This one I’m already working on. I’m hoping by next September to have it. But so far I’ve only been on the highway twice and it wasn’t one of the main ones. So when I drive to work I have to take the long way and it takes me a half an hour to get there. With the freeway it would only be fifteen minutes. And the worst part of all is that I have to have a licensed driver over the age of eighteen in the car with me at all times. So I have to find someone willing to take me driving every time I need to be somewhere. You would think my mom would be extremely eager to get me out on my own driving, but because we work opposite schedules it’s hard to find time. And once we’re both free we’re exhausted. For the time being I’m being carted around by relatives.
I know what you’re asking, “Why didn’t you get your license when you were younger like everyone else does?” Well, with my extensive extracurricular activities I never really found the time. Plus I was a little afraid of driving. But now that I’m almost twenty-five I wish I would have just faced my fears and found the time because now I’m busier and I’m even more afraid of the road. I’ve already had a couple good scares. One was at a traffic light when the turn arrow was yellow and I was anticipating a green one to follow the yellow and instead of turning green it turned red and there I was in the middle of a four-way intersection. I’m absolutely terrified of merging and I’m always going too fast or too slow. AND I ABSOLUTELY HATE IT WHEN I GET HONKED AT! Nothing makes me angrier. The worst is when I want to make a left turn out of the supermarket parking lot and someone behind me thinks it’s taking me too long so they honk. What do you want me to do asshole there’s traffic coming from both directions and I’m not going to pull out in front of a bunch of cars just so you can get on the road a minute sooner. I know I shouldn’t let it bother me and I should just make him wait, but there’s something about the sound of the honk that just makes me angry. It’s the driving equivalent of being slapped in the face. I’m just glad the other driver can’t hear what I’m screaming. And for that I’m grateful.
So this one is a lot like the “Audition for the DSO.” It’s just something that would be cool to do and it’s more traveling (who wouldn’t like an excuse to go to New York City?). Plus to me it’s just something I have to do. I’ve been told all kinds of negative things about my oboe playing. And even though I don’t truly believe I’ll ever get in I’d still like to say that I tried. Who knows? Maybe I will get in. Though I’m not sure how I’d pay for it cause it costs like a bajillion dollars. And I don’t have a bajillion dollars just chilling in the bank. I would like to think that if they really enjoyed my playing they would find big scholarships for me. But then again the professors at Juilliard are all John Mack disciples. For more information on John Mack click on the John Mack link provided here. Anyway, John Mack is not a favorite oboe player of mine. In fact he’s one of the few oboe players that I can’t stand. His playing is like nails on a chalkboard. For a sample of John Mack’s oboe playing click on the link provided here. If you would like to hear a talented oboe player click the link provided here. Needless to say I’m not sure if I want to study with anyone who studied with John Mack even if it is Juilliard. I know it sounds picky, especially for an amateur oboe player such as I. But you know how when you’re watching the previews to a movie and you see that a no talent ass clown like Ben Affleck is in it, it just ruins it for you? If you had no idea he was in it you’d go. The plot looks good but just the thought of sitting through two hours listening to Ben Affleck try to act is just not worth it. Maybe it’s not quite the same thing, but if I didn’t believe in the professors I was studying with I’d really just be going to Juilliard for their name on a piece of paper and that is definitely not worth a bajillion dollars.
This has been a dream of mine since I started playing the oboe. And though I’ve been told and I now believe it, I don’t think it’ll ever happen. This is becoming even more unlikely due to the fact that I haven’t picked up my oboe since August of 2012. I just don’t have time between working 30 hours a week, school for another 25 hours (not including any extra studio time I put in on the weekends and at home), and taking care of any family business on my two days off. I’m sure if I had the energy I would pick up the oboe once in awhile. The sad thing is that oboe once was “the thing I wanted to do.” I wanted to be a world famous oboe player, it was my ideal career. But I don’t miss it. I am so consumed by my art (that was so cheesy I cringed) I don’t even notice it. I actually just realized a week or two ago that I hadn’t picked it up in months. I have nowhere to play so I don’t have a reason to ever take it out. This shows you just how dedicated I am to the oboe. This makes it sounds like I never ever practiced, but when I had music that needed to be mastered for a concert I did. However, for the time being I’m going to keep this on my bucket list because there’s no rule saying the shitty players can’t audition too. And who knows I might be reinspired after failing an audition.
Why not visit Israel? It’s beautiful all year round and there are all kinds of festivals. There’s the International Klezmer Festival. I absolutely love Klezmer music. If you don’t know what Klezmer music is take a moment and watch this youtube video. Don’t worry I’ll wait, just make sure you come back when it’s done.
I hope you enjoyed the video. Now that you know what Klezmer music is (you probably already knew what it was, but you had never heard it called by it’s correct name, it’s usually refered to as Jew music) back to my original tangent. It’s the only type of music that makes me regret not picking up the clarinet when I was younger.
Then there’s the Tel Aviv Gay Pride, who doesn’t want to go to a pride festival in another country. My friends and I make it a point to never go to a pride festival in a state we’ve been to a pride festival in. It makes things interesting. And since there are only fifty states, and I plan on being gay longer than just forty-seven more years, we’re going to have to go outside of the United States eventually. Why not check something off my bucket list while I’m at it?
Next are the more obvious reasons like trying new foods, the beaches, the Dead Sea, and Tel Aviv (it’s like the Manhattan of Israel). However, I wouldn’t be completely truthful if I didn’t say I wanted to visit Israel for the religious experience. I’m not the best practicing anything. But I do believe there’s something out there, or at least hope there is. I’ve found in my gazillion years of college that most people just give up on religion, they just see it as a made up thing that only stupid people follow. Don’t get me wrong there are those that are tolerant and accepting, but the vocal ones are the ones I hear. I have nothing against atheists. It actually seems to be the other way around with most experiences; they seem to be the ones that give me the flack for actually believing in something. Anyhoo, Israel is home to major sites for the three big religions Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. So even if I weren’t going for a religious experience it would be very difficult to avoid.
This is much like the last item. I’m still not sure what to get my PhD in but I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually. Although I’m not sure how you apply for a PhD. I know there are lots of applications, stuff to send to each institution, and a buttload of fees. But do you have to have a master’s in the subject to apply for a PhD program. I was under the impression I could get a master’s unrelated to my undergrad. Whatever. I am most likely getting one of my master’s in English, so that’ll probably be what I get my PhD in.
I’m not quite sure why it bothers me so much to pursue my writing. Probably because I’m convinced there is no money to be made, thus no stability. And with as many student loans as I have no money being made equals living in a cardboard box and never having a decent credit score. Which means I can never purchase a house or own a new car. Unless I somehow save the money to just walk into a realtor’s office or car dealership and hand them cash. But if I’ve saved this money it’ll probably get taken away by collection agencies along with my cardboard box.
I am in no way implying that all writers will be penniless or that it’s impossible to become a famous writer. It’s just one of those careers only a small percentage of people can obtain. Like becoming a famous actress or country music star. And though I’ll probably continue to write for my own enjoyment it’ll only ever be one of my hobbies, like music became.
So I’ll continue to blog for the seventeen followers (that I’m SO grateful for :D) I’ve managed to snag and I’ll finish my novel for my mother who’s completely hooked on the story. And maybe if I’m lucky some publisher will get ahold of my blog or read a portion of my novel and want to publish it. But I refuse to let myself even entertain the idea of ever becoming a famous author.
Since I’ve graduated with one bachelor’s degree and have gone back for my second bachelor’s degree I still have plenty of time to decide what I want to get my masters degrees in (And yes, I said degrees). Especially since I can only afford two classes a semester.
I originally wanted to get my master’s in writing. But even though I enjoy writing I’m not sure I can see myself going to school for it again. I’m still considering anthropology, but I’m not quite sure anymore. Forensics will always be a huge interest of mine and I still want to be a forensic odontologist. And being a dental hygienist is still a dream. I weird dream, but a dream of mine nonetheless. Math and music are definitely out, but I’m still going to audition for Julliard because it’s on my bucket list. And math, though I enjoyed solving the puzzles, I don’t see myself ever excelling enough to earn a degree. There are some things I just don’t get. I’ve really enjoyed copy-editing with the Royal Purple (UW-Whitewater’s paper), so journalism is most definitely being considered. And if I go through completely with my B.F.A. in Metals I’m definitely gonna go through with getting my M.F.A. in Metals. If I get my degree and can still stand it I’ll go through with my M.F.A. Though I’m not quite sure if I could ever get sick of it.
Ever since I started at Wayne State I’ve been getting some really awesome ideas and look forward to being in my new studio everyday. It’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy going into or that I didn’t come up with any ideas at my last studio because I did. Here at Wayne State it’s just a different kind of inspiration, which sounds extremely hokey. It’s like the same stuff from this professor came from the last professor, but my professor at Wayne State worded it in a way that made more sense to me. I guess my brain just needed the rewording.
After all is said and done I’ll probably end up getting my master’s degrees in Metals and Writing. Forensics will probably always be just an interest. And I have no interest in Journalism other than the copy-editing. As for Juilliard, I probably won’t get in. Plus I haven’t picked up my oboe in months. And even though I haven’t picked up my oboe I’ve still been writing. So I suppose that speaks volumes to what I really love.
After they finished their meals Charlie was sure that she was full until she saw mochi on the dessert menu. Mochi was Charlie’s favorite, she hadn’t had it in years. The last time she had it was when she was visiting Los Angeles. She was definitely stuffed after the mochi. She was actually afraid Mel would have to roll her back to the car. Charlie took out her wallet to pay for the sushi. It was the least she could do for Mel. He had given her a place to stay and had been using his own gas to show her around. When Mel saw her wallet he told her to put it away. She tried to insist, but Mel shot every excuse down. On the way back to the car Charlie was quiet. She was having such a good time and tomorrow was her last day. It seems silly to worry about your trip ending when it’s only half way through. Today had gone by so fast and tomorrow would probably go by just as fast, so Monday was closer than she thought. Mel broke the silence when they got into the car.
