I was helping Ryder’s mom prepare for dinner. We were going to have spaghetti and meatballs with cheesy garlic bread on the side. The spaghetti sauce was almost ready, so I started helping with the garlic bread.
“Thank you dear.” Ryder’s mom said as I started copying what she was doing. “When do you leave for New York?”
“Tomorrow morning at 5:30.” I kept a smile on though my heart was aching.
“I thought you weren't supposed to leave until Saturday!” Mrs. Paisley exclaimed.
“The plans just changed. I found out right after school. It's too bad really.” I explained.
“Did you tell Ryder?” Mrs. Paisley put the garlic bread into the oven and turned some dials.
“Yeah.” I replied sadly. “What should I help with next Mrs. Paisley?”
“Dear, call me Nancy. You've helped with everything so far. Go spend some time with Ryder and I'll finish up dinner.” Nancy smiled.
I headed to the living room where Ryder was sitting on the couch finishing his homework. I didn't know what he was working on, because my teachers stopped giving me homework this whole week. I'll be transferring to some private school in New York.
“Hey lazy. Your mom is mad that you didn't help with dinner.” I lied.
“Really?” He asked.
“No, I'm kidding. She seems so sweet.” I answered
“She is. She's just gone a lot for work is all. My dad should be home soon. Just a warning, better get your food before him, otherwise there might not be any left.” Ryder laughed.
“What homework are you working on?” I changed the subject.
“Honors English. My brain is pooped out though so I think I'll take a break.” Ryder set down his homework.
There was an awkward silence that filled the space between us. With Ryder’s mom in the next room, there wasn't much to talk about really. We couldn't be romantic. We couldn't kiss. It was just utter silence for good minute or so.
“So, you'll send postcards and you'll text me when you're in New York right?” Ryder broke the silence.
“Can we please not talk about that?” I lowered my voice.
“I just want to know if we can stay in touch or not.” Ryder seemed so sad.
“Of course we will. I'll text, I'll call, I'll send things. But if I end up staying in New York, and you move on like you promised,” I reminded him, “then… Then we won't.”
“Supper is ready you two!” Nancy yelled.
Thank god I thought. We went into the dining room where the table was set and the food was set out. I felt bad for not helping set the table.
“I'm sorry, I should've helped you set the table.” I lamented.
“Oh please! You've been wonderful.” Nancy smiled sweetly.
I sat down next to Ryder and tried my best to be ‘lady-like.’ I placed one napkin on my lap and the other I kept folded neatly on the table. Normally I would dig right into the spaghetti, but I waited for the bowl to be passed around. When it came to me, Ryder scooped some spaghetti onto my plate. I smiled and thanked him.
The cheesy garlic bread, which smelled amazing, came around next and I looked at how many pieces Nancy took. She took two pieces, and Ryder took three. I took two as well, to be polite. I waited for Ryder to start eating before I did. I didn't know why I was having an urge to be utterly proper, but I guess I just wanted to impress Mrs. Paisley. (It still felt weird to think of her as Nancy).
“So, any plans for New York, Bridgett?” Nancy asked.
“Not really. Just going to the recall auditions and then leaving when I don't get a part.” I laughed to make it seem like a joke.
“Oh, I bet you'll get some sort of role! From what Ryder has told me, you're very talented.”
I glanced at Ryder who looked slightly embarrassed. I smiled at him anyway, but he didn't see.
“Well, would you like to stay here overnight?” Nancy asked at random.
“You have been so nice to me. I wouldn't want to intrude. Besides, I have to leave really early and I still haven't packed.” I replied. Then I realized something. I continued, “if it's alright with you though, and if Ryder would want to, he could stay with me. If that's okay of course.”
“That would be fine with me.” Nancy smiled.
Ryder and I looked at each other at the exact same time and smiled. He winked at me and I let out a soft giggle. I saw Nancy smile too which made me beam. Then I heard the click of a door and saw Ryder’s dad come in.
“I'm starving!” Mr. Paisley laughed deeply.
What a happy family.