A Girl And Her Boy

It's just a story that's in progress that I'm not sure I'll even finish... Basically, the overview of the story is that there's a girl who gets several notes that are creepy/ominous and get weirder as they go on. At least, that's the plan. If anyone gets suggestions, feel free to tell me! I might change the name, not sure how I feel about it...

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3. Countdown To Seven, Day Two

 

In the morning, Ana woke up feeling refreshed. She started getting ready for the day, then noticed a yellow sticky note on her desk. “Had to leave for a work hiccup. Have to fix it before it escalates. Won’t be home until late. XOXO, Dad PS- I tossed that note you had on your desk because it was just weird” For some reason, Ana felt worry tug at her stomach. She felt like she should find that note…

Ana felt like someone was watching her. Looking over at her window, she saw the shape of a person outside, in her yard. When she started moving closer to the window, the person walked away hurriedly. Ana felt a shiver run down her spine. She closed the blinds.

After getting dressed for school, Ana debated on whether her dad would notice if she chose not to go to school. She sighed and decided to go anyways, since if he did find out she would never hear the end of it. Her dad was one of those people who thought an education was the only way to go about things. Everyone had to have an education, and everyone had to learn how the world works at school. There couldn’t be any crash and burn throw yourself into the workforce at 16 and hope life turns out okay for you. Walking into the kitchen, Ana was disheartened to see her dad had not made her breakfast before he left.

“Whelp, ice-cream for breakfast it is”, said a gleeful glutton.

Opening the drawer for a spoon, Ana realized that her laziness the night before followed her into the morning. “Ah, shit, I guess I’ll have to brave the waters and wash a spoon”.

After several attempts at finding a spoon in the sink, Ana finally got one washed and ready for her ice-cream. Only to realize that she left the ice-cream out the night before. “Damn, I was really out of it last night”.

Putting the fully melted ice-cream in the freezer in the hopes that it would taste okay the next day, Ana debated on popcorn for breakfast or just having tea. The lazy in her said tea, the glutton said popcorn and tea. “Fuck it, I can be a pig when no one is around”.

While the popcorn started popping, Ana put a tea kettle on the stove. She looked at her millions of varieties of tea, and chose her jasmine tea. For some reason, she quite enjoyed the flowery aroma and flavor of the tea.

While Ana was pouring her tea, there was a knock on the door. Who would knock on the door this early? Isn’t it still mourning time for having to wake up? She finished pouring her tea, then went to check who it was. She was pleasantly surprised to see it was Lily. “Hey, what are you doing here?”

Lily simply shrugged and said “Your dad mentioned you were here alone this morning and wanted me to make sure you ate something. So, I stopped and grabbed us each a crunchwrap from Taco Bell”.

Ana laughed. “That’s not much better than the popcorn I already had microwaving”.

Lily laughed and pushed past Ana into the house. “Your house is always so clean! You better share that popcorn with me”. Lily poked Ana in the ribs.

“Of course! You brought me Taco Bell, I’d have to be a slave driver not to”.

...

At school, Ana hoped she wouldn’t run into the “new guy”. She felt like an idiot every time she thought about their encounters.

To Ana’s disappointment, he walked into their shared third period class with a tardy slip. “Sorry, turns out I’m still not used to waking up early for school. I guess that’s what happens when you’re homeschooled”. He gave the teacher a dazzling smile, and she looked like she was about ready to melt. Ana was bitten by the jealous bug. She wished she could just smile at a teacher and make them forgive her tardiness, but no. They always got very angry with her for never participating in group discussions and then coming in tardy. He looked at her then, and she got the feeling that he knew her thoughts at that moment.

She was still a little bit in a daze when he started walking towards her table. When she realized what he was doing, she panicked. Her stuff was strewn all over the table and the other chair because she wasn’t accustomed to having someone else sit beside her, but she didn’t want to seem presumptuous by moving her stuff and having him end up sitting somewhere else.

