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"You're not going to go out and spend more money on that 'Gone Until Daybreak' stuff, are you?" My mom called out from the kitchen.
"It's 'Gone From Daylight', Mom! God, how hard is that to remember? Honestly."
"Well, pardon ME. Geez..." She said with a tiny smirk. "Honey, why don't you try to save a little bit of your money this Summer? Don't spend it all as fast as you get it."
"I'm not buying anything from the store today, ok?" I told her. "I'm just meeting a friend of mine there. That's it."
She said, "That's what you always say on shipment day. Then your buddy, Gary, pulls something out of a box that you just simply can't live without, and you end up spending ninety percent of your money on it anyway."
Why does she need to keep such close tabs on me all the time? Can somebody tell me? I was busy trying to find the right combination of clothes to wear when I went out today. Something that was really cute, and really cool...but didn't look like I went out of my way to look cute and cool. Dressing yourself for an occasion like this on a Summer afternoon is an art form that is not to be taking lightly. Especially, when it came to truly stunning beauties like Parker.
This wasn't something that I could casually stroll through. If I play my cards right, I might actually be well on my way towards having my very first boyfriend. Like...ever. I've always wanted boyfriend to call my very own...but I also wanted a billion dollars and a private island with my own volcano in the middle. I kind of placed both dreams into the same realm of possibility. Who knew that Parker would magically come walking his sexy ass into a comic book store at random and strike up a conversation. That doesn't happen in real life, does it? To anybody else but me? I don't know...this feels so unreal to me right now. That's why I'm still shaking. And WHY don't any of my outfits MATCH today! Dammit!!!
I had three different pant/shirt matches laid out on my bed. I kept trying to switch them around, adding an accessory or two. Low socks or high socks? Reds and blacks, or whites and blues...or maybe some green? Light green, or deep green? Should I wear a hat? My bracelets or...no wait...maybe without the hat. I want him to see my hair. Ugh...when did I become such a diva? This is weird.
I thought back to the phone call I made to Parker's phone about an hour and a half ago. I was trembling so violently that I actually talked myself out of calling him three times in a row. Almost a fourth. But it was 2 O'clock in the afternoon, and if I waited much longer...Parker was going to think that I was ignoring him. In my head, I pictured him worrying about my call every moment that I let pass us by, too afraid to just dial the number and get it over with. I couldn't help but to think that I'd regret wasting this time between us someday. Just CALL already! You know?
So...I gathered up the energy, and his phone rang three or four times in a row. Silently, I was hoping he wouldn't pick up. I was PRAYING that it would stop, and then he'd see my phone number as prof that I tried to get in contact with him, and then I could hide in my room for the rest of the day without making any sort of contact at all. I don't know what I planned to accomplish with that course of action, but it was a lot less 'threatening' than having to talk to him, voice to voice, over the phone.
Bad luck. Or...errr...is it GOOD luck? I don't know. It's too early to tell so far.
Parker answered the phone, "Kevin! S'up, man?"
He wasn't anywhere near me. Just a boyish voice over the phone. But it was like I could feel the intensity of his pretty eyes focused on me anyway.
I felt breathless. Weak in the knees. I walked over to close my bedroom door for more privacy. I don't know why. We weren't talking about anything naughty or risqué but...a part of me felt nervous about sharing one moment of my interaction with him with anybody else. I just...oh God, I didn't want the rest of the house to hear me whimpering out loud.
"H-H-Hi, Parker..." I sat on the floor at the foot of my bed, folding my knees up to rest my elbows on and basically curl up into a tight little ball as though it would somehow keep me from rattling myself to pieces. "...I...I said I'd call, so..." NO! Don't say it like THAT! Now I sound like I feel obligated to call him up. Take it back! No WAIT!!! Don't take it back! Maybe he didn't notice it! If I bring it up, he'll notice it, and I'll look like an asshole. Just...be cool. Try to be cool. "So...what's new?"
What's new? Like...since yesterday? Ugh! We've been apart for like 20 hours, and he spent a third of that time ASLEEP! What am I expecting to have happened in his life since yesterday? That was dumb.
