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Someone like Brandon

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F-E-A-R: part two: Face Everything And Rise.

I clenched my arm trying to relieve the stiffness. I winced as the pain eased its way throughout my entire arm. Well, now I know one thing about this girl: she had a death grip. I could feel her staring, but I disregard her as I tried to gain function back in my arm. She tried to touch me, but I turned away, shielding myself from another muscle trauma.

Eventually she gave up and dropped her arm. I watched from the corner of my eye as she averted her gaze to the ground. I knew without looking at her that she was sad. Honestly, at that point in time I didn’t care, but there was a little voice in the back of mind, what I like to call my bottle of humanity, telling me I should. I groaned and kicked the air feeling defeated.

‘’Look, we obviously got off on the wrong foot”… I started as I took a step toward her, careful to keep a safe distance between us. “Maybe we should, you know…. Start over… So am I’ll go first my name is-’’

‘’Brandon’’, she answered.

I ignored the paranoia stirring inside and move on. I clear my throat.

‘’Yeah Brandon… And you are?’’

She opened her mouth to answer, but for some odd reason the name pops into my head.

‘’Addison’’, I blurted out without thinking.

‘’Yeah, but my friends calls me Addie’’. She extended her hand and blushed when I took it. I shook it twice, then released it.

Suddenly it dawned on me that we are still on school grounds, not to mention it was getting dark. I cleared my throat.

‘’I might have to take you up on your offer to give me a lift’’, I confessed knowing my brother wasn’t coming anytime soon. She took me by surprise, grabbing my hand and smiling. My first instinct was to pull away, to make a run for it, but I remembered where that got me the first time, so I just decided to stay put.

‘’Do you trust me?’’ She asked.

I furrowed my brow.

‘’Depends…. Will I make it home in one piece?’’

‘’Two if you are lucky’’.

My eyes widened in horror. She laughed and punched my arm.

‘’ I’m just poking fun. Of course, you will. I will have you know I have an award for the best driver of the year’’.

I gawked at her.

‘’They make those?’’

She laughed hysterically, which made me feel like I was on the outside of an inside joke. I watched as she opened the door to her red convertible. It wasn’t until we were inside and buckled that I realized we had been walking the entire time we were talking. When we were all settled, she rolled down the windows.

I’m not going to lie when I say every fiber in my body told me this was wrong, to run and never look back. Do guys have intuition too? I could feel my palms start to sweat, as the clock in my head, signaled off every agonizing moment like a ticking time-bomb.

If I thought, staring at each other in silence was awkward, sitting in a car with just the sound of wind is ten times worse. Did she not listen to music or anything while she drove? Surely she could multitask enough to drive and listen to music… I stared at the radio in longing for noise, anything to break this painful silence!

I was tempted to press a button but decided not to. It wasn't my place to touch what wasn't mine… Must be nice to be able to drive… I sighed.

‘’What’s your deal now?’’ Addie grunted. I laughed once at her annoyance.

‘’Oh, so you can speak. For a second I thought you lost your voice or something’’.

‘’I like to focus’’, she answered seriously, briefly glancing over at me then back on the road.

‘’Plus, I am not used to having people in the car with me’’.

I gaped at her.

‘’You can’t be serious. You can’t sit here and tell me you haven’t had anyone in this car with you’’.

She shrugged.

‘’You would be the first in the past year. The last person that has ever been in the car with me was my ex-boyfriend Derek… We… We broke up about six months ago.’’

I instantly felt guilty for opening my big mouth. What they say is true: sometimes the best thing you can do is keep your trap shut.

‘’No, it’s okay’’, she said, answering my unspoken thoughts, her expression painted with the guilt I felt. It was like she felt the same way I did. Little did I know that she actually did.

We spent the rest of the time in silence, and although it causes me physical pain, there wasn’t much I could do about it because I for sure wasn’t going to try to break the ice again, and it was clear Addison had no interest.

I was beyond relieved when we finally reached my house. I nearly fell out of the car, slamming the door and ran inside. I didn’t even bother thanking her for the ride, the only thing on my mind was getting inside, escaping into the sanctuary of my bedroom. One thing I knew for sure as I plopped on my bed, was that I was never going to take Addison on her offer ever again.

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