Chapter 2

               I gaped at him. How could he be the substitute? We're like, about the same age! "Erm, yeah," I responded awkwardly.

               He smirked. Why does he keep smirking around me? "Well hello there," Aaron said, "I believe we've met."

               "Yeah, I guess."

               "So, you're Lindsay, right?"

               "And you're Aaron."

               "Mhm," he responded with a smug look on his face. "Glad you know me. Listen," he spoke, his face turning serious,"Can we get to your baking class now so we can get this over with? I don't really enjoy baking."

               "Err, sure?" My answer turned out to be a question. What's with this guy? Is he bipolar or something? "Um, Aaron, can I ask you a question?"

               He looked at me blankly. "You just did."

               I scowled. "Aaron, seriously."

               "Fine, fine," he waved his hand in dismissal.


               "So what?" he inquired, getting the ingredients for chocolate fudge brownies. My mouth watered for a second.

               "You never answered my question!" I don't know why but this guy irritates me!

               "Well, you never asked," he countered, looking at me smugly.

               I was about to counter back but then I remembered that I really didn't ask him the question yet. I felt warmth rising to my cheeks as I huffed. He smirked in victory. "I was just wondering why you are the substitute. I mean, I don't have a problem with you!" I added quickly, "I'm just curious."

               "My aunt asked me to," he answered simply.

               "Wait, whose your aunt?" I asked, looking at him.

               "Brenda Lopez," he said like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

               "Mrs. Lopez?! Really? She has a nephew?" I gushed out. I stared at him wide-eyed.


               "Well, how come she never mentioned you?" I inquired, furrowing my eyebrows.

               "None of your business. Stop asking questions. I want to go home and get this over with," he snapped in annoyance. He changed his mood again. What's wrong with this guy? Apparently, family is a touchy subject.

               "Fine," I huffed.

               I took out the other ingredients needed and started measuring them. I added them to the batter and left Aaron to mix it and pour it on the molder. He placed it in the oven. No words were spoken between us. It was actually an awkward silence. I couldn't make out what he was thinking though. Was he annoyed by me or something. I decided to speak.

               "So, Aaron, how've you been?" I blurted. Really I thought. Way to make the situation more awkward, Lindsay, I scolded myself.

               He scoffed. "Why are you asking me that?"

               "Nothing, it's just so quiet in here."

               "I like it better that way."

               "Okay," I said slowly. Another awkward silence settled in. A high volumed ring tone interrupted, resounding throughout the room. I dug out my phone from my pocket and pressed the home button. When the menu appeared, I grew confused. I looked up to see Aaron talking to his phone. I flushed, that wasn't even my ring tone!

               "Hello? What do you want?" There was a short silence and Aaron furrowed his eyebrows. "No. She's right in front of me. Fine," Aaron turned to me and handed me his phone. "Nate wants to talk to you."

               I took the phone and put it up to my ear. "Hello?"

               "Hi Lindsay!" a loud voice came out which made me cringe at the volume.

               "Er, hi Nate. What's up?"

               "I just wanted to ask for your number," he chirped excitedly.

               "Okay, sure." I gave him my number. "Why do you want my number anyway?"

               "To contact to, duh," out came his genius response. Note my sarcasm.

               "Very funny, Nate."

               "I know right? Well I must be going. See you tomorrow! Bright and early!" he responded before I heard a click. I handed the phone back to Aaron. He took it and jammed it into his pocket.

               "Why did he ask for your number?" he asked.

               "To contact me, he said," I responded simply.

               He snorted. "Give me your number," he ordered.


               "To contact you," he said teasingly.

               I huffed. "Fine." I recited my number for the second time today as he typed it in his phone. Ading sounded, a sign that the brownies are done. I wore my oven mitts and took out the fresh and hot brownies from the oven.

               "I have a question," Aaron spoke, eyeing the brownies. "After baking, where do the goodies go? Do you eat it? Sell it?"

               "Well, I usually divide it between me and my aunt, but since she isn't here, I guess-"

               "I'll divide it then, I'm starving," he announced, taking out a knife from one of the drawers.

               "I was gonna say, I'd have it all to myself but seeing as how you eyed the brownies so much, I'd share it with you," I cooed, smirking.

               "I wasn't eyeing it!" he defended. He started slicing the brownies, dividing it into two even parts. He placed them in individual containers.

                "Sure you weren't."

               "I wasn't! Cut it out!" he scowled.

               "Okay, okay! Jeez.." He's such a killjoy. He handed me my half of the brownies. I nodded my head in thanks. I wiped the flour-filled table and packed my recipe book. When that was finished, I turned my attention to Aaron. "I guess we could go now."

               "Finally," he got up from his seat and marched his way towards the door. Before he left, he said, "Oh, and," he raised his brownies,"thanks."

               That left me shocked and off-guard. Sure, he was a jerk at times. Then he'd be surprisingly nice, then he'd turn annoying. I became curious about the brownies so I took a fork and ate a bite. I've already made these before and I'm perfectly sure it didn't taste like this! These were amazing! I wondered if Aaron added something.. I thought about ingredents he could've added for a few minutes before I gave up and composed myself; I headed to the door, leaving my apron on the small wooden table. I turned off the lights and left the kitchen.


