“Thanks for the help!” My dad griped. I guess you could say he was grumpy as well but my dad was like this all the time. I didn’t say anything back; for I knew what would happen if I did, I had the marks on my arms to prove it. I don’t know if it is normal for dads to hurt there children so I kept it a secret and wore long sleeved shirts all the time, which is going to be hard now that we live in a rotisserie oven. I took my suitcase down the hallway to only find one bedroom in this tiny house.
“No, no, no!” My dad rushed by me as I peered my head into the bedroom. “You are sleeping on the couch, I get the bed!” Well that was settled.
“Wow, I love sleeping on couches.” I said sarcastically.
“Enough with you and your big mouth! Why don’t you go to the grocery store or do something useful!” My dad picked up my suitcase and threw it Into the living room. I was glad I had all my valuables in my purse. A little shaken up, I grabbed my keys and stormed out the door. Normally I would go to a friends house and not come home for a couple of days but now I had no friends but I had to find something to do. My dads truck was parked in the driveway while I had to park my moms old red 62 mustang two blocks down because there was no room. I was glad the mustang was my moms car because if it were mine, dad would have scammed someone with it by now. I got in my car and cranked it up and turned the radio all the way up to drown the noise of my thoughts. I leaned back in my leather seat and let out a breath of relief. It felt so good to be by myself without anything but music. The seats in my car that was once my moms smelled of her sweet perfume which put my soul at ease. It felt as if she were with me, sitting in the passenger seat smiling warmly and looking into my eyes. I loved it when it felt like she was right here. I sat in my car for well over half an hour but made a quick escape after my dad came back out of the house to get more boxes. I made a list in my mind of anything that I could do to occupy myself until around one in the morning when my dad would be asleep. I ruled food out first, I wasn’t hungry and hardly ever was. The second thing I ruled out was the mall, being around people was not what I needed right now. In New York I usually stayed in the apartment unless I was at school. The last time I went to the mall I had a major panic attack and was rushed to the hospital so I most certainly weren’t going there, it wouldn’t be a very good first impression on my new town. So the last place I could think of was the park which is where I ended up. I parked my car the best I could since the sun was setting and it were getting harder to see. I hopped out and made sure I locked the doors before I started walking. The air was light and I would like to say crisp but that was not the case in Texas. The air was light and dry, it made my nose want to bleed. It was beginning to look like fall as particular leaves from different trees started to let go and fall to the ground. They were all different colors which only made the end of the summer sweet, despite the fact that school started tomorrow. I slowly strolled through the park and found me a nice bench to sit on and observe more of the scenery. This park was nothing like the beautiful ones in New York and this seat definitely wasn’t as comfortable as the ones I would sleep on in New York. Like I said, most of the time I wouldn’t go home for days and most of the time my friends wouldn’t accommodate me so I learned to sleep good on New York City benches. Yes I am blessed but I feel as if I am cursed too, it’s bitter sweet that I have so much but not of the right things, like I should be grateful for what I have because I have already lost so much. Trying to pull away from my deep thoughts my grey eyes wondered toward two tall figures walking the same path I had just came from. It had just hit dusk and I had seen way to many YouTube videos to know that these guys could be murderers here to kidnap me, or they could just be two innocent teen boys out for a late evening stroll, whichever they were, I was about to find out. They kept getting closer and closer becoming more visible to me. Boy, I hoped they weren’t cereal killers, they were kind of cute. They looked around my age, seniors in high school or college students. The one on the left was the best looking out of the two with light brown hair and as far as I could see, green eyes. His jawline was remarkable and his smile gleamed. The other boy was cute but not as appealing to me as the first one. With dirty blonde hair the tall and lanky boy with a playful smile turned his attention towards me. He quickly alerted his buddy. I tried to mind my own business looking in every direction but towards them. Looking at the trees, the sidewalk and then the grass, my eyes eventually ended up looking at my phone. When I was sure that they had passed I sighed a breath of relief. When I looked up I almost couldn’t breathe that breath back in as the two boys were standing directly in front of me. I raised my eyebrows along with my eyes to look straight up at them with my heart pounding against my chest as if it were trying to break out.
