I sit in Panera, waiting for them to call my name. I was sent here by my extra-pregnant older sister to pick her up some luch, because it's freezing outside and she wants something warm and fluffy. I don't mind getting this stuff for her, but It's just so cold today! And thisPanera is blocks away from our apartment. I sit at a table, sipping a hot cocoa in peace. They said the wait would be a few minutes, so I'll just chill here until they call my name. I watch people pass me, talking excitedly about their plans for this holiday season and bla bla bla. It's still November. But November in New York city is like any day in the South Pole. Below zero and miserable. So it feels like the holiday season.
My name is called abruptly,so I go grab my bag from under ny feet, run up to the counter,and tip the man who made the food. He tips his hat at me in thanks, and I smile. I take my bags to the front of the little caféand put the full bags on a nearby table so I can fetch my coat and gloves. I pull each one of them on, and they all squish me. But, it's worth it in this cold. I go back and grab the warm, fresh smelling breads and salads my sister ordered and smiled to myself stupidly.
I leave the heavenly place into the Hell-like cold. The wind chills my face and ears, the only parts of me that aren't covered, and I groan. It feels like billions of tiny knives are peircing my face. I shiver violently, but keep walking through the cold. I only need to make one more stop, the book store. Marcy, my sister, insisted on me buying her the most romantic book I can find. It's not like she's been romanceless. She's got the hottest man ever as her husband, and he has flexible hours so he makes time for her whenever she wants. And, she's pregnant isn't she? Case closed.
I walk down the street, trying to remember where the book store is. But, I'm not completely sure where. I walk around for a while, dodging the grumpy New Yorkers. Some just came from church, some from I don't know where. But always, these people are grumpy. It's like everyone's in their way, yet they decided to live in one of the most populated cities in the world. If they hate so many people, they shouldn't have moved here. My freind Katy and I talk about that all the time. It just doesn't make sence.
I seethe book storeacross the street about five minutes later. I walked a while, but I didn't even realize it because I was so deep in thought. I do that way too much. So Isqueeze aroundpeople, probably just annoying them more,to find my way to the crosswalk. It's hard to navigate yourself around a sea of people this big. So, I try not to bump into anyone and stay on the edge of the sidewalk. But, all of a sudden, someone runs ito me, hard. I am nearly knocked over and one of my bags went flying, but I cought it again. I give a sigh of releif to catching it.
"Watch where you're going!" The stranger hissed, angrily and annoyidly. This was exactly what I was avoiding, and, technically,I'm just saying...he bumped into me.
I pick up my things. "Sorry, I wasn't paying attention!" I say nervously, on the verge of stuttering.
The boy scoffs. "Obviously..."
I frown nervously, afraid to get yelled at. These people are mean.
The guy sighs annoydly again "Whatever. It's fine."
"Oh, uh.. Thanks." I say, twiddling my thumbs anxiously.
Then, he says something surprising. "Wait, I know you."
I look up at the person, I hadn't payed attention to him before because, well, I don't make eye contact when I'm nervous. I barely even look at people who I don't know. But now I'm staring at him. Cody Connors? The most popular boy in school? Knows me? Bumped into me? Yelled at a person he thought he didn't know. Pretty rude, if I don't say so myself.
"Er.. Well, yeah. I'm Alexis." I say dumbly, a little annoyed at him.
"I know, you're in my Spanish class, right?" He asks. I nod, surprised that he even noticed me. Usually he's just talking to his friends and convincing some vulnerable girl to let him copy her homework, or something... He smiles. I know that he's recalecting the fact that I haven't let him copy my work so he'll pass, or talked to him, or smiled when he walks by, or anything. That must be very weird when you're as popular as him. And, almost every girl at school tries to talk to him. He must think I'm strange. Oh well.
"So, what're you up to?" He asks, shoving his hands in his pockets andnot sounding too interested.
"Uh, just getting my sister some lunch...from Panera..." I say, holding up the bag with a facethat screams'you didn't notice this?'
