I didn’t say anything to Joshua and he didn’t say anything to me the whole ride home. Let’s be honest though, what was there to say? I couldn’t bear to embarrass myself again.
When we made it back to the apartments, Joshua parked the car and I got out of it. He followed behind me as we walked up the stairs to the second floor and towards my apartment door. As we entered inside, Joshua wandered over towards the kitchen.
“What do you want for lunch?” he asked me.
“Um, grilled cheese,” I answered, strolling towards my bedroom.
“What is that?”
“Do you guys have grilled cheese in England?”
“We have Toasties!”
“Okay, make that for me,” I said. I entered my bedroom and flopped on top of bed. When I noticed that my phone was about to die, I searched under my bed for my charger. When I was reaching for the plug, I touched something that I’ve never felt before. I climbed off of my bed and looked under, realizing that it was a duffel bag. Wait, a duffel bag? I don’t have a...it’s Joshua’s!
Me being nosy, I pulled the bag from under my bed and opened it. All that was in there was a brown sketchbook. I noticed that Joshua was carrying this, his clothes, and other stuff in this as well. I was about to open the journal ‘till there was a lock attached to the opening. I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing, so I searched the inside and the outside pockets of the duffel bag, looking for something that could unlock this book.
I looked inside one of the pockets and found a small key inside of it. That must be for this book since there’s nothing else in here that could go with this key. Maybe his house key? I don’t know.
I took the key out of the pocket and placed it in the hole. Turning the key, the lock finally opened, thank goodness. I widened the sketchbook and found sketches of outfits and clothes that actually seemed pretty good. This must be what Joshua uses to sketch his designs for people which, I got to say, look really handsome and extravagant. No wonder Joshua is famous. If I found these looks sooner, then I would be so ready to become his assistant.
I closed the book and placed the lock back on. Placing the key back in the pocket and the sketchbook in the bag, I zipped up the bag and put it back under my bed. I still got my charger since that’s what I came down here for.
Plugging up my phone, I smelled the delicious aroma coming from the other room. I walked in the kitchen and saw Joshua placing the “Toasties” on top of plates. He noticed me in the room and waved hello.
“Hey Rebecca!” he greeted, handing me a plate.
“This is a Toastie?” I questioned him.
“Well, Toasties are basically like grilled cheese, but in England, we call them toasted sandwiches,” Joshua explained. I took a bite out of the sandwich, gooey cheese dripping out of the toast.
“It’s pretty good!”
“I fed you two types of English food and you loved both,” he stated. “That’s great to hear.”
“Well, food in England is better than what I expected.”
Joshua followed behind me and after we ate, we decided to play some board games and video games. We had nothing else to do, so why not? Some of them I had to explain to Joshua because he hasn’t heard of them before. We played ‘till it got late and after that, we ate dinner and Joshua gave me a meal that I would never forget. In the evening, Joshua said that he wasn’t going to touch me in my sleep again which I have no idea how he’s going to stop that.
I laid in bed and spotted Joshua holding a blanket and pillow in his hand. I guess there’s one way to do it.
“I’m gonna sleep on the couch tonight,” Joshua said.
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Yes, after what happened last night, I can’t take that chance again.”
I wanted to say that he could still stay, but he was already off to the living room. I started to doze off and closed my eyes.
When I woke up, I found Joshua in my bed! Why?! How?! After everything that we just went through! I made sure that this time, I woke him up.
“Joshua, what are you doing in my bed?! Are you really that touchy when you sleep?” I exclaimed.
“I’m sorry! Late at night, I couldn’t sleep,” Joshua started to explain. “I came back into your room to see if you were still awake, but you were asleep. I was about to leave, when I noticed that you were shivering and whimpering. At first, I thought you were cold, so I covered you up with your bed covers. You were still doing the same thing, so I thought that you were probably having a bad dream. I laid in your bed to comfort you. After I did that, you stopped. I decided to stay with you just in case it happened again. Y’know, I was hoping that you would be excited if I was here, but I guess not.”
I sighed and stood up from the bed. If this is the excuse he’s going for, then so be it. “I just didn’t expect you to be here, that’s all.”
“So, what do you want for breakfast?”
“Joshua, you cooked lunch and dinner yesterday. Why don’t I cook?”
“You can if you want to. I thought since it was your apartment, you might want me to cook everything.”
We headed towards the kitchen and I started making breakfast. It’s been a while since a guest has been over here, so you know what time it is. It’s Full Course Meal time! I hate this, but I’m not just going to give him a bowl of cereal and call it a day.
