"Awakening"

A fanfiction for "The Weekenders"


Friday/Early Saturday


It's interesting how things can just, well, click. Did you ever have one of those moments of clarity, when everything seemed just right? Like for one brief moment in time, the universe makes perfect and total sense. That's what this was like. I think. Either that, or I have GOT to start paying closer attention to the food Mom puts in front of me.

So here I am, on a Friday night. You're probably wondering where the guys are. And why I'm sitting on my front porch. It's 2AM, and although I couldn't be more psyched about the rest of this weekend, I can't find my way to sleep. It's kind of a weird feeling, when you're calm as can be but your mind is racing a mile a minute. Let me try to explain. We've just got to rewind a little over five hours here….Whoa, hold on, waitaminute. You've got to shut your eyes first. I don't want to spoil the best part. Alright, here we go….


Friday


Here's where it all began, about 2 blocks away from Tish's house. I remember it distinctly because Lor was making fun of Carver's "Saturday is gonna rock dance." For the record, I think that Lor has the best moves when it comes to dancing, but what do I know? My biggest goal when dancing is to not look completely stupid.



We were about to go our separate ways when Carver mentioned something about having to turn in an English paper on Monday. I was a little disappointed in him for not having done it already; nothing stops the weekend! Well, nothing short of a good grounding, or maybe influenza. Lor chimed in that she had completely forgotten about it. There was no way any of us were going to miss this outer space exhibit at the museum tomorrow. This isn't just any exhibit, it has a fully interactive shuttle simulation, plus they had teamed up with Foods of the World to distribute astronaut food. Y'know, I've always wanted to eat soup out of a toothpaste tube. Anywho, I knew two best buds who were going to spend a long night in their rooms writing out a two page paper on the Middle Ages. Man, it's a good thing it wasn't a book report, or this weekend could've been in serious jeopardy! So off they scrambled. I was glad it was late at night, otherwise they might've asked us for help. I'd waded through that paper with my mother last night, and let me tell you, there is NO way I was going back. Uh-uh. As Carver and Lor ran off in blazing trails to salvage their weekend, Tish gave me that knowing look. I had to admit, I felt a little smug about getting my paper done on Thursday, but no doubt Tish had done it on Monday evening, the same day we had gotten the assignment. I'd like to say I did the same, but I guess I'm just not quite that enthusiastic. Mondays aren't a productive part of the work week. Besides, the important thing is, my weekend was free. I did my best to return the look, but deep inside I knew I probably looked like a total dork. My suspicions were confirmed when she started giggling and had to cover her mouth to save a little of my dignity.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" Tish relented, trying to contain her fit of laughter by clearing her throat.

"Yeah, yeah." I laughed it off. I knew Tish didn't really mean anything by it.

"I'm impressed you thought ahead, Tino."

"Hey now, nothing stops the weekend, right Tish?"

"You said it. It makes me wonder, though."

"About what?"

"You know, about who we are. I mean, none of us are 'cool,' I guess. But I think Carver and Lor are higher up on the cool scale than me."

"Ah, Tish, you and I are pretty uncool in some ways, but that's who we are. Everyone has to be themselves. We're all cool with each other, that's what matters. And that's how we know that Carver and Lor are real friends. They don't hang with us because we're cool or uncool, they do it because they like who we are. And because we buy them the occasional Chug-A-Freeze."

"You know, there's something to that."

"Of course there is! Even with me! You're the brain in our group, Tish, there's no denying that. Some of the things you're into make the rest of us want to fall asleep or hurl our pizza." Tish looked hurt at this comment, but I quickly recovered so before she felt I was trying to put her down. "But the same can be said for any of us. We're all different. And we've never wanted to stop hanging out with you, have we? No, because we're friends."

"I guess I just sometimes have this fear of being left behind. You're not always going to want the brainy, foreign, vegan girl hanging around you."

"I'd never leave you behind, Tish. Friends stick together." It was then that she did it. She looked at me with this…grr, I still can't really explain it. It drives me crazy. But there was something about the way she looked at me that made me feel totally powerless. It was like…if she had asked me to run to the top of Mount Everest for her at that moment, I would've. Nothing in the world mattered but her happiness. Don't ask me why, it doesn't make any sense. She kept that…that look on her face when she hugged me. Now don't get me wrong, it wasn't like this big romantic thing, it was. . .kind of like how you would hug your sister, I guess. If she wasn't related to you. Kind of. To be honest, I thought it was pretty scary. I'd never really hugged anyone outside of my family before. Besides, we're just not the type of people to go around hugging each other. I was completely taken by surprise. I don't remember saying anything, but I  know that some noise must've come out of my throat, because Tish started giggling again.

"You're going to squeal for me again?" she laughed in delight. Yeah, that was pretty embarrassing, I guess. But hey, you would feel embarrassed too, don't deny it! I don't buy your act for a second people!

Okay, this is the part where I did something either really cool or really lame, I haven't decided yet. You be the judge. Just, don't be too harsh, please? "Tish?"

"Hmm?"

"Take off your glasses."

"My…glasses? Why?"

"No reason." I chuckled feebly.

"But I'll be blind without them!"

"Do you trust me?"

"It's not that, it's just. . ."

"Please?"

"Why is it so important to you?"

"I'll tell you after you take them off."

She sighed. "Alright, I trust you." Slowly she unhooked her right arm from me,  bringing her right hand up to her face and easing her glasses off. She folded the arms of her frames, and I carefully took them from her. "Okay. Now remind me why I'm doing this."