“What’s wrong?” Mel asked.
“Nothing. Food coma.” Charlie answered.
“I know that feeling.”
Mel started the engine and they made their long decent down to the first floor of the parking garage. He paid the man at the booth a couple bucks and they were on their way back to the house or so Charlie thought. She didn’t know the streets very well after only twenty-four hours in Toronto, but the way Mel was taking didn’t look familiar. It all looked new.
“Are we going back to your house?” Asked Charlie.
“Are you going to tell me where we’re going?”
“Okay.” It seemed like another surprise. Charlie hated the anticipation. Plus she didn’t want to get over excited for something that may not be that exciting. That sounds terrible, but you’ve all had that happen. You’ve had someone tell you that they were taking you somewhere awesome or they wanted to show you something funny. Like your friends telling you their birthday party was at a super awesome place. You thought it was at Chuck E. Cheese because that’s like the coolest place for a birthday party. However, it ends up being at Caesar Land which is not as cool. Or like when you’re aunt tells you she has to show you something funny and you’re thinking it’s going to be good because she couldn’t stop giggling when she was telling you. But when you passed what she wanted to show you and you didn’t even notice because it wasn’t funny. At all. Mel parked the car on a deserted street and got out. Charlie didn’t know what else to do but follow him. He walked through a gate and down a small dirt path between some bushes. On the other side of the bushes was a cemetery. It was a small cemetery. It was also old; it didn’t look like any of the tombstones were new. Most were cracked or had fallen over. Charlie would be lying if she didn’t say she was surprised. It wasn’t a ‘how dare you bring me to a cemetery’ surprise. It was more of a ‘I’m not the only one who likes walking around cemeteries?’ surprise.
“I can’t believe you brought me to a cemetery.” Charlie said. Mel didn’t know how to react, I suppose this was one moment Charlie wasn’t all that transparent.
“I’m sorry. If you want to leave we can. We don’t have to say.”
Charlie realized how Mel had taken her comment and was fast to fix the misinterpretation.
“Don’t be sorry. I just can’t believe I’m not the only one that likes visiting cemeteries. My mom likes exploring them, but they’re not her happy places like they are for me.”
You could see Mel’s whole body sigh. “Oh good.” He said.
“They’re such peaceful places.” Said Charlie.
“There are so many stories here. It’s so interesting to read these inscriptions and wonder what the person was really like.”
“I know all of these inscriptions. I’ve been coming to this cemetery for years.
“I’ve got one back home. It’s in a nature park. You walk down this sandy trail to this big open field scattered with tombstones. The sad thing is if you walk back into the woods in the back of the field you’ll find rows and rows more of headstones. The trees have grown around them. These people were so forgotten that no one kept the land clear around them.”
“Life doesn’t stop when a person dies.”
“I know. It’s still sad. These people were in other people’s memories and even as memories they’ve faded. It’s scary to think that we’ll just fade into the nothing once we’re gone.”
“I try not to think about that.”
“I worry about everything.”
“Don’t be sorry. I know you can’t help it. I’m sure if you could you’d turn it off. I bet it’s exhausting.”
Mel visited the headstones he normally did while Charlie wandered through the marble forest. She found a couple infants, two young ladies about her age, and a railroad conductor. Babies were always sad, they didn’t get to experience anything. Whenever she found someone her age it always make her think about her being dead at her age. They weren’t pleasant thoughts. She was attracted to the railroad conductor because of the inscription. You must really love your job when it’s mentioned on your headstone. Mel found Charlie when he had finished his rounds.
“Ready?” He asked.
Charlie woke up before Mel and wasn’t quite sure what to do. She could poke him. He seemed like a solid sleeper it probably wouldn’t do much. And just cause she’s up doesn’t mean he had to be up too. After doing some serious staring at the ceiling she decided to read her book out in the living room. But how to get out of this bed without moving it. Charlie grabbed the four thick blankets in her right hand and pulled them off slowly, like snail slow. She had to peel them off her without moving the portion of the blankets that were on Mel. Her plan was to gently roll out off the bed and fall to the floor like a ninja gently landing on her fingertips and the balls of her feet. Keep in mind that Charlie is a little bigger than the average girl and twice as clumsy. The clumsiness is actually a family trait. She has an aunt, her mother’s sister, that breaks everything she touches. Her mom just started blaming all the broken things on her sister. All the woman in Charlie’s family were all clumsy, they dropped everything. They dropped things when they were just holding things steady. It always seemed like the items were jumping out of their hands. They weren’t holding things in a way that they could easily drop them. So, I suppose it was a gene. Charlie believed in the clumsy gene. Oh, and I know I mentioned Charlie’s size and I’m sure there are several larger lovely ladies who ask why was that was even worth mentioning. I know that there are several large ladies that were just as flexible if not more flexible than the smaller ladies. Charlie was pretty flexible herself. But as a larger person there was a bigger mattress displacement when she moved. If Mel was close enough his body could be at such an angle because of the divot she put in the mattress that when she moved her body his angle could be disturbed enough that he would wake up. This is why as she rolled off she was silently praying that he wouldn’t roll or move when she got off the bed. She was also praying for a silent landing. She sort of pulled off the ninja landing, landing on her fingertips and the ball of her right foot. However, she also landed on her left knee. It hurt like a motherfucker, but she somehow managed to keep all of her screams silent. And it did make quite a loud thud. Charlie kept as still as she could in her semi-ninja pose. She held her breath just so she could hear if Mel made even the slightest movement. When she didn’t hear anything she tried to make her way silently to her duffel bag on the other side of the room. With her first step came the loudest creak she had ever heard a hardwood floor make. It was probably amplified because she was trying to be quiet. Plus whenever you go slowly it always makes the creaks worse. Charlie cringed and ground her teeth with that first step. She stood there for a moment completely still on her tippy toes. To avoid any creaking she twisted her neck as far to the left to see over her shoulder, just to make sure Mel hadn’t moved. He hadn’t so she turned to face her duffel bag. How am I going to get to my damn bag without making anymore noise? She tried to find a spot on the floor in front of her with her right foot. It was useless. Every spot of this floor is creaky. At that point she decided that she would have to do a fast walk to her bag and to the door. She prayed the door wasn’t creaky either. She really wished she had paid attention to these things last night. After making it to the duffel bag she tried her best to stay still as she found the book. It took her forever to unzip the bag. The zipper sounded like an enormous elephant. Once she found the book she walked to the door. The door wasn’t too loud until she got it halfway open. Luckily by then she could fit through the crack so that’s what she did. She sucked in as far as she could and squeezed through. It wasn’t quite enough and she tapped the door with her stomach. Instead of freezing she just kept going. When she turned around to check if Mel was still asleep she was so thankful he was. She closed the door, probably the only silent thing she had done that morning. The hallway was creaky, but with the door between her and Mel it didn’t worry her as much. All this ninja work made her thirsty. Finding a glass and turning on the kitchen faucet can’t be that difficult, right? The kitchen was black and white, looked like it still had its original tile and ceramic sink. The appliances were all new and stainless steel. They looked out of place in this kitchen. It looked like a kitchen that was meant to have appliances that were in that olive green color. The cabinets looked original too, just your simple wood doors, but real wood. Charlie had no idea where anything was. She just had to start opening doors. She decided that the cabinet above and to the left of the sink was probably the best first guess for glasses. As she opened the cabinet door it let out a squeak louder than any of her footsteps on the flippen floor. She didn’t even get the door open enough to see what was in the cabinet. Did she give up? No she did not. She tried every other cabinet, which were all silent and void of glasses. She had picked the right one the first time. It was the only place he could have glasses. It was open the loud cabinet or go thirsty till Mel woke up. She chose to go thirsty. She was done with squeaky things. She moped back to the living room cursing the floors and the stupid cabinets. However, once she started her book she forgot about them. It wasn’t the solid reading where you don’t realize how much time has passed because she looked up at the clock every couple pages. Ten o’clock rolled around and just assumed Mel was really tired. When eleven o’clock rolled around she hoped he was going to get up soon. As it turned eleven thirty she a little peeved. She drove all the way out here and he’s just sleeping the day away. It was eleven forty five when he finally came out of his bedroom still wearing his jammies and sporty a sexy bedhead do.
“I’m sorry I slept so long.” Mel apologized.
“It’s alright.” Charlie said. It was sort of lie, but she couldn’t stay mad at him.
“You should have woke me up. I don’t usually sleep this long.”
“I couldn’t do that. If you don’t usually sleep this long than you must have really needed the sleep.”
“I guess. Did you eat anything?”
“No. I didn’t feel comfortable going through your fridge. I did attempt to find a glass but the cabinet was too noisy so I decided to avoid it.”
“I didn’t want to wake you.”
“Well, don’t worry about that. If you wake me up I’m not going to be mad. You’re visiting for just a weekend and I just wasted half your day.”
“Dually noted. So whatcha have planned for today?”
“Umm. I’m not sure. I have a couple different ideas for tonight, but what to do till than?”
“How about breakfast slash lunch first?”
“What a great idea! What do you like for breakfast?”
“Eggs and potatoes.”
“And fried potatoes.”
“That does sound delicious.”
It wasn’t the healthiest meal, but it was a special trip. Kind of a mini vacation. Plus gravy and cheese on fried potatoes the night before wasn’t all that healthy either.
“Do you like cooking?” Asked Mel.
“Not really. I suppose if I was better at it I probably would enjoy it more.”
“Same here. My specialties are kraft dinner and grilled cheese.”
“Well, that’s something we have in common.”
“So who’s making breakfast? We both want things we can’t cook.”
