Thank you to K.L. Caley of new2writing for hosting #Maydays prompts. Today’s theme is a transforming friendship, someone you or a character didn’t like, but now do.
Ever since Cale started staring at me with his aqua-blue eyes and short blond hair, my pulse speeds up and I think I’m going to faint.
“Hi, ” Cale says to me as I pass him in the cafeteria.
“Hi, how are you?” I say trembling
“Yeah and you’re Cale. How’d you know my name?”
“Oh, I asked a couple of girls who I’m friends with from one of your classes, Marissa and Jackie.” I nodded.
Marissa and Jackie both hated me. They talked behind my back and gave me dirty looks. I knew exactly who they were. But I was interested in knowing Cale better, despite his choice of friends.
“How did you know my name?” Cale asked me smiling,
“I go and watch the hockey games. You guys are doing awesome this year. You’re a left winger right? I remember you score a lot of goals.” There’s a silly grin on my face.
“Sit down with me Jane,” Cale says. “Can I get you anything to eat or drink, it doesn’t look like you’ve had lunch yet?”
“No, really.” Cale says.
“Ok, I’ll have a bottle of water and a yogurt, granola, and fruit parfait.” I say.
Cale chuckles. “Such a healthy eater. I’m buying us some French fries to share too and you better eat some.”
Cale comes back with more food than we can both eat. It makes me smile and feel warm inside.
“Tell me about yourself?” Cale says staring at me with his aqua-blue eyes.
I blush. I’m so shy. I don’t know why he likes me.”I, uh um, I’m an English and Film Studies major. I’m taking five classes, I’m in my second year of university, and I like to swim. I go out with my friends on the weekend to dance and that’s pretty much it.” I say stumbling over my words.
Cale chuckles. “Busy life Jane. Do you work too?”
“Yeah, I waitress at Moxie’s on the northside. What about you?” I’m beginning to feel less nervous.
“Well I can only manage three classes at once. I’m taking business, majoring in finance. I play hockey as you know and practice takes up a lot of time. I work a great deal at an accounting company in the West end. They help pay for my education and I want to get my CMA eventually. I have fun on the weekends with my friends like you. Maybe your friends and mine could meet up on Friday night? The Lucky Fox sound good to you?”
I’m chewing a French fry and almost choke. I drink some water and as well as I can manage, I say: “That sounds like fun. Let me talk to my friends and I’ll get back to you.”
Cale is grinning at me and brushes a stray lock of pink hued blond hair behind my ear. Pulling out his cellphone he asks for my number then texts me so I have his cell number as well. We continue to talk and when my next class starts, we talk through it too.
Eventually, Cale has to go to work. He kisses me on my cheek before he leaves.
“Where is this guy anyways, Jane?” My friend Rebecca asks. “He said to meet him at the Lucky Fox at 11:30 pm and it’s 1:30 am?”
” Yeah, I don’t think he’s a good guy Jane,” Samantha says agreeing with Rebecca. A couple other girls who came along with Rebecca, Samantha, and I, chime in with their unflatterring views of Cale, trying to be supportive of me.
“Stuff happens when you’re out at a bar,” I say. “Maybe something happened with his friends and he couldn’t make it out.”
I text Cale: Where are you, Cale? You said you’d meet here two-hours ago?
I don’t expect a reply. I’ve texted Cale four or five times with no response.
Who’s this? His text message says. I jump.
It’s Jane from school remember? We had lunch together and talked all afternoon? We made plans for our friends to all meet tonight at the Lucky Fox?
He texts: Sorry too much to drink. . .
What? I text back.
I don’t get a response and I’m fuming.
Monday at school I pass Cale on the way to my second class.
Cale touches my shoulder and I spin around to glare at him.
“I can explain about Friday,” he says hands up in apology. “I’m so sorry those girls who told me your name . . .” Cale stops, eyes wide at the anger in my expression.
“Marissa and Jackie?” I say with bitterness.
” Yeah, they got us real drunk. We were playing a card game and pretty much passed-out by midnight. I’m sorry. We did mean to meet you at the Lucky Fox and I was excited to see you and meet your friends.”
I scoffed. “Whatever, you made your choice. You chose to play games and get drunk with your friends, Marissa, and Jackie.”
“Please Jane, I like you a lot. I’ll do better next time.” I ignore Cale stepping around him and I don’t talk to him again, this semester or the next.
He always smiles and waves when I pass by him, but I ignore him. The hurt look on his face every time I pretend not to see him, causes an ache I didn’t know existed inside me.
It’s the beginning of my third year and I know the courses are more advanced and will be harder this year. I’m done class for the first day when I bump into Cale, not watching where I’m going.
Cale puts his hands on my shoulders to stabilize me. “Jane? How are you? I haven’t seen you in forever. How was your summer?”
“It was good Cale. I waitressed and I make great tips in the patio season. I also went away with my best friends Rebecca and Samantha and we went to San Francisco for a week. How about you?”
“Ah, a lot of work at the company.” Cale says shaking his head sadly. “I went to Cancun, Mexico though in Spring with my buddies. It was awesome.”
I’m amazed I’m desperately curious about Cale’s life still. I’m not mad at him for that one night where he didn’t show up to bar. I think I was over reacting and I’m happy to see Cale because I’ve thought of him often, wishing for a do-over. Here’s my chance.
Cale’s hands are still on my shoulders his thumbs gently brushing the bare skin beside my scooped necked blue t-shirt.
“Listen,” I admit, “I’m sorry I was so mad at you before. Things happen when alcohol is involved I know, but I was hurt. I wanted to spend the night with you and you spent it with those other girls Marissa and Jackie. Those girls hate me. They talk behind my back about me.”
Cale frowns, “I’ll talk to Marissa and Jackie. They won’t be doing that to you anymore if they want to stay friends with me.” I feel hopeful about what Cale has said.
“You had a right to be mad about that night.” He adds, “I was being stupid. But you didn’t have to ignore me for a year. I had given up hope you’d ever talk to me again until well, right now.”
“I’m sorry Cale. I was being mean. I shouldn’t have ignored you for so long. Just because you didn’t show up one night doesn’t give me the right to treat you like you don’t exist. I hated ignoring you, I felt guilty every time I did it.” I said peering up at Cale’s aqua-blue eyes.
” Jane are you seeing anyone right now?”
I blush and smile at Cale. “No, not for months. Are you?”
“No same as you. I’d like to take you out and only us this time. We can meet each other’s friends another time. I’ve missed you and I want to get to know you better. Can I pick you up for dinner some night this week?”
“Yes, you may,” I say. Cale grins, looking relieved.
“Tuesday is a good night for me, how about you?” I ask him.
“Tuesday at 7:00 pm it is.”
Cale is noticeably exstatic and I think he’s about the hottest guy I’ve ever seen in his happiness. I absently run my hand through his short blond hair which is so soft, as I gaze up at him.
I barely realize his mouth is on mine until it is and his kiss and searching lips make me forget all the bad things that happened between us. I feel a warm hum of energy trickling from Cale’s lips into me.
Cale pulls away from me, breathing hard. “I’ve been wanting to do that for over a year, Jane.”
I take his hand shyly. “I’m glad you finally did.”
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