JAIMIE EAKER - NEW BEGINNINGS
“Okay let’s go over the plan one more time.” I said.
Amanda and I walked up Chance’s driveway. The driveway was full and there were cars parked along the street. Chance was known for his parties and everyone wanted to be here. The last high school party any of us would ever attend. For me this was a huge moment. My first and last high school party rolled into one. I needed a pep talk before I lost my nerve.
“We’re going to go in there, you’re going to find Adam and you’re finally going to hold an actual conversation with him.” She said.
I nodded along. Right! Good plan. I could totally do that. We reached the small front porch. I was wrong, I couldn’t do this! I turned, ready to bolt off the porch and back home. Amanda captured my sweaty hand in hers. She didn’t bother to knock. She threw the door open and marched inside, dragging me in behind her. The loud bass immediately assaulted my ears. How was anyone supposed to have a conversation over this.
I leaned closer to her. “Amanda, you can’t just walk into someone’s house like that” I said.
Amanda chuckled. “Relax a little Kimberly. It’s a party, no one knocks at a party. Besides, it’s just Chance’s place.”
Amanda has been to more parties than me so I guess she would know best. I scanned the living room, but there’s no sign of Adam in here. Maybe he was in the kitchen or out back. We went room to room and came up empty each time. I stuck by Amanda’s side while she mingled with her friends, shouting over the music just to be heard. Why would anyone actually enjoy something like this? If I didn’t want to see Adam, I would have left a long time ago. We’ve been here for over an hour and there was still no sign of him.
I left Amanda talking with Chance and locked myself inside the bathroom. I needed a break from all the loud music and the people. I leaned against the cool, marble counter and faced the mirror. Amanda curled my long, brown hair in little ringlets. The gold and browns shade of eyeshadow and the shimmery lip-gloss she made me put on still looked perfect. The black skinny jeans and red off the shoulder top fit me perfectly. I pointed to myself in the mirror.
“You look fantastic and you’re amazing! Adam is dying to talk to you!”
My head dropped forward and rolled my eyes at my lame attempt to psych myself up. Who was I kidding? Adam probably doesn’t know I exist.
I slipped out of the bathroom and into the dimly lit living room. I spotted Adam instantly and butterflies took flight in my stomach. He was leaning against the wall, the glow from his cell phone lit up his perfect features. He was finally here! I took a step toward him but froze a second later. The butterflies died as Cynthia slid up next to him and captured his attention. A frustrated sigh escaped my lips when he pocketed his phone and turned towards her. I tried to make myself comfortable leaning against the hard wall opposite them.
My teeth clenched and I crossed my arms as Cynthia’s tinkling laugh reached my ears. That had to be my imagination. There was no way I would be able to actually hear that over the music. I tried not to glare at her flirting with Adam, running her hand over his arm, but it was so hard not to. What did she have that I don’t? We’re about the same height and we both have a slender figure, but that’s where the similarities end. Her long black hair falls in sleek waves, her smoky makeup and red lips perfectly done, and she’s not afraid to show a little skin in her short, black skirt and yellow crop top. Of course, Adam would want to talk to her instead of me.
“You’re over thinking again aren’t you?” Amanda said to me.
I didn’t bother turning towards my best friend. My eyes stayed glued to the horrific scene in front of me. I leaned closer to her so no one would overhear our conversation. “Of course, I am. Look at him. Tall, perfect sandy blonde hair and green eyes. And those muscles! He is so out of my league.”
“First of all, you’re freaking amazing and he would be stupid not to see that. Second, just go talk to him already!”
“I can’t just go over there.” I said.
“Yes, you can. Just go up to him and say hi. Besides, if you don’t do it now, you’re going to miss your chance. I heard from Chance that he’s leaving for school in the morning.”
My head snapped towards her. “What? There are still two weeks left of summer.”
Amanda tossed her honey blonde curls over her shoulder and shrugged. “That’s what I said too, but Chance said Adam is living off campus with his cousin or something so he’s going out there early to get settled”
Well crap! It really was now or never. I heard we’re going to different schools. After tonight I probably won’t see him again. Would he even care? Maybe he would rather spend his last night here with someone like Cynthia instead of someone like me. I looked back at him and my eyes narrow. Geeze, does Cynthia not know what personal space is? She was practically glued to his side.
