"Did you just fart?" "No, why?" "Because you blew me away." ". . ." Violet thinks he's a tactless moron. Ashton loves messing with her. Match made in heaven? You betcha.
I hated winter. I hated anything and everything associated with the subject, and for those I loathed with passion.
The chilling sensation that cause goosebumps to rise on your skin (no, not like the ones in horror movies); the northerly winds which, without warning, could suddenly go whoosh and instantaneously destroy the hairstyle I had so delicately plaited in the early morning (I wanted to cry.) And I, being the lazy pig I was, also had a tendency to forget to apply lip-gloss to my chapped lips; and thus, whenever I laughed at a funny joke or opened my mouth wide, I would often hear the familiar crack of skin splitting, and blood would immediately begin to ooze out from my poor lips.
Seriously, it was disgusting.
I suppose the only thing tolerable of the cold season was the discount Starbucks offered for purchases of Caramel Latte, which, coincidentally, happened to be my favorite cup of coffee of all times. That is why I was a regular figure at the shop, and often mooched around in the tables, studiously revising my notes for SATs like the wonderful student I was, and lounged in the soft cushion seats. The staff had probably recognised me as the girl who bought a four-dollar cup of coffee and then procceeded to hog a seat for the next five hours.
Which is why I was quite surprised when a boy no older than me approached my table as I was slowly sipping my coffee, and then procceeded to feed me the tackiest pick-up line in history:
"Did you just fart?"
I choked, and then coughed alot (damaging my poor alveoli in the process) until my eyes were watering and coffee was running out of my nose. The moron in question walked up to me and graciously thumped me on the back.
Needless to say, I was appalled, offended, not to mention embarassed, when a fairly good-looking stranger approached me only to insult me in such a manner and then act like he was saving my life. What a derogatory remark! What a disgraceful deed! My dignity, grand virtue, wherefore art thou? I mean, there were people seated nearby, for crying out loud! If I was Harry Potter, I'd whip out my wand, shove it up the insolent boy's nose and yell 'Avada Kedavra!'
But unfortunately, I had no magical instrument of that sort, and so I had to settle with this:
"Um... no, why?"
My oh-so-intellegent comeback which I immediately wished I could take back. A grin slowly spread across his ugly face (okay, it's acne-free. Or slightly good-looking. Or possibly flawless - but that's beside the point.)
. . . Dammit.
He then threw open his arms and proclaimed dramatically, "Because you blew me away!" The idiot sent a wink my way, and I felt the heat crawling up my neck.
I wanted to die.
Headbanging myself against the table would have been a great idea. But then again, it's such a bloody and messy process, and plus, I wouldn't want the poor Starbucks staff to have to clean up after me.
From the corner of my eyes, I saw a couple of people snigger at the guy's theatrics. Some tossed bemused looks our way, and most just ignored us. I sincerely prayed that no-one from school was here.
"What. The. Hell. Is wrong with you?" I hissed through gritted teeth, longing to wring my hands around his neck. "Do I need to send you to the mentally impaired department at the hospital? You don't just go up to random strangers and talk like that!"
"Whoa, babe. Don't get too excited. I know I'm irresistable, but I'm only doing this for a dare." Then he sauntered off to his friends which I identified as the sniggering guys, and they did that fist-colliding thing and slapped each other on the backs, laughing, and all I did was leave my jaw hanging disbelievingly as I watched their retreating figures.
Being the temperamental person I was, I remained pissed off and sizzling in full heat for the rest of the day. By the next day, I had cooled down. By the next week, I was recalling the situation as an anecdote (which my friends had found absolutely hilarious.) By next month, I had forgotten about him.
However, what I did not expect was to see him a few months later, standing in front of his car in the highschool which I attended - clad in his navy blue t-shirt and white-washed jeans.
To my greatest dismay, the sly dog quickly managed to worm his way into the A listers' circle in my high school.
What a cruel joke Fate was playing on me!
