I was avoiding Rowyn and I was not sure why? I really didn’t, she wasn’t mine. She wasn’t going to be mine. She made her choice to leave with Jose and that had nothing to do with us. She very well could have had a good reason to leave and we would not know. I thought the best approach would be to talk with Allison about it. She would tell us what is going on.
By this point I knew what car Rowyn drove and I would know if she was working before I had to walk up to the shop. As I walked to the shop that afternoon I thought of the things I could say that would allow Allison to tell me what was going on but still letting her know that Mick was interested in Rowyn and not me. I still did think Allison was cute and funny and I still wanted to go out with her even though I did not know much of anything about her. Maybe it was the mystery that still intrigued me. I rounded the corner to where I could see the shop and the parking lot and I did not see Rowyn’s car. Whew… Okay, now I just need to go up and tell Allison that Mick was worried about Rowyn, After she left from the game without talking to us and he knew how upset Jose can get and that he was worried. That was the perfect way to ask. Then I could play it off like I was not the person who was interested. This was the perfect strategy for a high school boy. I thought it was fool proof. Only I was actually the fool.
I walked up and said “Hi!” to Allison. She smiled and asked where I had been lately. I went from coming everyday for hours to nothing. I just smiled and said I had some work to do that took much longer than I thought it would. She asked me what kind of work. This caught me a little off guard because I was the one who was supposed to be asking the questions. I said I was working on my grandma’s farm. (I actually was off and on to pay for a soccer camp I signed up for in Colorado). She smiled and laughed a little. I thought this was a little odd but I was happy she didn’t press the issue. I started with a little small talk: How have you been?; How has business been?; Are you excited to be a senior next year? She answered each question and we talked for a bit about nothing really. I was getting ready to ask her about Rowyn when she asked me if I liked Rowyn.
What?!?! This was out of the blue and very direct. What would give her that idea? I mean really, I only spent a few hours each day hanging out at their shop talking mainly with Rowyn, a few hours at night talking on the phone with Rowyn, and Rowyn made me smile every time she was around, but what would make Allison think that I liked Rowyn.
I know, looking back it is pretty funny to think I did not see it like everyone else did. I was slightly blinded by my goal to get Mick and Rowyn together plus Mick had dibs on her. It seemed simple to me. There was no danger in me talking to her because she would never be mine.
I dodged the question with generic answer like “Of course I like her. And I like you. And I like Caren (another friend of theirs that was around sometimes).” She luckily didn’t press but it did give me an in to ask about Rowyn. By this point we were sitting out back of the shop in the chairs. I was sipping on my usual vanilla shake. I casually asked how Rowyn has been since the last time I saw her when she left with Jose. She laughed and said “I wondered when you would ask about her? Luckily I don’t have to answer. She can answer herself.” I almost panicked. I seriously thought about running. I really did. I looked through the shop and out the ordering window and she was walking through the parking lot towards the shop. Allison was watching me and must have found it entertaining because she laughed a little. I probably looked like a cornered rat, but obviously better looking.
Rowyn came around the corner and stopped when she saw me. She did not say a word but walked into the shop and began cleaning. I looked at Allison who smiled and said “Well, I got to head home. I will call you later, Rowyn.” She waved to her as she said it and walked away toward the parking lot. I was torn on what I should do. This was different ground for me than I ever had known. She was obviously upset. Normally in my life when someone became upset you avoided them like the plague. This time I knew if I walked away she probably would not talk to me again. How could I set her up with Mick if she wouldn’t talk to me? Who would I talk to at night as I fall asleep? Who would find all my jokes funny? I decided to stay, but I was not talking first.
So I sat there drinking my shake. It seemed like an eternity. I listened and watched her as she cleaned, sometimes she cleaned the same place twice. I knew she just did not want to come out and talk to me. Finally, she turned around and from inside the shop asked “Why are you here?”. She was not mad, not sad, I could not read the emotion. I decided on the safe route and replied “I just stopped by to have a shake and I stayed and talked to Allison for a while. Why? Isn’t that what I normally do?” Perfect, I thought. I would play the stupid card.
