When Joanna climbed back through her window, her Mom was knocking on her bedroom door.
“Joanna? Are you ok?” The doorknob rattled violently.
“Yeah mom?” Joanna called, using her best ‘ I just woke up, no really I did’ voice.
“Are you okay? Open this door,” Her mom demanded.
“One second Mom,” Joanna replied as she messed up her hair and her clothes to give the impression that she’d just got up. Then she kicked her shoes off into a corner, and faking a yawn, unlocked and opened the door.
“Darling, you’ve been asleep for three hours. Are you okay?”
“Yeah Mom. Just tired. I’m okay now though,” Joanna shrugged, yawning once more.
“Hmm. Maybe we should take you to the doctors,” her mother wondered out loud.
“No,” Joanna yelped. “Mom, I’m fine. Just got a cold.”
That was really close. Far too close actually. I resolved not to do it again. I failed to keep my vow. What teenager can?
“You like her too don’t you?” It was Rick’s voice that Maria heard first.
“Yeah, who wouldn’t?” That was Mikey. Maria hovered out side the door, debating whether to go in or not. One of them sighed.
“It’s ridiculous isn’t it?” Rick asked. “We finally end up falling for the same girl.”
“Well, it’s sort of hard not to fall for her, isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” Rick agreed.
“But Rick? It’s you she likes. That’s obvious. She kissed you. Not me, not anyone else, you.”
Maria’s mouth fell open. What was going on? The guys were talking about feelings? So they were obviously talking about Anna. Maria shook her head once more.
I still hadn’t made my mind up about which one I liked best. Rick or Mikey. Mikey or Rick. When I was with Rick, I’d be thinking,’ Yeah. I like you best.’ When I was with Mikey, I’d be thinking exactly the same thing.
“How come you know about so many guys and their kissing skills?” Joanna asked Maria as they stood outside the school; Joanna waiting for Rick, Maria waiting for a ride.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of games of spin the bottle,” her friend shrugged. “And seven minutes in heaven.”
“What about you and Mikey?” Joanna asked curiously.
Maria laughed. “We dated for about a week. Then decided we were better off as friends. Oh, Step mom’s here. Gotta go. Call me!” She said loudly as she ran towards a car.
“Anna. Hey.” It was Rick. She smiled up at him.
“Hey.” She beamed, and then faltered. “You okay?”
“Yeah. Sure. Why wouldn’t I be?” he replied, running a hand through his hair.
She shrugged, but didn’t pursue it.
That walk home was an awkward one. The conversation was stilted and then there was the conversation that happened when we reached my house.
“Mia and Emily falling off a cliff. Who d’you save?” Rick asked abruptly.
“Uh…” She was surprised by the change of subject. “Emily.”
“Emily or Maria?”
She thought for a second. “Why?” she asked simply.
He shrugged. “Emily or Maria?” he repeated.
“Maria,” was her reply.
“Maria or Will?”
“Come on Rick. That’s just harsh.” She frowned at him. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Maria or Mikey,” he reiterated.
“No comment,” She told him, beginning to open the gate to her house.
“Mikey or Will.”
“Shut up Rick,” she called back, as she opened the door.
“Me or Mikey?” His voice was quieter this time; less aggressive, more broken. But she didn’t notice. She faced him, her dark blue eyes showing glints of anger.
“At this moment in time, Mikey,” She snapped, and slammed the door.