Epicness

Just a few stories. Enjoy!

jessica in the dark

Jessica was alone for the night when the power went out in her dorm building. Usually Catherine was there, but tonight she had a party to attend for work off-campus. Normally Jessica would see the soft glow of her roommate’s laptop and that would help her calm down in situations like this one. But tonight, Catherine was gone and so was the charger to Jessica’s laptop. It was typical luck for the blonde. She was afraid of the dark when it stormed, which it was, hard. The rain was coming down by the bucketful and smacking against the windowpane. In a blanket cocoon, Jessica shook and closed her eyes tight. She tried to focus on one thing and one thing only; her voice. She started to sing softly under her breath. As the song progressed, her volume increased as did her confidence. Soon enough, she emerged from her cocoon and started to walk about the room. Her hips began to sway and her feet started to hit the floor in sync with the beat playing in her head. Before she knew it, Jessica was dancing.

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Just Getting Started

I’m not a morning person.

I sleepily get my stuff packed in a laptop bag. As I walk into the kitchen, I check my phone instinctively. One new message from Todd. I open it, and it reads: “Save your money starting now. If your grades stay up, I’ll match all you have saved for six months and put it towards buying you a new laptop.” Oh sweet! Todd and I discussed a few months back about how they’re coming out with all these new programs where you can record guitar, drums, vocals, bass, etc. straight onto your computer and mash it together to produce a song. With that program, we’ll be able to make a really good demo CD.

Mom walks in and asks me why I’m smiling this early. I laugh and tell her it’s nothing. She gets out the poptarts and offers me one. I take it and sit down at the table.

“You’re such a good cook,” I joke.

She laughs and sits down, “I know. So, do you want me to drive you to school?”

“I’m going to college, not preschool.”

“Okay. Whatever you want.”

I quickly eat my poptart and head for the door. I turn and say good-bye to my mom as she comes running at me with tears streaming down her face. “Mom! Mom! Don’t cry! I still live here,” I laugh while I try to pry her off me. She lets go and watches me exit.

It takes me about an hour and a half to drive to school. Well, this will suck.

I finally find a parking space and I head to the main building.

So this is the University of Utah…not too shabby.

I reach my first classroom and find it almost empty. Class starts in ten minutes…where is everyone?

I walk down the row of chairs and find a seat right in the middle which would line me up with the black board perfectly. As people start to enter the room, I find myself surrounded by strangers. I don’t recognize anyone here. My peers don’t even see me and they start to fill the seats in the large room. I wonder if every room here is set up like this; like a lecture hall.

A girl dressed in a pink miniskirt paired with a light blue cardigan layered over a green shirt sits next to me. She has perfect posture and her hair doesn’t look like it would move if it was hit by a bus. She looks over at me and I quickly turn my eyes to the table in front of us so she doesn’t suspect I was inspecting her. I turn my back to this new girl to get out my laptop and turn it on. I’m not sure if I’ll need it, but better safe than sorry.

“Hi, I’m Stacy. And you are…?” says the girl next to me. I turn my head and stare at her. She has such an annoying voice. I look away to type in my password.

“I said I’m Stacy. What’s your name?” she asks again. I sigh heavily and turn again.

“Hi there, Stacy,” I say in a really sarcastic voice. “Listen, I’m not here to make little friends, okay? And I’m not here to learn about the wonderful world of chemistry. So, it would be best if you never talked to me again, okay?” I spoke in a stern voice. She just stares at me, most likely in shock. I turn my attention back to my laptop.

After class, I take a look around campus. It’s really pretty here. I check my phone to see how much time I have until the next class begins. I still have a half hour until I need to head over, so I lie down in the grass under a shady tree and look at the clouds.

After a long day, I arrive home again. I immediately start my homework. We already have an English project to work on. It’s only the first day!

This sad story repeats for a few weeks until something changes.

I’m doing well in my classes and I’ve saved up about a hundred dollars. The gas money I need to get to and from school is really eating into my budget.

It’s just a normal day at college for me. Stacy still sits next to me in chemistry. We don’t talk. There is this really cool looking girl who sits three rows down from me. I haven’t worked up the courage to talk to her yet; she’s probably too cool for me anyways. I check my phone, remembering my Wednesday schedule is different than my Monday and Tuesday schedules. I have about an hour before English starts so I head over to a bench in the shade. I  open up my bag and pull out Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins and start reading from where I left off. I’ve read this book about ten times previously, but it’s just so good. I can’t keep it down.

As I’m nearing one of my favorite parts, a voice comes out of nowhere and makes me jump. “You’re reading that again?” the voice laughs.

