Chapter Two

Chapter Two

A Chapter by Caitlynxoxo

2.

Clayton

It had taken him four hours to build up the courage to text Mona, and it wasn’t even her number.

                Four hours! That was four hours of pacing back and forth in his bedroom, typing and retyping a message to send that didn’t sound too needy or desperate. Asking how her Christmas break was going seemed innocent enough. It opened the doors for conversation. It made him look like the kind of friend who was interested in her life, but not so much so that it came off as creepy. Hopefully he looked friendly, in a “start out as a friend and turn into something more” sort of way.

                He hadn’t even gotten the chance to come off as friendly, or creepy, or desperate or anything at all. It was the wrong number. He hadn’t typed it in wrong, he knew, because he had checked the scrap of paper Heidi had given him at least six times before he punched it into his phone.  It was the right number, just not the right number.

                At least Ella had been an interesting conversational partner. Even if he didn’t know if she was actually named Ella, or actually a girl. She was just like him; she didn’t shorten her sentences to save time while she texted. And she was witty as hell. They made for a good chat, the two of them. Which was why he asked if they could text tomorrow. Everyone knew about the dangers of strangers on the internet, but technically they didn’t meet on the internet. So it was O.K… sort of.

                His phone safely charging, Clayton pushed his chair away from his computer desk and exhaled slowly, thinking about this Ella person. Ella of Canada. Sixteen years old. Located approximately 2-3 hours north of the boarder. Knows two phrases in French. Doesn’t like Cheezies. What a fascinating girl.

                Clayton found himself stuck on the thought of where she was. It was bothering him, not knowing. 2-3 hours from the border…that could be anywhere, couldn’t it? That was quite the wide margarine for him to figure out. It would help if he knew more cities in Ontario. Everyone knew Toronto. So that was an option. She could be from Toronto.

                But that felt too obvious. Whenever someone said they were from Canada, Clayton immediately assumed Toronto. Maybe there was some small city right outside of Toronto, one that didn’t have its own airport or film festival, where Ella lived.

                “Clayton.” The door to his bedroom opened, and his mom poked her head in. “You going to come downstairs and join the party or should I just tell your relatives you’ve removed yourself from the family?”

Oh right. He’d completely forgotten the Christmas party going on right below him.

                “Probably in need of my sunny disposition down there, huh?” Clayton asked, grinning as he stood from his computer chair and stretched his long arms above his head. If he went up on his tip toes, he could place his hands flat against the roof of his bedroom. Sometime between tenth and eleventh grade, he’d sprouted up but not out whatsoever. The height he could live with. It was the gangly limbs and overall awkward appearance which accompanied it that bothered him.

His mom did not look amused. “Downstairs, Clayton. Now.”

“Two minutes, okay?” he pushed his chair towards his desk again and began shuffling with the loose papers that littered the top of it. “I’m doing school work.”

“You are not.”

“Am too.” Clayton cleared his throat, held a page up to his face and pretended to read from it. “’The Merchant of Venice was written by William Shakespeare in-‘”

“Enough, Clayton.” His mom interrupted tiredly. “You have two minutes, alright?”

He nodded. “Two minutes. Got it.”

“And then it’s downstairs to party with your relatives, alright?”

“I’ll grab the whiskey from the cupboard and we can get grandpa drunk.”

Clayton.”

“Kidding, mom. You know he only drinks scotch.”

“Honestly, you are impossible sometimes.” She turned on her heels and headed out the door, but Clayton could see her cheeks were lifted into a smile.

                As soon as she was gone, he debated flipping open his laptop to see what cities in Ontario were 2-3 hours away from the boarder. But he knew doing that would surpass the two minutes he’d just been granted. And his mom wouldn’t have appreciated that at all. He could make her laugh most of the time but not when she was really upset. So instead, Clayton stood from his desk, turned off his lamp, and went to go join the festivities. And the whole time, he couldn’t help but wonder what some girl somewhere in Ontario was doing at that exact moment too.

