[alright, well here it is, after a long anticipation for it. It still needs work, but enjoy!]
My car sputtered with undeniable exhaustion as I pulled up into Kaylee’s slightly stooped driveway. Her driveway was nothing compared to ours, but the exertion was too much for my mildly old car. It rolled to a stop and I put the emergency brake on, a safety caution I exercise in every motor circumstance I find myself in. I turned off the car, and made my way up the familiar path to Kaylee’s front door. My hand was just about to hit the door when it opened to reveal a smaller, tanner, and younger version of Kaylee.
“Hey Tori!” Ruth, Kaylee’s younger and only sister, embraced me, and I stiffened. I never knew what was going on in Ruth’s mind, but I knew it was nothing good. I glared down at her, and she stared up at me, putting on a fake innocent smile.
“What do you want from me, Ruth?” I ask, exasperated. I already knew what she wanted. Fortunately, Kaylee came down the hall and was answering Ruth’s pleading looks with a harsh tone.
“No, Ruth. Watch a movie here.” Without even looking at her sister, Kaylee walked past her and smiled at me. I chuckled. Kaylee and Ruth’s relationship was always an entertaining one.
“But its not the same watching a movie at home,” Ruth complained, slumping on one of the sofas in the entertainment room that lay before my eyes. Their big screen TV was quite large and the personal setting was much more comfortable than the upright and mildly uncomfortable chairs at the theatre. If anything, it was probably not the same in a numerous amount of good reasons than bad. I went over to Ruth and patted her head.
“Deal with it, Gelfling.” Ruth shoved my hand away. She hated it when I called her that. I laughed silently with Kaylee, and we made for the door. “Bye, Ruth!” I shout behind me.
“Tell mom that I’m out, ‘kay?” Kaylee asks of Ruth, who merely nods, and pouts as we leave. Once the door was closed, we walked fast for the car, hoping that Ruth wouldn’t try to sneak along with us. I pulled out of Kaylee’s driveway and we enjoyed our freedom.
Half an hour later, we were outside a sub shop, eating sandwiches and debating what movie to go and see.
“I heard that ___ was a really good one. Got great reviews,” I said between swallows. I wiped my mouth and waited for Kaylee’s response.
“Yeah, me too. But I’m not in the mood for an action. I want to see that romantic comedy ___,” I nodded. I was also interested in that. I sighed. Usually when I went to the movies, it was more than one person. At the moment, it was just me and Kaylee. Our friend, Jessica, backed out because of other commitments. And it was impossible to get her out of her house, the hermit. Kaylee already called Joseph, and he wasn’t sure. He was supposed to get back to her. Currently, we weren’t counting on him. So it was just me and Kaylee.
“I don’t care what we see. Just as long as I’m not cooped up in my house for the rest of the summer,” I muttered. This was my day off from work and I didn’t want to be the typical bum I was. Plus, there were a lot of good movies to see.
But I spoke too quickly.
At that moment, Kaylee jumped and put her hand against her chest. My brow furrowed in confusion. I wasn’t completely lost for very long. Comprehension dawned on my face as Kaylee pulled out her cell phone from her pocket. She took once glance, and she crinkled her nose. I didn’t need her to tell me who it was. I could tell already. She flipped the phone open and put on a falsely cheerful voice.
“Hey Joseph!” I stuffed my face full of my sandwich to keep my laugh from coming out. It wasn’t very successful. I projectile-sputtered a ton of lettuce from my mouthful of sub. Kaylee chuckled a bit, but I assumed it was from the joke that Joseph was undoubtedly telling. I swallowed the bite of sandwich and waited for the purpose of his call. I hoped, in vain, that it wasn’t to confirm he was going to the movies. I didn’t want to seem like a third wheel.
“Yeah, we’re still going to the movies,” Kaylee said. I groaned. Great. Third-wheel time. I sat back moodily and ate drank my soda.
“Its just me and Tori going right now,” I hear Kaylee say. I could tell she felt slightly embarrassed. Kaylee’s popularity in comparison to Joseph’s was a little bit of a touchy subject with her. Kaylee was fine with her tight-nit group of friends, but Joseph was keen on introducing her to every single person on the planet and insisting she hang out with them. This was one of Kaylee’s biggest pet peeves.
Joseph continued to talk for a long time, and Kaylee’s expression was blank. Obviously she didn’t really care for what he was talking about. A few minutes passed and they had a normal conversation. But as Joseph was speaking, either something stung Kaylee in the arm or something Joseph said startled her. Her eyes grew slightly panicked and she stared at me.
“What?!” I mouthed. My sandwich lay abandoned. Joseph must’ve really hit a nerve. Kaylee was freaking out.
She didn’t respond though. She sat there, frozen. The drone coming from the phone stopped, and Kaylee still hadn’t said anything in response to Joseph’s comment. Her voice cracked as she tried to speak, and she cleared her throat.
