Love Surveys Are For Desperate Romantics
When I have a bad day, there are only two things that can cheer me up. One— taking an hour-long, shampoo bubble bath in my mother's Jacuzzi, or two—ignoring the No Food/Drink sign at the library and eating sushi at my favorite, hidden spot in the corner. Since my mother was already home, I canceled out the first option and headed toward my public library. The Manchester Public Library was one of the biggest I had ever seen, truthfully. A lot of people visited it, since it had a wide variation of books, but also because there were so many good hiding spots. College and high school students (the studious ones, at least) spent a good three to four hours here a day because of the welcomed silence.
I walked through the sliding doors and headed to the back of the nonfiction section. It was always empty, excluding two spiders and a couple cobwebs lingering on the bindings of some books. The lighting was dim and sullen, but I enjoyed the atmosphere. It felt even better when it was raining. Truthfully, I loved this place. I slipped out a random, nonfiction, children's fact book on Zebras and laid it on the chair next to me. I think the chairs back here were even more cushiony then the others. But I was probably just making that up. I grabbed the plastic container of sushi out of my lunch bag and smiled happily. Raw fish. Yum.
I flipped to the first page of What About Zebras?and chomped down my California Rolls. As if on cue, it started to heavily pour and I signed in contentment. What a life, what a life. I plugged my earphones for more fun, and let the sounds of Fiona Apple drown me.
Did you know . . . a 'zebdonk' is an actual cross between a zebra and a donkey? Kind of cool, huh kids? Zebras aren't just white horses with black stripes, either! I laughed - I wonder what my mother would say when she saw me reading a fourth-grade level book. She'd probably slap me and send me to my room for a month. But I continued to read the amazingly great facts about Zebras until I felt a presence of another. An intruder.
My head shot up so quickly, the earphones fell out and my book slid off my lap. He looked like a Jimmy, was all I could say. Brown hair, brown eyes, and a tentative smile. But then I dragged my eyes away from his plain features to see him holding a book cart, and swore. I had never been caught before, so I didn't know the consequences. He'd kick me out of the library for eating! Or even worse, he'd take away my precious sushi. So I did the smartest thing I could and stuffed it in my backpack, smiling innocently.
He looked at me suspiciously, and I realized my water bottle was still lying on the chair beside me. But he just shrugged and started putting away books, leaving me to awkwardly pick up my Zebra book and earphones. As I set the book on my lap, Jimmy glanced at me from curiosity, and the weirdest smirk grew on his face when he saw what I was reading. "Nice book," he commented.
"Tha—" I started to say, but stopped. Was he trying to act clever or something? I wasn't completely dense, I heard the sarcasm. I narrowed my eyes at him, but his back was turned away from me. Instead, I haughtily replied, "You should read it sometime, maybe you'd learn something from it."
He laughed slightly, and I realized I shouldn't be provoking the one who had the power to take away my food. "I think I know enough about Zebras." I raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. He finished putting away the books, and started to leave, before pausing and turning his head slightly. "Your chopsticks are showing."
Sure enough, my two chopsticks were peeking out of my navy colored backpack, and realized he was correct. But he didn't take away my sushi. He wasn't that bad, I thought with a sadistic grin, forking out the sushi.
"Is that all you'd like?"
The cashier stared at me with bored eyes, his shaggy blonde hair falling into his eyes. He was actually cute. Good job, Carey. I wish I hadn't stuffed a bag of Skittles in my mouth while he was watching - I didn't realize that was the Jason until I saw his nametag. I still had to act suave, and sexy, so he'd think I was really cool. I winked at him, and watched as he blanched painfully and swore underneath his breath.
Maybe he got a hard-on or something?
"Almost everything," I said seductively, and licked my upper lip. I waggled my eyebrows at him, and watched his fascination as sweat dusted his upper brow. Man, I was making the poor dude hot and bothered!
"Alright?" he said shakily.