He stopped right next to the seat that was devoid of a human, but was taken up by her backpack. “May I sit here?”, He asked while raising an eyebrow.

“Suit yourself”, Ana replied. “Don’t be surprised if I bite you. It seems to happen to guys that hang out around me”.

The “new guy” laughed. “You’re funny. You know, I didn’t catch your name yesterday. What is it?”

Ana flushed, remembering her previous encounters with him. “Umm, it’s Ana. My name is Ana”.

He laughed again. “Uncomfortable, now? Why? Am I just that beautiful?”

Ana shook her head, “No I’m just that awkward”.

He raised his eyebrow, “Normally a girl would have simply given me the compliment, not told me I wasn’t beautiful”.

Ana’s flush deepened as she hurried to respond, “That’s not what I-“

He laughed harder than the previous times, and then cut Ana off to tell her, “I was just teasing you. I’m sorry, I know how socially inept you are. I just didn’t expect you to get so touchy about it.”

Ana crossed her arms. “Jerk”.

He smiled the dazzling smile he gave the teacher, and then told her, “That’s not my name. My name is actually Blaise”

“Smooth transition there, Blaise, but your smile isn’t going to make me just forgive you”.

Blaise feigned being hurt, and jokingly said “Milady, your words deeply wound this heart of mine”.

Ana gave him a grin and raised an eyebrow. “Smart ass”, was her retort.

During lunch time, Lily was looking for Ana. She looked right past Ana the first time, since she’s usually alone. It wasn’t until Ana stood and waved an arm like a giant orangutan that she finally noticed her. Unfortunately for Ana, getting Lily’s attention made her also notice the guy that was seated right next to her. Meaning Ana would have to introduce them formally and explain that they had yet another awkward encounter, plus the fact that Ana would get all kinds of I told you so looks from Lily about Blaise being her type…

“Umm, Blaise, could you excuse me for a moment?”, asked Ana.

Blaise looked at her curiously and responded with an questioning “Sure?”

“Thanks, I’ll be right back”

Lily made a face at Blaise when she hurried past him to catch up with Ana. Lily grabbed Ana’s arm and shrieked in her ear, leaving Ana wondering if she would be deaf for the rest of her life.

“So, what’s up with the mysterious new guy? Why is he sitting with our one and only school loner?”

Ana groaned. “His name is Blaise. Do I really have to do this right now? I haven’t slept well the last few nights. For some reason I keep having nightmares.”

Lily rolled her eyes. “Someone just needs a little pick-me-up, and I know just the thing. A date! With mister mysterious, maybe?”

Ana sighed, then asked “Why is the answer to everything with you always a date? How is a date supposed to make me less tired or make my nightmares stop?”

“It’s not. It would just be a distraction. Why else would it be called a pick-me-up?”

“Umm maybe to do something like, say, actually pick someone up? Like mood wise? Or make them less tired?”

Lily grinned. “You do realize you just said the point of a pick-me-up is to pick someone up, right?”

Ana sighed, giving up entirely on convincing Lily a date was going to be a bad idea. “Fine, but I am not going to be the one that sets this up. You can deal with that part of it. I’ll just supply the body that’s supposed to go”.

Lily clapped excitedly, then replied with “And what a beautiful body you’ll make! You’re gonna let me do your makeup, right?”

“Ugh, fine. But don’t go way too overboard.”

Walking up behind the two girls, Blaise wrapped an arm around each one. “So what’s going on here?”

Lily immediately perked up and blurted, “Ana here is going to go on a date with you! Well, not voluntarily per se, since I kind of badgered her into it. You know about the fire incident, right? Well, she wants to be sure it doesn’t happen again. I assure you I will be on standby with a fire extinguisher if you are worried about it, Blaise.”

Blaise examined Ana with that same intrigued expression from the previous day. “I think it sounds like a lovely idea. When and where? And I am sure I can provide my own extinguisher if need be.”

Later that night, Ana was sitting in Lily’s bedroom, getting her face painted with what seemed to Ana to be 50 shades of glitter.

