It was almost two hours before my dad got home from work, which meant that I hid in my room and pretended like I had better things to do because my mom is well...bat shit crazy.
"Why the hell are you home early?" my mom started interrogating him the second he came through the front door. Clearly, she was looking for a fight - most likely to distract him from finding out about what had happened this morning when checking in with her probation officer.
"I got fired," he replied replied nonchalantly.
"You better not have. We need the fucking money," my mom retorted back.
"Hell no, I didn't get fired. But enough about me. How was your day, dear?" dad said cheerfully.
I had no idea what was about to go down, I just knew I didn't want to be there for it. I was pretty sure that my dad was secretly enjoying this; we all knew their marriage was on the rocks and could see the writing on the walls. It was just a matter of time before my dad checked out of their marriage officially.
"It was okay," mom said sharply. "Why?"
"Well, I know you had that important meeting today. I hope you dressed for success and studied for your test," dad said, almost laughing because he knew she hadn't done either.
"What the hell are you so happy about?" mom snapped, the anger in her voice was rising. She was clearly not a fan of my dad's jokes.
"Oh well, I just had a great day, that's all," dad replied, as his voice trailed towards the kitchen.
"You never just come in here all happy-go-lucky like this, Gary. Is there someone else? Are you cheating on me? What's her name?"
"So I have to be cheating on you since I'm happy? The fuck?"
"I don't know why else you'd be happy. You haven't been this happy in years. It's suspicious."
And with that, I kicked on my sandals and headed out the front door without anyone noticing. I knew exactly where this was going, and I didn't want to be there for it. I was sick of the swearing, the insults, the yelling, and the doors slamming back and forth between the two of them. I mean, who wouldn't be?
I decided to make a right at the end of our driveway and headed up the street - literally, as it was quite a hill. I didn't even know where I was heading, since I really didn't have any friends to take shelter with. I passed the house on the left at the top of the street with the above-ground swimming pool in their side yard, and decided to make a right and go down the hill towards the outdoor mall we literally lived behind. I figured that window shopping would be the best thing right now, at least until I figured out where I should go from there.
As I cut through the parking lot towards the sidewalk that ran in front of the center, which had a ton of shops and a nice covered walking area. The mall was pretty well-kept, with some outlets on the far end and a Publix on the end I was nearing.
There were also plenty of benches, and on the second bench in, right in front of Publix, I saw him sitting. He was tall, tan, and muscular, with brown hair pulled back into a ponytail with an undercut and just enough facial hair that my dad would probably hand him a razor if I ever brought him home for a date - like that would ever happen. He had on a black sleeveless muscle shirt with skinny jeans and a black snapback hat. He was sitting on the bench looking at his cell phone and resting his feet on a skateboard. He was probably texting his girlfriend or his friends trying to meet up to go skating at the park down over the mountain.
Guys like him weren't interested in girls like me. I mean there I was, in my cream colored crop top with little pink hearts and high-waisted pale pink shorts that made my legs look longer than they actually were because I was actually pretty petite, with my hair pulled back in a mermaid braid, old sunglasses, my huge leather "getaway bag" as my dad called it, and sandals. I looked like I was more ready for a day at the beach, especially since I had taken the time to put on self tanner for no good reason, rather than for a day in the mountains like where we lived. I was also incredibly shy when it came to guys, so yeah, no way I'd even talk to this dude.
I decided the best course of action was to duck into Publix because if I so much as passed this kid and made eye contact, my face was going to turn five shades of scarlet - I was sure of it. I immediately veered to the right when I walked through the doors, towards the bakery and passed the buy-one get-one deals. I decided to head back towards the back of the store, where the meat department is, and basically do a lap around the outer layer. Mid-lap, I decided that I was thirsty and decided that I should probably grab a bottle of water and maybe some gum or something so I didn't look like a total tool bag walking out of the store. I walked to the front and grabbed a Dasani out of the register fridge and then decided on cinnamon gum because it was the only one without weird ingredients in it - I wasn't fond of anything in my food with ingredients that I couldn't pronounce or easily Google the meaning of.
"Cinnamon is my favorite too," a voice said from behind me as he reached for a pack of gum for himself.
As I turned to see who was talking to me, I could immediately feel my face starting to flush as I realized that IT WAS HIM - the cool skater guy from out front.
"I used to dig spearmint, but they changed the ingredients in it..." I stumbled, as I picked my jaw off the floor. I couldn't believe this guy was talking to me. He was really willingly talking to me.
"I like your top, it really looks great with your skin tone."
"This? Thanks, it's really comfortable." IS THAT THE BEST I COULD COME UP WITH? SERIOUSLY ADINA?!
"You wanna head out? All of my friends are being douchebags at the park today and window shopping is pretty boring. I know a good book shop a few blocks from here with amazing coffee."
THIS GUY READS?!?! AM I DREAMING?!?!?!
"Sure, I'd like that," I responded, sure that this wasn't happening to me.
And with that, he handed the cashier a ten-spot to cover my water and our gum and we left, together. I was sure that this couldn't be real life.
Where do you want to see Adina go next? Let me know in the comments.
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