They spent every waking moment that had to spare with each other. They could rely on each other for almost anything. Three weeks together was equal to about three months together. He was trying to find the right time to ask her out, and all she was trying to find was a best guy friend and she wasn’t in any hurry. He was going crazy about her and she didn’t notice a thing.
. . . . .
I walked into the café at around 7:30 pm and saw her sitting in the corner of the café next to the window on a Fall Saturday. She was skimming through some degrading gossip magazine for the laughs. I smirked as I saw my face in the corner of the magazine. Her smile made me feel nervous and queasy. Her laptop was closed midway and papers full of words were scattered around the table for two. It seems as if she had taken a break from typing up an assignment.
“Hey,” I smiled, taking a seat. My voice caught her off guard as she looked up a little flustered.
“Hey, what’s up,” she said once she relaxed. She looked down at her papers and blushed. “I’m just about done,” she said, embarrassed. She set down the magazine into the shelf behind her.
She opened up her laptop again and typed a few more sentences and pushed it a few inches away so she could read the accumulated work.
I exhaled, “So what movie do you want to watch tonight?”
Every weekend, it was a ritual of some sort for us to just curl up on her couch with whatever we could grab out of the fridge and throw a DVD into her player.
She pondered for a second and then closed her laptop shut. She looked up to me and involuntarily batted her eyelashes and bit her lip.
Keep calm, Joe. She’s just a girl…
“A Disney Classic,.” She said, giggled. “That is, if you don’t mind.”
“Of course I don’t,” I chuckled. I wouldn’t mind if we had to sit through a Hannah Montana marathon if it meant I could spend time with her. It’s not like I’d be paying attention to the movie half the time, anyways…
“I just have to stop by the rink,” she beamed.
. . . . . .
I waited by the door as she raced to the clear walls and banged on them. The head of the boy who skated with her, Ryan, whipped around and smiled deviously. Something about him just made me rage with envy and jealousy. Actually, half the time, I wasn’t jealous of him—but that he had a connection and more time with Anne more than I did.
I repetitively tapped a beat with the pads of my fingers. I watched as she turned around and laughed, walking away from him. I watched as his eyes trailed on her for a while, but then he saw me and swiftly turned back around and joined his class again.
“Joe?” she asked, inquisitively.
I snapped out of my bubble of thoughts and looked at her. “Yeah, let’s go.”
. . . .
“Lucy’s at her friend’s house so she’ll probably be back by the end of the movie. Remember to keep track of the time so she doesn’t come home to a Jonas Brother,” I pulled some ice-cream out of the fridge and walked back to my living room, taking a seat next to him on the couch. He put his arm around my shoulder on the couch.
“What’s tonight’s special,” he smiled, looking over to what I was holding.
“Melted ice cream,” I cheered, and he grimaced at the carton of rocky-road ice cream.
“That’s your dinner?” he said, slightly appalled. I nodded, questioning why he was so surprised. “You know, I can cook.” he pointed out, as the beginning of Mulan stated to play.
I watched him get up, heading towards the kitchen, and wink at me right before he turned around. I was about to whine on how the movie just started and how I just got comfortable next to him on the couch but then decided against it. Also, I wasn’t really sure how he’d take that comfortable comment, knowing his cocky side was always open to share. I raised my eyebrow, indulging myself in another spoon of ice cream, instead. He rummaged through my cabinets as if in search of the Sorcerers Stone or something.
“Jooeee-wuh,” I whined, sighing. I got up and trudged over to him and rested my chin on his shoulder. I looked over to see what he was concocting. He suddenly smiled and looked down at me.
“Trust me, I can cook.” He assured. “Just go and sit back down and finish watch Mulan. You’ll miss your favorite part,.” He reminded me.
The thing was… he knew very well that ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You’ was one my favorite scenes and probably used it against me, but I turned his offer down anyways.
“What? No! And let you go through my pantry like that?” I responded, laughing.
Here’s the thing… honestly, I didn’t care what he did because I trusted him.
“Then…?” he questioned, in a sing song voice. He turned around and smiled at me.
“I’ll be your helper!” I cheered.
I saw him chuckle and brighten up. “Can you cook?”
“Nope!” I grinned widely. Yeah, I was blunt like that, but Joe was used to it by now.
He laughed and messed up my hair with his hand and pushed some of my bangs out of my face and behind my ear. I frowned and ran my hands through my hair and he rolled his eyes, mentioning something about how I looked fine. As he started to cook something that smelled incredible only five minutes in, I set up the spices and condiments he listed. I rearranged them by color, size, and alphabetically. It only struck me how stupid and boring my job was till I noticed I was building a pyramid out of these items.
I groaned, whining out his name, once more. “Hurry up and finish or gimmie something harder to do!” I sighed, nosily looking over shoulder. He mumbled a quick ‘that’s what she said’ but I rolled my eyes. I rested my chin on his shoulder and felt his muscles suddenly tense up out of surprise.
“I’m done, I’m done!” he chuckled.
“Nice apron,” I laughed, tugging on the strings that were tied behind him.
