"You look nasty bro."
"Yeah I know," I push my bangs aside and touch my sticky sweaty forehead. The wonderful odor of man-stink fills the boy's locker room.
"So why are you putting your clothes on instead of hitting the showers?" Aiden sniffs his jersey and recoils.
"I need to get to work." I stuff my baseball glove into my bat bag.
"Work? Seriously? You're going to go to work after a four hour practice sesh?" Aiden shakes his head.
"What? I need to figure out my schedule."
"I thought you already figured that out? Wasn't your interview like three weeks ago?"
"Not that place, the other place I got interviewed at last week." I sling my bag over my shoulder and grab my cleats. My clean white v-neck will stink in no time and my fitted jeans still have some grass stains.
"At Whole Foods? Seriously bro? I thought you were kidding about applying there." He gives me a look.
"What's with the game of twenty questions?" I ask exasperated.
"Obviously because I'm curious. Way to leave a bro hanging."
"Seriously Aid? I told you I was applying there. You thought I was kidding."
"Okay fine, fine, but you know it's stupid right? To get a job on top of everything else just to get a girl who doesn't even know who you are." He raises an eyebrow.
"She will know who I am. When I make sure that I have the same work schedule as her."
"You're ridiculous." Aiden laughs.
At my high school it's near impossible to know everyone. Chances are, no matter how well known you are half the school wouldn't even have heard of you. I'm captain of the baseball team, play the cello, hold one of the highest records on the swim team and take three AP classes but there are still people who ask 'who's Kendall Banks? I've never heard of him'.
Like my best friend Aiden Simpson who's one of the top scorers on the soccer team. He knows very few people and isn't too well known. Most of his friends are sports or date athletes.
Then there's the girl I'm trying to win over-Miranda Hull. We're nothing alike, travel in completely different circles, have no classes together and rarely see each other. I'm sure she's never heard of me and up till recently I haven't heard of her.
I saw her one day when she walked into one of my classes to give my teacher something.
Her hair is this almost white blonde color and her eyes were a startling frost blue. Of course her peachy lips and pink nose and cheeks caught my eye too. She had this whole beach, hippy vibe going on and seemed so carefree.
I managed to do some snooping around and found out that she's a vegetarian, possibly a vegan, works at Whole Foods and also volunteers at animal shelters.
A complete humanitarian – or whatever it's called.
While I'm practically a carnivore- meat salad anyone? I'm a complete sportsaholic, I study, party and prefer to get as much sleep as I possibly can.
While at this rate I'll be getting two, three maybe four hours of sleep if I'm lucky.
"I'm not ridiculous, I'm in love."
Aiden snorts, "Impossible. You haven't even spoken to her. She doesn't know you exist."
"I have spoken to her though!" I defend slowly inching closer to the locker room doors.
"Oh yeah, when?" He crosses his arms over his torso.
"I asked her to borrow his science textbook."
Aiden makes a face, "And what'd she say?"
"She doesn't take the same class as me. I'm in AP and she's not." I make a disappointed face for a second, "Now you're not dressed so get your ass in the shower while I plan out my love life."
"Fine, but this is not over."
"Alright dad." I roll my eyes and head out.
My dad is in prison and my mom is a nurse. My mom divorced my dad because he was a kleptomaniac which eventually became the reason why be landed his ass in jail. I love my mom and I like my dad. I also love my little brother and sister. My sister's twelve and my brother's eleven. The divorced happened two weeks after John's birth.
"Hi Mr. Lancaster," I smile at my new manager.
"Hey Kendall. Ready to figure out your schedule?"
"Yeah that's exactly why I came by. Mind if I look at the calander?"
"Of course I'll be right back."
My mom was shocked when I told her that I was working at a natural and organic market. I mean come on I definitely don't care if my food is natural or organic.
I actually love going to Costco where the food is mega super-sized. My mom thought I'd work there first of all, so she thought I was just kidding when I said I was working at Whole Foods.
My brother and sister even laughed when I told them I got a job here.
"Here you go." Mr. Lancaster hands me the stack of planner.
I try not to look too eager when I open it.
I immediately see Miranda's named in big loopy letters and even a couple of exclamation points thrown in there.
Of course she works on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The three exact days that I have practice before and after school. The three days where I'm swamped the most.
"Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are fine right?" I ask.
Mr. Lancaster walks over and doubles checks, "Yeah definitely."
