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Chapter 6 - take it or leave it

Jun. 25th, 2006 08:23 pm Chapter 6

All throughout the next day, I couldn’t stop thinking about Adam. I found my mind wandering during history class, daydreaming about what it would be like to actually meet up with him and trying to convince myself that I had enough courage to do so and enough decency and willpower not to do anything I would regret if the meeting ever actually occurred. I had never even dreamed of cheating on Jeff before – I promised myself a long time ago, even before I had a boyfriend, that I would never cheat on anybody. But for some reason, things were different with Adam. I knew that if I ever really did meet him, I would want to kiss him. The two of us had talked about it before, just playfully. I had confessed to Adam the big crush that I had on him when I was younger, and he was flattered by it. Ever since then, he always found a way to tease me about it whenever they talked.
“Guess who I talked to last night?” I said as she I eating lunch with Molly and Christine.
“Who?” Molly asked, paying more attention to her tuna fish sandwich than to me.
“Adam… do you remember him?”
“Adam Carlisle?” Christine asked.
“Yeah,” I answered.
“I didn’t know you guys were friends,” Christine stated. Her older brother Jason had graduated with Adam. The two of them hung around with the same crowd, but weren’t really close friends… just enough for Christine to know who he was.
“Yeah,” I replied. “He was on Ben’s baseball team a long time ago… when we were in like, sixth grade,” she explained.
“Ohhhh… ADAM!” Molly exclaimed, looking up from her lunch. “Didn’t you have a crush on him?” she teased.
“Yeah, yeah…” I responded. “Who didn’t I have a crush on in sixth grade?” I asked, playfully.
“True!” both Molly and Christine replied with a laugh.
“What did he have to say for himself?” Molly asked, curiously.
“Not a whole lot,” I replied. “He’s coming home for the summer pretty soon, I guess. He said he wanted to hang out.”
“I don’t remember you guys ever hanging out before…” Christine observed.
“Yeah, we never really did…” I explained. “We just used to talk online a lot… and I hadn’t even talked to him in like, a year before last night… But I was so bored and he was online, so…”
“Well, if you end up seeing him, let me know… I’m sure Jason would want to say hi or something,” Christine said.
“Alright,” I replied, finally digging into my backpack for my lunch. I pulled a ham sandwich and a bag of potato chips out of the bottom of my bag and turned my attention towards eating.
I spent the rest of the day thinking on and off about Adam, but trying not to talk about him to my friends. I didn’t want them to have any idea that I had never actually shaken that old crush I had on him back in junior high. By the time I got home, I felt so bad about all of it that I decided to give Jeff a call. After a few rings, he answered his phone.
“Hey,” Jeff said.
“Hey, how are you?” I asked.
“Kinda busy… I thought I told you I couldn’t hang out today,” he commented.
“Yeah, I know. I just wanted to talk to you for a few minutes. I miss you!”
“Aww, okay,” Jeff said.
“What have you got going on tonight anyway?” I asked.
“I’ve got a huge geology project due tomorrow, and I have to work again at 6:00” he explained.
“Ohhh… sorry to bother you,” I responded.
“It’s okay. I needed a little bit of a break from this homework,” he said. I thought I heard laughter in the background… not Jeff’s laughter, but somebody else’s.
“What was that?” I asked.
“What?”
“Did somebody just laugh?”
“Oh,” Jeff explained, “Yeah,” he said with hint of nervous laughter in his voice, “That was Brandon, sorry.”
“Ah. What’s he doing over there?” I asked, curiously.
“He’s my geology partner… we’re working on that project together.”
“Oh, cool,” I replied. “Tell him I say hi!”
Jeff turned his head and cupped his hand over the phone. “Anna says hi,” he called over to Brandon, who was sitting on the leather couch in Jeff’s basement.
“HEY!” Brandon called out, loud enough for me to hear him clearly.
I laughed a little and then started up again. “Do you remember me ever telling you about my friend Adam?” I asked.
“I don’t think so…” Jeff responded.
“Oh… yeah I probably never really told you about him. I haven’t really talked to him much since I met you,” I explained. “But I talked to him again last night. He’s coming home from school for the summer pretty soon… I think I might hang out with him.” I didn’t really know why, but I felt a strong need to be sure that Jeff knew about Adam. I wasn’t going to tell Jeff about the fact that I was so attracted to Adam… but I at least wanted to make sure that he knew I was talking to and hanging out with him.
“Ohhh… hanging out with other guys, eh?” Jeff teased.
“Oh, come on!” I protested. “You hang out with Lucy all the time… so what’s wrong with me hanging out with Adam?”
“Nothing!” Jeff replied. “I was just teasing you! Don’t worry about it. But anyway, Brandon and I really need to get back to work on this geology thing… I have to leave for work in like, two hours… there’s no way we’re gonna get this done…” I heard Brandon’s laughter once again in the background.
“Alright, good luck,” I said. “Tell Brandon I said goodbye!”
Jeff cupped his hand over the phone again and turned to look at Brandon. “Anna says goodbye,”
“BYE ANNA!!!” Brandon called out, once again in a voice loud enough for me to hear him clearly.
“Jeff?” I asked, trying to get my boyfriend’s attention once again before he hung up the phone.
“Yeah?”
“I love you.”
“Love you, too… Bye,” Jeff replied before hanging up the phone.
I sat in my bedroom for a while after my conversation with Jeff. For some reason, I was bothered by the fact that Brandon was over at his house. I thought I remembered Jeff telling me that Brandon was only a sophomore… Jeff’s geology class was an advanced level, senior course. Science was the only subject Jeff was really interested in, and he was very, very good at it. I didn’t understand how Brandon could have possibly been in that class with him. Unable to come up with an explanation, however, I just dismissed the entire thought and decided to ask Jeff about it the next time I talked to him.
Deciding to ignore my homework for a while, I signed myself onto the internet. I checked her e-mail, and found an unexpected message from Adam. I opened it up and read it.

