I pushed open the forest green door, not quite sure what to say or do. I do know what this looks like and why Sid was reacting how he was, but it just wasn’t like that. God! I hope Kayla knows that!
As we walked in, Todd was there, like he always is. However, he had a little more wobble in his ass today. A little more excited about meeting someone new.
Kayla walked in and presented Todd her hand. He quickly dipped his head under and encouraged her to get him right behind his ear.
“You’re screwed now. He is not going to let you stop” I informed Kayla.
“He’s so sweet! I don’t mind” she responded in her talking to a baby voice.
“Well, this is home” I announced.
Kayla lifted her head up and was immediately drawn to the back wall of the house. It’s really the centerpiece of the design. It’s a great big, two story “A”. It’s a great big wall of cedar with a wide stone chimney that runs the full length, right down the center. Sliding doors on both sides, and a few accent windows higher up the walls.
“Holy shit! This is beautiful” she said, as she started to look around a bit more.
It truly is a unique house. As you walk in the front door, the house appears to be one big, open room. As you move into the house, to the left there is a door that leads into a small bathroom. Past that there is another door that leads into my parents bedroom. It runs the length of the house. It has a full bath, lounge area, and another room within it that my dad uses as an office. To the right there is the kitchen, dining room, and family room. None of it’s divided by walls. It’s a large open space. In the back right corner of the house, there is a staircase that goes up to a catwalk that runs over the top of the dining and kitchen area. It makes a ninety degree turn and cuts across to the other side if the house. At the front of the house, behind that section of railing there are three doors. My room, a bathroom, and my sisters room. The rooms are cool with the slanted wall, and skylights. Like every other wall in the house, they are covered in cedar. The view out the window is the street and other houses, which isn’t the greatest, but if you walk out to the railing, you get a great view of the woods behind our house. It really does feel like an old ski lodge. The original owner had mounted some crossed vintage skis high on the walls in a few places. They are still hanging, like some kind of tribute or a nod to his vision of the design of this house.
As Kayla made her way around the downstairs, she said “this place is amazing. You are so lucky to live here.”
“I guess I’m kind of used to it, you know. I’ve lived here all my life. But yeah, it’s pretty cool.”
“So where are the bedrooms? “
“Well through here is mom and dads room.”
“Niccceee! Hot tub! You ever use it?”
I almost offered she could use it. But remembering Sid’s little show from earlier, I bit my tongue instead.
“So where is your room” Kayla asked next, as she raised and lowered her eyebrows at me.
I swallowed real hard and felt an instant sweat come over me. Holy shit! Maybe Sid wasn’t kidding around. I tried to compose myself, as I shakily said “th…this way. We ummm…have to..,go…upstairs.”
“Ok. Lead the way Mr. tour guide” she smiled back.
As we climbed the stairs, Kayla asked “so are you home alone? I didn’t see anybody here.”
Here comes that sweat again.
“Yeah. My mom works late every day. Like 7:00. My sister is almost never home until late, and my dad travels for his job and is almost never here. Like on the weekends only.”
“So…is that good or bad? Being alone so much I mean.”
“Usually it’s good I guess. It gets boring sometimes you know. Like lonely or whatever.”
Kayla cut me off, saying “not no more. Lonely I mean. You got me” with a big grin on her face.
I smiled back and said “yeah. Cool.”
As we reached my room, I stood aside and announced “here we are.”
Kayla walked in and slowly moved from place to place. It’s always kind of an uncomfortable ritual, showing someone your room for the first time. It’s a strange combination of an invitation and a violation. A glimpse into who you are privately.
She glanced over my bookcase, my cd rack, and my dads record collection. She spent some time looking at my skull collection. She looked over my desk with my laptop. She smiled at my small pile of dirty clothes in the corner. She walked up to me, sitting at the foot of my queen bed and asked “the drawings. Who did those?”
“Me” I said.
“They are incredible! You are very talented. I draw and paint some too. I really like your work.”
