“You okay?” I asked.
He gave me a sad smile, “Yeah, I’m good.”
I let out a long sigh and said, “This sucks.”
Without saying anything, he pulled out of Tyler’s driveway and started driving. I didn’t know what to say, but I felt like I needed to say something. I glanced over at Peter, and found him glaring at the road.
“Peter…” I said, reaching across and laying my hand on his arm.
“It’s okay, really,” he said.
“Do you want to go get some ice cream or something?”
He gave me a knowing smile, “Brusters?”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” I said, smiling back at him.
Then he turned back to the road and I put my hand back in my lap. I yet again filled with the need to break the silence, but I felt like he just needed some time. I knew how much he liked Celina. I had been there when he first met her at the beginning of this year. I had seen the look on his face as he watched her walk away. I had listened to him talk about her and about the conversations they had. I had watched them together, seen how cute they were. I had seen them off to Homecoming while I stayed home and watched movies all night. I had sat on my bed and listened as Peter told me the highlights of what had happened at Homecoming. I had given him advice on when to ask her out. I had been there through it all. And for exactly that reason, I felt almost as sad as Peter probably did, because it had become personal for me, too.
As I spooned another dollop of chocolate ice cream into my mouth, I looked across the table at Peter, who was absentmindedly eating his own ice cream.
“Hm?” he said, not looking at me.
“Do you want to go play some mini-golf?” I asked.
He looked at me weirdly, and then laughed. “Mini-golf? I feel like shit and you want to play mini-golf?”
“Well, it might cheer you up,” I said hopefully.
“I think I’m good.”
“Oh, well okay then,” I said, putting another spoonful of ice cream in my mouth. I glanced over across the parking lot, watching the cars coming and out.
“But you know what sucks the most?” Peter said suddenly.
“She told me that she wanted to go out with me.”
“Yeah, or, I mean, close to it.”
“Then why do you think she got a boyfriend?”
“How do you think I know? Girls are confusing as anything. I wish they’d just be straight with you.”
“No, no, boys are confusing. They say one thing and mean another. Or, they play with you like it’s a game, for goodness sakes. It’s annoying.”
“You have a boyfriend. You have no room to talk,” he said, pointing at me with his spoon, which was full of ice cream.
I leaned across the table and ate the ice cream off his spoon, saying, “I can talk from past experiences.”
“Oh, shut up.”
I stuck my tongue out at him and rolled my eyes. Peter wasn’t like other guys. He was cute with his brown hair that was constantly flopping over. He had green eyes and he was pretty tall. Although he wasn’t very muscular, and was actually more on the scrawny side, he didn’t look awkward. He was strong enough, it just didn’t exactly show. He was an amazing person and gave the best hugs. What wasn’t there to love? I didn’t understand how Celina turned him away.
“Want some of mine?” I asked, holding out a spoonful of my ice cream to him.
“Sure,” he said, eating it. He made a funny face and said, “That’s very chocolaty.”
“Well,” I said, eating another spoonful, “it’s supposed to be, silly! It’s chocolate ice cream.”
“Yeah, but that’s almost overwhelming. Here, taste mine,” he said, holding out his own spoonful of ice cream.
Letting him feed it to me, I tried to identify the taste. “Is this, like vanilla with chocolate?”
“Oh my goodness, Alex, it’s called Moose Tracks.”
“Huh. What’s in it?”
“Um, vanilla, some kind of fudge, and peanut butter cups, I think.”
“Well, I like mine.”
“Yours is so boring. Just plain ole chocolate.”
“It has nuts, Peter.”
“Nuts. Wow. Impressive. Don’t get too crazy there.”
“Oh whatever! It’s better than your Moose ice cream! What kind of name is that?”
“It’s actually called Moose Tracks, not Moose ice cream. And it’s a creative name. What’s yours called? Wait, let me guess, Chocolate ice cream with nuts? Now that is creative,” he said sarcastically.
I rolled my eyes and continued to eat my ice cream, enjoying every bite.
My phone started vibrating. Tyler was calling.
“Hello?” I said.
“Hey, babe, listen. I was thinking that next Saturday you could come over? We can watch a movie or something, just hang out.”
“Okay, sounds good. How’s Peter?”
“He’s good. We stopped to get some ice cream.”
“Oh, well, okay. Tell him to cheer up.”
“Okay, will do.”
“I have to go. Bye babe.”
Peter was eyeing me from across the table.
“Yes?” I said.
“What are you wearing?”
I glanced down at my mini-skirt and tight V-neck. “What do you mean?”
“Well, it’s just that, you never used to wear that kind of stuff.”
“Tyler likes it,” I said without thinking.
Peters eyebrows raised in understanding.
“Not like that! It’s not like that! I don’t wear it for him, Peter. I’m just trying out a new style,” I said quickly.
“Why, do you not like it?”
“I mean, it’s fine. It’s just not you.”
“What do you mean it’s not me?” I said.
“You’ve always hated skirts.”
“Well, I can change my mind, can’t I?”
“Obviously you can, I was just wondering why you did.”
“I just like it, okay? Now can we stop asking so many questions about my outfit choice?” I said, sounding a bit snippy.
“I was just asking,” he said.
“Okay, well, now you have your answer.”
He shrugged and became quiet, staring off at nothing. An awkward silence hung in the air because of the tension that had just formed. I pulled on my jacket and shivered. To be honest I was freezing, but I wasn’t going to let Peter know that now.
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