Rhymes With Orange
Will wins at DDR, he usually does, and then we make our way over to the air hockey table. This one is my game and I get very competitive with it. Poor Will, I think I hit his fingers a few times. He never learns to keep his hand off the edge.
I laugh while he nurses his crushed fingers.
"Baby," I tease. He sticks his tongue out at me in response.
"So I'm starting to get peckish," he says, dropping his injured act. "How 'bout you?"
"Yeah, I'm getting hungry too. Where do you want to go? Not Booster Juice."
"I dunno, maybe-" he stops mid sentence and freezes.
"What?" I ask, trying to discern what caught his attention. He points and heads over to the claw game.
"They have our favourites," he says pointing once more. Sure enough, there, amongst the dozens of other plushies are two Pokédolls; an Arcanine and a Houndoom. I used to only like the original 151, but when Houndoom was introduced I decided that 250 wasn't a bad number. Will had had the same favourite since he played Pokemon Red for the first time, like ten years ago.
I still remember his first time, I'd just beaten it so I figured he could borrow it. It was a few months after the play and I was still trying to figure out how to act normal around him.
He was staying at my place for dinner and we were just hanging out in my room.
"Die, damn you die!" Will growled from my bean bag chair. I looked up from my Gameboy with a smile.
"I'm curious, do you talk to yourself and your games when I'm not around?"
"Not really. Ha! Got you, eat that!"
"So you do it for my benefit," I affirmed, struggling to keep from laughing. He glanced at me and gave me a wink.
I blushed crimson and luckily didn't have to come up with a reply because Mum was calling us for dinner.
Now, Will's digging out his change and feeding the machine.
"You're never going to get them both," I tell him, going closer to watch. "Arcanine's part buried."
"Oh ye of little faith."
"I can't believe you broke a twenty to get these," I laugh tossing my new Houndoom in the air and catching him again.
"Well I had Ember, couldn't leave you without a plushie now could I?"
"Ember?" I ask, arching a brow.
"Come one, you know I always nicknamed my team," he says trying to get the Arcanine to stay on his shoulder. "And I always made sure I had a female Arcanine named Ember."
"Aw, come on. Aren't you going to name yours?"
"He's just a stuffed animal." I haven't had a stuffed animal since I was probably around ten, maybe eleven. I won't sleep with him in my bed or anything, but he is kinda cute and it was nice of Will to win him. Even if it was a huge waste of money.
"He, huh?" It's Will's turn to raise an eyebrow at me.
"Shut up. Oh fine, umm... Gambit."
"Cheater, naming him after your favourite superhero."
"Okay, one; technically, he's more of an anti-hero and two; cause Ember for a Fire type is soo original." Whatever come back he had died in his throat as he stopped dead in his tracks again. "Will you stop doing that?!"
"Ollie, it's our song!" Will exclaims.
"What?" He points to the speakers in the ceiling where the mall played music. I had gotten in the habit of tuning it out.
"I'll be your crying shoulder," he sings softly pulling me in a spin.
"Will, stop it!" I giggle as the other mall goers stare.
"Aw, c'mon Ollie. Dance with me." He pulls me this way and that dancing like a complete moron. "I love it when you blush, you're like a fucking Christmas tree." I try to glare, but I know it's true. I blush so bad and if you bring attention to it, it just gets worse. Will has this annoying little thing he does where he puts just the right amount of teasing in his voice. He'll say I'm blushing, even if I'm not, and it'll make me blush.
I've come to the conclusion that he is evil. And quite possibly mentally unstable.
"Why is this 'our song' anyway, you idiot?" I ask, managing to pull out of his grasp and sit on a nearby bench. He lounges next to me with his legs propped up on my lap. 'Personal space' has always been a bit of a foreign concept to him.
"It's the song we danced to at prom. Last song of the night, almost everyone had left and I finally was able to coerce my sweet little Ollie into a dance," he coos and a swat his hand away when he tries to pinch my cheek.
"I much preferred playing blackjack to dancing."
"Hey, so did I," he agrees easily. "But it's a rite of passage, slow dancing at prom. Had to be done."
"If you wanted to dance you should've had a real date," I snort, though I had been elated when he'd asked me to go with him.
"No one else would've played blackjack though, thus the conundrum. Pity you didn't wear the dress I picked out." I roll my eyes at him.
"You didn't pick out a dress, you pointed out some lingerie slip thing as we walked past the shop."
"Exactly." I shove his legs off my lap and he lands awkwardly on the floor.
"At least I'm a perv with a view." His eyes travel up my legs. "A very nice view, might I add." I blush and kick him in the shins.
"Perv," I repeat.
He holds out his hand as I rise and I pull him up. I feel a smile form while he brushes himself off and picks Ember off the floor.
"God, I'm gonna miss you," I mumble, my summer just seems so empty without him. I mean I have other friends and of course my family, but it just... It won't be the same.
"It's not too late to change your mind," he says, equally soft. His eyes lock on mine and he looks concerned.
"You know I can't ask that," I say, looking anywhere but at him.