“So… When are we going to be done with the makeup?”, Asked Ana.

Lily waved her hand in annoyance. “You can’t rush art. I know you’re just itching to see your new prince charming, but he’ll be the one getting swept off his feet when he gets a look at you.”

Ana snorted with an outburst of laughter at Lily’s comment. “Someone like him, getting swept of his feet because someone like me had their makeup done?”

Lily rolled her eyes. “You know, you really are quite humble about how gorgeous you are. Just a little mascara and glitter and BAM you could be a fairy queen!”

It was Ana’s turn to roll her eyes. “Yeah, right, like I could pull off the elegance required to be a queen”, Ana retorted sassily.

“Lily, bud, there’s a boy at the door! You know you have to warn us first if you have a boyfriend coming to sweep you away to god knows where”, Warned Lily’s mom.

“Mom! It’s not for me, it’s for Ana!”

Ana felt her face turning bright red. Blaise must have heard all of that, and she has no clue know to brush that off.

“Um, girls, is Ana ready? Or should I, uh, wait somewhere where Lily’s dad isn’t sharpening a knife?”, Asked a very nervous sounding Blaise.

“Okay, Lily, am I at least even on my face? Enough to leave before your parents embarrass me even more?”

“Sure you are. Just one. More. Dot. Aaaand there we go. Have a look before you go.”

Ana turned to look in the mirror. She saw some streaks of reddish-brown hair that were falling loose from the bun Lily put in her hair. There was gold all around her hazel eyes, making the green undertones stand out spectacularly. She studied herself for a moment and then said, “You know Lily, you just might be right. A girl like me and a little makeup just might sweep that guy off his feet.”

“Alright, folks, get ready to start on your paintings!”

Ana was ready for this. She knew how to paint, and there was no way she could set her date on fire here. She looked at Blaise and smiled.

“Hey, Blaise, guess what”

Slightly hesitant, Blaise asked, “What?”

“No fire hazards, meaning you should be perfectly safe”.

With a smile, Blaise turned his attention back to the painting instructor. “Glad to know you’re excited about that”.

Ana blushes, and turns back to the canvas she had ready for her. She looks at what the instructor is having everyone do and starts painting her embarrassment away. When she looks up the next time, everyone else is almost done and she barely finished her background. Mortified by the thought Blaise might have to wait an ungodly amount of time for her to finish, she looks over at him. He’s just sitting there, watching her, paintbrush in hand like he forgot what he was doing. At first, she thought he was already done, until she noticed the canvas was half blank.

“Umm Blaise? Did you forget to finish your painting?”

This time, Blaise blushes. Ana can’t help the growing pride that she made someone else blush. Clearing his throat, Blaise responds, “Maybe, a little. I was, uh, pretty entertained by how focused you were on something as simple as a background”.

Ana mentally kicked herself for getting so mentally lost, until she realized he just admitted to watching her. “So, let me get this straight. You’re having fun just watching me?”.

Blaise nods and says, “Well, Lily said that you really enjoy painting and that you can’t fathom spending the money to go to the classes. She also said you don’t always know what to paint and enjoy having someone else giving you a topic or inspiration”.

“Wait, wait, wait… When did you talk to Lily about this? You were in all my classes on time and you didn’t leave early, plus I was with Lily the whole time after school until you showed up…” At this point, Ana was pretty confused.

“Hello, there’s this little compact computer in my hand called a smartphone? You’ve heard of those, right? They allow people to talk to each other over long distances almost instantaneously”. Ana looked at Blaise, registering what he meant.

“So that’s what that was! I saw Lily bump you earlier and I was wondering why. She must have given you her number!”

“Yeah… At first I thought she gave me your number, until she started going on about some game plan and talking about where to take you for the date and fun stuff like that…”

Ana laughed. It was one of the few days she had felt calm recently. “So, what’s after painting, then? If Lily planned this, there’s gotta be something”.

