The drive home was silent for a bit but my mother had to begin with her questions. "Well that was a lovely dinner wasn't it?"
"Yeah mom,it was great."
"What did you and (YN) do while you two were together?"
"We just sat in her room and talked."
"And what about right now in the front of her house?"
"What do you mean?"
"I saw you two standing together and smiling.Did you work your charm?"
"Mother please...we just talked for a bit and said bye."
"Oh alright then I can tell when I'm being a nuisance."
"You're not annoying me mom it's just,I barely met (YN) and you're already going on making assumptions.You even shared your opinion about us two in front of her and her mom."
"I'm sure they took it as a joke."
"But (YN) is sensitive you have to watch what you say around her."
"Oh look already protecting his woman."
"Haha I'm only teasing Ryan.Learn to laugh a little."
"Well I'm definitely laughing more now than I used to."
It grows quiet, "How are you uhh,holding up now?"
"I'm fine...nobody really knows anything about me here so I'm fine.Don't worry mom."
"I guess the move really was a big change then huh?"
"Yeah,you could say that."
"A change for better?"
"Yes.A change for better." I look at my mom and she has a nervous look on her face.I reassure her with the touch of my hand on her shoulder and a smile.
The weekend went by slow,I just did some chores,homework,and watched a bit of TV.On Sunday night I was thankful the weekend was ending,tomorrow I would be in school and I would get to see (YN).I would get to talk to her without any of the awkwardness.I wondered if she really would be normal around me or just continue with the avoiding.I thought about this for too long that I ended up feeling exhausted and I just fell asleep.
In the morning I woke up and ate a bagel.I quickly got ready and then head off to school.I wondered what time (YN) woke up to leave for school and when she left her house.I looked around and thought maybe I could walk with her.Her house shouldn't be too far.I began to try and remember the way to get to her house.I thought I got lost a couple of times but then there it was,her house, and it looked like I came just in time.I saw a figure leaving the house and I knew it was (YN).I called over to her and waved my arms around.I caught her attention and she jogged on over. "What are you doing here?"
"I just thought it'd be nice to walk to school together,you know don't want you to get kidnapped or anything."
"Well aren't you my hero."
"You could be the Lois Lane to my Superman." I wink at her and she just smiles giving a small laugh.We begin to walk together and we just talked about dinner the other night.I made a couple of jokes here and there but the walk was pretty fun.I thought about maybe doing this everyday but maybe she would get annoyed.
We soon got to school and I asked her what her first period was, "I have math."
"Well aren't you a genius."
"Not really I mean some freshmen are in my class and some are in even higher levels of math.I'm average."
"I think you're a bit above average."
"Haha if you say so.What about you?"
"What about me?"
"What level of math are you in?"
I give a weak smile, "So the weather huh?"
"Don't avoid the question.What math are you in I won't judge."
"If I told you you wouldn't believe me."
"Yes I will.Please?"
"Fine,haha...I'm in Calculus." Her face gives an expression of disbelief.
"See I told you you wouldn't believe me."
"What kind of Calculus?"
"Let's just get to class (YN)."
"No,what kind of calculus?"
I bit the inside of my lip and decided to just tell her. "I'm in AP Calculus." She gave me another look of disbelief. "What did you think I was an idiot?"
"No it's just...I didn't think you were,that smart."
"So you thought I was dumb?"
"Not dumb but just...average!That's the word I'm looking for.Average." I smile at her,her reaction just reminded me of a kid excited for something small.
While I was smiling I guess I didn't notice I was staring at her, "Why are you looking at me like that?"
"Oh I just uhh...sorry.I kind of spaced out."
"Haha its okay."
"So want me to walk you to class?" She looked down,maybe she wasn't ready to be that close yet.
She looked back up, "Won't you be late to class?"
"Well we have like ten minutes,I'm sure I'll make it in time."
"Lead the way." We began walking and I said hi to a couple of people that I knew.Soon enough we got to her class.
"Well this is me." She gives me a weak smile.
"Okay then cool I'll see you around."
I began to walk away, "Ryan," I looked back. "Th-th- thanks."
