Chapter 12- Noah
I’m leading Haven out of the wooded path, as we just left the dock. I’m glad we spoke and though we didn’t open up to one another that door of opening up in the future is wide open. It was as if I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, but I needed to walk through the tunnel to get through it. I do understand Haven’s reservations because I have the same reservations. I’m not ready to tell her about my past. Heck, I haven’t even come to terms with it.
We finally reach the entrance to the woods and I see Bessie, shining under the moonlight and streetlights. I look around for Haven’s car but it’s nowhere in sight. I release her hand.
“No car?” I ask and she shakes her head giving me a small smile.
“I needed to walk, so after Ava’s I dropped my car off and walked to the dock,” she says bringing her hand to her arm.
“Well, let me take you home, it’s too dark to walk back.” She looks behind me and curiosity fills her eyes. I smile and walk to the bike that had a compartment behind the seat that held an extra helmet. “I promise it’s safe.” She’s still hesitant. I give her a second to delegate with herself and she gives a small nod, walking over and taking the helmet from me. She looks it over not knowing which way to put the helmet on her head. I chuckle. “Here, let me help.” I grab the helmet and place it on her head, clipping it in place. I can tell she’s nervous to hop on the motorcycle.
I swing my leg over on the bike, putting my helmet on and I look at Haven. She’s extremely unsure of whether or not to trust me, I smile at her. “I promise it’s safe. Just swing your leg over, watch for the pipe because it can burn you, and hold on to me.” She does as I say, clutching me from behind tightly.
I turn the bike on, revving it a bit. She squeezes me a bit tighter and I smile. I loved this feeling. Her being close. Her completely trusting me in this moment. I ask her if she’s alright and I feel her nodding her head against my back. With that I take off, the wind causing loose leaves to fly everywhere. We zoom through the street; trees are nothing but a blur. I can feel Haven’s grip loosen a bit. I look in the mirror and catch a glimpse of Haven’s hair whipping in the air, but her eyes remained closed. I can tell she’s not scared but calm.
After about 15 minutes, I slow down the bike and we’re at our usual meeting spot.
“Where’s your block?” I ask her, as the bike stops. She opens those beautiful hazel eyes and peers her head over my shoulder.
“It’s two blocks down, on Wilhelm Road, it’s the third house.” I nod, bringing the bike to her street. I turn and slow down once again looking for the third house. I turn the bike up the driveway. It’s really long surrounded by trees. Once, in front of her house, I see it’s a small cabin home. Perfect for someone like Haven, who wants complete privacy. I turn off the bike. Haven hops off, unclipping the helmet and I do the same. She hands me hers. “Thanks,” she says sticking her hands in her front jean pockets.
“Anytime, nice house by the way,” I nod my head towards the house behind her.
“Oh thanks, it’s coming along. Still getting settled and everything.” She looks as though she wants to tell me something. I know she’ll say it when she’s ready, so I allow the silence to fill the air. She runs her hands through her hair. I turn around putting her helmet back in the compartment. I swing my leg over on the bike and look at Haven.
“Well, I guess I’ll let you go. See you tomorrow?” She nods, giving me a small smile. I turn on the bike flashing her a full toothy smile. I start to turn the bike slowly before I hear my name. I look to her and she’s walking up to me.
“Noah, I wanted to ask you. Are you busy tomorrow?” I look at her confused, shaking my head.
“No, I don’t think so. Why?”
“I have to go drive to Savannah. You see my car is a rental, and I need to return it, but I have no way of going back. I spoke to Autumn and she said you may have a truck you can sell to me, but I still need to return this car. And-“.
“It’s yours.” I cut her off, turning off the engine too. She looks at me startled.
“No, I can pay.”
“No need. The trucks yours. I don’t use it. It sits in my mom’s garage. It’s old but it’s in good condition. I’ll go with you tomorrow to Savannah too.” Her eyes are searching mine. I don’t know what for. All of a sudden, she brings me in for a hug, at first, I’m startled, but I waste no time to return the embrace. I can tell Haven’s walls are chipping and I’m happy about it. I hope this means her panic attacks are going to lessen way more. I breath in her scent, she smells like vanilla. It’s comforting. Though I’m sitting on the bike and not standing, I know she fits perfectly under me. She lets go smiling, not even trying to hide it from me. I don’t want to let her go, but I do. Soon Noah.
“Thank you, see you tomorrow,” She says backing away slowly, until she fully turns around and goes up the steps of her house and disappears behind her door. With that, I turn on the bike and head home, with the events of the night completely filling my mind.
Once I park the bike in the garage, I open the door. Instead of going into my apartment, I head up the stairs that leads to the rest of Ava and Drew’s house. When I go up the steps, passing the front door, I am greeted with high vaulted ceiling. The space was open, the kitchen and living room in one. On the left side of the open space was a wall that had a fireplace and a T.V. that sat above it. Across it, was a huge dark grey sectional filled with decorative pillows and a throw blanket thrown on top of the sofa. There was a glass coffee table with a decorative tray that held some magazines and the T.V. remotes and a small succulent. I saw white French doors that led to the balcony but was currently covered with beige curtains. Behind the sofa was a long marble island with brown stools tucked underneath and a sink. Right next to the kitchen was a small square table that didn’t have chairs, but a corner bench with pillows as well.
