(Author's Note: Mackenzie's point of view)
“Are you sure you can’t come?” Justin asked me, holding both of my hands in his as we came to a stop when we reached his car. I glanced at the sleek black Volvo, wishing I could get in with him and
go back to his house to hang out.
“I have to meet up with Cameron,” I told him yet again. “Ms. Pete said I have to ask him how he likes the school so far or if he has any questions,”
“But I wanna see you,” he whined, wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling me in a bit closer.
“You see me everyday,” I reminded him.
“I know, but you’re never able to hang out anymore. I wanna see you outside of school.” He cupped my chin in his hands and lifted my face towards his, gently kissing my lips. “And out of that damn
bra,” he added with an impish grin.
I bit down on my lower lip to keep from smiling and smacked his chest playfully. In return, he slid his hands down to my hips, tightening his grip slightly. “Down, boy,” I told him as if I was the
pet owner and he was the pet.
He smiled and kissed me once again, letting his tongue slide into my mouth.
Soon enough, his tongue found mine and ran across it teasingly. I opened my mouth to get a breath of air, but closed it as soon as his mouth closed back around mine.
“You ready to go?”
We pulled apart immediately at the sound of this deep voice. I turned to find Cameron standing only a few feet away from us, his hands in his pockets and his eyes locked on Justin. They didn’t look
very happy either.
“Um, yeah, I’m ready,” I replied quickly. “I gotta go,” I said, turning back to look at Justin.
“Alright,” he said reluctantly. He kissed me one last time before getting into his car and revving the engine to life. I took a step back and watched him pull out of the school’s parking lot before
turning back around to look at Cameron.
“Ready?” I asked him.
“Yeah,” he said, sounding almost angry. “I’ve been ready for the last fifteen minutes. I thought we were supposed to meet by our lockers right after school.”
“I know, sorry about that. It’s just that Justin was waiting for me by my locker after school and we started talking. It slipped my mind, I’m sorry.” My apology didn’t seem to have any effect on
him though. He still looked pretty irritated.
“Whatever. I don’t care,” he remarked bitterly.
“I really didn’t mean to blow you off like that,” I told him. “We can still go though. Come on, I’ll drive.”
He let out a soft sigh before finally, nodding his head in agreement. He followed me over to my little silver Jetta and got in the passenger’s seat. I climbed in too and put the keys in the
ignition to start up the engine. The car whirred to life and we left the parking lot.
The five minute drive from my school to Starbucks was pretty silent. The only sound was the radio, which I’d kept at a low volume anyways. I was grateful when we finally reached the small coffee
shop. Finally, a break in the awkwardness.
Both of us got out of the car and made our ways up to the front door. Cameron politely held it open for me and I stepped inside, enjoying the coolness of the air conditioned room. We both stepped
up to the front counter, and just as I was about to order, Cameron began speaking.
“What are you having?” he asked. “It’s on me,”
“You don’t have to do that,” I said. I knew he was tight on money. There was no way I was going to make him pay for my coffee.
“No, I want to,” he replied, a small smile forming on his lips.
“But…” I wasn’t sure how to tell him I didn’t want him paying for me without making it sound like I was throwing him his own personal pity party because he was broke.
“But nothing,” he said, looking straight into my eyes. He held his gaze there for a moment, until it got awkward and I had to look away. “So what are you having?”
“Cameron,” I uttered, glancing at the people in line behind us. They were starting to grow impatient. “I really don’t want you to do this. I have money.”
“But I want to pay,” he remarked. By the sound of his voice, he was beginning to get irritated with me. I looked up at him, pressing my lips together. I wasn’t going to let him pay for me. I didn’t
care if I was being stubborn. I wouldn’t let him spend money that he didn’t have on me when I was perfectly capable of paying myself.
“Are you going to order?” the cashier asked us, looking just as annoyed as the people waiting in line.
Cameron looked over at me, but I remained silent. “Fine!” he exploded, completely out of nowhere. “I was just trying to be nice!” I stood there in shock as he turned on his heel and stormed out of
the coffee shop.
The people in line behind me scoffed and I blushed as I turned back to look at them. This was beyond humiliating. And just standing there with my mouth hanging open wasn’t helping.
So I bolted out of there. Once I got outside, I quickly spotted Cameron, making his way down the street. Sighing, I began to jog after him, calling out for him to stop. “Cameron!” I yelled out.
