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It all started with a number on a napkin. That just set things into motion. What if I’d never called that number? What if I had listened to Glin? Would things have been different? One thing’s for sure. The start of the new school year was taking me on a wild ride and I, even now, don’t think I would have had the power to stop it.
People say working in a business firm provides the best opportunities to meet vast amounts of different people. I strongly disagree. I am a seventeen year old waitress at Sal’s Diner and I can honestly say that no one has seen more unique or quite the same variety of people as I have. I’ve seen everything from hippies to the Hell’s Angels pass through this diner.
“Emily!” Ah, and there’s Mrs. Watson interrupting my thoughts…again. “Emily. Have you noticed how you’re always ready to take my order before I have decided and as soon as I actually am ready you are nowhere to be found?”
“No Mrs. Watson, as a matter of fact, I haven’t noticed. What can I get you?” As she gives me her order, I cannot help but notice that she is exactly the kind of person I’d just been describing. I have never seen a woman quite like her. Every day she comes in wearing a different color tracksuit. Every. Day. She even has tennis shoes to match. The kicker? The only place she walks is from her car to the diner’s door. And then there’s the dog. The dog wears a matching tracksuit. Each day, when Mrs. Watson thinks I am not paying attention, she proceeds to scrape what’s left of her breakfast into a huge purse. It would take an idiot not to realize that the dog is “hidden” in her purse. But no. I have to pretend I don’t hear the sound of the purse ripping pieces of bacon to shreds. Who knew purses liked bacon, right?
After I place Mrs. Watson’s order on the rack, I scan the rest of the diner looking at our other “regulars.” In the booth across from the chewing purse, there’s Doug. No one actually knows where he lives or what his last name is but everyday at 8:23 sharp he is in the diner ready to order his Belgian waffle. What’s so strange about him you might ask? He’s OCD. Ridiculously OCD. The butter must be placed in the exact middle of each waffle and his orange just has to be approximately half an inch from the rim. If it’s not, he will sit there until you either tell him the diner is closing or until you bring him more food. Either way I have to wonder how he can afford to eat out every morning without having a job to go to.
Then there are the twins, Ed and Fred. Yeah, their parents have a sick sense of humor. When they order, you have to memorize what they are wearing, otherwise when you bring it out they will mix up who ordered what and confuse the crap out of you. And if that isn’t creepy enough they finish each other’s sentences like those freaky twins from The Shining or something. I can just imagine one of them turning to me screaming REDRUM!
And last but not least Mr. Arlington. He sat in the back left corner booth every other day. Two sausage links and a cup of black coffee. That’s all he ever ordered. Can anyone say ew? Anyways, he was pretty normal up until last year when he decided it was time for him to have his midlife crisis, at age 73. He got a Harley Davidson and hair plugs. Enough said.
“Order up,” screamed Glin. Glin was a bus boy slash chef at Sal’s. He also happened to be my next door neighbor and best friend since kindergarten. One morning, I’d walked over to him and pulled his hair. He started crying and we have been friends ever since. Did I mention that every single girl at our school would have set me on fire in order to be around him? Apparently he’s really attractive or something. I guess I can see it; tall, muscled, dark wavy brown hair, and green eyes that always knew when I was lying.
I went to the counter to get Mrs. Watson’s food for her and turned around just in time to fall flat on my face with the milk going right down the front of my shirt. What a great start to my day.
“Aw crap!” I hear Glin scrambling around the counter. “I’m sorry Em. I forgot to tell you I mopped up where a kid threw up a few minutes ago.” Mmmm barf. Perfect. By this time, everyone in the diner is looking at me and I can feel my cheeks turn bright red as I lay there sprawled out on the tile floor.
Before Glin can reach me, I look ahead of me and see shoes. Not just regular shoes either. These converses were in tiptop shape. Spotless. You would have thought they were brand new except I could see the wear on the front of the shoe. Then a hand appeared. Well hello stranger. I grasped the floating hand and it effortlessly pulled me into a standing position.
Holy smokes. I think a whistled catcall just reverberated in my head. This boy was hot! He had toned arm muscles and quick blue eyes as well as dark strait hair and a sprinkle of dark freckles across his face. His bone structure was perfect and he had his hair in that “oh I just woke up like this but still look super hot anyways” hairstyle. I quickly scolded my melting brain and tried to form what most people call words with my lips…that no longer seemed to work.
“Erg…thanks.” Wow Emily. That was great! You did not sound sincere or anything…idiot.
The guy laughed. “No problem. It’s just my duty helping a lady in distress.”
I let out a laugh that sounded too high-pitched and loud, even to my own ears. I saw Glin cringe at the noise out of the corner of my eye.
“Well this lady’s name is Emily. Who might her savior be?” Aw yeah! Now I’m getting back into the swing of things.
He laughed again. “The name’s Eric. I just moved here from Florida. Alabama sure is different from down there. Anyways I’m starting school next week. Senior year.”
“Yeah me too,” I cried a little bit too enthusiastically, “I’ll be in your grade. I guess I’ll see you there.”
“Yeah. Or I’ll see you in a few minutes when you take my order.” Then he went and sat down at a booth.
Right. The part where I actually work here.
Just as I was thinking this, Courtney came out of the back and when she saw Eric, her eyes started to sparkle. Before I could even take a step she was there talking him up, with a flirtatious smile, taking his order. Damn! Gosh, that girl could be annoying. She’s one of those girls who drools all over Glin, so me being his best friend just gives her the excuse to give me crap about everything, especially since we work together.
I gave up and let her talk to Eric. I mean he wasn’t my property or anything. We had just met, but I don’t know. That bugged me. She saw everything that happened and still swooped in to steal one thing I kinda wanted. Ugh! Oh well. I walked to the back and started talking to Glin.
“I can’t believe we are starting school in a week,” he grumbled as he washed the dishes.
“I know, but hey it’s our last year right? Lots of new things await us! Who knows. You might actually find a girl you like in that throng of hormones at our school!” I chuckled. That was a pretty good one Em.
“Ha. Ha. Ha.” He looked at me strangely, deeper into my eyes than normal. “How do you know I haven’t already found her?”
“I…” and then we heard the bang of the swinging doors. Courtney came waltzing in.
“Emily,” she sniffed, “the dining room needs to be cleaned up.”
“Wait. Isn’t that Glin’s job?” I stared at her unbelievingly.
“Nope. Glin is going to spend some quality time talking to me,” she purred and touched his bicep.
I rolled my eyes and smothered a laugh as Glin gave me a “Save me. I’ll do anything.” sort of look. I grabbed the dishtowel and sanitizer and went to go spray down the tables. I walked over to Doug and he handed me his plate on the way out. I thanked him and placed the plate on the counter. I looked around and saw that pretty much everyone had left, and I noticed as my heart sank, even Eric.
I had just about finished cleaning up everyone’s dishes, when I came to the table Eric had been sitting at. There sat the napkin.
“For Emily. Call me.
939 223 4227 Eric.”
I reread the napkin a couple more times. “For Emily!” He wrote a note, on a napkin, with his number, for me. Cue evil laugh! Take that Courtney. You little stuck up...woah there. Be nice.
I grabbed the rest of the dishes, slipped the napkin in my back pocket and was about to walk through the swinging door when Glin sprints out.
“Don’t touch me, you eight legged freak,” he was yelling. Damn…I knew Courtney was ugly but wow! At this, Courtney walked out the doors shaking her head.
“What did you do to him?” What on Earth?
“Nothing. He saw a spider on the wall and took off.” She looked at him with open frustration and turned back towards me. From behind her Glin, winked and walked off as I stifled a laugh. Well done Glin. I’ve taught you well.
I continued to laugh and walked through the swinging doors to drop the rest of the dishes off in the sink. The other two followed closely behind, Courtney reprimanding Glin for being a girl and Glin rolling his eyes and mocking her. Sometimes that boy really made it hard for me to keep a straight face.
“Glin bear! Why can’t you just be a normal person and take me out some time.” He rolled his eyes again.
“Because Court bear,” I drawled, winking at Glin, “He simply doesn’t, hasn’t, and won’t, ever ever in the history of never, even if you were the last girl on earth ever, like you.” I finished with a sweet smile while Glin grabbed a counter, his eyes streaming, and tried not to roll on the floor.
Courtney’s mouth went slack and I could have sworn I saw the cogs in her stupid little brain trying to make a comeback. 3…2…1..
“Well then! I’m leaving.” Fail.
“Good. Your shift is over anyways. It’s almost one. Goodbye Court bear,” I said sweetly. She quickly grabbed her purse and left in a huff.
“What has her thong in a bunch,” I asked rhetorically.
“I…can’t…believe…you…just…did…that,” Glin tried to choke out between his laughing fits.
“Eh, all part of the best friend job description.”
“Well you’re my savior Emily,” Glin replied with a mock bow, his eyes twinkling.
“Oh. Not a big deal Sir Glin. And that’s Emily the Bad Ass to you.” Hmm being the damsel and the knight in shining armor in the same day. I need a nap!
“So are we on for the scary movie tonight?”
“You know it! I’ll bring the movie.”
“And I’ll bring the pizza,” I finished for him and smiled. Our weekly movie nights were a tradition ever since we were about ten years old. Tonight it was the old Nightmare on Elm Street. He smiled back and I turned back towards the sink.
“Well what do we have here,” Glin asked with a smirk on his face. He started to pick up a piece of paper off the floor. It looked just like…
“A napkin,” Glin looked at me quizzically. My hand shot to my back pocket. The napkin was not there!
“It’s that guy who helped me off the floor.”
“Ah,” he looked at me and winked, “so that was drool on your chin.”
“Shut up! I do not drool over boys. They are gross and they are jerks.”
“Oh Emily,” he thorough his arm up dramatically over his face, “we are not all like that.” He winked again.
“Shut up. You are different.”
“Psh. I know,” he scoffed, “I am smart, sweet, know how to treat a lady, and have I mentioned my rugged good looks?”
I rat tailed him with my dish towel and laughed.
“You’re ridiculous and your speaking privileges are now revoked, Glin.”
He laughed and walked to the front of the diner whistling. That boy was something else. Our moms had been really terrible to each other back in high school. No offense to her, but my mom was the Courtney of her school, so I could see how Glin’s mom did not really like that. But once they accidentally moved in next to each other after college, they decided to put to rest their fighting and actually became good friends. It was only natural that Glin and I be best friends as well.
After I finished the dishes I went to the front to wait for Melissa to come take over my shift and for Glin to finish busting tables. Once Melissa got to the diner, we clocked out and headed for his beat up mustang. Glin kept saying how he wanted to fix it up, but he never had time. His parents pushed him really hard in school and once he was done studying he usually had to work or fell asleep. It was actually a nice looking car, but a fresh coat of paint would do it well. Once we got it started, he turned on the radio to our favorite country station, both of us singing along to almost every song that came on. We usually rode in comfortable silence when the commercials came on, but this time he turned the radio down.
“So are you going to call that guy Em?”
“Uh…” Actually, my brain hadn’t really gotten that far yet. What was I going to do?
“Er, I guess I’ll just wait a while, see if he comes into the diner again.”
“Ok, but as your best friend, next time he comes you have to bring me out to let me meet him. I have to approve.” I couldn’t help but notice a tone in his voice.
“Yes Dad.” At that he cracked a smile.
“Hey, I’m just watching out for you kiddo.” He had always been protective of me. That was understandable because sometimes my five foot three frame couldn’t take on the world. I punched him in the arm affectionately.
“I know, but I am eighteen now.” In fact, we both were. I was just two weeks older then Glin. I never let him forget it, but he always seemed to be the older one in our relationship. Although he could joke, he wanted to make sure I was having a good time, not just him. We stopped in his driveway.
“I know squirt, but we don’t know this guy. I do not want any crappy guy breaking your heart, ok,” he turned to look me full in the face. I could tell he really meant it, but he really had nothing to worry about.
“Well Glin, it’s going to happen one day, so I don’t see why now isn’t the best time,” I smiled to let him know I was joking. He smiled too, but it did not reach his eyes. He mumbled something under his breath.
He looked at me and said, “Nothing. Hey I have to go rent that movie. I’ll see you tonight. Seven thirty?”
“Ok. Bye Shorty. I’ll see ya soon.” He waved as I walked across his lawn to my own and proceeded up the stairs to my house.
As soon as I entered my house, a giant wave of smoke struck my nose. I groaned and grabbed the fire extinguisher. Apparently, my mother had been trying to cook again. When will she learn that sometimes giving up and ordering a pizza is best? I walked into the kitchen and looked around for the source of the smoke. The microwave. Really? How do you set the microwave on fire? That takes some serious skill. I cautiously pressed the door on the microwave open, ready with the extinguisher if need be. All that came out was a huge puff of smoke right in my face. Lovely. I grabbed some over mitts and quickly grabbed what used to be a bag of popcorn and shoved it into the sink, turning on the water to stop the smoke. It looked more like what my brother used to call a “flaming bag of poop.”
