I was excited when I heard that Scott had returned. At first I was worried that he wouldn't remember me….it had been so long ago when we played together as children. I guess I wasn't really worried that he wouldn't remember me…we had nearly been best friends, but I was more worried that he wouldn't consider seeing me again. You know how it is, when someone that you are close with moves far away. Sometimes you drift apart and there is that strange awkwardness when you see each other again. The strange awkwardness that feels like this person who you used to know so well is now a stranger before your eyes. Apparently, and happily, Scott didn't feel that way since he called me within the first few days of him being home.
It was so strange hearing his voice again, after all this time. He was about ten when he had gone away, and we were both twenty now. Ten long years separated me from the person I used to know. Would he be recognizable to me? Had he completely changed? The only way to know would be to see him. He suggested, over the phone, that we meet soon to catch up. I laughed as I remembered how his voice had caught me off guard. It was so deep! This boy I had known had turned into a man. I may have changed a little myself in ten years.
I drove my car over to the side of town that I hadn't been to since Scott had gone away. It was unusual for people to go to the other side of town very often, especially as often as I had when our friendship had been in full swing. I had left the last neighborhood of my town about a half hour ago and had been driving through deserted fields ever since. Up ahead, I caught sight of the edges of civilization. I had to remind myself that they were farther off than they appeared. At this distance they looked normal, but I had to remember that they were much larger than the average house I was used to.
As I drove through town, I was in awe of how I used to be familiar with all of this. How had I taken it so much in stride?? Maybe it was partly due to the fact that I was a child then and I had less preconceptions. Now that I had been away so long, the scale of the monstrous houses that stretched far into the sky completely took my breath away. Just now, I realized how long ago our friendship seemed to have taken place. Would he be the same person at all? I continued to drive along on the side road that was reserved for humans.
Pulling into the small side driveway (reserved for humans, no matter how rarely it was used) I parked my car and hesitated before I unbuckled my seatbelt. For some reason, my body chose that now would be the perfect time to get nervous. Sure, I had been friends with a giant for years when I was younger, but that seemed forever ago. A lot of the comfort and familiarity I had back then had faded and a new kind of awe and fear took over. I nearly considered that I should turn around and head home, but…this was Scott. Not some stranger. This would be fine. Taking a deep breath, I stepped out of my car and trekked up to the front door. Ordinarily, that would be very dangerous, but Scott knew I was coming.
Taking another breath…a far deeper breath…I rang the doorbell (the human one, located at my height) and waited. I heard him coming long before he opened the door, so I was somewhat prepared for the ridiculously large door to swing open, creating a huge back draft around me.
I was not prepared to see Scott.
The person that looked down at me from high in the air was a stranger. He was not the small boy that I had known so well. His limbs were no longer skinny with youth and his face was no longer childlike. He was no longer a small giant boy.
I don't know what I had expected, but I never expected my reaction. I was terrified.
This…man…was mammoth. The boy I knew had grown, as he obviously would. He now seemed impossibly high in the air as he loomed over me. The once skinny frame had filled out into a thick, muscular body. His face now sported a strong jaw line with a stubbly five o'clock shadow. Scott's hair was also longer, and a deeper dishwater blonde than the once short, light blonde locks that he used to have.
How dumb was I to have not forseen how he would be so changed? This once innocent boy, my friend, now seemed so threatening. He had already been large then, but now he was far too huge.
"Steph?" His voice rumbled from his chest. A louder, deeper volume than I was ever used to hearing. I jumped and took a few steps backwards. I tried to remedy my face somehow, to hide my terrified expression, but it seemed to be just as frozen as my voice was.
The stranger man's face softened from his confused look into one of sad understanding.
"Steph, it is just me, Scott." He spoke in a careful tone, lowering his voice. I still remained silent. His face now looked more worried, and he began to bend down, folding his frame into a kneeling posture. His knees became pillars on both sides of me. The shifting of his immense body over top of me was the last thing that my fragile nerves could take. I gasped, suppressing a scream, and took a few back pedaling steps backwards before I turned to run. I only made it a few steps before an enormous hand came down to block my path.
"Steph, why are you so scared? It is just me."
Immobilized by the sight of the hand before me, I tried to calm myself. Of course, this was Scott. I knew Scott. Why was I acting like this?
Well, yes I knew him, but that didn't change the fact that he seemed so different to me. My instincts told me to run once I took in his new physical appearance. There was just so MUCH of him.
