Insubstantially Me

Reads: 4900  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 72

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 27 (v.1)

Submitted: October 06, 2012

Reads: 141

Comments: 3

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 06, 2012



I opened my eyes and stared at the television for a few seconds, realizing that I must have fallen asleep since it now showed the news rather than the I Love Lucy reruns I'd been watching.

Feeling another person's presence in the room, my pulse quickened and I sat up partially, leaning on my arm.

I relaxed when I saw that it was David, but the relief only lasted long enough for me to note the look on his face and remember that I'd fallen asleep before I could change out of his shirt.

I was right about the machines taking longer than an hour. The dryer almost didn't even work anymore. It tossed the clothes around without any heat and I had to run it three times for my clothes to even begin to feel dry. After starting the machine for the fourth time, I returned to the couch where I apparently fell asleep. It must have been for a few hours at least, because now it was dark outside.

"I..." I wasn't sure what to say. David didn't look angry exactly, but he didn't seem too pleased either. Nice going, stupid. Screw up the one good thing you've got going for you. Leave it to me to do the one thing to make him angry.

"I'm sorry," I said quickly, sitting up. "I had to wash my clothes and I didn't have anything else to wear. I would have waited, but you said not to ask for everything..." I trailed off when David didn't respond. He just kept watching me with that same unreadable expression.

"I'm sorry," I said again. "My stuff should be dry by now. I'll get out of your shirt."

I stood up to go change, but David stopped me.

"No, that's..." He shook his head as if to clear it. "It's fine."

"Okay..." I sat back down awkwardly. He certainly didn't look like it was fine, but I wasn't sure if I should contradict him. He sounded so serious.

The woman on the news provided the only sound in the uncomfortable minute that I avoided eye contact with David, still unsure of what to do.

Grasping for a subject change, I decided to ask about his family. But when I looked at him again, I hesitated, gaining a little insight into his thoughts as he quickly averted his eyes from my very bare legs, his ears turning pink.

I wouldn't deny that I hadn't been much to look at before, dirty and disheveled as I was. But apparently it was a different story now that I was clean, well-rested, and wearing his t-shirt. And the shirt was much too big on me, so it was hanging off one shoulder and had ridden up quite a bit while I slept, barely coming to the top of my thighs.

I fought a smile, more than a little grateful that he wasn't angry. I was also very happy that I could return the teasing he'd been giving me.

"You must be tired," I said with a straight face. "Why don't you sit down?"

"Right." He nodded and sat, shooting me a nervous glance.


"Yeah?" He sounded a little too enthusiastic.

"Could you hand me my drink?" I asked innocently and pointed to the glass in front of him.

I timed it perfectly so that when he turned to me again, ready to hand off the glass, I was very deliberately crossing my legs, drawing his eyes again.

"Thanks." I grinned, taking the glass from his hand. He seemed to be having a little trouble tearing his eyes away for a second and his ears went red again.

"Anything wrong?" I asked, pulling his gaze up to my face. "You look a little flushed."

He pursed his lips seeing my smug smile.

"Just tired, like you said," he grumbled.

"Ah," I said softly, holding back the laughter at his annoyance. Guess he wasn't a fan of the tables being turned.

I took a sip of the water before placing the glass back on the table and fluttering my eyelashes at him.

He laughed and shook his head. "How was your day?" He obviously wanted that subject change now.

"Pretty good," I said. "I had a battle of wills with the dryer and I'm hoping I won."

"Yeah, sorry about that. Thing's a piece of crap. Alot of the time I just hang my stuff up to dry in the bathroom. If I'm really ambitious, I'll go to the laundromat."

"I think I can fix it," I offered. I'd planned on doing it later anyway. Partially as a thank you and partially because I was going to undoubtedly need it again.

"Yeah?" He looked surprised. "Are you a former dryer repair woman?"

I laughed. "Not exactly, but I'm pretty handy with things like that." My mom used to love that. She almost never had to call a repair man for anything. She'd just get me to do it. If I wasn't familiar with a specific machine, all it would take was a little research on the internet.

"Well have at it." He shrugged. "I was just going to replace it. Eventually anyway."

I nodded, glad that I had something to offer since I didn't make anything for dinner.

"Sorry I zonked out," I said. "I would have made dinner."

"No need. I come bearing left-overs." He reached for the two large paper bags on his end of the coffee table.

Once he pointed them out, I realized that must be what was making my stomach grumble. I hadn't eaten since around noon.

David pulled a ton of food and a small stack of paper plates from the bags before he turned the one bag over, dumping the plastic forks on the table. He grabbed the plates but stopped just before he put one in front of me.

"Maybe we ought to order a pizza too," he said thoughtfully.

"Why?" I looked at him like he was insane. There was enough food for five meals in front of us.

"Well, this would probably last me a while," he said. "But with you...It might not make it for even the one meal."

"Ha ha," I rolled my eyes before swiping the plate from him, trying not to return his contagious grin.

"I hope you like lasagna," he said lightly before sounding more serious. "Hey, what's that?"

"What?" I froze at the change in his tone.

He reached across me and gingerly took hold of my wrist, rotating it to see the dark coloring that was spread in a nasty patch along my arm, disappearing under the sleeve of the shirt. He gently pushed the sleeve up and made a disbelieving sound when he saw that the bruise went all the way to my shoulder.

When he met my eyes, there was no mistaking the horror in them. I looked away, uncomfortable. My arm had been sore ever since I landed on it last night, but I didn't realize it looked so gruesome.

"You weren't exaggerating were you?" David let my arm go.

I just shook my head.

"Did they do that to you?" It wasn't hard to miss the anger in his voice.

I looked at him, grateful for his outrage on my behalf. He really was a decent guy.

"No. I did it when I was running."

David didn't seem to like my answer any better than if I'd said someone else did it.

"It was when I sprained my ankle." I looked away from him, hoping he wouldn't ask me for more specifics. I still wasn't anywhere near ready for that.

He didn't say anything for a minute, only letting out a noisy breath, I assumed to calm himself down.

"I hope you like lasagna," he said again, apparently planning on acting like that little awkward moment never happened. I was only too happy to go along with that plan.

"There's plenty. My mom made me take a whole pan that was left over." He put a big square on the plate in front of me.

"Italians say 'I love you' with food, ya know." He froze just before he could drop the next piece on his own plate, and his ears lit up again as he realized how that sounded.

I understood that he meant that his mother was showing her love by forcing tons of food on him. But given his reaction to seeing me when he came in, and the fact that he was currently serving me food, his statement could be taken another way. I bit my lip, trying not to laugh.

"My mother, I mean," he clarified as he set the piece down on his plate. His neck glowed slightly along with his ears, which I thought was kind of adorable.

A laugh bubbled from my lips and David gave me an embarrassed smile before commenting on the news in an attempt to find a more comfortable topic.

© Copyright 2017 kanne83. All rights reserved.


Add Your Comments: