The changing room
″Man, I can watch her run all day!″ Kyle says with a grin.
″You actually can, Kyle. She runs every day at seven at the park.″ Leroy responds smugly.
″Maybe I should check it out, especially if she is wearing those shorts then!″ Kyle laughs.
Tyler arrives and he starts to stretch next to me.
″Tyler, can you give me your cousin's number?″ Kyle asks.
″Why do you need her number?″
″Because she is hot, man!″
Tyler looks annoyed at Kyle and he shakes his head.
″If you want her number, go ask her yourself, Kyle. All you have to do is try to keep up with her because she will not slow down for you.″
″Well, I like a challenge. I will be right back, boys!″
Kyle walks in the direction of the running track, waiting for Samantha to run by. It’s like she knows what Kyle wants because she picks up the pace. Kyle tries his best, but Samantha stays out of his reach.
″Idiot, he doesn’t stand a chance,″ Tyler says with a grin and he looks at me. A frown appears on his face and he gestures for me to follow him.
″I know you like her, Alex,″ Tyler says in a low voice as he continues to stretch. ″I know and I already told you that I’m not bothered by it. So why have you not asked her out?″
I look at Samantha, who outruns Kyle with ease, and I think about the time in the arcade. The way she leaned against me, and I could feel her relax when I put my arm around her. I could hold her like that forever and I really wanted to ask her out, but then Tyler decided to show up. He wasn’t feeling great and wanted to go home.
The moment was gone and we left. I helped Samantha with getting Tyler back into the house and in bed. She then walked me back to the front door and just when I wanted to ask her out, we heard Tyler throwing up.
Samantha hastily said goodbye and she kissed me, before running back up the stairs. I left stunned, thinking about the kiss the entire night. I hoped that I could speak to Samantha when I came back the next day to check on Tyler. I didn’t get that chance because what Tyler had, Emma had.
The poor kid was throwing up and crying, while I heard Samantha comforting her. It was not the time, so I kept Tyler company and then headed back home. Now, three weeks have passed and I feel awkward bringing it up now.
Maybe I was thinking way too much of everything. Samantha was tired in the arcade and the kiss was basically a peck on the lips.
″Earth to Alex, you still haven’t answered my question.″
Tyler is done stretching and he’s waiting impatiently for my answer.
″Because I think she just wants to be friends. She never said anything about that night and it’s obvious that for her everything is still the same. I rather be friends then to make thinks weird between us. I like it when we all hang out together, so that’s why I haven’t ask her out. Can you now drop it?″
″I just...'' Tyler begins, but he is cut off by the booming voice of coach Simon.
″MR. MORRIS! If a girl literally runs away from you, then she isn’t interested in you. Leave the poor girl be and get back here!″
Coach Simon shakes his head and he blows his whistle. ″Okay, gentleman. Let's start!″
I look at my phone and see that Tyler texted me. He was working on a paper that was due tomorrow and I shouldn’t wait for him. His mom was picking him up, so I went to my car.
To my surprise, I see Samantha and Emma waiting there. They were laughing and Emma runs to me when she sees me.
″I think someone is feeling better!″
″I do!″ Emma says excitedly. ''And just in time, do you know why?''
''Because now I can get my new swimsuit!''
I smile when I see how thrilled Emma is, although I'm still confused.
''And what else are we picking up, Em?'' Samantha asks.
''My juju suit!''
''Judogi,'' Samantha corrects.
''Yes, I'm going to Judo, Alex! Then I can fight you and Tyler!''
''Not excited at all,'' Samantha says sarcastically. ''Thank you for taking us to the mall. We were going to take the bus, but Tyler said you offered to take us.''
Of course, he did. Fricking Tyler!
''No problem,'' I say and I unlock the car. ''Especially, since I still have her car seat. That will teach me to volunteer to drop Mia and Emma off at their sports when the car of your aunt was in the garage. Isn't your aunt missing this thing?''
''No, because you gave her the perfect excuse to buy the car seat that she had her eye on for a long time.''
''I want to sit in the front!'' Emma whines.
''You will sit in your seat, Em. So don't start now or I will ask Alexander to drive us home!''
''Fine,'' Emma sights.
Samantha rolls her eyes at me while she places Emma in her seat and buckles her in the harness. I wait for Samantha to get in the car and then we are on our way.
I listen to the game Samantha and Emma are playing. They call it first letter last letter. The theme was animals.
''Dog,'' Samantha started.
''Giraffe,'' Emma responded.
''That's not fair! I don't know an animal that starts with the letter y!''
''Then you ask for help or you lose this round.'' Samantha says and she nods in my direction.''
''Alex, do you know an animal that starts with y?''
I see the smile on Samantha's face as she already thinks that she has won.
''How about a yak or a yellowhammer?''
''Fuck,'' I hear Samantha mutter under her breath. ''Those are good!''
''You cursed and that means I won!'' Emma yells.
I chuckle when I see the look on Samantha's face and she surrenders. We reach the parking lot of the mall and we all get out. Samantha grabs Emma's hand when a car passes by.
''Do you need something or are you coming with us?''
''Just looking for some shirts and a sweater,'' I answer.
''Can I pick them out?'' Emma looks at me with hopeful eyes.
''How about I will try out two options that you pick out for me?''
Emma looks happy with that as she skips ahead of us.
''Be ready for a lot of pink,'' Samantha says with a smirk.
We get into the mall and Samantha grabs Emma's hand again. The judogi suit is ready to be picked up, but finding a swimsuit is a challenge. There are so many choices, so after a while, I just take a seat and listen to the bickering.
I lose track of time while I play a game on my phone, but suddenly Samantha stands in front of me. She holds up a dark green sweater and two black shirts.
''What do you think?''
''They look nice, but where is your sister now?''
Samantha holds up a timer that is counting down. ''In the play corner, because she was driving me nuts! So will you try them on or are you looking for something else? I think the green one will look great with your eyes!''
''Then I will definitely try on the sweater,'' I say with a grin and I walk into a changing room. I have to give it to her, she has a good eye. The size fits perfectly and the color does look good on me.
I walk out of the changing room and I see the smile on Samantha's face. 'Told you it would look good on you! There is also a red one, not a bright red. Like a wine red, would you try that one on also?''
''Just like your sister, I will give you two options, Jones!''
Samantha bites her bottom lip as she looks at me and eventually she shakes her head. ''The green one is the winner and you always look good in a black shirt, so I will keep my other option for another time!''
''Well played!'' I grin and I walk back into the changing room.
''Alexander?'' I hear Samantha on the other side of the curtain.
''Will you wear the sweater next time we go out?''
I don't know what to say. Was she talking about going on a date with me or did she just want to hang out?
''Did you have anything in mind?''
My voice sounds calm and cool, but my heart is pounding.
''How about something that doesn't include a hyper four-year-old?''
''So, no Tyler?''
I can hear Samantha laugh as I begin to take off the sweater.
''Fine, no Tyler and no Emma. The rest is up to you since you know better what we can do around here.''
''Then I will think of something to do.''
''Good and Alexander?''
I hear the curtain slide and I can't see what is happening, because my head is stuck in the sweater.
''You also should leave the sweater at home,'' I hear Samantha whisper close to my ear. She then presses her lips on mine and this time it is really not a peck on the lips. I hear her moan softly when I pull her closer to me and then the timer starts buzzing.
''Time's up,'' Samantha chuckles and she leaves the changing room before I can get out of the sweater.