The Unexpected

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6

All of a sudden, I found myself lying in my bed, very confused. How did I get here? I don’t remember tucking myself to sleep. It must’ve been Joshua then. I probably fell asleep after looking at the stars and I guess he placed me in my bed.

I got up and strolled my way into the living room. I noticed Joshua still outside on the balcony. What could he be doing out there? Don’t tell me he slept out on the balcony! Opening the sliding door, I stood outside with him and he was still reading my book.

“Hey Joshua!” I greeted.

“Oh, good morning Rebecca!”

“I had fun last night with you.”

“I did too.”

“Is there anything specifically you want to eat this morning?”

“Um, I don’t really know.”

“Hm, why don’t we have sweet tea with grits?”

“Sure, I suppose.” I walked back inside the apartment and started cooking. Joshua closed the book and came back inside. He sat on one of the stools in front of me and watched me make breakfast.

After I was done cooking, I placed the food on top of the plates and grabbed the drinks. I handed Joshua his food and tea and sat next to him. This time, it felt normal being close to Joshua.

We both started to devour our food and out of nowhere, my phone started to buzz. I saw that Brooklynn was calling me. What could she want now?

“May I?” I asked Joshua.

“Go ahead,” he responded and continued eating.

I answered my phone, saying, “Hello?”

“Oh, Rebecca! I saw the sketch of you! Did Joshua do it?”

“Yeah, didn’t it look amazing?”

“Oh my gosh, yes! He has an incredible skill! Can I speak to him right quick?” Brooklynn questioned me.

“Um, sure.”

I handed the phone off to Joshua, his cold hands whisking mine. Even though it was a brief touch, I still felt a warm feeling down in the pit of my stomach. “Brooklynn wants to talk to you.”

Joshua placed my phone up against his ear and I carried on with my food. “Hi Brooklynn...awe thanks!”

They kept talking and talking for at least five minutes. What could they possibly be saying? Hopefully Brooklynn didn’t tell him what we talked about at the skating center. “Well, I’ll make sure to do it tomorrow then...bye!” He hung up and gave me back my phone.

“What did Brooklynn say?” I asked him.

“Oh, just about how beautiful my art is.”

“Are you sure? It seemed like it was more than that.”

“That was all. She was just telling me about other artists who don’t draw as well as me. Brooklynn also talked about other organizations that can help improve my skills.”

“Okay…” It seemed strange, but I shouldn’t pursue it.

After we finished our breakfast, I decided to take Joshua to Walt Disney World and he was very excited. Thank goodness I was able to buy tickets, very expensive though. I drove us to the amusement park and as soon as we showed up, I parked in one of the available parking spots. I wasn’t really expecting it to be really packed today and I’m hoping we don’t have to wait in line all day. We headed towards the gates to the park and there was security in the front. We took all of our metal-like possessions and placed them into the box. We scanned, grabbed our stuff, and the man who worked here scanned my tickets, allowing Joshua and I to enter.

“Wow, this is so amazing!” Joshua exclaimed.

“I know, this place is pretty cool. So, what ride do you want to ride first?” I asked him.

Joshua looked at one of the park’s map guides. “Hm, we could ride…”

Me and Joshua rode so many rides. Roller coasters like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Space Mountain. We even went to the Haunted Mansion and Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. Let’s just say, it was a lot of walking!

After some of those rides, it was already noon. We visited a food truck called 4 Rivers Cantina Barbacoa. It was a Mexican food truck. I ordered Birria Quesadilla with a cup of Coca-Cola and Joshua ordered Black Beans & Cilantro Rice with a bottle of water. I paid for the food and as soon as we got it, we sat in front of the truck with the nearest vacant seat .

“Do you know what’s interesting?” I questioned Joshua.

“What?”

“People who live here aren’t really interested in Disney World, but people like you are always excited because it’s their first time coming,” I explained. “Like if I lived in California, I would probably go to DisneyLand maybe several times a year. It wouldn’t be a big deal for me. Let’s say that you’re coming from Florida to California and you want to go to DisneyLand. You would be more excited than me because this is your first time and you’ve never done anything like this before.”

“Oh yeah, I’ve never really thought about it till now.”

“See, there can be different perspectives towards one little thing. Though, the tourists only are like that once, so the next time they come here, it won’t be the same. I guess everyone is like that, even people who live here.”

“Have your parents ever taken you to Disney World when you were little?” Joshua asked me.

“Well, yeah. We would go here at least once every other year, it depends. It all started when I was seven and Brooklynn was four. All of us would go and we would have so much fun. Two years later, my dad lost his job and we were having some financial problems. We stopped going afterwards and it was that bad to where we didn’t even wear anything for Halloween, ate cereal for Thanksgiving, and got one or two presents for Christmas while my friends got five.”

