Amore And Pizza

Hey, I'm Avery. I thought I had it figured out, ya know? I thought I had distinguished the difference between love and imagination. I was SO sure that no one could ever love me. Especially someone so extraordinary like Niall. But for once in my sob story of a life, I WANTED to be proven wrong. But I was right. Again.


5. Postcards

     "So I was thinking this picture of you and your dad in Time's Square could go over here by your other family pics." I nodded to Kalley while she was envisioning my room. It was Saturday, my first weekend in Denver. Kalley had come over last night after Zayn dropped us off. We stayed up all night watching different movies. It was really fun. Kalley had filled me in on the people at our school. Louis and Liam have all had various girlfriends. Harry hadn't. But all three of them were currently single. Niall has never had a girlfriend before either, which really surprised me. How could any girl not like him? Kalley told me he was shy, except for when he's around me. I blushed when she said that.

     When I had gotten to school Thursday morning, thanks to a ride from my dad, I confronted Niall about the night before. I was sure my dad had embarrassed me beyond repair. But Niall said he was really cool, and glad he could help with the TV. I had felt a little awkward about him carrying me to bed, but it was nice, and my dad didn't argue. That was a good sign.

     "Avery. Avery! AVERY!!" Kalley shook me to get my attention. I hadn't noticed until then that I was day-dreaming with a big smile on my face. "Spacing out about Niall, hmmm?" She laughed when I blushed and sat next to me on my bed. "I was TRYING to tell you that we need some more frames if you want all these pictures up. Oh, and we should get a poster board or something so we can tack all your postcards to it. I think that would look really cool." I had a ton of postcards. One from every city I've ever lived in. From Eau Claire, Wisconsin to Charleston, South Carolina- the last place I lived. I also got ones from small towns that we would pass through here and there. My favorite was one from Boynton Beach, Florida. It was where my mom was born and raised. The card had a flamingo on it surrounded by palm trees and the ocean. It was pretty tacky, but it reminded me of my mom. It felt like a piece of her.

     "Niall took me to a hardware store to get paint. We can go there." I dug out my laptop and looked for the place. I found the address. It said it was about a mile from here. "Found it. Come on." She followed me out into the living room. "Daddy, we're gonna go to a hardware store to get some stuff for my room. Can I borrow thirty bucks?" My dad looked up from his report for work. He sighed but handed me the money.

     "As long as it's borrowed Aves." I kissed him on the cheek and headed out the door.

     "It's pretty much right around the corner." Kalley nodded. "So I was wondering, how did you and Zayn get together?" I asked with a smirk on my face. She laughed.

     "Well, we have all been friends since like 3rd grade. Me, Zayn and Niall I mean. I thought for awhile Niall and I were going to get together, because we hung out more out of all three of us. I was closer to him than Zayn. Zayn had a girlfriend at the time too. She was pretty, but she was mean and got mad if Zayn hung out with us. I found myself being jealous when Zayn would text and say he couldn't hang out with us because she was with her. One night, she and Zayn got in a big fight because Zayn went with me to a movie. He told her that he liked me more than her. And that was that. They broke up, and Zayn and I kinda came to terms with our feelings for each other. It was messy at first, but it's worked out great." Kalley smiled, remembering the time. 

     "He looks at you a lot. Zayn really, really likes you, Kalley." I elbowed her every time I said "really". We both laughed, then fell into a silence for a couple minutes.

     Kalley spoke up and broke the silence. "Niall looks at you like that every now and then, Avery." I opened my mouth to speak but no words came out. She laughed again. "Not like you don't return the favor." This time I got something out.

    "That's not possible! We've barely known each other for more than a couple  of days!" I tried to explain this to her, but there was no convincing Kalley. Niall and I couldn't like each other! It's too early!

     "Avery, you're not dating yet. You don't have to rush into anything with Niall. Besides, you will probably be 40 by the time  he builds up enough courage to ask you out." Kalley hooked her arm through mine. I was still hung up on the word "yet". Yet? I guess it was possible. The thought of being someone's girlfriend scared me though. It was such a new concept. Change was my middle name. Actually, it was Drew. My dad wanted a boy. But anyways, I was familiar with change. Something new happened a lot. But the idea of being permanent in any sort of way scared me a little. Permanent was not familiar.

     "Yeah, you're right. Who knows? Maybe it won't work out. Besides, I highly doubt Niall likes me. No guy ever has." Kalley just looked at me and rolled her eyes. "What?"

     "You are so oblivious!" I reaised my eyebrows but she didn't elaborate. I pouted as we walked up to Dave's Hardware.

     "This is it." I opened the door, setting off the bell. I grinned at Dave, who was just helping another customer put their items in a plastic bag. 

     "Avery! What brings you here? Did the paint work all right?" 

     "Yeah, it looks great! Thanks again. This is Kalley", I said, gesturing to Kalley."We are decorating my room now and I need a poster board and some picture frames. Do you have some?"

     "Sure do. I'm a little busy right now, so what you'll need is in the home-decorating section. Over there. Follow the signs." He pointed to his left and we headed in that direction.

    "Thanks." I didn't realize until now that this store was like a maze. The ceiling was a good 40 feet high, with large white lights hanging everywhere. The shelves were taller than basketball hoops, and reached across the entire store. Thankfully, the signs led us to where we needed to go without much trouble. We first started to look at picture frames. They had a large selection. I didn't have a lot of big pictures, so we focused on the small, white ones. Kalley said the white would look good compared to my dark walls.

