Chapter 13 – Friday – part 5


On our drive to Levi's house, we listened to some rap songs that normally would annoy me, but coming from him they were great. The song spoke of a girl he was interested in, and the struggle of him trying to woo her. It had a smooth sound, not loud and fast like normal rap. This was slow and beautiful. I allowed myself to fantasize that maybe he put the song on purposefully, that I was the girl in that song and he was the artist. I stared out the window with a soft smile, imagining he and I having that conversation.

We pulled up to the house and he hopped out to help me. I smiled shyly at his chivalry and followed him inside. He glanced around, assumedly for his uncle, and guided me upstairs and to his bedroom.

"Sorry it's kind of a mess." He said. He sounded strange, almost like he was feeling self-conscious, but that didn't seem right. "Uh, you can chill on my bed and do your homework, you'll have enough room there."

I paused for a moment, I was going to go on his bed. Levi Clemmin's bed. I carefully climbed into the messy nest of blankets and pillows. It was soft and warm and smelled like him. I stole a second to enjoy the feeling before snapping back to reality. I pulled out my homework supplies and laid them out carefully in front of me.

"What classes do you have work for?" He asked, pulling me out of my thoughts.

"U-uhm, I have Algebra from yesterday and today, and I just got a new project assignment for my drawing class…" I felt my face heat up at the mention of the project. How was I supposed to bring that up?

"Oh, you're in drawing?" He asked, seeming to be genuinely interested for some reason.

"Yeah..." I said quietly, keeping my eyes down in embarrassment.

"That's awesome! What do you have to do for your project?" I felt myself jump at the question and silently cursed myself for not being more cool.

"U-uhm…I….I have to do a portrait…" I stuttered like an imbecile.

"Oh, a portrait of who?" He asked innocently.

"…Uhm, well…" I started, biting my lip nervously and desperately searching my brain for a way to word this without giving him the truth. "I have to draw one of my friends…"

"Oh, well you can draw me if you want!" He said simply, and made a silly pose on his chair.

"R-really?" I smiled and laughed, half in relief and half in admiration .

"Sure! It's not every day you get the opportunity to be drawn by a beautiful girl." He winked at me and I think I melted a little.

"Thanks…" I smiled shyly and hid my face. "Uhm, I'm going to do my math work first though. Is that okay?" I celebrated inwardly at the relief of not having to explain the real project to him.

"Yeah, of course. You want anything to eat or drink or anything?" He asked. I wasn't aware of how hungry I was until he mentioned food.

"Oh, u-uh…sure." I offered a shaky reply.

"Sweet, you can stay here and work I'll find us something to eat." He grinned and dashed out of the room.

Once I was left to myself, I let out the breath I had been apparently holding onto for dear life. I looked around the room, taking in every feature. The blankets around me were so soft and warm, I imagined for a moment that it was Levi holding me in his arms. It was like a dream come true to be here, I had to pinch myself just so I knew I wasn't in fact dreaming. I let out an audible sigh and pulled myself from my fantasy.

"Here you go, princess." He returned just in time with plates and cups. "I just made us sandwiches and here, I got you some tea." He placed the sandwich down next to me and handed me the cup of tea. I was completely taken aback at the realization that he had remembered something so trivial.

"Thank you! I love tea." I knew I was blushing, but I was too happy to care at that moment.

He laughed softly and returned to his little window seat. I carefully balanced the plate in my lap so I could eat with my left hand and do my equations with my right. The math itself came easily, I didn't need a calculator. Math was a language of numbers that worked themselves out in my head without much effort, I simply recorded whatever my brain told me. Even the most complex algorithms could be broken down easily and computed with precision. I wrote each digit and variable neatly on my paper, meticulously following their rows and columns.

"That's so cool." Levi said suddenly. The sudden compliment made me jump, leaving an ugly mark on my paper from the pencil. "Oh, sorry." He laughed, obviously noticing my reaction. I was mortified that he noticed the effect he had on me.

"I-it's ok!" I said and did my best to carefully erase the mark. "What's cool?" I asked, hoping to find out for sure if he was really complimenting me.

"Oh, uhh, well I just think it's cool that you can do all that math stuff like that. I'm not book-smart enough for all that." He laughed.

"Th-thanks…actually, I'm finished with my math now." I lied, knowing I could never focus again after finding out he had been watching me…admiring me…

"Oh, you wanna start your drawing project now?" He asked, making his same silly pose.

"Sure, but uhm…maybe not like that?" I giggled at him. To my disbelief, I saw his cheeks turn pink.

"Oh, sorry." He laughed uncomfortably and didn't meet my eyes. What strange backward reality had I found myself in where a boy like him was embarrassed of anything around a girl like me?

"That's great just like that." I nodded at him and pulled out my drawing utensils.

"You need all those different pencils?" He asked, sounding a little like a curious child.

"Oh, yeah…they're all a little different." I explained awkwardly. "Some have softer led in them so they make darker marks. It's so that I can draw different tones and shadows."

"Oh, that's cool. I didn't know there was so much to it." I smiled at his interest and prepared my sketch book.

"Are you ready?" I asked. He nodded, going stiff as a board.

I took my HB pencil and began making soft sketchy lines, creating a base of his form. It was a perfect opportunity to study the person I had dreamed so much of. Every little fold and wrinkly of fabric, every tiny bend and curve of his body, each detail was something to be treasured and recorded carefully onto the paper. I had never expected to be able to draw him so closely, or even to be in his presence at all. My mind swirled with all sorts of thoughts, all with him at the center.