"Great," I bite a finger nail and write my name down under Miranda's.
Mr. Lancaster is this really cool guy, he's in his early twenties and has this whole stoner vibe going on.
"See you tomorrow then."
"Yeah, later." I wave as I leave.
I try to drive as fast and as discreet as I can back to my house.
"I'm home!" I shout and throw my bags on the floor. I make a sprint for the bathroom and push Sadie out of the way and lock the bathroom door.
"Kendall what the crap!"
"I need the bathroom more than you! I smell totally foul."
"Yeah I got after waft of your nasty odor out here!"
"You see my point then!" I strip off all my clothes and turn the shower on and jump in as fast as I can.
Man it feels good to be clean. The dirt and blades of grass just slide down my skin with ease and I can feel the muscles loosen up.
I've always been the over achiever. Do everything and do it right. I mean if you don't do it right why even do it at all? I can be a bit of a clean freak too. Sometimes obsessive and you know compulsive. I have bins in my room that I labeled with my own personal label maker.
I label things, make lists and I completely over analyze things.
But then that's one of the reasons why I'm in love with Miranda.
See when she walked into my classroom the first thing she did was laugh. She laughed and smiled and said 'I walked into like three other rooms on accident'.
And then I couldn't help but think, I want to be a part of this girl's world. Which sounds totally cliché and reminiscent of The Little Mermaid, but that's not the point. I want to be with her because I just feel so much better when she's around. Which isn't often, but I plan on fixing that.
More than just work though, I plan on seeing her in school as well.
We have this one mutual friend, Seth Wagner; he plays the violin and smokes a lot of weed. I did a duet with him one year at the Solo and Ensemble festival and he's in two of Miranda's classes. He's my inside man so to speak.
I'm making an effort to see him more around school- which might be more difficult than you'd think- and I'm also making an effort to become friends with his friends. Friends like Miranda for example.
And I know it seems like I'm using Seth, but I'm not. He is my friend and we hang out sometimes anyway. Now I'm just trying to uh be more a part of his life? I guess if that's the right way to phrase it.
I plan on being more than the carnivorous OCD jock that people think I am.
So what if I'll be spending most of the money I make just to buy food from the very store I'm working at? It's not like buying healthy food is a bad thing.
"I can't believe I'm going along with this." Aiden shakes his head but follows me through the hallway.
I roll my eyes, "You never had to come."
"Yeah but you asked and I wanted to see you desperately make an effort to talk to just one girl."
"Hey, this is my future wife we're talking about."
"That doesn't even know your name."
"She will! Don't worry."
"I'm not worrying." He laughs.
"Seth!" I call out.
Seth looks at me and smiles, he waves and I walk over with Aiden in tow.
"I can never get over how tall you are. It's like woah and then you're no string bean either." He laughs. His speaks kind of like a stereotypical surfer.
"Kendall is definitely no string bean, but he's going to be eating a lot more of them. I'm Aiden.
"Seth. String beans as in you're becoming a vegetarian?"
I scratch my head, "Well…"
I catch sight of someone with nearly white long hair. I take a step to my left, running into Aiden, but identify the person as Miranda. I have the urge to run after her. The only thing stopping me is that she doesn't know me so it would ruin my plans.
I subconsciously fix my messy bed hair even though I know she can't see me. Well she can since I'm a giant, but she isn't seeing me. I don't exist to her.
"Kendall," Aiden says.
"What?" I snap back into the conversation and look at the two guys. I look back at where Miranda was but she's nowhere to be found.
Seth smiles, "Where you looking for someone?"
I feel my face heat up, "Oh, no-"
Seth gives me a look.
"Yeah maybe, but they're gone now."
Seth shrugs, "Okay well I guess I should get to class."
"Oh shit, yeah. See you later." I head off with Aiden.
"You know I still haven't seen this chick."
"And you will. She can get your approval." I roll my eyes. Aiden can be such a mom sometimes too.
"Even if she didn't you'd still go after her. You're like psycho for her."
"So? I don't see what's the problem here."
I enter English class the moment the bell rings. Perfect.
I've had a couple of girlfriends and I'm by no means a virgin. Honestly all my relationships never worked out because I couldn't fit them into my schedule. If I really wanted to I could've made time for them, but I didn't. None of them meant enough to me. I was really serious about one girl though. Even then I still didn't make too much of an effort.
