The Case of the Missing Fashion Sense- Part Ten

Or If Life Were like a Hat, then this Simile Would Make Sense

Julia and I sat in silence for several minutes.

I tensed when the sound of laughter and squeaking sneakers invaded the gym. By the sound of the coach's voice , I deduced that it was the senior basketball team.

Julia pressed her face against an opening from the bleachers, peeking out. "There's Zach," she said in a dramatic whisper. I scrambled over to look with her. Sure enough, Not Zach was there too. My stomach this this funny little thing where it leapt up into my throat like I had been dropped a thousand feet.

"Wait a minute," said Julia, "Why does Brendon have a fedora?"

That caught my attention. "Who?"

"In the green." She pointed, sticking her hand out through the opening. I slapped it back, and she rolled her eyes, like hiding under here was stupid or something. It wasn't stupid. That stupid, I mean.

And Julia was obviously delusional anyway. I mean, Not Zach was the only person wearing green...

"That bastard has my hat." He had the rim of it clutched tightly in his hand and he was wrinkling it. Wait a minute, could hats get wrinkled? I would have to find out later. I had more important things to worry about now.

Like what Julia said next. "He has your hat?"

"It's a long story," I said.

"Oh, it looks like I'm not the only person with secrets." Julia smirked. "I guess we're even then."

I was about to tell her that we weren't even. Not by a long shot. I mean, the only reason that I even knew Not Zach- Brendon, apparently- was because of her relationship with Zach. But I didn't.

Partly because I don't believe that two wrongs make a right, but partly because Not Zach - Brendon- was staring at the bleachers. More accurately, he was staring at me.

I guess we were talking louder than we thought. I slid my body back in what I hoped were the shadows and pulled Julia with me. I took a marshmallow from my book bag and handed it to her, and then I ate one myself. This pattern continued until the whole pack was gone.

Great, those marshmallows were supposed to last us for at least a week. I eyed my shoes. They were pretty, that was for sure, but did they taste any good? I hoped I wouldn't have to find out.

Eventually, basketball practice ended. By that time, I had convinced myself that Not Zach - Brendon- hadn't seen me, that I had imagined the whole thing. I thought that up to the point until I heard a muttered curse and Not Zach - Brendon, I corrected myself. Again- was suddenly under the bleachers with us.

"Hiding?" he asked, a smile in his voice.

"No," I said, but we kinda were.

"Yes," said Julia, who it seemed had decided to be honest all of a sudden. "From Carrie. Kate thinks that she's going to murder me for dating your brother."

"I wouldn't worry about that," said Brendon. "Zach mentioned what happened earlier, I took care of it."

"How?" I asked.

Brendon raised his eyebrows. "Blackmail. I persuaded one of my friends to ask Carrie to the prom."

I blushed remembering what I had said to him the day we had met. Julia, not knowing this, giggled.

"Well, then, I guess we don't have to go to Mexico," said Julia standing up. "I'm going to find Zach. See you around Kate."

Which was how I found myself alone with Not Zach. With Brendon. He held out my hat and I grabbed it from him. It wasn't wrinkled at all. I put it on my head, tucking my hair behind my ears.

"So," he said, "Mexico." I nodded, like we were having a normal conversation or something.

"I'm sorry I called you pond scum," I said, trying to break the silence.

"I'm sorry for making you think that you were breaking into a house and lying to you instead of asking you out like a normal person."

"I'm sorry that I didn't know your name until a hour ago."

"I'm sorry for implying that you were dumber than a pole."

"I'm sorry for quoting Humphrey Bogart at you."

"I'm sorry that I kissed you without asking," he said.

"Wait, you a second, you didn't..." And then he was. Kissing me, I mean. And I didn't quite mind that he didn't ask me.

When he pulled away, I could feel my face flush. "I'm sorry," I said, "that you didn't do that sooner."

"Me too," he said, leaning in for another kiss. I moved my head backward, so that his lips landed on my cheek. He looked at me puzzled. "What's wrong?" he asked.

A light bulb had just gone off in my head. Julia had known that I was investigating with Brendon. She had asked me how he was the day that I had liberated her shoes. Zach must have told her all about finding Bren's girlfriend in his room.

When she had been talking about secrets, I realized, she had been talking about the hat.

She hadn't realized that I had had a fedora.

I let out a peal of laughter confusing Brendon even more. "I'll tell you someday," I said, wrapping my arms around his neck.

"Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow?"

"But soon," I said, kissing him again. "And for the rest of your life."

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The End


A/N: Again, sorry about the wait between updates.

Thanks to everybody who read this story, and to everyone who reviewed. You guys are the most awesomest people ever. So much so, that I had to invent a word to describe you.

And if the last two lines are confusing, watch Casablanca. I swear you won't regret it.

-Evil Kittens Unite