"Levi, are you up there?" His uncle called from downstairs. The sound echoed in my head and cleared it out like a rake gathering and disposing of leaves in a yard.

"Yeah!" Levi yelled, mouthing a silent apology to me.

"Boy, you gotta stop ditching school." Normand's voice was aggravated, but not angry. I was worried he would come upstairs, but we both heard him return to the garage.

"Is he going to be mad at you?" I asked, worried I may have cause some sort of an issue.

"Nah, he don't care." He laughed and smiled. I lost myself in his eyes, so soft and inviting.

"Can I see it?" He asked, gesturing to my sketchbook.

"N-not yet." I opposed him quietly. He stuck his bottom lip out like a child, and my heart stopped beating for a moment. "You don't have to stay totally still like that, I can still draw you if you're looking around or smoking or something." I said, trying to distract myself.

"Oh, okay." He chuckled and stretched out a little. I watched him light another cigarette.

There was something rather intimate about watching him do this; the way his lips wrapped around the paper filter, the way his cheeks got a little sucked in as he lit it, and the white smoke drifting out of his mouth. I never cared much for cigarettes, so I guess he was the main reason why I wanted so badly to close the distance between us.

After a while, I had finally gotten a good base down for the portrait.

"That's enough for now." I smiled and put down my pencil.

"Can I pleeeaaaaase see now?" He asked sweetly. I reluctantly held the book up to him.

"Woah!" He croaked. Was that a good woah or a bad woah? "That's so good!" He exclaimed.

"Y-you think?" I mumbled, studying the picture myself.

"Yeah! I can't wat to see when it's done." He said. Crap, what was I supposed to do when he wasn't right here in front of me? I needed a photo of him to draw from, but I struggled to force the words out.

"Um…w-would it be okay if I…took a p-picture of you?" I couldn't stop my face from burning red. "J-just for the project! So I can work on it at home too…" I folded my hands nervously, trying my best to hide it from him and keep my voice even.

"Yeah, sure! I don't mind." He said coolly.

My eyes shot upward; I was dumbfounded. I blinked dumbly at him for a moment, my mind going crazy. It was such a strange request of me to make, and he was so fast to agree. I would have a photo of him…for my drawing of course. I felt myself start to shake at the thought of it, being able to look down at my phone and see him there as he is now. If this was all going to end soon, at least I would have that to remember this by. I carefully snapped a picture with my phone. It was a little out of focus from my hands trembling so much, but it was enough to draw from and quietly admire his features.

"Thank you…" I replied, carefully tucking my things into my backpack.

"Sweet, that was cool." He said and rose to his feet.

I was frozen in fear, watching helplessly as he walked over to the bed. He stretched out sideways in front of me so that I was sitting over him. He was only inches away. My heart pounded violently against my chest, and I had to look away so that I wouldn't blush again and give away my nervousness. I felt my whole body trembling again, and I prayed silently that he couldn't feel it.

"You wanna smoke?" He said, pulling a bag of green buds out of his pocket. Did he know I was feeling so nervous? I met his gaze hesitantly.

"Okay." I murmured. My voice sounded harsh in my ears.

I felt a sharp pain of disappointment in my gut when he got up and went to his dresser. He opened a drawer and pulled out a shiny blue package.

"I don't think you've tried these before. This is a blunt, it's like a really big flavored joint." He opened the packet and pulled out something that looked like a thin cigar. I smelled the soft syrupy smell of blueberries.

I watched breathlessly as he split it open with his fingers and empties the brown tobacco into his garbage can. He crumbled the weed and gently sprinkled it into the shell, then brought it to his lips. My heart started beating hard again as I watched. I was hypnotized watching him skillfully roll it. Each time it touched his lips my breath came more and more labored. I watched the tip of his tongue glide along the paper's edge, and realized he was watching me. The look in his eyes was petrifying; it was the sort of look you might expect to find in the eyes of lion as it stalked a gazelle. After a moment, he broke his eyes' hold on me mercifully and hovered his lighter across the surface of the blunt.

"You just hit it like a normal joint." He said in a deep, raspy voice. I took the blunt with shaky hands and hit it carefully.

"It tastes like blueberry!" I said, giggling and feeling a wave of relief wash over me.

"Yeah, it's my favorite." He smiled his beautiful smile at me. Blueberry was my favorite flavor of anything, and I celebrated inwardly that we had this in common.

He stretched out next to me while we smoked, but he didn't speak. The blissful calmness overtook and clouded my mind so that I didn't notice him scoot closer to me on the bed. By the time we finished the blunt, he had come so close that I was pressed against him. I could feel warmth radiating from him, and the feeling was an even stronger high than the blunt. I knew I was shaking, and I knew he could feel it, but this time it didn't make me afraid. He moved slowly and carefully, bringing his arm around behind me and resting it around my shoulders. The weight of his arm was so comforting, and I was at ease immediately. I looked up to meet his eyes; they were deep and warm and tantalizingly inviting. It was like he was calling out to me through them, but I didn't know how to respond. He smiled at me gently, as if he understood my thoughts. I felt so at home there, nestled perfectly against him. I felt as if this was where I was always meant to be. I lost control of myself as I closed my eyes, relishing in the smell of him. I let out a soft sigh involuntarily, but this time I was unafraid of the consequences. I didn't realize I was drifting away until I found myself cloaked in darkness.