Lost and Found
I hit the 'call' button on my cellphone and held it against my ear, waiting for my best friend to answer. Opening up another closet in the living room, I pushed the various jackets and coats aside to look inside. A sigh escaped my lips when I realized the closet was empty and the little blonde devil was still missing in action.
"Evie?" Kent's questionable voice greeted me.
"I think I just lost your sister," I blurted out, twirling a strand of light brown hair around my finger out of nervous habit.
There was silence on the other end of the phone line.
"Kent?" I asked, hoping he hadn't hung up on me. It wouldn't surprise me these days. Kent and I hadn't talked in a week and it had been the longest seven days of my life. "Are you there?"
"Yeah," my best friend finally answered, giving me some sense of relief. "Do you think you could repeat yourself? You were talking pretty fast and for a second there I thought you said you lost my little sister."
"Yeah, about that… I kind of did."
"You lost my sister? I didn't even know you were with her!"
I paused before responding, trying to think of a way to explain how I lost Kelsey.
Was there any way to go about this without ruining my friendship with Kent? I mean, how often are friendships broken up by lost younger siblings? And, on top of this horrible incident, there was the party last week...
I was so screwed.
"Well, here's the thing," I trailed off, walking into the kitchen and opening up the refrigerator. "Your mom called yesterday after school and asked me to babysit Kelsey while you were at morning practice. I didn't see a problem with it since I didn't have any plans today, so I told her I would. And, it was all going really well until Kelsey decided she wanted to play hide and seek."
"You lost my sister while playing hide and seek?"
"I like to think of it as she is still hiding and I am still seeking," I stopped talking when I realized I walk looking for a five-year-old girl in the fridge.
I was loosing my mind.
Who looks for a little girl in the fridge?
God, I should have never called him.
I probably just destroyed our friendship in a matter of minutes.
"Evie…" Kent groaned and I could just imagine him running a hand through his dirty blonde locks in frustration.
"She's probably somewhere in the house! I just haven't, you know, found her yet…"
"You lost my little sister."
"You know she likes to play tricks on me! I bet she is watching me freak out now from her secret hiding place and laughing at my misery!" I finally gave up looking for Kelsey and pushed myself onto the Hudson's kitchen counter. I swung one leg over the other and continued rambling. "I mean, no offense, Kent, but your little sister is the reincarnation of the devil. How could so much evil be inside one little girl, especially one as cute as Kelsey? It just doesn't make any sense. It's always the cute ones you have to watch out for. And, why does she always try to—"
"Evie?" Kent interrupted my rant.
"Yeah?" I answered, trying to calm my rapid beating heart.
"I'm coming over."
"No! I have it under control! Seriously, you don't have to—"
There was a soft click and my ear was suddenly met with the sound of the phone's dial tone. I slowly pulled my cell phone away from my ear and took a deep breath to calm my jittery nerves. I threw the phone on the kitchen counter and put my head in my hands.
Kent had just hung up on me.
I was so dead.
I heard the front door of the house slam closed and couple of seconds later, Kent stormed into the room, the door swinging back and forth behind him.
"Have you found her?"
"Does it look like I have found her?" I snapped, gesturing to the room around me.
Kent rolled his eyes and strode towards my spot on the counter. With his long legs, it only took a couple of steps before he was standing directly in front of me. He took a deep breath and placed his hands on my legs. I could feel the warmth of his palms radiating through the material of my jeans.
"Have you checked all of the hiding places in the house?" He asked.
I scoffed, "What do you think I have been doing for the last two hours? Making myself a pizza? Of course I have already checked every place in the house. I even looked in the refrigerator! The fridge, Kent!"
Kent's eyes widened and he raised his hands in a mock surrender, "Jeez, I was just making sure. You don't need to go all crazy on me."
"I'm sorry," I spoke, apologizing for loosing my temper and losing his little sister.
Kent spoke gently, "I know, Evie. To be honest, I don't even know if I can blame you. It's just so like Kelsey to pull something like this."