      *

                The following morning, Heidi was waiting for him at the door to the coffee shop, her phone plastered to her ear as she chattered away loudly. Her eyes locked in on him from across the street, and she brought one arm up in an excited wave. Clayton didn’t wave back. He didn’t feel like waving back. His hand was stuck deep inside his coat pocket where he could feel the shape of the paper she’d given him. The one with Ella’s number on it, not Mona’s. He was still most definitely bitter about that and didn’t feel Heidi deserved an excited wave. Not even a little one.

By the time he reached her, Heidi had put her phone away and was peering at his expression. After a moment, she spoke. “It wasn’t her number, was it?”

“Nope.”

“So all that preparation and build-up for nothing.”

                “Yeah.” Clayton held open the glass door and Heidi skipped inside of the coffee shop, her ponytail swinging back and forth obnoxiously as she bounced. “I ended up texting some girl in Canada.”

                Heidi turned and faced him and shrugged. “Oh well, right? If it was meant to be, I wouldn’t have written her number down wrong. Maybe you should take this as some sort of sign that you and Mona aren’t destined for each other.”

Clayton’s eyes narrowed. “That kind of makes me think you wrote it wrong on purpose.”

                “Don’t be dramatic. It was an honest mistake. We were in the middle of band practice on the last day of school. You remember how loud it was in there and the flute section is right in front of percussion.” Heidi fell into line behind a young couple and began tapping her high heeled boot anxiously against the tiled floor. “I swear to God if the cappuccino machine is out of order again…”

“Can we focus please?” Clayton gave an impatient sigh behind her, and brought the slip of paper out from his coat pocket. He held it out to her.  “I need you to give me Mona’s real number.”

The line moved, and Heidi shuffled forward with it. “Do you honest think I’m just going to conjure it up out of thin air right now?”

“It’s programmed into your phone, isn’t it?”

                “She got a new phone for Hanukah. I put the number you have on that paper into my contacts, but I found out four days ago that it’s not the right one. So I emailed her and she hasn’t gotten back to me yet with the right one.” She waved her hand dismissively at him over her shoulder. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll give it to you as soon as she gives it to me. Promise.”

Clayton felt his face growing hot. “If you knew four days ago, why didn’t you tell me not to text that number?”

“Because I thought it would be funnier to let you figure that out on your own.”

“And was it?”

Heidi pulled a face and shook her head. “Not really, but give it time and I’m sure it will be.”

                They reached the register. As Heidi gave her order, Clayton struggled to keep from walking away entirely. He needed her. She was Mona’s best friend, and his only real chance at ever having a shot with her. So for the time being, he was stuck putting up with her rudeness and carelessness and “I thought would it would be funnier to let you figure that out on your own”…-ness. If he ever wanted to be with Mona, Heidi was, unfortunately, the only way that would happen.

“Let’s go sit.” She said once her cappuccino was safely in her hand, her beady little eyes raking the crowded tables around them. “If we can find a place, that is.”

                To be honest, Clayton had only arranged this little coffee meeting to get the real number. And since that wasn’t going to happen apparently, he saw no need to hang out and endure the torture that seemed to occur whenever he tried to have a conversation with Heidi. It was pointless, a waste of time, and something he really didn’t not want to do.

“You know what?” Clayton sidestepped out of the way for the people behind him in line. “I think I’m going to head home.”

Heidi stared at him. “I thought you said you wanted to go out for coffee. Are you ditching me?”

“I forgot I have homework to do.” He shrugged his shoulders. “Sorry.”

“Clayton, everyone knows that is your only excuse. If you’re mad at me about the phone number, just say so.”

                Everyone knew? He deflated slightly. Well damn. How many times had he used that excuse over the years to get out of hanging with his friends? And the whole time they all knew he was lying? Embarrassment threatened to color his cheeks, but he wasn’t going to let it show in front of Heidi, of all people. He would never hear the end of it.

