I was sitting on the lounge with my best friend Storm watching girly movies. That was our thing on Saturday’s. That and talking about our crushes. Well, it was more about her crushes than mine. Because mine, he was so unavailable. So unsuitable. Plus I was pretty sure that it was illegal. It was best that I didn’t mention it.
I think we were down to our third movie when there was a knock on the door. My friend Storm, she says she needed to go to the toilet and asked me to answer the door. I was hoping it was the pizza I had ordered. Which one thing you should know about me is that I loved my food. So, I jumped off the lounge and dashed for the door, making my friend laugh.
Though when I opened the door, I stood frozen. Because it was not the pizza I had hoped for. But standing in front of me was a teacher of mine. But he was also the unsuitable and unavailable guy I had a crush on. That’s why I couldn’t mention it to my best friend. The question is. What was he doing here?
What the Hell. . . I thought.
And then my thoughts swirled around that my best friend was having an affair with him. I felt betrayed. She didn’t know how I felt about him. But I still couldn’t help feeling the way I feel. I hadn’t liked anyone the way I liked him. All of the other crushes I spoke about were just pretend. Because I didn’t want to act like I was being a prude and not like anyone. I was seventeen, nearly eighteen years old. So, it was only a natural thing for my age to have multiple crushes. But the truth is that I couldn’t stand the guys at my school. They were too immature for me. I needed someone who is stable and mature.
I had stood frozen. But then after a moment, I realized that he was frozen too. And he was staring at me. Why the Hell was he staring at me? I thought. I bet he was shocked that he was busted meeting at a students house.
'Em, are you going to let Efrem in?' I heard Storm from behind making me jump, snapping me out of the staring contest we were seeming to be having.
'What?' I turn to her asking with a frown.
'Emori, Efrem is my cousin.' She says, grinning at me.
'Cousin?' I asked, turning back to him. Efrem, as I just found out.
'Yes.' He says, now grinning at me. And I swear, I thought my heart was going to stop. Or jump out of my chest.
'Come in then.' I say, sweeping a bow, to cover up that he had affected me.
'Have you come to talk about your crushes, too?' Storm says.
My heart nearly stopped beating. What the fuck? I thought. At the same time, I felt embarrassed. I couldn’t do that while he was here. But, he found it funny, because he starts to chuckle. What a nice chuckle. I thought. It made my insides to turn to mush.
I had to do something. So, I excused myself to the bathroom. I didn’t know what to do. Because I have never been this close to him before. I didn’t even know how to act towards him. I knew, for one thing is that I couldn’t stay long in the bathroom. So, I quickly splashed water on my face and then left. But I didn’t go straight to the lounge room, where they were. Instead, I walked into the kitchen. I need a coffee. One thing about me is that I loved my coffee. I couldn’t go without it. Just ask Storm. She will tell you how crazy I was for my coffee.
When I walked back into the living room, I found them laughing. It made me smile. But I couldn’t help the butterflies in my stomach, at the sound of his laugh.
‘So, what are you doing here. . . Mr. Valentine?' I asked. Because Storm's parents weren’t here. They had gone away for a few weeks. So it was just us girls.
'Storm’s parents have asked me to stay here until they get back.' He says, smiling at me. Wow, I don’t think he has ever smiled at me before.
'Well, you should know that Friday and Saturday I stay over. I won’t be, stopping that.' I tell him.
As much as it made me nervous that he was staying here for a while, Friday and Saturday was our thing. It was the only time I get to feel free. Life at home was too hectic. Too stressful. I couldn’t wait for when I was able to leave this place and go off to college. And the best part about that was that my best girl was coming with me. We were going to be roommates and everything.
I would say, that I couldn’t wait to be independent. But some people would argue with me and say I already was. But when I say independent. I meant away from here, far far away from here and being on my own. That’s the independence I wanted. Less family stress and more of my own stress. If you know what I mean.
'And I wouldn’t ask you to.' He tells me. And he was still smiling at me. 'And while we are out of school, call me Efrem.' He says, still smiling at me and I was surprised. I thought he would have a problem with one of his students callng him by his name. I guess not.
'Ok, now that that has been figured out. Are we going to finish the movie.' I heard Storm ask. She made me jump because I didn’t realize that she was right beside me.
'Ok.' I say. Because I needed a distraction. Anything from the fact that my biggest crush was in the same room as me.
'Wanna watch with us? Or do you have something better to do?' Storm says.
But if he did, then I don’t know what I would do. Because the movie was supposed to be a distraction. And if he agreed, that meant that he would be sharing the lounge with us. And that means it would bring us closer. Nearly touching. So, I was hoping that he had something better to do. Because I didn’t want to embarrass myself. I didn’t ever want to do that in front of him.