"Nothing, really. I had some trouble sleeping last night, to be honest. Hehehe, and it's all your fault."
Surprised, I nearly swallowed a gob of spit into my windpipe and held my breath as best as I could to keep him from hearing me cough and sputter like a fish out of water. "ME? Hehehe, what did I do?"
Bashfully, Parker said, "Well...if I have to be totally honest...I've been thinking about you a lot since..." He paused. Almost as if he was trying to find a tactful way to say 'since we swapped spit in his bedroom in front of his baby sister'. Which...I would imagine would be quite a challenge. That goes beyond the use of your average online thesaurus. "...Since you...since WE...kissed. You know?"
The way he said 'kissed' was so quiet and so shy. Hehehe, I don't know why I thought that was the cutest thing EVER...but it gave me goosebumps to hear him say it.
"Yeah." I said, my vocal chords vibrating with an infatuated shiver. "Me too." Wait...I should clarify. "I've been thinking a lot about you too. Since we...you know...kissed." I giggled to myself when I said the words out loud, and I heard Parker snicker to himself as well.
It was an awkward few seconds, with neither one of us wanting to be the first to potentially ruin the moment. Then Parker asked, "So...I mean...what now? For us, I mean. Do you, like...wanna go do something some time soon, or...?"
Whoah! Ok! This is it! Don't fuck this up, Kevin! You only get a chance like this once or twice in your lifetime, dude! GO FOR IT!!! What would 'Justin' do in GFD? He'd toss caution to the wind and take a chance on the hottie standing in the shadow of that Navy Pier anchor, right?
Be a BOSS about it, man! C'mon!
"Yeah. Totally. I...well, I mean...fuck yeah! Let's hang out!" Did I say that right? No. That sounds like I'm asking my little cousin, Bart, to go play Frisbee in the park. I can do better than that. "Actually, ummm...what do you wanna do?" There we go. Show an interest. Thatta boy!
Parker said, "Hehehe, I don't know. What do you wanna do?" Oops! Backfire!
I giggled and said, "I asked you first. No cheating."
He thought for a second, and he said, "Well...it's shipment day at the store. I was thinking about seeing what new stuff they might have gotten in. Maybe we can meet up there first and come up with something spontaneously from there."
I blurted out, "Will there be kissing involved?" I was just joking around, but...it's weird how you never realize how CREEPY something sounds until you hear yourself saying it out loud. "You know what? Forget that last part?"
"Hehehe, why?" Parker asked. "It's not like I wasn't planning on that anyway."
"Were you now? Hehehe!"
"It was the first thing on my mind. I just didn't want to be the first to say it. That's all."
I could feel my face getting hot with a major blush, but I managed to say, "Me too. I really liked that part of ummm...'visiting' your house and stuff last time. In fact, if you ever wanted to come over here, or maybe...have me over to your house again...or if you want we can just go out and find some place cozy to...you know...kiss. And do OTHER stuff besides kiss, but...kiss too. Hehehe!" I heard Parker giggling in the CUTEST way over the phone, but he didn't say anything, so I got jittery and just kept going. "We could kiss in some private little place, or if...I don't know, do you mind kissing in public? Some people have issues with public displays of affection. I don't know if I do or not, because I never had anybody to be affectionate with before. So, I don't know....maybe we should experiment with that kind of thing. Because I'm thinking that this is something we should both know about ourselves. Just for future reference, of course." He giggled some more, but didn't respond directly. I eventually smiled and said, "I'd really like to take you out somewhere and show you a good time. Like...we can eat food, and maybe talk, and maybe take part in some sort of entertainment...and...I am QUICKLY running out of ways to embarrass myself here! Hehehe! So if you're going to humiliate me with a harsh reject, please do it before I dig myself any deeper. K?" I said. "Just stop me whenever you want me to stop rambling like a psycho."
Finally, Parker said, "Yes! I'd love to come meet you. Whenever, wherever. Just...quit being so cute before I lose my common sense and get all hung up on you."
"And what's so bad about getting hung up on me?"
