Too Young

Ireland's parents had always told her and her brother that love doesn't exist, which led to the rule of them not being allowed to date. Choosing to disregard her parents decision, she finds the first person who makes her feel special, Declan Johnson. But, while looking for the love she's never received, she becomes a victim.


3. Chapter Three;

The rest of the first week of school flies by. I actually hardly notice Declan, as much as you can hardly notice someone who says that you are their only friend, because I am already in over my head with work for my honors English and History. Plus, in pre-calculus, Scott Warner was trying to impress some sophomore with some stupid magic trick that ended up disrupting the entire class, resulting in double the pre-calculus homework for the week. And I haven't even practiced my piccolo solo on my own, which makes me nervous because Maya is pretty good, despite having only picked it up this past summer. 

She’s actually a very nice girl, who I have found myself steadily becoming friends with. She doesn’t have many friends in her grade, apparently, because she’s found many of the girls to be stuck up. Plus, it’s a pretty basic rule that almost all Freshman girls suck. She also only transferred to Buchanan during the middle of last year. Eighth grade, though it seems like eons ago, is a hard time for any girl, especially a new girl. On top of all of that, she learned the hard way that a lot of the boys in her grade were not yet mature. While the girls in her grade don’t like her because of how attractive she is, the boys really like her for that reason. Apparently, she had thought that she was making friends with these boys and they simply found her body hot and wanted to fool around with her. Naturally, I invite her to become part of our lunch table, where she was welcomed openly, especially by Emily, who not only welcomes everyone she’s ever met with open arms, but also seems to have a lot in common with her.

I also find that Mathis and I have been becoming closer, mainly due to the fact that we’re partners in Chemistry. This is even stranger to me than the fact that I befriended Maya, because Mathis and I have known each other for years. He lives not too far down the road from me, so we’ve ridden the same bus since Kindergarten, and we work at the Pharmacy together every Saturday. I had always figured that if we would be good friends, it would have already happened to us. But, we joke around in Chemistry and talk all throughout lunch, which is always earning us winks and whistles at the table, much to Declan’s annoyance. Either way, I enjoy Mathis’s company a lot.  

It's on Friday afternoon, during our eighth period study hall, when Declan and I have an actual conversation. Because we had been quiet and well-behaved the rest of the week, Mr. William’s said that we could sit wherever we like, but not expect this to happen every week. "Would you like to hang out this weekend? You could show me what you guys do for fun in this small town," he flashes his smile, showcasing a straight row of very white teeth. This question actually surprises me a bit, because we’ve only made really tiny small talk since I got angry at him on Monday. I thought that he might not want to really be friends with me anymore.

"Uh, yeah sure." I mentally curse at myself for stuttering to answer, and for seeming uninterested. “I mean, yes.”

"How about tonight? And we could get dinner. I can pick you up around seven," he says, his voice confident and cool, much like it was when he told me that he was always first chair clarinet. It makes me feel nervous in a really good way. Then I realize that he might be asking me on a date. Is it one? I have no idea. My thoughts run in the same rambling manner that my mouth does every time that I’m nervous.

 "Yeah,” I say, a little too excitedly. “I mean, totally. That sounds great." I’m unable to prevent myself from smiling. "Um, do you know where the cemetery is?" He shakes his head, of course he doesn’t, he just moved here. "Do you have a GPS?"

He chuckles, and it’s a really low sounding rumble. “I have a phone that can get me there. What's your address?" The bell rings then, but I type my address into the notes on his phone, and also put my phone number in his phone. When we part from our lockers, he says, “See you tonight.”

As soon as he turns around, I practically run to Nolan’s car. When I get into the beat up Honda, I phone Lily immediately. "Hello?"

"Lily, oh my god,” I say, thankful that she picked up so quickly. Nolan begins to back out of the parking spot very slowly. It’s awful to get out of the parking lot after school. I focus my attention back to the phone. “I think I got asked on a date!" I squeal, unable to hide my excitement.

"No, way!" she responds, squealing so loudly that it hurts my ears, and I hear her dad yell at her. She doesn’t seem to mind that, though. "That Declan kid? Or Mathis?"

"Declan,” I say, wondering why she would think I’d be going out with Mathis. I quickly disregard that thought, however. “How awesome is that? It could be awkward, though," I say, starting to feel a little anxious. "I mean; we've hardly actually talked." This is true. What if we don’t hit it off and make awkward small talk the entire time? How could we even be friends after that?

Lily assures me that all will be okay, that the date (or not date) will be great, and says that she would love to talk, but really has to get off of the phone (“Lily, get off that damned phone and get down here this instant!”). She kept squealing when we were talking. Her dad’s always hated that. When I finally hang up with her, Nolan is smirking, giving me a side eye every once in a while.

"What?" I ask, annoyed, but still smiling. “Keep your eyes on the road,” I say, smacking his arm playfully, still feeling as though I'm going to throw up from nerves.

"You're going on a date," he smiles. It starts as a happy for me smile, but turns to an almost sad smile.

“What?” I ask again, but this time more curiously.

"I just never imagined that you'd be dating anyone that wasn't Chris, ya know? It always felt to me like you two were meant to be together." While Christian and I never dated, it is true that we were almost magnetically drawn together.

Normally, I would be angered by this, or find myself upset, but I decide to change the topic, for the simple sake of not ruining my day. "Well, you're dating Emily and we all thought that you and Lily would get married," I tease. Even if he and Lily ended on bad terms (he always gets a little moody when he knows that I’m on the phone with her, and I’m pretty sure that he’s secretly really glad that she’s not around the house all of the time anymore), it worked out for the better for him.

