“Love is Blind”: Chapter Two

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A couple of months ago, I released Chapter One to the story I’m currently working on. This month marks two years that I have been working on Love is Blind and I can proudly say that I am currently working on Chapter Six of one of my most well-developed and rounded out stories. I’m really proud of this work even though I have a helluva lot more writing to do. I hope you all enjoy! (Photo courtesy of: chickensmoothie.com)

 

On Sunday morning, I woke up early to get ready for church. Being a southern Baptist, I was expected to arrive at the sanctuary by ten a.m. every Sunday morning. Fortunately, I liked to sing.

          The chilly church hours smoothly melted into midafternoon, where my family practiced luncheon rituals at a local restaurant. I helped myself to a small portion from the buffet and texted on-and-off with Josh, while I listened to my great-aunt Shellie complain about her neighbor’s dog. Lunch eventually ended and my parents and I drove home, talking about our upcoming week.

          My mom had an out of town business trip that she was leaving for on Tuesday and wouldn’t be back until that Sunday. This meant that it was up to my dad and me to provide food for one another. In other words, I was prepared for fast food and pizza deliveries for the next couple of nights.  Dad explained to me that he had a busy work week ahead of him, with a load of deadlines that he had to meet. As for myself, I had high school; that should be enough said.

          Pulling into our driveway, I checked my cell phone and discovered that I had a new text message from Josh. I opened it and smiled. Turning to my mom in the front of the car I asked, “Hey, Josh wants to go see a movie with me tonight. Is it alright if he picks me up at six?”

          “Sure thing honey, what movie are you going to see?”

          “I don’t know yet, but—“

          “Be home no later than eight; it’s a school night.”

          “I know, Dad, I know…” I rolled my eyes as I responded to Josh’s text. My dad never liked Josh from the beginning. He respected him since Josh respected me, but he’d always been unhappy with our relationship. At first, I thought it was just his I’m-your-daddy-so-I’m-going-to-be-naturally-overprotective-of-you instincts, but he’d try to send me on dates with random guys we’d see in town (which didn’t meet the previously stated criteria).

He had left me very confused about his feelings towards Josh. A week after we started dating, he sprayed Josh down with a garden hose while we were playing one-on-one basketball in my backyard. A couple weeks after that, my dad generously offered to pick us up at the school when Josh’s car broke down. He attempted to drive off without Josh and reacted as if it was a joke, a joke that wasn’t funny in the slightest. I never understood why, since Josh had been nothing but totally respectful to him.

          Trying not to think about the subject, I entered the house and ran up to my room, excited about our date. I sent Josh a quick confirmation text that it was a-okay with my parents (or my mother at least) for him to pick me up. Having just gotten home from lunch, it was already three in the afternoon which left me with only three hours until he was supposed to arrive.

I decided to turn on MTV as I slipped off my sweater dress and retreated into my bathroom. While I started my shower water, I listened to some knocked up teen arguing with her mom about freedom and privileges. I stepped into the shower and let the warm water run down my face and body. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and reached for my shampoo.

By the time my fingers were wrinkly, I dried off before sitting down at my vanity and began to redo my makeup. I slowly applied the neutral colors to my face before picking out some skinny jeans and blouse to wear to the movies. At five-thirty I glanced in my mirror and frowned. What was I going to do with my hair? It was a tangled mess, piled up on my head. I sat back down and pulled my long strands of hair out of the ponytail holder. Grabbing my hair brush, I pulled and tugged it through my knotted hair before deciding to braid it down the side; that was Josh’s favorite anyway.

At five ‘til, I headed downstairs and poured myself a cup of water before settling in front of the TV. Josh would usually run just a couple of minutes late, but that was alright with me since I needed some time to just breathe in the local news. That’s one thing that a lot of people don’t know about me; I’m a news fanatic. I loved to just take half an hour to relax and watch our news anchor, Samantha Burgundy, talk about all the tragic and not-so-tragic things in the world.

As she was explaining a recent car accident that had caused the death of two, my phone went off and I noticed that I had a new text message from Josh. He had pulled into my driveway and was waiting for me to come outside. I flipped off the television and left the house, yelling upstairs to make sure my parents knew I was leaving.

Just as promised, Josh was parked in our driveway in his little red pick-up truck. Even though he wasn’t in any way a country boy, Josh seemed to fit very well with his truck that had been passed down to him by his grandfather. I opened the passenger seat door and hopped in, smiling at him as he leaned over for a quick kiss.

