School with a boyfriend is weird to say the least. I’ve gotten used to seeing him and spending most of my free time with him. Lunch is lonely when he has detention, Trevor was picking on some freshmen and Jordan stepped in, he’ll have lunch detention again tomorrow.
I chew my sandwich way longer than I need to as I stare at the math homework I have pulled out. I mostly doodle crappy little doodles on the page seeing as I got confused and frustrated after two questions. My attention is drawn by a nearby table where I hear two girls whispering, I hear them whisper my name.
“I can’t believe they’re actually dating,” One girl whispers.
“What does she see in him, she’s so... So... Basic and he’s nothing but trouble,” The other girl replies.
“Yeah but have you seen him? That body is worth the trouble,” They both start giggling.
I let out a long groan and bury my head in my arms. So much for this all blowing over, I can’t say I’m surprised though; Jordan is notorious around school for his fights, and he’s only ever had one or two casual relationships, and then there’s me, no one ever really knew I existed and now suddenly I’m dating one of the most well known boys in school? This is going to be a shit-storm.
"Oh. My. God! There’s no way he’s really going to sit with her,” I hear the girls whispering again, I look up and suddenly see what they’re talking about.
Dominic is walking towards me. I feel the color drain from my face when he smiles at me. I don’t really want to deal with this today. He sits across from me, his eyes narrow.
“Jordan Mars, huh?” He folds his hands together on the table, “I’m surprised. I thought you would have had better taste.”
I glare at him, “There’s nothing wrong with Jordan,” I mumble.
“Oh yeah? Where is he right now? He’s either a shitty boyfriend and left you alone here or he’s a shitty person and is in detention,” He shrugs his shoulders, “Doesn’t matter though, I wanted to talk to you about the babysitting offer, have you thought about it? My parents still haven’t found anyone they like.”
“I have a lot on my plate Dominic. I work six days a week, I have homework, I’m trying to make time for a date night with Jordan. My boss says he can rearrange my schedule to make time for it but I want to talk to Jordan about it. Ok?”
He nods an reaches for my hand, “You have my number for when you decide,” He looks me up and down with a grin, “Or if you need anything else.”
With that he rises from the table and leaves, once he’s gone I roll my eyes and look back to my homework. The numbers in front of my are proving more bearable than my classmates. I power through and finish two more problems before the bell. Shoving everything in my bag I scurry out of the lunchroom to the halls. I’m so annoyed with being stared at, Jordan is good at dealing with it but I just feel exposed. Class offers a sanctuary in the fact that no one can focus on anything once in class.
Two more hours, just two more hours and then Jordan can drive me to work. He promised to take a look at my truck tonight, see if he can’t get it started again. I scribble notes in my notebook and watch the clock. I truly couldn’t care less about Spanish verb tenses today, or any day this week. I want to see Jordan, I want my truck to work, and I want to go home.
Jordan promised me this weekend we could go out, I need to talk to him about Dominic’s offer tonight seeing as that could interfere with any plans we make.
My mind is going a mile a minute until the bell rings. I’ve never shoved my stuff in my bag so quickly. I brush through the crowds in the hallway until I reach the door to my next class. I stand there waiting, tapping my foot until Jordan appears. His smile eases my nerves and his fingers wrap around mine.
“Hey you, how are you feeling today?” He pecks me on the cheek.
Over his shoulder I see Dominic standing by the lockers watching us. I force myself to not react and instead look up at Jordan, “Kiss me?”
His smile grows as he presses his lips to mine, he tastes like coffee, he’s warm and soft. I melt into him. When he pulls away I see Dominic is gone, I let out a sigh of relief as Jordan pulls me into class.
“Sorry about lunch today,” He groans as we sit, “I would much rather have been with you, but I can try to make it up to you this weekend.”
“I want to talk about that,” I say as I pull out my notes, his eyes are curious as he shifts in his seat, “Dominic came up to me at lunch, wanting to know if I was interested in that job he offered. I really don’t know, the money would be nice and Mr. Marsh is willing to adjust my schedule but I don’t know if we’ll have many more Saturday night dates or anything like that.”
“Well, I have you all week, and if your boss makes it so you have at least one night off to do whatever, I don’t see a problem with it. If it’s me your worried about you shouldn’t be. If it’s your dad I can make sure he’s ok, make sure he eats and whatnot. What’s making you hesitate?”
“Dominic is... He kind of...” I look back out into the hallway, weary of who might be listening.
“I know the guy is a total jackass but I mean you’ll be sitting his sister right? Not him, in theory he probably won’t even be there. I think you should at least interview, if they like you, ask for a couple of trial nights and go from there. If you don’t like it you can back out, no harm no foul.”
