It shouldn be a long drive, only about ten or twelve-minutes round trip, but hopefully Sandy and Gia don just sit in silence the whole time. Or worse, Gia could go off on her again like she did at the waterpark and there would be no one there to stop her. All of a sudden my nervousness increased, and I sped the car up a little bit.
Speaking of sitting in silence though, Rom and I have been doing exactly that ever since we drove off. Which I don really mind. The less I have to talk the better, and I think Rom feels the same way. Nevertheless, this awkward feeling kept building up inside of the small car, and I felt the need to burst that bubble before it became too much of a problem. This could be a good time to ask the question thats been on my mind for a while now. I never had the chance to actually ask her this, ”So how did you and Gia get to become friends? ”
Her blue eyes flashed a confused look towards me, ”What do you mean? ”
”Like uhh you know…You
e so quiet, and shes so like… not that, you know? You
e so laid back, and she is the opposite. ”
She studied me with curious eyes while I was concentrating on the road. ”Shit ” I thought, ”I just made this drive even more awkward, didn I? Why couldn I say something normal like how nice the weather was or— ”
”I don know. ” My thoughts were cut off by Roms soft voice, ”No one really talked to me before Gia. ”
”Really, I wouldve thought youd be popular. ”
”No, and I guess some of its my fault. I don really initiate conversation with other people either, but Gia was the first person to really come up and talk with me. She treated me like she would anybody else. She can be pushy and obnoxious sometimes, but shes a good person. Just being around her has helped me better myself and come out of my shell bit by bit. Plus, its funny to see other people get thrown off by her haha. And I don have to worry about boys hitting on me when Im out with her. Shes actually a really good fighter ”
I took a quick glance at her, and now she was staring off out of the windshield. I smirked to myself, ”Of course shes a good fighter… Wait how do you know that? Has she fought anyone before?! ”
”Once or twice… ” She told me nonchalantly.
”How can you be so calm about that? ” I thought to myself.
Rom turned back toward me with one of the sweetest smiles Ive ever seen and reminisced excitedly, ”There was one time we were at the mall together, and this really creepy guy was following us around Victorias Secret. ”
”Wait, why was a guy alone in Victorias Secret? Isn that like a female underwear store? ” I interjected to try and get more context.
”Thats what we were wondering! ” She said before correcting me, ”And its umm… a female apparel outlet Mark. ”
”Ah my bad! ” I said between giggles, ”Im sorry! Im uncultured. ”
”Anyway, ” she continued. ”Gia suddenly told me to go into a changing booth, which I thought was odd because I hadn got anything to try on, but she shoved me in one anyway. The next thing I know, I hear a man scream outside of the room, and I rushed out to see her standing over that same man. It was so funny! He was in a fetal position holding his umm… you know. Gia then took a picture of him and posted a warning on her social medias about him. ”
A chill ran up my spine as Rom was describing the event that was clearly an exciting and happy one for her, ”Girls are scary… ” I thought to myself, but that guy deserved that and much worse if he was stalking them.
Then as I pulled into the baseball parking lot, a realization hit me. ”Hey, Rom? ” I asked her with a proud smile. ”I think that was the most talkative youve ever been! ”
Immediately going back into her shy shell, she said quietly, ”W-well… Its not that I mean to… ”
” I told her as I pet her silky black hair.
”Its nothing to be ashamed about. As you can tell Im not that much of a talker either. I just hope I can one day have someone to talk about so much to you one day haha! You left those two alone in the house because you hoped they would get closer didn you? You
e such a good girl. You care a lot about you
e friends and people close to you, thats rare nowadays… ”
She looked down with a blush, and I realized I did something really embarrassing. I quickly pulled my hand back and stuttered out, ”A-anywayyyy… Im going to get Danny. Ill be right back. ” I told Rom as I hopped into the hot, humid, summer air.
I walked across the sidewalk lining the outskirts of the field to the maroon-colored dugouts. I went through the bleachers and to the backstop of home plate until I could I peak my head through the backline net. Catching a glimpse of Danny in right field with a huddle of his friends, I waved to him to show that I was here.
