The Perks Of Loving You
by Camilo Mott


Chapter 5

“Hahh!” I yawned as I began to move around in my bed. It’s time to get up!

I jumped out of bed and began to jump up and down, stretching all my muscles. Another good day! Just look outside, it’s actually sunny! I can go running and not have to worry about it being too dark…but first I have to pee, nature calls.

I went into my bathroom to brush my teeth and see if I was any cuter today.  Hehehe, I’m always cute, but once in a while, I’m breathtakingly stunning. And looks like today is one of those days!!!!

Wonder what today’s going to be like? Friday, the day I choose to either slowly rot away in a cabin or spend the most glorious Luca-free summer in my life. Tough choice, right?

I can just imagine a Luca-free summer. Sigh. What a wonderful experience that would be! The only thing I have to do is reject this whole proposal, and I’ll be rid of Luca like that! I know he’s going to accept this stupid invitation. He can’t refuse an “opportunity” to find out what you “can do” and what you “can’t do”, hehehe loser. I know what I’m capable of, so I don’t need “intense training” to tell me what I can and can’t do.

I went downstairs, putting on my running gear as I walked. It’s just one of those days when I have to run. I just want to, don’t know why, but I feel upbeat today.  As I passed through the kitchen I saw my mom sitting on a kitchen stool.. That’s a rare sight – she’s awake this early.

“You’re up early,” I told her and looked at my watch. “It’s only 6:30.”

“Good morning, Love,” she responded. “Yes I am. I felt like an early bird today.”


“Yeah,” she yawned.

“If you say so, Helen,” I chuckled. “I’ll be right back. I won’t take long.”

“Love, don’t worry. I’m going right back to bed,” she told me, standing up and stretching.

“I knew it,” I giggled, causing her to smile. I waved her good-bye and ran off to the beach.

Lately, I hadn’t talked with anyone about this whole rowing thing. I just didn’t feel like listening to other people psychoanalyze me. The last time I had, it was with Mel and Eric, which resolved nothing at all. Those two just bickered and fought with each other. Mel said that it was clear that I would accept it no matter what. According to her, I would make myself miserable as long as I got to beat Luca. Okay, what the fuck is she talking about? She thinks she knows me so well, but she doesn’t. Just because she’s one of my closest friends and I love her to death, doesn’t mean she knows what goes through my head. Besides, I’m not so stupid that I would make myself miserable just to compete with Luca. He’s not worth it!

Sigh… Eric was just like Mel, only he argued the opposite. He said that I would be too selfish and lazy to take on something like this. He said that I would find something else to waste my summer on and forget this whole thing. In fact, he had the audacity to suggest that I was going to trick Luca to go by himself and enjoy my summer while he was tortured by Coach Rosko. I’m not that bad, you know! Sure I had already considered this but I would never say it aloud!

The whole discussion quickly got out of hand when they brought Luca’s perspective into the whole decision making. They weren’t even looking at me when they were talking! One would say “Casey would do this and that”, and the other would rebut by saying, “Yeah but Luca would do this…” I even tried to butt into their conversation only to receive a “Casey Shut Up!” from the two of them. They’re supposed to help me deal with this! Not make it worse! Just look at them. When they get into these kinds of discussions, they only pay attention to each other; it’s like no one else exists.

I just left them alone to argue with each other because I really don’t care what they talk about anymore. This isn’t even my discussion now, it’s theirs. So after that whole incident, I decided to keep my mouth shut about the whole decision. There’s no need for anyone else to get involved.

Phew! I’m already at the beach; that was fast! I didn’t even notice it. After a five minute break I decided to run back home. There’s no way that I’ll be late for school again. I got home at 7:30, still have enough time! I ran up to my room, still feeling good from all the endorphins. Hehehe, this is just another reason why I like to work out, it feels good!

I stripped in my room and got a towel out of the linens closet. I headed toward the shower singing “I’m too sexy for my love too sexy for my love,” at the top of my lungs. Hey, I never said I was a good singer but I like it, so “I’m too sexy for my shirt too sexy for my shirt so sexy it hurts”.

