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The ToDo List

To Do:
- Make Pie
- Finish number thirty-six on take home calculus worksheet
- Organize earrings. Again.
- Re-arrange books on shelf by color not by size or author (you can do it, alphabetizing is overrated)
- Think about starting English reading (We still have two more weeks of random middle of school year break, procrastination greatly accepted)
- Eat pie
- Pimp out To Do list with new set of sharpies
- Clean toilet (Eeeew – not saving the best for last)
- Eat more pie

This is my life.
My life, as I know it, is a To Do list.
There was usually never anything remotely exciting on said To Do list, with the few exceptions of family bowling night and buying flowers. So what if something were to stray from the norm, and I should forget to do something on my To Do list, or something happened to me that wasn’t even on my To Do list?
That’s not my life.
My life, as I know it, is a To Do list.

Making the pie was fun, except I spilled flour everywhere and my cat rolled around in it. Thus adding to my list: Bathe Cat. A few tasks down on my list and I realized that I should have bathed the cat first, because there were now little white paw-prints all over the house. I groaned and scrawled out “Mop Floors” underneath Cleaning Toilet.
Number thirty-six was more difficult than I had previously anticipated, and I was forced to call my best friend Cameron for help. Cameron, you could say, was my lifesaver. I was drowning in the Ocean, and he was a buoy, thrown out to me to keep my head above the water. Cameron was… Cameron. He was one of those people who got the main portion of their information from the backs of Clairol shampoo bottles. I loved him, I have since fifth grade. I dialed his number and anticipated his smooth bass voice.
“Hello?” It sounded like he had just woken up.
“Cameron? It’s me. Dude. It’s like, twelve-thirty. Did you just wake up?” I rolled my eyes, I knew the answer.
“Shut up. It’s twelve-thirty? I have to work at one.” I heard rustling sounds as he got out of his bed. That bed, AKA “the Beast” was so ridiculously comfortable I can’t even describe to you the pleasure of stealing its comfort and making Cameron sleep on the floor.
“Yep. I figured you’d be up, but it’s good thing I called. You get off at six? We should… Do something,” I tried not to let the desperation show through my voice. Cameron was the only way I ever strayed from my To Do list and did something remotely exciting. Which was scary, because this is the same best friend that shared his first kiss with my hamster, Peanuts.
“Sounds good to me. Hold on a second, getting dressed and telephone conversations do not mix as well as peanut butter and chocolate.” I heard him set the phone down and stumble around his room for his TOGO’s attire. I giggled, Cameron was so batty. I make him To Do lists when his life gets too hectic. I wish my life got hectic.
“Okay. Dressed and ready to go. So what do you want to do later? Movies? Pizza?” I heard his door close as he made his way into the bathroom.
“Both! I made pie. What movie do you want to see?” I sat down on the corner of my bed, biting my ladybug necklace that he had gotten me for my birthday a few years ago.
“OOOOH! What kind of pie? And I’m not sure. Whatever looks scariest,” He spoke in between spitting out his toothpaste. Colgate, I knew. I made his shopping lists.
“Apple, duh. And fine but I’m hiding behind the giant popcorn you will inevitably purchase.” It’s what I do every time we see a scary movie. They’re scary!
“Psh. Weenie. I gotta go but if you can make it to TOGO’s at six-fifteen I should be done,” I heard his car keys jingle.
“Yep. It’ll be amazing. I’ll walk, it isn’t raining too hard. Then again, Washington is sort of indefinite.” I looked outside. Oh, look, sun! How shocking! Ten minutes ago I thought I’d never see the sun again. We hung up and I sighed. How was I going to pass the minutes until six? Answer: do what I always do. Carry out the items on my To Do list. Many times I had torn up my list, in hopes that something new and exciting would find me. This action only resulted in me hunting for some scotch tape and completing the things on my recently repaired life hindrance.
The day passed slowly, and silently. I was grateful that my parents had gone to Turkey for the next two months on an archeological dig; the silence was welcomed with open arms. I completed my To Do list at five forty-five, and decided to head over early. If would only take me a few minutes to get to Cameron’s work.
Thankfully, there was a break in the rain, and I was able to stay relatively dry. It was twilight, my favorite time of day. The sun was just sneaking back under the cover of the trees, casting unique rays on the damp earth. I pulled my black jacket tighter around me out of habit, because it wasn’t particularly cold. Cam had gotten me this jacket.
I wondered if plans with Cameron were the only way I would ever stray from my list. There was nothing to do here, or rather, I had done it all many, many times. It made me want to curl up into a ball and hibernate until graduation, until I had enough money of my own to get out of here.
I looked down at the mossy earth; glad to be free of the confinement that was my house. A raindrop fell from the sky, hitting my forehead with a smack and bursting my bubble with a pop. I was forced to quicken my pace; rain was just depressing enough to make me want to cry. Lots of things here made me want to cry. I sang my favorite song to myself to pass the time, make the walk go faster.
“The time I would spend with pictures I would not send
I watched you go from left to right, I followed you all night
Across my blinds
You'll change your mind come Monday, and turn your back on me
