Such A Silly Game We Play

Leena is one of those goody-goody teenage girls who is obedient to her parents, maintains high grades in school, has an average social life, and zero night life. Even more, she's the usual shy-type, terrible at making new friends, and even more terrible when it comes to oh-so-cheesy relationships, which was surprisingly coming her way now.

With so many things on the line that could go wrong if she ever followed what she truly wants, will she ever have the guts to let it all out? Would the guy do the same? Or, would both of them just sit down and wait until some miracle happens?

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34. I Guess I'm One Lucky Guy

 

"Cheetos or Lays?" 

I looked at him for a second, he was holding two over-sized bags of chips. He was rummaging through the back of their SUV while I was sitting at the back of the passenger seat checking my Facebook. "Oh, Cheetos all the way."

He dropped the Lays from wherever he took it, grabbed the bag of Cheetos, and sat beside me. "Here," he opened the bag and gave it to me.

Of course, I couldn't say NO to his offer so I put down my phone and grabbed it. "Thanks."

He gave me a smile.

We were quiet for a minute, which made me feel awkward and queasy. "So, how was graduation?" I asked Jeff as I took two long pieces of my most favorite cheesy snack.

"Uhm, it was great. Thanks. A bit bummed, you know, 'cause it's all over," he said while taking a handful of Cheetos from the bag I was holding.

I nodded, shoving another cheesy puff into my mouth. "Sad though, Zander and I wasn't able to come. Thea said you guys had a lot of fun." As soon as I finished my sentence, I looked at him.

For a while he just kept chewing, looking straight at the cars lined in the parking lot. We were waiting for our dads. They said they'll be quick, but I guess in 'guy time' that was the opposite. Which is why we got a little hungry and he let me choose what snack to eat. It was past noon and we haven't had any lunch. I guess Cheetos was our lunch for today. Uncle Joe told dad that Jeff finally decided to confirm his acceptance at Oakland, and since mom and dad knew about my early acceptance, Uncle Joe thought that it would be a good idea for me to see the school campus. 

 

"Yeah, I know," he finally replied.

But I knew something wasn't right. I knew it from the minute Thea was acting way weird when she visited me in my house 5 days ago. But I didn't know what exactly wasn't right.

"Hey, I really am sorry," he said. 

"Oh," I said just as if it wasn't a big deal, "don't worry about it! I mean, I understand. It's your graduation day, your family must be really proud and excited to see you walk on that red carpet... with your head held high... wearing that hat and toga which had a really odd shade of green," I said while smiling, trying to ease off the tension a while ago.

We laughed. "Yeah, it was pretty hideous! It was some kind of green... light green?"

"Maybe sort of a... ugh... apple green? John showed me this photo," I replied while reaching for my phone and showing him their group photo that John sent me. "It was actually nice of him to send it to me, but you know... I'M NOT HERE, so..."

He kept laughing. I just smiled again.

"It's okay! It's okay, really. I mean, I could just open up Photoshop and do some magic. No big deal!" Now I was laughing while talking which made him laugh even more. I thought the people outside could hear us already.

 

"Wow, it's been a while since we've had a road trip, huh?" Jeff asked.

"Yeah, kind of miss it actually. Love road trips. But dad and your dad just go by themselves now, right? Instead of going with us and our moms."

"Yeah."

I scanned the modern looking court house in front of us and saw that my dad and Uncle Joe was already going down the stairs. "Ooooh, quickly! They're coming. Pretend we're bored as ever!"

Jeff gave me a confused look, "Why would we do that?"

In return, I gave him my 'are-you-seriously-asking-me-that-question' look and said, "We've been waiting here for almost an hour and they only said it would only take them 5 MINUTES! Unacceptable!," I said angrily, which made me spill a few pieces of Cheetos. He shot me a look. "I'll take care of that later. Here they come!"

And by just a split second, I was leaning on the door with a bag, now half-filled, with Cheetos and my face was just the most bored face ever. I look to my left and saw Jeff leaning his head by the window with his arms crossed and his gray colored Nike shoes on the driver's seat's armrest. Oh, he's good.