The Moron (or Ashton Brody, as I later found out) was an overachiever, just like me, but he did it effortlessly! I pulled all-nighters studying for tests and putting together projects, spent weekends volunteering at clinics, and had forsaken every social activity under the sun (or moon, for you party-hards.) His mega 4.0 GPA trumped my meagre 3.8. At this rate, he could take my place as a valedictorian! Life just wasn't fair. Why, oh why, did he have to relocate to our town?
And nope, I'm not whining at all!
... Well okay, just a tiny bit.
"Vi, check out this magazine!" My Biology partner and long-time love, Chris, dangled the item excitedly in my face.
"What's up with that?"
His eyes were literally sparkling when he answered me. "An article containing golden advice on sex and foreplay from none other than the sex lord himself!"
I groaned. I already had a fair idea of who that was. Nevertheless, my curiosity was piqued.
"Gimme." I flipped through Chris' well thumbed copy and was faced with the hideous thumbnail picture of Ashton Brody. His evil blue eyes were slitted and his wide, knowing grin screamed 'You know you want me.'
My eyes zoomed in on the article.
Dudes, you ever banged a chick?
Ever wanted to screw her brains out and get that beautiful chunk between your legs a-wiggling? (consensual sex, that is.)
So, fellow testosterone-driven guys, if you're hungry for some top-notch advice, look no further!
Okay, you ready? Here goes:
1. Find a way to visit your girlfriend/date's house. Preferably when the parents are out.
2. Give her a wink or a nudge and ask to see her room.
3. If she indicates that it's upstairs, ALL THE BETTER.
4. Once you get upstairs, lay her down on the bed (manfully.)
5. Your goal is right in front of you, but keep your cool.
6. Talk it over with her first. She'll know what you need.
7. Trace your finger over your pant button, in slow, lazy circles.
8. Remove your pants (like a boss). You may want to add a little dance.
9. Now she's yours.
Feeling a bit sick, I didn't bother to finish reading it before handing it back to Chris. I decided to cross off any male wielders of this magazine from my list of potential boyfriends.
With Chris as the only exception.
I was probably ogling at him, but... what to do? Even when he's dirty-minded he's still the most adorable boy I will ever know. The way he smiles at me when he copies my quiz answers, the way he rubs his nose when he's confused, the way he tickles me in the armpits when we flirt, the way his hand brushes against mine when we use the microscope...
Goodness, I think I'm in love.
The bell shrilled across the school premises and I joined the wave of students flooding out of the school gates. I couldn't wait to throw myself onto the bed and relax. Why the hell was my junior year so busy anyway?
I exhaled and rolled my eyes, and my breath suddenly caught in my throat when I laid eyes on—
"Excuse me, I think your bag's open."
I spun around just in time to see a hand dart away from the zip of my backpack and back into the snug pockets of none other than Ashton Brody. He grinned shamelessly at me, and I narrowed my eyes at him.
"Did you just unzip my bag?"
"Yeah, I'm just being an attention whore."
"Are you trying to be funny?"
"I'm so hilarious I crack myself up." His smile was slow, feline. "Come on, you know you love me. After all, I fed you a great pick-up line before, didn't I?"
At this rate my lungs could implode from all that sighing I was doing. I started speed-walking but Ashton easily kept his pace and so I gave up. Why on earth is he following me? Thoughts zapped about in my brain. He could be a murderer. A stalker who secretly took pictures of girls in their birthday suits. Or even a serial rapist!
"Lets grab a cup of coffee."
Without waiting for my reply, his hand caught mine and he held it like he'd never let go. I found myself being tugged in the direction of Ashton's car and my heart careened against my chest.
He's definitely a serial rapist.
Two hours later I was in paroxysms of laughter.
"What?" Ashton's mouth curved upwards. "I'm serious. You're as holy as a nun. You can probably recite bible verses backwards."
"Oh, really?" I folded my arms and appraised him as we ambled along the sidewalk. Clearly he is completely ignorant as to how my brain works. So what if boys are filled with testosterone from head to toe? Surely girls can have naughty thoughts as well...
