"He really likes you, ya know?" My best friend, Johnny, told me.
We were sitting in front of my big screen television, eating popcorn and chocolate milk. Big Bang theory was on a commercial, so we had the sound muted.
"I know. But I-I have mixed feelings about him.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Johnny said, popping another piece of popcorn into her mouth.
"I think I like him, but whenever we text or Snapchat, he is so obsessive! I get annoyed! So, then when I'm actually with him, I don't know how I feel." I explained, eating a piece of popcorn. Lies. I didn't like him.
"You are so confusing." She muttered.
"You have no idea."
My phone began to ring in it's place on the floor, plugged into the wall outlet.
I jumped up off the electric sofas, and picked up my iPhone.
'Nathan' it read.
"It's him." I said, annoyingly.
"Well answer it!" She demanded.
"You!" I said in a hurry.
"No! This is your issue!" She exclaimed.
I looked to the picture of him, ugh.
Lord, help. "Hello?" I answered before the tone ended.
"Hey! How are you?" Nathan said, a bit too eagerly.
"I'm good, and you?" I asked.
"Put it on speaker!" Johnny whispered.
I pressed the speaker phone icon, and his voice boomed out, "I'm excited for tomorrow!" He said, again... too eagerly.
"I bet" I said dryly.
"Is Johnny with you?" He asked.
"Yup. It's on speaker." I told him.
"Good, so Ben can't go tomorrow." He said, sadly.
"What?! Why?" Johnny said loudly. She looked at me sadly. She had had a crush on Ben ever since she met him.
We both just recently met them, but neither of them went to our school.
"His mom thinks it's a double date" Nathan said.
"Ugh. Women.." Johnny said, she was really distraught about this.
"So, should I invite somebody else?" Nathan asked.
"Sure," I answered "that would be great." I told him.
"Okay-" he said.
"Sorry! Got to go!" I said suddenly, annoyed at him. I hung up and put my iPhone back on the ground.
"Well!" Johnny said dramatically.
"Shut up. He irks me" I said with a sting in my voice.
There was a pause between us as I sat back down.
"So, if you don't want him, can I have him?" She asked, and blushed.
I stared at her for a long moment, then my eyes widened, "oh my goodness! Why didn't think of that before?? That would be perfect! He is in love with me, but if you swoon him with your beauty, he will fall for you! And I'll be free from this agonizing annoying mess!" I exclaimed, excitedly. Them another realization hit me, "you have liked him this whole time! How have I not- oh my goodness!!" My smile couldn't get any larger.
"Finally" she sighed, with a cute little smile.
"AAHH!" I screamed. "Dude I'm so happy right now!!" I wanted to scream again, but before I could, my phone rang again.
Johnny got up and went over to my iPhone and read, "Nathan".
"Answer it" I told her.
"Hello?" She said.
The conversation didn't last long, seeing that he is still in love me, but Johnny sat back down with a smile on her face, and her eyes blue, glowing with joy.
I laughed at her and unpressed mute. The episode was already over, but we weren't too worried about it.
"Want to go get a movie?" I asked.
"Sure! Where at?" She asked.
"Movies Movies" I answered. I turned off the television and everything, and we went up the stairs from the man cave in the basement.
Six stairs up, at the landing, the clock ticked 10pm. We turned, and went up the remaining seven steps. The stairs opened up to the large kitchen to the right, and the dining room to the left.
"I'm still jealous of your house. It's so amazing. It's a mansion...literally"
"Thanks." I said. Smiling.
I grabbed my lanyard off of the kitchen counter, and slipped my blue Adidas slips on. Johnny slipped her pedicured feet into flip flops and followed me out the door.
"What movie you say we should get?" I asked Johnny. I locked the door and walked to my black Corvette. I had just gotten it for my seventeenth birthday on August 5. Today was August 11.
As we drove, I blasted country music. Yes, despite my parents' richness, I was a country girl. I only cared how I looked a little of the time, I didn't care if my clothes got dirty, I didn't care if my hair or make-up was messy... usually, but I did like clothes. But I wasn't girly. Being called girly is like the worst threat to me.
Johnny on the other hand, cared about everything. She lived on the north side of Camelot. She was a city girl. It was a small town, but the north side was considered 'city' and the south 'country'. She wore make up on Saturdays, she did her hair, she didn't like to get sweaty, she had an artificial tan, and she didn't like my style. She never went mud bogging, or sledding, she didn't like to swim because it made her hair messy, she didn't like the rain because it made her hair frizzy. And she HATED country music. So we listened to both, when one was on commercial, we listened to the other, which was pop.
But despite our differences, she was my best friend. My other half. People say that we should hate each other, but when it comes to best friends, opposites attracts.
