The storm outside raged on, purple flashes of bright lightning flashed against the sky, and the thunder clapped loudly on the horizon.
A seventeen year old girl shivered, as she stared out of her living room window, watching as the storm progressed, getting worse and worse. The rain was coming down in bucketfuls, splashing against the window and everything else outside.
The girl returned to the comfort of her warm living room, tucking her sleek black hair behind her ear as she went, to keep it out of her face. Nothing was better then curling up and reading a good book during a thunderstorm, according to her.
"Aurelia!" she heard her mother's call from the kitchen, "Dear, your father and I are leaving now. Our party starts in half an hour, and it's a good drive, so we better get moving. You'll be OK won't you?"
Aurelia glanced up at her mother, looking into the icy blue eyes they both shared, as her mother copied a move she had just made, pushing her own shiny black hair behind her ear as well.
"Of course I will mom, you know I love storms," Aurelia assured her mother.
"OK, well don't forget that the candles are in the cupboard below the sink, there's a flashlight in the drawer in the hall closet, along with a lighter. There's a list of numbers by the phone, including the Mason's, OK. You know, your father's boss, who's throwing the party. And you have our cell numbers…"
"Mom, mom, calm down! I can handle this, I've stayed home alone many times," Aurelia smiled at her mother's worrying.
"Right, so you have. Now don't open the door to any strangers!" She said, on her way to the porch, her father jingling his keys in anticipation.
"Of course mom - " Aurelia said.
"And you can order a pizza, or any kind of food if you want, the money's in the cookie jar - "
"Yes mom, I know - "
"And be careful!"
"Yes mom! Just go already, would you!" Aurelia smiled at her over protective mother, and her father just rolled his eyes.
"OK, I love you, buh bye!" she said, just like that little girl from the cartoon Animaniacs.
Next thing I knew, my father had dragged her out the door, and I heard the faint and familiar clicks as the door locked, and closed.
"Finally!" Aurelia said, smiling. She loved her parents, but sometimes they could be overbearing.
After completing her novel – she had only had a few pages left anyways – Aurelia decided to get on her computer, see if anyone was online.
She saw a familiar name, and double-clicked, knowing exactly what she was about to say.
'LIA – Chico, was up home bro?
ChArLiE – Lia, my main girl, what's crack-a-lackin?
LIA – Sometimes you can be so weird Charlie .
ChArLiE – Eh, you'll get used to it, you know you love me!'
It hurt Aurelia to know how much this statement was actually true, and how Charlie had no clue.
You see Charlie had been her best friend since child birth. They were born only two days apart, and their parents lived close to one another, and were also in the same bowling league…it's like they were meant to be…NOT!
Sure, they had always had the same personalities, same interests, same everything.
Until the fateful day that Charlie met Rachel.
Now she is all he cares about. It's always Rachel this, Rachel that. Well he never actually says Rachel, but he implies it.
Today was actually they're two year anniversary, and Aurelia was surprised he wasn't with her, lavishing her with gifts and kisses.
'LIA – Sure, but not as much as you love Rachel, right?
ChArLiE – Sure.'
Aurelia was a little confused with his answer. Just sure? She was practically the love of his life, his one true love. And he answers with sure? Weird boy.
'LIA – So, what are you two going to do tonight?
ChArLiE – We're going out for dinner, then a walk on the beach.
LIA – Aw that's so cute!'
Really all she wanted to do was gag, but if he was happy…she was happy? Right?
'LIA – Well you better get a move on stud, bet she's waiting!
ChArLiE – Yeah, I bet. Bye Lia!'
And with that, he signed offline. Aurelia shut off the computer, wanting to read another of her trashy romance novels. She picked the first one up off her desk, a Meg Cabot novel. Great.
Looking at the clock, she realized it was around 6:30, a good time to call and order a pizza. A small search helped her locate the cordless phone, and she dialed in the number of her local pizza place. And after placing an order, she curled up on the couch, and began reading her novel.
The thunder continued to clap and sound outside, and the lightning still streaked across the sky, as Aurelia read on into her novel.
Finally she could hear the sound of the door bell. Assuming it was the pizza boy; she grabbed the money from the cookie jar in the kitchen, and went to open the door.
However, when the door swung open, it wasn't her familiar pizza boy standing before her, it was her mother, soaking wet, and a crooked smile plastered on her face.
"Hello dear, I'm sorry but I seem to have forgotten my cell phone - "
But Aurelia saw through her mother's lie. She had done this countless times before. "Mom, I know you're just here to check on me, so get the inspection over with and go back to your party packed with plenty of alcohol and hot guys for you to secretly swoon over while dad looks the other way. There's nobody here, the power's still on, I have not run off to join a convent, and surprisingly I have not decided to take on the act of being a mass murderer, because I'm quietly waiting for the arrival of my pizza."
