“Hey, you.” I gave my best friend a hug. “Are you ready for our study-session?”
“I don’t want to,” Philip groaned, “can’t you just do my math homework and I’ll write your essay for English?” “Sounds good to me,” I laughed. “I think our teachers are used to that by now.”
I still loved everything that had to with science or numbers, but Phil was definitely better with words than I was. He would even dial down his vocabulary when writing ‘my’ essays, so the teacher wouldn’t notice it.
“Let’s do it, then,” he said. “We can watch a movie after. I’ve got another old, black-and-white classic that you’ll love.”
Of course, once we got up to my bedroom, we started talking and homework quickly wasn’t a priority anymore.
“Oh by the way, did I tell you Josh asked me out the other day?” I told him. Philip immediately looked up, confused. “What? Josh? Josh captain of the football team?” “That’s the one.”
“What did you say?”
“I said ‘no’, obviously.” I scoffed. “Can you believe he asked me out? It must’ve been a joke.”
Philip didn’t say anything, but just looked at me with a strange look on his face.
“You know it wasn’t a joke,” he said, almost accusingly.
“Of course it was! Why would the captain of the football team ask out the science nerd? Have you ever seen a high school movie? That’s not how it works.”
“That’s exactly how it works Allie. Do you really think you’re just a science nerd? I mean, you’re smart, you’re funny, you’re nice… And by the way, have you looked in a mirror lately? You’re…”
Suddenly his cheeks turned red and he started stuttering. “I mean… You’re, you know… You dress nice and…”
I burst out laughing. “Thanks, Phil. I appreciate the pep talk. But I still wouldn’t want to date Josh anyway.”
“No. I don’t think I want to date anyone right now.” “Are you serious?” Philip asked. “Not even casually?”
“I just don’t think the casual dating thing is for me,” I said, more to myself than to Philip. I’d given this a lot of thought, and I’d realized pretty soon that I didn’t want to date an endless string of guys before finding someone to settle for. “I want the real deal. And if that means I have to wait, I’ll wait.”
I looked at his face, trying to gauge his reaction. “You’re not kidding,” he said, more a statement than a question. “Of course not,” I grinned, “I have no sense of humor, don’t you know that?”
We chuckled, somewhat awkwardly. For some reason, Philip and I could talk about anything, but we usually avoided the topic of relationships. “Anyway,” I said. “Do you want to skip the homework and just go downstairs to watch the movie?”
A smile broke through on his face. “Yeah, sounds good.”
I walked into the living room to see my sister and Philip hanging out on the couch, watching one of their old movies like they usually did. I liked Philip a lot, he’d been hanging out at our house for as long as I could remember, but it was so obvious that he was in love with Allie. She was just too blind to see it. He’d even given her that silly heart necklace for her fourteenth birthday and she still wore it every single day. She understood the most complex scientific issues, but she couldn’t figure out that her best friend had a huge crush on her. Typical sis.
I didn’t want to go up to my room before dinner, though, so I decided to join them on the couch. They hardly noticed me with all their movie-talk and cutesy inside jokes. Gross. The whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing didn’t really appeal to me. Settling down with one person just didn’t make sense to me. Unlike my sister, who was convinced everyone had a soulmate, I believed that there were just too many great people in the world to spend your life dedicated to just one of them.
Finally, Allie tore her eyes away from Philip and acknowledged me.
“Hey, Enz, what’s up? Want to watch the movie with us?”
“No, thanks,” I said. “I’ll just hang out here. I’m going out after dinner anyway.” “Where are you going?” Allie shot me a stern look. “Are you hanging out with those older boys again?”
“None of your business.” Allie was only a few years older than me, but she liked to play the mom-role. Especially when it came to my friends. I’d managed to escape my nerdy reputation this year and make some new friends, but she wasn’t too keen on them.
“Are you guys trying to get into a club again?”
“We’re not trying, we’re just going to get in. Zack’s brother is working the door, he’ll let us in without question.” I rolled my eyes, expecting Allie to make a huge speech on responsibility and bad decisions and peer pressure. But she surprised me.
“Just be careful, okay?”
She almost looked genuinely worried. I smiled. “Don’t worry, sis. I’ll be fine.”