The first day I met Mike Wheeler, I flipped.
Will was drawing with chalk in his driveway. Rainbows and spaceships and...rainbow spaceships coated the black tar that cooked in the mid August sun. His mother was gardening in the patch of flowers that sprouted beneath their bay window. Will always loved to watch his mother tend to her gardens. She didn’t get to do it much these days though. His father had left and his mother had to take on so much work her brown hair started to sprout grey when she was only in her mid thirties.
Will looked back down to his drawings, taking out a purple piece of chalk and scraping the outline of a pansy. His mother's favorite flower.
He heard a rumbling from the end of the street, and looked up to see a marmalade coloured moving van coughing it’s way down the pavement. In front of it, was a green and brown station wagon with a tired looking man and a woman wearing a lot of makeup sitting in the front seat.
They pulled into the home across the street from Will’s and he got excited. The house was a family house, with four bedrooms, so surely the pair in the front seats would have children with them. Will could have a new friend!
Will ran to his mother while the new neighbours got out of their car, and Will asked if he could go and see if they wanted some help. Joyce Byers, her crows feet far to deep in her young face crinkled as she nodded at her youngest.
Will jogged across the street. He looked both ways for cars and then crossed with vigour, looking excited whilst being covered in chalk. He smiled from below the truck, making eye contact with the new neighbours before climbing up the platform.
It was those eyes, something in those dazzling eyes.
The boys eyes were dark brown that Will got lost in before he pulled himself to instead push his small frame into the truck. He then found a box to try to help with.
“You wanna push this one together?” he asked the brown eyed boy, bending over before a foot snapped down in front of the box. He looked up to see the man who had driven the car from before; The man looked gruff and unpleasant, but Will was always up for a challenge as he turned once again towards the neighbour boy who looked about his age.
His family had just moved into the neighborhood and I'd gone over to help them. I'd been in the van all of two minutes when his dad sent him off to help his mom.
“Mike, isn't it time for you to go help your mother?” He said, motioning for the exit ramp .
“Huh?,” The neighbour, Mike, looked at his dad confused for a moment, before he winked at him quite obviously.
“Oh, yeah.” Mike said to his dad, before jumping down the ramp without batting a second glance at Will
He jumped down off the platform and Will saw the flash of his striped t shirt vanish around the corner of the truck.
I could see he didn't want to go. So I chased after him to see if we could play a little before he got trapped inside.
The next thing I know,
Will jumped off the platform as well, losing his balance slightly before running off after Mike. The man in the truck was happy to be rid of him, some mumbling about meddling kids followed Will out of the van.
Will turned the truck’s corner to see a mop of black hair and striped t shirt running up the front lawn towards the door. Will wasn’t fast by any means but apparently running to the new neighbour was kryptonite, so Will caught up to him easily. He put a chalky hand on the boys shoulder, before he spasmed and did a weird motion with his arm.
he's holding my hand.
Mike looked at Will and Will saw stars. He could see the flecks of dark browns that were woven through the ashy ambers of Mike’s eyes. Will could feel a blush on his cheeks but he didn’t mind much as Mike’s face turned red as well. Mike had odd hair. It was straight in places and then curly in the next. It seemed it couldn’t make up it’s mind and decided to be every consistency at once. Freckles coated his cheeks and his eyelids.
and he was looking right into my eyes. My heart stopped.
Was this it?
Would this be my first kiss?
Just then the front door opened, and out came the woman who was in the car that drove down the street earlier. Will recognized her makeup and the apron around her waist. She looked friendly and well put together. Not that his own mother was prone to chaos, this woman just seemed to glow with an air of superlative order.
“Well, hello. I’m Karen Wheeler, I see you’ve met my son” She said cheerily. She looked at the boy beside Will. Mike glanced at Will before dropping his hand and running behind his mother.
And he was so embarrassed, his cheeks turned completely red.
I went to bed that night thinking of the kiss that might have been.
I mean, it was clear he had feelings for me,
but he was just too shy to show them.
My mother said boys were like that. So I decided to help him out.
Will was at the school building very early in the morning. He’d known everyone since pre school and was excited to see his best friends Dustin and Jane again. He had been thinking about Mike since they met the month prior. Would he come to his school? Would they be friends? Well if not Will was happy with the friends he had.
He met up with Dustin and Jane - who among them was nicknamed El- and they walked into their kindergarten class, leaving kisses on their mothers cheeks. The teacher was playing with some kids as they walked in and they decideed to share the reading nook in the corner.