I whirl around to find Jesper laughing at me. “Jesper!” Oh no. Why is he here? “Why are you here?”

“Why are you reading that book for like the millionth time?” he laughs again.

“This is my eleventh time, thank you very much.”

“Oh okay, like that’s any better,” he’s still laughing. Ignorant jerk.

“So why are you here?”

“Why are you here?”

“Well…I…uhh-”

“Calm down, Mia. I know why you’re here.”

“Todd told you?!” I ask furiously.

“No…well kind of…in a way, I guess.”

“What?” I ask confused.

“Todd came to my dad about two months ago asking for a favor. My dad talked to me about it. Remember that one phone call I got when we were in the car and I made everyone cover their ears? It was that conversation. He said that Todd wanted him to help pay for someone’s education here. He told me it was you. I had no idea why you wanted to come to college, but I said you were reliable and wouldn’t waste the time here if it wasn’t necessary.”

“Why did Todd ask your dad about this college?”

“He practically pays for this place to run. He’s the biggest sponsor for the college. So, since my dad technically runs the joint, I can do whatever I want here whenever I want.”

“That’s kind of cool actually…but why did Todd talk to your dad?”

“Todd’s as poor as the band. He couldn’t pay for a gym membership, much less a college education. He asked my dad to help keep the price low. But my dad, being surprisingly nice for once, paid for everything. Todd didn’t tell you?”

“No…” I trail off.

“So basically, my father is paying for your college. And that makes you my bitch.”

“No!” I laugh and hit Jesper in the shoulder. “Wait…if your dad has all this money, why doesn’t he help out the band?”

“I…” he sighs, “I’ve asked him before to help us. Even with just a bigger car to travel in. He refuses. He doesn’t want anything to do with the band. That’s why I was so surprised he helped out Todd.”

“Maybe he’s trying to put effort into helping us out?” I say.

“Possibly. Anyways, how is college life treating you?”

“Fine. Nothing too great.”

“No parties or anything?”

“I live too far away to stay and party. You know that.”

“…yeah. Oh hey! I just got an idea! Why don’t you get a dorm here?”

“A dorm? Me…in a dorm? Sharing personal space with a stranger? How about no?”

“Oh, come on! I can probably get you into a nice one-person dorm. It’s like an apartment on campus. And you even get your own bathroom! Isn’t that great?”

“Hmm…not a bad idea actually. I’ll save a lot of money on gas…do you think you could really get me my own dorm?”

“I totally can. Hold on a minute and I’ll call my dad.” Jesper pulls out his phone and walks out of earshot, so I return to Panem to read more about Peeta and Katniss.

“It’ll be ready for you to move in tomorrow!” Jesper comes out of nowhere again, causing me to jump just a little. “I didn’t know you got scared so easily.”

“Sadly, I do get scared often. It sucks honestly. And thank you so much!” I stand up and hug him. I actually don’t know that much about this boy. He was born in New York, but his parents moved out here when he was just a baby. They divorced when he was six. He’s lived with his mom for a long time, then suddenly switched to his father’s place. His hair was light blond when he was a kid, but now it has darkened to a dirty blond. His favorite animal is a camel because it spits on people for no reason at all. He loves playing the drums more than anything. He’s very smart and computer savvy. He’s nineteen. He loves video games more than anyone I’ve ever met. He’s one of the best guys I know.

Fate

A few weeks after I had agreed to go to college, Todd pops over at my house. He doesn’t stay long. He drops off some school supplies for me. Nothing much, just a few pencils and notebooks with built-in folders. Class necessities, he calls them. I prefer the term torture tools. Tomorrow is actually my first day of college.

A few hours after Todd leaves, my mom comes home from work and greets me in her usual way. “Hey honey. How was your day?”

I sigh, “Boring. Todd brought over some stuff for tomorrow.”

“Scary, huh? I know you’ll do fine. I can’t believe Todd is covering the cost for your college. I volunteered to pay, or at least help him out, but he refused.”

“Ehh, I don’t even want to go. Mom, when I came home from touring, you already knew about this whole thing. When did Todd talk to you about it?” She sets down her purse and keys on the counter and walks over to the table. She pulls out the chair in her favorite spot and plops down.

“He asked me about it a while back, actually. It was probably a month and a half or so before you guys finished touring.”

“Really? That long ago? This must be really important to him…” I rub my hands over my face. Ugh. I can’t let Todd down.

“Don’t worry, honey. College isn’t as bad as you probably think it is. I survived it.”

