The rest of the week went pretty much as the first day had. Robin was still acting grumpy around Zeke and wasn't very talkative with me either; with anyone really. I chalked that up to him being homesick. I always found him looking at pictures of his friends from Germany and sighing sadly.
My friends were certainly warming up to him, especially Mia. She tried to make conversation with him at lunch everyday but even her hyperness couldn't get much out of him. It was honestly starting to get a little annoying. My parents had started to notice his 'depression' as they called it. Seemed to me that he was just being an angsty teenager, nothing unusual.
Before we knew it, it was Friday. Spanish class was fairly uneventful; it turned out that Ms. Rosario put Robin and I together, and I was right, he was pretty good at Spanish. Although, sometimes his German accent on top of him speaking Spanish made it a little difficult to understand him.
Gym was more exciting though, we were playing floor hockey, which I was surprisingly OK at. Besides that fact, Zeke and I were placed on the same team.
"So are you and Mr. Grumpy coming to my party tonight?" Zeke asked me. Shoot. I was really hoping that he hadn't noticed how stupid Robin was acting. I also never understood how he could talk and run at the same time. I for one wasn't very good at it.
"I'm pretty sure we are." I paused as Zeke passed the puck to me. "I'm hoping meeting more people will help open him up." I took the shot but the goalie caught it in time, oh well. My team groaned as the other team took the puck away from us. "What time should we be there?" I asked Zeke.
"Around 7 O'clock, we're going to have a bonfire and make s'mores and all that good stuff." He said. My mouth watered at the thought of s'mores, it had been so long since I had last had them, and let's face it, s'mores are delicious. I snatched the puck away from an opposing team member and passed it off to one of the slack offs on my team, if I have to work hard, so do they.
"Bonfires are pretty cool." I said. I wonder if Robin had ever made s'mores before… Zeke smiled and took the puck from a slack off and then successfully scored our team a goal. "Nice shot." I said. He smiled once again and walked over to me.
"So what's Robin's deal anyway?" He asked me. I wasn't really sure if I should tell him that Robin was jealous, so I just shrugged. "Maybe all Germans are moody like this?" He suggested. Eh, it was possible, but probably not. Our conversation was cut short when Mrs. Hamilton blew her whistle signifying for us to go get changed. "See you in a few." Zeke said as he ran off towards the locker room.
I was changed into my normal clothes in a matter of minutes but the bell still hadn't rung yet. Zeke walked up next to me in the hallway and just stood there for a few moments.
"I'm really glad you guys are coming to my party tonight." Zeke said while rubbing the back of his neck, I was beginning to think that this was a nervous tick of his. "I know we haven't really talked much before, but it would be nice if we were able to get to know each other better."
"I'm glad you invited us, and I agree. We've been in school together since 6th grade, but it's true, we really haven't talked much." I said. Right after I finished my sentence the bell rang and Zeke and I parted ways.
At this point I didn't need to show Robin where all of his classes were, so I walked straight to my English class with Mr. Anderson. Mr. Anderson was turning out to be a pretty cool teacher; he cracked jokes during his lectures that were actually funny.
I sat at my desk and waited for Mia to get to class, but before she got there, Robin walked in and sat down next to me.
"How was gym class?" He asked me with a smile. He knew I didn't like gym so he always asked me this just to spite me. I responded to his question by sticking out my tongue at him. Robin smiled and stood up to walk over to his seat as Mia walked in.
"Hey Mia." Is said. Mia smiled as she sat down and took her books out of her bag. "So you're still going to Zeke's party tonight, right?" I asked her. She nodded and shoved her stuff into the desk. "He's having a bonfire and we're going to make s'mores." I said happily. Mia's face lit up at this comment.
"Really? I haven't had s'mores since the last time you had a bonfire at your house." She said quickly. Wow, that was a long time. I hadn't had a campfire at my house since the end of freshman year. "That has just made my day. Do you think he'll have music and swimming in his pool?" She asked. I wasn't sure; after all, he hadn't mentioned that. I didn't even know that he had a pool.