"Olivia, I'm serious," he says leaning in to my line of sight. Twice in one day he's says my name, a new record. "Really, just say the word and I'll stay."
"Don't be stupid."
"If you want me to stay here with you-"
"Your parents already bought your ticket for one," I point out. "Not to mention this is your cousin's wedding. It's not some little weekend trip that can be postponed."
"I know all that," he sighs. "I just don't want to leave you here alone." He smiles and 'serious' Will is gone. "I mean what are you gonna do without me around?"
He echoes my own thoughts without even realizing it. Why can he think what I think, but not feel what I feel? I sometimes wonder how things would be if we had never kissed. Would I still have fallen in love with him? Would we still be close ten years later?
"Wonder what it would be like, if it didn't happen," I whisper to myself.
"If what didn't happen?"
"Maybe I'd have a boyfriend." I'd never had one of those, no one even compared to Will. Besides, I don't exactly have guys lining up around the block.
Will snorts and starts walking.
"What is that supposed to mean?" I demand, matching his pace.
"It means good luck."
"Oh, I see," I reply sarcastically. "You don't think I could find one, do you?"
"It's not that," he rolls his eyes. "I meant good luck finding a guy worthy of you." I freeze for a moment, too stunned to say anything. "C'mon I'm starved. Let's go get some lunch."
I let him drag me to the food court and any other serious talk is forgotten when faced with the all important decision of what to eat.
We get burgers and fries, cause we're classy like that.
"So Miss Lover of Foreigners, how do you feel about trying out the new rope climbing thing they got?" I roll my eyes, never shoud've told him that some people translated 'Gallagher' to loosely mean lover or helper of foreigners.
"Normally, I would totally be all over that, but not really in the mood to panty flash the mall," I say wryly, finishing up my burger. "C'mon, let's just walk around for a bit, maybe check out the sea lions."
"Fine," he sighs, taking the tray to the garbage. I rescue my fries and attempt to hold both our drinks along with my fries and Gambit. Will smirks at me and takes his drink and Gambit from me. The drink he keeps, but Gambit gets put inside my hoodie pocket.
"Can you hold this for a sec too?" I ask handing him my root beer. My hair had been left down for most of the day already and it was really getting on my nerves. I bite the side of my fries' carton and quickly do a braid, noticing the indent on my wrist from having my elastic sit there all day. "Thanks," I tell him, taking my drink back.
We wander around the mall and take our time. We talk and trade bad jokes, but we avoid mentioning that he's leaving in the morning. For now, I just want it to be us with no thoughts of tomorrow. We check out various stores and Will snaps a ridiculous picture of me posing behind one of the headless, naked mannequins . This is what I love about spending time together, even though we're somewhere I generally don't like to be and whatever plans he had have, temporarily at least, been forgotten I'm happy just goofing around with my best friend.
"This is why you're the most awesome girl in the world," Will laughs as we continue our walk.
"I dunno," he shrugs. "You'll just go with the flow. but you still make decisions. Mai's really bad for either sticking to a plan and not letting it go or having me do all the planning. It's nice just hanging out with no real destination in mind. Any guy would be one lucky dude to be dating you."
"Psht, whatever," he laughs and pokes me in the ribs. "I mean, where do I start? You're competitive in, like a good way and you never worry about what you eat. You're a gamer and you hate shopping. You watch and actually play sports and you have told some of the dirtiest and worst jokes I have ever heard, not to mention you make the Irish proud! And that's not all," he smiles and continues in a softer voice. "Not only can you hang out and be one of the guys, you're smart and sweet. Kids frick flock to you like baby birds. You never care about what other people really think about you and you're always yourself. You don't act fake to make a good impression, but you end up doing just that by just being you."
"Will, that's nothing. There are tons of other people like that" I protest. He ignores me and continues on.
"You're a beautiful person, Ollie. Inside and out. I mean when someone first meets you the might not think you're the hottest person on the planet , but. . . " He trails off and scratches the back of his neck, I can almost see him trying to figure out what to say. "After they've gotten to know you they'll realize you're really... pretty. And god, can you cook," he sighs and I can't help, but laugh.
"Yeah, but we'll see what happens when some guy tells me to get in the kitchen." He smiles at that and shrugs.
"I know it probably doesn't mean much coming from your best friend and all, I just think that you deserve to be with someone as awesomesauce as you." I stare at him, speechless. While he had kept his tone light, I knew he meant everything he said. It was exactly how I felt about him.
How can he not feel it? We're so close, so perfect for each other. How can he not notice? Part of me just wants to tell him how I feel and throw caution to the wind.
"This is probably going to sound weird," he says looking towards the sea lions as we slowly approach them. "But, I have a bit of a confession to make."
My heart stops and I look at him, but he determinedly keeps his eyes averted.
"Yeah?" I almost whisper, terrified and excited at the same time.
"Sometimes I look at you, and . . . I see the girl . . the person that you are and. . . I. . ."
"And you what?" I ask softly.
"I look at you and I can't help but wish. . . wish that I... could've fallen in love with a girl like you."