“You went for an associate’s degree. That’s only two years.”

“A tough two years,” she laughs. “Your father always wanted you to follow your dreams, you know that. But maybe this opportunity is just what you need. A little cushion for you fall back on for a while just in case-”

I cut her off, “Just in case the band falls apart like you’ve always wanted since the beginning.  Yeah, Mom, I get it. College means I’m following in your footsteps like you’ve always wanted. I know you. I know Dad too. He played music. He was a rock star, in his own way, and you were okay with that. Why can’t you be okay with me in a band? Me in the music business, doing what I love?”

“…I am okay with you being in a band, following your dreams, and being successful. If I wasn’t okay with it, do you think I would let you just get up and leave for months at a time with a bunch of boys and that god awful girl Bronte? If I wasn’t okay with this, I wouldn’t have let you record a demo CD. I am okay with this. I’m more than okay. I’m grateful. You have always been more like your father than I ever thought possible. This situation right here even reminds me of him. We would have talks like these all the time. He felt like I never cared about the band or his touring, besides the fact he was gone all the time. He was gone when you were growing up. That’s why I was so upset with him all the time. He was missing out on you, Mia. And…that’s what I’m scared of. You’re eighteen. You have all these things to experience still, but you can’t because you’re in a van going to god knows where to play in some run-down bar. I just don’t want you to miss out on life.”I paused a second before replying to let everything soak in.

“Mom, I’m not missing anything. I’m out there experiencing what others can only dream about. It may seem crappy from your point of view, but I love this. I love traveling. I love playing in those crapholes where people will stand there with an ice cold beer and just enjoy what we’re playing. I love making friends with other bands. I love the smell that radiates from our van as we drive through the night after a performance. I love the feeling of being appreciated. I love this. Sure, I may never meet that one boy I was supposed to fall in love with while in college. Sure, I may never have to worry about being late for class or forgetting my project in my dorm. I can’t experience everything, Mom.”

She smiles at me with empty eyes, “I know. Music is your life. I understand that. You don’t give up…just like your father.” She gets up from the table and leaves the room. Probably to her room to cry. That’s what I would do if I had a daughter like me. One just like her father.

The night comes and goes as the morning sun erupts through my window. I wake up and look over at my alarm clock. I still have ten minutes to sleep. Typical. I roll over trying to fall back asleep magically as my mom rushes into my room in a panic. “Get up! Get up!”

I roll back over and give her a death stare, “Why?”

“You have to go to school!”

“I have…nine minutes. Go away.” I roll back over and close my eyes.

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

Dammit.

Freedom…?

“Tour is over!” our drummer, Jesper, cries out. Yes! Finally! We’re all back home in good ol’ Fargo. I smile over at Jesper as he kisses the dirty ground. We’ve been on tour pretty much all year. We’ve been home about three times in the last 10 months. I start getting out my guitar from the back of our van while everyone slowly starts piling out. We’re all exhausted and really just want to rest. Our lead singer, Bronte, steps out of the van and hurries over to me.

“I’m really glad we’re home now! Aren’t you?”

“Of course. I just want to get my guitar and amp and go home.” She smiles at me as she leans in front of me to reach her bag. I step back, a little annoyed, as she continues to block my way as she grabs her mic stand. I sigh heavily.

“Mia! Come here,” the manager yells out. His name is Todd. He’s a pretty fun guy.

“Yeah?” I ask as we walk away from the others. He has his hands in his pockets. That means it’s something serious.

“You remember that one band my friend Mike had you meet?”

I think for a quick second before replying, “Meg & Dia? Yeah, I remember. They’re really cool.” I giggle softly at the memory.

“They’re the reason I decided to manage you guys. You remind me of them. But,” he sighs, “your skills are far from them.” How rude!

“Well, yeah, Todd. They’re in their twenties and have been doing this forever. Their skills are way beyond us.”

“Read this. Dia wrote this when she was only your age.” He hands me a small stack of papers covered in lyrics. I begin to quickly skim the words. This is…brilliant! The vocabulary, the sentence structure, the rhyming. Everything.

“Todd, this is fantastic!”

He chuckles, “I know. This is what I want from you. Don’t take offence, but your writing skills are nowhere near this. Your vocabulary is poor. You hardly ever throw in rhymes. Your sentences are simple and weak. You may not like what I’m about to say, but…you have to go to college.”

My eyes shoot up. College?! “College, Todd? College is your answer? I dropped out of public school before. I was home-schooled. Why? Because I don’t fit in. I don’t learn well in a surrounding I don’t feel comfortable in. College is not the answer. College is the opposite of the answer, Todd! I can’t even afford it!” I look at him and his expression remains neutral. His hands are still casually tucked away in his pockets.