Hey Anna.
Just wanted to say that it was cool talking to you last night! I really think you should give some thought to the idea of us hanging out when I come home. But don’t tell your boyfriend… you know… everybody’s jealous of my sexy body. JUST KIDDING! But seriously… it was good chatting with you… I hope we can talk some more!
-Adam

I decided not to bother writing back… I would probably just catch him online sometime tonight. I glanced at my buddy list, noticed that Christine was signed on, and decided to talk to her for a while.

AnnaBanana05: Hey.
AARChristine: Hey, what’s up?
AnnaBanana05: Not much… just got off the phone with Jeff… now I’m trying to avoid homework… ugh.
AARChristine: Haha. What class?
AnnaBanana05: Calculus… sigh.
AARChristine: Can’t help ya there… That’s what you get for taking advanced math classes!
AnnaBanana05: I know, I know… what was I thinking, right?
AARChristine: How’s Jeff?
AnnaBanana05: Really busy… I guess he’s working on some geology project with that Brandon kid.
AARChristine: Geeze… they sure hang out a lot.
AnnaBanana05: I know. Oh well.
AARChristine: Do you think you’re actually gonna get any of that calculus done?
AnnaBanana05: Sigh. Not if I can help it. Why?
AARChristine: My dad was asking about you the other day… he says you don’t hang out here enough anymore! He was talking about putting in a movie… would you want to come over?
AnnaBanana05: Sure. I don’t really need to do this homework, anyway… haha. I’ll see you in a few minutes, okay?
AARChristine: Sweet. See ya!