I pulled into Movies Movies and shoved my keys into the pocket of my baggy sweat pants.
I wore sweats with 'Camelot Leopards' down the pant leg, and a cut-out shirt from a school I went to when I lived in LA.
I missed it there. The warm weather, the stars, Dylan.
Ugh. I missed him. His smile. His laugh.
**Dylan is Dylan Dauzat (:*
A tear sprung up in my eye, and I quickly blinked it away.
I moved here a year ago, due to my dad's business. He and my mom work in the same business, causing them never to be home. Which was okay with me. They did not approve of anything about me. I had a bit of an accent, but they were always surrounded by big executives, tall buildings, and fancy clothes.
While they were at dinner, I was with my friends and Dylan mud bogging, or tailgating, or taking a midnight dip. Which I always got scolded about.
They mostly did NOT approve of Dylan. They didn't like him whatsoever. My parents wanted a business woman for a daughter, not a girl that hung out with the guys, that didn't look sophisticated.
"Maddi!" Johnny yelled at me. I jerked my head towards her.
"What?" I yelled back.
"Come On!" She was holding the door open for me and there was a woman standing behind me, waiting for me to go inside.
"My bad" I said. She laughed at me, while applying lip gloss that smelled like Febreeze.
It was a cool night, for an August one. But in this Michigan town, the weather sucked. It was never predictable. It looked like it was about to rain, but I got tired of guessing incorrectly.
The door binged when the door swung closed. "Hello" Ms. Rachel said from behind the counter.
"Hey Ms. Rachel!" I smiled back.
"What are you guys looking for tonight?" She replied.
"I don't know." I looked at Johnny. "How 'bout you?"
"Romance?" She suggested. She looked at Ms. Rachel. "Oh honey! That scarf.. No. You can't wear it like that!" Johnny reached over the counter and untied the scarf and wrapped it around again in a different design. I raise an eyebrow at her.
"North Side" I whispered to Ms. Rachel behind a hand.
"Can we get the one with Channing Tatum in it?" Johnny said. "Where they all dance?" Johnny said.
"Maddi" I heard in the distance. "Maddi!" I heard, louder this time. I saw myself in the woods. The trees blowing in the wind, a person down the path, calling for me. "Maddi!!" The trees turned to darkness, the voice faded, and the sunlight fell.
I opened my eyes to Johnny shaking me out of my slumber.
"What?" I moaned.
"It's 6:00" Johnny pulled the covers over her shoulders, snuggling closer to the pillows. My king size bed was perfect for the two of us, we could spread out and not have a problem with it.
"So?" I muttered.
"Charlotte is making us breakfast at six. Remember?" she muttered.
I groaned "you woke me up" I paused, "so our dead cook" another pause, "could make us breakfast?" I asked.
"She died?" Johnny said, her face muffled by the pillows. "That's sad."
"She was like a hundred years old!" I told her.
She made a noise as the home phone burst into a shrill sound at my desk. The light was blinking yellow, which meant that somebody was calling for my line.
Groaning, I got up and stumbled to the desk.
I didn't even bother looking at the name on the tiny screen.
"What" I muttered into the receiver.
"Good morning to you to" Nathan's voice came through too loudly for a Summer morning.
"If you're calling for Maddi, she is still sleeping." I said, and hung up.
I turned to the bed and Johnny was laughing at me.
"I really don't like him." I said and fell back into the warm blankets.
I woke up three hours later at 9:14am.
I didn't wake Johnny, knowing that if I woke her up, she would hate everything and start cussing out random pieces of furniture and things for no reason.
I got out of bed and crept down my spiral staircase to the living room corner. The sun was up and shining bright through the windowed wall.
I walked to the kitchen and turned on the teapot.
I glanced at the time while I put four pieces of toast into the toaster.
The mailman usually came at 9:20 on the dot. Great.
I looked down at myself: I wore a pair of Dylan's boxers that he gave me. I smiled at the thought of him. Guys' underwear were really quite comfortable. I had a bright blue sports bra, that revealed my tanned, toned abs. I had put my hair up into a messy bun before I came down. Well, I thought, the mailman will have a nice surprise.
The door bell rang at exactly 9:20.
I walked over to the door and swung it open. The twenty year old mail guy stood on the porch with a box and a stack of envelopes. His eyes lit up when he saw my lack of clothing.
"Thanks" I told him. I took the box and mail from him, gave him a nod, and shut the door.
I walked back to the kitchen placed the box on the island, and flipped through the mail.
Finding nothing for me, I went over to the toaster to wait for the- I jumped as the toast popped up. Every. Freaking. Time.