“College is the answer, Mia. You need to improve your writing skills. For the sake of the band. You don’t have to stay in long. No need for a degree of any kind. I already prepared an application and a class selection sheet for you. All I need is your signature. I’ll take care of the cost. It’ll be quick and painless, I assure you. Please do this Mia.” I take a deep breath and sigh loudly. Should I do this? I hate public school. College will be Hell. But, he’s right. My writings do suck. I need to do this. For the band.

“…you won’t tell the band I’m doing this? I don’t want them to know.”

“Of course.”

“…I’ll do it. For the band.”

Dear Nicholas

I remember perfectly the night we fell in love.

I can’t place when I started to drift astray. You never noticed me slipping away.You were losing me. I was losing myself. I didn’t realize it until I was too far gone.

I couldn’t recover. I couldn’t heal the wounds. I couldn’t convince myself I was still in love.

I wasn’t.

You still are. 

After all this time, my antique love is still fresh in your mind. Yet you treat me like a stranger.

You complain to my best friend how I never talk to you. Yet you treat me like a stranger.

You say I never smile at you. Yet you treat me like a stranger.

You say I hate you. Yet you treat me like a stranger.

You say we belong together. Yet you treat me like a stranger.

If you really feel like this, why don’t you talk to me? Smile at me? Tell me how you feel?

I apoligized for my actions recently, and you threw it away.

It was long overdue, but you shouldn’t throw aside such a sincere apology. I said I was sorry for treating you like someone I despised. I said I was sorry for ignoring you. I said I was sorry for hurting you.I said I was sorry for me.

I’m glad you’re gone and out of my life. I don’t deserve to be treated like that. Neither do you.  

I open my eyes.

THE LIGHT! IT BURNS!

Wait a second…why am I facing the window? And why does my back hurt like Hell?!

I look around and find myself wrapped in a cocoon of blankets on the chair in the corner of my bedroom. I untangle myself from the mess. I stagger tiredsome towards the kitchen. I’m starving!

Mmmmm…I smell eggs. Eggs?! Who’s making eggs in MY house?!

I quicken my pace and find Zoey over the stove cooking scrambled eggs.  “You don’t have to do that,” I explain, “I was going to make food.”

She looks over her shoulder at me smiling and says, “I was hungry and you were exhausted last night so I figured you would want some breakfast. I do this all the time for my roomate after a busy night. Don’t worry about it.” She goes back to cook the eggs. I do enjoy the aroma in the air.

“Well…thank you. I thought I took you home last night?” I wondered out loud.

“You were practically falling sleep behind the wheel. I told you just to go home and I’ll catch a taxi or something. You insisted that I take the bed and said you’d sleep somewhere else. So, thanks.”

I scratched my head, actually trying to fix my major bed head. “You’re welcome.” I walked over to the fridge and got out the orange juice and two glasses. I poured some for me and some for her. She finished the eggs and set them on the table in a big platter. We both sat down and dug in.

Between forkfuls I asked, “Does your roomate know you’re here? I know some people like to keep tabs on their roomates.”

She shook her head no and swallowed. “No. She stays out all the time. We don’t really worry unless one of us is gone for a few days. Then we freak out,” she laughed, “because, you know, it’s New York. There are some real weirdos out there.” I nodded and shoved another forkful of eggs in my mouth and washed it down with a gulp of juice.

I look up to find her staring off into the distance. There’s a glimmer in her eyes. Her hair is practically perfect. There is one strand of her chocolate brown hair lower than the rest lying across her right temple. Her eyes slowly drift over to me and I quickly stand and clean my plate off in the sink. I look back inconspicuously and find her staring back at that same spot. I follow her eyes and discover she’s staring at my wall of family photos. She was trying to compare me now to me at twelve. I was so tiny then.  “Are you done with your plate?”

“Yes. Thanks.” I pick up her plate and rinse it in the sink. She gets up and walks over to the wall of pictures. “Are these of you?” she asks as she points to the wall.

“Some of them,” I wipe my wet hands off on a clean towel and walk over to her, “Most are of me and my dad. See here?” I point to a picture of my father and me in a corvette. “I was only five here. This was his favorite car.”

“I see. I’m sorry, Adam,” she put her hand on my shoulder and kept examining the wall.

Embracing her sympathy, I replied, “I was only seven when he died. He was hit by a drunk driver on a business trip to West Virgina.”