“Cameron, wait up!” He didn’t slow down though, so I sped up. Until finally, I caught up to him. “Hey,” I began.
“I don’t wanna talk about it,” he remarked immediately, coming to an abrupt stop in the middle of the sidewalk.
“Ok, fine,” I agreed, still taken aback by his outburst. “We don’t have to talk. Just let me give you a ride home,”
“I can walk,” he replied, taking a step forward. But I placed my hand on his arm before he was able to get any further. “What?” he demanded, whipping his around to look at me. Once he was looking
at me though, all of the anger seemed to vanish from his face. It was actually kinda weird how suddenly his expression changed.
“Come on,” I said to him, nodding my head back towards the parking lot. And this time, instead of arguing with me about it, he followed me back to my car. Once we were both seated inside, I backed
out and drove out into the street.
“I’m sorry,” Cameron said after a moment of silence passed by.
“It’s fine,” I assured him, keeping my eyes glued to the road. Honestly, I wasn’t really sure what to think of him anymore. What he did back there wasn’t exactly normal. Normal people don’t tend to
shout hysterically in the middle of public places. Especially over something as simple as paying for coffee.
“No it’s not,” he replied, sounding upset. “I was way out of line to yell at you like that. I don’t know what got into me. I just wanted to buy you’re drink for you to show you how much I
appreciate you showing me around today. It really means a lot that you’ve been so friendly to me.”
I bit my lip, silently taking back my thought about him being abnormal. He was way too sweet to be abnormal. “You don’t have to thank me, Cameron.” I let him know. “It’s totally no problem,”
“But I want to thank you,” he said. “That was why I wanted to pay for you’re drink, to thank you. I know we just met today, but your friendship means a lot to me.” Out of the corner of my eye, I
saw him looking at me with a pleased smile on his face. He caught me looking back at him, but didn’t look away. So finally, I averted my eyes back to the road.
“So, where do you live?” I asked him, trying to change the subject.
“You can just drop me off at the cemetery by the school,” he informed me. “I can walk from there.”
“Are you sure?” I inquired. “Because I can drive you home. It’s no big deal,”
“I’m sure,” he stated. I didn’t question him any further.
“Well here we are,” I said once we reached the cemetery. I pulled over to the curb and unlocked the doors for him to get out. But he didn’t. Instead, he turned to face me.
“Are you mad that you had to spend time with me today after school instead of hanging out with Justin?” he asked.
“No,” I reassured him. “Why would you think that?” In all honesty, I did kind of wish that I had been able to just go home with Justin. After all, we hadn’t had much time to hang out lately. But I
definitely wasn’t mad at Cameron for that.
“I don’t know,” he replied, tearing his gaze away from me as a light pink blush spread across his cheeks. “You just always seem so happy when you’re with him. I guess I just feel bad because I know
you would’ve had a better time with him than with me.”
This was probably true, but I wouldn’t actually say that out loud. “Don’t think that,” I told him. “I had a nice time with you,”
“It’s ok,” he said, his eyes looking all dark and sad. “You don’t have to lie to keep from making me feel bad,”
“Cameron, I’m not lying,” I lied to him. He looked back at me, seeing right through my dishonesty. “Ok, fine,” I finally caved. “We didn’t have the best time today, but that doesn’t mean I don’t
like you. You’re a really nice guy and I like spending time with you. But maybe next time we hang out, we can try to use our indoor voices when indoors.” Fortunately, that had gotten him to smile.
I was happy to lighten the mood too.
“So there’s actually going to be a next time?” he asked me, looking hopeful.
“On one condition,” I told him.
“I’ll let you buy my drink…but I get to buy yours then.”
A grin spread across his lips and his eyes did that thing where they glistened and looked all clear and pretty. “Deal,” he agreed.
“Good,” I nodded back. He turned, about to get out of the car, but stopped once he put his hand on the door.
“Mackenzie,” he said, looking back at me.
“Yeah?” I replied.
“Justin’s a really lucky guy.”
I bit down on my lower lip, feeling a blush coming on. He obviously noticed too, because he smiled at me in return before climbing out of the car. Then he slammed the door shut behind him and bent
down to look in the window.
“Thanks for the ride,” he said to me.
“No problem,” I said. He pulled his head away from the window and I put the car in drive. I gazed into the rearview mirror as I drove away, looking at him as he stood there, watching my car roll
off down the street.
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