I see Ava in the kitchen cooking dinner, in her scrubs, dancing to an Elvis song. I smile at her, walking up the rest of the stairs approaching the island. She doesn’t realize I’m here yet, as she’s cooking at the stove so her back is facing me. I decide to scare her. I walk around the island behind her shouting ‘boo’. She screams, slapping me with the wooden spoon in her had. I start to laugh hysterically.
“Noah, you idiot. You don’t do that to people,” She says, bringing the spoon to her chest breathing hard. I continue to laugh.
“Sorry, I had to Ave,” I chuckle making my way back around the island to it in the leather stool. She rolls her eyes at me, but she smirks showing me she’s not too mad.
“You almost gave me a heart attack, how dare you disrupt my Elvis song,” she lowers the music and turns back to the food on the stove.
“Ave, the house is beautiful,” I say to her back. She turns her head around eyeing me suspiciously.
“Is that your form of apology for almost killing me?” She asks sarcastically, her eyes squinting at me. I smile and nod. She turns back around to the food.
“So, where’s Drew?” I ask looking around.
“Oh, he’s on his way now. He caught a flat tire, but Bobby from the tackle shop was helping him out.” I nod, even though she can’t see me. “Want dinner? I made spaghetti and meatballs,” She says, turning around showing me the meatballs in the pan. I nod my head yes and she starts to serve me.
“So how was your day?” I ask, as she sets a plate in front of me.
“Oh, it was good, one of the babies I’ve been watching for a couple of months went home finally. Poor baby had so many complications, been in the hospital for months.” She takes a seat next to me, with her plate in her hand. “How about you?” I shrug my shoulders. I hesitate to tell Ava about Haven. I don’t know why I’m hesitant and I know it’s not going to last because Ava and I tell each other everything. I continue to eat my food, but I feel her staring at me. My silence is suspicious to her. “Ooh you have a secret,” she says putting her fork down. “Tell me, tell me, tell me,” she says, nudging me. I smile.
“How old are you right now? 24 or 4?” She shrugs her shoulders smiling.
“Don’t deflect, spill the beans.” I take in a deep breath shaking my head at my childish sister.
“Alright, alright, calm your pie hole.” She smiles, happy she got her way. “My day was fine. I actually had an eventful day.”
“Mmhmm, boring, get to the good stuff,” she says, sticking a meatball in her mouth.
“Well, I spoke to mama today, about the situation with Olivia,” I look at my sister and she looks down at her plate. Then she looks back up at me smiling softly.
“Good, I’m glad you did.”
“Yeah, me too. It was a good conversation; I have to speak to her eventually you know.” She nods softly. I clear my throat, to change the subject. “I also hung out with Haven.” I hear her fork drop and I look at Ava as she slaps my arm.
“Shut up!” She says as I act like I’m hurt from the slap. “Come on, tell me more! What is she like? Ooh! Invite her to dinner one day. I have to meet her.” I can see the excitement growing in Ava’s eyes.
“Alright, settle down. No, you cannot meet her yet.” Ava crosses her arms. I roll my eyes, “I just met the girl like two weeks ago Ave, I have to take it slow.”
“Yeah, yeah. At least tell me what she’s like,” she says, continuing her meal. I chuckle at her request. Not that I think Ava’s question is absurd, but just that I don’t really know Haven. I just know that I want to know her, but the only way to do that is to know what’s haunting her. I’m hoping that tomorrow’s day trip will open her up a little bit.
“She’s sweet. She isn’t crazy like you, actually she’s the opposite. More to herself, but she’s nice. Minds her business you know,” I say pushing my now finished plate of food.
“Mmm, that’s nice Noah. Is it like a relationship thing or just a friend thing?” she asks crossing her arms over each other.
“For now a friend thing, we’ll see what happens you know. I don’t want to rush into anything.” She nods her head, with that the alarm goes off alerting us that Drew just entered the house. Shortly after, he’s walking up the entrance steps as he’s taking his leather jacket off. He smiles as he sees my sister, then me.
“Hey guys, damn truck popped a tire. Thank goodness for Bobby having a spare,” he goes to Ava giving her a quick peck kiss and then shaking my hand. “Whats up Noah, missed you today at work,” He says replacing Ava’s seat as she takes mine and her plate to the sink and starts to serve Drew.
“Ah yeah man, actually I wanted to know, would it be alright if I take off tomorrow? I have to run a few errands in Savannah.”
“For sure! That just means you get all day Sunday,” he chuckles, and I nod. Ava places the plate of food in front of Drew and a bottle of water.
“Sounds like a deal,” I get up from the stool. “I’m gonna go shower and stuff, got an early morning tomorrow,” Ava makes her way around the island, bringing me in for a hug.
“Have a good night Noah, ride safe on that thing ok?” I nod, hugging her back. I give Drew another handshake, thanking him for the day off and telling them to have a goodnight. After the end of night greetings, I head downstairs, getting ready for the next morning.
