Searching For You

“I’ve been wondering lately, what is this all for? The world has been like this for far too long ever to be what it was again. Irreversible change at its best.”

Fifteen days have passed since I got separated from the group. I’ve been marking my sneaker with a pen I found at the abandoned school with Rusty. I can’t tell if it’s helping me or showing me how hopeless everything is. Someone has been watching me. Of course, I’m being followed. It was only a matter of time. Alone, I’m a sitting duck, a target. Sometimes when I listen closely, I hear someone’s breathing or their footsteps. I don’t plan on looking that closely into it. My only plan is to keep moving. I’ll find the rest and then whoever’s following me will see that they are outnumbered.
In truth, I don’t know how much longer I can stay in the city if I don’t find them. This place is overrun with the dead. I miss having someone to talk to. I will find them. I have to find them.
I’ve been thinking a lot about destiny—is it a real thing? Was this once great city suppose to fall? My parents were ripped from me and my brother by those horrible things…my brother. He had to have made it out of the building. I hope he’s with Rusty. Rusty will look after him. I’ll find them.

The sound of shattering glass fills the alleyway behind me. Panic rises in my chest. “Don’t look back,” I whisper to myself. A quick scan in the near distance tells me there are two possible hideouts up ahead. The problem with entering a new space is that you never know what’s already found it. Any wrong turn could be my last.

A woman’s distant scream causes all my muscles to tighten. I look behind me. The dead smell me. There’s six maybe seven. “I gotta make myself scarce.” My steps turn to a run. I tighten my grasp around my bag strap. I run up to the closest door. A bubble of fear swells inside my stomach. I swipe the glass bottle by the door and force myself into the building. The door shuts behind me. Stale, putrid air smacks me in the face. I throw the bottle away from me. Glass shatters. I wait. “Where the hell is my flashlight?”
A sharp blade presses into my neck. An arm wraps around my waist. “Don’t scream they’ll hear us,” a whispered male voice breathes in my ear.

“I’m not planning on hurting you.” His voice is hoarse and rushed—close to impossible to judge the sincerity of his words. I stood there not saying a thing, trying to figure out what my next move should be. Fighting him off of me was an option. What were my others? I’m not ready to die yet. I have to find my brother and Rusty.

“Are you planning on hurting me?” His quiet voice swirls in my ear. My heart pounds in my chest.

I shook my head. “Not if I don’t have to.” My voice comes out low and steady. I need to have my flashlight hooked to my jeans or something. This is ridiculous. Stupidity and carelessness is what kills people these days—I suppose not just in “these days” but it’s a lot more common of reason. We have to always be careful. Mistakes are costly.

“Are you alone?” The male’s voice asks. I’m noticing now that he sounds just about as uneasy as I feel.

I don’t know how to move. What’s the right answer here? I’m not sure.

“I’m making my way back to my group. It’s a small group, but we are good people. We aren’t set up too far from here.” He continues to make my next playable card unclear.

“Let me go and we both continue our ways then.” This will have to do. I close my eyes for a second (possibly less than) and push stale air out from my lungs.

The knife leaves my neck, so has the arm. He has let me go.

“I’m one of the good ones. Come with me if you’d like. Hunters aren’t far from here based on the screams I was hearing. I’m going to move on.” Now that his hands were off of me, I was able to sense kindness in him. I was tired of being alone. Was it worth the risk? I turn to face him. The building was almost pitch-black. I couldn’t only make out the outline of his face.

A raspy breathing broke up my curiosity in the stranger. Gunshots fire not too far from where we’re standing. I reach for the knife on my belt. Footsteps clamor outside the doorway I had just come in.

“Were you being followed?” He whispers.

“I’m pretty sure.” I whisper back, feeling altogether uneasy.

He grabs my hand. “Come with me. I think I know a way out. You can decide later if you want to try and kill me.”