"Isn't it a little cold walking around like this?" He asks, tapping the snow on the ground with his foot to prove his point.
I just shrug. "I guess, but my sister asked me too, so, I said yes. No big deal. Anyways, you're walking around like this. Aren't you?" I raise a sharp eyebrow to prove my point.
He smiles at me again. How hard is it on you, I think, When you always have to smile, because everyone is watching you? I frown a little, thinking of how annoying it must be. All eyes on you, and you're forced to be a people pleaser. I'll give him some creddit for acting skills.
I sigh, roll up my sleeve, andlook at my watch "It's almost one, so I should go. See you in spanish.." I guessI give him an awkward half wave, along with an awkward goodbye face, wave and start to walk away.
"Wait!" he says, grabbing me back. Well, that was unexpected...
"What?" I ask, a bit surprised. What does he want from me? The homework for tomorrow, or Katy's phone number. I don't know, so I just stare at him in annoyance.
Without even a hint of sincerity, he says this: "Since I've got nothing better to do, why don't you ditch what you're doing and come hang with me."
Okay, rude! Again! Who does he think he is, I just said I needed to go, but he thinks I'll drop all these bags to walk around with him, just so hecan give me no peice of mind.I should have known, because he thinks he's better than everyone. His head held high, but his ego taller.
I frown at him, "Uh... No thanks. I gotta go to the book store. .. I guess I'll see you at school." And that's that. I just walk across the street to the little book store my sights were on, and jump in out of the arctic air. Warm air brushes my face swiftly. I heara bell chime and the lady at the front deskgreets me.
I look out the window and see Cody. It's all too obvious that he'sreally schocked, because, as I watch him, he just staresat the ground with a hurtface,standing in the middle of the whole crowd, and has the expression like someone might have if they just gotagood slap right acrossface. I sigh under my breath, because now I feel kind of bad. Though he's annoying, no matter who it is, I don't like to offend them that badly. And it's pretty obvious that I killed his confidence.Oh well... I'll get over it. I need to get Marcy a book. She insisted.
I reach my pretty apartment complex after going to the bookstore. I got Marcy some romance book called Through the cracks. I have absoulutely no idea what it's about, but it was in the romance section so, I kind od just grabbed it. I grab my keys from my coat pocket, and it's hard to get a real grip on them with my gloves on. But in this cold, there's no way that I'm taking my gloves off. I unlock the door and let myself in, then lock the door behind me. I walk up the stairs and just let myself in again. Marcy and Tony, her super hot husband, sit on the couch watching reruns. I set Marcy's stuff on the counter, then pick up my cat and bring him into my room. My cat lays on top of me as I watch an old black and white movie.
I hear Tony and Marcy talking about 'experimenting' after their baby is born. That's when I shut my door and locked it. Gross! I think to myself. I strokr my cats' furr and call up my best friend, Katy.
"Katy, can I please come over to your house!" I beg her right away. "I know it's rude to ask, but my sister and Tony are talking about it again!" I whine pathetically.
I hear her laugh. "Sure, come on over." I put my phone in my pocket and walk back to the front door. I don't bring my key, because I won't be long. I set my keys on my counter and grab my coat. I put it on, then put my mittens on and say goodbye to Marcy. I walk down the steps, and at the bottom, in the window of my neighbor's door, I see their poodle, Mitzy, barking at me. I stick my tongue out at her. This drives her crazy and if she could, she's chew through that door and try to maul me. I leave my apartment complex and walk on the street to the right of mine, Saints Boulevard, and keep walking. I see a lot of my neighbors walking back from church, or the grocery store, or whatever. I wave to them, they wave to me, that kind of thing.
I walk the short three blocks to her little apartment complex. I love the name of it. It's so...weird. There's a little brick wall right in the front, with a bunch of landscaping around it. In big curly letters, it says Timmy's Paradise Apartments. I just want to know who came up with that. I walk down the rows of appartments until I hit the twelfth building. I go to door 742 and knock on it. No one answers me, so I press the buzz-in button. I press it.
