I was sitting in the car outside my grandma's house still trying to process what just happened. I was afraid to go inside but at the same time I was betting that any drama that was going on in there would distract me from my thoughts in here. The strangest part of it was that it wasn't even that big of a deal. So what if I had practically been exposed in public? But that wasn't what was bothering me. The exposure, I could deal with. It was just that strange electric shock that I felt that shook me. It wasn't that big of a deal anyway. So I brushed hands with a guy I didn't know at all and felt… something. It was probably the fact that he'd practically seen too much of me and I was still in shock. Yeah, that was it. It was the heat of the moment and that's it.
Once I finally got my thoughts cleared, I left the car and headed back into whatever leftover drama was continuing here. I didn't hear my mom or Grandma fighting so there was hope that for now it was over. I opened the screen and went inside. My grandma was sitting in her recliner half watching some TV show and half reading a magazine. I heard my mom on the phone in the kitchen explaining the details of when we were actually going to get to our house. Must be the realtors office then, I assumed. They both didn't even notice that I walked in until I set my purse down on the dining room table. Grandma looked up from her magazine and locked eyes with me.
"Samantha, there you are, Honey!" she exclaimed and got up from her recliner and made her way towards me. I met her halfway and she embraced me with a hug. I mean she squeezed me so hard that when she let go I had to take in a wheezing breath.
"Ye-Yeah," I said, "I'm sorry for running out."
My mother rushed in the room then, "Samantha Elizabeth Hayes I swear to God…" she trailed when she saw my hurt expression, "I'm sorry, Honey. I shouldn't have freaked out about something that's only natural for you to want to know about." She came and hugged me also but at least she didn't bear-hug me like my grandma. She released me but held me at arm's length.
"But," she interjected, "that does not mean that I'm granting you free will on the subject of your father. I stand by what I said about him. If I could go back in time and have Frank be your biological father, trust me, I would. I don't want your father to hurt you like he hurt me. So with that being said," she drew a breath, "I do not want you so go searching for him by yourself. And I want to be able to explain everything to you eventually before you make that decision. I want you to make a clear decision first. Do you understand me?"
Well, I thought to myself, at least she's being very lenient about it all. Mentally, I rolled my eyes and told her off again. Physically, I just nodded. Fine. I would allow her to explain but that didn't mean that I wasn't still frustrated at her outrage against someone me at least trying to search for my dad.
"Good. And please don't ever go running off in an area we're not very familiar with. I know you think you can handle yourself but I don't know what I would do if I lost you." She sounded hurt at the way I had handled the situation also. I instantly felt regret.
"I'm sorry, Mom. I didn't mean to–" I was cut off.
"Where did you get that shirt?" she interrupted.
I felt the blood rush to my face. "Oh, uh… well I went to Starbucks for some coffee… to get my mind off things and, uh, some guy bumped into me when I went to grab it and coffee went all down the front of my shirt," I explained and unbuttoned the guy's shirt to show her the coffee stains, "and because my shirt is white, it kinda got all see-through. So the guy that bumped into me gave me his shirt so I could, uh, cover up."
My mom pursed her lips as if trying to process that. My grandma just shrugged and said, "Oh, how nice!" And then she clasped her hands and turned to go back to her shows.
"Can I go shower and change, please?" I asked. My mom nodded and I turned and headed to the guest bedroom.
Once there, I grabbed the first items of sleepwear my hands touched as well as my overnight bag. Then I went to take my shower. I let the hot water take my nerves away and completely relax my thoughts. By the time I was finished, I felt the weight of tonight's events lift and I had no desire to continue listening to my thoughts drift back to the weird event at the coffee house.
It was only seven thirty, but the weight of exhaustion fell heavily on me. It had been a long day of driving and drama so I guess I couldn't be too surprised to find myself as tired as I was. I decided to lie down and read until I felt sleep come over me. I picked my book, East of Eden by John Steinbeck, from my tote bag and opened to where I left off last. I got to the part where Cal and Aron met Abra for the first time before my eyelids got too heavy to stay awake and I drifted to sleep.
