So it’s true my Mom wasn’t around much, but my Dad was always there and that was fine with me. I did make little efforts to spend time with her though I’m sure she didn’t realize that it was intentional. Some nights I would have Dad read me stories in their bed so I could pretend to fall asleep and see her when she got home.
It may not have been the ideal way to spend time with someone but the way her work went she was usually up and out before I went to school and home past my bedtime. I know she blamed herself for my attitude problem, but to tell you the truth it was just the way I was. I couldn’t help it if I woke up in a bad mood from time to time, it was just who I was.
Still I grew up, happy and well adjusted, for the most part. I had my best friend Raina, who was a month older than me always by my side. Her Dad worked with my Mom and so she understood what it was like to have one parent out of the picture more often than not.I guess I had never noticed my best friend before, or at least not the way I was noticing her now. There was just something about her I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but looking at her now felt like I was seeing her for the first time all over again.
There was no doubt that something between us had changed the day after I turned 14. Although I couldn’t say for sure, I had a feeling what it might be. I could no longer look at her without my stomach jumping around inside my body, my heart would race, my hands would get all sweaty and I no longer knew how to talk to her! I could tell she felt it too, I just wasn’t sure what to do about it?I figured the best thing to do was ask her to the Prom, although it was still a ways off it was a good icebreaker right? I even gave her some flowers from our yard and offered to walk her home that night. Thankfully she said yes! I don’t know what I would have done if she had rejected me, especially since she was the only real friend I had.
We left my house around 8pm, I told my Dad I was just walking Raina home and I’d be back before curfew. We decided to go past her house and down to the lagoon and watch the stars. This was the perfect place for me to make my move and see if she really felt the same as I did. I will admit though I was pretty nervous.
For the first time since I had known her I didn’t know what to say. She seemed to be quite content just sitting quietly beside me though, which was a very nice feeling. It was almost as if we didn’t need words to say what we were both feeling. The night couldn’t have been more perfect.When all of a sudden Raina leaned in and whispered “You know, half of the girls at our school are going to be soo jealous when they hear about this!” I looked at her puzzled. “Well you know they all have super big crushes on you right?” she continued. “Uh, no I didn’t.” I said, still confused. She giggled and we went back to silence, although now I was wondering if she was telling the truth or just being funny.
That night felt so magical I felt like it was all so perfect it just had to be a dream. Could falling in love really be this easy? When all of a sudden I remembered our curfew. I glanced down at my watch and saw it was already 11pm! Oh no! I had to get her home before her Mom and my Dad killed us both!
I decided it would be better to drop her off a couple blocks away in case her parents were still up. She surprised me by leaning in and kissing me goodnight. “I had a wonderful time tonight Fin.” Raina whispered. All I could do was nod and say “Mm hm” Finally when she disappeared from view I decided I best get my butt home.
Of course my Dad was waiting for me when I got home, and I could tell by the look on his face I was in deeeeep trouble! “Where have you been Finley Allen Groves?? Do you have any idea how worried I’ve been! I was 15 minutes away from calling the cops to go searching for you!!!” my father ‘yelled’, although with him even as mad as he might be could never truely yell.
“Dad I am sooo sorry! I swear I had no idea what time it was I uhh, forgot my watch at home.” I lied slipping my arm behind my back. Dad stood and thought about it for a while and then just when I thought he had seen right through me and was going to ground me anyway he said. “Well I guess I can let it go this one time. Just don’t make this a habit ok?”. “No problem Dad, I won’t, I promise!” I said running upstairs before he could change his mind.