So as I mentioned in my other book, Loving Charlie Evans, I really am the worst writer ever. I never update. EVER. and I really do apologize for thta. life is just really busy. anyways, I'm super sorry and hope you'll still keep reading :( here's chapter eight! hope you like it !
The late bell rang as I made my way down the hall for lunch. It never mattered if we were late for lunch, but I always wanted to get there before everyone else. The line always was slow, everyone pushing and shoving. Personally, I didn't appreciate being stepped on a hundred times and having the soggy mac and cheese shoved against my elbows before eating.
I glanced at my table. Joe and Nathan were already sitting down with their bagged lunches. I rolled my eyes at the two of them. They were the same as they had been in elementary school; trading whatever their moms had packed them. Some things never change.
As I slipped into the lunch line, I grabbed myself one of the fruit cups, a bottle of Lipton Iced Tea, and a turkey wrap. This was basically what I bought everyday. Anything else from the cafeteria was incredibly questionable.
After paying for my food, I walked across the room to my table and sat next to Joe. He nudged me and I nudged him back until it was a full on war to see who would slip first. As usual, Joe did.
"I don't know why you bother," I said through bites of my wrap. "I always win."
"One of these days, Addie—,"
I waited for him to continue but he didn't. Instead he just smirked at something over my head. He glanced at Peter and they both shared the same wicked grin.
"What's so funny?" I asked, looking towards where they were looking. I didn't see anything except for Nathan coming over with his lunch and James Hunter and Elaine Wisoski making out in the corner.
"You guys are pigs." I muttered, sipping my iced tea.
Peter and Joe looked at me confused. Then it dawned on Peter. "We're not laughing at James and Elaine."
"However that is quite humorous," Joe pointed out casually. "How can they breathe?"
He and Peter both snickered. I continued to just stare at them confused. If it wasn't James and Elaine, what had they been laughing at? I rolled my eyes at them. These guys thought the stupidest things were funny; it could be anything.
As Nathan sat down at our table, I watched as Joe's grin grew wider and Peter did his best not to laugh his milk through his nose. Nathan just ate his sandwich, looking at his feet.
"Okay, what the hell is going on?" I demanded. I had enough of this stupid inside joke. Inside jokes were my biggest pet peeve. I just hated the fact that someone else knew something I didn't. It was like they were purposefully trying to exclude me from something and I hated that. "Well?" I asked again, expectedly.
Peter was the first to speak up. "Joe, don't we have that thing…?" he said in the most fake voice I've ever heard in my life. He glanced at Joe as innocently as possibly.
Joe nodded jumping in. "Yeah, yeah, that thing. Um, yeah. With—," he started.
"With Mr. McAdams!" Peter said, as if just remembering.
"Yes! So…we will see you guys later."
Joe and Peter immediately jumped out of their seats, stuffing whatever lunch they hadn't finished yet into their mouths. They both started snickering, mouths full, as they hurried off. I watched as they continued shooting knowing glances at Nathan who couldn't seem to turn any more red.
"Nate, what was that?" I asked annoyed.
Nathan looked at me as if he just realized I was sitting there. I shot him a look to say "Hello?" and he started shuffling his food around looking flustered.
"Well, they um…you heard them. They-they've got that, um, that thing with…uh…" Nathan started, stuttering and pausing every few seconds.
"Mr. McAdams?" I helped him. Now, I was just completely confused. I started to get up. "Look, I'm going to go—,"
"Wait!" Nathan interrupted me, stopping me in my tracks. I stood there, unsure of what he wanted me to do. "Um, wait. Please, just…sit down for a minute."
Hesitantly, I sat back down. Whatever was going on, I knew there was no way to prepare myself for it. First of all, Joe and Peter never kept things from me. Really, we shared everything. No matter how awkward or weird it was, we knew everything that happened to each other. This went for Nathan as well. In fact, Peter explained to me his first kiss in very vivid detail when he was thirteen. It was a moment I wish I could totally forget, however I unfortunately cannot.
There was another moment, though, that I wish never to forget. It was winter break of sixth grade and a few days after Christmas. As always, I was welcome to drop by anytime at the Dalley's house, even if it was a holiday. I had been in tears up until the second I rang the doorbell when I violently wiped them away, praying no one would notice the puffiness of my eyes.
The grandpa had flown in for Christmas this year. I rarely saw him, usually only on family reunions which also are a rarity in my life and we'll go down to Tenessee to visit him. Grandpa lived alone for the most part. My grandma—I've never met her, only heard stories of how adventurous she was when she was alive—died a few years before I was born. Ever since then, Grandpa had been living by himself. I had a few cousins who lived a few hours away from him, but they moved to Nebraska ten years ago.
