John, wonderful, John kept calling me during the forthcoming days. He didn't even bother beating around the bush, but rather asked me for Ryan's number right away. I wasn't very accommodating. In fact, I refused to give it to him and said Ryan didn't have a cell number. He was persistent, however, and I ended up turning my phone off more regularly than normal to avoid his annoying calls. Eventually he stopped calling, I don't think I ever talked to him again.
That Monday, as Ryan had asked me, I spoke to him. We shared a few words in class, and I talked to him by his locker briefly after school, but I didn't make any further attempt at conversation and he gave me space. I appreciated it.
Accordingly, the week went by surprisingly fast. On Monday it had been awkward being around Ryan again, but by the end of the week I'd loosened up a little and found myself lingering for a longer period of time at his locker. Similarly, Ryan began showing up to mine and we'd walk to English class together. The skirmish was over and the smoke was now lifting from the battleground. It was indeed a transitional period that could have gone terribly wrong but for some reason it was going smoothly and the day to day things like complaining about too much homework, stressing out about June exams (although it was only march) made it a smoother process.
Yet, I kept a tighter bound barrier than normal around myself because of the vulnerability that hit me the time we'd gone to the movies. Jeremy had been right and that much I was positive about, so I tried to be more aware of things around me. I paid more attention to my friends for one.
On Friday, Josh began the day by telling me to `live a little'. I rolled my eyes but there he was mumbling to me all first period about how I was being so boring and how I should get out and enjoy myself more. I debated over repeatedly banging my head on the desk while he was talking or simply sitting there and listening. I opted for the latter; since doing the first would get me beat up probably.
"You really need to get out there and get back into the playing field, "He advised me as I walked to my locker during lunch. It was as if we'd never stopped talking since first period.
"Uh, yeah okay, Josh." I said.
"You know," He began, "When you do that, I really feel like you don't give a crap about what I say."
I struggled with my lock and wrenched my old locker open. "Hmm." What periods did I have after lunch again?
"Earth to Kyle!"
"I'm listening. I need to get out more and live a little." I recited.
"Yeah! There you go!" Josh slapped me on the shoulder. Clearly that had been the right thing to say.
"I'm glad you approve." I rolled my eyes. "Cafeteria?"
"Um, sure, why not?" Josh said. "And by the way, none of that sarcasm will do."
"Erm, I see."
"You okay? Man, you need to have some fun and lighten up."
"I'm fine." We took the left staircase in the hall and began walking amidst the crowd. I pushed a niner out of the way. They really liked to form circles in the middle of halls for some reason.
"It's Friday." Josh pointed out. "Man, wait up, and come with me, I wanna buy pizza."
"Thank God!" I said. "Coming..."
"Got any plans?" Josh asked, and then rolled his eyes, "No you're probably going to mope around at home or watch old movies with Laura or play video games with Jeremy. How is he by the way? Haven't seen the kid in a while."
"Uh, I have no plans." I said, and then reached out to grab a cookie as we approached the cashier. "Buy me a cookie—thanks--Jeremy's fine, he's gotten bigger."
"Yeah, kid's tanked." Josh agreed. "Anyway, I was thinking we might head over to a party."
"Josh, how is it possible that you know so many people that have parties this constantly? I've partied more in the last few months than I ever have." We exited and walked over to our regular spot in the cafeteria, taking our seats.
He finally got a chance to answer my question. "What can I say?" He said in response. "I'm just a popular guy."
I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, okay. But seriously, don't you get bored?"
"Of?" He asked, taking a big bite of his pizza.
"Of partying obviously."
"Alright." I said simply. "But no, I think I'll pass today."
"Pass on what, loser?" Laura said, throwing her bag down on the table. "Hey." She added as an afterthought.
"Yeah, real nice, Laura." Josh said, shaking his head as if chastising her.
"Moron," Laura said, "Anyway, pass on what?"
"Oh it's this awesome--."
"It's some lame party Josh asked me to go to." I interrupted.
Laura chuckled. "I have to admit, Josh knows people who throw good parties. Well, as good as teenage parties with large amounts of booze get." She said.
"Yeah, well obviously you've never been invited to one." Josh said. "`Teenage parties with large amounts of booze,'" He mimicked, "It's as if you're not even a teenager when you talk like that. Not cool, Laura, not cool."
"I'm not a typical teenager." Laura conceded.
"Or a typical person." Josh added.
"And you are not human." Laura said matter-of-fact.
"And you both are highly stupid." I said.
"Shut up, Kyle, no one said you could talk." Laura said in a bored voice.
"What she said." Josh said, then looked at her as if seeking acceptance. She rolled her eyes and turned back to me. "I think you're right in not going though. You should work on some homework. I know we have that one report due on Monday. You might as well get it done tonight instead of getting wasted with Josh."