“Hey, babe,” he grinned when we separated and he started the car.

“Hello,” I replied, “how was your Sunday?”

“Lonely, without you, as always…”

He backed out of the driveway and headed towards town where we had planned to go see the newest romantic comedy (my choice). We talked about our weekends and how excited I was that I would basically have the house of myself all week. He also asked how Jessi was doing, and I told him exactly what I thought. She was doing good, but not great.

The movie theater wasn’t as packed like usual since it was a Sunday night. We bought our tickets, skipped refreshments, and went straight to the small theater where Is This Love? was showing. Josh lead us to the back of the room where we could see the entire screen without having minor neck injuries. If we watched much of the movie, that is.

Just like any other teenage couple, when we went to the movies it wasn’t necessarily to enjoy a good film. Yeah, we’d watch some of it (more like the first five minutes), but after his arm was around my shoulders and the rest of the audience was engrossed in the fantasy world of Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, we were making out like two bears before hibernation. We kept it classy, though, because I refused to get too intense in public.

Sure enough, almost immediately after the opening credits had finished, Josh leaned his head in towards mine and our lips touched. It was like sparks of electricity had gone off inside of my head as I kissed him back, wrapping my arms around his neck. He pulled me in closer and I could smell him; he smelled so wonderful. Soon, his hands found my waist and his arms were constricted around me. It was like we were molded together as one and as one we were perfect.

He removed his hands from my waist and moved them up along my spine, giving me chills, as he cupped my head with one hand and left the other firmly pressed against the center of my back. He kissed me back a little harder and I responded the same as he began to pull on the hair at the nape of my neck. I felt my braid begin to loosen and I slowed us down, making sure that he knew I didn’t want to get too physical in a movie theater.

His reaction was, of course, adorable. He slowed down with me as well and separated his lips from mine completely, keeping his mouth close to mine as he whispered a quick sorry and I smiled and pressed my body closer to his, happy that he was all mine.

Josh made sure to have me home five minutes before eight and we sat quietly in his driveway. He turned his gaze towards mine and smiled; I smiled back and leaned in for a kiss. He kissed me softly on the lips and pulled away from me slowly as my gaze met his. There was a short pause before he said smoothly, “I love you, Scarlett,”

Miniature fireworks began going off in my head as my entire body warmed up and a wide smile reached my lips. He loved me! He actually loved me! This proved his ultimate faithfulness and devotion and assured me that it was possible for the both of us to last longer than most skimpy teenage relationships do. I cupped his cheek in my sweaty palm and said, “I love you too,” with as much clarity and confidence I could muster.

          He smiled and kissed my forehead as I got out of his truck and walked to my house. I looked back one last time as he backed out of the driveway. His right arm was draped across the passenger seat and his whole torso was turned around. His black band tee shirt was pulled up a little, exposing some skin by his waist and I smiled again for the hundredth time that night. He turned back around, changed gear, and waved to me as he sped off down my street.

          The next morning I was eating breakfast downstairs when my phone rang, signifying a text from Tara.

What R U Wearing?

          I glanced down at my outfit and responded:

Leggings, sweater dress, scarf & boots, Y?

We R matching Jessi…go change into long sleeve tee w/ skinnies and Vans.

          I raised my eyebrows at my phone and jogged upstairs, quickly shuffling through my drawers to look for what I needed. Five minutes later, I was downstairs grabbing my coat and walking out to Josh’s truck. I smiled at him as I opened the passenger’s door and got in. “Goodmorning, love,” I said as I sat down and kissed him on his cheek.

          His eyes followed my body from head to toe; he smiled and pinched my nose. He backed out of my driveway and asked, “What’s with the tee shirt?”

          I glanced down at my faded Merry Christmas from Mickey Mouse! shirt that was a little baggy in areas but extremely comfortable. “Tara, Jessi, and I are all wearing something similar today. Why? Do you like it?” I asked, smiling.

          “It’s alright,” he shrugged, “I prefer when you’re dressed up though, when I can show you off, ya know.” He winked, playfully and I laughed but said, “It’s only school; I don’t need to dress up every day.”

          Josh sighed, “It’s fine, really…you look cute.”

