Finally! Wow, I haven't done one of these in awhile. Here ya go, from The Other Side of Light.
The next day is Saturday, and I plan to spend all of it not thinking about the application. Julie’s at work, as is Dad, and Aunt Kelly’s lantern – ing, so I’ve basically got the house all to myself. Party? I think no. Pleasure reading – yes. I settle myself in the family room with a few of my favorites, ready for a day of my kind of fun. Yes, I’m a nerd. Don’t judge.
The doorbell rings as I’m halfway through my first book. I have no idea who it could be. I mark my place and and I open the door. Once I see who’s on the other side, I freeze. Because standing there is Aaron Tves, the guy I’ve had a crush on for the past five months. He is beautiful and smart and well spoken and he is standing on my porch. It takes me a second to realise that he’s not alone. Next to him stands a boy of about twelve, who I assume is his brother.
“Hi, Lyddie,” Aaron says, and I get a little thrill because, even though we’ve never talked one on one, he knows who I am!
“Hi,” I answer. Why do I sound so ridiculously breathy?
We all stand there is silence for longer than is comfortable until the boy nudges Aaron. “Oh! Right,” Aaron jumps in.
“My brother’s selling popcorn for Boy Scouts and I – he – we were wondering if you wanted any.”
I notice that, by the boy’s feet, is a tall metal canister with some kind of design on it. “Is that it?”
Aaron follows my gaze. “Yes, that’s it. I mean, that’s the one we’re showing to everyone, just to kind of let them know how big it is and everything. You don’t actually get this one – we’d give you a new one, of course. But you can try it if you want. You want to try it?”
Normally, I would say no. I actually don’t enjoy the weird taste of pre – packaged popcorn. But I’m not going to say that and break his little brother’s heart. So instead, I say, “Sure!”
Aaron reaches down and scoops up the canister, popping off the lid so I can see the sticky mess of multicolored popcorn balls inside. I really don’t want to eat this, but love means sacrifice, right? Even if the love is of the I – don’t – know – if – he – feels – the – same – way – or – if – he- even – knows – my – last – name kind.
So I say, “Wow, that looks… delicious,” reach in, and take a clump. As I’m pulling my arm out, my sleeve catches on the lip and the container tips, sending the gluey colored marbles everywhere. Some of them simply thud to the floor and stay there, but far too many roll across my shoes, all over the porch, and into the bushes.
“Shoot!” Aaron says. His brother is already trying to salvage what he can of the so – called treat and Aaron, after a quick glance at me, drops to his knees to help him.
I don’t want to awkwardly stand over them, so I join them on the floor, collecting as many of the globules as I can.
We throw all we find back into the canister - I sincerely hope that they don’t intend on offering anyone else a sample – and stand as one. More awkward silence.
“So,” Aaron’s little brother finally breaks in. “Do you wanna buy some?”
“Definitely!” I exclaim with more enthusiasm than should ever be exerted over popcorn. “I’ll take one now that I see how they travel.”
What? What does that even mean? And if I don’t know, why am I laughing at this not – even – a – joke? I wish for the roof to fall in. It doesn’t.
“Great,” Aaron says, reaching into his back pocket and pulling out a pen and order sheet. As he hands them to me, our fingers brush and another thrill travels up my arm. I try to hide this by concentrating fully on filling out the form. Just as well – I wouldn’t be surprised if I spelled my name wrong. When I’m done, I hand the pen and sheet to him with extreme care.
“Thanks!” his brother says happily.
“Yeah, thanks, Lyddie,” Aaron adds with an adorable smile.
“No problem! I was happy to do it!” Again with the ridiculous enthusiasm. “I can’t wait to get it!” Oh, my God. Stop talking now. Aaron will never like you in that way if he thinks you like popcorn more than him. I give them a stupid wave as they turn to leave, but I feel slightly better about my own behavior as I close the door and hear Aaron’s brother say, “Why were you acting so weird?”
I shut the door and lean against it. I feel as accomplished now as I ever have – I had an encounter with Aaron and I didn’t sound like a total moron. For the most part. Not anymore than he did, anyway. But he’s adorable and he can get away with it. Me, I need to watch myself. Deep breaths.