"Don't do homework, come with me, buddy." Josh winked.
Laura smacked Josh across the head by leaning up and over the table (she was seated next to me), sat back down and straightened her cream shirt-dress and crossed her boot-clad legs. "You know better than to listen to Josh at a time like this. He doesn't' even think about the consequences of anything, just does stupid things. Like that time he decided to watch TV instead of working on his essay because he was too tired too. He ended up failing History. Remember? I told you to work on it, Josh."
"Oh my goodness, of all the stupid things I've done, you had to choose that lame example? Jeez, Laura. And I failed history because I didn't go to class not because I failed to listen to you one time. Cause and effect, Laura, cause and effect. Correlation too!" He added.
Zach Fischer and James Hunter walked over just then and put their lunches on the table. Zach seated himself across from Laura, beside Josh, and James sat next to me.
"Hey, man." He nodded at me.
I nodded back. "What's up?"
"Nothing much, I'm beat though." He added, then stretched and yawned loudly. He noticed Laura and smiled lazily, "Hey, Laura. How you doing?"
Laura smiled sweetly, batted her eye-lashes, and said, "I'm fine, though a little tired."
"Tell me about it," Zach said, "I've had practice and I've been in the library during two of my spares trying to get stuff done."
"Hey, you guys seen Ryan?" James asked. "He has my math notes, and I kinda need them."
"No, but you could have mine." Laura said.
"Thanks." James smiled. He was certainly being nice today. "No, wait, there I see him now. Ryan!" He called.
I followed his line of sight and saw Ryan seated with a few of his friends. He had a notebook out and was reading, eating, and somehow talking at the same time. He looked up just then as he heard his name. James beckoned him over, and Ryan complied. He jogged over to our table.
"Hey, guys." He nodded at all of us. I mumbled a hi back, and took a bite of my cookie.
James asked him for his notes back but Ryan said he wasn't done with them and told him to suck it up. Then they began bantering a bit so Ryan sat down beside Josh. He smiled at me; I smiled back, and then broke into a full-fledged grin. Ryan seemed to find this amusing and he too broke out into a full-fledged grin. I looked away and saw Laura beside me watching us with a thoughtful look on her face. She smiled a guilty smile at me. Josh just shook his head at me and mouthed. `Party time.' I shook my head back at him and stuck up the middle finger.
"Well..." Laura took a final bite of her sandwich. "I'd love to waste time like you guys, but I'm meeting Ashlynn in the library in a few minutes to work on our project. We're going to get a ninety-five. Later..." She got up and waved goodbye.
"Man, she is smoking hot." James said appreciatively.
"Back off, Hunter," Josh said idly, picking at his pizza crust.
James grinned, "What, she your girlfriend or something?"
"Nope, she's like a sister."
"Damn, will do, dude." James grinned.
"Kyle, want to go outside for a little bit? You can think real hard about that party tonight." Josh grinned.
"A party?" Zachary's attention was peaked. He was clearly very bored and stressed out.
Ryan looked up from the note he was copying. His friends had disappeared; Ryan was obviously going to sit with James and Zach instead now. I felt like staying and watching him, but got up instead. Bad idea, Kyle Moore, I told myself. Bad idea.
I'd been good lately. I gave myself a mental pat on the back.
"Yeah, and it's at a good friend of mine's house." He said. "Should be fun. You can come with me if you want."
"Yeah, man. Sounds awesome."
"Don't you have an essay to write?" James asked.
"You of all people," Ryan said, shaking his head.
"Agreed," Zach said.
"What?" James asked defensively.
"Anyway," Ryan asked, "You all going?" He looked at all of us, settled on me.
"I'm in, Josh's in, Kyle?" Zach asked.
"Nah," I said. "I have an essay to work on." I smiled at Zach.
"I'll pass," Ryan said, turning his attention back to the piece of paper in front of him. I admired his studiousness. It was cute. Josh pulled at my arm, shaking his head at me again.
"Let go, I'm coming." I protested.
Ryan chuckled. "Later, Kyle, Josh." He nodded at Josh. Josh nodded back. My phone rang just then though. For a second, I was about to shut it off, but I remembered that cell-phones were allowed in the cafeteria. "Sec," I said to them, and turned around.
"Kyle, what's up?" It was Jeremy.
"Nothing, just got done eating lunch. I had a cookie."
"Fucking awesome, thanks for sharing."
"I love you too. Anyway, I just called to tell you I won't be coming over this weekend. Lucy is being really strict lately. I have to bring my grades up and go to class..." Lucy was Jeremy's foster mom.
"Well that sucks, dude, but you really should go to class..."
"I know, I know. I think she's enough though, thanks anyway." Jeremy replied.
