was kissed by a painful bruise.She smiled, eyes glassy a watery smile. "You're such a crybaby," she squinted at him