I knew I was meant to expect big, but I wasn't expecting this big. My shock must've shown in my expression because Zack laughed.
“Come on,” He said, taking my hand and leading me into the house. No, not the right word, more like a mansion. Zack held open the front door for me and it was exactly like mansions in the movies in that it was a huge foyer. Least the stairs were close to normal size to the right of us. There were a few different doors down here to what I guessed were different rooms. How many rooms did a house need? I thought about my house with it's living room, kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms. It could properly all fit in this one room and with space to spare.
“Ermm...what do you want to do?” Zack asked, before I could open my mouth to ask what there actually was to choose from, one of the doors opened. The women I recognised from the car was there, she had a blue tooth headphone in one ear and was speaking with a very brisk tone.
“I told you, this meeting is important, the plane leaves in half hour. The cars already waiting for you outside the office,” She noticed us and said a goodbye to whoever she was speaking to.
“Zackery, did you make a decision?” she asked, I was trying to figure out if I was being purposely ignored or not.
“Yeah, I'll transfer there,” he said.
“Okay, I'll go take care of all the paperwork now. You must be Michael based on your description. Nice to meet you,” The women held out a hand which I took. I thought Zack's mum was in the army, this women didn't strike me as someone who'd been in a war zone. She walked into another door, which looked like an office based on the shelves and desk I was able to see.
“That's Sandra, dad's PA. She practically lives here,” Zack explained.
“Oh...so what does your dad do?” I asked. Zack shrugged.
“Something in business, He owns a few different brand and chains,” Zack answered before grabbing my hand and heading towards the stairs.
“Where are we going?” I asked, because I got the feeling this was a place you could get lost.
“My room, its the only place we won't get disturbed,” He replied. I stomped down on the thought that wanted to asked doing what? Because my brain was heading towards the gutter again. I wasn't sure what to expect when I walked into Zack's room. Similar to his home I guess. He had one of those big four poster beds, a huge desk which probably had an up-to-date computer on it and a big TV with what I was sure was every gaming console in front of it. I wondered if I should mention the only computer I used was the ones at school. Or that the last console I used was a playstation one when me and Derek were kids. Derek doesn't play that many video games now so if we ever go round his it's to watch marathons of this or that. If James is with us then it's always a series involving lots of guns and aliens. I never bothered memorising the names, there are too many of them. Zack also had bookshelves filled with movies and series. I tried really hard not to feel a twinge of envy, but it was proving difficult.
“What do you want to do then?” he asked, plopping onto the small sofa in front of the TV. I sat next to him with honestly no clue. Actually, not true, I had some ideas but they weren't especially appropriate.
“Don't mind,” I said with a small shrug, “Up to you.”
“Don't tempt me,” he whispered. I don't think he meant for me to hear. He walked over to the shelf and picked a film at random.
“What time will your mum get back by the way?” he asked as he put the disc into the player.
“Ten,” I replied, trying not to think too much about what he meant by that whisper. Because I was sure I was misunderstanding. I had to be.
“And you were going to wait outside for all that time?!” he asked, not even hiding the horror on his expression or voice. I found his overreaction a little cute to be honest. Not that I was about to say that. I also felt a little warm tingle that he seemed to care. Not that Derek didn't care. I just found it hard to believe he'd show it as much. Being able to see someone thinks you matter is nice every once in a while.
“I said, I've done it before. I grew up there so most people leave me alone,” I said, not that I spent a lot of time with the others my age around there. My mum purposely walked me the extra distance to the more respectable park in the area Derek lived to avoid their bad influence. The school was only a little further. I never minding walking the distance every morning. As long as I could spend every day with Derek I was happy.
“Still a stupid thing, if you ever get locked out again and can't get in soon call me,” he said. I opened my mouth to object but he shushed me too quickly and pulled out his phone to give me his number. I let out a sigh but added it to my contacts. Trying not to compare what looked like a new iphone with my four year old thing and it's cracked screen. Frankly, I have no clue how it hasn't died yet.
“So, hows the best friend?” he asked, sitting down and skipping the adverts on the disc.
“He's fine...actually he's a bit down. His girlfriend just broke it off,” I said. Wondering if it was weird for him to be interested or not.
“Well, guess if you wanted to do anything. Now would be the best time,” he said. I couldn't help but notice how unnaturally even his voice was. As if he was forcing it to be that way.
“I think I'll give him some time to recover,” I said and realised I might've said something wrong because Zack wasn't looking my way anymore.
“Good for you,” he finally said before pressing play.
To be honest I didn't pay much attention to the movie and was far too aware of Zack right next to me. And of the fact that I may have blown whatever chance I'd actually had with him. He glanced at his clock and I could see it was almost ten.
“You want to go now?” he asked.
“Sure,” I replied. I followed him through the corridors to the stairs. Yeah, if Zack weren't there I'd be lost.
“Harris would've gone home now but I'm sure Sandra won't mind,” he said approaching the office door she'd gone into. I assumed by Harris he meant the driver from earlier. When he knocked and opened the door Sandra looked at us with bleary eyes, lined with bags.
“Mind giving Michael a lift home?” Zack asked, she nodded silently and stood up, grabbing a set of keys as she did.
“Lets go,” she said. I followed her and Zack along some more corridors and suddenly we were in a wide garage space. There were four spaces down here. But only the car from earlier was there, along with another I recognised from Wednesday.
“Give me your address to put into the GPS,” Sandra asked once we were in the car. I expected some kind of response when I gave it but she put it in silently and began driving. I gazed at the window for the majority of the journey, watching the rain trail down the clear surface. It was nice and relaxing to watch.
“Just think, your going to have to put up with me from Monday,” Zack said and I turned to find he'd leaned in quite close. A big smile on his face.
“Get to meet the mysterious Derek myself,” he said.
“Are you not going to the paint balling tomorrow? I thought Lily said she'd invite you,” I said. Because I'd kind of been hoping he'd go.
“Oh yeah, didn't know he'd be there,” he said. The car pulled to a stop and I realised we were here.
“Thanks for the lift and such,” I said, opening the car door. The pitter-patter of rainfall reaching my ears the moment the door swung free.
“No problem,” He replied. I hesitated before leaving then turned to look at Zack again.
“And I wouldn't call it putting up with. Your pretty awesome company.” I didn't wait for his response, just closed the door and got inside the house quickly. I leant against the wood for a few seconds, fighting a smile.
“Where were you?! I was worried sick!” I jumped at the shrill sound of mums voice and realised I'd forgotten to text or call her.
“Sorry, I forgot my keys. I was with a friend,” I replied staring at the ground. Trust me to be the one who adds to her great stress load. She let out a long sigh before leaning against the back of the sofa.
“Well at least you were safe, have a good time with Derek?” she asked, assuming the friend was Derek.
“Ermm, it was actually the guy I mentioned. The one from the club I went to on Wednesday,” I said.
“Oh, like the idea of him?” she asked, and like that the lines were almost made invisible by her smile.
“Still not sure” I answered sheepishly.
“Well let me know when you figure it out. Dinner's gone cold but I'll put it in the oven to re-heat,” she said, heading off before I could tell her not to worry, I wasn't hungry. But my phone beeped, drawing my attention away from the rustling noises in the kitchen.
Your not bad yourself, Mikey-boy.
I knew my face was blushing and that the words didn't necessarily mean anything, but it gave me a jolt of happiness.