I went home after the game, still floating from the evening. I was stunned that I ran into Jake and even more stunned that he remembered me.
I went home and walked into my mom’s bathroom to talk to her while she got ready to go out. We were still living in the house my parents had built together and her bathroom was incredible. It had a huge standing shower, a large soaking tub, two vanities, and multiple his and her closets. To get into the tub there were three steps and this was where I would sit and talk to my mom when she was getting ready to go out or for bed. I was telling her all about the night and she seemed preoccupied but giving me the occasional “Uh-huh” or “fun” at the appropriate places. I didn’t mention Jake, how was I supposed to explain him to her without telling her about him coming over while she was away, plus there was a good chance he wouldn’t message me anyway.
I was watching her put lipstick on her cheeks and then smudge it from her cheek to the side of her face to make a nice blush when my phone buzzed.
I couldn’t believe it. He actually messaged me.
How was Warren Miller?
Great. Wish you could have come.
Well, you were supposed to sneak me in, so really it’s your fault I wasn’t there.
I guess you’re right. What are you doing now?
What was I supposed to tell him? Oh, I’m just sitting in my mom’s bathroom watching her get ready to go out hoping you would text me? That seemed creepy and pathetic. So I choose the best option.
Not much. What about you?
Not much, perfect. That could mean anything.
The guys and I are heading to Haley’s party.
I was out of things to say. I had absolutely no idea who Haley was, I had never been invited to a party, and there was no way my mom would let me go to a party, so I couldn’t say I wanted to go.
Eh, we will see. I’m glad that I ran into you.
Yeah, of course. Can I ask you a question?
What could he possibly ask? Are you still crazy? Do you remember when you freaked out on me after I kissed you?
Whose jersey were you wearing tonight?
Oh, just a friend’s.
I thought it might be your boyfriends, and didn’t want to step on any toes.
No, lol, it’s just a friend’s.
That stupid jersey. Almost ruining this for me. I was glad that I had been clear with the boring football player that we were nothing but friends. Also, he didn’t want to step on any toes!! My insides were squealing.
Oh, good. Anyway, we are here. Talk to you later!
Wait, that was it?! What does Oh good mean? What was the point of texting me just to stop texting me? But he didn’t stop texting me actually.
Do you remember when I came to your place?
Yeah, I’m sorry, I really just didn’t want you to kiss me and then not talk to me again.
It’s ok. It was a long time ago.
My mom left for her night and I went to the couch to watch Disney Channel and text Jake, who was partying. Our lives were very different. We caught up on life, and talked about nothing for a couple of hours. He texted me the entire time he was at the party, until he finally went home.
We said goodnight and I went to bed that night happier than I had been in a long time.
The entire weekend and throughout the week, Jake and I texted almost all the time. Suddenly, what I wore to school was extremely important because sometimes I would see him in the hallway. Every morning was packed with anxiety and at least two outfit changes. We would text and talk about how our week was going, it was the exact same as texting with Kristen or James, with the occasional flirting thrown in. It was very confusing, are we friends? Is there going to be more than that? I had no idea but outfits were important and I scrutinized every single text message that I sent him.
Then it happened. It was Thursday afternoon and the exhaustion of outfit changes and do we flirt or not flirt paid off.
Would you like to go to a hockey game with me tomorrow?
I would love to, but I don’t know anything about hockey.
That’s ok, I’ll teach you. I’ll pick you up at 6?
I spent the rest of the day smiling, now I just had to make sure my mom would let me go, and that was never a given.
When she picked me up after school that day, I immediately asked her, “Mom, can I go to a CC hockey game tomorrow with Jake?”
“Like a date?” She said not lifting her eyes from the road in front of her.
“Who is Jake?”
“He is a junior, I know him from around school, he is really nice.”
“So he will be driving?”
This was the sticking point, my mom didn’t like the idea of me being a car driven by a teenager (hints she didn’t know about my lunch date). But Jake wouldn’t be driving, he could, but he had been in an accident and until his car was fixed and his parents decided, they were driving him or his friends were.
“No, his mom would drive us.”
“Cool.” I tried to say it like it didn’t matter if she said yes or no, but the octave that my voice reached was not one of a person who didn’t truly care.
There was only one hurdle left to overcome. What exactly does one wear to a hockey game?