“Casey, shut up already, I get it, you’re sexy!” I heard my mom yell. Hehehe, so she wants more.

“I’m too sexy for my car, too sexy for my car, too sexy by far. I’m too sexy for my hat, too sexy for my hat what do you think about that,” I sang even louder as I continued to get ready.

Finally I was dressed and decided to shut up. I was wearing a pair of khakis, a shirt, a tie with little baseballs and a pair of Dockers. Now I look professional, no disheveled and late Casey today. I made my way downstairs towards the door, having already decided that I would get breakfast on the way to school.

“Bye, Mom,” I told her as I left.

“Bye, sexy boy,” she responded. God, I love her so much.

I headed for my car in the garage. As soon as I was inside it, my phone rang. Who would be calling this early?

“Hi,” I answered quickly, putting on my seatbelt.

“Hello?” I immediately recognized that voice. It was soft, fragile and nervous.

“Hi, Kate, how are you?” I asked her with enthusiasm.

“Hi, Casey, you seem to be in a good mood,” she said in a soft giggle.

“Yup, as happy as can be,” I laughed.

“Umm, Casey, can I ask a favor of you?”

“Sure, ask away pretty lady.”

“Is it…ok, if you give…Chobey a ride to school?” she meekly asked.

“A ride? Why? What’s wrong?” I asked her.

“Oh, nothing’s wrong, it’s just my parents are out of town, and I have to be at school in a few minutes and I can’t be late. We don’t live that close and there’s no one who can get him there…”  She was starting to get hysterical. Poor Kate, she worries too much.

“Sure thing, Kate, don’t worry. I’ll pick him up,” I told her.

“Are you sure, Casey? Is it too much of a burden for you to come all the way here?” She’s way too shy. She should relax and stop caring so much about what others think.

“Don’t worry about it, Kate. Besides, what are friends for? Now I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

“Thank you so much, Casey. I don’t know what I would have done.” I could hear the relief in her voice.

“You’re welcome, Kate,” I said and told her good-bye. I drove directly to Kate’s house, which was 30 minutes away, but I got there around 8:05. As expected, she was already gone. I parked my car in the driveway and quickly made my way to the door.  I knocked and then yelled, “Chobey, hurry up!”

After about a minute, I saw the door open and Chobey walked out.

“Chobey, why aren’t you ready? You haven’t even put on your tie.” Sigh. The frosh!!! They can’t even dress themselves. Chobey only gave me this sad look in response.

“Commere,” I told him.. I straightened his collar, fixed the sleeves on the shirt and began tying his tie.

“Sorry, Casey…I don’t know how to tie a tie yet…a lot of turns and folds,” he blabbered on, but I cut him off.

“Don’t worry about it, Chobey. You’ll learn soon enough,” I said tugging his tie one last time.

“Now you look presentable…no more JUGs for you,” I teased him and then pointed over to my car. “Get in, we’re stopping for a quick breakfast, don’t want to be late.” His facial expression immediately changed once he saw the car. He was basically drooling with excitement.

“I get to ride in your car???” he asked baffled.

“Yes, Chobey. How else would we get there?” I teased him. As soon as I said that, he ran toward the car skipping around it. Silly kid, but he’s so cute sometimes.

He opened the door, threw his back pack under the seat, jumped into the passenger seat, and SLAMMED the door shut. AHHHHH!!! My baby!!!! I ran toward my car and started rubbing the door. My poor baby! I looked towards Chobey and just stared at him, if he wasn’t so cute I would strangle him.

“Sorry, Casey. I didn’t mean it,” he said with a puppy-dog expression on his face, but I didn’t stop rubbing the door. Well my baby wasn’t hurt, so there’s no need to be angry.

“It’s okay, Chobey, JUST next time, don’t slam it!” I told him and got in, but the only thing that seemed to register was “next time”, causing him to brighten up again.

For the first few minutes of the trip, Chobey remained quiet, but I quickly learned that there was something to his quietness.

“What is it, Chobey?” I asked, not looking at him.

“Can I?”

“Can you, what?”

“Can I put the top down? Pleasssssseeee?”

