Ever since he could remember, Evan had wanted to be a marine biologist.
He remembers when he first moved near the beach, the feeling of heat on his skin and wind in his light brown hair, the sun, the waves, and there was so much to explore! but most of all he remembers the little crab he had met. the second he'd seen the snapping critter he'd run up to it looking in wonder as it crawled past him and into the sea "mama look!" he'd cried. He remembered the way she smiled at him as he pointed.
"Do crabs come in different colors?"
"What do crabs eat?"
"How big can a crab get?"
He had asked questions all the way home and the more they researched about crabs not only did his interest grow but he found himself fascinated with other sea animals as well.
Clown fish, whales and octopi to name a few. he begged his mom to take him to the beach everyday and she took him every chance she got. She would always smile about it, any time he showed her his new discoveries, she would be just as interested as him, any time he had questions, she was right there to help him find an answer, she had always supported him.
He remembers starting school.
He remembers entering the classroom, being met with so many kids, they all were tanned, and a few sunburnt -most likely from playing outside all summer- he remembers being introduced, his teacher telling him to sit wherever he liked multiple kids tried to call him over their eyes glowing in excitement. His eyes, however, strayed to the back of the class, where a kid was coloring all by himself, he was a lot paler than the others for some reason...the kid looked at him and for a second light and dark brown eyes met before he looked back down.
While all the other kids looked super fun he found himself walking towards the back.
"Hi." He whispered when he sat down looking
"uh...hi" the boy shyly replied back, his long dark brown hair hiding his face as he looked down, Evan subconsciously touched his own shorter hair, he kinda wished his own hair was that long...
"I'm Evan, what's your name?" he asked excitedly.
the kid shifted. "...Im Kade"
It was then that Evan saw Kade's drawing.
"Is that a crab?"
the boy flinched guiltily as if caught doing something bad, he shifted his paper
"uh...yeah it's a crab eating an apple." Kade said hesitantly.
"I love crabs! and apples are yummy, especially chocolate covered apples, those are my favorite" Evan exclaimed happily trying to keep his voice down.
Kade turned to look at him. "yeah, I like the ocean and apples are my favorite." his eyes shifted downwards, "my parents say its just a dumb phase though."
Evan was shocked at this, he fidgeted a little in his seat. "Well it's not just a phase for me, the ocean is cool, it's got all sorts of awesome animals like whales and dolphins, and I'm gonna be a marine biologist so I can study them all when I grow up!" his hands waved a little in the air as he said this.
Kade finally shifted to look at him "what's a marine biolatist?"
"biologist" Evan corrected " that's someone who studies plants and animals that live near the sea"
Kade's eyes lit up, and forgetting his earlier shyness he exclaimed. "That's so cool! I wanna be one too!"
but then he slouched back down, his face contorting into one of sadness again. "But I have to be a doctor, my parents said so...." he looked back at his drawing.
Evan crossed his arms. "Well my mom says you can be whatever you want when you grow up so if you want to be a marine biologist then when you grow up then we can study sea animals together!"
"...really?" Kade looked confused at the prospect of 'being whatever you wanted.'
"yeah!" Evan smiled.
and like that they were best friends, their parents liked each other too so that helped.
they would have sleepovers and playdates -almost always at Evans house- but that didn't matter Evans mom loved it when Kade came over.
Whenever Kade came they would all go to the beach or the Aquarium and play or look at the animals, and even if it was raining his mom would just set up a documentary instead, and though he was shy around Evans mom at first but he soon came out of his shell
he remembers turning 15 and finally being old enough to volunteer at the aquarium, Kade wasn't allowed too; instead his parents had sent him to a private school, determined to get him a scholarship for med school. But that didn't matter, it was only three more years then he and Kade could do whatever they wanted together.
and besides Evan wasn't allowed to do much at first, helping behind the scenes with some shows and take Supplies from one place to another, and maybe help feed the animals from time to time with supervision, but he still got to learn so much from the other workers and had fun!
When Evan got back he immediately called Kade and told him everything that happened.
"...wow that sounds...fun." Kade said, sounding a bit sad.
Evan frowned. "I'm sorry you have to be at dumb private school, i miss you."
"I miss you too."
"...but remember what I told you? once you move out you can do whatever you want, it's only three more years and then you can be a marine biologist with me right?"