“Ugh. What’s that smell?” Speak of the devil. My younger brother Mike walked in the door (although you would never say he looked younger than me).
“Tried to cook again?” He sounded about as exasperated as myself. His six foot two frame walked over, took the extinguisher out of my hands, and gave me a bear hug all in one foul swoop.
“Yeah. I think instead of setting the bag for two minutes and thirty seconds she hit twenty-three minutes.”
“Wow. It’s like every food product she touches turns to crap.” I laughed and punched him in the shoulder, knowing that even if I hit him my hardest, my fist would probably just bounce off him. The thing was, he was right. The woman could not cook to save her life. She can’t even boil water without something disastrous happening.
I sighed. “I guess I’ll go find mom.”
“And I’ll grab the take out menu.”
“Don’t forget, Glin doesn’t like…”
“Mushrooms or green peppers; got it.”
“Good job baby brother, you’re finally learning.”
“Stop it or I’ll throw,” he looked in the sink, “whatever this is at your face.” He looked back up at me and smiled.
I smirked and walked up the back stairs to our “bonus room.” If you asked me, there was not anything bonus about it. It was where my mom did all her painting and where we kept the odds and ends we couldn’t fit anywhere else. I stepped over a half closed paint can called “rouge melon” (I could not help but laugh at the name) and a coloring book from when I was twelve. How did that even get here? No mother in this room.
I walked to the end of the hallway where my parent’s room was. Oh. My. God. And there lay my mother. Now some daughters might be afraid to the reason why they found their mother sprawled underneath her bed, but no. This is not the first time she has done this. Yes, my mother actually falls asleep under her bed on a regular basis. She always goes under there, because my cat Peanut Butter sleeps under the bed, and she feels the need to pet him. So down she crawls to Peanut Butter, and after a few moments of rhythmic petting, she’s out. Dad has caught her doing this numerous times when he comes home for a lunch break from the hospital, or when he comes in after the night shift. Usually we just let her sleep there until Mike breaks something or she smells the pizza we ordered, but today I felt the need to let her know she had open paint cans, just begging to dry out.
“Mom?” I went over and shook her a little. The vibration of the shaking reached Peanut Butter and he purred happily thinking she was going to continue the pet session soon. I rolled my eyes and looked back at my mom.
“Moooom.” I drew it out a little longer and louder this time, hoping I would not have to resort to water again. Seriously, this woman can sleep through an earthquake. It is a good thing she doesn’t have a job other then painting, or she would be late to work every day. Each morning, after my dad leaves, I am the one who has to go into her room because I hear her alarm clock and she does not. Finally, I pinched her arm. She woke with a start, hitting her head on the base of the bed.
“S***! Emily, you know better than that.” She rubbed her head and I rolled my eyes again.
“Mom, I’ve been up here for at least five minutes trying to wake you up. You even slept through almost burning down the house.”
Her eyes went wide. “My popcorn!”
“Yes mom, your popcorn. So I just wanted to let you know that Glin is coming over for a movie tonight.”
“Well Em, I kinda expected that since I never see you two apart anymore. I knew either he would be over here or you would be over at the Johnson’s house tonight. How about you invite him to spend the night? I think I’m going to make pancakes tomorrow.”
“No!” Oops, I practically shouted that. “I mean, no mom, you work so hard. Sure, I will ask if he can spend the night, but we will make breakfast for you. Does that sound ok?”
“Aw. You kids are just too good to me. I’m going to go take a shower ok?” Phew, crisis averted.
“Ok Mom. Try not to fall asleep in there.”
She rolled her eyes. “Em, that’s only happened four times. I’ll be fine.”
I laughed as she made her way to the bathroom and shut the door. Boy, was my family crazy.
I walked back downstairs as I heard the shower water turn on. I heard Mike ordering the last of the pizza, the click of the phone, and his slow lumbering walk saunter into the living room. I walked into the room and plopped myself down next to him on the couch.
“Are you going to stay for the movie tonight? You know Glin and I love it when you stay.”
“Nah. Not tonight sis. I have a date.” He looked at me and winked.
“YOU HAVE A DATE,” I screamed.
“Thank you so much for bursting every window in the house, but yes, I do have a date with Courtney Carlson.” My heart sank. Courtney? Really? Does the universe really have it out for me or something?
“Why on earth do you have a date with her,” I asked slowly, trying to stay calm.
“Eh, I don’t know. She’s pretty hot.” Good lord. Boys and their raging hormones.
“I know she’s…appealing, but she was just begging Glin to ask her out today. Now you have a date with her?”
“I know sis, but you see I understand why she wanted him to. Every girl in the school besides yourself undresses him with their eyes every time he enters a room. I just decided that I could, you know, be the next best thing or something.” He shrugged his massive shoulders and dropped them heavily into their normal position.
“Ugh. Couldn’t you have been the next best thing for someone else Mike?” He laughed at that, but before he could answer my cell phone buzzed. I picked it up, puzzled.
“Hey Em. It’s Melissa here.”
“Oh. Hey Melissa. What’s up?”
“Oh you know the usual, except for this guy.”
“What guy?” My senses perked up a bit at this. No way it could be him. There was no way it could be…
“Eric. This guy who just walked in claiming he left his jacket. He’s asking for you by the way.” My heart rose up into my throat. Eric was asking for me. Gulp.
“Uh,” I cleared my throat, “um. I did not see any jacket when I cleaned up this morning.” I heard her as she relayed the message and his voice’s deep response.
“Ok. He says thanks anyways. He also says you should probably use that napkin he gave you sometime soon. What napkin is he talking about?”
“Tell him only if he comes into the diner tomorrow morning.” Was I flirting? Again she relayed the message.
“He says he can’t wait Em. You sure have some explaining to do.”
“You got it Mel. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Bye.” I hung up quickly, with Michael looking at me questioningly.
“Why do you look like someone just ran over you with a bus?”
“Come on, Em. I’m your brother. You can tell me anything!” His eye brows furrowed in concentration.
“Well, something strange happened at work today.” I quickly went over what had happened and he sat there listening without so much as a raised eyebrow. When I was done, I dropped my gaze and waited for him to say something.
“Well Emily, I think you should go for it.” I looked up startled.
“Wait, what? You are my brother. There is no way you are ok with this.
“You seem to forget you are the older sibling in this family. I really have no control over what you do at all. Plus, it’s been a really long time since you’ve been into a guy at all, even if it is just a little flirtation.”
That was true. I hadn’t had a boyfriend since I was in the ninth grade and even then, you can’t really call someone you talk to on the phone every once in a while and hold hands with a good boyfriend. I thought about it a minute more. Who would have thought my brother would be the one to push me to go for a boy?
“I guess you’re right, Mike. It’s about time.”
“That’s right sis. By the way, even though you haven’t been interested in anyone, I know of a couple who are interested in you. As weird as this may sound, you are pretty attractive.” I looked at him strangely. He laughed and ruffled my hair. He started to get off the couch.
“Who do you know that is interested in me,” I asked a little shyly.
“It does not matter Em. If you haven’t noticed, then the time isn’t right. But he’s liked you for a while, so maybe open up your eyes, unless of course, Eric is you guy.” He waggled his eyebrows at me and walked out of the room. I giggled at my younger brother and lay back on the couch. Do I really want to try for Eric? He was attractive enough sure, but would we get along? I guess I would find out tomorrow at the diner. S***! Tomorrow! Was I supposed to look nice or flirt with him tomorrow? Is that what I set myself up for?
The doorbell rang, interrupting my thoughts. I looked at my watch: 7:30 already. That was quick. I dragged myself off the couch and walked over to the front door. As soon as I unlocked it, Glin came barging through the door and into the living room. He knew almost every inch of my house: from my light blue bed spread to the chip in the ceiling of our kitchen. He threw the movie onto a chair, sprawled out on the sofa, and put his feet up on the coffee table.
“Move over you fat ass.” I smiled at him sweetly and pushed him off the couch.
“Hey! Whoa there! Uncalled for Em!” I just laughed as he stared at me incredulously. “Did you order the pizza?”
“About half an hour ago, so it should be here in about ten minutes. I’ve never really understood why it takes so long for pizza to get delivered here.”
“Maybe because it’s a Saturday night, and everyone around here gets pizza on a Saturday night.”
“Shut up both of yous,” came a fake southern accent from the kitchen. Mike came lumbering around the corner.
“Hey Mike! You staying for the movie?”
“No, sorry Glin, I have a date.”
“With Courtney.” I could not keep the venom out of my voice no matter how hard I tried. Glin looked at Mike and burst out laughing.
“You can’t be serious.”
“Oh, but I am.” Mike was looking very pleased with himself, although I caught a flicker of uncertainty when he saw that Glin was not as impressed as he’d hoped. Mike looked up to Glin like an older brother so if Glin liked it, Mike liked it, if Glin was uncertain, then so was Mike. He certainly treated Glin better then he treated me even!
The door bell rang again and I looked at Mike in bewilderment. Mike smirked at me.
“She’s picking you up?”
“Yup. I have her wrapped around my little finger.”
I struggled to keep down a laugh as I followed him to the door. “It’s probably just because Mom broke the car again, so you can’t use it.” He glared at me as he answered the door.
“Hey Courtney.” Mike smiled at her. It actually looked genuine too.
“Hey Courtneeeeeeey,” Glin and I drawled, making kissy faces.
“God. I am so sorry you have to be related to that,” Courtney said to Mike with a little roll of her eyes.
“God. Why are you such a b****,” I answered.
“Ladies,” Glin started, “ before this cat fight is taken any further, we need jello and a video camera.”
“Glin!” I punched him in the arm, while Mike high fived him and Courtney stood there looking bored.
“So Courtney,” Glin purred, “are you guys staying with us to watch a scary movie. I’m sure it would be fun. Last time Mike stayed up with us watching a scary movie he peed his—“
“We’re leaving now,” Mike jumped in, closed the door, and glared at both of us at the same time.
I looked at Glin. “You do know he actually didn’t pee his pants right? He had a cup of orange juice in his lap and he jumped so much that it spilled.”
“Well I do now.” With that Glin went to stake out his place on the couch again.
Two hours later, Glin and I were peeking out from behind the couch, with two empty pizza boxes on the table in front of us. We had just gotten to the part where the guy in the movie got sucked into his bed. I looked over at Glin, who was actually chewing part of my couch in anticipation, and laughed. Just then Freddy popped out from behind something in the movie, making both Glin and me jump. Glin grabbed my hand and started the process of cutting off my circulation. By the end of the movie I couldn’t feel three of my fingers.
“You understand that since the credits are rolling, there’s no need to squeeze the life out of my right hand?”
“Oh, haha uh, right. That wasn’t too scary.”
“You should have seen your face.”
“Shut up Em.” He threw a pillow at my face. I smiled and threw it back.
“Come on, we still have two pieces of pizza to eat, unless you wanna wait until Mike comes and devours the entire house.”
“Ok, just as long as you roll me home in the morning.”
“You got it dude.” I paused and looked at him. “So, Melissa called today.”
“Yeah? What about?”
“Well that guy Eric came back and was asking for me.” He looked over at me and raised an eyebrow.
“And I think I accidentally told him I’d talk to him if he came back tomorrow.” I could feel my cheeks flush as Glin raised his other eyebrow.
“Really now? Em. You seem to really dig this guy.”
“That’s impossible I just met him. But I do wanna know what I should wear.”
“How about those dark wash jeans you like so much and your converse, with that sexy red top that I like so…” He trailed off and cleared his throat.
“That you like so…. Come on Glin. Finish your sentence.” I thoroughly enjoyed watching him squirm. Had he just said he thought I had a sexy shirt? “Also, you know my clothes way to well. What are you, a stalker?”
“No! It just so happens I know what I like on you, so I notice your clothes ok?” He liked things on me?
“So. Basically what you’re saying is you’re my clothes stalker.” Holy crap. I was doing it again. I was flirting….with my best friend? Not normal.
He laughed, “Yes Emily, that is exactly what I’m saying.”
“So while you’re admitting to stuff, go ahead and admit that you were entirely freaked out by that movie.”
“Not a chance. I was not afraid of that movie in the slightest.” He started to back up to the living room door. “I’m gonna go put on my sweat pants.”
“Don’t let the boogy man get you.”
“Emily don’t worry, I’d whup his ass. How many times do I have to tell you I’m not afraid of that…”
“GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH,” Mike growled, jumping out from behind the doorway.
Glin jumped back and let out the loudest, girlish, noise I had ever heard.