I grinned. "It's okay, if it helps I'm passing up going to a party because I'm going to be working on an essay." Okay so, maybe I didn't even want to go, but that was beside the point.
"Yeah, thanks, that does help. Strangely, knowing you'll be having no fun whatsoever is comforting."
"Glad I could help."
"Well, I'll call you later. See ya."
"Bye." I said, shutting my phone off. "Jeremy," I explained when I turned around, glancing at my phone. Josh cast one last surreptitious glance at Ryan, who looked equally tense, and then followed me out of the cafeteria.
The rest of the lunch was then spent in a state of boredom, where Josh took it upon himself to try to get me to still `live a little' and go out with a friend of his. Josh was really annoying and could often be nagging to the point whereupon one finally succumbed to his will.
"Come on," He told me. We were leaning against the side of the school.
"Nah," I said honestly, "I really don't want to go out with your friend."
"But you don't even know him. He's a great guy. I'll admit, he is bisexual, but you'd really like him, Kyle. You're too set on Ryan. You need more experience."
"Uh, how about, no?"
"How about yes?"
"How about no?"
"How about yes?" He repeated.
"If I say yes, will you stop trying to get me to do stupid and crazy stuff? Seriously, all week you've been trying to make me do things. You even annoyed me till the point where I had to agree to go sky-diving with you in the summer." I told him.
"Yes, I'll leave you alone...for a while." Josh conceded.
"Hmm." I thought aloud.
"So that's a yes?"
"I didn't say that."
"No, but you mean that, don't you?" He asked.
"Fine. What's his name?"
"Robert Dietrich. He was on my basketball team a few years back. We kept in touch." Josh said. "He's great. You'll love him."
I raised an eyebrow. "I don't know about that."
I sat at the polished wooden tables of the Japanese restaurant, casting curious looks at the doors to see when he'd walk in. Robert Dietrich that is. I really didn't want to be there but I told Josh I would at least go out on one date with Robert. It was a nice place, not all cutesy like you'd expect from a Japanese restaurant. The sushi here was great and I really was getting hungry...
I tapped my fingers on the table and fiddled with a salt-shaker with my other hand. I had managed to knock the shaker over when in walked a teenager about my height but definitely thicker built. He had inky black hair, I couldn't make out his eyes, and his legs were really hot, I noticed right away. He looked around for a few seconds before his eyes settled on mine. We looked at each other directly for a second before he smiled, dimple flashing on his right cheek, and he walked over.
"Hey, I'm Rob." His voice was deep but not monotone. He threw off his jacket and sat down across from me.
I didn't know whether I should shake his hand or what, so I didn't do anything. "Um, Hey," I said, "I'm Kyle."
"Great, Josh's told me a lot about you." He said.
I stopped fidgeting. "Oh, okay, He's mentioned you..."
Rob chuckled. "It's cool. I know he just told me about you. No big."
I relaxed a bit. "Yeah, uh, he sort of made me come. He told me I'd, uh, like you."
"And do you?" Rob winked, and then laughed. "I'm just kidding." He picked up a menu. "I want some sushi."
"Me too," I said. When the waitress came over to take our order, we both ordered a few selections of the sushi they offered. There was a spicy one I'd never tried before.
"So," He said, "You go to school with Josh, right?"
"Yep," I said.
"Cool, I go to Southdale." He said, naming a school that was around Jeremy's neighbourhood.
"I don't really know anyone who goes there." I said. Rob smiled at me, his eyes crinkling up in a cute way.
"Kyle?" Came a voice from behind me.
"Yeah?" I turned my head slightly to see a petite red-head smiling at me.
"Remember me?" She pouted.
I stared hard at her, blanking, "Uh, no...sorry."
"I'm Lisa-May." She said, assuming the name would trigger something. It did sound familiar...
"Jennifer, come here, look who I found!" I heard her saying. I turned my attention back to her. Jennifer... Suddenly a light-bulb triggered in my head.
"Oh my goodness, Lisa, Jennifer!" I exclaimed, standing up now. "From the party at Jeremy's friend's house."
"Yes!" Jennifer said, her pouty lips were turned up in a sweet smile. She still had the horsey features but wasn't unpleasant looking.
"Oh, this is Rob," I said, waving behind me. "Rob, this is Lisa and Jennifer. I met them at a party um not so long ago.
"Hi, Rob." They both batted their eye-lashes. Rob looked at me in amusement. I shrugged. He shrugged back.
"Mind if we sit with you?"
"Uh," I looked at Rob. He didn't say anything. "I'd love it if you would, but we're kind of on a date," I said. Rob nodded, looking apologetic.
