Mothering Him

I closed my eyes and prepared myself for an interrogation but in its place came a loud sneeze.

I turned to face Damien, and the sight of him rubbing his nose which was as red as a reindeer's took away whatever awkwardness I'd been feeling a second before. "Ugh," Damien groaned, blowing his nose with a tissue, and loudly, I should add. "This is turning out to be just perfect."

"Here," I said, standing up again and beckoning at him to give me his empty mug. "Let me get you a re-fill."

"I'd prefer some warm water, if that's okay," Damien spoke, sounding a lot more nasal than before. Hearing it himself, he added, "And some Tylenol, if you've got any?"

"Sure thing."

When I came back to the living room, I had everything he'd asked plus a full-sleeve button-down shirt belonging to dad. I set down the water and medicine, then handed Damien the shirt.

"You should change into something dry."

He looked between me and what he was holding in his hand. "I appreciate the thought Makayla but-"

"My dad won't mind, so you don't have to worry about that. And I know he's taller and bigger than you but it's better for you to be warm and dry. I'll just throw your shirt into the dryer."

Damien shook his head at me, like I wasn't getting the point, and then handed the shirt back. "No, really. It's fine. I can manage with what I have on." I didn't take it. Putting my hands on my hips, I started to tap my feet on the floor, eyes narrowed. "You're going to get changed, Damien."

He glared back at me before standing up. "Fine, if you're that desperate to see me shirtless but I'm afraid you'll have to turn around. I can't have you sneaking a peek at the hot stuff."

I snorted and turned away. This guy was so full of himself. "Don't flatter yourself." Here I was, trying to help him get better and he goes on joking like that. I could hear the sound of his wet shirt hit the ground, and a rustle as he started to put on my dad's shirt. A couple seconds later, he tapped my shoulder and said, "Okay, it's all clear now."

Rolling my eyes, I turned around to see him grinning at me like the goof he was. How he managed to still joke around was beyond me. Not for long, though, as another sneeze broke through the air.

"Take your medicine, Damien," I instructed.

"Yes, ma'am."

Bending down, I picked up his shirt and walked away to throw it in the dryer. Earlier today, he'd invited me for some pizza. I liked pizza (who doesn't?) and had genuinely been looking forward to our time together after school. Now, I felt like I was babysitting a sick, little kid. Not exactly what I'd signed up for.

Damien was playing with his phone when I returned, head bowed. At the sound of my footsteps, he immediately locked it and smiled up at me.

"Thanks for everything. The hot chocolate, the medicine, and taking care of me. I bet you're feeling bothered by my being here."

I waved my hand at him as if to say to cut it out, shaking my head even though he'd voiced my thoughts out loud.

"I really just wanted to go out with you, have a bite to eat, and make up for what happened last time." Sighing, Damien ran a hand through his hair and laid his head back against the couch cushion. "I just wanted to get you to forgive me and here I am, spreading my germs all over your living room instead."

The End

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