* * *Roses are dead
* * *
I made it past the last street and turned left onto mine. My house was 3 houses down from the corner with the neatly trimmed grass and garden decorating the outside. I looked into the driveway and found the silver Kia Sephia parked there, which only meant that my mother was home. She's a nurse and leaves me alone half the time. She usually works the afternoon shift, but it seemed today that she would be having a day off. "I hope, hope, hope, hope that mom doesn't ask me where I'm going tonight. I'm going to have to ask her for money though. Oh gosh, why did I have to spend my money on that stupid book for? I'm going to have to confront her. God, help me." A feeling not quite dread but close to it crept from the center of my being and shook my body. This was going to be interesting.
I entered my house, making sure not to slam the door behind me, and place my backpack on the floor. I took off my coat and scarf and looked for signs of life in my house. It was a really nice house, in my opinion. It had 4 bedrooms (My mom's, mine, a study, and a kind of a workout room), 3 bathrooms, 2 living areas (a living room and a entertainment room), a good sized kitchen, and the garage. We had a pool in the back yard with a small shed for storage of cleaning paraphernalia. I went down the hall and straight into the kitchen. Signs of food preparation were all over the place but no mother in sight.
"Mom! I'm home! Where are you?!" I screamed aloud. I waited a few seconds and got a reply.
"I'm upstairs in the study."
That was all I needed to know. I went to the stairs and went up 2 at a time. I turned right at the top and turned left on the to the study. The study was where we kept all our books, important papers, comfy chairs to read in, and a desk to work at. My mother was sitting behind the desk, looking in one of her many books of nursing. I cleared my throat and got her attention. She looked up from her studying and gave me a warm smile. She was pretty for a woman who had gone through hell and back. She had long, wavy auburn hair that went down to her shoulders. She was slim, petite, and had a certain air about her that just warmed the soul.
"Hey stranger," the smile going through her voice, "what have you been up to? I'm sorry that I wasn't here to cook dinner last night. I had to work a little long than usual since one of the other ladies had a family emergency. I came home at 3 o'clock in the morning last night. You were fast asleep when I came to check up on you. So, what is all the ruckus about?"
I smiled at her. It was common place for her come at the dark hours of the night. I was used to being alone most of the time. There was sometimes nothing better than a little time alone.
"You know exactly where I have been. I've been at school. Studying, like always. So at school."
"Did someone harass you at school again?" she said, interrupting me. There was concern showing on her face and in her voice as well. I looked down but then up again, so not to make her believe such a thing happened. I always told her my problems. We have been through so much together that I consider her one my best friends.
"No mom, thanks for worrying about me though."
"Good, just making sure my little Mark is OK. So what is this about school." I smiled at that. She was always looking after me.
"Well, I want to go to the movies with a friend of mine tonight. I wanted to get permission plus see if I could get some money for it too. We are also going to eat before we go to the movies."
"I see, well, it's great that you finally have a friend here. For the longest of times I have been worried about you. I think we can arrange for you to go with this friend of yours. Who is this person? I will want to meet this person at some point in my life. Also, which movie are you going to?" I started to think of how "mother mode" had suddenly been turned on. "Why do parents need to know what we are doing ever second of the day?" I though, finally resting myself in a chair opposite of the desk.
"Um, his name is Cris Miller, and he is 11th grade like me. He is really cool. We are going to see the new Drumline movie. It looks good, well, that's what I think. Remember, we are also going to go eat before the movie. Where, I don't know yet."
"Ok, well, hmmmm. How does $20 sound to you?"
"It sounds great! Thanks mom! I'll be leaving at 7, but the movies doesn't start until 8, just to let you know." I was happy that mom didn't ask me too many questions. She took out two $10 bills from her purse and gave them to me.
"Well, I'll be here studying for a while. I'm also making chicken downstairs. If you're hungry when you come back, you can help yourself to it."
"OK, thanks, will do." I got out of the chair and went into my room. I put the $20 dollars in my wallet and put it down with the rest of my stuff out of my pockets. I went to the bathroom and took a good shower. I got out of it and dried myself off with a warm, plush towel. I wrapped it about my waist and looked into the mirror. I tweaked my hair with gel, brushing it forward and adding the flipside duck tail at the front of my hair. I went and got my clothes, a red billabong shirt, an under shirt, boxers, and my dark blue jeans. I put on my clothes and added a shell fish necklace. I was finally done. I looked into the mirror and found what I saw up to satisfaction. "You do clean up well, my old chum. Turning preppy, aren't you? We can fix that later." I told myself, taking the final measures. I didn't want Cris to think I was some country bumpkin with my regular ratty clothes. That was the worst thing that could happen.