Mr. Anderson then stood up from his desk and launched into his lesson on Edgar Allan Poe. Anderson passed out copies of Poe's The Oval Portrait which happened to be my favorite short story by him. For class he wanted us to draw a picture that we thought depicted the story and then we had to present them after lunch.
I immediately began sketching out an old Victorian looking house. The chateau in the story always reminded me of one of those creepy haunted looking Victorian houses. I looked over at Mia to see that she was drawing an outline of a girl in a picture frame. I wondered what Robin was drawing and if he had ever read The Oval Portrait while in Germany.
When the bell rang for lunch I was just finishing the details of my drawing, full moon in the sky, gray house with a dark roof and large rounded windows; also a front porch to boot. I would totally live there. The house sat on a hill with a walk way going up to the front porch, I thought it was great.
Everyone jumped out of their seats and dashed out of the room to make it to the lunch line before it was too awful long. Being the smart person that I am, I packed a lunch along with Mia, poor Robin would have to wait in line by himself.
"So how has it been going with Robin since Monday's incident?" Mia asked as we sat down at our table. I unzipped my lunchbox and shrugged.
"Not too great. He hasn't been very talkative with me since then and I don't really know how to fix it. I understand his reasoning for not wanting to warm up to Zeke, but it's not like I'm going to abandon him, ya know? Robin and I live together now; I think it would be kind of hard to do something like that. Anyway, Zeke and I still barely know each other." I said. Mia nodded as she took a bite of her sandwich and grabbed her water.
"I would just make sure that he understands that. Like, um, hang out with him tonight at the party more than you do Zeke. You just have to make him feel secure." Mia paused to take a drink and then thought of something. "Oh yeah, do you know if Amelia is coming tonight?" she asked. I nodded chewing my sandwich as Robin and Zeke both sat down at the same time.
Zeke looked over at me and rolled his eyes, knowing that Robin was going to ignore him for all of lunch. At least Zeke was being cool about it, just going with it. Robin popped one of his chicken nuggets into his mouth and stared at the wall across from our table. He really needed to get over this.
"I'm really excited for your party tonight, Zeke." Mia said in a rush. "I love s'mores." Mia smiled slightly and took a quick bite of her sandwich.
"Glad to hear that." Zeke said with a smile.
The rest of lunch was a little awkward; no one really spoke to each other except for the occasional comment on how great we thought the party would be tonight. Soon the bell rang and we all went to class, except for Zeke, he had independent study, the lucky one. Now it was time to present our drawings for The Oval Portrait.
. . .
And so the day went on until the final bell of the day rang. Robin and I met in the band room and we walked out to my car together. I rolled the windows down as soon as I turned the car on; it was boiling hot inside after sitting in the parking lot all day. Robin turned the radio on to our favorite pop station, who knew that the german metal loving Robin would like American pop music? A Katy Perry song came on as I drove out of the school parking lot and onto the main road.
Robin cleared his throat loudly before asking, "So, are you and Zeke going to become boyfriend and girlfriend?" Robin stared out the window with his hair blowing in the wind. I didn't even understand why he was asking me this, why did it matter to him?
"Just because I have a thing for him doesn't mean that we're dating." I said. "We're just friends." I paused. "Why are you so concerned about it anyway?" Robin shrugged and continued to look out the window. Boys. I thought. The rest of the drive home was quiet as Robin seemed content with looking out the window instead of talking to me. Which was weird, because at home he would Skype with his german friends for hours, maybe he was just really homesick.
My mom was already home when we got there and seemed to be in a very good mood.
"Welcome home my darlings." She said happily. She was hovering over the oven and adding the finishing touches to a delicious looking chocolate cake. But apparently it wasn't just any chocolate cake because Robin's face immediately lit up.
"Schwarzwälder kirschtorte!" Robin exclaimed excitedly.
"I'm just going to assume that that means Black Forest cake in German." My mom said with a smile. Robin nodded happily and dashed back into his room quickly then reappeared. "I thought you might be feeling a little homesick, so I tried my hand at this cake." Mom said when Robin returned. She got a fork out of the silverware drawer and handed it to him. "Tell me how I did." She said.
Robin cut himself a small piece and took a bite. I do believe that this was the happiest I had seen him since coming here. "This is delicious." He said with his mouth full. Mom chuckled and smiled. "Although the cream is not as thick as my mother makes it." He said after he finished chewing.