Mike sat down on the floor laugh. “Now who peed his pants Glin?”
The next day it took me at least twenty minutes to pick out a great outfit before I walked in to work. Murphy’s Law, I ended up wearing the last thing I tried on, which happened to be the exact outfit Glin had told me to wear. The moment I pulled on my shoes, I heard the car honking outside, so I grabbed my shoes and ran down the front lawn. I jumped in the car without looking at him and put on my seat belt.
“Hey Glin. Sorry I’m late, I could not figure out what to wear.” He didn’t answer. I lifted my eyes and saw his expression.
“You actually listened to me. This has to be a first.”
“No it’s not. Shut up.”
“Yes it is.” He stuck his head out the window and started yelling. “World! Everyone! Emily Smarr actually took my advice about something!”
I grabbed him and shoved his head back in the window.
“Shut up Glin,” I half hissed and half laughed. I could not decide if I was angry at him or just amused.
“Sorry Em.” He smiled and started the car. I turned on the radio and we rode in silence until he parked behind the diner.
“So Em, today is the day.”
“The day that you finally realize I am smarter and better looking than you?”
“Hell no. That day will never come young Skywalker. I meant the day you get to see Eric when you are not flat on your butt.”
“Oh, right. I don’t know. I don’t think I am ready. The shirt fits strangely and my converse are scuffed and my hair was not…”
“Emily! Stop. You look great! I meant are you ready for big bad best friend to interrogate him in the best CSI impersonation you have ever seen.”
“Come on Emily. Take a joke. Stop being so nervous. Eric is just a guy after all. Remember? You don’t drool over boys.” He winked and got out of the car. When I did not follow him he came around to my side.
“Come on Emily. It’s time to meet your maker.”
“You know I don’t really think this was a good idea after all. I’ll just call in sick and say that I have small pox or something.”
“No way. You are so going in there. He came here just to see you.”
“No! You can’t make me do anything I don’t wanna do!”
“We’ll see about that.” With that, he jerked the car door open, unbuckled my seatbelt and threw me over his shoulder. I started to beat his back sensless with my fists, but it did not seem to really have an effect. When did Glin get muscles?
“Glin! If you do not put me down this instant, the next place I hit will make you a woman.”
“Jeez, getting violent aren’t we,” said a voice from behind me…or in front of Glin…or somewhere close.
“She tends to do that when I force her to do something against her will.”
“Yeah well I’m really liking this angle. She has a cute butt that I didn’t notice yesterday.”
“Ah huh,” Glin cleared his throat, obviously a little uncomfortable, “I guess I have never noticed.” With that he put me down on my feet with a thump and reached out to shake Eric’s hand.
“Hi, I’m Emily’s other half Glin.” I couldn’t help but notice a little attitude, but then again, he was protective. I almost felt like there was another hint of something though. Jealousy? Maybe I was just imagining it.
“Nice to meet you Glin. I’m very jealous that you have such a beautiful other half.” Eric winked at me and I felt my cheeks jump to a cherry color. Did he just call me beautiful? Swoon.
“Yeah, she’s pretty amazing.” Did Glin just agree to that? Swoon. Wait no…I didn’t swoon for that. Bad emotions bad! No swooning for your best friend.
“Well Emily, since you aren’t on the clock today, I would really like you to be my date to breakfast; get the chance to see the diner from a different perspective.” With that he held out his elbow and escorted me to a table. It was as if he already knew I was going to say yes. He led me to a table almost directly across from the kitchen. Did he do that on purpose because Glin could now see our every move? Maybe I was overanalyzing things today. I tend to do that when I’m nervous.
“So, Emily, have you ever actually been a customer at this diner of yours?”
“No, I haven’t,” I admitted, “but I like being in the back. I notice a lot of things while I’m working.” Without even looking, I pointed to my right. “You see that lady there? That is Mrs. Watson. She has never worn anything but a tracksuit to the diner.”
“Is that so? Actually, she was wearing a blue one yesterday. That’s really strange to tell you the truth.”
“Yeah, tell me about it.”
“What else have you noticed working back there?” He actually seemed genuinely interested so I launched into my descriptions of Mr. OCD, the twins, and others that came in regularly. As I talked, he watched, listened, and laughed at the right parts. Was this guy for real? He seems perfect.
After we had ordered, talked and eaten our food, Eric decided it was time for a change of pace. “How would you like to go for a ride on my motorcycle Emily?” A motorcycle? Those were so loud and fast. I’d never been on one before but they’d always seemed kind of intimidating to me. But Eric was asking to spend more time with me. I could give it a chance and see how it goes.
“Sure, as long as you have an extra helmet.”
“Always do.” He smiled and held out his hand to help me from the booth.
“Ok. I need to say bye to Glin and I’ll meet you out there ok?”
He seemed to hesitate as he said sure, but he went outside to wait all the same.
“Glin,” I screamed, “Glin?” Where was he? I started to walk through the swinging doors. “Glin, I just wanted to say goodbye before I…” Then I stopped dead. Glin was on the counter holding a broom.
“What on earth are you doing?”
“Psh nothing, I always stand on the counter with a broom fighting for my life.”
I looked to Melissa, who had just clocked in, “Will you please tell me what’s going on here?”
Melissa looked like she was trying not to burst out laughing. “Glin saw a mouse and jumped up there , screaming for me to throw him the broom.”
I looked at Glin and cracked a smile. “Is this true oh brave mouse warrior.”
“Shut up Emily, this thing was huge and white, with black beady little eyes that could look at my soul.”
“Ok Mr. Dramatic, you can deal with that leach Courtney being around here, but as soon as a mouse, literally the size of your big toe, enters the diner, you freak out? Please tell me you are joking.”
He just shot daggers at me with his eyes.
“Glin, Eric is going to take me home ok? If you find yourself able to conquer the mouse before dinner, you are of course welcome at my house. Mike is going to make some chicken enchilada gumbo, which although strange, sounds very delicious.”
Glin mumbled something like, “Yeah, ok I’ll be there,” but Melissa yelled, “Oh I am so there, drowned it out. I know you didn’t invite me but I am SO there.”
I started laughing, “Melissa, you know you don’t even need to be invited. You can just show up whenever you want.”
“Thanks Em. My mom’s outta town and Frank isn’t too keen on cooking, although he did offer to take me to Waffle Shack.” Frank was Melissa’s step dad. She liked him well enough, but he was about as good at cooking as my mom was. Waffle Shack was his remedy to everything from a cut on your knee to no dinner.
“Alright guys well I’m out. I will see you two later at seven sharp.”
I heard a chorus of goodbye’s as a I walked out of the diner. Eric was already waiting with the motorcycle at the curb. It was sleek and black, with a silver and black helmet resting next to Eric.
I reached for it, “For me I presume?”
“You presume correct madam. We wouldn’t want you hurting that pretty little head of yours.”
I strapped on the helmet and told him where I lived. As soon as I was ready, he pressed the gas and the motorcycle shot off from the stand still. It was amazing! The motorcycle was like a bullet, straight and true. The wind in my hair made the fading summer air feel cool and nippy. My shirt clung to my body and my breath caught as Eric coaxed the machine to go faster. I looked over his shoulder at the speedometer and couldn’t help the twist of my stomach as I saw eighty five. We were going way too fast.
“Eric,” I yelled, competing with the wind, “this is too fast. I need you to slow down.” His eye caught mine but he seemed not to hear me. He sped up even more. Ninety miles an hour now. Panic was rising in my chest.
“Eric,” I yelled louder than before, desperately trying to get his attention, “I really need you to stop, I can’t breathe, and I feel dizzy! We are going to get pulled over or hit someone.” He was hitting one hundred, so I gave up and closed my eyes.
Finally I felt the monster slow down and come to a quick stop. I opened my eyes, threw off the helmet, and stepped off the motorcycle.
“What the hell is your problem,” I couldn’t help but scream at him.
Eric looked a little taken aback but I couldn’t stop. I needed to get my point across to him. “Eric I was scared out of my mind and I needed you to slow down. You could have gotten us killed.”
He cracked a smile. He was smiling at a time like this.
“Oh come on diner girl, live a little will ya?”
“I do live, but that was a little too much. Got me? I am never riding that death trap again. We will be normal human beings and walk.”
“Fine, fine.” He looked hurt. “I was just trying to show you a good time.”
My anger subsided at the look on his face and I heard myself saying, “I’m sorry. I’m just not used to this. I have never been on one of these and it scared me. Maybe next time you could go a little slower.” Wait why was I apologizing? Next time? Didn’t I just say I wasn’t ever going to ride that thing again? Why were my lips being stupid and saying words I didn’t mean?
He smiled again then. “It’s fine Emily. It’s only a natural reaction. I’m glad you see it my way.” With that, he brought my hand up to his lips and kissed it, like in one of those cheesy romance films. The only problem was, there was nothing cheesy about that moment of ours. In that moment, I forgot how much he had frightened me and gave into his eyes.
“I’ll see you soon Emily ok? Melissa gave me your number and I’ll give you a call.”
“Ok Eric, I can’t wait.”
“Me either.” Then he pulled me too him and lightly kissed me on the mouth. It was over way too soon for my liking. Just a brush of lips on lips. Then he pushed me away slightly, and put back on his helmet.
As I started to walk to the house he flipped up his helmet and yelled, “By the way Emily, that red shirt is really hot. Whoever picked it out has great taste.”
As I walked back to my house, I could hear the rumble of the monster down the street. Why on earth had I told Eric I’d ride it again? I mean, he did look really apologetic when I told him I was scared. But still. That was way too fast. Never again. But then I thought of his eyes and how quickly I’d succumbed to his words. Not good. And then the shirt. Why when he complimented me did I get a knot in my stomach. What is going wrong with me today? I banged my head on the front door until I heard my mother.
“Michael, was that a knock on the door?”
“I don’t know Ma. Why don’t you answer it?”
“You know good and well why I don’t answer the door anymore. I always have you or your sister answer it.” I rolled my eyes and smiled. Ever since last Christmas, my mom refused to open the door unless she knew for a fact it was one of us. Christmas morning a package delivery guy came to the door handing out our last minute package from Aunt Sandy. Mom had ran to the door in her towel and slipped and fell out the door onto the delivery guy in a most unlady like position. My dad had watched the entire time and when she had gotten back inside he said, (laughing through most of it) “Well dear. Did he at least have a good package?” She’s been terrified to answer the door ever since.
I walked into the foyer and dropped my purse with a loud thump and walked into the family room creating a trail of excess clothing I had discarded as I got father into my house.
“It’s me Mom. Don’t worry. I come bearing no gifts.” My mom gave me a dirty look and returned to the puzzle she was doing at the kitchen table. Mike chuckled and pulled some chicken out of the fridge.
“You’re gonna need more then that Mikey. Glin and Melissa are coming over for dinner tonight as well.”
“Melissa? Who’s she?”
“She’s a girl I’ve worked with for a really long time. I like her a lot actually. I don’t really know why she hasn’t been over here before.”
“Mmkkk…well what’s her body type?”
He threw his hands up. “Whoa, I was only checking to see how much she’d eat, ok?” He chuckled again and ruffled my hair.
“Will you quit that? It takes me so long to do in the morning.” I playfully swatted his hand away from my head and punched him in the gut.
“By the way Em, how was your date?”
I whirled around. “How did you know about that?”
“Oh you know, I’m a ninja. I have my ways of knowing things.”
“So you eavesdropped on the phone last night.”
“Yup , sure did.”
“Mom,” I spluttered, “are you going to let him violate my privacy like that?”
She didn’t even look up from the puzzle but called, “You have no privacy until both of you move out and pay your own mortgage. Deal with it Em. Help your brother with the cooking. I need to find where Cookie Monster’s eyes go.”
I sighed and went to wash my hands as Mike started to whistle and cut the chicken.
“So really sis, how was your date.” He actually looked like he cared.
“It was…” scary, terrifying, weird, and uncontrollable “good. I actually got to eat at the dinner like a real human.”
“Ok Emily. Who lied and told you you were human?”
“And no one ever told you that you were adopted.”
“Touché Em.” Just then the door bell rang.
“Don’t even think about asking me to answer it.” She got up to stretch. “Well I’m going to go find the cat.”
“Mom. If you fall asleep again, we aren’t gonna wake you up for the gumbo.”
“Well fine! What is the world coming to, when a woman can’t even pet her own cat happily without being able to eat.” She walked dramatically upstairs and I could hear her calling “here kitty kitty.”
I rolled my eyes and called, “Glin, when was the last time you knocked. Get your butt in here you big baby.”
I heard the door open and close and in walked Melissa. “Well if I was Glin I’d have to bring a bottle then wouldn’t I?”
