5. Cheetos and Other Fun
I glared at Danny who was sitting at her kitchen table munching happily on a bag of Cheetos while I was stuck sitting in a hardwood chair getting my hair done by Amber.
“Please just give me one?” I pleaded, giving Danny the puppy-eyes that had worked so well for me a decade ago.
“Psh. No.” Danny scoffed, tossing another Cheeto into her mouth.
“Why not?” I whined, slouching slightly before Amber kicked my viciously in the shin, causing me to straighten back up again.
“Boys hate slouchers.” She admonished, picking up more of my dark strands and wrapping them around the barrel of a curling iron. “See how I’m doing this, Riley? This is exactly what I want you to do when you go out with Charles on Saturday, alright?”
I scowled at the mirror Amber had set up in front of us so that I could see what she was doing. “Why do I have to look all pretty?” I complained.
“Because you want him to like you, silly.” Amber giggled, letting the, now warm, hair fall back onto my head.
The doorbell rang and Danny hopped up excitedly, abandoning the bag of Cheetos. I licked my lips slowly and contemplated getting up and retrieving the forgotten bag of cheesy, crunchy yumminess. I was about to get up when I felt a sharp tug at the back of my head. I looked at Amber questioningly in the mirror.
“What was that for?”
“You were going to try and steal those Cheetos.”
I did my best to put an innocent face on. “Why, Amber! What would make you think such a thing?”
“Because you have always lusted after my amazing Cheetos, Riley darling.” Danny commented, strolling back into the dining room a package in her hand, and her brother, Roy trailing after her.
“Am I missing something?” Roy asked, raising a blond eyebrow at us.
“Hey Roy.” I greeted brightly, ignoring his question.
“Hey Riley,” he returned, settling himself down into the chair across from me and grabbing the bag of Cheetos. “What’s with the makeover?” He gestured at my make upped face and curled hair.
“Amber here has decided that I need a boyfriend, so now I’m dating three guys.” I shrugged, trying to be nonchalant about it, but it didn’t stop his eyes from bugging out and him choking on a single crunchy Cheeto.
“Three guys?” He spluttered, staring wide-eyed at me.
“They don’t know about each other, I’m assuming.”
“Oh no, they do.”
I honestly didn’t think it was possible, but his blue eyes got even wider. Danny looked like she was trying very hard not to laugh.
“Wha—why—who in their right minds would date a girl who’s dating two other guys?!” He finally managed to choke out.
I think that was the last straw for Danny because she burst out laughing. “Roy, chill dude, it’s some kind of business Amber’s running. It’s actually pretty amusing, and a good source of income.”
“You can’t possibly be serious…” He muttered, shaking his head.
“I’m perfectly serious, broheim.”
“Well I guess I could understand it a little bit…” He acknowledged, rising and walking over to the stairs that led to his room.
“How so?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Face it, Riles, you’re pretty hot.” And with that, Roy was running up the stairs with an outraged Danny on his heels, shrieking: ‘How dare you hit on my friends, you idiot!’ at the top of her lungs.
I laughed good naturedly and waited patiently for Amber to finish up with my hair so that I could go home and stuff my face with cookie dough ice cream.
“There. Finished.” Amber looked me up and down appraisingly, before tapping her chin thoughtfully.
“What?” I asked, feeling uncomfortable.
“Something’s missing…” She murmured, sidling slowly over to the closest door that just so happened to be the coat closet.
“This!” She exclaimed, before throwing open the doors to release a mass of energy that instantly tackled me to the ground.
“What the heck?!” I shrieked, pushing Aiden off of me and dusting myself off.
“Flirt, you’re so much fun!” He laughed, holding out a hand to help me up.
I ignored him and used a nearby chair to hoist myself back up into a standing position. Instead of staying that way however, my legs decided that they wanted to buckle and send me flying into Aiden’s waiting arms.
“Wow, already falling for me, are you?” He winked, grinning down at me cockily.
“Shut up…” I grumbled, holding onto one of the chairs for support. “How the heck did you even get into Danny’s house in the first place?”
“She invited me, dur.” He rolled his eyes at me and sat down comfortable in one of the chairs.
“And might I say, that Roy guy was right, you are, and I quote, ‘pretty hot’.”
Despite his hiding in a closet and tackling me, I blushed like an idiot, and hated myself for it.
“Shut up.” I mumbled again, hitting his shoulder lightly.
“Jeez, Riley, would you quit hitting me?” Okay, so maybe it wasn’t all that lightly.
“Once you stop being so ego-centric, I’ll consider it.” I winked at him and sat back down in my chair, but not before I had retrieved the precious Cheetos.
“You guys are so cute together!” Amber gushed excitedly from behind Aiden. “You should just dump the other two and stick with him!”
“You hear that, Flirt?” Aiden smirked, winking at me again. “You should dump the other two and just stick with me.”
“We haven’t even been on a date yet, dude.”
“But we’re so cute together!” He teased, putting on a puppy-face.
It was hard, but I resisted the urge to smack him upside the head. “Uh, no. I would rather date Roy than you.”
