Twenty two minutes and thirty one seconds. The time in which Hayes and I have been sitting here. My fingers drum against the steering wheel, and once again I check the clock on the dash. Make that twenty three minutes now. I shift uncomfortably and curse under my breath. "How far were they?" I ask aloud for the second time. Beside me, my best friend Hayes sat glued to his phone.
"Ash said twenty minutes tops." Hayes sighed and relaxed back into his seat. I take a breath and scratch the back of my neck. Hayes and I have been best friends since fourth grade. This year we're seniors. Ashley, a.k.a. Ash, has known me just as long. Hayes and her are twins. Other than the three of us, there are two other guys we met back in Sophomore year, Cam and Don, who complete our inner group. We're pretty much like one small family all on our own. With Ash and Hayes, its like night and day. If you didn't know the them, you would never understand how they could be so close. Hayes is a baseball playing jock like me, and Ash, well, Ash is on a level all of her own. You would think they would have grown apart but, I guess some things you just cant explain.
How does this always happen to us? I wonder to myself. It's like she does it on purpose. She knows what time we agreed upon, and yet. . . "She's always late." Always. I don't think this girl has ever been on time once.
I look out my window then, and catch the M of the McDonald's sign flickering just as it eventually fades out. A lady in the take out window is smiling, and hands a couple two small bags and, one large drink. Her short brown hair cups her cheeks, and her visor tips the top of the window as she slides back in to make change. "Chill, their here." Hayes says and immediately sits up in his seat.
Immediately my eyes dart to the rear view mirror. It was about time she decided to show up. Seconds later, we're siting in a flood of headlights billowing from the back seat of my car. I glance over to Hayes in that instance, when I hear Ash somewhere far behind us. That was the first time I noticed something wasn't right; he was jumpy, and disheveled. Reaching up, he pulled down the mirror, and began messing with his hair. Constantly adjusting the short blonde tuffs as if one way looked any different than the other. After a few more ruffled movement, his eyes shot up to me. "What?"
"I was about to ask you the same question." I say, folding my arms across my chest as I do. "What in the world are you doing?"
I watch him tug at, yet another tuff once more before slapping the mirror closed. "Nothing," he said, and moved to open his door as I catch Ash, out of the corner of my eye, slowly finding her way over to my car. When she finally arrives, he hops out and folds up the seat for her. I shake my head watching him pull at the nape of his shirt. What was he so nervous about?
"Thanks Hayes," Ash says and plops against the seat behind me. The smell of cotton candy invading my senses as she spins her hair up and over her shoulder. The redness of it catching the white light from the headlights, making her hair glow like fire. "Hey Wes." she adds after she's situated. "Sorry we're late."
"Yeah, yeah." I mumbled in a teasing voice before turning around in my seat. Her dark brown eyes penetrate me then with a ferocious look I cannot place. "We said eight Ash, what took you so long?"
There is a movement then within the light beams, a body quickly darting from one side to the next. I focus trying to see who it was, who Ash chose as her best friend for this week. When the lights cut out and she whirled around the side of my car. The answer to my question falling to the short blonde Hayes was currently introducing himself to. "Wes? Hel-lo, Wes?" Ash's voice catches my attention.
"Yes?" I ask, silently hoping she couldn't hear the crack in my voice. I trail back to the features of Ash's face, her brows furrowed. "What were you saying?"
"I said, it took Brynnlee a bit to get past her rents'." She repeated, a flirtatious grin slipping across her face. "Not everyone is as lucky as you; we cant tell ours the truth."
I forced a laugh, and shift my attention back out to the blonde. From what I could see so far, she was pretty hot. Perfectly tan skin, long blonde hair, which was more wavy than curled, and a killer bod. Hayes's strange behavior definitely made more sense now, and mentally I make a note to remind myself to kill him for forgetting to tell me. I hesitate then, my eyes quickly shooting to my rearview mirror. "What are you doing?" Ash calls from the back seat. Shit.
"Nothing," I blurt out, sigh and then jerk the mirror away from my view.
It was then Ash's hands pressed against the back of my shoulder, as she leaned between the seats to yell, "Come on you two," before falling back into her seat. Her hand releasing as she does.
"Sorry!" A soft voice answers her. Dragging my eyes from the spot on my shoulder where Ash's hand had been, I glance up. My breath catching as I do. The first thing I notice is her eyes; stark green. My chest tightens, and I take in a breath to calm myself. "Hey," She says. A smile pulling at the corners of her lips as if her words held a secret. Her lips themselves lush and perfectly shaded. "I'm Brynnlee."
"Hop in already." Ash whines and pulls at her arm making her hand slip off the seat.
Instinctively I reach out and catch her elbow, steadying her. Tiny electrical surges race across my skin, the smell of coconuts suddenly consuming the space around us. "Wes," I say almost breathlessly. She smiles, and her cheeks blush. I wait until she seems okay before letting her go, and then turn back around to the front so Hayes can fold the seat up. My inner mind racing as I fight to remain calm.
"Alright," Hayes says shutting the door, and then turns towards the backseat. "You ladies ready?"
The two of them shout off short squeals in response, and I pull out onto the street. Hayes, not wasting any time, clicks on the radio, and at the first stop, I readjust the rear view mirror back so I can see. Brynnlee's eyes locking with mine for a brief second before she breaks to look at something outside the window. This was going to be a long drive, I say to myself.