That's the thing about guys. If he wants you in his life he'll do any fucking thing he can to make sure you stay there. If she's worth his time then he'll make sure he has time for her.
Even though Miranda Hull doesn't know it, I'm making time for her.
I give the old lady a smile as I finish ringing up her items. A couple of tomatoes and cat food how old lady-like of her. With a shaky hand she hands up a twenty and I give her back her change.
"Have a nice day,"
"Thank you, you too." She grabs her totally environmentally friendly reusable bag and leaves. I let out a big sigh and lean against the counter. God I'm tired.
I smell god awful, like sand, sweat and grass. Plus it's been almost two hours since practice ended so the smell has been stewing a bit. My usually messy hair is even messier and my legs are sore. A typical day at work.
I feel my eyes start to close when I catch a glimpse of Miranda.
She passes by me without even glancing at me. I immediately wake up though.
She's wearing a pin-striped light blue and white button up with those short shorts that are slightly ripped. Of course there's the apron but whatever.
So far I haven't seen her any more often at school so most of my Miranda time is at work.
It's been two weeks and I still haven't really spoken to her.
I sigh as she walks out of my sight. Tonight I'm working until closing with her. Maybe then I'd be able to talk her.
But how? She seems so preoccupied with her own world to even acknowledge my existence.
Then again she seems nice and friendly. I doubt she'd blatantly ignore me.
"H-hey," I awkwardly raise a hand as I untie my apron.
"Hi," Miranda gives me the most heart wrenching smile as she fixes her hair. Her apron is already slung over on arm.
"Miranda-you work the same days as me right?"
"Yeah I just started." I grin sheepishly.
"That's great are you a vegetarian or-?"
Oh no the dreaded question. I can't tell her I'm practically a carnivore or I'd surely ruin my chances.
"Yeah my mom is actually a vegan." Lies.
"Seriously? I want to but then it's like all animal products so no leather or wool and whatnot. Plus no animal tested cosmetics which would take too much time to figure out." She shrugs and licks her lips.
Shit then when we start dating Miranda can't come over to my house…or I'd have to get rid of all the un-vegan things.
"Yeah it's pretty intense."
"Definitely I don't think I could go through with it. So do you go to my school?" She looks up at me right into my eyes. My heart stops for a moment but I regain my composure.
"Do you go to Westminster?" Of course I know she does.
"Yeah! I've never seen you there…" She looks down and appears to be thinking about something.
"Oh well you know it's a big school." I'm inwardly disappointed that she can't even recall me at all. I mean I expected it but still.
"I know right? It's like you never really know half the people in your grade alone. I don't even try with most of the underclassmen."
"Yeah exactly," I smile, "You just end up missing out on a lot of people."
"Yeah," She brightens up, "I really love meeting new people, but then so many people are just stuck in their own world. Which I am too so that's a bit hypocritical." She nonchalantly bites her painted finger nails and looks around.
"I get exactly what you're saying. Sometimes I think all my friends know each other. Then when I see people I don't know none of them seem to know who it is."
"Yeah! Wow I really like talking to you." Miranda smiles at me and I can't help but grin back.
"Totally- I feel like I can relate to you."
"But I'm sure not that much."
I make a confused face, "What do you mean by that?"
"You smell like an athlete."
I feel my face heat up, right I stink, "Oh sorry about that."
"It's totally fine. What sport do you play?"
"Baseball. In the winter I'm on the swim team so I smell like chlorine then."
"Oh…baseball's alright. I love the beach though."
Shit Kendall she doesn't like baseball. Remember not to blab about it.
"I love the beach too. And the boardwalk."
"Yeah! I love fairs. I always kind of imagined living in this small house on the beach with twinkle lights strung around inside and out. Then having a fair within walking distance."
God she's perfect.
"Really? I've always wanted to live on the beach. I love the weather and scenery. Just the feeling of it all."
"Exactly. The atmosphere is just like perfect." She makes a hand gesture, something that resembles a light flashing.
I notice the rings on her fingers.
"You're perfect…" I mutter, not realizing that I said it out loud.
"What'd you say?" She looks at me innocently.
I use my hands to shake off some water off my hair.
"Seriously you look like shit." Aiden finishes tying his shoe.
"I look like shit but I still look better than you."
"Yeah right," He snorts, "So okay have you talked to Miranda since?"
"Once," I groan, "She still doesn't notice my existence."
