With all of my purchases in a plastic bag, I hurried to my ‘room’ and hoped that Zac wouldn’t be practicing. I cautiously opened the door and peeked my head around the corner. The coast was clear. I hopped over to my bed, then shoved the bag under it. Now I needed pictures. I kneeled by the bed to look underneath. I couldn’t remember if I brought the photo albums over or not. Nope, they were still at my house. I stood up quickly. Pain throbbed at the top of my head.
“Ouch!” I heard Zac moan from above me.
“Ouch youself!” I replied, rubbing the top of my head. What was he doing? “Were you spying?”
“No.” he answered a little too quickly. I gave him the Look. He sighed. “Fine, I was spying.”
I knew that he was standing above me when I had been looking under my bed. When I stood up, my head hit his chin. I had stood up before he thought I would have and caught him by surprise.
“Go ahead and spy. I didn’t buy your present yet.” I said. That wasn’t exactly lying because it wasn’t done yet. “Besides, I thought you didn’t want anything.” I focused my attention to his reaction. His face brightened and then he smiled. I couldn’t help but smile, too. I thought “Gosh, he is so cute!”
“Tell me Zac, why have you been acting weird lately?” I asked him. He released a small chuckle.
“Me being weird?” he asked. I nodded. “I haven’t been the weird one! You’re the one that has been snippy for the past week!” I felt my cheeks redden. It wasn’t entirely my fault. The truth was, I had gotten my first period and was a little on the moody side.
Zac didn’t need to say anything. I guess that I didn’t, either. He moved closer to me and then moistened his lips. I knew that he wanted to kiss me and end all the chaotic tension between us. I wanted to end it, too. Right now, the only thing that I wanted and was concerned about was the feel of his lips on mine.
Slowly but surely, he leaned forward and our lips touched. I pulled away at only one kiss. He looked like he wanted more, but I wasn’t offering anything else. Something in me was telling me that we went too fast before. I wanted things to go slow this time, because we were still pretty young to be in a relationship and I didn’t want things to ruin themselves with lust. I wanted this love to last.
Just as we pulled away, Isaac came down the steps into the garage. He looked sort of ashamed for not knocking because it was my room now, and especially because he saw how close Zac and I were standing.
Ike did look ashamed, but soon I smiled and then he looked at ease again. Then I turned my attention to Zac, he was looking at me. That look that he possessed in his eyes kind of frightened me. It was such a loving look, and it felt so good to be receiving it, but was it something that I wanted at 14?
“Ike, can you take me over to my house? There’s something there that I need to get.” I asked. He seemed to be greatly annoyed. He already took me to the mall, and now I wanted to go to my house. He sighed, then gave in.
“Get in the car.” He said. I smiled and hurried towards the car in the driveway. Before I left the garage, I turned and looked back at Zac, gave him a smile and then rounded the corner.
The ride to my house was basically silent. I guess there really wasn’t too much to talk about. As he pulled next to the curb, I noticed a car parked in front of my house and there was a guy standing on the front porch. I didn’t recognize the car from anywhere, so I was somewhat scared to go to the house. I looked over at Ike and he nodded, as if saying he would protect me if need be. I got out of the car and headed towards the front door.
“Can I help you?” I asked the guy that was standing there. He looked down at me; I was about a foot shorter than he was. His physical appearance was kind of attractive for an older guy. His hair was a dark color, and it was styled in a modern ‘do’. His eyes were deep and brown and they caught my attention almost immediately. He had a small trace of a goatee, and it went well with his looks. He smiled when he saw me.
“Yes, I hope you can. I’m looking for Angela Sherwood.” He said.
“Well, you’re looking at her.” I said. Inside, I was feeling scared because I had no idea as to who this guy was.
“I’m Jeremy Paris, a friend of your mothers. Is she home?” he asked. Some friend, I thought.
“Actually, no she’s not. She died in a car accident not too long ago.” I told him. The words hit me all over again. It felt as if it was the first time someone told me, too. I sucked the tears back inside and wouldn’t let myself cry in front of this stranger.
“Oh my goodness. How are you holding up?”
“Pretty well, I guess. I’m staying with close friends of hers. Is there something that you wanted?” I asked him. I didn’t mean for it to come off rudely, but it did and he kind of stepped back.
“Actually, I just wanted to see you. It’s been such a long time since I have last seen you, I wanted to see how you were doing.”
“Forgive me, but I have no idea who you are.” I replied. Now I was scared. I looked at Ike in the car, who seemed to be paying close attention to what this guy was saying and doing. Jeremy flinched as I said the words.
“You’re mother never mentioned me before?” he asked, hoping that I could remember something and I struggled to think if I recognized the name. But nothing came to mind and I shook my head. “Just as well, I suppose. Well, I came to check up on you and it seems as tho you are doing good enough without me. But I’ll be sure to see you sometime again.”
With that, he turned and left, leaving my shivering. His last words scared me, and the tone he had in his voice was really weird. I didn’t know if I should believe him or not. Finally, I opened the front door and went to get the photo albums that I came for.
I headed up the staircase. The house seemed so quiet and lonely now. Most of the stuff was still here, with the exception of the majority of my stuff, but it all seemed weird to be there with no one else. I reached the closet that housed all the photo albums. I sighed when I realized that none of them were labeled, so I grabbed all seven of them and headed back out the door. Isaac was still waiting for me, looking somewhat concerned, an older brotherly look captured on his face.
“Find everything?” he asked. I nodded. “Who was that guy?”
“I don’t know. His name was Jeremy Paris, but I has no idea who he was.” I said. Isaac shrugged and we drove back to their house. I retreated to my room as soon as we pulled into the driveway. Zac was there, I wasn’t sure if he was waiting for me, or if he was practicing or whatever. I was sort of mad that he was there because I wanted to start working on his present and I couldn’t if he was there.
“You’re finally back.” He said. “Why did you want to get those photo albums?”
“Just coz.” I said curtly. He nodded, and then picked one up. He opened it’s cover and gazed at the front page. I looked over his shoulder and was amazed at what I saw. This must have been one of the older albums because the pictures were smaller and kind of discolored. I saw my mother, wearing a wedding dress, smiling so perfectly. She looked so happy and beautiful. Tears formed in my eyes. She didn’t look any older than 17 or 18.
That’s when my heart stopped. I looked at the picture even closer. My mom was in a wedding dress. I looked at the guy she was standing next to, who she had her arm linked with. Jeremy Paris.