Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Burntcore's Week 13 Entry: Facebook, Roommates, and Geese


Picture 1Picture 2

Burntcore's Choice: Both

Facebook, Roommates, and Geese

He was online again. His name popped pop up in my online friends box on Facebook. I wanted to talk to him but I didn’t want him to think I was some cyber stalker. We had only friended last week after I finally got the courage to send a friend request. Up to that point, we only talked to one another in the few classes we had together. After I found him on Facebook, I stared at his name for a few weeks, trying to decide if I should friend him. Once I had sent him the request, he approved it quickly. That was encouraging.

I looked at his name in my online friends box again. Should I?

Would he think I liked him?

Well, I did like him but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to let him know that.

I didn’t even know if he had a girlfriend yet.

Gah, I hated this. I wish I had the courage that my friend Lindsey had. She had balls… well, figuratively anyway. If she wanted to talk to a guy and ask him out, she would. I just couldn’t. Maybe it was fear of rejection. Who knew.

I stared at his name again. I just wanted to scream ”Talk to me!” but this wasn’t Star Trek so talking to my computer wouldn’t do anything except make my roommate wonder what I was yelling about.

My finger hovered over the left button on the mouse, the pointer on the screen resting on top of Jared’s name. My finger began to twitch as my nerves started to get the best of me.

I can do this. I can do this. No, I can’t do this. I can’t.

I took my hand off the mouse and ran it through my long, auburn hair. The curser stayed over Jared’s name, mocking me. Disgusted with myself, I turned away from my laptop and surveyed the disaster that was my room. It was a mess. I really needed to clean it up a little.

Sunlight peeked in between the slats of the blinds covering my large bedroom window, my only bedroom window. The thin light helped hide some of the mess. However, it couldn’t hide my unmade bed with my funky, striped comforter. Some days I liked it, other days I wish I had something more girly or more feminine. Yet, my bedding represented me… I was unique and not overly girly girl. And really, what was the point in making the bed if I’m just going to mess it up when I got to bed?

I stared at my window again, anything to avoid looking back at my computer screen. Maybe I lucked out and he’s logged off. Reaching over, I pulled the cord that raised the blinds, brightening my bedroom with late morning sunlight. I peeked out the window and watched a few people jog through the park across the street. No one seemed to notice the red pagoda that peeked out between the trees. I never saw anyone approach it. It fascinated me.

My laptop binged, telling me that someone just IM’ed me on Facebook. I jumped and plopped back into my chair, eager and hopeful that Jared somehow heard my mental plea and messaged me.

Gah, it’s just Lindsey.

The IM box taunted me. The curser in the text box blinked, waiting for me to reply.

Lindsey G: Hey, what’s up?

I thought a moment before I responded. If Lindsey knew I was being this stupid about talking to Jared, she’d ream me out.

Michelle B: Not much, just being lazy.

Lindsey G: That’s nothing new. Have you talked to him yet?

I knew it. I knew she was going to ask me about Jared.

Michelle B: Talked to who yet?

Lindsey G: You know who… Jared. That guy you moon about in your class.

Michelle B: I don’t moon over him.

Lindsey G: Liar. So have you talked to him yet, OUTSIDE of class?

Michelle B: No….

Lindsey G: Why the hell not? He’s online right now.

Figures she’s friends with him too.

Michelle B: I know, I just… gah.

Lindsey G: You can do it, Chelle… just do it. You aren’t asking him to marry you. You guys are friends, right?

Michelle B: I guess so.

Lindsey G: Well, friends talk. So message him. I expect details later. We still on for coffee at Grounds tonight?

I rolled my eyes and sighed.

Michelle B: Yeah, yeah. I’ll think about messaging him. Yep, still on for Grounds. 9pm right?

Lindsey G: Yes. Don’t THINK about messaging him. You already overthink everything. Just DO it.

Michelle B: Fine, whatever. I need to go.

I closed the IM box before Lindsey could harass me anymore. Jared was still online. I clicked on his profile to see what he was up to this morning.

Hmm, he’s playing Mafia Wars.

It looked like he posted on the walls of some mutual friends too. Some of which were girls. Pretty girls. Girls that I thought were prettier then me.