I grinned triumphantly and handed him a twenty dollar bill, making sure my fingers lingered. Actually, it was more like I just held onto the money as he tried to tug it out of my grasp. Why he would do something so peculiar, I do not know. "Ma'am, I need the money." His voice was frustrated, but I smiled at his nickname. Most people call me Shea, but seriously, this is new! This guy was so hot for me.
"I bet you do," I said with another wink. I felt my eye twitch a little, but waved it off. I let him have the twenty, and ignored the relief that filled his eyes.
He returned the change, eighteen dollars and one cent. The bag of candy had only cost $1.99, but I only had a twenty on me. That's how us rich folks do. "Have a great day," he said, without any enthusiasm at all.
"Look," I said, after I had accepted his gift of candy. "I don't know if I haven't made this clear, but I think you're attractive. And it would only be suitable if you came home with me and met my parents. Here's my number." He looked downright petrified when I scribbled my number on the receipt and shoved it in front of him. "Call me, okay? We can settle out a date. And work on the 'Have a great day' part." I winked again, "Bye cutie."
His face was green as I happily skipped out of the convenience store.
"Did you do it?" Carey bombarded, stepping in front of me. Her raised eyebrow and tapping foot hinted she was waiting for an answer. Oh, the question helped too.
"I did," I said proudly. "I wonderfully charmed the cashier, whom you fondly call Jason, and left your number on the receipt. He should be calling tonight."
"OhmyGod," she said in a jumbled mess, with a little jump. "Thank you so much!" She giggled and flipped her hair. "I mean, I know I just met you, but we could be really good friends!"
Carey Shaw and I had met in Sweet Nailz - a truthfully lame manicure day spa. I had worked there for a pitiful day (Let's not mention the reasons why), and Carey had been my first customer. While I was oh-so-professionally buffing her nails, she started to talk about her crush, Jason Melding.
"He's just so hard to talk to, you know? He turns down most girls."
"You got to be assertive," I said, smiling, as I removed the nail polish from her fingers. "You got to walk up to that manly, handsome specimen of a dude and say, 'You are fine.' You have to tell him what you feel." I patted my heart.
"Are you good with flirting?" she inquired, raising a brow.
"Oh yes," I said with a nod.
And that was how I ended up flirting with Mr. Jason Cashier Melding. He was so going to call. Just as Carey ending thanking me, her phone rang. Her eyes widened and she fumbled through her purse.
"Speak sexily," I instructed her as she looked through the bag. "Guys love the bedroom voice. Some say I have it," I said with a cocky tone.
She finally found her lame flip-phone and answered, "Hello?" Ugh. Totally not sexy. I would have preferred a, "Hey big boy, you up for a good time?"
"Hi." (He was on speaker-phone.)
"Hi," Carey repeated, this time dreamily, her phone clutched to her ear.
"Hi . . . look, are you the girl from the convenience store? Because if you are, I just wanted to say I'm not interested. Sorry, but your lame attempts at flirting would never woo a guy. And for your information, I'm gay. Check before you start harassing a person, alright?" Jeez, he was way more loud-mouthed on the phone! "Anyway, yeah. Sorry. Bye."
Carey's dreamy look was replaced with a look that almost frightened me. She was met with the dial tone. "H-He . . . I - I . ." she sputtered. She turned to me, and I almost thought she was going to pummel me to a pulp when she blurted, "Oh, he's gay! Good, that means none of the slutty girls in homeroom can get him." She grinned deviously. She didn't even mention how that mongrel had called my flirting lame. Stupid little—
And that was how I met Carey Shaw.
The next time I saw Jimmy was when I went to The Manchester Public Library to get book sources for my research project. I had instinctively walked back to my spot, and was utterly surprised to see Jimmy there with another girl. He happened to be explaining something to her, so I just watched them with extreme shock and caution. When they finally noticed my presence, I watched as Jimmy smiled and the girl raised her brows. A look I was used to getting. I didn't like her at all, and I ignored how pretty she was. Pretty people sucked.
