I couldn’t believe I was walking hand in hand with Jeff Brighton into the store at which I worked. Should I tell him? I’d taken the weekend off; they wouldn’t expect me to show up. I stop at the store door, letting go of Jeff’s hand. I’ve already seen Nathan give me a curious glance as he passed the door. He stops and turns to face me.
I’m something of a celebrity in there; my mom being a published author and all. In fact the manager of the store is continually trying to get her to do a book signing. She keeps refusing for my sake. She knows what releasing Rainbow Island did and doesn’t want anymore repercussions for me.
“You know, I work in that store.” I told him.
“Oh, did you want to go someplace else?” he asked concerned.
“No,” I studied his face as he studied me. “But I ought to warn you, it’s different in there, not like in high school.”
I had no idea what he was thinking. I couldn’t tell if I’d just puzzled him or intrigued him. Either way he opened the door to let me in. I grinned and held the second door for him. Chivalry goes both ways in my book. We walked to the coffee counter in silence. It’s amazingly un occupied for a Saturday morning.
“Hey Chris,” Margaret greets me from behind the counter as I step up.
“Hey Meg, can I get my usual?”
“Sure thing.” She scribbles my preference on the cup, “anything else.”
“Yeah,” Jeff piped up from behind causing Meg to do a double take. He gave her his order then asked, “did you want anything to eat?”
“Naw,” I watched as Meg rang up the order. I grabbed his credit card before Meg could, “and I’m paying.”
He looks at me shocked as I pulled out the cash to pay for our order. I’ll be going without chi for the next two days, but that look was worth it.
“I’m the one who asked you to coffee,” he puzzled, clearly feeling that he should have paid.
I handed back his card and moved out of the way of the line that had formed behind us. “Yeah, but I owe you big time.”
“For making high school with Michael actually bearable.”
Margaret held out our drinks and we took them. Jeff steers us to the comfortable chairs. “I did?” he asks.
I take a sip of my drink. Maybe this will ruin my chances of any sort of date with Jeff, I don’t know. But I’m a realistic girl. I never thought I’d have a chance anyway. At least he didn’t kick me out of the car when he found out who my mom was. I set my drink down, and pull my legs up to sit Indian style. I loved how big these chairs are.
“Yes, you did. And I would like to thank you for that. Though taking you out to fancy dinner and show would be more along the lines of how thankful I am,” Now I’m being very forward. But I have no idea if I’ll get this chance again.
“Really?” He set his drink down and scooted his chair ever slightly closer to mine. He leaned toward me. “I never felt I did enough.”
“You did.” I interrupted before he could say anything else. I pick up my drink and sip it. Jeff watched me with those eyes of his. I could feel my skin heat up. My heart suddenly begins beating a mile a minute as his hand toughed my knee.
“Chris?” he speaks softly. “Was it Rainbow Island that put you out there?”
So the boy has a brain. He’d figured it out. Well part of it. Suddenly I stand.
“Yes,” I hissed and left. I had no idea of where I was going to walk to. That statement, this whole situation has suddenly brought memories back that I don’t want to remember.