“I can fry eggs and potatoes, they’re just not my specialty. If you cut the potatoes I’ll do the rest.”
“Sounds good to me.”
Charlie sat at Mel’s kitchen table that was in front of a window that was on the front of the house. There was enough sunshine coming through the rather large window that they didn’t need any other lights on. As Mel washed and cut the potatoes they talked as if they made breakfast for each other every morning. It didn’t seem like anything new or special. It was nice to have something that felt so familiar. And when she was cooking her took her place at the table and they continued their conversation. When it was done Mel took out two plates from the cabinet above and to the left of the sink. Charlie placed two eggs and half the potatoes on one plate and the same on the other plate. Mel took the plates to the table.
“Would you mind grabbing two forks?”
“Sure. Where are they?”
“The drawer to the right of the sink.”
Charlie opened the drawer. It looked like only about twenty-five percent of the drawer was used for silverware and the other seventy-five was for junk. His silverware didn’t match, it seemed like it had a mixture of seven or eight different sets in the one tray. She wanted to explore his junk it looked fascinating, but she grabbed the two forks, shut the drawer and walked over to the table. Mel seemed to like the food. She was glad she found someone who enjoyed her cooking.
“This is great! Why isn’t this one of your specialties?”
“I suppose it is. I just don’t want people to think that I can cook.”
“Why not?” Asked Mel.
“I hate cooking. It’s not fun. All it does is make a big mess. Plus when they know you can cook they expect it. I suppose it’s a lazy thing.”
“Not really. You said you didn’t enjoy it. Why would anyone want to do something they hate? Unfortunately I know you can cook now, so you’re gonna have to make all my meals now.”
Charlie rolled her eyes and dug into her potatoes. Mel didn’t do a lot of talking while he ate. He must have really enjoyed it, he finished it in under twenty minutes. Mel waited until Charlie was finished and he collected the plates and placed them in the sink.
“Those can wait till later. Let’s get dressed and find something to do.”
Charlie found a clean pair of jeans and a t-shirt in her duffel bag than asked Mel, “Do you have a towel I could use?”
“Sure.” He walked out his bedroom door and into the bathroom. He opened the cabinet above the toilet and pulled out a fresh towel. “Here you go. Hope it’s fluffy enough.”
“I’m sure it’ll be fine. Does it dry?” Asked Charlie.
“Then I’m all good.”
When Mel walked out the door. Charlie got undressed and moved the shower curtain over. It was at that moment she realized she forgot two very important things. One she left her soap in her duffel bag and two she didn’t ask how to turn on the shower. The soap thing didn’t seem like a big deal. He saw her come in here with no soap and didn’t say anything, so it was probably safe to assume that he wouldn’t mind her using his soap. But turning on the shower was going to be difficult. It was a convex square with a thin doorknocker type handle on it. This was it. Hot wasn’t labeled. Cold wasn’t labeled. It was going to be an experiment. That’s just what Charlie liked to do when she was naked, experiment with shower fixtures. She wasn’t going to call Mel into the bathroom now, she was naked. Luckily the flat doorknocker thing only turned one way. Unfortunately she was still on cold water when she discovered how to turn the shower head on. As she spun the handle she pulled on it as well and when you pull the handle out it switches from tub to shower. Cold water poured down Charlie’s head that was already in the shower. It being ice cold Charlie screamed. Soon she heard a knock on the bathroom door.
“Everything alright in there?” Asked Mel through the door.
“Yep. Everything’s great!”
It wasn’t great, but she wasn’t going to tell him she didn’t know how to work his shower. She’d look like an idiot. And she did know how it worked now. She finally got the shower to a reasonable temperature and hopped in. All she saw was man shampoo. You know, that all in one man soap. He didn’t use any regular shampoo or soap? All that was in the shower was the soap bottle and a pretty gnarly look loofa. If she used his shampoo it would make the whole bathroom smell like man. And he might take a shower after her and than he’d know. But he’d find out later when she was lying next to him and he could smell man in her hair. She sucked it up and used the man soap. She was hoping if she only used a little and took forever getting dressed while blasting the bathroom fan most or all of the man soap smell would go away. Charlie rubbed about a quarter size amount into her hair, made bubbles and quickly rinsed it out. She rubbed down her body and hopped out. She turned the fan on, luckily that was self-explanatory. She took her time getting dressed. When she came out a big puff of man soap smell and steam followed her. Mel didn’t say anything, so Charlie was relieved. She was even more relieved when she noticed he was already dressed. That meant that he probably wasn’t going to be using the bathroom.
“Ready to go?” Mel asked.
“Alright let’s get out of here.”
They took Mel’s car again. Charlie didn’t mind. She wasn’t really a big fan of driving she only did it when she had to.
“Did you decide where we’re going?” Asked Charlie.
“So where are we going?”
“I thought we’d go see a movie. Then we could come back here and get all gussied up for a night out on the town.”
“Sounds awesome. What movie?”
“I figured since you like Jeepers Creepers you might like seeing that new Silent Hill movie.”
“Oh. Yeah that sounds great.” Charlie was not thrilled. Jeepers Creepers and Silent Hill were not the same thing. And it was really just a fluke that she liked Jeepers Creepers at all. Mel paid for the movie and popcorn. They waited about ten minutes in their seats before the previews started. It was as terrible as Charlie expected it to be. She really tried to get into it and she stared at the screen the whole time. She stared at the scream until she was scared enough she buried her face in Mel’s shoulder. Halfway through the film someone in front and to the right of Charlie got up and started walking out of the theater. She didn’t take her eyes off the screen, not at first. She couldn’t believe someone would leave mid-movie so she kept her peripheral vision on the shadow. He didn’t have anything in his hands, so he wasn’t getting a refill. That’s when she realized he didn’t have hands at all. It wasn’t a people shape. But it couldn’t be. She moved her eyes from the movie to this shadow just to see what it was. When she looked in the shadow’s direction there was nothing there. She felt a little crazy and a little frightened. That was not a shadow she wanted to see up here. It had to be the movie making her paranoid. She shook it off and turned back to the movie. After the movie finished Mel had to help Charlie out of the movie theater because she was shaking from the movie still.
“I thought you liked scary movies.” Said Mel.
“I like about five percent of them. It really depends on the movie. I guess it’s more thriller movies that I enjoy.”
“Don’t apologize. The next movie we see will be a comedy.”
“Sounds good to me.”
They made their way back to the car and then back to Mel’s house. Once they were back Charlie began digging through her duffel bag for her fancy outfit.
“So how fancy do I need to get?” Asked Charlie.
“I don’t know.”
“Well, what are you wearing?”
“Kahkis and a polo.”
“So no jeans. What if they’re fancy jeans?”
“You won’t even think they’re jeans.”
She put on her trouser-legged jeans. They were a deep blue, she didn’t even think of these jeans as jeans. She only wore them when she wanted to get fancy. On top she wore a black tank top under her bright red jacket with the oversized buttons. She knew when she packed that she shouldn’t bring heals. She wouldn’t be able to walk in them very long. Instead she packed a pointy-toed plaid flat. They matched the outfit and they weren’t sneakers. Charlie really wanted to wow her date so she even went the extra mile and put on make-up. She wore make-up occasionally; a really fancy concert or whenever she was getting her photo taken. She didn’t really care for the stuff. Her foundation always rubbed off on her collar and for some reason make-up always made her sweat. Girls always complain that they sweat their make-up off. But those girls sweat it off while they dance. All Charlie has to do to sweat it off is put it on. The instant she puts the foundation on her face it heats up thus overheating her entire body. It’s really irritating. The compliments she gets when she does wear it keeps her trying the make-up over and over again. If no one noticed she wouldn’t even bother. When she came out of the bathroom all dolled up she walked into Mel’s room. He had his back to her, fiddling with his belt in the mirror. When he turned around his eyes got huge.
“Wow.” Mel exclaimed.
If Charlie’s face wasn’t flushed from the reaction to the make-up it sure was red now. She really wasn’t prepared for that kind of reaction. Deep down she wanted that reaction, but she didn’t expect it. All she could do in response was stare down at the floor and smile.
“You look great.” Said Mel.
“Thank you.” Charlie looked up. Mel was in a blue plaid button-up shirt with a white t-shirt underneath and khakis. He was really handsome.
“You too.” Charlie replied.
“Yeah. Where are we going?”
“Well, there are a couple really good restaurants downtown. I thought you and I could walk around while we decided what kind of food we wanted.”
“Sounds good to me.”
Charlie grabbed her purse, Mel grabbed his keys and they were both out the door. The ride into downtown was pretty uneventful. Charlie was just soaking in the night view of the city with all of its lights, so there really was no conversation. When they got downtown finding a parking spot was an adventure within itself. Mel finally found a parking structure with a space left in it, but it was on the fourth level. Apparently they weren’t the only ones who decided to walk around tonight.
“So what are you in the mood for? You’re the guest you get to pick.” Asked Mel.
“I don’t know. I work better with choices.”
“Alright. Sushi, Pizza, Italian?”
“Sushi it is.”
The walked down University Ave just people watching and looking into store windows. It was like any big city. It had the dinky little stores with all the latest in clothes and gadgets all priced so high Charlie didn’t know anyone who made enough money to shop there. They had switched to looking in the windows after the first store where Charlie had picked up a shirt to see how much it cost. In the same store a saleswoman had approached her.
“Can I help you find anything today?”
“Yes. The clearance rack.” Stated Charlie.
The woman just stared. It was as if the thought of the store having a clearance rack was preposterous.
“Uh…thank you.” Charlie turned around and walked out of the store. Mel followed her.
“What happened?” Asked Mel.
“I asked the saleswoman where the clearance rack was.”
“Oh. They didn’t have one?”
“She didn’t answer me. She just stared.”
Mel laughed. “Maybe we should just stick to looking in windows.”
