Leap of Faith - Excerpt 4

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Sunlight peeks in through the blinds. Another sunny day. I love days like these. Bright sunny skies, sandy beach, flip flops and water so blue. But, for now, I’m cozy in my bed. Wait. Not my bed…

Not my bed.

I bolt upright and blink about five or six times before I can comprehend what’s going on. The digital clock on Justin’s bureau reads 11:09am. Justin’s room.

I scramble out of bed, attempt to fix my rats nest hair and wipe any smudged makeup from underneath my eyes. Then, I throw open the bedroom door and escape down the stairs into Justin’s kitchen, hoping to make a speedy escape home to change my clothes. I feel like a slob… and kind of embarrassed.

Justin’s sitting in a chair in the kitchen. Sunlight pours into the room, lighting up the room to highlight all the features of the beautiful kitchen.

“Good morning.” I stop at the bottom step.

He looks up and smiles at me. Weak knees. Great.

“Morning. Coffee? OJ?” He offers.

If I eat I’ll be sick. “No, I’m good, thanks.” I take a seat across the table from him and yawn loudly. “Where’s your parents today?”

“No idea. Gone hiking or something of the sort.”

He’s so secretive when it comes to his parents. For the time I’ve known him now, I’ve never met his parents once. They sound like great people - explorers, almost. They’ve seen the whole world practically, probably hiked from California to Texas, skydived. Anything under the sun, that would describe Justin’s parents. And I would love to hear the stories personally. But Justin always manages to make sure they’re never around. Suspicious. But…

“What are we going to do today?” Once again, he cuts into my thoughts. He has a tendency to do that, so I’ve noticed.

“What do you want to do?”

“Want to go for a drive?” He asks me.

I love going for drives with him. We’ll pick a point, and go where ever that road will take us (with the help of GPS, of course). Because, in all honesty, it never really matters what we do. As long as we’re together, it really doesn’t matter. We’re like the same person. I’ve found myself becoming attached to my other half. Something I just probably shouldn’t do. Because girls like me don’t get attached. Girls like me are awkward, lonely, and disliked. Girls like me just don’t have best friends. It doesn’t work that way for girls like me.

Fifteen minutes later, I’m climbing into the passenger seat of his car. Sunglasses on. Ready to go. Justin walks down the path to his car, carrying his keys. I smile. Just the way he walks is graceful. He smiles back. It’s so beautiful. So beautiful.

But there’s no time to become captivated.

“Ready to go?” He grins.

I smile back. “Yep!”

He starts the car and takes the road down by the main beach. I feel my whole body begin to tense. I hate this place. I can already see my friends. Wait. My used to be friends.

Of course. An unusual car. They’re already looking from that far away. “There’s my old friends.” I murmur.

Justin sees them. “Old friends? Like that Alexis girl?”


I close my eyes. “Yeah. They’re totally going to stare.”

Justin smiles. “We’ll give them something to stare at.” He speeds up the car and I start laughing. Not because it’s funny. But because he thinks it’s going to show them something. It’ll show them something, all right. It’ll show them that Elise has finally found a friend. And, he’s better than they could have ever been throughout all the years they provided their friendship to me. Pardon me, false friendship. One misunderstanding, and I’m thrown out. But, it made me realize they aren’t who I want to be. I’m not interested in being some Barbie doll with friends that I don’t really like and friends that don’t really like me. Justin’s real. He’s pure. He actually acts like cares about me. I’m lucky to have stumbled across such a miracle. He’s my best friend. And I wouldn’t trade that for my popularity or anything I used to have. I wouldn’t change anything that’s happened this summer. And the beauty of it, is I’ve got another two beautiful weeks of summer to spend with my new best friend. On the beach, the boat, in the car, downtown, anywhere.
***

“Stop!” I squeal. I’m running down the shore, laughing hysterically, soaked from the water. Justin is running close behind me, kicking water up at my legs. I turn around and splash back, but I trip over my own two feet and begin to fall face first before he catches me… and then drops me into the water.

I’m so careless about everything. I guess this might be what you’d call… freedom. It just goes to show that one person can change everything. I went from lonely and closed off… to happy and open. I know I’ve said it before a million times, but this beach is my home. The rippling waves that tide over me as I lay in the water make me shiver. I close my eyes, sigh and breathe in. The salty air is warm and thick. It’s going to rain.

And sure enough, there’s water not only tiding over my hands and feet, but falling down onto my face. It’s refreshing.

Justin grabs my hand and lifts me up off the ground. It’s pouring. “We should get inside.”

I laugh. “Why?”

Justin looks at me as if I’m crazy. “It’s pouring!”

“You scared of a little rain, boy?” It’s funny how I fear nothing that I say anymore. It just comes naturally.

“Nope.” He responds with a grin. He sticks out a hand. “May I have this dance?”

I scoff. “Really?”

He smiles. I place my hand in his and feel my heartbeat rapidly increase. I’m glad it’s raining because my hands are starting to sweat.

We dance in the rain. Literally. I know it sounds super cliché. As the rain pours down around us, I can hear the clapping of thunder. The sky lights up with lightning. Funny, even when there are no stars, there is still a source of light in the sky for me. I think it kind of leads me to where I know in my heart I belong.

Or maybe I’m just trying to find reason as to why me and Justin have come to a complete stop. I think I’m trying to find reason as to why we now share the same thoughts… as to why for some reason I feel our connection has finally sparked… or maybe, just maybe, I’m trying to find reason as to why my face is so close to his…





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