Blaise chuckled and shook his head. “Nothing, if we don’t finish painting”. With a wink, he started back up on his background. Looking at Blaise’s canvas, Ana realized that his background would be pretty choppy looking if he continued the way he was.

“Alright, so if you keep going the way you are, your background is going to have distinct lines from where you already let the paint dry. When you finish covering the canvas with your color of choice, let me know so I can help you smooth that out. Unless you like the choppy look. In which case, more power to you. I just… Nevermind, I should stop talking now…”

Ana could feel her face burning. Looking at her canvas, she tried not to look at Blaise. Part of her problem was that she was blushing, which wasn’t a good look on her, and the other part was that she could feel Blaise looking at her. With a shudder, Ana had a flashback to when someone was watching her from outside her house. Shaking her head, she cleared that thought away.

“This is supposed to be fun, Ana”, she mumbles to herself.

“What did you say?” Asks Blaise.

“Oh, it was nothing, I was just telling myself to stop being so embarrassed. This is supposed to be fun, right?”

With a concerned look, Blaise asks, “Are you okay Ana? You look like you’ve seen a ghost. Or like you’re going to be sick.”

Ana nodded, wanting to assure Blaise she was fine. Suddenly, she felt dizzy and frowned. “I think I’m fine…”

Suddenly the room was spinning. Ana, in a panic, reached for Blaise as she lost her balance on her stool. “Woah there! Careful not to hurt yourself!”

“Sorry, I’m just… Dizzy suddenly. I think I’ll be fine after a glass of water?”

Blaise looked at her face, like he was looking for something. “Do you need to go home? I don’t want you hurting yourself on our first date. You don’t need two traumatic first dates in a row”, Blaise said, ending with a wink.

Ana groaned as her head started feeling like it was going to split open. “Okay, Ana, time to go home. No buts, no arguments. You can’t stay out if you don’t feel good. If you don’t end up coming to school tomorrow, I will check on you at home”.

Ana could barely acknowledge Blaise was speaking. She tried to respond with a coherent thought, but what was said was, “Let’s make it a tea party…”

Blaise grabbed Ana and her canvas. She tried to protest, saying he could leave it, but he grabbed it anyways. “You looked so focused when you made it, I’m not leaving it”.

Blaise half carried Ana to his car while everyone gawked. Ana was at the point of not even caring anymore. She had the thought cross her mind that she would be mortified in the morning, but that didn’t matter right now. Right now, she wanted a nice, cool glass of water, some ibuprofen, and a nap.

“Thanks”, Ana mumbles into Blaise’s shoulder.

Glancing at her while fumbling with his car door, Blaise responded, “It’s no big deal. I’m sure you would do the same for me had the tables been turned”. All Ana could manage was a slight nod, then she drifted off into a migraine-induced haze. She registered the car moving and bumping her around every time it turned and stopped. She didn’t realize she was home until Blaise started lifting her out of the car. He took her to the door, knocked, and stood there waiting for her dad to answer.

A few minutes passed and they were still standing there, Blaise supporting her under her shoulder. “Is your dad home? Or your mother?”

Ana just stared straight ahead. Her mother, may I remind you, has passed away. In a flat tone, Ana said, “My mom actually… She died a few years ago”. What she didn’t add was the fact that no one knew how her mom died. “I am actually not sure if my dad is home. He’s been gone a lot on business, trying to promote himself since people stopped having trust in him after he took my mother’s death pretty hard. He would randomly stay home and skip business meetings to spend time with me. We were both pretty messed up. Now, we’re doing better. I think.”

Blaise was silent for a couple minutes. “Does your head still hurt really bad?”

Questioningly, Ana said, “Not as bad, I feel it clearing up a bit. Why?”

Without a word, Blaise turned, pulling her with him. He started guiding her by the shoulders into her next door neighbors yard, and then into a gazebo with a plush looking couch-size swing in the middle. “What are we doing here?”, Ana asked, curious to know why he lead her here.