Friends In The Park

“I’d like to think so,” I said, my voice trailing off. My mind went back to Jared. On the way to the warehouse, I was thinking how good things had gotten between us and I didn’t even have a clue about how bad they were.
“I can tell she thinks the world of you; that’s special. People like that don’t grow on trees,” Benny said, his voice was a strange mix of distance and warmth.
“That’s the truth,” I nodded.
We followed the path to the right of our apartment building. The air was bitter. I slid my hands into my pockets. Benny noticed this, “Are you cold?” He asked.
I honestly couldn’t help but to smile a little. “A little, but I’m fine.”
“My uncle is a real mean guy, always has been. I think being mean comes from somewhere deep enough that it is close impossible to extract once inside. My mom, before she died was so upset when her sister, my aunt, married this guy. He treats her like shit. It makes her sad, but she doesn’t do anything, she just takes it. My uncle tried that shit with me a little after I moved in with them. I beat him down, and he leaves me alone. He’s easier on my aunt when I’m around. I worry about her once I’m gone. But, I have to leave. There isn’t a place for me here; I know it’s somewhere else.”
“Why are telling me this?” I asked.
“Because, you will get treated badly if you allow it,” Benny said, keeping his voice kind. We both let his words hang in the air between us.
“I will admit to ignoring stuff but I found out about a lot I didn’t know tonight, “ I said. It felt good to hear my own words acknowledged it out loud. “I hear you about the needing to leave. I realized I needed to be away from my family to be healthy and find a place I belonged.”
“What are you doing about it?” He asked. Benny was now walking closer to me than he was.

Together We Can

We grabbed each others hand. My heart was pounding in my chest. The wind was moving faster on the cliffs. Our brown and strawberry blonde hair danced together in circles as water smacked against the rocks, way too many feet below us.
“Are you ready?” Stevie asked. Her green eyes sparkled. She was so excited looked wild.
“My nerves are very present,” I said. Straight down was cold, rather fast moving water. I was a strong swimmer; it was the jumping for twenty feet first I was nervous about it. “….But a list is a list.”
“It is on the list!” She squealed. “Let’s count.”
“Let’s jump on ten.”
“Ten? No way! How about three?”
“Five,” I said, my voiced wavered, “That is as low as I’ m going.”
“Fine, but we jump on five.”
“Deal!”
Stevie’s hand tightened around mine. “One. Two,” we began in unison, “Three. Four.” This time, it was my hand that was getting a tighter grasp.
“Five!” We yelled as we ran and jumped off the side of the cliff. Cold air pulled at our skin. I felt so incredibly alive, and every part of me was scared. We fell toward the unknown water. I let go of Stevie’s hand and pulled in a really deep, last-minute breath. Freezing cold water caught us, swallowing us whole. A cold shock slammed through my body. I hustled up to the surface. My heart was racing as I pushed my head out. Fresh air stung my lungs. I cast my eyes, waiting for Stevie. We hit the water at the same time. It only takes a second for worry to find a place at the center of my mind. She’s a major part of my world.
Of course, Stevie popped up, her strawberry blond hair stuck flat to her back. Her eyes were glowing with excitement. I never needed to ask Stevie how she was feeling. Her eyes always said it all. “We rocked that!” She yelled.
“Yes, we did!” I yelled back. “I’m freezing! Let’s swim back.”
“Let’s party!” She squealed. Stevie broke out in a breast stroke. I followed. Giant evergreen trees and colorful cliffs hugged The Sound. Freezing cold, salty smelling water started to overwhelm me. Patches of brown stood among the outline of dark greens. Like every other time we completed something off of our crazy list, I felt accomplished. I felt brave.

a conversation between them

I walked through the front door feeling deflated—not an uncommon feeling for me to have after hanging out with Jared. A clue I suppose that we weren’t the greatest match.  My dad sat at our small round kitchen table. His graying brown hair looked whiter under the bright light. He sat, hunched over a magazine; his forehead was resting in his hand.

“Hey dad,” I said. There was something about walking through the door that highlighted the weight or everything I experienced out in the world.

“Hey kid,” my dad said this without taking his eyes off the table, “I found the gold and bronze Hammer Bot this morning at the thrift shop by the park. It looks like….” He ran his finger along the glossy paper.

I shut and locked the door behind me.

“Yep, I just need two more Fight Space Bots, and my collection is complete,” he said sitting back in his chair. My dad finally gave me a good look. Her brows furrowed. “What’s up kid?”

“Long day,” I said walking over to the refrigerator.

“How was mom?” He studied me carefully.

“She was mom,” I grabbed the glass bottle of Happy Farms chocolate milk, popped the cap, and took a swig.

“Get a cup, would you?” His giant eyebrows pointed down in frustration.

“I just wanted a sip.” I close the bottle and put it back in the fridge.  “Did the mail  come?”

“Yep,” he looked at me above the rim of his gold framed rectangle glasses, “nothing yet.”

I groaned.

“Patience,” my dad said as he brought his attention back to the catalog.

“Is that new?” I glanced over my dad’s shoulder to see a very thick book, with glossy pages and pictures of accent-looking toys.