"But she knows who you are."
"But she doesn't notice you."
Aiden rolls his eyes, "She's not interested then."
"How do you know? I think it's just that she doesn't know me well enough. I'm going to make the effort and I don't care how long it'll take. I'll win her over."
"You're a sap bro."
"Still don't see the problem here."
"Kendall! Aiden! Hey,"
We both smile and wave at our friend Cassie. She's in the tennis team and very into school spirit.
"Hey Cassie," Aiden and I say simultaneously.
"So I was wondering if you guys would like to help me with this experiment."
"Experiment? I ask.
"Yeah! Okay like I want to do a trial run before I ask the class president for approval."
"Approval for what?" Aiden looks skeptical.
Aiden and I share a look.
"I know what you're thinking- that this is totally ridiculous but it's not! Seriously like it'll b e a great way to get people to find a date. It's totally cute and plus even if you don't get a date you can mingle. So please?"
"Uh…" I touch my hair.
"It's not like you even have to go on a date! Just meet people. Since you're the guys you just have to travel from table to table and if you like the girl or are interested in going on a date with her you leave her a ticket with your name and number at the end of it."
"I guess I could do it…" I reluctantly agree making Cassie smile.
"Great! Totes fantastic. It'll be during free period tomorrow, see you guys then!" She scampers off probably looking for more speed dating victims.
Cassie called everyone the night before to make sure we remembered and them hunted everyone down in the morning to see what we all looked like.
"Shit Aid," I punch my best friends arm.
"Ouch dude watch it," He whisper yells back.
"Miranda's here! Mir-freaking-anda is here!" I feel both giddy and nervous.
"Which one is- oh the one with really light hair?"
"Yeah that's her," I practically swoon. I watch as she's laughing at something some girl said.
"Wow you're whipped and you're not even dating her."
I roll my eyes, "Whatever, thoughts?"
"She seems very…beachy."
"She's absolutely perfect."
Aiden shrugs, "For you maybe. She's pretty? Doesn't seem like your type Mr. OCD."
"What does my OCD have to do with her?"
"She seems…carefree. While you're uptight. Very uptight and very much a hardass."
"So- I don't-"
"Okay!" Cassie comes over to us, "Aiden you can go over there to table number eight and Kendall you can go to number one."
"Wait- can I go to eight?" I ask since eight is Miranda's table.
"Sorry Kendall, but you'll end up there anyway."
Aiden laughs and whispers, "No worries okay?"
"I'm not worried I'd just rather be with her."
He rolls his eyes and heads over to Miranda's table. I reluctantly drag my feet to table number one.
I sit down and Cassie starts to talk, "Okay! So you all get three minutes and I'll ring this bell when each session is up. Have fun!"
I clear my throat and smiles at the girl across from me, "Hey,"
"Hi I'm Jenny, you're Kendall right?"
"I've been dying to meet you! I guess Cassie remembered. I think it's totally cool that you're like an athlete."
"Oh, cool. Do you play any sports?"
"No but I like people who play sports!"
I scratch my head, "Great."
You know that's what a lot of people like about me. That I'm 'an athlete and look like an athlete. I'm not exactly Mr. Muscles with the cropped hair but I have the athletic body. I have a messy mop of hair and I don't always wear basketball shorts or whatever.
"Hey!" I finally sit down at Miranda's table.
"Oh hey! We work together yeah?"
"Yeah," I chuckle, "Good to know you remember me."
"Seriously, you're Kendall. I completely remember. I'm just a bit slow at remembering people. Don't take it personal."
"It's fine I understand. I only thought it was slightly personal."
Miranda laughs, "Everyone thinks I don't listen but I do. I pay attention to a lot of different things at the same time."
"Really? I can't do that I'm a really focused person."
"Doesn't it get boring sometimes?" She has this adorable expression.
"Sometimes yeah, but it's what I do."
"That's no fun."
I laugh, "I'm not that much fun."
"I think you're fun you just need…a little more spontaneity."
"Yeah I think so too," I smile. It's like we're meant to be. Well actually we are meant to be, "So you don't exactly seem like a speed dater."
"I'm not but Cassie asked so," Miranda shrugs.
"You two are friends?"
"Yeah I've known her for a while."
My mouth opens and I close it a couple of times, "I actually didn't expect that."
"Yeah no one does," She smiles, "We actually went to the beach together on spring break last year."
