Cyndi shoved her way through the school halls, her vans squeaking loudly on the tile floor, as she searched desperately for Tyler her head whipping back and forth so quickly it was a miracle she didn’t get whiplash.
“Hey, Cyndi!” Alexis called, waving at her wildly. “Only one more week till we are free of this hell hole for good!” Cyndi’s gaze flickered over to her briefly and she shouted a greeting, voicing her hearty consent, before her attention returned to the problem at hand. “He’s over there.” Alexis informed her pointing in the direction of the gym doors, Cyndi’s eyes zeroed in on a familiar blonde head. “Thanks Alexis. Love you!”
“Tyler!” she screeched, pushing people out of the way with well placed elbows. The head turned slightly at the sound of his name, but continued on disappearing into the gym. With a burst of energy, Cyndi pulled herself free of the horde of teenagers urgently trying to escape from school.
She slammed into the gym doors like a hurricane, stumbling through and tripping over her own feet in her haste.
“Tyler!” Finally the blonde head stopped and turned around, blue eyes meeting hers. She pumped her arms back and forth. “Good-bye! See you, tomorrow, love you.”
A grin cracked across his face, “See you tomorrow, Cyndi.” He turned to go, only to pause and glance back, “Hey are we still on for this Saturday, Diana can’t wait to meet you.”
“Of course. I am so excited to meet your girlfriend. I can’t believe you kept her hidden from us for so long.” He laughed loudly before giving her a small wave, and hurrying over to his team. Cyndi grinned feeling a sense of accomplishment glad she hadn’t missed saying good-bye to Tyler.
Cyndi liked to think of herself as a well liked person. She was by no means popular in the sense that she was a cheerleader or one of those girls everyone looked to for fashion advice, but she had a large group of friends whom she adored. Each one was equally unique and special to her, and she made sure to spend time each day to hang out with them or just send a friendly text and she always let them know how much she loved them.
The truth was though, despite what she liked to think, all of her friends, all of the time she gave to them was for her all self-gratification, every time she typed I love you into the phone, or shouted it across the halls, it was to try and fill the empty hole that resided in her heart. To try to erase the image, of her parents backs to her, leaving, vanishing, abandoning her to this world alone.
Cyndi scrambled about her room, throwing her belongs about with wild abandon, searching for her phone. Her room begining to resemble more of a rats nest than an actual bedroom. Her eyes brushed over the stack of college acceptance letters on her bedside table, her heart clenched.
“Cyndi!” Helen called up to her, “Have you made the call?”
The words jerked her from her thoughts. “Just a second Mrs Trenton,” Cyndi let out a shout of joy, when her fingers clasped around her cellphone. She began typing the phone number to the local pizza place in, the digits long since locked into her brain. Ever Thursday night they order pizza it was a ritual at the Trenton house and this week it was Cyndi’s turn to order the meal. The phone rang four times, before someone answered it with a click.
“Hello, This is Alex’s Pizza how may we help you?” a young male voice asked, sounding tired and utterly bored, the words muttered out in monotone, probably said for the hundredth time that night. Cyndi felt a slight tug on her heart, and she wasn’t quite able to place the emotion, sympathy maybe. So young and already so dead inside. She tsked quietly to herself, sending a quick plea to the universe that she never got stuck in some soul-sucking job.
“I would like a large Pepperoni and a medium combo pizza. Oh and gluten free crust on the combo. Freaking Janet has to ruin good pizza.”
“And this is for?” There was a slight lit to his voice, as if she had amused him.
“Ah, of course,” he said recognition clear in his tone. “It’s Thursday.”
She shrugged, and then realized he couldn’t see her movement, and let out a noncommittal agreement
“Will there be anything else?”
“No thanks, bye. Love you.” Cyndi’s eyes grew unbearably wide, and she could feel a burning heat crawling it’s way up her neck. Shit! It was just such a habit, oh God! Maybe he didn’t notice?
Based on his hearty chuckle that was severely unlikely, “Love you too. Now that will be delivered in twenty minutes. Thanks for your patronage.” And with that he hung up, his hearty laughter still rising in her ears.
With a grumble of disgust at herself she tossed her phone, burying her face in her pillow. She could still hear the idiot’s chuckles, a surprisingly nice, pleasant sound compared to the dry soulless tone he had started with. Couldn’t he be slightly professional! Cyndi was sure people messed up on the phone all the time, it couldn’t have been that amusing anyway.
She pursed her lips, eyes glaring at the large poster of Middle Earth hanging on her wall, well at least she made his night, if her faux pas can bring some lonely pizza boy some joy, who was she to deny him laughter.
Feeling better about the whole situation, she rolled over onto her back, hand snaking out beside her, fumbling along her nightstand in search of the familiar sensation of the broken spine of her current book against her fingers.
