Lisa returns home after her night at Joe's to mom's suspicion...
"Lisa?" a voice called my name gently the next morning, bringing me out of my sweet dreams and into reality. I forced my eyelids open and blinked a few minutes, trying to figure out where I was. My surroundings were unfamiliar. This most certainly wasn't my normal bedroom with the stiff pillowcases and sheets and bright green walls.
Then last night's events all came rushing back to me and I immediately knew where I was. My eyes popped open all the way and met Joe's gaze. I smiled at him and snuggled closer to the warmth of his body. Joe's arms were still around me; he must've held me the whole night long. Before last night, I had kind of worried about this morning. I had thought that things might have been awkward between us, but those worries had been crushed and stamped out of my head. Everything with Joe was perfectly natural and there wasn't the slightest bit of awkwardness between us as I lay against Joe on the soft, cushiony bed.
Joe traced my jawline with a gentle finger as he whispered, "Lisa, we should probably get up now. Didn't your parents want you home early this morning?" My heart sank; I had temporarily forgotten about the fact that I was moving in less than twenty-four hours. When I was with Joe, everything seemed like it was going to be okay. But now, well, I had to move and things wouldn't be okay anymore. Joe wouldn't be with me. I'd be all alone.
"Yeah, they did want me home early," I confessed, not making any movements to get up. I was going to procrastinate as long as possible. I wanted to stay right here snuggled in Joe's arms for the rest of eternity. Joe laughed lightly and said, "If they want you home early, then we should probably get up. It's already eleven. You slept in really late. Are you tired?"
Oh my god...it was already eleven in the morning? I was suppose to have been home by nine! I was already two hours late! Reluctantly, I sat up in bed and rubbed my eyes sleepily, knowing that I really needed to get up right this minute, "Yeah, I am kind of tired. But Joe, my mom wanted me home by nine and it's already eleven."
Joe's eyes widened and he frowned as he glanced at the clock on the left side of his room, "Um, we should probably hurry and pack your stuff up then. I don't want you to get into trouble for being late or anything." Joe slowly untangled his arms from around me neck, freeing me to get up and move about.
I stretched my arms and then slid out of the bed. I wrapped my arms around me as I walked over to my bag with all my clothes and cosmetics. After rummaging through my bag, I selected some clean clothes and started pulling them on. As my fingers fuddled with the clasp of my bra, I could feel Joe's eyes watching me get dressing.
Feeling a tad bit self-conscious, I glanced over to see Joe's expression. He was watching me with a small smile and a kind of dreamy look on his face. Somehow, I managed to clasp my bra. As I pulled my tank top over my head, I turned and asked Joe, "What are you thinking? You have this expression on your face that I haven't seen before."
Joe blinked and then grinned shyly at me, "I was thinking that you look really beautiful this morning." Joe paused and then started climbing out of bed, "Hey Lisa, can I ask you something?" I nodded. Joe was the only person who never needed to ask permission to ask me questions. I always wanted to hear them.
"Are you glad that we...you know...?" Joe asked hesitantly. I shot him one of those are-you-crazy looks and replied, "God, of course I am, Joe. That was the best night of my life." Suddenly worried about what Joe thought about last night, I asked nervously, "Do you feel the same way?"
"Of course," Joe reassured me. "I was just making sure that you felt the same way that I do." I slipped on my skirt and pulled a tube of mascara and lipstick out of my cosmetic bag. Motioning towards the door, I told Joe, "I'm gonna go put some makeup on. I'll be right back, okay?" Joe nodded so I slipped out of the door and padded across to the bathroom.
After yanking the brush through my hair and hurriedly applying some mascara, I took a quick look in the mirror. I didn't look nearly as bad as I had expected. The only thing unusual about me was this strange glint in my eyes and my flushed cheeks. But maybe that was just because I was in a hurry?
Not wasting time thinking about it, I rushed back across the hallway and back into Joe's room. Joe, who had gotten dressed while I was gone, was sitting on the bed waiting for me. I shoved my makeup back into my bag and joined Joe sitting on the corner of the bed. I smiled over at him and was about to speak when a loud rumbling noise sounded from somewhere below us.