“Oh, this one? No, this is a special edition that comes out annually,” my dad said with a distance in his voice the signified he was ready for a quiet room again. He spent all of his free time, thinking about toys, reading about the, looking up and organizing the ones he had. My dad would travel all over to go to different toy shows. This hobby or his was around before me. His obsession only seemed to grow more intense over time. Anytime he would buy me a toy as a child; he’d buy two and keep one in the box just incase it ever became valuable. The daydreaming of possible collections was his escape. As mom got sicker, he became more obsessed with collection toys. Listening to my dad talk about his finds, was one of the only times he seemed happy and at peace. It was hard it ignore the gapping hole my mother caused to form in him. In a lot of ways she was this awful elephant in the room, something large in our away.

My dad started to highlight lines of numbers under a picture of a blue and teal, tin toy robot. I took a note of his retreat. “Gonna hit the sack,” I said walking toward the closest size hall behind the living room. “Good night.”

“Nite,” my dad said, now completely distracted.

A Meeting In The Dark

Julian and I step onto the small deck in the backyard and wait for Brody to phase through the locked door. The night is damp and cool. It’s not actively raining, but judging by the moistness of the ground, it was not too long ago. The postage stamp property backs into a large alley where people leave their garbage to be picked up.
Julian’s gelled, black hair and overworked muscles disgust me. It all comes across as greasy. He has moments when I’m okay he’s around, but they’re rare. I don’t know how Brody lives with him. His beady, brown eyes watch the door. Not all powerhouses are built like Julian. His super strength has little to do with his muscles. He works on his body for the same reason I chain-smoke—a method of coping. We all have at least one. His other method of coping might be buying black T-shirts.
My arms are intertwined and locked. Brody materializes slowly as he steps through the door. Being able to phase through solid objects certainly makes it easier to rob houses. Locks mean very little to people like me and Brody.
“Madison took off,” Brody whispers. “We’re next.” Brody casts a quick glance around us. He shrugs and pulls open the back of Julian’s black van. A television, two laptops, an iPod, a stereo system, and the jewelry safe Brody found sit at my feet. Madison already pocketed the cash. This isn’t the worst haul we’ve ever had by a long shot. I don’t know what Madison was pissed about.
Julian scoops up the television set and struts to the back of the van. My thoughts tangle around the two laptops. A coolness flows through my body. My mind eases the laptops off the deck and glides them through the air. Julian steps to the side allowing the computers to sail into the van undisturbed. My thoughts come back to me.
There. I did my part.
Brody pockets the iPod. I smile. He sees this and smiles back. The van doors slam close.
“Ready?” Julian asks Brody.
Brody looks at me. “Are you good?”
“Yeah. I’m fine, Brody. I’ll meet you back at your house.” Brody steps forward to kiss me. He quickly stops, nods, then turns toward the van. I don’t know if Julian noticed anything. He either knows and pretends he doesn’t—which is likeliest—or he is completely oblivious. Julian isn’t the sharpest tool, but he does live with Brody.
My stomach twists. The alley fills with harsh growling from the van’s exhaust system. Brody climbs inside and slams the door. The van speeds off toward the street. Julian could use his brain and not make so much noise. Madison would burn a hole through his arm if she saw him acting that careless. I’ve seen her kill crew members for much less.
The van disappears in the distance. A rustle pulls my attention to a garage door. A young guy with wide eyes stands there holding plastic bags filled with newspapers. Brown curls stick out from his plaid fedora. A nervous smile settles between his two dimples. From his Converse sneakers to his skinny jeans to his tight T-shirt, he looks like something out of a Seattle-based sitcom. What did he see? How long was he there? Shit. Being sloppy like this is gonna get me killed.
I ready my hands in front of me. The guy sees this. He takes a step back. Judging by the fearful expression on his face, he was there long enough to see me use my powers. Shit. This means he also saw us robbing the house. He’s got to go. I straighten my fingers as I wrap him in my thoughts. My mind tightens around his throat. Our eyes lock. His are bright blue.
“Wrong place, wrong time,” I say without much thought. My grasp tightens. A gasp escapes from between his thin lips. Static hums in my ears. What’s that about? Trying to shake it off, I focus on my attack. I need to wrap this up. If I take too long to get back to the house, Madison will be suspicious.
His face turns red. A cry breaks through me. Powers. She has powers. That isn’t me. My heart beats faster. The wideness of his eyes suggests that he’s scared, but I can feel something more there. Feel? I don’t want to die. Am I hearing him? Feeling what he feels? My stomach knots up. I let go. My thoughts come back to me. We stand there, staring at each other.
“Were you talking to me?” I ask. My voice cracks as the words come out.
“I couldn’t talk.” His voice is hoarse. “You were choking me . . . from over there.” Our eyes stayed locked.
“I heard you saying something.” I shake my head. When my thoughts latched onto him, something happened. I could hear his thoughts and feel his fear. Nothing like that has ever happened before.
“Don’t kill me. I won’t tell anyone. I didn’t see a thing.” The guy’s voice is slightly less hoarse now. He puts his hands out, surrendering.
The ache in my stomach is forming an army. Madison can’t find out someone saw us—and that I let them live. I ready my hands again. My thoughts twist around him, beginning at his feet. His eyes widen. Can he feel me?
Static fills my head. I really won’t tell anyone. I’m not ready to die. Don’t kill me.
Guilt and dread wash over me. My mind lets go. My hands drop to my sides. “We never met. Forget tonight,” I whisper.
I run down the alleyway in the opposite direction that Julian and Brody went just moments ago. Not even ten minutes ago, my life was a lot less complicated than it is now, which is really saying something because everything was pretty damn complicated already. Silence swells in the spaces behind me. I really, really hope this doesn’t blow up in my face.
What was that? I could feel him and hear his thoughts. Is my power growing? Does he have some kind of ability that can tamper with mine? What if he follows me?
I need to make up for a few minutes. The rooftops should do the trick. They’ll be faster, too. I jump onto a closed dumpster, reach for a rusted ladder, and yank on it. Nothing happens. It’s stuck. I think one person seeing me use my talent is enough for the night. I grab the ladder again. This time, I suck in a deep breath and pull myself up.

