This time when my sister poked her head in, I was already more or less ready to head out for school. I finished up at home and headed out to the bus stop.
It was a chilly morning, fall was definitely in the air. Summer would hang on and fight a few more weeks, but fall will take over soon enough. There is no better time of year in Minnesota than the fall. Colorful leaves in the trees. The smell of fireplaces. Sweatshirts. Halloween. Apple cider. I could go on and on…
I was first to the bus stop today, as I wanted to be. I was anxious and nervous about seeing both Kayla and Sid. I stood there, rolling a twig under my shoe, occasionally glancing at the front doors of both of their houses. After a minute I heard “good morning” from somewhere behind me. I jumped a little, as Kayla giggled.
“Wow. Sorry. Where did you come from?” I asked.
“I didn’t mean to scare you. I was just walking around. I got ready way too early today.”
“No..no. It’s ok. I’m just kind of a wuss or something” I said back giggling myself. Soon we saw the bus round the corner and pull up.
“No sign of Sid” Kayla said as we stepped up into the bus.
“Sick already?” I joked back.
Right as we sat down, Sid started to scale the steps, winded from his jog to the bus. As he walked past, he put out his fist for me to bump.
“Sup kid” he said as our fists connected and he strode to the last row, a knowing smile slapped across his young face. Without even needing to say anything, I knew exactly why he was out if breath and nearly missed the bus. He wanted Kayla and I to have the bus stop to ourselves. I’m gonna have to talk to him about that. It’s not necessary at all. Kayla and I haven’t even known each other for 24 hours yet. It’s like he’s playing at getting us together or something. I’m starting to think he’s not seeing things clearly. I’ve seen no evidence that Kayla even likes me…
We started rolling away from the curb and I reached into my pocket and pulled out a crunchy oat and honey granola bar. My breakfast if you will. I held it on display and offered Kayla half.
“Umm…no thanks” she smiled.
“Are you sure you don’t want to share in this wholesome tasty goodness? Grown-ups and kids alike, agree these are a delicious healthy snack for a well balanced diet.”
She laughed a bit and retorted “no, really…I’m good. Anyway it looks like you could benefit from eating both of them.”
Trying unsuccessfully to put an angry edge to my voice, I replied “oh really? And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“Oh nothing my ass! Are you not seeing the statuesque musculature I possess?” I managed to eek out, before busting into laughter, while holding my arms up in a strong man pose.
“Oh I see you skinny” she said herself, while laughing along with me. “Now shut up and eat your food, please! Before I wet my pants!”
I did as she said and started to nibble on my breakfast. I couldn’t help but think of how much fun it was to hang out with Kayla. I mean I met her yesterday but it feels like we’ve been friends for years. I do believe different people will walk into your life at certain times, and Kayla walked into mine at the perfect time. It’s just too easy to be around her, and she makes me laugh and smile, something my mom and sister say I don’t do nearly enough.
After a little while Kayla looked over at me and asked “I see you have earbuds hanging around your neck. Do you have an ipod or something?”
“Yup. I’m never too far away from music. I listen, like, way a lot.”
“Cool. So what kind if music do you listen too?”
“Ummm. That’s a tough question. I listen to all kinds of music, but nothing that you’d really hear on the radio much.”
“Oh. So not much like top 40 or pop music or something?”
“Exactly” I said happily, because I must have said what I wanted to, without sounding confusing or like a music snob.
“So like metal, or rap?”
“Some of both. And other stuff too. Electronic, ambient, classical.”
“Ok. So who’s your favorite band?”
“Ughhh. That’s impossible to answer.”
“Come on! It’s not that hard. I’ve really been listening too a lot of Radiohead lately.”
“Oh. I love Radiohead!” I replied. “Do you know The Doves? I’ve been listening to a lot of them recently.”
“I don’t know them” Kayla responded.
“Here” I said, as I dug into my pocket and pulled out my ipod and found The Doves. I handed her one earbud and I plugged the other one in my own ear. She scooted up right next to me, so neither of us had to bend our head a bunch for the short cord length. I hit play and we silently listened to the music. At one point Kayla rested her head onto my shoulder and when I looked over, I could see that she had closed her eyes. I could tell she was just comfortably letting the music seep into her as she sat there relaxing. A smile smeared across her soft face.
I have a habit of connecting music with people and events. From now on Doves -Some Cities album will forever be my “meeting Kayla” album. In reality, it’s a perfect fit.
Day two at school went a little smoother for the bulk of the student body. There was less scramble and panic in the hallways, and the volume of the talking went up. When Kayla walked up to my locker at the end of the day, my backpack was a lot heavier than yesterday. The inevitable homework snuck it’s way into my life. The damn bastard!
I told Kayla to pick our soundtrack for the ride home, and she picked Radiohead -Kid A. A fine choice. I was happy I had it on my ipod for her to choose. We snuggled together and enjoyed our ride home together.
As we unloaded Kayla asked “I’ve always thought you’ve got the coolest looking house in the neighborhood. It looks so different.”
“Yeah? It’s an A-frame. It was built a long time ago. It was the first house here. All the others came like ten years later. Do you ummm…want to come over? Get the tour?”
“Oh. I wasn’t trying to…”
“I know. Come on. You can meet Todd too” I said, cutting her off.
“Yeah. He’s my dog.”
“Interesting name…I mean, for a dog.”
“I know. You like it? I named him” I replied proudly.
“I could have guessed you did goofball” she smiled back.
“Well come on then, let’s go” I said as I guided her toward my front steps with my hand gently pushing her elbow.
As we ascended the steps to the front door, in the distance we both heard a loud “OOOOUUUWWW!” We turned to see Sid walking backwards toward his house with his hands cupping his mouth. We turned back, facing each other. Kayla wearing a smile and me wearing a shade of bright red on my checks.