Cole seemed like a really sweet and nice guy. I had a lot of fun hanging out with him and Emma, and they made me forget about my breakup with Kyle. My friendship with them grew more and more as well, and I was glad I found friends in California. I didn’t forget about Maddie, though.
One Wednesday after school, she called to ask how school was going.
“It’s great, actually. Emma’s a really good friend, and I’ve even been hanging out a lot with her and her best friend, Cole.”
“Ooh, is he cute?”
“Maddie, I hardly know him. Besides, after my breakup with Kyle, I’m still a little scared to get back into a relationship.”
“I get it, Alexa. I’m glad you’re happy in California. But don’t forget you’re coming to visit after graduation.”
“I know. I’m counting the days. I miss you, Maddie.”
“Me too. Hang in there.”
“I am. Bye, Maddie.”
After I got off the phone, I heard a knock at the door. When I answered it, I saw Emma and Cole standing in the doorway.
“Hey, guys. What are you doing here?”
“We need help studying for the Algebra test tomorrow.”
“Okay. Come on in. My room’s this way.”
As we sat in my room and opened our books, I noticed Cole glancing my way. I didn’t know why, so I just ignored it. A few minutes later, he was staring at me again. When he saw me looking at him, he looked down at his book.
After what seemed like an hour, Cole and Emma headed home.
That night, I called Emma and asked her what was going on.
“He’s been acting strange lately. And really shy around me. I don’t get it.”
“Maybe he likes you.”
“Hmm, maybe he does. He does seem attractive. But I’m not ready to get back into a relationship right now. Besides, we’re just friends. And he doesn’t seem like my type. I mean I typically don’t go for the bad boys.”
“Well, you never know until you give him a chance.”
“I don’t know. I gotta go, Emma.”
“Okay. See you at school tomorrow.”
As the rest of the week went by, I started thinking more about what Emma said and how Cole acted when we were studying. I guess it wouldn't be so bad if I gave him a chance. I was a little attracted to him, I had to admit. But I still wasn't ready to put myself out there yet. And I was pretty sure he wasn't either. Which was why he was acting so shy around me all of a sudden.
As I was eating breakfast Saturday morning, I got a call from Emma inviting me to go with her and Cole to the beach. So I packed up the bag Aunt Cora bought for me and headed out.
When I got to the beach and parked my car, I looked around for Emma and Cole. I didn't see them yet, so I went to look for a good spot. When I went back to my car, I saw Cole waiting for me, but I didn't see Emma.
"Hey, where's Emma?"
"Oh, uh, she had some studying to do," he said, scratching the back of his head.
"Oh. Okay, I guess it's just the two of us then. That's cool. I found a great spot. Come on."
When we reached the spot I picked, I noticed Cole taking off his shirt. I couldn't help but stare. His chest was so muscular, and his abs were so toned.
"Uh, Alexa?" I heard him say.
"Huh? Oh, hehe. Was I staring?"
"Uh, kinda. But it's okay. I get that all the time when I come here."
"You know, I didn't think a guy like you would like the beach."
"Well just because I come I'm a rebel doesn't mean I don't like catching some waves from time to time."
"Oh. Well I'm sorry I misjudged you."
"It's cool. You wanna go swimming?"
"I think I'll lay here for a while and get some sun."
"Okay. Suit yourself." And with that, he walked off.
I was really enjoying working on my tan. Until I felt a shadow and water drops on my face. When I looked up, I saw Cole standing over me.
"Okay, enough tanning. Come and join me in the water."
"Okay. I'll race you."
When we got in the water, he started spashing me. "Water fight!"
"Oh, really?" I said as I splashed him back.
I was having a lot of fun in the warm ocean. I had to admit California was growing on me.
As Cole and I were enjoying the warm water, I noticed the sun setting. We were having so much fun, we didn't notice how late it was getting.
"Wow," I said. "That sunset is beautiful."
"Yeah," Cole said, rubbing the back of his head. "Uh, wanna go grab something to eat?"
When we got to the diner, I ordered a burger, fries, and a chocolate milkshake.
"Wow," Cole said. "I like a girl who can eat."
"Um, thanks. I think."
As we ate our food, I was getting a weird feeling. Mostly because Emma wasn't here. "Uh, Cole, do you get the feeling Emma wanted us to be alone tonight?"
"Uh, I don't know. Um, maybe."
"Ugh, I told her I wasn't ready to be in a relationship. Why would she do this?"
"Oh, uh, I'm sorry. I didn't know."
"No, Cole, it's not your fault."
"Um, maybe I should go."
"Cole, wait," I said as he got up.
"I'll see you around."
"Cole, I..." But before I could stop him, he was already gone.
When I got home, I went to my room and plopped on my bed. I felt so stupid. And I was pretty sure Cole was embarrassed and humiliated. I couldn't believe I snapped at him like that. He must've thought I was the most horrible person in the world.