"It's alright. That's so sweet! Let me give you my number." Lisa-May said. I gave her my phone. After she was done filling it in, Jennifer typed hers in and gave it back to me. They both gave me a kiss on the cheek. "Later, Kyle. We must hang out sometime. Oh and sorry about Jason, he's our friend and he's normally alright. You pissed him off quite a bit. He woke up the next morning bruised. Hope you don't run into him anytime soon." She smiled slyly, winked, and walked away.
Our sushi had arrived and I sat back down in my seat. "Sorry about that." I said to Rob.
"No worries." He said pleasantly.
I grinned, "I didn't remember who they were at first, I was really drunk that night and then a lot of stuff happened..." I trailed off, frowning as I recalled the night that Ryan had come over.
"You don't look like a hard partier." Rob observed.
"Don't judge a book by its cover," I said saucily.
He chuckled. "Clearly..."
I smiled at him, finding myself liking him. Damn Josh... "So...do you do this often?" I found myself asking. "Going out on blind dates?"
"Nope, first one."
"Really? I guess this is like...my first real date." I said, and then blushed.
"Really? Wow..." Rob commented. "I'd better behave then. You should have the most awesome first real date ever."
I laughed. "It's all up to you." Maybe this dating thing didn't have to be so hard, maybe I could forget about Ryan for real if I went out with other people. I stared at my plate.
"So what does one do on a first date?"
"Hmm, normally, stupid things, but this is good for a sixteen year-old. I'll make it even better." He winked.
I leaned forward. "Yeah?"
"Mmm-hmm, you wait."
I leaned back again, "Alrighty." I said. "So...this is the part where we learn more about eachother."
"I guess," Rob shrugged, "You go first. Ask me anything."
"You'll answer truthfully?"
"You bet." Rob replied.
I took a bit of my sushi, chewed, and thought carefully. "Alright...um...what's your middle name?" I ended up asking.
"I said anything, and that's what you come up with?" Rob rolled his eyes. "Okay, it's George. My turn." He grinned devilishly. He surveyed me thoughtfully; his bold gaze had me blushing. "What color boxers are you wearing?" He finally asked, looking very curious about the answer.
I laughed, "That's a dumb question."
He shrugged. "The kind of boxers a guy wears can tell a lot about what he's like. I call it the boxer-technique."
"Real original." I said.
"Yep," he agreed, "Now, do share."
"Okay...I'm wearing white boxers with little hearts on them." I said.
"Really?" He asked, grinning widely.
"No." I rolled my eyes. "What if I don't wear boxers?"
"Commando?" His eyes widened. "I don't even know how I'd evaluate that."
"Nope, what If I'm a briefs kinda guy?" I asked.
"Then I couldn't date you. I love boxer-wearing guys." Rob said matter-of-factly.
"You serious?" I raised an eyebrow.
"What, you wear briefs?" He asked.
I grinned."No, but really, you'd do that?"
"Yep. Now tell me."
"Just plain grey ones today, man." I told him.
"Hmm, I like that. Plain boxers, kinda boring, kinda sexy."
I grinned. "You're weird."
He laughed. "I know,right?" He got up. "But let's get out of here."
He ended up paying for me, even though I fought with him about it. Eventually, we exited the restaurant. He offered to give me a ride home since Josh had dropped me off in his dad's car (he'd wanted to make sure I'd go). I accepted and rob took me home. I lived relatively close to the restaurant so it was only about a five-minute drive. During the car ride, Rob asked me questions about myself and I answered them. He seemed like a really nice person, and he was attractive too, although I didn't find myself gravitating towards him sexually. I decided maybe it wasn't always an instantaneous thing with everyone.
He got out of the car once we pulled up in my driveway. He crossed to my side and stood in front of me, putting his hands inside his jacket pockets. "So, I have your number," He said.
"Yep, and I have yours." I looked around me.
"I'll call you?"
"Oh, yeah, that would be great." I bit my lip.
"Um, well, see you." He said, but didn't make a move to go.
"Uh, yeah." I replied.
"So it's nice weather, huh?" He asked since neither of us were making any sort of move.
"Yeah, snows all gone, the um, mud should go away soon, and it'll be great." I said.
"Listen, I'm going to just kiss you if that's okay?" Rob asked suddenly.
I smiled. "That's okay."
He smiled back, and I noticed his eyes were a delicate shade of hazel. They were pretty eyes, fringed with sooty lashes. "Okay," He said and leaned forward, placing a hand on my hip and pulling me forwards. His lips brushed mine gently once, then with more pressure, until his mouth caught mine in a brushing kiss.
"Bye," I said.
"Bye." He turned and walked around so he could sit in his car. I watched him drive off with a silly smile on my face. Then the smile faded...and I only felt foolish.
I know I promised to get this out earlier! Sorry.
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