But, he chose to watch the movie with us. I wondered what his deal was. Because why wouldn’t he have something better to do than sit with two teenage girls and watch girly movies. I also didn’t know what Storm’s deal was. Because instead of sitting in the middle so Efrem could sit on one side and I the other. Storm sat at one end of the lounge. So, that made Efrem sit in the middle. And I sat beside him. And because it wasn’t exactly a big lounge, it did make us touch and I swear I nearly jumped because it gave me a warm feeling almost like a buzz where our skin touched.
When we were all sitting and fairly comfortable, Storm pressed play. And so much of the distraction. Because all I could think was that he was touching me. My biggest crush, the only guy I have ever felt something for, was touching me. I never expected any of this. The truth is, I expected to have a crush on him all the way up until I leave to college. And then when I was gone, I hoped that I would fall for someone else. Someone more suitable. Someone more my age. As long as he was mature.
When the pizza arrived ten minutes later, I couldn’t help jumping up. One, because it was driving me insane touching Efrem. It gave me feelings, I don’t think I should have. It was bad enough that I had a crush on him. But he was my teacher. There shouldn’t be anything between us. There shouldn’t be any feelings towards each other.
Second reason. I shouldn’t have to say. Because it was food. Food, I always say was the love of my life. And I was starving. Storm, she would argue and say I was always hungry. But that was because I loved my food.
When I jumped up though, I wasn’t expecting Efrem to laugh. He found something I did funny. But to me, it wasn’t funny at all. Because I needed to get away from him. And it was food.
'About time.' I say, handing over the money.
'I’m sorry, ma’am. I got lost.' He says, looking nervous.
'It’s ok.' I tell him.
'If it’s too cold, I will personally pay for another one.' He says. And it took me back a bit. And when I looked up to him, I found him grinning. What the Hell for? I thought.
'Um. No, it will be fine. Cold pizza is better than none.' I tell him.
'I’ll keep that in mind.'
I step back and then close the door practically in his face. And when I turn around, I found Storm grinning at me. The look on Efrem’s face, I couldn’t understand. He was frowning. But at the same time, he was finding something amusing.
'What?' I asked.
'You are so clueless to when guys at flirting with you.' She says, grinning wider. Because she knew I was going to be on the defence.
'What. That. That’s ridiculous. I thought he was actually an asshole.' I say making Storm and Efrem laugh loud.
'Coming from a males side. I believe that he was flirting with you.' Efrem says.
I wanted to say that I didn’t ask him. But I couldn’t find it in myself to do say it. Just one look at him and all smart ass remarks were out the window. So, instead, I didn’t say anything and just sat on the lounge. All I wanted to do and for a while now is eat my pizza.
Storm asked Efrem if he wanted to have any. He agreed, which surprised me. But I didn’t say anything and just ate my pizza. And because we were eating, the movie was kept on pause and Storm and Efrem began to talk.
'How is Rose?' Storm asks him. And instantly, I was jealous. I should have known that he was involved with someone.
'She is ok?' Efrem’s short response was. I thought that he other didn’t want me to know he was involved with someone. Or they were having a hard time. 'How are you, I haven’t been around for a while.'
'I am actually good. See my girl here, she is helping me pass Maths. She says. I didn’t know why she would bring me into the conversation. So when Efrem looked at me, I couldn’t help feeling embarrassed.
'Are you good with Math’s?' He asks.
'I’m ok.' I tell him.
'Come on girl, tell him the truth!' Storm says. 'My girl is a genius when it comes to Maths. Seriously, dude, she is in advance Math’s.' Storm says, proud of how smart I was.
‘Why would you not want to tell anyone?' He asked, looking surprised maybe.
'I don’t know. I just don’t like to boast about things that include me. But if you want to praise someone, praise Storm for getting an A on her last quiz test.'
'All because of you.' She says, grinning at me.
'Well, I can’t praise one without the other.' He smiles at me. Which I have noticed that since involving me in the conversation, he has only looked at me.
'What I do and what I am capable of, I don’t do it to get praises. I do what I do, to go places.' I tell him. Because I couldn’t take his compliments. I had never had one. So getting one from him, who is still practically a stranger, was hard to take. 'No please, enough about me.'
I could tell that Efrem wanted to say something, but my girl spoke up before he could. I was grateful that she changed the subject to her parents now. And I continued to eat my pizza in peace. And then when everyone had finished eating we put the rest of the movie on. But now, I wasn’t into it. I had lost interest and couldn’t really remember what it was about. But I didn’t say anything and continued to watch the movie.