          The ride to school was quick, of course, and we hugged goodbye as we rushed off to our first period classes. I was almost jogging when I made it to English and slid into my desk, right beside Tara’s. “Well don’t you look cute today?” She exclaimed as I pulled out my homework packet and shook my head.

          “Could you explain why we’re matching Jessi?”

          She lifted my hair up and looked at the roots.

          “What the hell are you doing?” I asked grabbing my hair, and pushing her hands away.

          “I was checking for blonde roots, dumbass.”

          “Could you please tell me why I’m in a tee shirt?”

          “You know Jessi is in that sulking phase where all she does is eat and sleep. We’re showing our support, obviously, so we don’t look like crappy friends.”

          I was about to give her a smart ass response when our teacher, Mr. Sampson, waddled into class and sat at the stool behind his podium. “If you can take out your text books, we will begin studying the tragedies of William Shakespeare…”

          I droned out the majority of the morning and by the time lunch rolled around I was ready for the week to be over and it was only Monday. I sat at our regular lunch table and pulled a pack of Fig Newtons out of my book bag. Within five minute’s time our round table was packed with chairs pulled up beside it. Tara sat on my left and Josh on my right. Jessi sat on Tara’s left and was beaming when she saw that Tara and I were wearing almost exactly the same thing that she was.

          “You didn’t get dumped, too?” Terrance smacked his lunch tray down and sat next to Josh. Terrance and Josh had been best friends since the eighth grade when Terrance tried to beat Josh up over some girl. Terrance’s short blonde hair was sticking up in five different directions and his crooked smile was bright as he winked at me and I rolled my eyes.

          “Do you know how stupid that sounds?” I said at the same time as Jessi said, “I did not get dumped!”

          “Oh riiiiight, I forgot….” Terrance trailed off but Tara threw her bottle of water at his face and he shut up.

          “Tell him,” I nudged Josh in the side, “We’re still together, right babe?”

          Josh jumped in his seat and paused mid-text. “Huh?”

          I raised my eyebrows, “We’re still together, right babe?”

          “Yeah..” He put his phone back in his pocket, “of course we are. What would make you think otherwise?”

          I sighed and chewed on a Fig Newton, thinking. I didn’t realize I had zoned out completely until I noticed a hand waving in front of my face. I blinked and looked to my left where I saw Jessi and Tara laughing. “What?” I asked sharply, noticing that I was the cause of their laughter.

          “Well, we were trying to ask you a question—“

          “Until we realized you were daydreaming about something serious…”

          “Oh, shut up. I wasn’t daydreaming,” I went back to my Fig Newtons before saying, “I was just thinking, that’s all.”

          “Thinking, daydreaming…same thing.” Tara cocked her head to the side and asked, “What were you thinking about, anyway?”

          “Well, I’m not going to tell you now that you’re mocking me!”

          They laughed in unison, “Okay fine, but we did want to know if you were free this weekend.” Jessi said absently, flipping through her phone.

          “Well of course I am,” I replied, looking at Josh, “Unless….”

          “Sorry ladies,” Josh wrapped his muscular arm around my shoulders, “she has plans.”

          “What could be so important—“

          Remembering my promise to Jessi, I cut Tara off, “Actually, hun, I do have plans. We,” I waved my hand between Tara, Jessi, and myself, “are having a sleepover at my house and you’re not invited!”

          He laughed as I poked my finger on his chest. “Okay, but promise me you won’t be busy Saturday night.”

          “What’s Saturday night?” I asked excitedly.

          Josh gave me a dumbfounded stare and threw his hands in the air dramatically, gasping loudly. He whipped his head around and said to Terrance, “My girlfriend forgot about Saturday!”

          Terrance, regardless if he knew what was going on, played along. “Oh, she did not!” His eyes widened as he put his hand up against his mouth in a surprised gesture. “How horrible!”

          At this point, Tara and Jessi were laughing hysterically at the boys’ behavior. “What the hell?” I smiled, nudging Josh in his arm. “What’s Saturday?”

          He just shook his head and replied, “Really, babe? Isn’t it your job to remember, anyway? It’s Valentine’s Day.”

          I shook my head, “You’re shitting me! It’s not!”   

          “You’re so stupid sometimes,” Tara laughed, “I mean, seriously, are you even in there?”

          I laughed and shook my head in disbelief at my friends.

          And Josh kissed me long and hard in front of the entire school cafeteria.

 

 

 

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