Chapter Nineteen

(Dan’s Point of View)

That night, my brain wouldn’t shut off. I kept thinking of what had happened during the past three days. Maybe I could have done things differently. Like when Haylee fell asleep on me, and I wrapped my arms around her shoulders and waist. Yes, I did that on purpose. I could still remember how she had kicked off her blankets, and then moments later snuggled closer to me for warmth. And how she had said today that I should take her out on a date. I was beginning to be glad that we picked Daisy up.

I must have drifted into sleep, because I awoke to Haylee’s alarm at 4:15. For a moment, I thought that I was next to her again, us snuggling with each other. But when I opened my eyes, I realized that I wasn’t, which killed the moment. Before I had time to sit up, I heard Haylee knock.

“Yes?” I said groggily.

“You think we could hurry a bit this morning? This should be the last day of driving.”

I put my head back on my pillow. “Five more minutes.” I mumbled.

“No. Get out of bed. The Grand Canyon is waiting.” Her voice sounded enticing.

“And it can wait five more minutes.”

“Don’t make me come in there.”

I reacted by snuggling deeper under my comforter. Just then, I felt the bed bounce a little, and opened my eyes a bit. Haylee was right in front of me, her face only inches away.

“Come on. Chris has already gone to the shower house. Get up.” I didn’t point out that she had just crawled into bed with me, although I was under the blankets and she wasn’t.

“Haylee, I’m tired.”

“No, I’m pretty sure that you’re name is Dan. Now get your lazy butt out of bed.”

I just closed my eyes, trying to resist the urge to scoot closer to her. Moments later, I felt her tugging on my hair.

“Hey. You’re going to make it all frizzy.” I said, pulling her hand away.

She sighed. “What’s it going to take for me to get you up?”

A kiss, maybe? I thought, but didn’t dare say it out loud.

Before I could bring myself out of my thoughts, I felt Haylee shove me out of bed, and I hit the floor with a thud.

“Ow!” I said, fully awake now.

“Hey, it worked!” I saw her peeking down at me from the bed.

“I’m going to kill you!” I said, jumping up and tackling her.

“Hey! Get off me!” She slipped away from me and into the main room.

“You want to fight me?” She teased, raising her fists.

“Oh, I don’t know.” I responded. “You look really tough.”

“You better believe it.” She said, pushing a stray strand of hair from her face.

Hey, that’s my job, I thought, a teeny bit of despair rising up inside me.

Haylee laughed. “Heh, don’t get too caught up in your own little world.” She said, punching me playfully in the stomach.

I just smiled back, not knowing what to say. After a moment, Haylee spoke again.

“Okay. Anyways. The Grand Canyon is calling, and if Chris comes back and we’re not ready, we’ll never hear the end of it.” She finished, grabbing her clothes and closing the door to the shower room.

I just sighed and shook my head. Why do women have to be so complicated? It’s obvious that she likes me, and I’ve made it clear that I like her, too. Why does she change the subject so quickly? I continued to wander through my thoughts, not knowing how much time has passed. Before I knew it, Haylee had opened the door, and was finishing straightening her hair. An idea crept into my mind.

Silently, I snuck around the corner and poked my head in.

“You missed a spot.” I said, intending to scare her.

It worked, and she jumped with an eek of surprise. But as soon as she jumped, her hair straightener pressed against her shoulder, leaving a scoring burn mark. Having a tank top on didn’t help, either.

Ow!” She screamed as the hot straightener made contact with her skin.

As she dropped it, I quickly picked it up, turning it off and setting it on the table.

“Here.” I mumbled, pulling her hair back and splashing cold water on the burn. I felt like an idiot, trying to scare her with a burning hot object so close. I bit my lip, apologizing.

“I’m sorry. I just thought..”

“Whatever.” She shrugged, flinching at trying to move her shoulder. “Can’t do anything about it.” I continued to splash cold water on her, until I felt her loosen up.

I shook my head. “I’m such an idiot.”

“Yeah, I think I’ll go with that one.” She responded, smiling at me.

I turned the faucet off, taking the towel from the hook and dabbing it lightly on her burn. My heart skipped a beat when I realized how close together we were in the cramped shower room. She must have noticed it too; it was obvious, but she didn’t do or say anything about it.

When I had finished with the towel, she tried moving her shoulder, but only to flinch and stop her movement.

“It’ll be sore for a few days.”

She nodded. “Yeah, I got that.”

I hesitated before trying to lighten the mood. “Well, I hope you were done with the straightener.” I said with a half smile.

“Yeah, I was just about finished anyway.”

“Sorry again. I didn’t expect for the straightener to get in the way.”

“It’s fine.” She said, turning to the mirror and critiquing her hair.

She sighed after a while, trying to fix a strand near her part that kept sticking up.

I laughed a little. “I think you look fine.” I said, shifting behind her and trying to lay the hair flat. I tried unsuccessfully, but then picked up her minnie comb and tried combing it down; this time it worked.

Haylee grinned. “Thanks.” We stood there for a few moments, looking at each other in the mirror. Unexpectedly, she gently took my wrists and pulled my arms around her waist. I went with it, kissing her head and resting my chin there. Just as she was beginning to lean against me, we heard the camper door open, and in walked Chris before we had time to break apart.

The End

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