I smiled and waved goodbye. "Anytime." I walked back to class and then the bell rang.
By the time I got to 4th period I saw (YN) sitting in class.I smiled at her and she smiled back.In class Mr.Johnson announced that we'd be doing a partner activity.We were able to pick our partners and I immediately thought of (YN),when the time came to pick our partners I got up and stood in front of (YN)'s desk. "Wanna be partners?" I give a smile.
"Sure." I take the empty desk next to hers and wait for further instructions.Basically we were to just do a work sheet together on some reading we were assigned and figure out the answers with help from each other.We finish in no time so I decide to just chat.
"So where do you hang out at lunch?"
"Umm I sit by a tree."
"A tree?Are you like all earthy and stuff?Haha."
"No I just sit there it's quiet and has good shade."
"What about on rainy days?"
"I just sit in the cafeteria."
"Cool,may I ask where this tree is?" She looked at me for a moment.Maybe I'm pushing this friend thing too far,I'm probably getting on her nerves.First I walk to her house and walk to school with her.Then I walk her to class and I ask her to be my partner for an activity.Now I'm asking where she hangs out,I'm sure she'd like some alone time.Maybe I should cool off. "Or you don't have to tell me."
"Ohh umm it's okay I don't mind." She gave me the directions. "Maybe I'll come by for a visit."
"You don't have to if you don't want to."
"Hey...maybe I do want to.Besides I don't get to see you again until 6th period after this." She smiles and I stare at her.
"You're looking at me weird again..."
"I'm sorry it's just...I keep spacing out."
"Am I boring you?"
"No,no,no it's not that its just I like seeing your smile." Oh crap she's gonna think I'm a weirdo.
"My smile?" I begin to bite the bottom of my lip. "Well then I like your smile too." She smiles sweetly and I smile back.
"Well I guess smiling is pretty contagious then huh?" She lets out a laugh and I smile again.
At the end of the period we go over the worksheets and then the bell rings.I see (YN) packing up so I wait for her.I tell a bunch of people by and then (YN) and I are the only people in the class room.She gets her things ready to leave. "Oh Ryan I didn't see you there."
"Thought I'd wait for you,do you mind?"
"Oh not at all.We're friends after all." We both begin to walk out the classroom and I say bye to Mr.Johnson.
We begin walking and I just follow (YN),soon enough we find ourselves in front of a tree. "So this is the famous tree you told me about?"
"Yeah," She takes a seat by the trunk of the tree and begins to start on some homework.I take a seat by her and she looks up with a smile.
"So is this all you do?"
"You could work on some homework too you know."
"That's a good point but I mean homework is for 'home' you know."
"Yeah but then you have less to do?"
"Oh come on (YN),don't you want to do something else?"
"Oh,well...I guess if you want to..."
It grew silent. "I'm sorry."
"What are you sorry for?"
"I'm being awkward again and I promised not to be."
"It's no big deal,don't worry.I know you're not used to this since you're usually alone at lunch."
"Umm Ryan can I ask you something?"
"What do friends do exactly?"
"Well friends hang out together and talk.Sometimes they laugh and joke around or go to places together.Basically just anything to have a good time but there are times when a friend is in a bad place and they need the other there to help them.That's what friends do."
I notice her look down... "Ummm were still friends though right?Even if I don't tell you about my personal life?" I lift her face gently by the chin with my fingers and reassure with a smile.
"Yes.We're still friends.I'm here for you always...I promise." I then hold out my pinky and she smiles taking it.
"It's a promise."
We both smile and look down after, "Hey umm (YN)?"
"Do you want to do something today?That is if you want to and you can."
"Well people say there's a new great frozen yogurt place that just opened not far from school and I was just wondering if you wanted to try it...with me."
"Oh umm okay I'll go."
"Really?Okay that's great.So I'll just wait for you after school and-"
"We have 6th period together, I'm pretty sure we could just leave from there." I feel my cheeks burn up. "Are you blushing?" I feel my face burst into flames and I look down.She places her fingers on my chin and lifts my head gently,I see her smile, "It's okay.I think it's cute." She giggles and I feel my face gush. "Doesn't feel too good huh?" She begins to laugh.I smile and my eyes meet hers.