“Y-yeah. Sure. That’s fine…you could’ve at least gave me a warning.” She said, trying to sound off-hand. I knew better. She was in panic-mode.
“Alright, see you at the theatre. Yeah…love you too. Bye.” She hung up. I sat there, literally not breathing, and staring straight at Kaylee. She looked down at her phone.
“Joseph took it upon himself to make out outing a date. A double date.” She bit her lip. My eyes grew a little wide.
“So…who’s my date?” I asked, not sure if I really wanted to know.
She sighed. “Nathaniel.”
My mind went blank. Nathaniel? Why Nathaniel? Of all the people Joseph could’ve chosen, he chose Nathaniel! Of course, I wasn’t expecting him to know that Kaylee still carried a torch for Nathaniel, even after dating him for months, but he couldn’t be that oblivious! I guess I should count my blessings, and be glad that Joseph didn’t choose someone more questionable. Me and Nathaniel were friends, and I had nothing to object about him. It was the fact that Kaylee still liked Nathaniel that bothered me the most. I looked at her face and noted her pursed lips and annoyed eyes. Annoyed. That’s what she was feeling. Not angry with me, or sad that Nathaniel was paired up with another girl. It was just annoyed at the situation. Well, that was better than the former options. But there was still the fact that I was going to feel like a third wheel, and now Benedict Arnold on top of that. All I managed to do was sigh.
“Well, this should be fun,” I heard Kaylee mutter, her voice thick with sarcasm. She stuffed her phone into her purse and crossed her legs. I tried to hide my wince within a smile, though I wasn’t entirely sure I was successful. We were silent for a few minutes while we finished our food. I finished first, and waited for Kaylee to hurry and eat. Her progress was slow, as if she were trying to slow down time. The silence was stifling. I wanted to tell Kaylee that this wasn’t my fault, but I had a feeling that she already knew that, though it didn’t make the situation any easier. I thought of something to break the awkward silence.
“What movie are we seeing, then?” I asked, trying to be offhand. I hoped, internally, that we weren’t going to see the romantic comedy. That would make everything worse. It was awkward enough. Kaylee finally threw away her trash and finished her drink before responding.
“We’re seeing (the latest horror movie____),” she rolled her eyes and stood up. I followed suit and rummaged around my purse for my keys. At least it was better than the romantic comedy. I just wasn’t a big fan of scary movies. I always got way too scared and wussy. I retrieved my cell phone and looked at the time.
“What time is the movie at?” I asked Kaylee, not looking up from the phone. The awkwardness that I was only beginning to feel suddenly grew twice its size. I was beginning to comprehend the major intrusion I was going to be making on both Kaylee and Joseph and Kaylee and Nathaniel. Her infatuation was deep, and it was going to be hard to avoid. At that moment, I wanted to disappear.
“Its in twenty minutes, and he’s meeting us there in about ten minutes, so we’d better leave,” We headed to my car and got inside, not saying a word to each other after that. I didn’t know if Kaylee wanted me to speak, so I just kept my mouth shut the entire ride there. After the tedious ride to the theatre, we existed the car and made our way down to the theatre. It didn’t take long for me to spot the pair of them: Joseph’s red hair was brilliant against Nathaniel’s pale blond. Kaylee sped up, walking a full two feet in front of me, and ran into Joseph’s arms. My eyes squinted in a confused frown. This kind of behavior was very uncharacteristic of Kaylee. I shrugged it off, though, hoping that maybe she was beginning to get over Nathaniel. That hope was crushed the moment I approached Nathaniel and we grinned at each other, knowing what the other was thinking: Kaylee must be on drugs. But, unfortunately, I saw Kaylee’s eyes flash on our direction, and then saw them narrow slightly. She obviously misunderstood the exchange of smiles.
“So, you all ready?” Joseph said in his soothing voice. I didn’t understand why Kaylee didn’t like Joseph as much as one should. I even found myself unconsciously attracted to him. Not in any romantic way. His personality was a bit much for my taste. We all nodded, and me and Kaylee took the tickets that our dates bought for us. A twinge of guilt panged in my stomach, but I saw that Nathaniel was trying hard not to laugh. He obviously found this whole situation hilarious.
Joseph took Kaylee’s hand and started walking inside. Nathaniel, who felt that mocking this whole thing was the only way to get through it, held out his arm, and I took it, feeling that his approach was how I was going to survive tonight. We were going to be overly dramatic about it. We all sat down in the theatre, with the guys on the outside of me and Kaylee, and waited patiently for the movie to start.
I leaned in to speak to Nathaniel. “So, how did you get roped into this little shindig?” A smile spread across my face as I watched Nathaniel roll his eyes.
