The Stupid Boy and the Outsider Chapter 27
"You little harlot!" Berna yelled after I told her what happened last night.
I kind of made a move on Joe, at least that's what I was trying to do and I think he got it. He was only supposed to be over for an hour or so, but we ended up falling asleep on the couch... in each others arms. Okay that last part was lame, but we did and I liked it. Even with the horrible crick in my neck I woke up with a smile after seeing Joe next to me.
It took me a minute to realize it wasn't night time anymore. When I looked at the clock it was almost 5:30. I lightly nudged Joe to wake him up. He mumbled something about five more minutes, so I just nudged him again. When he finally opened his eyes a smile instantly appeared on his face. It made my heart flutter a little bit. When I finally got my senses together I rushed him out the door so that neither of us would get caught.
"So what happened in the morning? Did your dad flip out when he saw you two sleeping together?"
"No, thank goodness. Could you imagine my dad's face if he saw us sleeping together? Having a sleep over where we're on different surface areas is totally different than sleeping on the same couch. He would have a hernia or something. I guess we were just as lucky as last time and woke up before they did."
Her eyebrow shot up. "Last time?"
"Uh..." I could feel myself blush a little, "it happened once in the summer, but I mean nothing happened. We just got that way some how. It wasn't like last night."
She had a shocked look on her face. "I'm gonna say it again, you little harlot. First you tell me you touch him semi-inappropriately..."
"It was his knee!" I interrupted.
"Then you tell me you two fell asleep together," she continued, ignoring me, "which is a little naughty, and now you tell me it happened before! I don't think you and Joe should have any more sleepovers since you're together now. I'm sure your dad will agree."
"Well... I don't think we're together, at least I don't think." Why does this have to be so difficult?
Just then the phone rang and Berna answered. I wasn't paying attention. I was trying to figure out what to do now. I'm sure Joe knows how I feel now... right? And I'm sure he feels the same way. I mean he did put his arm around me and the next morning...
I sighed out loud just thinking about it.
"Hey," Berna said breaking me from my reverie. She had her hand over the receiver of the phone. "It's JD, he and Ryan wanna come over."
"Okay... so let them come."
"What? You and Joe are just starting to make progress. Do you really want Ryan coming here and possibly messing it up? We all know he kinda likes you."
He was flirting a little bit last night after the game.
"Yeah, I'm sure. I'll be fine." At least I hope so.
"JD, come on over," Berna said before hanging up.
The guys rolled up in front of Berna's house a few minutes later.
"Woah there Mustang," Berna said when the guys walked up to the house.
Ryan looked back at his black mustang and said, "So I like Mustangs, sue me."
Right when the guys stepped through the doors everything seemed okay, like Ryan was an old friend that we've known for years. He was really nice, charming, and smart. The fact that he wasn't the stereotypical "dumb jock" that only talked about sports, food, and girls was a plus too. He could possibly be the perfect boyfriend... or as close to perfect as you can get. Maybe a little too perfect.
After an hour or so Berna and JD started making out leaving Ryan and me awkwardly sitting, watching TV. Maybe this was it. This was where I find Ryan's flaw. He's gonna try to get me to make out with him, maybe even forcefully.
I was started to get a little scared. I didn't want that to happen. So, what did I do? I went to a different room.
Stupid idea. He followed me into the den. I sat at the desk in front of the computer and turned it on. Ryan just leaned on the desk.
"Checking your email?" Ryan asked.
"Yea, I'm expecting a message soon." When Joe left this morning I ran to my laptop to email Ilana about last night. I was hoping that she had replied already.
"From your boyfriend?"
"No, just a friend. She lives about two hours from here so this is the only way I can talk to her."
"That's cool," he said picking up a paper weight and playing with it a little.
He wasn't gonna hit me on the head with that would he?
"So... do you have a boyfriend?" He asked.
"Um... not really." I really don't know what Joe and I are right now. Last night was pretty big, but not much happened.
"Not really? How can you 'not really' have a boyfriend?" He asked putting the paper weight back.
I guess he wasn't gonna hit me. I'm going crazy here. Maybe he is really just a nice guy. He had a cute smile on his face, but it was noting like Joe's. Joe's was more... endearing.
"It's kind of complicated," I explained. "I mean, I like him and I think he likes me, but nothings really happening."
Ryan nodded his head. "I see, but you could date any guy you want if he asked you. Right?" Now his smile was more like a pretty boy smiling for his yearbook picture. Joe didn't have one of those; he wouldn't be able to pull it off anyway.
"I could, but that doesn't mean I'm gonna say yes to just any guy," I said smiling back. I couldn't help it. It was nice getting the attention of a really cute senior jock.
"Well, what if it wasn't just any guy," he said looking at his shoes. He looked back up at me and said, "What if I asked you out?"
Before I could answer, his phone went off in his pocket. He took it out and looked at the caller ID. "Hold that thought," he told me. "Hello... Yes I told you I was gonna do it today... I will, stop worrying so m-... Fine I'll call now... Okay... Bye." He hung up before reaching into his other pocked and pulled out, what looked like, a business card. "Sorry, my cousin wants me to call some guy for her."
"No problem." Thank goodness I didn't have to answer his question. At least not yet.
I checked my email while Ryan was at the far corner of the room making that call. My inbox was empty.
Berna came in and said, "Here you guys are."
I turned off the computer and herded Berna out of the den to give Ryan some quiet. "He's making a call," I told her.
