Well, when my friends told me we’d be going out today, I didn’t think they meant it like this.
Apparently, us ‘meeting up’ included a bunch of photos and ‘vlogging’ for their Snapchat stories and Jordan’s YouTube channel, walking around for a million years and then sending me to get everyone’s school novels for them. Like, it’s even called ‘Capital Of Loneliness’. And the author’s name, Adeara Thompson. What? Why. How do you even pronounce that? A-Dee-Ar-Ah? A-Dear-Ah?
So when I went to grab one of the many copies of the novel I had to get, I was pretty surprised when someone else grabbed it at the same time as me.
“Woah,” I say, but he backs off immediately like he touched a grazing hit surface, “Sorry dude.”
I too take my hand off the book, just to be polite.
He kind of freezes on the spot, looks at the book, looks at me, then the bookshelf, then kind of relaxes a bit.
“Do you want to take the book?” I ask.
“What? Oh, um, I mean, if you wanted to it’s fine, like, we don’t know who got it first, and....” his voice trails away.
“Honestly bro, it’s fine. You take that one. I need to buy like, 6 anyway.”
He bites his lip, looking almost confused. “Oh. That’s a couple of books....” his voice drifts away yet again.
“Yeah. Hey, you go to Halebrook High School, right?”
He nods his head.
“I’m just getting these for my friends, they’ve, uh, gone off to target to film something for their ‘vlog’.” I tell him trying to keep the conversation going, though I don’t know why.
He nods once more, but stays silent.
“I’m Dylan. Dylan Grant.” I do the stupid thing where I repeat my name twice.
He glances at me warily before replying softly. “I’m...Holland.”
“Are you sure?” I joke. He lets out a nervous, almost forced laugh, leaving me slightly confused.
I raise my eyebrows. I know who this guy is. Holland Danvers. He’s probably unaware of this, but he’s like one of the top ten guys at Halebrook to simp over.
And I’m pretty sure my friend Jaqueline is the reason why Holland is now a simp-ee, or something.
But like I said, he isn’t as amazing as Jaqueline makes him out to be. Other than his somehow messy hazel hair and glistening eyes, he’s fiddling with his hands and keeps glancing at the bookshelf. He’s also not as much of a douche as I thought because he offered to let me take the book. I mean, it would’ve come off more as a surprise to Jacqueline than me, since I don’t really know the guy.
I take 5 books and stack them onto my arms, the tower of ’Capital Of Loneliness’es close to toppling over, which, each novel is like, 600 pages. Holland cautiously takes one for himself, before moving away from the bookshelf.
As I turn away, I hear Holland call me from behind,
“Wait-Dylan,” he rushes on over with another copy of the book, “You forgot to take one for yourself.”
He carefully places the 6th book onto my novel tower, which helps, but also doesn’t help, as the tower proceeds to collapse, 3 out of 6 of the books falling on the ground.
Holland jumps back real far with a slight exclamation, then looks at the books on the ground. I bet Adeara Thompson wouldn’t be pleased to see several copies of her Bestselling Novel scattered across the floor..
I raise an eyebrow at him. He hesitates, then decides to pick up the books, but he holds half of them in his arms, with his own book while he gives the rest to me. “I mean, this is probably my fault. I can help you if you want? But if you don’t need my help, I mean, I can leave, you don’t have to....”
Despite being confused by him altogether, I agree, and we walk to the cashier.
“So,” I say, trying to start up another conversation, just to be polite, but also out of genuine curiosity of Jaqueline’s crush that she’s been on about for ages, “New semester, new classes. Exciting, huh?”
He processes the question for a bit, before shrugging. “I don’t know....I guess. The uncertainty unsettles me?”
That’s a surprising sentence to come out of a guy that Jaqueline would like. I’m probably being very judgemental right now.
He places the books on the counter beside mine, and the cashier looks at us with a very amused look.
“Seven of them?”
“Yeah, it’s a school thing.” I say, giving the cashier the money my friends gave me to pay for their books, and my own cash, of course .
“Yes.” Holland adds, he too giving the cashier a crisp 20 bucks,.
A woman looking similar to Holland, whom I assume is his mother, walks into the bookstore with a bunch of bags and eyes Holland, looking really relieved. Did this woman lose her child or something? That would explain his anxious demeanour.
He catches her eye and nods, along with a thumbs up, and points to the seven books on the counter. His mom has somewhat concerned yet proud expression on her face.
We take our books from the counter. The cashier prints out the receipt and hands it to me, but my hands are all full with this wall of books, so I nod my head towards Holland instead. “Keep It man, it’s a sacred proof of this holy purchase.”
He takes the receipt and gives a and then walks over to his mum. I vaguely hear him recalling the events that just occurred, along with a gasp from the mum.
He then replies, “Yeah, at least it wasn’t a bookshelf.”
Boy do I have a story for Jaqueline.