"It's just that I haven't talked to you in a week and then I call you out of the blue to tell you that I lost your little sister. What kind of friend loses someone's little sister?"
He let out a short chuckle, "Let's just focus on finding her, okay? I don't know about you, but I would not like to be killed by my parents when they come home. I'm much to young to die."
I smiled softly, "I guess I want to make it to my nineteenth birthday, too."
Kent returned the grin, moving his hands from my thighs to my waist and I couldn't help but let out a soft gasp at the feelings his touch caused.
I mentally scolded myself.
Now was definitely not the time to be acting on my ridiculous teenage hormones. Sure, Kent gave me butterflies and his touch could set my skin on fire, but I had more important thing to worry about. I should have been focusing on the task at hand: finding his little sister.
Tightening his grip on my waist, Kent picked me up off of the counter and set my feet firmly on the ground.
"I could have hopped down myself," I spoke, straightening myself out and wiping some imaginary dust off of my jeans.
"Yeah, but I like helping you out," Kent replied automatically.
"And, it doesn't really help that you have a tendency to be a walking disaster," he pointed out and started walking out of the kitchen. "I could just see you slipping on the floor on your way down and then I would have to worry about finding Kelsey and making sure you weren't hurt."
"Well, thanks for the boost of confidence," the sarcasm rolled off of my tongue as I followed him into the living room.
"Anytime," Kent responded and grabbed a jacket out of the closet I had searched earlier. He pulled the blue material over his shoulders before grabbing another one and handing it to me. "Here put this on."
I stared at him with confusion etched across my feature, "Why?"
"Just put the jacket on, Evie."
I grabbed it out of his grasp and slipped my arms into the sleeves. The jacket dark green and was at least two sizes to big on me. The material smelled faintly like Kent, a mixture of cinnamon and vanilla and something I couldn't put my finger on.
"Why do we need jackets anyways?" I asked, pulling the zipper all the way up. "It's like five degrees over boiling in your house."
Kent looked at me like I was crazy, "Why would I make you wear a jacket in the house?"
"Aren't we looking for your sister?"
"Yeah, I figured we could walk around the neighborhood." Kent explained, opening the front door. "You said you already searched all the hiding spots in the house and I trust you, Evie."
No words were spoken between us as we walked down the sidewalks in his neighborhood.
Instead, I listened to the sound of the wind brushing though the fallen tree leaves and tried to think of anything but Kent's words. It didn't work and I couldn't help but play the words over and over again in my head until they were etched in stone in my mind.
We hadn't talked in seven days and now he was saying thing like, 'I trust you.'
And, after I had just lost his little sister!
How could he trust me if he wasn't even willing to talk to me?
I needed to stop thinking or I was going to give myself a headache.
"So," I trailed off, trying to break the silence. "Nice weather today, huh?"
Kent looked up at me slightly startled by my voice and I took the chance to study him.
His eyes were wide and wild, all the different hues swirling together in a pool of dark blue. It was the first time I really looked at him in a week and I didn't think I would be able to look away—not before I had a chance to memorize every feature. With the way he had avoided me at school all week, who knew when I'd be able to see these blue eyes up close again?
And, was it just me, or did he seem taller than the last time I saw him?
"Really?" Kent asked, raising a hand to point at the sky. "You're asking about the weather? Which, by the way is anything but pleasant. It looks like it is about to downpour."
He was mocking me!
Here I was, trying to actually talk to him and work through these awkward feeling between us and all he could do was mock my topic for a conversation! Well, whatever, I didn't need his conversation to keep my company while we looked for Kelsey. We could search for her in silence for all I cared!
I glared at Kent from the corner of my eye to show him how angry I was and his expression immediately softened.
"Ah, come on, Evie," he grinned at me. "I was just joking around. We can talk about the weather if you want."
"I don't want to talk about anything with you right now," I responded, looking anywhere but at his face. "I just want to find Kelsey and then go home."
Kent didn't respond and I took that as his way of agreeing to stay silent.
