BRAND NEW CHAPTER
'SHE'S LOST HER JOB ALREADY?' She screeched when I told her, and she continued to curse mom down the phone for the next five minutes or so. I held the cell phone inches away from ear, waiting for her to calm to down. When she finally finished, her breathing heavy, she asked how I was doing.
'I'm great grandma' I said 'more than.'
'Are you sure honey? You're not just saying that are you? Because you know you can tell me if you're unhappy. It'd only be natural for you to feel somewhat lonely, being separated from all your family to live in a place as shallow and crude as Vegas' – She said the word like it was causing her physical pain – 'I understand, Gem'.
'But Grandma' I said 'I'm not lonely at all. I've told you I've made friends; Kate and Brendon and Spencer – and I've even got a boyfriend now.'
'You remember me telling you about Ryan, don't you Mel?'
I reminded her anyway, and told her how it happened. My Grandma seemed pleased for me at first, but the only thing that didn't seem to sail smoothly with her was the part about us keeping it secret. 'Never trust a boy who wants to keep a relationship secret' she said.
'I told you Melanie, I want to keep it secret too. And it's not going to be forever or anything, just until we think everyone's ready to know.'
'What's the point of having a relationship if it's a secret one?' She said 'How do you go on dates? Isn't his sister, Katie, going to notice something if her brother and best friend are always away at the same time? I think you're getting yourself into trouble here. If you want to keep a friendship with Katie and Spencer, maybe's it's best you just call it all off; boy's are never worth it.'
I could hardly believe what I was hearing.
'You want me to break up with Ryan? Grandma, you know how much I like him!'
It didn't make sense; Melanie was always supportive when I talked to her about Ryan before, giving me advice and encouragement. And now that I'm actually with him she's telling me I shouldn't be.
'I just think it's for the best poppet, that's all. At least consider what I'm saying, I only have your best interests at heart.'
I told her I wouldn't consider it, because I wouldn't be able to do it. Mel didn't like this, but I persisted, and she begrudgingly accepted it, before wishing me a nice week and hanging up. I stared at the phone a little afterwards, for I was still a bit perplexed by the conversation that had just taken place. I ended up shrugging it off; Mel was obviously just very angry with mom, that's why she was being so weird. She didn't mean what she'd said.
_ _ _
It wasn't until three days after our relationship had officially started that I got to see Ryan again. My mom was out, so he came to my house after a band practise. It was great; to see him stood in my doorway, with his guitar case slung over his back and his lopsided smile of greeting. I had an overwhelming urge to kiss him, yet I didn't act on it. I was still nervous, I guess. I thought that annoying, foreign feeling might have gone by now, but no, the butterflies were just as active as ever. Thank God Ryan took the liberty to step forward and kiss me swiftly on the lips.
'How was band practise?' I asked, once I'd finished levitating and had begun to lead him up to my room.
'It was ok' He said 'I'll admit I felt sort of strange when talking to Spencer. And Brendon didn't help, shooting glances back and forth between us all the time – Spencer must have sensed there was something weird but he didn't question it. And Brendon was even more fidgety than ever. I still can't believe you told him Y'know.'
'I had to – he already knew everything up until this point, and there's just no way could I keep it from him.'
'I've never wanted a band practise to be over so badly before. - and not just because of that, but because I was so eager to see you again.'
I opened the door to my room with a grin 'How sweet.'
That was as far as the conversation went for a while. Once we'd collapsed on my bed we kissed immediately; and strangely I didn't think twice this time. It wasn't anything too frisky; it was cute stuff; Laughing for no reason, and pecking each others noses and cheeks once in a while.
'So' he murmured sliding his hands down my hair. As he came to the ends his knuckles somewhat grazed my boobs, which for some reason made me stiffen suddenly, which was embarrassing but he didn't notice or at least, he pretended not to. At least he didn't linger, and instead dropped his hands down join them to mine which were sitting in my lap. I didn't understand why my face was beginning to heat up because of this. Perhaps it was because of how intensely he was staring into my eyes. I tried my best to look back, but my breath got caught in my throat.
I didn't find out what he was planning to say because at that moment a shrill, repetitive ringing sound went off, causing us both to look around. It was coming from somewhere downstairs. 'Is that a fire-alarm?' Ryan asked 'I may be imagining it, but I think I smell burning.'
'Oh SHIT' I said, slapping a hand to my mouth before leaping off the bed and running out of my room where the smell of something burning was much clearer. Indeed it was coming from the kitchen. I knew what it was, and I groaned to myself as I descended the stairs and opened the smoky kitchen. Ryan followed behind me. I coughed through the fumes and headed for the oven. Opening it revealed a few dozen bumpy black objects. The cookies I hand made earlier from scratch – I had forgotten all about them.
Ryan stood beside me as I looked down at them silently. The fire alarm was still ringing in the background. Eventually Ryan said, tentatively; 'What were they going to be?'
'Chocolate chip cookies' I frowned, still staring at them. Then I squeaked 'Your favourite'.
'You baked for me?' Ryan said, putting an arm round my waist and pulling me to his side. I looked up at him. 'I failed to bake for you' I corrected 'I'm so bummed; I tried for ages to get them just perfect as well.'
'What a shame' Ryan said, looking down at my failed cookies. 'Hey, I know' He said 'How about we bake some more?'
We had a great time. Ryan spilt half a bag of flower on the floor and his shoes. He seemed relieved when I only laughed and helped him clean it up. By the time we'd finished, we'd somehow managed to get it all over ourselves, clothes, faces and all.
'How're you going to get that off by the time you get back home?' I asked him, once we'd finished laughing at the state of each other.
'Good question' Ryan said, frowning down at himself. 'I'll just make sure I reach the shower before Kate sees me is all.'
'I guess you can't really stay all that much longer' I frowned 'You don't want Kate wondering why you're back so late.'
'Yeah I guess' He said, his face forming the same look of disappointment as mine. I didn't notice my fingers fall limp, causing the remaining flour spill from the bag and onto the floor we'd just spent so long clearing.
I could have cried right then, but Ryan surprised me by laughing. 'You don't have stay and help clear it up' I said quickly.
He walked over to me, dodging the flour, and wrapped his arms around me. 'I'm actually kind of glad' He said 'It gives me an excuse to stay longer.' I smiled and then kissed him. We spent longer than we should have - standing there kissing. He was going to be too late back home, and my mom was sure to be back any minute, but I guess neither of us really had the willpower to stop. Eventually I broke away and sighed 'Come on.'
As we sat on the floor, clearing up the mess in a comfortable silence, I felt contented. Yet I couldn't help but think of how it was going to work. We really had little opportunities to get together and when we did manage to find time, it was limited. How long exactly would it be this way for? We hadn't even discussed that. My grandmother's words echoed in my head, which I shook in disagreement afterwards. Maybe I was getting myself into trouble, but as far as I was concerned, Ryan was worth it.
Been a while, huh?
So i have NO idea if anyone's still gonna read this, so comments would help A LOT.