"If it's from you I don't mind." I see her face a light shade of pink and she looks down.The bell then rings and we head our separate ways.
I can't believe I was such an idiot back there.I must've looked like such a dork.The blushing only made things worse.Well I guess we're even now.5th period went by pretty fast and then in 6th period I was looking forward to sitting next to (YN).I took my seat and not long after I saw her walk in the room,she took her seat and smiled at me. "Hey,"
"I'm just a bit tired."
"Oh do you still want to go after school today then?We don't have to if you don't want to."
"Ryan I want to.We're freinds now so I can't just bail out on you,besides you seemed pretty excited about it."
"Did I really?"
"On a scale of 1-10 what would you rank my excitement at?"
"Mmm probably an 8."
"Wow that much enthusiasm for some fro-yo?You probably think I'm like a child now huh?Haha."
"No,I just think you like frozen yogurt...a lot."
"Hahaha okay.Well you will too when you taste it."
Class went by and all we had today was a lecture but we had to take notes.The bell rang and I packed up my things then I dropped my pen.I see a hand grab it,I look up and see (YN),holding out the pen in her hand with a bit of a smirk. "Looks like the tables have turned today." I take my pen and put it away.We walk out of class together and head to the front of the school.I'm not entirely sure where the heck the yogurt place is so I decide to ask for directions.I see Derek and a group of people standing around talking to each other.I approach them and (YN) follows me.
"Oh you know just chilling." The guys all soon turn their attention towards (YN),I look at her and she seems really uncomfortable. "Ryan who's your friend?"
"Oh uh guys this is (YN).(YN) this is Derek and some friends I've met." She stays quiet and looks down.They all begin to look at her then back to me.Derek begins to raise an eyebrow. "Um hey guys so I came here to ask you about that new yogurt place."
"Oh the one that just opened right?"
"Yeah,that one.I was wondering if any of you guys knew the directions."
"You gonna eat some fro-yo?"
"Yeah I invited (YN) to try it with me."
"I see..." I look at (YN) again and she just remained looking down.I look to Derek and then he begins giving me the directions.
"Alright thanks man."
"Yeah no problem."
I take (YN)'s hand and we walk off.It's really quiet and I don't want to say much,I think (YN) might be upset that I introduced her to my friends.Soon enough we arrive at the yogurt place. "Look (YN) we're here." We approach it and enter.The cashier gives us the introduction and what not then we head over to the cups.I take two and give one to (YN).
"Your welcome." I go to look at all the different flavors.I look towards (YN) and she was looking at one of the flavors.I go up to her and ask, "Do you want that flavor?" She nods and I pull down the lever.I look at her reaction filled with so much excitement,it brings a smile to my face.
Once we get our yogurt flavors we head to the topping bar.(YN) looks confused so I go over to her, "You pick whatever you want and put it on your yogurt." I demonstrate with my yogurt. She smiles and thanks me.We finish putting on all our toppings and head to the cashier.I look to (YN), "Do you have any money?" She goes through her wallet and only has two dollars.
"I'm sorry I'll give it back."
"No it's fine I'll pay for you."
"But,you'll waste your money."
"I don't mind,besides I'm the one who invited you so it'd only be the polite thing to do for me to pay."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes I'm sure now let me pay for you to enjoy your yogurt with me." We place both our yogurts on the mini scale and the total comes out to around nine dollars.I give the cashier a ten and receive my change.
We take our seats at a table for two.I look at (YN) and watch her stare at her yogurt. "Eat it,I wanna see you when you take your first bite.Haha"
"That's really creepy?"
"Haha well maybe I'm a creepy person."
"No you're not."
"You barely know me so how would you know."
"Haha I'm only teasing (YN),but if you want to decide whether I'm a creep or not why don't you get to know me first."
"Well I know that you stare at me weird sometimes.That's pretty creepy."
"I zone out!"
"Haha look at how defiant you're being!"
"Haha just leave me alone!"
"Oh,I'm sorry I didn't mea-"
"Haha calm down,I was just kidding."
"Sorry I'm just not used to all of this."