"You're a little too cute for a casual crush, that's what. You're the kind of boy that I'd fall head over heels for and never be the same again. I'm thinking I should be careful around you." Parker was giggling when he said it, but...I was blown away at how that one statement mirrored my own feelings in every possible way. My heart began to explode in rhythmic pumps of liquid joy and send racing it through my veins as I was forced to stop talking for a moment. This was the biggest infatuation of my young life andit hit me like an 18-wheeled truck! Right in the center of my chest, without even slamming on the brakes. Wow...he's responding to me! Like...really responding!
"Ok..." I giggled sheepishly. "...Well, I'll meet you at the store in about a half hour then?" I didn't know what else to say. I was just trying to reach the end of this conversation before the nervous butterflies in my stomach came flying out of my mouth and started spreading out through the rest of the house!
I should have said more. I think he felt a bit rushed by that last statement. Or did he? I don't know! UGH! This is so confusing!
"Yeah. An hour sounds cool. Ummm...yeah, sure. I'll meet you there."
"Sweet!" I said.
"Sweet!" He repeated. Omigod, he's so cute!
"See ya then!" I said.
"Alright. Peace!" Awww, he said 'peace'. It was really sweet the way he said it. I liked that.
Ok...I've gotta fix my hair just ONE more time! I want it to look awesome, but not too 'tampered with', you know? Just cute enough to make him think that I just woke up looking like this. Yeah...ok...I'm good. I let out a loud sigh as I triple checked for anything on me that might be wrong. It's not like this is a date or anything, I just want to...
Oh wait, is this a DATE??? We didn't make plans for this to be a date! We didn't make any real plans at all. What if he's expecting this to be a date and I come off as lame and thoughtless for just wanting to hang out? Or...or what if I approach this as a date, and he just wants to hang out...making me look desperate and needy? I swear, I just need to get there. That's all. I've got to stop thinking about this, and just grab my wheels, and skate over to the store before I make myself late and ruin the afternoon before it even gets started.
I took a damp cloth to my sneakers and tied the laces tight. Clean laces. I just put them in last night. And...ok. Here we go.
Please be a good day, please be a good day, please oh please oh PLEASE be a good day!
I boarded my way down to the comic book store and kicked it up into my hands as I nervously approached the door. Did Parker beat me here? Was he waiting on me? I can't see through the windows. Comic book caves like this are the best places to go for true fans of anything related...but they tend to be dark little hovels when compared to most stores. You won't find bright lights and top 40 pop music playing in this place, that's for sure. But I kind of liked that. I guess it's the equivalent of finding that secret little dive bar in your hometown, or that hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon with the best burgers ever! There's a pat of you that owns a piece of that place. And part of that place that owns you. It's the best feeling in the world to be in good company.
"Kev! My man! What's up?" Gary said from behind the counter, still opening boxes from this morning.
"Hey..." I addressed him, sure...but my eyes were roaming all over that place from one wall to the other, checking the aisles to see if I could find my blond Adonis in there waiting for me. Gary seemed puzzled and asked me what I was looking for. "Huh? Nothing. Just..." I trailed off and realized that Parker hadn't showed up just yet. I don't know if that relaxed me or made me more anxious than I was before.
"Whatever. Look...you've GOT to see this, dude!" Gary said. I was too busy looking back over my shoulder to really pay attention to what he was shuffling around behind the counter, checking the door to see if Parker might be on his way in. "HIYAH!!!!" Gary hollered, and when I turned around, he had a big ass SWORD nearly pressed against my throat!
"Jesus Christ!!! What the...???" I gasped, jumping back a little as Gary laughed at my reaction! "Is that a fucking SWORD?!?!?!"
"Yep!" He smirked, giving me a maniacal look! "You like?"
"Totally! It's $199.99 retail! We only got two of them in the shipment, but I bet they sell and we end up getting more with the next order. Look at this. Isn't it killer?" He chuckled, showing it off in the light. "It's a big promo for the "Blade Of Shadows" GFD Netflix series next month. This is an official Tatsuro Myoki sword, folded and sharpened and ready for sale. This is the LAST thing that I expected to come in with the shipment today."