***This is an excerpt from The Highly Capable 

The Highly Capable Release Day Is Here!

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Release Day Blitz

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The Highly Capable 

by Jayme Beddingfield

The Highly Capable Front Cover

Book Info

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Published by:  Booktrope Publishing

Expected Publication Date: November 13, 2015

Cover Design by: Greg Simanson

Blurb

What would you do if you could control objects with your mind?

Would you be able to choose between right and wrong?

Eighteen-year-old Ruby Dawson was born with the powers to move things with her mind. She thought she was the only one of her kind until she met Tristan-a self-destructive drug addict and a crew of super-powered thieves. Working in the shadows, the crew follows their fire conjuring leader, Madison, as they descend further and further into the world of organized crime. Ruby finds herself in a whirlwind of wrong decisions, lies, murder, and realizations she isn’t ready to face. As Ruby watches Tristan disappear further into his drug addiction and her team fight for more money and territory, she struggles with who she has become.

Can Ruby walk away from the closest thing she has to a family and be the hero she is actually meant to be?

The Highly Capable- Volume One of the Ruby Dawson Saga, an urban fantasy, is a tormenting and emotional tale of self-discovery.

About the Author

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Jayme Beddingfield has been crafting stories since her third-grade assignment to write her own fairy tale. She has been writing professionally for five years. Originally from Northern New Jersey she now lives in Seattle, the city of her dreams. She lives with her husband, two children, and a slew of adopted pets. jaymethescribbler.com

Follow me on Twitter Jayme Beddingfield @mebeddingfield
Find me on Facebook Jayme Beddingfield

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The Highly Capable

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Excerpt

LIFE MASTERS THE ELEMENT of surprise. Everything goes on just the way it always does until something unexpected turns the world on its head. Change isn’t something to plan for; it is an event to embrace when it presents itself, because it always will. I walk quiet and slow down an unfamiliar hallway with a sour feeling in my stomach. Something just isn’t right tonight.

“Ruby, let’s check in here. It looks like the master bedroom,” Brody whispers as he ducks into a room at the end of the long, dark hallway.

“It’s crazy how some people carry on such lavish existences,” I whisper back. My toes will touch his heels if I’m not careful. Getting through this night quickly is best. This house is enormous and decorated to the nines—probably like most houses on top of Queen Anne.

Tonight has a strange odor. I couldn’t smell it while I was eating my cheeseburger on the boat, and I couldn’t smell it when my phone rang—but I smelled it the second Tristan and Tolkien didn’t show up. Now that Madison, Julian, Brody, and I are rummaging around in an empty house, I can’t escape the weight of it.