He started to say his goodbyes, and I went to wait amid the beating sun and simmering metal bleachers. When Danny finally made it me with his large baseball bag and dirtied cleats hanging by his shoulder, I accompanied him on his journey to the car. ”How was practice? ” I asked, mostly out of courtesy.
”The usual, I guess. I did well in hitting, but I missed a couple balls fielding. I was the fastest runner though when we did suicides! ”
A proud smile etched its way on my face. I guess him always doing voluntary track practice with me paid off! ”Ayye thats my bro! ” I congratulated him. ”I taught you well in the ways of the force. ” I stated proudly.
”Yeah, yeah ”
Suddenly remembering to mention our extra passenger,
”Oh yeah, you
e going to be sitting in the back seat on the way back. ”
Danny whipped in front of me when he heard this, ”What?! Why? ”
”Rom rode with me to come and pick you up. Shes sitting shotgun, and since she is a guest, she has the honor of the shotgun seat.
”Why is Rom here? Gia didn say anything about her coming over! And what reasoning is that? Sandy really made you a kiss ass, huh? ”
I gave him a malevolent smile, ”You could walk home if you like? ”
”Im sorry my dearest brother! ” He quickly rescinded to me.
”Its a long story, ” I explained to him about why the trio of girls came over. ”Come on. ”
I powered on ahead of the downtrodden Danny, to the running grey car. ”So, I guess we can listen to my music on the way back huh? ” Danny complained in a depressed tone.
I got to my car door, ”Nope ” I responded a matter of factly.
I got to my door and told him, ”Wait! We wouldn have listened to your music anyway! Its my car! We would listen to my music! And cheer up! Youll see your girlfriend when you get home. ”
”True, ” he said as he opened the back door and threw his bag in. ”But if I stay down then Gia might spoil me! ”
Annnnddd thats the end of that conversation! We hopped into my car to be greeted by a wall of bass from a song from Futures new album. I looked at the dash to see that Roms phone was connected via Bluetooth to my car, and I turned to see Rom with her face beet red from embarrassment. ”Hey, Rom! Could you put on the 21, Drake album next? ” Danny excitedly asked in the back.
I was in too much of a shock to respond in any way. ”I wouldve never thought youd like this type of music ” I told Rom in a daze.
”I can change it if you want me to… ”
”Nonono, its fine. Its fine, right Mark? ” Danny interjected hurriedly.
”Im fine with it if you guys are. Just don blow out my speakers. ” I warned them as I put the car into gear and pulled out of the baseball field parking lot. In the corner of my eye, I could see Rom have a content smile across her face as the music continued to blare. I haven upgraded my speakers at all from the base car because I don care enough for it, and I don have the money for it either. Once these speakers are gone, Im not getting anymore, so I want them to last.
It was a fast trip back to the house. The music got my adrenaline pumping, so I went faster than I did going down to the field. With Danny in the car, there was no threat of awkward silence to take hold of the car.
When we pulled up in the driveway, Rom and I took our time to get out of the car, but Danny was out in a hurry. As soon as Danny left the vehicle, Gia busted out the front door and immediately into Dannys arms. Youd think he just came home from war the way she greeted him. To my disappointment, Sandy wasn standing at the door as well. Wait, why was I feeling let down she wasn waiting at the door for me?!
Danny and Gia headed into the house hand-in-hand, and Rom got out of the car following close behind them, leaving me alone in the car. This time I made a concerted effort to remember to get my phone out of my car cupholder and started my journey into the house.
I entered the house to see a truly depressing sight. Gia and Danny went straight to Dannys room which is down the hall behind the TV and to the right. My room is right across from his. Rom was sat down in the middle of the living room floor and got immersed in the PS5 again. Sandy however, was all alone, laying on the couch beside the TV scrolling on her phone. Her aura emanated a gloom that couldve rivaled mine when they first arrived.
I sighed… ”What happened? ”
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