“Oh sorry about that Melissa. For some reason I figured you guys would come together from work. Here let me take…”
But Mike beat me to it, “Your jacket?” She smiled and handed it over, but after she turned away he look up, unsure what to actually do with it, and threw it at my head. I glared at him, threw it back, and pointed to the closet.
“Something smells amazing. If I might ask, what actually is chicken enchilada gumbo?”
“Truthfully,” said Mike scratching his head (he seemed a little more normal now), “We aren’t quite sure. It’s something me and Emily thought up when we were younger, and our dad decided to try it out. We’ve perfected it over the years.”
“Well I love to cook, so if you wouldn’t mind me barging in and learning the family secret, I’d love to help you out!”
“Sure Mel. Mike and I would love that actually. You can start slicing the tomatoes.”
As we all got to work, the doorbell rang again, but before I could call out Glin walked in.
“I thought I’d ring the bell just in case anyone was in a robe.”
“Glin I heard that, and don’t think I won’t kick you out of my house,” came the voice from upstairs. Everyone burst out laughing as my mom walked down the stairs. “I nodded off there for a couple of minutes, but please tell me I still get to eat Mr. and Ms. Dictator of the house.”
Mike yawned. “Actually Ma, if you could take over chopping the chicken, I’m going to go give Melissa the grand tour.” Mom raised her eyebrows me and I raised my eyebrows back as she agreed and Mike and Melissa stepped out of the room.
“What was that about,” asked a very confused Glin.
My mom looked at him strangely. “We’ll tell you when you’re older.” Then she burst out laughing as he looked at her like she was crazy, which, I mean, she kinda is.
After the pot was on to simmer, and Glin and Melissa had re-entered the living room, we all decided to sit down and chill, while my mom went to take a shower.
“So, Glin,” I asked, “did you ever conquer that terrifying animal at the diner today?”
He glowered at me as Melissa and I burst out laughing.
“What do you mean,” Mike asked.
“We mean,” Melissa started, “that Glin is an almighty conqueror of the death mouse. He vanquished him in the end, but it took him a while to get down off the counter.” Mike look at Glin in disgust.
“You little pansy.”
“Shut up Mike. I can kick your butt at anything little boy.”
“You wanna bet?”
“Anything and everything.” And then Mike was on top of him and they were rolling on the floor. Hands were flying, legs were kicking, every limb the boys had was spazzing. I got off the couch and motioned to Melissa to follow me to the kitchen.
“Do they always do that?”
“Only when they’re full of testosterone.” Melissa laughed and went to stir the gumbo.
“Would you like to sleep over after dinner. Glin usually does during the summer and it would be nice if I had another girl with me for once. Two teenage boys usually win against me.”
She turned and smiled at me and told me she’d love to and to give her a couple of minutes while she called her mom. I returned her smile and while she left the room I realized I actually did need a good girl friend to hang out with every once in a while. Mike obviously didn’t mind this subtle change and my mom seemed more at ease with me having more friends. I tested the gumbo, and it seemed about ready, so I set the table and listened to the grunts and moving of the boys in the next room.
Melissa came back in and started pour the gumbo into bowls for everyone while I called the WWE fighters into the kitchen. After a few more moments of rolling around they threw themselves onto their chairs and waited expectantly. Melissa turned around and looked at them with her eyebrow raised
“I’m not bringing it to you. You are very capable young men who are able to get up on their own two feet and lift a heavy heavy bowl of gumbo.”
Their faces fell. They shuffled to the stove top and Melissa handed them a bowl full of gumbo along with a spoon that I had gotten out of a drawer. We sat down at the table and started to eat our soup. At the first bite I not only bit my lip but burned the top of my mouth and spit it across the table at Mike. Without breaking eye contact, he reached over, grabbed a napkin, and wiped his face. Mike and Melissa were trying hard not to burst out laughing, but their attempts were futile.
After laughing the accident off, I realized there was something missing.
“Hey, uh, Mike?”
“You never told mom dinner was ready did you.”
“Yeah me either.” I walked upstairs and into her bedroom where I’d seen her go last. She wasn’t under the bed, but when I walked into the bathroom, there she was, floating in the bath tub, dead asleep. Not really something I wanted to see. I picked up a bar of soap and threw it into the bath tub and with a loud bang it hit the bottom. My mother shrieked and jumped about a foot out of the water, only to come crashing down in a splash that sent water all over the tile floor. She grabbed a towel looking livid.
“Oh is it now? That was the reason you scared me half to death?”
“Yup. There’s a bowl in the sink for you and the burner is still on so the gumbo should be hot still.” I started to walk out of the room and I heard her grab a towel as I walked down the stairs.
“Emily Smarr!” She came running into the kitchen. “How dare you do that to your…” and then she ran strait into Glin. She landed in a very unlady like position and everyone burst out laughing.
“So Mom,” laughed Mike, “how’s this one’s package?”
After my mother had apologized about a hundred times and we had all gotten over the comedy of the situation, we cleaned up the kitchen and went to sit in the living room to plan our next move. My mom threw one last awful glance at me, told everyone she was leaving us for her peaceful artwork, and stalked upstairs. Mike waited until my mom had closed the door to give me a high five.
“That was the most epic dinner ever. Glin, that was the most you’ve gotten in a while.” Glin started laughing but had a little more pink in his cheeks than usual.
“So gang,” I started to stretch, “what’s our next move?”
“I don’t know,” moaned Melissa, “but wherever it is, you guys are gonna have to roll me there. I’m way to full to move properly.”
Mike smiled and proposed a movie but the idea was soon nixed because we always ended up watching something we’d already seen on our summer nights.
“How about truth or dare,” Mike asked.
“What are we, ten years old,” Glin smirked.
“Well I think it’s a great idea. Something that we can have inside jokes and stories from.”
“I agree with you Melissa,” I said as I smiled at her.
“Alright then.” Mike clapped his hands and looked pleased with himself. “Who’s going to go first.”
I looked directly at Glin. “I think we should let the non believer go first.”
Glin held my gaze but finally rolled his eyes signifying giving in.
“Fine. Who’s daring or truthing of whatevering me?”
“Me,” shouted Mike, “I want you to feel my wrath.”
“Are you still going on about me kicking your ass at wrestling.”
“You did not, nor shall you ever, kick my ass at anything pretty boy.”
“Whatever Mike. Just do it already.”
“Fine. Ok Glin, truth or dare.”
Melissa and I looked at the boys amused. They were taking this silly game a little too seriously, but I’m not complaining if it’s going to be fun.
“Strip to your boxers and go check our mail.”
“That’s really mature Mike,” Glin started, but he stood up and took off his shirt.
“No one ever said it had to be a mature game, Glin, just something to entertain us,” I stated, watching as he discarded his shirt and undershirt on our sofa. He actually had abs? When did Glin get abs? Now that I think about it, the last time I did see him with his shirt off was a couple years ago at the pool. Well that’s changed. He pulled off his belt so fast it almost made an Indiana Jones whip noise and started to unzip his pants. I looked away. Seeing him in his boxers was something I’d seen before, but it felt a little different watching him undress to the actual boxers themselves. The next thing I knew, his pants had hit me in the face. I ripped them off and shot Glin a dirty look. He just winked and walked out of the room in nothing except socks and underwear. We heard the door open and close.
“You do realize I already checked the mail don’t you Mike?”
I cracked a grin. “You’re an ass.”
He and Melissa smiled too. “Yup.”
We heard the door open and shut quickly as Glin hurried into the room. He looked a little winded and red in the face.
“What’s wrong Glin?”
“Mrs. Lynn from across the street came out of her house walking her dog. She saw me at the mailbox, stood there for a second, and then winked at me.”
Mike roared with laughter and I couldn’t help but chuckle as well. Melissa looked at him wide eyed for a second.
“Well,” she said, “it looks like she um…flustered you a bit.” He raised his eyes quizzically then looked down and I burst out laughing as he turned around and put back on his clothes. Once Glin was decent and ready to rejoin the game, he sat back down and looked at Melissa.
“Mel. Truth or dare.”
“Uh, what the hell, why not, dare.”
He scratched his head a little while he contemplated the dare and then with a snap of his fingers he said, “Ok Mel. I dare you to go ask Mrs. Smarr for a tampon.”
Mike high fived him but Melissa and I just stared at them.
“Really? That’s the big dare. I have to go ask my friend’s mom for something that all girls use?”
“Yeah embarrassing right?”
“Yeah Glin,” she nodded her head with mock enthusiasm, “what a wily one you are.” She got up from the couch and walked to the stairs.
“Second door on your right,” I called. I turned to Glin, “You’re an idiot. You’re lucky I don’t take away your speaking rights again.”
“What! That was such a good one.”
“You have no idea about girls Glin.” He made his hand talk and rolled his eyes along with my words. I threw a pillow at him and sat back happily as I heard the low thump of it hitting him smack dab in the face. Just then, Melissa came waltzing down the stairs.
“Here ya go,” she said smartly, dropping the tampon in Glin’s lap.
“What,” he said looking disgusted, “why would you do that? That’s disgusting Melissa.
She looked at him incredulously. “It hasn’t even been used. Good lord, I swear boys get stupider by the day.”
“I second that completely. Ok Mel your turn.”
“Sounds good to me. Alright Emily, truth or dare to you doll face.”
“Well I don’t wanna be the chicken of the group, so I guess I’ll go dare as well.”
“Okey dokey. I dare you to kiss Glin.”
“K. I. S. S. Glin.” Now this is gonna be interesting.
“Alright Glin, come here.”
“It must be at least five seconds Emily.”
“Maybe you should say that along with the dare Melissa.”
Mike looked excited. “Oh yeah, finally, I’ve been waiting for this day for…ouch. Glin don’t hit me man.”
“Slipped,” Glin mumbled. We shuffled towards each other uncomfortably and sat down side by side.
Melissa started tapping her leg with her eyebrows raised. “Uh, now? Both of you, before I turn seventy please.”
I groaned and turned to face Glin, ready to get this over with, “Ok wait. I can’t do this while you two watch. At least turn around.”
Melissa and Mike rolled their eyes, but quietly obeyed. I finally looked over at Glin and forced a smile. You know, Glin’s eyes aren’t just green, but a little yellow around the edges. As I said this I surreptitiously moved forward to get a better look. They’re the perfect shade of emerald at the edges. By that time our noses were touching. Had I closed the distance or had he? How long had we been sitting like this? An hour? Five minutes? Thirty seconds? By then he was staring at me too, and I couldn’t help the sudden flip of my stomach. Uhhh what was that? Oh god am I about to have a heart attack? He kind of nudged my nose, moving my face a little to the right, and my heart jumped into my throat. Good lord I really am having a heart attack. I can’t even breathe now. He closed the distance in a split second and I died. Well not really, but it certainly felt like it. His lips were soft and careful but when I didn’t pull away, they pressed more firmly against mine. My lips had a mind of their own, moving with his. It was like dancing, perfect synchronization. I felt him sigh and could swear that I saw firewo…
Click. A huge flash interrupted our moment.
“Mike,” I roared, “you little ass. Give me that camera.” He jumped around me, dodging my outstretched hands.
“Don’t worry I got him,” Glin said as he jumped to his feet to catch Mike on the stairs. I heard a yelp and a thud above us and I knew Glin had won. I looked over at Melissa who feigned innocence.
“Don’t give me that look. I know you saw him doing it and you didn’t stop him. What happened to sister’s before misters.”
Melissa snorted. “What are you Em, in third grade? He was just playing around. Plus,” she started as Glin walked into the room, “it looks like your knight in shining armor got the camera back.” Glin threw the camera into my hands and I put it in my pocket. Even now, two minutes after it happened, it felt like the place I’d been when he’d kissed me was a million years ago.
Mike came struggling downstairs.
“What happened to you,” laughed Melissa.
Mike glared at Glin. “Someone gave me the worst Charlie Horse of my life and then decided to give me the worst wedgie of my life ever as well. Who even does that anymore Glin?”
Glin chuckled as he and I moved to sit on the couch. Melissa and Mike followed and we decided to finish the night off with a little bit less excitement than before. As we started getting into the movie, Glin lazily stretched his arm across the back of the couch behind me. I nervously glanced at his arm. Stop it Emily. He does this all the time. Just because you two got dared to kiss doesn’t mean that you need to over analyze his every movement. Wait did he just move closer? Ugh stop it Emily!
I shook my head a little and leaned back on the couch, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the guy I’d just kissed had his arm behind me. I could feel the camera burning a hole in my pocket, with the secret of what I’d felt with Glin. Wait What??? No no no. I didn’t mean that. I guess I just haven’t been kissed in a while. No big deal. Glin was acting normal so why was I all jumpy. Focus on the movie!