Chris is naked, Chris is trailing his fingers along the inside of my thighs, Chris is stripping, Chris is on top of me, Chris is wild, Chris is—
Right at that moment, an old Chinese lady bumped into me. I heard her mutter something along the lines of "Sowee" and walked on, then I suddenly came to a halt.
An idea popped into my mind.
I turned around and followed in her wake. Ashton caught up and gave me a nudge in the elbow. "Why are you stalking a granny?" Bemusement flitted across his face when I bared a sweet smile at him. "You'll see..."
Then, I lightly slapped the old Chinese lady's butt and danced away.
I blew a kiss at his horrified face just as the granny turned on him.
"You ah! Why you touch my pat-pat ar?" I stifled my laughter as I watched Ashton back away, holding both hands up. He caught my eye and mouthed "What the hell?" The old lady's eyes bulged out like they could actually fall out of their sockets and her nostrils flared so large that you could practically peer up her sinuses. "You ah, hamsup lo! You want die? Die la!"
Ashton looked like he was about to cry as she rolled up her sleeves and I, snickering madly, finally decided to swoop in and rescue him.
"Let us depart, my little ass smacker." I laughed as I dragged him away from the crime scene, where the old lady was still screeching. "Sorry!" I hollered back at the lady.
Ashton shuddered as he peeked back at her. "Violet, you are one scary woman."
"Baby you know it."
We wandered around a couple of streets and ended up at the entrance of a little alcove, tucked far in between decrepit buildings. I realized abruptly that I still had my arm latched on the crook of his elbow and quickly let go. How can I be gallivanting around with Ashton when I already like someone else? Grrr. My brain was going to explode soon. Where is aspirin when you need it?
The rusty gates creaked but yielded easily to Ashton when he pushed them open.
I traipsed in behind him and a gasp escaped my lips when the view unfolded before me.
It was a little piece of paradise plucked from the skies and buried in New York City. Leaves whispered amongst the trees as we followed the flagstone path into the center of the garden, which came to an end before the most beautiful bench swing I'd ever laid eyes on.
The color was white with small paint chips flaking off; overgrown grass brushed against the sides. Vines winded their way up around the stand and on the seats were plush, velvety cushions that looked so soft I was tempted to walk right up there and trail my fingers along the smooth material (or rub my face on it repeatedly, although I may seem a tad bit strange.)
"Isn't this considered trespassing?" I murmured as I took in the surroundings, awestruck. "Maybe we should leave..." My eyes zipped to the bench swing again.
"... Or not!"
Before I knew it, I had leapt onto the seat and my hands were stroking the velvet cushions. I beamed up at Ashton, who's eyes were lit with amusement. "I want to stay here for a while."
"You sure make up your mind fast." He smiled wryly, walked over and sat down beside me.
For a while, we let silence engulf the space between us. Just for now, I dropped all my burdens and worries and listened to nature's harmony of birds chirping, water trickling in a spring and the clandestine rustling of leaves.
"I like Chris."
The words tumbled out of my mouth in a tangled mess. God knows why I suddenly blurted this out. For the very first time. And of all people... to Ashton? I've disliked him for so long because of his immaturity and all-round irritating nature. There was no response from Ashton, and I decided to plow ahead with my soliloquy.
"I know this is pretty hard to take in. I mean, he's a player, he dates a string of hot and gorgeous girls, great at sports, maybe is kinda-sorta a pervert, and is pretty much on the opposite of the spectrum. But he's also quirky, sweet and... I love him!" My eyes automatically darted here and there to see if anyone was eavesdropping but of course, we were half an hour's walk away from the school. I am such a worrywart. I leaned towards Ashton conspiratorially and covered my mouth with my hand. "Because I've decided you're not too bad a person, I am telling you as a friend, okay? You have to keep this secret!"
I stole a peek at Ashton's expression. His expression was unreadable, his mouth had been pressed in a thin line and the silence stretched thin between us before he finally spoke.