He swung around with the wooden spoon with his cooking. He securely had his hand under the spoon, making sure not to spill anything. He instructed me to taste it and I looked up at him and smiled and followed his directions.
I closed my eyes and opened my eyes and raised my eyebrow. “Joe...”
“Okay, I’m sorry it tastes awful; don’t sue me or something,” he quickly stated. “I’ve only been cooking for a while..”
“What are you talking about?” I said, giving him a look. “It tastes…”
Son of a— my thesaurus of adjectives was going blank when I didn’t need it to.
“.. awesome.” I finished, pathetically. “In fact, you’re coming over to my house everyday to make me breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And... for free!” I smiled.
He chuckled. I could feel him watching me as I hopped around the kitchen trying to find a plate to get more food before it got cold. I found two plates and turned around. “How much do you want?”
He was now staring at the ground, leaning on the island in the middle of the kitchen. His apron was now on the stool chair and he looked deep in thought, a smile lingering on his lips.
“Joe?” I said, quietly, not know whether to disturb him.
His head snapped up and he looked a little confused. “Oh, uh, just a little bit,” he responded.
“You know, you do that /a lot/.” I smiled, turning back around to face the stove. I piled a little of his lasagna on to his plate.
“Do what a lot?” he asked.
“Space out or go into this really deep trance or something,” I laughed. He didn’t reply and I turned around, a little concerned.
“… or something,” he barely mumbled.
Joe fell back laughing as I finished singing along to ‘Be A Man’. “You really know that song down pat. I stopped singing after, like, the first verse.”
“Well,” I scoffed, showing off. “You know how I do.”
“Please, I beg of you, spare me from your gangster attempts.” He said, pleading and laughing at the same time.
I smacked his arm and smiled. “Shut up, I’m like a year older than you so you better treat me with some respect.”
He smiled at me and turned back to face the TV. I situated myself nice and snuggly next to Joe. He wrapped an arm around me and pulled me in closer. Was it wrong to say it felt right with his arms around me?
“Tired?” he asked, yawning.
Before I could answer, not to mention I was so at ease in Joe’s atmosphere, I was already knocked out and asleep.
I squirmed myself around on the couch, situating myself where I faced Joe and hid my face into his chest. I lazily opened my eyes partly to realize that we were both sleeping on my couch. Joe’s arms were still around me. I could feel his steady, even, and shallow breaths as is chest raised and dropped.
He cleared his throat a little anxiously. “Annie?” he whispered.
“lkadjlkejde?” I mumbled into his chest and smiled.
“Uhh,” he started, nervously.
I sheepishly and lethargically opened my eyes to find Joe’s eyes fixated on something in front of us. The way he continued to uneasily stare at whatever was in front of us was an answer enough, trying to make a point for me to turn around.
I wriggled around his grasp and he loosened his grip on me. I sat up and after a few seconds, so did Joe.
I realized my sister was standing in front of me, her eyes wide open, her hands lightly shaking. My sister. /Lucy./ The die-hard Jonas Brothers fan was standing in front, merely ten feet away, from a Jonas Brother.
“I’d close your ears. She looks like she’s about to burst.” I whispered to Joe, who was next to me.
He followed my instructions, slowly, a little cautious, and placed his hands over his ears while I ran over to Lucy to place my hand over her mouth.
“Deep breaths, Luce,” I instructed.
She shook her head rapidly, as if saying it wasn’t possible to be calm.
“Joe,” I instructed. “I suggest you run. I don’t know how much longer I can hold her down.” I was partly joking but then saw Lucy’s face and took back my sense of poking fun.
I turned my head slightly towards where Joe was, but he continued to just sit there, his hands no more covering his ears. Surprisingly enough, he had an amused expression plastered across his face.
“Joe!” I nudged.
“What?” he chuckled, “What could she possibly do to harm me? I’m pretty sure I’ve gone through bigger and crazier fans than her.”
“Yeah, but at this moment, you don’t have Big Rob to exactly defend your rock-star butt.” I said, rolling my eyes.
He got up, regardless of his words. He leaned in for a hug but I shook my head and made it obvious that I was a little busy holding Lucy back. He pouted and scratched the back of his head, something I noticed men do when something is awkward or they have nothing else to say. He ran his fingers through his hair and suddenly smiled, as if thinking about something. “I’ll call you later,” he said, in a promising voice that I’d never heard him use. Before he closed the door, he turned around and smiled this gleaming and awkward smile that only looked perfect on him. He turned around and closed the door shut.
I got up, still holding Lucy who was now calmer. I let go of her and she raced into her room, probably to stare at pictures of the Joe she had just witnessed.
I sunk into the couch, suddenly inhaling the soothing scent of Joe that was only there but five seconds ago. I groaned, annoying with the mixed feelings that had just washed through my body before he left and shot me that killer smile.
Did I just describe Joe in more adjectives than ‘annoying’ and… well… ‘annoying’?
Well, that’s not good.
. . . .
Leaving for vacation tomorrow for the next two weeks.
Have a great rest of the summer! :)