It's not that I didn't want to talk to him. I did. I really wanted to talk to him.
But, I knew that until we talked about what happened last weekend the awkward elephant in the room would stay wedged between us. And, I had a feeling that it would stay there for a while because if I knew one thing about Kent from all of our years of friendship it was that he wasn't the kind of guy who liked to openly talk about his feelings.
God, why did being a teenager have to suck so much?
A girl could only take so much teenage angst before she completely lost it.
Kent and I came to a stop at the corner of the sidewalk and patiently waited for pedestrian light to flash green and read 'walk.' I knew from all of my visit's to Kent's neighborhood and our trips to the park, that the playground was only about one block away.
It's so weird to think about how much time has passed since then—about how much we changed and everything we have been through together in our years of friendship and how much we have grown up.
Kent spoke the words so softly that I almost thought that I imagine them.
"What?" I asked.
The light finally flashed green and Kent grabbed my hand as we crossed the street together. My hand was now tingling where his fingers touched mine and I stared at the side of his face in confusion.
"I'm sorry," he said again, his voice louder this time. "I don't know why I kissed you at Tommy's party. At first, I only did it because Alicia was following me around all night and I wanted to get her off my back. But, then I saw that dazed look in those big green eyes of yours and I don't know what came over me...I just had to kiss you again."
"Kent, we don't have to talk about it if you don't want."
"No, we do need to talk about it, Evie. We can't just keep tip-toeing around it and expect things to be okay."
"Hey," I protested, pulling my hand out of his. "I'm not the one who dropped off of the face of the planet and ceased all contact. That was you. You were the one who avoided me all week."
"I didn't know what to do," Kent confessed, running a hand through his blonde hair like I had imagined earlier. "I tried to talk to you on Monday but I didn't know what to say. 'Hey, I'm sorry for kissing you on Saturday. Your lips tasted like strawberries and I think I really like you and want to do it again, but I understand if you don't want to be friends anymore.' Yeah, I don't think so."
"My lips taste like strawberries?" I asked, bringing my fingers to my lips.
He rolled his eyes, "That's seriously all you got out of this conversation? I tell you that I think I like you and you ask me about the way your lips taste?"
"You like me?"
Kent smiled softly, "Yes, Evie, I like you. I think I have for a while and just didn't realize it."
"Then, why didn't you tell me?" I asked. "Why didn't you say something?"
"I couldn't," he answered. "I didn't want to ruin our friendship. I couldn't handle the thought of you not liking me back so I figured I could give myself some time to get over it—to get over you."
"No," Kent sighed. "I haven't."
"Yeah," I spoke, as I grabbed his hand. "I don't want you to get over it."
"What do you want me to do?" Kent asked.
"I want you to ask me—" I lost my train of thought when I realized we had made it to the park and my gaze zeroed in on a bunch of kids jumping around in the park's fountain.
I focused my attention on them, searching for a familiar head of curly blonde hair.
A wide smile broke out on my lips when I saw her, jumping around with another girl around her age.
"Kelsey Hudson!" I screamed loudly, running towards her. "You are in so much trouble!"
Kelsey jumped out of the fountain and wrapped her short arms around me. I could feel her wet pink shorts and white tank-top soaking into my clothes but I refused to let go.
"Don't you ever scare me like that again!" I yelled, hugging her for all my life was worth.
When my heart finally calmed down, I placed her back on the floor. I held a hand on my hips and tapped my foot against the pavement as I waited for an explanation that wouldn't lead to my arrest for strangling a five-year-old girl.
"Well," I goaded her. "I'm waiting."
Kelsey's smiled sheepishly, "It wasn't my fault."
"What do you mean it wasn't your fault," I asked frantically, waving my hands around for dramatic effect. "What kind of kid asks their babysitter to play hide and seek and then runs away to the park? You gave me a heart attack, Kelsey! I had to call your brother!"
"It wasn't my fault!" She pointed her finger behind me," It was his fault. He paid me twenty-dollars and told me to go to the park with Mrs. Kendrick and her kids! He walked me to her house!"