I looked over at the clock. 6:38 p.m. "He'll be here soon. Oh gosh, I hope that I look alright to him. I'm handling it relatively well, I think. I hope I don't make an ass out of myself. That would horrible. I need to think of things to keep to say when things start to slow down. I don't want there to be anything awkward. What if it can't be helped? What happen if he thinks I'm a loser? He could be setting me up. He is a popular after all. I've heard the tales before. That makes me really sad to think of them, but how can I tell if they are the truth or not? I can't stop worrying. I'm such a dork." I quietly thought out how I wanted to leave this impression on him. I put on some socks and then my vans. I looked more skater than preppy, now that I think of it. I looked at the clock again. 6:43 p.m. How can time be so slow when you want it to go fast? Time is just boggling to the mind.
I got a book and started to read, hoping it would make time go faster. It didn't help a bit. All I could do was think about what Cris might be wearing, what his car looked like, how he made me feel, how I might make him feel, and just about every other thing that the whole world could throw at me. I heard the doorbell ring. "What in the world?" I thought. I looked at the clock. 7:01 p.m. He was here! "What do I do? What do I do?..." I thought in a quasi-panic.
"Mark, get the door. I think that is your friend. Say hi to him for me. I'm a little too busy at the moment with studying," mom said from the other room.
"OK mom!" I screamed. "Why didn't I think of that? I'm losing it. Breathe in. Breath out. Deep breath in. Exhale it slowly out." I felt much better after breathing a little bit. I went down stairs and breathed before I opened the door. I opened the door then, all good and ready.
"Wasup man? I see that ya ready," Cris said friendly like, with a warm smile on his face. He looked hot. He was wearing a white undershirt, a long sleeved, vertical striped, green and white, button up shirt that was buttoned only halfway up, a pair of faded jeans, black boots, a metallic necklace, and a brown coat. He was amazing. His hair was identical to mine but that was OK. I was floored by what I saw but amazingly enough, I somehow got my mind back to cooperate with my body.
"Hey, wasup, let me get my coat real quick. Bye mom! I'm leaving now," I said, my head spinning a little. I went to fetch my coat and scarf and out the door I went.
"Man, I hope ya don't mind me bein late an' all. I tried to get here in a hurry," Cris said, with his head a little down. He seemed to have an apologetic tone to his voice. "I can't believe he's actually sorry for being a few minutes late. Wow, this guy is great," I thought, looking at him as we walked down my pathway towards his black BMW. "Oh my goodness, he has my dream car..." I looked at his car and loved it instantly.
"It's OK. I don't mind you being the slightest bit late at all. I really like your car. It's really nice." I looked towards him when I said that, trying to see if this helped him with his mood. He brightened immediately.
"Thanks. It's really great, and I love it," he said as we got to his car, him opening the door for me. "Here you go. Have a seat."
"Thank you Cris." I entered the car and gingerly waited for Cris to enter the driver's side. He entered and turned on the car. The stereo turned on with some techno playing in the background. He got comfortable and looked at me. I was once again trapped in his breathtaking eyes. He had the deepest set of brown eyes I've ever seen. The music faded. Our surroundings faded to gray, leaving his eyes the center of all color. It was just me and Cris in a world full of possibilities. I saw him moving his lips ever so slowly. I imagined them saying, "Mark, will you be my boyfriend?" and them kissing my lips softly. He then shifted and started to touch my leg. I started to blush, but then his touches began to get harder and harder. I snapped out of my world and finally heard what he was trying to say to me.
"Hey? Hello? Mark, where do ya want ta eat? Are ya OK? Ya had this far off look for a whole sec." He looked a little concerned, which made me feel a little bit more nervous. "I'm such a doofus! I must not get lost in his eye. I must not!" I thought, blushing furiously.
"S-sorry, went somewhere else for a second, umm, well, I'd like to go anywhere you want to. I bet you will choose a good place." I smiled when I said the words, hoping my sincerity was showing through them.
"OK! Let's go eat at Orlando's. They are really good. I've been there a couple of times." He went down the street and headed towards down town. "I've never been to Orlando's before. I've always heard people in class talk about it. I hope it's as neat as everyone says." We entered the downtown area of our small city and passed a lot of shops, cafes, businesses and supermarkets. We talked the whole time. I learned about him and him of myself. We shared a lot of interests. We finally got to the restaurant. It was an old diner style place with memorabilia mounted on the walls. We entered the place and waited for the hostess to seat us. I turned to Cris.
"Wow, this place is great. I've heard a lot about it from everyone in class. Just to say it ahead, thank you." He turned to me and gave me a heart melting smile.
