This is a chunk of what I wrote last night. This is straight from my brain pan onto the page without editing or proofing. You’re getting a preview at the rough, rough draft of my Novel, Guys Like Us… enjoy.
When I finally got to the cafeteria, I slid onto the bench next to Sarah May, not sure if I wanted to say anything about what had just happened, or if I wanted to keep it to myself. You know that feeling right? I was concerned that if I shared with Sarah May, she’d reduce the whole crazy experience down to something mundane and normal. As she did on a regular basis. Sarah May believed everything, even human emotions and interactions, could be reducible to their basic components with a bit of brain power. She believed she was the person with the brain power, one of the few in fact. She had previously though I might be someone with that kind of brain, but she’d recently changed her mind, after seeing how I reacted to Desiree’s attentions. I wasn’t sure I was ready to open myself up to that kind of dissection just yet.
She looked up from her book, briefly, then back down again while her hand mechanically spooned soup into her mouth. I pulled out my sandwich and my current scifi novel and attempted to pick up where I left off. Attempted, I say, because I kept reading the same three paragraphs over and over again, without any comprehension whatsoever. I momentarily closed my eyes and replayed the conversation with Desiree. “I’ll do anything…” I could feel my face begin to flush as I went through a mental list of things I’d like Desiree to do for me. I couldn’t help those thoughts from surfacing and I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed about them. It was a good thing no one could read my mind.
“Hey, Grayson, what’s wrong with you?” Sarah May’s slightly nasal voice cut through my reverie and my eyes flew open.
I got the look over the glasses with one eyebrow up, “Buddy.. are you coming down with something? Or…” She peered at me closely and I had that ‘under the microscope feeling again’. “Or.. have you come down with the Desiree flu again? I thought you were over that, finally.”
Sarah May was not one to be shy about her judgements and she clearly thought my interest in Miss LaConner was a foolish waste of energy, and in fact, she’d said so several times over the past few weeks. Desiree wasn’t so much ‘out of my league’ as she was not worth my energy as she’d never match up to me in mental prowess or discernment.
I shut my jaw, which had been hanging open, and turned back to my book but had no more luck than before in getting the words from the page, through my eyeballs and into my brain. Sarah May was staring at me, with narrowed eyes, watching me the way a scientist would watch a lab rat.
“Mmhmm.. that’s what it is, isn’t it? What happened today, Buddy. Spill it.” She wasn’t gonna take no for an answer, I knew that about her, she was like a terrier after a rat when she wanted to know something.
I sighed dramatically, rolled my eyes and put my book down. “Alright, yes, something happened, but it’s nothing really, I’m just being foolish.” Truth be told, I was split on whether I was being foolish or on to something but really just wanted to divert Sarah May. She wasn’t having none of that though.
“What happened, tell me everything, come one… what are friends for?” Apparently friends are for interrogation, is what I wanted to say but didn’t. Instead, I told her what happened, leaving out the bits where I blushed and felt like my knees were going to buckle.
Sarah May stared at me and for a moment I was a little frightened. There was an intensity in her eyes I rarely saw.
“She invited her over to her house to work on it? Seriously? That’s… that’s huge, Grayson. Have you ever been to a house on that side of town?” I shook my head no. “You are in for a treat. My mom’s step-sister does house cleaning and she’s told me about them. They have rooms for everything and they are all huge. I bet Desiree has a huge bedroom and all kinds of cool stuff… I wonder if she’s got a canopy bed…”
Now it was my turn to stare at Sarah May who was off and running in her own fantasy world. Canopy bed? Wasn’t that a bit grade school? But I didn’t say anything about that to her.
“Uh, yeah, we’ve driven through that part of town before, during Christmas, to see the lights.” I realized that I didn’t actually know which one is hers, how was I gonna get there? I usually walked home, it was only a mile away and walking was infinitely better, even on a bad weather day, than riding the bus.
“I wonder if she’ll give her a ride to her house? Her mom always comes to pick her up, you know. That would make sense.”
I went through the rest of the day in a bit of a blur. Desiree came bounding up to me as I began my walk home. I could see her mom waiting in the car near the front of the school, looking in our direction. I wondered what she thought as she looked at me. Would she be ok with her daughter bring home a kid who clearly didn’t live on their side of town? Maybe she thought I was a boy, with my long faded blue jeans, grungy tennis shoes and hand-me-down Carhart jacket.
“Buddy, my mom said you can come over tomorrow so we can work on the project. You can get a ride with me and my Dad will give you a ride home.” She looked into the distance, in the general direction of where I lived, as if to tell me that she knew walking to and from wouldn’t work. “Can you ask your parents tonight if that’ll be Ok? Please?”
She did that thing again, where she leaned toward me and stared into my eyes. Maybe I was being hypnotised, that’s what I thought later, as I pondered my complete lack of any ability to say no to her while she was doing that.
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