At half past six, I awoke to the smell of curry. Was my mom making curry? I'd never known her to like curry, but then again it'd been a couple years since I'd known her anyways. I got up and went into the kitchen, watching my mom stir something in a pot. "Curry?" I asked and she jumped, startled by my sudden appearance.
"Yes, I hope you don't mind," she said and smiled apologetically.
"I like curry," I said and went over to examine the pot. "Smells really good actually."
She smiled. "I'm glad you think so. This is my first time making it so I have almost no idea what I'm doing. I'm just following this cookbook to be honest. Why don't you go watch television or something while I make this?"
I needed no prompting and went into the living room and turned the television on, turning to the music channel and watching the latest crazes. The Jonas Brothers were in the top five again, and I shook my head. I had nothing against the Jonas Brothers, but they weren't my favorite, I liked older music, no matter who it was by or what genre it was. I liked Iron Maiden, and Metallica, and Sarah Brightman, and Michael Jackson, and all those people. After watching the television for a bit, my mom called me in to eat.
"So, what'd you do today?" she asked, sitting a plate down on the table and motioning for me to sit there.
"Well, I went to a car dealership," I said, my mouth watering from the smell of the food before me.
"A car dealership? What for?"
"Well, I got my license last month so I was looking for a car. I found this really cute Honda at the dealership and I wanted to get it, but I don't have any money and someone else wanted it."
"Oh. Well, I can help you out with the money whenever you want, and who was this other person?"
"That boy down the hall?"
"Yeah. He was there, and then we went for lunch together."
"Did he pay?"
"Yes? Why? Is that bad?" I asked, pausing.
She looked at me and frowned slightly, putting her own fork down. "Honey, I know you think he's cute and everything, but don't you think it's a little early to be flirting with someone. You just broke up with your boyfriend of two years."
"A year and a half," I corrected her. "And I wasn't flirting. I went to the dealership, saw him there, and he offered to take me to lunch because I didn't have any money. He said it was okay, honest!"
She looked at me and smiled, then went back to eating.
"What about you? What did you do today?" I asked, wanting to change the subject.
"Oh, just answered phones and everything. Someone called asking to speak to the manager of one of the hotels, and boy did he sound angry. I have to ask what their names are, and you know what he said? He said his name was Eastwood, Clint Eastwood. Could you believe it?" she said, her eyes brighter now. "I couldn't believe it was actually him so I asked him, assuring me that it was, and I was so ecstatic I didn't know what to do. He laughed at me, and then I forwarded him to the manager. But, I got to talk to Clint Eastwood!"
To be honest, I had only seen one movie with Clint Eastwood in it, and wasn't even the one he was most famous for; I saw him in Million Dollar Baby as a boxing coach. "That's so cool mom," I said and shoveled in some more curried pork. "Maybe tomorrow you'll get a call from Hugh Jackman!"
"Wouldn't that be amazing!?" she asked me, giggling to herself.
That was Elizabeth for you. That was my mother. For the first time in a long time, I felt comfortable saying she was my mother now.
The week flew by and it was finally Friday. The Friday before school began, so I had one more weekend of freedom before I went back to it all. What was strange about this week though, was that I hadn't seen Dylan since we went out for lunch. I was so confused, hoping to catch even a glimpse of him in the hallway or in the elevator, and then realized how silly I was being. He probably took me out to lunch because he felt bad for me, and then must've seen my clinginess and left. I got up in the morning and stretched, had a shower and had my breakfast, not really intending to do anything today, when the phone rang.
"Hello?" I said into the receiver.
"Hello, is this Evelynn Michaels?" I voice said on the other side.
"Yes? Who is this?"
"This is Dylan Molborrow from down the hallway. Are you doing anything today?"
"Uh…I didn't have any plans today. Why? What's going on?" I asked, breathing heavily, not believing he had finally remembered me.
"Do you want to go to the arcade with me and some friends?"
"I don't have any money…"
"I'll pay for you," he said, interrupting me. "Please? It would help me out so much. I need to talk to you anyways."
"Uh, sure. I'll go with you then," I said and shook my head in confusion.
"Okay, open your front door then because I'm standing there," he said and I heard a knock at the door.
I went over to the door and opened it, still holding the phone to my ear and looking at him. I began to speak into the phone. "Why didn't you just knock?" I asked, and then realized what I was doing and hung up the phone, looked at Dylan and repeated the question.