"I understand,but I'm certain that you'll adjust." I give a weak smile and she smiles back.I stare at her again then she looks down and takes a spoonful of yogurt then shoves it in her mouth.As we eat up our yogurt we just talk and laugh.I have to admit I think she's doing pretty well with this whole friend thing.
We finish and throw our empty cups away.We head out the door and begin to walk. "Do you think you know how to get home from here?"
"Umm not really haha."
"Well I know how to get to my house from here,want to walk with me there and see if my mom can give you a ride home."
"I don't know will she mind?"
"(YN),my mother adores you.I'm pretty sure she's fine with giving you a ride home."
We begin to walk to my house in silence, "Thank you for inviting me...to eat yogurt with you."
"The pleasure was mine really.I'm really glad you came."
"Oh,I thought I might would have made things boring.I'm not good at this stuff."
"Well it seems like you're pretty good at it to me.You're fun in your own way.And sweet when you want to be."
"Yeah,I guess you don't know yourself all that well.That's kind of sad."
"That actually is pretty sad."
"Don't worry,I'm sure you'll find out more about yourself than you thought you knew."
"You think so?"
"I'm pretty positive."
"How do you know?"
"Well for example you always say you're not good around people."
"I'm not though."
"But I'm people...and you're fine when your around me."
"I guess maybe...I just enjoy your company."
"You enjoy my company?"
"Haha why is that?" "Well you were friendly to me...and you're funny.You're also polite and considerate.Plus you're a pretty sweet guy."
"Wow,I didn't know you felt that way about me."
"I hope I didn't make things weird..."
"Why is it weird?"
"I don't know something in my head just told me I shouldn't have said all of that."
"Well maybe you should say 'Screw You' to your head,because hearing that made me feel special."
"Yeah special...haha I'm just glad you think positive things about me,I was worried there might be some negatives you held against me."
"Well you have your flaws..."
"Hahaha!I'm kidding.You should have seen your face!" I smile and she does too.
Soon enough we arrive to my house.I go to my door and hold it open for her,she walks in and thanks me.As I walk in I close the door behind me then call to my mom.She comes into the living room with us. "(YN),I'm sorry Ryan didn't say he was bringing company over.Anyways it's great to see you." She goes over to (YN) and gives her a hug.I look at (YN) and mouth, 'I told you.' They let go and then my mom looks to me, "Why didn't you tell me she was coming over I would've prepared something for you two to eat."
"Well we already had yogurt so we're okay."
"Yogurts a snack."
"But,we're not hungry right now."
"Well you could've at least let me know you were bringing company over.Especially since it's (YN),she was a sweetheart when we came to her house."
"I'm sorry mom but I only brought her over because she wasn't sure how to get home,can we give her a ride."
"Well of course but you'll have to wait awhile.I'm preparing dinner so just go up to your room and do homework together." I look to (YN), "Is that okay with you?"
"Oh yeah, I don't mind."
"Come on I'll show you to my room." I take her up the stairs and open the door to my room.I walk in with her following behind and I jump on my bed. "Get comfortable, you don't have to stand."
"I uhh...don't know where to sit..."
"Anywhere you'd like haha.You could sit on my bed." I make some room for her. "Come on (YN),I don't bite...hard." She giggles and then takes a seat beside me. "If you're not comfy, there's always my lap." She looks at me and I raise my two eyebrows twice. "Haha,I'm kidding...unless you're into it." She looks down shyly. "Kidding (YN)!Haha!"
I watch her look around the room, "Your room is nice."
She begins to get up and look around more, "Who's that?" I look and see her attention is on a picture.
I put it down and say, "No one important."
"Oh,I'm sorry for being nosy."
"It's fine." We sit in silence for a moment. "My dad."
"That picture...is of my dad."
"Oh,where is he?I've never met him."
"Hah,well then that makes you lucky."
"What do you mean?" I look down and bite my lip.
"My dad...he uhh left us..."
"Oh," It grows quiet. "Do you miss him?"
"(YN) look,my dad was an alcoholic asshole who treated my mom like crap.So no,I don't miss him.I looked up to him as a kid but as I got older I could see my mom wasn't happy."