“I think that’s safer.” Agreed Charlie.
They finally got to the sushi place. It was pretty fancy. She definitely didn’t feel over dressed. They each ordered a couple rolls. Charlie let Mel try a piece or two of hers and he did the same back.
“Yeah. It’s a little much, but I’m a more well rounded person for it. My grandma always said education is never wasted.”
“This is true.”
“So, why didn’t you go to college when you graduated from high school?”
“I don’t mean it in a smug way like if you go to college you’re better than everyone else because I’ve known some really dumb people who graduated from college.”
“I’m not offended, it’s just a lame excuse. I wasn’t a school person, I didn’t really enjoy it. I was so glad to graduate and be done with it. But I’ve realized I should probably go back. Working retail isn’t what I’m looking for in a career.”
“I worked at Target. It lasted all of three months.”
“Try doing it for three years.”
They both laughed. Charlie turned back toward the city.
“Are you tired?” Asked Mel.
“A little. Did you have anything else planned?”
“No. And to be honest, none of this stuff is really planned. I wanted to show you some things, but I don’t have an itinerary for the weekend.”
“No worries. I love adventures.”
The two of them got back in the car and drove back to Mel’s place. He unlocked the door, holding the screen door for Charlie. She took off her jacket before sitting down on the couch. Charlie let out a loud sigh.
“You alright?” Asked Mel.
“I’m fine. I just didn’t realize how exhausted I was until I sat down. You wouldn’t think sitting in a car all day would be exhausting. It’s not like I walked everywhere.”
“Well, they say fresh air can take it out of you. And you’re just breathing.”
Charlie nodded her head in agreement.
“Want to watch a movie?” Asked Mel.
“Sounds good to me. I need to wind down a little before I go to sleep or I’ll never get to sleep.”
“I have Jeepers Creepers. Ever seen that?”
“Wanna watch it?”
“Sure.” Charlie was not going to tell him that she didn’t really enjoy scary movies. She didn’t dislike all scary movies just ninety five percent of them. She wasn’t all that happy, but did her best to put on a positive facial expression. Once Mel had put the dvd in and turned the lights off he ran to his bedroom to get a blanket.
“This is Canada,” He said when he sat down next to Charlie. He put the blanket across the two of them. “Got enough blanket?” Mel asked.
“Yep, all covered.”
The movie actually wasn’t all that bad. There wasn’t a lot of boo scary, which is what Charlie disliked about scary movies. She was more of a thriller kind of girl. She didn’t like boo scary where everything jumps out at you. And she didn’t like gross scary where people are mutilated and tortured. During the last twenty minutes she had the hardest time keeping her eyes open. The two of them didn’t do as much cuddling as Charlie would have liked. They were touching the whole movie, but she wasn’t sure if she should lean on him. They did kiss, so is cuddling next. You’d think cuddling would come first, which would mean cuddling is totally okay. Charlie had no clue and didn’t want to do the wrong thing so she just watched the movie hoping Mel would make another bold move. Mel turned the dvd player and the tv off. When he turned the lights off and started walking down the hall. Charlie just sat there on his couch. She didn’t want to assume she was sleeping in the other guest room. She didn’t actually see a bed in there, so was she using a sleeping bag? Or did she have to sleep on the couch. If she was going to sleep on the couch she might as well stay where she was. She did want her pjs, but her regular clothes were comfy enough. She was being a spaz, but she didn’t want to ruin what they had going on. Mel interrupted her crazy.
“You don’t have to sleep on the couch you know.”
“I don’t?” Charlie said from the pitch-black living room.
“No. Come on.”
Charlie timidly got to her feet and walked toward the hallway where Mel was waiting.
“Come on.” He said again. “You don’t want to sleep on that couch. If you sweat on it it turns you orange.”
“But you don’t have a bed in the guest room. Do you have a sleeping bag?”
“You’re right about the guest room and no I don’t have a sleeping bag. But if you don’t mind you can sleep in my bed with me. I won’t try anything funny, promise.”
“Umm.” Charlie really just wanted to squeal really loud with glee and leap onto his bed. However, she composed herself and said, “Sure.”
She bent down and unzipped her duffel bag. Charlie rifled around for her pjs. She knew she packed them. They were of course on the bottom.
“I’m gonna go change into my pjs. Be right back.”
Charlie tried not to walk too excitedly, but once she was in the bathroom she ripped off her clothes and put her pajamas on as quick as she could. She didn’t want Mel to change his mind before she got back. When she walked back into the room Mel was already in his pjs and underneath the covers. Charlie’s mind was racing. Is this crazy? Yes, yes, it is crazy. Why was she doing this? Did this make her easy? He said he would try anything funny. And she didn’t want to turn orange and the idea of sleeping on the floor in a crummy sleeping bag was very unappealing.
“If you could just turn on the lights we’ll be golden.” Mel said.
“Alright.” With that she flicked off the lights and got into bed. Mel had the best blankets. There were at least four. There was the sheet, a fuzzy fleece blanket, a quilt and then another fuzzy fleece blanket. The blankets were so warm and the mattress was so squishy she almost forgot Mel was lying next to her. She wanted to fall asleep, but there was something super awkward about the sleeping arrangement. Charlie couldn’t keep her mouth shut. “Are you still awake?” Charlie hissed at Mel.
“Yes.” He hissed back.
“Are you sure this is okay.” Charlie was still whispering.
“Yeah. If you want I can go sleep on the couch.”
“But won’t that turn you into an oompa loompa?”
Mel laughed, “Yeah, but I want you to be comfortable.”
“I just have a crazy brain. It never shuts up. I heard it was a woman thing, but I know guys that have loud brains too.”
“Well, this was just to make you the most comfortable. It wasn’t a secret plan to take advantage of you.”
“I know. My brain is just making it awkward and my mouth doesn’t help either. I’m not sure about taking advantage of me, but you can certainly kiss me again.”
Mel leaned, put his right hand on her cheek and kissed her. (Bear with me through this love shit. I’m not all that great at writing it and on a couple of levels it makes me super uncomfortable.) She put her hand on his hand. Charlie wanted it to stay there forever. It was so warm and surprisingly soft. You’d think hockey players would have super rough hands. Plus he’s Canadian and it’s quite dry there. Mel ran his fingers through her hair, rubbing her temple with his thumb. Charlie really had no idea what to do with her hands, so she just kept her hands to herself. Mel moved his hands down her body to her waist. He pulled her closer and somehow magically slipped his left arm underneath her neck. He kissed her again, pulling her closer. Charlie was butter, there was no way she was getting out of this bed. She turned to face the other way, but held his left hand in hers and wrapped his right arm around her torso. She could feel him breathing on her neck. Not the heavy stalker breaths, but the soft breathing of someone completely comfortable and content. She imagined hers sounded the same. And that was the last thought Charlie had before she fell asleep. Her dream was something terrible. In her dream Charlie was having a great time with her new boyfriend (They’re not dating yet, but in the dream they were dating.) Mel at a park when out of the corner of her eye she saw Heinz. It was very clearly him. He’s a fucking unicorn and the only one she knew. But when she turned to look he wasn’t there. The same thing happened several times throughout the dream. Each time her and Mel were hanging out there was Heinz. It was spooky and very unsettling. Her nightmare ended up waking her up at about two o’clock in the morning, according to Mel’s alarm clock. She was a little sweaty, which was not her favorite. Even though she didn’t really want to she pulled away from Mel doing her best not to wake him up. He didn’t even move, no noise and no readjusting to the odd position his arms were in. It was a bummer to not feel those arms around her waist it still felt really awesome to not be sweaty and hot. As she was getting comfortable again she heard a noise from the corner of the room. The sun wasn’t up yet, obviously, so she couldn’t see anything. In fact the room was so dark she wasn’t quite sure if the noise came from a corner. By now she had stopped moving and practically stopped breathing straining her ears to hear. If it was going to sneak up on her she was going to hear it coming. But after about ten minutes she still hadn’t heard anything else. She chalked it up to her nightmare and tried her best to get comfy and fall back asleep. It was a little nerve racking at first cause all she could think about was what it could possibly be, but the blankets and mattress lulled her back to sleep. Luckily she didn’t slip back into dreamland or nightmareland.
It sounds cheesy as hell, but it really was that cheesy. It’s like every clichéd moment in every romantic comedy. Those moments that just make you gag. Charlie felt cheesy. She was actually afraid of coming off as desperate. Cheese can be desperation and also very off-putting. But Charlie had a bad habit of lying on the desperate cheese, especially if she liked the person. So at this moment she was very much aware of the cheese and was trying to pull back, but it was an uncontrollable cheese. In order to control the cheese Charlie tried her darndest to start a conversation.
“So where to now?” Charlie asked.
“I’m not sure. Are you tired? You did drive four hours already today.”
“If you’re doing the driving for the rest of the day I don’t mind riding around in the car some more.”
“Awesome. I might have something else in mind.”
“It’s a surprise.”
“Ooh, I love surprises.”
“Good. Do you want to get something to eat first?”
“Yeah. I’m starving.”
“Have you ever eaten at a Mr. Pita?”
“They have the best sandwiches.”
Charlie and Mel started their forty-five minute drive back. And Charlie was still trying to control the cheese so she tried her best to keep the conversation going.
“You know that friend I was with at the McDonalds the night we met?”
“Well she said I could have her husband’s ticket for every game the Marlies play the Griffens.”
“Cool. I’ll be extra excited for those games.”
Charlie smiled, “That doesn’t make me a stalker does it.”
“No. It makes you a Marlies fan that doesn’t want to drive any farther than Grand Rapids to see a game. Which, with gas prices being as high as they are, is sensible.”
“I’m just glad you don’t think I’m a stalker.”
“Do you worry about everything?”
“I do. It’s a nasty habit.”
“That’s good to know.”