"Alright, thanks guy." She waved and sprinted out of the nonfiction section. Why she had randomly called him a guy was a puzzle to me.
"Hi Jimmy," I said cheerfully, and sat down in my cushiony chair. Mmm. "How are you today?"
He laughed. "My name isn't Jimmy, its Guy." Oh. So the girl wasn't calling him a guy, she was just calling him by his name. Which was normal to do in today's society. "Why?" he posed slightly, "Do I look like a Jimmy?"
Now this guy acts gay. Mr. Jason Melding totally did not. "Uh, yeah. That's why I was calling you it!" I gave him an irritated look and continued enjoying the sheer softness of the chair. Oh my - it feels so good, I think I should steal this chair—
"Now let me guess your name," he said, interrupting my peace. "You look like a Brittany." What? That name was totally not me! "Or a Kelsey." Poor kid. He would never guess it. "Maybe even a Shea?"
I stared at him blankly. Either he was a mind-reader, or he had figured out a way to get my name. I was guessing it was the former. "I'd appreciate it if you didn't invade my thoughts," I said with a haughty tone. "It's quite rude."
He laughed again. "I just asked the head-librarian, you know. Miss Ginger."
"Huh," I said, uninterested. "Well that's nice, Jimmy. Now go back to your . . . " I paused. "Whatever you were doing."
Jimmy - oh excuse me, Guy started pushing back books as slowly as possible, pausing to grin at me again. What was wrong with that kid? I rolled my eyes. Maybe I should set this kid up with Jason Melding.
It was pink. It was pink and crumpled, and hideously girly. I nearly stumbled when I saw the crumpled, pink piece of paper on my seat. It was like if someone had left it there. I did the only thing I could - I opened it. I was nearly blinded by the words. LOVE SURVEY in big, black letters was written on the top. A litter of questions were neatly typed up, with a couple spaces left for an answer. How lame, I thought with a roll of my eyes. Only a complete loser with absolutely no life would do something like this.
Ten minutes later I was reading over my answers, tapping my chin with a pencil. "Well, that seems about right." The sheet had said to answer the questions as accurately as possible. I glanced at the first question I had answered: What is love?--Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more.
I crumpled the paper back up, and unsurely left it back on the chair, happy that I had occupied myself for ten entire minutes. Then I sat down on the next chair and opened my hot, steaming serving of pasta. Oh yum. Actually no, it was frozen as ice and not tasty at all. Frozen pasta, yummo.
Jimmy soon entered the scene, headphones covering his ears.
I froze as the fork was about to enter my mouth, but Jimmy, I mean, Guy caught my eye and just shrugged. His foot was tapping clumsily to the loud beat, and I rolled my eyes. This picture was so oblivious janitor-esque that I wanted to laugh. When Jimmy had finished sorting the books, his eyes trailed to the pink, crumpled piece of paper and his lips twisted into a light grin. I hated that goddamn grin. "Uh, was that there before?" he asked innocently.
"Uh . . ." I paused chewing to look down. "Never seen it before, nope, I don't know what you're talking about." I shrugged before stuffing my mouth with another piece of pasta. This way he wouldn't be able to question me for another minute!
"Well, it's my survey," he clarified, and took the paper. "I left it somewhere here before, and I knew I lost it." He didn't even open the paper before stuffing it in his pocket. Cough. Definitely a mind-reader.
"Uh huh," I said, bored. At his look, I raised my eyebrow. "I don't need to know your life story, Jim."
He narrowed his eyes, for the first time ever, though I noticed some playfulness behind it. "My name's Guy—"
"Guy, Jimmy, same thing," I said, and for the first time, I felt a long smile curling my lips at his frustrated expression.