“I’m sorry.” He said, and made a movie for the door. “But I really have to be going.”

She followed him, her heels clicking angrily across the length of the store as she fought to catch up. “You still think I gave you the wrong number on purpose, don’t you?”

                Clayton rolled his eyes and continued walking. He didn’t hold the door open for her and heard Heidi cuss furiously under her breath as it hit her arm and knocked her coffee out of her hand.

“You owe me a cappuccino!” she yelled after him.

                He raised a hand over his head in acknowledgement but didn’t stop. The only thing he wanted at that moment was to put as much space between him and Heidi as possible. Later he would text her and apologize, because he needed her for the whole him-and-Mona-thing to happen. But for now he was content knowing she was fuming at the entrance to a coffee shop, covered in the cappuccino she wanted so badly. It made him feel better, if only slightly.

                After a while, Clayton stopped walking and perched himself on the edge of a park bench that overlooked the frozen water. It was a rather warm day, unusual for December. He relished in it and felt like taking off his heavy winter coat to let the sun at his blue-hued skin. Winter was his least favourite season. It was the one that always felt like it stayed far too long, past it’s due point and bleeding unnecessarily into spring’s territory. Plus he hated the cold. Hated it.

                As he sat, he felt his mind wandering to Ella in Canada. Was it really cold there right now as well? Of course it was. He mentally kicked himself. It was Canada. They were practically known for just three things: hockey, syrup, and cold winters. But how cold was “cold”? Reaching into his pocket, Clayton brought out his phone and quickly sent Ella a text.

 

Hello again. Miss me?

 

He only had to wait a few seconds before her text came.

 

How could I not? You made quite the impression.

 

I’m surprised you didn’t try to text me first. Mustn’t have been that grand of an impression then.

 

It was alright, I suppose. Not first-text worthy but a solid 8.5.

 

I’m honoured. And cold. How you handling the winter up there in O’Canada?

 

With the determination of seeing spring again. Today it’s below 0 and said to be getting colder as the day progresses. So, you know, that’s something to look forward to.

 

Canada is living up to its reputation then.

 

Sadly. How’s NY?

 

Cold as well, although not so bad today. I can feel the sun. It’s glorious.

 

Just rub it in a little more, will you? I’m not quite convinced I should buy a bus ticket yet.

 

I just took off my jacket and am still feeling warm.

 

That’s it. I’m off to the station. See you in a couple hours okay?

 

Okay. Can I expect you’ll stay for dinner?

 

Possiblywhat are we having?

 

Whatever my chef is making tonight.

 

Something special for the occasion, I hope.

 

Of course. Macaroni okay?

 

It’s fantastic. With hot dogs cut up in it maybe?

 

Oh Ella. This is the start of a beautiful friendship.

 



© 2012 Caitlynxoxo


Author's Note

Caitlynxoxo
WOW I completely forgot how good it feels to update a story! Very self-satisfying :) Well here's chapter two. Hope you all like it.

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im not too much into the romance novels, but i feel drawn to this one! you are a really great author, sophesticated word chioce and a good balance between dialouge and not dialouge. good job! read request me when you make a third chapter!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Poor Clayton. I agree maynbe it wasn't meant to be and that was kind of mean of Heidi to fo do that to him. i love how Ella and clayton jjoke around with each other.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on November 24, 2012
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Author

Caitlynxoxo
Caitlynxoxo

Ontario, Canada



About
About a year ago, I left Writers Cafe because I fell into this awful period of not being able to write anything. It was like all of my inspiration had gone, and I wasn't doing anything with my account.. more..

Writing
Chapter One Chapter One

A Chapter by Caitlynxoxo


Chapter Three Chapter Three

A Chapter by Caitlynxoxo


Chapter Four Chapter Four

A Chapter by Caitlynxoxo