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A Street in Silence

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I’m sitting around in black sweatpants and my brother’s undershirt. The computer screen is bright to my tired eyes, and snow is falling softly outside the window. Its 9 am, and I haven’t gotten dressed yet. My phone vibrates.
‘Come outside’ a text from Chandler says. He lives a few streets away. Why is he here? It’s snowing.
‘its snowing.’ I reply.
‘Michael left me somethin 4 u’
‘coming’ I run and grab a light jacket, I figure I’ll only be out there a minute or 2. I don’t even put on shoes, just run out barefoot.
“What is it?” I ask, standing out, just off my front porch. Chandler’s standing at the top of the driveway, staring at me and smiling. “What?”
“For God’s sake Claire, just turn around!” I look back at my house, confused. Michael’s standing there, lounging against the wall.
“Michael!” I shriek, then run back to the door and give him a huge hug. He picks me up and spins me around, then, laughing, puts me back down.
“Hey Claire!”
“When…? I thought you were leaving today!”
“Nahh.”
“But you said…”
“Surprise!” He said, grinning at me. I start laughing. Then I start shivering. It’s only 11 degrees out. He looks at me.
“Want to come in? My parent’s won’t care.”
“Sure. I’ll walk back over to your house after Chandler.”
“K. See ya later.”
We go inside, and I sigh contentedly as warm air envelopes me. Mom and Dad are sitting in the living room, watching football.
“Hey Mom, Dad, this is Michael!”
“Michael?” Dad asks.
“Remember? My best friend who moved to Phoenix this summer? Haven’t seen him since Sam’s party?”
“Well, we’ve never seen him. Nice to meet you, Michael.” Dad says, shaking his hand.
“Where’s Nick?” I ask.
“Downstairs. Why?”
“Michael and I are going upstairs. I’m going to shower, then we’re going to hang out. And I know the rules. We have to have a chaperone in if we’re upstairs.”
“Correct. Nick!” Mom yelled, and Nick came running upstairs. He’s 10, and a good chaperone. He’ll just sit there playing gameboy.
The three of us walked upstairs. I walked in the bathroom, and after I jumped in the shower, Michael came in and sat on the counter. The door was open, but the curtain closed, so I had my privacy and we could talk.
“So why are you still here? I’m glad you are, but I’m curious as to why.” I yelled over the running water, washing my hair.
“I’m not actually leaving until after New Years. I just said I was leaving today so I could surprise you.”
I stuck my head out of the shower, keeping the rest of my body covered. “That’s not for another 2 and half weeks!”
“I know.” He said grinning.
I kept showering, and then shut of the water. “Throw me a towel.” I said, and Michael did. I covered myself up, then stepped out. “Out. So I can get dressed.” He laughed, and left. I quickly dressed, then opened the door.
“So-“ Michael started, but I stopped him.
“Let me dry my hair real quick.” He sighed, but motioned for me to continue. I brushed it, then turned on the blow dryer, and mostly dried my hair.
“Come on, let’s go to my room.” We walked down the hall, and stopped in front of my door. “It’s a mess” I warned him. And then we walked in. He stood in my doorway, just staring at the mass of books everywhere. I laughed and sat on my bed.
“Where did you think I got the imagination fuel?” I asked. He always said I had a huge imagination. He shook his head, grinning, and sat next to me.
“So-“ he tried again, but I interrupted again.
“Wait. If we’re going to talk, we got to do this right.” I flipped upside down, and with my head hanging off the bed, and my feet on the wall, motioned him to do the same. He laughed, and obeyed.
“Now can I continue?” he asked patiently.
“Yes. You may.” I said, laughing.
“First of all, your face is really red.”
I laughed. “It’s the blood pouring to my head.”
“I know. It’s cute.” He said, and I grinned. “Anyway, how are you?”
“Confused. Just like always.”
“So nothing new?”
“Ehhh… you were right about Cam. Guess he did like me.” I told him, lowering my voice to a whisper, so Nick wouldn’t hear.
“Ooooo. How’d you find out?” Michael asked, his face slowly getting redder. I swung up, back to normal position, and he followed me. We sat facing each other, cross legged.
“He told me when Jordan and I started dating.” I rolled my eyes. “He thought I’d dump Jordan for him, like I did with Drew.” I cracked my fingers, then my knuckles. Michael brushed my hair out of my face.
“I warned you about him.”
“I know you did.” I said, still cracking my fingers. He grabbed my hands to stop me, and just held onto them. “I was stupid.”
“No, you just have poor judgment.” He said, laughing slightly.
“Whatever.” I said, stretching out on my bed. I placed my feet on top of my pillows, and my head as where my feet normally are. Michael stretched out beside me, and put his arm around my shoulders. I rested my head on his shoulder, and sighed.
“Did you say that you and Jordan started dating?” he asked.
“Yeah.”
“When?”
“November 17.”
“Wow. A month ago?”
“To the day.”
“When did that end?”
“Hasn’t yet.” I said, and Michael met my eyes.
“Seriously?”
“Does it surprise you that much?”
