Monday, April 28, 2008

GOING GREEN

A recap of where GOING GREEN left off:

Becker laughed. “This is probably going to sound really lame, but I’m trying to impress a girl.” The entire bar awwwwwed. “But I can’t find her.”

My face caught on fire. Was he…no. He couldn’t be.

“Stella!” he screamed like he was Marlon Brando. Something every adult thought was hilarious. Only this time, it was freaking awesome.

I turned to Conner, his mouth hanging open, his eyes staring toward the stage. Nice. “See you around,” I said. Then I jogged forward into the crowd and toward Becker.

GOING GREEN

I paused in front of the stage, the room hushing. Becker looked down at me, all rock star like.

“Um…hi,” I said. Oh my God. Hi? I couldn’t be more seductive?

“Hi,” he said, only his came out the right way. I melted a little. Becker put his mouth on the microphone. “I didn’t write this for you,” he murmured. “But I think I could have.”

Wow. Suddenly I could feel the weight of a million stares. Really, it was probably more like twenty-five. But it felt like a million.

The guitarist began strumming and my heart began racing. I braced myself for the most romantic moment of my life. But… my phone vibrated in my pocket. I furrowed my brow. Only one person would call me now. And he just so happened to have legal custody of me.

I wiggled out my cell, trying to be discreet. After all, I was being serenaded. Shit. It totally was my father. If I didn’t answer, he’d freak. Ground me. Take away my phone. I looked up apologetically at Becker. I put the phone to my ear.

“Stella Francis,” (my middle name. Don’t ask) “You have exactly nine minutes and fifty eight seconds to get in this house.”

“But--”

He hung up. Becker was staring, confused maybe. Confused at how he could go to all this trouble only to watch me answer my phone just before he started singing. I bit on my lip.

“Sorry,” I mouthed.

You see, my father can be a total hard ass when necessary. And the fact that I told him I was going to the library (yes, I know. Totally lame) and he probably realized that the library was not open at midnight, let me know that I was busted. It didn’t help that I stole twenty bucks out of his wallet either. Damn. I had nine minutes and thirty three seconds left.

I turned and ran, catching a bewildered Brandi by the arm as she came out of the bathroom.

“Wait,” she yelled, looking back at the stage. “We haven’t even--”

But we were already dashing past a chuckling Conner as I faintly heard Becker’s voice sing into the microphone. His first line was, “You’re always running away from me.”

How appropriate.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

GOING GREEN

Just before I walked into the bathroom to adjust my lip-gloss, I heard someone call my name. Okay, not just someone. Conner.

I met his eyes as he approached and they twinkled. Yeah. Like seriously twinkled blue even under the dull light of the bar. Brandi giggled next to me.

“Meet you in there,” she said, pushing past me.

I actually admired her self-control. If someone I knew was about to make another complete fool of herself by talking to the guy that totally played her, I’d have watched her crash and burn. But not Brandi. She was so much sweeter than me.

“What do you want?” I asked Conner as he came to stand in front of me.

“You mean besides you?” He was grinning, not acting creepy. Just being adorable.

“Whatever, man.” I shook my head. “You lied to me about Trish,” I said finally. “And you ignored me at school. I climbed a damn rock for you!” It had to be said.

Conner exhaled and leaned his shoulder against the wall, bending down to get a little closer to my face. “I knew if I told you about Trish, you’d never go out with me and I really like you.”

“So you ignore me?”

“I didn’t want her to find out.”

“It’d be hard for her to notice anything with your tongue rammed down her throat.” And how I wished it were my throat being assaulted.

“Stella,” he said with a smile. “This doesn’t have to be hard. We can still see each other.” He paused and looked me over. “On the side.”

No. He. Didn’t.

“All right, everyone,” a voice called through the speakers. I looked toward the stage and saw Brandi’s brother trying to block out the light as he looked into the crowd. My heart sped up a little.

Becker laughed. “This is probably going to sound really lame, but I’m trying to impress a girl.” The entire bar awwwwwed. “But I can’t find her.”

My face caught on fire. Was he…no. He couldn’t be.

“Stella!” he screamed like he was Marlon Brando. Something every adult thought was hilarious. Only this time, it was freaking awesome.

I turned to Conner, his mouth hanging open, his eyes staring toward the stage. Nice.

“See you around,” I said. Then I jogged forward into the crowd and toward Becker.
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

GOING GREEN

Day 14

So Becker dropped my arm the minute we were inside and I felt a twinge of regret. Using him like that. But it was only a twinge because he leaned over and kissed my cheek.

“I got to go play,” he said. “Hang out later?”

“Uh…sure.” Wow. My wittiness never ceased to amaze me.

He smiled and I loved how wide and open it was. So innocent and yet, there was a gleam in his eye that told me hanging out with him later would end with his tongue in my mouth. I wasn’t opposed to the idea.

As Becker walked away, I felt a tug on my sleeve. “Gross,” Brandi said. “You’ve totally got the hots for my brother.”

I turned to her and her eyebrow was up, a small grin on her mouth. “You’re right,” I said. “I totally do.”

“Ew…” But she started laughing and pulled my arm toward the bathrooms. “And what do you think Stalker Conner will say?”

My heart rate sped up. “You think he stalks me?” I sort of wanted him to.

