The Stupid Boy and the Outsider Chapter 23
It's been four days and Joe and I still haven't been able to return that stupid watch.
"Joe, what are we gonna do?" I said pacing in my room while he relaxed on my bed. We went straight to my house after school.
"Remind me again why we don't just walk up to Miller and say, 'Sorry Principal Miller, but my brother was the one to take your watch. He didn't do it on purpose, he's only four. We're sorry. Do you forgive us?'"
"Umm... maybe it's because he's thoroughly pissed," I said sarcastically. "Or maybe because the police are involved. OR! Maybe it's because we don't know how he'll react when we give it to him. He could go berserk and have us sent to juvie!" It's a good thing my parents weren't home yet or they would have thought we were crazy.
Joe grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me a little. "Jackie, calm down."
"Sorry," I said like a child that just got caught doing something wrong.
"It's okay," Joe said. "Since you're such a chicken," I sent him a glare even though he was the one pacing now and wasn't looking at me, "we have to give it back to him without him or anyone else knowing."
"Yeah too bad the only times we're allowed in school there's always someone there," I said sitting in a chair.
"What about tomorrow?"
"The contest is tomorrow."
"Yeah, but you have to be there early and there probably won't be anyone in the office."
"I think so... maybe." I've never been to school on a Saturday. How was I supposed to know if there were people in the office or not?
Just then the door bell rang throughout the house.
"Who could that be?" I asked as I headed downstairs.
"Maybe Principal Miller figured it out and now he's here to take us to juvie," Joe joked, so I just hit him.
I opened the front door to see Kevin with a guitar in his hand.
"Hey," he said. "Since tomorrow's the big day, I though you should fit in one last practice."
"Sure!" I needed something to distract me a little bit. "Joe, go home."
"Why do I have to go home?" He asked.
"Because I want my singing to be a surprise."
"Fine, have fun," he said before going home.
--- --- --- ---
"Do you have your sheet music sweetie?" Mom asked.
"I actually gave one to Ms. Hetrick earlier this week like she asked," I told her.
"But you have an extra one just in case don't you?"
"Yes mom." I said a little irritated as I waved it in the air for her to see.
Joe lightly snickered next to me. Mom can be pretty anal sometimes. She and dad were dropping us to the school for the contest. It actually started in a couple hours, but Ms. Hetrick told us to be there two hours earlier for check in and practice.
I had to lie to mom and dad saying that I was nervous and needed a friend to be there with me while I waited for the contest to start. I guess they bought it since they allowed me to bring Joe along.
"Okay sweetie, we'll be back in time for the contest," mom said before driving out of the student parking lot.
"Operation Return Watch is now in progress," Joe imitated a secret agent as we walked through the hallway.
"That was really lame," I said rolling my eyes.
"Then you try thinking of an operation code name."
I just ignored him and kept walking. We walked through the main hall making sure to check out the main office. The doors were open as usual and there wasn't anyone in there except for the janitor.
"Looks like we're clear," Joe said.
"Yeah, but I need to check in with Ms. Hetrick first. Just stay here until I come back," I told him.
"Out here in the hallway? Umm... I'll wait in the bathroom instead," he said before going in.
I walked into the auditorium and saw a few people were already there. I didn't see Ms. Hetrick there yet and everyone seemed to be just sitting around practicing a little bit, so I just took a seat and waited. After a few minutes Ms. Hetrick walked in with two other people.
"Okay you guys settle down," she said loud enough for all of us to hear. "So I'd like to introduce you all to Mrs. Rebecca Garcia. She will be helping me today. Either she or I will be playing your music for your performance.
"This is Mr. Andrew Pacho," she motioned to the other person she walked in with. "He is one of the judges as well as a music director that works at alocal recording studio. The winner of this competition will be working with Mr. Pacho and his two colleagues who are also the other two judges. They will be joining us shortly.
"Now shall we start with a little practice?" There were some cheers from everyone. "Okay then, Mrs. Garcia and I will call you up one by one to find out who's here and who isn't. We'll also make sure we have your sheet music or CD and practice once. If you want more practice with us we'll fit in as much extra practicing as possible before people start showing up. Any questions?"
"What if we want to play our own music?" Someone asked from two rows in front of me.
"Just tell us when we call you up here so we don't panic when we can't find your music. Anymore questions? No? Okay, Adam Owens you're up first."
I guess Joe would have to wait a little longer.