I cleared my head and focused all of my attention on the movie. Once the stupid movie was over we were all delirious with lack of sleep. I pulled the camera out of my pocket and laid it in my lap and looked over at my stupid little brother. His head was in Melissa’s lap snoring slightly with his mouth open, while Melissa had her eyes closed and head leaned back on the couch. Finally I looked at Glin. He was studying my face.
“Should we delete that picture Em?” He spoke softly, whether it was to not disturb the sleepers or not to scare me away, I wasn’t sure.
“Yeah, I feel like Mike would find something terrible to do with it if we didn’t.”
“Uh, should we look at it first?” I blinked. I hadn’t even thought about looking at it.
“I mean, we might as well.” I switched on the camera and, with a ding, the menu screen popped up. I scrolled to the view picture button and held my breath as I pushed it down. I felt Glin tense slightly when the screen went black for a split second and in the next showed our picture.
I’m not going to lie. We looked perfect. It was weird how natural the picture seemed. Glin had his hand on my waist and the other in my hair. I didn’t even realize that had happened. When did he move his hands? My head was tilted slightly back, almost inviting him to kiss me deeper and my hands were on his back. Wait what the hell. When did I move my hands? We looked happy.
“Em,” Glin started, right as I clicked the delete button, and then stopped speaking.
I turned the camera off and we sat in silence for a few minutes.
“Well, now that that’s over, we won’t have to worry about being blackmailed by Mark.”
“Yeah. I guess you’re right.” Glin looked a little uncomfortable.
“So, do you wanna go grab the sleeping bag with me?”
“Yeah you grab that, and I’ll grab the pillow.” We parted to go grab our supplies and met back in the den. Glin moved the table over and we lay down on the open sleeping bag side by side.
“Well Emily, strange day, wasn’t it?”
“You could defiantly say that again bud.”
“Well at least I found out something new about you?”
“And what would that be?”
“One, you like to use tongue and two, that mouth of yours is good for more than talking.” And with that he turned over and pulled the blanket over himself. I felt the blood rushing to my cheeks. Does that mean I’m a good kisser? With these thoughts I rolled over, back to back with Glin, and fell asleep to the rhythm of his slow breathing.
Early the next morning I awoke to Glin’s arm around my waist, his body pressed to my back. He was warm and I snuggled slightly closer until I realized the source of me waking up in the first place. I heard the familiar buzz of my phone and reached out my left hand to grab it.
I opened the phone and on the screen it said I had a new voicemail. I called the voicemail number and plugged in my password
You have one unheard message the mechanical voice read off. Then another voice came on.
“Hey, Emily. It’s Eric….”
“…I told you I’d call you. Just wanted to know if you’d like to go out with me tomorrow night. Maybe a movie or something? I’ll give you another call later.” I heard the click of the phone and pushed the end button on my own phone. I reached to slide it on the coffee table and struggled to get back into the comfortable position I was in before. I heard Glin let out a light breath and couldn’t help but smile.
I quickly but quietly turned to face him. I’d never seen Glin asleep, since at sleepovers he usually woke up before me. I’d also never woken up this close to him but I wasn’t that uncomfortable with it. But what would Eric think Em? My stomach dropped as I frowned at that thought, but tried to put it at the back of my mind as I looked into Glin’s sleepy face.
His face was so happy, almost peaceful. He looked like the little boy I used to play cops and robbers with when we were younger. I wanted to laugh at how young he looked but then he shifted and pulled me closer in his sleep and I couldn’t help but notice that he wasn’t a little boy any more. My hands were right against his chest, and I could see why girls were so attracted to him. He had a strait nose and his face was tan from our summer shenanigans. His wavy hair was just long enough to fall in his eyes. Oh my god his eyes. Then the entire kiss rushed back on me and I couldn’t help the catch in my breath. With my sudden tension Glin’s eyes opened slowly.
“Morning Em,” he breathed, pulling me a little closer to give me a good morning hug.
“Morning sleepy head.” I smiled and hugged him back. Now this was the Glin I knew. I was just thinking things through too much. Glin hadn’t really given me any indication that he thought anything else of our kiss so I should just forget about it too. Plus there was Eric. He seemed to be genuinely interested in me.
“What are we having for breakfast,” he asked into my hair.
“Well the other two aren’t awake yet, so we could go ahead and get started on the pancakes.” With that we both looked over at our friends. Apparently, during the night, Mike and Melissa had changed positions. Mike was lying on the couch with Melissa resting on his chest, both snoring, Mike softly, and Melissa not so softly.
Glin and I stifled our giggles and pulled ourselves off of the sleeping bag. Glin stopped and looked at me with his eyebrows raised.
“Em, when did you change into that?”
I looked down at my sleep shorts and tank top a little confused.
“Uh, last night before we went to sleep. Did you not notice?”
“Not until now.” He looked me over once, and I felt my cheeks burn.
“So, yeah I’ll just go put on some sweatpants then.”
“Oh Em, don’t be that way. I was just joking around with you.” I still ran up to put on a jacket before I came back down to help.
Glin already had the mixing bowl and spoons out, so I grabbed the eggs, milk, and mix. I butt bumped him out of my way and started to pour the mix into the bowl. Glin flipped the switch on the kitchen stereo and an annoying pop song came on. Although we both hated the song, we started sliding around in our socks and dancing like fools as we cooked. Glin swung me around, but we but slipped on the floor and came crashing down on top of each other. Glin barely missed smacking his head against mine, by catching himself an inch from my face. We caught our breath for a second and couldn’t help but laugh at the situation.
“Humph,” came a voice from the left. Mike stood there with his eyebrow raised and a small smile on his face. Glin and I burst out laughing.
“What’s going on here? It looks like that kiss has gotten you too all flustered.” Glin and I immediately got off the ground.
“You seemed to forget we didn’t just kiss on our own accord. We were dared by this certain stupid junior.”
“Yeah I hear he’s really hansom too.”
“Shut up Mike,” Glin called from the stove. He was already pouring the mix onto the griddle. “You better be grateful. We slaved over this breakfast for hours.”
“A breakfast fit for a King? Sounds about right.” Mike took a seat at the head of the table.
“By the way Mike, where’s Melissa?”
“Still sleeping I believe.”
“We saw you too getting a little close on the couch Mikey. What’s that all about? Do you likkkkkkke her?”
“Shut up you guys. We just met last night.”
“So you’re not going after her?”
“Well I mean, I’ll probably ask for her number.”
“Sure, sure Mike. You’re a wuss with girls.”
“I am so not. I get way more game then you do Glin. You’ll see, by tonight I’ll have her number memorized.”
“223 833 9375,” called a smug voice from the door way. Mike’s eyes widened a little as he turned around to face Melissa. She smiled at him and winked at me. I couldn’t help but smile back and watched as Mike slowly turned into a tomato.
“Uh, how about you tell me again later, once I have my phone on me.”
“Sure. I’ll wait. No hurry at all. Now what’s that amazing smell?”
“Pancakes. Now both of you sit back down and get ready to eat until your stomach pops.”
We all finally sat down to try and have a normal breakfast, but Mike refused to let that happen. He succeeded in making a mask out of his pancake and running around the table until he slipped on the rug and landed flat on his face. I could not believe how much of an idiot my brother was sometimes and I smiled at how much I loved him for it anyways.
After breakfast, Melissa helped clean up, and told us she’d better be on her way home. Mike grabbed her jacket from the closet (Thank goodness he’s at least learning) and walked her to the door. Glin and I held back saying our goodbyes in the living room to give Mike the time to ask for her number like a normal human being.
Once we heard Melissa’s car pull out of the drive, Glin and I fell onto the couch with a sigh.
“Only three more days until school starts.” Glin looked at me, with clear disgust on his face.
“Yeah, I can’t believe so much has happened in the last couple days. Oh, uh, Eric called this morning.”
Glin looked at me quickly and let out a small breath. We both sat there thinking for a moment in silence until we heard my mom’s unmistakable tone deaf voice singing Sexy Can I. We both looked at each other and cringed.
“I didn’t even know she listened to the radio anymore.”
“Does she even know what she’s singing,” Glin said, feigning concern.
“Probably not. I’ll enlighten her later.”
“So…what did Eric want?” Glin tried to sound casual, but I heard a hint of tightness in his voice. Was he jealous? Wait…was I happy he was jealous? I seriously have no idea what’s been going on in my own head lately.
I shrugged, trying to sound nonchalant. “He just wanted to know if I wanted to see a movie tonight.”
He looked at me. “And?”
“And I haven’t answered yet. He said he’d call me again later today.”
“So what are you going to say?”
“I think,” I said carefully, not meeting Glin’s gaze, “that I’m going to say yes.” What was wrong with me? I seriously don’t get what’s going on with my mind right now. I can’t deny that I felt and maybe even do feel something towards Glin, but I just can’t stop thinking about how attracted I am to Eric. He makes me feel like I could take on the world, even if he’s in control of it and I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing.
“Ah,” was all Glin said. He leaned back on the couch for a second, closing his eyes.
“Glin, can I ask you something?”
“Mhmm.” He nodded slightly, eyes still closed.
“Um,” I looked at him uncomfortably, “do you remember last night when you said you figured out my mouth was good for something other than talking?”
“I do recall saying something of the sort.” I thought I saw a grin playing on his lips. Those lips. Wait..watch it Emily.
“Yeah. So what did you mean exactly?”
He slowly opened his eyes, about to answer, when Mike burst through the door, smiling broadly. He plopped himself down between us, oblivious to the awkward conversation that had just taken place.
“So guess who has a date tonight?”
“Emily,” Glin answered quietly, just as I said, “Who?” I looked over at Glin, and could feel my face fall a little at his stony face.
“Me,” Mike practically shouted at us, “Melissa asked if I’d like to go grab a bite to eat tonight and when I agreed, she kissed my cheek.”
I grinned at him wryly. “Aw, someone’s all excited over his first kiss.”
“Shut up, Emily. You’ll never bring me down.”
“So don’t you bring me down today,” my mother walked in singing, finishing the Christina Aguilera lyrics my brother had unintentionally started.
With that Glin said he probably needed to head next door to see if his mom needed help with anything, but promised that he would help me pick out an outfit for tonight. He didn’t look happy about it but insisted he wanted to help. After I closed the door, I heard the familiar buzz of my cell phone again, and ran to rummage through the couch cushions, until I realized I had left it on the coffee table.
I flipped it open and pressed the receiver to my ear.
“Hey is this Emily?”
“Yes it is.”
I heard a sigh from the other end. “Hey Em. It’s Eric. I just wanted to make sure I definitely had the right phone number. You have the recorded voice on your voice mail so I couldn’t be sure.”
“Yeah, I’m not one for too much technology, so I decided to just let the phone company handle that aspect for me.” I laughed a little, not sure of where to go from here.
“So did you get my message?”
“Yeah, I did. I’d love to go to a movie with you tonight.”
“Ok, awesome. I’ll pick you up around seven and be prepared to look hot.” With that I heard a click apparently signaling the end of our conversation.
“Well ok then, I can’t wait either,” I said sarcastically to myself. Eric could get on my nerves, but for some reason, I couldn’t not like him. I shook my head and went to see what my mom was doing in the kitchen.
“Yes, my little cabbage?” Well that’s a new one.
“Um, yeah. So, would you mind if I went out tonight?”
“Out? Out as in?”
I sighed. There was no way I could get around this. “As in a date, Mom.”
I saw her eyes start to sparkle. “Well it’s about time that boy bucked up the courage to ask you out. It’s been long enough.” She clapped her hands a couple of times.
I looked at her, kind of confused. “Wait, what? Mom how did you know about Eric?”
She looked like she didn’t know what was going on. “Eric? Who’s Eric?”
“The guy who asked me out on a date.”
“What? This Eric asked you out? How long have you known him?”
“About three days now, why?”
“I just can’t believe a complete stranger could ask you out in three days, while Glin has known you forever and still hasn’t been able to ask you out.” She rolled her eyes and threw up her hands. I on the other hand choked on my own spit.
“Mom! You know Glin and I are just friends.” But is that what you really want? You know I really hate that little voice in your head that just mixes things up.
“I know. I know. But that doesn’t mean it always has to be that way, you know.” I stared at her, truly not believing what was happening. I couldn’t tell if I was flabbergasted that she was stating this so bluntly or by the fact that she was unintentionally hinting at my lapse of feelings for Glin the night before.
She threw her arms up again, turned away, and yelled over her shoulder, “Yes I suppose you can go on your date, but he has to come inside to meet us.” With that she walked upstairs.
I groaned. This was something I hadn’t taken into consideration. Eric might actually have to meet my family at one point or another. I guess I’d go ahead and let him meet them tonight, so he could see what he’d be dealing with.