We shouldn’t run jobs without the whole group. All our talents play important parts. I don’t like that Tristan and Tolkien aren’t here. Our current tasks have the advantage, over us—not something I’m used to feeling. The others probably got high and forgot we were meeting here instead of at Brody and Julian’s. I almost forgot, too. Madison changes protocol on us daily.

I’m usually pretty confident when we’re robbing houses. Being telekinetic takes a lot of hassle out of theft—that’s why we’re here. Our abilities make it easy. However, tonight, I don’t feel confident. The smell of something not quite right is now in my bones.

It’s hard to pinpoint what the cause is just yet.

Puzzle Pieces On A Path Lined With Unguided Ideas

After winning three games, Benny and I handed the red cups and ping-pong balls over to others waiting. Kyle and Matty were sufficiently drunk, so they also handed it off to someone else. The four of us were standing out on the small back deck of Pike’s house, all feeling overheated. The usual crowd seemed to have thinned out, but everyone that was still there was rowdy, making the room still seem packed. The closer to graduation we all got, the crazy the parties got. I wasn’t alone with my future anxiety. I was in a sea of similar sailors.
“Is that a park?” Kyle asked Matty.
“Is what a park?” Matty puffed on the joint he has just lit up.
“That,” Kyle pointed at a large patch grass on the other side of a small line of juvenile maple apple trees.
“Yes,” I said. “That’s Sherry Park; it touches the street my apartment building is on,” I looked at Benny, who nodded, “and Stevie’s backyard, and the library.”
“So you can walk through the park to the library?” Benny asked me.
“Yep. It’s awesome,” I smiled to myself before I put my head in my hands. The last round was one whole round too much. I wasn’t feeling well, but I was also not obsessing about everything I don’t control.
“Do you feel all right?” Benny asked. He had been standing too close to me, smelling too good since we got outside. I can’t help but look at him and feel like I’m being tested in some way.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine,” I said taking a push from the joint Matty just had handed me. My head spun, and my mother’s voice crept into my head.
“Where did you move from?” I asked Benny as I looked up at the sky. The stars were visible.
“Another apartment,” he shrugged. “My Uncle and Aunt aren’t the best at keeping their jobs.”
“We all have our strengths,” I shrugged.
“We are gonna find Jen and Julia,” Kyle said.
“I don’t know why you’d want to do that,” I said keeping my eyes on the starless sky, imaging I could see them. I traced my finger on the railing. I slowly wrote the invisible words; nothing is forever.
“Have you lived in that unit long?” Benny asked not acknowledging the guys walking off.
“Too long,” I said now looking at Benny, who was looking at me, “This isn’t going to be a party hook-up. I have a boyfriend, and you live across from me, which would add an award layer on everything, which isn’t something I need in my life.”
“I was just making conversation…ya know, being neighborly.” He shrugged. “We seem to be hanging out tonight.”
“Yeah, we do. Sorry, that was bitchy. I’m thinking about it too much.”
“A little,” he laughed. “And, yeah I get that. It seems to be in the air right now.”
“It, sure does.” I pushed off the rail. “I’m gonna go inside. I haven’t seen my better half in awhile. I want to check in. It feels like it’s late.”
“Your boyfriend?”
“No. He’s not here. I meant Stevie.”
He smiled, “Yeah, ya know come to think of it most times I remember seeing you, you’re with her.”
“All the times you remembered seeing me? Are you trying to hook up with me again?”
He shook his head, “I don’t know about you.”
“I don’t know about me either.” We both started walking to the back door.
He laughed as he open the gate for me. Now, I attempted to cool walk past him, looking un-phased by him but instead I tripped over his foot. All the beer wasn’t helping me look cool and collected. We were both laughing as I tripped over his foot and toppled over him I the doorway. He held out his hand, and I grabbed onto it. As he helped me stand up, that’s when I saw Jared wearing his designer jeans, standing there frowning at me.
“You came,” I said not sounding excited even though I would have been, probably, under normal circumstances.
“Not sure why,” Jared said crossing his arms.
I looked at Benny and then back at Jared.
“This looks like something it’s not,” Benny said.
Jared’s glared at him, “I’m not talking to you, don’t speak to me.” Then he looked back at me, “I’ve been trying to get ahold of you for hours.”
“I left my phone at home.”
“You send that ridicules text message and then allow no way for me to contact you. God, Samantha. I just don’t get the shit you pull. Now you’re drunk and flirty with some random guy,” Jared’s tone was sharp.