The classroom slowly filled with rowdy four year olds and the teacher was starting to try to contain the manic energy. Everyone was to choose an activity and do it quietly with some friends. Just then the door opened and a small boy with black hair and a striped sweater walked into the room, eyes locked on the back of his hand.
“Mike? You're here!” Will called from the book nook, standing and trapping the other boy in a hug.
I would give him plenty of opportunity to get over his shyness.
But by the sixth grade, I'd learned to control myself.
The bell had rung, signing off another glorious day at Hawkins elementary. Will was packing up his science binders and waved Dustin and El off as they looked to him wondering if they should wait for him. He saw Mike staggering behind as well, and thought he might be able to talk to him before the end of the day.
Will scrambled around to find the pencil that he’d dropped on the floor. Where was it? It’s like it dissapea-
“Hey Stace, wait up!” Will heard Mike call after the departing girl.
Will could hear vague fragments of their conversation, them being in the doorway and all. Will found his pencil and zipped up his backpack. He pulled his bag over his shoulder, straightening up with the courage to go and talk to Mike before he heard-
“I was wondering if you wanted to go out with me?” Followed by Mike Wheelers signature smile, crooked on the left side
She smiled back and nodded. They chatted distinctly as Will stormed past the pair on his way out of the classroom.
“Watch it Byers!” Stacey had called after him
Then Stacey Albright entered the picture. I thought she was nice until the snowball when she trashed Dustin. He’s my best friend and such a sweet guy. He asked her to dance and she not only rejected but humiliated him.
Since then I realised she was nothing but a whiny, gossipy, brat.
All hair and no substance.
But there she was…
Will was taking books out of his locker. His step sister, El, leaning against his neighbours as they chatted about their next class. Their conversation was led by El as Will tuned out to the high pitched guffaw coming down the hall.
“-this weird curly haired kid came and asked me to dance, I turned him down-” Stacey ranted as Mike and her walked down the hall side by side. Will tuned out her voice, watching with sad eyes as Mike grabbed her hand quickly and laughed as he made eye contact with Will.
Will slammed his locker closed, a pinched mouth telling El that they should get going. He walked passed Mike down the hall, hitting his shoulder hard with El walking quickly at his heels
Holding hands with Mike. My Mike. The one who was walking around with my first kiss.
My solution was to ignore her.
I knew a boy of Mike's caliber would eventually see through a shallow middle school girl like Stacey Albright.
Will walked down the hall with El and Dustin at his sides. Dustin was making a long winded joke that had El ripping at the seams with laughter. Will listened briefly, chucking and leaving a small smile on his face from the pleasant company of his friends.
They walked out the doors of Hawking elementary school, onto the playground. The area for the oldest kids was covered in girls playing with dolls, boys rolling in the sand and hanging on the swingset was Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair and Max Mayfield.
El dragged them over so she could talk to Max.
Lucas and Dustin made conversation, being friends all throughout their earlier school days before breaking off peacefully into different social circles.
Will stood awkwardly, glancing at Mike occasionally and interjecting into Lucas and Dustin’s squabbles periodically.
Mike looked back at him before Stacey stormed up to the group of six.
“Oh hey Stac-” Mike said before Stacey slapped him across the face.
“Jerk” She muttered as she left, shaking her hand in annoyance.
Mike was left with a scowl and a red cheek that Will had to bite his lip not to laugh at.
It took all of a week. They broke up at recess.
She didn't take it well.
But now that Mike was out of Stacey's clutches, he started being nicer to me.
Will walked into his Science class, fourth period of the day. He sat down in his assigned seat, not being very good friends with anyone in his class. He looked around a bit before pulling out his brand new sketchbook. He’d saved up all his birthday money his grandparents gave him, plus the money he made mowing Mr. Nelson’s lawn and was able to afford a twenty two dollar sketchbook with nicer-than-normal paper.
Will pondered what to draw as he tapped the bud of his pencil against his bottom lip, before some quiet chuckling was heard from the other corner of the science lab. Will looked around to see Lucas Sinclair leaning against his girlfriend Max Mayfield whom of which stood against the furthest testing table of the room. Across from them, sitting haphazardly on a lecture desk that lined the rows of the classroom. He was smiling, his teeth framing his face beautifully as he chuckled to whatever comment Lucas made before they high fived.
When the bell rang, Mike said adieu to his companions and trugged over to his place in the classroom layout.
“Hey Will” Mike said politely as he sat down in his assigned seat in front of Will.
“Hey Mike” Will smiled.
He was so shy and so cute.I spent most of the whole year sketching drawings of Mike Wheeler among ...other things.
if I was ever going to get my kiss.