My mother blinked. She was quite used to me seeing past her lie, but I think I caught her off guard with this one. Then the crooked smile returned to her face, and she raised an eyebrow at me.
"Oh fine, you caught me…But I did actually forget my cell phone this time," she said. Scuttling past me, my mother's tiny body raced down the hall and up the stairs. Not even a minute later, she returned, cell phone in hand.
"Bye sweetie! Love you! I probably won't see you now until tomorrow, and don't stay up too late!" she eye-balled me as she exited the house, and I heard the familiar click of the lock behind her.
She began to feel the pull of her novel as it begged her to return to reading it, so returning to the living room, re-positioning herself on the couch, and divulged deep into the trashy crap she read. The sounds of the storm lingered in the background, soothing her and the novel was so enticing that she almost missed the ring of the door bell once again.
Peeking around the curtain of her living room window, she saw the familiar orange hat of the delivery boy. Finally.
Aurelia grabbed the money once again, and opened the door to the soaked-to-the-skin boy at her door.
"That will be $11.50 Lia," he said, all too familiar with my order, not evening glancing at the receipt.
She handed over a ten and a five, and told him he could keep the change considering what the weather was like. Removing the pizza from his hands, and Aurelia brought it inside, and after waving good bye to the boy, whom she thought was named Shane, she closed the door, and locked it once again.
Deciding to get more comfy, Aurelia ran up the stairs and slipped into some simple PJs, which consisted of a pair of loose white cotton shorts and a form fitting white tank-top. She didn't plan to go anywhere else tonight, so she didn't care what she wore.
Sitting on the couch, and continuing her novel reading, she began munching on the pizza, which carried her favorite toppings, extra cheese, bacon, and banana peppers. Yum!
Soon after eating, she finished her novel. She was quite full, and her brain screamed for a bit of sleep, so curling up on the side of the couch, she drifted into a dreamless slumber, that wasn't too deep. So when the door bell rang, she clearly heard it.
'Not again,' she thought to herself. Getting up, she moved to the door, hoping it wasn't her mother, or father for that matter, back again.
However the person, standing drenched upon her doorstep was the most unlikely of all people she thought she would see there tonight.
There before her stood her best friend, Charlie, soaked to the skin, wearing only his jacket, a tee-shirt, and jeans.
"Ch-Charlie? What are you doing here?" Aurelia asked, utterly baffled.
"I can't do this any more Lia. I just can't!" was all Charlie replied with. Lia was completely lost.
"Charlie, what do you mean?" she asked.
"Come outside with me?" he said, as if he was completely oblivious to his surroundings.
"Charlie, do you see what I am wearing? And look at the sky, those don't exactly look like happy go-lucky white puffy clouds now do they?" she said, perplexed as to why he asked her this.
"Look, just come here!" he said, demanding not even asking. He reached out, grabbing Aurelia by the wrist and hauling her outside along beside him.
Squealing in protest, Aurelia was dragged out into the chilling sleet of rain. "Ch-Ch-Charlie, I-I'm c-cold. L-let m-me g-go b-back in!" Her teeth chattered as she was dragged down the drive, and right out into the middle of the road. Her clothes were already soaked through, and her shirt was pretty much transparent. "Ch-Charlie! Do you even hear me?" Aurelia was really pissed off now.
Charlie suddenly stopped and spun Aurelia around to face him. Aurelia's eyes widened. There were tears coming from Charlie's eyes. The boy was crying! Charlie, her Charlie was crying. She could hardly tell, because of the rain washing the tears from his face, but she could see the pained expression on his face.
"Charlie? Ch-Charlie? What's wrong? You're crying, you never cry…" Aurelia was worried. Did Rachel break up with him? What had happened.
Charlie took in a deep breath, and spoke. His voice cracked at first, but then he regained his confident speech Aurelia was used to.
"Aurelia. I went out with Rachel tonight. But you know that. Anyways, we had gone to dinner, and we were just settling down and we were enjoying ourselves just fine. When the drinks arrived, I had a can of pop. And you know what I did? I asked her to play flicksies with me, flicksies!"
I was trying to grasp onto what he was saying, flicksies was a game she and Charlie had invented with a can of pop. You take the tab you used to open the can, and flick it with your fingers, back and forth, until someone knocks it off and is declared winner. But what did this have to do with anything?
"And you know what, she looked at me, and, and she laughed. She laughed! She didn't know what the hell I was talking about. She just brushed it off like it was a stupid childish game. And what did I do? I just sat there, and let her walk all over our game. Lia, I just sat there!" Charlie's expression changed to a look of guilt, as if he felt bad for letting me down. "Lia I let her diss our game. Our game! And then I chose that perfect moment to look Rachel right in the eyes, and do you know what I saw?" Aurelia shook her head, as she had no clue what this boy was getting on with. "Lia, I saw boring, dull brown eyes. There was no life in them; there was no joy or excitement. And the one thing that really stood out to me, was that I wasn't looking across the table into a certain someone's icy blue eyes," Charlie said, smiling as if Aurelia should have known what he was talking about.