"Katy, buzz me in?" I ask into the little silver box.
Almost immediately, the doorburstsopen,and Katy nearly tackles me, bombarding me with near rage. Not angry rage, but the 'how can you be so stupid?' rage.
"Are you mad, Alexis Rooney!?" She shreiks at me. I just pull her off, walk past her,and shut the door behind us so she doesn't wake up the whole neighnorhood.
"What do you mean?" I inquire confusedly as we race up the stairs.
She trails me, lashing out. But it's really hard to think that she's mad. "I heard that you turned down Cody! Cody Connors!" Sheyells, like I just killed a puppy in front of hundreds of bystanding children.
"Yeah... So what?" I ask her, not bothering to look back at her.
"So?" She asks. "So!? So, it's completely intolerable!" She exclaims, and opens the door for me. We walk into her cute little apartment, where her mom, afantasticartist, painted different designs on every wall. You'd think that would look stupid, until yousaw it for real. It's like theSistine Chappelof apartments. It's really cool. I set my coat on her coat rack, run to her sofa,and plop down.
"How is that 'intolerable'?" I ask her. Intollerable. That's deffinately not the word I'd have used. I think.
"Well, I mean, he's only the hottest boy in the twelfth grade, and, never the less, the most popular!" She points out.
"Also the most rude, obnoxious, and conceited." I say matter-o'-factly. Because they're allcold,solid facts.
Katy sighs at me, and says she doesn't get me. I sigh backat her, saying she doesn't get it. We go back and forth until I give up on her. She just doesn't see through his shell. All she sees is his (this is her quote) 'Amazing, god-like looks'
Katy's mother walks in with a tray of oil-paints in her hands, and her face has a lot of paint on it. But, that doesn't make her any less pretty. "Oh, hi Lexi. How are you?" She asks, trying to balance all of the paintbruses and paint trays.
I smile "Good, how are you?" But, she had already walked out by the time I finish my sentance. I feel...used.
Katy looks away from where her mother had stood andbackat me. Her face gets all serious. "We need to talk...in private." She takes may wrist and drags me into her bedroom, the little pink onedown the hallway. She shuts the door and locks it behind her. Then, she turns around and crosses her arms almost in anger. I stare at her, trying to read exactly what expression that is that hangs on her face,
After a few moments, I finnaly just get too creeped out. "What!?"
"You should've given him a chance!" She whines., losing that dead-serious face. "Any girl would diefor him to ask her to hang out. I know I would!If you get that lucky you don't just say no!"I frown at her. Why the heck is she telling me this? She's just a lost, hopeless romantic.
"Well, you can't change the past! Now unlock the stupid door, please." I say, starting to laugh. I just can't take her seriously. Give him a chance. Not to be mean, but...no thankyou~
"You don't get it. He's the hottest guy in school! If he likes you, you'll be popular!" She gives me a 'it's guarenteed' look. The kind a vaccum salesman gives you a look when he talks about how great the warrentee is and whatever.
"I don't care." I say blandly.
"Fine." Katy says, dissapointedly. She plops down, face first, onto her bed. I sigh and shake my head. She's insane.
A long pause sits between us, and I look at her. "Are we still on for monthly movie night on saturday?"
"This weekend is already the third saturday?"
After a few hours at Katy's house, I decide to go home. Marcy probably needs dinner, and Tony probably went to work. I hug Katy goodbye, and say we'll talk about whatever in this situation longer tomorrow. I leave Timmy's Paradise Apartments and walk back down the street those three blocks, then into my apartment neighborhood.
I finally get to my apartment, and knock on the door. No answer. So I hut the buzz-in button. Still no answer. I sigh and walk around the building to look at the park-in. Neither Marcy or Tony's car is in there. I get a knot in my stomach. Great. Just great.
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