So I was looking through my old notebooks at the random writings I put down at the spur of the moment, and I decided that I'd write them down so that they can be fresh in my mind and I can let them fester until I feel they're perfect. Anyways, this story needs SERIOUS editing! And I should probably print out a hard copy of all the chapters to nit-pick at. Anyways, here goes:
[this section was found in the back of my math notebook. How bored was I that day?]
The monotony of school was beginning to be set in place from the very first week. It was a daze of filling out forms, getting to know my classmates and understanding the homework patterns of the teachers. Not to mention the ample heat days. When Labor Day came rolling around, it was a breath of fresh air! I set my alarm clock for 10 am, thinking I was going to sleep in for the first time in five days. So it came as a surprise when I heard the shrieks of my mom.
"Tori! Come on, get up!" My door opened frantically and I sat up straight in my bed, muttering something about potatoes.
"Huh? Wazza matter mom?" I yawned and stretched and noticed that my window hadn't yet lit with the morning sun. Oh great, I knew Labor Day was too good to be true! Those school board Nazis took that away from me as well!
"You need to get up!"
"Stupid no good Nazis..."
"What was that, dear?" She questioned. She pulled down my blinds and looked out at the peaking sun. I sat on the edge of my bed and scowled.
"Those stupid administrators are making us go to school because of all the heat days, right?" I asked, not thinking I'd need an answer. I already knew those administrators hated kids.
"No, hon. There's someone moving in down the street that needs help. He's by himself and asked the neighborhood to help. Plus, he's providing breakfast," Mom smiled at me, expecting me to be pleased. Yeah right.
"Well, good for you and dad!" I remarked, hoping she wouldn't catch the fact that I left myself out.
"Tor, you're helping too. What did you have planned anyways?"
"Catching up with my friend, Mr.Sleep," I fell back on my pillows and buried my head.
"Oh, no you don't," She snatched the pillow from out of my hands and gently yet firmly pulled me on my feet.
"Mom! How could you do this to me? I hate service!" I grumbled.
"You'll be thankful later," She kissed my cheek and left the room. "I want you out here in ten minutes!"
I looked at my clock. 7:15? I shook my head and pulled on some jeans and a t-shirt. After fixing my hair in a pony tail and brushing my teeth, me and my parents trekked out onto the street and made our way down to the end of the street. I knew what house the new person was moving into: me and my friends thought it was haunted when we were younger and eager for an adventure. We used to sneak inside and look for goblins and ghosts. Now the house would be occupied by someone I was sure I'd be resentful at for the rest of my high school career.
When we arrived, there were a few people already there, drinking coffee and moving boxes and small tables into the house. I looked for the new face, but didn't find it.
"I guess we just pick something up and move it," My dad said, stuffing his hands in his pockets.
"Wouldn't the mover want to know where it was going?" I said, kicking at a rock on the sidewalk.
"Do you know where he is?" My mom asked, looking around. Just then, someone emerged from the moving van, and I knew my face instantly became red, but not with anger.
"Hey neighbors!" Emerson waved cheerfully from the edge of the van and let his eyes linger on my for a second longer than my parents. His smile brightened and he made his way over to us. I tried to act nonchalant, but I was never good at the casual attitude when I was obviously flustered. "Thanks for helping! Would you two mind if you could get started on the kitchen boxes on the far left?" He nodded at my parents, and they graciously accepted, and I noticed how he divided me from my parents. Emerson then turned to me, and his friendly facade turned to slight embarrassment.
"Hey Tori," He gave me an awkward smile.
"Hey," I said, leaving out his name on purpose. Maybe if I pretended that I didn't remember his name, then he wouldn't think that I replayed our conversation over in my mind constantly. He nodded at me, signaling me to follow him up to the moving van. I followed, trying to think of something interesting to say. Suddenly, he turned to me, his face screwed up in concentration.
"Listen, Tori, I wanted to apologize for embarrassing you the other night. I didn't mean to do all that..." His voice cracked at that moment and he took that second to compose himself. I lifted my eyebrow and stared at him.
"Why are you apologizing again? What is there left to apologize for?" I knew perfectly well why he was apologizing, but I felt that feigning ignorance would make things less awkward for us. He rubbed his neck, chuckled a bit, then moved around me to a piece of furniture and grabbed the end.
"Well then never mind. Consider it forgotten. In the meantime, you want to help me move the big pieces of furniture?" He waited for me to move to the other end and grab it. I took the end and we began moving out of the truck. "So, how's tennis going?" He asked staring at the entrance of the house.
"How did you know I played?" I asked incredulously.
"Besides the tennis racket pendant around your neck," He looked at the pendant which lay precariously on my sternum and I blushed lightly. "Your brother just raves about you." He smirked.
"Well, in that case, tennis is doing fine. We play a tournament next week," I tried not looking at him and paid attention to the obstacles through the house. When I chanced a glance, I was suddenly aware of two things: how intent Emerson's gaze at me was and how heavy this dresser we were carrying was becoming. I tried shifting the weight into a more comfortable position and then smiled awkwardly when it failed. Emerson must've realized that I knew he was staring because he shook his head and backed into the doorway of the room the dresser was going to be in.
"I assume you're pretty good?"
"Huh?" I inquired. I was distracted by his staring and the weight of the dresser that I forgot what we were discussing.
"Oh yeah. I mean, I'm decent. You know, I'm no Maria," I smiled sheepishly. I hated talking about my abilities.
"Maria Sharapova. She's a tennis player," I trailed off, not wanting to get into a long discussion about my tennis obsession both on and off the court.
"Oh. The only tennis player I know about is Pete Sampras," He shrugged and looked around the room. "Over there," He nodded to the corner of the room and I sighed in relief. No more having to carry this heavy hunk of wood. We set it down and I flexed my worn muscles.
"Tired already?" He chuckled and brushed off his hands. I smiled back weakly.
"Just a bit. Not used to carrying around objects like that," I turned my back to him and walked out the door. Just as I felt safe and calm again, I felt someone rush and stop next to me. Knowing it was Emerson, I begged myself not to do something stupid.
"Listen, Tori," He grabbed my arm and pulled me aside as other people filed in, carrying various objects. I swallowed and stared at him as he stared back. "I was sorta hoping we could..." He paused, probably searching for the right words. I waited. He remained silent.
"What?" I egged on, the anticipation too much for my already tired body. I wasn't going to get my hopes up for anything, but still, I wanted to know.
"This is going to sound lame," He warned, squeezing my arm lightly. He sighed. "I was hoping...we could be friends," He bit his lip and took both my arms in his hands. I began bursting out laughing, despite my promise to myself that I wouldn't do anything stupid. The people walking by stared at me, but I couldn't resist. Here I was, standing here, expecting nothing less of a proposal by the way he was going about things, and all he wanted was to be friends. The look on his face wasn't helping things either. It was a mixture of perplexity and concern. Finally, I calmed down enough to keep a straight face and put my hand on his shoulder.
"Of course, Emerson! No need to ask. What grade are we in? Second?" I burst out laughing again, but this time I was accompanied by Emerson. He pulled me into a walk again and we continued laughing the entire way back to the moving van.
I don't know what happened that day but all the invisible barriers that existed the first night we met slackened, almost to the point of completely breaking down. But not completely. Some rules still need to be obeyed. And that was going to be the hardest part.
[So thats it. I have more still, but I'm tired. Ta!]