Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 25
“Hey, Autumn,” Christian said as we waited in my mom’s car. “I have to go somewhere after school so I don’t think I can bus home with you. Is that okay?”
“Yeah,” I replied honestly. “It’s fine.”
The both of us pretended the dance never happened. Neither of us brought it up or acted differently around each other. We had completely erased our slow dance from our memories, in hopes of keeping things normal between us. Oddly, I wasn’t sure if I was happy about that.
My mom soon came to the car, looking slightly annoyed. Christian’s car had broken down yesterday randomly, so here we were having to be driven by her. The last person I wanted to see, and apparently the last person she wanted to see.
She quickly went into the driver’s seat and ignited the engine. Before I knew it we were on our way to school. Silence was surrounding us as she drove. An awkward one, because my mom and I hadn’t spoken at all since the moment Christian told her off. Even though he had told her off, she seemed angry at me. I didn’t get it, but I tried not to care.
A minute into the ride, my mom asked, “Christian, how’s school?”
“Good,” Christian replied. “It’s a lot of work though, but that makes sense since it’s my last year.”
I watched my mom smile through the mirror. “You’re a smart boy. You’ll do good.”
I rolled my eyes, annoyed with her love for Christian. After that day, even he wasn’t as talkative with her either. It seemed like he was also mad at her, which was both surprising and touching to me. But despite his short, yet polite replies to her, my mom always looked at him as if he was some sort of prince. When it came to him, I knew with a sad heart, that she would always love him.
I sighed and stared out the window at the sad truth, not wanting to be around this woman anymore. Whenever I was around her I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. Unable to breathe normally. In pain. It was an unpleasant feeling I learned to live with during these seven months.
“Autumn!” Dee exclaimed as I walked over to my lunch table. “Guess what?”
“What?” I asked curiously, feeling happy at the sight of Dee’s joy.
It was nice to see my best friend happy. As selfish as I could be, I was always happy to see my best friends happy. Even, when I wasn’t.
“I got a hundred percent on my Math test!” she exclaimed, grinning. “Can you believe it?”
I laughed. “Did you cheat?”
Her eyes narrowed at me at that, but her grin remained on her face. “No! I suddenly became smart!”
“Dee, sweetheart, this is you we’re talking about,” Cheryl said, smiling as Des gasped.
“Cheryl! You’re supposed to be the nice one!” Dee exclaimed.
We all laughed at that. My heavy heart from seeing my mom lightened up a bit from that.
“So,” Cheryl said once we calmed down. “How are you Autumn? We haven’t talked in a while.”
“That’s because you’re always at chess club,” Dee chirped in, grinning. “Nerd.”
Cheryl narrowed her eyes at Dee, but chose to ignore her. I couldn’t help but smile.
“I’m good, I guess,” I replied. “How are you?”
Ignoring my question, she asked, “How’s Christian?”
Internally, I groaned. Christian seemed to be a topic Cheryl loved, and I didn’t know why. Personally, I was sick of talking about him. We had finally overcome our constant fighting, so there was no need to bring him up. He was just one of many aspects of my life.
“He’s good,” I replied casually. “We’re good, if you’re wondering.”
“Wait, does Cheryl know?” Dee suddenly asked me.
“Know what?” Cheryl asked, confused.
I narrowed my eyes at Dee, suddenly feeling annoyed. Thanks to her, I had put the whole event behind me. Pretended it never happened. Now she was forcing me to talk about it. I couldn’t believe it.
Sighing lightly, I said, “I slow danced with him. It’s not a big deal.”
To my utter shock, Cheryl’s eyes widened. No, they actually bulged out of their sockets. Her jaw even dropped. She looked completely shocked and that left me confused, unsure of why her reaction was so huge.
“You slow danced with him?” she asked with her eyes still widened. “And you never told me?”
“Yeah.” I shrugged. “It isn’t a big deal, that’s why.”
Cheryl suddenly shook her head, looking both tired and happy as a smile flew to her lips. I stared at her confused, wondering if something had possessed one of my best friends.
“You need to see the light, Autumn,” she suddenly said, looking at me seriously. “You’ll be at your happiness then.”
I frowned at that, wondering what in the world she meant by that. Whenever we talked about Christian she didn’t make sense, which frustrated me. I needed to understand.
But before I could open my mouth, someone said my name. Quickly, I turned around and saw that it was Nate. Wearing a grin, he stared at me as I tilted my head.
Before I would feel butterflies around him. I would be in awe of his good looks. But now, I felt nothing. I didn’t feel sad at the thought of my chance at love. I didn’t feel mad at the thought of the bad date. I definitely didn’t feel happy, like I used to. All I felt was absolutely nothing.
“Hey,” he said, snapping me out of my thoughts.
“Hey,” I replied casually. “What’s up?”
“I wanted to ask you out on another date,” he replied, smiling his perfect, white smile.
I fought back the urge to roll my eyes at that. He was funny if he thought we would ever date again.
“I’m sorry, but the answer is no,” I said honestly, but gently.
He frowned. “Why not?”
“I don’t feel anything for you,” I said truthfully, wanting to pull the bandage off quickly. “Sorry.”
To my surprise, his expression didn’t change. He just continued to smile at me, looking unfazed. It was kind of creepy.
“Okay,” he simply said, turning around. “See you around school.”
I watched him walk away, shocked by how easy it was to let him go. It seemed like he didn’t feel anything, and neither did I. We were both off the hook it seemed, and I was glad.
Snapping me out of my triumph, Cheryl asked, “What happened? Weren’t you obsessed with him?”
“I was,” I admitted. “But we had a crappy date. He’s definitely not my type.”
“What is your type?” she then asked.
“Hm.” I smiled as an answer hit me quickly. “Someone who’s funny and you can talk about anything with. They also care about you, even though it can get annoying. And with one look, you know you want this person at your side forever.” I blushed at how cheesy I sounded. “I don’t know, but just someone who is full of life and fun to be around.”
My cheeks heated up as I thought about the day Christian and I had at a beach. He had been all those things on that day, and maybe that’s why I wanted it. It had been one of the best Sunday’s of my life, so it made sense. Even though it was disturbing that my stepbrother gave me what would be the perfect date, I couldn’t help but be thankful for it.
Cheryl suddenly smiled at me. “Sounds perfect for you.”
I nodded as my face heated up. “It is.”
Cheryl raised an eyebrow at me, analyzing me as my face turned even more red. Shaking my head, I changed the subject as embarrassment seeped through me. Then smiling, I became glad to see that everything was back to normal at the very least.