“My mother died when I was young. It’s tough not having both your parents around.”

“I’m sorry.”

We both examine each photo on the wall of memories. It’s dead silent for what feels like forever.

Zoey looks around the room and sees a dog dish on the floor. “You have a dog?”

“I wish. No dogs allowed in this building. The dish symbolizes a promise of a better life. If I stick it out through the tough times, a better time will come. I have always wanted a dog. My mother was allergic.”

She smiled, “I love dogs. Cats are nice too, but I’d rather not clean a litter box.” We laugh. She looks over at the cluttered counter. “I’ll clean up my mess.”

As she starts over to counter, I join her and she smiles up at me. We start cleaning by putting everything away and then we start washing the marble countertop. “Your home is really nice.”

“Thanks. I am barely here. I wish I had more free time during the week. I usually go straight from work to babysitting Chris.”

“You guys are best friends, huh?”

“We have been friends for years, but we’re starting to drift apart. He never grew up.”

“That has happened way too many times with my old friends. They were immature and felt as if they didn’t have responsibilities. I couldn’t take it anymore with my one friend Hayley. She was a crazy partier, just like Chris. She was drunk every night. She’d call me almost every morning and ask me to come over after work to take care of her. One day I just refused. She never called me again. I went to visit her one day and she was gone. The house was empty. I still haven’t heard from her to this day.” She looked off into the distance again, thinking about what could have happened to her old friend.

“You would think high school would have prepared us for these kinds of things during adulthood. In high school, I was the loner. I was the one always without a partner. All of my friends had joined sports, or other cliques and left me in the dust. Chris was my only friend in high school. He was younger and he wasn’t very smart back then, so we were never in the same class. It was a tough time.”

She didn’t say anything after that. She kept scrubbing the counter, making sure it was spotless. My towel collided with hers. Our hands accidentally touched.  She quickly moved her hand and towel away from me and threw the towel in the sink. I waited a minute and copied her. She leaned her back up against the counter. She was looking down at the tiled floor. Her eyebrows were scrunched. She was thinking hard about something. Her hand rose to her face and ran across her eyes and slid down to her chin. A few moments later, her hand fell. Her expression remained. She was a beautiful, stone statue frozen in thought.

I couldn’t stand it anymore.

I swiftly moved to her and thrust my arm around her waist, drawing her near, and kissed her. After multiple seconds, I backed off.

She was frozen. Her eyes were wide and her mouth gapped open a little. That scared me. I just met her days ago and now I was kissing her in my kitchen. I just may have scared away the girl of my dreams.

Before I could apologize for my action, her arms were around my neck and her lips were smacked against mine.

I instantly wrapped my arms are her waist and began kissing her back. The only thing running through my mind was her. Her arms on my neck. Her hands in my messy hair. Her heavy breathing. Her back against the counter. Her chest against my rib cage. Her lips on mine.

Then her phone rang. She took it out and turned it off.

The Party

We arrive at the party.

“Adam! Where have ya been?”

“Hey Chris, we got stuck in traffic. This is Zoey,” I say to my friend.

Zoey smiles and says, “It’s nice to meet you Chris.”

Chris checks Zoey out, like the ass he is, and snickers,”Hey babe.”

“Chris, don’t you have to be a retard somewhere else?” I ask him.

“Oh yeah! Stacy…err…Stephanie…or…whatever!” He exclaims as he turns and walks away.

I turn to Zoey and laugh, “Sorry about that.”

She grins at me giggling, “It’s cool.”

“Do you want a drink? He usually has beer, wine, champagne, and Mountain Dew.”

“Mountain Dew would be nice. I don’t feel like having any alcohol tonight.”

“Ok, sounds good to me too. I’ll be right back,” I say as I walk to the kitchen. I find Chris hitting on a few girls by the stove. I walk over to him.

“Chris, where’s the Mountain Dew?”

“MD? We’re all out, Broski. Hey, are you and that hot chick a thing?”

“No we’re not together. I just met her yesterday, actually.” Chris looks a little tipsy. He’s not going to remember anything I tell him tonight. He turns back to the girls and they are gone.

“Babes? Where are ya?” he walks out of the room. I roll my eyes and return to Zoey.

“We’re out of Mountain Dew. We have Pepsi though.”

“Pepsi’s fine,” she grins at me. I turn to the kitchen and she follows me. I open the fridge and hand her a can.

“Do you want it in a cup or just as it is?”

“This is fine,” she says.