"Charlie, I don't understand," Aurelia said, her brain trying to comprehend his point.
"Look Lia, all this time I have realized I've been dating Rachel simply for the point of having someone being there, when I didn't realize I had someone there all along. Someone who's always been by my side, and someone who will always play flicksies with me when I drank a can of pop. That same person who's been there for me through every hard time, through every bad break-up, every stolen crayon, the year I broke my knee. I've always had that someone by my side."
Aurelia was truly baffled; she was too confused and cold to understand what this boy was trying to say. She stared in an awkward way at her best friend. She had just taken into account the fact that her clothes were pretty much see through, and he could probably see the neon purple bra she was wearing beneath her clothes. Instinctively she folded her arms across her chest. "Charlie, wh-what are you t-trying to say?"
Charlie smiled, realizing the girl must be frozen. Removing his jacket, he handed it to her, and Aurelia gladly accepted, wrapping the warm garment around her thin cold frame.
"What I've been trying to say is I've been giving my love to the wrong person all along," Aurelia's eyes widened, "Yes Lia, I mean that. I don't think I ever loved Rachel. And I don't think I ever could have. Which is why I broke up with her. I told her I couldn't do this any more, so I paid the bill and I came straight here. At the place I should have been all along, with the person I truly can say deserves my love."
Aurelia couldn't believe it, she finally let her brain realize that this boy, whom she had loved for many years now, was finally confessing the fact that he realizes he returns those exact feelings. Her wildest dreams had come true. But now what was she supposed to do? Confess and say she had loved him her entire life? No, not right now, that would just make the moment awkward.
"Lia? Aurelia? Say something, anything?" Charlie asked, and Aurelia realized she hadn't responded to his confession except with a blank face.
"Oh, s-sorry. Just in a bit of sh-shock, that's all," Aurelia said, and a smile grew on her face.
"Look, let's get you inside, you're freezing!" Charlie said, beginning to lead her towards her home by the elbow.
Then Aurelia thought of the perfect thing to do, "No," she said.
"But you're cold! I'm not letting you get sick," Charlie said, inside Aurelia beamed inwardly at his kindness.
"You've confessed, don't I get a turn?" Aurelia stated, matter of fact.
Charlie seemed a little surprised, but I could see a smirk beginning to pull on his lips. "Of course, go right ahead," he said.
Aurelia didn't waste any time, she took a quick breath, and then reached forwards, grabbed the boy by his shoulders and pulled him down towards her.
The feeling of contact between their lips sent sharp shocks of pleasure down Aurelia's spine; she knew this was meant to be.
Charlie was amused at the girl's bluntness and couldn't have been happier at the touch of Aurelia's lips against his own. It was pure ecstasy, and he was enjoying every nano second of it.
Bravely, Charlie deepened the kiss, pushing one of his rough hands through her sleek hair, and the other rested along her lower back, pulling her closer to him, never wanting to let go.
The storm pursued above them, the rain soaking them to their skin, and the lightning illuminating every moment of their first kiss together.
The kiss continued, Aurelia raked one hand along the back of Charlie's neck, while the other clutched his back in an attempt to pull him even closer, if that was possible.
A quick pause let them re-capture their breath, and Charlie sighed, saying "Let's go inside, it's cold."
He picked her up bridal style, and Aurelia snuggled close into his chest, laying quick pecks along his neck and jaw line, as he carried her inside the home.
The moment they were inside, Charlie picked up where he had left off, only this time, Aurelia was propped up against the door, with her legs wrapped around his waist as she kissed him earnestly.
The kiss continued, moving from the door, to the hallway wall, and slowly moving into the living room, for more comfort. Their kiss had significantly deepened, their tongues being involved now, and hands groping each other's body. Neither of them realized how much the other wanted this so badly.
They were moving towards the couch now, Charlie applying kisses all over the surface of Aurelia's neck and face, while Aurelia traced the lines of his abs after the removal of his shirt.
Taking a quick breath, Aurelia stated firmly, "I love you Charlie," she said.
Charlie looked up, and deep into her eyes, "I love you as well, so much, Lia," and Aurelia knew he meant it.
He gently laid Aurelia upon the couch, kissing every part of her upper body he could find, especially the neck.
When she felt Charlie's hands beginning to remove her shirt, something clicked in her mind. They were going fast, too fast. They were so caught up in the heat of the moment; they didn't realize what was going on.
"Ch-Charlie," Aurelia said, pulling away from his kiss, "T-too far."
Charlie suddenly realized exactly how far they were, he had no shirt on, and Aurelia's was almost off, her bra stuck out past her shirt. She was right.