"Why didn't she say anything?"
"She was scared.She thought if she said something or tried to leave he would get her or do something to me."
"How did he leave?"
I look at her with serious eyes, "Him and my mom got into a huge fight one day,I barely remember I mean I was maybe six or seven but I can remember screaming and yelling.I remember my mom crying and my dad cursing her out.Then I got brought into it somehow and after awhile of them yelling my dad packed up and got his suitcases.Then he just walked out the door without another word.Didn't even say any final goodbyes,he didn't even look at me."
"Did your mom kick him out?"
"No,he said his life was crap with us and if it hadn't been for my mom he would've lived a happy life.So he basically had something he didn't want and threw it away as if it didn't matter."
"Ryan I'm sorry I had you bring all of this up."
"It's fine,I mean I guess it's good to let it out but I really don't care too much.When I think of my dad I just think of all the negative things about him and to make sure I don't end up like him.That's why I have that picture,if I'm having a bad time or feel awful about something I look at it and think at least it's not as bad as him.It's kind of like a motivation for me to better myself."
"That's good then,at least it had some good effect on your life."
"Yeah but it still effected me in negative ways as well."
"Like what?You seem fine to me."
"I don't mean to be rude but I really don't want to talk about that stuff,I'm sorry."
"Oh,I uhh....understand.It's fine."
"But you thinking I'm fine means that the negative effects aren't all that bad." At least not anymore,I smile trying to fix the mood.Soon enough my mom calls us down.
We head down the stairs and see my mom standing, "(YN),are you ready to go?"
"Ryan are you coming?"
"Yeah." (YN) then turns around and her face is right in front mine.I look into her eyes and go into a sort of daze. "I uhh....I left my backpack upstairs." I quickly snap back into reality.
"Right...Umm sorry about that." I move to the side and let her pass by.I look to my mom and she shows a weak smirk.I just shake my head and go down the stairs.(YN) comes down soon after and we head outside.I walk to the car and open the door for (YN).She gets in and thanks me then my mom takes the driver seat as I take the passenger seat.
We drive off and then we get to (YN)'s in no time.I get out of the car and open (YN)'s door. "What are you doing?"
"Escorting a lady home." I flash a smile and offer my hand.She removes her seat belt and takes it.She gets out of the car.
"Thank you Michelle."
"Any time hun."
We begin to walk towards her house.We stand in front of the door and she looks down. "Is something wrong?"
"It's just...today I feel guilty that I made you talk about your dad."
"Well you asked...and we're friends,friends tell each other things.Plus I like you as a person and I think I can trust telling you some personal things."
"But you seemed upset talking about it."
"Well I haven't talked about it in awhile with anyone so maybe that's why."
"Okay then. You're sure your not upset about anything?"
"Yes I'm fine trust me.I'll see you tomorrow okay?"
"Okay.Bye Ryan,Thanks for everything I guess."
"Your welcome." With that I walked back towards the car and watched her enter her house.Me and my mom drove back home and then she finished making dinner.At night I got ready for bed and thought about the day.It was pretty fun.The thoughts remained in my mind as I began to drift off to sleep.
I woke up in the morning and stretched.I got ready and then went to go check on my mom.She was sound asleep.I closed her door slowly and quietly.I went to get an apple and then ate it on the way to school.I saw some students walking and then I thought I'd might walk with (YN) again.I walked towards her house and saw her already walking.I ran up to her and offered to walk with her again.We just talked on our way to school and then I walked her to class again.I went to my 1st period and I noticed people were looking at me weird.I got nervous.In 2nd period I said hi to Derek and some friends but they began to look at me weird too.In 4th period I realized that almost in all of my classes I had been looked at strangely by at least a handful of students.I smiled at (YN) and gave her a friendly wave but that only seemed to have more people stare at me.I felt extremely uncomfortable.Derek then asked if I was going to hang with them at lunch and I said I'd go.
Once the bell rang I looked to (YN) and walked over to her desk, "Need help packing up?"
"No I'm fine," She smiles then quickly looks down.
