For a moment there's nothing but silence and I'm just beginning to wonder if anyone is actually on the other end of the line when a quiet, vaguely familiar voice says, "Brookie?"
"Yes." I say, fidgeting slightly as mom stares at me. "Who is this?"
"Oh, hi. How did you get my phone number?"
There's a quiet laugh. "You left your phone in Jeremy's room."
"Oh." How did I not realize that I was missing my phone? I turn my back to mom, wishing she would just walk away. "Um, are you working tonight?"
"No, but Jeremy is."
Jeremy... The name brings back last night and the almost kiss. Marlie was wrong. He clearly doesn't like me, or he would have kissed me. I push the thoughts aside and ask, "Can you have him bring it with him?"
There's muffled talking and it sounds like Cameron must have covered his phone with his hand. "He says he can."
A long, awkward silence settles over us before Cameron says, sounding rushed, "We're going disking tomorrow, do you want to join us?" Muffled, he says, "Ouch." And I'm wondering what happened. I can hear other voices faintly, and then, again, sounding muffled, Cameron adds, "Shut up."
"What's disking?" I decide to ignore whatever is happening on his end of the phone.
"It's fun." He tells me. "Ask Jeremy about it tonight. Gotta go. Bye." I hear the click as he hangs up and then the dead signal on the phone, saying the call is over. I slowly hang up, thinking that was without a doubt the oddest conversation I've ever held.
"So, darling, who was that?" Of course, she's smiling sweetly, like she wasn't trying to listen in.
"A friend from work."
"What's he bringing to you?"
"Nothing. I need to get ready for work." I brush past her, and I'm surprised, but thankful, when she doesn't press me for answers. I've never been good with lying off the top of my head.
I'm exhausted by the time I get to work, with the party last night and going to bed late, and not having time to nap because I went out to hang out with Chris, then having the phone call, I haven't had any time to just rest. I know I look as tired as I feel. I didn't spend any time with my hair. It's thrown up into a messy bun on the top of my head, and my makeup is minimal, barely covering the bags under my eyes.
I stifle a yawn as I work methodically. I try to stay on top of things, so my tips won't lessen due to my being so tired. It's my own fault for partying when I knew I had to work the next day. I haven't decided if it's a blessing or a curse, but the restaurant is pretty much dead tonight. There's the occasional couples and families, but there's no huge rush. It's nice, because there's less to do, but it sucks because I don't get to keep busy and I feel like I'm nodding off waiting around for customers to come in.
"Five minutes until rush hour." Beside me, Carla seems to be in a better mood than ever. I can't imagine why. She's actually talking to me, which is strange.
"If we even have a rush hour today. This place is dead." I mumble through another yawn.
"Did you even sleep last night?" She asks.
I laugh slightly. "A bit." I prop my elbows up on the bar and lay my head in my hands, thinking maybe resting my eyes for a minute before someone else comes in will help. The entry door creaks open and we both turn to see who it is. Jeremy strolls in, his hat turned sideways a bit and a pen tucked under his right ear. Before I can even begin to wonder if things will be awkward since last night, he pulls me in for a hug. For a split second I freeze, we've never really hugged before, but I decide to go with it and I hug him back. His embrace is perfect, tight, and comfortable, and it just feels safe. He let go and takes a step back, reaching into his pocket. He pulls my phone out and slides it into my hand.
"I'm sorry about last night. I charged your phone for you, it was almost dead, hope you don't mind." And then he heads to the kitchen, leaving Carla gaping at me, and me wondering what just happened.
"Did cute new boy just apologize to you?" She's staring at me like I have two heads.
All thoughts of sleep have been wiped from my mind. I'm completely awake now. He hugged me... and apologized? I nod slowly, remembering that Carla had asked me a question. "Yeah, I think he did."
"For what?" She presses for answers, leaning closer to me.
For not kissing me? I don't answer her. Instead I run through last night in my mind wondering what he apologized for. Nothing comes to mind. We argued, because he didn't kiss me, but we slept just fine and nothing else happened. Was he really apologizing for not kissing me? My mind is running a mile, a minute and suddenly Carla is snapping her fingers in front of my face.
"Earth to Brookie. You've got a table to wait on."
The restaurant is slow through the rest of the night, but its a few minutes to close before I see Jeremy again. After cleaning up most of the kitchen, Jeremy and the other kitchen-boy, Cory, came out to the dining room area. Cory immediately flocked to Carla's side, continuing his now month-long quest to get her to go on a date with him. Jeremy leaned against the counter beside me and rolled his eyes at the other boy. "It's a pointless cause. There's no way Carla will ever accept."
I laugh and nod my head, knowing that he's right. "Poor Cory."
"Poor Carla. Cory's not ever going to stop pestering her."
"He needs to learn how to take no for an answer."
For a minute we stand in silence. I chew on my bottom lip as I try to think of something to say. "Thanks for bringing my phone. And for charging it." I say. I can't remember if I thanked him earlier. I must sound stupid. I mentally face-palm myself as he just nods. "So, what exactly is that disking thing that Cameron talked about?"
"It's like this ultimate Frisbee game thing. I can't explain it. It's stupid. He was just being stupid. You don't have to go." He shrugs a bit, and his tone makes him seem nervous. He rubs the back of his neck with his right hand before shoving both hands deep into his pockets. "I mean, unless you want too."