“Yep.” I smiled and pointed to the roof thingy. Chobey jumped at the chance and immediately went for it. The top slowly came down and within a few minutes it was stored away.

“Casey!!! This is so cool!” he shouted as we drove down the highway.

“I know!!! It’s awesome, especially during the summer!” I roared, causing him to laugh. What! This is actually really fun, but unfortunately the phone rang.

“Casey, your phone’s ringing,” he said.

“I know, Chobes, but I can’t answer it right now,” I told him.

“It might be important.”

“Fine, Chobey. Press that button near the radio, it’ll turn on the blue tooth thing in the car,” I said, not really sure if it would work since this was my first time using it.

“Hello?” a thick male voice asked through the car’s speakers. WOW, It’s him! This day’s just getting better.

“Dad???” I said with excitement.

“Oh, hello Casey. How are you?”

“I’m great Dad, and you?”

“I’m doing well, Casey, is your mother around?” he asked.

“Nah Dad, this is my cell phone, remember? Mom’s still home and I’m driving to school. But guess what, Dad!” I said, becoming enthusiastic.

‘What is it, Casey?”

“Dad, guess what!!! I won the meet against Greenwich. It came to the final event and we were tied and I WON the event!!” I said without even breathing.

“That’s very good, Casey,” he responded.

‘Yeah!!! And then this Monday Mr. Ferris invited me to start Woolsey’s Row…” I was saying but was interrupted.

“Casey, wait a minute,” he said, causing me to shut up. Through the speakers I could hear that he was talking to someone else.

“Silly boy, you don’t put that in your mouth,” I heard him say playfully, which was echoed by a small child laughing.

“This is how you play with it, not like this,” he said comically.

“Sorry about that, Casey, Cory was needing something,” he apologized.

“Cory, he must be really big now. How old is he?” I asked

“He’s about to be five and he’s getting big now,” he sounded proud and content.

“I bet he is,” I laughed

“So what were you telling me, Casey, before we got interrupted?”

“Nothing important, Dad, just some things that happened at school,” I stated.

“In that case, I’ll have to be going now, Casey. Linnet’s making breakfast and I don’t want to be late,” he chuckled.

“No problem, Dad, I’ll talk to you some other day,” I said.

“Bye, Casey, and say hi to your mom for me,” he said and hung up. Sigh, typical. Oh well, at least he seemed somewhat interested. Now he knows more about me and it’s good to know that Cory is doing well. Cory is such a cute and playful baby and Linnet’s so sweet.

“Casey, are you ok?” Chobey asked, seeing me only concentrating on the road ahead..

“Of course I am,” I laughed and pinched his nose. He returned my laughter and then started to talk about stuff at school.

“Hey, I have an idea! Let’s listen to some music until we get to school,” I suggested and Chobey jumped at the idea. So we turned on the music and started to listen to it as we flew down the highway. I like this kid!

We arrived at Woolsey with about 10 minutes to spare. Students were running around the campus, waiting for the warning bell to ring. I parked my car in my spot; it’s unofficial, but everyone knows that I park there!

“So Chobey, did you enjoy the ride?” I asked him as we grabbed our stuff.

“Hell yeah!” he said. Hehehe, he can’t pull that off, his voice’s too high.

“Well good, ‘cause we’re doing this more often!” I told him as I patted him on the back and we headed toward the school.

“Score!” he said moving his hands to signal victory. I playfully slapped the back of his head and told him, “Come with me to the Caf to get something to eat.”


“Yep, but we have to eat in like five minutes,”

We ran down to the Caf and got ourselves a Bacon Egg & Cheese and milk. I devoured my sandwich in three minutes and chugged the milk once we sat down. I really didn’t want to be late for first period.

“Bye, Chobes,” I said as I stood up.

“Bye, Casey, and thanks for the ride,” he responded.

The rest of the day went by like a breeze. It was Friday and most teachers were in a “go with the flow” mindset, even the period before lunch wasn’t that long. For lunch, I decided to go somewhere different, a place I could relax and not have to talk to anyone. So I chose to eat lunch in this Japanese garden near the University’s library. Before leaving, I left all my books in my locker except for the rowing folder and then took off.