I slipped on a black hoodie and a pair of flip flops and ran up the stairs. “I’m going to Christine’s!” I called out to my parents in the living room on my way out the door. I spent the rest of the night with Christine’s family in their basement watching a couple of movies. I loved hanging out over at the Wilson’s house. I always felt really welcome and comfortable over there - they were some of my favorite people to be with. My time in their basement had always been my getaway… a chance for me to forget about everything else that was going on and to just have fun with some great people.
After we’d finished watching both Pirates of the Caribbean (Christine’s favorite movie) and Sweet Home Alabama (Mrs. Wilson had managed to talk her husband into letting her watch a romantic comedy for the first time in ages), Christine’s dad turned off the television. Zach, Christine’s younger brother, had fallen asleep halfway through the first movie, but Christine, her parents and I were all wide awake.
“Why aren’t you spending Friday night with that boy of yours?” Mr. Wilson asked, turning around in his chair to look at me.
“He had homework, and then he had to go to work…” I explained.
“Darn,” he replied. “I was hoping you’d say you finally called it off with that loser!” he teased. Christine’s dad had always joked about Jeff, but I usually got the feeling that he actually harbored some kind of dislike towards my boyfriend, although I wasn’t entirely sure why. “I mean, come on, Anna… go out and find yourself a real man,” he said with a growl, trying to sound as rough and masculine as he could. “You can do better than that little queer boy,” he said with a laugh.
“Hey!” I protested, picking up the pillow that was next to me on the couch and throwing it at Mr. Wilson. “Don’t call him that!”
“Aw, Anna… I’m just kiddin’!” he said. Still laughing, he grabbed the pillow that had just been thrown at him and hurled it back at me, hitting me unexpectedly square in the face. I grabbed the pillow and hugged it tight to my body, laughing. I was so happy to have such a close relationship with Christine’s family. “You bunkin’ with us tonight?” Mr. Wilson asked me.
“I dunno… I could…” I replied.
“Aw c’mon… I’ll make you breakfast in the morning!” he offered with a grin. Mr. Wilson loved to cook, and I was glad for it, because he was excellent at it.
“Well, in that case…” I said with a laugh. “Let me call my parents and make sure its okay with them.” I picked up my phone and gave my parents a call to let them know that I was going to spend the night over at Christine’s. As soon as I snapped my phone shut, I let out a monstrous yawn.
“That tired already?” Mr. Wilson teased.
“Yeah, actually…” I replied, turning to look at Christine, who was sitting at the opposite end of the couch. “You want to go lay down?” I asked. “I’m exhausted.”
“Sure,” Christine complied, standing up slowly off of the couch. She looked about as tired as I felt.
“Good night, you two,” Mr. Wilson called out as we walked up the stairs towards Christine’s bedroom.
I opened the door to Christine’s room and stopped abruptly in the doorway. “Do you think there’s room for me in here?” I teased, observing the absolute pigsty that was my best friend’s bedroom.
“Eh, no problem…” Christine said, walking past me and into her bedroom. She shoved the big mound of clothes that was taking up the entire center of her floor into the back corner of the room. “See? We’ll just put the mattress right there…” she said with a grin.
I laughed. “Works for me.”
We worked together on hauling a mattress out from underneath Christine’s bed. The thing was big enough for both Molly and I to sleep on – we had done it many times in the past. But tonight it was just me. “I don’t know if I’ve ever slept on this thing without Molly next to me!” I pointed out, pretending to wipe a tear from my eye.
“Aw,” Christine responded. “Well… I bet Slider will keep you company!” she said, petting the old golden retriever who was half asleep on her bed. Slider awoke and sat straight up in the middle of the bed. “Go by Anna!” Christine commanded the dog, pointing towards the mattress where I was laying out a few blankets.
Before I could even get the covers smoothed out, Slider had himself all settled in at the foot of the bed. “Aw, are you sleeping with me tonight?” I asked, petting the old dog. I finished making my bed and we both got ourselves ready to settle in for the night. As soon as Christine turned off the light, I looked over and noticed my phone, which was glowing in the dark as it usually did. “Maybe I should give Jeff a call… I think he should be out of work by now,” I said, noticing that it was past midnight already.
“If you want…” Christine said, adjusting her pillows and turning on her side to face me as I dialed Jeff’s number on my phone. Four rings went by and then Jeff’s voicemail kicked in, as usual.