I woke with my face plastered to my book. Oh yeah, I fell asleep reading again. I checked the alarm clock; it was nearing eight thirty. I could guarantee my mom and Grandma were already up and making breakfast. I then realized that I never came back out last night after my shower but shook the thought away. I got up and went to get ready for the day before leaving the guest room to greet my family.
"Sam, good you're awake." My mom said when she saw me enter the kitchen, "We made eggs and potatoes. You can grab a plate and come join us at the table, please."
I questioned if that was an option or an order.
I saw they'd left a plate on the counter for me and I grabbed it and started piling eggs and potatoes on it as if I hadn't eaten in a millennia. I came to realize that my last real meal was the night in the hotel and Chinese food. I really need to start taking better care of myself.
Before I went to join my mom and Grandma at the table, I opened the fridge in search for hot sauce. It drove my mom crazy when I put it on almost everything I ate but it truly does enhance that flavor. And if I remembered correctly, Grandma always, always used to keep a bottle in her fridge. When I found the holy item, I snatched it in victory and continued that way to the table to which my mom rolled her eyes and had my grandma's glistening with revelation.
"Oh, the hot sauce! Samantha, I forgot all about that!" she exclaimed, "Oh, bless you, Darling."
I laughed at my mom's face twist in revulsion as she watched Grandma and I douse our food in hot sauce until it looked like the potatoes had started bleeding. I scooped a bunch into my mouth and smiled at her.
"I will never understand that habit." My mom said. This time, Grandma was the one to laugh.
"Jodie, dear you can't knock it 'til you try it." She replied. My mom grumbled and went back to her own boring normal food.
After breakfast was said, done and cleaned up after, my mom told me what the day plan was going to be. Since we were getting back on the road again tomorrow, today was the only day that I would get to spend with my grandmother so we all piled in her car and she drove us around to all of her favorite places. She took us to the mall where had lunch and then went window shopping and she even offered to buy me a few new clothes.
"You're starting a new school… it's like the start of the year all over again. And it's my pleasure! I never get to spoil my only grand-daughter and I mean how often are you really going to come back here to visit little ol' me?" she had replied at my mother's protest. Although I hated when other people spent money on me, I didn't see a point in arguing with her. I let her get me some new shirts (one to make up for my old coffee-stained one) and a couple pairs of jeans.
It was nearing seven by the time we made it back to her house. I thanked my grandma for the clothes and then told them I was going on a jog before it got too dark. They let me be and told me that dinner would be ready when I got back. I went to change into more appropriate jogging clothes and then left. I was only planning to go around the neighborhood a couple of times but given that it wasn't exactly the smallest neighborhood, I estimated it would take me at least an hour. Before I actually left though, I went to the car and grabbed my iPod and arm band and hooked it up so I would have some music to listen to. And then I was off.
I used to jog all the time in Atlanta. But when I found out I was moving, I had quit the basketball team at my school prematurely and quit going out in the evenings. It felt good to feel the wind on my face and my hair. I felt my muscles contract and cramp up from the absence of exercise but as I pulsed on, I felt them relax again and I fell back into the ease of my old routine. I started to pace myself to the song that came on my iPod in the moment. At this moment it was Good Intent from Kimbra. I felt my feet hit the pavement every time the beat was hit in the song. It was a good rhythm and I continued at it as best I could.
I was rounding the corner on one of the blocks when all of a sudden, I felt the wind knocked out of me and I went flying backwards. I landed smack on my butt and I extended my arms back to catch myself from further falling. I felt a spark of pain fly up my right wrist and instantly recoiled, clutching it to my chest. I knew it wasn't broken but it was possible it was sprained. The pain ebbed for a second and then faded away and it was better again. I looked to see who, or what, I bumped into. It felt hard enough to be a wall but when I looked up… it definitely wasn't. I almost made too large of a gasp when I realized that it was the same guy I bumped into in Starbucks last night.