I got to the garden but before I entered I went into the library’s café where I bought a snack and a smoothie. In the entrance of the garden there was a sign saying all the rules and stuff. Okay, so the sign says no food or drinks in the garden. Ah, like something bad is going to happen. It’s just a little bit of food, and the birds can eat any leftovers. Hehehe, besides the worst thing they could do is kick me out.

So I sat down and glimpsed through all the content of the rowing folder, from the pictures to the notes. It’s not so bad now that I think about it. Rowing seems like an interesting sport and you get to be close to the water. It’s not like it’s a death sentence, it’s actually an opportunity. Wow, I’m being such a grumpy person. I promised myself that I would never allow hesitation to stop me from doing something that could be fun. Damn it! I promised that I would never let my inhibitions slow me down.

After eating, I took some time to relax in the garden. It’s really nice and calm, but I’m getting bored now. So I cleaned up the area and walked back to school. I didn’t even bother to go to my locker because the only thing that I’ll need for the rest of the day is the folder. Luca and I have to see Mr. Ferris after school today and tell him our decision.

I waited through 7th period, and soon it was over. I stretched and yawned in my chair right after the bell rang. “Time to get this over with,” I said to myself and started to make my way to the athletics’ office. When I got there, Luca was sitting in a chair, looking so nervous. When he saw me, he stood up and came towards me.

“What are we waiting for?” I asked.

“He’s in with a parent and told us to wait for him,” he responded, his clear voice sounding clouded.

“You okay?” I asked him.

He looked at me and said, “Of course I am!”

“You don’t look like it. You’re nervous and look disheveled,” I said pointing at his tie and shirt

“Shit,” he grunted and started to fix his collar and tie, but was only messing them up even more. It’s so amusing when he acts like this. He’s always in control and confident, but to see him freaking out and actually being nervous…it’s kind of cute. Wait what??? Cute? No!!! What I meant to say was…hmmmmm, entertaining.

“Wow, the great Lucas can’t even fix his collar,” I jeered, causing him to give me an angry stare. Why is he so nervous anyway, it’s just a stupid meeting! Sheesh, it’s not like he’s meeting the love of his life in that room.

I stepped closer and pushed his hands away from his collar and tie. “Let me do it,” I said. Using my right hand I fixed his collar and with my left I tightened his tie. He froze completely when I touched him and just looked at me, not saying anything while I did the adjustments.

“What??? I’m not going to show up for a meeting with someone looking like you did,” I said trying to defend myself. Damn it! I should have just kept my hands to myself.

“Whatever,” he said and turned from me, walking towards a nearby window.

“Why are you so calm anyway? I would have expected you to be bitching and moaning from how you responded on Monday,” he said, regaining his composure as he looked out the window.

“Hey!!! I wasn’t! Besides that’s none of your business,” I told him and he turned around. He no longer looked nervous or even queasy. He looked confident and in charge. Sigh, the asshole’s back!

“Oh yeah, you definitely did,” he laughed.

“Oh shut up! At least I didn’t look like a lost puppy! You should have seen your face. You looked so troubled and so lost…poor Luca,” I taunted him.

“So what, I was nervous about this decision! You probably haven’t even made up your mind yet.” Yeah Luca, try to cover yourself. So not gonna work.

“I made my choice a week ago,” I told him firmly, causing him to quiet down. He seemed to be thinking about something because his eyes kept shifting direction. His fingers fidgeted for a while and then finally he looked at me.

“You’re so opposed to it that you didn’t even have to think about it,” he said in a low murmur, not really asking for any reassurance. Then out of nowhere, he smiled and confidently said, “Good, because I didn’t want to spend a whole summer with you. Now I’ll actually get someone with some talent as my partner!”

What!!! You asshole! Someone with some talent? I’m one of the best guys here. You’re the one who should be honored to be able to spend time with Casey Lock! And I was actually starting to like your lost puppy look!

I was about to say something but the door opened and Mr. Ferris’s secretary told us to come in. She showed us into his office and we sat down in the two chairs in front of his desk.

“Hello, boys,” Mr. Ferris greeted us.

