*This continues straight on from the last extract I added last week…
It was a short ride home driving through the rain with an uneasy thunderstorm above too. I rushed to get all the bags inside not wanting to get wet even though the car was parked undercover. I closed all the blinds and doors then started to put the shopping away.
It was only me today. My mother and father are at work until late and my sister is at university. It was still early in the day and it seemed like it was going to be a long day. Once I had unpacked all the food and made sure that older sister Lily could see her cupcake when she opened the fridge, I retreated to my room, bringing with me water, food, candles, lighters and blankets. I grabbed my IPod and placed it into my speakers. I tried to find a happy song, music that would drown out the crackling and sizzling of the thunderstorm that still hadn’t stopped. ABBA will do. I turned it up loud and grabbed my laptop bringing it onto my bed. I had some university work to do and as my computer came to life I wondered if I should text Matt.
“What’s the worst thing that could happen?” I said out loud to myself.
He could be a killer, a total psychopath, a stalker, a rapist. Don’t be stupid you don’t even know him, don’t text him.
OUTGOING MESSAGE: Matt, it is Anna. Thanks for your help today. I got home in one piece.
I stared at my phone for what felt like forever, not waiting for a reply, but wondering what on earth I had just done. I wanted to throw my phone at a wall breaking it so it could get rid of the message, but I knew that that wouldn’t work. So I slide the phone under my pillow trying to hide it from myself, but moments later it went off.
INCOMING MESSAGE: You’re welcome. I’m sorry about being so forward. I don’t know what came over me; I can get carried away sometimes. Like I said you’re welcome to use this number, but I will understand if you don’t want to.
I smiled at the confusing message. I don’t know why I was smiling, it was the only thing I knew to do and it felt right. I read the message a few times just to make sure that I had read it properly. I didn’t know what to do or say or reply.
Maybe I should call Mia?
But I knew that she was in class and I didn’t want to disturb her. I put the phone down and got my university work up on the screen and started to do research for the class I was doing. The harder I tried to distract myself, the harder it was to work. There was no denying that the pull to speak to him was strong, but my self-doubt was getting in the way.
“Just reply to him” I continued to talk to myself.
OUTGOING MESSAGE: Like I said I don’t have a great track record with guys. I didn’t mean to be rude; I just have this thing about thunderstorms and needed to get home.
Anna, one breath at a time, one step at a time, just breathe.
INCOMING MESSAGE: You weren’t rude, just eager to leave. I get it. I finish work in 20 minutes, would you like some company until this storm is finished?
As in like see each other again, like you coming over here, to my house? Is this normal? Am I allowed to do this? What is the right this to do in this situation? If I was a normal girl I would know.
I sat there for minutes thinking before I acted. I know that no one is going to be home until late this afternoon and with this storm they might even be later.
OUTGOING MESSAGE: Just answer me this one question: are you any of the following: a killer, stalker, rapist or psychopath?
And as I sent the message I thought about the fact that if he is indeed one of the above he wouldn’t tell me, would he?
What have I done?
INCOMING MESSAGE: None of the above. I’m just a guy who wants to get to know the girl who walked up to his counter this morning.
Is this really happening or am I dreaming?
Without thinking because if I kept thinking I would screw this up, I gave him my address attentively knowing that this could go one of two ways: either super bad or awesomely good.
What is the worst that could happen?
I continued with my research, although my thoughts kept going back to Matt and the fact that he was on his way to my house. A little bit later just as the rain picked up again there was a faint knock on the door. I don’t know how I heard it with the music so loud, but I jumped off the bed, turned the music off and headed to the front door.
Crap, I didn’t even look in the mirror. What if my hair is all over the place or my face is, I don’t know. Oh well what he saw at the shop is what he is going to get now.
I unlocked the main door and saw him standing on the other side of the gate in his green uniform and now wet brown hair and piercing brown eyes. He was standing there with a smile on his face and a basket in his hands.
“Hi” was all I could say.
“Hi to you too” he replied.
“Sorry, come in. Let me get you a towel” I said unlocking the gate and letting him in.
I walked to the linen cupboard that is outside my bedroom and grabbed a towel.
“Here let me take this” I said as I passed him the towel and took the basket from him.
He replied with a smile as he took the towel and placed it over his head and started to dry it.
“You really don’t like thunderstorms do you?”
“What makes you think that?” I asked walking towards my room, hoping he would follow.
“Your house is the only one that is completely closed in the street”
“Oh right. Yeah I don’t like thunderstorms, so I try to block out the noise by closing everything. I feel safer too. What’s in the basket?” I replied taking the towel from Matt.
