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Friends Forever part 2
“Andrew, thank you so much! But how did you know?”
“It’s nothing much. I just heard you coughing this morning so at lunch I ran to the convenience store.”
I stood looking at his hands which held a box of cold medicine, cough drops, and a small bottle of orange juice. The three items were my rescue. My parents were out of town and would be for a month on a mission trip. My parents had been missionaries my whole life and I was an only child, so in my later teenage years I had become used to staying by myself. Even though I had stayed by myself a lot this was my first time to be sick while they were gone. Usually when I was sick my mom took care of me. She woke me up, fixed me breakfast and sent me to school with all the medicine I could ever need. I had barely gotten myself out of bed that morning without her there and cold medicine had not even crossed my mind.
“I just can’t say thank you enough,” I said, and I really couldn’t.
He smiled, “I could tell you didn’t feel good, you looked kinda tired.”
I looked down at myself. Converse, wind pants, and a hoodie. I did look sick.
“You are still really pretty though,” he quickly added. As soon as he finished his face blushed. Then, so did mine. I tugged my bangs and he played with his belt loop. Nervous habits were funny.
“That’s really sweet.” It sounded so dumb and cliché, even as it came out of my mouth, but I was flattered and didn’t know what else to say.
“Can I walk you to your next class?”
For the first time since Andrew and I had spoke, I didn’t turn him down.
“Yes, I would like that,” I grinned shyly.
We headed down the hall to my economics class. He popped two pills out of the tin backing on the plastic case in the box and opened my orange juice. He handed them to me. I swallowed the pills. He really was sweet, and very attractive. He was tall and thin, but very fit. His eyes drew me in. Dark brown on the outside and they faded to light brown near the pupil. They were a cute almond shape. His hair was sandy brown and he had a very cute smile. He was attractive, but he was no Bryson. But I did have to admit with a week and a half until prom the idea of going with Andrew grew more and more appealing everyday. He made it a normalcy to stop by my locker everyday after lunch, and I honestly couldn’t say I minded. Bryson had been acting strangely lately, and I did mind that. He was acting like he didn’t want to be my friend anymore and I just couldn’t figure it out. He had stopped by my locker one day after Andrew had walked off.
“What’s the deal with that?” he had asked. Like he thought I was ridiculous for talking to anyone other than him.
“With what?” I had asked.
“You and him seem to get along pretty good.”
“Well, he is really nice and funny,” I had defended Andrew. And he really was.
“I thought you didn’t want anything to do with him.”
“I guess I changed my mind,” I had snapped, louder and ruder than I had meant to.
“I just don’t want you to get hurt and I don’t want you to lead him on either.”
“Bryson, we were just talking. What is your deal?”
“Nothing, sorry. See you this afternoon.” He left. He hadn’t even called me Mo.
Since that day a week ago we had only hung out once and I don’t even know if you could call it that. We barely talked and he had left before I cooked dinner, which was a rarity. I didn’t know what was wrong with him but I assumed he would get over it.
“So, Morgan,” Andrew said, snapping me back to the present, “I was just wondering if you would like to go out, maybe on Saturday?”
Bryson was right there in my mind. But I knew that he didn’t feel that same about me that I felt about him. I just took the chance even though I didn’t know where it would lead, “That would be great!”
“I was hoping you would say that! I’ll text you after school.” He reached in for a quick side hug and opened the door to the economics room, and Bryson was sitting in the desk closest to the door. I slid in to the seat next to him and he threw a ball of paper at me angrily. I straightened out the paper and written in Bryson’s sloppy scrawl was:
Tell me what’s up. I see ya’ll together all the time!
I wrote him back.
Well, Andrew and I have gotten closer here lately. Why? Is that a problem?
I threw the ball back at him and deliberately hit him in the head. He didn’t have to be a jerk about it. He quickly flattened out the paper, looked at me, rolled his big beautiful eyes and quickly scratched something on the paper. He tossed it back on my desk.
I don’t guess it is. I just thought ya’ll were only ‘friends’. That’s what you kept telling me.