As I trudged upstairs, my phone rang again. When did I get so popular? When I heard the voice on the phone, however, I knew it was my boss Mr. T. No no no. This is not the scary mow hawked black guy, because that’s what people always think when I tell them his name. No, this is a tall, plump, white haired guy, with glasses and an endless supply of bad jokes.
“Hey Emily. I was just wondering if you might wanna come in and pick up the lunch shift: twelve to three. You see, Courtney was on dishes and she broke a nail. She refuses to work and Doug is about to have a heart attack if someone doesn’t fill his glass up another quarter inch. I’d fire Courtney, but she sure does bring in a lot of costumers of the teenage male origin, if you know what I mean.” He laughed at his joke.
“Sure, Mr. T. I’ll come right over.” I went up to my room and pulled on my uniform. Walking downstairs, I prayed to God, that the car would actually start this time, since I had just realized Glin usually takes me to work.
I held my breath and let out a little “whoop” as the engine rumbled to life. This is so much safe then those death traps Em.
Once I got to the diner, I realized just how much chaos Courtney had caused. There were dishes everywhere and when I looked around I saw an irritated Mrs. Watson picking off the burnt parts of the bacon to feed her loving pooch, the twins glowering at each other, clearly angry someone had switched up their food, and Doug.
Poor Doug, he sat there staring into space, and I could see his hands twitching. Sweat was starting to form on his for head, and his mouth was quivering. Courtney is such a b****. I walked over to Doug and put my hand on his shoulder as I poured his drink a quarter of an inch higher. His manner instantly relaxed and he put his hand on top of mine. That was about the greatest form of affection this little man could handle. I smiled and walked away, to finally let him eat in peace.
I picked up the plates as I walked by the tables, on my way to find out what exactly was Courtney’s problem. As I stepped through the swinging doors I saw Courtney sitting on the floor, right in front of the sink.
“What on Earth are you doing here.” Her eyes were on fire.
“Why do you think I’m here? To beg you to be friends with me and end up doing each other’s nails. I’m picking up this mess that you decided to let happen Courtney. Did you know poor Doug was almost in tears?”
She looked at me with her eye brows raised. “Who the hell is Doug?”
“You’ve got to be kidding me. Do you even know one person’s name out there, or are you so self centered that you’ve never even talked to one of them?” She looked at me blankly as I dropped the dishes in the sink above her and walked away, satisfied, when the wave of water splashed over the rim and dropped on her head.
After I’d tidied up, and served everyone the correct food, I decided to hang back behind the counter for a few minutes. I only had about thirty minutes left until I could go, but I couldn’t find anything else to do. Courtney still hadn’t done anything but sit on the floor, but I refused to do any dishes for her. I watched through the window as a motorcycle drove past, and the memories of my last time I was on one flashed in my head. No matter how many times I thought about it, I couldn’t understand why I’d given in to Eric so easily. It kind of scared me and so did the hand that suddenly found its way to my shoulder.
“Hey kid,” Phew just Mr. T, “You can go home now; I think we’ve got it covered here. I really appreciate your help though.”
I grabbed my keys. “No problem Mr. T. Anytime I can help you out just let me know.”
“Will do kid, will do.” I walked out to my car, realizing I only had a few hours before my date. Oh man, I still don’t know what I’m wearing. Hopefully Melissa or Glin will be home. I whipped out my cell and called Glin.
“Hey Glin. It’s me. I’m on my way home from work and I was just wondering if you were home also. I could really use that fashion expertise.”
“Ah, uh, I can’t Em.” What? He never cancels on me.
“Oh, why?” I couldn’t keep the disappointment out of my voice.
“I’m, uh, kinda getting ready for something. My mom said it was a family outing night and I have to go if I don’t want to get picked off my family tree.” I smiled. Glin’s mom always did family outings. Usually I was invited, since my family never did anything like that, but obviously Glin had told them I couldn’t go.
“Ok well, since you’re the master, think of my closet and tell me what to wear anyways.”
“How about that yellow lacey sundress you have? That’s another one of my favorites.” He stated it so matter-of-factly that I blushed, even though there was no one to see it.
“Ok that sounds good. I think I remember that one. Thanks Glin and uh, have fun at your family outing.”
“Yeah, I will. Thanks.” And with that he hung up. Wow that’s two short ended goodbyes I’ve had today. It was kinda starting to piss me off. I threw my phone into my passenger seat and turned up the radio. The song that was on, Runaway, instantly made my mood better and I couldn’t wait to start getting ready to see Eric again.
I went home and took a shower, more than ready to let the warm water cascade down on my tired body. I always had this notion that a shower could work wonders; it made me feel better about everything and was a time where I could just throw away any thoughts that could be clogging my brain.
After I was finished I dried myself off and went to my closet. This time I didn’t even question Glin’s taste and went straight for the yellow sun dress, not even bothering to try anything else on. I decided to curl my hair as well; I felt like a little change to my appearance couldn’t hurt. I nixed the makeup because my face was clear and tanned and stood in front of the mirror. Give me tiger Emily; I want you to growl.
“Emily,” I heard Mike scream suddenly. I ran into his room as quickly as my flip flops could carry me (which in my klutz like state, wasn’t very fast).
“Mike,” I gasped, “what’s wrong? Are you ok? Did your bookshelf fall on you again?”
He stood there looking perfectly fine physically, but he was sweating a lot and his face was turning red.
“Wait, Mike. What is wrong with you?”
“I…I have nothing to wear tonight, and she’s picking me up in like an hour,” he stuttered. Woah now! My brother was nervous.
“Hey now. Don’t worry so much. Melissa liked you in ratty sweats and a t-shirt the other night, so trust me, she’ll like you in anything.” He just looked at me.
“Ok, tell you what. You go and take a shower and I’ll pick something out for you. I’ll lay it on your bed and I want no complaints. You will wear what I tell you to.” He nodded and gave me a hesitant hug before he walked to the bathroom.
I walked to his closet, and after much debate, chose a light blue cotton button up, with the sleeves rolled up, and a pair of dark wash jeans. I nodded at my choice and went downstairs to grab a glass of lemonade before Eric got here.
As soon as I finished, I called up to my mom to tell her she needed to come down. She came down looking excited and I had to have her go sit in the living room before she went to watch from the window. As soon as I got her into a chair the doorbell rang, and she sprang out of her chair to get it. I pushed her back down into the chair and went to get the door herself.
“Hey Eric,” I said as I opened the door. Man he looked great; white button up, dark jeans, and his black riding jacket. Wait…riding jacket? No way. There is no way I’m riding that thing. I’ll drive if I have to.
“Hey Emily. You look…cute.” Why did being called cute suddenly sound like an insult?
“Uh, thanks. Hey, Eric, I’m really sorry about this, but my mom really wants to meet you. Do you mind if you said hi.”
“Yeah sure, but we have to make it quick, or we’ll miss our reservations.” Did I see him roll his eyes? Was I just imagining this? I was starting to feel a little uneasy about my mom meeting him. She could defiantly take some getting used to.
As we walked into the living room, my mom stood up again, with her hand outstretched.
“Hi, Eric. I’m Emily’s mom, but you can call me Karen. It’s so nice to meet you.”
“It’s nice to meet you to Mrs. Sm- Karen. Your house is as lovely as your daughter.” Wow, he’s such a cheese ball. I had to smile at him, though. My mom laughed like a little girl, giggling like mad.
“Why thank you. We think Em here is pretty great.”
“Well, Mom, I think we’d better go. We have reservations.” Eric looked at my mom and shrugged his shoulders.
“You know Emily, Karen, so ready to go. It was great meeting you. I hope to see you again soon. Is it ok if I have your daughter back around eleven?” Huh? Wasn’t he the one dying to leave before?
“Yes, yes of course. Eleven sounds great. I look forward to seeing you again as well.” Thank you Mom for being normal for once in your life.
With that he took my hand and we walked out the door. I barely had time to even grab my purse. As I closed the door I was praying that when I turned around the bike wouldn’t be there. Apparently my wishing worked, because when I did turn around there was a Honda Accord sitting in my driveway. Huh, somehow this didn’t have the same connection to him as the motorcycle did, but I wasn’t going to complain. It had four doors and seatbelts, so I was happy.
He opened my door and I stepped into the car, happy when the click of my seatbelt secured my safety. I leaned back happily as he slid himself into the driver’s seat and cranked the car up. He turned on some music, but lowered the volume before he said anything.
“So are you excited for tonight, Emily?”
“Yeah I really am! Where are our reservations for?”
“Well I thought you might like some Italian, so I called Romano’s.”
“Oh wow, that sounds great.” I looked at him and couldn’t help but admire his good looks again. It was hard to look at him, and not notice something different.
He saw me looking, and I swear I saw a little smirk play around on his lips.
“So where was the fantastic Glin tonight, Em?” His voice was a little tight when he said Glin’s name. Maybe he wasn’t fond of Glin.
“Oh, he’s doing a family outing tonight. They do that every once in a while. Usually I’m invited as well, but tonight I had plans.” I winked at him.
“Ah,” he said, and didn’t even look my direction. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat.
I hesitated. “Do you not like Glin, Eric?”
“What? Oh, no it’s not that I don’t like him. He just always seems to be around you.”
“Well he’s my best friend.”
“Ah huh.” With that, he finished the conversation by pulling into the restaurant’s parking lot. As the valet checked our car in, Eric slipped my arm through his and we walked in to the restaurant. Once we sat down, we ordered, (him the chicken parmesan and me a huge plate of spaghetti and meatballs) and waited.
“So how did you like my mom? She was so excited to meet you.”
“She seemed nice, but it’ll take me a while to get used to calling her Karen.” He smiled and I realized that he didn’t roll his eyes earlier. It was just a trick of the light.
“So what movie are we seeing?”
“I was thinking we could see that new action movie, The Runaway.”
“Sure, sounds fine with me. I love action movies, but horror is my favorite. Each week my brother, Glin, and I watch a horror movie.” Eric’s eyes narrowed a bit at the mention of Glin, so I made a conscious effort not to mention him again during dinner.
“Really? That sounds like fun. Maybe I could join next time you have a movie night.” Erg. It was just a Mike, Glin, and me thing. It’d always been that way. But we did have Melissa over last night. But we didn’t set out to make it a movie night. Emily stop fighting with yourself already!
“Uh. Yeah I’ll let you know when we have the next one.” He raised his eyebrow.
“You know, I don’t have to be there. If you want your alone time with Glin, that’s fine too. I just thought you might want me to spend some time with your best friend and brother as well.” I’m an idiot.
“Of course I want you to spend time with us. I’m just going to have to talk to them about letting someone else into the movie nights. It’s been us three only for years.”
“No. It’s ok. I’ll find something else to do.”
“No, I uh, want you to come.” Emily. This could be a bad idea.
“Good. Expect me next time then. Ah, here’s our food.” What did I just do.
After we ate, (and by the way it was delicious) Eric paid and went to go get the car, while I waited right inside the doors. Why didn’t I want Eric with us? Was he right in saying I just wanted time alone with Glin? I mean yeah, he’s my best friend and I do want just time with him. Was he implying something more?
“Huh?” I looked around.
“Are you going to stand there all night, or do you wanna get in the car so we can go see that movie.”
“Oh, right. Sorry.” I stepped into the car and closed the door. After a few moments of silent driving, I shifted in my seat so I was looking at Eric.
“Hey. About the movie night. I feel like we can bond with them some other way. Movie nights are the only nights I can just be one of the guys and chill with my brother. I really hope you understand.”
“Yeah. No big.” But I thought I saw his hands tighten on the steering wheel.
Once we got the theater, I offered to pay for the tickets, and after a little argument, Eric finally gave in. We walked into the theater and grabbed a couple of seats at the back. Eric said his sweet tooth was calling him, asked me if I wanted anything, and went to go wait in line for some candy.
I settled back in my seat, and put my legs up on the seat in front of me, making sure my dress was tucked between them, for purposed I hope I don’t have to explain. As I was watching the previews for upcoming movie the theater started to fill up. I started to people watch and realized that Melissa and Mike had just walked in. I waved at them and they smiled and started to make their way back to my row.
“Hey Mel, Mike. I didn’t know you were coming to this.”
“Yeah, I suggested we go to a movie and Melissa picked this one. Small world.”
I laughed. “Yeah it really is. You two are welcome to sit with us if you’d like.”
Melissa smiled. “Sure, that would be great actually. If it wasn’t for you, we’d be sitting next to Ed and Fred. Did you know they were here?”
“What? No. No way. That’s ridiculous. Well all you owe me for saving your butts is a lifelong sentence of slavery.”
Mike rolled his eyes. “Oh thank you master.” Melissa laughed and they both sat down. After a few more minutes, we all fell silent to the commercials again. I looked towards the entrance, wondering when Eric was going to be back. I didn’t want him to miss the beginning. I saw a bubbly blonde, with a huge chest walk in. Ah, Courtney found herself another victim tonight. I smiled in anticipation to see who she’d snagged, when through the doors walked…
Mike looked over at me. “Isn’t that…”
“Yup. Sure is.”