“Hi!” The blonde boy said. His smile was kind yet playful. Still in shock I stared up at him with my heart still trying to break out of my chest. I felt like my jaw were on the ground but I knew my lips were just barley separated.
“Kevin, I told you we shouldn’t bother her,” The other boy said. Kevin propped his hand on his hip and glared at his buddy. “We’re not bothering her!” Kevin laughed. “She seems nice!”
“She hasn’t said a word to us! How do we know she’s nice?” The other boy asked.
“I am” I interrupted their argument. They both looked at me confused. “I am nice,” I said.
“See, I told you!” Kevin smiled wildly. They stood in silence only for a few seconds but it felt like an eternity. With every millisecond ticking by it felt more an more awkward.
“I’m sorry,” the good looking boy said. They each sat down on either side of me. The brunette held his hand out for me to shake. “I’m Andrew,” he smiled his million dollar smile. I shook his cold dry hand. “I’m Hailee.” I smiled slightly.
“And I’m Kevin!” Kevin gleamed. “But my friends call me Kev, and you can too, because your my new friend!”
“It’s nice to meet you,” I smiled warmly. The other boy, Andrew studied me and my facial expressions. With a smile on both their faces the anticipation for someone to speak gave me a weird kind of anxiety, you wouldn’t be able to know I was having major anxiety by looking at me from the outside, but the feeling inside me was almost unbearable.
“How come I’ve never seen you around here before?” Asked Andrew.
“I actually just arrived,” I told them. I wasn’t a very talkative person, I only spoke when I was spoken to. I guess I observe more than I speak.
“Where’d you move here from?” Kevin asked.
“New York City. You couldn’t tell by my accent?” I let out a slight laugh.
“Hey if anything we have the accent!” Andrew chuckled.
“It’s more of a southern draw!” Kevin tried to sound even more country than he already was.
“Are you guys cowboys?” I asked. It was kind of a stupid question but what else do you ask a Texan? Andrew smiled at the ground then I noticed his boots with spurs.
“I was born and raised on a ranch in southern Texas meanwhile Kev over there moved here from Florida.” Andrew informed.
“Yeah I’m more of a surfer than a cowboy.” Kevin said.
“Too bad there’s not a beach for miles,” I said. You can just call me Debbie downer or Johnny rain cloud, doesn’t matter which, I was still the rain of the parade no matter what.
“Do you surf?” Kevin asked, still with a playful smile.
“Ah no. But I am pretty good at skateboarding.” Ok, maybe I’m bragging but who’s says I can’t, right?
“We’ll have to get you up on a horse sometime, maybe you’ll develop a new hobby!” Andrew said. His green eyes were so beautiful, if they were blue I could say looking in his eyes were like getting lost in an ocean but that wasn’t quit the case. With my luck, I’d most likely be lost in a beautiful green rain forest being chased by a chimpanzee that’s hungry. And also a bear.
“Maybe I’ll become a horse riding pig roping champion!” I said. Kevin laughed historically.
“Hailee, you don’t rope pigs, you rope steers.” Andrew informed me.
“Oh,” I slightly smiled with a bit of embarrassment.
“Well maybe you can teach the cowboy to skateboard,” Kevin suggested. His playful smile was so refreshing for me, it wasn’t often I saw a true real smile on my account.
“So what are you guys doing here?” I asked them. Kevin’s expression hardened and suddenly his playful smile was nonexistent.
“Are we bothering you?” Asked Kevin.
“No! I meant, what are you guys doing walking in the park at night?” I asked.
“Might we ask you the same question?” Andrew raised his eyebrow. His knee bounced as if he were anxious which made his spur jingle.
“Um…” I tried to search for an excuse as fast as I could. “I…ugh, I’m a runner and was just taking a break, ya know, sat down to take a breather.” Shut up, it’s the best I could do in a matter of seconds.
“Cool! How long have you been running?” Kevin asked. His smile was back.