I hesitated. Because in all honesty, I didn’t know what I wanted. Bryson had made it clear in the past that he just wanted to be my friend, but I didn’t know why he had been acting so strangely. But Andrew was so sweet and funny and I liked him a lot and he made it clear that he liked me, and I wanted to be with someone who wanted to be with me. I didn’t want to chase Bryson if he didn’t like me. It was hard to tell him the truth, but he was my best friend. I couldn’t lie to him.
Well, I kinda have feelings for him. He asked me to go out with him Saturday.
I wadded the ball back up and tossed it back at him. I avoided his gaze and looked down at my desk. The ball landed back on my desk. I spread it out.
What did you say?
I took a deep breath and wrote it.
I tossed the ball back at him and looked forward to the board where our teacher was writing figures and facts of the economy on the white board. The paper never landed back on my desk.
I heard a knock on the door and I didn’t want to seem eager, even though I had been ready for the past thirty minutes. I was anxious and since my mom was out of town I didn’t have anyone to help me pick out clothes, hairstyle, and jewelry for my first date with Andrew. I didn’t want to be late so I had started getting ready early. I counted to ten and then walked slowly to the door. Andrew was standing on my front porch. I caught my breath. He looked good. He had traded in his everyday wear for loose fitting jeans, leather square toe boots, a nice stylish shirt and his hair was gelled.
“Wow,” I smiled.
“Wow yourself,” he grinned. I had dressed up a little. My favorite bright print sundress always made me feel good about myself, and obviously Andrew liked it, too.
“So where are we going?” I asked after a quick hug as I shut and locked the door.
“I thought to eat and maybe a movie if you want.”
“Sounds good to me.” He slipped his hand in mine as we walked to his truck. My heart skipped a beat and I looked up at him. He was beaming down at me and walked me around to the passenger side of his black, Dodge truck. He opened the door and I climbed in. I sat my purse on the console and inhaled. I could smell his cologne. Andrew got in the driver’s side and smiled at me. I was starting to think this date was not such a bad idea.
We pulled into my driveway. Andrew turned to face me and grabbed both of my hands.
“I had so much fun with you,” he said genuinely. He laced and re-laced his fingers through mine.
“Me, too,” I smiled. And it really was lots of fun. It was different than going with Bryson who made me laugh all through the movie even if it wasn’t funny, with his comments about it in a dry sense of humor. He made me laugh more at him than at the movie if it was funny because his laugh was contagious. But I was realizing that Bryson and Andrew were two different people and Andrew wasn’t going to act exactly like Bryson, so even if it had been different than going to the movies with Bryson, it still was fun.
“Well, what would you think about being my girlfriend?” his face was red but he hadn’t stammered. He was confident.
I realized that Andrew adored me. He really did. And I like him a lot too. I took a deep breath, “I would love to be your girlfriend.”
“Whew,” he grinned. “I was wondering what you would say. I thought you and Bryson might have something going on.”
On the outside I just laughed his comment about Bryson off, but on the inside my stomach flip-flopped. I did have to tell Bryson. He had ignored me since our note passing in economics Wednesday and I knew he didn’t like me, but I still wanted to be friends and I wanted to know why he had ignored me. Even though I didn’t feel like I should have to after the way he treated me, I knew that he was my best friend and not telling him about me and Andrew could ruin our friendship forever. I had to tell him.
Andrew and I sat in the truck and talked for a few more minutes. He walked me to the door and hugged me goodbye. He wasn’t pushy trying to kiss me and everything, and I liked that. I was excited about our new relationship. I waved goodbye to him and then stepped inside and immediately grabbed my phone out of my purse and hit my messaging button. I scrolled down to my mom’s name to text her about Andrew and me but then I realized she didn’t have her phone in Guam anyway, so I scrolled back up the B’s and hit the select button at Bryson’s name. After he didn’t reply to my ‘Hey Buddy!’ text I sent him a message about Andrew and me and how he had asked me out and I really like him, so I had accepted. I told him I couldn’t wait to hang out again and I was so blessed to have him as a friend.