Playing for Keeps - ON HOLD

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Chapter 4


As I pull into my driveway, I notice an unfamiliar car next door. My heart beats faster as I wonder if Blaire has already arrived. I put the car in park and jump out, followed by my friends. As I pop the trunk open, we grab our gear and head towards my front door. Opening the door I walk into the house and find my dad sitting on the couch, his feet resting on the coffee table, the TV screaming out as a football game plays.

“You’re back.” He states, his eyes not leaving the screen.

“Yeah.” I reply, my eyes taking in my father in the same position I had left him when I was home 6 months ago.

“Blaire got here yesterday.” He tells me, still not looking in my direction or acknowledging my friends beside me. I simply nod my head, not that he can see it, and walk up the stairs to show my friends to their rooms.

This was nothing different for my Dad and I. We’ve never had a great relationship, though it hasn’t been horrible. We just don’t talk, and he wasn’t really present growing up. Mom was always the glue that held us together, when she passed away in my sophomore year of high school, her loss was felt throughout the house. Dad took it hard, withdrawing even more into his work. I probably would have been the same if it hadn’t been for Blaire. She got me through it, but then, Blaire was always beside me, no matter what.

I leave my friends in their rooms and wander to my own, opening my door my eyes automatically find my window. I dump my stuff on the floor and walk towards the window, in the hopes to get even a glimpse of my Blaire. My heart drops when I notice the closed curtains to her room, the usual gap that fuelled my teenage fantasies not being there, I wonder momentarily if the gap in the curtains all those years ago was deliberate. I shake the thought from my head, no way would Blaire have allowed me to sneak glances at her getting changed, had she known I could see her, she would be mortified.

Sighing, I collapse on my bed and stare up at the ceiling. Blaire, my Blaire, is just a few feet away for the first time in 8 years, the excitement and anxiety mixes in my stomach, will she be happy to see me? Does she hate me? Questions run through my mind and I push them away, knowing that I am just going to drive myself crazy before I get to see her.

Sighing, I look towards the window at the closed curtains, words starting to flow through my mind. I quickly sit up and grab a notebook from my bag, jotting down the words as they come to mind.


I strum a few notes on my guitar as I look down at the lyrics scribbled across the page. So lost in my thoughts, the sound of a door slamming shut makes me jump. I drop the guitar on my bed and walk towards the window.

A figure walks to the back of the neighbour’s yard, her flowing long brown hair blowing in the wind. My heart beats out of control as I take in Blaire for the first time in so long. Although she’s changed, grown up over the years, I would recognise her anywhere. Her tight fitting jeans showing off her plump ass, the oversized hoodie, hiding curves that I know would be there. She carries a sketch book in her arm, as she had done most of our teenage years. She stops walking suddenly, and looks towards my bedroom window, I quickly hide behind my curtain, hoping she can’t see me obviously ogling her. She stares up for a moment before turning back and making her way to the swing that hangs off the branch of an old elm tree.

I watch as she sits on the swing, remembering all the times I would push her as we talked and laughed, how I always wanted to stop the swing and pull her to me to lay my lips on hers. She lays the sketchbook on her lap and opens to a fresh page. Her brown hair falls down, hiding her face as she puts her pencil to the blank page and begins to drawer. I watch her for a while, still hiding behind the curtain, before I realise what an idiot I am being.

The girl of my dreams is so close to me, and here I am hiding behind a curtain instead of going out there and saying hi. I quickly sit on my bed and throw my shoes on before running down stairs and heading out into my back yard.

I pause as I reach the small gap in the fence that separates our yards. My heart beating wildly in my chest, I wipe my sweaty hands on my jeans and take a deep breath before slipping through the gap and wandering into Blaire’s yard. Blaire’s back towards me, she swings absentmindedly as she loses herself in her drawing. I know the feeling well, getting lost in my music often, it was always something we had in common, getting so absorbed in our art that we would forget our surroundings. I slowly approach her, trying to keep my heart steady until I come up beside her.

Grabbing the rope of the swing, I stop her quickly, causing her to jump and squeal, dropping her sketchbook and pencil on the ground. I chuckle as she spins around to face me, ready to scold until she sees its me. Her face changes to one of shock and I take the opportunity to examine her features.

Her bright green eyes shine out through her dark lashes, her pale complexion seeming at odds with her dark brown hair, she stands a good foot shorter than my 6′4", though I know she has grown since I last saw her when she was just 17 years old. My eyes make their way up her body and catch hers, getting lost in the emerald abyss that is Blaire Taylor.

I don’t know how long we stand there just looking into each other’s eyes, but I feel like I could do it forever. She suddenly blinks and looks away, breaking the moment, though I see the blush starting to cover her face and neck. I wonder how far down it goes? And if I will ever get the chance to find out.

“Hey...” I say, for lack of something better, a small smile playing on my lips at her reaction.

“H...hi...” she stammers, biting that plump bottom lip as she looks up at me. I fight the urge to bite it myself. Unable to hold back, I pull her into my arms and hug her tight, she freezes momentarily before I feel her arms circle my waist and her head rest against my chest. I let out a sigh at how good it feels to have her in my arms, my whole body coming alive at the feel of her against me, I try to think of disgusting things to keep the inevitable hard on at bay.

She pulls away from me way too soon for my liking, I loosen my arms and place my hands on her biceps, not wanting to lose contact just yet. I smile down at her and she returns it.

“It’s been a while.” I say, and she nods her head.

“It has.” She replies. We stare at each other awkwardly, there’s so much I want to say to her, so much I want to ask, but right now my mind is blank and I find myself saying the only thing I can think of.

“I miss you.”

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