Chapter 2 Meeting
It wasn’t such a long trip, but I still felt queasy being on the airplane. I got motion sickness quite too often. I didn’t like that part of me. I picked up my black and white polka dotted luggage from the baggage claim and headed out the door. I searched around for my dad, but I didn’t find him. All I found was a sign that was held up written with my name on it ‘Sunny’. I walked towards the sign and the guy that was holding onto the sign. As I got closer to him, I realized how gorgeous he was. I didn’t know what caused it, but his honey blonde hair was flowing with the wind and his beautiful blue eyes were fixated on me. By dear god his body was this amazing thing. I could see his biceps underneath the t-shirt he was wearing. I wanted to leap up into his arms and feel those biceps.
He put the sign down and stared at me. I awkwardly looked down at my feet. He didn’t seem to notice that I didn’t want him talking to me. Most people would get my gesture and leave me alone, but this guy was different.
He spoke, “Hey! Are you Sunny?”
I nodded, “Yeah.”
He put out his hands for me to shake, “Hey I’m Jason, but you could call me Jace. I prefer Jace.
I hesitated at first, but after waiting a couple seconds, I decided to shake his hands. When our hands touched, I felt electricity come up my arms. It felt good in a way. I wanted to leave my hands in his a little bit longer, but that would make everything way too awkward.
“So, where’s my dad? Why did you pick me up?”
“He’s busy working and so he told me to pick you up. I am actually your dad’s neighbor. My parents were out working too so I decided to go.” It came as a shock to me that I’d be living next to this handsome guy. I didn’t think I would be able to resist him if he was there all the time. I didn’t want my desires getting the best of me and so I tried avoiding him as much as I could.
“Okay then. Let’s just go home.” I pointed in front of me so that he’d lead me towards my ride. We walked towards the exit. I felt the cold air cover my body as I stepped outside. This didn’t affect Jace at all. He had that smile on his face like everyday was filled with sunshine. He looked way too happy for me. As soon as he turned his attention towards me, I stared down at my hands. In the corner of my eyes, I saw Alex stare at me. His eyes were glued to my face. My hair was covering my eyes so there was no way he could notice that I was looking at him.
His stare burned into every part of me. I wanted to just look back at him and see what would happen, but my fear got the best of me. Jace put my bag on the floor and called a taxi. I thought he brought a car, but I guess I was wrong. The taxi pulled up next to us. The taxi driver took my bags and put them in the trunk. I went in first and Jace followed. Sitting next to him was extremely awkward – I didn’t know what to say or do. He was so close to me. I thought the taxi would start moving, but instead two other people got in with us.
The taxi driver asked apologetically, “Is it okay if they ride with you? The cost will be cheaper since there are more people.”
Jace replied, “Sure.” Jace and I were now touching. I felt my heart thump loudly in my chest. I wondered if he felt the same way that I did – probably not. He was inches from me and I felt somewhat suffocated. Each time the taxi turned, my head would lean towards his shoulders. It made my heart jump in excitement, but I also felt bad for Jace. He probably didn’t like me being so close to him.
The silent taxi ride got me more anxious about Jace and so I decided to start up a conversation with him. I gulped each time my head touched his lean body. I didn’t know if the drumming of my heartbeat was loud enough for him to hear, but it felt like it did. The taxi skidded to a stop when another car cut him off. My body went forward and then back into Jase.
“Ow!” I turned around and faced him.
“Hey are you okay?” Just as I looked back at him the car started moving. This time I crashed into his chest and my hands were up on his shoulders. My head was just below his neck. I thought, maybe I should’ve worn a seatbelt. I looked up and caught him staring at me with seductive eyes. I quickly moved my hands away from his shoulders. Just as fast I had moved away, his eyes changed. He looked unaffected like it was normal. I felt my face burn and beads of sweat fell down my neck. It was hot in that car and I only realized it after I touched him.
“I’m sorry… the car…”
He cut me off, “It’s alright.”
Throughout the whole ride, we remained silent - none of us wanting to touch on the subject that we had practically embraced each other. When we reached the house, Jase handed the taxi driver the money and took my bags.
Jase asked, “Where should I leave your bags?”
I didn’t want to push Jase away, but I needed time to see for myself - see if my dad was satisfied with his life after leaving me a year ago. “Oh, I’ll take it. Thank you for bringing me here. I appreciate it.” My mind was so clouded with the thought of seeing my father that I didn’t even realize that there was disappointment in his eyes. Jase must’ve wanted to spend some more time getting to know me – I didn’t let him. He handed me my bags and gave me the keys to the house.
“No problem. If you have any problems, feel free to talk to me. I’m your neighbor after all.”
I smiled, “Thanks.” Without another word, Jase left the house. Without Jase there, it seemed lonelier. I wasn’t prepared for the long awaited meeting with my dad. I knew he was at work, but I knew that when I saw him, I wouldn’t be able to speak to him the way we used to. He seemed more like a stranger than a father. I didn’t want to see him as a father figure because he had forgotten about me for the past year. It was like I had become air when he moved to Washington. I didn’t have a clue what he was up to. He never replied to my messages until my mom told him I was going to move in with him. Even then he didn’t speak to me. He only spoke to mom like I had no connection with him whatsoever.
Everything about this house screamed gloomy. The plants were practically dead and the windowpanes were covered in dust. It looked almost like no one lived in it. After opening the front door, it truly dawned on me that this house wasn’t the lively place I thought it would be. My dad was always so happy, but I didn’t know what he was like now. He could’ve changed into someone completely different. Each step that I took made the boards underneath creak. The house wasn’t too big, but it wasn’t too small either – it was perfect for 2 people. The living room seemed vacant like there were no memories in this place. There were no photos or any kind of memorandum that someone lived here. I paced around the living room hoping to find at least one photo that would show my dad’s feelings of remorse. Did he regret leaving me behind?
Now that I was in Washington, I felt alone. I wished I didn’t choose to go, but my mom was going to start a new life. I would surely be a burden to their life. Tom already had children and I wasn’t going to ever accept him as a parent.
I took the stairs to the top and found a room that had a letter taped on the wooden door. I took the letter and unfolded it.
This is your new room. I’m sorry I couldn’t personally come to the airport. See you when I get home.
The first person I met in Washington wasn’t my dad, but I was glad it wasn’t him. The reason was because I got to meet Jase. I’ve never had this reaction to anyone before. The way that I met Jase was typical and we didn’t talk about much. He only showed me to my house, but then again I felt that connection – the kind of connection that words would never be able to explain.
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