I peanut buttered the crispy bread, and put them on a plate. I took a blue coffee mug and a white teacup down from the cupboard. I poured some coffee into the blue mug, then added French Vanilla creamer for Johnny. Then got a green tea teabag from the wicker box, placed it in, and filled the white teacup with water. I put the toast and the cups on a silver tray and walked up the normal stairs to the upstairs. I was not about to try to go up the spiral staircase with a tray of breakable cups.
My room was the whole fourth floor, there was a spiral staircase directly up to my room, and then normal stairs for the third, second, and fifth floors. But there was a separate emergency staircase from my room.
My parents weren't home still they were away on a business trip.
When I got to my room, the door was locked. But i was used to that. I reached above the door and found the bobby-pin I kept there and unlocked it.
Johnny was still sleeping, so I put the tray on a divan and stepped out onto the balcony.
I breathed in the warm summer air. It was a bit different than the LA air, Michigan was more humid. My skin was dark, tan. People sometimes thought I was Mexican. Dark hair and tan skin.
My parents blocked his number from my phone, and they said if I unblocked it, I'd have to clean the entire house. I was on the verge of being Cinderella. But I found other ways to contact him.
I was not allowed to contact him directly, and he me. My dad would murder him, or hire someone to. I'm not even kidding.
But we had this kind of code. He would update twitter or Facebook, or Instagram, or anything really. Sometimes he acted like he was someone different and he "called the wrong number".
A tear fell down my face. I went inside, shut the doors, and saw that Johnny was still sleeping.
I couldn't think about him.
It's been a year since I last saw him. We promised each other we wouldn't date anyone, and I was going to keep that promise. But what if he isn't? Another tear fell.
Stop it Jane.
My phone tweeted. Twitter.
I picked it up off the vanity and a Twitter notification was there.
@DYLAN_DAUZAT: Good morning beautiful(: How you slept?(:
I smiled and tapped the status button.
Morning!(: I slept great last night.
I typed as the doorbell rang again. Thats odd.
I took a sip of my green tea and ran down my staircase to get the door. I pressed the looking button next to the door and the little camera screen showed a UPS guy in his brown get up. I opened the door and he stared.
"Jane!" he surprised.
"Carlos!" The Mexican boy smiled as I recognized him. He put down the box he was holding and reached for a hug. I smiled as I wrapped my arms around him.
Carlos was one of my first friends I knew at Camelot Private.
Yes. I went to a private school. People called us Privs. But it was more of a jealousy thing, with a hint of respect. It was a super expensive school where the students could do pretty much whatever they wanted.
We wrapped our arms around each other, his cold hands stinging my bare skin. He felt me jump, and laughed.
"You could wear a shirt" he winked.
"Eh." I grinned. "Too lazy."
He picked up the box and handed it to me.
It wasn't very heavy, but there was definitely something in it.
"Any idea what it is? It's addressed to you?" He said.
"I-it might be something from a friend back home" I said.
"You mean it's from Dylan, back where his home is?"
"No" I said immediately, "I mean, it is from him, most likely, just, it's still home to me" I probably wasn't making any sense.
He chuckled. "Yeah, sorry." Carlos was quite cute, I had to admit.
"Well, I'll let you get back to UPS stuff" I smiled at him
We said goodbye, and I shut the door tight, I ran to the kitchen counter and grabbed a knife from the utility drawer, and slice the tape in one movement.
I opened the flaps, and dug around in the foam nuts.
My hand hit a few objects. I pulled out a box that might be from JCPenny, like a white clothing box.
I cut the tape on that and was about to open it when the garage door started to rise. Crap.
I shoved the box back into the big one, gathered a bunch of foam nuts that had fallen out, shut the box, and sprinted up the stairs, taking them two at a time, on the seventh or eighth step up, I turned to check if I left anything out. I wanted my parents to think I was at a friends, or something.
The knife. Crap. Crap. Crap. I thought as I set the box down on the landing, ran back down into the kitchen, grabbed the knife, put it neatly in the drawer, and froze. A car door slammed, and there were voices on the steps outside.
But that wasn't why I froze, right there on the top of a thick pile of paper, about fifty letters were rubber banded together, unopened...
With my name on them.
I grabbed the envelopes and was about to sprint away, when the door opened.
My parents were laughing about something, but I didn't wait around to hear what they were laughing about. I sprinted up the stairs once again, this time with the envelopes, and a box that was about to spill out all of its nuts.
I didn't slow down even though they couldn't hear or see me. Outside my door, I listened for any noise from the inside.
It was silent. I opened the door quietly, looked towards my bed, saw Johnny still fast asleep on my bed, and my phone where I left it, ringing. It wasn't loud, but if I was sleeping, I would be awake. But luckily, Johnny was a deep sleeper. She could sleep through a bombing. I'm not even kidding.
I set the box and envelopes onto a small table by the door and silently crept over to my phone.
I held down the talk button so it would keep ringing, an ran into my bathroom.