"Speaking of calls, I just got one. Joe and Nick are coming over."
"Great," I said sarcastically.
"What's wrong?" Berna asked me.
"I was just in there and Iwas kinda flirting with Ryan... and he pretty much asked me out," I whispered.
"Well, next time say no and that you like someone else," she whispered back.
"He kind of already knows," I said before telling her everything.
"You little harlot."
I rolled my eyes. "Will you stop calling me that?"
Just then the doorbell rang.
"At least Ryan doesn't know its Joe. It's awkward enough as it is knowing Joe will be here while Ryan flirts with you." I gave her a glare.
I need to watch myself and not flirt with Ryan while Joe's here.
"We wouldn't want them to start fighting over you or something," Berna continued talking. "I mean Joe has a pretty bad temper and geez, Ryan was practically raping you with his eyes after the homecoming game," she said before opening the front door.
"Hey guys," Berna and I said together.
Nick laughed at that and said, "Did you two practice that?"
"Speaking of practice how was it?" I asked him.
"We would still be there if everyone didn't gang up on me," Nick said throwing a glare at Joe.
"Aww," Berna sympathized. "To cheer you up you can help me get some cake ready for everyone."
Nick followed Berna into the kitchen leaving Joe and me still standing at the front door. I wonder if she did that on purpose. She probably did.
I noticed Joe hadn't said anything yet. Was he upset with me?
"Hey," he finally said with asmall smile before giving me a hug.
I guess not, but it did make me feel a little guilty.
"Hey," I said back, letting go. "So, when are you guys coming back?"
"We haven't left yet and you're asking when we're getting back," he said with a laugh.
"I just wanted to see if we could hang out tomorrow, but fine, I don't want to know when you get back," I jokingly said before walking away into the living too. Joe followed behind me.
"Hey dude," JD said. He and Ryan were on the couch watching TV. I walked past them to lie down on the two seat couch leaving only one seat between JD and Ryan. Joe ended up sitting on the floor leaning on the couch I was on. "What, I got cooties or something? Sit on the couch," JD said.
"I think that seat is saved for your girlfriend," Joe explained. I think Joe just wanted to sit as far away from Ryan as possible.
"That's right," Berna said as she and Nick came in with trays filled with cake and drinks. "It is my seat."
I sat up letting Nick sit next to me.
"Ryan this is Nick, Kevin and Joe's brother," I introduced.
"You guys are brothers?" Ryan asked. Nick nodded in response. "Cool."
"When are you guys leaving?" JD asked looking at Joe.
"In a few hours at 8:30," Joe answered.
"Where are you guys going?" Ryan asked.
When Joe didn't answer right away Nick said, "We have a gig at a mall early tomorrow morning. It's a pretty long drive so we gotta leave tonight to get there on time."
"You guys are in a band?"
"Yeah, us two and Kevin," Nick answered again.
"Cool," Ryan said. "So where are you going?"
"Pittsburgh, right Joe?"
"Yup," was all Joe said.
This is gonna be really awkward when the questions stop.
Ryan seemed to take a genuine interest in the guys' band, but Joe mostly kept quiet, only answering questions directed toward him and him only.
After a couple hours everyone except for Ryan could feel the anger radiating off of Joe. I'm sure Nick and JD knew about Joe's feelings towards me, and if last night meant anything he must have feelings for me.
Kevin called telling Joe and Nick that he would be over in a few minutes to pick them up.
"Can I get a ride too?" I asked when Kevin pulled up.
"You're leaving now? I could take you home," Ryan offered.
I saw Joe throw a glance at Ryan's Mustang before getting in the passenger seat of the van. Kevin, Berna, JD, and Nick were standing around talking while Joe just sat there half heartedly listening to their conversation. I felt bad, like I was leading him on yesterday.
"Kevin's already here, so I think I'm gonna catch a ride with them," I said declining his offer.
"How about we hang out tomorrow then?" Ryan asked.
"I actually have church tomorrow and I was planning on staying at home the rest of the day."
"I'm going to church too. Maybe you could put off staying in and hang out after."
"You go to church?"
"Don't sound so surprised," he said with a laugh. "And yes, I go to church. My family, my aunt, and her family go together sometimes."
"Oh, well, we'll see," I said walking to the van.
When we were driving away Joe said, "Why didn't you stay with your boyfriend?"
I was shocked at the question and tone he used. He sounded so angry.
"Ryan's not my boyfriend," I said in a small voice.
"Might as well be," he said. "You two were flirting every few seconds."
Were we really? I looked over at Nick sitting next to me and silently asked him. He just shrugged. That wasn't a yes, but it wasn't a no either.
I knew this was awkward for Kevin and Nick to hear.
"Can we talk about this later?" I asked.
"Yeah, whatever," Joe said, but we didn't talk about it.
When we got home Joe left the van and went straight to their house without a word to any of us.
I didn't want Joe to leave with this tension between us, but I wasn't gonna make him talk to me if he didn't want to. He gave me my space for two weeks after the kiss, so I'll let him have his space now.
"Good luck tomorrow you guys. Tell Joe that for me too."
"Jackie," Kevin said walking up to me. "I'm not gonna tell you to pick one of them or anything. That's none of my business, but I gotta be the good older brother and stick up for him. Just know that all that stuff in the van, that's just Joe being Joe. You know, talking without thinking. The fact that he's upset just makes it worse. Joe really likes you. All he does is talk about you. Don't worry about him."
I nodded. "Tell him I'm ready to talk whenever he is."