 

Dad opened the door first, followed by Uncle Joe who opened the driver's door. As they settled on their seats, dad looked at me with his face full of guilt. Uncle Joe was just smiling, trying not to laugh loudly (like he always does).

"Okay," dad said to me with his apologetic voice, "I know you're mad that it took a while. And I'm sorry but there were a lot of people that we know inside the court room."

I took one bite of Cheetos and smiled. "Of courseeee! You know if mom was here, she would be totally pissed by now."

"Yes, I know," dad said and smiled back at me before he faced front. Uncle Joe started to drive towards the entrance of the freeway. 

I looked back at Jeff and he was trying not to laugh. Like father like son.

"Okay! Oakland, here we come! Well, here we come in... about 4 hours," Uncle Joe said.

I moved closer to the passenger's seat, towards dad's ear and whispered while impersonating him, "5 minutes! Just 5 minutes!"

Dad didn't move right away, but then he immediately faced me and grabbed my waist to pinch it. And just as he did, he took a hold of my un-flat, no abs, slightly flabby tummy. He just kept laughing.

"OWWW!" I shouted which made me spill more Cheetos. I felt Jeff's hand touch mine as he grabbed the bag of chips from me so I wouldn't waste all of the cheesy goodness.

And by now, the three boys that surrounded me just kept laughing non-stop. I actually became kind of afraid since Uncle Joe was laughing hard while driving. When they finally stopped (about after 5 whole minutes, geez), Jeff gave me back the bag of Cheetos and said, "Okay, so now I know two things that you hate: Lays and tardiness! GOT IT." 

I stared at him for a second, then I immediately threw him a piece of Cheetos. He laughed, grabbed the piece I threw him and ate it.

Then dad said, "Oh, and don't forget talking to people. She hates talking to most people, especially the ones she can't relate to. She'd rather sit in a corner and do something else." He laughed, and so did Uncle Joe.

I actually was a little pissed when he said that. He always told jokes to my aunts and uncles during family reunions of how I was SO quiet and out-of-place every time which was why I just end up sitting in a corner and reading a book. All of my aunts and uncles just kept laughing about it. I did too just for the sake of it, but deep inside it wasn't okay. So I'm quiet! I'm an introvert! So what, dad?! Yeah, I'm not like you who can't shut his mouth from pointing out the negative side of people and humiliating them.

 

I rolled my eyes when he said it and went back to my seat. After a minute or two Uncle Joe and dad started to talk about another subject. And thankfully, the attention was no longer on me.

I was looking through the window, watching the trees and grass move and go blurry as we passed by, when I suddenly felt Jeff sitting right next to me, leaving no space between us.

"Wha--- What are you doing?" I whispered.

He took the bag of Cheetos from me, which was now 1/4 full, moved his mouth closer to my ear and whispered, "So I guess I'm one lucky guy for getting a chance to talk to a pretty girl who has high standards when it comes to her choice of friends."

I kept looking at the window, trying to hide my face from him which was now filled with a huge smile. When I still didn't feel him moving away from me, I slowly looked back to face him. Our eyes, which was just inches apart, met which made me feel a little uncomfortable and nervous, since our dads were just in front of us, but they were still talking.

I didn't know what to say in return, so I did what first came into my mind. I grabbed his cheek with my two fingers, pinched it  and said quitely, "Awww, look at you being all sweet and kind. Is this how you sweep women off their feet?"

For a moment, he kept smiling and he let me pinch his cheek longer, but after a while he grabbed my arm to stop. And when I took my fingers off, the part of his cheek that I squeezed was red. I giggled.

He kept grinning and said, "Did it work?" He raised his eyebrows. "It did, huh?"

"No," I said with a serious tone, "I have high standards, remember? You said so yourself." 

"Oh, right," he replied while taking a bite of Cheetos, "I'll try harder next time."

"Pshh!" I said and rolled my eyes. I tried to give him my 'Oh Please!' look, but I just couldn't stop smiling.

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