"Steph, please? Can you say something? Are you okay?" Scott pleaded, and somewhere in his changed voice, I heard the friend that I hadn't seen in so long. This gave me enough courage to try and turn around to face him.
I don't know if it was a good idea or not. I stared up and up at his face that hovered above me. Again I was struck by the face of this full grown man that was supposedly my Scott.
"Ummm….I…" I stuttered, unable to finish my sentence. I was so intimidated.
"I don't think I quite heard what you said." The hand behind me began to move towards me, in a motion to pick me up. I was jolted from my intimidated daze and tried to dart around the oncoming hand, but he was much faster than me. Easily, he scooped me up and I rolled into the middle of his palm. I screamed as he began to lift me. I couldn't help it.
"I…am I really scaring you this much? Will you please talk to me?" His hand had stopped moving upwards, but now his fingers partially curled over me, cupping me. He never used to be able to do that. His palm was never this big, this roomy to allow me to sit in the center. Scott's hand was so much bigger and it seemed to envelope me. It looked so much stronger.
"I'm…I'm sorry. I wasn't prepared for this at all." I finally spoke. A small part of me, even though I knew he was a gentle person, was afraid of angering him for being so scared.
Instead of anger, hurt filled his face.
"You are terrified of me." He stated simply…and sadly.
"I just wasn't expecting to see you so…changed. I mean, I knew you would be, but you're so much…bigger."
"Yes…I may have hit a growth spurt or two during the teenaged years. You do seem so much smaller than I remember, even though you have supposedly grown too." He chuckled, trying to lighten the mood.
The fact that I even appeared smaller to him made me gulp.
He brought his other hand up and cupped it around the other one to give me more room and support, although both were completely unnecessary.
"I'm sorry, I have to stand. This is really uncomfortable kneeling like this." He said apologetically. Before I could voice my rejection to this, I felt my stomach dropping as he raised himself into the air. I didn't even want to think about how far from the ground I was now.
He began walking into the kitchen of his home and I began to shake. The movement of his walking, the size of the hands around me, and the overwhelming intimidation were taking its toll. He felt it.
"I'm sorry Steph, maybe we should have taken this slower somehow. I'll let you go home soon if you want to, I just don't want you to leave still scared of me." I didn't reply as he slowly lowered me to the table. I scrambled off as soon as I was able and shuddered as the table heavily vibrated beneath me as he moved a chair to take a seat. He rested his arms on the table….these massively thick arms…and they made me feel fenced in. Everything about him made me feel so small. I tried my hardest to steady my emotions.
"Are you going to be okay?" He questioned, as soon as he settled himself. I nervously forced myself to nod. He regarded my response with skeptical eyes.
"I didn't realize I would be so frightening to you," he half apologized and half admitted to himself.
I wanted to console him, to tell him he wasn't at all; but that would be a lie.
"I'm sorry for my horrible reaction. I should have known…I just wasn't ready for this, I guess. It has been so long. You changed a lot."
He smiled briefly, and in that flicker of a smile I saw another glimpse of the old Scott I used to know. This gave me more courage.
Scott lowered his head and folded his arms. I jumped a little from the movement, but tried to stand my ground as much as possible.
"I'm still the same person. I haven't changed that much."
The silence stood between us for a moment.
"You look older too…smaller…but older. You look very pretty." He commented again. I tried not to blush.
"I missed you. I'm sorry I was away for so long. I hope we can still be friends….you wouldn't be scared of me if I hadn't gone away."
I realized his words were true. If I had been around while he grew up, then I might not even have noticed the gradual changes. However, after all this time apart, it was hard not to notice that this already huge person had doubled in size. He gazed at me with pale green eyes.
"I hope I'm not still frightening you."
"No…well not as much. I just had to get used to you…the new you."
"I told you. I'm the same person. Are you willing to stay this afternoon?"
It was hard to imagine spending the whole afternoon with his new, intimidating stature, but I did find myself slowly getting used to it. Slowly.
"I think I can do that." I said quietly. I missed my old friend Scott and I didn't want something as dumb as this to get in the way of our friendship.
He reached out again, slowly, and wrapped his fingers around me. My heart began to beat faster, but I struggled to remain still. Scott lifted me from the table, his fingers safely and firmly around me, and pressed me against the wall-like surface of his chest.
"I'm sorry, I hope this isn't too much. I just missed you, Steph."
"I'll get used to it. I really missed you too." I said as I tried to hug him back.