“I’m not entirely sure. All I can say is that Joseph is a very persuasive guy…” He nodded slowly, and laughed slightly. if I ever was a bad judge of character, I could feel secure knowing that no matter what, I was right in thinking that Nathaniel was always dependable to have a light heart and comical approach to life. I wasn’t sure what he was feeling on the inside, but on the outside, he was quite smooth and calm. I was envious.
We continued to chat, ignoring Joseph and Kaylee’s small affectionate touches and whispered words. Though I turned a deaf ear to them, I was positive that Kaylee was feeling more and more awkward by the minute. At least Nathaniel didn’t seem too bothered by it.
The movie started, and immediately, Kaylee’s eyes turned to watch Nathaniel. She was probably concerned that he wasn’t enjoying himself, or worse, that he had found an interest in me. I couldn’t reassure her about Nathaniel, because Joseph was alarmingly close to Kaylee. So I had to sit there, drowning in my own awkwardness, for an hour and a half, wishing each second everything was over.
The moment the credits began to roll, I stood up and made to leave. But Nathaniel stood up at the same time I was trying to move, and I ended up sitting in his lap. We were both laughing and began blushing at each other’s clumsiness. I stood up and saw two completely different faces: There was Joseph’s, who was laughing along with us, and then Kaylee’s, who was trying hard not to look like that severely bothered her. I just blushed more furiously and walked out of the theatre, behind Nathaniel.
“So, that movie was a dud,” Joseph stated bluntly once we were outside of the theatre. The summer evening breeze felt nice against my hot face. I still felt embarrassed and stupid that I had let myself get into this situation. Thank goodness it was nearly over. I heard everyone mutter in agreement. Personally, I hadn’t even paid attention to the movie. I was making sure that Nathaniel didn’t look like he was paying more attention to me than the movie. He was speaking to me a lot, but we usually were on speaking terms. He didn’t know that I absolutely didn’t want him to speak to me. He didn’t know that this date was going to be the make of break of mine and Kaylee’s friendship.
“Well, its getting late, and I should probably be heading home,” I said, pushing my purse higher up on my shoulder. “Kaylee…” I began saying, but my eyes couldn’t distinguish Kaylee’s form, as it was tightly embraced and glued by the lips to Joseph’s body. This was the second time that I had seen Kaylee act like this. The first time was when she agreed to be in a relationship with Joseph, and funny enough, Nathaniel was there as well. I definitely knew that Kaylee wouldn’t do this on a regular basis, but was doing it to see Nathaniel’s reaction. His face mimicked what I was feeling. I laughed, and pulled him aside.
“You’d better not look so shocked. It might encourage them,” I rolled my eyes and poked his shoulder. He shook his head and chuckled.
“Kaylee sure is acting weird tonight,” He remarked giving me quizzical look, inquiring of me if she tended to act like this around Joseph. Truth was, she usually was apathetic to his existence most of the time, unless Joseph was being particularly pushy for her attention. I knew that the major factor of her behavior was the person standing in front of me, urging me to tell him something I wasn’t allowed to.
“Yeah, she is. This is the second time I seen her make out with him like that,” I scrunched up my nose. Seeing Kaylee like this wasn’t something I wanted to see on a daily basis. It was very uncharacteristic of her.
Nathaniel nodded in agreement, and we just stood there, waiting for them to say their goodbyes. As the minutes dragged by, Nathaniel and I spoke about the anticipated school year and about what we had done during the summer. Apparently him and Kaylee had done a lot during the summer, which perplexed me. She had nothing to complain about! Why was she acting so jealous tonight when she had plenty of time to see him already? I tisked quietly and watched Kaylee half-heartedly hug Joseph and wave to him.
“Looks like they’ve finally finished,” Nathaniel said, following my lead as we made our way to a relieved-looking Kaylee.
“Need a ride home?” I asked, smiling at her. She probably had a ton she wanted to tell me, so I was relieving her of using all those minutes on her phone plan and just talking to me face to face. But she shook her head.
“Joseph is getting the car and taking me home,” She mumbled, trying hard not to show her displeasure, because Nathaniel was still there and oblivious to her lack of enthusiasm in her current marital status. I shrugged, and hugged Kaylee.
“Well, I’ll see you around,” I said, and patted her on the shoulder.
“Yeah, see ya,” Nathaniel said, and he followed me as I walked away. I laughed slightly, wondering what Kaylee was thinking about Nathaniel’s following me. He eventually caught up with me and walked as far as he could without being completely out of the way of his car. We hugged briefly, and parted ways.
As I drove home, I remarked on the experience I just had. And I promised myself I would never ever let myself get into that situation again.
[well, now I can start chapter 3, which proves to be a little more exciting! We finally get to meet Emerson, but the meeting is going to be slightly different than what I originally planned. Thanks for being patient and for reading. I really appreciate it.]