"It's my pleasure to be able to bring you to this place. It's great." He looked ahead and there was the hostess.
"Gentlemen, please come this way." She took us to the back of the restaurant and showed us our booth. We thanked her once we were seated. This left me and Cris all by ourselves. I didn't know what to say, and it looked like he didn't either. I looked up at the same time he did and quickly looked down again. "Oh my goodness, I'm acting like girl. I wonder what he's thinking. I need to say something. Here goes nothing. I might as well be bold." I looked up again and cleared my throat, which got his attention.
"So, Cris, tell my why you really wanted me to accompany you tonight. I'm a nobody, and you're a somebody. I've thou," I said, but he cut me off.
"I wanted to get to know you. That's why. You were always alone at that one table at lunch, and I thought I could see someone I could get along with in you. Don't say that about yourself. Everyone is a somebody, and if I'm right about you, you're not just some somebody but a great person." His eyes went into mine and showed sincerity and something else. I couldn't help but relieved a little and light headed. Our waitress came by then. She was a plain girl with long blond hair and an outgoing personality.
" Hello boys. My name is Allison. I'm your server for this evening," she kneeled down and put her notepad on the table, "What can I get for you two to drink? Let me tell you, the milkshakes here are great! I can't get enough of them, but go ahead."
"I would like a coke" I said, taking my eyes away from Cris but just for a second. This girl was a character.
"The same for me." He didn't take his eyes away when he ordered. "He's really wow. I can't believe that a popular could be so down to earth," somehow, that reminded me that he was exactly that, a popular. "I need to remember that this can be all a trick, but he seems so great though. I only can hope for the best."
Allison got up with a swish of her hair. She cleared her voice and put the notepad in her apron.
"I'll get your drinks in a minute. While I do that, please pick something to eat from the menu." And with that, she went off, leaving Cris and me alone again.
I started to get a little nervous again. I clasped my hand in my lap and crossed my legs at the ankle under the table. I looked down then.
"She's interesting isn't she. This is the second time I've had her. So, you're nervous. I can tell. Don't be around me." He went across the table and touched my arm. I looked up at that and smiled. "Good, good, good. I want to see that smile." And with that, he gave me his own smile. "He is so cute. So far so good. What in the?" I felt something under the table. I wasn't moving any, but I still felt something touching my feet. I looked down and the movement stopped. Cris smiled again, and I knew immediately that it was him. "Oh my goodness, he's playing footsie with me!" I uncrossed my legs and set them about half a foot apart. I then felt him put his own foot between my feet. I immediately felt a blush scorch my face raw. I let out a nervous giggle and at that, Cris laughed a little and giving me one of his winks. My heart just about melted then. I felt ready to do everything now. Somehow, it gave me an encouraging boost. Allison then came back with our drinks and asked what we wanted to eat, with her twirling a finger in her hair. I hadn't looked at the menu yet.
"I hadn't looked at my menu yet," I looked down then.
"We'll have 2 burgers with fries." I looked up then with a questioning look. He just smiled my way. I knew that he had made the best decision for me. I then patted his foot with mine. "Whoa! I actually did that." I smiled my little stupid smile.
"All right gents, your order will be out shortly. If you need anything, just give me a shout." She went off then. Somehow, I felt relieved and happy and the best of all, confident. Cris and I talked from then on, only pausing when the food came. We talked about him. He has 2 sisters, plays on the soccer team, loves to hang out with friends, partying, and that he was the same age as me. "He is so wow!" He learned about me as well. Dinner was over before we knew it. We came out of Orlando's laughing like old friends. The surprising thing was that he paid for everything! I told him that I would pay for my own, but he insisted to pay for everything. I couldn't argue with his determination. We entered his car and headed for the movies. I cleared my voice once everything was silent again.
"Thanks Cris! That was great. I never had so much fun at a restaurant." He looked over at my way and patted my knee and smiled. "Oh my goodness, this is great. I can get used to his touchy self. But he is not really gay, I bet. He's just acting like a really good friend. That's it." I thought, happy to be in the glow of the moment.
"Welcome Mark. I'm glad that ya had a great time. Now we are goin to go see Drumline. I hope it as good as people say, ya know?" He never took his hand away from my knee. "Heh heh. He must've forgotten to pick hand up from my knee." I reached to pick his hand off my knee, but when I got to his hand, he only grabbed it. I immediately froze in place. "Oh my goodness! He's holding my hand!" I guess he could sense me tensing.
