Chapter 20: Privacy
"Good," Dell said as I stood. "You remembered my face." She rounded the couches and hugged me and I hugged her extremely tight. "It's good to see you in person versus what I've seen on video." She pulled back and looked at me. "And you're really pretty."
"Me?" I said exasperated. "Look at you! It's good to see you other than an emailed picture."
Dell smiled and then looked back at where Kaleb sat. He was playing ping-pong between me and Dell. Dell looked at me. "So if this isn't Ian, then who is?"
I looked back at Kaleb and bit my lip. Then I looked at Dell. "Well, right now it's kind of complicated."
"I forgot. You do have one of those complicated lifestyles." I rolled my eyes and smiled. "Still. Can you introduce me cause he was never on the web show."
"Oh yeah." I looked at Kaleb and raised my eyebrow. He took the hint and then stood up. "Dell, this is Kaleb Jones. He lives right next to me. Kaleb, this is Dell. I don't think that I've told you about her."
"No," Dell said. "You told Ian. Where is he, by the way?" Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that Kaleb's jaw tightened.
"Yeah. That's true. I said looking over at Kaleb.
Kaleb looked in between us all before he coughed loudly and then turned to face me. "I have to get to bed before no one is able to open the room door for me." I opened my mouth to protest, but the smile that crossed his face made me stop. "You have more things to do than I do, so don't stop me." His smile lingered in my eyes as he turned to Dell and then back to me. "Ladies." And he made his great escape.
I turned around, mouth dangling as I sat down. "So who was he?" Dell asked as she came and sat beside me on the love seat.
I sighed and leaned back on the couch. "A friend."
"A friend?" Dell asked as she leaned back beside me. "Friends don't usually look at friends the way that you both look at one another."
"Ian and I look at each other that way all the time." I said looking over at her.
"Well, that's cause you and Ian are extremely close. I mean, no one knows who this Kaleb guy is."
"That's cause before he moved right next door to me, he and I hated each other." I looked back, forward and smiled. "And he helped me overcome some things that no one else could have."
"Not even Ian?"
"Well the things that he helped me overcome were because of Ian." I shrugged. "I guess that you need a male perspective of a lot of things."
"True." Dell said. We sat in silence for a while, not because we didn't know what to talk about, but we were just enjoying one another's company. This was the first time that we were meeting one another in person and I was sure going to make the best of it because she was the closest thing - other than Liz - that I had to a girl best friend. I felt her head lean down on my shoulder and I looked over at her. "Weirdly, I thought that meeting my idol would have been this big drastic thing, but in reality it's just quiet and simple. Oddly enough, I'm glad it's this way."
I leaned my head down on hers. "Well, two socially awkward people coming together is what this is, so we couldn't expect much now, could we?" I heard her chuckle and then so did I. "Who did you come with?"
"Just my mom. Everyone else was too busy to come meet Web show people." She huffed. "Who did you come with other than Kaleb?"
"A whole entourage." I laughed. "You'll meet them tomorrow. We were all planning on having a day taking a tour of this gigantic hotel. You can come if you like."
"Good." Dell said. "Because my mother has to go to work in the morning and it would be useless if I just stayed in my hotel room by myself. I'd enjoy a little company."
"Good." I said. "And then after that, maybe Ian and I and you can do a little pre web show before the Web-Lee's the next day." Dell leaned her head up off of my shoulder and looked at me. I looked back at her and then I realized what she was about to do. "Here." I leaned over and handed her a pillow. She buried her face in it and began to scream. After about five minutes, she handed the pillow back to me and calmed herself. I smiled. "That big of a deal?"
"You know it."
"Briana!" Crap. Who else could find me? I leaned up and spotted Ian walking my way with some plaid pajama pants on and a white shirt. Once he spotted me, his face untensed and he smiled. "Good. Why the hell weren't you in the room? I waited like twenty minutes after Liz came." Dell and I stood up and then Ian's face calmed. "Who's this?"
"Take a closer look." I said.
Ian raised an eyebrow and then squinched his eyes, so that he could see her clearly. When he actually took in who she was, a smile crossed his lips. "You're Dell, aren't you?"
"And you're Ian."
He smiled. "Well, the one and only." I rolled my eyes.
"Can I ummm," Dell started. Ian raised an eyebrow. "Can I hug you?"
"Well duh." Ian said. "Of course you can hug me." Dell looked back at me before she walked over and gave Ian a hug. Once they separated, Ian looked at me. "So are you coming back to the room? I have our bed all comfy and you're not even there."
Dell laughed. "How cute. You waited up for her."
"Someone has to. I need to know that she didn't get date raped or anything."
"Date raped by who Ian?" I asked crossing my arms.
"A man who's hungry to rape you on a date." I rolled my eyes. "Now," he said. "I'm going back to bed and I'm giving you five minutes." He turned to Dell and smiled. "Nice to meet you Dell. Hope we see you tomorrow."
"Oh you will." I said. Ian smirked and then turned to walk away. I turned to Dell.
"Guess you better head back up to bed, huh?" She asked.
