When Hearts Turn
Author's note: I just thought it would be cool to write about something like this. I find hypocrisy hilarious... Show full author's note »
Keeping Friends Close...and Friend's Boyfriends Closer“You’re dressed like that?”
“What’s wrong with this?” I asked my mom and glanced at her in the hall. I looked down at my grey sweat pants, blue fitted tee, and checked out my messy ponytail in the mirror. Not exactly what I’d wear if Ben was coming over, but that was exactly it. It wasn’t Ben; it was Landon. Even if I was going give his good side a chance to show its colours, I wasn’t going to dress to impress.
“Don’t you want to be presentable?”
“He’s just a guy,” I told my mom with a head shake. I looked her right in the eyes. “Anna’s guy, mind you.”
Mom held her hands up in surrender and smiled. “All right. You can dress however you want. I’ll be at the mall for most of the day, so you two are here by yourselves, okay?”
“Yeah, sure, whatever…” I agreed, as I kicked past my materials on the hallway floor.
“You know how to act when you’re by yourself with a boy, Skylar.”
“Yes, Mom,” I said with an eye roll. “You leave me home with Ben all the time. And this is Landon – Anna’s boyfriend, remember?”
I was pretty sure that I mentioned that enough times to her, but I was just making it clear. To who? The thought struck me suddenly and I shook it off like a fly.
I began to wonder if I could make the time with Landon better by inviting Anna over. Maybe seeing his sweet side in action would make me hate him less, and rebuild my friendship with Anna! But then I remembered that Anna was already over at Lindsey’s house getting tortured while trying to work.
Mom nodded and smiled as she started down the stairs. “Of course. Have fun.”
“Working on a school project?” I asked, following her downstairs.
Mom rolled her eyes at me and grabbed her shoes from the closest with her leather jacket, ready for a shopping spree. “You know what I mean.”
I opened the door for her and was surprised to see Landon already poised to knock on the door. He smiled. “Hey.”
“Hi.” I nodded to Mom. “This is my mom.”
Mom smiled, obviously happy that she got to meet the boy that had currently stolen Anna’s heart. “Hello. I’m Debra King.”
“Landon Brown,” he introduced. He took her hand and kissed it. He grinned with and his dimples made an appearance. “Now I understand how Skylar is so beautiful…”
My mom giggled and returned the grin as she slipped past him. “You’re too kind. I’ll see you in a few hours, Skylar? Feel free to stay for dinner, Landon.”
“Sure thing,” he replied with a smile.
We watched my mom head to her car and duck inside, excited to shop till she dropped. When she pulled out of the driveway and disappeared down the street, I invited Landon into the house.
“You’re an expert at good first impressions,” I commented with a chuckle as I led him to the kitchen.
“Let’s just say I’ve had tons of experience.”
I looked at him a second longer than necessary. “Let’s just keep it at that.” I said, opening the refrigerator. “So, are you hungry? There’s a ton in the fridge.”
“I know,” Landon said. “I checked out your groceries remember?”
I rolled my eyes, but not harshly, and pulled out a can of Coke for him and a bottle of water for myself. “So I was thinking that we work in my room because I have my computer and everything up there already. Plus, downstairs is really messy. Sound good?”
“Sounds perfect.” Landon smiled in a way that made me guess that he had funny things going through his head, but I didn’t say anything about it, because I was trying to let the sweet Landon come out of hiding.
I led him up to my room, picking up the materials that I had kicked around a few minutes earlier on the way. I settled on my bed and spread the things out on the floor after grabbing my desk chair for Landon.
“First things first: choosing our country.”
“I told you that I don’t care,” Landon said. “Whatever you want.”
“That doesn’t help at all,” I said, stretching across my bed to reach the notebook on my desk. I grabbed it, opened it to a fresh page ready to work, and scribbled China across the front. “So, China it is. How are we splitting the work?”
Landon spun back and forth on my chair in a half circle, made a full turn and ended with a smile that I found both annoying and charming at the same time. His smile in itself didn’t make me uncomfortable, but that fact that he was giving me the smile when I saw him give the same one to Anna was what bothered me.
“What?” I asked him, tucking my hair behind my ear. “Why are you smiling like that?”
“You’re funny, that’s all,” Landon said simply.
“Okaaaaay,” I said, putting my pencil away, “how am I funny?"
Landon shrugged. “You think you know all this stuff about me, when really, you know nothing.”
I held his gaze for a few seconds, not knowing what to say. Whatever did he mean by that? What was he hinting at? Was I just over thinking things again?
“And that’s funny?” I asked him. He nodded. I challenged him. “Give me an example.”
Landon’s smile turned into an amused one. I could read his smiles like a pro now, and I didn’t find that as a good thing. “Well, just now. You’re acting like I’m not going to do any work.”
“Well, are you?”
“If you let me.”
“Of course I’ll let you!” I exclaimed. “I have things to do too, you know! I have a life.”
I frowned slightly. Ben? What did Ben have to do with this? I nodded anyway. “Yeah, I guess I have a life with Ben.”
Landon shook away my words like that bump in our conversation never happened. “And it’s funny how you think that dressing so laid back will make me find you any less attractive than you already are.”
I stared at Landon. Did he really just say that? I guess, in a way, I was happy that he thought I was pretty, but a compliment like that was exactly something he’d say in front of Ben or Anna so it definitely shouldn’t have been said when neither of them here.
“Um…okay. Thank you?”
Again, Landon words hopped over the bump again, and continued on. “It’s also funny how you think that I’m not right for Anna.”
Finally, something that I wanted to talk about (besides our project, of course…). I shook my head slowly, the words of Michelle, Lisa, and Sara all coming back now. Maybe if I let Landon know that I had faith that he could treat Anna right, he actually would treat her right. “Well, no. Not so much anymore. I believe that you’re acceptable for her.”
Landon frowned. “You do?”
I nodded. “So? Is that a bad thing?”
Landon hesitated before he answered me. “Uh, no, of course not. Why would it be?”
I looked at him closely. “I don’t know; you tell me.”
Landon smiled teasingly. “Is that why you’ve been so nice to me today?”
“Because you think I’m a nice guy?”
“I think that you can sometimes be a nice guy…”
Landon ran his fingers through his hair with a sigh and his smile vanished. He leaned forward, as if he were going to tell me a deep, dark, dirty secret. “I’m not.”
“A nice guy.”
I pushed my notebook aside and sat on the edge of my bed, my legs a mere inch away from Landon’s. I tucked my pencil into the butt of my hair tie, getting serious. “What are you going on about?”
Landon shook his head slowly. “You’ll hate me for this…”
Oh, no. Anna… All I could think about what bad case scenarios with Anna. Landon cheating on her; Landon standing her up to the point that she was on tears; Landon making fun of her hippie parents; Landon getting her pregnant!
“What did you do?” I asked him, trying to keep my voice even.
Landon stared into my eyes, and he looked torn between being happy and torn between feeling guilty. “It’s…it’s what I’m trying not to do.”
Landon didn’t answer me. He simply stood up. In one quick, yet fatal move, he had his hand down on my waist and another on my cheek, and pulled me toward him for a kiss.