Brynn shrugged her shoulders and sympathetically stared at her once prince charming now wilting.
The next day was Saturday and Brynn, deciding to finally embrace the warm air, hooked Max to his leash and walked outside. With calls from Zoe to "be back in 30 minutes or else" Brynn left the inhospitable "home" house. Brynn thought about how her circumstances in the last week had somehow become worse. She had deceived the man of her dreams, lost her mom's bracelet, and lastly received the news to not expect her father home 'til Thanksgiving. Brynn was starting to lose faith...faith in ever being really happy.
She crossed the street and ventured down an unfamiliar block. Max tugged on his leash pulling Brynn farther from the place she called home. It wasn't her home really. She would never call it that. Living with Zoe, Clair, and Cher was anything but home. It was a nightmare. In fact, it was…but Brynn's thoughts stopped there because Max gave a tremendous tug and sent Brynn flying forward face down on the front lawn of a careless homeowner. Max's leash slipped through Brynn's fingers, but she didn’t care her face felt flattened. She pushed herself up halfway silently cursing and rubbing her face.
"Whoa! Are you okay?"
The voice came from above Brynn and she didn’t even have to look up to know who it belonged to, but she did. And of course, it was Brendon.
"I'm fine," she stammered climbing to her feet. She self-consciously clamped her hand over her nose certain it was in some distorted shape after her fall.
"Is your nose hurt?" Brendon asked giving Brynn a confused look.
Brynn suddenly realized how stupid she probably looked with her hand clamped on her nose like a leech. "Oh yeah, fine," Brynn said carefully removing her hand.
Brendon smiled giving a grin at her behavior. Brynn mimicked his only hers was painful due to embarrassment. Once Brynn looked away she saw Max sitting obediently at Brendon's feet.
"Max!" Brynn scolded grabbing his leash and pulling him back to her.
Brendon laughed. "Yeah sorry, I guess he saw me sitting outside and ran over."
"Um, yeah," Brynn said not having any other answer to the comment.
They stood facing each other falling into an uncomfortable silence. This was so awkward! Brynn thought. Why as Ann she could talk to him fine, but now…now it was just painful to have his attention.
"Um," Brendon said breaking the cricket symphony. "You're Roz's friend." Brynn smiled. He remembered that at least. Maybe she hadn’t been as invisible as she thought. "It's Brittany. Isn't it?" Okay she spoke too soon.
Brynn gave another forced smile. "Close, Brynn."
"Oh yeah Brynn," he said putting on a sorry expression. Brynn looked away tangling her fingers in Max's leash. Now would be a good time to go. "Um, I'm Brendon," Brendon said suddenly.
Brynn looked back at him shocked he had spoken again when it was the perfect opportunity to get rid of her. "Yeah, I know," Brynn answered.
Brendon laughed. "Yeah I suppose to whole school knows me after my embarrassing banner to the girl who never showed."
Brynn cringed. He was standing too close. Brynn nonchalantly rocked back. "Uh yeah, but I guess banners don’t get every girl."
"What do you mean?"
Brynn was surprised at his quick question. She had meant it as a joke, but was he really looking
for an answer. "Well," Brynn started noticing she had Brendon's full attention. "Sometimes girls like more subtle gestures."
Brendon nodded so Brynn continued. "How much do you really know about his girl? Did she seem the flamboyant, take me away kind of girl?"
Brendon arched his eyebrows and looked away. "Well all I really know is her favorite song and American Idol."
Brynn caught herself smile remembering their conversation.
"I remember her hair was light brown and reflected in the moon," Brendon turned back to Brynn and she suddenly became very warm. "I remember her green eyes and how they pierced into me." Now Brynn felt like running. Why had she steered him here. He was going to realize it was her, and then what'd she do? "I remember her smell." Brynn stepped back. Brendon didn’t notice though. He was staring right at Brynn now. What had she done? It seemed like hours they stood there, two people and a dog on a front lawn, one trying to escape the other. Suddenly Brendon turned away and sighed. Brynn sighed too releasing her tense muscles. "Who am I kidding?" Brendon said scaring Brynn. "I'll never find her." Brynn felt a sinking hit her stomach. Why was she doing this to him? Just tell him. No! She couldn’t. If he didn’t know she was standing right in front of him, she wasn’t going to help.
"You'll find her Brendon," Brynn said trying to shed hope where she could.
Brendon looked back at her and gave a laugh. "Yeah there's like 300 girls in just the senior class, and I don’t know what grade she's in."
Brynn shrugged her shoulders and sympathetically stared at her once prince charming now wilting. "I’m sorry," she said having nothing better to offer. Brendon acknowledged it and turned away.
"I gotta go," he said. "See ya Brynn." The he returned to the dapple house closing the door behind him.
Brynn stood on the lawn feeling Max whimper with restlessness by her side. What was she doing?