"Well this is the American version of it." Mom said as she cut herself a piece. "I hope that you still like it at least." Robin nodded as he took another bite. I stood in the kitchen a little awkwardly while Mom and Robin ate their cake before walking back to my room and ditching my book bag. I collapsed on my bed and grabbed my cell phone. I opened a new message and punched in Zeke's number. I couldn't believe he had actually given me his number!
Hey Zeke, it's Corinne. I was just wondering if you were going to have swimming at your party as well. It's come to my attention that you have a pool that you've been keeping all to yourself. :P I sent the message and set my phone down on my nightstand as Robin walked into the doorway of my room.
"Aren't you going to have some Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte?" He asked me. I shook my head no and grabbed my phone as it went off. "Well why not?"
"Because I'm not that hungry. Plus I'm saving room for all of that pizza that Zeke is going to have at his party." I said. I opened my phone and read Zeke's response:
Of course there will be swimming! You can't have a party without swimming. And for the record, I'm not exactly keeping it all to myself at this point, now am I? I rolled my eyes at the last sentence and looked up at Robin to see him giving me a weird look.
"What was that look for?" He asked.
"Just a text from Zeke. Do you have a bathing suit? Because he has a pool so we can all go swimming." I said. Robin thought for a moment and nodded.
"I believe I do, but… I am not a very good swimmer." Robin whispered. I stood up from my bed and walked over to him and patted his shoulder.
"It's OK, if anything were to happen to you, I'm sure somebody would be able to help you. Plus I'll be there with you the whole time." I said reassuringly. Robin smiled slightly and took his cake back out into the kitchen with my mom. I on the other hand, had some homework to do before going to Zeke's for the party. I mean, I could wait and do it tomorrow, but I would much rather get some of it done today. I grabbed my Spanish book out of my bag and dug in.
. . .
The drive out to Zeke's house was long and boring. Why did he have to live on the very edge of the school district? His house was, like, thirty-five minutes away from mine, plus he lived in the mountains, which I actually thought was pretty cool. When we did finally get there, I almost drove right past his driveway, but realized it in time before I did. As we drove down his long driveway to his house, we could start to hear music coming from his backyard. It sounded like Avicii's Silhouettes. I could see Robin bobbing his head to the beat out of the corner of my eye.
Zeke was standing at his front door letting everyone in and pointing out how to get to the backyard. Zeke smiled when he saw Robin and I walking up to the door.
"Hey guys, glad you could make it." He said with a smile. Zeke left his post at the door and led us into his home, his extremely nice home, and out into the backyard. "I think you guys are the last ones to get here." He said. His backyard was amazing, and big. The pool was one of those awesome infinity pools that even had a waterslide! There was also a hot tub in the corner of the pool deck. His house sat on a foothill of the mountains so his yard was pretty much one long hill with trees on every side.
Mia and Amelia spotted us as soon as we stepped onto the deck. Both of them were already in the pool but jumped out quickly. "It's about time you guys got here." Amelia said. Amelia put her hands on her hips and glanced over at Mia.
"Yeah, we were starting to think you weren't coming." Mia said, too fast I think for Robin to understand her. "All well, at least you're here now." She said happily. Amelia's lips quirked up as well as she noticed Zeke looking over at me.
"So are you going to go swimming with us or what?" Amelia asked before she ran and dove into the pool, surfacing a few moments later. Mia smiled and jogged up to the water slide. Robin looked over at me and smiled.
"I think that is our que to join them." He said. I nodded and walked over to the nearest chair and set down my towel and bag. Being the smart girl that I am, I just wore my bikini underneath my clothes, so off my shirt and shorts went. I kicked off my shoes off and waited for Robin to come back from the bathroom.
I had never taken the time to imagine Robin shirtless, and I'm glad I didn't, because my expectations would have been way too low. He didn't have a six pack or anything, but his stomach was still flat and kind of sexy. He had a slight happy trail but other than that he didn't have much hair on his chest or stomach. Robin walked over to me and smiled.