"Yeah I know."
"I mean it's not like it's bad I just didn't expect it-"
"Okay!" Cassie rings the bell, "Time to move on to the last table!"
I make a disappointed face.
Miranda smiles at me and waves.
I mouth the word 'bye' and wave too.
"Oh come on Kendall," Aiden and I sit on the bleachers. We've both got practice in an hour so we just wait.
"I wish it was the other way around, I'd much rather have her phone number so I could call her anytime. But she has my number and probably won't even call."
"You're pathetic, officially pathetic."
"Yeah and there's nothing wrong with it."
"Okay fine I know you love her and whatever and you take pride in being hopelessly in love with her. But seriously you work with the girl. Ask her out and talk to her there." He gives me a smartass look.
"Well I don't want to harass her."
"You aren't going to harass her just by talking to her."
"That's not what I'm talking about. I just don't want to come on too strong."
"Well she seems too clueless to get a subtle hint."
"She's not clueless she just doesn't pay attention to things."
"Which is the same thing as being clueless. Just ask her out or something."
"Fine I will."
So maybe girls never make me nervous. They never make me anxious waiting for them to call and they most certainly don't make me fall in love with them.
Ever since I found out that Miranda is friends with Cassie I've been hounding her for information. Cassie thinks it's cute that I like her and promised that she wouldn't ever mention it to her.
I found out that Miranda's best friend is Johnny Pritchett-someone I've never heard of. They've been best friends since the 8th grade when Miranda moved here. Miranda loves to swim and will try to avoid watching any sporting event. She's really lazy too.
And even though we're really different I still love her. Seriously.
I sigh when I notice Miranda biting her lip. Her face lights up when this woman comes over for checkout. They engage in conversation and she laughs. Miranda's blue eyes catch mine for a second and I quickly look away. I touch my hair and pretend to be busy.
Why did I look away? She was looking at me. I should've just kept looking and smiled. Man I'm an idiot sometimes.
The other night I actually made a list of things Miranda did at work. A few of the things I wrote down were: she looks cute, she picks at her nails, she braids her hair and she spaces out a lot.
"Hey," I turn my head to see a smiling Miranda.
"I haven't talk to you in a while."
"Yeah I mean if you're bust then you're busy-"
"Right well I got your number from the speed dating thing. I sort of lost the cards." She shrugs.
"I'm really messy and really lazy." She admits.
I can't help but laugh, "It's okay, mind if I ask why you work then?"
She sighs, "I don't know. I don't need the money but I just work here. I mean I volunteer at animal shelters because I just love animals."
"Me too! I've been looking into volunteering too." Okay more lies, but that's what guys do. They pretend to be something they're not for girls. Like how married couples lie to each other when they don't want their spouse to get mad.
Except I'm not talking about cheating, that's a whole different thing that shouldn't even happen anyway. I mean come on if you don't love someone then why marry them?
"Really?" Miranda smiles. God that smile makes me so happy, "Would you like to come with me to the animal shelter on Sunday?"
"Yes! Yeah I- uh definitely."
"Okay cool, I'll see you at school? I'm getting off work early."
"Yeah I'll definitely look for you- at school."
"Great, later Kendall." She waves and I wave back. I'm still waving even when she's gone and I'm pretty sure I'm still smiling too.
For the next few days I managed to find Miranda before school and occasionally between classes. Of course ended up late two or three times but it was worth it.
Even when we didn't talk she'd wave to me or acknowledge my existence-which led to me to have the confidence to call out her name when she didn't notice me.
I've seriously been the happiest I've been in a while. Even the lack of free time doesn't bother me. Sometimes during baseball practice, cello lessons, while I do homework or even during class I just start smiling because I think of Miranda.
"Watch it," I give Aiden a 'what the fuck look'.
"Dude why are you smiling like that?" He whispers.
"Miranda," I admit with an even bigger smile.
"Wow," Aiden laughs.
"You're just really into her and that's definitely a first."
"I told you I'm going to marry her." I scoff.
"Sure," Aiden looks back at his paper.
"Who are you going to marry?" the guy next to me asks.
"You'll see Kale."
"Oh come on Kendall Banks actually into a girl for once? This is big news." Kale gives me a pointed look.
"Sure," I roll my eyes, "To you and all the other girls who date athletes."
"Hey I only care because my sister wants to date you."
"Kale's ugly sister…" Aiden mutters.