"Relax. It's only natural." I could hear the smile in his voice. I relaxed then for some reason. It was like he could somehow control me, which I somewhat liked. We entered the movie parking lot and got situated. We went out of his car, making him stop holding my hand, that making me somewhat sad to see it go. We went to the front and got in line. I heard a deep rumbling noise. I looked at the dark sky and could see the clouds moving at a faster pace than usual. A flash of light lit the sky deep into the heavens above. Cris looked up at the sky and maybe unconsciously, moved closer to me. His arms were touching mine, and I just smiled. "Who cares if a storm is coming? I don't. As long as I have Cris by my side, it will be ok." We got to the front of the line as fat drops started descending at slow pace. He ordered our tickets for us, with me taking out my wallet from my back pocket to pay for mine. Once again, he insisted on paying for them. "Wow! He really doesn't know how this is making me feel. I'm so happy. I guess a popular could be human after all." We went to the front doors and he opened them for me.
"For my grand Sir, please enter." He said with a haughty English accent, making everything much more funny with a small bow. I played on his act.
"Oh, thank you very much, my good lad. Now you can get out of my face." I said with mock annoyance. Then I started to laugh. He joined me and we let our laughter go through its bout. It seemed that once we finished to laugh once, another round of laughter came upon us. "He is so great." I thought, really smiling at him. He gave me his smile and we both went to the ticket person. She ripped our tickets in half and gave us our stubs.
We went to the theatre and got good seats. Once we were seated, he did a thing that surprised me. He lifted the arm rest from between us and sat closer to me, letting his arm and leg resting against mine. My mind went on overload. "OOOOH! This is unexpected! Doesn't he know that anybody could see him? I don't care about my reputation but his is on the line! I can't do anything. He has me pinned against my arm rest and him. What," I stopped when he grabbed my arm and put it about his shoulders. I looked at him and he looked at me. We locked eyes, making the theatre full of people disappear in a matter of seconds. I looked into his soul as he looked into mine. All I could see was a longing to be with somebody. He was presenting me the key to his heart and all I had to do was open the lock. I was about to do that when someone behind us screamed something incomprehensible, shattering our little world once again. He let out a soft sigh and we both leaned a little back in the seat to be able to look at the movie with relative comfort.
We kept on with small talk until the theatre grew dark, starting the previews. He snuggled a bit more into me and I couldn't help but feel warm all over. "I didn't even imagine this last night. This is like a dream come true. I need to remember, he is a popular, but he is the best popular I've ever met." The movie began, and the theatre finally grew silent. After a couple of minutes into the movie, he separated a bit from me.
"I'm goin to go to the concession stand. I'll be back in a min. Do ya want anythin?" He looked so wonderful in the dark, almost leaning over me. He looked at me intently.
"No thanks. Come back soon." He stood up slowly and went out of the theatre. "I can't believe how good this is going. This is just great. All those stories about the popular are not true." I looked up at the screen and waited for Cris to return. The only thing is that, he never did. I waited for him to come back, but he never came back. His minute grew and grew, making me worry about him. I went out of the theatre looking for him. "I hope nothing bad has happened to him." I searched first at the concession stand but he was nowhere in site. I looked through all the bathrooms, the arcade, and I tried to look in the other theatres, but the ushers wouldn't let me. I was growing frantic with each passing minute that he wasn't here. "What happened to him?! I need to find him!" I ran back to the concession stand and ask the lady working there if she had seen anybody that looked like Cris.
"I'm sorry. No one has come to the stand except for some girls and that's it. Hope you find your friend." Her answer went through me like punch to the gut. I had to insist that he had come out for that reason.
"But he came out here for food! He told me that he would be right back! What could have happened to him?!" Somehow when I was telling her this, tears started to fall from my face.
"I'm very sorry, Sir, but I have not seen someone that fits that description. I've been here for the last 2 hours. I would have remembered seeing him." I didn't want to believe what she told me. "She's lying to me! I know! I'll see if his car is here."
I ran out where the weather had gotten worse. It was a bad thunderstorm going on. I immediately got soaked, running to where we parked. I finally got to the space. His car wasn't there. "How can he do this to me?! I thought he liked me," I started to become a little frantic, punching the air, screaming at the top of my lungs. "Why?! Why did he do this to me?" After a few minutes of me going about crazily. I just stopped. I stopped thinking. I stopped moving. All I did was look into the sky. A flash of lightning flashed over head. The rain hid my tears. I didn't know what to do. I just looked into the sky. "Why?"
To Be Continued...
It has been forever since I've updated this story. I hope those few who have been waiting for an update will be happy with what I have written. If you don't remember the story all that well, please read over my short chapters. I have put my heart into this chapter. I finally over came a bout of writer's block. Hopefully now, I will update at a more respectable interval. I still love my public's thoughts and comments. Please email me with them. You can contact me via e-mail or im me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanx for readin!!!!