"A friend?" He tasted the word on his tongue. His tone was hesitant, as if he was speaking a foreign language. "That's... nice to know." Ashton's knuckles were white and I saw tension coiled in his muscles. What was that - restrained fury? In all honesty I, being the lovesick girl, should be the one agitated. Plus I told him my deepest, semi-darkest secret! So what was his deal?
"If you keep acting so weird, I'm going to just go." I kicked at the dirt. "I hope you won't spread my secret. This is the first time I've ever told anyone about who I love." I darted a glance at him.
It seemed like he was using a lot of effort to smile, although it looked strained. The dimple in his left cheek winked at me, but I couldn't tell whether it was a smile or a grimace. Finally, he relaxed.
"Thanks for telling me that." Ashton rubbed his neck; his eyes were avoiding mine. " But I—"
"Oh!" I exclaimed and flipped over my bag and started digging through it. "I wrote a card for him and I was wondering if you can help me put it in his locker? Since your locker is right next to his..." I thrust the cream-colored envelope into his hands. Oh gosh, I could feel my cheeks growing hot. Maybe I shouldn't have sealed it with a heart shaped sticker... Never mind. After all, no use crying over spilt milk.
"Much thanks!" I jumped to my feet and after a moment of deliberation, bent down to give him a hug. My face was flushed when I stared down at Ashton's face, which was slightly pink-tinted. Maybe its just the heat. I gave my envelope one last look and felt my throat constrict. This is it.
I hope Chris feels the same way about me.
"Well, um... that's that. I'll be off now!"
I retraced my way back to the entrance gate and ran.
I froze and panicked. That was Chris's voice! It'd been three days since I handed my letter to Chris to Ashton, and I had no idea what the fates had in store for me.
I paused and waited. He was getting closer. I mentally flipped through the dating magazines I'd looked over a couple of weeks ago. What did guys find most attractive? Hair-flipping! Yes, that was it! Guys find it sexy when girls turn around, slow-motion like in shampoo commercials, and do that swoosh thing with their hair!
I was nervous, I was pumped... Most of all, I was ready to flirt!
I turned around and whipped my hair. "What's u—" I did a double take. Why was Chris wincing and pressing his hand on his eye in pain?
I reached for my beautiful tresses and then realization hit me.
I whipped my ponytail in Chris's eye!
I want to cry.
"Oh my God... I am so, so, so sorry!" Frenzied, I spat in my hand and held it in front of his face. He backed away slowly, eyeing the offending hand as if it were a tiger about to pounce on him. "I'm saliva-phobic..." his voice sounded strangled. "Get it away from me!"
I stared at him in confusion. "You don't understand!" I pressed. "It'll soothe the sting in your eyeball. It helps! I do it all the time, like when I get paper cuts and stuff."
He was about three meters away from me when I finally gave up.
"Fine," I said, pouting. I wiped my spit-coated palm on my jeans. Only trying to help, dude! Then I remembered that he came looking for me and— hey, maybe he got my letter!
I stared at him hopefully.
He stared back at me.
I realized my stare might be a little bit creepy, so I asked, "Did you get my letter?"
Something clicked in his mind and Chris nodded. "Yup. Ashton passed it to me yesterday... To be honest, I never saw it coming."
I almost snorted. Of course you didn't. I did lots of research on subtle flirting! I know all the tricks that must be employed in order to attract guys like Chris. Guys like Chris... they like girls who are flirtatious but not overly so, kind, a bit klutzy and most of all...
I beamed at him. "I'm glad you're happy! I was really happy too when I wrote the letter. It was like all the feelings just poured..." I stopped. Something as heavy as lead seemed to sink down on my stomach.
I blinked at him. "Come again?"
"Aw shucks, Vi... Why do you have to make things so hard for me?" Chris looked rather pained. "What I mean is, I like guys. I like kissing guys. I don't like..." He gestured at me.
My mind was spinning around in circles. I couldn't understand a thing he was saying. "So you don't like me?" I asked, feeling hurt bubble up inside of me. Tears were choking me up.
I met his gaze. "You would..." I sniffed and tried to regain composure. "You would rather be gay than be with me?" I wailed.