My hand on the mouse kept the curser hovering over his name again in the chat box. Taking a deep breath, I clicked on his name and tried not to flinch when the chat dialogue box popped open.

Again, the curser mocked me. It blinked in the chat box, taunting me to write something. I counted to ten before I put my fingers on the keyboard. Slowly, I typed a simple message that was friendly without being too friendly. But still, my nerves kept me from submitting the it.

I sat back again and fidgeted. What’s the worst that could happen? He doesn’t respond? We end up having an awkward conversation that consists of only exchanging pleasantries?

I sighed and stared at my computer again.

I am such a wuss.

My finger hovered just barely above the left mouse button. You could only fit a hair between the pad of my index finger and the plastic of the mouse.

You can do this.

“Hey Chelle! What are you doing in there?” announced the loud voice of my roommate, Kim, as she came bounding in my bedroom. Startled, I just about jumped out of my skin and inadvertently clicked the mouse.

“Oh, shit! Oh, shit!” I cried, backing away from my computer like it was poison as the dialogue box updated with my message to Jared.

“What’s wrong, Chelle?” Kim asked, concerned.

“I clicked it! I can’t believe I clicked it! Oh my God!” I was into full panic mode now.

“Clicked what?”

“My mouse! I was-”

I was interrupted mid-rant by the bing of my computer.

Oh my God.

I sat down at my desk and looked with disbelief at my computer screen. There, blinking innocently, was a reply from Jared.

Jared C: Hey Chelle! What’s up?

I looked at Kim, my eyes huge. My hands shook as placed them on the keyboard.

“What is it, Chelle?” Kim asked softly as she stood behind me to look over my shoulder.

“It’s him.”


I nodded.

“Well, you better answer him, silly! Before he thinks you are ignoring him!”

I turned in my chair to look at her. She had a huge grin on her face. “What should I say?”

Kim rolled her eyes. “What do you think? Just talk to him! You’re a smart girl.”

I huffed as I turned to face the computer screen.

Jared C: You there?

“Damn it!” I swore and typed furiously.

Michelle B: Yeah, sorry. My roommie was talking to me.

Jared C: No problem. So what’s up?

I turned to Kim and jerked my head to the side, hoping she’d take the hint to vacate the room. She rolled her eyes again and walked towards my bedroom door.

“I want details, Chelle,” she snickered as she walked into the other room and closing my bedroom door.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” I muttered.

Michelle B: Nothing, really. Just chillin in my room trying to get motivated to do something.

Jared C: ‘Bout the same here. Dustin hasn’t even gotten out of bed yet and we were supposed to go get lunch together.

I laughed to myself. That sounded like Kim and I.

Michelle B: I know how that is.

My stomach started growling, thinking about lunch.

Michelle B: Mm… talking about food made me hungry.

Jared C: Have you eaten yet?

Michelle B: No, lack of motivation, remember?

Jared C: Well, since Dustin can’t be bothered to see the light of day, you want to grab something to eat?

Hold the mother fucking phone! Did he just ask me to lunch?

Michelle B: Um, sure. Dustin won’t mind?

Jared C: LOL, I doubt he’ll even remember when he wakes up. He was out late last night with the Gamma guys.

Michelle B: I hear they have some seriously crazy parties.

Jared C: They do. I’ve been to a couple of but its not my thing.

Michelle B: Me either. I like to have fun but that seems to be a little much.

Jared C: Soooo, lunch?

Wow, he’s serious.

Michelle B: You’re on. Where?

Jared C: You know that little deli by Sonora Park?

Michelle B: Yeah, I live right by there.

Jared C: Meet me there in 30 minutes?

I looked at the clock briefly.

Michelle B: Sure.

Jared C: Awesome. See you soon!

Michelle B: Yep, gotta go get ready.

I logged out, giggling as I did so. I did a happy dance around my room as I tried to think about what to wear.

“So I’m assuming the giggling is a good thing?” Kim yelled from her room. Her voice could carry.

“Yeah,” I hollered back. “We’re meeting for lunch.”

I was expecting to hear Kim shout at me again but all I heard was silence. That was until Kim burst through my bedroom door for the second time in ten minutes.

“Holy shit! That’s awesome!” she cried, dancing around the room with me.

