"Oh my gosh, Lynne! I love him!" Ophelia gushed, playfully hitting my shoulder with her Biology textbook. It was Monday and the hallway was almost empty. Most people decided to ditch school since Swing Sets N' Circles had a concert in the stadium that day.
"You just met him..." I mused with an unsure smile. I closed my locker and walked to our Biology class as Ophelia continued telling me about her Ethan.
"Yeah well... We've been going out for a week now!" She nudged me excitedly.
"A week." I nodded, pretending to think. "That," I raised a brow, "Ain't enough. But sure, it depends on you." Shrugging, I turned to face her and give her a reassuring smile.
"Appreciate the opinion but I think I'll give this thing a shot," she winked at me and hooked her arm to mine before leading me to class.
"Goodluck then. I hope things work out well."
"I bet they will."
We got to class just as the bell rang. The room was half empty and our teacher didn't even seem all too excited to teach that day. She simply gave us a work period. Translation: we can do whatever we liked. I pulled out my textbook just as my phone vibrated. I quickly took it out and checked. Usually, no one would be texting me while I was at school.
Charles: This is torture.
I glanced at the back of the room where Charles sat with his phone in hand. He looked up and grinned at me. I waved and turned to face front, quickly typing a reply.
Lynne: That bored, eh? ;)
Charles: Yes, totally. Although Ophy seems quite excited about something.
Lynne: Some guy.
Charles: Ophy's got a boyfriend? That's new.
Lynne: I think she's gonna get one later, at least.
Ophelia sprung off her seat in a split second and headed towards Charles' table. She swiped his phone and, within a few seconds, I received a message.
Charles: Get here, hun. ;)
It was Ophelia. I rolled my eyes jokingly at her before standing up and doing as I was told.
"Maybe all four of us can go to Mik's Diner after school," Ophelia suggested the moment I arrived.
"What about Damian?" I furrowed my brow.
"He's got work today, doesn't he?"
"Yeah... But - "
She cut me off, holding her hand up. She was instantly on her phone.
"Yeah, Damian? Just wanted to let you know that I'm taking Lynne with me after school. No, I don't really mind that you're in class right now. I know your teacher doesn't care. None of them do today! Have fun!" She looked at me victoriously before ending the call and slipping her phone back into her pocket.
"We're off to Vegas, baby!" She raised a hand up in the air in a mini-celebration.
"Seriously?" I rolled my eyes at her, chuckling in amusement. "How did Mik's Diner get to Vegas?"
"I dunno. Some teleporter," she stuck her tongue out at me before smiling sweetly at Charles. "Charles, you're coming, yes?"
"Uh -" Charles started but Ophelia didn't let him finish.
"Good! It's settled then. Meet you both in the parking lot. Y'know that classy Porsche?" She winked at both of us before going back to her seat, stopping on her way to talk to a classmate of ours about the actual work that we were supposed to be doing.
"Forgive her," I laughed softly, shooting Charles an apologetic look.
"It's okay. Don't worry. Not like it's anything new," he simply shrugged, a ghost of a smile playing on his lips.
"Yeah... Now that I think about it, I'd actually be terrified if she stopped being loud."
"You have no idea," Charles shook his head, finally breaking into a goofy grin.
Ophelia pulled into the parking lot of Mik's Diner and I stared impassively at the huge neon lights that reflected off the pavement.
"We're here!" Ophelia clapped her hands excitedly before shutting the engine off and stepping out of the car. We were greeted by the cold, biting wind as autumn neared its end and winter started creeping around the corner.
"Thanks for stating the obvious," Charles teased, following Ophelia into the diner. Ophelia turned around to quickly slap Charles jokingly on his shoulder before heading straight to the back of the room. It was rather crowded for a Monday night. Nonetheless, the atmosphere at the farther end was more peaceful.
Ethan sat on a chaise lounge that overlooked the busy highway outside. He immediately stood up when he saw us, a warm smile on his face.
"Ethaaan!" Ophelia trilled before jumping into his arms. Charles and I exchanged awkward glances. They were definitely quick.
"Hey, Ophelia," he hugged her back.
"Ethan, this is Lynne," Ophelia straightened herself and gestured to me.
"Hi," I smiled politely.
"Pleasure to meet you, Lynne," he offered a hand and I shook it. Talk about manners.
"And this is Charles!" Ophelia nodded in Charles direction.
"Sup, bro?" Charles greeted him casually.
"Just this," Ethan chuckled before shaking Charles' hand. "Nice meeting you."
"Drop the formalities. We're not her parents," I blurted out, trying to lighten the mood.
"Ah, yes of course." Ethan scratched his head, a bit unsteady. "Let's sit down?"
"Yeah, let's," Ophelia ushered him back into the lounge before things got any more awkward.
"So, uh, are you two dating?" Ethan asked. It took me a while to register that he was referring to Charles and I. It was only then that I realized that it did seem like a double date with Ethan and Ophelia sitting across us.
"Yeah, we are," I heard Charles say before I even got to open my mouth to answer. I looked at him questioningly, unsure of his ulterior motive. He simply tilted his head and gave me a playful smile which I caught on to in no time. I nodded at Ethan and did my best impression of an infatuated teenager.
"For how long?" Ethan seemed surprised. Ophelia, on the other hand, was quietly shaking her head, trying her best to stiffle her laughter.
"Since last year," I answered this time around, glancing at Charles with a sweet smile to convince Ethan.
"She was the new girl in town," Charles raised an eyebrow and pretended to reminisce before playfully snatching my hand and intertwining it with his. A girlish giggle escaped me. Damn, I was impressed with our little scheme. I could see Ophelia turning red with all the holding back she was doing. I bet she would be laughing her head off after tonight.
"Ah, I see," Ethan smiled before placing an arm over Ophelia's shoulders which in turn stopped Ophelia's hysteria and transformed it into a giddy state. She was obviously seeing red hearts and pink flowers floating all around her. Her face was flushed as she leaned against him and they started talking animatedly. I watched them and noticed that they had good chemistry. I elbowed Charles softly and smiled at him. He glanced at the happy couple and smiled approvingly.
"I'm glad for Ophelia," he whispered into my ear.
"Yeah, so am I," I replied in a similar hushed tone. "Good acting, by the way." I grinned teasingly at him.
"You think?" He smirked. I tugged on our intertwined hands to end our little jig but he didn't budge. Instead, he gripped my hand tighter. I raised a brow at him and he responded with a playful smile. He pulled me closer and, with his free hand, he brushed my hair away from my face. "Oh, I'm just getting started."
I laughed at the unexpected turn of events and spontaneously tried tugging my hand free but he resisted each time. Soon enough, we were just goofing around. It was the closest we had ever been. And it somehow felt... nice...
"Lynne?" I heard a surprised voice. Its familiarity struck home but it took me a while to have its identity sink in. I looked up to see the interior red lighting of the diner reflecting off sandy brown hair... and a pair of livid green eyes.