"My sister is just weird looking." Kale defends.
"Uh huh…" Aiden and I share a look before laughing.
"Whatever, so who is she?"
"Don't know her."
"Knew you wouldn't." I smile. The good thing about almost none of my friends knowing her is that no one will bother her about me or try to hit on her or whatever it is.
"Why is that a good thing?"
"It means that she's safe from any of you freaks."
Kale throws a balled up piece of paper at me.
"Miranda!" I call out.
She turns her head a few times before finally looking at me and smiling. I make my way through the hallway and I lightly touch her arm.
"Hey," She smiles at me and her hand grazes mine.
"I was wondering if I could walk you to class?"
"Don't you think you'd be late for class?" Miranda teases.
"Hey I can be careless."
Miranda rolls her eyes, "Uh huh sure."
"I'm serious I can be!"
"Okay then skip class with me."
"I'm kidding. I know you couldn't do that. It'd hurt your brain."
"Maybe I'll just skip class by myself to show you that I can." Our arms bump into each other.
I laugh and slowly tangle our hands together. My heartbeat picks up a little and Miranda gives my hand a squeeze. She doesn't pull away and I mentally dance a bit.
"Is this how you show me how careless you can be?"
"Maybe," I playfully drag it out.
"Well that's cute." She half smiles at me, "So could you tell me why Cassie thinks her speed dating idea is genius?"
"Oh…" I feel my face heat up. Cassie thinks the speed date is what made me so interested in Miranda.
Miranda gives me a look.
"You know…I might've asked about you…"
"That was both cute and stupid." Miranda gives me a cute look.
"Okay how was that stupid?"
"Because Cassie is ridiculous."
"I know that."
Our eyes connect and we both smile.
"I'm just saying that she's ridiculous and gets very carried away. She also will try to get as involved as she can."
I snort, "Uh huh."
"Hey you don't know her like I do she's like wait for the right moment."
"Like a cobra?"
"Yeah! Like a cobra that really likes to plan things."
"Okay." I smile.
"I'm not kidding."
Unfortunately we end up at Miranda's class.
"This is me," she frowns, "But of course you know."
"Of course." I sigh, "See you later?"
"Yeah." I briefly kiss her on the cheek and head off to class. Okay maybe I sort of run but whatever.
By Sunday I was exhausted, but even so I was ecstatic. Seriously it almost hurt to breath and even my ears were sore.
But I was close. I just had to make sure I finished my baseball game and got over to the animal shelter in time.
"Calm down Kendall," Morton laughs, "You seem so damn tense."
"I can't help it. If things don't go the way they're supposed to then I'll freak out." I run my fingers through my hair.
"Like the time Warner left his bats and umpire stuff on the bus?"
"Yes! Exactly like that." I dust some dirt from my pants. I wince a little.
"Are you okay bro?" Carson walks over and pats me on the back. I wince again.
"Whoops," He gives me an apologetic look.
"I'm just really sore…and tired." I rub my neck and let out a deep breath.
"Why don't you just quit your job?" Carson asks.
"No, I definitely am not going to quit my job. I've fit this all in a very tight schedule it's fine."
Carson and Morton laugh, "Dude it's not that it's just that your body can't handle this."
"I can handle anything…as long as I have this planned out."
"Uh huh sure." Morton looks at me skeptically.
"It's true." I both give them a look as I head out to practice batting.
We ended up winning by a long shot. Which was great and exhausting- my pants are covered in dirt so are my arms and I'm sure my hair is too; I've got some grass strains too.
I drive a little bit faster than the speed limit…okay a lot faster but I manage to get to the animal shelter fifteen minutes late. So maybe I'm freaking out a little bit.
I jump out of my SUV, slam the door shut and lock it as I'm sprinting towards the door.
"Hi…" Miranda looks at me skeptical. She's playing with a huge dog that's practically the size of a baby horse.
"Hey," I pant- my chest heaving up and down rapidly.
I look at Miranda's sweet face and my chest loosens up. Her frosty blue eyes sparkle and I can't help but smile at bit. She lightly smiles in return and I collapse on the floor next to her.
I pet the beast like thing and he winces at first but obliges.
Miranda takes my hand and slowly stroke the dog as gently as she can, "He may be the size of a small horse, but he's still scared."
I move closer to Miranda and rest my arm on my knee; I gently stroke the dog.
