Matter of Time
She felt like a creep, in all honesty. But Gwen Miles did this pretty much everyday, so the creep factor started to either go away or she just got used to it. Either way, it was still odd. It was mid-January, and a light snow was falling on Surrey Street. Gwen was sitting on her front steps with a coat wrapped securely around her, a wool hat covering her dark brown wavy hair, and gloves with the tips of the fingers cut off. Just like he did.
Gwen rubbed her arms and chased that last thought from her head. Now she knew she was totally being a creep. But she couldn't help herself. Even as she scolded herself for being so creepy, Gwen glanced over longingly to her neighbors' yard. Greg Heffley was running away in vain from his older brother, Rodrick; and Gwen sighed, causing a puff of visible breath to linger from her mouth. She stared, transfixed on the older brother, who was now pelting poor little Greg with snowballs.
The teenage girl looked over Rodrick (like she hasn't done that before) and gave a small grin. His hazel eyes were crinkled with laughter at his brother's despair while his dark, almost black, hair was, Gwen noticed (of course), getting longer, and it almost covered his eyebrows. Rodrick was also wearing his cut-off gloves, and Gwen tucked her hands into her lap. She watched them for a little bit longer, but then Greg yelled at his brother and stomped back inside. Rodrick laughed and rolled his eyes, his gaze landing right on-
He was looking at her. Actually looking. Rodrick's laugh faded, but his smile strayed. Gwen knew she was blushing. She had to be. Her face was sure burning up. He looked at her for quite sometime in the silence. And Gwen saw that her breath was fogging up around her she was breathing so hard and fast. She glanced down, her silly grin still on her lips.
"Aren't you cold?"
Gwen snapped her head back up. He spoke to her-! Stop that, Gwen, She though fiercely. Answer him! Gwen nervously stroked a stray hair from her face and put it into her hat. Slowly, she looked back over and nearly had a heart attack when seeing that Rodrick had moved closer. So close, that he was standing on the edge of her sidewalk up to her house. Their eyes met, and she was rather startled to see that worry flashed in his beautiful hazel eyes.
"You okay?" He asked softly, abandoning his "tough boy" nature for the time being.
"I..." She could find no words, but she managed to say, "Yeah, yeah I'm fine. Just, you know...its cold."
Rodrick smiled and gave a small laugh. He shoved his hands into his skinny-jeans pockets and rocked back slightly on his black Converse. Gwen curled her toes in her own pink Converse.
"It is winter. That usually means its cold." Rodrick replied, that friendly smile still on his face.
It was Gwen's turn to release a laugh, and she only nodded, not trusting herself to say anything. Rodrick titled his head a little bit, as if inspecting her. Gwen glanced down again, her heart threatening to burst out from her three layers of clothes, plus her coat. She risked another look at him, and she saw that he was still standing there, looking at her. Gwen jumped slightly and looked back down.
He spoke her name. Gwen immediately met his gaze, and she must've looked surprised because Rodrick laughed again. That wonderful, wonderful laugh that made her feel warm inside.
"What? You didn't think I'd remember your name?" He asked, teasing. "How could I forget something that important?"
Gwen blushed, not worrying if it showed or not. Her insides bubbled as he gestured to the stair.
"Since when are you so polite?" Gwen blubbered before thinking, scooting over happily at the same time, but then quickly tried to apologize.
"Don't worry about it," Rodrick took over, laughing as he sat next to her (their arms were touched, as well as their legs, Gwen noted before mentally slapping sense into herself). "There's something about you that...hm, I guess shows the best of me."
Rodrick looked down at her, meeting her light blue eyes with his own. Gwen's heart went into panic, and she blushed, hoping he couldn't hear it. But, he could, and Rodrick was hoping that she couldn't hear his heartbeat. He released a rather shaky breath, and they were momentarily lost in the fog. When the "breath fog" dispersed, Gwen saw how close his face was to her's. She nearly screamed and fell backward, but she didn't move when she saw how nervous he was, too. Rodrick, nervous? It was unheard of! Yet, here Gwen was, making this bad boy shake...
"You know," He said, finally breaking the not-so-awkward silence. "You have really pretty eyes."
"So do you," Gwen added quickly, but softly.
"Gwen," Rodrick whispered, his voice breaking slightly.
Gwen noted that this was the first time she's ever seen Rodrick like this before he finished his statement. She was making him this way, she was.
"Listen, I feel like I should've asked this a long time ago, but..." Before he finished, he looked her right in her sparkling blue eyes. "You wanna go out sometime? Like, you could watch my band rehearse sometime, or we could go to-"
"I'd love to," Gwen interrupted, feeling like she'd explode with joy. "Anything with you would be a good time."
Rodrick's face broke into a big smile. He started to stand, but quickly sat back down and pulled his phone out of his pocket. He unlocked the screen, rubbing away at the snowflakes that managed to get on, and then he scrolled down his contacts. His bare thumb paused on her name, which was indeed in his phone. She gasped silently. She gave him his number years ago. Years, yet he kept it...
"Oh, good, it's still in there," He muttered more to himself than her, it seemed. "I'll text you later, alright?"
Gwen, her throat swollen with ecstasy, only nodded happily, her mouth hurting from smiling so hard and long. Rodrick nodded again, and this time stood up, stowing his phone back in his pocket. He started walking backwards in the snow, his Converse crunching the new layer that accumulated. Gwen stood, too, watching him leave. He gave a crooked grin that nearly made her faint, his hand on his own door knob. With one last whispered, "Good-bye", they both opened their own doors and stepped into their separate houses.
Gwen released her long-awaited scream and bolted into her room. She slammed her door closed and flopped onto her bed, not bothering to strip herself of her many layers. She stared at the ceiling, feeling amazing and so many other emotions that whirled about her head and heart.
Five minutes later, she got a text from Rodrick.