After I had talked with Max at lunch, the day couldn't have gone by fast enough for me. All I wanted to do was get home and hang out with Max. Just us. No Sam. No Lissa. Just the two of us, like it should be.
I was...well, I had to say, I was sogoddamn nervous. And excited. I mean, it's not like it was the first time I'd spent time alone with Max, but this - it was different.I felt different. I wanted everything to be perfect. I had to show her what she meant to me. That she was always on my mind, that when I saw her I got butterflies, that when I heard her voice my heart sped up. It was...it felt like love, dammit. Just like Mom described it as.
And I was so weirded out, so surprised, so confused, because fuck, I had fallen in love with Maximum Ride. I could not say that I didn't love her, not anymore. I fell for her; hard, fast, and a faceplant for effect.
Yeah. I was finally going to tell Maximum Ride, my best friend, that I was fucking in love with her.
~Break. No, no dancing. I am too busying hyperventilating for what is to come. Fang admitted his feelings to himself. Oh my. Shit is about to go down. No! You kidding me? No dancing? Oh my God. This is major. Prepare yourselves, ladies and non-existent-guys reading this. Shit is about to go down.~
As soon as the finally bell rang, I rushed out of my last class and to my car, completely forgetting Nudge in the parking lot.
I had already gotten halfway to my house when I realized...I just ditched my sister. At school. How did I figure this out? The car was far, far too quiet. And I couldn't remember bringing duct tape to school with me.
So that meant...yeah. I had ditched my sister at school.
But you couldn't blame me! I had bigger things on my mind, OK? I was pretty much hyperventilating inside, and that is saying a lot for me.
Luckily, though, Nudge was dating Iggy. As I stopped at a read light, I sent him a message, asking him to drop her off and try to keep his tongue in his mouth while they were parked out the front of my house.
'Sure thing, Sir Talk-A-Lot. No promises about my tongue though. Love, Iggy xoxoxoxox!'
I couldn't believe it, couldn't believe him.
What. A. Weirdo.
I got home a few minutes later and, after throwing myself out the car, sprinted inside. I threw my backpack onto the island and stood there for a second, before deciding to take a shower. Some of my best thinking was done in a shower. In fact, I made life changing decisions in there.
And where else to ponder how I'd tell Max that I loved her but the shower? How was I going to 'express my feelings'? We all know damn well how good I am at doing that.
I dried off, changing back into the clothes I'd worn to school. It's not as if I had much diversity in my wardrobe, after all. And I quite liked those jeans, thanks very much.
I ran my fingers through my hair, tousling it, and tried to think about something that'd helpme with my I-Love-You-Max mission tonight.
I gave myself a quick once-over in the bathroom mirror - after wiping the condensation from my shower away - and rolled my sleeves up, over my elbows. Iggy reckoned that girls dug it when guys did that. Guess I'd just have to test that theory out on Max.
I had to admit, she had quite a bit to like.
My eyes had to have been rubbed red-raw by the time I reached the kitchen, I was scrubbing them with the heel of my hands so much.
I was so deep in thought that I hadn't even noticed when Nudge walked into the room and stood, standing there, staring at me and my fanatic eye-rubbing.
I did, however, notice her standing there when I accidentally ran into her small frame. There was an ooph followed by a thud as her butt hit the ground. "Fang!" she gasped, making my name sound like a curse, sitting there and glaring.
I stared at her dumbly for a second, before coming to my senses and offering my hand. Nudge accepted it gratefully and let my pull her up.
"Sorry, Nudge. I didn't see you," I said as she dusted herself off.
"I guess not. What's up with you? I called your name, like, four times before you ran into me," she told me as I side-stepped her, opening the cabinets and looking for the things I'd need for that night.
"Sorry, I just have a lot on my mind. I'm kind of stressing," I answered in a low voice as I fished out our mom's old picnic basket - Max used to love it when she was younger. My mom once told me that when Max got married, she was going to give it to her. Hopefully, it gets to stay in the family.