I nod. I grab his hand, suddenly desperate for the contact. I tap my foot for most of class, I’m nervous about having to talk to Dominic, I’m nervous to do any sort of interview. I’m worried I soon won’t have any time for Jordan. If he has any similar concerns, he’s not voicing them, he just seems happy and content in his own head. How I envy his laid-back attitude, for a guy who has detention most every other week, he never seems to have a care in the world aside from me.
Once school is over, we make our way to his car in the back of the parking lot. Jordan has offered to drive me wherever I need to go until my car is working again, and he constantly has to reassure me its no bother. Today is no different.
“I can walk to work, it’s only a few blocks,” I push my hair to the side to keep it out of my eyes, I let out a sigh of surrender as I slump back against the seat and stare at him, “You don’t have to pick me up, I can get home.”
“I need to be at your place to look at your truck anyway, do you realize how stubborn you are?”
“Yes,” I pout, “I’m sorry I just really worry I’m inconveniencing you.”
“You’re not, I swear on my life. I’m happy to drive you,” He takes my hand in his, “It means I get to spend more time with you.”
“Thank you,” I squeeze his hand as we pull into the back parking lot of the hardware store, “I get off at five thirty again tonight, so I’ll see you then?”
He nods, “I’ll be here, have a good night babe.”
I smile as I climb out and make my way to the door. Jordan pulls out of the space, heading down the road as I wait for Mr. Marsh to open the door. He’s there a few minutes later with his usual crooked grin plastered on his face.
“Get in here kiddo and let’s get to work.”
I brush past and grab my apron. There’s an older gentleman wandering around the store with what looks to be a ten year old boy, but other than that the store is empty.
“I haven’t seen your truck recently Rhea,” Mr. Marsh pulls out his magazine and starts flipping through the pages.
“Engine troubles, a friend has been driving me recently. Hopefully I can get my truck fixed soon,” I pull out the receipts from earlier in the day and make sure they’re in order for Mr. Marsh at closing.
“If you need a day off to take it to a shop I can make that happen,” He glances up with wide eyes.
I shake my head, faking a smile, “No that’s ok. It’s probably nothing.”
The old man and young boy come up to the register with some wood paint, a hammer, nails and wood, “Thank you dear,” The man mutters as he pulls out his wallet and I start ringing up the items.
“Fun project?” I ask them.
“Grandpa is helping me build a bird house!” The boy’s eyes light up as his fingers wrap around the edge of the counter, he starts bouncing excitedly.
“Cool! Are you going to put it in your backyard?”
He nods and I can’t help but smile as I bag the items. I give them their receipt and change before giving a courteous goodbye.
“Sweet kid,” Mr. Marsh chuckles.
I nod before my eyes are drawn to the front door. I see Dominic getting out of his car. Three times in one day. I think I might have a seizure.
“Hey Rhea,” His smile is wide, and I can see he expects one in return, but I just lower my head.
“Hi, umm, I was going to call you later. I’d like the opportunity to interview to be your sister’s babysitter if that offer still stands.”
“Of course!” He waves his hand at me, “I’ll set it up, maybe tomorrow night? You won’t regret it, glad to see Jordan didn’t mind.”
I freeze. I can sense Mr. Marsh’s reaction.
“Jordan?” He asks, “That Mars boy? I thought I told you to stay away from him, he’s bad news.”
For a moment I think I see satisfaction in Dominic’s eyes, “He’s not bad news. He’s been really nice to me and I like him. He’s good to me.”
Mr. Marsh grumbles something under his breath. Dominic clicks his tongue and takes a couple steps back towards the door.
“I’ll let you know when you’re interview is tomorrow at school, ok?”
I nod as he leaves, I don’t look at my boss.
“Is he the one who drove you here?”
“Yeah, he’s going to look at my truck tonight to see if he can fix it. He’s also been helping me figure out my math homework. He’s a good guy Mr. Marsh. He’s nothing like his dad.”
He scoffs, “I don’t know that I buy that. You tell that boy that he better stay in line or he’ll meet the business end of one of my hammers,” He wiggles his finger at me, his eyes wide.
“Will do,” I try to give a gentle smile which he returns, “Thank you Mr. Marsh.”
“Of course kiddo. You got a bright future, I just don’t want that messed up. Is he going to pick you up after the shift?”
“Yeah, we’re going to have dinner, do some homework and then he’s going to check my truck. He’s offered to drive me to and from places until my truck is working again.”
“Good, I don’t want you hitch hiking!”
I chuckle, “Of course not.”
He smirks as he looks back to his magazine. I continue to organize the receipts. The store stays quiet and the air is calm.
Things finally feel good. They feel... Right.