"Yeah," I said. "But hold on." I wiped my phone out and handed it to her. "Put your number in there and I'll text you the room number that I'm in." She pulled her phone out and handed it to me. I swiftly typed my number into her phone, saved it and handed it back to her at the same time she handed me mine. "Good."
I turned to walk away, but she grabbed my arm. "Briana?"
I looked at her. "What's up?"
"Well, since you and Kaleb are just friends, I was wondering if you could y'know introduce him to me."
"Dell I already did."
"Not like that Briana. I meant as like... y'know."
My heart panged when I suddenly noticed what she meant. I bit my lip and nodded. "I'll see what I can do."
I strolled down the hallway with my heels in my hand and my heart in my stomach. The words that Dell had uttered to me had just made me want to die. Still I was wrong for not saying, "Oh well, hey. Me and him are kind of dating now, so no. I won't introduce you. Go find someone else to grind on?" I couldn't. Then she was going to think I was shallow which I might have been.
I sighed and leaned against the door of my room and placed a hand over my face. The door to the side of me opens and that's when Kaleb appeared. "I was just coming here to see if I could talk to you."
"Well, I'm here now." I said standing up straight and staring at him. I smiled my brightest smile and then looked at him. "What's up?"
He leaned against the wall beside me and smiled. His smile was amazing, I had to admit because of the perfect teeth that he had. It was weird. Just a week ago, I said that I hated him and now that I know what I want, it's like I'm seeing all of his amazing qualities; the qualities that I had overlooked before.
"I was just coming to give you a proposition."
"Oh really?" I asked. I was beginning to get a bit skeptical. "What kind of proposition?"
"Well," he started rubbing his hands together and then he looked away from me. "There's one thing that I've picked up about you and it's the fact that you don't know how to make up your mind." I raised an eyebrow. Where was he getting at? "Which is why, we're going to make us private."
"Private?" I choked out.
"Now I know what you're thinking," he said walking over toward me and placing his hands on my arms. "But don't think that I don't want to make whatever we are public. It's just about you. You might turn around the next day and figure out that you don't want me."
"Kaleb. I won't..." I started to say until he eyed me.
"Briana, sometimes you don't even wanna know what's going on in your head." I rolled my eyes and he just smiled. "But seriously. It might be a good idea."
"Not so much." I mumbled.
"Why not?" He asked.
"Well, Dell has caught an interest in you. Awkwardly."
"Awkwardly? Am I not likable?" He asked in his sarcastic tone.
"Well, I like you. Isn't that all that matters?"
He smiled and pulled me closer to him. "That's all that I'm interested in."
Before he was about to kiss me, I blurted out: "So if it's private, does that mean I can't tell Ian?" Kaleb looked at me and then took a step back away from me. "I mean I tell him everything. You know that."
"Yeah, but I didn't think that we would have to tell him this since it's between just you and I." I sighed and looked down. "I mean, if you want to, be my guest. I just don't want this to all blow up in your face."
I bit my lip as he paced away from me and walked back into his room. I turned, stuck my card into the door slot and then walked into the dark room that beheld me. I walked into the bathroom, stripped from my dress, wiped all the makeup off of my face, placed my hair into a ponytail and then walked out of the bathroom. I stumbled my way over to my suitcase and then used my phone light to pick out some jammies. Once I placed them on, I slid right into bed beside Ian.
Feeling my weight rise the bed, he turned over. "Took you long enough."
"Well." I said snuggling under my pillow. "Kaleb met me outside my room."
"Oh." Ian said in a surprised voice. "Is everything between you and him worked out?"
I bit my lip. "Yeah." I turned from facing Ian. "Everything is back to normal."
I heard Ian huff out a sigh. "Good." He turned in the opposite way. "Night love."
"Night Ian." I said. I clenched my eyes closed. I was going to have to figure out how to lie to my best friend from now on.
Purple: I know. I bet you guys were waiting for her to admit those feelings. I know! I tell my mom that every year. "Mom, do you know my birthday is on Canada Day?" And then she goes, "What's that? You tell me every year."
Alice X: Thanks so much. Was it really great?
Maureen: Oh. She said that cause she's so used to seeing Ian and Briana together and she didn't know who Kaleb was. Thank you. I am 16 now. Yes. Still so young. My sister had a little boy and his name is Kylan Jay Berry. I know. It's just like scary and stuff to like move. It will be hard to make new friends and get used to the environment. I was going to volunteer at a Children's Hospital next year. Where is the Children's Hospital that you're volunteering at located? I love kids too. They just don't love me back. I think you will have enough courage to write a story on this website and I'll be the first one to comment to tell you how amazing your story is. Thanks so much Maureen. You're so amazingly sweet.
A: I'm one of your favorite authors? That just made my whole entire life. Okay. I love you.
Suja V: Happy late birthday to you!! I celebrated my birthday by having a surprise birthday party. My sister and cousin and I were supposed to go to dinner and then she picked me up, took me to my aunt's house to get my sister and then when I walk into the house its like "Surpriseee." All in my face. I literally cried. How did you celebrate yours? I don't like rich snotty girls either. And I'm glad you liked the new characters. I think that we needed a new twist on things to make the story more interesting. And I had to make the chapter longer for you guys.
Taylorswift: Aw. Thank you! I love Kaleb too.