At 17 years old, I finally have my own car. It's just an old 1991 Toyota Celica, courtesy of Socko's uncle Otto, but it's my baby. Believe it or not, I started my research a year and a half before I was even eligible for a license. I studied car mileage charts, compared the prices of auto insurance, pored over depreciation graphs, and even visited every car repair shop within a 20 mile radius to survey which car had the least expensive maintenance. There was one factor that I didn't think about, though. It's that, now, it is my responsibility to pick up and drop off Carly and Sam wherever they wished.
Last Wednesday morning started off in a rather amusing fashion. I drove by Sam's house to pick her up. Carly was already in the backseat so that she didn't have to transfer-- yeah, the disadvantages of a two-door. Sam usually grumbles a sleepy hello and plops on the front seat, but that day was a bit different. She was uncharacteristically chipper and, instead of opening the passenger side, she walked over to my side and opened my door.
"I want to drive."
My and Carly's eyes both widened. "Are you crazy?" She asked.
"I saw this car movie last night, so I want to drive," She said as she bent over to unbuckle my seatbelt. I brushed her hair away from my face. She pushed me towards the passenger side and I yelped as my hip bone hit the the emergency brake. After much poking, prodding and forcing me into uncomfortable positions, I gave in.
I gave Sam general instructions on adjusting her seat and side mirrors, making sure that she was seeing what she was supposed to. She ignored me and pointed out that she already took driving lessons-- which she failed, I might add. In the middle of my warning that sometimes Bianca's left signal doesn't work and that she had to resort to hand signals, Sam thought it would be funny to cut me off. She shifted to reverse, backed up the driveway, and sped out of her street. I hung on to the hand rest, Carly was gripping my shoulders from the back and Sam was honking the horn whenever she saw fit. Boy, were we in for a ride.
Film appreciation is a new experimental elective course they offered in our school. There isn't much to the class. I could get an A even with my eyes closed. Even so, I still try to be a model student and listen to teacher, making sure that I give my full, undivided attention during his lectures. It doesn't usually work because I have a certain Puckett sitting beside me.
It was Thursday, second period, and I was trying to keep awake. Suddenly, I felt her eyes on me as our teacher droned on about dramatic irony. I turned to my right to look at her and grinned when she wagged her eyebrows at me.
"What?" I mouthed.
She glanced at the teacher discreetly to make sure he wasn't looking. Then she threw a crumpled piece of paper on my desk. I opened it and found a rather impressive drawing of our teacher on a ship. Pirates were trying to make him walk the plank as the sharks waited impatiently.
I shook my head and gave her a bewildered look. I wrote a little note on her incredibly random drawing, telling her how everyone deserved a happy ending, then tossed it back. She pursed her lips a little bit and tapped her pen on the table thoughtfully. Then I saw her hurriedly sketch on it. I turned my attention back to our teacher, figuring it would take her a while to draw something new.
After around five minutes, the paper reappeared on my desk. She did make our teacher jump the plank in the drawing. Surprising thing was, instead of being devoured by angry sharks, he was now kissing one of them and there were hearts all around.
I chuckled lightly.
"Mr. Benson," our professor called out, "is there something that amuses you?"
I quickly hid the note under my desk and shook my head shamefully. He didn't press on further and returned his attention to the chalk board. I looked at Sam to see her reaction, but she was already taking down notes. She had an uncanny ability of getting me in trouble then getting away with it.
I know most kids love lunch time. Me, not so much. It wasn't my favorite period in school, growing up. It was more of a necessity-- a time for eating. It changed after I got closer to Carly and Sam. We started as co-workers, then after-school friends, then friends. In school, being friends with someone meant eating lunch with them. That's when I started liking lunch period.
I walked over to our usual table that Friday. Instead of finding both my friends, I found only Carly.
"Where's Sam?" I asked.
"She had to rush to the library, yeah I know," she said when she saw my expression, "but she totally forgot about this big English assignment. So she's doing some last minute research."
