Morrie stood with her back to me talking to Andrea. She wore dark skinny’s again, but with a pale yellow top and a black cover up. I walked up behind her. “Hello, Morrie.” Her spine straightened and she gave me a sideways glare out of red rimmed eyes. “Is there something wrong?” I asked, real concern coating my words.
“As a matter of fact there is. Scram, Dante. I don’t want to talk to you about it.” Andrea shrugged at me, so grabbed Morrie’s shoulder. She tensed. “What part scram don’t you understand?”
“The part when you won’t let me help.” Morrie gave me the meanest glare I’ve ever seen a human muster. I held my ground. “I want to help.”
“Why?” She shouted. Quieter, she continued. “You don’t even know me.”
I sighed and closed my eyes. “That’s true but I know pain, and baby, it’s written all over you.” She sagged when I finished speaking. Her eyes closed and she turned to me. When she opened them, tears fell out and I knew I had her.
“My mom has cancer.” She choked on the last word and flung herself into me. Awkwardly I patted her back, looking at Andrea. She smiled at me, a dopey watery smile I acquainted with love.
I rolled my eyes and slung my arms around Morrie and whispered to her. “Doctors these days are good. They’ll take good care of her.” She sniffled and looked at me, the tears drying up, at least a little.
“Everybody keeps telling me that.” She rubbed her eyes and I dotted her nose, like you would a sad little kid.
“Then maybe you should listen.” I said, my emotions nearly strangling me as they followed my words out. My own mother had died of cancer, but thankfully it was quick and painless. The doctors know would draw it out, offer fake promises and more heartache. Morrie smiled a water smile like her friend, though this one was of happiness, with sorrow bringing up the rear. I half heartedly smiled back.
“Maybe I should.” She murmured and turned her back to me.
I sat in Biology again, my nails, now a pale yellow to match my top tapping against my table. My lap-partner wasn’t here so the tapping went unchecked. I felt Dante’s words pierce my thoughts again, “Then maybe you should listen.” It was the first decent conversation we have had. Though it wasn’t marvelous, it wasn’t horrible either. I was more than a little shocked when he sounded so sincere about my mother getting cancer, which warmed and melted my heart.
The bell rang and I slowly got out of my seat. Andrea came over to me and slung her arm over my shoulder. “Lets go out tonight. You need some cheering up, to get your mind off of the Big C.”
I shook my head. “I’d rather be with my mom tonight. Who knows when it will finally take over, you know? I want to be with her as much as possible.” Andrea nodded and walked with me to my locker, her arm still around my shoulders. It slipped to my waist, so she could get a better grip, being short and all.
“I understand. If you need anything, you know the digits.” With that she hopped away and I was left with my thoughts. My sad thoughts about my mother. At forty-two she had Cancer. A single tear slipped out and a finger caught it. I looked up, startled. It was Dante.
“Why so glum?” He asked. I gave a sigh, and he said, “Oh. Your mom. You know what would cheer you up?”
“If you offer to take me out, I’m going to hit you in the nuts.” He made a face and stuck his hands up, palms facing me.
“No, I wasn’t. I was actually going to suggest movies. Like, rent them and take them home. Make some popcorn, drink some soda, or tea. Whichever. Pretend like it’s not happening.”
“But it is.” I said, glaring at him. And so that was the end of a civil conversation between us. “Besides, we have Netflix. Why rent?”
He shrugged. “It was a suggestion.” He rolled his shoulders and started to walk away.
“Um…Dante?” I said, a little to quietly. He paused and looked over his shoulder, his eye brow popping. I cursed under my breath as her dark gaze found mine. I shut my locker and walked up to him. “Would you want to join us? We’d watch movies on Netflix, like I said.”
He grinned. “Sure, I’d love to. What time?” Oh. I didn’t think about that, or what my mom would say about a dark, strange teenager hanging around her daughter.
“Six.” I said. I turned on my heel, attempting for graceful, but Dante grabbed my elbow and swung me around, bringing into contact with his hard, broad chest. Which also spelled of danger. My body tingled and gave a sigh but I clamped the little thing in the my throat. “Yes?” I said innocently.
“See you at six.” With a wink, he was gone. I had two more classes and then three hours to prepare my mother and myself for Dante’s arrival at my house. I rushed home, and went straight my mom, who was peeling carrots for dinner.
“Hold it!” I yelled at her. She jumped and then smiled at me. I smiled back.
“Hello, sweetie. How was school?”
“It was the same as usual but I have something to ask you.” She eyed me. I grinned back. “It’s nothing bad.”
She resumed cutting carrots. “You look even more beautiful without those braces. What have you got to ask me?”
“Well…there’s a boy at school, and I sort of invited him over for movies with me and you.” My mom laid her knife down and sighed. She opened her mouth and I cut her off. “Before you say anything, the movie thing was his idea, because he knows you have cancer. His name is Dante and I think he genuinely concerned for the both of us. He seems super nice.” I watched her expression as she watched me, her blue eyes searching my face. She gave in.
“Oh, alright. What time?”
“Six.” I said, glancing at the clock. It was four, so I rushed out of the kitchen and went to the living room, quickly putting it in order. I ended in my bedroom in my undies and bra at five, staring at the nothingness that was my wardrobe. I pulled out a pair of yoga pants, black, and a white tank-top, then put them back. I slid back into my day clothes and went to the dresser, where I took off the nail polish. Like I needed it anyway.
At five thirty, I was back in the kitchen helping my mom with dinner. “Glad to see you didn’t get all fancied up for this boy.” She said, breaking the silence. I smiled into the pot I was stirring. I stopped stirring for a minute. “Is there something wrong?”
“No, nothings wrong.” I was smiling of a stranger is all, a very hot and tall stranger. Who emitted sexy from every pore. My insides shivered and I had to hold in another sigh.
Really, what has gotten into me?
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