               I found Nate lying on the bench. He had his eyes closed, his head resting on the arm of the bench, and his arm dangling towards the grass. I decided to scare him, but how? Pushing him? Nah, that's too harsh. Pouring water on his head? That would be great! Question is, where do I get water? I shook my head, thinking of another way. Tickling him? Is he even ticklish? I decided to do the latter. I drew closer to him and raised my fingers to his sides. Before I made contact, his eyes flew open, scaring me half to death.


               "Argh!," I yelled, my butt landing on the soft grass. I glared at the umber-haired man. I got up swiftly and sat beside him. "Don't scare me!"

               "Ha Ha Ha! Well, you were about to!" he countered.

               "Ugh, whatever, Nate," I responded stubbornly, crossing my arms over my chest. "By the way, are you always like this?"

               His eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "What do you mean?"

               "You know, we just met yesterday and you're a jock. It's like we've been friends for a long time already," And you're popular, I wanted to add. I waited for his answer.

               He laughed. "I'm always like this. Especially to pretty girls," he smirked suggestively.

               "You flirt! Playboy!"

               "Hey, hey! I'm maybe a flirt, but I suck at pick-up lines," he told me, frowning a bit.

               "C'mon, you can't be that bad. Try me," I offered, smiling confidently.

               "Alright. But don't laugh," he added quickly.

               "I won't. I promise."

               He thought for a while, looking at the sky in the process. Suddenly he brightened up and turned towards me. "I know!" he cleared his throat, "If you were a booger, I would pick you first." He waited for my reaction. I stared at him, my jaw open. Suddenly, I guffawed. I couldn't stop myself. A tear actually fell to my cheek. "Hey! You said you wouldn't laugh!" A tinge of pink started to form on his cheeks. I doubled in laughter, clutching my stomach.

               "I'm sorry! It's just that! Ha Ha Ha!" I couldn't stop myself. After I've became sane, he looked at me disapprovingly. "I'm sorry, Nate," I said, looking at the ground.

               Surprisingly, he laughed. "Don't worry about it. Like I told you, I'm always like this. I can't believe you fell for my guilt trick! You were actually the first one to fall for it! Ha Ha Ha!"

               It was my turn to blush. "Hey! Cut it out!"

               "Fine! Okay, I'll give you another of my pick-up lines," he cleared his throat again, "My love for you is like diarrhea, I just can't hold it in!"

               I laughed again. "You are such a comedian! Stop it!"

               "Wait! Just one more," he paused, "Hey, did you just fart? Because you blew me away!"

               By this time, I fell from the bench and landed on the grass. I doubled over in laughter. I even resorted to punching the grass. Once I've calmed down, I sat back next to him to find him chuckling at me.

               "What?" I asked.

               "Nothing, it's just, were my pick-up lines that bad?" he inquired innocently.

               "No, no! They're just funny!" He gave me a look that said that he didn't believe me. "Fine, they were bad."

               "Gee, thanks. I guess my flirting skills haven't improved. Aaron said I suck, too."

               "Speaking about Aaron, does he have killer mood swings or something?"

               He looked at me, surprised. "Why are you asking me that? Wait, have you two been spending time together?" he asked, waggling his eyebrows.

               "It's not like that!" I added quickly, waving my hands in front of him. "I'm just curious." Does he not know that I'm taking baking class with Aaron as the substitute?

               "Well, he had a rough past. He didn't tell me the full details though. I suggest you ask him," he responded.

               "Right. Okay." Suddenly someone sat beside me on my left. Nate's on my right so I'm squished in the middle. I turned to look at my left and saw Luke smiling intently at me. I was taken aback so I smiled back awkwardly.              

               "Hey Lindsay, Nate." Luke gave us amused glances. Nate scowled at him making Luke smirk. "How's your early morning date?"

               "It's not a date!" Nate cried. "I told you that already."

               "I know, I know. So, Lindsay, We're holding a party tomorrow night. Wanna come?"

               "We?" I asked him.

               "Aaron, Nate, and I. So, you wanna come?" he reiterated his question.

               "It'll be fun, Lindsay!" Nate joined, a wide smile on his lips.

               "Um," I thought. It's been a long time since I've been a party. Parties aren't really my cup of tea. I realized the two boys were still waiting for my answer. I responded, "I'll think about it."

               "Yay!" Nate cried and jumped in surprised! "You will witness my flirting skills, Lindsay," he added, a secretive look in his eyes.

               "He told you his awful pick-up lines, right?" Luke asked me. I nodded. His eyes widened as big as saucers. "Really? How'd you take it?"

               "They weren't aweful! Lindsay said they were interesting!" Nate piped in, a defensive look on his face.

               "And funny," I added. Luke chuckled.

               "Well, Lindsay, I'm glad you're still alive," Luke smirked.

               "I am, too."

               "Fine! Be that way!" Nate crossed his arms stubbornly, turning away from us.

               "Aw, Nate, they were interesting!" I told him, a frown on my face. I patted his back gently. He sniffed. Wait, was he crying? Did I hurt his feelings that badly? What do I do? Do I-

               He laughed, catching me off guard. Luke laughed, too. I blushed furiously.

               "You tricked me again, didn't you?" I asked, trying to cool down my flaming cheeks.

               "I believe I did. And you fell for it, again."

The End

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