Because hopefully, I'll be marrying Max. Then we can both have that picnic basket.
Nudge shot me an incredulous look as I made my way over to the fridge.
"You? Stressing? What about? This isn't about some gross problem you have with Lissa, is it? OH MY GOD! You aren't having sex with her, are you? You didn't get her pregnant, did you? Fang! FANG, I SWEAR TO GOD IF YOU GOT HER PREGNANT I WILL CUT YOUR BALLS OFF!" Nudge said, her voice rising to shriek as her speech ended. Her eyes were wide, a look of pure terror on her face as she accused me of...doing something that I'd never be stupid enough to do.
I gaped at her for a while, repulsed, before saying carefully, "Fuck no. I mean shit no. Hell no. Whatever. Not that that's any of your business, Nudge." I gave her a pointed look as her expression changed into one of relief at my words.
"But...it does have to do with a girl," I admitted after a while, laying the ingredients for our picnic out on the table.
Nudge made a squealing noise from behind me. "But you're a natural with that crap! Why're you stressing?"
My attention never leaving the sandwiches before me, I answered, "Max asked me to come over and hang out with her. We've been really distant lately and it's just gonna be the two of us." I finished the sandwiches, slapping on the top slice of bread with a flourish. "It needs to be perfect.It has to be."
I said that last bit so quietly, I could barely hear it. But Nudge heard it, and gasped. "Oh my God," she managed, her eyes huge. She gaped at me - like a fish! - and I wondered what her problem was.
"You're in love with her," Nudge told me. As if I didn't freaking know- wait.
"How the hell did you know that?" I demanded.
Nudge was past caring, though. Her eyes were wide, yes. But they were excited, and she was grinning hugely."I can't believe I never noticed!" she cried, seeming outraged with herself, but also disbelieving. "You're in love with Max! And you have been for a while now, haven't you?"
"Yeah," I sighed in defeat. "Yeah, I have."
Nudge squealed, jumping up and down in happiness. Girls.She leapt over to me, slammed into my chest, and hugged me tightly. "Oh my God! I so knew it!" Yet she was asking herself just before how she hadn't realized... "You guys are going to be too cute together! Oh my God! You have to tell Max! Like, now.You guys will make the cutest couple, and-"
I cut her off, mid-rant; "Nudge, stop. Kid, I don't want you to butt in, Okay? I don't even know how Max feels. Plus, she's still dating Sam and I'm still dating Lissa. I wouldn't be picking out wedding colors yet, which I can so tell you are. Okay?"
I turned my attention back to the array of food before me, thinking I had had the final word, and Nudge would drop it. She was quiet for a few more minutes. But then she whispered, "She loves you, though. Fang, she does."
I froze, doing my best not to get my hopes up, to just ignore her.
But I had to answer, to say, "Yeah, well, loving someone is a whole new ball game, compared to being in love with someone." I knew that Nudge could tell by the bitterness in my voice that yeah, it sucked shit to see Max with someone else. She could tell that I was afraid of rejection.
Quietly, Nudge came up beside me and put an arm around me, and it was sucha sibling-y Hallmark card moment that I nearly gagged. But I let her hug me, because...maybe I needed it. Maybe.
"Fang, she really does love you. I can tell. You can see it in her eyes when she looks at you. We just have to get her to realize it."
"Well, that's why tonight has to be perfect," I said, my voice nearly fervent, yet still super quiet, hushed.
Nudge turned to me, a smile spreading across her face as she spoke urgently, grabbing my hand and dragging me along behind her, "Come on, Fang!" She tugged my hand harder when I didn't move. "I have an idea."
She tugged me into her room, where she explained - carefully and in detail - what she had in mind. I had to say, I was a bit surprised. My baby sister was a genius.
"Max will be putty in your hands after tonight."
"You better hope she is."