“And just so you know telling me not to worry is futile. My mother’s been trying to tell me not to worry since I was little. It never worked.”
“Also good to know. Don’t worry I don’t think you’re crazy.”
Charlie and Mel both laughed. “How did you know I was worried about that?” Charlie asked.
“You’re not hard to read, plus your face gives away a lot.”
“Yeah. You make a lot of faces.”
Charlie then started thinking about all the ways she could change her facial expressions and if she could control them. She wanted to be open to this guy, but if he could already read her after a couple hours she was very transparent. She didn’t like feeling that vulnerable.
“Thinking about your face?”
“Gah! How did you know? I can’t be that transparent!”
“You’re feeling your face and looking at it in the side mirror.”
Charlie felt so silly. For the rest of the car ride trying to stay perfectly still and not making a single facial expression and certainly not looking at herself in the side mirror. Mel was laughing as they pulled into a street parking spot in front of Mr. Pita.
“You know you’re just as transparent when you don’t move at all.” Mel said.
“Bah!” Charlie laid on her pouty face, she was frustrated with herself.
“You’re kind of cute when you pout.” Said Mel. This made Charlie feel amazing, though it shouldn’t have. She was twenty-five and pouting, plus he said, “kind of.” But she just like hearing cute said in her direction. She felt so goofy. Her brain couldn’t take it. Too many feelings. She felt goofy and silly and the butterflies in her stomach were flying all over her stomach and in her esophagus. Why couldn’t her body pick just one emotion and run with it? Instead it must feel everything. There wasn’t much Charlie could do at this point, though she didn’t know what she would do if it were at any other point. So, Charlie just followed Mel into the Mr. Pita. It reminded Charlie of the typical subway; some tables, some chairs and the counter with it’s clear plexiglass window so you could see the sandwich accessories. But this place was better than subway. Their lettuce wasn’t brown and the heated your stuff up in a pan not a microwave. It was a damn good turkey sandwich. She was starting to think that if things didn’t work out with Mel she’d still have to come back and visit for the food. The two of them had spent several hours wandering through the forest, then there was the forty-five minute ride there and the forty-five minute ride back, and after eating it was already seven o’clock. Charlie didn’t realize just how late it was until she noticed the sun setting when they walked back out to Mel’s car.
“The dark isn’t going to ruin your surprise is it?”
“No, not at all. In fact the sun needs to be down for the surprise to be affective.”
“Hmm.” Charlie really wanted to know what the surprise was.
They got into the car and Mel put on the techno cd. Charlie was completely captivated by the city. She stared out the window in awe at all the tall buildings and all the lights, she always found cities so interesting. She still found Detroit interesting and she’d lived there her whole life. The world felt so much bigger when you stared up a tall skyscraper. And it always made Charlie feel invincible. She wanted a piece of the city for herself. She was definitely a city girl, the wilderness was nice for a visit, but she needed to live in a city. Charlie had assumed Mel was taking her somewhere in the city, so when she noticed him driving out of the city she was confused.
“Where are we going?” She asked even though she really didn’t want to know what the surprise was. It was like question turrets, she just didn’t get why they were leaving the city.
“It’s not in the city.”
“I get that. I was in the car when you drove it out of the city.”
“Well, I still can’t tell you where we’re going. That would ruin the surprise.”
Charlie really wanted to know what the surprise was and it was worse because she was in some foreign country where she didn’t know where anything was. Mel drove through a couple really curve roads out in the middle of nowhere. Charlie didn’t think anything of it when Mel started driving up an enormous hill. At the top of the hill he turned the car around to face the opposite direction. He opened his door and said, “Get out of the car.”
“Oh my g-d. Is this where you’re going to murder me?”
Mel sighed. “No. But the view is much better out here”
Charlie stepped out of the car. She walked around the front and stood next to Mel. He put his hands in the air and said, “Surprise.” The view was phenomenal. It was the whole city lit up. It looked like a billion fireflies dancing in one tiny field. The city wasn’t tiny. But could you imagine a billion fireflies all concentrated in one acre. It looked like that.
“Good enough surprise?” Asked Mel.
Without taking her eyes off the view Charlie answered, “Oh yeah.”
Somehow Mel had snuck his arm around her waist. She honestly didn’t feel anything until she broke her gaze at the city and looked back at him.
“Are you going to murder me now?” Charlie asked
Mel rolled his eyes and laughed, putting his other arm on her waist as he did so.
“Cause honestly if you were going to murder me the ideal time would have been like thirty seconds ago when I was staring at all the shiny lights. I was completely-.” Mel kissed her. That electricity Charlie could practically smell in the air since she had arrived coursed through her body. It left her lips tingly even after Mel had pulled away. “Wow.” Was all Charlie could say.
“Sorry.” Mel said, “You just kept talking so there really wasn’t any good moment to do it.”
“No need to apologize. I was ranting anyway. My mouth tends to run away when I’m nervous.”
“Why are you nervous?”
“Do you really have to ask?”
“Aren’t you nervous?”
“Well, yeah. But someone has to initiate things otherwise nothing would ever happen.”
“True. I’ve just never had success being the forward one.”
“Really. Are you usually the forward one?”
“Well, it was a great kiss.”
“No problem. Do we want to do that again or do we want to find something else to do?”
“Are you implying?”
“Oh g-d no! I’m not saying that wouldn’t be nice. But, well…”
“I’m just messing with you.”
With this Mel cupped her face in his hands and kissed her again. Charlie wasn’t quite sure if things were supposed to move this fast or maybe just because they had super chemistry it moved this fast. But her one friend warned of super chemistry. Those super fireworky relationships are just like that, a firework. They’re really pretty but they fizzle really fast. At this point in time, though she was kind of freaking out about the possible fizzle, she was determined to stick with this relationship/fling whatever it was. At least she could enjoy it right? She didn’t want to leave the hill. Once they went back to his place she’d have to sleep by herself in the guest room. She never wanted to leave his company.
“This is a beautiful view.” Said Charlie.
“It’s one of my favorite places. I used to come up here a lot in high school. It made my problems seem a little bit smaller.”
“High school problems always seem bigger than they are. Until you step out into the real world and have real problems.”
“I would kill to have my high school problems back.”
“Same here. I’m still worried about getting enough sleep, but in high school it would be all about the homework instead of job. I should call it a career, but I’m not sure it’s my thing.”
“Didn’t you major in Music?” Asked Mel.
“I did. I just think there is so much more than music. There is so much to learn and I enjoy everything. I changed my major like eleven times. I finally just settled on music because the school was making me graduate. Once you get so many credits they kind of tell you to leave.”
“You changed your major eleven times?”
“It’s a rough estimate.”
“What were they?”
“Let’s see. I started out as a bassoon major, but that was too much practicing for me. Then I decided on just music, but all the aural skills classes seemed impossible. Aural skills are not my forte, pun intended. Next I tried accounting. I had taken an accounting class in high school and was very good at it and didn’t mind the work. I actually sort of enjoyed it. After that I was a math major. I loved mathematics, but I got the professor from hell and he kind of ruined it. Then I was an English major. This went well, until I realized all the classes were the same crap and it got really boring. I was exploring the art department when the school told me to pick something and graduate, so since I had the most credits in the Music degree I settled on that. What is that seven?”
“I think so.”
“I told you eleven was a rough estimate.”
She tried her best to shrug it off. Maybe she got lucky and Heinz took a hint and is leaving her alone for the day. Hopefully he’s blowing off his steam instead of plotting his revenge. She sat down on her bed. Before picking up her food to start chowing she turned the tv on and found a program worth watching. It wasn’t difficult. Finding good programming is a lot easier on weekdays during the day when everyone is working. At least her favorite shows came on at that time. She never got into the new shows and weekend daytime programming was awful. What she found was an episode of Cold Case Files with Bill Curtis. She had seen the episode a billion times but there was just something soothing about Bill Curtis’ voice. The guy who narrated Forensic Files has one of those voices too. She scarfed he mac and cheese down within the first half an hour of the show and slipped into her usual food coma the last half an hour. She was tired enough she considered taking a nap. And she actually got all comfy underneath the covers and was moments from falling asleep when her phone chimed. Charlie didn’t want to answer it, whatever it was, it could wait. But if it was Mel she didn’t want to ignore it. G-d help whoever it was on the other end if it wasn’t Mel. She looked down at her phone and sure enough it was a silly picture from her mother. Ever since her mother got a facebook and texting she was always getting the most ridiculous stuff and lots of it. Her mom had the worst sense of humor, she thought everything was funny. Charlie growled at the text but sent back an ‘Lol!’ She was hoping her mother only wanted to send her one thing. Charlie put her phone back where it was resting and closed her eyes again. She was so close to falling asleep again when her phone chimed yet again. Ignore it she told herself. She was also wondering why she hadn’t turned the sound off. She couldn’t help herself it could be Mel. “Bah!” She screamed it was another funny picture from her mother. At this point Charlie was determined to not reply and she was absolutely not going to answer it the next time it made a noise. She even placed her phone screen down so t wouldn’t illuminate her dark room the next time it went off. By now she didn’t even care if it was Mel, she just wanted her nap. The next time it chimed she didn’t touch her phone, it took a lot of will power, but she did it. Her nap was magnificent. Normal people naps are one or two hours, Charlie’s were at least four. So five hours later she checked her phone for new messages. That last message before she fell asleep was Mel. It wasn’t anything prolific just a ‘Hey!’
Charlie immediately texted back, ‘Hey! How’s it going? Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond I was napping.’
‘Not much going on here. Don’t worry about not responding quick enough. How’s it going in Michigan?’
‘Not much. The nap was the highlight of my day.’
‘Lol! I have days like that too.’
‘I’m a musician so most of my days are like this.’
‘Well, whenever I have free days they’re like that.’
‘Gotcha. Still want me to come visit on Friday?’
