The night had grown late, and honestly, I had no idea where the day went. I barely remembered leaving the bridge. I guess I had stopped at some drug store or convenient store, because Emily was sitting with me on the back porch, cross legged, and with a smoke between her index and middle fingers. The air was cold, so we were sitting with a blanket over us, staring at the clouded sky. It was quiet and the only light we received was from inside the house beyond the glass doors
"Will it rain tonight?" Emily asked.
"I don't know?" I shrugged as she brought the smoke to her lips. For some reason, I didn't enjoy her smoking this time and was waiting for one of my dads to state their concern about it.
"Thanks for today."
"I was thinking."
"We have to leave tomorrow."
"Well, I kind of like it here."
"You hate the rain. You made that very clear today."
"I know, but it's not that bad. Besides, you never took me to Portland."
"You wanted to go there?"
"I-I don't know? You've talked about it before and said you would take your ex-girlfriend. I thought that... I don't know." Emily shrugged. She started to play with the edge of the blanket and I actually heard her sigh.
"We can go there. We'll go tomorrow and make a day out of it."
"What? You have work Sunday and we'll be on the road all night."
"I think I can manage a day off. Besides, you want to go there."
"Are you sure?"
"I'll call my manager tomorrow morning."
"Fine, but I need to buy some clothes."
"Sure, we can do that."
"I was also thinking."
"You're acting really weird." I looked at her confused, but she just shook her head.
"Are you upset about something I said earlier?"
It took me a minute to agree with Emily, but I knew she would ask what it was she said. I didn't want to think about her reminding me that I don't have a girlfriend and how much I really want her to be and how she would never feel the same way. It sucked and had me feeling like crap since. I care about her so much, but to know we'll only be friends stung.
"You're lonely, aren't you?"
"Emily, please, just leave it alone. I know you're trying to be nice, but it won't help."
"Oh, okay. I'm sorry."
"Wanna go inside? You're dad said something about hot chocolate with marshmallows. I've never had it before."
"I'm dead serious. Come on."
In an instant, she managed to pull me from my thoughts and had me forget about whatever was troubling me. The only thing on my mind was, how had she never tried hot chocolate with marshmallows?
"What the hell?" Emily exclaimed, sounding very annoyed. I noticed my dad, from the corner of my eye, glance over at us.
"What?" I asked, hoping my dad wouldn't eavesdrop. Whatever comes out of her mouth will land me a talk and/or lecture that I don't want.
"My freaking marshmallows are gone! They were huge! Now I have this foamy white stuff." Emily stared at her mug with a pout on her face and I smiled. I even heard my dad chuckle at her.
"It happens. Just keep drinking it."
"But I wanted to save my marshmallows for the end." She nearly whined like a five year old.
"I'll get you some more."
"No, they'll just disappear again." She sighed. My dad chuckled again.
"They don't disappear. The hot chocolate is so hot, that the marshmallows melt."
"Okay smart... butt." This time I chuckled.
"How is it?"
"Really good. It makes me want to try s'mores."
"You've never had s'mores?" This shocked my dad, too, because we both jinxed each other.
"I just didn't. I always thought it was something you can only have when you go camping."
"And you've never been camping?"
"No, so lets write a novel about the tragic horrors of my deprived childhood."
My dad chuckled again, but he didn't know what laid behind Emily's words like I did. I didn't say anything and continued to watch Monsters Inc. with her because she claimed she had never watched it before and was missing out. By the time Sully was lost in the arctic with the Abominable Snowman, Emily made me stop the movie because it was boring. For, probably, the first time I thought there was something legitimately wrong with her. I loved Monsters Inc. as a kid.
While I put the DVD away, I heard my dad talking with Emily and asking her simple, but personal questions- similar to the ones Emily took so long to give me answers to. The tension from Emily rose, and for a minute I had felt pity, but it flashed away with a blink of an eye when I remembered how crappy she had me feeling for almost the entire day. Honestly, it wasn't her fault, but I would never get over it.
"Your parents must have had quite a few questions when they found out you were heading off to some boy's house in another state." My dad commented, trying to coax some sort of fact out of her.
"Sure." Emily answers quietly. After placing the movie back in it's place on the shelf, I stood up and sighed.
"I know I'd go crazy if Niall, here, ran off to a girl's place." I could feel my cheeks warming the moment he said that when memories of me spending hours upon hours in Emily's apartment came to mind.
"Yeah, let's not have that happen." I cut in quickly only to receive a confused expression from my dad. Emily tried to hold in a laugh, but I ushered her out of the room and to my bedroom before my dad said anything else.
"So, you had a gender-bender rally and you had to dress up like a girl?" Emily asked for the fifth time.
"I didn't have to. My friends were doing it and we all just got really into it."
"And that is why you still have a pink skirt with matching shoes in your closet?" Emily clarified, but it made me want to rip my hair out.
"Yes, oh my god, yes!"
"Calm down, pretty boy. I obviously don't know you." She threw her hands up and slid a couple of inches away from me on my bed.
"You don't." I muttered to myself and hoped she didn't hear.
"Did you wear a wig?" She asked instead.
"No, of course not."
"Alright, alright. Did you put on makeup?"
"No! Why would you think that?"
"I don't know? You wore a skirt, had sparkling shoes, so I just assumed."