“I know, right?”

I looked up at the clock again.

“Shit, I gotta get ready.”

I ran to my dresser and quickly pulled out a cute but casual outfit for lunch and ran into the bathroom to take the fastest shower I could. Normally, I liked to take my time and soak under the spray, but that wasn’t an option today. Today, I was meeting Jared for lunch. I wouldn’t call it a date, yet, but it was a start. And it was Jared. Jared. Only the guy I had been lusting over the entire semester.

Not fifteen minutes later, I was out of the shower and was throwing my clothes on. I’d just have to do with wet hair. There wasn’t enough time to blow dry it and put my make-up on at the same time.

“Sit!” Kim ordered as she came running into my room with her industrial strength blow dryer. “I’ll blow dry your hair while you put your make-up on.”

“Yes, ma’am!”

Quickly, Kim and I made myself presentable. My hair wouldn’t be completely dry, but it was better then dripping wet. I didn’t need a lot of make-up either but I wanted to at least even out my complexion a little.

“Okay, you’re perfect,” Kim declared.

I rolled my eyes. “Far from it, but at least I look cute.”

Kim huffed. “Honey, you are more than cute. Just you wait. Jared will tell you.”

I shook my head as I grabbed my purse and cell phone. “Okay, I’ll be back later.”

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!” she called out as I left our apartment.

I laughed and couldn’t keep the smile off my face as I walked the block to the deli. As I made the last hundred or so steps, I felt my nerves start to get the best of me. My hands shook a little so I put them in the pockets of my jeans.

The bell on the door to the deli hadn’t even stopped jingling before I heard Jared’s voice call out.

“Chelle! Over here!”

My head whipped over and saw Jared rising from a booth in the corner. He had a huge smile on his face. How could a girl possibly turn down a face like that? Jared had a warm but strong face, strong from his firm jawline that just itched to be touched. When he smiled widely, a dimple would appear on his left cheek, just like it did now. It seemed like his dimple was winking at me. Jared was tall too, about six feet tall, with a lean but solid build. His dark brown hair was short on the sides but a little longer on the top, the ends curling a little.

“Hey Jared,” I said softly as I approached the booth. He was still standing, waiting for me to sit first. I slid down into the seat closest to me and grabbed a menu.

“Thanks for meeting me for lunch, being last minute and all,” he said as he slid in across from me. His menu was already open on the tabletop.

“No problem,” I said.

I clammed up and couldn’t think of what else to say. I kept my eyes glued to the menu and tried not to look at Jared, but it was hard not to do it. He was just that good looking.

“Any recommendations?” I asked, finally coming up with something semi-intelligent to say.

“Um, I like the corned beef a lot,” he replied, gazing at me softly with his brilliant blue eyes.

That gaze unnerved me. Why is he looking at me like that? I blushed and looked down at my menu again.

“Chelle, are you okay?” he asked, his head cocked to the side.

“Yeah, um, why do you ask?”

“You’re normally aren’t this quiet in class,” he commented.

My blush deepened and I squirmed in my seat.

“I, uh…”

I was saved by the arrival of our waitress, a fellow student from campus. Jared and Alyssa, the waitress, chatted for a moment so I tuned them out. Alyssa sounded annoyed about something, but I didn’t know her very well. It seemed that Jared did. Of course, like I have a chance.

“Chelle?” Jared asked.

“I’m sorry, what?” I asked.

“What did you want to drink?” he prompted with a warm smile. Alyssa snorted.

“Oh, ah, Diet Pepsi, please.”

“Do you know what you want to get?” Alyssa asked as she wrote down my drink order.

Jared picked the corned beef. When Alyssa looked towards me, I ordered the same thing. Alyssa rolled her eyes and walked away with an annoyed huff.

Um, okay.

“Don’t mind her,” Jared commented.

“Okay,” I replied dumbly, not sure what else to say. Alyssa came back quickly and put our drinks in front of us. I may have just been seeing things, but it seemed like she set mine down a little more forcefully than necessary.

“She’s just pissed that I turned her down last week for the Spring Fling.”

I choked on the sip of pop I just took.

Once I could breathe, I spoke. “You turned her down?” I asked incredulously. “But she’s so pretty.”