I smile. "Do you think its fun?"
He tilts his head and shrugs again. "Kind of, sometimes it's not bad."
I roll my eyes and chuckle slightly. "That's not a straight answer. Do you have fun playing this disking thing?"
"It's disc golf." He corrects me with a sheepish grin, and then nods his head. "And yes, I might happen to enjoy it."
I smile back. "Then I'd love to go. Who knows? Maybe I might kind of, sometimes think it's not that bad." His own smile grows and I feel like I'm glowing. He's smiling at me! "So, who is going to be there?"
He takes a breath and puff his cheeks out slightly as he thinks, and I smile at the adorableness of that face. "Russell, Joe, Cam, Adam, Jack, and Derek. Russell might invite this chick he met."
"What about Marlie and Alyssa?" I ask. "Aren't they staying for like a week?"
"Marlie's going to be meeting up with her friend, Molly." He makes a face at the name. "And Alyssa's hanging out with some old friends too."
"What's wrong with Molly?" I ask, and as the word slips out of my mouth, he makes another face.
"You dated one of Marlie's friends?" I raise my eyebrow slightly, wondering how that relationship played out.
He shakes his head. "She and Marlie weren't friends before we dated."
"But they're still friends even now?"
He shrugs. "Molly has a way of winning people over, and then screwing them over. Marlie just doesn't seem it yet."
I purse my lips, wondering what exactly he means by it. From what he's saying, I'm starting to think that whatever went sour in that relationship wasn't because of him. I decide I don't like this Molly girl. "So, it'll just be you, me, the other guys, and possibly another girl?" Changing the subject seems like the best way out, and he seems to grab onto my new topic gratefully.
"Yes. Chances are that girl won't make it, so you'll just be stuck with us guys."
"Sounds fun." I can't keep the sarcasm from my voice and he chuckles.
"I'm probably going to absolutely suck at this game." I tell him. "Fair warning in case I hit you in the head with one of those Frisbee-disc things."
He laughs. "Don't worry. You'll be fine. I'll show you."
Carla saunters over, plastering on a sweet smile for Jeremy. "Is the kitchen done? We're officially closed for the night now."
He barely glances at her as he says, "Just a few more dishes to wash." And turns to leave. Carla stares at me for a minute, like she can't understand why he would talk to me and not her. I feel my self-esteem drain from me as I realize I understand exactly why she's thinking that.
"Well? Are you just going to stand there?" She finally snaps. "You have tables to wipe down." She pushes the rag she's holding into my hands and storms off to the office area.
When we've finally finished cleaning up, I slip my jacket on and head out to the car. I fiddle with my keys, trying to stick my car key into the lock, wishing I just had an unlock button, when someone calls out my name. I glance up to see Jeremy jogging over. "Can I get a ride home? Cam was supposed to pick me up, but he's probably sitting at my house, high or something."
I finally get the key into the lock and nod my head, pulling my door open so I can flick the switch to get the other doors unlocked. "Sure." I say. He hops in and instantly fiddles with both the heat and radio controls.
"Tonight was slow." He finally says, after settling on a station.
"Yeah. It was."
He starts telling me a story about Cam in the kitchen one night and by the time we pull into his driveway, I'm trying to keep from peeing myself from laughing so hard. He hesitates with the door handle and finally glances over at me. "Do you wanna stay over tonight?"
Everybody: First off, I'm sorry this chapter is a bit small too, but it's short for two reasons: 1) You all have waited so patiently while I was away and I love you all for that and 2) It seemed the best place to end the chapter... And, about the cliffhanger.. Sorry not sorry!
Thank you all for reading! Thanks SO much for the commenting!
And huge thanks and hugs to ZELIA for emailing me! She made my entire week! I can't even explain how exciting that was Zelia, thank you ever so much! I love you!
Bookluver78: I'm so glad that this came out in time for you to have something to read! That makes me so happy!! And I'm so glad that you love Chris' character! He's loosely based off my brothers and my guy friends! Right? His mom is such a snob! But it is what it is! I LOVE that you love when I update! And I love your comments!! You make me so happy! I will post a picture of Jeremy's brothers as soon as I find a good character picture for them! I'm keeping my eyes open! And I'll even make a separate post with the brothers if I can find a good picture for one of them before the next update is ready!
Zelia: They are indeed! Especially when you have to be the one driving! Lucky you! Brothers are crazy! But I do love them! I'm so glad you enjoyed the chapter!! I'm even happier that you like that I comment back! I've had people who said it's annoying, but I can't help it! I love to let you guys know how much I appreciate your support! I can't even explain how much it means to me that you enjoy what I write! It just makes my heart burst! I'm glad you liked having the chapter just being about her and Chris - I had thought about adding more, but it just seemed so right to have one about her and Chris and them re-bonding after being apart - it just felt like it needed a chapter of its own, because siblings really are so important - and Chris is such an important person in Brookie's life, you know? Haha-oh wow, look at me carrying on as if they're real.. I guess in my mind they are! I do like the idea of a post with the character pictures! I'll have to work on that! For now, here's another picture of just Brookie!
Thanks so much for commenting! And thanks for emailing me! You made my week!!