Chapter 60: Matters of the Heart (Lizzie’s POV)

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I am still very surprised with Abby. It must have taken a lot for her to actually come up and ask me for help after everything we’ve been through. I had been unsure of whether or not it was a good idea, but she seemed so anxious. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. At least it would give me a distraction from thinking about Michael and Kendal. Thanks to Janice’s little comments, I was thinking about it more and more.

It was starting to make me feel nervous in class, especially that afternoon. Michael and I are taking another communications class together and we seem to always end up sitting next to each other every day in class. That only added to the thoughts already circling in my head. That and the fact that sometimes I feel like I see him looking at me during class, from the corner of my eye.

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I am so into thinking about all this that I don’t even notice when class is over. It isn’t until Michael gives me a nudge that I realize that the room is almost empty.

“Your mind seems far away,” he says with a smile.

“Oh,” I stand up from my seat. “I-I guess I was just thinking about something.”

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“What about?”

I feel my cheeks starting to heat up. “N-nothing. J-just about…Kendal. It’s been a while since we have seen each other.”

“Yah, what’s up with you two? I haven’t really seen him around.”

I shrug. “He’s just been a bit busy with his classes this quarter. He’s actually applying to an internship abroad for next year.” This was something I had just found out about before class. Kendal had called to tell me about it on his way to meet up with his advisor.

“Aboard? So you mean he will be gone? For how long?”

“I don’t know. He just found out about it.”

Michael eyes me suspiciously. “You don’t seem very upset about it.”

“Why would I be upset? It’s a great opportunity. Also, he doesn’t know if he is going to get it.”

“He probably will,” Michael says with a laugh. “This is Kendal we are talking about.”

“Well he will be happy to know that you have such faith in him.”

We both stand in silence for a few seconds. It is only when I look up that I notice we are basically the only people still standing in the classroom.

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“Well, I should get going,” I say slowly. For some reason I feel frozen to my spot.

Michael shifts back and forth. “Yah, I should too.” He then looks up at me and smiles. “You look nice today.”

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He catches me off guard. “What?”

“I said you look nice today. Then again, you always do.” He then winks and throwing his backpack over his shoulder, he heads out the classroom door.

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I am not able to wipe the look on his face from my mind afterwards. Even when I go into the computer room to work on my paper for English, I still can’t forget it. My cheeks are still burning. Finally ,I can’t take it anymore. How am I supposed to get any work done with him on my mind? I needed to walk it off.

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I leave the computer lab and decide to head downtown. The fresh air will do me some good. Up ahead, I spot a comic shop. I have seen it here and there while driving to and from class, but I never have gone inside. Michael apparently loved going there. Not being able to resist, I step inside.

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The store is filled with shelves of comic books and posters from comics and movies. It’s completely graphic book central. I can see why Michael loves it so much. Even I was feeling a bit excited.

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Walking over to one of the shelves, I browse through the collection of comics. I have never seen so many in my life, and although I’m not really a comic book lover, I’m drawn into all the different books. I end up deciding on one that I have seen Michael secretly reading in class called: “The Hunter.” It seems to be about a man that is hired as an assassin to eliminate an evil dictator. What draws me in is the hunter’s back history ; he seems to be doing all this to avenge the death of the woman he loves, that was killed by the dictator. There apparently is some kind of twist, and I am suspecting either that the dictator is the woman he loves or that she is still alive. I guess I will find out soon.

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After paying for my book, I head for the door entrance. Coming in here probably wasn’t the best idea. Here I am trying to forget about Michael and then I walk into a store that he likes hanging out in. Smart move Lizzie. I don’t even know why I am making a big deal out of this. There is nothing going on between Michael and I. Nothing. We are just friends. Goodness, I think I am wearing myself out by saying that so much. Ugh.

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As I am walking along the sidewalk, I spot the arcade that Michael and I hang out at. It has been a while since I have visited. I still remember the first time we played together. I had been so upset about Abby that day and he had come in and made me feel so much better. I smile. Michael and I did always have a knack of running into each other. From the moment we met, I had felt something between us, a strange kind of connection.

I am thinking about this, when I look over and see something that makes me stop in my tracks. Across the sidewalk and standing in the parking lot of the arcade, are Michael and…Abby. I completely stunned. What was Michael doing with Abby? And how did they even know each other? I know that they had met at the party that Abby threw at R.E.D club back in October, but they had barely said a word to each other. So what were they doing in the parking lot of the arcade that Michael and I hang out at?

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Feeling curious, I move a little bit closer. I then bite my lip. Abby is laughing and giving Michael her flirtatious smile. My chest starts to feel heavy. So they were on a date. Michael and Abby were on a date. “But she’s dating Brad,” I think, but then remember the video I saw of Clare and Brad. Brad and Abby had probably broken up over it (which explained her moping around the dorm) which meant that Abby was single. And as much as I knew, Michael was single too. But how could Michael go out with her? Especially after everything that I went through with her? I feel like I can’t breathe.

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I am so busy staring at them in shock that it takes me a while to realize that Abby has noticed me. I snap back into reality and turn away. The last thing I need is for them to think I am spying on them. I quickly head back down the sidewalk trying to ignore the strange sensation I am feeling inside. My chest feels so heavy and I feel a sinking feeling in my heart. What was wrong with me? So what if Michael and Abby were together. I didn’t care.

