Bookstore Bombshell

I lay in bed and listened to the muffled voices of the news anchors. I could hear mom and dad in the kitchen making coffee and cleaning up whatever mess there was. I looked over to my desk and saw a glass of water and some Tylenol. I drank the water and grabbed some new clothes. I quickly took a shower and was about to brush my teeth when I heard the doorbell rang.

I figured it must've been the paperboy so I didn't bother closing my door even though I was only in a bra and shorts. I heard footsteps coming up the stairs; I assumed it was one of my parents and didn't worry since my bathroom was the opposite direction from their room.

I spit out the toothpaste and looked up in the mirror. I saw a shadow and called out, "Mom?"

A manly voice laughed. "Well, I'm not your mom,"Ryan said,"she already le-." He turned around the corner and stopped midsentence. We both looked at each other for a second. Ryan looked at me and gawked before I had a chance to cover myself up and hide behing the wall.

"Don't look!" I yelled as I grabbed my shirt off the hanger.

"Sorry," he mumbled while turning away from the mirror. I was putting on my shirt when I saw him take a peek.

"Hey!,"I smacked him on the arm and hastily put my shirt on. My cheeks were burning from embarassment. It was silent for a bit before I told Ryan he could turn around. "What are you doing here, at 7:30 am in summer? Aren't most people still sleeping?" I fumbled with the bottom of my shirt. Ryan rubbed the back of his neck slowly and smiled softly.

"Well, I finished swimming early today so I'd thought I'd come over early. I called to make sure it was alright with your parents, and they told me you were an early riser so it wouldn't be a problem. Aren't most people still sleeping?" He mocked me in a squeaky voice. He leaned casually against the doorway and continued rambling. "We can go over to my house early, if that's alright with you."

"Okay, just let me have breakfast first." Ryan and I went to my room so I could fix my bed. He looked around the room, and once I was finished with my bed he sat on it.

"You're still a neat freak." He got up and started playing with my perfume collection that was on my night table.

"Are you hungry? I could make breakfast for both of us. What do you want?" He got up and followed me downstairs.

"I could go for some bacon, waffles, fruit salad. Actually, do you want to go into town to the diner? They have a breakfast special." He jingled his keys in my ear. "I'll drive." I thought about it for a second.

"Maybe another time, I don't want to spend too much money before going to university. I have to save for tuition just incase I don't get the scholarship or if I can't get the class I want." I bit my lip and all the fear of going to university came rushing back. What if I couldn't pay my tuition fee, or pass any of my classes?

"Don't worry, I'll pay for you. I got a scholarship remember?"He smiled cheekily.

"Fine, just let me get my wallet and my cellphone."

• • •

We drove in silence for a bit, both of us were unsure what to say. Maybe I should continue that game he suggested last night? I looked out the window and watched the trees pass by. I saw Ryan shift in his seat a little before clearing his throat. I turned toward him and watched him drive.

"How long have you been going to therapy?" I asked breaking the silence.

"For a while, I think since he died. I'm supposed to go once a week and I've been perscribed anti-depressants; that's why I was so rude to you at the beginning of highschool." I grimaced remembering the hurt.

"What do you do in therapy?"

"Basically anything my therapist tells me to do. I went to group therapy with my mom; that was horrible. My therapist encouraged me to start swimming again; I'm thankful for it because now I don't have to worry about how I'll pay for university. She also encouraged me to start talking to old friends again; that's why my mom invited your family over." I nodded and faced forward again.

"How come you didn't try to be friends again? Was I that much of an asshole to you?" He re-adjusted his grip on the steering wheel.

"Would you believe that I didn't want to try? That's a lie. I wanted to try but then I convinced myself it wasn't worth trying at all, besides who'd want to be friends with a druggie?" I joked. He chuckled and turned into the diner's parking lot.

"I don't take them; the anti-depressants I mean. I did at first, but I hated the way it made me cloudy and numb, you know? I like the challenge of not knowing what's going to happen next, and being able to feel." He turned off the engine and unlocked the doors.

We walked into the diner and sat near the windows. The waitress was a girl I had in my math class. She smiled and took our orders. I was currently looking through the menu unable to decide what I'd get.

"Um, I'd like some waffles, fruit salad, maybe some bacon, a bagel. Could I have some of your fresh squeezed orange juice, and oh, some scrambled eggs and maybe some toast with some butter." He smiled and handed her his menu. My mouth dropped open in surprise.

The waitress turned to me and asked what I'd like. "Could I have some waffles too with fruit salad and orange juice too? Thanks." I handed her my menu and took a sip of my water as she walked away. "My god you can eat."

Ryan shrugged his shoulders and smiled. "Swimming takes a lot of energy." He winked.

While we ate our breakfast we continued asking questions about each other. I learned Ryan was scared of spiders and he laughed when I admitted I was scared of clowns. He asked how my parents were; which confused me at first, and I told him they were well. His favourite colour was blue, as was mine. Then I asked him what he'd want in a partner, he told me someone that was honest with him, talk with him, was pretty (obviously), had a sense of humor but more importantly he wanted someone who had brains.

"What about you? What do you want?" He sipped his orange juice and pulled out his wallet. The waitress came by and took our bill.

"I'm not sure, I'll tell you when I know."My phone started vibrating, I looked at the caller i.d.

Brandon.

I put the phone on speakers, only loud enough for Ryan and I to hear. "Hi Brandon." I put the phone down on the table.

"What time is it there? I'm using the hotel phone, so I can't talk too long or else the room will get a large phone bill and I'll be in trouble. What are you doing?"

