Nate and I sat in comfortable silence, simply enjoying each other's company. After we kissed, there wasn't much to say – our feelings and emotions were already spelled out when his soft lips touched mine. Suddenly, Nate reached out for my hand and intertwined my fingers with his.
"I really like you, Callie." He confessed, looking into my eyes in a way that made it impossible for me to look away. "I really, really like you. Hell, I probably even love you!" I blushed madly, but stayed silent so he could finish his thought. "You're funny and cute, and you're easy to talk to. I feel like I'm a different person when I'm with you – I feel real. You're everything I'm not and I think I need you in my life, Cal."
I got lost in his eyes for a moment, marveling at the beautiful blue-green shade of his eyes. They were searching my face as if looking for a sign, but I couldn't respond. I lost my voice and ability to speak, because of the way his eyes were staring into mine. They were the same pair of eyes that I have spent sleepless nights trying to imitate their unique shade by mixing different blues and greens, but ended up failing every time.
"Cal?" He said, but I still couldn't respond. I was too fascinated by how the sunlight, which was peeking into the room, made blue in his eyes look almost transparent. "Callie, can you hear me? Oh god, I scared you by saying that I love you, didn't I? I'm sorry, Cal. I'll never say it again if you don't like it. Just don't hate me, please?"
I suddenly snapped out of my trance and shook my head slightly. "Why would I hate you?" I asked him, my tone making it sound like it was the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I could never see myself hating Nate. He was just so honest and perfect – what's not to love? Oh god, did I just say 'love'? I was falling in love with Nate Campbell…
"So, you don't hate me?" He asked hesitantly.
I couldn't help but laugh at the worried expression on his face, which caused him to look slightly taken back. I gave his hand an encouraging squeeze and said, "I'm sorry for laughing at a moment like this. It's just the thought of me trying to hate you just seems so ridiculous – impossible, really."
His face beamed in happiness and his smile grew, making my heart skip a beat. "Really?"
"Really," I nodded, knowing that it was impossible for me to hide my flushed face. "And for the record, I think I need you in my life too. You're everything I'm not, and I don't know what I would do without you."
After a moment of comfortable silence, Nate looked at me from behind his long eyelashes. "Callie?" He said.
"Hm?" I urged him to continue.
"Will you be my girlfriend?"
I chuckled and motioned towards our intertwined hands. "I thought that was already settled."
He shrugged with a triumphant grin. "Just wanted to make it official."
It's been a week since Nate and I became official, and we have been spending more time with each other ever since. Every day, we would eat lunch together, do homework together, and get to know more about each other. It's safe to say that we have been inseparable for this past week. Every day after school, we would go to his house to work on our project, and I have yet to meet his mom. To make it fair, my mom was never home when he came to my house, so he has never met my mom either.
"Those paintings are gorgeous," I said to Nate, as he handed me a box of oil pastels. Instead of doing our project in the office room upstairs like we normally would, today we were working on the large dining table in the living room.
Nate's blue eyes were focused on the two large paintings hanging on the burgundy-painted walls. There were two portraits – one with a woman and a man sitting on a green-grass meadow with beautifully captured scenery behind them, and the other was the same couple with an infant in the woman's arms. They were painted so vividly that I was almost bracing myself for the people within the frames to come to life.
"Those paintings are amazing," I said, unable to pull my gaze away from them.
"Thanks," he said, avoiding eye contact with me. I walked over to him and hugged him from behind, momentarily forgetting about the portraits and the project.
"What's wrong?" I asked him.
"Nothing. Just tired, that's all."
"I think you know better by now than to lie to me, Nate."
He sighed and turned around so that he was facing me. He leaned over and rested his forehead against mine, wrapping his arms comfortably around my waist. "I'm sorry. It's just – my mom painted that," he admitted. "She used to paint all the time, before my dad passed away. Do you remember me telling you that she opened up her art museum before I was born?" I nodded and he continued, "Art was her life. Now, she won't even touch a paintbrush."
"I'm sure you're mom hasn't given up on art yet; just like she hasn't given up on you, Matt, and Danielle."
"How do you know that?" He asked, putting a small space between us, so he could get a better look at my green eyes. Nate somehow convinced me to get clear contacts, because he preferred my natural eye color. He told me that the first step to forgiving my father was to accept that I was his daughter, and that our green eyes represented that inevitable fact.
"I don't," I admitted. "But I know how hard it is to give up on something, or someone, you've loved all your life. Your mom loves you three, and I'm more than sure that she hasn't given up on you guys."
"Thanks, Cal." He offered me a small smile. I placed a light kiss on his lips, making them turn up into a wider smile.
"That's better," I laughed. My smile grew when I felt his chest vibrating in a deep chuckle. His laugh was such a beautiful sound. It was melodic and soothing like a lullaby. I untangled myself from his arms and said, "Come on, let's get to working on the project."
He frowned, but obediently picked up a black Sharpie marker and began to draw a title in bubble letters. "Way to ruin a moment, Callie." I shrugged, unsuccessfully trying to hide my laugh.
I picked up a red Sharpie and began to write, but nothing transferred onto the paper. "Hey, the red is out of ink." I said, showing him the dried out marker.
"There should be a box of permanent marker in the office. Want me to go get it?" He offered.
"It's alright, I'll get it." I said, before making my way up the stairs. I found the box of markers sitting on the desk and quickly grabbed it.
As I was walking out of the office, I saw a woman walking out of the bathroom. She was tall and slender with long, blonde hair and blue eyes that looked a lot like Nate and Danielle's eyes. Matthew had green eyes, so I guessed that their dad had green eyes as well. With the same eyes and nose as Nate, it was obvious that she was his mom. She walked back to her room, but noticed me before she entered and stopped. She gave me a confused look, but still approached me.
"Hello," she said hesitantly. "Um, who might you be?"