If you would cure anger, do not feed it. Say to yourself: 'I used to be angry every day; then every other day; now only every third or fourth day.' When you reach thirty days offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the gods.
Epictetus (55 AD - 135 AD)
That Christmas, things had changed.
Seth's dad had gotten himself arrested, and in a fit of depression, Seth had run off with Amy, and when I tried to patch things up with Clark, it turned out he was with Jessica.
Actually, what was really happening was almost as scary.
I was trying to cook again.
I'd been getting lessons from Ms. Dawson, and I was pretty sure I was ready to cook for someone. An entire Christmas dinner, in fact. Well, sort of. I was making spaghetti, because that was pretty simple and I wanted to have as little of a chance as possible that I would mess it up.
It was turning out pretty well, I think. It looked kind of funny, but then again, spaghetti always looks funny, right? It was going so well, in fact, that I decided to add my own little touches.
Don't worry, though, I just meant extra spices.
As I was stirring, I found myself humming the song that had been playing in the background of the sporting goods store when the whole thing had happened with Seth.
It was several months later, and it still got stuck in my head sometimes.
I was clearly crazy.
Anyway, I was humming and sort of in the zone (at least as much of a zone as you can be in while making spaghetti, and except for the fact that it was cooking really slowly made me mad and I turned the temperature way up) when I turned around to grab some parmesan cheese, and Seth was sitting on top of the island in the middle of the kitchen, and he did that head-flicking thing.
"Aaaaack!" I said, and threw the bottle of cheese in the air, and it landed in the pan. My eyes widened and I ran over to it and pulled the can out as fast as I could (which just ended up causing more to spill in it than it would have otherwise) and eyed it in the pan, then turned back to Seth.
I was fully prepared to yell at him for scaring me, but when he saw my expression he smirked and I melted, though I tried not to show this. (How was I still melting after that long anyway? Don't most people say that after a while, you would stop something like that? It is really nice, though…)
Instead I went, "Seth, people have to eat on there, you know."
He grinned. "Well, it's not like they're eating directly on it, are they?"
"Well, maybe they will."
"Do you know anyone who eats directly off the table?"
"Erm. Me." Okay, not really. That's completely disgusting. But so is being wrong.
Which I wasn't, obviously.
He grinned even wider (if possible) and pulled me towards him (making me drop the spoon into the pan) and in between his legs so I was right up next to him, even though he was still on the island.
"No you don't," he said, and kissed my forehead.
"Mmflargl," I said, which was supposed to be "yes I do."
"How's the spaghetti coming?" he wanted to know, running his fingers through my hair.
"Well, pretty well, other than the cheese spill—wait a minute! I said nobody was aloud to come in here and see it until I was done!"
"Yeah, but why?" he mocked whining, making a pouting look on his face.
"Because!" I said, since I didn't have a real excuse. Actually, because I was afraid I would get distracted or something. Where was I?
He kissed my forehead and then moved down to my lips, and started kissing me. I completely forgot where I was or what I was doing, until I remembered, "Seth!" I said, pulling away just enough to talk. "My parents are in the next room! YOUR mother is in the next room!"
He smirked and shrugged and started kissing me again, and I melted inside and forgot what I was thinking for the next however long, until Amy came bursting in the room and went, "WHAT is TAKING so—oh. Seth, you loser, everybody's hungry! Mae is never going to get the spaghetti done if you keep distracting her!"
I spun around because it surprised me so much, but Seth caught around my waist and pulled me backwards and my back bounced lightly against him.
"But I like distracting her," he pouted.
Amy rolled her eyes, but I noticed the corners of her mouth were curling up. "Whatever," she said, "Where's the spaghetti? Oh, is this it?"
She walked over to the pan and looked in and wrinkled her nose. "This is spaghetti, right?"
"What's all the white stuff?"
"I sort of dropped the parmesan cheese in it—"
Amy rolled her eyes.
"But it wasn't my fault this time! Seth—"
He squeezed his arms around me and it sort of tickled, and I giggled a little bit, even though normally giggling sounds completely disgusting.
I am not even kidding you. I giggled.
But the thing is, even though I've been doing things like giggling, I generally haven't changed. This is actually what I was afraid of: not changing. I was afraid I would blow up at him sometime for no reason and hurt him.
But see, when he's not making me mad (or just frustrated, really—I never really get more than just miffed at him) he actually makes me generally more calm.
I once heard that it's easier to get mad at people you trust, because they'll always be there.
Or something cheesy like that.
Amy rolled her eyes and Robert walked in, looking for her, and rolled his eyes at us. Those two really are perfect for each other.
Then Clark walked in (don't worry, we're friends now. He's too nice to hold grudges or anything like that, but actually, I'm pretty sure I saw him talking to Jessica…) and the kitchen started to seem sort of crowded.
"Is it almost ready?" he wanted to know.
