~Thank you to all who follow this story! :) I hope this reaches your expectations!
Disclaimer: I own nothing of the book, or characters. Only the fact that Clay's name is Marie in this story, because I could not find anywhere in the book that said her first name. ~
Chapter Six: You Drive Me Crazy
I haven't let go of this blush since Clay began talking about paper flowers and the likes. And I'm about to have to face his mom. We're walking up to his doorstep, and suddenly I feel very, very self-consious. I feel awkward now, my arm linked with Clay's. A million-and-one thoughts, at least, are going through my head, stuck at the fore-most front are the ones revolving around Oh, God. What's his mom going to think about me? About our arms linked? About.... I don't even want to think about his dad, and I am thankful he's not home. Dad's are always scary, even when they're not the scary type. In fact, that's got to be worse, because then they're liable to try to become your friend. Oh God.
When we walk through the door, his mother is right there, sitting in a chair at the dining nook.
"Well, hello there!" she calls warmly, rising from the chair and extending a hand. Immediately, probably a little bit too fast, I yank my arm from Clay's, and then realizing how silly it was, I laugh. Mrs. Jensen has a good, firm hand shake, and normally, on any other woman, I think I might find it intimidating, but instead it just adds to the warmth radiating off of her.
"Nice to meet you, Mrs. Jensen," I say. "I'm Hannah."
"Nice to meet you, too," she lets go of my hand, but holds my gaze. "And you can call me Marie."
Meanwhile, during our little chat, Clay had been rummaging around in the fridge, and now pulls his head out, producing two Coca-Colas.
"Hannah, you want a soda? Mom?" He asks.
"Uh," Marie pauses and puts a hand to her stomach, blowing air out through her closed lips, creating that speedboat-immitation sound. "Better not. Too much sugar today."
"Whatever, Mom. Too much sugar never hurt anyone...," he trails off, then turns to me. "Hannah?"
"Um, yeah, I think I will. Thanks," I say, trying not to giggle at Marie's mumbled comment behind me.
"Not anyone except most of America," she pracitcally whispered it as she walked out of the room. Then, louder, came the sound of her voice from the hall, "You ready?"
"You bet," I call after her, then turn back to Clay and wait for him to get his own soda, before reaching my hand out to his.
Silently, he leads me through the hall, out of a back door and into the garage. It is piled full of stuff. Piled. Full. Stuff. Everywhere. I can already tell this is going to take all day.
"Okay, where do you guys want to start?" His mom is standing between a few of the piles, hands on her hips, looking like she's not the least bit stressed about this job.
At seeing the looks on our faces, she says, "Okay, I'll start with the boxes. You two take those cupboards and the shelves."
I look behind me to see where she's pointing. I look back to her and nod. She sets off to the other side of the garage, and Clay and I get started.
"Oh, God," Clay says. I look over, and he's messing with an old stereo, and a box of cassette tapes.
He picks one and pops it in, and a song I recognize, but don't know the name of, comes on.
"You drive me crazy, ooh, ooh, like no one else," Clay and his mom both sing along. "You drive me crazy, ooh, ooh, and I can't help myself." I can't help it and laugh at them, and they join in.
We work for hours, until mid-afternoon rolls around. Now, we are all sitting around the kitchen table again, exhausted.
"Well, you kids hungry?" Marie asks.
"Yes," Clay says. I just nod, too tired to open my mouth.
"Home-made pizza?" she asks.
This time we nod vigorously, the lazy feeling suddenly knocked from our bones. Marie just laughs, and turns back to the counter where she is pulling out ingredients.
"Oh, Clay, we're out of sauce. Wanna run down to the store for me?" Marie asks, and then turns to me. "Hannah, you wanna stay and help me make the crust?"
"Sure," I say, looking to Clay to see his reaction.
"All right. Mom, where're your keys?" He asks. Marie points to a cupboard by the door. "Cool. See you," he retrieves the keys from where they're hanging inside the cupboard door and then walks over and pecks me on the cheek. And then he's gone out the door.
"Aw, how cute," I say, and laugh a bit.
"Yeah, that's Clay for ya," Marie says with a smile. "Now, get the flower...."
We spend the next half-hour fixing the pizza, talking and laughing about nothing and anything, waiting for Clay to come back.
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