"You and I sure have an interesting way of meeting." He said, a smile tugging on his lips. I had to catch my breath from the shock of seeing him again. I had almost forgotten about him and his flawless good looks and that weird sparky feeling when our hands touched. Hell, I'd only met the guy once!
"Uh…" I couldn't find my words and I was humiliated that I was still on the ground. Say something you idiot, I kept chanting over and over in my head.
"Need help?" he offered a hand to which I tentatively took it and was heaving up so effortlessly. Well he certainly needed another reason to be attractive.
"Thanks," I said and rubbed my shoulder out of awkwardness.
It seemed the awkward moment would pursue. We didn't say anything for what felt like an eternity. Finally, bless him, did he speak.
"Well I guess we're even." He said.
I furrowed my brow, "What?"
He shrugged, "Well, last night I bumped into you. Tonight you bumped into me."
"Yeah except in both scenarios, I ended up the lesser. Last night with coffee down my shirt, tonight landing on my ass. Both, may I add, a humiliating experience." I retorted.
He gave a sympathetic chuckle, "Well I'm sorry about both. If we ever run into each other again, make sure to trip me or something."
"I don't live here so that's doubtful."
"Neither do I… just here on… well anyway," he paused, "I'm Devon by the way." He offered his hand again.
I took it and ignored the electric buzzing, "Samantha."
"Well, Samantha," he started, "it's been very nice meeting you. But I have this feeling that I interrupted a very intense run and I don't mean to keep you from it. Sorry about your hand and your shirt again."
I shivered with the way he said my name. But I never mentioned my hand to him.
"How'd you know about my hand?" I asked.
"You clutched it, as if in pain. I assumed it was from the fall. I hope you're okay." He responded.
"Uh, yeah. I'm fine. Thank you." I said and then he stepped to the side and continued on. I looked back at him until he turned the corner and was out of sight. From there, I shook off the shock and forced myself to once again ignore that weird feeling when our hands touched and continued my jog. I went around a few more blocks before heading back.
When I got back inside, I saw that my mom and grandma had set the table but they were still in the kitchen. I could smell roast with carrots and potatoes. It had my stomach growling with the anticipation of food. I let them both know I was back and then headed to the bathroom to clean up.
I checked my mirror self to find that I was flushed red. My pupils in my unusually bright blue-green eyes were huge as they adjusted to the light change. My chocolate brown hair was stuck to my face which was not only red but shining with a thin layer of perspiration. I redid my ponytail and found a washcloth to clean my face. I reapplied my deodorant even though I was just going to shower anyway. I just didn't think my mom and grandma wanted me at the table smelling like bad B.O. I came back out feeling somewhat refreshed and found that dinner was ready with them sitting at them sitting at the table. I went and joined them, and we all piled food on our plates for the last meal with my Grandma.
"So, what's the plan tomorrow? You guys leaving in the morning?" she asked.
"Yes, we're going to leave in the morning. You don't have to worry about a big breakfast, Mom. We're just going to do the cereal thing." My mom answered her.
"Oh, okay. No problem. It's been so great having you both here these last couple days. I am sorry about the drama I caused yesterday when you got here but I'm glad that's behind us now." She smiled at me and I smiled back.
After dinner, my mom ordered me to bed because of the full day of driving tomorrow. I said goodnight to my grandma and headed for the shower before bed. I was exhausted anyway so going to sleep at nine sounded like heaven. When I was finished with my shower, I changed into my sweatpants and went back to the guestroom. I pretty much passed out the second my head hit the pillow.
A.N. I am SO sorry that this is like… two weeks late. I just started college (I know, I know!) and I've been going through some things that have just left me with no desire to write. I sat down to work on this a few times and found I just couldn't focus on it and I only want to give you guys my absolute best. I'm surprised at the little amount of homework I have and how much free time I have so I promise that I will try to get the next one up soon, seeing as this was kind of a filler-ish chapter. Hey, but some exciting things happened, right? Anyway, I just want to say that hot sauce it AMAZING and I do NOT own Good Intent by Kimbra or any other name brand anything that may appear in this story though the rest of the content is mine solely. I hope you all enjoyed this : ) Please R & R!