“Ok, cool. I want you to meet my other friend, who isn’t a jerk, who’s name is Jeremy. He has to be around here somewhere.” I look out into the living room and I see him there, sitting on the couch with a cup in his left hand and a model under his right arm. “There he is.”

I walk up to Jeremy, “Hey Jeremy.”

“Ohai, Adam. What’s up?”

“Not much. This is Zoey.”

She smiles at Jeremy and his “friend”, “Hello.”

“Hey, it’s nice to meet you,” he says to Zoey. He turns to me and asks, “Are you on a date with her?”

Zoey and I both awwardly say, “No. We’re just friends.” Damn you, Jeremy.

Jeremy laughs, “It’s cool, both of you didn’t need to answer. Well, enjoy the party,” he tells us as he takes a drink.

Zoey and I walk away.

“He’s drunk,” I say to her.

“It’s fine,” she replies. We both take a sip of our pop.

“I don’t know any of these people,” I state as I search the room for familiar faces.

“I only know you.” I keep looking around. I turn my head and our eyes lock. I wish this moment could last forever. The seconds drag and it feels like we are staring for minutes.. She blushes and looks down at her shiny, black flats. I also look away and smile.

“This music is terrible!” Zoey exclaims. It really is. It’s rap, and not the good stuff.

“Yeah. Chris uses his iPod for the music. He hooks it up in his bedroom. Maybe we can download some songs from iTunes to play. Follow me.” I start towards the bedroom.

We reach the door. I turn to Zoey and I say, “Wait here for a second,” then I go in. Nobody is inside so I wave Zoey in. I search the room for his docked iPod. I walk over to his iPod and I go to iTunes.

“What do you want to listen to? He only has rap on here so we’ll just have to buy some songs.”

“Hmm…can I see it really fast? I want to look for a few songs.” I hand the iPod over to her and she starts typing. I start moving around in the darkness to try to find the light switch. I never come into Chris’s room. Usually, he has girls in here. Look back over at Zoey. Her face is lit up by the dim light from the hall. She’s concentrating. I can’t help but smile when I see her expression, and the song, change.

“How much credit does this guy have anyways?” Zoey asks.

“He’s loaded. Buy whatever you like.” She nods and keeps searching around. I hear odd noises from the bathroom. Classy, people. Real classy.

I finally find the light switch and the lights pop on. Shutting the door, I explain “I don’t want Chris to notice his light is on. I’m shutting the door.” She doesn’t say anything but she puts the iPod down.

“There are now 20 songs downloading,” she laughs, “I hope he doesn’t mind.”

“I’m sure he’ll be fine with it.”

There’s a knock on the door and I hear Chris’s slurred words through the door. “Damn door! Locks by itself. Come on, Babe. Let’s just go to the guest bedroom.” I hear those monstorous feet stomping away from the door.

Zoey looks around the room. It’s very organized and clean. Chris tells his maid to keep this room extra nice, to impress women of course. I’m ashamed to be his friend sometimes.

Taking a seat on the bed, Zoey sighs and says “What time is it?” Is she tired? Does she want to go home? Am I not entertaining her?

“It’s 9:49.”

“Okay.”

Silence.

Ten minutes pass and Zoey pops up and strolls over to the iPod. She smiles and starts scrolling through music to create a playlist. “I’m throwing in some rap so the partiers don’t notice that there is actually good music.”

I chuckle and lie down on the bed. The sheets are changed ever few days and Chris has been away for business for a couple days, so I believe it’s safe.

Trying to make small talk, I ask, “Do you have any roomates?”

“Yes. Actually, I pay rent to my friend. I am living with her.”

“Cool,” I say while rolling onto my stomach to feel the soft silk against my face. “I wish I had a roomate. I live alone.”

“It’s nice to have someone there, but you and the other person often get into fights and arguements. It’s a pain, really. I’d rather live alone.” I look up at her she she’s standing with her back to me. I still can’t believe how beauiful she is.

She turns around and exclaims, “The playlist is finished! Want to go get something to drink?” I nod at her and quickly stand up.

We walk to the kitchen and I hear a man yell, “Chris! CHRIS! This music sucks, man! I’m out!” I laugh.  Zoey opens the fridge and starts searching for a non-alcoholic beverage. She pulls out two Mountain Dews.

“Where’d you find them!?” I ask bewildered.

“Right in the front, Silly! Someone must have rearranged the contents of the fridge,” she says as she hands me an ice cold Dew. I open it and take a big sip. She does the same.

A slow song comes on over the speakers. I stand there with Zoey awkwardly for twenty seconds before I ask her if she wants to dance. She smiles at me and sets her pop on the counter.