Jimmy and I had worked out a deal. He'd let me eat, drink, hide, jump—pretty much do whatever the hell I wanted, and I would let him—uh. Well, he didn't exactly get anything out of this. Which was fine with me really, because my mother wasn't sharing the Jacuzzi. But then, Jimmy had to go and pop the question. Pop that dumb question that made everything awkward and not-friendly.
"Why'd you come to the library anyway?"
Now, when he asked this, I had been scratching an itch on my arm. Of course, though, he had to interrupt me so very rudely as he stuffed another X-Ray book up on the shelf. He wasn't looking at me, just acting dutiful and smart and totally oblivious. "Uh," I coughed irritably. "I like to read." Which was true, if you thought about it. Really thought about it.
He laughed sharply, and I stared at him. What? I thought my lie had been believable.
"Okay," he said. "Any other reasons?"
"Not particularly," I said slowly, my eyes narrowing in sync with my words. "What about you?" I asked. "Why do you come to the library?"
He turned around to stare at me and furrowed his eyebrows. "I work here," he said, puzzled.
"Oh, do you really?" I asked, nodding my head in appreciation. I was just trying to piss him off. Hopefully he'd do the scatter thing, which most people liked to do when they came near me. "That's nice. How much do you make?"
"Enough for me to survive," he joked.
I just stared.
I swear, I heard a cricket chirp.
He cleared his throat before scratching underneath his chin. Now, that was kinda cute---I mean. Eh. He was obviously getting weirded out by me, which was what I wanted. I wanted him to scamper out of the room, like a wounded puppy would. Like a frightened child. Like a moth being chased by a goddamn bird. I wanted him to be afraid, you hear me? Holy crap terrified.
"I eat babies," I blurted, waiting for him to stagger or make a face.
Instead he laughed, "So do I."
"Huh." He needed to be scared. My plan wasn't working so great. I stared before slumping against the chair. "Anyway, this morning I found this quarter. It was nice, and prettiful"--my mom would kill me if she heard that word--"and shiny and I placed it my pocket, right? I was saving up to buy my first lunch at school." Let's not forget I'm a senior. "So, I go on with my day, and by the time lunch arrives, I reach into my pocket and voila! There was the quarter."
I waited for him to reply with something like, 'That was the stupidest excuse for a story I have ever heard before' or 'What the f— was that, you lunatic?' But instead, he just started to laugh before placing the books in and walking towards me. He plopped down in the seat and grinned lethally at me. At least, it looked poisonous to me.
"My turn." I didn't know what he meant, so I just stared. "I read minds." He loftily waited for my scream of surprise, but I knew I was right. "And, I've been hearing all the thoughts that you have about me. And I just wanted to tell you, I'm not ready for a relationship." He walked back to his cart casually and strolled out of there, while I stared at the air, jaw dropped.
I thought about him? In a romantic fashion? I LIKED Jimmy? What had the world come to? I didn't think life would ever turn out this way! I mean, I just wanted a normal life. I wanted to get into Princeton, become a scientist, find the cure for cancer, and make billions of dollars. A simple, simple life. Why did he have to change everything? I mean, I must have been thinking about him subconsciously and that must have been why he was so nice! He didn't want to wound my tender heart!
What a fellow!
A kind, mind-reading fellow. I swear, if he wasn't ready for a relationship, I would have kissed the boy! Now that my feelings were straight and life was so much clearer, I stuffed the last chicken nugget in my mouth before yawning. (My mouth was full of chicken bits.)
I mean, I never, in my entire seventeen years of living, had a single romantic thought about a pig—I mean male! Oh God!And now, mind-reader Jimmy just informed me that he knew that I was thinking about him! In the lovey dovey sense. Oh God, if I wasn't shocked, I would be embarrassed. But I never get embarrassed, do I? I mean, my cheeks are only getting red from the heat, I mean, I, what, I'm so darn confused, I—
My heart stopped. I liked Jimmy Whatshisname.