"I wanted to make sure you were awake first. So when I heard dishes being moved around, I called to make sure it was you."
"Oh." That made sense in a weird way. "Come in." I stepped aside to let him in. "So what did you want to talk to me about?"
"Well, here's the thing. I know we only just met and stuff, but I kinda screwed myself over in the relationship department," he said and leaned against the now closed door.
"Well, I kinda told my friends that we were dating." Silence.
I didn't fully comprehend it and looked at him in confusion, cocking my head to the side. "Heh? Do you want to run that by me again?" I felt like my head was spinning.
"I told my friends that we were dating, because they think I'm still in love with Chantal, who I found out was cheating on me. And so I told them that you were my new catch."
Chantal. Why does that name sound familiar? And then, I knew. Chantal! "Did Chantal happen to have blonde hair and was kinda pretty? Left you for a guy named Ryan?"
"Yeah…how'd you know?"
My mouth dropped open and I could feel my eyes began to burn. "Because she cheated on you with my ex-boyfriend. He cheated on me with her, and she cheated on you with him."
His mouth dropped open to and he stood up from the door. "You're kidding?" he said, grabbing my shoulders gently.
I shook my head. "I wish I was, but that has to be her. As for your little 'mess-up' with your friends, I don't mind at all."
"Okay, but we have to play the part. I mean, we have to hold hands and stuff. We won't kiss, because, I just met you and we only just started 'dating', and I never kiss on the first date," Dylan said and smiled, pulling me close to him and hugging me. "Thank you so much. You're a lifesaver. And don't worry, you won't have to pretend for long. Once this is done today, we'll just say that we decided it wasn't going to work and call it quits okay? Thank you so much Evelynn. Okay, I'll come by and knock on your door at three okay?" He took my face in both his hands, and kissed my forehead, then walked out.
My face must've been bright red because I felt like I was on fire. So, firstly, he tells me we have to pretend to date, and then he kisses me. Sure, it wasn't on the lips, but his lips touched me. What a glorious day! And we were going on a date to boot. Mom might be mad, but I don't care, because I was going on a date with the most wonderful guy in the world.
At two thirty, Mom came home and told me that she had to go out tonight and wouldn't be home to cook supper. "That's okay," I said. "I might not be home either. I'm going out at three until whenever. Dylan is taking me to the arcade to hang out with some of his friends."
"Yes, I know Mom. Too early and whatever," I said before she could. "Don't worry. It's not a date, it's just to hang out. We're just friends Mom, seriously. Cool it!"
"Okay, but keep your cell phone on in case he tries anything."
There was a knock at the door. "Okay Mom. I'll call you later," I said and opened the door, and there stood Dylan in all his six foot glory. If you piece every part of him together, he's a six foot tall, blonde Greek god, with dark green eyes. Now, you can tell why I'm in love with him. Love. Too strong a word to use right now, but you understand what I mean right?
"You ready to go?"
"Absolutely," I said and stuffed my phone into my pocket and headed out the door, waving goodbye to my mom and walking down the hallway. "So how are we getting to this arcade?"
"We're driving," he said without looking at me.
"Can you drive?" I asked.
"No, but you can," Dylan said, glancing at me out of the corner of his eyes.
"What?" I asked, stopping dead in my tracks. "Why can't you drive?"
"Because I don't really want to. Okay, fine, I'll drive," he said and continued walking. I ran to catch up to him.
"Please don't do that. I don't trust my own driving skills," I said and followed him down the elevator and blushed at the thought of being alone with him in there.
He chuckled and walked out of the elevator and held the door open for me. I stepped out behind me and walked to a small red sports car and opened the door, and unlocked it for me, so I climbed in and got comfortable. "Nice car," I said, liking the feel of the leather seats.
"Thank you. You like cars?" he asked, a little bit surprised.
"Kind of. I know a little about them, and I know how to fix it if I'm stuck on the side of the road, but that's about it. What is this? A Mitsubishi Eclipse?"
"Yeah," he said and started the car, letting the engine roar for a moment. "You're so different from Chantal it's scary."
"Is that a good scary or a bad scary?"
"I don't know," he said honestly and smiled to me. "We'll find out tonight though won't we honey?"
I laughed at the word and his emphasis, knowing it was all show. "I guess so sweetie." He laughed a long and then pulled out of the parking lot and drove up into the sun and we made our way to the arcade.