Her eyes suddenly focused on someone behind me and she waved. I turned around and saw James, this guy who was rumored to have the hots for Carly, walking towards us. I gave him a small fist bump before he took a seat beside my friend.
"Hey how's it going, Bro?" He asked.
"Good... Bro." I looked back at Carly, "Did she get something to eat?"
"She probably got something from the vending machine. You know we're not supposed to bring food in the library."
I waved my hand, "Yeah, off course not."
She gave me a small smile. "But Ms. Fingerly probably won't notice if you put it in a paper bag. Sam's on one of the computers."
I just shrugged.
Ten minutes later I entered the library and took the computer beside hers. Sam was too preoccupied with typing that she didn't even notice me until I pushed the paper bag near her mouse. She looked at the bag then broke out into a grin. Using the backpack on her lap to hide her forbidden food, she took a bite out of the ham and cheese sandwich and sighed happily.
"I love you," she whispered to the sandwich. I raised my brows in amusement.
As I deleted the messages in my inbox, I felt the tip of her shoe hit my calf. I glanced at her. She gave a nod of thanks before looking back at her monitor.
Brain freeze is a funny thing. It's painful, but at the same time, you can't avoid it when the drink you're sipping is just so, so delicious. In a way, getting brain freeze is almost worth it.
I sat across Sam in a counter at Groovy Smoothie on that curiously hot Saturday afternoon. I sipped my Mango Mania while observing her lick her Blueberry Blop covered straw. We started talking about nothing in general. A little about school, the latest buzz, and even mentioning plans for college. The conversation then veered towards Carly's prospective boyfriend, James, and our assessment of him.
"He's ok," Sam finally admits. "He doesn't seem like a jerk, plus he's totally hot. What do you think?" She asked me with a sly grin.
"Why that look?"
"Just wondering what Carly's ex is thinking,"
I furrowed my brows. "Ex? We never went out."
"Yeah, but I bet you totally did in that stalker head of yours," She laughed at my plight. All I could do was smile sheepishly at the memory of it all.
"Sure," I resigned, "I'm tough on her dates. But it's more out of protectiveness than jealousy. Hey I hated some of the guys you went out with too, you know," I pointed out.
"Maybe. But you know I do what I want anyway."
"Exactly," I said as I took another sip of my smoothie. "How is it, by the way? Your love life?"
She smirked, "None of your business." I rolled my eyes at her. "Hey," she continued as she looked down at our half full drinks. "Wanna race?"
"You're on," I said as we grabbed our smoothies and sipped as fast as we could.
Sam slammed her glass on the table in an act of victory. Her smug look was short lived, however, for we simultaneously clutched our heads as we reeled from the numbing pain. We laughed at each other's pained faces. Yeah, sometimes brain freeze was worth it.
Procrastinating was never in my vocabulary. Sam. Sam, however, was and is the master of procrastination.
But recently, I find myself wanting or needing to do something and putting it off until the very last minute. I put it off for so long that the opportunity just passes me by. I have two theories on it. Either I've been hanging out with Sam too much that she's rubbing off on me, or she is the reason behind my procrastination.
I was studying for an important pre-calculus test on Sunday when I received a call from Sam. She forgot her homework at Carly's place. Senior year had changed her attitude towards schoolwork, but it didn't do a thing for her time management skills. I rolled my eyes and I knew she could feel me doing so through the phone.
I saw her in the front yard when I arrived. She was lounging on the bench swing located underneath the shade of their tree. I walked over and handed her books as well as a jacket she left behind. I was going to leave right away but she held onto the sleeves of my jacket, demanding me to stay. So I did.
Two hours had passed by and I was still in her lawn. I dug the toe of my shoe on the ground, making the swing sway back and forth in a rhythmic manner. A breeze passed through us, rattling the branches of the tree. I leaned in to pick a wandering leaf off her hair when words started to gather on the tip of my tongue. These words had formed because of a thought. This thought was being fueled by an image. This image had been in the back of my head for quite some time. However before I gathered the courage to encode these words into spoken language, verbalize them in a way that could be understood by a receiver, a sound emerged from the back pocket of her cargo pants.