The doorbell let out it’s obnoxious toll, demanding attention.
“Cyndi! Could you get that? My hands are full.” Mrs. Trenton’s voice wafted from deep with in the laundry room, and Cyndi pranced down the stairs, spinning about on her socks in her haste. Smacking the door with a bit of a painfully thud, she flicked the lock and threw the door open, rubbing her throbbing shoulder.
The pizza boy stood their one arm draped casually at his side the other balancing two large pizza boxes the corner digging into his shoulder for extra support. He was by no means handsome in the classical sense. In fact he was a rather unremarkable specimen. His shoulders were a little too broad for his body as were his hands and maybe when he grew fully they would be nice, right now they just looked gangly. She assumed he was over eighteen since she knew every face in high school and didn’t recognize his. Probably closer to Twenty-something, since she didn’t know may of the seniors as a freshman. He had a strong jaw, which would have been nice, but as with his hands he had yet to grow into it, so it came across to the point of bluntness. His eye were a warm brown, but they were be no means extraordinary, his lashes were not to be envied, and his brows were thick and dark, giving him an almost thunderous expression, but then he saw her.
The corner of his lip lifted up into a crooked amused smirk, his left check indenting into a dimple, that smile was meant to send girl’s hearts thudding, and muddle their thoughts. His baseball cap which proclaimed Alex’s Pizza was smashed onto his head, tufts of dark hand sticking out in the most adorably awkward way, it shouldn’t have worked, but it most certainly did.
“Hello, how are you this evening? ” he said stifling amusement, and if she had not just heard it twenty minutes ago, she wouldn’t have recognized it. As it was she recognized the amusement more than the actually voice.
Her previous sense of zen of bringing joy to a stranger fled, her embarrassment returning full force. She knew her cheeks would surely be bright red in moments, she had to salvage as much dignity as she could. Turning quickly, to grab the wad of bills on the entryway table, she spoke. “Very well, thank you. And you?”
Moving was a mistake she nearly shrieked when she saw herself in the hall mirror, her hair was looped up in a rats nest on her head, the seams of her pillow imprinted into her cheek. She wore a tight white tank top that was thankfully blank and a pair of fuzzy pants, decorated with pink unicorns puking rainbows. Son of a bitch, could this night get any better.
“Better than I expected actually,” he responded cutting off her internally cursing. “A sweet girl confessed her love for me, which brightened my whole evening.”
Her muscles tensed up the money clutched tightly in her hands, the wad of paper crinkling.
“Usual I get to know someone first, but I am open to doing things the other way around.”
Cyndi was trying to decide if she should start laughing hysterical over the whole situation, or flee in embarrassment. Usually not one to be stop by awkwardness, she felt laughter bubbling up in her throat, escaping with a gasp.
He smiled brightly at her as she laughed, and she found she appreciated the humor he had found and shown about the whole situation.
“I like to do things in unconventional ways,” she said with a shrug, mouth flickering trying to keep her amusement to a minimum.
“Now that I could have guessed. So now that we have confessed our love, will you tell me about yourself?” He leaned forward slightly, mouth still in that heart stopping lopsided grin.
“Well what do you usually know about someone before you admit to your heartfelt love?”
He straightened up leaning back, looking thoughtful, “Their name is usually a good start.”
She couldn’t keep herself from beaming at him. “Cyndi, and you are?” She knew the pizza was probably growing cold, and they he probably had somewhere to be but she found she didn’t care.
“Bram,” he said, with a slightly grimace, “and yes, my parents did name me after Stoker, my mom may have been slightly too in love with Dracula.”
Cyndi bit her lip to keep from smiling any larger. “Mine named me after Lauper. My mom really liked having fun.”
He laughed then a real, full-out laugh, from deep in his gut, Cyndi found it was an incredibly pleasant sound. “Well, Cyndi Lauper care to continue this conversation in the morning and get coffee with me? I still have questions that need to be answered, and I’d hate for your pizza to get cold.”
Her stomach seemed to leap up into her throat. Had he just asked her out? Was she getting asked on a date? She couldn’t deny the flutter of excitement that seemed to consume her.
“I think I have answers, and coffee sounds great.”
That crooked grin turned into a wide stretching smile, his eyes crinkling up in joy. He handed her the pizza, expression never faltering, accepting the money without even checking, eyes locked with hers.
“Tomorrow nine then? Carol’s Roast?”
She nodded her agreement, feeling rather shy, her finger tangling in the strand of hair the had escaped her bun.
“See you,” he murmured, “Love you,”
Cyndi shivered at the tone, liking the way it rolled a crossed her ears. “Love you too.” The image of his smile branded in her minds eye.