“Because, I figured I could run inside and get you that dinner we never had. Also, this is my house”, said a grinning Blaise with a wink. “Now, you just wait here for a few minutes. It’ll probably be left overs, but they should still be good”.

Ana was surprised. She had never seen him around and now suddenly it turns out he’s her neighbor? Her head was spinning, and she got a dull throb in her head. She must have winced, because Blaise said, “Or if you prefer I can just let you sleep off that headache. I would hate to keep you up if you don’t feel up to it”.

Ana shook her head slowly. “No, I’m fine. I just can’t think hard or my head kills me. Also, I like the fresh air. It’s helping some. Although, I would prefer to not stay out here by myself. Do you mind if I walk in with you? I can wait by the door if you don’t want me to see the rest of your house”. The last part was rushed, because Ana didn’t want to seem like she presumed she would be allowed in his house.

“It’s fine, you can come in. I just didn’t want to make you uncomfortable bringing you into a house you didn’t know with a guy you recently met”.

Walking into the house, Ana noticed how different their houses interiors are. Blaise’s house was more of a dark, lonely look with the exposed, untreated wood on the walls and the dining table set with two chairs in a vast dining room. The kitchen looked fairly normal, but the walls were a really dark grey. At her house, the walls were all pastel colors or bold colors. Her mom had liked to paint and loved bursts of color. No one had the heart to change the colors. In fact, they still had a third place set at their dining table. “This looks… Homey”, remarked Ana.

“Come on, you don’t have to lie about it. I know what it looks like. It looks lonely, empty, void of personality. It’s got a complete personality deficit. My parents never intended to actually live here, but then they had me and got stuck. They still haven’t redecorated from what the old geezer had it looking like before we moved in… Kind of sad when you ask me. He moved here after his wife died and wanted a place that ‘expressed his inner pain and loneliness’. I’d say he did a good job”.

Ana was shocked at the bitterness in his voice. This beautiful human who had half carried her out of  a date he paid for because of a sudden migraine and seemed so confident and put together had issues with his parents. She wondered what they could have done to cause him to be so bitter.

“So, I take it you don’t like it here?”

He looked at her, but Ana felt like he was looking through her instead. “I haven’t liked it here in a long time. I actually can’t think of a single time when I liked it here… It’s always been so cold”.

Ana shivered, and cleared her throat. “Maybe we should get some food and, uh, move outside. It’s a bit more… cheerful out there”.

Blaise blinked slowly a few times, then nodded. “Sorry, didn’t mean to get so negative. I just figured I would try to prolong our ‘date’ and try to salvage what was left of it. That’s why I, um, originally wanted you to wait outside. That wasn’t supposed to sound like I was pinning the negativity on you, that was just me telling you I knew I would get negative if you were in here”.

Ana laughed softly, and wrapped her arms around his neck. She felt a little fuzzy and didn’t register what she was doing. She just had this odd feeling of invincibility, like when she stood up to the cheer queen. “Don’t worry, I understand”, she whispered in his ear. She felt him tense slightly, then he cleared his throat.

“Thanks, I should, um, get back to grabbing that food”. Ana blinked, then jumped back a step.

“I’m so sorry, I don’t know why I did that, that was probably awkward for you. I’ll wait outside”.

“Wait, don’t. Don’t worry about it”, Blaise said.

“You know, maybe I should just go home. I suddenly feel pretty tired. And I don’t feel hungry anymore”, Ana said, confused.

Blaise looked at her, suddenly a little more composed. “I guess so, if that’s what you want to do. I won’t make you stay”.

Ana nodded, slipping out the back door and exhaling a breath of relief. She had no clue what she was doing, and her nightmares, actions, and headaches were getting concerning. She couldn’t say anything to her dad, or else he might worry. If she says anything to Lily, she would definitely say something to her dad, and it’s not like she knew Blaise well enough to pour her heart out to him about this situation of hers.

Ana barely made it into her room before her migraine hit hard. She didn’t even bother to strip down for bed, and just flopped down. She was sleeping before her head hit her pillow.

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