She just looked at me and with dead eyes and flatly said “Well Allison left.” I knew this was not going as I planned. First, I did not plan for her to be here so I had no plan. I was flying by the seat of my pants and while I am good at it. I like to have at least some idea of what I was getting into. The only real relationship experiences that I knew about where the bad ones my sisters were in and what I had seen on The Cosby Show, The Brady Bunch, Growing Pains, and all the other cool shows at the time. But none of it was like this. I finally just said “You are right, she did.” I stood up looked at her and as I went to leave she asked me why I did not call her over the last few days. This stopped me and I said that I thought you might need some space as you were back with Jose.
She just stared at me and said “Don’t you think I would have liked to be able to talk to someone about him. Someone who I have been telling things to that I don’t share with my other friends. Someone I thought I could trust. ” I studied the ground, (oh look, grey cement). I looked up and just said I was sorry. I was busy working at my grandmas (a small white lie) but I still should have called. She said she was so confused. She came out and sat down in one of the chairs and I sat back down in the one I was just in.
She said that she was not getting back with Jose. He wanted to make sure they were still friends and that they could still hang out every once in a while. I looked at her and asked if she told him “no!”. She didn’t. She said she still had feelings for him but that she also knew that they had both moved on but she really thought they could be friends. She really wanted to be friends so she could still see his family and he could come visit hers. I said that still sounds like a relationship to me and I did not think her current boyfriend, Dwek, would approve much of that arrangement. She looked at me and laughed. This was good. She was smiling again. She said that would not matter because she was planning on ending things with Dwek pretty soon anyways.
Now at this point I really don’t know if we talked about anything else. I just kept hearing her say that she was ending things with Dwek pretty soon over and over in my head. I stayed for another few hours before finally leaving to head to soccer. As I went to leave she said thanks for being her friend. She walked over and gave me a hug. As she hugged me I looked deep into her eyes. I felt the urge to kiss her right then. So I….. turned my head so I would not see her eyes and hugged her. I walked away, kicking myself but also being glad I did not ruin what I was setting up for Mick or confusing our friendship.
I got to soccer that night and I saw that Mick was in a pretty bad mood. This was not going to go well for our opponent. I asked Pete what was going on and he said that Mick’s dad had taken a new job in Denver and was moving in two weeks. That would suck. That meant one of my good friends was moving and he would not get his senior year in a school full of people he has known for years. I did what any good high school friend would do in this situation. I kept putting him in positions where he got to tackle people a lot. By the end of the game he was tired and he had injured enough of the other team that they all just seem to avoid him. As we were gathering all of our things his mom came over and invited us over for dinner.
We all went and as we were eating the topic came up. The new job in Denver. It actually sounded really cool. I could tell that his dad was excited to go. I was a little envious because Mick had a dad like this but I still knew it would suck for Mick. Pete asked if it were possible to let Mick live with him for his senior year and then move after he graduated. Both his parents laughed at this. They said that was not an option but they thought they had come up with a better alternative. Mick and his family were going to spend the rest of the summer up in Denver and then Mick’s mom and Mick would come back and stay for his senior year.
We were all excited and I think we overlooked the part about Mick leaving for the rest of the summer. He was going to leave in two weeks. We already planned on spending the next week in Boulder for a soccer camp and then we would drive back here and he would get all his stuff and move to Denver. This was going to suck.. Then it hit me. I have to get him to go out with Rowyn before the end of the week or he won’t have a chance. If I could get him to go out with her, then they could talk on the phone and write letters for the rest of the summer. I needed to move fast. Rowyn already wanted to dump Dwek, I just needed to move the timetable up a little. I stayed the night at Mick’s (a regular occurrence) and as I was laying there trying to sleep, I thought up a way to make it work, at least I hope so….
You got a lot to say for the one that walked away.