“Hello, Mr. Ferris,” we said.

“I’m so glad that you boys thought it over. Now, have you come to a decision?” he asked. He was trying to smile but I could see the anxiety in his face. Hehehe, poor guy, this week must have been long for him.

“Yes, well at least I have,” Luca said.

“Well what is it?” Mr. Ferris carefully asked. I looked over at Luca but he didn’t even acknowledge me, looking straight forward. Whatever, it’s not like I need him to.

“I’ve decided to accept your proposal and help you establish this rowing program,” he said. See, told you he would accept!

“Well that’s great, Lucas!” Mr. Ferris roared. “I’m very happy that you are willing to do it. Thank you, Lucas.”

“You don’t need to thank me. I should be the one thanking you for giving me this opportunity to improve myself,” he said. Right, I forgot that he always pretends to be polite and proper when he talks to somebody other than me. Damn it, that’s why everyone else likes him so much!

“And how about you, Casey? Have you made your decision?” Mr. Ferris asked, stroking his mustache.

“Yes,” I said matter-of-factly.

“And what would that be?” he asked so carefully and anxiously. Meanwhile Luca just ignored me. What’s his problem? I haven’t done anything to piss him off. Why won’t he look at me?

“I accept,” I said.

“You what???” Luca asked me in this weird voice. It’s hard to describe it, but it sounded shocked, excited, and extremely nervous..

“I accept as in, I’m gonna do this,” I said, puzzled by Luca’s response.

“That’s wonderful, Casey,” Mr. Ferris cheered, causing us to look at him. “I knew you would come around.”

“Yes sir, I came around,” I laughed. “So when do we start this training?”

“Boys, your rowing career starts next Friday. Coach Rosko will be waiting for you at Al’s Marina. Go there right after school; you don’t want to make him wait.”

“What do we wear?” Luca asked, getting back into the conversation.

“Nothing specific right now, just shorts and a comfortable t-shirt.”

“Okay. Is that all?” I asked.

“Yes boys, everything is arranged. Just show up at the marina.”

“Will do, Mr. Ferris, and sorry about Monday. I might have over reacted,” I playfully told him.

“Don’t worry about it, Casey. The only thing that matters is that you accepted. Now run along. I have angry parents to deal with,” he smiled.

We stood up, shook hands and said good-bye to each other. I left the office and started to make my way up to my locker.

Suddenly I felt someone grab hold of my hand and tug on it, causing me to stop dead in my tracks. I turned around to see who was holding my hand and I saw Luca right in front of me. His face was about two inches away from mine, making me stumble back towards the hallway wall.

“Fuck Luca!!! Don’t do that ever again!” I yelled but he just ignored it and came closer.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were gonna accept?” he asked.

“Well I was trying to but you were too busy calling me a brat and then the secretary……fuck this I don’t need to explain myself, especially to you,” I said and shoved him away.

“You could’ve stopped me from making a fool of myself,” he murmured.

“What!!! Making a fool…” I said turning around to look at him.

“Never mind, Casey!” he interrupted me. He’s acting really strange today.

“Okay, you’re not making any sense,” I told him.

He took a deep breath in response and walked away, not even looking back. Sigh. Why is he acting like this? Why did he want to know whether I accepted or not beforehand? And what the fuck was that confrontation we just had? He scared the shit out of me! He was so close that I could feel his breath on my lips as he exhaled.

“Hey Casey!!!” I heard Chobey scream as he came running towards me.

“Hey Chobey,” I responded, “What’s up?”

“Umm, Casey, can you give me a ride home?” he meekly asked.

“Sure buddy, but isn’t Kate supposed to pick you up?” I asked as we walked toward my locker.

“Umm, well you see…I kind of told her you were giving me a ride. I hope you don’t mind,” he explained. Ummmm…hahaha, now I like him even more.

“No prob, maybe we can even stop for ice cream and celebrate,” I told him as I tousled his hair.

“Yay! You’re so cool, Casey,” he jumped in joy. Hehehe, he reminds me of me and David.

“Umm, Casey. I don’t have any money for ice cream. I spent all my money buying lunch.”

