Let’s see…recipe for a Spanish omelet… I scanned the pages of the cookbook I was flipping through. I still wasn’t much of a cook, but it was fun to try out new recipes. Egg dishes were tricky, too, especially to a picky eater like me. There was a fine line between under-done and over-done.
Booong boong, the doorbell rang. I tossed my book onto the table and headed downstairs, wondering who it was. By the time I got to the bottom of the stairs, Luc and Alison were already talking.
“Alison!” I smiled and walked over to them. “I didn’t know you were coming over.”
“Me either. I just decided to drop in. It’s alright, isn’t it?”
“Sure. You know you’re always welcome.” I didn’t see my Willow Creek friends nearly as much as I’d like. “You want anything?”
She shook her head. “Maybe later.”
“Want to go upstairs then?” Before she’d even finished nodding in agreement, I started back up the stairs.
I started to ask her what she’d been up to, but she beat me to the punch. “So, tell me about Tommy. All you’ve told me over the phone is that you’re dating him, and Nora didn’t have any details either. I need to know everything.”
I laughed. “Okay, okay. So, Tommy.” I smiled as I thought about him. “He’s really cute – he has the most gorgeous eyes. We met forever ago when we were kids, you know, and, man, he so filled out. He’s really generous, too. He’s always trying to buy me stuff that I like, and I have to tell him not to. And, Watcher, you should see his arms!”
Alison giggled and grinned. “Have you guys done anything?”
“Just kissing. We haven’t been dating that long.”
“Well, he sounds perfect. What’s the catch?”
I rolled my eyes. “What makes you say there’s a catch?”
“There’s always a catch. Haven’t you seen any Rom-Com ever?”
“There is one thing…” I sighed softly. “He’s really concerned about money. Like, in the all-the-time kind of way.” At her questioning look, I explained about his family situation. “So, I really do get why he thinks about it all the time, but it doesn’t seem healthy, you know? I talked to Mom about it, and she said she was a lot like that when she was younger, too. She basically just told me to try to make him appreciate the other stuff in life.”
“That sounds rough,” Alison said sympathetically.
I shrugged. He was a great guy, regardless. “So, what’s up with you?”
“Josh kissed me,” I blurted. Smooth. Really.
Loralee gaped at me. “Josh? Joshua Yuen – that Josh?”
I twisted my fingers together in my lap, nodding. “The other night, I was at his house. We were in his room watching TV. Like usual, you know? We got to talking about this guy and his ex. And then I noticed how he was looking at me. Like – like he was going to kiss me.”
“And then he kissed you?”
I shook my head. “No. I bolted. I didn’t know what to do, so I just ran out of there. I figured it was just a fluke or something, so I went back after school the next day like everything was normal.” Even as I told her the story, part of me still couldn’t believe this had happened. “So, we get to his room and he tells me he likes me and wants to date.”
I nodded my head vigorously. “Yes! Watcher, Loralee, I couldn’t believe it. I told him we obviously couldn’t date. And then he kissed me!”
“Wow.” Loralee looked at me wide-eyed. “Then what happened?”
I got the feeling that this was very entertaining for her. “I left. I haven’t talked to him since, either. I Just…I can’t believe all of this. I’ve never been kissed before.”
“I mean,” Loralee paused for a moment, “was it good?”
“Loralee!” I said exasperatedly.
She blinked innocently. “What? It was your first kiss. It’s a fair question. So, was it good?”
I huffed softly. I could still feel his lips against mine. “Yes, it was good.” I waved my hands, dismissing the subject. “Focus. What am I supposed to do? Josh wants to date me.”
“Date him?” Loralee held up her hands in a shrug. “Do you want to, Alison?”
Did I? I wasn’t sure at all. “I don’t know,” I said helplessly.
“Oookay,” Loralee said thoughtfully. “What if Carter and Hadley weren’t in the equation? Would you want to date then?”
I groaned. “I don’t know! I’m so confused, Loralee. It’s Josh. He’s always been there. We grew up together. I love him, but I don’t know if I love him.” The words had just come out of my mouth, but I wasn’t even positive that they made sense.
Loralee pursed her lips. “Hmm. Maybe you should try out dating someone else.”
“How would that help?” Had she completely lost her mind?
She rolled her eyes. “It makes sense. Just listen. Maybe if you try out some romantic feelings with another guy, it’ll help you figure out what you want with Josh.”
I wanted to tell her how completely ridiculous that was, but it did sort of make sense. I didn’t have any better ideas, either. There was just one issue.
“Who, exactly, am I supposed to date?”
“Anybody.” Loralee gave me a look. “You’re hot, Alison. If you crook your finger at a guy, he’ll come running.”
I had never thought of myself as particularly hot, but I supposed I was pretty. And there was this boy in my geometry class…”
“Oh, hang on,” Loralee said as her phone went off. “Sorry, this is my step-mother. I’ll be right back.”
Loralee disappeared into her room, leaving me alone with my thoughts. I sat there for a couple of minutes but quickly got sick of the confused tangle in my head. I got up and wandered down to the kitchen.
I smiled over at Luc as he sat down on a bar stool. “Hey, Luc. We didn’t get a chance to talk earlier.” I sat down next to him. “How’re things?” I grinned at him. “Got a girlfriend yet?”
“No, not yet. I think Mom may actually flip if I get one now.” He grinned and imitated Camille’s higher voice. “But you’re only thirteen!’ He rolled his eyes.
I laughed, looking over at him. I’d never noticed before, but Luc was really turning into a good-looking guy.
We talked for a while about school and a TV show we were both into. When Loralee came downstairs, the three of us moved into the living room to hang out. For the rest of the afternoon until I got home, I completely forgot about my problems with Josh.