A coffee date for friends.
"He's bad news," Olivia cut in, turning her gorgeous green eyes to look at me. She swung her strawberry blonde hair over her shoulder and sat down next to me, motioning for her friend to do the same. "We went to high school with him, we all used to be best friends, until college rolled around."
"What do you mean?" I more asked her friend, wanting to hear his voice again.
"When we got to college, Frank figured out that girls actually thought he was attractive. After awhile, he ditched us as friends and became friends with all the other assholes on campus who could get some whenever they wanted. Since then, he's had quite the reputation of bedding new girls around here, and his methods are questionable." He shrugged his shoulders. ''But if you dig him, then do whatever you want. Olive and I thought you should know. I'm Mikey by the way." He stuck out his hands and I shook it gingerly, as if touching him would hurt me.
"Izzy, and he's not really my type," I tried to say casually, flicking my eyes towards Mikey, who didn't seem to notice anything. He nodded and then began to rummage in his book bag. Olivia and I began talking, while Mikey took out a book and began to read. I kept my eyes on him as we talked, and he never once looked over in my direction. A part of me deflated. One of the more popular guys on campus insinuated that he wanted to hook up with me, while one of his ex best friends wouldn't even look at me.
I went home that afternoon with plans to meet Olivia and Mikey for coffee the next day before our classes started. We all had different classes, but they started at the same time.
I arrived to an empty house, yet again. I spent the evening cleaning up the apartment, which was still not completely furnished. There were strips of wallpaper on the walls, different patterns and such. I picked out an outfit for the next day, wanting to actually put an effort into what I looked like, and I liked what I had put together. My dad had given me money to buy myself new clothes, considering I had next to nothing because our hasty departure. And I did anything to keep my mind busied so I wouldn't think about the reason we were on the run.
The next morning, I awoke earlier then usual to take a shower, blow dry my hair, and then curl it slightly, so it looked more like waves. I put on my make up, which never consisted of more then mascara, blush, and lipstick, brushed my teeth, and set out for the coffee date.
The coffee shop was located just across the campus, and was already full of students getting their early fill of coffee before the day begun. I looked around for Olivia and Mikey, and spotted Mikey at a table near the back, alone. I approached slowly, my pulse beginning to quicken.
"Hi," I chirped. He looked up from his book and smiled.
"Hey." He set down his book. "Olivia's not here," he said before I could open my mouth. "She called, she's not feeling too well."
"Oh. Well, you didn't have to come then."
He laughed and sat back in his chair. He was wearing a pair of jeans and an anthrax t-shirt, and I made a mental note to buy one of their records. I had heard of them before, but I never heard any of their music. I never actually listened to music that much. Of course I listened to it on the radio from time to time, but I wasn't up to date with any current bands or anything.
"If I didn't come you would have been left here all alone. Besides, I wanted to come. If we're going to be friends, I might as well get to know you." He laughed again, but it was a pleasant, light-hearted laugh. "First, just let me get my drink. What can I get you?"
"Oh, no, I can get my own." I stood up with him, but he quickly replied.
"Please, I insist. Besides, who is going to save our seats?" He wiggled his eyebrows behind his glasses, and when I didn't answer, he asked me again what I wanted.
"Americano, please." I sat back down, and picked up his book. I looked at the title, and smiled to myself. It was the same book that I was reading. I flipped to the page that he had marked off. He was about three chapters behind me, so I found the page where I was at and read while I waited for him to come back. He took a while, because of the long line up infront of him, so by the time that he returned to the table, I had forgotten that he was there because I was so engrossed in the book.
"Enjoying my book?" he teased, as he set down my drink infront of me.
"Sorry," I said, feeling embarrassed. I shut the book and slid it towards him. "I'm reading the same book, I'm just a little ahead of you."
"You like Irving?" He sounded surprised as he began to sip his drink.
"Oh yeah, I love him. Why?"
"It's just, I've never met anyone our age who likes to read him. Actually, none of my friends like to read in general."
"I love to read. Sometimes I feel like reading is the only thing that keeps me company these days."
"Tell me about it. I spend all my free time reading, and I work at a book store so that works out for me."
"Seriously? That's a sweet gig. I've been looking for a job everywhere but I can't get one."
Mikey eyed me for a second, put down his cup, and smiled broadly. "Today's your lucky day!" he exclaimed, throwing his arms out and spreading them widely. "You are looking at the man in charge of hiring at Barnes & Nobles. Pleased to be at your service." And it was then that I knew Mikey and me were meant to be. Exactly what, I wasn't sure, but I knew we were meant to meet each other. Maybe he could help take my mind off of the horrible things I couldn't get out of my head, all the reasons I hated to keep my thoughts unoccupied.