Project Yes Your House

I've sneaked in my house a few times but this time I MUST NOT get caught. I'm not even sure if my parents are home. Dad's more than likely at work and moms at some women's meeting or something of that sort. But I never really can tell. They don't work on a clock. They expect the clock to work around them. They give new meaning to ninja even though they don't believe in ninjas. I say it's because they're trying to keep their identities secret.

I'm sure I'm getting weird looks from Damien as I peek around the doorway. "Okay. It's clear."

"What is?" He asked.

"Um….the table. It's cleared off so we can work." I replied quickly as I rushed into the dining room. Damien followed silently behind me.

"So I saw that you have most of the essays done and that you've printed all the pictures. Color coordinated. Very nice I might say. Have you even picked out all the decorations and costumes because I can start working on that if you haven't. I tend to be good at those sorts of things. "

"Faye…" he said, trying to interrupt me.

"I noticed that you use a lot of black and white or rustic looking pictures which I think are totally appropriate but maybe we could use a pop of color in the decorations. I think that would work. We just have to figure out what color. Or maybe two colors. It's whatever. We'll try both."

"Faye."

"Then there's the whole deal about the costumes. I kinda wanted to dress up as mobsters. I saw this really cute pink pinstripe suit fully equipped with a fake gun. Then again they probably might not allow that in school. Okay. Well, the suit is still really cute and you can go all Al Capone. Or we can just do the regular fashion of the period. I can be a flapper and you can get a business suit. Or we can go casual. Everyday wear and that type of thing.

"Faye! Stop."

"Okay." Defeated, I sat down beside the table. I wrung my hands in my lap. I didn't particularly want to talk about this even though I really did. I was torn between the two. Talk and get over this little rift and start flirting again or start blubbering again about the project and steal glances and feel horrible about myself the rest of my high school career and maybe longer.

"Calm down a little." Damien said taking a seat beside me.

"Okay. I'm calm."

"Okay."

"Okay." We had now waged a different war—an 'okay' war.

He stared at me a while before sighing. "What's our problem?"

"You're asking me?"

"Okay." He put his hands up. "That was a stupid question. I guess what I meant to say is why are we avoiding each other?"

"Because it's natural…..?" I blurted. He gave me a puzzled look. "Possibly?" I added.

"Possibly. Or we just don't know what to do next." He provided. It seems to me like he already knew the answer. What is this—a quiz? If it was I was failing.

"That, too." I slumped in my chair. "How do you intend to fix that, doctor?"

"We. We're going to fix it."

I rolled my eyes, breaking two of my mother's rules in less than a minute. "Well, how do you propose we fix it."

Damien took my hand and my heart sped up. "I'm not good at this."

"You're doing fine." I said with a smirk. It never occurred to me that I had more experience than he did. It was somewhat empowering. "Go on."

He leaned forward so that our faces were close to each other. He paused right before we made contact, his eyes intent on my lips. I could feel his warm breath on my mouth and it made me blush which was a first for me. My sense of empowerment was gone and he was now completely in control. Damien leaned in the last bit and touched his lips to mine. It was pure heaven. I had never felt so timid and shy in my life but never had I felt this way from a kiss either. The few seconds that we were kissing seemed a lifetime before we heard a thud.

"Fayelene Marie Carson."

Damien and I jerked apart. I stared white faced at my mother. He slowly turned in his seat.

"Hi mom." I said weakly

"What are you doing?" She asked. Her hands were spaced apart as if she was still holding the grocery bag she brought in and dropped.

I mentally rolled my eyes. Seriously? What did it look like we were doing? "We're working on a project." I answered. Damien looked at me, and I finally realized what I said. I could just imagine the next questions. A project? For what – health and safety? Are you studying the do's or the don'ts?

"A project. Okay. I'll go somewhere else then." And with that she turned, exited the doorway and went around the corner where she was probably going to stay to eavesdrop.

"It's not safe here anymore." I whispered to Damien.

"What?" he asked loud and clear.

"Shhh. Come on." I grabbed his hand and left the way my mom came. I could almost sense her as I passed the corner, walked through the living room and out the front door. I felt better out on the porch. There was a homely white wicker love seat that I plopped down on as a sigh whooshed out of my mouth. Damien stood before me dazed and confused.

"You know. Before we started talking I never saw you plop or slump or roll your eyes or anything like that. You were very…..lady-like.

I threw my arm out to point a finger towards the house. "It's all her doing." I accused. Damien sat down beside me, and leaned towards me.

"So what was all that about?" He asked.

"Would you believe me if I told you that I've never told my parents about any of my boyfriends?" I asked. I looked up at him for a reaction.

He cocked his head to the side. "I'd be more convinced now that I witnessed that. But you've had so many. How could you keep that away from them?"

I ignored the 'so many' part – I haven't had that many boyfriends. Very sneaky lying and escaping and breaking and entering on my part and a lot of trust on theirs. I think they'd have a heart attack if they even entertained the thought that I wasn't doing what I was supposed to so they decided to ignore it. Ignorance is bliss, I guess."

"I see. So now what are we going to do about it?"

"Um…..lay low for a while. Well, you lay low forever. They'll choose to forget about it in a little while if I don't bring it up."

Damien leaned back away from her, giving her a look.

"What?" I asked, confused. What was that look for?

"Really, Faye? That's your answer. I'm not accepting that."

"You don't understand. That's the only thing that they will accept. There's no other way."

"You're making this too big of a deal." He said as he walked back into the house.

"Wait! What are you doing?" I asked, catching the door and hurrying after him. Mom had found her way back into the kitchen by now and was dicing tomatoes jerkily. She turned as Damien walked up to her with me hot on his heels.

"Hi Mrs. Carson. I'm Damien Anders. I'm a friend of Faye's." Damien said as he stuck his hand out for her mom to shake.

Faye watched from where she was hiding behind Damien's broad back. She glanced a peak over his shoulder to see her mom lightly grip his hand for a few seconds before she let go.

"Faye. You've never brought home a boy friend before. Well, I mean a friend who happens to be a boy." Her mom stated.

Way to go mom. "I don't have many of those. Besides, we're working on a project and had nowhere else to go."

"Oh. So that was…..?" Mrs. Carson gestured at the both of them and toward the dining room.

"Mom!! Come on. That was something you don't mention. At least not now." I pleaded.

"Why not? It seems like a good time as any." Her mom said, retaliating.

"Maybe right now isn't a good time." Damien interrupted.

I grabbed his hand and turned on my heel to leave. "You're right. This is not a good time."

"So when will it?" Mrs. Carson said with hands on her hips.

"Never!" I yelled from the front door.

"Faye." Damien protested as I pulled him down the stairs. "Wait."

"What?!"

"Calm down." He said soothingly putting a hand on my arm.

"Calm? She's psycho!" I knew my voice was too loud and I was getting hysterical over practically nothing.

"She's not psycho; she's just as worked up as you are."

"Then we're both psycho. I get it from her." I countered. Anyway you put it I was going to convince myself that my mother was not normal. If I had to believe she was an alien I would; an alien who didn't believe in dating.

Damien sighed. "Get a grip, Faye. It's not that big of a deal."

"It it wasn't a big deal I would have told her about all my other boyfriends."

"What are you so scared of?" Damien asked quietly. I paused and stared at him.

"I'm not scared." I replied.

"Then why are you doing this?"

I looked down and concentrated on my feet. I didn't know.

"I'll see you at school tomorrow. I'll start a conversation so don't worry about us going through another silent war or whatever you called it." Damien said stiffly. He bent down and kissed me on the cheek, and then turned and walked away.