"Ready for gym, honey?" Mom asked me as I was getting down from the stairs. I dressed up myself with a pair of shorts and a yellow tank top, apparently this was what my mom bought for me when I asked her to buy me some gym clothes. Mom volunteered to drive me to the gym, so I wouldn't walk anymore. When she dropped me off, I saw John standing by the door.
"Hello there Aunt Catherine!" He greeted my mom and gave her a kiss on the cheek, which was always a little weird even though Thea's family and my family have already met and hung out a couple of times before.
"Well, hi there John! Look at you all growing up, strong and tall. Hey, take care of my daughter, okay?"
"Oh of course! We'll take her home."
I waved goodbye as mom's car drove out of the gym's drive way. "SO big bro, where's my bff?" I loved calling him my 'big bro' since I always wanted a big brother.
"Believe it or not, she's with Zander. She said she'll walk with him instead."
"Uh-oh. So now you're what? The.. protective brother?"
"Maybe, maybe not. We'll see." He said looking sarcastic but at the same time you can tell that it was half-meant. "Look, here they are already."
Thea ran straight towards me and jumped and hugged me. Good thing I didn't fall. "Hey there Leena! Looking a little hotter than usual today, I must say? Why is that?" She gave me her suspicious look. John and Zander looked at me too.
"This is mom's fault, okay?!"
"Yeah right. Okay." She didn't look impressed by my answer, i knew what they were thinking. Then suddenly, 2 other boys walked towards us. It was Aries and Jeff. "Hey, wait a minute, you didn't bring your car?" Thea said looking disappointed, probably thinking she wouldn't be able to make it to walk home after the gym.
I looked at Jeff, something was off with him today. He looked a little exhausted or something. "Yeah, well I found out that my dad sold his car, so he's back to using the SUV."
That's why. From the minute he said that, my heart felt heavy. I knew what was going on and why Uncle Joe sold it.
"Dude, really? Why'd he sell it?" John looked surprised too. Jeff took a deep breath for a moment to compose himself, then he gave me a short glance.
"He just... needs money right now. For something." As usual, he tried to look like he wasn't affected by it, he tried to look cool. But I knew deep down that he felt the opposite. He didn't look at me anymore the whole time we were at the gym, which bugged me. I kept taking a look at him every now and then, it seems like he and John were talking about something. They kept whispering and nudging each other and laughing.
"Hey, why do you keep looking at them???", Thea asked me looking confused.
"You're hiding something from me and I know it." Her eyes squinted for a second as she looked straight to my face.
"I'm just sad for him and his family. Looks like they've been going through some tough times, that's all."
"Mmmmhhm." She clearly wasn't believing the answer that I gave her. I really wanted to tell her what was going on, but I promised Jeff. "Tell me, honestly, do you like him?"
"Thea, come on. Here we go again!" I tried to tell her in a firm voice but ended up whispering since I didn't want anyone else to hear our top secret conversation.
"Leena, pleaseeeee! You can tell me anything! You know I hate it when people keep secrets from me. I know you like him, okay? Don't be shy, it's normal to feel that way. Look at me and Zander! See, I am confidently telling you that I like him." She said proudly with her hands on her waist.
"Okay... yes. I do like him. So what?"
"SO WHAT?" I quickly slapped her on her arm cause she literally shouted and everyone was looking at us now, even Jeff and John. I opened my mouth to say sorry and the instructor continued to guide Aries and Zander on the weights. "I'll tell you what, Leena. That isn't just something! I know you don't feel comfortable talking about this sweet lovey-dovey stuff, but come on! It's normal!"
She was right. I hated talking about it, probably because most of the girls in our school just kept talking about their broken hearts and love life that sounded just really cliche and dramatic for me. Bleh! "It doesn't matter Thea! Maybe because we just spend a lot of time together now, that's why. But, I can't do anything okay?"
"SERIOUSLY? You are asking me that question? Have you met my parents?"
"Okay, yeah I guess. But if you want to, right? Besides, you guys can go into a secret one, if you know what I mean." Thea gave me a sly look.
"HEY. I am not like you, for your information."
"Whatever, but it's fun!"
"Would you slow down? Your brother is worried about you, you know? Being all protective and shit."
"Yeah yeah. Well, I think you and Jeff would look great together! Why don't I find details about him through my brother's stuff. What do you say?" She asked winking at me.
"WHAT?! No! That is creepy. I told you I can't or else I'll just mess up everything. Our family is really close with each other, and if my dad knew that I liked him or want to go out with him he's gonna go ballistic! Might even tell Uncle Joe to make his son back away from me. It's irritating!"
"Ughhh. Yeah, your dad is tough! But, come on! What are you gonna do? Are you just going to sit there, day-dreaming of the what-could've-been's or are you gonna pull yourself together, pick your ass of the floor and just have fun with him? You deserve it, you know? We deserve it power BFF! We study, we have high grades, great friends, we never drink, smoke weed and get high, and we don't even go out at night! Don't we deserve something that we want this time?"
"Try telling that to my dad."
"What if he likes you too?" I stopped doing whatever it was I was doing. We were just sitting on the floor now, too exhausted to do anything else. I just looked at her serious face, since I can't think of anything else to say. "Yeah, what if he likes you too, which makes both of you like each other, but then both of you are just too shy and chicken to do the first move? How would you feel?"
"Terrible. That sucks.... like hell. But come on, why would he even like me? I'm just a normal goody-goody girl who stays at home, studies everyday, watches a movie alone in my room during Friday nights, an introvert who mostly spends time with her parents, family, and my beautiful best friend", and as I said that Thea's eyes sparkled and gave me a very glamorous blink and hand gesture. "And he's the type of guy who looks... so.... outgoing and stuff! He looks like he's so mature and knows everything about being a teenager! I'm not.... that."
"Oh get over yourself! Isn't Zander the same? He's older than us, even more mature than us, but he's great! He's respectful and kind and a gentleman. Don't judge somebody by his physical appearance. Plus, you already know some things about him since you guys spend a lot of time together now..."
"Uhh, whatever. I don't want to talk about it anymore."
"Fine then. But if it was true that you both like each other but too chicken to say it, you guys are just messing with yourselves! Like you guys are just playing a never ending silly game, you know, 'Who will surrenders first?' ".
And I guess, she was right.