Though, I wasn’t sure how much I had watched before falling asleep. When I opened my eyes, all I could think was that I was really comfortable. But when my bearings had come back, I realized why I was comfortable. It was because I had fallen asleep with my head resting on Efrem. What the Fuck? I thought, jumping up.
'I’m sorry,' I quickly say. I felt so embarrassed and I bet my face was puffy from sleep and my cheeks were red because I was embarrassed.
'It’s ok.' He says, smiling.
And then I noticed something. Storm was nowhere to be seen. So now instead of being embarrassed, it has now turned into me being nervous. So, so nervous. Because I haven’t been alone with a guy before. I always had Storm with me. But also, I was sitting next to my crush. And he wasn’t aware of my feelings. Which was for the best. But still, this was a first for me.
'Where is Storm?' I asked. I didn’t mean it to sound so rude. But because I was nervous, that’s how it sounded. But whatever it was, it made him become nervous. And I didn’t know how I should take that.
'She went to bed about half an hour ago.' He says.
'What the fuck?' I say, making him flinch. 'She should have woken me up.' I say, but now he was smiling. 'What?'
'She knew you would say that.' He says, smiling wider. 'It must be nice to have someone close, that they know you, no matter what.' He says. And there was something sad in his voice.
'It can also be annoying.' I admitted. 'I thought you would have that with your um... Girlfriend.' I say, assuming Rose who Storm mentioned was his girlfriend.
'Not so much.' He says frowning. 'Can I ask you something?' He says.
And this was unexpected. I never expected in a million years to come over for the weekend at my best friends place and be talking to a guy that I have had a major crush on for so long. It’s been that long, that I couldn’t say how long it has been. But talking to him, this was something easy about it.
'You can try.' I say, and that earnt me a chuckle.
'You’re a funny girl,' He says. It made me internally flinch. Because I didn’t want to be known as a girl, not to him.
‘ What do you want to know?' I asked.
'Is everything ok? I only ask because you are just so serious all the time.' He says.
'What do you mean all the time?' I asked, frowning.
'I’ve seen the way you are at school. And tonight.' He says.
His voice was gentle. And I found it had to be mad at him for watching me. I was surprised that he would notice though. What did that mean? I found myself asking myself. Did this mean he was interested in me? No, that was ridiculous. I was nowhere near as experienced as him. I definitely wasn’t interesting. I was a child compared to him. He was a grown man. Probably been to places that I could only dream of. Done things that were probably not spoken of.
'I don’t know,' I shrugged. 'I’m not serious all the time.' I tried to defend myself. 'I know how to have fun.' I say, which maybe I shouldn’t have. But he didn’t really by it. Because he offers me a kind of smile that told me so. ‘Don’t worry about me.' I tell him, feeling a little defensive now.
'You can trust me, you know.' He says gently.
‘Why, because you are Storm’s cousin?' I say, a little sarcastic.
‘ And because I am a good person.' He offers me a warm smile. It made me want to melt. It gave me butterflies in my stomach and my heart began to feel like it wanted to run away.
'Maybe I am not the trusting kind. It takes a little more than a little talk for me to trust someone.' I tell him. Even though, when I look into his beautiful eyes, I have never trusted anymore more in my life.
'Well then, I look forward to having more of our small chats.' He says, now grinning at me.
I felt like this wasn’t real. I feel as if I was dreaming. For as long as I could remember, all I wanted to do was talk to him. To see how nice he really was in person. So, why now? Why has it suddenly happened? I wanted to pinch myself, to see if I was truly awake. But I didn’t want to embarrass myself. So, I decided that I would pinch myself when I was alone.
'I should go. I have work tomorrow.' I say standing up. Even though I wanted to stay here and continue to talk with Efrem. Get to know him. But I needed to go. And I did have work tomorrow.
Efrem he stood with me and then we say our good night’s. I left straight for my room. While I noticed that Efrem went in the direction of the kitchen.
I had my own room here because I was here enough to be practically living here. My room was basically exactly like Storm’s, only hers was purple and mine was red. Her parents had done up my room for me because they were loaded, whereas I, I barely had any. Not that I ever cared. I couldn’t care less about money. As long as I had enough for the things I need, then I was happy. I wasn’t a spoilt snob that needed money.
When I reached my room, I practically threw myself into my room and then quickly shut the door behind me. And then, I pinched myself. Yep, I wasn’t dreaming. And realizing that I had been sitting so close to my biggest crush on the lounge and was talking, it made my heart race. I really couldn’t believe that it was happening to me.