"What's his name? Or her."
"His name is Stanley."
I smile, "That's an unusual name for a dog."
"Maybe, maybe not." Miranda shrugs and looks at me.
"Well I've never met a dog named Stanley." Granted I don't normally associate with animals.
"Then maybe you don't know enough dogs."
"Really," Miranda touches my hair and brushes it off, "Why are you so dusty?"
I clear my throat, "I just had a game."
"Baseball? How'd it go?"
"We won." I gently rub Stanley's ears.
"Really? But you don't like baseball."
She shrugs, "I know, but it's good that you won. You know you didn't have to come here. You must be tired."
I smile at Miranda, "Not at all, I'm just glad to be here with you."
She looks pleasantly surprised and bites her lip, "Are you sure you aren't tired?"
"I'm sure." I look her in the eyes and bite my lip. Honestly I don't feel tired at all. I'm sure I will when I'm not with her, but for now that doesn't matter.
"Okay well then we'll be taking Stanley on a walk. Let's hope you can keep up."
"You doubt my athletic ability? I'm deeply hurt."
"Eh." She shrugs her shoulders and hooks Stanley up to a leash.
"Okay so why'd you decided to volunteer here? I mean I know you love animals but why an animal shelter with mostly abused animals?"
"Well…you won't get too…weird when I tell you?"
"Of course not."
"I can relate to them. I'm adopted-" She admits, "And well I lived with my parents until I was five then I got adopted right after. The woman who adopted me abused me and then when I turned twelve I called the orphanage and I got adopted again. That's why I ended up moving here."
I hold onto her hand tighter and look her in the eyes.
How could anyone want to hurt her?
She looks so…unbroken, so collected and secure.
"My parents are divorced," I admit, "And my dad is in jail."
Neither of us say anything and keep walking in a comfortable silence. She isn't judging me and she isn't giving me advice. It's the perfect reaction. I never told anyone-except Aiden- about my dad because I felt like people would jump all over me. They'd ask what it's like; they'd try to relate or give me advice or to make me feel better.
Miranda just gets it.
She just knows I need her to listen.
"You know I've always thought?" She says finally.
"Just because two people brought you into this world it doesn't mean they're your parents. It's really the people who act like your parents and treat you like their children."
"Exactly. I know my dad is well my dad, but I just like him. And I feel like everyone would think it's wrong to consider him as just David Banks. I like him, he never treated us badly but he didn't act like a real father."
"Yeah," She gives me this look, "I never really had parents-until Beatrice. She's been taking care of me and raising me on her own. My biological parents gave me up for adoption, so who knows why. But my life is a lot better now." She bites her lip and looks down at Stanley.
"I'd really like to meet her- Beatrice."
"I'd really like you to meet her too."
By then I knew for sure that I'm completely in love with Miranda Hull.
No matter how exhausted I am and no matter how bad my day went she makes it better. She just gets rid of all the bad things, no matter what it is. As long as I'm with her.
"It's really nice to finally meet you." I smile and take a drink of water.
"I'm glad I can say the same. How long have you and Miranda been dating?"
I know Miranda doesn't know exactly- she doesn't keep track of things-while we both know I keep track of everything. Sometimes I can count the minutes and seconds of how long until something or how long something's been. Like how long it took for Carson to get from second to third.
"Two months, three weeks and five days."
Miranda smiles at me.
Beatrice gives me a look, "I'm surprised."
"Yeah." Miranda agrees.
"Maybe you can help Miranda be less sloppy." The two share a look.
"I'm very proud with my level of sloppiness thank you very much." She says proudly.
"Of course you are." I half smile.
Beatrice made vegetarian lasagna. I love food so I ate it- probably more than either of them-but of course I do love meat. Miranda still doesn't know that I'm not exactly a vegetarian. Or that my mom isn't vegan, but I'm been trying to become a vegetarian for her.
It isn't working too well. Especially since I can eat a lot to gain back energy from all the calories I burn and whatnot. Protein definitely helps and it's hard to get enough protein without meat. I refuse to drink protein shakes or anything of the sort.
Aiden really like Miranda though. They've become friends, but of course who wouldn't like her? I met her best friend Johnny Pritchett and I like the guy. We became friends too. He really likes me and Miranda together. I met Johnny's girlfriend too and she's good too.
Johnny's girlfriend is a little weird though and Aiden agrees.