"Ryan you coming?" I look back and see Derek and the guys waiting.
"I think your friends are waiting."
"Oh,well just wanted to say hello."
"Hey you wanna come with us?I'm sure they won't mind."
"No umm I'm fine by my tree."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah I'm fine.Bye,I'll see you in 6th." She gets her things and leaves the classroom I notice the guys look at her as she leaves but I ignore it.
We begin to walk to our usual lunch spot at some tables.We all sit down and then everyone stares at me again. "Why are you guys staring at me like that?"
"Well it's not everyday you see (Your full name) hanging around with someone.Especially walking to school,talking in class,eating yogurt,being walked to class,and going over each others houses." I begin to feel nervous.Was all of this a bad thing?
"So what if I hang around with her?"
"Ryan you don't get it...there's rumors going around school now because all of this."
"Rumors?What kind of rumors?"
"Well there's lots of them but the main one is that the two of you are dating."
"That's what we thought when we heard but then we find out you've been hanging out together and we see you walking together.Plus you even say hi to her everyday."
"I'm just being friendly."
"Well you should be careful, don't want these rumors going over the top now do we."
"Look me and (YN) are just friends." It grows quiet for a bit.
"Friends.Do you need me to spell it out."
"Friends?How did that even happen?"
"We started talking to each other and we agreed we should be friends."
"So you did ask her out?"
"No!I had a dinner at her house and that's when we decided to be friends."
"Her mom invited us over for a dinner like a welcoming dinner to the neighborhood."
"My mom and I."
"And how was that?"
"It was nice I guess."
I begin to feel a bit of anger,why are people making such a big deal about this.It's not like I've done anything out of the line.We're just two friends hanging out trying to spend more time together,at least that's my goal.I just want to get to know her. "Look Ryan buddy you have to know we're only telling you all of this for your own good.Plus we're your friends too right?So we just want to have things cleared before we start believing them."
"You guys didn't seem to believe me earlier."
"Well how would you act if you heard a ton of rumors about your friend going out with the most socially awkward girl in the school."
"She's not socially awkward!" They all look at me with a,are you kidding me face. "At least not around me..."
"Look Ryan let me ask you a few questions."
"One,your certain you and (YN) aren't going out?"
"Two,do you enjoy spending time with her?"
"Yeah,she's fun to be around." They look at each other as if they don't believe me then Derek looks back at me.
"And 3,are you attracted to her?" I get a bit taken off guard by the question.
"Are you,Ryan,attracted to (YN)."
"What do you mean?"
"Do you find her cute?"
"Yeah but so do all of you."
"Okay,well do you like her personality?"
"Now to sum everything up do you like her?"
I know exactly what he means but I go on saying, "Of course I like her she's a cool person."
"That's not what I meant,I meant do you like her like her.You know?Do you get nervous around her?"
"Hmm so would you say you like her?"
"Derek is this even necessary?"
"Yes!Now answer the question."
"No,I don't like her in 'that' way."
"Alright,that's all we needed to know."
"We just want things cleared alright." I look down and then Derek spoke out again, "By the way Ryan...you should be careful around (YN)."
"What do you mean?She's not a psychopath."
"No but I'm only looking out for you buddy.Don't want your feelings to get hurt."
"Why would they get hurt?"
Derek begins to stare at me with eyes like daggers. "Nothing man,just don't want my bro involved in any trouble man.Haha now we can all chill." I study his face but he showed no change in emotion after that.He began talking with the other guys and I couldn't help but shake what he said?What does that even mean?What trouble would I get in if I stayed friends with (YN) and why do they care so much.
All my thinking wasted my lunch.The bell rang and I head to 5th period.On my way I walked with the guys and I noticed (YN) not far.I smiled at her once she noticed me and waved.She smiled back then I noticed everyone around me started looking at me funny.I looked down and put my hands in my pocket then head off to 5th.In class all I could think about was everything I was thinking about at lunch and everyone staring at me?Why are their eyes filled with anger?I get it's weird to see (YN) hanging around with somebody but why did it bother everybody so much?Why is this such a problem at school now?And why did Derek think being friends with (YN) would get me involved in trouble?