I pulled up to a red light, and cleared my throat. The silence was unnerving me. I looked over at him. He looked at me with his eyebrows raised. Wordlessly, he blew a stream of smoke into my face.
"You know you really need to stop smoking," I said, waving my hand to clear the air. "It's bad for you."
"Oh gee, really?" he asked sarcastically, taking another drag on his cigarette. He leaned forward and cranked up the volume of my car stereo. I rolled my eyes and went back to staring at the red light.
Scott and I had a strange relationship. He was my best friend's boyfriend's best friend, and I couldn't stand him. Yet I couldn't take myself away from him. My best friend Leslie told me that Scott was interested in me...as more than just a friend. That was a month ago and I was still uncomfortable being around him.
"What are you thinking about?" he asked, looking back at me. I didn't say anything. "Come on Ashley. It's not like you to be this quiet. What are you thinking about?"
"You know, just because I'm not talking doesn't mean I'm upset," I shot back. "And dammit would you please stop with the smoking in my car?!"
"I'll stop when you tell me what you're thinking about," he said, blowing another stream of smoke into my face for effect.
"Fine!" I said. "I'm thinking about prom."
He let out a choke of laughter. "Prom? That's in May. This is September."
"Put out the cigarette," I said, avoiding the subject. "I told you what I was thinking."
"Why are you thinking about prom?" he asked, refusing to leave it alone.
"I'm thinking about it because I'm not going to go. I won't get a date. It's not going to happen and it's going to haunt me for the rest of my life," I blurted out.
"You're such a girl," he said easily. I turned and glared at him. He smiled and pointed out the front window. "Green light." I slammed on the gas and he laughed, knowing that he'd hit a button.
We were silent until I hit the next red light, which was notoriously a long one. Scott leaned forward and turned the radio down. He coughed as he pulled out yet another smoke. I glared at him.
"You're not ugly Ashley," he told me. I couldn't do anything but look at him. That was quite possibly the nicest thing he'd ever said to me in the month that I'd known him, and generally loathed him.
"Well I'm...I'm not pretty," I stammered.
The first time that I'd met Scott had actually been almost four months ago. I was shopping with Leslie, when her boyfriend Mike had shown up at the same mall with Scott in tow. I instantly fell hard for Scott because well...because he was gorgeous. Shaggy brown hair, huge brown eyes. Tall, skinny, but very toned and muscular. Then he opened his mouth. He called me ugly and said I was fat. Three months later (and notably 20 pounds lighter) I met him again. He didn't remember me at all. I still hated him, but vowed to give him a chance. He was nice to me, which I still don't understand. Now, a month later, I still saw him about once a week since I was always with Leslie, and Scott was always with Mike. Since he didn't have a car (the front left tire literally fell off), I was his mode of transportation of choice. So we were friends in a sense. But I was still wary of him.
"Look at me," he said seriously. I refused. I felt his hand grip my chin softly and turn my face towards him. He looked into my eyes with those big chocolate brown eyes of his. "You are pretty and don't let anyone else ever tell you differently."
I looked at him.
"Green light," he said, nodding his head towards the window.
I whipped my head back to the road and drove on to his house. I was there in five minutes flat. When I pulled up to his house, he didn't get out. He just looked at me, STILL smoking a cigarette.
"I've made you think haven't I?" he laughed.
"Shut up," I said.
"I really hate girls who don't admit that they're pretty. It's a big turn off, especially when the girl you're talking to is one of them."
"And I really hate guys who smoke in my car and then proceed to lie to me about being...turned on by me," I retorted, getting red in the face. I could feel the blush creeping into my cheeks.
"I never lie," he said, taking a long drag on his cigarette.
"Prove it," I challenged, raising my eyebrows.
Without hesitating, he leaned over to my side of the car and kissed me. Not some long glorious kiss with fireworks and violin music. But a kiss nonetheless. A good one at that. He pulled back and finished off his cigarette.
"If you weren't pretty and you didn't make me want to fuck you every second I see you, I wouldn't have done that," he said simply. I sat there, shocked, my mouth hanging open. He took a final drag on his cigarette and blew a long stream of smoke out the window. I found my voice again as he got out of my car.
"You know, you really do need to stop smoking Scott," I said as he slammed the door shut. He poked his head back into the window.
"And you really need to learn how to admit you're wrong Ashley," he said. He turned around and began to walk up his front walkway.
"Good bye Scott," I yelled.
"Keep it real Ashley."