This is the worst idea ever.
Or maybe it’s a great idea? I can’t tell anymore. I’m so nervous I can't think straight.
I pace back and forth in the living room, glancing at my cell phone sitting on the coffee table. I know what I want to do. I want to call Scott and ask how he’s doing. We used to talk all the time during free periods, but that was before I transferred to the newly-built school down my street.
Bright side: an extra thirty minutes of sleep every day. Down side: not being with my friends for my final year of high school.
I nab my phone, plop onto the large couch, and take a deep breath. I find Scott’s number, hit it, and wait.
One ring, two rings, three rings…maybe I should have texted. Who calls nowadays anyway?
Oh god. He actually picked up. Okay, be cool. Just a friend calling another friend.
“Hey! Long time, stranger.”
“Wait, who is this?" Scott teases.
“You sound familiar…like this girl I used to know…”
“Okay, I’m sorry I disappeared,” I apologize. “I was busy!” It wasn’t because I was trying to forget about him over the summer….not at all. “And we’re talking now, right?”
I hear Scott sigh on the other end, but I hear the smile in his voice, “So, how are you, Alex?”
“Not bad,” I grin. “You?”
I can’t help blushing. Thank god we’re on the phone.
“How’s the new school?” Scott asks.
"I actually like it. People aren’t total jerks, and there’s some cool people in my class. I miss you though. I mean, all of you! I miss all of you!” I quickly correct myself before changing the subject. “It's nice today, huh? I wouldn't mind going for a walk or something. I wish I had a dog. I don't think my mom would want one though. You know my mom's not home right now," I babble.
"Really?” Scott’s chirps. “Why don’t I come over then? We can catch up."
I hold back a squeal. You gotta understand, Scott has been over before, plenty of times. But he hasn’t been over since I started seeing him…differently.
"Sure," I reply, trying to sound calm. I think I succeeded.
Within half an hour, the doorbell rings. I saunter towards the door, and my stomach somersaults. I take a page from Rogelio in Jane the Virgin and inhale and exhale.
I manage to keep a straight face and open the door.
"Hi," I squeak.
Scott smiles, "Hi."
I can’t help but stare. Scott has the same messy brown hair, the same bright green eyes, and the same ginger freckles sprinkled on his nose and cheeks.
"So…can I come in?"
"Oh! Right!" I all but yank him inside, laughing. Once I close the front door, I excuse myself, flee to the bathroom, and splash cold water on my face. I pad my face dry, take a few big gulps of oxygen, and venture back to the living room.
"You wanna watch a movie?" I ask casually. Or at least I would have sounded casual if I didn’t hiccup.
Scott shoots me a childish grin and points to the stairs. “Have you ever tried sliding down the railing?”
Before I could answer him, Scott was already leaping up the stairs.
I stay at the bottom, staring up at him. “Come on, don’t be ridiculous,” I scoff, not taking him seriously at all.
"Kay! Here I come!"
"Wait!" I try to stop him, but he was already sliding down the wooden bannister like a train wreck. It reminds me of those Tik Tok videos gone wrong.
My dark eyes widen as he suddenly reaches the end of the railing, tumbles off, and lands on the floor with a loud thump. He lay flat on his back, motionless.
"Oh my god! Are you okay?!" I exclaim, scurrying to kneel beside him. Scott looks up at me, but doesn’t say anything. "What the hell were you thinking?!" I scold, shaking my head. "You could have really hurt yourself!"
He smirks, a knowing glint in his eyes. "At least you're not nervous anymore," he points out.
"I…what?! I wasn't nervous!" I deny, my cheeks burning. "And don't change the subject! We were talking about your stupid—"
"Sh," Scott gently cuts me off, his smirk softening into a smile. Before I could continue ranting, he cups my right hand and places it against his chest. I stare at my hand and back at him again.
"What are you—"
"Can you feel it?"
"That." Scott presses my hand firmly against his chest and widens his grin. I can see his dimples.
The soft thump of his heartbeat bumps beneath my palm. We don’t speak. I listen to the sound of his breathing for a minute, maybe two. Then, without warning, Scott rises to his feet, sprints towards the couch, and jumps onto it. My mouth falls open.
"Scott!" I jump up and stomp towards him, arms crossed. "Y’know I don’t understand you."
Scott shifts on the couch, lying vertically. "I’m not that complicated." He gives me an innocent look.
I sigh and tilt my head in the direction of his feet. "Sit up so we can watch a movie together."
"Why would we do that?" He moves again, shifting his upper body sideways, making more space. "There's enough room for both of us here."
I roll my eyes, feigning boredom. "Fine," I agree. I lay down beside him. My back nuzzles against his chest. Scott casually wraps an arm around my waist, as if he’d done it a million times.
"So," I begin, glancing back at him from the corner of my eye, "how's your girlfriend?"
Scott doesn’t reply right away. He gives me a look that I don’t quite understand.
He eventually replies, "She's good."
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