"I'm going on my jog!"
I zipped up my sweatshirt, as I thumped down the stairs, coming face to face with my mom at the last step. Her arms were crossed and her eyes were fixed on me with a stern glare.
"You're not going to meet up with that emo kid again are you?"
I exhaled with aggravation as I recalled the occurrence that happened a few nights ago. I had lied to my mom about who I went out with and got home late, causing my parent's suspicions to rise and their trust to diminish like leaves in the wind. It was difficult now to even take a step onto the front porch without them sticking their noses into my business. It was more annoying than anything.
"You know I go for a jog every Sunday morning," I sighed, pinching the bridge of my nose. "Nothing about that has changed. I jog to the city, visit the music store, and jog home."
She stood there for a minute, her hand to her chin, as if contemplating on whether she should let me go or not.
"Fine," She finally said, curt and hesitant. "But while you're out, stop by and see Daniel."
Letting out an irritated sigh, I gave my mom a sideways glare.
"You guys have just seemed distant lately."
"Yeah, that's because we aren't friends."
"What? You guys were best friends in middle school!"
"That was middle school. We've both changed and kind of
"Just give him another chance!"
"Ugh! Fine," I snapped, just to keep her from complaining. "I'll stop and say 'hi', I guess."
"Thank you, dear," My mom smiled in victory and gave a small giggle. "Say hello to Daniel's mother for me."
With that, I gave a small wave and fled the house, beginning my jog. I loved running through the city streets. There was so much to see and it was much better than jogging through my neighborhood where I received nasty looks from my wealthy, self-indulged neighbors. I pulled out my phone when I felt it vibrate in my pocket and smiled at Talen's name flashing on the screen.
Hey, Rich Boy. [:
it's day time. Shouldn't you be sleeping?
I should. But I'm not.
*Gasp* what a rebel!
Not as much as you. I would never use a fake ID! Never in my life! So
so dangerous! ;o
Ha. Ha. -.-
What you up to?
Taking a jog through the city.
The city? You want to stop by my work and say hi?
The Club? Is that even open during the day?
Oh I have a day job.
So you don't sleep!
I only work at the club on the weekends.
Oh. Well where do you work?
You know the music store at the corner of Monroe and Brighton? That's the place. See you soon.
I stared at the text, my mouth gaped open. He worked at the music store? I went there almost every weekend! How come I never noticed him before?
The bell jingled as I entered the store, my eyes perusing the sparse room. I walked up to a man sitting behind the counter and when he looked up, his mouth curved into a small smile.
"Um, hi," I whispered, rubbing the back of my head. "Is Talen here?"
"Taaalen," He yelled, toward a room in the back. "Someone's here to see you."
All of a sudden, the door flew open and Talen came stumbling out, carrying a pile of boxes.
"Rich boy," He grunted, giving me a small smile, as he struggled to stay standing. "Help a buddy out."
Laughing a bit, I ran up to the tall man and pulled two boxes from the top of the pile. I let out a shocked gasp at the weight of them. Each one must have been 50 pounds at least! And Talen had been carrying 5 of them!
"What the hell are in these?!" I gasped, my legs about ready to give out.
"Stereos," Talen mumbled, staggering toward a storage room. I quickly followed after him, my legs feeling like lead. As I entered the room, I noticed that a small workshop rested at the corner of it. The counter was covered with work tools and stereo parts.
"You can put them right here," Talen breathed, pointing to where his boxes now rested. I nodded and let out a relieved sigh as I set them down.
"Is that your job?" I asked Talen, shaking out my flimsy arms. He nodded and flashed a smile at me.
"There usually aren't that many boxes to carry. I fix broken music players like stereos, ipods, anything of that nature. All the stereos in those boxes need to be fixed."
So that's why I never saw Talen before. He was stuck in this storage room all day fixing electronics. I stared at the parts, my mind filling with ideas.
"Do you need help?" I suddenly asked. "I can probably stop in after school and help you fix them. That just looks like a lot of work for one person."
I looked away, my cheeks burning. What was wrong with me? Now I was volunteering myself to do a job that I had no idea how to execute just so I could see Talen more often?
"Do you even know how to fix them?" Talen stared at me, an eyebrow raised.
"Yes!" I lied. "Of course I do! I wouldn't offer if I didn't."
"Right," He smiled and pointed to the stereo on the counter. "Then show me your skills, Mr. Perfect."
I glared at him and then walked forward, bravely, sitting down on the metal stool. I stared at the damaged machine in front of me, my face flushing.
"You have to pick up one of the tools if you're going to fix it," Talen snickered from behind me as he leaned over my shoulder.
W- Why is he so close to me? I asked myself. I shook my head and lifted a random tool, my hand shaking. I was such an idiot! I couldn't do this? I've never fixed anything in my life!
I gasped in surprise as Talen leaned closer, chuckling.
"I'll show you," He whispered, sliding his arms around me so he could grab the stereo. I stared straight at the machine, my eyes wide. He was so close that I could feel his soft, even breathing on my cheek and he smelled of a mixture of Axe and smoke. It was captivating. Right at that moment, I just wanted to turn around and kiss him, to get closer to him. I wanted him to caress me in his strong arms and never let me go. Letting out an inaudible sigh, my eyes lowered. What was I thinking? I've never had thoughts like these before. It was never going to happen anyway. Talen obviously didn't like me anymore than as a friend.