“Wow, how long did it last?”

“It lasted for a year. My father couldn’t really find a job and my mom had to work more hours than usual and it always drained her.”

“I’m guessing your father found a job afterwards,” Joshua said.

“Yeah, but he quit a month later.”

“Why?”

“He didn’t like it and he barely got paid,” I replied.

“What about his family though? Even though you don’t like the job, I would at least stay there for a few months just to get our family in order or don’t apply to the job in the first place!”

“Well, my mom was even thinking about getting a divorce. She tried, but my father found out and started becoming abusive; he wouldn’t let her file for a divorce. Of course, my mother followed his rules. She always said that she only stayed with him for me and Brooklynn, but really, she only stayed with him so he wouldn’t hurt her anymore. My sister and I were very young to understand what was happening and we just stuck with my mom’s side of the story. Right before she died, I noticed that my mom was covered in bruises and scars. My father told the truth of what happened, but it wasn’t easy.”

“What happened?”

“We asked our dad about the scars and bruises, but he just denied them. Brooklynn and I decided to get our dad drunk, so he could tell the truth. Of course, he did. Sooner or later, I went to college and I didn’t feel comfortable with Brooklynn staying with him, knowing what he did to my mother. I dropped out and had her move in with me into my apartment.”

Joshua started drinking out of his water bottle. Probably pondering what’s happening. “Is that what your mother wanted you to do?”

“I mean, yeah. I don’t think she would want her husband to hurt her daughter!” I answered, bewildered by Joshua’s question.

“No, not that! What I meant was do you think your mom wanted you to drop out of school?”

“Oh, I don’t know.”

“You said before that you always wanted to be a lawyer since you were little. Of course, our parents want the best for us and will do anything to help us achieve that dream. Do you think that she wasted her time?”

“She wasn’t even alive when I went to college though, so what are you talking about?” Now I started to get an attitude.

“I know, but seeing her daughter not trying to accomplish her goal, that would kinda hurt me.”

“I am accomplishing my goal! Becoming a writer, an author, and doing what I wanted to do!” I exclaimed.

“Is that what you really want to do?” Joshua questioned me. I could hear his worried tone crashing into his voice.

“Yes, I do! Joshua, I don’t understand this conversation. Do you think that my mom isn’t proud of me?!”

“That’s not what I’m saying!”

“It sounds like it!”

“Look, I don’t want you to feel like what you’re doing isn’t the right decision. I’m just saying that your mom would want you to aim towards your objective, which was intentionally being a lawyer.”

“Y’know what, forget you!”

“What?”

“What you’re saying right now is really making me mad!” I got up from my chair and started stomping away, aggravated. I heard Joshua getting up from his seat and scurrying after me.

“Wait, Rebecca! That’s not what I meant!”

I turned around and glanced at him, tears flowing down my cheeks. “Then what do you mean?! You’re making me feel like I’m not good enough. That I took the wrong path in life! That my job is pretty much nothing! That book that I wrote was very emotional and I didn’t even want to make it in the first place, but since you’re saying that I’m a disappointment, then maybe I should just get rid of it!”

I stormed off and of course, Joshua followed me, but he didn’t say anything. We left Disney World and found the car. We got in and I drove home, once more, there was just silence.

When we made it back, I slammed my bedroom door and violently sat on top of my bed, sighing. It was like my life was falling apart all over again. Voices are shouting in my head: Joshua’s. His words repeating over and over again. They keep getting louder and have no meaning to fade.

A knock on the door disrupted those voices and my head fumbled upward, wondering what or who was behind that wood.

“Rebecca?”

I didn’t answer, realizing that the soldier who saved me from those whiny subjects turned out to be the same thing. Once again, I got pulled under and back into the weeping air.

“Look, what I said was very inappropriate of me. I didn’t mean to hurt you. To be honest, the way I said it was horrible and what I really meant was that even though you decided to become a writer, your mother would always respect your decision, like my parents did to me when I became a fashion designer. I was just trying to ask you what your mother would’ve thought about it. I’m sorry,” he stated.

I could hear his still footsteps walking away from the door. I didn’t even know what to say. I’m really trying to be candid, but how long can I handle this till I fully start to crumble.

I stayed in my room all day, literally doing nothing. When it became nightfall, I changed into my pajamas for bed and laid down. I supposed Joshua was sleeping on the couch tonight and I would invite him to come in my room, but I felt like I had to torture him a little more, just for fun. Yes, I know I’m petty.