"Hello?" I said, a little tired from my flee up the stairs.
"Hello I'm calling for-" I knew the voice immediately.
"Dylan!" I pretty much yelled. Tears sprung up into my eyes.
"Hey girl" he said. I could hear the smile on his face.
I didn't ask why he was calling, or who's number he was calling from, or why so early, or how he was, or if he was having a good morning, or anything else
All I said was, "I love you" a tear fell down my cheek. My heart about to burst.
"I love you more" he replied. "Babe, don't cry." He knew without me even making a sound.
"Too late" I said.
"You're gonna make me cry... And you don't want me to do that, when I cry I have loud sobs, and everyone around will hear, and your parents will kill us all."
"I miss you" he whispered.
"I miss you" I whispered back.
"Are your parent home?" He asked me.
"Yes. They just got home." I said, disappointment in my voice.
"Did you get my package?" he asked me.
"I got a large box, but it just got here and I was about to open it when my parent walked in, so I ran up here, then you called.
"Go open it" he was smiling.
I opened the bathroom door and stepped out onto the plush carpet.
Johnny still wasn't awake, so I picked up the box and went across the room to the window seat and sat down, placing the box next to me.
Dylan was quiet on the other end, so I just continued to open it. On the inside flaps, there was a note.
'I love you babe, and I'm still keeping my promise.'
"I'm keeping mine too" I whispered.
I opened the flaps on all four sides and picked up the white clothing box from the top, opened it, removed the tissue paper, and pulled out the black hoodie with the LSU logo on it. Dylan and my favorite team.
I refolded it and put it aside.
I reached back into the box and felt something soft. I pulled it out and it was like a sort of cloth, wrapping up something else soft.
I undid the pin and the cloth fell loose. Inside, a little glass elephant lay.
I gasped. I picked it up and smiled at it. On the underside, J + D was carved into the delicate glass. a tear rolled down my cheek, landing on the small cloth.
"I have the same one." Dylan said softly.
I laid both the black and red plaid cloth and the glass elephant on the hoodie and reached back into the box. I found an unsealed envelope and flipped it open. Photographs. I slid them out and flipped through them. They were all of Dylan. Smiling. Laughing. Posing.
"Jane?" His voice came through. "Why haven't you been replying to my letters?"
"Oh. I just found them. They were all enveloped together. My parents must have been trying to hide them." I snuffled. "I can't believe them." Remembering them, I got up and went to retrieve them.
"They're dated, so read them in order" Dylan said.
"I have sent many letters." I told him.
"Yes I've read them. More than once actually." He said. "How is Johnny?"
"Sleeping at the moment" I giggled. "But she is good. Happy lately, because I told her that she can have as much Nathan as she wants."
"I don't like that kid" he said.
"Me either" I said, without hesitating.
"Well that's good to know" I heard him.
I sat back down on the window seat and took off the rubber bands.
I opened the envelope with the latest date and read:
Jane, August 5, '12
You left today. This morning. I miss you like hell. My mom didn't make me do anything. She keeps bringing me food, or asking if I wanted anything. Everytime, I say no, after she leaves I think about you. My Kleenex box is empty. Babe, I need you. I can't. How am I supposed to go a whole month of summer without you? I feel like dying.
Jane, I miss you. Come back. I can't believe your parents made you leave on your birthday! Be good.
I love you
I hadn't realized it, but I was crying. I sniffed and folded the letter back up.
"It seems like we went through similar situations" a tear fell down my cheek.
"Jane. Don't cry" he said. My heart ached.
Johnny stumbled out of bed to the bathroom.
"Johnny's up" I told him.
"Tell her I said hey" He said. The stairs up to my floor creaked
"Shit" I said. I put everything, including the letters in the box, and shoved it into my closet. "My parents are coming!"
"Aww" he sad unhappily.
"I love you" I told him.
"I love you more" he told me hurriedly. "Promise me you won't get into trouble, or be talking to any other guys" his protectiveness shone.
"Babe I promise! What about my teachers? Or the guy at the gas station? Or my mailman to scrape off the ice-" my parents burst in. Damnit, I forgot to lock the door.
"Sorry! You have the wrong number!"
Before I pressed the end button, I heard him laughing.
"Who was that, honey?" My mother asked me.
"It was nobody. Wrong number I guess." I said.
"Did you have fun while we were gone?" my dad said.
"Yeah" I said. I was praying that Johnny wouldn't come out of the bathroom so my parents would talk to is more.
"Well, we have to get back to the office" my mother said.
"Bye" I said, sitting down on the window seat once more.
They left and closed the door. As soon as the door clicked shut, I sighed and Johnny came out of the bathroom.
"Wrong number my ass" she laughed at me, checking her phone.
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