No more than thirty minutes later I was sitting across from Jonah in the booth. I sipped my water as our order came. Five plain pancakes with original syrup. The smell wafted up and I inhaled it, fluttering my eyes closed at the heavenly smell.
“Smells good, huh?” Jonah asked.
I opened my eyes and blushed slightly at my display of how just how much I enjoyed the smell. I nodded and stared at my plate. Picking up my fork, I dug in. I didn’t lift my head again until my plate was absolutely clean. As I was washing it down with a drink of water, I met Jonah’s gaze over the rim of the glass. His eyes were wide in a playful manner. Slowly placing my glass back onto the table, I frowned at him. “What?” I said.
He smirked and said nothing.
“What is it? Why were you looking at me like that?”
“You completely inhaled those pancakes.”
I shrugged, slightly embarrassed to have been observed while I was eating. “So?”
“So, most girls don’t eat like that.”
Wow, again with the comments on how I wasn’t normal. I shrugged again, more than slightly embarrassed. “Again, so?”
It was his turn to shrug. “It’s just that most girls are embarrassed about how much they eat or whatever.” He shrugged again.
I found a shred of confidence, looked him straight in the eye and said, “Well, as you can obviously see,” I said, motioning to myself, “I am not most girls.”
He smirked again. “Yeah, I know.”
I shrugged nonchalantly, but on the inside, my head was full of questions. What was that supposed to mean?
He bent his head down and continued eating. Trying to be discrete, I studied him as he had earlier studied me as I was eating. His head was bent, hair falling into his face. His shoulders seemed to cave in on him, as if he was trying to make himself as small as possible. Glancing at his hand, I noticed a faint scar. It started between his thumb and pointer finger, and ended at his wrist. Again, I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about this boy. I had cried on his shoulder. Suddenly feeling embarrassed for doing so, I felt the need to apologize.
“I’m sorry,” I blurted out.
He glanced up at me, still chewing. Swallowing, he frowned and said, “For what?”
“Crying and making a big scene.”
He shrugged. “It’s not like you could help it.” He lifted the fork to his mouth and took another bite, chewing slowly as if he was thinking.
“But it must’ve been uncomfortable for you,” I said, “You hardly even know me and there I was crying all over you.”
He swallowed and shrugged again. Taking a sip of water, he just looked at me. “You were missing your dad. It’s not a big deal.”
“Yeah, but I don’t know you well enough to just do that, is my point.”
“Honestly,” he said, glancing back down at his plate of pancakes and back up to me, “I don’t really think you have a point.”
Frowning, I said, “Yes I do. I hardly even know you. I actually know nothing about you. Yet, I just made a complete fool out of myself and cried on you. I made you uncomfortable and I simply wanted to apologize.”
He tilted his head. “We’re not strangers. We may not be friends but it’s not like I’m some random guy off the street. And you didn’t make a complete fool out of yourself. You were sad. You needed someone. Doesn’t everyone? And I wasn’t uncomfortable. So don’t apologize; there’s no need to.”
I sighed, giving up. There was no use arguing with him. He was stubborn as anything. “But,” I said, looking up at him, “I was right about one thing.”
“And what’s that?” he said as he finished off the last of his pancakes.
“I know nothing about you.”
“That’s not true,” he said.
“You know what my car looks like.”
“Ah, but I don’t even know if it’s actually your car, now do I? You could’ve stolen it for all I know,” I said, lifting an eyebrow at him.
He rolled his eyes and said, “Yeah, I steal cars for fun. Want me to hook you up with one?”
I felt the laughter bubbling inside me, but I clamed a hand over my mouth when I realized what was happening. I could feel my eyes go wide. Why had I stopped myself from laughing? And more importantly, how had Jonah almost gotten me to laugh? I couldn’t remember the last time that I had laughed.
“Something wrong?” he asked.
“No, I was uh, going to burp.”
I glanced down at the table and scrambled to change the subject. “Like I was saying, I know nothing about you.”
He sighed. “Why does it even matter?”
“Because I came continuously find myself with you, and I don’t even know you.”
He rolled his eyes. “Maybe it should stay that way.”
My eyes gleamed and I cradled my chin in my hand. “I’ve never skipped school before.”
“Oh, I have.”
“Yeah, not surprised. Do you like school?” I asked.
“Yeah, I like it alright.”
“Are you smart?” I asked.
He flushed a little. “I don’t know.”
I tilted my head. “From your reaction I take it you are.”
I sighed and gave up on the whole conversation thing. If he wasn’t going to at least try, then there was no use.
“You sigh a lot,” Jonah said.
“You don’t talk.”
He frowned. “I do talk.”
“And I don’t sigh that much.”
“I guess we’ve reached a disagreement.”
“You’re the one who doesn’t talk,” he pointed out.
“I only talk freely to those who I am comfortable with,” I said, staring at the table.
“So who do you talk freely in front of?”
I glanced up at him. “No one.”
“No one, really? That’s sad.”
“Who do you talk freely in front of?” I asked.
“It’s not like I have certain people. If I have something to say, I say it.”
“You must not have much to say, then,” I mumbled under my breath.
He narrowed his eyes in what seemed like a playful manner. He pulled some money out of his pocket and set it down on the table. Looking across the table at me, he asked, “Want to get out of here?”
Excitement blossomed inside me. I tilted my head and said, “Depends on where we’re going.”
“What if we’re going nowhere?”
“That doesn’t make any sense.”
“Sometimes you don’t have to have a destination. Sometimes you just go.”
Getting up, I said, “Well then what are we waiting for?”