"yeah...I just...." Kade sounded unsure. "Do you think they'll hate me? I mean they're spending all this money so I can be here and-"
"Kade" Evan said interrupting, they had had this conversation a lot over the years, and a while ago his answer would have been 'who cares what they think' but as his mother has explained Kade cared what they thought, they were his parents after all.
"It's your life and your choice, just because your parents want you to be something doesn't mean your required to do it, and even if you decide to become a doctor to please them, if you're not happy then technically they're still wasting their money, you still want to study sea life right?"
Kade made a small sound of agreement "then that's what your gonna do"
Kade went silent on the other line for a second before saying "yeah...yeah I guess you're right" Kade took a deep breath before letting it out again slowly.
"and until then I'll just have to volunteer for both of us!"
Kade chuckled. "thanks Evan."
Evan grinned "anytime dude" Evan looked at the clock "hey it's getting kinda late over here, but talk to you tomorrow?"
three years passed quicker then he thought, but at the same time also agonizingly slow.
every day he'd call Kade to talk and tell him about his day, and what he'd learn, and ask if Kade was doing alright and just...everything.
but still, he missed talking to best friend face to face…
finally Evan graduated high school! he was 18 and in another Month Kade would be too he was so excited!
The entire month was spent either looking at different colleges or talking to his mother about what he and Kade would do with each other.
Now, he was waiting in the middle of his room, looking at college applications, and trying to figure out which one to go to...the door opened and Evan turned his head expecting his mother to be there to ask what he wanted for dinner.
"KADE!?" and it was Kade. did he look paler then last time he'd seen him? Has his hair gotten longer?
After a moment of shock Evan quickly got up and hugged him. "But I thought you weren't coming till next week?" he said, confused.
"Yeah, my parents were gonna pay for my train ticket...but a friend said she'd do it for me, so here I am" he said, his voice happy but also holding nervous hints to it.
Evan frowned "do you know what you're gonna say to them?" Kade shook his head.
"I don't, I mean...I've thought about it but" Kade took a deep breath.
Evan hugged him again "I'll be right here with you Kade ok?"
Kade nodded "yeah."
"Well this is it!" Evan said, bursting with excitement as he walked into their new apartment and set his suitcase down.
"Can you believe it? we're finally going to college!"
Kade smiled slightly "yeah." he replied.
Evan's smile wavered and he walked over. "You doing ok?" he asked gently. to say Kades parents hadn't taken the news well was an understatement, that night they had decided to wait till the end of summer to tell them Kades decision and instead gone over to Kade's house to surprise them.
the rest of summer went well but of course they had argued when Kade told them he wasn't going to be a doctor, he had looked almost ready to back down but Evan had just grabbed Kade's hand, told them exactly what he'd told Kade multiple times, that it was Kade's life and that the both of them had already been accepted at miami university and walked out of there.
Now a week later they were in their new apartment in Miami, Kades parents had stopped blowing up his phone and had instead grown eerily silent.
"I'm ok," Kade said, tugging at the end of his shirt a little.
"forget about them for tonight" Evan said, guessing what, or rather who he was thinking about. "Let's put our stuff away for right now, yeah?"
"Great, now let's get to work!"
and that's how college life started for them, it was fun -well as fun as school could be anyways.
They studied -or helped Kade study as Evan had already learned most of this either by himself or by his volunteer work at the aquarium, got jobs, made a few friends, met some of Kades friends.
years passed and now they were both graduating college.
Evan walked to the platform, eyes shining as his mother cheered from where she was sitting, he looked back to where Kade was sitting waiting to be called up as well, several names were called until,
His mother cheered again, sounding just as excited as they both felt, and Kade's eyes also shined as he got his diploma and stood next to Evan.
Evan and Kade got jobs at a sea life research facility, a few years of saving up later they started their own rescue and rehabilitate Aquarium with plenty of shows about raising awareness of pollution...
"Will you marry me?" he asked Kade, one summer, they were at the beach, the one they grew up at, they had been dating for three years now, Kade looked at Even in surprise before smiling widely "yes."
The wedding was beautiful, and at the beach of course where else? and Kade, Kade looked amazing. there was no one else he'd rather have. His mother looked so happy.
...they had invited Kade's side of the family but...Evan pushed that thought to the back of his mind, no matter.
They had been through a lot together, but as they said their vows Evan knew there was no one else he'd rather have had by his side, both then and now.