Chapter 6I hear a thud on the door. I open my eyes and sit up.
“Someone’s here to see you, Katie.” My dad looked uncomfortable in his black suit and tie. Even though he denied it, both Austin and I knew that he had been pushed into law school by his parents. In reality, he would have given anything to be working outdoors. This always proved to be a source of contention between my parents.
Standing up I brushed my light brown hair out of my face. Pulling on my sweater nervously I walked out of the room, and to the front door. The area was vacant.
“Are you sure dad?”
“Huh?” He looked up from his examination of a crack in the wall.
“No one’s here.” I gestured around us.
“Oh yes, yeah. Um….maybe he’s with Austin.” He? My palms started to sweat. I hoped, but I knew that it couldn’t be. Why would he be here? At that moment I heard the obviously male yells of victory. Confused, I climbed up the stairs, and looked directly into the family room, just at the moment that another victory yell ran through the air.
“I can’t believe that just happened. You’ve really never played this game before?” Austin asked my visitor. He sat slumped on the couch staring at the TV screen flashing winner.
“No. This would be the first time.”
“You suck. I think that’s all the defeat that I can handle for today,” Austin said turning to look at me. “He’s all yours Katie.” He stood up from the couch and left the room, winking at me as he left.
I took at deep breath. “Hi Ryan.”
“Hey,” he said walking over to me. “This must have fallen off your backpack in my car this morning. I was going to call you but then I remembered that I don’t have your number, and I knew where you lived so,” he paused, “I though I would just bring it over.” He placed the silver button which read “Portland Pride at Portland High. PH Juniors 2010” in my hand. “It seemed like something you would want back.”
“It is thanks,” I smile up at him. We stand in silence for a few moments. “I got this my last day at Portland High. My friend, Ally, said I needed to put it somewhere I would see often so I remember where my real home is.” I look down at the button and think of that day. It felt like so much had changed since then.
“Oh well, I figured it was probably important to you.”
“Yeah, thank you.”
“I like your house by the way. Except I think I made an enemy of your brother.” He laughs.
“He’ll get over it,” I smile. “Do you want to see the rest of the house?”
“Sure.” I take him around to the different rooms, only pausing when we reach my bedroom. He walks in and looks at the pictures on my dresser. He picks up one, looks at it, and then turns to me. “What is this of?”
“Cross-country camp last year. That’s Portland High’s team.”
A grin flashes across his face. “So that’s the real reason you run so much.”
I roll my eyes. “Come one, there’s still one more thing for you to see.” We go out to the backyard, where the sun is shining again. I grab the ladder and his face becomes confused. I place the cold, steel ladder up against the house with a clank, and start to go up.
Noticing he is not following I say, “Well, come one.” He shrugs and follows. Once on the roof, I slide down into my favorite spot. Soon after, Ryan slides down next to me.
“This is my favorite spot. I come up here to think.”
“About what?” I look at him.
“School and family. Just life in general.”
“Uh huh. So what are you thinking about now?” Oh gosh. I can’t tell him that I’m thinking about how the blue in his eyes matches his shirt. Or how muscular his arms look.
“Um….” I blush and look down.
“Because I know what I’m thinking about.”
“And what is that?”
“I think you’re…..” We both jump when I hear my mother’s voice. Unbeknownst to either of us, we had leaned closer together. He clears his throat and backs up.
“Katie, It’s time for dinner. You’re nice friend can stay too.” I sigh and Ryan looks like he’s trying to say something.
“We’d better go down or she’ll come up here,” I smile. “Do you want to stay for dinner?”
“Sure. I would love too.” He smiles back and we begin our descent.
“You are welcome anytime, Ryan,” my mother says smiling.
“Thank you Mrs. Hayes. Dinner was great.”
“Oh please call me Tina.” Ryan smiles. We both are standing in the doorway to the kitchen when Austin gets up from the table and walks passed us, playfully hitting Ryan’s shoulder.
“I want a rematch,” he said and walked up the stairs. Ryan waves goodbye to my parents who are clearing off the table, and we walk toward the front door.
“I like your family,” he says smiling.
I laugh, “Yeah tonight was fun. I guess my family can be okay sometimes.”
“I guess so,” He looks at me.
Feeling his eyes on me, I look down. “Maybe we could do it again sometime.”
“Sounds good,” he says, opening the door. “Next time at my house.” I couldn’t hold back my smile. He started to walk out the door but then promptly turned around. “Hey do you need a rid tomorrow? It would save you a run in the rain.”
“Uh…yes I do. Thanks.”
“Okay,” he smiles and starts walking away. “See you tomorrow Katie,” he yells. I close the door, take a deep breath and run into my room, shutting the bedroom door. I feel my phone begin to vibrate in my pocket and fumble trying to pull it out. Ally.
“Tell me everything.”