I remember that day so clearly, though. December twenty-seventh; the day my grandfather died. It was a huge shock to everyone to. We woke up one day and he just wasn't waking up with us. He wasn't breathing and my mother was crying, something I had never seen before. My mother didn't cry. She was the strong one in our family, unlike most. My dad didn't cry either but he was more of a complainer than my mom was. My mom never cried, never complained. She just was…there.
The minute I had found out my grandfather was dead, I had ran. It was my first instinct, too; run to Joe. I had to go tell him. I knew he'd understand and that I could stay there. I didn't want to be with my family anyways. My mother was beyond distraught and my dad was, well, being dad as usual; drawn back. Only this time, it wasn't because he was working. He just didn't know what to do.
When I had gotten to the Dalley's, Joe's mom had answered the door. I think she knew I was crying, but she was too polite to mention anything. Instead, she just let me go find Joe.
He was sitting in his bedroom, trying to figure out how to use the new iPod he got for Christmas when I came barreling in. He looked up and didn't say anything at first. I could tell he knew something was wrong. Then, he put down the iPod and patted a spot next to him on the bed.
"What's going on?" he asked.
And then I had poured out everything that had just happened. How my grandpa had just passed away, my mom bawling her eyes out, my father not knowing what to do. And the whole time, Joe just listened. Talking to Joe was different than talking to Peter and Nathan. Yeah, they were alright to talk to. They didn't interrupt you like some people and they didn't try to prove you wrong about something either. But they did something Joe didn't; they talked. It was like they were trying to hard to make me feel better. With Joe though, he would just sit, let me rant, and if, and only if, I asked him to, he'd say something. Otherwise, when I was done telling him something, he'd apologize for me if the situation demanded it or, in a case like this was, hug me.
Now, as I waited expectantly for what Nathan had to say to me, I tried to figure out what he and the guys were hiding from me. It had to be important if they were keeping it from me.
"So, um," Nate started out. His voice was slightly shaky and his face was still red. His eyes also were darting back and forth. "Alright, this is kind of…um, well, kind of random and weird to say—,"
I immediately jumped in. "Nate, we tell each other everything. Just say whatever you've got to say to me."
Nathan nodded and inhaled deeply. I could see his face go back to normal and now his eyes were fixed on me. His voice wasn't shaky either as he started to talk again. "Did you know Joe's going with Dana to homecoming?"
I nodded. This wasn't news so I knew this couldn't be the big secret. "And?"
"And, um, well Peter asked Jenni-Lyn just before lunch. They both have got dates."
"Yeah, it is. Except, um…well, I don't have one. So I was thinking, maybe if you don't either and would want to, you'd…?"
"Are you asking me to homecoming, Nathan?" I said, trying to help him out. I smiled as I did, laughing about how weird Nate was being about this. He always made a big deal about the stupidest things.
Nathan sighed in relief, grateful that he didn't have to spell it out anymore. "Yes. Yeah, I am."
"Why didn't you just ask?" I started, snickering at how weird he could be.
"Well, I didn't know if you'd want to. I mean, there's plenty of other guys who—,"
"Look around, Nathan. See any guys asking me? Because, I don't."
Nathan laughed nervously. "Yeah, I guess. So…is that a yes or…?"
"Yes, that's a yes." I said laughing.
Nathan now beamed at me. "Great!" he said. "Great, alright. So we won't be sticking out in the group anymore." He was trying to joke with me which was even funnier than him beating the bush about asking me because Nathan was a lot of things; but he was not funny.
"Yeah, but we wouldn't anyways," I said as I got up to take my garbage to the trash. "I mean, we were all going to go as friends. It's not we wouldn't see you anyways. Besides, we're just going with each other because of pictures, right?"
"Just the pictures?" Nathan said confused. "I—,"
"That's probably why Peter asked Jenni-Lyn. He needed someone to take pictures with. And so did you and I. But that's taken care of now."
"Well, yeah, but—,"
"I'm just really glad we're friends, Nathan. I know a lot of guys who would make a big deal out of something like this and turn it into some big date."
Now, Nathan was laughing nervously again. "Really?"
"Yeah, weird right?" I snickered again.
"Yeah," Nathan said, smiling slightly. "Weird."
"Well, I've got to go to meet up with the guidance counselor. I'm in trouble for screwing with Jessie." I rolled my eyes as I said this, heading away from the table. "See you later, Nate!"
I didn't exactly hear if Nathan said good-bye or not as I walked away. I was too busy planning what I was going to say about the whole "Jessie-incident". But I knew I had one weight lifted from the many on my shoulders. Now, I didn't have to worry about standing out during pictures anymore. Homecoming was going to be a breeze and it was all thanks to Nathan.