"That's the worst assumption. I only had the skirt and shoes. And the skirt was a loan."
"Then why do you still have it?"
"It ended up being gifted and forgotten about until you had to resurface my buried past." Laughter sounded throughout my room and instead of trying to be annoyed, I smiled at how humorous it all was.
"I'm not letting this go, like ever." Emily assured.
"No, please, it was like three years ago during my sophomore year. I played football, so I had to show some spirit during rallies."
"Wait, do you still have your jersey?"
"Um, no, the jersies belong to the school's athletic department along with some of the equipment we used. We had to return it all at the end of the season."
"Oh, that's lame."
"Yeah, but I was lucky and graduated just beofre they bought new ones, so I was able to keep mine."
"That doesn't make sense. You told me you didn't have it."
"Well, technically, I took it to my grandpa's house and left it there. He thought it was intentionally and it now hangs like a painting in his living room right next to his wedding photo with my grandma."
"Awe, how sweet! Your grandpa must've been proud of you for being the team's kicker."
"Shut up and don't rub it in. But yes, he was very proud of me for playing all four years of high school. When I was younger, he'd thought of me as the scrawny kid who may have a chance at swimming or tennis."
"You more like a swimmer than a football player. I'm sorry, but I picture them as these big buff guys."
"You're thining of quarterbacks and the guys who were could've squashed me if they wanted to."
"Did you have to wear a tie on Fridays for game days?"
"Yes, it was not mandatory, but a tradition. I think my ties are somehwere in my closet along with my shirts and slacks."
"Are you serious?"
"Yes, I managed to get away with wearing Vans those days."
"Humph, did you manage to get away with a dress one day, too, pretty boy?" Emily laughed so hard, I actually hear her snort and couldn't help but laugh along with her.
"You weren't lying about that." I said after she calmed down.
"Nope, pretty boy."
"Like it the old one better."
"Yeah, it doesn't sound as degrading."
"Oh come on, you're beautiful with those sparkling blue eyes and those lucious blonde and brown locks! You have this pink hue to your pale skin now. There's also those brown freckles which are like brown sprinkles of sugar on your skin, making you so sweet. You're like a fluffy ball of sunshine that could brighten the dullest of days. Don't even get me started on how you are not scrawny at all. Look at yourself in the mirror, pretty boy! I think you're blind to the beauty of yourself."
I stared dumbly at Emily who gave this supportive and warming smile. I knew full well she just complimented me on how I looked, but the fact wouldn't stick. It was something I wanted to hear her say, but I never expected to hear. She's gonna come up with some joke that takes back more than half of what she said, I knew it.
"Well, don't look at me like that now. I didn't mention your mesmerizing smile that is seriously contagious and very hard to replicate."
Again, I was speechless. There was this nagging voice in the back of my head telling me to compliment her and tell her everything I've been dying to say. This is my chance, my moment. But of course, I stayed mute.
"Oh, I get it. Some sort of response would be nice, though. This is my first time telling someone I like them, so... even a blink of an eye or a twitch of a limb will do." Emily shrugged, keeping her eyes away from me. I felt like a little kid who had their crush say something sweet to them for the first time and started to laugh. I immediately stopped when I saw Emily's horrified look and realized that she thought I laughed at her.
"Shit, no, I was laughing at myself. I'm so sorry, Em. I was acting like an idiot and I thought I was funny and-"
"Did you just call me by a nickname or shortened version of my name?"
"No one has done that. Well, something nice."
"Oh, I just-"
"Stop before you hurt yourself."
"Okay, but I think you're more beautiful than myself. You have dark brown hair that shines in any light and dark brown eyes to match. Your skin has a sun-kissed tint and there's a small birth mark on your neck just above your shoulder. You may enjoy darker clothing, but I think you make up for that when you smile. You smell like berries and cigarettes, and sometimes mint even. You are a professional when you smoke and I find myself not being able to take my eyes off of you. I admire you so much, because if I am being completely honest here, I'd say you take my breath away and are extremely attractive in every way possible, including your attitude and personality."
"I-I, oh Niall." Emily whispered with wide eyes. At least her reaction was better than mine. If she laughed, I probably would have died inside.
"I like you, too, Em."
Silence followed as she just stared at me with this blank expression, but really I couldn't read it. She showed things I've never seen before. After a minute, she looked away and got up from my bed. She grabbed the hoodie she stole from my closet and pulled it on after taking off my jacket she had been wearing since the morning. After fixing her hair, she stood in the same spot and stared at the ground as if she were thinking of something.
"I'm going to go to bed now."
"You are?" I asked too soon.
"Yes, thanks for a great day. I don't want to go to Portland tomorrow."
I wanted to say something back, but Emily was already walking away and out of my room. When she gently shut the door closed behind her, I let out a frustrated groan and fell back on my bed with a slight bounce. The stress she puts me through by loving her is unreal, but I can't seem to get enough of it because, sure enough, there came the picture of me seeing her exiting the bathroom in my head. I can't say I had a hard time falling asleep, but it took me a few hours because she was literally the only thing on my mind before I fell asleep. Thankfully, none of them were nervous or discouraged thoughts. I fell asleep promising myself to be more confident around her, if it were possible.
Woohoo! You waited a century for this! Lol, I'm hoping I can get my head in the game and wrap this up (: