Tuesday, January 20, 2009

GOING GREEN (the story blog)

To catch up on the story, check the side links. :)

GOING GREEN

Becker was sweet on the way home from the bowling alley. He even bought me a chocolate milkshake because he felt so bad that I was shirtless. Right. I’m sure he felt awful.

When he pulled up at the curb in front of my house, I sipped from my drink, wanting to keep my lips occupied.

“I hope you had fun,” he said with a grin. I nodded.

It wasn’t that I hadn’t had fun. It wasn’t even that I didn’t want to kiss him. It was just that… I didn’t feel like kissing him now. Right now all I wanted was to get into my pajamas and think. Think about how I was going to go to prom with a cute guy that I wasn't sure I liked. And how I was going to spend the night staring at Conner and his stupid adorable face.

“Call me later,” I said quickly and got out. It may have been a little rude, but honestly, the longer I sat there, the more trapped I felt.

I couldn’t go to prom. I couldn’t do this to myself.

As I climbed on the porch, my cell phone rang. I pulled it out and put it to my ear. “Hello?”

“Hey.” It was Becker. “You’re not going to back out of the prom, are you?”

I spun around to look at him, still sitting in his car and talking to me on the phone. He waved.

“Not sure." I waved back. Really, there was no reason to lie to him. He knew about Conner.

“I hope you’ll go.” His voice was soft. “And I promise, I’ll wear leopard print boxers and show everyone, just so we’re even.”

I laughed and turned back to my door to go inside my house. “You are an idiot.”

“Yeah. I heard you like those.”

“Oh,” I said. “You have no idea.”

We both hung up and as I got in the house my dad popped up from the sofa. “Hey, kid.”

“Hi.”

Then he looked me over and noticed that I was holding my shirt closed.

“Um… Do I need to go grab the bat?” He pointed to the garage.

“Naw. It was a bowling accident.”

My father touched at his chest in shock. “You… went bowling?” He could barely contain his laughter.

I rolled my eyes. “Whatever, Dad. I’m sure you were oh-so-cool when you were in high school.”

“I was totally groovy.”

“Wow.” I walked toward the stairs when my father called after me.

“Hey,” he said. “This was on the porch for you when I got home.” He reached over to the entry table and handed me a sealed envelope with my name on it. I stared at it and then at my father.

“You didn’t open it?” I asked.

“You’re proud, huh?”

“Definitely.”

With him still standing there, I tore open the seal and pulled out a folded piece of paper. Carefully, I straightened it out and read the handwriting in the middle.

Call me. I miss you.
-Conner

My eyes immediately began to tear and I crumpled up the paper and shoved it into my pocket. I sniffled and looked up at my dad. He pointed toward the garage.

“Bat?”

I shook my head. “Maybe later.”
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Monday, January 12, 2009

GOING GREEN (the story blog)

To catch up on the story, click on the side links for GOING GREEN.

GOING GREEN...

“What size?” the man behind the rental counter asked.

“Seven.” I was easily an eight, but with Becker standing next to me, I didn’t feel like broadcasting my shoe size.

The attendant pushed a pair of maroon and gray shoes toward me and I picked them up and held them out. Becker laughed.

“Aw, come on, Stella. They’re not that bad.”

“Easy for you to say.” If I had known that Becker was going to take me to a bowling alley, I might have stayed in and let Conner harass me.

I followed Becker to lane eleven and shoved my feet into the too small shoes. Once securely laced, I went over to pick out a ball. There was a purple one. It was said twelve on it, but I grabbed it anyway.

Holy crap. It was heavy.

“You sure you want that one?” Becker asked, coming over to take it from my hands.

“It’s the cutest one.”

Becker shook his head. “Are you always this high maintenance?”

I stared at him. “You know… I’m actually not.” I realized for the first time, that I was kind of being a bitch.

Becker shrugged. “Is it because of what’s-his-face?”

I swallowed hard. I knew if I let myself think about it, the fact that I was going to prom with Becker instead of Conner might make me sad. It might hurt. But it didn’t change anything.

Conner wasn’t with me. He never would be.

“Hey.” I pushed Becker’s shoulder. “Are we going to bowl or what?”

He smiled and grabbed me an awful orange ball with an eight on it and handed it to me. “You go first,” he said, pointing at the lane.

“Such a gentleman.”

“Right?”

Okay. I could do this. The rental shoes were already crushing my pinky toes and my thumb was jammed into the ball hole. But all I had to do was aim and release. Wait? When was the last time I bowled?

“Can we get those bumpers?” I asked Becker.

“Shut up and go,” he called from the stool at the table.

I made a face and lined up my shot. Then I began to stride, aiming right for the middle pin. With all of my strength, I released the ball…

But my right foot slid out from under me and I did a half split while the ball jumped lanes and I landed with a thud followed by a series of snaps.

“Oh my God,” Becker yelled.

It took a second, but when I tried to get up, I realized something was wrong. It was cold in here.

I looked down to see that the cute button up shirt that I threw on before leaving the house was gaping open. My leopard print bra (nothing else was clean) was in full view of the entire bowling alley.

I wrapped my arms around myself just as Becker got to me, staring down, halfway between shock and hysterical laughter.

“Don’t say a word,” I mumbled, holding my shirt together as I got to my feet.

“I wasn’t going to.” He held his palms up in the air and backed away.

That did not just happen. My face was hot with embarrassment. Why couldn't I have done laundry? Why?

Marching toward the rental desk, I glanced over to see Becker grinning.

“Oh,” he called after me. “By the way, I’ve always been more of a zebra print sort of guy.”

Man. Bowling sucked.
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

GOING GREEN (the story blog)

(Check the side links to catch up on the story)

GOING GREEN


“Cool place,” I said as we pulled into the mall. Becker looked sideways at me.

“Be quiet. I wouldn’t take you to the mall for a date.”

“But I thought it was so romantic.” I laughed. Hell, the first ten minutes of this date were better than some entire dates I’d been on with Conner. At least here I didn’t have to duck down so people wouldn’t see me.

Becker drove behind the mall and parked. I raised my eyebrow. “You’re kidding, right?”

“Oh, no.”

“You’re serious?”

“Completely.”

We were parked in front of Pin-O-Rama. A bowling alley!

“So,” I said slowly, looking over the concrete building with lit up dancing bowling pins. “You want me to wear rented shoes and throw heavy balls around?”

“Don’t be stuck up. Come on.” And he got out.

It wasn’t that I minded bowling. I’d done it once or twice in Arizona. It was just that I hadn’t expected a guy to take me bowling. On a date. When he was in college. I thought I’d end up at a keg party or something.

I got out in time to see Becker close his car trunk. He was carrying a bag.

“What’s in there?” I asked.

“Bowling shoes. You think I’m gonna stick my feet in those disgusting rented shoes?” He grinned.

“Mean.”

“You love it.”

And I kind of did.
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