‘I have a rehearsal Thursday night, so I’ll leave early on Friday.’
‘How long can you stay?’
‘I’m gonna drive back on Monday.’
‘That gives me a couple days to show you some things.’
‘I can’t wait.’
There’s no real reason to tell you about the rest of Charlie’s week. I could actually sum it up in a couple paragraphs, or one really big paragraph. So Heinz forgave Charlie and essentially gave her permission to go. Charlie thought this was some serious bullshit, but she hated confrontation so she let it go. Karyn called once more to remind her to remember every detail and to call her on Monday. Her rehearsals were the typical string practice. Rehearsals are when everyone practices before hand and the musicians come together to put it together. These were practices because once again the winds knew their shit and an enormous portion of strings had not practiced, let alone glanced at their music. So when they all came together the string parts had to be run and rerun over and over and over and over again. Charlie didn’t share any news with Justin because they were good stand partners, but there were some things she really didn’t want to share with him. When she got home from rehearsal on Thursday she started packing her duffel bag. She packed the typical toiletries like a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and some make-up. She also packed a couple casual outfits and one fancy going out outfit, her running shoes, her sneakers (which she was wearing there), and a pair of dress shoes that matched her fancy outfit. It seemed like a lot for a single weekend and it was, but if she knew what to expect she could pack accordingly. Mel, however, had kept everything a secret. And just in case Mel had to do something without her she brought a book and her laptop. She needed sleep that night and was really hoping to fall asleep easily. A lot of traveling she took trains and airplanes where she could sleep during the traveling, but because she was driving this time she had to stay awake. Though it was only a four-hour drive to Toronto. She put her duffel bag on the floor when she was convinced she had enough underwear and socks for a week and had remembered every outfit that she could possibly need this weekend. She turned her light off and pulled the covers up to her chin. She closed her eyes and prayed for sleep. It took her an hour and a half, but she did fall asleep. On any other day Charlie would have resisted the idea of getting up at 6 am, today was not like any other day. She popped out of bed, showered, dressed, threw her duffel bag in the drunk on got into the driver’s seat. Before she turned the car on she texted, ‘I’m leaving. Love you!’ to her mother and ‘Leaving now’ to Mel. She turned her car and took Dix to I-75 toward Detroit and the bridge to Canada. As she waited at the light at Dix and Sibley she double-checked that she had her passport in her purse. It wasn’t easy to find in her enormous purse so she had that brief moment of panic but she managed to locate it as the light turned green. The trip to the bridge was relatively uneventful. But the as per usual the bridge line was a nightmare. It took her almost two hours to get across. She didn’t mind going into Canada. The Canadians were always very friendly and before you needed a passport to visit they just let you in. You never really had to have i.d. It was getting back into the U.S. that was a pain. The Americans were always so rude. And before passports you had to have your social security card, state i.d. and birth certificate. And even with all that they still eyed you and asked you questions. With passports it wasn’t as bad, but she still felt guilty coming back home. Once in Canada all she needed to do was take ON-401 E and ON-403 E. There weren’t a lot of twists and turns. She was really hoping that her gas tank would last all the way to Toronto. Her plan was to grab breakfast, fill up and drive, drive, drive. This is what she did for the most part. She had to blare her music at one point where she thought she was getting sleepy, but she powered through it. She couldn’t contain her excitement once she saw the sign for Toronto, she was practically vibrating in her seat. When she pulled up into Mel’s driveway she sent him an ‘I’m here’ text. The door opened and their he was. She couldn’t believe she was here. She gave him a little wave from the open driver’s door she was standing next to. The first moment was kind of awkward cause both of them wanted to greet each other with a hug, but they were both uncertain if that was alright. They ended up giving each other a quick hug. Kind of like the short ones you give those relatives you don’t really like and you’re both pretending you like each other for the sake of the holidays. But you can be sure Mel and Charlie liked each other. In fact Charlie could feel electricity between them. Charlie opened the door to the back seat and reached for her duffel bag. When she pulled it out Mel said, “Let me take that.”
“Thank you!” Said Charlie.
“Let me give you the grand tour of my house and then we’ll go get something to eat. I’m sure you’re starving. Did you eat on the way?”
“I ate before I left. I didn’t want to stop in Ontario. I didn’t want to get lost.”
Charlie followed him up the porch steps and into his house. The living room was right inside the door. The kitchen was to the right. It was closed off to the living room except for the doorway of course. If you walked straight into the house and walked straight through the living room you would be in the hallway. On the left of the hallway was the bathroom and on the left all the way at the end was a bedroom. Across the hallway on the right was another bedroom. Across from the bathroom was a staircase leading up to the attic. Mel said nobody slept in the attic, he used it mostly for storing junk. Mel’s bedroom was the one all the way down the hallway on the right. The grand tour was performed as he walked through the house to his bedroom where he sat down Charlie’s bag on the floor. She thought it was weird he didn’t put it in the spare bedroom, but she didn’t think much of it.
“So what’s for dinner?” Charlie asked.
“It’s no where fancy, but I figured you might like to try some native food.”
“Sounds good to me.”
The two of them swapped their vehicles’ positions in the driveway and took Mel’s car to this café and gas station.
“It doesn’t look like much, but their poutines are the best in town.”
“What is that?”
“Potatoes with cheese and gravy on top.”
“I know it sounds disgusting, but if you give it a try you’ll love it.”
“I’m all for trying things.”
When the waitress came over Mel ordered one poutine.
“Don’t you want your own?” Asked Charlie.
“These things are humongous. We can share one and still not be able to finish it.”
“It must be big.”
“So what do you have planned for the rest of the day?” Asked Charlie.
“I thought we’d drive through Ontario a little. It’s really beautiful here.”
“Through remote areas with nobody around?”
“You’re not going to murder me are you?”
“No.” Mel laughed.
“I’m just checking.”
When the poutine came Charlie saw just how humongous this thing was. She really didn’t think humongous even covered just how big it was. Charlie was a little timid with her first bite, but it was amazing. After that meal poutine was her new favorite food. Mel paid for the poutine and escorted Charlie back to his car. They both got in and on their way out of town stopped at a red light Mel asked, “What kind of music do you like?”
“Everything.” Charlie replied.
“Do you like techno?”
Mel put in one of his many homemade cds. This one was labeled Techno.
“Creative title.” Said Charlie.
“I know right? I couldn’t think of anything creative.”
Charlie stared out the window. The music was a little too loud to talk and it was really catchy. It just felt like one big adventure. She wasn’t at all worried about being murdered in a remote Canadian wilderness. She trusted this man, even though he was practically still a stranger. It just felt like she had known him forever. You know how once you get to know someone really well and just being around them is like hanging out, even without the talking? That was this car ride. They didn’t need to talk to enjoy each other’s company. The place he showed her was just amazing. There were trails coated in moss, rows and rows of enormous trees, and waterfalls. It was like those special places heroines have in movies. You know the places where they talk to birds and dream about better tomorrows. It sounds corny, but this place was really that beautiful. They still hadn’t talked much yet. But as they walked around he did grab her hand. She didn’t like getting so excited about things so soon, especially since they hadn’t done a lot of talking. When his hand touched her hand she felt that lightening run through her each of her fingers and up her arm. The whole thing seemed unreal. After a couple hours of wondering and playing in the small pools of water along the creek they decided it was time to head back to the city. Charlie couldn’t believe how Mel found his car. She wouldn’t have been able to find her way back. Well, I suppose if she had to she could, but it would have taken her much longer. And it has nothing to do with her being a girl. Every tree to her looked the same, just like every classical piece of music sounded the same to her. That’s why she was glad she played in the orchestra cause if she was in the audience she’d be sleeping. Anyway, once they found the car and they were inside Mel turned to Charlie, “Did you enjoy that?” Asked Mel.
“It was beautiful. No offence but Canada is really only ever depicted as a barren wasteland of snow. And a home for moose and polar bears.”
“We get that a lot. But I’m glad I got to show you something other than a moose or a patch of snow.” Mel smiled at her. Charlie smiled back.
When the two of them got back from their walk they looked up movie times. Luckily the next show started in thirty minutes.
They would be cutting it close. Heinz was a little doubtful. Charlie knew it was just because Heinz loved the previews. She just looked at them as movie stallers, they gave people like her who decide to go to a movie at the last possible minute a little extra time to grab some popcorn. As soon as Charlie and Heinz had their movie time they dashed out the door. Charlie opened the back seat and rushed Heinz in with a, “Hurry it up. Get in. Get in.” He just rolled his eyes and scooted in. Again she wasn’t worried about not being there on time, but she still wasn’t going to miss anything if she could help it. On the way to the theater she knew Heinz was anxious about getting to the movie because he was absolutely silent even while Charlie was speeding. Heinz was fairly critical of her driving. He couldn’t drive, but he thought he knew all there was to it. Charlie and Heinz walked into the theater. Charlie asked the cashier for two adult tickets. As they walked away toward the concession stand Heinz said, “I don’t like the way that cashier was looking at you.”
“She was looking at me weird?”
“I didn’t notice.”
Charlie shrugged it off. She figured Heinz was just overreacting. They waited in line for popcorn, Charlie checked phone for the time approximately five times before they reached the counter.
“What can I get you?” Asked the lady behind the counter.
Charlie looked at Heinz, “Did you want popcorn or a pop?”
Charlie turned back to the counter, “Umm, a large popcorn and two medium cokes.”
“That will be $15.” Said the cashier.
“Holy crap!” Said Heinz.
It didn’t look like the cashier had heard him so Charlie was thankful. She gave the woman her money and took her items. Charlie always thought that Heinz should have drink holders and packs to carry things in. At least that way he would be helping. Cause he never paid for anything, she always drove, and she had to carry everything. But she knew what he would say if she suggested anything like that, ‘I’m a unicorn. Not a pack mule.’ She also knew she looked ridiculous carrying the large popcorn and two pops.