Miranda and I have had sex and it's amazing. She's amazing and seriously she's changed my life. I know she isn't perfect but I love her flaws too.
"You haven't told her yet?"
I scratch my neck, "Not exactly…"
"Come on bro," Aiden gives me a look, "It is bad that you lied but it's not exactly a bad thing to lie about. Sure you aren't a vegetarian but whatever."
"But Miranda hates lies…I just I thought I could make it come true."
"Kendall you couldn't survive as a vegetarian."
"I know." I groan, "I never should've lied to Miranda."
"Lied to me about what?" I turn around and see Miranda and Seth. She looks angrily calm.
I sigh and touch my hair, "I'm not a vegetarian and my mom isn't a vegan." I admit.
She's just looking at me and I get super nervous.
"And I really love dogs…but I'm not too crazy about most other animals." That's it that's all I wasn't truthful about so I can't screw this up anymore right?
"Unless it's dead and on his plate…" Aiden mutters so only I can hear.
"Seriously?" Miranda finally says.
"Yeah…I'm so sorry sweetheart it's just that-"
"I can't believe you'd like about that. That's so stupid." She doesn't look, sound or seem pissed but she walks away with Seth.
"What should I do?" I ask Aiden, "I can't tell if I should follow her to go after her…she's not angry but she's not happy with me…"
"I don't know…I'm actually sort of afraid…"
"So am I." I sigh.
Each time I tried talking to Miranda she just ignored me or she talked to me without paying attention. That absent minded way where she's not really listening-which is different from her normal absent minded way because she'd start talking to other people while I talked which she never does when she's listening.
"Miranda…" I apprehensively approach her.
She puts her bag in her car then looks at me.
She gives me a look that says 'what?'
"I know saying sorry doesn't mean anything-"
"Do you think I'm shallow?"
"What? No of course not."
"Then why would you like about something so stupid?"
"Because…I just wanted to make a good impression."
"Because I wouldn't have liked you if you didn't lie?"
"No-I just-I didn't want to come off as a carnivorous stupid insensitive jock. I hate the way it sounds so I didn't want to say it."
"Just because you're a carnivore or an omnivore and a jock doesn't mean I'd think you were stupid or insensitive Kendall. You're the smartest guy I know and the most kind hearted. I liked talking to you because we clicked. I like you no matter what Kendall and I'm just upset that you didn't think you could tell me."
I open my mouth to say something but change my mind. I'm stupid.
"Miranda…I just don't want to lose you."
"Well if you can't tell me things then why do you want to be with me at all?"
"I can tell you things. It just seemed like those were petty things-"
"Exactly they're petty things. I like you for you, vegetarian or not."
"Miranda I love you. All of you, everything about you and I know you probably don't love me yet."
She looks obviously surprised and chews on the inside of her mouth.
It takes a while but she opens her mouth to say something. She stops and instead she kisses me. She grabs the back of my neck and pulls me in for a kiss that's just enough but still leaves me wanting more.
I sigh as I watch her drive away.
"Are you okay?" Morton asks me.
"No." I sigh.
"Trouble with Miranda?"
"Yeah…she's just been upset."
"Well apparently not." Our shortstop, Greg, points. I stand up and smile when I see Miranda walking along the chain link fence.
I run over and she stops.
"Hi," She looks at me with her amazing eyes.
"Hi," I smile, "You're here? You never come to my games."
"Yeah well you do enough just to see me so I thought I'd come see you."
My smile widens.
"Aiden told me how you got a job just to see me. I'm surprised you're still working there with me actually."
"Anything to be with you."
"You work too hard."
"Well I was thinking about what you said the other day and I might not love you as much as you love me, but I will. Actually I'll love you more."
"Yeah." She smiles.
"Wait so you-?"
"I love you Kendall Banks."
My face seriously hurts from smiling this much.
We both have the same thought and lean against the fence. We share the most perfect kiss.
"Good luck." She whispers when we break apart.
"As long as you're with me I'll always be winning."
"Like Charlie Sheen?"
I smile and nod.
Damn I love her.
A/n: Yaaaaay! It took me a lot longer to write this even though I finish chapters/one-shots in like a day or two max. This was like a week-yikes.
But I was also writing a fantasy one-shot about monsters…haha I don't know if I'll continue that but it's about a maneater vampire and a lovesick werewolf in a monster/mythical creature high school.
Hope y'all like! (: