Read Our Kind of Love Online

Authors: Shane Morgan

Our Kind of Love (4 page)

Micah

 

 

BY CLOSING that night I’m beat. I carry out one last
bag of trash, change into my jeans and t-shirt, and then start out for the
night. As I walk into the main dining area, I spot Mrs. Aldridge and John at
the bar going over some papers. Aislin is on her way out. She waves back at me
before she steps outside.

“Thanks again, Mrs. Aldridge,” I say before
leaving.

They look up at me and she smiles in an
approving way. “Good job today, Micah,” she says. “It’ll just be you and Reign
for most of tomorrow morning. Aislin starts in the afternoon, so it’s great that
you can manage when it gets busy.”

“Yeah, man. Good work,” John adds. It’s the
first thing he’s said to me all day.

“Thanks. See you both.”

I pivot and step out the door, just in time to
see Reign climb into the passenger side of the red jeep that picked her up at
the park the other day. I start up the street, hurrying to catch the next
trolley in the square.

A second later I hear a honk. I slow down as the
jeep pulls up next to me. The fiery red head driving flashes me her pearly
whites, wets her lips and eyes me up and down in a flirtatious way.

“Hey there, cutie,” she says.

“Hey.” I stick my hands inside my pockets.

Reign leans forward in the passenger side and
asks me, “You want a ride home, Micah?”

I shake my head. “Nah, it’s all right. I’ll just
hop on the trolley.”

“Nonsense,” The red head counters. “Take the
free ride and save your money. I don’t mind, really.”

“Ah…” I look up the road. In any minute now the
trolley will take off.

“Come on, cutie,” she pleads. “I won’t
bite…much.”

Reign slaps her arm. “Leave him alone.”

She giggles and gestures toward the backseat.
“Hop in. I’ll take you wherever you want to go.”

I should refuse, get on my way, but there’s a
part of me that wants to make friends, and another part that’s wildly attracted
to Reign even though I warned myself against it. Besides, the trolley is
starting to leave now so I might as well accept.

“Okay. Thanks.” I open the backdoor and hop on
the seat.

“No problem.
Where ya going?”

“Thirty Pelham Street.”

“Cool. It’s Claudia, by the way,” she adds,
swerving back onto the road.

“Micah.”

“I know...” She stretches the ‘w’ in a slow and
sultry way. Only, I’m not interested. “So, where are you from?”

“How’d you know I’m not from around here?”

Claudia laughs. “You just told me.”

I scoff, feeling silly to fall for that.

“Where
are
you from?” This time it’s
Reign who’s asking. Her voice is like silk; smooth and skin-tingling. She
watches me in the rearview mirror as she waits for my answer.

I stare into it and reply honestly, “Colorado.”

Claudia brakes at a stop light. “Wow. You came
all the way from Colorado?” She sounds surprised.

“I think it’s cool,”
Reign
remarks, glancing out the window now. She murmurs, “I wouldn’t mind going that far,
even further.” The last part she says more to herself.

“Why Newport?” asks Claudia. She makes a left
when the light switches to green.

I shrug. “I don’t know, just wanted to give it a
try.”

“Are you usually like that?” Reign ask, her gaze
penetrating me in the rearview again. I tilt my head and watch her eyes, trying
to figure out the story behind them.

“Something
like
that,”
I tell her. She steadies her gaze on me, as if she’s trying to unravel me. I
don’t look away. If anything, I like it. It’s like she’s challenging me.

“So you just get up and go spontaneously?”
Claudia pipes in. “What about your parents? They okay with that?”

“I don’t need anyone’s approval. I live my own
life.”

As if my words have struck a chord, Reign tears
away instantly and looks out the window.

Claudia connects her iPhone to the stereo and
plays a dance song to fill the silence. Without a care in the world, she sings
at the top of her lungs, drowning out the artist’s voice. It’s actually entertaining,
especially since it makes Reign laugh. She has the sexiest laugh I’ve ever
heard. It’s refreshing. It forces me to laugh as well.

I have to snap out of this. There is no way I’ll
let some silly attraction overpower me.

In no time, Claudia turns down my street. The
blue, three-story house comes into view. Slowing to a stop, she lowers the
volume and observes the place.

“This is it?” she asks as I get out of the jeep
and closed the door. I never considered how they’d perceive the house, if they
were from wealth or whatever, like some of the people I came across in the
three days I’ve been in Newport. I mean, on the outside it isn’t too bad, just
that the paint is a tad worn. It’s affordable and it’s good enough for someone
like me living on the line of temporary.

I point to the double-hung windows on the third
floor and say, “Yeah, I’m up there.”

Following the direction of my finger, Claudia
bobs her head. Her eyes are fixed on the exterior and her expression appears
like that of pity.

“It looks cozy.” Reign’s sweet voice chimes in.
“Must be nice living on your own.”

“It is,” I reply fast, thinking how it’d be even
nicer if she spends the night. That’s why I have to get rid of the girls, now.
“Well, thanks again for the ride. You ladies be careful.”

“You’re welcome,” Claudia winks. “See ya.”

“See you tomorrow,” Reign waves at me. I wait
until they drive off to enter the house and scamper up the stairs.

When I unlock the door and step inside, a dark
and empty feeling greets me before I flick the light on. I quickly place my
keys and cell phone on the coffee table, turn on the TV, kick off my sneakers,
and then head to the bathroom to take a shower. The second I start to linger
and allow myself to feel lonely I’ll want to move again. And I need to give
this place a chance, to meet people and learn to be happy again, at least for
my grams sake. She’d want me to live my life without regrets. I just have to
try.

Stepping out of the shower, I toss the wet towel
over the door. I grab my shorts off the bed before pacing over to the
kitchenette for a bottle of water.

My cell phone rings as I walk to the couch and
plop down. It’s either one of two people: my counselor in juvie or Pete from
Georgetown. However, the last time I spoke to Greg I told him I was fine and
that he needed to layoff so that I can breathe easy. He hasn’t called me in a
month so I’m guessing it’s Pete.

Sure enough, when I pick up the phone and look
at the screen, it’s my buddy Pete. He’s the only real friend I left back in
Georgetown.

“Pete my man, what’s up?” I answer, sinking back
on the couch with my legs outstretched on the coffee table.

“Not a damn thing,” he says. “Man, I still can’t
believe you left. Feels like my game completely died the moment you did ‘
cause
I can’t get any girl to chill with me now.”

I laugh. “Yeah, right, we both know who they
were all chasing and it sure wasn’t me.”

“I guess I failed at trying to convince you to
come back here, huh?”

“You did,” I snort. “I’m done with Georgetown.
This place isn’t too bad.”

“If you say so.”
He
doesn’t sound convinced. “Anyways, listen, I wanted to let you know that
Ashley’s been asking for you. She misses you, man. You just up and left her.”

Ashley is one of the girls I messed around with.
It wasn’t serious. She’s well aware of that. So what’s Pete talking about?

“That’s surprising,” I say. “I thought she
would’ve moved on by now.”

“Man,” he chuckles. I hear what sounds like
traffic in the background so I figure he’s taking a cigarette break at work.
“That girl’s been coming around here asking if you called,” he continues. “I
told her you changed your number and that we don’t talk at all. I mean, I don’t
like a clingy girl either, so I was only trying to help you out. Unless you
want me to give her your
num
—”

“No,” I quickly stop him. “Don’t. Tell her I got
engaged. Better yet, tell her I have twins on the way.”

“Oh, do you?” he confirms, jokingly.

“Of course not, bro.
I’m
only nineteen. No way a girl’s gonna tie me down this young.”

“I mean, you know you can keep it real with me,
man. If you met someone you want to settle down with I won’t clown you or
nothing,” he laughs. “It’s cool.”

“Pete, c’mon on, you know me. I’m not gonna
commit.”

“Aight.
I’ll
stop messing with you. But like I said, Ashley’s missing you bad, and she
doesn’t seem to be moving on anytime soon. So, that’s just one thing to
consider if you want to come back.”

I pause for a beat before speaking again. “There
was never anything serious between us, but who knows, I might decide to visit
someday.”

“I hear you. Well, give me a shout out whenever,
man. I’m here if you ever wanna talk.”

“Thanks, Pete. I’ll talk to you soon.” Pete’s a
good friend. I still haven’t told him about what happened in Haxtun, though,
and why I’m moving around like this.

 

 

SIX

Reign

 

 

THE ENTIRE drive to Claudia’s house, she rambles
on about Micah and how hot he is. Then she switches the conversation to why I
won’t go all the way with Nate.

“I think you should either drop him or just do
it. I mean, he and I aren’t the best of friends but it does seem like he’s
serious about you, Reign. He did stay behind for you instead of going to the
Caribbean. No guy gives up the opportunity to drink, party, and screw random
chicks over some conservative girl with strict parents,” she chortles, bumping
my arm as she plops down on her bed.

A frustrated breath escapes my lips as I sink
down beside her. “Funny you should say that when you stayed behind too. How
come?  It certainly wasn’t for me.”

“You know how I hate the bitches from our
graduating class. Besides, they’ll be back this weekend. That trip isn’t long
enough for all the stress we’ve had to endure in school.”

“Hmm.
So true.”

We stay quiet for a while, staring at her
star-covered ceiling until I mutter, “I’m just not ready.”

“Yeah, you’ve been saying that.” Claudia turns
over on her side and eyes me intently. “I wonder…”

“Wonder what?” I sit up on my elbows.

“Maybe you don’t want to go all the way with him
because you don’t think he’s the right one. You’ve always had this heavenly
idea of what your first time should be like and who it should be with. And I
don’t think Nate falls into that description. He’s nowhere near what you hope
for.”

“That’s not true,” I refute. “He’s a great guy.
He treats me really good and my parents like him.”

“That’s not what I mean,” she says, rolling her
eyes.

“Well, what do you mean then?” I press.

“Even though he’s a sweetie, he’s too…I don’t
know, perfect.”

“And that’s a bad thing because…?”

Claudia turns her head and looks at me like it’s
clear but I’m just too naïve to see it.

“That’s why you haven’t told him your little
issue.”
The issue
.
Yep. The problem I have with
going into the ocean, and my guilt over my sister’s death. “Because you’re
afraid you don’t fall into his bubble of perfection and he’ll break up with you
once he knows about that.”

I drive my eyes away from hers and pick at her
sheets. “It’s not…exactly like that.”

“Whatever.”

We continue to stare up at the ceiling. Shortly
after, she breaks the silence. “Anyways, back to Micah. I want him to be my
main squeeze for the rest of summer before our trip to Miami. You think he’ll
go to Cooper’s party this Friday?”

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