“That woman gave you a strange look too.” Said Heinz.
“You’re paranoid.” Said Charlie.
“Hey! Aren’t you going to put extra butter on that popcorn?” Asked Heinz as they passed the butter dispenser.
“No, we don’t have time. Plus I’m fat enough.”
They rushed down the hallway because of course they were at the very end of the hallway in the last movie theater. The previews had started already when they walked into the dark theater. Charlie found them three seats in the center of the theater. Heinz liked this movie theater because the arms to the seats went up so he could sprawl out on two of the seats. He hated sitting on the floor, he was convinced no one ever washed them. Charlie put up an arm for Heinz and placed his pop into the cup holder between the two of them on her left. She placed her pop in the cup holder on the other side of her. Heinz was a big talker during the movies, especially the previews. He had to critique each one, but he’s usually right. He knew Battleship was going to be a huge flop and it was. He disliked the first one because of the lead actress. Heinz referred to her as a no talent ass clown. The second film looked funny. Heinz loved comedies. The third one looked all right, but nothing he would go see. The fourth had an overused clichéd plot. The last preview was the worst. It was Michael Bay’s newest film. Heinz thought Mr. Bay was a royal ass hat that liked playing with fire. Charlie hoped, like she did at every movie they had attended together, that Heinz could keep his mouth shut for the film. It hasn’t happened yet, but there was a first time for everything. Heinz started out quiet. Yes, he was quiet through the opening credits. In the first scene he immediately started up.
“I didn’t know that actress was in this movie. What is up with her hair? She looks ridiculous as a red head. What is she doing? That guy is cute. Are those two dating?”
Charlie could feel the eyes on the back of her head. “Could you be a little quieter?” She hissed at Heinz.
“I am being quiet.” Heinz hissed back a little too loudly. It was another twenty minutes before he started up again. “This is stupid. What the hell does he see in her? She’s not even that hot.”
Charlie tried to cut this rant off before it got too long. “Dude, just watch the movie.”
“I am watching the movie.”
Charlie could hear the girls behind them discussing something, she was sure it was Heinz and the racket he was making. Heinz was quiet for a few more minutes before, yet again, he couldn’t help to open his mouth. “That fight scene wasn’t very believable. Why would a ninja use a dinner fork? I thought they used swords. And these special effects are terrible.” And as soon as he finished his sentence she heard what she knew was coming an enormous, “shhhhhh!” came from behind them. She couldn’t quite tell where it came from and whether or not it was those girls because she refused to turn around.
“Be quiet!” Charlie told Heinz.
“I am quiet. It’s those bitches that are making the noise. Shushing is just as annoying as those idiots who talk through the entire movie.”
Charlie prayed whoever shushed Heinz did hear him call them bitches. “Just stop talking.” She slunk down in her chair hoping that she could make herself smaller and Heinz would keep his mouth shut for the rest of the movie. It couldn’t be much longer it had already been on for almost two hours. She spent the rest of the movie grinding her teeth. Charlie was just waiting for Heinz to open his mouth again. She was very relieved to see the ending credits scrolling up the screen.
“All right. Let’s go.” Charlie quickly got up and headed toward the exit. The last thing she wanted was the shusher approaching her. Charlie didn’t care if the shusher talked to Heinz as long as it wasn’t her. She didn’t even look behind her to see if Heinz was behind her. He knew where the car was and he’d meet her there. If he wanted a ride home he’d meet her outside. When she got out the doors and in her car she finally could breathe. She was safe. She wasn’t going to get chewed out for all the noise Heinz was making. Those girls will probably complain and Heinz’s picture will be put up so that they know who not to give a ticket to. This wasn’t the end to their movie going though; there was one other theater. You know what, maybe she won’t take Heinz to the movies anymore. She was resting her head on the steering wheel when she heard a soft knock on the back seat door behind her. It was Heinz. She got out and opened his door.
“Why did you walk out so fast? How was I supposed to keep up?”
“Sorry, I just wanted to get out of there.”
“Because you talked through the entire movie and I was afraid someone would confront me or you afterwards.”
“No one talked to me.”
“I wasn’t gonna take any chances.”
Charlie drove home just glad for the whole thing to be over with. Over and confrontation free.
“That movie wasn’t all that bad.” Said Heinz.
“What? You bitched the entire movie.”
“No I didn’t.”
“Yes you did. You didn’t like that one actress and you said the fight scenes were fake.”
“Well, generally when someone dislikes a lot of things about a movie that usually means they end up not liking the movie. I don’t know what fantasy world you live in, but here in reality that’s usually how that goes.”
“I will admit there were some shitty moments in that movie, but there are shitty moments in most movies, but you can’t let one crummy character or scene spoil an entire movie.”
Charlie sighed in defeat. She wasn’t going to argue with Heinz. She really needed to stop wasting her energy arguing with him. It was just so easy to get into an argument with him. He was such a frustrating unicorn. As she sat in her silent car at a red light wondering why Heinz couldn’t be this silent during a movie she remembered Mel. She hadn’t looked at her phone all freaking day. He probably thinks she doesn’t care about him. The light turned green and she had to go, but she was determined to check it at the next red light. However, this trip home was the best trip for lights. She hit all greens. There were some stop signs, but she always had people behind her. The suspense was killing her. She didn’t want to delay her and Mel’s conversation any longer. When she finally pulled into her usual spot on the street she took her phone out. Charlie was immediately disappointed, there was no new message. She immediately sent him a ‘How are you today?’ text. It looked cheesy on her screen. She just wanted to see if she’d get a message back. Heinz noticed her staring at her phone, “Texting your hockey player.”
“Yes.” Said Charlie.
“You don’t think the relationship will work why are you wasting your energy?”
“It could work out.”
“Really? You think so? How are you going to figure that out he lives in Toronto?
Charlie couldn’t take it anymore and the words spewed from her mouth, “Cause I’m going to go and visit him!”
“Does he even know you’re coming?”
“Yes he does. He’s even got some things planned.”
“And when is this trip?”
“Well, I’ll just have to plan some other things to do that weekend since you’ll be absent.”
“You’re not mad.”
“No. I think you’re crazy. But no, I’m not mad.” There was something about his voice that had changed. He wasn’t mad. Heinz was very calm. His eyelids were a little droopy like when you’re being smug. Charlie knew he was upset, but he would never tell her. He’ll wait till he can’t take it anymore and every negative thing will just explode out of him. It was the one thing about Heinz that was a little scary; you never knew when the explosion was coming. “I’m gonna go, have a good night.”
All Charlie managed to get out was an “Okay.” She knew he’d come back at her this week before she left for Toronto. When Heinz was gone Charlie found the energy to move and headed into the house. She placed her keys in the dish on the foyer table and headed upstairs. As she shut her bedroom door her phone rang. It was Karyn.
“Hello?” Answered Charlie.
“Hey! What’s up?”
“Nothing much. What’s up with you? Two phone calls in one week you must be desperate for company.”
“We don’t talk enough and to be honest I wanted to be nosey and see how things were going with that hockey player.”
Charlie laughed of course Karyn wanted to know. “Well,” Said Charlie, “We have been texting everyday. But we haven’t talked about anything too serious. Like, we haven’t talked about being in a relationship with each other. But we’ve talked about what each of us is looking for in a relationship and we did all the basic info questions.”
“Are you still going to go and visit him?”
“Duh! I wouldn’t miss that opportunity.”
Karyn laughed, “I wouldn’t pass that shit up either. So when are you going to go for your visit?”
“I know, but it’s the only weekend where he didn’t have a game and I didn’t have a concert or rehearsal.”
“Gotcha. What are you going to do there?”
“I’m not sure. He said he had a few things planned. But if I’m not back by Monday and I haven’t called anyone to tell them I was extending my stay come find my body.”
“I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
“I’m sure too. But you never know.”
“True. You better call me after that trip. I want details.”
“Is your life that boring you have to live vicariously through me?”
“Will keeps me satisfied, the kids keep me busy, and don’t get me started on work. It is so far from boring. I’m just nosey.”
“Alright nosey, I’ll be sure to call you.”
“Great! So, do you think you guys will do anything?”
“I told you he has things planned already.”
“I know that. I’m talking about naughty things.”
“Oh!” exclaimed Charlie. She knew Karyn could be a perv, so she wasn’t quite sure why she was so surprised to hear this come out of her mouth. “I-I-I don’t know.” She stuttered.
“Well, when I said I want to know details those were included.”
“Alright, I’ll be sure to keep a very detailed record of all my doings dirty or not. That way I can’t skip anything.”
“That sounds like a great idea. Alright, I just wanted to call and see how that was doing. I’m sure I’ll talk to you soon.”
“Yeah, most likely after my trip.”
“For sure after your trip, but before that I’m not sure. And by the way all for all the Griffen games against the Marlies Will agreed to let you have his ticket.”
“That’s awesome! Tell Will I said thank you.”
“I will. Have a good night.”
Charlie put down her phone and rolled her eyes. Karyn was so silly. She didn’t call for regular life updates, but she was damned if she wasn’t going to Charlie for love interest updates. She started checking her Facebook, reading statuses and liking whichever ones struck her fancy at that moment. She had over five hundred friends, some of whom were mere acquaintances and others people that she didn’t get along with in high school. She always wondered if these people were ever shocked to see her like their status. As she liked yet another status her phone chimed. She knew who it was.
‘I’m doing alright. And you?’ Mel texted.
‘I’m alright.’ Charlie responded.
‘Sorry I haven’t messaged you all day, it’s been a busy one here.’
‘No biggie. Was it crazy at work?’
‘Oh yeah. Some of our customers are insane.’
‘I don’t think it matters where you go, you’ll always get crazy customers.’