“I’m flattered.” Roy commented from behind me. “But sadly, my darling younger sister would beat me to death if I ever again come within a ten foot radius of you.”
“Darn right, and I would enjoy every second of it.”
“That's so lady-like of you, dear sister.”
“Oh go stick a corn cob in your ear.”
“Only once you confess your undying love to that lovable starfish, Patrick.”
“Roy...” Danny's voice rose threateningly and he backed away slowly, hands raised defensively.
“Are they always like this?” Aiden asked, turning to me curiously.
“Nah, this is actually one of their better days.”
“Ah.” He nodded and continued to observe the spectacle in front of him with obvious interest and confusion.
“So why is he here, Amber?” I asked, picking up my forgotten Cheeto and preparing to toss it into the hatch.
“Don't eat that!” She shrieked, completely ignoring my question and snatching the crunchy cheese snack from my hand.
“What? Why not?” I pouted, reaching for the bag.
“Ah, ah, ah...” She scolded, wagging a finger at me and whisking the bag of junk food well away from me.
“You know something, Amber?”
“You're no fun.”
“I'm lots of fun and you know it.”
“Then lighten up and give me a Cheeto.”
“Hm... how about... no.” She smirked at me and pulled a single Cheeto from the bag tauntingly. She waved it back and forth slowly, probably enjoying the way my eyes followed its every movement. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore, I lunged at the Cheeto, only causing Amber to cackle in triumph as she popped it into her mouth.
“Amberrrrr!” I whined, falling to my knees in defeat.
“Can I....” I sighed. “May I have a salad?”
She grinned triumphantly at me, confident that she had finally prevailed over my junk-food-addicted appetite. “Why yes, Riley, you may have a salad!” She whirled away out of sight, leaving Aiden and I alone in the dining area.
Danny had already chased Roy out of the house and was probably currently beating him to death.
I smiled slyly, and plucked the bag off of the table and popped a Cheeto into my mouth. I think I melted once I tasted the wonderful, crunchy, cheesy goodness.
“Ah, ah, ah, Flirt. You know better than that.” Aiden scolded, winking at me and prying the plastic bag loose from my fingers.
“Hey!” I protested. “I wasn't done with that!”
“Well you are now.” He smirked and I stuck my tongue out at him.
“And I thought you were the fun one...” I muttered, feeling deprived of one of the main staples of my diet.
“I am the fun one, which is exactly why we're going to do something fun.”
I perked up instantly. “What's the plan?”
“What would you say if I said that I knew where a stash of salt and vinegar chips were?”
“I would say that you're my best friend in the known universe.”
“Well then, let's go before Amber comes back with that salad.” He winked at me and silently got to his feet, stretching a hand out to me like the gentleman he was.
“Alrighty then.” I grinned and took his hand.
He promptly towed me out of Danny's house only to find a very frightened Roy cowering in the bushes beside the door, and Danny stalking around the yard, a bemused expression
stretched across her face.
“Here, Roy... Come here, Roy...” She called softly, her eyes carefully scanning the expanse of the yard.
“Uhm... Danny? What are you doing?”
She immediately relaxed from her previously predatory stance, “Hunting for Roy.” She explained cheerfully, as if it were the most normal thing in the world.
“Because he's hiding from me.” She shrugged and her posture shifted again so that she was once again crouching slightly.
“Right..... uh... I'll see you later...”
“Bye...” She murmured absentmindedly. “Here, Roy... Come here, Roy....”
I climbed gratefully into Aiden's car and he started the engine.
“They're weird.” He commented, pulling out of Danny's driveway and into the street.
“Just figuring that out?”
“Hey! I haven't known them for as long as you have!” He protested defensively.
“Well, I let you know now, all my friends are weird.”
“Not me,” he remarked smugly. “I'm perfectly normal.” He puffed out his Superman-logo covered chest importantly, and I did my best not to giggle.
“Is that so?”
“Then what's with the cape in the back?”
“I-it's not a cape!” He spluttered. “It's a special edition Superman collector's item.”
“No! A collector's item.”
“Whatever, dude. I'm not going to argue as long as I get my chips I need nothing else.”
“Jeez, what am I chopped liver? I'm the one giving you the chips, remember?”
“Pshaw, you're just another person standing in between me and my precious junk food.”
“Really feeling the love, here, Riley...” Aiden scoffed, rolling his hazel eyes.
“Here we are...” He announced, pulling into an unfamiliar driveway.
“Er... where are we?” I questioned, slowly exiting his vehicle.
“My house, duh.”
I walked warily up the driveway, “It's a little early to be introducing me to the parents isn't it, Narcissus?” I teased weakly.
“Oh gosh, Riley, chill. It's just my sisters here right now anyways.”
“If you say so...”
“Don't worry, I'll protect you from the cooties.” He grinned at me and pushed the door open gently. Almost immediately, he was bombarded with loud “Aidy!”s.
“Aidy?” I turned to him with a smirk.
He merely shrugged at me, a slight tinge of red coloring his cheeks.
“Well?” He started, motioning me inside. “You coming to meet them or what?”
I took a deep breath and stepped over the threshold.
Time to meet his family.