“Okay, so what do you want to get?” Jennifer asks as we enter a gas station shop on our way to my place. The sliding doors automatically open for us, and in the exact moment that we place on foot indoor, the cool air greets us. I shiver a little, but try to hide the fact that the shop without doubt is using too cold an air conditioner.
“Ben & Jerry’s or something more basic?” Jennifer continues as I follow her to the freezer section, where lots of different ice-creams are stored on top of each other.
“I could always do with some Ben & Jerry’s,” I admit and let my eyes wander over the different tastes - there are not a lot, but my favourite is there. Cookie dough. The main reason it is my favourite, is because it is a safe choice and it never disappoints. I am not much for stepping out of my comfort zone when it comes things like ice-cream, candy or other foods. I know what I like, and I am not likely to try something completely different.
“Then two big ones,” Jennifer says and nods a little to herself, “Pick one and I’ll pick another.”
She says this mainly because her favourite is Peanut Butter Cup.
I grab the freezer door and pull it open, the air in there is even colder than the air in the shop, and I am positive that if I don’t get out of here soon, I will not only have a concussion, I will also have caught a cold. It does not sound very appealing, since there is nothing I want less than to stay at home for the rest of the week.
We make it to my place in less than fifteen minutes, and as soon as we enter my kitchen, Jennifer explodes with questions - as if she has been holding back for the entire ride.
“What is going on with you and Harry Styles?” Is the first question that slips past her lips, as I open up the top drawer with our cutlery.
“What do you mean?” I decide to act oblivious.
“Don’t try that with me,” she warns me with a slight change of tone. I grab two teaspoons and close the drawer. Then I turn around and face her. She is standing with our ice-creams in a white plastic bag, but somehow still manages to have both hands on her hips.
“Honestly?” I keep her on the hook.
“Yes, honestly!” She whines and I am not sure that her excitement appeals to me. I do not want to get worked up over something that could be nothing.
“Then…” I lean against the kitchen counter, “I am not sure at all.”
“Not sure?” Her face drops a little, “What do you mean with not sure?”
“I am not sure what is happening, or if anything is happening at all,” I explain. Jennifer nods and for a second she remains silent. It has been a while since something I said left her in so deep thought, that she needed a minute or two of complete silence. I take the time to slide a sling of hair behind my ear, and try to focus on anything but Harry.
Then I remember that I have work tomorrow - and I have no intention on calling in sick. My boring work at Hannaford (a grocery store) does grant me with the extra money I am saving for after senior year. I am exactly sure what I am saving for, but New York City (or any European city) is the dream.
“Do you…” Then Jennifer’s unsure voice rips me out of my daydream about life after high school. “Do you think that he likes you?” She then muster up the ability to ask.
“Likes me?” I raise both eyebrows and probably look more shocked than I feel. The thought has occurred to me - more as a small hope in the depth of my bones, not really as an actual sane thought.
“Yes. I mean… Consider it,” for the first time since meeting Harry, Jennifer does not talk as if this is a competition. It is relieving.
“I don’t think that I am his type,” I am not sure what makes me say that, but there is something so appealing and superior about Harry, that it makes me feel as if I could never reach the same level of interest.
“Why do you say that?”
I wrinkle my forehead in confusion.
“Babs, don’t you for one second think that you aren’t good enough for a guy like him. I mean.. Come on. It is time for the bad guys to start falling for the less…”
“Popular?” I suggest.
“Yes! Less popular girls. Not that you aren’t popular, you’re just not Juliane Summer - and that’s okay. I mean… Why would he not like you?” Jennifer almost stumble over her words, because they pass her lips with such speed that catching up is hard. Why would he not like me? I had not asked myself that question, and maybe it is time to do so. When I think about it, I can not find many reasons for why I should be unappealing to him. We are different in some ways, at least it seems so, but then again - how different can we actually be? He makes me nervous and I amuse him. I need to get rid of the anxious butterflies every time I see him, they do not do any good, and if I want to get to know this guy - then I have to let him get to know me. Not the nervous, half drunk and slightly uninteresting me. But the me that I believe is worth something more.
“I don’t know,” I then finally breathe and Jennifer smiles at me.
“I think he likes you,” she says.
“I don’t think I should get my hopes up,” I argue.
“I think you should let your guard down.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“I think you’re a coward.”
“I think you’re being harsh.”
And then Jennifer can not keep her straight face any longer, and she cracks up in a wide grin, “I am being sort of harsh, yeah. But Barbie,” she raises an eyebrow at me as I let out a heavy sigh, “I think you have caught his interest.”