Tears from both hurt feelings and embarrassment stung the edge of my eyes. I glanced at Benny, who was taking in all of this. Then I focused back on Jared, keeping my voice soft; I said, “Can we go somewhere else and talk about this?”
“No, I came her to…I do not know because you asked me to, and I’m really sorry I did. Let’s talk after I’m not mad,” Jared’s eyes got so dark when he got angry. It made to feel impossible to reach him when he was mad. I hated it. Jared turned his back to me and started to walked away.
“Jared, wait.”
“No,” he shook his head, not turning around.” I stood there, not sure what to do. Benny looked at me with apologetic eyes, like he was staying there a part of that somehow. I shrugged and went after Jared. I reached and grabbed his arm as he was walking through the front door.
“Jared. Pl…just wait for me,” I said making eye contact with him. “That was innocent,” I said motioning my head at the back door.
Jared pushed out a sigh and stepped onto the front porch. I followed, closing the door behind me.
“That didn’t look innocent,” Jared said. He crossed his arms standing with space between us.
“Well, it was.” I want to reach out to him, but I know we weren’t doing that at the moment. He wasn’t pleased..again.
“It makes me crazy when you ditch your phone,” he wasn’t standing any closer.
“I’m sorry.”
“This isn’t what I like to do,” Jared gestured at the house behind me, “I’m not a big partier, I wish that was the case with you, but it isn’t. Maybe we are, just too different,” Jared crossed his arms in a way that If let the wall he was building between us.
“Don’t say that.”
“It’s the truth,” He held his hands up for a moment, then let them drop to his sides, “I’m gonna take off.” He flattened his lips in a straight line.
“I’ll come with you.” I felt pathetic.
“I’ll call you tomorrow, Samantha,” Jared waved, turn around, and walked to his car. I wasn’t going to say anything more or go after him again. I sat down on the front porch steps. The cold rain water soaked in my pants bring a welcomed distraction. The rain drops started to soak through my button-down shirt. But, I stayed there and watched him as he got into his car and drove away, and for a while after he left. Going inside wasn’t something I was ready to do. I was embarrassed and drunk—and not in the fun, good way. My stomach was queasy, and my head hurt. I was aware that I wasn’t thinking clearly, but I was still, not thinking clearly.
The front door open and closed. Based on the fact that I didn’t hear any footsteps, I knew it was Stevie before she said anything to me. She could quite possibly be the softest footed person ever. “Hey, I’ve been looking for you,” Stevie said.
“Me? Where have you been all night?” I asked.
Stevie took off her hoodie, laid it down on the air next to me, and sat down on top of it. “Pike and I have been trying to hash some stuff out.”
“Change is in the air, “ I said, then sighed. The drunk feeling was starting to turn to just being tired.
“You could say that the extreme distance that will be between us is starting to get hard to ignore.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean.” I stared at the empty spot where Jared’s car just was.
“Your new neighbor said you were out here fighting with your boyfriend.”
I sighed, “Great.”
Stevie continued, “I was thinking he was mistaking your boyfriend from someone else, but when Benny mentioned the jerk expression on the guys face I had second thoughts. I’m surprised he even showed up to one these parties.”
“I was texting him about it earlier; then I left my phone behind.”
“Ah, you mean he annoyed you and purposefully ditched your phone.”
“Yep,” I replied.
“I heard that Jared came in to see you falling all the boy-next-door, that is according to Julia anyway,” Stevie flipped her hand back smiling.
“Oh god,” I rolled my eyes. “I wasn’t falling all over him. I was tripping over him while we were coming inside.”
“You guys were outside together?”
“Well, yeah, with Kyle and Matty. Benny took over for you as my beer pong partner after you left. We played rounds against them, and we all felt overheated and sick so we went outside.”
“Oh, I see, so you were hanging out all night with neighbor-boy and your boyfriend walked in and got pissed for no reason and was his usual jerky self….and, knowing him gave you a lecture about your partying ways?”
“Yep, that pretty much covers it.”
“Oh good, I’m all caught up,” Stevie smiled.
“So where did you and Pike leave it?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Nowhere for now I guess. We see it differently. Pike seems to think a long distance relationship is the way go.”
“And you?”
“I would be afraid of taking something special and warping into something it isn’t.”
“Meaning?”
“Maybe, Pike is just supposed to be my high school boyfriend, ya know?”
“Yeah,” I nodded. We sat there in silence watching the road a while longer before heading home. Our shared world was seeming even more temporary than it did earlier that day.