I pulled out a carton of eggs, cake batter, and frozen sausages. I placed the breakfast ingredients on the kitchen counter and saw Joshua staring at the cold package of meat. “What are the sausages for?”
“Don’t worry, they’re only for me. I’m not going to make you eat any more meat...well...if you want to,” I said.
Joshua sighed in relief and sat on one of the kitchen stools by the counter. “Hey, can we talk?”
“Sure, what’s up?” I answered, placing the sausages in the oven.
“Why wouldn’t you talk to me after you got off the phone with Brooklynn?”
“I don’t really want to discuss that.”
“My decision is final, alright? It’s unnecessary for you to know.”
“Okay, let’s talk about something else then.”
I cracked an egg and placed it in the burning skillet on the stove. “What do you like to do for fun?”
“When I’m not creating or sketching my outfits, I like to paint. What about you?”
“Shopping, I guess. You know what, we should go to the mall today!” I replied.
“Sure!” Joshua got up from his seat and walked over to my bookshelves. He pulled a book out of the shelf and sat back down on the stool. He opened the book and started to read. Gosh, Joshua’s such a bookworm.
“What are you reading?” I questioned him.
“I’m reading Unnatural Love by-”
“You’re reading my book?!” I interrupted him. “Why?”
“You said that you write books. I was going to see if you have some that are in your bookshelves. At least I found one,” he responded.
I chuckled. “Tell me what you think of it when you’re done, okay?”
I continued cooking breakfast and for a while, silence broke through the wall like a hurricane and buried us in it. Soon after, Joshua closed my book and focused on me once again.
“This is pretty good so far. Though, there’s one little thing,” Joshua clarified.
“What is it?”
“Is this about your childhood?”
“Y-Yes, that’s why I called it Unnatural Love. Our family being a normal and loving family, ‘till my mother dies and my father starts doing pathetic stuff. Basically what all happened and how I lived through it,” I explained.
“Where are your other books?”
“There’s only five. I decided to save this book since it was my first one. The other four are in the Metcalf Library.”
“Are you going to make any more books?” he asked me.
“I don’t know, probably, not now though.”
When I finished cooking, I placed the food on top of my glass plates and handed one off to Joshua. I sat next to him and we both began to eat.
“So, we’re going to the mall today?” Joshua questioned me.
“Yeah, I guess. If you don't want to go, we can go somewhere else.”
“No, it’s fine. Plus, I think I might need some clothes.”
After finishing my anxious eating, we started getting ready for the outing. I put my hair in a ponytail and we were on our way to the mall. The nearest one was Elm Street Mall since I didn’t want to drive an hour to get to one specific mall.
When we made it there, I parked the car in the parking lot and both got out of the vehicle, walking our way towards the entrance doors. Once we were inside, I checked the directory.
“Where do you want to go first?” I asked him.
“Um, I don’t really know. Where do you want to go?”
“Why don’t we go to...Victoria’s Secret?”
Joshua gulped which I’m guessing he knows what that store is. I don’t understand why some men get all pressed on Victoria’s Secret. I get it’s a feminine store, but goodness gracious. As long as you don’t make googly eyes at the pictures then you’re fine.
“Are you okay?”
“Y-Yeah, I’m good,” he stammered.
We walked inside and I started looking around for something to buy. I picked up one of the delicates and placed it in front of him.
“Do you think this will look good on me?” I questioned him.
He started to turn red and quickly looked away. “Y-Yeah, that looks nice.”
I picked up a little more and checked out the clothes afterwards. Of course, Joshua’s face was down the entire time. Both of us left the store, Joshua sighing heavily.
“Are you okay?”
“Are you sure? You were acting weird while we were there. Do you not have a Victoria’s Secret in England?”
“We do, I just didn’t really expect you to ask me about what to wear,” he answered.
“Do you help your sister and mom?”
“Yeah, sometimes I help them pick out their clothes, but-”
“Then what’s the difference?”
“I just never picked out clothes for a woman like you.”
“Okay…” I continued on. I can’t tell if he was being nice or offensive. “Where do you want to go next, Joshua?”
“Hmm, why don’t we go to Adidas? I kinda need some new shoes.”
“Sure,” I replied.
We entered the store and in the end, me and Joshua both picked out some new shoes. After that, we visited almost every store. Some of these places Joshua hasn’t seen, so I had to tell them what they were. We visited stores like Macy’s, Levi’s, H&M, and Forever 21. We even stopped by Pandora to get me some jewelry. Joshua paid for my necklace which he begged me to do, a gentleman I guess.