“Whoa. I sure didn’t see that one coming.” Mike looked at me with wide eyes as Glin and Courtney sat down a couple of rows in front of us. Glin put his arm around her, and she laughed at something he had said. I started to feel a little nauseous.
“I guess it’s a small world after all.” Glin was most defiantly not at a family outing.
Once the lights had dimmed and the movie trailers had started I felt a poke in my right shoulder.
“Isn’t that your…” Eric started.
“Yes. It’s my best friend.” Somehow it didn’t sound the same as it had the first time I’d told Eric Glin and I were tight.
“Yes. That’s Courtney.” She was pissing me off a little more than usual. “Let’s just watch the movie Eric.”
The opening credits had just begun when I heard an annoying little titter come from in front of us. Glin was leaned over talking in her ear and she was eating it up. I unconsciously squeezed the drink Eric had gotten me way too hard and it overflowed right onto my lap. Guess I didn’t know my own strength. Eric looked over at me when I let out a squeal as the cold shot down my leg.
“Really, Emily? I pay for your drink and then you spill it all over yourself. Nicely done.” Eric rolled his eyes and turned away to watch the movie.
“You could at least offer to help and get me some napkins,” I muttered under my breath.
He snapped his head around and glared at me. “What did you say?”
I took one look at his face and held my breath. It was kind of scary looking.
“Nothing. I just wanted to go get some napkins. I’ll be back.”
“Fine, but I’m not buying you a refill.” Wow. Eric was a real gentleman tonight.
I got up without another word and started down the aisle. Mike and Melissa didn’t even realize what was going on. The movie had started, but let’s just says, they weren’t exactly watching it. As I made my way down the stairs I realized I had gone the wrong way. This path led me directly in front of where Glin and Courtney were. I looked around. Nope. Only one door to the lobby, and this was it. I took a deep breath and decided to not even acknowledge the two of them. 3…2…1…
I almost screamed with frustration. This was not what I needed right now. I didn’t want to talk to Courtney and stupid Glin. He’d lied to me, and friends don’t do that. I slowly turned to face them.
“Oh hey Glin. How’d that thing with your mom go?” He blushed a little bit.
“We, uh, got done earlier than I expected.”
“Oh, really? Convenient.” I heard a shhh coming from the audience. I dropped my voice down. “Are you thirsty Glin? I’m about to go to the concession stand. Do you want to join.” I formed my words sweetly, but he could hear how hard I was trying not to yell. Another shhh.
“Yeah. Court, I’ll be right back.” Court? When did that happen? He followed me out of the room and into the hallway.
“Why the hell are you here with Courtney. You lied to me Glin.”
“I didn’t mean to lie. I just thought you’d judge me for going out with her tonight. Glad I was wrong.”
“After all the times she’s hit on you in the diner and I’ve helped you out of it.”
He puffed out his cheeks and they started to get a little rosy. “If you haven’t noticed already, Em, besides joking around, when have I ever asked for your help with her in the first place. Did you ever think that maybe I didn’t want you to step in and help me?”
Truth be told, that idea never had struck me. My stomach dropped, and not the fun kind like when you go on roller coasters and elevators.
“Oh. Well you never told me that. Is that what you want?”
He let out a big breath and his face hollowed. “No. Of course not. I just decided it was about time that I go on a date for once.”
“Glin, it wasn’t like no girls wanted to date you! You’ve had the whole school after you since ninth grade. Why did you suddenly change your mind?”
By this time we’d gotten to the counter and I’d gotten some napkins and ordered another drink.
“It just seemed like it was time. My best friend got a date, so I felt like I needed one too.”
“Yeah well your best friend’s date is not going so well.”
“That Eric guy kind of seems like a tool.” He can’t know that he’s having more fun than I am. Why do I even care?
Before I knew it, “No he’s not. I don’t understand what your problem is with him, but you’ve been kind of a tool yourself to him,” I was defending Eric and yelling at my best friend. We got a few stares and another shhh. I looked over at the old woman who’d done it.
“We aren’t even watching a movie!” She looked taken aback, shook her head, and walked away. Oops. That actually made me feel kind of bad.
“Woah!” Glin held his hands up in the sign of surrender. “I’m sorry. I thought you wanted me to say that. I don’t hate him, I just don’t trust him. There’s something off about that guy Em.”
“Oh whatever, Glin. You don’t even know him.” By now I was almost screaming.
“Have you forgotten Emily? Neither do you!” Glin’s voice was raised as well. “You only met this guy a week and a half ago and you’re already letting him come between us.”
“That’s really great you hypocrite. You’re letting a girl we both apparently hated come between us, and this is your first date.”
He shook his head and his hair fell in his face and he almost looked like sleeping Glin, but his eyes were blazing.
“Fine. Then we both agree that we’re dating tools.”
“No. I don’t agree. I think you’re dating a b****. There’s nothing off about Eric. You’re just jealous that I finally found someone who makes me happy, when you don’t have that person yet.” Emily have you forgotten how he treated you in the theater?
“Yeah Emily that’s what I’m jea….” He started, but I was done with the conversation and wouldn’t let him finish. I looked him directly in the eye.
“Shh…” was all I said before I walked away, back into the theater, back to my date, ironically without turning to look back one more time.
Chapter 10 I couldn’t concentrate on the movie, no matter how hard I tried. I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of guilt at yelling at Glin. I had to keep reminding myself that he had lied to me. Eric wasn’t helping very much either. He hadn’t said a word to me since I got back in the theater. Could he really be that mad over a stupid spilled drink? I was starting to get tired of the way he was treating me. When the movie ended and the lights came up, the first thing I noticed was that Glin and Courtney were nowhere to be found. Eric slid his way in front of me jangling his keys, and we said our goodbyes to my brother and Melissa. Eric opened the door for me and went around to the other side of the car to get in. As he revved the engine I looked over at him. He turned towards me. “Emily, I’m sorry I lost my temper in there. I was just excited that I finally got to take you out on a real date, and the thing I was able to buy you spilled.” “It’s not like I meant to spill it.” I saw another flash in his eye, but it was gone as soon as it entered. “I know you didn’t, and I understand that you weren’t very happy with seeing Glin.” “You could say that again.” His eyes grew softer again. Now this looked like the Eric I had first met. “Are you ok? Am I going to have to kick his ass?” “No. Everything’s fine. It was just a misunderstanding.” Was it? Or were you just jealous he was out without you? “Oh, well if that’s all.” He started to turn out of the parking lot. Now the thing about guys that all girls know is that if you say you’re fine, even if you don’t look fine at all, they’ll take your words over your face and not even consider that you aren’t telling the whole truth. As he drove, Eric kept one hand on the wheel, and the other found mine, lacing his fingers through it. Why couldn’t he have been like this at the movies? Was he also mad that Glin was there? “Are you ok now Eric? You seemed extra pissed today. Not just about my drink, but about other things as well.” He shifted uncomfortably. “I just don’t like how Glin is always around.” “He’s my best friend. He’s always been around and it’s probably going to stay that way.” Man, why was I defending both of them to the other person. Which one do I really side with? “Yeah, I know. But I still don’t like it. You don’t see the way he looks at us.” “Yeah? And how is that?” “Disgusted. Like he can’t wait to get me out of the picture to move on in.” “Eric. If he’d wanted to do that, he already would have. He’s had eighteen years.” “Yeah I know but that doesn’t mean he won’t now. Maybe it finally hit him when you got a date.” “I’ve been on dates before.” He looked me up and down. “You have? You didn’t really seem like the type to…go out very much.” What the hell is that supposed to mean? “Wow. Thanks. Great to know what your real first impression was of me.” “That’s not quite what I was saying. My fist impression was that you were clumsy, and a little bit crazy. That kind of intrigued me though. The more I got to know you, the more I realized that you are kind of sheltered.” “You just keep digging yourself a deeper hole Eric.” I ripped my hand out of his and crossed my arms in front of my chest for the rest of the ride. As he pulled up to my house I let out a low breath. “You’re cute when you’re mad. Did you know that?” I don’t know why I said it. It may be because I was pissed at him for his confessions about me, or maybe because of his attitude at the movie theater, maybe even the fact that I was worrying about Glin, but the first thing out of my mouth was, “Yeah. Glin used to tell me that all the time.” He turned off the car and everything grew silent. He didn’t say anything and neither did I. The silence wasn’t one of those comfortable silences either; it was heavy and filled with anger and from me, it was filled with a little bit of fear. He held his breath but let it out slowly with a little laugh. “Touche, Emily. At least I know he has good taste though.” And with that he leaned over and kissed me on the mouth. Now it would be an understatement to say that I hadn’t been expecting his answer or his kiss, but again it would be an understatement to say that the kiss was simply welcomed. I opened my mouth to feel his warm breath on my mouth, and smiled as his tongue began to trace the inside of my lips. I’d never in my life been kissed like this before, and I didn’t want it to stop. He took off his seatbelt and my seatbelt and leaned my chair down back. He climbed into my seat with me and brushed my hair back with his fingers. Everywhere he touched me it tingled. He began kissing me again with a new intensity, one which left me breathless. He bit my ear, ran his fingers down my side, and left quite a few soon to be hickeys. After a few minutes I pulled back and smiled at him. “Thank you.” It was all I could think to say. He had just made up for his PMSing with that kiss. “You’re welcome. But who said we have to stop?” I bit my lip, thinking, and cringed as I realized the heavy kissing had bruised it a little. “Well my mom’s not home, but my brother should be coming home soon.” “Oh, really? The mom’s not home? Well why are we in the car then?” My stomach started tying in a knot. He wasn’t suggesting… “No, I don’t think that’s such a good idea.” He thought about it for a second and grinned. “You’re right. It feels so much more dangerous, so close to being seen yet not quite.” “That’s not exactly what I…” I started, but he was already kissing me again. He shoved me up against the seat and put one of his legs between mine, rubbing it back and forth. Cold had seeped into my stomach now. “Wait, Eric.” But he wasn’t listening, he was too into this. I tried to reach out and grasp the door handle, but he pinned my hands above me. “Do you like that Emily? I’ll be this is nothing like you’ve ever felt before.” And before I could answer, his lips crashed into mine, with such force that I swear it busted my lip. He put both his hands over one of mine and snaked his other down my side again. This time, there were no tingles involved. I tried to wiggle my hands free, but there was just no way I could get loose. Eric started to unbutton my top, not caring whether the buttons were pulled off or not. He jerked me out of my top and threw it into the back of the car. I wanted to scream, but his lips were barely lifted from mine to let me breathe, let alone speak. He ran his fingers over the lace of my bra and made an appreciative noise. His fingers ran underneath the bra next, not quite touching my breast, but close. So very close. I was going to cry. Why the hell was he doing this? His hand took the place of where his leg was and began his rubbing all over again. Just then we heard a car door slam. Eric flattened himself on top of me, but didn’t stop his work, tracing my waist line and starting to unbutton and unzip them. I saw Mike’s silhouette walk past the car and into the house. Eric pulled himself back up into a straddling position and wriggled my pants down to my ankles. “Eric…stop.” But he didn’t. It was like he hadn’t even heard me. “Eric stop!” I screamed at him and he finally pulled his face back, with a sort of confused look on his face. I took the opportunity to shove him into the other seat and pull my pants back up in one fowl swoop. Before he could say anything, I jumped out of the car, not even caring I was still in my bra. I just wanted to get as far away from him as I could. I heard his car door slam and heard heavy footsteps behind me. “What the hell Emily? Why did you do that?” “Why did I do that? What the f*** did I do to make you do that to me you perv?” “Oh I’m a perv now, am I? That’s f*ed up you stupid tease. You were all over me and then decided to stop halfway through.” By now he was only a couple feet in front of me, spitting the words into my face. “No, Eric. You’re f*ed up. Not me. You almost raped me in there and you’re saying it was my fault.” He grabbed my arm so hard that I knew it would be a bruise in the morning. “You think I almost raped you, you little b****?” His eyes were almost black and he grabbed my other arm. I shrunk away from him. “Oh, you’re going to flinch now?” He gave a little laugh and then he did something I’ll never forget. He let go of my arm with one of his hands and smacked me across the face. Hard. The last things I heard before I blacked out must have been the sound my body made when it hit the ground, Eric muttering “I’ll give you something to flinch from,” and the car door slamming and peeling out.