Jared looked down at his pop and tapped his fingers on the tabletop. He looked nervous, which was something I had never seen before from him. Jared was always so confident and sure of himself.

“She is pretty, but I didn’t want to go with her,” he replied quietly, his eyes slowly looking up at me.

“Oh.” Ask him, stupid! Ask him who he wants to go with! Ask him! AAAASK HIM!

My subconscious was screaming at me as I sat frozen in my seat. I kept my gaze restricted to my glass of Diet Pepsi, watching the bubbles rise to the top like they were the most fascinating thing in the world.

“Um-” I started before I was once again interrupted by Alyssa.

“Here you go, Jared,” Alyssa said, totally ignoring me, as she placed our sandwiches in front of us.

Jared glared up at her but didn’t respond. I didn’t mind. I was used to be snubbed by some of the girls on campus. My quirky personality didn’t always win me friends.

He sighed and muttered into his plate, “She just needs to get over it already, going to mess up my chances…” His voice trailed off and I didn’t catch the rest of what he said.

“What was that?” I asked as I dipped a French fry in some ketchup.

“Oh, nothing, just muttering over her rudeness to you.”

I laughed and waved my hand dismissively in Alyssa’s direction. “Don’t worry about it, Jared. I’m used to it by now.”

“Doesn’t make it right,” he retorted, looking up at me with those gorgeous blue eyes again.

“No, but what can you do?” I said softly. I was touched that he was upset but it really wasn’t a big deal.

“Nothing I guess,” he said, sounding defeated.

We ate quietly after that. Alyssa kept her distance, only coming by our table to bring refills, but her glare was quite visible. The air around us wasn’t nearly as awkward as it was before but it still felt a little stilted. I wasn’t sure if it was because of Alyssa or because of us. Occasionally, Jared and my eyes would meet across the table, making me blush, and return my gaze to my plate.

We both finished about the same time and pushed our plates towards each other. Jared looked over at me with another one of his warm smiles. Warm, these smiles were making me more than just warm. He jerked his head to the side, asking if I was ready to go. I nodded and started to slide out of my seat. Apparently Jared didn’t want to stick around under Alyssa’s sour gaze any longer than necessary; I sure as hell didn’t.

I reached for my purse to pay for my lunch but Jared had already beaten me to the punch. He already had his wallet out and was walking briskly towards the cash register.

“Jared, wait,” I whispered loudly. I didn’t want him to think he had to pay for my lunch.

“My treat, Chelle,” he replied, turning his head towards me as he answered. He smirked and winked at me. He winked at me!

“Oh come on, Jared,” I protested weakly. That wink was doing things to my girly bits.

He laughed but insisted. “Nope, it was my idea, so it’s my treat.”

Thankfully, Alyssa was not the girl at the register. Jared quickly paid for our lunch and turned towards our table to give a tip but stopped. He tapped his finger to his chin for a moment before he whirled towards me and stuffed his extra bills in his wallet.

“Ready to go?”

“Um, sure,” I replied.

“I was going to give her a tip, but her behavior didn’t warrant one. That’ll teach her to be rude to patrons.”

I laughed as I followed Jared out. The view from behind him was almost as nice as the front.
Jared stopped on the corner, looking around like he was considering something. “Go for a walk with me?” he asked quietly with one of his soft smiles. His eyes had a different quality to them now, more determined.

I blushed again. I hadn’t blushed this much in ages, but the combination of his smile and his eyes did that to me. “Sure.”

He extended his arm to me, his eyes dancing. Not sure where this was going, I channeled the bravery I had earlier when I talked to him online and took his offered arm. I wrapped my hand around his bicep, enjoying the feel of the strength in his arm and the warmth of his body.

Satisfied, Jared started leading us towards Sonora Park.

We walked in silence but it was much more comfortable than lunch was. I still wanted to know who he wanted to take to the Spring Fling. I wanted to ask, but I didn’t want to break the mood we had created. I couldn’t think of a person I would have rather spent my afternoon with than Jared.

Before I knew it. we were approaching the red pagoda that I admired so much from my bedroom window. Looking towards my right, my apartment building stood silently. I counted the windows up till I got to my window on the fifth floor. I sighed happily.