We begin dancing and she looks really tired. I wonder when she normally goes to bed. She smiles and sighs a little as she rests the side of her head on my shoulder. Her eyes search the crowd. All I can think of is how amazing her hair smells. It has a strawberry scent.

She lifts her head up as the song nears it’s end. “I forgot to put the playlist on shuffle. There are about three more slow-ish songs next.”

“Okay. Are you tired at all?”

“No. I’m just resting. Long day,” she giggles. I smile.

“Is this Meg & Dia?”

She looks at me smiling and answers yes. “I’ve been wanting to listen to this song all day.”

“What is it called?”

“It’s called ‘Only For Love’ and it’s on their newest album. I wish they had the time and money to tour again. I never saw them live.”

“Maybe some day they will. And you’ll get a seat in the front row!”

“I wish!” she laughed in my ear after laying her head on my shoulder again, this time facing me with her eyes closed. “You smell like vanilla.”

I chuckle, “Thanks…I think?”

She laughs at my response, “I love the scent of vanilla.” A grin creeps across my face.

We dance the night away together.

I was rustling …

I was rustling through the local paper. Where is it? I hear soft foot steps behind me. A smile creeps across my tired face. I feel his hand on my shoulder as he kisses the top of my head, “What’s the news today?” 

“Nothing out of the ordinary. Just articles about the local school food drive, information about the upcoming fair, etc.” I looked up from my paper to find him sitting across from me. His hand was in a gentle fist supporting his perfectly chiseled chin. The pink lips on his porcelain face are slanted upwards on one side, making a playful smirk. Those curious jade eyes were looking straight into my dull, brown eyes. I returned his smirk with a weak, measly smile. I quickly returned to reading the paper.

I have something to tell him. I’ve been pondering about it for a few months now. I have wanted to bring it up with him for a while now, but I cannot find the right time to ask. Actually…I’m just a chicken. There have been plenty of perfect opportunities. It’s time to establish an ultimatum. I have to tell him today. 

I continue skimming the pages of the black and white paper. “So. What are your plans today?” I ask not raising my eyes from the print.

“Nothing. Probably just staying home. Might rend a movie or two. What about you?”

I shrug, “I have nothing to do today either.”

“Why don’t we stay here all day in our pajamas and watch movies?” he proposes.

I grin with my head still down. I quickly wipe the goofy grin off of my face and look up with a gentle smile, “Sounds great.” I look back down and my eyes find what I was looking for all along right away. My article! Smiling, I look at the small article named “Dear Abbey.” I asked the stranger a question concerning what I’ve been thinking about for months now. I peer up from my article before I begin reading to find him still smiling at me. 

“Found your article, huh?”

“Yep. Starting to read it now,” I smile at him then return to the article. I start studying the reply to my letter…”…if you’re ready…think…breathe…speak.” 

Hours later, he and I are lying on couch together with our fingers intertwined. The movie that’s playing we’ve both seen too many times to count. This is that perfect opportunity.

Think.

Breathe.

 “I think you’re my soul mate.” 

 

 

Creepy

Awkward Car Ride

It’s finally time! I’m so excited!

I turn the key in the ignition and I hear that soft roar of the engine. I automatically feel epic. I just love this car so much. Deep breath. Mmmm…vanilla. Perfect.

I head out of the parking garage into the packed street. Great, the traffic is really bad. Typical. I should call Zoey and tell her that I’ll be late.

*ring ring ring*

“Hello?”

“Hey Zoey, it’s Adam.”

“Oh hey. What’s up?”

“Not much at all. The traffic here is really backed up. I’m going to be late.”

“Well, that’s fine. No one can control NYC traffic,” she giggles.

I smile and laugh, “You’ve got that right! I’ll let you go finish getting ready. I’ll call you with a traffic update later.”

“Oh, alright. See you soon, hopefully!”

“Bye,” I say right before I hang up. My palms are all sweaty and clammy. What’s wrong with me? I’m never like this. I sniff my shirt. Man! I smell bad now too. What is it about this one girl that turns me into a sweaty, clammy, shy mess?

Traffic is finally moving! Yes! Now I see the problem of the traffic buildup. This town is full of rubbernecks. They all stop or slow down so they can turn their heads and see what I going on off the road. It’s just a man in a chicken suit, people! My God. I have a party to get to! Maybe this way will be shorter. I take a left instead of going straight. Yeah, this seems better. I check my GPS and it says “Impossible, make a U-Turn.” Impossible my ass.

I’m getting closer to her apartment. Time to call her back.

*ring ring*

“Hey.”

