I hear leaves crunching and open my eyes to watch the boy I was just thinking about approach. Either I’m in a really good dream, or my secret reason for accepting Angelica’s offer is actually here. There’s no way he could have been the passenger in car. That person was reading. But if Jeff Brighton reads, then he might be just more than a college jock. I warily watch him as he finally stops in front of me. His hands are in his pockets. He was shuffling the leaves as I had earlier.
“Hey,” he looks up at me smiling. “What are you doing out here?”
“Avoiding a sex lesson,” I blurt out. I immediately wish I hadn’t
“What?” He looks slightly shocked and confused.
“What are you doing here?” I counter with my own question, trying desperately to get back to solid ground.
“I gave Michael a ride. When Rachael calls he has to go you know.”
“You drove him to a booty call?” I can’t believe this. I’ve stopped my swinging, holding myself ready to start again. Jeff shrugs.
“Good way to escape all the noise at my house, plus I get to read.” He cocks his head to the side as he looks at me. “But why are you here? This is like the last place I’d ever suspect of finding you.”
I snort, trying to picture Jeff looking for me. I might have a crush on him, but I’m realistic in my expectations. Jocks don’t date tom girls like me. He’s still waiting for an answer. “I told you, I’m avoiding a sex lesson.”
“Yes, you did.” His head straitens up and he steps forward. “But why were you here for the lesson in the first place?”
I let myself swing, so that he has to jump back to not get hit. I don’t answer. He lets me swing two times before he grabs my legs and stops me.
“Look Chris,” he actually uses my preferred nickname, “I know this group. You don’t want to get involved.” He lets go of me and I stand up. Using the swing to help me balance on tip toe I look him in the eye. He returns my gaze with a look that makes my heart flip flop.
“Yeah, well I was thinking of ditching them soon anyway.” I sit back on my swing. I am getting utterly fed up with Angelica’s controlling ways. I swear she’s worse then her sister. Trying too hard to be her sister in my opinion. Rachel ruled high school with a golden fist.
“Do you want to go for a coffee or something?” Jeff’s tone has completely changed. His hands are back in his pockets and he looked, self conscious? I stopped again and studied him as he shuffled leaves with his feet. He looked at me sideways, “I mean, we both know they’re going to be in there a while, though I don’t know exactly what that sex lesson was going to entail…”
“Watching,” I stated as his voice trailed off. His face made a quick grimace, clearly showing he felt the same as I did about it. I let go of the swing and took a step towards him. “Coffee huh?”
He looked directly at me, “or something.”
“Okay.” After all it is Jeff Brighton, the guy I’ve had a secret crush on since my freshman year of high school. The jock that had helped me pick up my books to then grin wryly at me as he was swept away by his laughing buddies. Jeff’s voice had never risen in that crowd when they made they’re passing comments. But he had always seemed to know my limits, or know their limits. I don’t know if he knows, but I always heard him, the voice of reason, telling them they’d done enough. So when he held out his hand for me to take, I accepted it.
Jeff grinned at me and led me to his car. He opened the door for me. As I got in I noticed the book lying on his seat. He saw it the same instance I did. We struggled briefly, but I won, having been closer, and sat on it. I grinned at him as he looked pleadingly at me.
“Oh come on, get in and let’s go. It’s not like I’m one of them.”
“You won’t tell?” He asked.
And ruin my changes at a date with Jeff? “No.”
He closed my door and went over to his side. I buckled myself in, pulling the book out from under me.
“You won’t laugh will you?” He tried to swipe the book again, but his seat belt held him back.