"I'm lucky to have Emily. She's amazing," he says, with a small grin on his face, and I know that he truly feels that she's wonderful. And I agree, she's made him into a stronger, better person. "She's really something special." 

As I look at my brother, for the first time in over a year, I see the boy I once knew. If, only for that moment in time, he's the carefree brother I had grown up loving and admiring. When we were younger, I used to watch as he would calmly deal with his anger or sadness and turn it into something more positive. He was always so happy. That’s my favorite thing about Nolan. Even if his happiness isn’t there all of the

At ten past seven, I sit in the living room, checking my watch about every minute. I realize that Declan is late, and figure that this will be his first time at my house, so he could have just gotten lost. Everybody gets lost their first time coming here. Or maybe, my anxiety tells me, he doesn't consider this a proper date, and isn't thinking nearly as much as I am about him being ten minutes late. I begin to worry that I may be thinking too much into this, and maybe it will scare him off. Maybe he’ll go right back to thinking that I’m crazy.

I wipe my sweaty hands on the couch, once again, as Nolan laughs at me. "You're fine. We live in, like, the middle of nowhere. He probably didn't think that it would take so long to get here." Suddenly, there's a knock on the door. I freeze for a fraction of a moment, nervous and forgetting to breathe. Nolan laughs at me again, "Go answer the door!"

I walk to the door, and wipe my hands on my jean shorts, hoping I look okay. I take a deep breath, tell myself everything will be fine, and open the door. Declan stands there, in the same outfit he had worn to school today, tan colored pants and a loose long sleeved shirt, but still looks just as gorgeous as the first time I saw him. "Hey," he says so coolly, so casually.

I try to replicate his energy when I say, “Hey” back, but I come out much quieter, and I wipe my sweaty hands on my shorts again.

His smile grows a little. He knows that he has this effect on me. "You ready to go? I figured you could tell me the best place to eat around here."

I nod, "Yeah, yep. Let's go." 

I've always been particularly bad at lying, so it's easy for Declan to tell that I’m nervous when I squeakily tell him that I’m not nervous. He laughs after I say this, particularly because he didn’t even ask me how I was feeling. He hasn’t really said anything. I suggest to him that we go to The Pub, which is our small town's take on an Irish pub, owned by some distant family members of mine. There are consistently a lot of heavy drinkers there, and it smells sort of funny, but it's family owned and the food is pretty decent and cheap.

"Oh, I didn't realize this was a bar," Declan states when we walk in. His tone makes it clear that he isn't interested in the place and I start to feel embarrassed. Great, I’ve already ruined it.

"Don't you know what a pub is?" I shakily laugh, trying to make a joke. But, he shakes his head, indicating that no, he has no idea what a pub is.

We go to the small back room that has tables set up away from the bar, if you happen to be someone under the age of 21 and would prefer to not be near the bar. I watch as Declan slides uncomfortably into the vinyl booth.

"Is this not your kinda place?" I nervously ask, also suggesting that we can go somewhere else if he’d rather.

He laughs just slightly before speaking, "It's just that I've never been to a place where the seats were tearing apart."

I instinctively place my finger into the hole in the vinyl, feeling the padding on the inside. I can’t think of many places that we’ve gone out to eat where the seats aren’t like this. "Really?"

"My pap is the founder of that baby lotion- Johnson's," he explains. "We've lived pretty comfortably." Added in with the fact that Declan lived in a rather large city before moving here, he says that he’s never had small town diner food. I don’t point out that we’re not in a diner. Clay’s, way down the road from The Pub, is a literal trailer converted into a diner. Declan would hate that place even more.

I laugh at him a little, "Is that how you get all of the girls? You take them out for dinner and talk about baby soap?" I think that this is flirting, but I’ve never really done this before.

He chuckles, "Well, my looks sure aren't getting me anywhere." I want desperately to tell him how wrong he is. To tell him that his gorgeous face could probably take him anywhere he wants, but I don't, of course. That would sound desperate, and he already knows that he drives me crazy. “Besides, I guarantee that you have a bottle somewhere in your house. Everyone does."

The rest of the dinner goes very well, as Declan meets various family members of mine who wait on- and embarrass- us, with me explicitly saying that we are just friends, because the last thing that I need is for my mother to hear that I am out on a date, if this even is a date. Declan finds out that he really liked the food, as different as it is from the usual dinners he goes out to, and I find out a lot more about Declan’s background. He lives with his grandfather, mother, and father, but he doesn’t have that great of a relationship with any of them. “I get that,” I say. “My mom and I don’t get along at all, and my dad and I almost never talk.” He says that he knows how that feels, and, hey, we have more in common already than we thought.

Though we have a really good time and get to know each other more seriously, when he drops me off at my house, I still am unsure of whether or not we were on a date. He doesn't walk me to the door, or anything, he just simply says that we will "talk later", whatever the hell that means. So I decide to call Lily and talk to her about it, because she said that she would stay up, eager to hear all about my first date. After we finish discussing the dinner- she says it was a date, I think that he should have walked me to the door for it to be a date- she tells me very exciting news of her own. "I met a boy today!"

"Where? I thought that you were refusing to leave the house," I say, chuckling at her, but also glad that she’s stopped refusing to accept that she’s now living in London.

"Well, I had to go get school supplies," she explains, "As school starts in less than two days. And I met a boy who works at a store here! He was crazy gorgeous and super nice. The only problem is; I didn't catch his name. Hopefully he goes to the same school as me."

We get off of the phone when Lily says that she literally cannot keep her eyes open any longer. I just plug my phone in to charge when I hear it beep, assuming it is Lily, texting me something that she forgot to say, but when I look at the message, my heart starts to race. 

From Declan: Goodnight, beautiful. 

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