“Hey Zoey. I’m about 10 minutes away.”

“Ok, thanks. I can’t wait!”

“Yeah, me either. I’ll see you in ten.”

“Ok, bye.”

I hope she is actually excited. I hope she wants to go to this thing. I don’t want her to go just because I asked her to…

I pull up in front of her apartment and I get out. I’m walking up to the front door and she comes out. I hold the door for her.

“Hello there!” I smile.

“Hi,” she giggles. She’s wearing a little black dress. Classic and yet it has something different about it. Probably just because it’s on her perfect body.

“Ready to go?” I ask.

“Yes, let’s rock.”

I hold the door open for her as she gets in the car.

“This is really nice! When did you get it?”

“Umm…about eight months or so ago. My father was a huge fan of Corvettes and I always have been too. There’s just something about them that I love.”

“They are pretty sweet!” she smiles as she searches the dashboard for the radio.

I point to the preset radio buttons and the volume dial.

She giggles, “Thanks.”

I pull out and we start towards Chris’s place.

“My friend’s name is Chris Timbell. He may come across as a jerk, but he’s pretty cool when you get to know him. He’s pretty cocky, though. He gloats about everything. So I apologize in advance for his attitude.”

She smiles at me, “It’s ok, I’m sure I’ll be able to handle him.”

“So…are you from New York?” I ask.

“Umm, no. I was born in Michigan. We moved out here when I was 7. We lived on Long Island. When I was old enough, I moved out here to the city.”

“Michigan, huh? I’ve heard the lakes out there are beautiful. I’ve lived in New York all of my life. I was out in Buffalo, New York when I was a kid. I moved out to the city so I could go to college here. It was tough, but I made it.”

“That’s good,” she says as she reaches for the radio. All of the programed stations are relatively similar. She picked a station that is playing “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj.

“I love this song, it’s just really catchy.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean,” I reply.

“Does Chris know that we will be late? It’s almost eight.”

“It’s not a big deal. He’s probably wasted already, even though it hasn’t started. He’s a drinker. Once, he let a hobo with 2 cats in her coat come in to the party. He found her on the couch the next morning. The cats had scratched it up beyond repair.”

“That must have been a terrible thing to wake up to!” she laughs.

“I thought it was hilarious!” I laugh, “He wasn’t too happy though.”

“I bet not!” she giggles.

“So what kind of music do you like?” I ask.

“Pretty much anything. I’m not a big fan of country, though. I have recently gotten into a band called Meg & Dia. Have you ever heard of them?”

I tihnk for a moment before I speak, “Actually, I think I have. I haven’t heard really anything by them, though.”

“Meg Frampton, the woman who made my Chandler necklace, is the Meg. Her sister is Dia Frampton. They play music with their 2 friends and Meg’s boyfriend. They are really good!”

“I’ve only heard “I Need You In It”, or something like that, by them. I really liked it. It’s a pleasant change from the stuff you hear on the radio.”

“Yes! Hearing auto-tune all the time really gets to you.”

I flipped around the radio to find a good song.

As I was just about to change the station for the 5th time, Zoey says, “Wait!

Her sudden volume startled me, “What?”

She takes a few seconds to respond, “Nevermind,” she smiles, “I thought it was something else.”

“Oh, ok.” I keep searching for something to listen to. “I give up,” I chuckle. Zoey smiles at me.

“Where does Chris live anyway?”

“He lives right by the Rockfeller Center! We go and skate all the time during the Winter.”

“Whoa! That’s so awesome!”

“Yeah. You would think that I would be a good skater since we go a lot every year, but you would be wrong.” She laughs. Her right leg is crossed over her left. She has toned legs. She must play sports or maybe she works out.

“Do you play any sports?”

“Yes, I have played soccer since I was young and I recently have started playing tennis. I thought tennis was lame when I was younger, but I was totally wrong. I don’t know much about the sport, though. What about you?”

“I also play soccer. I’ve tried football, swimming, track, and hockey. Only soccer has stuck.”

“I’ve always wanted to see a hockey game. I have never been able to attend one.”

“Maybe we could go see one sometime.”

“Yeah, that would be nice,” she smiles at me and I smile back.

I pull into the parking garage one block from Chris’s apartment. I find a spot on the third floor.

“Well, we have to walk one block.”

“That’s fine,” she says. I get out and go around to her side of the car. I open the door and help her get out.

“I’m not used to wearing a dress, so thanks,” she giggles and blushes.

“It’s no problem. You look fantastic, by the way.”

She just blushes and we start on our way towards Chris’s party.

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