“Tay, I’m worried about you, that’s all,” I said, taking his arm into my grasp. He looked down at my hands holding onto him then he shrugged and pulled his arm away. “What’s the matter with you??”
“I like you, okay?!” he said, almost in a shout. I stood there frozen. I didn’t know what to say or how to react. “There, are you happy? Now you might know why I wasn’t telling you anything because I knew that you would respond like this.”
“Yeah, but geeze, how else would you want me to react?” I asked. I wasn’t quite sure if he wanted me to like him back, or if he just wanted to have a little crush on me or what the case was.
“I don’t know. Look, forget I ever said that, ok? Let’s just have fun today,” he said then pulled on my hand so we could get in line for a water slide.
That is what confused me even more, and I never really got some honest answers from the boy. I sighed as I noticed that the “Please buckle your seat belts” sign at the head of the plane had lit up. I looked around and noticed that everyone aboard was putting their belts back on. I reached down and buckled my belt as well.
The landing was smooth. I exited the terminal, searching the seats for my parents. I didn’t see anyone that I recognized. Oh man, what a let down. I was hoping and anticipating on seeing my parents welcoming me home with loving arms, but I saw no one instead. Granted that this was the first time that I have been home since Christmas, but I figured that would give them more reason to want to come and pick me up. I guess I should’ve called before I left the apartment to confirm our previous arrangements.
I sighed once again and headed towards the direction of the baggage claim. Some homecoming this turned out to be. No one loves me, I thought bitterly to myself. Though I knew that wasn’t true, that’s how I felt.
“Brook!” someone shouted my name. I turned around, half expecting to see my father running to me, his face all flushed from the running. But I didn’t. I still didn’t see anyone that I recognized. I shrugged my shoulders and turned around again.
“BROOK!” the same somebody shouted. I spun on my heels. What was this?! Was my head playing some kind of trick on me? Then I spotted a guy jogging up to me. He smiled when he approached.
Oh my God.
The day changed Taylor’s mood dramatically. After he exploded on me earlier, he sort of seemed relieved or more relaxed around me, like it used to be before he started acting weird. Maybe he was afraid that I would act differently around him after he told me that he liked me, but I didn’t. I didn’t want it to ruin the great friendship that we shared. I’m pretty sure that is what put him at ease.
When the day was over, he volunteered to walk me home and considering that it was only a few short blocks, his parents allowed. The first time that I was at their house, which was after Mayfest, I wasn’t quite sure just how far away we lived from each other. I sure was surprised to learn that we were only a few minutes from one another and never knew. It was just beginning to get dark outside, and lightning bugs filled the air, making everything sparkle.
My hair was still damp and it hung lifelessly from my head. I could only imagine how horrible I looked. As we slowly walked towards my house, reflecting on the days events, Taylor nonchalantly made his way closer and closer to me.
“I’m glad that you didn’t freak out earlier when I told you that I like you,” Taylor said. I didn’t know what to say.
“Why would I freak out in the first place?”
He shrugged his shoulders. Then I suddenly felt his hand against mine. My eyes met his. They were sparkling, just as the lightning bugs were lighting up the yards we passed along the way. Man, he must like me … he’s glowing! I slowly pulled my hand out of his. I just didn’t feel the same way about him. But then he smiled. I could feel my legs gradually growing weaker. Damn, why did he have to smile?
It was then that I questioned my feelings for him. I liked him. Sure, in that “we’re-great-friends” kind of way. I didn’t know. I told myself that I didn’t want to like him in more than that friend way, but when he would look into my eyes and smile like that, I lost my train of thought and couldn’t concentrate on anything else except his smile!
“Brook, what’s wrong?”
“Tay, I don’t know how to say this, but, well, you know the way you feel about me?” He nodded. “I don’t exactly have the same feelings about you.”
He pulled away from me and we were no longer standing close together anymore. I tried to read his reaction, to look into eyes and see how he was feeling, but it was impossible. He wouldn’t look at me with a straight face, nor would he look at me at all. I felt horrible, but I didn’t want to lead him on or anything.
“Look, you’re a great friend to me, and I like you, I like spending time with you, we always have so much fun together … I don’t want this to ruin our friendship,” I said, trying to make the situation better.
“I think it already did,” he mumbled then turned to go back to his house. My eyes began to tear. Then he left me standing there all alone on the sidewalk about half way between his house and mine. I couldn’t run after him. It felt like my feet were cemented to the ground. My heart ached as I saw him pick up his pace and move from a fast walk to a slow jog. And when I called after him, he began to jog a little faster.
“It is Brook, isn’t it?” the person in front of me asked. I thought it was him, but I couldn’t be 100% sure. He was wearing dark jeans with a white shirt. Over the shirt, he was wearing a navy blue shirt, which he had buttoned all but the top two buttons. Sunglasses hung carelessly from his shirt, and with the blue lenses, they accented his eyes. Then he smiled and my questions were cleared up in a second. It was him.
“Yeah,” I said simply. “Um, Taylor, right?”
“Gee, how’d you know?” he asked stupidly, flashing his infamous smile at me. “Let’s get your bags,” he said, pulling on my arm, taking me to the luggage claim.
“Where are my parents at?” I asked him. He avoided my question and commented on how well they improved the airport. I felt a little unsure as to how to act around him. I mean, he was all big and famous now and the last time we actually talked, I wasn’t exactly the nicest person in the world to him. Nor was I the greatest friend. I still couldn’t believe he was in the airport with me.
“Hello! Where are my parents??” I asked him again.
“My guess would be that they are probably at your house,” he shrugged his shoulders. I let out an annoyed sigh. He looked at me and rolled his eyes.
“Then let me rephrase the question … why are YOU picking me up?”
“Because, okay?” He seemed to be getting somewhat on the angry side. “Just because.”
Well, that sure did answer a lot, I thought.
“Oh, before I forget to tell you…” I started to say.
<-- Chapter Two
Chapter Four -->