I dozed off to sleep and when I woke up, it was already morning and the bright yellow sun was glistening through the window. I got up from my bed and tiredly entered the living room and kitchen. Turns out, Joshua wasn’t in both of those rooms. Where was he? I checked the bathroom and he wasn’t there. Was I being extra? Should I’ve opened the door last night? Did he actually leave? I was going to go after him ‘till I noticed that my car keys weren’t on my key rack and I always put it there. What is going on? I looked out of my window and saw my car was missing!

DID HE SERIOUSLY TAKE MY CAR?! When he gets back here, I’m going to...

Well, if he ever gets back here. I’ve made a mistake and I wish that I gave him a chance after he apologized. I was being selfish and didn’t even think about him. He probably thinks that I hate him now. I didn’t even feel the need to get his phone number, so I can’t even call him. I laid down on the living room couch, hopefully, I’ll be able to see him again.

Seconds have turned into minutes and minutes into hours. It was already past noon and Joshua hadn't come back yet. I was scared that he wasn’t coming back. He had my car and I didn’t know where they both were. This was very heartbreaking. We’ve just met not too long ago and he’s already gone. The sun was about to set in an hour and the day was almost over. Out of nowhere, I heard a knock on the door and I looked through the peephole. Joshua was outside my door wearing a tuxedo, holding a bouquet of white orchids, and his hair slicked back.

“Where have you been?! Do you know how scared I was that I lost you? And who gave you permission to borrow my car?” I ordered.

“No, I didn’t know how scared you were. And another no, no one gave me consent to use your car and I’m sorry, but I had to use it,” he answered.

“For what?!”

“Well, I have a surprise for you, but before I show you the surprise, you have to get dressed.”

“Get dressed?”

“Yeah, wear your favorite dress, please.

“I’m very confused.”

“Just wear something really fancy.”

“Okay…”

“Wait, these flowers are for you,” Joshua said, handing me the bouquet.

“White orchids? How did you know that they were my favorite flowers?” I questioned him.

“I just guessed, you seem like an orchid girl.” I sauntered into my bedroom and closed my door. I placed the flowers on top of my bed and started to get ready. I changed into a short fitted, navy blue dress that was covered in lace. I wore my black, ankle-strap heels and put my hair into a top bun with some strands hanging down in the front. I did my makeup and once I was finished, I walked out of the room, holding the bouquet of orchids in my hands.

“Wow, you look so...beautiful,” he stated.

“Thank you, so what is this surprise?” I asked.

“Well, you’ll have to see.” We exited the apartment. Joshua was driving and I sat in the passenger seat, studying the scenery outside: the sun setting and the sky changing colors. All of a sudden, Joshua stopped the car and I surveyed my surroundings.

“We’re here!” he said.

“Chatham’s Place Restaurant?”

“Yeah, now c’mon.”

“Wait, why are we here?”

“It’s just a little dinner with you,” Joshua replied.

“Wait, how did you pay for this? When did you even make reservations?”

“Um, Brooklynn did,” he mumbled.

“What did you say?”

“Brooklynn helped me,” Joshua blurted.

“Wait, Brooklynn?! How did she-” I stopped. “Oh, I see. It was when she called me, wasn’t it?”

“Yeah, I lied to you saying that she was talking about my artwork,” he stated.

“I knew it!” I exclaimed.

“She was actually telling me a way for me and you to get together.”

“Wait, what?”

“Now, let’s go inside!” Joshua got out of the car and I followed right behind him. There was a man standing in front of the door, ready to greet us.

“Hello, how may I help you?”

“We have reservations for Evans,” Joshua responded.

“Okay, right this way.” The man who worked there led us to a booth and we started to sit down.

“Thank you!” Joshua said and the man nodded, sauntering away. A black woman with short, black hair and hazel eyes ambled towards us. She looked really young like she was new.

“Hello, my name is Mia and I will be your waitress for tonight,” she addressed with a soft and sweet voice. “Why don’t we start off with some drinks!”

I examined the menu. “Um, may I just have an iced tea?”

“I’ll just have water,” Joshua stated.

“Alright, I’ll be back with your drinks.” Mia swiftly left the area. She seemed so cute, but I can tell she isn’t too experienced.

“You’re just having water?”

“Well, I'm not really feeling anything special tonight.”

“Joshua, you had a bottle of water yesterday at Disney World. Are you scared to try different drinks?”

“No, I just like drinking water more than any other drink,” he replied.

“Sure…”

“Look, I’m just a plain beverage guy and that’s it!”

“Okay, now back to Brooklynn helping you. How did you guys stay in contact?” I asked him.

“Well, after our little fight at Disney World, you left your phone on the kitchen counter when you were in your room. I decided to use it and texted your sister to get her phone number. After that, I placed her number in my phone and we stayed in touch,” Joshua explained.