It’s 6:30 in the morning, and I’m riding my bike to my mom’s house to pick up my old Chevy truck that I’m giving to Haven today. I had spoken to my mom the night before letting her know I needed to grab my truck today, so she already left the garage unlocked for me. Once I arrive, I lift the bike into the back of the pickup, and drive back, to Haven’s house.
I’m a bit nervous to spend the day with Haven, because we’ve never spent an entire day together. It’s usually just a couple of hours, but since the invitation came from Haven I’m hoping she’ll be willing to be more open with me, but I’m going to respect Haven. Once the bike is secured, I hop in the truck, heading to Haven’s house. I don’t remember anyone living in that house ever. Since I was a kid, I would pass the house after practices, but never saw signs of someone living there.
I pull up to Havens cabin. When I saw it last night, it was just dark. But now actually seeing it, it was a cute cabin. Hidden by a long driveway with trees all around it. I meant it last night when I said, it was the perfect set up for her. As private as she is, this house is can make anyone feel safe. It wasn’t a big house, but it was inviting. There was stone that covered the base of the house all around, flowing with the stone steps that led to the entrance of the door. There was a window on the side of the house that you can see inside if you were close enough.
Turning off the engine I walk to around the truck and take down my bike from the back. I push it to the side of Haven’s house. Once I finish, I walk around to the front steps and knock on the door a couple of times. I place my hands in my jean pocket. I hear movement behind the door, and I feel myself getting nervous but excited. I’m looking forward to spending the day with Haven and I just can’t wait to see her already. With that thought, the door swings open and I see Haven. Her long black hair is loose, laying nice and straight around her shoulders. She has her leather jacket on, with a pair of boyfriend jeans, a white t-shirt, and a pair of all white converse. She quickly turns around locking the door behind her, then she smiles at me.
“Hi,” I say, lifting my hand to the back of my neck. She leans in giving me a small hug and I happily return it. When we let go, she adjusts the car keys in her hand.
“I guess we’ll drive separately to Savannah,” she says as we walk down the steps from her house.
“Oh, no need. I got the grappling hooks to connect the car to the truck. We can drive together,” I say going to the back of the truck and taking out the hooks to connect the cars.
“Do you need help?” She asks just standing there. I shake my head and thank her taking the keys from her rental. I tell her to wait in the truck for me and she does. I get in her car and drive it behind the truck hooking it up and securing it in place, making sure it doesn’t get loose from the truck. It’s early in the morning so I don’t think here will be many cars on the highway anyway. Once I finish, I hop in the truck with Haven.
“You ready?” I ask smiling and she nods her head. I put on the radio at a low volume. We start driving heading to Savannah. At first, it’s quiet between Haven and me. It’s early and we’re just getting into the groove of the morning. Surprisingly, Haven starts having conversation.
“Thank you, again, for doing this,” she says looking over at me. I smile.
“Of course, it wasn’t even an option to have you do this alone.”
“Well, even for giving me this truck. It’s a lot for me to digest ” I glance at her curiously. She continues, “I mean you don’t get it, I’ve never had anyone be so sweet. Ever. I mean you’re giving me your truck for free. You’ve seen me have panic attacks and yet you continue to just be a friend to me without even pressuring me to tell you a thing.” She turns her body towards me, looking down at her hands. “You’re the first person in a long time to be kind to me.”
Hearing Haven tell me that no one has ever done thoughtful things for her makes me just want to continue to be thoughtful towards her. I can feel my feelings growing for Haven. I can feel myself wanting to be Haven’s rock. I’ve never felt this way before. I thought I felt this way for Olivia, but not to the extent of Haven. This pull I feel. The fact that I want to know her and am willing to do anything to be there for her. I know my love language is gift giving and spending quality time, Olivia made me take the stupid test, but it makes sense why I am the way I am with Haven.
I smile over at her, bringing my right hand to grasp hers and I squeeze lightly.
“Listen Haven, my kindness isn’t going to change. To be quite honest, I care for you and I want you to be okay. I don’t know your past, why you even came to Waterston, but you’re here now and you have me.” She stays looking down at our hands that are intertwined now.
“Hey Noah?” She asks, and I glance at her. “What if my past is like really really bad and it scares you away?” I give her hand another squeeze.
“Impossible,” I say shaking my head. “I told you, we all have a past demons we’re fighting.”
“So, what are yours?” She asks, and I smile shaking my head.
“Tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine.” I chuckle.
“Touché, how far is Savannah anyway?” Haven says shifting her body forward as we still hold hands.
“It’s about an hour, you can take a nap.” With that Haven nods her head, leaning back and closing her eyes. The sun is completely up shining through the truck, making it warm. I look over at Haven. Her beauty was undeniable. She had the perfect features. Plump limps, button nose, her eyebrows shaped her face nicely. I loved her long hair. She had a nice, shaped body too, with all the running we do, I know she keeps herself in shape. I also loved when she smiled. I think because it wasn’t often that she did it, I value the moments that she does smile.
I keep my hand placed in hers, liking the warmth and just the touch in general. I continue to drive to Savannah allowing the radio to play lowly and feeling the peace of the morning settle between us.
It’s going to be a good day!