"Uh, Joe?" I asked, trying to figure out what the unusual sound was. "What was that noise?" Joe's eyes were widening in alarm and he suddenly grabbed my wrist and replied, "That's the garage door! My parents must be back home already. I have no idea why they're back this early though. Come on, follow me! If we hurry, we can get you out of here before they come in."
Joe didn't have to ask me to move twice, I had already slung my bag over my shoulder and was running as fast as I could behind Joe. I followed Joe down the stairs and just as I rounded the corner, I tripped and fell. My leg scraped against something hard on the floor, but there wasn't time to figure out what it was. I quickly got to my feet and continued to trail after Joe as he led me to the back door. He grabbed a key from the kitchen table and fumbled with the lock.
Luckily, the door gave way under his fingers and slipped open with ease. I came to a breathless halt behind Joe, panting and sweating like crazy. Joe frowned as his gaze traveled over my legs. He pointed at my knee and asked, "Lisa, what happened to your knee? It's all cut open and it's bleeding like crazy."
I shrugged, dismissing the subject, and said, "I fell, but it's not big deal. It's just a little cut. I'll take care of it when I get home. No worries." From a far off distance, Joe and I could hear the sound of laughing voices; Joe's parents. They must have gotten out of their car and now were headed inside right now!
Joe grabbed my shoulders and crushed me to him in an abrupt embrace. I hugged him tightly to me as he pressed his lips against mine in a firm kiss. Then Joe pushed me away just as the sound of the front door opening reached our ears, "You'd better go now...make sure you stop by tomorrow morning before you leave, alright?"
I nodded, already out the door. There was no way I was going to be leaving the state without saying a nice, long goodbye to Joe first. Some things just couldn't be rushed and my goodbye with Joe was one of those things that I wouldn't allow to be rushed. Joe waved to me before closing the back door behind me and heading back inside to greet his parents.
As I ran out the door and out onto the sidewalk, I adjusted my bag over my shoulder and slowed down to a walk once I was out of sight from Joe's house. I caught my breath and then remembered that I was suppose to be home two and a half hours ago. Making a face, I sped my walk back up to a run again and ran the whole way back home.
My stomach churned and twisted as I went and a cramp formed in my side. I hoped my mom wouldn't be too suspicious about why I was home so late. I could just tell her that Mandy and I had slept in and lost track of time. But what if my mom and called Mandy's mom and asked what we were doing? That would definitely not end up well. I would just have to cross my fingers and pray that my mom hadn't called Mandy's mom. Because if she had, I was busted. There would be no point in lying once my mom found out that I hadn't been at Mandy's last night. Mandy and Joe were my only friends in the neighborhood. If I wasn't at Mandy's, my mom would automatically assume that I had spent the night at Joe's.
~ ~ ~ ~
Without bothering to catch my breath or wipe the sweat off my forehead, I burst through the front door and into our doorway. Flinging my bags to the ground, I looked around the kitchen and living room and called out loudly, "Hey mom, I'm home!" I figured it would be best to let her know I was home right away so she could stop worrying about where I was.
Two seconds later, my mom stepped into the living room and looked me up and down with a slightly suspicious expression on her face. I hated the way her eyes lingered on all the wrong parts of me and the way she merely stared at me instead of saying something. I tried to control my panting as I looked up nervously into her eyes wondering if she knew somehow.
"You're late," my mom said after what seemed like an eternity. By this time, I had caught my breath and was now shifting nervously from foot to foot. At her words, I forced myself to smile and reply, "Yeah, I know. I'm so sorry. Mandy and I stayed up really late and we were tired so we-"
My mother cut off my words as she held up her hand and said, "Puh-leez! I really don't want to hear excuses. I told you to be home here three hours ago. It was a simply request and somehow you managed to be disobedient." My mom stopped for a moment, glaring at me through slitted eyes. I watched as she took in my disheveled hair, smeared from sweat makeup, my dark eyes, and the cut that was bleeding slightly above my knee.
Mom shook her head at me in disapproval and then sighed, "I know that this is hard for you, but I just wish you could learn to make good decisions! And why do you look all sweaty and hot and what's the cut doing on your knee?"
I sighed; I sure had a lot of explaining to do. My mom obviously wasn't going to let my being late go. As a matter of fact, she seemed to want to figure out every exact detail of last night.