"It's 8:30 am, I just finished eating breakfast with Ryan Pooles. How's the weather?" Ryan looked around the diner. It was filled with truck driver's and mainly tourists who were on the way to the beach.

"Aw, someone's on a da-"

"Speaker phone!" I hurried to stop Brandon from finishing his sentence. Ryan smiled.

"Hey Brandon. How's Mexico?"He pretended he didn't hear or know what Brandon was about to say.

I wasn't on a date; atleast not in my opinion. I was eating breakfast with Ryan, but technically it seemed like a date. I looked around the diner and pretended not to listen to their 'conversation'.

"Good, how's the swimming?"

"Good." Wow, that was epic.

"When are you going to be back?" I added.

"Yeah, hopefully soon. Erica's dying to see you." He started making kissing faces. I furrowed my eyebrows and threw some sugarpackages at his face.

"My parents are getting bored already, figures. I think by Wednesday we'll back."

"Can you bring me back sand? And maybe some sea shells? Oh and a necklace? I'll pay you back." I smiled even though I knew Brandon wouldn't see it.

"You're weird," Ryan muttered under his breath.

"I heard that."

"I already got you your sand. You don't need to pay me back. Anyways I got to go, room service is here." I heard the excitement in his voice. I closed the phone and put it in my short's pocket. "So what do you want to do? It's still a little early to go to your house to swim in the pool. Do you mind taking me to the bookstore on First Street so I can get my paycheck?"

"Yeah, no problem."

• • •

We walked into the bookstore and I walked up to the counter to greet myco-worker.

"Hey Mark. Is Kathy in today? I need to pick up my paycheck." Mark nodded his head and told me to go to the back room. He saw Ryan and raised his eyebrow. He knew about Ryan Pooles, heck everyone did at our highschool. I shook my head 'no', it wasn't what he was thinking. Mark smirked and told me to have a good day. I walked past Ryan and told him to look around while I got my paycheck. I walked into the small room at the back of the store and got my paycheck off the managers desk while she talked on the phone. She smiled and waved me out. I saw Ryan's head on the other side of the bookshelf. I put the envelope in my pocket and walked around the corner.

"Come on Ryan. It'll be like old times."

I peeked my head around the corner and saw Ryan and Mandy standing in the aisle. She had Ryan pressed up against the bookshelf, all the books I had arranged last time I worked were getting squished. I watched andl istened to their 'conversation'.

"There were no 'old times'. Do you mind giving me space?" I felt elated at the thought of Mandy being rejected. She and I had never gotten along that well, especially after highschool started.

"No, I don't think I will; I kind of like being this close to you." She pressed herself closer to Ryan, I saw him get umcomfortable. Slut, she didn't know when to give up.

I stood up straight and cleared my throat. I saw Mandy get startled but she stayed in the same position. Ryan grimaced and side stepped away from her. I smiled and tried to to make it as sincere looking as possible.

"Hey Mandy. How's summer going for you? I didn't know you go to bookstores." She frowned before turning to Ryan. I watched with slight amusement.

"So I guess I'll see you around Ryan." She winked at him before walking past me and out the door. Mark told her to have a nice day before meowing.

"Drama!" He giggled and went back to work.

"So are we going to your house now? If we are we need to stop by my house so I can get my bathingsuit." I waved 'bye' to Mark and walked out the door followed by Ryan.

"There's nothing between Mandy and I. She's been trying to get me to go out with her for so long, ever since highschool started.I don't like her, at all." We got into the car and drove back to my place.

"Mhm, you don't have to explain yourself to me. Anyways, what are we going to have for lunch?" He smiled and continued driving.

We got to my house and I rushed inside and got my things. The house was quiet and smelled like Febreeze. I grabbed my things quickly and began to walk down my stairs. I saw the basement door open and my dad step out. He walked around the kitchen and poured a glass of water.

"Hi Daddy, what are you doing home? I thought you went to work?" He turned around and looked surprised to see me at home. He shifted and placed the jug of water back in the fridge.

"I took the day off. I was just downstairs cleaning up my office, what're you doing home? i thought you were supposed to be at Ryan's house in the pool?"

"We ate breakfast at the diner, picked up my paycheck and now we're going to his house, I just had to get my things. I'll see around dinner?" I picked up my keys from the table adn began walking out the door.

"Okay, have a good time."

I couldn't help but be irked by the sight of my father home early. It was never that way, even when I was younger. My dad had always put work before family, that's why I was able to live comfortably without having to get a job until I was seventeen. That's why my mom didn't have to stay late at her own job, why we were able to get this house and the huge property. It was also why I was able to go to university without having to worry excessively about paying for tuition; even though I still worry. I had a gut feeling that something wasn't right and that I wouldn't find out for a while. I shook my head free of those thoughts once I saw Ryan waiting in his car for me. I had to admit I was excited and also really nervous.

I climbed in and put on my seatbelt. Ryan smiled and turned on the car. "Are you ready?" I nodded and he switched the car into 'Drive'.

A/N: Hopefully the length makes up for not updating frequently. I didn't update as soon as I would've liked. Sorry! By the way, I like reviews! :) Any kind would be amazing! ( I sound desperate :| ) Anyways, hopefully I will update soon again, I keep getting distracted especially since the catwalk is alive with Fall/Winter 2009/2010 season here! I have to admit, my priorities are fashion wise, sorry again but what can I say? I'm a sucker for Diane von Furstenberg and Dsquared2 ( Go Dan and Dean!) :D Hope you like this chapter.