I honestly didn't know why I was freaking out.
It wasn't like it was a real date, nor was it anything romantic… But there was something about the whole scenario—being around Callum's parents… 'hanging' with Cali and her supposed 'boyfriend'…
.. seeing 'Rush' live…
It made me over-button my blouse.
It was probably because of my history with dates…
It was complicated…
Ok—I had my heart broken in the 8th grade by my ex-best friend turned boyfriend, Peter… not that complicated. But still sucky.
I rummaged through my bag to find a tube of lip gloss that I had ignored since the first day of High school. Upon discovery I applied said lip gloss to my pursed lips. I took in my appearance with neither approval nor disdain; I looked simply 'bleh'.
My black jeans didn't hug my non-existent curves the way they did on the mannequin. The navy blue blouse, matching my eyes, draped cutely enough and hid the fact that the jeans didn't hug as they should've.
I wore my hair up in a brown, glossy ponytail. I left some strands to tickle my face. I knew that was going to annoy me later, but oh well.
And with the open display of defeat, I could feel my inner-girl become suddenly disappointed with me.
My conscious huffed, indignant.
'Oh well?' Way to snag a guy, Belly.
I shrugged that thought away almost immediately, and tried to reassure myself.
I don't want to 'snag' a guy… this is just a sabotage mission. That's it.
Uh-oh, conscious debate!
But wouldn't it feel good to have a cute guy pick you up and take you out again? Huh?
"You win." I sighed, glancing longingly at the clock on my nightstand: six o'clock. It was going to be a long night. Callum said he was going to pick me up in an hour.
Yes, that's right. PICK ME UP.
We would be alone together, in a car.
Forced to converse.
No Cali to buffer.
No Devon to dominate.
And even though all of this drove my thoughts wild, I knew I'd be alright because Callum and I had a 'thing'. A nerd connection.
I'll be 'OK'...I'll be 'OK'...
Yet, I still couldn't get another guy out of my head.
Oh Cali… where are ya? I'm having a meltdown.
Cali was at home, but I wished she were right by my side to calm me. She would know what to say to keep me from thinking about the boy that made me this nervous around the opposite sex. She would stop me from fingering the bracelet he bought me in the 7th grade, the year before he asked me out.
I sighed, beginning my inner (and outer) self-motivating dialogue again. I fingered my bracelet…
Why the hell do I even still wear this thing…?
"Ok, Belle… Let's get through this thing… let's battle another monster—" I huffed to myself.
Then, my door clicked open…
"Ah! Monster!" I shrieked, "I gotta get out of here!"
"God, I love it when you talk to yourself… " Calista laughed, nearly doubled over.
"Thanks, but I'm not God…" I muttered back, a little embarrassed. Cali hugged me tightly and continued past me into my room. I finally relaxed, unbuttoning the top three buttons of my blouse and letting my collarbone breathe. "God, Cali… I'm glad you're here."
Cali got the joke, breathing a laugh and settling on my bed. She slid off her jacket, revealing a beautiful pale pink dress that brought out the red of her hair. I glanced down at my own outfit, suddenly self conscious,
"Maybe I should change?" I suggested nervously.
"Maybe you should chill… Excited, eh?" Cali joked, winking. I shrugged her comment off and shuffled to the closet to look for a better top,
"I haven't ridden alone in a car, with a guy, since Peter… I'm a little freaked. Excited would be the antonym." With my back to her I couldn't see her reaction to my little revelation. My cheeks reddened a bit; it was always weird saying his name aloud.
"Good thing you're riding with me." My best friend stated, triumphant. I spun around with a blouse dangling from my suddenly slack arms,
"Really? Yay!" I nearly karate kicked with joy, "Wait. Does Callum know?" the redhead on my bed sighed,
"Yes, your boyfriend knows." Too relieved by the change in plans, I settled on wearing what I already had on and sighed, falling beside her on the bed.
"You know, Cali… I think you joke so much about Callum and I, because you're just afraid to admit you're falling for Devon."
And that, my friends, was how The Great Pillow Fight War began.
"Ouch! Get off of my foot!" I hissed.
"…Maybe if your feet weren't so big." Callum grumbled back.
Yep, you guessed it. Callum Jacobs and I were squished together behind a bush outside the theater spying on Calista and Devon.
'How'd we do it', you ask?