When we left the jewelry store, Joshua took the box out of the bag and pulled out the necklace. “Turn around.”
I faced the other direction and I felt Joshua place the rose crystal necklace around me. His touch was soft and warm as his hands caressed the back of my neck.
“You didn’t have to pay for this necklace. It was pretty expensive,” I said.
“Might as well, I already have enough money from being a fashion designer. I should at least spend it,” he responded.
“Do you want something to eat? We’ve been here almost all morning.”
“Um, sure! We can get something.” We ambled towards the food court which had many different kinds of food that I couldn’t begin to think of.
“Hey, look! There’s Chipotle!” Joshua exclaimed, pointing towards it.
“You want Chipotle again?” I questioned him.
“Actually, I want to try something new. Besides Chipotle, what else do you eat?”
“I sometimes eat-”
“Why don’t we eat Auntie Anne’s!”
“You do know that they just have pretzels, right?”
“I just want to see how they taste. Plus, I’m not really hungry,” Joshua responded.
We headed over towards the pretzel station. Joshua ordered a regular pretzel and I ordered the bites, which both came with cheese. I also ordered a cup of water and Joshua ordered a cup of lemonade. Since Joshua paid for my necklace, I told him that I wanted to pay for our food. After we received it, we sat down and started to eat.
“Good?” I asked.
“Yeah!” Joshua replied, food in his mouth.
I giggled at him. He seems to really enjoy this. “How is America so far?”
“I didn’t really expect it to be like this. Different kinds of foods and places. If only I could stay here longer than a month,” Joshua declared.
“For the past few days, do you really want to go back?”
He started, “I mean, I have to because of my family and my business. If I didn’t have both, then I would stay here for as long as I could. Plus, I would like to stay with you.”
I stopped and glanced down at the floor, blushing.
“Now look who’s turning red!” Joshua said.
“Well, it was kinda nice to hear you say that you would want to stay with me longer,” I responded.
“Would you ever go to England?” he questioned me.
“Sure, it really looks like a beautiful place to visit. I might say, the scenery there is way better than here.”
“You think so?”
“Parts of the US are really beautiful, but other parts...well...they’re not so nice.”
“Maybe we should go visit those parts. We live in Florida, why don’t we go visit Alabama or Louisiana?”
“I don’t know…”
“Hey, after we shop, can we go to the beach?”
“Um, sure, why not.” After we ate, we decided to continue shopping for a little bit and once we were done shopping, I drove us to the beach and parked near the dock. Joshua scurried down to the water and settled his feet into the sand. The sun was setting and the sunset was mixed with purple and orange colors.
“This is so beautiful,” Joshua said.
“I know, my parents would take me and Brooklynn here everyday when we were little. As usual, when mom passed away-”
“Alright, let’s go in the water,” he interrupted, taking off his shirt. I started to gaze at his abs, trying to pull my eyes away from him, but it was too mesmerizing.
“W-What?” I stammered, still looking at him.
“You’ve been talking about your crazy father and your late mother since I got here. Take a deep breath and relax. Getting in the ocean can get your mind off of all of that,” Joshua said.
I sighed and got up, starting to take my clothes off with Joshua.
“Um, sure,” I answered. He dashed into the ocean while I just strolled into the shivering water.
“C’mon!” he yelled. Joshua splashed water on me, my hair soaked and my whole body wet. I started to throw water at him for revenge and he threw some back. I began to laugh and sat in the shallow part of the ocean.
“Thanks Joshua, I really needed this.”
“No problem! I would do anything for someone who’s going through a hard time.” We continued to play and swim in the blue, clear water. Once it became dark, we grabbed our clothes and put them back on. On our way back to the car, Joshua decided to drive us home.
When we made it to the apartment complex, I unlocked the door and entered inside. We both took a shower and changed into our sleepwear. It was nice to finally get that ocean water off of me.
I laid in my bed and closed my eyes, pretending to be asleep. I can’t just lay in my bed and just dozy off, so resting my eyelids is just going to have to work for now.
I heard Joshua still in the room, walking up to me and leaning over my body. “Good night, Rebecca,” he whispered in my ear, his cold breath circulating me.
Joshua kissed the top of my head and started to walk towards the living room. Before we could leave, I grasped his hand and he suddenly turned around, flabbergasted.
“C-Can you stay with me tonight?” This might be a mistake. Joshua might get the wrong idea and probably say no. What should I do and why hasn’t he said anything?
“Sure, why not.”