“You okay?” he asked softly, pulling his arm and me closer to him. My heart beat sped up as my proximity to him increased.

“Oh, yeah. I just really love this pagoda.”

Jared smiled and steered us towards the object of my interest.

“What do you love about it?” he asked, as we stood in front of the cement stairs leading up to it.

“I don’t know,” I replied honestly. “Perhaps because it is so unique. It doesn’t match of the architecture of the area, yet still looks perfect where it is. And that despite its uniqueness, it is looked over all the time.” Wow, was that about the pagoda or about myself?

“You come here often?” he asked, surprised.

“Well, not really, but I can see it from my bedroom window. I live across the street.”

“Oh, okay.” Jared smiled again, glancing over at my apartment building before pulling us up the stairs. “This is a nice neighborhood,” he commented.

“It is. I rather like living here,” I agreed.

We leaned against the rails of the pagoda, standing close enough that our elbows touched. It felt like ever nerve was on fire just from that point of contact. I tried not to shift my weight too much and break our one point of contact.

Using this simple and comfortable contact to boost my ego, I finally got brave enough to ask him the question that had been festering in my mind since lunch.

“So,” I began, breaking our silence. “If Alyssa isn’t who you wanted to take to the Spring Fling, who did you want to take?”

I held my breath as I waited for his answer. His body shifted as he inhaled. I jumped when I felt his hand on my elbow, gently spinning me towards him. Jared pulled me close, closer than I ever had been to him. His hand dropped from my elbow down to my hand, where it stayed. Jared squeezed it gently as he looked down at me with a gaze I couldn’t quite define. His other hand reached over and tucked a loose strand of hair behind my ear.

My heartbeat was going a mile a minute by this time. I finally remembered to breathe.

“I wanted to take you, Chelle,” he murmured.

“Really?” I asked, my eyes popping open in surprise.

“Yeah, really, if you wanted to go, that is,” he added.

I blushed and looked down at my feet.

“I’d like that,” I whispered.

Jared’s face lit up in a huge smile as he pulled me closer to him. He cupped my face with his hand and gently touched his lips to mine. It was just a gentle, chaste kiss, but it was a promise of things to come.

When he pulled away, I stared at him, surprised and deliriously happy.

“I never knew you felt that way,” I said.

“I wasn’t sure how to approach you. You seemed so different from other girls,” he replied honestly.

“I’m not that different,” I protested. “I like a lot of the same things that other girls do.”

Jared’s smile quirked up, “Like what?”

“Like this,” I said, as I leaned up on my tiptoes to kiss him. Jared wrapped an arm around my waist as I locked my arms around his neck. His lips were so soft and inviting. I just kiss them forever.

We were interrupted by a family of geese who honked loudly as they approached. I started giggling as I pulled away. A few of the darker geese seemed more pissed off by our presence than the others.

“Hmm, chastity geese?” Jared asked with a snort.

“Seems that way,” I agreed in between giggles.

I checked the time on my cell phone as the geese progressed across the grass. We had been gone longer than I thought.

“You gotta go?” he asked.

“Yeah, I have plans with my best friend tonight and I have some things to get done before I meet her.”

“That’s cool. Can I walk you to your apartment?”

I laughed but nodded. It was literally just across the street. Jared beamed and we made our way down the steps of the pagoda.

The geese were still there and were quite unhappy that we were on the grass. I couldn’t stop giggling as a few of them lunged at Jared.

“I think we need to make a break for it,” I said as I scooted out of the way of a goose bill.

“I think you’re right!” Jared agreed.

We took off running, through the gaggle of geese, towards my apartment. Our butts survived bite free. When we finally stopped at my door, we were both breathless and laughing hysterically.

“That. Was. Awesome.” Jared said between pants.

I nodded, not able to speak yet, leaning over my knees catching my breath.

After a minute or two, we were both finally breathing somewhat normally.

“I’ll call you later, okay?” Jared asked, pulling me close to him.

“Okay,” I agreed with a big smile.

He leaned down and kissed me, a bit more strongly than before.

“See you later,” he said as he turned to leave.


I quickly entered my apartment and leaned against the door after I closed it. I was so very glad for Facebook. So very glad for Facebook and roommates.