Chapter 14: Normal
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"Hey, Karen," Matthew said, smiling at me. He stood at my doorway with a basket full of bagels in one hand. It looked like something his mother had made. Or, at least, something that his mother would make. I looked at the plastic that covered the basket, the way the light sparkled on it. It was a fairly small basket, but it was completely full. There were all types of different bagels in it. I noticed, happily, that he'd gotten a lot of cinnamon raison bagels- my favorite.
"Hey, Matthew," I exclaimed. Matthew took a look at me and blushed a beautiful shade of scarlet. I gave him an odd look and turned my head to the right questionably. "What's wrong?"
"Your jeans are unbuttoned," Matthew pointed out, pointing to my pants. "And you kind of have sex hair."
"Oh," I said. I blushed and smoothed my hair down, and looked at my pants. They were unbuttoned, but I didn't bother buttoning them. I'd walked around with my pants unbuttoned in front of him before. If I wanted thing to go back to normal, I had might as well act as I usually did with him. I let Matthew in and we spoke for a few seconds before reaching the dining room where Keith was eating. Keith waved lightly at Matthew before continuing to stuff his face. Keith's hair was messy, from my fingers, but he didn't seem fazed by it. I saw a glimmer of something in Matthew's eyes, but it quickly vanished into nothing.
Matthew stayed over for an hour or so, just catching up. Apparently he was still dating Emma, which was a little weird. I definitely thought that Emma was a mere fling for the summer. Obviously, I was wrong. Matthew was living in the dorms on campus, his roommate being a very hard party-person. After a while Matthew declared that he needed to get to his business class. Keith stayed in the kitchen to clean up and I walked Matthew out to the door.
"I missed ya', Karen," Matthew said, a little twinkle in his eyes. I smiled up at him and hugged him tightly, inhaling that familiar smell of his sun-kissed skin. I'd missed my best friend, and after spending some time with him it seemed like things were back to normal.
"Thanks for coming by," I said, pulling back. I left my hands on his shoulders, looking up at him. His hair was short, and his face needed a good shave. He was a different Matthew. We were barely out of high school and into college, but somehow he'd managed to find a way to transform himself into a totally different person. At least, appearance wise he was different. I wondered if I would be different over time, or if I would still be the same person. College couldn't change a person that much, right? "You look good."
"You do too," he said. His hands took hold of mine, in gulfing them. Matthew was so much bigger than me, a fact that I had almost forgotten. "You seem shorter though."
"It's because I'm not wearing shoes, moron." I flexed my toes, looking from them to his old red Converse Chucks. They were tattered and grass stained, but they still held themselves.
"Ouch, name calling," Matthew said, pretending to wince. I laughed and shook my head. Things were definitely back to normal. I looked at our hands and realized that things would always be the same for us. "I'll see you around, Karen. Keep in touch."
"Yeah, you too, Matthew," I replied, trying to hold back tears. For some reason his departure seemed so final, like I was losing him. "We're going to be hanging out, right?"
"As long as Keith doesn't mind," Matthew said.
"I don't mind," Keith said from behind me. I smiled at looked at my boys.
It's done! Or is it ?...
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