I stared as Talen took me through the steps, showing me which wire went where and which wire to cut and how to shave them. I cocked my head in confusion as he explained, my eyes crossing.
"Go ahead and try it yourself now," He demanded after he finished talking. I rubbed the back of my head, staring at the mixture of wires.
"U- Um," I stuttered, nervously. Talen gave a small chuckle and reached for my hand. I swallowed hard, feeling my heart beating hard in my throat. He lifted my hand and let it linger over the stereo.
"I'll get you started," He whispered in my ear. If only he realized how much he was teasing me. If only he liked me back.
"Just grab this wire," He continued, touching my hand to the red wire. "And connect it to this metal notch here." I grabbed the wire as he guided my hand to the notch and I clipped it on. I hoped he hadn't realized how uneasy I was. I didn't want to make this more awkward than it already was.
"O- Ok," I said, my voice cracking. I cleared my throat and pulled my hand away. "I- I get it, thanks."
"No problem," Talen smiled crookedly as I stood up, looking away from him. "If only you knew how badly you're blushing right now."
I gasped and clenched my teeth as Talen threw his head back, laughing.
"Don't worry. You're cute," He said, ruffling my hair.
Come on, Gage! Do something to change the subject! Anything!
I smacked his hand away, smiling.
"I'm not a child," I grinned, sticking my tongue out at him.
"Oh, real mature," Talen laughed, crossing his arms.
"More mature than you'll ever be!"
Talen's mouth dropped open and a sly smile crossed his face.
"Oh, now you're gonna get it!"
I inhaled sharply and turned to run but Talen was too fast for me. He grabbed me from around the waist and we crashed to the floor. Talen's legs wrapped around my waist and he pinned my arms back, over my head. My breathing became irregular as I stared into lively, hazel eyes.
"I win," He said, after a few moments and stood up, pulling me to my feet.
"And you call me immature," I laughed, punching his arm, playfully.
"That's 'cause I'm older," He said, smiling with victory. "Which means I'm more established."
"Sure you are," I said, rolling my eyes. "I gotta go. My mom's gonna start wondering where I am."
"Oh, wait," Talen said, grabbing my wrist as I turned to leave. "I wanted to ask you something."
My heart skipped a beat.
Is he going to ask me if I like him? Is he going to confess that he likes me? Pfff. Right. Like that'll ever happen.
"There's this festival this weekend and I was wondering if you wanted to go with me?"
I stared at him for a long moment. He wanted to take me to the festival? Just him
and me? My pink cheeks darkened and I looked down with parted lips.
"If I can find a way to get around my parents, I'll definitely go," I replied, looking up and giving Talen a determined nod.
He laughed and raised an eyebrow.
"I don't care what your parents say; you're going with me whether they like it or not."
Taking me by surprise, Talen grabbed me and pulled me into a tight hug.
"They need to keep you on a longer leash. You deserve to hang out with whoever you want."
"I know," I sighed, pulling away reluctantly. "I- I'll figure something out."
"Ok." Talen didn't look satisfied but I didn't have time to worry about it. Not being able to contain myself, I gave him one last hug, and left the store, jogging the rest of the way home.
"I'm home," I yelled as I jogged inside my house and slammed the door behind me.
"How is Daniel?" My mother responded from the family room.
My eyes widened with realization. Shit! I had completely forgotten to stop and see Dan.
"He's doing great," I lied. "He was busy so I couldn't stay long."
"Oh, ok," She said.
Phew. She fell for it. I exhaled with relief as I ran upstairs, throwing myself onto my bed, quickly falling into a deep, dreamless sleep.
I reaaaally want some ice cream.
I squinted at Talen's text trying to adjust my eyes to my phone's bright light. I looked at the time in the corner of the glowing screen and scowled. 3 in the morning.
You woke me up just to say that?
Yes! It's extremely important! I need some now!
Then go get some
The ice cream shop is closed. ;[
Get some tomorrow then. Maybe I'll grab some on my way to the music store from school.
No, I'm picking you up.
No, from Candyland.
Oh, you and your sarcasm.
You know you love it.
Sure I do.
listen. The real reason I texted you
I wanted to tell you, I had a good time seeing you today or yesterday... Whatever. The point is I haven't had that much fun in forever. I haven't even laughed that much since
I can't even remember. Thanks for that. And I'm excited for tomorrow
.. especially since I'm getting ice cream. =w=
What a way to ruin the moment, Talen.
Yeah, yeah. See you tomorrow, Rich Boy. xD
God damn it, Talen. Quit doing this to me!
It seemed like the closer I got to Talen, the harder I fell for him. Especially with what happened at the music store. No one had ever made me feel like that, like my heart was going to burst whenever they talked to me. No one ever made me so flustered and at a loss for words whenever I saw them.
My eyelids became heavy as my thoughts about Talen muddled. My heart sank as I realized that actually having a chance with him was incredibly slim. I slowly felt myself drift off to sleep as my last thought was wishing that my fantasy of being with Talen could become a reality.