When I Look at You

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Chapter Eleven

Later that night, I was sitting on the back porch with my laptop. When I had talked to Blaine earlier, I kind of got the impression that we wouldn’t be seeing each other until Saturday for our date. So I set up a little nest on the swing to edit some pictures. I was on my tenth picture when the back door opened and Chris stepped out. He was carrying a garbage bag which he tossed in the large bin on the side of the porch. Walking over, he pointed at the swing next to me where my feet laid. Swinging around, I moved to allow him to sit. “Thanks. Can I see some of your stuff?” He asked, nudging my knee.

“Sure. But you can’t laugh, okay?”

“I’m not going to laugh. Show me your best.” I clicked on a folder of my favorite pictures I’ve ever taken. Most of them were from lighthouses in Maine. There was one about ten minutes walk from our house that I love to photograph. I’m there so much that the groundskeeper actually let me in the top part once. The view was amazing and after that I was hooked on ocean scenes for a while.

“Just click this button to go to the next picture.” I said, handing him my computer. He laughed.

“I know how a computer works. I’m not that old.”

We sat there for a while, him looking through my pictures and asking me questions about them. They ranged from what they were of and where they were from. Some of my first pictures were taking on a cheap digital camera I had bought with babysitting money when I was fifteen. Mom bought me my current camera for Christmas this past year. I had thought for sure she had spent way more than we could afford on it but now I felt like Chris had helped pay for it since they both were scheming together to get me here.

“These are great. Your mom told me that you loved photography but I didn’t think that you were this involved. Tammy said she’ll talk to Jenna about you working in her studio for the summer.”

“Cool. How’s Hannah?” I asked, wincing a bit. I was now feeling a bit guilty for what happened tonight. Chris laughed, wrapping an arm around my shoulders.

“She’ll be fine. She’s a spoiled brat. I’ve told Tammy that for years now. Hannah’s real dad is very well off. He’s an architect and owns a construction company in Georgia. She only sees him over the summer and Christmas vacation so naturally he’s the best father in the world when he buys her IPads and phones. When I first met Tammy, Hannah hated the idea of us being together because her dad kept telling her that her they’d get back together someday. So when we got married, she became the loving girl you see today.”

Friday morning, I walked my way into town to find something to wear for my date. Chris had said there was a mall in the next town over but I didn’t feel like taking a bus by myself. So I ventured up the small streets, looking in the windows of the shops. I stopped at a small thrift store. The building was purple on the outside and the window was dark from the street. The sign said open in the door though so I walked in, a bell ringing above my head.

There were a couple of people roaming the tables set up around the room. There were about eight of them set up with piles of clothes on them and racks of clothes lines both sides of the store. A counter was on the back wall where an older woman was cashing people out and bagging their purchases.

I started at the first table, sifting through the different shirts and sweaters. I found a few things my mom would like so I made a mental note to send her a care package on Monday. I had gone back to slacking with calling her every day again. I continued on to the next couple of tables, not finding anything popping out at me. From the corner of my eye, I saw a sign next to a rack of dresses. It read Dresses for 50 cents. Walking over, I thumbed through them. Most were old lady dresses and stuff that even the hippest hipsters wouldn’t even wear.

Towards the middle, something caught my eye. It was pure white cotton and was crammed in the back. Pulling it out, I saw it was a sundress with a sweetheart neckline. A fine layer of lace cover the bust part, stopping at a white belt that was tied loosely around the top of the skirt. I held it up, walking towards the standing mirror in the far corner.

“Try it on!” The lady at the register said, looking at me. She pointed in the back where I assumed they had fitting rooms. I found one marked women’s and shut the door behind me. The dress was my size so I had no problem slipping it on. The only problem I had was that it was shorter than what I was use to wearing. Most of my dresses go below my knees. This one stopped between my knees and my thighs. Oddly, it didn’t make me feel uncomfortable. It fit my body nicely and nothing resembled a whale body part as I looked myself over. I even had a pair of sandals that would go with it nicely.

I paid for everything and headed back out to the street. As I turned the corner, I ran smack dab into Cooper who was nose deep in what seemed to be his wallet. “Oh! Kerri! Sorry bout that.”

“It’s fine. How are you?” I asked.

“Great. You?” It wasn’t til now that I noticed that Cooper had chocolate brown eyes. They made his dirty blonde hair shine more as he smiled down at me.

“I’m okay. Got your boat ready for tomorrow night? Blaine said you were parking it out in the water for the fireworks.” He nodded, shoving his hands in the pockets of his khaki shorts. He had a light blue casual button up on and a canvas back pack tossed over his shoulder.

“Yeah. That’s why I’m actually in town. I’m picking up more food and supplies for my trip at the end of July.”

“Your trip?”

“Every year, I sail down to Key West. It has the best fishing and well the best looking ladies around that time. I asked Blaine to go with me this year but he turned me down.”

“Why?” I asked. He smiled at me like an idiot.

“Seems like he has something else that he wants to spend his time doing more.” He glanced at his watch. “Speaking of the idiot, I’m suppose to be meeting him for lunch in a few. Wanna join? You can be my date. Really confuse him.” He gave me a wink.

“I can’t. I promised my dad I’d help him with the rest of the prep for tomorrow. You make sure he’s not late for our date tomorrow though. I told him if he was, I’d come find you instead.” He let out a laugh.

“Don’t be surprised if he isn’t half an hour early. How’d Hannah react when she found out you two are dating?” Biting my lip, I shrugged.

“Eh? Not that well. It ended with her being covered in ketchup. Long story.”

“Well someday, you gotta fill me in on that.”

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