The Thrill of You

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2.


HOW THINGS STARTED TO LOOK UP

The peaceful sleep I had wanted came uneasy and full of unwanted thoughts. When I opened my eyes in the morning, something was different. I was alone in the house. A note was pinned on the refrigerator from my mother.

I read it as it stated that she had errands to run and would be gone most of the day, but after I came back from school later we’d have dinner with the Clarkes. I groaned.

The Clarkes were the last people I wanted to see. My mother loves dinner parties and any social event you can dress nice to. I’d have to willingly have to agree to go in order to keep the peace between her and I. Even wearing the outfit she probably already picked out for me.

An image she wanted to portray perhaps? Secretly, I wanted to pull my hair out each time I sat at a dinner table and someone asked me about my personal life or school. My favorite topic to get into was marriage and kids. Note the sarcasm.

I threw down some oatmeal and a glass of milk before heading to campus. Thankfully, Brandon had left a full tank of gas in his car. The sun shined bright in the sky and I wondered if it ever rained.

I’d walk to school everyday, but Florida was known to have bipolar weather and it could be sunny now, but a total thunder storm can brew in a matter of minutes.

The scene in front of me was that of hell. The hallways and courtyard were crowded with students rushing to their classes and talking amongst themselves.

The classroom number 1245 is plated in silver mocking me. I played with the hem of my hoodie clutching my textbook to my chest. Mornings weren’t the best for me.

I’ve never been an extremely studious person, in fact I’ve skipped classes back then and that was the type of student I had always been. But that was then and this is now. I had changed into a different person, happy to be in my last semesters of college.

The professor started speaking at the front of the class and in high school that would have been my cue to place my head on the desk and fall asleep, but no. It was hard for me to be in class this early since I wasn’t a morning person.

My eyes focused on the lecture, his monotone voice making it hard to pay attention. Are all teachers like this? Hopefully I wouldn’t sound anything like that once I started working.

It was an English Literature class and for the most part, it seemed like we were going to do a lot of reading. My interest sparked up when the professor decided to talk about some of the topics we were going to cover in class.

“We’re going to be talking about Greek Mythology as well. Much of the literature we know and love today has been greatly influenced by it.” He takes a book in his hands and holds it up to the class. “The Odyssey. Has anyone read this classic?” Crickets.

“This is a book with many topics that we will be discussing in class. Can anyone tell me any Greek gods they know about? Come on, I know you’ve seen the movies!” The professor encouraged us to answer.

“Zues?” A girl at the front answers.

“Ah yes, the god of the sky, lighting and thunder.” The professor says leaving back on his desk.

“Aphrodite!” Another boy hollers.

“Yes! She’s known to be as the goddess of love, procreation and passion”

“Ares! The god of war!” Another guy said out loud pumping his fist in the air proud of his answer. Some of the class laughed, I rolled my eyes.

The professor smiled. “Yes! Correct! Any others we can think of?”

“Hades?” I called out loud enough for everyone to hear.

Some people turned to look at me giving me a weird stare. I’m probably a sight to see wearing my black hoodie obscuring my face to the world talking about the god of death and the underworld.

The blonde guy in front of me turned around and winked. My bored expression must have put him off because he turned back around not bothering me the rest of the class.

The bell rang signaling class was over and I couldn’t be anymore relieved. I didn’t stay to hear the professor’s last words and marched right out. My day consisted of a few more classes, I felt ready to take them on after the interesting lecture I just sat through.

I slammed the double doors open and headed to the stairs in a hurry for my next class when bumping into a large figure stopped me in my tracks. My right foot slipped on the first step of the stairs, a sharp intake of breath was taken from me. I brace myself for impact, but someone grabs my arm before I touch the floor.

As I examined the situation, the boy who had prevented my fall looked down and met my gaze, with obvious curiosity. I immediately looked away knowing who it was. Grayson, my brother’s best friend. His lips curved upward, he held a look of humor.

“Always the clumsy one, huh Ace?” He’s trying not to laugh as I gain stability and move away from him. “Could’ve been a nasty fall. You okay?"

His nickname for me never goes unnoticed. “Yeah, thanks.” I mumble leaning down to pick up my bag and textbook. Why did I have to run into him of all people?

“I’ll see you around.” He said and walked inside the building before we could say anything else to each other.

……….

After my classes I sat at a picnic table at the front of campus alone reading a book. The thick sweater I wore clung to my skin, but it didn’t bother me. This particular article of clothing always made me feel secure and safe.

A girl wearing a green skater dress slammed her bag on the table and smiled at me. Startled, I searched around me quickly since she came out of nowhere.

“What the —“ I was about to curse her out for scaring me, when she cut me off.

“When did you get back and why would you not call me?” Roxanne says opening her bag and taking out a sandwich. “Want half?”

“No thanks. I got back a week ago and I didn’t call because I knew you were still on vacation and I haven’t had any free time since I’m helping my mother with her wedding.” The book in front of me is now closed.

“Oh yeah, how’s that going?” She took out the pickles of her store bought sandwich and took a bite.

“Well, she’s being picky about the flowers and her dress.”

“As any bride would be.” Roxanne made a valid point. “But I get it she’s driving you crazy and now that Brandon isn’t around to distract her you might just go insane.” again another valid point.

We laughed and talked about our summers. She spent most of it on a nice trip to Europe and I told her about my time in New York. Brandon and I did all the things tourists are supposed to do and then some.

Roxanne was my best friend. We’ve grown up together and if anyone saw us interacting together they would consider us as sisters.

“Yo Roxy! Blake! Whats up?” A boy with beach blonde hair and blue eyes approaches us reaching out his hand to Roxanne.

I watch as they start a handshake they came up with in middle school that took weeks to perfect, let alone think of. The fact that they still do it even in their early twenties should tell you the bond these two have.

“You’re like a ghost Blake. I feel like it’s been years since I’ve seen you” Roccos says nudging my side as he sat himself beside me. He held a boyish grin while he played with a toothpick between his lips. “How’s our little man up in New York? Or should I say hot shot?”

“He’s doing so great he might not come back.” I tease.

Roxanne leaned forward on the table and shook her hands enthusiastically. “Are we going to The Pit today?” she asked. The Pit is a place outside of town where people meet and hang out. Sometimes they race their cars and motorcycles.

Rocco teased. “We go every Friday and Saturday Roxy, you know this, I wish you would stop asking.”

“Does it bother you?” she asks.

“Yes”

“Then I’ll never stop asking.”

“Ugh, you’re annoying. Where’s Theo?” I heard Rocco ask about her older brother. I tried to refocus on my book.

“He’s still in class, I’m waiting for him to get out. He’s my ride.”

“I can be your ride” Rocco said his mischievous remark didn’t go unnoticed by Roxanne.

She sticks out her tongue in disgust. “Ew, no thanks.”

I stifled a laugh at their bickering and decided I needed to get home before my mother turned me into stone with the snakes on her head. “I have to get going guys. Tell Theo I said hey for me.” I tell my best friend and collect my stuff.

The people who made our friend group were Brandon, Theo, Rocco, Grayson, Roxanne and I. We’ve been friends since elementary grades and always have a blast together.

“You should come with us tonight.” Rocco offers wiggling his eyebrows.

“Yeah Blake, come out with us tonight!” Roxanne asks a smile spreading across her face.

My head snaps up to look at her. “No, thank guys not tonight.”

“It’ll be fun! We haven’t hung out in forever and I missed you.” Roxanne says pleadingly.

I thought about it for a moment. “Maybe, I’ll let you guys know.” I say before walking away to my car. Maybe I’d go and have fun after this disastrous dinner.

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