“Hey, it’s Anna”, I said, leaving him a message. “I just wanted to say I hope you had a good night at work and that you and Brandon got that geology project done! I’m sure you’ll get in A on it! I’m spending the night over at Christine’s… give me a call tomorrow when you get a chance. I love you! Good night.”
“Does he ever answer his phone?” Christine asked, sounding almost annoyed.
“Once in a while,” I replied with a bit of a laugh. “He’s kinda weird about it… but whatever.”
“Isn’t Brandon a sophomore?” Christine asked, after a few seconds of silence.
“That’s what I thought…” I answered.
“But he’s in Jeff’s geology class?” Christine questioned.
“Yeah, I dunno… I thought that was kinda weird, too,” I replied.
“What are they doing homework on a Friday night for, anyway?” Christine asked.
“I don’t know…” I said, sounding a bit confused myself. “I hadn’t even thought about that… he kept saying that there was no way they were gonna get it done before he had to go to work… I wonder if he realizes they’ve got all weekend,” I pondered, letting out a nervous laugh.
“Who knows…?” Christine replied. “But I’ll tell you what… I don’t think I like Brandon…” Christine offered.
“Why not?” I was curious. “I think he’s pretty cool.”
“I dunno… I just get a strange feeling about him. And I don’t really understand why Jeff would hang out with some 15 year old kid…” she explained.
I let out a sigh. “Yeah… I know it’s a little weird,” I admitted. “But Lucy’s 15, too… you know, that girl he’s always hanging out with…”
“Yeah. I just don’t know about that. I think it’s really weird… That and, well, Brandon’s gay…” Christine said, shuddering a little. She had always felt slightly uncomfortable around homosexuals, even though she had no real reason to be. Brandon was one of the few she had ever actually met.
“What’s that got to do with anything?” I asked defensively. Despite my conservative upbringing, I had always been one to defend the alternative lifestyle.
“Nothing, really,” Christine replied, backing down.
“Yeah,” I said. “I don’t know. I think its kind of a silly thing to worry about. I’m glad he has friends, even if they’re kinda weird friends… I mean, when I first met him, I don’t think he really had any friends at all. So I’m just glad to see him hanging out with anybody… I don’t care if he’s only a sophomore of if he’s gay… at least Brandon’s a friend, and a guy… I was really getting sick of Jeff just hanging out with girls all the time.”
“Maybe,” Christine said. “If a gay, fifteen year old counts as a guy,” she joked. “How does a fifteen year old kid know that he’s gay, anyway?” she asked.
“I dunno,” I replied. “But I’m pretty sure Brandon’s got it figured out. I mean… geeze, you’ve met him. It doesn’t get much gayer than that…” I said with a laugh.
“True!” Christine agreed, also laughing.
For the next hour or so, Christine and I stayed awake in the dark talking about the same things we usually did. I tried to steer the conversation away from Jeff, which was pretty easy to do as soon as I got Christine talking about Mike.
We were awoken in the morning by Slider, who was scratching loudly at the bedroom door. Christine was the first to get up. She stepped over me and walked towards the door to let the dog out. When she came down the stairs to open the front door for him, she was greeted by her father in the kitchen. “Oh, look who’s awake!” Mr. Wilson announced, looking at the clock behind him. “And it’s only 11:30!” he teased.
Hearing all of the noise downstairs, I decided to get myself out of bed and go join everybody. I followed the inviting scent of fresh blueberry pancakes, bacon and fried eggs down into the kitchen. “I told ya I’d make breakfast!” Mr. Wilson said, waving his spatula in the air for me to see.
“Mmm!” I exclaimed, taking a big whiff of the air. “I can’t wait! I dreamt about it all night!” I teased, reaching into the cupboard and pulling down five glasses. I grabbed a carton of orange juice from the Wilson’s refrigerator, filled the glasses and set them at the table. I felt so much at home with Christine’s family that it was only natural for her to help out the same way I would at my own house.
A few minutes later, the Wilson family and I sat down to enjoy an amazing breakfast. Even Slider got in on the action, sitting, as he usually did, right underneath the dining room table in order to pick up any food that might be dropped on accident.

1 comment - Leave a commentPrevious Entry Share Next Entry

Comments:

From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 14th, 2006 02:18 pm (UTC)

I love your book!

(Link)
I love your book so far! All though you did ruin the ending :) lol there are some areas where your characters does change from first to third person... but it's alright... It's only a rough draft, still it's a great book... I actually fell asleep reading it last night... (That's a good thing, I hadn't slept in 37 hours) =)
~Kevin