You'll take your steps away with hesitance
You'll take your steps away from me
I'm making my peace, making it with distance
Maybe that's a big mistake, you know I'm thinking of you
I miss you”
I always did miss Cameron when he wasn’t with me. It was getting physically painful to be away from him…
I don’t want to fall in love. Love is too. . unpredictable..
It had begun misting lightly as I approached the strip mall where TOGO’s was located, and I was grateful to take refuge underneath the awning.
“You’re early!” Cameron’s face lit up as I walked into the empty TOGO’s. It was always empty, the most people I had ever seen was when the local sports team had their luncheon here.
“Yep. Your cheese looks moldy.” I grimaced, eyeing the dairy.
“I know. Finish your To Do list fast today?” He started wiping down the counters, preparing to get off. I grinned at him, he knew me.
“Yeah... I had to bathe Cat, she got into the flour again,” I flicked a piece of lettuce from a chair and sat down apprehensively. Lettuce you could see, germs and other grotesque infestations you cannot.
“Again? Oh and I’ve been thinking. It’s been six months, I think it’s time to name her,” He untied his apron and hopped over the counter. Cameron preferred to hop over rather than try to unstuck the broken part of the counter that lifts up to let you by. I thought he was cute. Woah, not Cameron. Just lazy. What is wrong with me?
“No. I don’t know… Unless you can think of something fabulous, Cat sticks.” As anyone knows, once you start calling someone something for a long period of time, you begin to neglect his or her real or in this case nonexistent name. Cat for a cat was just fine!
“Fine…” He rolled his eyes and flashed a toothy grin at me. It suddenly struck me how… beautiful he was. He’d been my best friend, and I’d never thought of him that way. He was tall, six-two ish. His hair was really really dark brown (most thought it was black unless they saw it in the sun), long, straight, and always in his eyes no matter how he cut it. But the most dominant feature Cameron held was his eyes. They were green, but a crazy shade of green. Almost lime, with an outline of forest. I had always known they were beautiful, they had always been… Cameron.
He’d had a lot of girlfriends, I suppose that illustrates his beauty. Maybe. But still, He was.
He put his arm around my shoulder and ushered me to his car; an old black Honda Civic. The paint was chipping off the ceiling, and all of his door handles had been replaced.
“So I asked a customer what movie we should see and he said Zombies Zombies Zombies was good. I don’t know, the title is a little… I don’t really know. Bit of a turn off?” He looked at me and put his keys in the ignition. His long spindly fingers pushed his hair out of his eyes as he looked at me for feedback. I laughed.
“Sounds okay to me. Large popcorn, you promised!” We talked back and forth on our way to the theatre, and I noticed it was no longer our best friend banter. It had escalated to something… more.
He started out conversation with, “What is the one totally let your hair down crazy thing you want to do right now?”
I blushed.
“Uh… Go home and tear up my To Do list?” I raised my eyebrows and shrugged, looking up at him. He smiled.
“Uh, no way Claire. We’re talking admit me now, I’m insane.”
Giggling I began to think. No way I could tell him I wanted to kiss him. What if he didn’t want to kiss me back? This is why I made lists. I was never disappointed in what didn’t happen because I could control everything. Instead, I decided on a little bit less revealing secret.
“Okay. Lock you in your car, hitch hike back to your house, break in, steal The Best, then come let you out.”
As Cameron laughed at this, two really sexy looking girls smiled at him when we walked by. I used to think nothing of his actions, but my heart flipped as his massive arm slid around my waist. His hip hit my stomach, and, of course, I tripped. This caused him to laugh again, and me to sit on the moist cement dejectedly.
“You’re cute.”
“Oh, haha. Okay Mr. Grace, same question.”
My heart flipped again as I was his eyes dart down to my mouth. WOAH. He held out his hand and helped me up.
“I want, or have always wanted, to steal a gumball machine.” Now it was my turn to laugh.
“Really? That sounds like fun. And you’d get all the gumballs you want and technically they’d be free because you’d get all your money back!”
“Exactly! God, when I tried explaining that to Heather she thought I was a freak.” I frowned. Heather was his ex-girlfriend.
“What a loser, who couldn’t understand that?” I hugged him as we approached the movie theatre. He smiled sincerely back at me.
The movie was, as promised, primarily about zombies. Cameron and I laughed in all of the right placed for us, but all the wrong places for the rest of the theatre. Hero (Brad Pitt-looking but the movie wasn’t high budget enough to pay Brad Pitt himself) and heroine (Tara Reid -looking) battled throughout the movie to stay alive, but of course heroine turns into zombie and makes passionate love to former human lover, killing him when they are finished. Even sex ends in death. I’m starting to think I’m never going to get out of here.
When the final credits turned off (Cameron and I always stayed to the end to appreciate the unappreciated people at the end of movie credits), I followed Cameron out of the theatre and back into his car where we sat listening to the rain hit the roof in small plunks.
“Claire…” Cameron’s voice, smooth, infiltrated the steady raindrops.
“Hmm?” I looked up from my fingernails, which I had been inspecting. “Think it’s time for me to paint them again? I’ll go home and make a list of pros and cons for the colors...”

