what i thought i knew
i am not a poet
I slowly turn my head up with glazed eyes. "What?" I deadpan.
"Erhm," he coughs anxiously. I watch him scratch the back of his neck. He does that a lot when he's nervous.
"Is there something wrong between us?"he asks quietly. He can't look me in the eyes.
An awkward silence drapes over us like a blanket. Guilt and anticipation is written all over his face but I shrug in response and take another sip from my soda. I'm not going to give in that easily.
"You haven't been talking to me for 2 days straight. It's killing me, Scarlette." The frustration in his voice is evident.
"I'm talking to you right now, idiot. Happy?" I smile mockingly at him. "And speaking of now, here comes our food." My eyes shine as the waiter carefully places my burger in front of me.
Ethan asked me out for lunch today since classes were suspended due to the weather. It was unexpectedly stormy these past few days. I agreed to come, but only for the free food. I was still holding a grudge against him since that night. But since food was involved, who was I to decline?
Ethan took me to Floored!, a restaurant really really far away, but was sure worth the travel time and traffic. My best friend only took me here during special occasions so I got really thrilled when he called me last night about it.
"Finally!" he said a little over-excitedly. I was ignoring Ethan's incessant calls for the past few days and I was actually getting a tad bit guilty so I finally decided to press the "accept" button.
God, I couldn't resist him.
"Um, uh. Hi! Uh, yeah. Hi! Can I ask you something?" Ethan sounded like a little child over the phone. I didn't answer back. I just waited for him to finish his sentence. I was watching the news for weather updates and there it was! CLASSES SUSPENDED. Wooh! I almost shouted it over the phone, but I remembered I was talking with Ethan.
"Okay... Uh, you want to go to Floored!? There's no classes tomorrow, right? I'll drive. My treat. Anything you want," he rambled. Only a few people know this about Ethan: he tends to talk a lot when he's nervous. "We can go to the carnival after. How does that sound?"
A long silence passes between us.
"Great," I say in a monotonous voice, but inside I was feeling anything but monotonous.
The 2 hour trip with him was still excruciating though. I didn't speak the whole ride and I didn't even ride shotgun. Of course, I was still a little mad at him. Good thing Ethan has a cassette tape full of our favorite jams that eased the tension between us.
Floored! is really cool. It was a two floor building with wide windows and amazing food. The first floor was a restaurant and the second floor was a library. Every time I come in here, it feels like I'm camping because chairs don't exist in this place. Instead, they have fluffy comforters to serve as seating. Each booth had one cartoon character inspired by it. Ethan and I always want the Donald Duck booth. In addition to this awesomeness, they also have this 42' inch flat screen TV plastered on the wall which displays the best movies of all time. Today they were showing "Armageddon".
The restaurant had fewer customers today which made the place feel very private. It felt like we were on a date. I try to hide the blush spreading behind the back of my neck and cheeks.
A few moments pass with me silently devouring my burger and Ethan playing with his pasta. The silence between us deafening. A meatball from Ethan's plate falls off and he takes this as a universal sign to speak up.
"Oi, Scarlette. I-I'm really sorry. I was being a dick. I just lost control that night. You know how much I love your cousin." The burger I was eating suddenly tastes unappetizing.
Ethan really does care about Ivory. What was to get mad about that?
"I know I was drunk and I wasn't thinking straight, but that's still not an excuse for what I did. I'm really fucking sorry, Scar." When I don't reply, he sighs heavily and looks sadly at the TV. Harry was already saying his goodbye to Gracie. I always cry at that scene.
Ethan quickly whips his head back with hopeful eyes.
"I just have one question," I say while sipping on my soda.
He raises an eyebrow. "What is it?"
I place my soda down and smirk at him.
"Did you clean my blanket after?"
"Scar!" he exclaims, but I can see the relief in his eyes.
The trip back wasn't as excruciating as it was before.
