I keep checking the front window to see if he is here. God, I’m so nervous. It was never a big deal when he came over before but lately he is all I can think about and I’m just psyching myself out.
Stop this craziness, Nessie, I tell myself. Exhaling and walking away from the window I decide to immerse myself in some reading to take my mind off things.
Just as I sit down with a book I hear that knock I know so well. Damn, I was hoping to hear the car approach and have some warning. I try to control my breathing as I walk to the door. The thought crosses my mind to peek out the window once more, but then..no, he might see me and that would look weird. I don’t want to look weird.
Reaching the door I inhale as I open it. “Hi”
“Hey” He stepped inside. “I should have brought my edger to clean up your lawn…”, he mentioned as he closed the door.
He stopped mid-sentence, eyes making a quick scan of me top to bottom. I felt my cheeks flush and placed a hand over one shoulder self consciously.
He smiled. “I like the new look.” was all he said.
“Thanks.” and I finally really look at him. “You have a new look too- and your hair even.”
He looks good. His hair is swept over his cheekbones, framing his emerald eyes.
“Oh…yeah” he said running a hand through his hair. “I’m too old to be dressing like a goddamn hippie, besides I’m nearly done with school I figured I should clean up a little.”
“I like it.” I started toward the living room. “I guess we’ve both changed.”
“Yeah, I guess so…”
As she is walking away, I can’t help but be mesmerized by the smooth bare skin of her shoulders,
the way the skirt swings as her hips move,
those slender legs…
She usually hides beneath layers of clothing, but this is something new.
I followed her to the living room and she sat on the couch stiffly, looking nervous.
I sat at the other end. “So what’s goin’ on?” I asked casually.
Her eyes darted to me, “Wh- What do you mean?”
“uhhhh…I don’t know? What do you mean?” I’m starting to get confused now. She is acting strange.
After a moment, she giggled as she replied, “uh, nothing. It’s nothing.”
I gave her a skeptical look. “OH kay” I said dramatically. It’s never nothing.
“Anyway, are you glad to be on a break finally? You’ve been at school non-stop.” She asked, changing the subject.
“Oh yeah, but you know the summertime courses are mostly lab work so that’s no big deal. Last weekend me and the guys went to Sunset Valley for scuba diving, again. But the regular school year is pretty grueling, especially now that I’m in the high level courses.”
She questioned me about all about school and seemed to loosen up a little as we talked. Soon she was smiling and laughing like usual. I had been nervous for a bit that today might be a repeat of last time I’d been here. I hated seeing her sad like that.
When she called to tell me how the trip went, I was so relieved that her parents finally realized the pain they had caused. That night she broke down, I had wanted so badly to tell her how I feel. Tell her she’s not alone and that I would be there for her, tell her that I love her.
As the conversation turned to her summer activities, she jumped up excitedly. “You have to see the pictures they sent me! Come!”
As she showed off the pictures I felt confident I had done the right thing not confessing my feelings that night. If I had, I think there would have been little hope of her going on the trip. I would hate to be a part of the wedge that had been driven between her and them. And to be honest, I was a little apprehensive about taking advantage of her emotional state. I didn’t want her to take a step in desperation that she might later regret. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t regret it…the thought of that is pretty depressing…but I have to consider the possibility. Given the nature of our relationship, I can’t assume she will return my feelings.
But this time…as I watch her speak animatedly about her parents I know that she is in a better place.
“…and this one”, Nessie said gesturing to a picture of a little girl. “I made that toy especially for her. I even engraved her name on it.”
“You’re pretty amazing.” I reply, smiling at her.
She took my statement as a joke, rolling her eyes and laughing. “Yes well, I do what I can.”
She turned to leave the room, but I stopped her placing my hand on her arm.
The air in the room changed, I could feel her tense up. Not sure how to read that, my thoughts race. Does she sense where this is going? Is she anticipating or dreading? Surely she must feel the electricity I feel when we touch.
She looked at my hand and then up at me, her eyes wide and questioning. Her lips slightly part as she inhales.
“uh..” My mind has gone blank, overwhelmed with the urge to kiss her. But inexplicably, I hesitate.
“Hugh, what is it?” Her voice brings me out of my trance.
I drop my hand from her arm.
“Umm…”The moment is lost. “My mother wanted me to invite you for dinner tonight, it’s getting to be that time..”
“Oh” She looked away. “Of course I’ll go, just…give me a minute to wash up.” She quickly left the room.
I sighed and leaned on the dresser, my head in my hands “What the hell, man?”
What the hell was that?
I leaned on the inside of the bathroom door, placing my hand over my racing heart.
My stomach in a tight knot, my face feeling as if it’s on fire.
The way he had looked at me…
but then he invited me to dinner, or really Helen did.
What was he going to tell me? It’s obviously something important. Maybe he met someone and it’s serious. Or he got a career opportunity that will take him far away.
Ugh, this is so frustrating! I was a bundle of nerves when he arrived and then finally I calmed down and realized I was nervous over nothing. Our conversation had flowed so easily and we had spent hours talking. Then suddenly he screws it all up and I can barely stand to be in the same room with him!
I splashed water on my neck to cool myself down a bit then headed out to face him.
He was already outside, his eyes closed breathing the warm summer air. I admired him for a moment, he has broad strong shoulders from swimming. A breeze rustled his hair and my heart skipped a beat, but the sudden emotion makes me want to smack him upside the head. What is he hiding? As I closed the front door he turned and looked at me. “Ready?”
I don’t meet his gaze, “yeah” I reply briskly as I walk straight to the passenger side of the car.
The car ride was pretty silent, but I noticed him shooting me curious looks. I was relieved he didn’t ask what was the matter, because I didn’t really know what to say.
I’m mad because I’m nervous around you and I don’t want to be. But I can’t help it, I want more…
No way I could say that, talk about awkward. I could never look him in the eye if he didn’t say he felt the same.
Dinner was great, I love being with Robert and Helen. I’ve seen them a few times this summer but not enough. I have really come to appreciate everything they did for me over the years.
After dinner, we all chatted in the living room for a while.
I caught Hugh looking at me a few times like he was trying to figure something out. Of course it was always while I was in the middle of talking so I just tried to ignore it. By the end of the night I was annoyed, tired of being uncomfortable, and ready to go home.
When the car came to a stop in front of my house I wasted no time opening the door, “Goodnight Hugh.”
I shut the door before he finished speaking, he sounded surprised. I half expected him to jump out of the car and stop me, but he didn’t.
Once inside, I waited at the door until I heard him drive away. I pulled out my phone to call Enya, but realized it’s way too late to call her. Good thing I’m seeing her tomorrow, we have a lot to talk about.