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“Lizzie!” I hear someone call loudly. I jump slightly and turn around. Michael has left Abby and is running over to me. Abby must have said something to him. I instantly feel embarrassed.

“Hey Michael,” I say nervously.

“Hey, what are you doing here?”

I feel my hands starting to tingle. “I um, I w-was just walking downtown and I happened to see the arcade and I…” Did I sound as stupid as I felt I did? “W-well I’m not spying you if that’s what you’re thinking.” Wow. If I hadn’t already made him feel awkward, he will now.

“I didn’t think that,” Michael says frowning at me. “Lizzie, are you okay?”

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“I’m fine!” I feel so incredibly embarrassed.  “I-I just didn’t know…”

“Didn’t know what?”

“About you and Abby. I didn’t realize the two of you were…together.”

“What?”Michael’s eyes widen. “I’m not dating Abby.”

I feel some of my tension release. “You’re not?”

“No. Why would you think that?”

“I’m sorry. I guess I just saw you two together and just-”

“Assumed that I was dating her?” Michael frowns. “Why would you just jump to that conclusion?”

I shrug. “I don’t know. I guess it just seemed like it. Abby was giving you that flirty smile she always gives guys she likes.” When Michael just stares at me, I start to feel the tension increasing again. “I’m sorry. It was just a mistake.”

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“Well what if I was?”

I look up at Michael. “What?”

“What if I was going out with her? Why would you care?”

I look away and shrug my shoulders. “I don’t.”

“Really,” Michael looks amused. “Just a second ago you looked like you were going to jump out of your skin.”

My jaw drops. “That is not true!”

“But isn’t it? Be honest with me Liz. If I asked Abby out, would it bother you?”

For a second I don’t know how to respond. “Yes!” my head is screaming, but I am not about to say that to him.

“No, it wouldn’t,” I say finally.

“You’re lying.”

I scoff. “No I’m not. It wouldn’t bother me.” Michael raises his eyebrow and just stares at me, until I finally can’t take it anymore.

“Okay fine! It would. But only because Abby and I are in th-this weird place right now and it w-would be weird to see you two together.”

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I’m thinking that he will finally let it go, but he doesn’t.

“You sure about that?” asks Michael. He is slowly moving toward me and I feel my cheeks beginning to heat up again. What was he doing?

“Y-yes of c-course,” I stammer. “W-what other reason would I have?”

“You tell me, Lizzie.” His face is so close to mine that I can feel the warmth of his breath upon me. For some reason my eyes are drawn to his lips. I can’t stop staring at them and wondering what they would feel like upon mine.

“I-I don’t know what you mean.”

“Lizzie, I know you have feelings for me.”

This catches me off guard. “Michael, I don’t know what you-”

“Lizzie, just stop. We’ve been doing this thing for months now.”

“Doing what?”

“Lizzie, I have feelings for you, and I know you do too.”

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I am about to protest when Michael pulls me toward him and kisses me. I immediately move to push him off, when something strange happens. My entire body heats up and I feel like I’m tingling all over. My heart is pounding inside my chest and I feel my stomach flip-flopping like crazy. My hands sink down from his chest and I pull him closer to me.

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It’s as if I have lost all control of my body. My mind goes blank and all I can think about is Michael kissing me and how amazing his lips feel on mine; soft, gentle and tasting sweet like caramel. Michael wraps his arms around me and I do the same pressing his warm lips harder onto mine; my tongue gently playing against his (something I had never done before). I have never wanted anyone as much as I wanted him at that moment.

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Finally, after what feels like minutes, Michael pulls away from me. I am so dazed that I just stare at him speechless. I feel breathless and unaware of my surroundings. My head is spinning and I can’t see straight.

“I’ve wanted to do that for a long time,” says Michael. He looks almost as breathless as I am. I still can’t seem to respond. No boy has ever kissed me like that, not even Kendal. That is when I remember, Kendal!

“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe we just did that,” I say. My voice is barely a whisper.

Michael smiles. “Neither can I.” Before I can stop him, he leans forward and kisses me again.

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Like before, my mind goes numb and I feel myself melt onto his chest. His lips seem to intoxicate me with some kind of spell and I can’t move. I can feel his hands moving gently across my back as my hands graze the softness of his hair. My lips are glued to the warmth of his mouth and the sweetness of his tongue, my breathing rugged and heavy matching his. It isn’t until I hear the ringing of my phone that I finally push Michael away.

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“I-I have to go,” I say backing away from Michael. I almost trip over trying to make my way to the sidewalk.

“Wait!” Michael calls.  He nearly falls when he grabs my hand to pull me back. “Lizzie, I love you.”

My heart is doing somersaults in my chest. “What did you say?” My voice is barely a whisper.

“I said I love you, Liz,” Michael repeats. He strokes my hand and I feel warm chills running down my spine. Michael loved me?

I just stand staring at him, my heart still racing in my chest. My lips are still tingling from his kisses and I can’t seem to focus.

“I…um….I…I ‘m so sorry! I-I have to go!”

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Before Michael can draw me into more of his kisses, I take off down the sidewalk. I feel bad leaving him after what had just happened between us, but I know I can’t stay. My mind was circling around and I couldn’t think straight. It’s not until I am almost home that it really hits me. I just kissed a guy that wasn’t my boyfriend. I had just cheated on Kendal.

-Evanglina

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