“What about Cynthia?” I asked.
“What about her?”
“She’s all over him and he seems to be enjoying it.” I said.
I could hear the bitterness seeping out of my voice. I sounded like a winey kid, complaining about someone else playing with her favorite toy.
Amanda scoffed and instead of answering me she strode straight over there. What the hell was she up to? I watched as she tapped Cynthia on the shoulder. Cynthia turned on Amanda with a glare. She didn’t seem too pleased to be interrupted. Good.
I couldn’t hear what she was saying from my spot by the wall, but Cynthia’s chocolate brown eyes got wide and she rushed away from Adam and out of the front door. Adam didn’t seem phased by her sudden departure. He already pulled his phone back out. Amanda turned back to me. She winked and mouthed “go talk to him” before disappearing into the kitchen.
I took a deep breath. I could do this! It’s now or never. I took two steps closer to him and stopped. I turned back around. I can’t just go over there! What do I even say to him? I needed to calm down. This was my last chance. I squared my shoulders and marched over to Adam before I could chicken out again.
“Hey Adam.” I said.
Adam looked up from his phone and smiled at me. “Hey Kimberly.”
“Hi” I said.
Seriously? I could feel the blush rushing up from my neck to my cheeks. I already said hi. What is wrong with me?
Adam’s smile got bigger and he leaned in a little closer. “It’s kind of loud in here. You want to go outside and talk?”
I nodded and followed him out of the sliding glass door to the backyard. We walked across the lush, green grass to a picnic table away from the few people that were out here. Adam hopped onto the top of the table, his feet resting on the bench. I climbed up next to him, the wood rough against my palms.
“You’ll have to thank Amanda for me.” He said.
Adam chuckled. “This might sound bad, but I was trying to find a way to get away from Cynthia when Amanda came over to tell her that her car was getting towed.”
I bit my lip to hold back my smile. So, Adam didn’t want her attention.
“Really? I thought all the guys wanted Cynthia?” I asked.
“Not this guy. She’s not really my type.”
“What is your type?” I asked.
The words left my mouth before I could stop them. I could feel the blush creeping back up, but maybe it was too dark for Adam to notice. At least that’s what I was going to tell myself.
“I don’t know. I guess I like a girl that’s smart and sweet with brown hair and hazel eyes.” He said.
Holly crap! Was he talking about me? He looked right at me when he said it. The same cute smile in place that he had been wearing since I said hi to him. There was no way this was happening. Things like this only happened in movies.
Adam didn’t elaborate any further on his type and I never asked him to. We sat there talking about everything. I learned that we had a lot in common. We both loved to listen to country and rock. We liked horror and comedy movies. We both preferred racing games. It was a little surreal sitting there talking to him. I had wanted this for so long and it finally happened sitting in Chance’s backyard with bright stars shining down and faded music in the background.
Adam leaned forward, his arms resting on his knees. “Can I ask you something?”
I copied his position and nodded at him.
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but why now?”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I mean we’ve gone to the same school for the last four years. Why wait until now to really talk to me?”
How was I supposed to explain that to him when I didn’t quite know myself? I could blame it on running in different cliques, being too shy and too scared to approach him, or being so sure that he would never feel the same way about me. Maybe it was a little bit of all that. I decided to stick with a simple answer.
“I guess I was scared to, and you never really seemed interested, but when Amanda told me you’re leaving tomorrow I knew I would regret it if I didn’t.”
“Why would you have regretted it?” He asked.
I shrugged my shoulders. “Honestly, because I really like you and I figured that I wouldn’t see you again after tonight.”
“I’m glad you decided to talk to me because I like you too.”
Adam slipped his arm over my shoulders and tucked me into his side.
“Just in case you didn’t know, UofA is only a couple hours away from GCU” He said.
I leaned further into his side. He had a point. It was only a couple hours away.
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