“Well… I just figured he’d use you then ditch you. No offense.”
“None taken. I thought the same thing.”
“Well, no matter what the other guys do or say, I’ll always love you, Claire.” He said, and gave my shoulder a squeeze.
“Same here.” I said, smiling. We just lay there for a while, each absorbed in our own thoughts. “What time is it?” I asked, after maybe 30 minutes.
“11:11” he said, laughing.
“Make a wish!” I said, and we just stared into each other’s eyes and wished. “I wish…” I started to say out loud, but then stopped when my phone vibrated under me.
‘on my way.’ A text from Jordan said.
“S***!” I gasped, then texted back ‘see ya in a few :D’
“What?” said Michael.
“Jordan’s on his way over here.”
“Why?”
“We were going to hang out all day today!”
“Why?”
“Cause we’ve been going out for a month today, and we were both free. I made the plans when I thought you were leaving today!”
“Oh. Well, cancel.”
“I can’t do that! I’m so sorry Michael! Can we hang out later? You could come over again later! In the meantime, out in the hall. I got to change.”
“Yeah… I’ll do that.”
“Don’t leave!” I ordered, closing the door. I quickly changed into my favorite jeans, and a turquoise tank top with a black v neck t-shirt over it. Then I let Michael back in, and started putting on make up.
“Don’t put on that. You’re pretty enough without it.” Michael said, but I just rolled my eyes. I put on the minimal, eyeliner only on the inner lids, mascara, and lip gloss. I started to put my hair up, but Michael stopped me. “Leave it down.” This time, I listened.
“Throw me my black boots?” I asked, and Michael dug through my closet and found my snow boots. I only threw on two light jackets.
“You’re going to be cold.”
“No I won’t.”
Michael just rolled his eyes, and I looked out the window. Jordan’s dad was pulling up in the driveway.
“Where’s my phone?” I asked, and Michael handed it to me silently, then followed me as I raced downstairs. I even beat Dad to the door.
“Hey Jordan!” I said, grinning.
“Hey Claire. Hey Mr. Steppe.” Jordan said, giving me a hug.
“Dad, Jordan and I are going to walk Michael back over to his cousin’s house. Then we’re going to go for a walk. We’ll be back before 1.” I said quickly, then pulled Michael out the door with Jordan and me.
“Jordan, this is Michael. He went to St Peters last year, but moved to Phoenix Arizona this summer. He’s visiting his family for Christmas. Michael, you know Jordan.” I said.
“Yeah, I remember him.” They said in unison. Jordan reached for my hand, and we walked in silence down the driveway together. Actually, we spent the whole walk to Chandler’s house in complete silence. Jordan put his arm around my shoulders as soon as were out of seeing distance of my house, and I put my arm around his waist in turn. We stopped at the edge of Chandler’s driveway.
“So I guess I’ll see you later?” Michael asked.
“Definitely.” I said, and I stepped out of Jordan’s arm to give Michael a hug, and he surprised me by kissing me on the cheek.
“Love you, Claire.” He said, then walked inside Chandler’s house. S***, I thought.
“What was that?” Jordan demanded. I sighed, and stepped back under his arm. We walked to the end of the street, then Jordan spun me around to face him.
“You know how I’m always telling Blake I love him? It’s like that. Michael’s like my best friend in the whole world.” I explained.
“Yeah, but you say Blake’s your brother. Is Michael your brother too?”
“Well, no… he’s my best friend.”
“Uh huh. And what were you guys doing upstairs before I came over?”
“Talking!”
“In your bedroom?”
“Yes. But it wasn’t THAT kind of talking… Jeez.”
“Swear?”
“Yes.”
“Okay. Good.” Jordan said, and we continued walking. We walked around my neighborhood, not really talking, just taking in being around each other. We stopped in my backyard, and stood in the snow, just holding each other. It was just a prolonged hug, really. I started shivering again.
“Cold?” Jordan asked.
“Not really.” I was actually freezing my a** off.
“Liar.” He said, grinning at me. He unzipped his jacket, and I stepped back into his arms, this time wrapping my arms around his torso under his jacket. “Jeez Claire, you’re frozen solid!” I laughed, and he hugged me tight. I looked up at him, and he was staring down into my eyes.
“Have I ever told you I seriously love your eyes?” I asked, though I knew I had.
“Yes, Have I ever told you though?” he replied.
“Nope.”
“Oh. Well I love your eyes.” He said, and kissed each of my eyelids. “And your nose.” And he kissed the tip of my nose. “And your bright red ears.” And he kissed the tips of each ear. “And your argumentative mouth.” And he kissed me, tongue to tongue contact. We both laughed as we pulled away.
“What else?”
“I love your imagination and your brain.” He said, kissing my forehead. “And I love how I still make you blush, every time.” He kissed my cheek. “I love your kind heart.” He kissed my jugular, and the inside of my wrist, where you can hear my heartbeat. “I love how you always have something to say.” And with that final thought, he kissed me again, and we stood close in my backyard, kissing.
“But you know what I love the most Claire?”
“What?”
“You.”





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