“I don’t want lists to be the most exciting things in your life anymore. You don’t have to plan out your day so you know what’s going to happen. You deserve better. You’re not boring… though I know you think you are. I’d rather spend six hours making lists with you than partying with the rest of the school. I know we’re best friends. I know you love me and I love you. But Claire?”
My heart began to beat faster. Why should he do this? Why me? I’m not special… Reasons to kiss me: I’m a girl, he doesn’t have a girlfriend, he’s a guy, Reasons not to kiss me: I’m nothing special, I’m Claire, not anyone else, I’m boring, I make lists in my head when someone is professing things to me!!!!!!!!!!
“Claire. I love you. More than friends, more than best friends. I love you. I’ve fallen so hard for you… You make everything in my life worth living for. I’m in love with you. It took me a while to realize that the pain in my chest isn’t because of my past girlfriends, or my dad leaving, it’s because I haven’t kissed you yet. I finally realized why I’m so freaking depressed when I work. You’re not there. You’re always there… I hate it when you’re not. God, Claire. I want to be with you. I want to make your life how you’ve made mine. I love you…” His cold spindly fingers pushed my straight dirty blond hair out of my eyes. His hand was steady as it laced itself in my hair.
Tears involuntarily began to roll down my cheeks. Nothing mattered. Getting out didn’t matter. Lists didn’t matter.
“Cam… I… Love you too,” I blinked hard, trying to clear my vision so I could see his face. He was smiling, his gigantic toothy grin that I love so much.