“Well I thought that we could have a picnic. I didn’t think you would want to go out for lunch in the storm so I brought lunch to you” Matt replied as I came back from the bathroom where I put the wet towel.
I smiled not knowing what to say to that. I have never had someone bring me lunch so this was a first to me and I didn’t know how to react.
“Hey if you don’t want me here I can leave, I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable in your own house or in your room” Matt said as I stepped onto the blanket I had on my bedroom floor.
“No it’s not that I don’t want you to leave, it that this is really unusual for me. I’m not used to this sort of thing. I don’t really spend a lot of time with men, let alone have one in my room”
“Hey it’s cool, we can go as slow or as fast as you feel comfortable. I’m in no rush here” Matt replied as he moved to sit cross legged on one side of the blanket and started taking things out of the basket.
How fast or slow are we supposed to go? What is normal in this sort of situation?
I sat down opposite him as he continued to empty the basket.
“You didn’t have to bring all of this” I said as he lifted the lid of a packet of fresh strawberries covered in chocolate.
“I know, but my mother taught me to never go to a person’s house empty handed and what is better than chocolate covered strawberries?” Matt replied offering me one with a smile on his face.
“I haven’t had chocolate covered strawberries in so long. Thanks” I said taking one out of the tray.
I sat there watching as Matt made himself a sandwich with the stuff he had brought with him.
What are we doing? Is this weird?
“I’m just going to say this, put it out there because if I don’t, I think I might go crazy and I want to be honest with you” I said after finishing my strawberry.
“Okay, what is it?”
“I’ve never had a boyfriend, I’ve never been in love or been kissed. I have a problem trusting people and find it hard to break down my walls that protect me” I said hurriedly.
“Okay. I’ve never had a serious girlfriend or been in love. I have kissed a few people and I hope one day you will be able to trust me and won’t need those walls again. I don’t think I have ever met someone like you Anna. Where have you been all my life?” Matt said putting the sandwich on a napkin.
“In this room wishing to meet someone like you, I’m sorry I can be really forward sometimes I have noticed recently, I don’t mean to” I replied.
“Don’t be, I like it, I like you” Matt said before picking up his sandwich and taking a bite of it.
“I didn’t tell you all of that to make you feel bad for me. Trust me it’s not like I haven’t been trying, I just seem to be in this habit of picking guys who just want to be friends with me and nothing more” I replied taking another chocolate strawberry from the box.
“Well I would love to get to know you more. Actually I would love to know more about you because I am starting to really like you and I don’t know about you, but life is too short and I will not deny myself the simple satisfaction of kissing the most beautiful girl in the world”
“And where might she be?” I asked genuinely wanting to know who he was talking about.
“The girl who is making eating chocolate covered strawberries the sexiest thing I have ever seen in this world” Matt said making me blush.
He wants to kiss me? Like he seriously wants to kiss me? What if I do it wrong, what if I make a mess out of myself?
“Just breathe, I’m not going to kiss you right now, but I definitely will before I leave” he said eating the rest of his sandwich.
Oh yay. I get to sit here and stew about the fact I might not know what I am supposed to be doing when kissing a guy.
We sat there for a moment in silence, Matt was eating his sandwich and I just couldn’t even think. I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know what any of this meant.
How am I supposed to eat if my whole stomach has just turned upside down in anticipation and joy?
“I know what you are thinking and I am thinking it too, so let’s just start and get the boring bit over and done with” Matt said wiping his mouth clean.
“Your boring bit might be my exciting bit, so you’re going to have to elaborate” I replied.
“I was talking about getting to know each other but if you have something else in mind that you would rather do, than please be my guest, tell me”
“Okay well this might not be the most inappropriate question to ask you right now but, why did you follow me to my car?” I asked.
He smiled and then looked away, around my room before coming back and looking straight at me.
“When I looked up from my counter this morning and saw you, my heart exploded. I couldn’t breathe, my heart was racing and my mind was racing. I could see how scared you looked and I could see that you were lonely. I didn’t want to see you leave; I needed to get to know who you are. I wanted to get into your car and drive off into the sunset with you. I have never wanted anything more in my life but to fall in love and as scared as I am to say it, I think I am”
What? Who said anything about falling in love?
“I know, I’m sorry, when I open my heart it likes to all pour out at once. I didn’t say all that to scare you, I just wanted to put everything out on the table, like you did. But I am serious, I want to get to know you, I want to love you and be with you and I totally get it if you don’t” Matt finished taking my hand in his.
As soon as my hand touched his I felt a zap, and so did Matt. I couldn’t help but smile and neither could he.