HOLY BISCUIT: hey bitch you didn't tell me you went on a date with your hot best friend
I just came out from the shower when my phone started ringing. It's already midnight and I'm about to go to bed already. I was exhausted from Ethan's- as he likes to call it- "Peace Offering". We went straight to the carnival after eating which is why we came back a little late. That's also the reason why I have a little stuffed dinosaur beside me right now.
"I'm going to be sick," I said to him once he had gotten off the world's highest roller coaster ever. My forehead was slick with sweat and my head was throbbing. I had a hard time walking, but Ethan was there to steady me.
"Come on. That was a children's ride, noob." He laughs at me drapes an arm around my shoulder instead to help me walk. My insides go to mush and now I really want to puke. Carnivals weren't really my thing because just like what I've said, I was terrified of heights. But since Ethan was so insistent about it, I just agreed to tag along. Good thing I did because this night was turning out well.
Ethan found a bench so we sat down for a while to calm my nerves. He bought me some funnel cake and water, which was by the way, delicious.
"Scar! Look! Ring toss!" Ethan shouts as he drags me over to a booth with stuffed animals strewn over its edges.
When we arrive there, I notice the gentleman behind the counter. "Lovely couple we have here today," he greets us.
I blush at this as Ethan politely rejects what that man has said. Ethan and I were always thought of as a couple whenever we were seen around. It was painful to watch him explain that we're just friends to other people, but it always gave me a slimmer of hope. Because if other people see the potential, maybe he could too.
"What a shame, lad. Young lady here ain't a bad catch," the man says with gleeful smile.
Even though I hate rides, I must say that the carnival is the best place ever. Everyone was happy here. The atmosphere was always light and carefree and warm. People were nice and friendly. Food was always fried or powdered.
It was perfect.
"Not looking bad yourself, sir!" I reply with the same enthusiasm.
"And she's very honest too!" he replies with a flashing grin.
I wasn't shocked that Ethan nailed the game. He was Captain Ball for fuck's sake. He never missed a hoop.
"Take your pick, princess," he said while dramatically bowing. I picked the dinosaur because it looked like there was a lot of effort put into making it.
I didn't notice that I was smiling the whole time until my phone vibrated in my hand again.
HOLY BISCUIT: oh so now you're ignoring me
Scarlette: I don't remember going out on a date with you...
Cookie Janette Bishop aka Holy Biscuit is my one and only female best friend. Cookie and I didn't have an epic first meeting as you would've thought. We met on a Tuesday night while taking out the trash. Not the best day to start a friendship, right? Cookie and I were neighbors so we often saw each other, but we never talked until 5th grade came. I don't remember what went down that night or why we even started talking. But who does anyway?
HB: fuck you im straight but seriously scar why do you get to surround yourself with good-looking people all the time
I roll my eyes at her text as I fit myself under my comforter.
S: Well, you would probably have a hot boyfriend right now if you didn't scare all your suitors away.
S: And can you please use PUNCTUATION MARKS for fuck's sake? It wouldn't kill you.
HB: whatevs you can still understand me anyway and don't change the topic, topic-changer
S: Pfft. That wasn't a date, okay? That was Ethan's "Peace Offering" for what he did.
HB: what did he do
I don't reply for a while.
HB: well that's GOOD or else i would've seriously punched that guy in the face are you guys okay now
A thought enters my mind and I'm suddenly scrambling to reply back.
S: WAIT A MINUTE! How the hell did you even know about the date?!
HB: aha so it was a date
S: COOKIE JANETTE BISHOP. You tell me right now or I'm going to fly through your window and make you tell me.
HB: ... i think you already know the answer, scar
I smack my hand against my forehead.
S: It was him, wasn't it?
HB: yeah you weren't answering your phone so i texted him instead
S: I TOTALLY HATE YOU.
Cookie doesn't reply for 5 minutes so I assume she's already fallen asleep. I was about to close my eyes when Nate, my twin brother, called me.
"Scarlette! Your weird friend's here with some homemade ice cream!"
Ah, damn it.
