It's Not That Simple ((Chapter One))

Fiction By Madeline // 5/13/2011

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I stared in the mirror before me, brushing my fingers along the glass. How I wanted to badly to take a hammer to it, to eliminate the uncertain picture before me. What did I always let people get under my skin? I stepped away, sitting on my bed in the dark bedroom. My thin, light blonde hair tickled my shoulders. I sat back up, peeled my tank top off, and grabbed a new shirt. I needed to see Marion.

 I stole through the dark of the night, my feet like whispers against the pavement as I shut and locked our front door. I had become startlingly good at sneaking. Maybe it was because I had the right mindset, the right concentration, to be good at quiet things. I always had been.

 I came to the familiar house just a few short seconds later, daring to believe it when I saw the lights on. I rapped the front door in our special code three swift times, then stepped back into the shadows. The element of surprise had become my best friend.

"Hello?" The familiar, soprano voice came. Then more wary. "Hello?"

 I threw myself at Marion, wrapping my arms around her. She screamed loudly for a few patronizing seconds, then resorted to breathing deeply, returning the hug.

"Ellie? Is that you?"

"Yes!" I exclaimed, jumping up and down, as girls tend to do. "How are you?"

"You're back!" She cried, pulling away. She took in my face. "Oh, you've grown taller than me! And your hair..." She clasped a stand between her pointer finger and thumb. "It's prettier than ever! Oh my goodness!"

"Is Brandon here?" I asked, craning my neck to see past her.

"Of course," Marion said, giggling. "He'll be surprised. He's with his tutor, Phillip. Let's hurry, then. Before they finish."

We made our way through Marion's house, coming to the back bedroom. I peeked in and was just barely able to stop myself from sighing with happiness. Brandon, aged seventeen, looked more handsome than ever. His unruly brown hair matched his sparkling eyes that had somehow matured in the year I had been gone.

His eyes instantly darted up, and then he gasped. "Ellie?"

I found myself in his arms, lifted off the ground. I laughed and wiggled until he set me down.

"Wow! You look so different."

"So do you!" I noted, instantly blushing.

Brandon striked a pose, acting like his old self again. "Can't keep your eyes away, Ellie? Take a picture, it'll last longer."

I sighed shakily and blushed again. "No thanks, I'm good. I think I'd have nightmares if I put your picture on my bedside table at night!"

Had I really just said that? I groaned internally.

Brandon didn't seem to notice my slip-up. "Oh, whatever! Hey, have you met my tutor?"

I had noticed the man beside him until now. My jaw dropped with surprise.

"It's you!" I exclaimed.

"Eleanor?" Phillip replied.

I furrowed my eyebrow. Nobody called me by my first name. At least, not until now.

"Ellie," I corrected softly, but Phillip didn't seem to notice.

"I can't believe it's you!" The well-built man smiled. He had grown a beard since I had seen him. Brandon stared back and forth between us with confusion.

"I take it you two...know each other?" He asked finally.

"Yeah, he was my tutor when we moved last year!" I cried. "I never thought I'd see you again, Mr. Ray."

"Call me Phillip," he corrected smoothly. "I see as how you are no longer my pupil, such would be most appropriate."

"Okay," I said shyly, looking at the ground. "I can't believe you still remember me!"

"Such a pretty girl would be hard to forget."

I swallowed heavily. Marion giggled nervously from beside me. Brandon narrowed his eyes, than coughed.

"Right, well, um, glad to have you back Ellie."

"Yeah, good to be back," I said, barely above a whisper. "Thanks."

"Are you thirsty?" Marion asked suddenly, tugging on my sleeve. She pulled me out into the hallway and into her small kitchen. Without speaking, she prepared two steaming cups of black tea and placed one in front of me, sitting across the table so we could see each other.

"He likes you," she said immediately.

I spit my tea out, spraying it all over the counter. "Oh! I'm so sorry."

She waved her hand. "I'll get it up later. But seriously, he likes you!"

"Brandon?" I asked hopefully. "Do you think?"

"Of course not!" She said, mock-gagging. "That would be weird."

"Yeah," I agreed, trying to cover my words up. "Completely." I took a sip of tea.

"I mean Phillip Ray!"

"Oh!" I gasped, and then covered my mouth so I wouldn't spit it out again. "Do you really think?" I said, swallowing.

"Obviously. He basically said you were beautiful!"

"He said pretty," I replied tartly. "I'm not beautiful!"

"To him you are," Marion said in a singsong voice. "Totally one-hundred-percent beautiful! How old is he? Can you guys..."

"No!" I cried, standing up. "I. Don't. Like. Him."

"Yes you do!" She screeched happily, throwing her arms around me again.

"You always try to cover it up when you like someone. He has to be at least twenty-five in order to grow a beard. So, nine years! No big deal, right?"

"No!" I cried. "Huge deal!"

"Why?" She whined.

"First off, because I don't like him! Secondly, because my father would not approve, and thirdly because he doesn't like me!"

"Yes he does!" She exclaimed. "Phillip totally likes you!"

"Pardon?" A voice came from behind me.

I wanted to die when I turned around. Phillip and Brandon stood there, looking out-of-place. Brandon looked disgusted while Phillip was amused.

"I said.... Phillip likes you!" Marion said with shock. "Because I saw you Brandon, and was pointing out the obvious." She waited a few seconds, then added, "duh!"

My cheeks were on fire. I stood up and shot Marion an impatient look as I went for the front door. "Well...thanks! Bye! Nice to see you."

"I'll walk you out," Brandon quickly volunteered. He followed behind me, shutting the screen door when I stepped out onto their porch.

"So," he said, rocking on his heels as we face one another. "Phillip likes me?"

I laughed. "Marion is trying to hook us up."

"Oh!" Brandon seemed surprised. "Isn't he a little old for you?"

"That's what I said!" I muttered defensively. "It's not like I like him or anything."

"Good."

I looked up at Brandon with surprise. "Good?"

"I mean...uh...goodnight, Ellie. Glad to have you back."

So quickly, I couldn't be sure it happened, he leaned down and pressed his lips to my cheek. I stood there for a few seconds with surprise, automatically stepping back.

Brandon waved once then swung around and went back inside. I stayed there dumbly for a few moments more before finally turning and going down the three wooden steps back onto the street.

Brandon had kissed my cheek. It was a kiss! With dismay I realized it was probably only a brotherly gesture, not a romantic one. My happiness instantly deflated.

 

Comments

Hey Guys!

Okay--please read and give me thoughts, ideas...critisims! Anything! This is just new, and I wrote it quickly today, so thanks! :))

Madeline | Fri, 05/13/2011

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

I can't wait to read the rest

I can't wait to read the rest of this! How do you manage do fit so many twists into one chapter? :D

little woman | Tue, 06/28/2011

The most astonishing thing about miracles is that they happen.
-G. K. Chesterton

:)

Thank you so much! :) *yay* Another person to read! There will be MANY twists so bear with me, if you can. I will pull it all together. haha! Thank you again! 

Madeline | Tue, 06/28/2011

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

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