If you tell anyone about what I said next, I'll deny it. Or at least plead the Fifth. On second thought, you go ahead and tell whoever you want. No one will believe you, because I don't believe it myself! "You have really pretty eyes, Tish. I always thought you did, I just wanted to be sure." I swallowed. Hard. Okay, okay, I admit it, it was a full-fledged gulp. She hesitated a little, then. I can't say as I blame her. I caught myself just as off-guard as she must've felt. It felt a lot like being blasted with a Monday morning pop quiz after a weekend of non-stop relaxing and fun.

"Th-thanks, Tino. You don't have to say that, though. . ."


"No, it's alright. I meant it." She blushed. I did too. I don't think I've ever made a girl blush before. Oh yeah, great, now she was embarrassed, and that made me feel nervous and self-conscious. Way to be a good friend!

I think it was then that I realized she hadn't released our hug. I felt like I should say something else, to reassure her, but I didn't know what. I was twisting in the wind. It was an awkward moment that took longer in coming than Christmas, but finally Tish rescued me from the silence by holding me a little tighter. . .and a little closer.

I don't know if anyone can understand what this was like. A felt another large gulp slide down my throat, and suddenly I felt the biggest pang of guilt ever. Like I had robbed an old widow of her bingo money. "I'm. . .sorry. I don't mean to-"

"Don't be." She interrupted me. She looked at me again, that same kind of look, only now there was a slight sadness to it, and I was afraid I'd just done the stupidest thing of my entire life. I was seized with the fear that she would either cry, or. . .I don't know what else. She shivered a little, and I awkwardly tried to steady her. All I really accomplished was a shivering fit of my own. "So. . .are you going to. . .?"

There was this huge part of my mind which was screaming to pretend I had no idea what she was talking about, but there was no denying that we both knew exactly what she meant. A million thoughts passed through my mind in those seconds. I felt guilty beyond belief,  frightened, excited, curious. "Well I. . .I don't know. . .I mean. . ." She kept her eyes on me the whole time, and even without her glasses, I knew she could see me clear as day. "Is that. . .um-"

"Shhh." She whispered. I felt her hand slip over mine. "It's okay." I looked down at this new connection she had made, and never have I felt so unsure of myself. I didn't want to ruin our friendship. What was I letting happen here, anyway? Was it something that has always been going on, something that had finally been given a voice?  "It's okay." She breathed.

She wasn't Tish anymore. Or rather, she wasn't JUST Tish. There was something else. I'd never thought of her as anything but my good friend before, but it was like all of a sudden, it mattered that she was a girl. I thought for a moment that I was going to cry. I don't understand why, I'm just glad I held it in. In the back of my head, I heard Mom say something about finishing what I started, and I felt ashamed. I wouldn't run away. I couldn't, I'd come too far, and I owed her something. I pushed Mom out of my mind and looked into Tish's eyes again, and I wasn't afraid anymore. I held her as close as I could then, and despite a constant voice in my head telling me I was a fool, she reciprocated. I could feel her hair brush against my arms, and I felt an uncontrollable sigh escape me. She smiled at me. "You're a twisted little crueller, aren't you?" she whispered as she twirled and end of my hair around her finger. Whatever happens to all of us in the years to come, I think it's only fair to say that I don't think I've ever cared for another person more than I cared for Tish in that moment. I felt soft whispers of her breath on my face, catching the scent of the pizza we had snagged a few hours earlier (sans pepperoni). I don't care what anyone else says, I'll never turn my nose up at the scent of green peppers and onions ever again! I guess there's just no other way to say it. I kissed her then. No, that's not right. We kissed. And it was. . .well, neither of us had any complaints. It's not something you can explain to someone unless they have a common frame of reference. I was a little surprised, I admit it. It wasn't like anything you read in those stupid romance novels half the girls in our grade carry around with them in school. There were no fireworks, we didn't get crazy, we just stood there, holding onto each other. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't perfect. We were both pretty nervous. Sometimes there were these little hesitant stops, or breaks for air, but everytime my mind would just begin to come out of the haze, we were kissing again. It was. . .well, it was nice. How else can I describe it?

I don't know how long it was we stood there on the sidewalk like that. That's one thing those books do have right, you can lose all sense of time. I remember when she gently pulled away from me. We were still holding onto each other, tighter than ever. She whispered something about needing to get home before getting grounded. I slid her glasses into her left hand. She slowly pulled herself out of our hug and put her glasses back on; I felt like I had lost something when she wasn't holding me anymore, but then I remembered that there would be other times. Addiction? There's no addiction here! 

"Seeya tomorrow?" I fumbled for something to say.

"Uh-huh. See you tomorrow, Tino. Good night." She started to walk away, but she turned once to look at me. I smiled at her. "Later days, Tish." She smiled at me then, and I knew that everything was going to be alright.


Friday/Early Saturday


So, that's what happened. Pretty strange, isn't it. That's why I'm so wound up. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow when I see Tish. But I think I'm going to follow her lead. I'm not in a big hurry. But if she wants to hold hands next time we go to the movie, or on the shuttle simulator, I like to think  she won't have to ask twice.


You know what, it's funny how things work out. I never intended for any of this to happen. I set out to reassure Tish that I would always be her friend, but now I realize that she ended up reassuring me. Oh, sure, mock my tweenage angst, why don't you?! There's a small part of me that thinks she might've given me a little push back there, but I'm not going to ask her. Besides, I don't think she'd tell me anyway.

Well, that about covers things! Yeah, I know, there's more to this weekend, but you're just going to have to wait and see what happens. Later days!



I hope that everyone ends up happy with this. I tried to do my best. I like to think it's good, but what do I know? For those who aren't much into the Tino/Tish thing, I'll be doing a Tino/Lor one in the immediate future. I've got no favorites. But this was a lot of fun to write, so I hope that some of you have as much fun reading it.

Lord Malachite
ranger_writer@yahoo.com
Asukaphile26 (AIM)
5/2/03
4:42 PM, EST