Finding Ava ✔️

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17 | Broccoli Is Just Bleh

17 | Broccoli Is Just Bleh

“First question,” Max starts, eagerly leaning closer to me. “What is my least favorite vegetable?”

Easy question. I recall our second date very well. Max took me to a small restaurant in the city and ordered a roast dinner. As soon as he saw what was in the dish, he went crazy. He complained to our poor waiter for ten minutes that he brought that disgusting and abysmal thing to him. I remember trying to cover my giggles with coughs because it was so bizarre. I mean, he was acting irrationally. It was excessive to act like that for a bit of broccoli but I didn’t mind. It was the high light of my day.

Personally, now that I remember, I think he acted like that on purpose just to make me laugh. The sly looks he gave me when I was having ‘coughing’ fits was a clear indicator that he actually just wanted to get me laughing.

Oh, Max.

“Broccoli,” I confidently reply, smirking.

Max cockily raises his eyebrow, the ends of his lips tugging upwards. “You sure?”

I roll my eyes in annoyance. “Yes, I’m sure. Stop trying to make me doubt myself.”

Max holds his arms up in mock surrender. “Woah, sunshine. I didn’t do anything. You’re the one jumping to conclusions here.”

I give Max a cold glare and purse my lips. Stupid Max. Once again he’s teasing me. I swear, this boy is going to be the death of me with all of his teasing.

“I’m positive Max.”

Max leaves another dramatic pause, trying to make suspense. Or perhaps its just to aggravate me even more. I bet its the latter.

Much to my irritation, it’s working as well.

I’ve always been short tempered. A lovely trait that I inherited from my father. We both get mad at simple things; explode. And when I say explode, we do. Except I don’t have steam coming out of my ears. As comical as that is, I don’t get that angry.

“Congratulations Sunshine, you’re right,” Max gives me a breathtaking smile and claps his hands together. “That...I can’t even call it food because it’s too offensive. Its just so...so bleh."

“Right,” I give him an unsure nod. “What’s my favorite fast food place?”

There’s a pregnant pause between the two of us as Max thoroughly thinks through this. I feel like I can see the wheels turning in his head. His brown eyes will occasionally flicker up to my eyes and he would look like he has an answer but then he would look away and shake his head. Like he was mentally shaking his head.

I must admit, Max does look very cute. Childlike.

“McDonald’s!” He exclaims. “You’re favorite fast food place is McDonald’s because you’re obsessed with the chicken nuggets.”

Internally, I smile. He remembered. He even remembered the chicken nuggets fact. I’m touched, very touched indeed.

“Yup,” I say, popping the ‘p’. “I’m actually surprised. Not going to lie.”

Max fake gasps and places a hand on his heart. He puckers his lip out and gives me sad puppy eyes. “I. Am. Hurt. Of course, I would remember. You wound me Sunshine.”

I can’t help it but I end up in a laughing fit. His face, his voice...it was so dramatic and funny. I have to lift my head up to stop the water that’s welling up in my eyes to fall down my cheeks.

"Sssh,” an angry voice hisses from somewhere close to me. I don’t pay any attention though, I’m still too busy dying of laughter.

After a few more minutes, I calm down slightly. My breaths are ragged and my cheeks feel flushed from laughing so hard. From my peripheral vision, I can see Max studying me with his chocolate brown eyes.

He’s staring at me like I’m a broken puzzle that’s missing a piece. A piece he wants to find.

“Your laugh sounds better than an angel’s voice,” he comments quietly when I’ve completely settled down. He sounds distant. I assume it because he’s zoning out and is subconsciously saying it.

My head snaps to face him and my cheeks burn bright pink. Again. I have been complimented by many guys before but when it comes from Max, it feels so real and true. There isn’t an inkling of dishonesty in his voice. He truly does believe it.

“Thanks, Max.”

“Anytime.” He mumbles and then jumps back into this reality. Max clears his throat loudly, grabbing the attention of some irritated students nearby who give us stinky looks. One glare from Max though and they are swiveling back around and pretending that it never happened. “Right so, true or false, I have a small scar on my knee from falling off of the swings in fourth grade.”

False. It has to be false. I recall Max telling me he once got a scar from falling off of the monkey bars. He said it terrified him; to this day, he won’t go anywhere near them just in case he falls off of them again. Despite the fact that he is tall enough to reach the floor now.

“False, you told me this story once on the beach. I remember the day really well now, we were walking by the rocks and I slipped and nearly fell into the sea but you caught me. I had a cut on my foot from scraping it against the rocks and you told me it would scar. To cheer me up, you told me that story. It distracted me from the pain.”

We both fall into a silence again. I guess Max is thinking about that day too. That was the day I kissed him for the first time. I can still feel the way his soft, pink lips pressed against mine gently as he poured his emotions onto me.

At that time, we weren’t in love. No, but we were close. After that day, I discovered how much I liked Max and how much I wanted to be with him. It scared me to death—I never liked anyone so much before him. Sure, I had pathetic crushes but that’s all they were, little crushes that would never happen.

With Max, it could have been something more. Something so much more powerful.

“That was a good day,” Max muses, a hint of sadness laced in his voice. His beautiful face frowns as he stares straight ahead of him.

Before I can utter another word or can ask Max a question, the shrilly bell rings. Immediately, students stand up and file out of the classroom. I collect my folder and notepad and walk out. Max follows closely behind me.

The hallways are packed as I walk through them to my next lesson. Students barge into me, none of them looking back to apologize for it. Not that I expected them to though, most teenagers these days don’t care about manners.

Wordlessly, Max stands beside me. I note how girls stare at him with lust and desire. Some even try to approach him but he blanks every single one of them. His eyes only ever look at me or the path ahead. He doesn’t even glance at them.

My heart thumps faster in my chest at that. It makes me feel glad that he doesn’t care. It also proves to me that he is trying to make amends.

When we get to my Economics class, we both come to a halt. Max stands in front of me, close enough that I can faintly see a few freckles to the side of his face but not close enough that my boobs are pressed into his chest.

Apparently, Max doesn’t like the distance between us because he moves closer to me, hesitantly. His eyes remain in contact with mine, searching for me to tell him to stop moving closer. I give him no indication to stop.

Now, he’s a few inches from me. This time, I can feel his minty breath on my face as he stares down at me. My breath hitches as he raises a hand to my face and brushes a strand of my brown hair behind my ear.

My heart is hammering inside of my chest in anticipation. Is he going to kiss me? Hug me? Wish me goodbye? WHAT IS HE GOING TO DO?!

When Max slowly leans down towards me, I flutter my eyes closed. My lips part and I clutch the books I’m hugging closer to my chest.

My eyes snap open though when he kisses my cheek. I honestly expected him to kiss me but then again, I told him I didn’t want to rush into this.

His lips tingle on my skin and have me shivering, not from the cold. They linger on my cheek for a few glorious seconds and then he’s pulling away. I stare at him through my long lashes and chew on my lip.

His eyes watch my lip and narrow. Hastily, he steps back and smiles.

“Have a good lesson. I’ll pick you up when its over.” He wishes and then goes. I stand there dumbfounded, trying to contemplate what just happened. One minute he was here, staring at my lips and then he was gone.

I blink a couple of times and spin on my heel to go into my classroom.

That was definitely weird.

{A/N: early update because I am going to be sooo busy this week. Ugh. So if you don't receive an update for a while, I am so sorry. I will try my best to deliver another one on Thursday but don't hold me to that. Have a great week!}

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