I woke up to the sounds of a tea kettle whistling. My entire body was exhausted, but since I wasn’t sure of where I was, I lugged myself into a sitting position. I was in Glin’s room, lying on his bed, while he sat in his chair he’d pulled closer, fast asleep. That explains the tea kettle. Glin’s mom actually cooked like a regular human and I wasn’t even sure we owned a tea pot. I looked at myself and realized I was still in the clothes I’d been in last night. Last night, oh god. The events from last night all flashed through my head. How in the world did I even get here? I must have rustled the sheets because when I looked back up, Glin’s eyes were trained on me.
“Hey there, sleeping beauty.” He smiled.
“Hi.” I tried to smile back, but pain shot through my right cheek and I grimaced instead. Glin’s smile instantly fell.
“I saw what he did to you. I was about to lock up when he hit you, and then drove away. By the time I got outside you had already passed out.” He touched my swollen cheek gingerly.
I looked away. I was way too ashamed to look at him.
“It was my fault you know.” He looked at me with a confused expression. “I wanted him to keep kissing me and by the time I realized what was happening I…”
“Emily, what are you talking about.” His voice had turned ice cold.
I felt my cheeks turn bright red and turned away. There was no way I could tell Glin. He climbed up on to the bed so that I wasn’t able to look away.
“Emily, what did he do to you?” I could literally see fire in his eyes. I couldn’t break my eyes away from his.
“He…well he,” I didn’t know where to start. “When we were in his car, when he kissed me, clothes, and I just threw him off me, really mad, and he hit me.” I don’t think I made that clear at all.
“God damn it,” muttered Glin. Apparently he had understood enough. He hit the wall and yelled this time. Usually this would have sent me through the roof with surprise, but right now, I don’t think a bomb could have shaken me. Then my face was in his hands.
“Oh, Emily,” he whispered as I grimaced at his touch, “that bastard is going to pay.” He looked me in the eyes. “You understand squirt? That guy is going to pay.” He spat the last couple of words.
“Well at least it wasn’t my heart that was broken,” I tried feebly to make a joke.
He smiled but his eyes were dark, “No jokes right now, Em. Why don’t you go to sleep; I have a few people to call.” He kissed my unharmed cheek and slid me back into his bed, pulling the covers over me tightly.
“I’ll check on you soon,” he kissed my forehead this time, and was gone.
I didn’t want to go to sleep yet, but my body had other plans. Although my mind was spinning, the exhaustion was too much to handle, and I fell into a restless sleep.
When I woke up again there was a sand-which next to the bed, on the bed side table. As if on cue, my stomach growled. I stretched, and turned on the light, reaching for the food. Glin walked through the door carrying two glasses of milk, one small for me, and the other way too big for human consumption for him.
“Hey, how are you feeling?” He looked at my face. “It looks like the swelling has gone down a lot.” It hurt like hell.
“I’m fine. It’s probably not as bad as it looks.”
“Well, although I’m no cook, I hope that tastes better than what your mom usually makes.” I laughed a little, ignoring the throbbing.
“I bet it tastes great, and even if it doesn’t I’m way too hungry to care.” He smiled and set my glass down on the table, positioning himself in his chair.
“I called the police, Em.” I swear my food dropped from my open mouth.
“I called the police,” he said it slower this time, as if that would make the shock more bearable, “and they are looking for him.”
“Glin, this is Eric. Do you really think he needed the police to be called on him?”
“Emily,” Glin practically shouted, “what in the hell is wrong with you? That guy, you know the one you’ve been seeing, Eric, tried to rape you and when you pushed him off, he knocked you out. Does this sound like a good guy to you? Do you think he should be able to do that to people, especially the girl that I…” He trailed off. I wanted him to finish. Scratch that. I needed him to finish that sentence.
“The girl that you,” I started, hoping he’d pick up.
“The girl that I live next to, Em. He can’t do that to someone I’ve known since I was born.”
“Emily, if that guy even thinks about setting a foot near you, I swear I’ll…”
And that’s when my phone started to ring. I just looked at it, watching the screen light up. A sinking sensation in my stomach started as I looked at the once familiar numbers of Eric’s cell phone. I sat there clutching the phone, willing it to just disappear. Once it stopped, I just continued to sit there. Glin pried the phone out of my hands and set it back on the bed.
“It was him.” I looked at Glin, suddenly sure I was about to cry. It was him. Glin wrapped his arms around me.
“It doesn’t matter, Em. You’re safe and there’s no way he can get you. I promise you, ok?” I nodded my head into his shoulder and tried to keep breathing normally. It started to work until my phone buzzed with a ‘new voicemail’ alert.
“Glin, I think I need a few chips to go with this sandwich.” I smiled, trying to act normal.
He ruffled my hair again. “Sure Em, anything you want and it’s yours today.”
I followed him to the door and closed it as he left, pressing my back against it. I sighed and forced myself to look at the bedside table. The phone sat there looking so innocent. There wasn’t any indication that the message on it would shatter my grip on reality. I slowly walked to the table and picked up the phone, clicking the voice mail speed dial. I took a deep breath as i plugged in my password and held the phone up to my ear.
“Emily,” came a soft voice, “Emily. I am so sorry for what happened. I lost my nerve and you lost yours a little too. I didn’t mean for any of that to happen. I literally cried myself to sleep last night, but when I thought about coming to your house to see how you were, I thought you’d never want to see me again.”
He’d wanted to come see how I was? Or did he just want to see the pain he’d caused me?
His voice had dropped to a whisper by now. “I just couldn’t help myself with you tonight. You looked so beautiful and you acted like you wanted me to...and i just misread the signs. I should have stopped and then I...well when I hit you, it was like I wasn’t even there anymore. I scared myself.”
I didn’t want to hear any more. I pressed delete before the message finished and sat the phone face down on the bed and when I looked up I realized that Glin had been standing in the door way.
“What did he have to say?” His voice was stoney, hard, so unlike Glin’s usual voice.
“He apologized. He wants to see me.” I didn’t look away from Glin’s face.
“And it’s not going to happen. I’ve never understood how girls can live with someone who abuses them. I’m smarter then that. I’m stronger then that.”
Finally Glin smiled. “Now that’s the girl I know and love.”
Love? Did he just say love? Did he mean love love or sisterly love? I don’t think he meant it in the love love way because he said it so nonchalantly. If he’d wanted to actually say it he would have done it better. I know Glin and he would have wanted it to be perfect. Wait, why am I even having the conversation with myself? Does that mean I want Glin to be in love love with me? Am I in love love with him?
Then i realized Glin was staring at me strangely.
“Em, have you heard anything I said?”
“Uh, no sorry I spaced out for a bit.” Overactive imagination.
“I was saying we should tell your mom about this.” Do what now?
“No way. There’s no way in hell I can tell my mom about this. She would move us out of the country and knowing her it’d be somewhere so remote Santa Clause couldn’t find us.”
“Oh really? And how are we supposed to keep this little slip up from her? You have a swollen face, a lost boyfriend, and cops coming to talk to you.” He had a point.
“Hit me with your car.”
“What?” Glin basically screamed at me and looked as if he was going to hit something.
I looked at him evenly and said, “I want you to hit me with your car.”
“How the hell would that solve anything?”
“We would have cops talking to us because of the accident and it would explain my swollen face.” He looked at me, dumbfounded.
“Glin, come on. This would work.”
“No. I refuse to be like Eric. I won’t hit you, even if it is just your car. We’re telling your mom and that’s it.”
“When did you become my dad?” I was getting angry now. Who was he to tell my secrets.
“I became responsible for you the second I picked you up from my grass.” With that, he walked out the door.
I slumped on the bed, my anger drained. He was completely right. He’d helped me and was still trying to help, and I was being utterly ungrateful. I needed to find him and apologize. He was sitting on the couch watching TV.
“Hey.” I felt awkward. He glanced up.
“Look I’m sorry that I snapped. I just can’t believe it actually happened, so I feel the less people who know, the more I can pretend it didn’t.” He patted the seat next to him.
“I know and I’m sorry, but you can’t just keep your mom in the dark. She needs to be prepared.”
“Prepared for what, Glin? It’s Eric.”
“Exactly. You keep saying that. It’s just Eric? Well ‘just Eric’ smacked you upside the head last night? Do you really think he isn’t capable of other things?”
Was he? I couldn’t imagine him really hurting something, but my face proved otherwise.
“Fine. I’ll tell her as long as you come with me. I need someone to force the words out of me.”
Walking into my house seemed surreal. Everything looked so normal, but for me, it looked fake. I didn’t like how perfect the house seemed, when in reality, nothing was right. Glin squeezed my hand as we closed the door. Now the chore of finding my mom loomed in front of us and it just gave me more and more time to talk myself out of what I was going to do.
“Mom,” I yelled upstairs, “are you up there?” No answer, but Peanut Butter came trotting down the stairs expecting a treat. Glin picked him up and coddled him while we walked through the downstairs floor.
“She’s not here,” called Mike from the living room. “She went to the grocery store for the first time in a month and I’m almost ninety percent sure she doesn’t even remember where the supermarket is, so she should be gone for a while.”
Glin chuckled, “She really needs to get out more.”
How could he be joking at a time like this. With every passing minute my confidence about telling my mom was ebbing away.
Mike looked at me. “Oh come on, Em. You can crack a smile every once in a while.”
“Oh, right.” I forced a laugh, but just like the first time I met Eric, it sounded more fake then Kim Kardashian being a celebrity. I needed to get a grip. Good thing Glin was able to keep the tone light.
“So how are you and Melissa, Mike?”
Immediately Mike’s faced brightened and I realized how happy I was for my brother. He really liked her and he wasn’t afraid to show it, unlike some people I know. Cough Glin Cough. Mike launched into a story about a phone conversation he and Melissa had had the night before and that they were going to drive go-carts tonight. Winner had to buy ice cream.
I sat there and nodded at the appropriate times, and made an intelligent grunt when need be, but my heart wasn’t really in it. Glin kept playing with my hair reassuringly and I couldn’t help the rush every time his fingers would slide down my shoulder.
I was in the middle of another grunt when my phone started to ring. I must have picked up a sixth sense or something, because I knew it was him. A pit in my stomach formed and I doubted I’d ever be able to eat anything un-pureed again.
As I looked at the number I couldn’t help but feel a sense of deja vu. Again, I let voicemail pick up and again he left a message. I didn’t even bother checking it this time. There wasn’t any point. I wasn’t going to see him again. End of story. But as you can sort of see, I don’t have any control over the end of the story.
“Who was that?” Mike had stopped talking and noticed me glaring at my phone.
“Oh, just a telemarketer. They decide to call me at least once a month so I saved their number just so I don’t have to pick up.”
“What? I’ve never thought about that! That’s so smart. Maybe I can do that for all the people who I don’t wanna hang out with, but I pick up because I don’t have their numbers.” Mike ran upstairs to get his phone.
“Was it him again?”
“Do you want me to check the message for you?”
“No,” I said determinedly, “I can delete it without having to even hear his voice.”
“Em, I’m so proud of you. Let’s get your mind off of it. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” He waggled his eyebrows and I couldn’t help but notice his eyes, which led to me looking at his lips.
“Movie and a pizza! It’s about time we had one.” I was most definitely not thinking what he was thinking.
Mike came jogging downstairs right as Glin called the pizza place and bellowed his approval of tonights festivities. He hopped down on the couch and flipped to the “on demand” channel.
We grabbed a blanket, picked “The Excorcist” and, once the pizza had gotten here, settled down to watch. The beginning was so boring that I almost fell asleep, but Mike was so in to it because he’d seen in before, that every time I was close to dozing off, he’d freak out about a little detail we needed to see for later on in the movie.
Once the real plot began, it was hard to look away. Glin, started to pull the blanket slowly up his face as the intensity increased. I couldn’t help but laugh at him. At one point his hand brushed mine and I almost jumped out of my seat. Feeling a little flustered, I got up and asked if they needed me to replinish the popcorn.
“Yes, please,” Glin jumped up. “I need a break from this movie. Mike I’m gonna help your sister. Please, for the love of God, don’t you dare pause that movie. I want it to keep going while try my best to forget everything about it.”
As we stepped into the kitchen I heard the garage door opening.
“Guess your mom finally found her way out of the frozen food isle.” We laughed until we heard her come in.
“Hey Mom, we ordered a pizza and are watching a movie. Wanna...” My voice trailed off. Glin put his hand on my shoulder pull me a little more towards him.
“Em,” my mom gushed, “look who I found in the grocery store. I was having issues trying to decided the difference between a turnip and a radish, and he walked right up to help me out! I decided to invite him over for dinner. He carried the bags out of the store for me and everything. What a wonderful gentleman.”
My mom paused and looked at my a little closer.
“Emily! What happened to your eye? It looks like a baseball hit you in the face.”
“Yeah Emily,” a voice from behind her said, “where did you get that from? It looks really bad.” And as Eric smiled, I swear the horror music from the movie was playing just for me.