“Years! Yeah! I’ve been running for years.” I lied. Yeah, I don’t run. If you see me running you had better run too because then somethings chasing me.
“That’s so cool!” Kevin gleamed. How could someone be this happy?
“Why are you guys being so nice to me?” I asked them. No one in New York, no one I had ever known was this nice to me, except my mom, of course.
“I guess it’s just the southern hospitality.” Andrew slightly smiled. I had heard about southern hospitality but never had experienced it. All this was new to me. New York people were rude and straight to the point, Texas people, as far as I had experienced, talked slow but kind.
“Boys!” A couple voices called from the same pathway Andrew and Kevin had come from. There were two girls and another guy.
“Who’s that?” I asked. The girls were walking like they were on a runways chatting with each other and the boy was a ways behind them.
“Those are more of our friends.” Kevin informed.
“That’s Everest and Quinn and the creep in the back is Zeke.” Andrew said with a laugh. All three of them looked about my age. Everest was absolutely gorgeous with golden blond hair and beautiful fair skin and green eyes, but they weren’t quit as pretty as Andrews. Quinn’s cocoa silky skin shined along with her beautiful smile. Her long brown hair bounced as she walked like a model towards us. And then Zeke, well I couldn’t really see him, he had his head down but he did have ash brown hair and he wore no others colors other than black.
“Hey girls!” Kevin and Andrew stood up to give them a hug.
“Who’s this?!” Everest asked. She had a perky northern accent, maybe Boston?
“This is our new friend.” Kevin said.
“Very descriptive! Come on, what’s her name?” Everest squeaked. I was going to get tired of her annoying voice real fast.
“What’s up,” Quinn nodded her head. “Names Quinn.”
“I’m Hailee,” I shook her hand. She seemed super chill and laid back, my kinda person.
“Oh my god Hailee is such a beautiful name!” Everest said.
“Uh, thanks.” I said but didn’t mean it. People like her were my least favorite people. After we chit chatted for a minute or two the Zeke boy finally caught up to the rest of his friends but kept walking right by with his head down.
“Zeke! Don’t you wanna meet…”
“Nope!” Zeke interrupted Kevin and kept walking.
“He’s not a social type of person,” Kevin informed me.
“Yeah I could tell. It was nice to meet you too!” I yelled in his direction. Nope, I lied, people like him were my least favorite.
“So, uh, where are you from?” Quinn asked.
“New York city. Just moved here with my parents.” I told her. I didn’t feel like explaining everything about my mom.
“Ah cool. So why’d ya move?” Everest squeaked in here annoying accent. There was no way I was going to tell them the real reason why we moved here, I had already lied that I had both parents, I couldn’t go back.
“Well?” Everest looked me in the eyes. The look of pain that I could feeling swelling in my eyes became more visible to everyone.
“Um,” I struggled to speak and struggled to breath as my hands began to tremble.
“Pfft…” Everest scoffed. “Boys where’d you find this girl, huh? Can’t handle and simple little question. Poor Hailee, want me to call your mommy?” She made a pouty face. No, no, no Hailee, you can’t embarrass yourself here. Breath, just breath. I felt my face getting hot as everyone’s attention turned towards me.
“I…um…I” I still couldn’t hardly speak.
“Eve, shut up,” Andrew clenched her arm and pulled her out of my reach, which was probably a good thing because I was darn ready to put my fist to use. I wanted, no, I needed to get out of there. My world was crashing down around me and all I could do was watch.
“Well then! We had better leave.” Quinn suggested.
“Sorry,” Kevin apologized while giving me a warm goodbye hug.
“No, I’m sorry.” I said. I shook everyone else’s hands, except Everest’s.
“It was nice meeting you.” Andrew smiled politely.
“Likewise.” I waved as they all left. Zeke who had disappeared came jogging around the corner to catch up with his friends.
“Nice to meet you.” I said to him as he passed me. He shot me an evil glare and caught up with the others I sat back down on the bench and sighed a breath of relief. Finally I was alone.