I rush downstairs in my pajamas, skipping a step or two. When I arrive, Cookie's already laying down on the sofa, surfing the TV.
"Your friend's really... unique," Nate whispers to me. I can see why he's saying that.
Cookie's sure one quirky kid. She likes superheroes, but she loves dresses and heels too. She loves drama, but she likes politics and democracy as well. She's a paradox. So it's not a surprise why she's now wearing pink pajamas with batman holding a gavel all over it. I custom made it for her as a gift on her 17th birthday last week.
"I can hear you, Nateeeeeee!" Cookie sings through a mouthful of ice cream.
"You have ears, Bishop. Of course you can hear me," Nate replies while rolling his eyes.
Every time Cookie comes over, there's always going to be a sparring competition between them. It's inevitable.
"Pfft. Put a shirt on, Fugerson," Cookie shoots back, but I can see that she's discreetly checking him out.
Nate doesn't say anything, but instead stalks off to his room. There's a small smirk on his lips as he walks away.
Well, that happened.
I shake my head and I flop down next to Cookie. I grab her ice cream and take a spoonful.
"Damn, Cookie. This is really good," I comment. It was our favorite flavor. Double Dutch!
"Of course!" she says proudly. "Have I ever made anything bad?"
I give her a look.
"Wait, on second thought, don't answer that."
I laugh lightly. Cookie was sure a great cook, but she had her moments too.
"So why are you here anyway? According to the news, we unfortunately have school tomorrow, remember?"
She folds her legs together so we are facing each other. Our sectional wasn't that big, but it was a decent sized couch for a small living room.
"I came here to know everything that's been happening to you," she declares.
School has been really hectic this past week so Cookie and I had very limited quality time together. We were from different sections and we also have different schedules. Projects and assignments were being dumped on us since mid-quarter was almost coming up. We have only communicated through text and that clearly wasn't enough for Cookie.
I was about to protest, but she cuts me off. "Tell me everything or I'll seriously say it to Ethan."
And that's what I did. It was going to end up like that either way. I told her everything, making sure not to leave the tiniest of details out. By the time I was finished, it was already quarter to two and we have already eaten all the ice cream Cookie made.
"God, Kaiden actually did that?"
A little breathless, I nod my head. All that talking has seriously worn me out.
"Wait, so let me get this straight. He picked you as his partner for this love project and he asked you to be his girlfriend?"
I nod slowly and give her a weird look.
"And you said no?" she asks, bewildered.
"Well, I technically didn't say no to the project, but for the boyfriend thing... uhh, yes? Isn't that the rational thing to do?"
"Gosh, you're stupid," she says, exasperated.
I almost fall off the couch. What was she talking about?
"And Kaiden too. Ugh, you two are perfectly stupid for each other that it pains me."
Cookie looks at her watch and pushes her clunky glasses on the tip of her nose. I promise you she's the only person I know that sleeps with a watch on. "Well, I better get going, hon. I've absorbed all the drama I can for now."
"Wait, you're not going to sleep over?"
She yawns loudly. "Nah, I bet you'll be thinking about Kaiden the whole night. I don't want to hear your poems about him." She snickers as I roughly throw a pillow at her.
"I DO NOT WRITE POEMS ABOUT HIM!" I exclaim.
"Stage 1: Denial."
She gets up and starts walking to the door, but I stop her.
"What the hell are you talking about, Cookie?"
She throws me a playful smirk.
"You know what? You two should just hook up. Do yourselves a favor for once."
I am left speechless.
"Peace, Scar!" Cookie shouts through the door.
I hope she gets bitten by a dog on her way home.
Hi, guys! Oh my gosh! So we've finally reached chapter 3! Next chapter is where we'll get the story started! I hope you like the introduction of new characters! What did you think about them? Cookie and Nate? Sounds good? HAHAHA. Anyway, thanks a lot guys! I hope you keep on reading this story. See you in the next chapter! Hopefully you'll still be there. Peace!