I was quiet that night at dinner. My parents watched as I traced my food with my spoon. I stared at my lumpy mash potato with hollow eyes.
I wasn’t hungry. Pushing my dish back, I gripped my glass of milk and held it to my lips. I didn’t drink.
I glanced up at my dad who cleared his throat. He shared a small side-glance toward my mom and turned back at me.
“Honey, Demy, if you’re not hungry, do you mind running a small errand for me?” when I didn’t answer, my mom continued, “Could you take this cake to our new neighbor the Freeze's?” she asked, pushing forward one of her famous delicious chocolate cake.
My dad cleared his throat as I juggled my mom’s freshly baked desert in my palms. “Demy, have you met their son? The boy’s about your age.”
I considered the question for a moment. “His name was Jackson, Jason, or whatever, right?” I shrugged carelessly. Of course, I hadn’t really forgotten his name. I could never forget his name.
Mom sighed, pushing back her plate. “Honey, his name is Justin. What’s wrong? Don’t you like him? I think he’s pretty darn adorable.”
He was more then adorable. In fact he was straight out hot. But I couldn’t tell my mom this. Especially with my dad sitting there, already giving my mom a glare.
So ignoring my dad who suddenly found it hard to drink his glass of water, I answered with a light shrug. “Uh, he’s…okay.”
My mom looked unconvinced as she slowly shook her head and gathered our finished plates. Dad was busy crossing his arms grinning in his seat, as she did so. I sighed at the sight. Typical.
The chair scraped against the floor as I pushed it back. Quickly balancing the somewhat heavy cake in my hands, I looked toward my parents, ready to announce my departure.
“Oh wait, give them this too,” my mom added in as she placed a bright colored envelope on top of the cake’s plastic cover, “It’s a welcoming card.”
I glanced down at the insanely colorful card and turned on my heels. “Kay, be back in a few.” I called over my shoulders.
“Be nice!” I heard my mom advised as I shut the front door to our house.
My dad’s muffle, “But not too nice,” could be drowned out by my mom’s faint lectures. I shook my head at their antics. Parents.
Crossing over the lawn to my neighbor’s house, I rang the doorbell twice. A few seconds passed and the door opened, revealing Justin.
He smiled once he saw me. His insanely cute smile that had me smiling back.
“Uh, so um, welcome,” I mumbled lamely, handing the cake to him.
He gave a quick grin and chuckled, “Thanks,”
Unsure what to do next, I nodded toward him and spun on my heels. “Well, I guess I’ll be seeing you,”
I began walking back to my house until I heard Justin called out, “Hey, wait!” Turning back around, I soaked in Justin’s uneasy figure and sheepish grin. “I’m going to Ocean Beach High, you mind showing me around tomorrow? Just till I get the hang of things…” he trailed off.
“Oh uh, sure, no problem,” I found myself saying. “Just be at my house at eight. Don’t be late,” and with a quick wink (was I flirting?), “or I’ll leave you.”