He looked alarmed. "What? No!" He sighed. "Vi..." Chris took my hand in his hands. "You're a great friend, but—"
"But you flirted with me!" I protested. "You tickle me in the armpits even when its stained with sweat." His expression turned into one of revulsion but I plowed on relentlessly. "We talk, we laugh... you even touch me with your arm when we look at cheek cells in the microscope!"
Uttering a sound of disgust, I shook off his hand and stormed off angrily, ignoring his pleas.
As I thundered towards the school corridor, I saw the one person who tickled my every nerve.
Ashton grinned at me. "Hey, Violet! What's u—"
I slapped him hard across the cheek.
"You set me up!" I screamed at him.
He touched his face dazedly. Guilt twinged in my stomach when I saw the red handprint on his face, but I was furious at his betrayal.
"You're buddies with Chris." The tears were falling down my cheeks now, steady streams running down. "You knew he was gay but you never told me."
Ashton ran an agitated hand over his hair. "Violet, I'm sorry... I didn't know he was going to tell you today. If I did I would've told you myself."
I swiped at my eyes with the back of my hand. "And what? Humiliate me even further? You always make fun of me! From the first day we met, you always made me look like some uptight idiot and I hate it! And guess what? I hate y—"
"But I love you," he said simply.
I stared at him until I was sure my eyeballs were dangling out of their sockets.
He hesitated for a brief moment. Then he closed the space between us in a stride and traced my lips with his thumb. I was motionless as his lips collided into mine.
It was urgent, passionate and a little too much tongue, in my opinion. But he was a good kisser and the kiss lasted quite long, so when we broke apart I gasped like a fish out of water.
"So you love me," I rasped out (rather stupidly, might I add).
"Yes, I do," he replied, smiling. "I guess it just... happened."
"But what about Chris?"
"What?" Ashton abruptly drew away from me, looking hurt. "You still like him?" He hesitated for a moment. Then he made a half-hearted attempt to smile. It looked like a painful contortion of his cheek muscles. It looked as painful as the knife of guilt I felt twisting in my gut. "I could... I could try and convince him to give girls a go, I mean, if you really wanted that..." He shuffled his feet awkwardly and gestured at the door. "Well, uh, I'll see you around..."
As I watched him go away, I felt a strange pang in my heart. Ashton was an idiot, there was no doubt about it... but come to think of it, why did he hang out with me all these months?
He untied my shoelaces after I tied them. He gobbled up my ice cream right after I bought it, leaving me with an empty cone. He taught me ways to solve algebraic problems. He tutored me for the SATs. He backed me up when I got into trouble with Chris's fangirls... He made me laugh and he made me annoyed... but he cared about me.
This epiphany shocked me. He cared about me! He likes me!
Wait no, he loves me!
I glanced back at him. His shoulders were so hunched, so deprived of his usual confidence. And to think I could have such an effect on a boy. Well, that's it. He loves me and I think I could come to love him, now that I know Chris isn't into girls. And how could Ashton be so stupidly selfless? Even going so far as to offer to get Chris to date me!
I've been stupid once, but I'm not about to act stupid again! Really, there's a limit to how stupid a girl can be in one day.
And so I felt my lips stretch into a wide grin.
This is it.
Here goes nothing...
"Hey, Ashton! Wait up!"
So wait, apparently hyphens are not allowed to be used as line breaks anymore? Blasphemy! It seems like I'm a wee-little bit out of touch with fictionpress. But that's okay... 'cause I'm a BIG GURL NOW. :P
This document's been sitting in my google doc for one and a half years. I thought it'd be quite sad to watch it sit and rot, forever away from the eyes of the public, so I decided to finish it off today and post it! Its raw, unedited state is possibly eyeball-burning so please take that into consideration. It's meant to be a quickie! As in a quick romantic story you skim through. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, PERV? YEP YOU AIN'T FOOLIN' ME! Goodness, what are teenagers thinking these days? Minds in the gutter... tut tut.
I SHALL SMOTHER YOU WITH KISSES NOW. MWAH MWAH MWAH!