"Okay, so here's the story. You and I met at a car dealership, and I took you out for lunch. And we had such a blast that we kept going out for a couple dates, and then we decided we should be 'official' and this is one of our casual dates," Dylan said, keeping his eyes on the road.
"Okay. So exactly how long have we been dating?"
"A week and a half," he said and pulled into a parking lot and parked the car, next to a blue Volvo C30. "That's my buddies car, Brian Foster. You ready?"
I wasn't sure, but I nodded and climbed out of the car anyways, and took a deep breath. Dylan climbed out as well and came over to me, hugged me, and grabbed my hand. "It's going to be okay. If you want to leave at any point, just say so. They've all brought their girlfriends as well, so don't be nervous okay?"
I nodded again and followed him into the building, and I could feel his hand squeeze mine reassuringly. It felt good; it was something that Ryan never did. "Hey Foster!" I heard him call out.
A young man, about eighteen, waved us over. He had dyed black hair, for his blonde roots were coming in, and beside him sat a girl with brown hair and dark green bangs, and she was popping bubble gum loudly. "Foster, this is Evelynn. Evelynn, this is Brian Foster and his girlfriend Maria Gonzalez." I smiled and nodded. Brian smiled to me and Maria looked at me, uninterested. "Let's go get some tokens and go play some games Evelynn." Dylan pulled me away and let out a breath. "She's never usually like that, I'm sorry. Maria used to have a major crush on me so she's a little pissed off about you. She's also very jealous, so don't mind her. Some other people will be showing up later."
"She's jealous of me?" I asked, surprised by this. I was so plain compared to her. I didn't have dyed hair at all, and she was so preppy and spunky and well, beautiful. I was just…me.
"Yeah, but don't let it get to your head," Dylan said, tapping my forehead and handed the lady behind the counter two twenties and got a large cup filled with tokens. "Have you ever been here before?"
"No, not that I can remember anyways," I said and looked in the cup. There were at least three hundred little coins with words scribbled on them.
"Well, you put these into the games, and if you win the game you get tickets. You hand the tickets in and you get prizes. The more tickets you get the more stuff, or better quality stuff you can get. What do you want to go on first darling?"
I looked around and something caught my eye. I pointed to it and Dylan laughed. "I want to go on the Dance Dance Revolution thing," I said and smiled to him. He smiled back and let himself be pulled to the game and stood on one of the mats and put two coins in, one for him and one for me. The game began, with me on beginner and him on medium. "I want to play again. But, I want a harder setting."
He looked at me and smiled, put two more tokens in and set the setting so we were at the same level. The music started playing and I could feel my feet moving below me, not really knowing what I was doing. A small crowd had gathered around us, with Maria and Brian at the front, watching us. I smiled to Dylan. "Again. But, harder." He took a breath and put two more in, setting the level to a higher one, so now we were at hard, and I could do it as well. It was harder, and the sweat was almost dripping off of Dylan. "Okay, we can stop now." I had won that round for sure, and got ten tickets for winning.
We moved onto some other things, and eventually I had won so many tickets that I couldn't hold onto them all, so I went to go hand them in. The lady smiled at me and counted the tickets quickly, and wrote down the number on a sheet of paper. "Do you still want to keep playing or would you like to hand your points in?" I looked over at Dylan and he just shrugged at me, not knowing what my answer would be.
"Do we have any tokens left?" I asked, pointing to the cup. He shook his head and smiled to me. "I'd like to hand these points in please."
"Certainly dear. What would you like?"
I looked up and saw the vast array of prizes to choose from, and finally settled on a rainbow bear that was the perfect hugging size. I thanked the lady for the bear, and then thanked Dylan for the tokens. "Anytime," he said and kissed my forehead again, making sure that Maria was watching. "And now, it's time for dinner."
Brian came over, holding Maria's waist and smiled to me. "Where do you want to go for dinner Evelynn? It's your choice tonight because you're the new girl," he said, his hazel eyes dancing.
"Dinner? I didn't know we were going to dinner," I said, looking up at Dylan.
"Well, we are now," he replied to me and laughed, squeezing my hand gently.
"I don't know. Let's go to McDonalds," I said and smiled awkwardly.
"Let's go to Montana's," Maria said and popped her gum loudly, looking at me venomously.
