Mike Winchell was in the midst of zipping up his jeans when she finally managed to unstick the stubborn bathroom door. It probably wouldn't have been such a bad situation, had Melissa not been in the small, cramped room with him, pulling her cropped black tank top over her perfect blonde hair. Mike immediately wanted to smash his head against the mirror as she surveyed the scene in front of her. He watched as her perfectly painted lips formed into an 'O' of shock and embarrassment. One look into her eyes revealed her true feelings about the situation. If Mike had learned anything in his years of perfecting his quiet demeanor, it was that feelings always registered in a person's eyes, no matter how hard they tried to hide them. And once he looked up into her deep, green eyes, he knew what she was feeling. But she did her best to keep her composure. She straightened her back, brushed strands of red hair from her flushed face and cleared her throat.
"Sorry," she murmured, abruptly turning and closing the door on them.
And just like that, the world around Mike Winchell came crashing down. Not stopping to say anything to the flustered blonde behind him, he flung open the door and sprinted down the stairs after the disheartened redhead. He caught a glimpse of her at the door as he shouldered his way through the crowd of people. Finally breaking through on the other side of the throng of partygoers, he found her, picking at the polish on her bony fingers. She looked up, only for a moment, to see who had followed her outside of the excitement. But what she didn't know was that she was his excitement. So she plastered a brave smile on her face and let out a deep breath she'd forgotten she was holding.
"Great party huh?" she asked, returning her attention to her nails.
He strolled up to her, hands in his pockets. "Roxanne, about that-"
She held up a hand, stopping him short. "You're a big boy Mike. You can fuck whoever you want in that bathroom."
'Yeah but I'd like it if you were the one in there with me,' he thought. Outloud he said: "Yeah but it wasn't a good thing to walk in on. I don't even like her."
"Trying to prove a point to her Mike?" she asked, not bothering to hide the smirk on her face.
"She said I was gay," he deadpanned.
"So you had sex with her. Great way to prove your point Winchell," she said, giving him a playful shove.
"Do you have a ride home tonight Roxanne?" he inquired, folding his arms over his chest.
She shook her head and rubbed her thighs. "You don't have to drive me home just because I walked in on you after sex."
"That's not why I'm offering you a ride," he stated, toeing the dirt of the driveway. "I'm offering because I don't want you to walk home at three in the morning."
"I didn't know you cared so much," she teased. "I can manage by myself though. Just go back and enjoy the party."
"Well that would imply that I was enjoying it in the first place," he said.
"Oh so you just want to drive me home so you have an excuse to leave?" He nodded. "Alright. Drive me home Mike. But you owe me later."
"If you call me Roxanne one more time, I'll run you over with your truck," she warned. "Call me Roxy."
He nodded, watching her walk towards his truck. "Did you drink tonight?"
"I don't drink. It stops my creative flow," she stated, flinging the door open. "Do you drink like Billingsley does?"
"No one drinks like he does. Except maybe his dad," he replied, dropping his voice for the last comment, hoping she wouldn't hear.
She smiled and looked over at him as he climbed behind the wheel. "I guess we all get something from our parents, even if we don't need it."
He nodded, starting the drive home off with a relaxed silence. Roxy sighed contentedly, watching the quiet world of Odessa pass them by. She was unaware that he tossed casual glances in her direction, not allowing any of them to linger long enough for her to feel them. He sighed, running his fingers through his hair. She turned to look at him, taking in every detail of his profile. The passing street lamps cast dark shadows over him, adding to the mystery that shrouded the quiet quarterback. She smiled and reached over to place a warm hand on his tense forearm. The sudden contact of her soft skin against his started him out of his daze. He looked over at her, slowing his truck to a crawl so as not to run into anything on the road. Her smile grew in the hopes that he would return it, but he didn't. Nothing out of the ordinary. Mike Winchell never smiled. Roxy finally gave up and turned to face the front. Mike wanted so desperately to slam on the breaks and pull her into his arms, kissing her until neither one could breathe. Instead he settled for the silence that they sat in, trying to think of something to say to her. As usual, she beat him to it.
"How come you never smile?"
The question had been asked countless times before and he still didn't have an answer. He couldn't explain why he didn't smile, so that's what he said.
"I don't know why I don't smile Roxy," he replied, pulling into her driveway.
"Home sweet home," she sighed, climbing out of the stationary vehicle. "Thanks for the ride Mike."
"Hey uh, Roxy?" he called out, poking his head out his open window.
She turned, walking over to him. "Yes Mike?"
"Do you uh, do you have a ride to school tomorrow?" he asked.
Roxy smiled. "Yeah. It's called the bus, Mike."
"Oh I can um...I can pick you up on my way in. I drive by your house anyway," he muttered, suddenly becoming quite interested in the rearview mirror.
"What time should I be waiting?" she asked, matching the low tone of his voice.
He looked up, too quickly to hide the look of surprise on his face. Roxy laughed, reaching out to touch his arm. She took a step towards the truck and rested her hand on the ledge of the open window. Before Mike knew what was happening, Roxy had placed a warm, soft kiss on his cheek. She smiled and stepped back, her hands clasped firmly behind her back so he wouldn't see them shaking. Under the light of the moon, the warm flush that crept up her cheeks came off as a subtle glow. Roxy hoped that it made her look good, since in that moment, she felt like a complete asshole. And then Mike did something that nearly knocked her off her feet. He smiled.
"I'll come and get you at six thirty," he said with a soft chuckle.
Roxy nodded. "Six thirty. Good night Mike."
"Night Roxy," he whispered, watching her turn on her heel and stroll into the dark, unlit house.