"I'm sorry," he said, "I'll stop." And he did.
"But don't you dare stop kissing me; you have a lot of time to make up for, mister!" Aurelia said, pulling her shirt back down, she reached out, and grabbed Charlie, pulling him back to her once again. The kiss continued.
Aurelia's butt had gone numb, and she decided a quick shift of position was in order. However when she went to adjust herself, she felt something warm and sticky beneath her. Aurelia pulled back from the kiss.
"Uh-oh," she said.
"What? Are your parents home? Did I do something wrong? What is it?" Charlie said in a panic.
"Um, no…" Aurelia said, a blush appearing on her face, "I believe I have sat in the remnants of my dinner…"
Charlie looked down, and sure enough, Aurelia was sat smack dab in the middle of a pizza box. He couldn't help it; it was just so damn funny. A small chuckle escaped his throat, and then some more, until he was full frontal laughing out loud.
Aurelia looked up at Charlie, "You know, it's not THAT funny," she said, a look of annoyance on her face, and the blush still visible.
"Actually it's pretty friggen hilarious! Lia's got a pizza butt! Lia's got a pizza butt! Pizza butt! PIZZA BUTT!" Charlie was dancing around now like a complete fool, but she had to admit how amusing it was to watch him. She let out a small giggle.
"See, I got you to laugh, now come on, let's get you upstairs and get you changed," Charlie said, holding out a hand.
Aurelia grabbed it, pulling herself up, and looking at her butt to see what damage had been done. Her entire shorts were covered in red-orange pizza sauce, and directly in the middle of her butt, a slice of pizza had continued to stick to her shorts. Charlie reached out and peeled it off. Aurelia was about to leave, when Charlie took a huge bite out of the slice of pizza he continued to hold.
"Ew! Charlie!" Aurelia squealed, "I was sitting on that!"
"So?" he questioned, continuing to eat the pizza.
"Oh what am I going to do with you?" Aurelia smiled, and rolled her eyes.
After going upstairs and changing into some warmer pajamas, she returned downstairs, only to discover that Charlie had finished off the pizza. "Charlie!" she exclaimed.
"Did I mention I didn't eat anything at the restaurant? After the pop, I left. Poor Rachel, I didn't exactly tell her why I broke up with her, I guess I should have," Charlie said, contemplating his actions.
"Charlie, how could you do that? I don't particularly like Rachel, but that doesn't mean I want her hating me!" Aurelia huffed, sitting down on the couch.
Charlie sat besides her, and pulled her towards him, with her head lying on his chest like they always had done. "Don't worry, I'll tell her first thing on Monday in school. I'll make sure she doesn't hate you over it."
"Fine," Aurelia said, a yawn suddenly escaping her lips.
"You're tired, cold and still a little wet. Why don't you go to sleep, and I'll just watch over you, OK?" Charlie said, a small smile on his face.
Aurelia smiled, she could get used to this, "Sure."
She had only slept for fifteen minutes, when slowly Charlie nodded off as well, the sound of thunder and rain lulling him to sleep.
Several hours later, nearly one in the morning, Aurelia's parents arrived home. However they were not surprised to see the two curled up on the couch together. They were pretty much used to it by now, as this wasn't the first time Charlie had stayed over. Her mother gave a quick call to Charlie's parents, letting them know of his whereabouts, while her father grabbed a large blanket from the hall closet, and laid it over the two of them. Then they both headed on up to bed.
Around ten in the morning, Charlie awoke, surprised to see a blanket draped over them, but quickly discovered the appearance of Aurelia's parent's car in the driveway, and drew his own conclusion. He smiled.
Charlie sat for about an hour and a half, letting Aurelia continue to sleep. Over the course of that time, her parents had awoken, and had already left to buy groceries. Silently, he lifted the form of his sleeping best friend – well, I guess you could call her his girlfriend now – off of him, and replaced himself with several pillows.
He went out into the kitchen, and decided upon making breakfast for them both. Charlie pulled out the necessary ingredients for making pancakes from scratch, and got to work.
By the time he had enough pancakes cooked, he was covered, almost from head to foot in flour, due to knocking the container off the shelf, and over his head, and he had little remnants of egg shells stuck to his clothes. But the finished product of breakfast turned out good. He set the little table in the breakfast nook, and decided to wake Aurelia.
Charlie sat atop the girl, and with an "OOF!" she awoke.
"GERROFF ME CHARLIE!" she could hardly speak as a pillow muffled her voice.
"Aw come on now, don't get mad at me pizza-butt, I made pancakes!" Charlie said, smirking, knowing pancakes were her favorite breakfast food.
"Pancakes?" she said, expectantly, "Wait a minute; I am NOT a pizza-butt!"
"Aw Lia, you will always be my pizza-butt. Now hurry up and get your saucy arse off the couch!"