"Ready?" I asked him. He nodded and walked up to the water slide, I on the other hand ran to the edge of the pool and did a cannonball, making a decent sized splash. Mia and Amelia laughed as they swam over to me. "This is a great party so far." I said as they reached me. Amelia nodded and watched as Robin came down the water slide.
"So what's it like living with such a hot guy?" Amelia asked with a mischievous look on her face. I rolled my eyes but didn't answer as Robin was swimming, er doggy paddling over to us.
"That was awesome!" Robin said happily. I smiled at Robin and he swam over to the edge where the water cascaded down into the infinity party of it. "I have never seen a pool like this before." He said. I hadn't either, but it was pretty awesome. I swam over to where Robin was and propped my arms up on the side of the pool.
"Are you glad that you came with me?" I asked him.
"So far, most definitely." He said with a smile. "Maybe we should have a party at our house some time." He said. Yeah…I wasn't sure if my parents would be cool with having a party on this scale at my house. Maybe a couple of people over, like ten, but not the whole junior class.
"Maybe." I said. Robin shrugged and swam to the other edge of the pool and got out. I swam over to Mia and Amelia and both of them smirked at me. "What?" I asked.
"Having a moment?" Amelia asked. I rolled my eyes and shook my head. "So what I was saying before, what's it like living with a hot guy?" She asked while waggling her eye brows.
"Difficult. He's very frustrating sometimes. Especially when it comes to Zeke." I said. Amelia gave me a questioning look. Since Amelia and I didn't have classes together, she was missing on the scoop, unlike Mia. "Robin is afraid that Zeke is going to steal me from him." I said.
"He's what?" I looked over to see Zeke standing at the edge of the pool where we were. I hadn't even heard him walk up. Zeke had a confused look on his face and a piece of pizza in his hand. Zeke sat down at the edge of the pool and let his legs dangle in the water. Great, this was just what I needed.
"Well, you see, since you and Corinne have been hanging out more, Robin is afraid that she would rather be with you instead of him, and since he doesn't really have any friends, that bothers him." Mia said quickly. Zeke raised his eyebrows and looked over at me.
"Is she serious?" He asked me. I nodded and sunk farther into the water. "He does know that we're just friends right? It's not like I'm trying to steal you from him." He said slowly.
"That's what I told him." I said softly. Zeke rolled his eyes and took a bite of his pizza. "That's why he's been so…awkward around you." I said. Amelia and Mia glanced over at me and then up at Zeke. This is when Robin walked over with his own slice of pizza.
"Hey guys, what are you talking about?" He asked. Zeke looked up at Robin and the expression on his face was priceless, he looked like a deer in headlights. "Why is he looking at me like that?" Robin asked referring to Zeke's expression.
"No reason." Amelia said. "What kind of pizza do they have up there?" She asked.
"Plain cheese and then cheese with prosciutto." Robin said.
"Pro what?" Mia asked.
"He means pepperoni." I said. He had told me that putting prosciutto on pizza in Germany was popular because it was healthier than pepperoni. It actually sounded pretty delicious.
"Oh, ok." Amelia said. She hopped out of the pool and walked over to where the pizza was; Mia followed shortly after. Soon, it was just Robin, Zeke and I. It was a little awkward. Zeke stood up after a few minutes and went over to the pizza table to get another slice.
"I really wish you would at least try to get along with him." I said. Robin sighed and stepped into the pool since he had finished his pizza. "We're only friends you know, I'm not going to stop being friends with you because of that." I said. Robin nodded and looked down into the water, then he was suddenly hugging me. "What are you doing?" I asked him, this was a little awkward with both of us being half naked and all.
Robin ignored my question and said, "Do you promise?" I nodded against his shoulder and he released me as quickly as he had held me. "Ok." Was all he responded with.
. . .
Once it started getting dark Zeke commanded all of us to search the surrounding forest for branches and sticks we could use for the bonfire. Mia, Amelia, Robin and I were all looking together in a group. Personally my mind was a little preoccupied with whether or not I should be making a deal about that moment Robin and I had together. I picked up a branch that appeared to have fallen a while ago only to be greeted by this huge wolf spider when I lifted it. I shrieked and Robin whipped his head around to look at me with wide eyes. I practically threw the branch away from me and stumbled back. Yeah, I wasn't a big fan of spiders.