‘This is true. Still coming for a visit next weekend?’
‘Wouldn’t miss it for the world.’
‘I’ve never been to Toronto so I can’t wait to see the sights.’
‘I’m a little biased when it comes to the sights. I’m only taking you to the ones I like. ;)’
‘That’s fine. I don’t think I could take in the whole city in two days anyway.’
‘Lol! Just to warn you some of the places I’m going to take you aren’t landmarks. Some of them are restaurants and bars I frequent.’
‘That’s fine. I’m up for anything.’
Charlie and Mel continued to message back and forth. He asked her if she liked to hike and what kinds of food she didn’t like. Charlie could tell Mel was looking for ideas and whether or not she would really enjoy the things he had in mind. Charlie told him that she would try anything once except for skydiving and bungee jumping. He said she was safe cause he wouldn’t dare do any of those things. When Charlie realized how late it was, she was surprised at how awake she felt, but if she didn’t go to bed soon she’d be useless in the morning. She said goodnight to Mel and put on her pjs. She got into bed, turned off her lamp and went to sleep dreaming about her happily ever after with Mel. This was dangerous thinking and hoping, but Charlie just didn’t care. When she woke up the next day it was after ten o’clock. She was actually shocked that Heinz hadn’t let himself into her room yet. After last night’s fight she was afraid to look around the corners. Plus it doesn’t help that he’s scared her shitless the last two days with his surprises. She put on her clothes, brushed her teeth, watched tv all while straining her ears trying to catch every little noise. Charlie was surprised that she didn’t have a panic attack she was so anxious. Around noon Charlie went downstairs to find herself some lunch. As she boiled water for her mac and cheese her mother came through the kitchen.
“Good morning.” Said Vera.
“Good morning.” Said Charlie.
Vera furrowed her brow and frowned, “What’s wrong?” she asked.
“I’m fine. Just got a lot on my mind.”
“Alright well if you want to talk you know where I live.”
“Oh!” Charlie remembered that she hadn’t even told her mother about her recent crush. “I’m going to Toronto next weekend.”
“Remember that hockey game that I went to with Karyn?”
“Well, I met someone. He’s from Toronto. We’ve been texting and I agreed to go visit.”
“Be careful. How do you know he’s not an axe murderer?”
“I think it’s safe. But anyway I wanted you to know where I’d be just incase I do get murdered.” Vera’s face got very concerned, but Charlie just chuckled at her mother as Vera rolled her eyes, shook her head and left the kitchen. Charlie played on her iPhone until her noodles were done cooking. She really just kept her phone around in case Mel sent her a message. But playing Sims Freeplay kept her mind just as occupied. She took her noodles upstairs still peeking cautiously around every corner. Heinz would find great delight in her spilling her lunch when he jumps out and scares her. She felt like she needed a mirror to peak around the corner with like Hermione used to watch for the basilisk, but than again if she saw him in a mirror it would still be terrifying.
“This would probably be a good time to decide what to do for the rest of the day.” Said Charlie.
“Got any ideas” Charlie didn’t know why she bothered to ask this, she knew Heinz’s answer.
“Grr. Why do I have to come up with ideas, you’re the one that wanted to hang out?’
“Didn’t we already go over this?”
“Yes!” Charlie was now yelling. She wanted, so much, to strangle this damn unicorn. Charlie settled for giving Heinz the evil eye. As they continued to walk down the road Heinz finally came up with an idea.
“What about a movie?”
“I asked you if you wanted to stay in and watch movies. You told me no.”
“I don’t want to sit in your stuffy room and watch movies. I want to go to the theater.”
Without even hesitating Charlie said, “No.”
“You never pay for yourself. I always end up footing the whole bill. I can’t keep spending my money. I’d like to move out of my parent’s house eventually.”
“I can’t pay for things.”
“Why is that?”
“Where would I put a wallet?”
“What if you wore a purse around your neck?”
“I still don’t have thumbs, how would I take it out of the purse. Plus it would be in a wallet. And you know those card slots are super tight. I wouldn’t be able to pull my debit card out of the slot with my mouth.” Heinz said matter a factly.
“What if you paid in cash?”
“If my card slots are all full accessing my cash would be just as difficult.”
“Fine. I get it.” Charlie knew what Heinz was doing. He knows if he spins enough bullshit Charlie will just get frustrated and give up. And he was right; she didn’t want to waste any more energy arguing with him. It was incredibly draining. “So what movie did you want to see?”
“I don’t know.”
They spent the rest of the walk arguing over which movie they would be going to see. Heinz would have no idea, but when Charlie suggested something he shot it down. After she had gotten through all the movies that she wanted to see she started listing every other movie that was playing. Eventually Charlie named one that Heinz agreed to.
“I really wanted to see that one!” Heinz said.
“Then why did you make me list all those movies?”
Heinz wasn’t sure how to answer, so he looked forward and continued walking.
Charlie was really hoping she could just walk away and have Heinz forget about her texting. He of course did not.
“Why don’t you want to talk about this guy?”
Charlie wheeled around. “Because. You said it wouldn’t work out, so why would I want to talk about it with you.”
“It probably won’t. Long distance rarely works.”
“I’m not exactly beating the men off with a stick. I would just like to give it a try.”
“Can we drop it?”
Charlie unlocked the front door. She placed her keys in the dish on table inside the door and took her shoes off. Her and Heinz headed upstairs, picking out a movie was easy. They decided on Alice in Wonderland because Charlie was not feeling Sweeny Todd. She had nothing against Sweeny Todd, she just didn’t want to watch a musical. Charlie turned off the sound to her cell phone. Luckily Heinz didn’t seem too interested in her texting. Mel and Charlie finally had moved passed the introduction info. They knew where they graduated high school and Mel knew where Charlie went to college. Mel knew Charlie lived with her parents and Charlie knew Mel lived by himself. He was a hockey player and she was a musician. He was twenty-nine, she was twenty-five. It was nice to get passed all of this stuff because now they could talk about relationship stuff. They both wanted someone to grow old with. Long distance relationships were new to both of them. Actually long distance relationships were something the both of them avoided. But during their conversation Charlie and Mel never got around to talking about having a relationship with each other. It was just asking each other what they wanted in the potential relationship. Charlie assumed that t was too soon to assume anything would come of their texting. Considering Mel and Charlie’s age texting did seem a little silly. Charlie wasn’t ready for talking on the phone. At least with texting she had time to come up with questions and conversations were much more drawn out so they talk longer. If they talked on the phone the conversation would last mere minutes and filled with awkward pauses. Awkward pauses were one of the things that made Charlie anxious, so the fact that she could avoid it with texting was a blessing. In between text messages she stared at the movie and watched Heinz to see if he was watching her. He seemed pretty engrossed in the movie. Charlie was glad. She was still worried about how she was going to tell Heinz she was going to go visit Mel in Toronto. When the movie finished Heinz turned to Charlie.
“Want to watch another movie?” Asked Heinz.
“Not really, I’m exhausted.”
“Alright. I’ll let you sleep. See you tomorrow.”
Charlie closed the door behind Heinz. She put her pjs on and hopped into bed. She turned the light off. As she lay on her back she stared up at the ceiling. How am I going to tell Heinz? He’ll notice me missing for a whole weekend. It was hard to shut her brain up so she could sleep. She was so excited about the possible relationship with Mel but freaked out about Heinz’s reaction. After a couple of hours of staring at the alarm clock Charlie was finally able to sleep. The next morning she was awoken by something wet on her face. In a half asleep state she wiped it off and rolled over. Then she felt the wet thing on her neck. When she wiped this off she opened her eyes.
“Holy shit! What the hell are you doing?”
“Licking you.” Answered Heinz.
“That is disgusting.”
“No it’s not. It’s magical.”
“I’m a unicorn, everything I do is magical.”
“Whatever. What is with you surprising me? Do you enjoy scaring the shit out of me?”
“Yes.” Heinz had the biggest grin on her stupid unicorn face. Sometimes he was such an ass.
“And P.S. shitting isn’t magical and you do that don’t you?”
“Well yeah. But I poop rainbows.”
“You’re a douche.” Charlie rolled her eyes and sat up in bed. Heinz just stood there staring at her. “What?” Charlie asked, “Why are you staring at me?”
“I’m waiting for you to tell me what we’re doing today.”
“Who said we were doing anything?”
“I just assumed.”
“Didn’t anybody tell you that assuming makes an ass out of you and me?”
Heinz just ignored her statement. “So, what are we doing?”
“I don’t know. I wasn’t planning on doing anything today but sleep in.”
“You waste time when you sleep. Don’t be lazy.”
Charlie growled at Heinz, “Fine. Let me get dressed and we’ll decide what to do. It better be free cause I’m broke.”
She went to the bathroom, brushed her teeth, and took a shower. She found a pair of jeans and a university of Michigan t-shirt. When she walked back into her room Heinz had made himself comfortable on her bed.
“So, what do we want to do today?” Charlie asked.
“I don’t know. You got any ideas?”
“You’re the one that wanted to hang out!”
“Just cause I want to hang out doesn’t mean I had ideas.”
“Bah! What about some more movies?”
“We did that yesterday.”
“Well, it’s free.”
“Yes, but we did that yesterday.”
“Fine. Wanna go for a walk?”
“I guess we could do that, but what about when the walk is over?”
“I don’t know. Maybe we’ll think of something while we’re out working.” The two of them walked down the stairs. The first floor was empty. Phil must have been at work because like Heinz he would never sleep in past nine, plus Charlie was pretty sure that Phil had to work. She knew her mom was definitely sleeping still. Vera had to work at 4 p.m. and hadn’t gone to bed until 1 a.m. the night before. Charlie grabbed her keys from the key dish and her and Heinz walked out the front door. They walked down carter road toward gudith road. Charlie figured that that walk was long enough, at least to think of something else to do.