See, Callum is quite the mastermind. I don't know how he pried me from Cali's vice grip and dragged me away. I don't know how he totally convinced his parents and Devon that we were going to have some 'time alone'. I don't know how he got Cali comfortable enough to think that I'd really leave her behind; and disturb her enough to compel her to wander outside of the concert alone. And finally, I don't know how Callum just knew Devon would follow her.
I really had to give it to the guy, espionage looked good on him.
But… ouch! My foot didn't feel very good under him. "Move!" I hissed one more time and he did, but not without placing a firm hand over my lips.
"Happy now? Hush." He ordered. I was officially silenced. But the real reason why I made so much ruckus was because of my ulterior motive. I had to distract Callum so that he didn't see the truth, yet, allow him to think that I was on his side, all at the same time. It was tiring. And I was also failing terribly at it.
"MmmMHmhgrrrb!" I tried to articulate through his fingers, but he held his hand there and watched the couple before us with focus. I followed his gaze, hoping to see Cali and Devon making out, or touching… or something! Instead I saw a repulsed Cali, arms crossed and face alight in anger.
I hoped she wasn't mad at me for leaving. I felt a twang of guilt in my stomach.
"Devon. How many times do I have to tell you, LEAVE ME ALONE." She warned, sounding dangerously like the old Cali that threw pie in his face. She'd been playing her part quite nicely, but something was obviously bothering her that night. I hoped Callum didn't see her anger as her true feelings towards his brother, rather, I hoped he took their defensive stances as a lovers' quarrel.
I wanted to say something but my mouth was muffled by Callum who hadn't taken his pale blue eyes off of the sight. He was just waiting for someone to confess.
"Cali, come on… Don't worry about them. Come back, my parents are gonna wonder what's up." Devon pleaded, looking genuinely concerned. My eyebrow shot up, 'them'?
Cali wasn't only upset with me, but Callum too?
I wondered why, but Devon's next words made me remember my mission.
"Then they're gonna come out here and think we're fighting. We don't want them to start getting suspicious again. We already convin—"
"OUCH! You bit me!" Callum yelped, snatching his hand back and turning his widened gaze on me. In that moment, Devon's head shot in my direction and his eyes met mine through the bushes. Or at least I thought they did, because as soon as it came, the moment was gone.
A little dizzy from the fear of getting caught, I turned to the other Jacobs brother who was still incredulous.
"Have you lost your mind?" he whispered harshly.
I shrugged innocently and gave him my sweetest smile. Callum wasted a few more seconds on me before fixing his eyes back to the spot Cali and Devon stood, only to find that they'd disappeared back into the theater.
"Great. Thanks, Isabelle." He muttered. Even the fact that he hadn't learned my real name didn't wipe the triumph from my face.
"I couldn't breathe. Next time, use something more porous."
Callum took me directly home after that, since we had no more "business" at the concert—plus he wanted to "check his hand for rabies". I rolled my eyes at that last remark, but did not protest. Cali looked pretty upset that we had left and I wasn't ready for the 'talk' about it.
If you haven't noticed, I'm super non-confrontational.
Not to mention, I was dead tired and had too many thoughts swimming in my head. There was the weird look Devon shot me through the bushes; I swore he could see me. It was amazingly refreshing to be seen though disguised…
…the idea of someone catching my eyes in the crowd… or sensing my presence in a thick mist…
Ok, drifting again.
Anyway, I wasn't even sure if he saw me. He may have just looked in the direction of the bushes where we were hiding after Callum screamed like a little girly.
Also, my mind kept replaying the last moments in the car with Callum before he dropped me off. His eyes were softer, and before I got out of the car he turned to me with a ghost of a smile on his lips,
"That was… fun," he murmured, after searching for an appropriate adjective. I decided to smile back at him and nodded,
"Indeed. Next time you need a spy, call me." I paused, "I promise I won't bite."
And then we shared a laugh. It was a pleasing sensation and the 'maybe one day we'll be friends' thought blossomed and sprouted in my heart.
I took off my clothes and changed into some nighty-night sweats with the last thoughts of the evening swirling in my brain…
…The look of betrayal on Cali's face when she stormed out of the theater after Callum and I left.
I'm back from a break.
I needed some emotional inspiration. I love to write, and this story still gives me the little writer's flutters when I read it, so I'm continuing. It won't be as long-winded as 'It All Started With a Bet', but I intend on finishing this little ditty. Thanks for reading/reviewing loverrrrs!