“How did you get into my phone in the first place? It has a lock on it.”

“I scanned your phone with some of your fingerprints. I found your fingerprints on top of four numbers, so I just guessed the order. Sooner or later, voila, your phone popped open.”

“Wait, were you trying to get me mad at Disney World, so you could get my phone?!”

“No no no no! That was actually an accident. It was just a coincidence that you left your phone on the counter last night.”

I sighed, a little relieved that he didn’t intentionally make me upset. Mia came back, carrying our drinks. She placed our beverages on top of the table.

“Thank you!” I told her.

“You’re welcome! Now, have you guys decided what to eat?”

“Actually yes, may I have the Filet Mignon with steamed asparagus,” Joshua replied.

“Do you want the filet mignon to be forty-six or ninety-two ounces?” she asked.

“Forty-six please.”

“Alright, you ma’am?”

“I’ll have the Breast of Duck,” I answered.

“And the side?”

“Mashed potatoes.”

“Okay, I’ll be back with your food. Oh shoot, I totally forgot to ask you guys if you wanted breadsticks!”

“Oh, well then we’ll have some breadsticks,” Joshua responded.

“I’m so sorry! This is my first day working here and I can be very forgetful sometimes!” Mia apologized.

“No, it’s okay,” I said.

Mia hurried away and I pointed my stare on Joshua again. “So, I’m guessing that Brooklynn told you about white orchids being my favorite flower.”

“Yeah, she did. Her and her boyfriend even came here to help pick out the perfect tuxedo.”

“Hold up, Brooklynn and Lucas were here and they didn’t tell me?!”

“Well, they wanted this to be a surprise. They didn’t want you to find out that they were only visiting just to help me with this special occasion. That would’ve ruined the surprise for you,” he clarified.

“Oh, I see,” I replied.

“If this makes things a little better, we were doing all of those things for you.”

“I suppose…”

“That is also why I was gone all day. I’m actually happy that you had me sleep on the couch rather than your room because I didn’t want to wake you up.”

“You really made me worry there.”

“Like I said before, I’m sorry. I just didn’t want you to get suspicious. Maybe I should’ve.”

“Yeah, you should’ve!”

“Wait a minute, why were you worried that I was gone?”

“I...um…” I stuttered. “Well, you took my car and if you left, I wouldn’t have found it and would’ve had to get a new one!”

“No, you were scared that you were going to lose me, weren’t you?”

“No…”

“Rebecca, admit it!” Joshua demanded.

“Okay, okay! I was scared I was going to lose you. These past several days have been really fun with you and I didn’t want them to end.”

I noticed Joshua’s cheeks turning red. He had to cover them to not reveal his burning face, but it wasn’t really working. “Hey Rebecca, do you know what we're doing tomorrow?”

“Actually, no I don’t.”

“Why don’t we have-”

“Sorry I’m late!” Mia shouted, bringing our food, including the breadsticks, towards our table.

“It’s alright.” She placed our plates on top of the table and right before she was about to leave, she bumped into the table, knocking my spoon off of the table. Joshua and I leaned down to pick up the spoon and accidentally ran each other’s head together. I held my forehead, trying to stop the pain even though it wasn’t doing anything. We gazed into each other’s eyes, Joshua’s crystal blue eyes shining in the room’s light. They were as beautiful as the daylight’s sky.

“I’m so sorry!” Joshua said.

“No, it’s fine, just a little headache.”

“Do you need anything?”

“I’ll be alright ‘till we get home. Now, let’s start eating.” Joshua and I started to munch on our food. It was amazing, I’m not gonna lie. “You do know that your food actually has beef in it, right?”

“Yes, I do. I wanted to try something new today. Y’know, meat isn’t that bad. Plus, I was also trying to impress you.”

I blushed, dazzled by his comment. It was like he was trying to make my heart melt on purpose.

“So, what were you saying before?” I questioned him.

Joshua lifted my chin up. At first, I thought he was about to kiss me or something like that, but instead, he grabbed his napkin and started wiping mashed potatoes off the side of my mouth.

“Oh, thank you!”

“No problem, so what I was saying was that I was thinking about maybe we could go to the beach tomorrow. Chill in the sand and jump in the water, I guess.”

“Sure, that sounds amazing!” I exclaimed.

Joshua stared at me and smirked. “Rebecca, has anyone ever told you how beautiful you look?”

“Um, to be honest, kinda?”

“Well, you really do look really beautiful.”

I smiled. We started moving closer and closer to each other, slowly shutting our eyes. At first, I started to question myself. Do I really want to kiss him? Is this the right thing to do?
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