The others jogged over to where I was with concerned looks on their faces. "What's wrong Corinne?" Mia asked.
"Sp, sp, spider." I stuttered as I continued to step away from the branch. "A big hairy one." Robin stepped over to me and brushed his hand against mine.
"It's ok, Corinne, it is probably gone now." He said softly. Amelia and Mia exchanged a look with one another and Robin led me over to where the others were standing and watching us. Mia and Amelia started walking a little ahead of us and picking up twigs as they went along. I had decided I wasn't going to pick up anymore sticks or anything and turned to go back to where the bonfire was going to be; Robin stayed with Amelia and Mia though.
"Hey Corinne," Zeke said. "You look like you've seen a ghost."
"I might as well have, there was this huge spider under a branch I was about to pick up." I said tossing my meager collection of sticks on the growing pile. Zeke smirked and chuckled at me and I gave him a death glare.
"Sorry, it's just that you don't peg me as being the afraid of spiders type." He said. I continued to glare at him as more people brought sticks over to the pile.
Zeke's dad walked over with the lighter fluid and began pouring some on the pile as more sticks and branches were added to the pile. His dad lit threw on a few matches once Robin, Mia and Amelia had returned. At this point all 100 or so of us were sitting around the fire waiting for it to get bigger and Zeke's mom to bring out the marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers. My taste buds couldn't wait.
Within a few minutes the fire was roaring and people were beginning to roast their marshmallows. I glanced at Robin, who was sitting next to me, to see him with a puzzled look on his face.
"What's wrong?" I asked him.
"What is everyone doing with the marshmallows?" He asked. I guess he had never done this before.
"OK, look, you put a marshmallow on the end of the skewer and toast in the fire." I put a marshmallow on the end of a stick and placed in the flames for a few seconds until it was a toasty brown. "Like this." I said. "The marshmallow gets all melty and gooey, it's delicious." I then grabbed a piece of chocolate and two graham crackers. "Then you make a s'more which is like a marshmallow chocolate sandwich with graham crackers as the bread." I said while assembling my s'more. Once it was completed I offered the s'more to Robin and he took a bite hesitantly.
"Well..?" I asked after he had chewed for a few seconds.
"This is really good." He said with his mouthful. He finished the rest of the s'more in two bites and then began roasting his own marshmallow. I put another marshmallow on my own stick and also began roasting it. As I was stuffing my toasted marshmallow in my mouth, Zeke came over and sat on the other side me. Robin glanced up from his s'more and Zeke nodded slightly at him in greeting.
"Are you guys enjoying the party so far?" Zeke asked Robin and I. I nodded as I was still chewing my marshmallow.
"Indeed. These gooey marshmallows are delicious. I have never had them before but I am certainly glad that you have them here." Robin said. Zeke smiled and, stood up and walked over to sit with his friends.
After a while Robin stood up from where he was sitting and said he was going to cool off in the pool for a few minutes. I nodded and once he left Zeke came over and sat beside me once again.
"Where's Robin going?" He asked watching Robin's back as he walked away.
"He's going to cool off in the pool; the bonfire was making him hot." I said. Zeke nodded and stared into the fire for a few minutes. "So…what brings you over here?" I asked. Zeke shrugged and looked up at me through his lashes. I sucked in my breath because he had never looked at me like that before, and frankly, it was kind of sexy but cute at the same time. My cheeks started to feel really hot and I knew I was blushing like crazy, I wonder if Zeke noticed?
"Corinne?" Zeke asked.
"I said do you want some soda? I'm going to go get some." He said.
"Oh, um, sure." I said. I really needed to keep my head on my shoulders.
As Zeke was standing up to get the soda a splash was heard from over at the pool followed by someone exclaiming "Shit!" A few seconds later the same voice shouted, "Oh my God, he's not breathing!" After they said this everyone jumped up from where they were sitting and dashed toward the pool deck. When I rounded the corner to the pool, everything went into slow motion and the only thing I could focus on was a boy from our Spanish class hovering over top of Robin's motionless body.