I SCREWED UP
I flipped through the channels on the tv and sighed, not finding any good shows. The numbers were flipping faster and faster, and finally, I sighed, turning it off.
"Lucas!" my mom called, and I grunted with effort, already really comfy in my couch.
"Coming!" I yelled back, pulling myself up before trudging to the kitchen where my mom had called from.
"Can you toss the garbage away for me?" she asked, not looking up.
"And don't forget to wash your hands afterwards. I don't want all those germs in the house." she called out as he grabbed the overstuffed garbage bag, and headed out the door. As I casually tossed the bag in, my phone vibrated in my pocket, and I jumped, the darkness of night pierced by the upbeat music that was my ringtone. I fumbled for the phone, and smiled as the caller ID shone in my face.
"Hey." I said, trying to keep my voice calm as I walked back inside.
"Hi." the voice on the other side said, bringing a bright grin to my face.
"LUCAS! WASH YOUR HANDS!" Mom screamed from the kitchen, and I sighed, stumbling to the bathroom and turning on the hot water, holding the phone in between my ear and my shoulder, carefully balancing it.
"So what's up Riley?"
"Just thought I'd say hi." She replied, Nd I turned off the water, wiping my hands on my pants as I raced to my room and crashed onto my bed, staring at the ceiling.
"Oh really? Is that all?" I said playfully, and I heard a faint giggle in the background.
"Well, whatever… So... Did you hear about the Valentine's dance?" I said happily, and I could feel my heart beating faster. I couldn't forget about that. Not with the person I wanted to bring on the other side of the line.
"Oh yeah... You ready for that?" She asked, and I gulped nervously, causing Riley to giggle again.
"Well, I don't have a dress or anything." She said matter of factly, and I shook my head, my phone falling from my limp grip. As I reached to pick it, my mind raced back, memories resurfacing, and for a moment, I was lost in time as I placed the phone back near my ear.
"Wow..." I muttered under my breath,, gazing into her deep brown eyes. Our gaze was locked on each other, barely able to stray, and I found myself hoping it never broke. When Mr. Matthews issued the no phone challenge, and both Riley and I had to go to the library to work, it took all my concentration not to whoop with delight. I mean, while I loved talking to her, it was different than talking to her in real life. And as we sat in the library, studying, I could barely keep my eyes off her, watching her point out things in the books, her laugh as beautiful as a waterfall. Her hair fell perfectly without her trying, and I resisted the urge to kiss her all day, even though she wouldn't have let me anyways. But... As we stared at each other, something changed. I knew the moment she fell onto my lap, that is was just some simple crush, but at that moment, I felt my heart melt, as it finally opened. Her eyes were brighter than any of the stars I've seen in the country, and suddenly, I knew, I wanted her.
"Lucas? Lucas!" The voice said on the other side, and I finally snapped out of my reverie, tongue knitting as I sputtered an excuse.
"I'm sorry Riley..." I said sadly, but Riley just sighed, giggling a little, and I felt my smile getting bigger, my soul getting happier and happier with every giggle.
"Don't worry about it. Besides, it would have bored you anyways." She said dismissively, but I pressed on.
"No, I'm listening. What was it?" I pushed, and Riley paused for a minute, before continuing.
"Well, I was wondering what you thought of what I wore earlier today. I mean, the clothes were kinda awkward I guess, and the makeup I tried today felt weird on me." She finally said, and about a million words danced on the edge of my tongue, waiting to be put together. Suddenly lyrics popped up into my head, warming my heart and I instantly knew what to say.
"Hahaha... Well, why don't you listen to me for a minute. Do you know who Bruno Mars is?" I asked, and she confirmed it with a small, muffled yes.
"There's this one song, it's called Just the way you are. And lemme read the chorus, I think this'll explain it the best." I said, racking my brain for the lyrics.
"Hold on, I almost got them," I searched through my phone, rifling through all the lyrics I saved, until I found it.
"Okay, ready?" I asked, and she shifted her phone,
"Yeah, I'm ready." She replied, and I began to read it.
"And when I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change. Cause you're amazing, Just the way you are. And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for awhile, cause girl you're amazing, Just the way you are" I crooned, smirking from the cheesiness. Silence was at the other end.
"And to be completely honest, tha- Riley?" I asked, and finally, she responded meekly.
"Yeah?" she asked, sniffling, and my heart pounded faster, worry racing through my mind.
"Are you okay?" I asked, hearing the worry seeping through my voice, and she sniffled again.
"Yeah, sniff I'm fine." She said, whimpering slight, and I sat up. More silence filled the other side, and I launched to my feet, pacing nervously.
"Riley, what's wrong?" I said, yanking on my coat. I climbed up out of my window, and began the tedious journey to her window.
"Riley? RILEY?" I said frantically, a million possibilities running through my mind as I tried to keep my calm. Did she hate me? Is she in trouble? I finally arrived, yanking her window, and climbed in, to see Riley sitting in her normal window spot, her phone at her lap, her eyes red, threatening to burst the dam of tears collecting in her amazing eyes.
"Riley, what's wrong?" I said worriedly, and she looked at me with her big, sad eyes.
"Did you mean those words?" she said, and I froze. Those words?
"You mean the lyrics?" I asked, and she nodded. "Yes, yes I do." I said after a moment, and she nodded quickly, a single tear slipping, and she wiped it hastily. My heart began to race even more, the prospect of what her reaction being too much for me, and I frantically searched her room for something, anything, to distract us, when something caught my eye. It was her calendar, with the day of the dance circled in red.
"That's perfect…" I muttered, and got down on one knee, trying to grin even though my heart was about to be thrown up from my jittery nerves.
"Riley, will you come with me to the Valentine's dance?" I asked sincerely, my breathing going faster and faster. She bit her lip, and I tried to keep myself from kissing her then and there, her pretty face suddenly saddening.
"No, I'm sorry."