I avoided going to the library for the next couple days, but my research was due in a few hours and I couldn't hold it back. I needed to get my book--I didn't even know what I was researching. With a newfound determination and a pasty smile, I marched through the aisles and started pulling out books. I waltzed towards the back seat, my back seat, expecting to see Jimmy there, setting books in. But I felt a little ache as I sat down on a chair, waiting for the presence that kept me intrigued. No one talked to me for long. Carey had lightened off our friendship, because truthfully, a senior like her wasn't seen with people like me. And she wasn't even popular.
But we talked a little, chatted about the blonde cashier whose name I already forgot. Jason Melding, was it? She was sweet, but incredibly dense at times. But I really shouldn't really be talking.
Finally, aggravated with the fact that I had been sitting in the same seat for twenty minutes without speaking, I hurried out of my chair and started to check out the books. Miss Ginger, the old witch, hated me because I never brought the books in on time. But I barely checked them out, so yeah! She fumbled with her glasses as she took the cards from the books, and didn't even glance at me.
"Hi Miss Ginger," I prompted, and her lips twitched.
"Hello Shea," she said formally, before sliding the last card in. The library was rather quiet and slow for a Sunday afternoon. When I didn't leave, she tilted her brow, "Do you need something?"
Yes. I was wondering if you knew where the love of my life is? Uh. "Where's Jimmy?" I asked. At her confused look, "Um. I mean Guy. Yeah, Guy—he's like this tall," I started gesturing, but Miss Ginger's eyes had cleared.
"Oh, Guy, he left—"
I didn't let her finish. "My baby left?" Whoops.
She mouthed my words to herself before giving me a weird look. "For his lunch break. He'll be back shortly and . . ." Her words faded off as she looked over my shoulder. Her lips slowly turned full. "Yes. Have a nice day, Shea."
"You too, Ginger head," I muttered before turning around.
And there he was. Beautifully basking in his own beauty. Hehe. Wonderfully waiting without a worry. Okay. Enough of this. Jimmy was standing nearby, his eyes on me and his lips pulled so wide, and I feared his mouth would tear into two. There was a glow radiating from him, almost like he was an angel. -Swoon- Suddenly, my heart started beating. Wow, Jimmy was right! I did like him!
"Baby?" he murmured, raising a quick brow. "Since when was I your baby."
"Since I realized you are my only one and true love," I said happily and sincerely. If he wanted mushy, he'd get mushy! I hugged him awkwardly around his waist. "Let's get married and have children!"
I was startled. Okay. How could he be okay with me loving him? Someone normal with someone NOT normal. I hadn't really liked him, just pretended to—to get him off my back. But he wasn't budging. Stupid boulder. He felt the tenseness in my shoulder and patted it. "You okay?" he asked.
I pulled away, confused. "I'm. . . fine."
I swallowed. What was happening? He liked me, obviously. I didn't like him, so I wanted to easily and gently prick him off, like one would do to a sticky bandage.
He smiled, gently this time, and pecked my cheek. "Would you go on a date with me, Shea O'Connor?"
"No," I blurted. His face fell. "Yes." He raised an eyebrow. "Yes. No. Maybe. I don't know. My mom doesn't like it when I date. I don't like it when I date. Do I have to? Is this a trick question? Why are you asking if you can mind-read? Why do you care? Do you like me? Are you pretending?" I inhaled sharply. "I like bananas."
"That's good," he said, grinning. "They have potassium." He turned to leave, but then swiftly grabbed me by my collar and pressed his moist lips against my cheek. "I'll pick you up at five thirty." I ignored how my heart fluttered a little.
"What?" I cried as he started towards the back room. "That's too early for a normal date, you weirdo! And you don't even know where I live!"
He shrugged. "This ain't any normal date and . . ." he paused, before grinning. "I'm a mind-reader."
What a loser. I smiled anyway.
