Chapter Thirty-one

(Haylee’s Point of View)

“Safe travels!” I called as Kyle and Jackie got into their car. “Call if you need anything!” With that, they set off for Ohio, home sweet home to them. Dan was next to me, with Chris on his other side. We were brushing shoulders, and I had guessed that Chris had to have found out about us by now. He could be a bit blonde at times, if you know what I mean, but I thought that we were making it kind of obvious for his purposes.

Once Kyle and Jackie’s car was no more than a speck in the distance, Chris turned to us.

“You guys are a thing again, aren’t you?”

Finally! “You just noticed?” Dan said, scooting closer to me.

“Well, when you don’t tell me these things, I tend to get in trouble for making assumptions.”

“Then, yes, we’re a ‘thing’ again.” I answered.

“When did this happen?” He asked, curiosity intensifying in his gaze.

“A few days ago.” Dan replied.

“Well. Nobody told me!”

“We thought you could figure it out on your own!” I said.

Dan shrugged. “Sorry for your luck, mate. She’s mine now.” I watched a smile creep onto his face.

“And what’s that supposed to mean?” Chris answered, crossing his arms and pretending to be sassy.

“That’s supposed to mean that you can't have her!” You have got to be kidding! I thought, rolling my eyes.

“I told you already. You’re the only one crazy enough to date her!” I could see that they were both joking.

“Oh I see how it is now.” I said, pretending to be offended and crossing my arms.

Chris shrugged. “It’s true. You have no idea what you put him through.”

I turned to Dan expectantly, raising my eyebrows.

“Actually, that is true.” He said, giving me a fake smile and rubbing the back of his neck.

“No, I know exactly what I put you through. I think I started actually liking you…” I thought for a moment. “The first tour of the Grand Canyon. That night, I think it was.” I couldn’t help but giggle at the dumbstruck look on his face.

“So you kept me wondering if you actually liked me that whole time? And didn’t tell me? Why would you do that?” I knew that he wasn’t seriously mad.

I smiled. “Why not?”

“Because…” He searched for words. “That’s mean!”

I shrugged. “You heard Chris. You’re the only one crazy enough to even consider dating me.”

He blinked, his dumbstruck expression gone. “I guess so.”

There was an awkward silence as I let my eyes unfocus on the ground. “So who wants to come over to my house and do something?” Dan asked suddenly.

“Sure, that sounds great!” I answered, and Chris nodded.

“Awesome. Let’s go, then.” With that, we all hopped into our own cars and drove over to Dan’s.

“Want me to cook dinner for you guys?” Dan asked once we were all in front of his house.

“Well it depends on how well you can cook or not.” I said with a teasing smile. “Chris?” I asked, turning to him.

“Ehh…” He said, giving me a not-so-good look.

“Hey!” Dan said, shoving Chris playfully. “I’m a great cook if I do say so myself.” He finished, puffing out his chest ever so slightly.

“Yeah, I’m just joking. He is pretty good.” Chris said, grinning.

“Then what are we having?” I asked as we walked inside.

“How about…” He thought for a moment. “Breaded chicken with blue cheese?”

“Oh yeah, that’s really good.” Chris said, nodding.

“Sure!” I said, although I wasn’t too positive that blue cheese would be good on breaded chicken.

“I don’t have to put blue cheese on yours if you don’t want.” Dan said, turning to me, as if reading my thoughts.

“No, that’s fine. I’m pretty open to new things.” I said, not wanting to hurt his feelings. I wasn’t going to eat that much anyway.

“Alright, then. Let’s get started.” Dan said, walking into his kitchen.

“Okay. What do you need me to do first?” I offered.

He looked at me as if I had just grown another head. “I’m cooking for you. Guests don’t cook.”

“Well, let’s just say that I’m a special guest.” I said, walking closer to him.

“All the more reason why you shouldn’t cook.” He said, glancing at Chris, at the same time reminding me that he was there. Oh. Oops. I thought, nonchalantly backing away from him, putting a stray strand of hair behind my ear. Dan gave me an apologetic look that said: We’ll have this moment later.

I took a breath. “Anyways. I’m going to help you cook, okay?”

He sighed, considering his answer. “You’re not going to back down, are you?”


“You have too much tenacity for your own good. Fine, you can help me.” He finished, rolling his eyes.

“Yay!” I said, giving an excited little jump like a five-year-old would do. Immediately, my face turned red. I can’t remember the last time I blushed like this.

He laughed, and turned to Chris. “But I know that you won’t help me.”

“Why not?”

“Because I said so.”

He just shrugged. “Whatever you say, Dan.”

Dan turned back to me. “See how easy that was?” I just rolled my eyes.

We began cooking, finishing up in about half an hour. I ate slowly, taking small bites like the little lady that I knew I wasn’t. I did finish, though, just to make sure not to offend Dan. It turned out that blue cheese on chicken wasn’t too bad after all.

After dinner, we went outside to play tag. Dan had a pretty big yard, so it was fun. We probably looked like ten-year-olds playing tag in the yard, but it was great anyways. I was the uncatchable one, so Dan and Chris teamed up against me, until we all passed out on the ground, tired and sweaty. It reminded me of The Lion King, where Timon, Pumba, and Simba would lay on the grass together, looking at the stars.

Suddenly, I had an idea. “Hey, guys. You want to see something really cool?” I felt like showing off at the moment.

“Go for it.” Dan said, sitting up with Chris. Quickly, I tucked part of my shirt in; I didn’t want to show off my stomach. I used to have a six-pack, but it went away some. I did a handstand double pirouette, then went and walked in a circle around the two boys, still on my hands. My tucked in shirt came undone during the first pirouette, but I didn’t come down just for that. My shoulder muscles burning, I came to my feet once I did my circle around Dan and Chris. I sat cross-legged, as if what I had just did was nothing.

Dan blinked. “So what else can you do? You’re really are a super ninja.”

I grinned. “Nah. I just did a lot when I was younger.”

“Okay.” Chris said. “So you’re a swimmer, a runner, and a gymnast?”

I shrugged. “Yeah, I was.”

Dan looked me up and down, as if he were sizing me up. “Well, it looks to me as if you still are.” I was starting to get uncomfortable under the praise he was giving me. Maybe showing off wasn’t such a good idea after all.

I changed the subject. “Umm, it’s getting late. I should probably go.” I said, getting up and brushing the grass off of me.

“Oh, so soon?” Dan said, disappointment showing in his gray-blue gaze.

“Umm…” I was unsure of what to say, since Chris was making this kind of awkward. “Yeah.” I said, beginning to walk over to my car parked in Dan’s driveway. He followed me, trotting to catch up.

“Well, when’s the next time I can see you?” He asked once I had gotten to my car.

“Dan, we can’t spend every living moment we have together. You know that.” I said, turning to him.

“Well, if this was the last day of your life, how would you live it?” His sudden question caught me off guard.

I hesitated. “I would spend every breath with you and my family.” Before he could respond, I added quickly, “But I would never get anything done if I spent all the time I had with you. Books aren’t going to write themselves, you know.” I finished, opening the door to my car.

“Wait.” He said, holding the door.

I sighed, knowing exactly what he wanted. I gave him a quick peck on the lips, knowing that Chris was around here somewhere. I smiled at him before getting in the car, calling a goodbye to Chris as well. I drove home, typing away as soon as I got there.

The End

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