"Is what almost ready?"
"The spaghetti," Amy said. "What else would be ready?"
"Oh. OH!" I ran over to it and looked at it, and it was bubbling like crazy. A little bit of it spewed out and almost hit me, but I stumbled back and ran into Seth, who kept me from falling over and hitting the island.
I turned the heat down and looked into the pan, Seth looked over my shoulder, Amy and Robert looked from my left side and Clark looked from my left.
"I THOUGHT I told you all that it was supposed to be a surprise! Now, see, you have completely distracted me."
Amy raised an eyebrow. "It sort of looks like barf."
I glared at her, even though I had sort of been thinking the same thing.
"Well, maybe it's supposed to," I said. "I mean, the meat looked sort of like barf even before I started cooking it. Kind of."
Seth snorted, which I fully did not appreciate.
"Well, it does, doesn't it?" Amy asked Robert.
"Erm, a little bit," he admitted. "No offense."
She turned to Seth. "Doesn't it?"
He rested his chin on top of my head, and I couldn't see his face, but I can pretty much guarantee he was smirking. "Well, I'll try it anyway."
Okay, that, I appreciated. He was still always there for me.
She turned to Clark, and raised her eyebrow, and he turned bright red. "What?"
"Well, doesn't it?"
"Erm, well, it depends on how you look at it, I guess."
Amy rolled her eyes, but smiled, and I couldn't be mad at her. She was sort of right.
"What are you kids doing in there?" Mr. Gable called (his yelling voice was even louder than his talking voice). "We're getting hungry!"
I glanced in the living room and looked over my mom, my dad, Seth's mom, Clark's grandfather, Amy and Robert's parents, and Ms. Sanchez, who said she would be able to stop by for a while before she went to her sister's house where all of her family was.
So I guess that even though it didn't work out with the guy she lost, her life still turned out pretty awesome.
"Especially," Mr. Gable added, "with the smell of the spaghetti wafting in here!"
Amy started cracking up, and was soon joined by Robert and Seth and Clark and then I couldn't help myself, and I started laughing too.
"How about," Clark said, "we order pizza?"
I glanced at my spaghetti, which was still bubbling, and shrugged. "Sounds good to me."
Amy, Robert, and Clark went into the other room to order it, and I started to follow, but Seth grabbed my hand, and pulled me towards him.
"Hey," he whispered into my ear, sending tingles up and down my spine, "wait, there's something I want to give you."
"Give me? Oh, we're all going to give each other presents after dinner—"
"Yeah, but I want to give this to you in private. It's special."
I raised an eyebrow as he pulled a little box out of his back pocket, and handed it to me.
Holy crud, he's proposing, was my first thought, because I am an idiot, and because the box was about the size that a ring would be in. I mentally kicked myself and opened it, and what was inside was even better.
It was a charm bracelet, with a little computer charm hanging off of it. It gave me the airplane feeling again, and I must have been staring at it for a while, because Seth went, "Oh, do you like it? I mean, I wasn't sure if you liked jewelry, since it's never really come up I guess, so if you don't I still have the receipt and—"
"No way," I said, grinning, and putting it on. "I love it."
Actually, I'm never taking it off.
He grinned and wrapped his arms around me and kissed the top of my head, and Amy poked her head in with the phone in her hand and went, "what do you guys want on the pizza?"
"Pepperoni," we said at the same time.
"Well, in that case," he said teasingly, "I don't want any."
I rolled my eyes, and tried not to smile, but it came bursting out of me when he smirked and continued.
"I'd like it more if you didn't."
For they are yet ear-kissing arguments.
A/N: The end.
Wow. I can't believe it. I really can't. I'm so used to working on this in my spare time…
I'm really going to miss it.
How did you guys like this epilogue-esque chapter? I've read it over about eighty seven thousand times, trying to get it perfect. The Shakespeare quote just makes me start grinning every time I read it.
This is the first story I have ever completely finished. (That didn't have a completely rushed, idiotic ending.)
Step one to my future career as a multi-millionaire New York Times bestselling author who lives on a plantation in New Zealand and breeds grey-hounds and has found her Seth and has a bodyguard with a flamethrower.
Sorry it's been so long, but I've had school, swim team tryouts, yadda yadda, etcetera etcetera...
By the way, I'm going to re-write the part about Seth's dad. I made him too weird...
Now you can go read The Year I Fell In Love With a Rock Star and Point For Me, which I am co-writing.
You'll love them. I hope.
If you're reading this, please review and tell me what you thought of it. That would be sooo lovely.
Here is an incredibly huge, vast, mind-bogglingly big thanks to everyone who has. You've made me feel like one hundred dollars:
-Emily (Of course xD)
-Accidentally on Purpose
-Twinkle Star Bell
-Jump Start My Heart
-The Melancholy Astronaut
-Lexi Elizabeth Walker
-Ryuu no Tamashii