Our first kiss was that something I’d been missing. The one thing I knew I could never put on a list.




Join the Discussion


This article has 106 comments. Post your own!

Kelz1141 said...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm:
I really liked this! I thought the ending was a bit unrealistic. Not the fact that he said he loved her just the way he said it was beautiful...but I don't think that would happen in real life. Otherwise, amazing job.
 
Nina_Care replied...
Dec. 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm :
I completely agree with you, it IS unrealistic. It's why I write (because stuff like that would never happen to me, so I get to make it happen for Claire.) Thanks for the feedback!
 
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Music_luvr said...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 9:05 am:
Awe I loved this!!! =] this definitely does remind me of Sarah Dessen's writing!! LOVE IT!!!
 
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FutureNovelist said...
Nov. 21, 2010 at 10:48 pm:

this is so sweet! I loved it! It was amazing <3

great job. keep writing!!!!

(P.S: I love the name Cameron, ironically most Cam's I read about have green eyes and dark brown hair :P you'll be surprised how many of them I've come across ;))

 
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cupcakegirl10 said...
Nov. 21, 2010 at 12:08 pm:

omg...this has to be the cutest and most adorable thing ive ever readd!!! :D

I love love love love love itttttt <3

i wish it could happen to me too :/

 
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rockstar7777777 said...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 4:14 pm:
i thought it was cute and really sweet, kind of like the books that sarah dessen writes and i really liked it.
 
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writergirl13 said...
Oct. 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm:
This is great! It reads exactly like a published book would, and it's very descriptive and vivid. Please write more! Also, I'd really appreciate it if you checked out commented on some of my pieces!
 
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trblue said...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 10:09 am:
over the summer i pulled some teenink stuff off the internet, and this pice of work was decided. i love it, it's realistic and im mad that i could not find it at first i had to binging it.
 
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ScreenName2014 said...
Oct. 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm:
This was amazing. I really wish youd take this and make it into a romance novel. Its pretty much the exact same thing that happened with my boyfriend and I wish I could of made it a book.
 
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GuitarGirl92851 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 8, 2010 at 11:57 am:
Wow.  This is so breathtakingly beautiful.
 
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CrazyWriterThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Aug. 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm:

awwwwwww!!!!! i love it!!! write more. Please??

~crazywriter

 
Down2Earth replied...
Oct. 3, 2010 at 8:54 pm :
yes, please! this is one of my absolute favorite stories on this website. please, keep writing-your really good!
 
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Greeneyedgirl18 said...
Jun. 28, 2010 at 10:25 pm:
Wow, this was just amazing! I loved it and I love the details you put into this piece, keep up the good work!
 
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MissAmbitious said...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 11:00 am:

wow...i really like the way you developed your characters and how unique they are- from to do lists to wanting to steal gumball machines:)

i'm very impressed. could you please check out my work?

 
AprilBlue replied...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 8:14 pm :

I LOVE this piece... faaaavorite :)

Stealing gumball machines? ROCK ON!! lol :)

 
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gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 7:34 am:

This is so great!  You are an AMAZING writer!  I loved this!  PLEASE keep writing!

Btw, anyone who sees this, will you check out and comment on my work?

 
Nina_Care replied...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 2:38 pm :
Hey! I checked out your work, and you're really talented! You know a good story when it ends you're frusterated. That "Aging Love" could definately be extended into a novel, and it would positively be on my shelf :D Good job!
 
gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 3:25 pm :
That's really nice of you! Thanks!  I'm glad you enjoyed my work.  And you're very talented, too.
 
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Lonleydandy said...
Jun. 10, 2010 at 9:33 pm:
Love it love it love it. This has to be one of the better romance stories I have read! Congrats :D
 
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Savvy_ said...
Jun. 4, 2010 at 12:20 pm:
I loved it :)
 
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