While I waited for my turn I could see Kristine talking to Mr. Pacho. She looked like she was flirting. When she realized that he didn't care she started talking bad about everyone else. I could tell from the look in their faces. Anybody could tell from the look on her face.
The longer I sat there the more nervous I got. It was finally hitting me. The contest was in less than two hours. What if I'm not good? What if people start laughing at me? Or booing? What did I get myself into?
"Psst," I heard someone say bringing me out of my reverie.
"Susan Yen," I heard Mrs. Garcia call right after. Maybe I was hearing things.
"Psst," I heard again. I definitely heard it this time, but when I looked around everyone was too far away. I looked behind me and no one was there. I felt a thump on the back of my chair. "I'm right behind you... on the floor."
"Joe? What are you doing?" I whispered between clenched teeth so it didn't look like I was talking to myself. People were still talking about me; I didn't need this to prove them right.
"I got bored in the bathroom," he simply said. "Sooo... you nervous?"
"Yes," I said at the same time that Mrs. Garcia called a Rachelle Willis.
"Wouldn't it be cool if you won?"
I scoffed. "I just want that laptop. And besides, you don't even know what I sound like."
"Yeah, but still. What if you won? You'd get to make a demo and someone would sign you, then maybe in a year or two you could come tour with us."
"Hmm, that would be cool." I couldn't help but smile at the thought. "But that's not for me. Maybe I'll just tag along one summer and be a roadie."
"That'll be cool too," Joe said.
"Jackie Mathews," Ms. Hetrick called me.
"Go back to the bathroom," I said while standing up. "I'll be there as soon as I can."
The practice was more or less the same as my audition, simple and straight forward.
When I was done I pretended to go back to where I was originally sitting. As I got closer I looked around to see if anyone was paying attention to me. It looked like they weren't, so I kept walking to the doors. I took one last look back; the coast was clear so I slipped out.
I walked down the empty hallway toward the bathrooms. Suddenly I saw the janitor walk out of one classroom and slowly make his way to the next. I gave him a small smile and pretended to walk into the girls' bathroom. I stepped in, but poked my head back around the door to make sure he was in the other room before rushing to the boys' bathroom next door and frantically knocking on the door. There was a small wait before the door opened with Joe on the other side.
"Come inside," Joe said.
I gave him a dirty look and walked in.
"Okay so what's the plan?" He asked.
"The janitor is headed this way so we have to go the long way." He was flipping the watch over and over in his hand. "And for goodness sakes stop getting your fingerprints all over it." I grabbed it from him and started wiping it down with a paper towel. I guess I'm just as anal about things as mom is.
Just then I heard some movement outside. It was the janitor. The jingling of keys was a dead giveaway.
Everything seemed to go in slow motion. I looked up to see a confused look on Joe's face. I still had the watch in my hands. I wrapped it up in the paper towel and stuffed it in his pants pocket. I desperately wanted to run into a stall, but my legs weren't cooperating with my brain.
I could see the door open slowly, so I did the only other thing I could think of. I grabbed Joe's face and crashed my lips on to his. He tensed for a split second before I felt his arms wrap around my waist and felt him kissing me back. He was really getting into it. He was so gentle. I must say, it was really nice, nothing like what I imagined after seeing him make out with Kristine... not that I've imagined kissing him, but... you get my point.
Joe licked my bottom lip when I heard an ahem and remembered what was going on. Where I was, what I'm supposed to be doing, and what I was actually doing at this very moment. I had to pull away. Honestly I didn't want to pull away. It was just so... amazing that I wanted it to last forever, but pull away I did. I looked over to see the janitor standing in the doorway.
"Oh," I said, "sorry." I pulled on Joe's hand and led him out the door.
I vaguely heard the janitor mumble something about hormones as we passed him.
We were now standing in the main hallway. Joe was behind me as I looked towards the main office. I couldn't look at him. What exactly did I just do? I had my first kiss with one of my best friends, that's what I just did... and it was good. I am in so much more trouble than I was in before.
Author's Note: Now question; there's a song in the next chapter, dur it's the day of the contest after all. Haha I'm not sure how many people know the song, so would you like a youtube link? But I only have it up until the chorus after the second verse.
Also, this is where I slow down on posting. I might post the next chapter tomorrow, but I'm not sure. Istill have to re-read and edit the chapter. I'm a little anal about these things and end up proof reading at least 3 times before posting... and there's still a bunch of mistakes. Anyways that's it. Thanks for reading!