“Thanks” I said, blushing from the compliment. “I’d like to see your stuff too, sometime.”
“Yeah. For sure.”
“Ok. So I see you read a lot. And I know you like music. And you like to draw. And it looks like you collect skulls too” she said, kind of laughing.
Then she asked, “so, what is that? And what are those?”
“You’re shittin’ me right? Those are records and that’s a record player. It’s my dads stuff, but he never uses it, so I brought it up here.”
“Don’t laugh at me. I thought that’s what is was, but I wasn’t sure. I’ve never seen this stuff before.”
“Yes really. So let me ask. No Xbox?”
“So what do you do?”
“Read. Draw. Listen to music.”
“Facebook? IM? Web chat?”
“Tell me you’ve at least got a cell phone?”
“Hello! Welcome to 2007!” she sang, as if she was stunned
“What. I use the internet and stuff. I don’t like gaming and I don’t like tv. I watch movies on my laptop. Like Netflix or whatever. I don’t know why i would need a phone. I don’t know, I just prefer to be outside. Sorry” I said, feeling a bit dejected.
“I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to be mean. You’re just different is all. But in a good way. A very good way! Ok nature boy? I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to hurt your feelings.”
“I’m sure you weren’t. I don’t know. I’m just kind of not into what most everybody else is. Maybe I’m weird.”
“Nah. You’re super cool. Don’t change!” Kayla said, as she sat down next to me at the foot of the bed. She moved my long bangs out of my downcast eyes, looking at me with a worried smile. Then she set her hand on my thigh and rubbed her thumb across my leg, adding “you just don’t know me good enough yet. I’m kind of sarcastic. Just tell me to shut up if I bug ya. Anyway, I probably wouldn’t be here right now if I thought you were weird or stupid or something. You’re the nicest, coolest person I’ve met down here.”
Then she squeezed my thigh hard, and said “ok granola boy!”
“Granola boy??!” I squawked, looking at her big toothy smile. Unable to contain a smile of my own.
I responded by grabbing her wrist and yanking her hand off my leg, as it did kind of hurt. We somehow worked our way into a grabbing, tickling kind of thing. Laughing and picking on each other. After a few minutes of harassing each other, she grabbed onto both of my arms and jerked herself onto her back. We landed with my arm across her waist, my hand kind of hugging her hip. Her one arm was holding my arm in place, and her other arm was wedged awkwardly against my body. Firmly jammed against my zipper. We laid still, catching our breath, occasionally giggling.
Then the inevitable happened. The contact made me hard. It was the first time anybody had ever touched me there. It’s perfectly natural right? Well she had to know what was happening. It was pushing against the back of her hand. She made no effort to move away. We both fell silent. Not sharing our thoughts and fears with each other. I wasn’t prepared for this at all. My heart thumped, loudly, like a kettle drum. My mouth went dry. I was totally at a loss for words. What in the hell am I supposed to do? Should I kiss her? I’ve never done that before. Do I caress her hip? Do I do anything? What is she thinking about? Is she waiting for me to make a move? What will she think if I do? What will she think if I don’t? Is she going to make a move? Great! I’m lying here, boned up, and scared out of my mind!
Finally, I got the courage to slide my fingertips gently along her soft hip. We turned our heads simultaneously, searching for something in each other’s eyes.
Then…a bark…from downstairs.
“Shit! I forgot to let Todd out. He’s probably ready to burst!”
I removed myself from our pretzel and put my hands out to Kayla, to help her stand up.
“Come with me” I said, as she put her hands into mine, her eyes firmly fixed on the little spike she created in my pants. A devilish smile on her face. Confirmation of what she suspected.
I started to bring my hands to the bottom edge of my shirt, to hide the evidence, regain some dignity. But decided to leave it alone. It’s perfectly natural after all.
“We can take Todd out and I can show you around back.”
“Ok” she replied cheerfully.
As we were walking down stairs, all I could think was “good boy Todd.”