"That looks freakin' insane, dude." I said. "I mean, there's no way in hell I'd ever be able to afford something like that, but even if I could...there's no WAY my mom's gonna let me have an actual sword in my room! Not ever. It's not even a topic that's up for discussion. Hehehe!"
"Ah well, too bad. I think a sharpened katana blade would look good on you." He said.
"I'm betting that the police wouldn't. So maybe I should save that purchase for another day." I turned to look at the door again, and this time he was a bit more curious as to what I was doing.
"Who are you looking out for?" He asked.
"Nobody." I don't know why I felt the need to lie to him. Especially since I immediately grinned from ear to ear when I said it out loud.
"Unh unh! I'm not buying it. Out of all the times that you've come into this store on shipment day, I don't think you've EVER paid more attention to anything other than what I was pulling out of these boxes. So cut the shit and spill the beans. What's going on?" At this point I started to blush uncontrollably, and Gary's eyes widened as his jaw dropped. "Ho-lee SHIT, you talked to Parker, didn't you???"
"Shhhhh! Hehehe! There's other people in here, you know?" I snickered.
"Fuck these people! Tell me a story! What happened? Are you two an item now? Can I start joining your store reservations and orders in the same slot now?"
"What? NO! It's not that big a deal. Not yet. I don't think. I don't know, just...hehehe..."
Gary covered his mouth for a second, then said, "Oh my friggin' GOD! LOOK at you! This is unprecedented! Wait a second, I need to get a pic of this!"
"Don't be a geek!" I said.
"You knew I was a geek when you first met me! Geek, and proud! So hold still!" Gary took out his cell phone and aimed it at me for a picture. At the last minute, I gave him a smile and a sweet pose where I batted my eyes at him and tried to commemorate the moment by bringing as much of my excitement to the surface as possible without looking like some kind of psycho. He took two pics, and then laughed as he saw how much my boyish blush was clearly visible in both photos. Damn HD screens!
"Ok, fun's over. You can erase those now!" I said, but Gary pulled his hand back.
"No way, 'baby cuddles'! I'm saving this shit forever!" He cackled. "You SEE?" I told you that you'd make his list the moment you gave him a wink. But now? Check you out now!"
"Stop it." I smirked. "I don't want to look all shy and flustered when he gets here."
"I don't think you can help it, kid." Gary said. "Here, make yourself useful and put these t-shirts out on the front rack for me. It'll help to keep you distracted until your sweetie gets here."
"I don't get paid to work here, ya know?" I said.
"Consider this your way of staying in my good graces. Just in case you need me for another hookup in the near future."
"Hehehe, cheater!" I said, taking the stack oft-shirts to help him out a bit. "And put that SWORD away. Maniac!"
Ok, so like...when Parker gets here, I'll just play it cool. Like, 'Oh hey. There you are. I didn't expect you so soon.' You know like...NOT like I was waiting on him? Like...'Who me? Nah, I just got here a minute ago. I wasn't in too big a hurry. Just...looking at some t-shirts.' Real calm. I don't him to think I'm too easy when it comes to wrapping me around his little finger. It's a balance of power thing, right? I can't just fall to my knees and bow at his feet just because he walks through the door. That would be crazy.
But then...I heard the sound of skateboard wheels rolling past the store window, stopping just short of the door...the board being kicked up to a 'carry' position. When that door opened, I swore that every ray of sunshine splendor focused all of its radiance upon Parker's shoulders. His light blond hair glowing like a divine halo above those amazing boy eyes of his. He was wearing this deep red shirt...button down. And a pair of glaring white shorts....but they were the thin kind. The ones where you could almost see his skin tone through. White sneakers, red laces, white socks...shuffled down slightly to his ankles. He was stunning. God, I think even his skateboard matched the rest of him!
And yet, the sexiest accessory of them all? His warm and inviting smile when he saw me. Just bearing witness to a smile like that up close was a religious experience. A trap for anyone foolish enough to stare at it directly.
I think this is the precise metaphors that the ancient Greeks would use for Medusa. The idea that she was so beautiful, one look would turn you to stone. And there I was...frozen.
Frozen in stone.