I spun around, looking at the person Kelsey was pointing at.
Kent stood behind me, his hands in his jacket pockets and an even more sheepish smile than his sister.
"You little tattle-tale," Kent narrowed his eyes at his sister. "I want my twenty dollars back!"
Kelsey shook her head and ran back into the fountain, ignoring the daggers he brother was glaring at her. She immediately resumed playing with the other children, splashing water around and jumping up and down in the water.
I looked back at her brother who was rubbing his hand against the back of his neck, a habit of his when he got nervous. Well, he had every right to be nervous right now.
"You paid your sister to run away while I was babysitting?" I asked, my voice shaking. "You lied to me! You said you didn't even know that I was with her! Why would you pay her to run away, you...you crazy person!"
"Evie," Kent's voice was cautious. "Please be calm down. I paid her to go to the park so I could finally talk to you."
"You are crazy!" I yelled, taking a step closer to him. "You couldn't have just talked to me while I was babysitting her? No. You had to pay your little sister to run away while I was babysitting and give me a heart attack. I looked everywhere for her and you knew where she was the whole time! What kind of person does that? I looked in the fridge, Kent! Your family is absolutely crazy! I swear—"
Kent pressed his warm lips against mine, efficiently silencing any thoughts from entering my brain.
I could only feel his soft lips moving against mine. Kent slipped a finger through my belt loop and pulled me even closer to him. I had no choice but to wrap my hands around his neck, playing with the ends of his hair. The heat was radiating off of both of us and I could barely feel the nip of the cold wind surrounding the two of us.
His hands wrapped around my waist, tightening his hold. I moaned a little and Kent took the opportunity to slip his tongue past my lips. There were so many feeling rushing through my body. I didn't know if I could take it anymore.
I quickly pushed him away before we were sited for disorderly conduct with kids present. I was quite sure that display had passed PG-13 and was headed in the direction of rated R.
"You still taste like strawberries," he breathed. "Go out with me."
I smirked at him and decided to mess with him a little. It was the least he deserved for putting me through a week of hell and then giving me a heart attack this morning.
"No," I repeated, smiling. "Not until you beg and make some grand display of your intense liking of me. I think it's the least you could do, Kent."
Kent smirked, backing up so his knees were touching the water fountain, "Whatever you want, babe."
And, with that, he jumped up on the edge of the fountain and commanded the attention of everyone in the park, "Ladies and Gentleman, children and devils named Kelsey, I would like to show you all how much I intensely like my future girlfriend, Evelyn Matthews."
Maybe this wasn't the best idea.
"Kent," I hissed. "Get down from there."
"You see, my dear Evie here," he smiled down at me. "Well, she is the sun! She arises and kills the envious moon! Something about a maid and jealousy...oh yeah, and her eyes are the fairest stars in all the heavens and they twinkle! Like that little star!. And, I want to, you know, touch her cheek with my hand! Basically, my girlfriend-to-be is really awesome and she is also really hot. Oh, and her lips taste like strawberries!"
I couldn't take it anymore.
He was making fools out of both of us.
I made sure there were no children in the fountain behind Kent and then I went for it. I charged at him and knocked him off of the ledge until we both landed in the fountain. We hit the water with a cold splash and landed on top of Kent's chest in about two feet of water.
Kent was smiling like an idiot, "Was that enough of a grand display?"
I sat up on his lap and hit him in the chest, "Yeah, yeah, Romeo. It was fine. I didn't even know you could attempt to quote Shakespeare, no matter how terrible that attempt might have been."
"I did pay attention in English, you know."
"Sure, you did." I laughed, splashing water in his face
"Shut up and kiss me, Evie, or I'll dunk you in two feet of water."
Author's Note: This is my entry for A Drop of Romeo's StarCross'd contest! You should all send in an entry! It doesn't end until the 14th! I hope you all like it! Let me know if you find any mistakes and I'll definitely fix them! Oh, and I don't own anything by Shakespeare!