"Hey," She smiled into her phone.
I leaned back on my side of the swing and watched her giggle into the device. "Just hanging," she said, "I'm with Freddie... No, I'm not giving him a hard time-- yet." She looked at me, "He says hi," she informed.
I nodded and heard her say, "He said hi" back to the phone.
I heaved a silent sigh then stood up. She covered the mouthpiece with her hand and bade me a farewell.
My car shook and groaned as I started the engine. I took a quick look at my watch and realized I had procrastinated enough for the day.
Everyday, I park in the same spot at school. It's not reserved for me or anything, but it just so happens that the space is rarely taken. That was my spot and I hate it when I arrive in the morning to find that someone else beat me to it.
Yesterday, Monday, my spot was taken so I had to park further than I would have liked. I walked to my car after my last class and drove back to the entrance of the school and picked my two friends up. "So I need to be extra early tomorrow," I said as they arranged themselves on the seats, "The AV club needs to finalize our foreign film project. That reminder was for you, Sam"
"Don't worry about me, Franco is picking me up."
I raised my eyebrows in silence.
We passed by a new structure that had a 'Now Open' banner draped on the front, "Hey," I pointed at the building, "Let's grab something from that place for lunch tomorrow."
I saw Carly bob her head from the rear view mirror. But Sam had to decline. "Nah, I'm probably meeting him at lunch too," she informed.
I shrugged, "So he's sticking around the whole day?"
"Are you suffering from Alzheimer's? I always spend Tuesdays with him."
"I thought he was going to switch shifts around work so you can spend the whole day on a Saturday or something," asked Carly as she leaned in the space between me and Sam.
"Well, the mall is busiest on a weekend. Plus he has school, so he only has Tuesdays free for now." She pursed her lips thoughtfully, "Not seeing him everyday works in a weird way. Maybe that's why I haven't strangled him yet," Sam laughed at the idea. I shrugged again. It seemed very appealing to me.
Today's a Tuesday and I'm watching television with Carly after doing our homework. I twirl my phone this way and that in my hands, willing for it to vibrate. The screen is a blank except for a picture of her nostrils, which she took and set as my phone's wallpaper. My fingers hover over the keypad. I hesitate for a moment, then drop it by my side on the couch.
"You're thinking if you should text her, aren't you?" Carly asks knowingly.
Her elbow collides with my ribs.
"Maybe," I croak as I rub my side. "I don't know what she sees in that guy, anyway."
"Well, for one," She starts as she tucks a strand of hair behind her ears, "she actually knows that the guy's into her. She doesn't have to guess how he feels." I notice she stresses the words knows, guess and feels a little too strongly.
"Ugh," is my only reply as I slap my palm above my eyes.
"Geez, Freddie, that's what you get for putting it off for too long. If you didn't, then your Tuesdays would have been--" she's cut off by the sound of my ringtone. I excitedly grab my phone and click answer, not even bothering to take a peek at the caller's name.
My face drops when I realize who the caller is. Carly gives me a sympathetic look when she sees my face.
"Yes," I reply monotonously. "Sure, sure... Yeah, I'll be there in two minutes."
"Who was it?" She asks, even though I know she has an idea of who it wasn't.
I stand up and gather my books into my bag. "It was my mom. Tonight's our weekly parasite inspection."
"You're still doing that?"
"Yes." I make a frustrated sound as I swing my bag over my shoulder. "I hate Tuesdays."
a/n: I'm sorry I had to kill your joy guys. I just wanted to do something a little different. Also because I was inspired by this song, title translated as "I miss you on Tuesday," which about the same thing. The guy spends his whole week with this girl, but on Tuesdays she spends it with her boyfriend.