Carey told me that she wanted to dress me up. But I just smacked her and told her to shut up. She did so willingly. I skipped into my bedroom and changed into some jeans and a pretty t-shirt that said, 'I'm not stupid, you're just too smart!' I thought it was acceptable. I ignored Carey's wince and I strolled into the bathroom to manage my tangled, auburn waves and littered the floor with hair by the time I was finished. My hair was frizzy, so I had to dab it with gel, which only made it look worse than usual.
"So what's he like?" Carey ventured, her cheek still red from my slap.
"He's really weird," I answered, plopping down on the couch. I really didn't mind that my hair looked like it exploded and that my clothes looked too ugly for a date. Maybe he'd run away. Cause I didn't like him. Hey, don't look at me like that! I don't like him, really.
"Your type of guy," Carey returned, smoothing out her hair. "By the way, Jason Melding talked to me in the hall."
"By the way," I mocked. "My mom made me oatmeal this morning."
She rolled her eyes. "All the girls were jealous. They still don't know he's gay, so I'm basking this all in. I told him about what happened, and he said that he was cool with knowing my feelings, but he wasn't into me. Psh. What a freak, I mean really, who wouldn't like me, I'm so awesome, blah, blah, blah, blah . . ."
Ring doorbell. Ring. Please. So that I can kick Carey out of my household. So that I can scare Jimmy a little more.
Of course, the doorbell didn't ring until another twenty minutes later, when it was 5:47 and Jimmy claimed there was traffic. "I'm sorry." He attempted to peck my cheek, but I shoved him away. Carey smiled at him.
"Hi, I'm Shea's friend, Carey." She's lying. We're not friends. I don't even know who she is. Why is she in my house -
"Hi, I'm . . . Shea's date. Guy." Oh yeah. Guy. That's his name.
"Nice to meet you!" she said happily, reaching out to grab his hand.
I testily pulled Jimmy away. "Look, Carey, we gotta go. Lock the door behind you! Bye!" I waved my hand at her, and started dragging Jimmy outside. "Quick, before the she-monster follows!"
Jimmy just laughed. "You look great, by the way."
Yeah okay, sure. Stupid crap. He was wearing easy jeans, sneakers, and a white shirt. My eyes narrowed in on the, 'Hi. My name is Guy.' "Where are we going, anyway?"
"It's a surprise," he said, a glint in his eye.
"Better not be something lame," I threatened. "Like a restaurant, or a picnic near the water."
"Darn!" he joked, snapping his fingers. "I knew you wouldn't like it." But of course, he was joking as usual.
"Wait," I slid into his Toyota Corolla. "What's your last name?"
He laughed. "I was wondering when you'd ask. It's Guy Rivers." What a plain, boring name. No offense to anyone named Guy Rivers, but I could fall asleep reading something like that. Shea O'Connor was way more exciting. Shea Rivers. Sh-ea Rivers. That wasn't so bad I guess.
I coughed awkwardly.
By the time we reached our destination, my nose was happily pressed against the glass. "Aw, you brought me to the Animal Shelter? So we could see all the pretty animals?" I glanced at him adoringly, but my smile fell when he looked at me unsurely.
"Um. Kinda," he said, veering his car into a spot. "I actually work here."
"Do you really." I said. It wasn't even a question. I knew what he was doing. "So your going to force me into your clothes and make me do your job for you, huh? What a stupid date! You could've at least told me, I mean really." I scoffed, but Jimmy grabbed my hand as I started to exit the car.
"That's not it, Shea." His voice was warm and clouded with amusement. "You're here to help me. Help, not replace. Help." He said the words slowly. Um, I am not dumb. Gosh.
"Okay," I said loudly. "I get it."
I hate Jimmy Rivers. I hate him so much. I stared at my glove covered fingertips, and then at the poop that was laying in the hay. "This is so gross, you fiend! I can't believe your making me do this!" Horse poop was the last thing I wanted to see on Monday. I felt like I was going to throw up.
"It's not that bad," he assured me.
