You never know when you’re gonna meet someone.
I felt a splinter cut into my skin, but continued climbing anyways. I had a few beers tucked into my purse, the precipitation on the outside was seeping into my wallet.
I promised Angela that I would show my face at her party, but I never said anything about sticking around. She had been clinging to me all night and complaining about her boyfriend being an asshole. I refraining from saying, “Once an asshole, always an asshole.” Instead, I told her the hard times will pass.
It didn’t take long for her to catch him with his hand snaking it’s way underneath a brunette’s tank top. I snuck out the back door when she started screaming.
Angela’s little brother, who was thirteen now, had a tree house built for him awhile back. It looked unused and rickety, but I figured it was the best promise of solitude I’d be able to find.
Reaching the top, I had to push hard in order to get the hatch open. I climbed through the opening and found myself face to face with a guy who looked vaguely familiar.
“Um, hi,” he greeted awkwardly. He was sitting cross legged against one of the walls, underneath the window. The moonlight was pouring in, illuminated the small space.
“Sorry, I didn’t think anyone was up here.” I started to climb back down, feeling disappointed someone had already inhabited my space, when he stopped me.
“There’s plenty of room.” He gestured around him to the empty space. There were ripped magazine clippings of basketball players on the walls and a line of dusty flashlights. Clearly, Angela’s brother hadn’t been up here in ages. “And I stole snacks.”
“Good ones?” I asked raising an eyebrow and sitting down on the opposite side of him. He was right. There was plenty of room.
“What do you consider good snacks?” He raised his eyebrows too and she noticed they were dark and bushy like his hair. He tossed me a bag of Cheetos and my stomach growled in appreciation.
“Want a beer?” I offered pulling them out carefully. I tossed him the colder one and dug into the Cheetos. “Who are you hiding from?”
“What makes you think I’m hiding?” I could see his eyes were a bright blue, the kind you see in the movies, and his face awkward.
“Because that’s what I’m doing. You know Angela?”
“Yeah,” he answered taking a sip of the beer. “It’s her party. Aren’t you two friends?”
“Can you really consider it friendship if I never get a word in?” I asked still feeling a stab of annoyance towards her wondering if her and her boyfriend had kissed and made up yet.
“I guess not,” he said. It looked like he was smiling for a second, but then it was gone. “I think the question is who aren’t I hiding from?”
“Why’d you come?” I washed down more Cheetos with my beer and wondered who I’d seen him around school with.
“George talked me into it,” he rolled his eyes. “Heather’s girlfriend?”
I snorted. Heather was the brunette letting Angela’s boyfriend feel her up. “Not anymore,” I told him.
“Damn. I missed all the drama,” he smiled now. He was kinda cute. In an innocent, hiding in a tree house alone sort of way.
“I’m Lissa, by the way.” I brushed off my cheesy finger tips on my dress and stuck out my hand. He took it in his, which was warmer than I expected.
“I’m Carter,” he told me. “At least we can hide together.”
“It’s about time I had a partner in crime,” I laughed as we clinked our beers together.
Oh I’m starting to believe that this could be the start of something good.