     "It will look too dark in your room if you had black picture frames." 

     I nodded. "Whatever you say, boss." She straightened her back with pride.

     "You know it. We need to get 2 medium-sized ones, and 4 small ones." We found the frames we needed and headed for the poster boards. We got one that was about the size of a flat screen TV. I paid Dave while Kalley talked on the phone with her mom. Her mom was a widow, after Kalley's dad died in an explosion at his work. That was when she was 13. Like me, she'd had a really close relationship with her dad. She still misses school every year on the anniversary of her father's death.

     I thanked Dave and headed outside with Kalley. "My mom said I have to be home before 5. I loooked at my phone and saw it was 2. 

     "We should be done by then. Is she coming to pick you up?" She nodded.

     We got back to my house and headed to my room. "Music?" I asked. 


     "Please tell me you like One Direction." She gasped and looked at me with wide eyes.

     "Your a Directioner, too?" We looked at each other then squealed, then laughed.

     "Good! Let's crank it up!" I turned up "Kiss You" and started jumping around. Kalley followed my lead while we sang-or should I say shouted?- to the song. "If you don't wanna take it slow, and you just wanna take me home..." We laughed and jumped up on my bed. Kalley sang the first part of the second verse. 

     "Oh, baby baby don't you know you got what I need? Lookin' so good from head to your feet. Come on come over here, over here, come on come over here, yeah." 

     I took the next part. "Oh, I just wanna show you off to all of my friends. Makin' them drool down their chinny chin chins. Baby be mine tonight, mine tonight, baby be mine tonight, yeah." We spent the rest of the song screaming our heads off dancing to the song. Kalley told me she was in choir, but she was a pretty good singer. At the parts she wasn't screaming, anyways.

     When the song finished, Kalley and I collapsed on my bed, laughing hysterically. She sat up and looked at me. "Avery you have to join choir! Please please please please please? For me?" She stuck out her lip and batted her red eyelashes at me. I laughed.

     "Okay fine."

     "Yay!" I laughed and we got back to work. I hung up the last picture and stood back to admire our work. My room looked really cool. The walls looked great. 

     "Kalley, you have a talent." I admired her eye for decorating.

     "Thanks. I want to have my own home decorating company some day. Like make catalogs and stuff."

     "I think you could do it." She smiled. "Well it's almost four. What do you want to do?"

     "Eat." I laughed. Kalley was the only other girl I've ever known who didn't really pay attention to what she ate. She was a pig, just like me.

     "You know, if it wasn't for volleyball workouts, you'd look like a tomato. What with your red hair it'd be a perfect match." She punched me and laughed. We agreed on mac n' cheese and I turned on the stove. I put a pot on the burner and filled it with water and waited until it started to boil.

     "So, homecoming's in a couple of weeks." Kalley looked at me like I was supposed to tell her something.

     "Yeah, so...?"

     Kalley sighed."Avery! You need a date!"

     "Kalley, I've known everyone for only a week now, no one is gonna ask me."

     "Well then ask someone yourself." I opened my mouth in shock. "Maybe a certain blonde haired boy that plays soccer..."

     "Kalley! I'm not going to ask Niall!"

     "I didn't say Niall! I could have been talking about anyone!"

     "Sure, sure." I laughed and put the noodles in the now boiling water. "I don't ask guys to things. It's not my policy. It's kind of a tradition in my family. Guy asks girl's dad for permission."

     "Wow. If my dad was still here he would probably have that policy too." I looked at Kalley. She just smiled. Good. I didn't quite know how sensitive she was to the topic of "dad" yet.

     "Yeah. But guys nowadays just don't do that, ya know?" She nodded. I finished up the mac n' cheese and handed her a bowl. I made myself one and sat down. "Do you think Niall would do something like that?"

     Kalley shook her head. "I don't know. Niall hasn't had a lot of experience in that department. But didn't he get along with your dad pretty well?" I nodded. "Well there ya go! If your dad approves of him already maybe he won't have to ask your dad."

     "Maybe..." But I wasn't convinced. My dad hardly said anything he didn't mean. That's where I got it from.

     Kalley and I spent the rest of the time we had making more homecoming plans. We were going to buy a dress next weekend. I told her-after about five minutes of arguing- that I would come even if I don't get a date. Kalley's mom pulled up and knocked on our door. "I'll get." I said. I opened the door for her and  let her in. Kalley's mom looked just like her. She had the same bright red hair and green eyes.

     "Hey mom." Kalley walked up to her mom and hugged her.

     "Hi honey. Did you girls have fun?" We both nodded. Just then my dad walked in and looked at Kalley's mom.

     He reached out his hand to shake hers. "Hi, I'm Avery's dad."

     "Hi, I'm Kalley's mom, Ms.Jaroe. Nice to meet you Mr.Jackson." She smiled.

     "Please, call me Caleb."

     "Caleb. Sarah." She gestured to herself.

     "Sarah." My dad smiled at her. They looked at each other for a tad bit longer than necessary. Kalley and I looked at each other and grinned.

     "Well Kalley we should get going." Kalley nodded and grabbed her bag.

     "See ya Avery." Kalley hugged me and walked out with her mom.

     I turned to my dad and grinned. "I can't believe it! You have a crush on Kalley's mom!" 

     My dad gave me a stern look. "I don't know what you're talking about." We stared each other down for about 2 seconds before we broke into laughter. "She is pretty, isn't she? Sarah..."

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