"That's a brilliant idea," Brian said and smiled to me apologetically. I didn't like Maria because she was a total bitch for no reason, and I didn't like Brian because he smiled too much. Dylan was just right. So, we went to Montana's, just the four of us; the rest of Dylan's friends hadn't shown up. As we were sitting at the booth, the guys decided to go outside and have a smoke, Dylan going to keep Brian company, so I was left with Maria, who stared at me like I was a creature from outer space.
I smiled to her awkwardly and then gulped quietly, then looked around the restaurant at all the other patrons. "I know what you're doing," she said to me and I almost jumped from the sound.
"What?" I asked, confused by her statement.
"You're trying to make me jealous that you have Dylan and I don't. I'm sure he told you that I used to have a crush on him?" she said, her voice irritated.
"He told me, but I'm not trying to make you jealous, honest," I said, panicking frantically. Where were those two?
"Yeah, whatever. I've seen all those looks you sent him when you know I'm looking," she said took a sip of her diet coke.
"What looks? I didn't even know I had looks, and I certainly didn't even know you were watching us all night," I said, and then regretted how I had said it. Maybe she'd take it the wrong way.
"Listen. I don't like you. I want to like you, but it just can't happen. We don't run on the same wavelength, but I will be civil to you for Dylan, not for you. Understand?" Maria said and looked at me, making sure our eyes made contact.
"I understand," I said meekly and slid farther down my seat. I felt horrible, and to make it worse, I think I was getting cramps from Mother Nature. I got up and went to the bathroom, taking my purse with me and checking. Yup, as luck should have it, my day just got a little bit worse. I came back to the table and saw that Dylan and Brian had come back, asking Maria where I was. I smiled and sat back down at the table, putting my purse down next to me when our food arrived. Good thing I ordered the salad, because I suddenly wasn't very hungry; I ate half-heartedly and finished, waiting for everyone to finish and then whispered to Dylan. "I want to go home. Please take me home." He nodded and stood up, paid for our portion of the meal and came with an excuse for us to leave. Then, we left.
"Thanks for a great night," I said when we were in the elevator once again.
"Yeah, no problem. Thank you for pretending to be my girlfriend tonight," he said and put his arm around my shoulders. The elevator door opened to reveal a blonde girl with makeup running down her face like she'd been crying. "Chantal?" Dylan took his arm from around my shoulders and ran to her, grabbing her shoulders and pulling him to her. I was confused as I stepped out of the elevator and watched them for a moment.
"I didn't know where else to go Dylan. I'm sorry for what I did. I still love you and it was wrong of me to leave you like that, especially for that guy," she said, then noticed me. "You! You're the one that threw me to the ground."
"And you're the one that cheated on Dylan with my ex-boyfriend and dared to call me a bitch," I said calmly, making sure I could get into my fighting stance once again.
Dylan looked at me then to her, and frowned. He stepped away from Chantal, who looked at him like a lost puppy. "I think you should leave Chantal," he said and moved aside for her to go to the elevator.
"But, but…I love you," she said pathetically, her voice cracking and tears beginning to well up in her eyes.
Dylan gulped and tightened his jaw. "Leave," he said and pushed the button for the elevator doors to open. She looked at me and I suddenly saw hatred flare up in those eyes, and then it disappeared as if she had given up, then looked to Dylan one last time and walked into the elevator.
"I'm probably going to have five million messages on my email from my ex-boyfriend begging me to take him back because Chantal broke up with him," I said and chuckled when the doors had closed. Dylan chuckled with me as well, and smiled to me.
"Well, I'm going to call it a night. I won't be home this weekend, so I'll see you when school starts okay? Good night Evelynn," he said and kissed my forehead once more and walked into his house, while I walked down the hall to my own. I unlocked the door and walked in, leaned against the door and sighed happily.
"Did you have a good night dear?" my mom called out from the living room.
"Yes," I breathed happily. "It was wonderful. Except we ran into my ex-boyfriends girlfriend who is now his ex, and was Dylan's ex-girlfriend. I'm going to go to bed now though because I can feel my eyelids beginning to close and I want to get some sleeping in time before school starts, you know how it is." Only then did I realize I had said that entire thing without breathing or taking a break.
"O-okay dear, whatever you want. Good night," she called again and I went into my room, undressed and prepared for bed. When I finally jumped in, I was asleep when my head hit the pillow.