"Your face is not that bad," I retaliated out of instinct, and watched as his smile widened.
"Thanks Shea." He continued sacking the horse poop up. He had done at least fifteen of the pieces, but I was still staring at my first. "Shea, really? It's not that bad! I promise you won't die from it."
"Torture is far more painful then death," I said assuredly. My eyes were on the rotting poop. "Hey Jim, guess what?"
"What?" he asked, good-mannered.
"I hate you."
He didn't reply, but his mouth was still in that stupid grin of his. He was chuckling quietly too, I think. He looked cute when he did that. And for the first time, I didn't mentally slap myself.
By the end of the stupid date, my back was aching, my hands were sore, and my lips were numb from being a frown too long. I smelled like horse poop. I got kicked by a little first grader. And Jimmy was happily strolling by my side as he walked me to the front door. "I hope you had a good time," he said, and smiled at me.
I rolled my eyes. "You're lucky that I read about zebras."
"How am I lucky? There weren't any zebras in the shelter," he said, rubbing his forehead.
"I don't know, but you're lucky." I narrowed my eyes at him.
He smiled. "Goodnight, Shea," he whispered, and leaned down to kiss me before my mother shouted—
"Shea, what are you doing outside and who is that boy that's trying to kiss you?!" Oh geezer.
My mom hates Jimmy. Which is kinda funny, cause I like him now. Just as a friend, nothing more. I swear. We eat food together in the library, and he tells me corny jokes while I just roll my eyes at him. My mom started questioning Jimmy about his motives, and I found out way more about him. Apparently he was in college and was doing part-time jobs at the library and animal shelter to make a living. What a great, great kid.
I was only seventeen, he was nineteen. "He'll expect sex, you know that?" my mother warned loudly, just so Jimmy could hear. He didn't even wince. He just shrugged.
What?!—"I'll never have intercourse with you! Never, you got that? Never!"
But as always, Jimmy had that smile on his face. The one I liked. The one where you got a glimpse of his white teeth. Yay, at least his teeth were white. One good factor. I didn't know how I ever believed his hair was plain . . . it was more of an enticing chocolate. And his eyes were hazel and pretty and perfect.
"Why did the piece of gum cross the road?" Jimmy asked me.
"Because it likes cheese," I replied.
He didn't even look surprised at my answer. He knew me well. "Because it was stuck to the chicken's foot!"
We both grinned at each other.
"So Shea, I was wondering," he mumbled.
"Hm? You're mumbling, I can't hear you."
"I was wondering if you wanted to go out again," he said, this time more confidently. His eyes sparkled as if he knew my answer.
"My mother says never to give into peer pressure," I said smartly, narrowing my eyes.
"Your mother also says that I'm going to drug you, rape you, burn you, and then bury the remains of your body in her backyard. I tend to stop listening to what she says." Jimmy was right.
"You're right Jimbo," I said, tapping my chin. "I guess I could go out again. But nothing stupid or lame."
"Was the last date stupid or lame?" he asked curiously.
"Definitely stupid," I agreed. "But not lame." We shared a smile, and I subconsciously leaned in. This time, Jimmy dove for the chance. His fingers grabbed the jut of my chin and pressed my lips right again his own. My beautiful, pure, virgin lips! But then he smiled, and I smiled, and we were both smiling against each other as we kissed. Our lips were just firmly pressed against each other, nothing else, but I felt like I was doing something very bad. Very, very bad.
While I curled one arm around his neck, his hand suddenly placed something in my free hand. I pulled away to see the pink, crumpled piece of paper in my hand. It was the same survey I had taken a while ago, and my lips curved. "A survey, I see."
I unfolded it and on the back, it said: I love you, Shea O'Connor.
When I looked up, he was grinning. That wonderful grin. "Do you love me?" he asked.
"Psh," I said, rolling my eyes. "You're the stupid mind-reader. Go find out for yourself."
And then I kissed him.