“Uh, hell yeah. Waiting on your porch. Showing up here.” She raised her hands and motioned around the club. “He is so whipped, girl.”

Okay. That sounded good. Because even though I despised Conner and his stupid mouth….I still wanted it on mine.

DAMN IT! I seriously needed to get a life.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

GOING GREEN

Day 14

“A bar?” I asked. Brandi was grinning ear to ear, fluffing her black curls.

“Yep.”

“We can’t get in.” Last time I’d checked, I was seventeen. And my boobs were not nearly big enough to get the “sneak me in” attention I needed from the bouncer.

Brandi pulled out her cell phone and snapped her gum as she dialed. “Becker,” she said. “We’re out front.”

My heart sped up a little. I knew we were going to see her brother, but I was a little nervous about talking to him. Last time I did, I suffered from a severe case of foot-in-mouth disease.

“Yes,” Brandi said slowly into the phone, looking at me with a devious grin. “Stella’s with me.”

Had he asked about me? Did I want him to? Shit. I was so lame. Why couldn’t I be smooth like Conner was with me?

I clenched my jaw. Conner. Humph. He was the real reason I was here. A little jealousy went a long way. We’ll see how he liked it.

So I straightened my posture, pushed my hair over my shoulder and put on my best, “I swear I’m cool” smile.

Brandi hung up and looked me over. “He’ll be out in a second,” she said. She opened her mouth to say something else, but stopped. Instead she chewed on her gum and looked toward the doors of the bar.

And when they opened, I glanced over with all the sexiness I could manage. Becker was there, looking ridiculously older-guy-hot. His hair messed up in that perfect way, his mouth pulled into a smile. He didn’t even look at his sister.

“Hey,” he said to me as he walked over.

“Uh.…” Okay. So I could have just said “hey”. Or “hi”. But I wanted to be clever. Witty. Irresistible. “I like your hair.”

What. Is. Wrong. With. Me?

“Thanks?” he answered furrowing his brow. “Yours…is nice too.”

My eyelids fluttered and Brandi giggled and the moment drew on about twenty seconds too long. And just when I was about to try another attempt at speech, I felt a warm touch on my elbow.

“Hey, Stella.”

I turned and nearly coughed up the Altoid I’d just swallowed. Conner. He had no business being here, looking cute, looking at me.

I swung back around and for a second, I thought Becker’s eyes narrowed. Then, suddenly regaining my ability to talk, I reached out and slid my arm into Becker’s. Mostly startling him.
But he touched at my hand and smiled.

“Want to watch me play?” he asked.

“Yep. Let’s go.” And with that, we walked inside.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

GOING GREEN

Day 10

“He kissed you?” Brandi yelled, darting her eyes around the empty classroom. Good thing I’d told her before class started. I didn’t really need the whole, “the new girl is a slut” reputation. Not when said kiss came from a guy with a GIRLFRIEND!

“Sh…” I took her arm and walked to our lab table. My heart was racing. I didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t stupid. I wasn’t the type to subscribe to the Player of the Month club, but…I still sort of liked Conner.

“Shit,” Brandi said, sinking into her seat. “You like him, huh?”

“No.” Yes I did.

“Well, I suppose it could work out,” she said, sounding doubtful. “Maybe he’ll break up with Trish.”

But even as she said it, I had the feeling that Conner had no intention of breaking up with his girlfriend. I think he just wanted his cake and to eat me too. Metaphorically of course.

“I don’t care what he does,” I said, looking up as other students began to file in the classroom. “I just need to stay away from him.”

“Sort of hard when he’s your neighbor,” she mumbled. She had a point. I sure hoped my power didn’t go off anytime soon.

“Oh,” she squealed, tugging on my sleeve. “My brother invited us to go watch his band tonight. Wanna?”

I gulped. Hot college brother was in a band too? Wasn’t that sort of hotness illegal? “Um… I don’t know, Brandi. I--”

“You’ll go,” she interrupted. “Besides,” she flipped her hair over her shoulder. “Becker thinks you’re hot.” She giggled but I didn’t say a word. I was sweating a little. Because not only did Becker think I was hot, stupid Conner walked in eying me deviously.

Hm. Wonder what Conner would think if I got a boyfriend of my own. I smiled and looked away. Now that had possibilities.
.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

GOING GREEN

DAY 9

I enjoyed myself for exactly 3…2…1. “Get off me.” I pushed Conner back and he tripped up the steps but caught himself on the railing. He laughed as he sat down in front of me.

“I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it,” he said.

“You couldn’t help assaulting me?” Dramatic, I know. But still. He had a girlfriend, a bitch one at that, and he’d ignored me! How desperate did he think I was?

“I’m a jerk,” he said, tilting his adorably blond head. He reached out and took my leg, pulling me a little closer to him. “I know I hurt your feelings, but I knew if I told you about me and Trish, you wouldn’t go out with me.”

Hm. Actually, I went out with him knowing about Trish. He was giving me far too much credit.

“And I really like you,” he said. “You’re not like the other girls around here.”

“Exactly.” I shook my leg from his grasp and stomped past him to my front door. “Pretty-boy-players just ain’t my thing, Conner. So piss off.” I pushed open my door and slammed it behind me. Only, once I was in, I leaned against it, my body tingling with adrenaline.

Shit. He’d tasted good.