I was caught off guard today when I came in class and saw Hayden sitting there. He looked like poop, and I could tell he was stressed out. When the class broke for groups, Kyle and I picked back up where we left off. Him rewriting our notes into actual paragraphs, and me, looking through our textbook trying to find examples for each topic. Of course, we were talking during most of it, and as weird as it sounds, I found he was pretty funny. And sweet too. Nothing like Hayden though but, at least it showed me that I had been wrong for the second time when it came to judging jocks.
Kyle told me all about his fight with Hayden Wednesday, and I couldn’t believe it. Why would Hayden punch him randomly? It didn’t make sense. But, when I saw the bruise it’s a little hard not to. Then it made me think back to that particular day when Hayden had shown up, kissed me, and then left before giving me time to process a thing. That had been random, and completely out of the norm. Maybe he was just having one of those kinds of days. He hadn’t actually meant to those things, right? Even more strange was the fact that, Hayden swore war against Kyle. War against what? And really, war? Who says that?
Later I met up with Gavin and the guys at the game. They were sitting back against the far side, polar opposite of me, which meant I would have to walk past the dug-out and next to home plate in order to get to the stairs. Normally, that wouldn’t have been such a big deal but, I had arrived late. And when I mean late, I mean we were halfway into the second inning, the bases loaded, and Hayden had just started walking up to the plate. Kyle waiting impatiently on deck.
All of this meaning, it was definitely not a good time to go walking in front of everybody, and risk blocking a view. Surely I would be yelled at. So I stood there, and waited. Kyle, smiling like a crazy person, waved at me. I waved back. A loud crack broke through the air then, causing everyone to stop, and stare as one after the other, the bases emptied. When Hayden crossed the plate, our eyes met for a split second before he jogged into the dug-out. He didn’t smile, or wave. He was definitely being weird again. Soon after the game ended with another run ruling.
“That had to be the best hit of the night!” Raymond had started up again. His arms moving in the air like a mime on crack.“Those runs won the game for us.”
“Ray, all of the runs had won the game. We were up sixteen to two.” Gavin laughed. Though Ray just shook his head, and continued.
“Well, I still think Hayden is the Babe Ruth of our generation.” He said, his thick accent coming out.
“I’m the next what?” Hayden’s voice cut through the group like a hot knife in butter, causing everyone but, me to whip around stare plainly up at him. I, on the other hand, didn’t move. Obviously we won the game, and when it was over, we didn’t wait around like we had last week and talk. When the umpire called run rule, we got up, and left.
“Apparently,” I said, and turned around. “You’re a candy bar.”
‘Oh.” He smiled. Pushed a hand through his hair, and gave a quick laugh. I could feel the tension loosen a bit; it felt like a breath of fresh air. Then, he looked to me, and his smiled had faded. The tension was back. “Hey, can we talk for a second?”
“Sure.” I said plainly but, what I really wanted to say was no! I wasn’t ready to have this conversation yet. Sure, I was a little hurt after he ran off the other day but, I’m not ready to figure out what it all means. Although I have a pretty good idea about what he is going to say. Probably something like, I shouldn’t have done that or, I hope you understand that it was a mistake. It will never happen again.
If there was one thing I knew about the kiss, it was that it was a fluke. It would never happen again.“So about Wednesday,” he started, hesitated, and then stopped. He was looking out in the distance somewhere, and I couldn’t help but, want to scream, GET ON WITH IT. When his eyes shifted, and he was looking back at me. Suddenly I felt like I was drowning in his icy stare. I took a deep breath, and then tried to say the words for him, he didn’t want to say.
“It was a mistake.” I blurted all at once. The words themselves coming out in the form of a dagger, with each one the dagger twisted piercing my heart.
“No, that’s not-” He paused.
“I mean, yes.”
“Which is it Hayden?” I could hear the shakiness in my voice as I stood there pleading him with my eyes to tell me the truth.
Once again, time stood still around us, until finally he saved me from myself, and my horrible thoughts. "Airee the kiss, us?" he paused. "It would never work."
In that moment, I had to suppress a laugh. Then I rolled my eyes, and turned over my foot and walked away. "Airee wait!" I could hear him calling out from somewhere behind me. "You didn't let me finish!"
Hating myself for what I was about to do, I looked back as if to offer him one last chance to explain. As I did, Laurie had just shown up. Her long, tan legs, twisting around his torso, as she jumped on his back. The second his, eyes broke from mine, I didn't care to hear anymore.
Behind him I saw Kyle. He had just slung his bag over his shoulder and was conveniently headed in my direction. I knew in that moment what the right thing would have been to do. Turn around, walk back to the group and head home. But I couldn't. I was tired of always doing the right thing, or trying to be the person who saw better in everyone else. I wanted to be, well, I wanted to be bad. I paused briefly from my thoughts, did I seriously just say that? Taking a second, I pondered over it and then continued. Yes. Yes I do.
"Hello beautiful!" Kyle rushed up beside me. His arm falling perfectly to rest atop my shoulders. Glancing up I noticed Laurie and Hayden yelling at one another. For a split instant, I questioned whether or not he had truly meant what he said or if there really was more to what he said. Then I saw Laurie practically face slam her mouth against his and all my second guessing blew from my mind. Looking up at Kyle, I almost felt bad about what I was about to ask. Then again it was Kyle.
"Why hello sir." I smiled and together we walked out to my car. The whole while, I pitched my offer.