“Hey, don’t worry about it. It’s my treat, besides I really like you,” I said smiling as I put one of my arms around his shoulder.

“Really?” he said.

“Yep, why else would I invite you? So let’s get going,” I chuckled.

“Yay! I want Cookies and Cream ice cream,” he said and I smiled at his energy.

We went over to my car and got in. This time Chobey didn’t slam the door, he quietly closed it, phew. We drove to a Cold Stone Creamery and parked in the lot behind it. We got out of the car and started to walk towards it.

“Have you ever been here?” I asked him.

“Nope, why?”

“You’re going love it! They do ninja stuff with the ice cream, it’s awesome!!!” I roared.

“Really, Casey??? You’re not lying are you?”

“Nope, you’ll see what I’m talking about.. Besides, I wouldn’t lie to you,” I smiled and ruffled his hair causing him to also smile.

We entered the place through the back door and saw the room was about ¼ full. We stopped in front of the Menu and looked at the choices. Yes! They have it, Cheesecake Fantasy!!! I love this place!

“Hey, Chobey, did you find something you like?” I cheerfully asked.

“Hmmm, they’re all sooooo good, I don’t know what to choose,” he delightedly responded.

“I know! They’re all so yummy!!! I had the same problem when I first came here. But now I know I have to order the Cheesecake Fantasy. It’s like cheesecake, but in ice cream!!!!!!!” I buoyantly said.

“Wow! I want some! I’ve never had cheesecake. Ah but…but I want cookies ‘n cream ice cream too, and I don’t know what to choose.”

“Aw Chobey, you can order the cookies ‘n cream and I’ll let you have some of mine.”

“Thanks Casey,” he smiled. I walked over to the guy in charge of serving the ice cream and told him our order.

“Chobey, just look at what they do to the Ice Cream,” I told him and pointed at the guy.

The guy took a few scoops of ice cream and dropped them on a counter. Then he took out two paddles and started to mix it. He then started to throw it up in the air and mix it around. It’s so cool! They’re doing all these acrobatics with it, and it goes up and they catch it, and they turn it, and they add the fruits and nuts to the mix while moving it around. Hehehe, I love it!

“Wow! That’s amazing Casey!”

“I know! It’s so cool, right? It never gets old.”

After we got our ice cream and I paid, we made our way to the front door. I wanted to eat outside in those café chairs, so we exited the restaurant while talking about how good the ice cream was.

“Casey, isn’t that your friend over there,” he said as he pointed towards a corner table.

“Yeah! That’s Mel, but I can’t make out who she’s with,” I said as soon as I recognized her strawberry hair. Yep that’s her, I can tell her apart from miles away. But who is she with? I can’t tell from here.

“Chobey, wait here a minute, and hold my ice cream too. But don’t eat it all, Chobey,” I chuckled.

“I won’t, I promise.”


I slowly and sneakily walked towards them so as not to let her know I was here. As I came closer, I realized that she was with a guy. Hmm, maybe she’s on a date with someone. Hehehe, I have to meet him. This guy was wearing a sweat-shirt, so I can’t make out who he is. No wait…I recognize that sweatshirt; Eric has one just like that one only it has a seal on the bottom corner. That is Eric’s sweatshirt!!! So Mel and Eric are dating, hehehe. I knew there was more to their arguing.

So I made my way towards them with a plan in mind. Mel saw me as I got closer, but I signaled her to shut up. She smiled and continued talking to Eric. Once I was close enough, I walked quickly up to Eric and covered his eyes with my hands.

“Guess who?” I said in high pitched girly voice while looking at Mel. She started giggling uncontrollably. Haha, Eric’ll never guess.

“Who is it?” WHAT!!!!!!!!! That’s not Eric, that’s….that’s…that’s Luca! My smile quickly faded and turned into anxiety.. Shit! Mel turned from giggling to flat out laughing.

“Come on, who is it?” Luca laughed.

Shit! What do I do? What do I do? What do I do? Do I keep my hands on him or do I take them off? Do I keep them on or take them off, do I keep them on or take them off. AHHH!!! If I take them off then he’ll know it’s me, but if I keep them on…well I can’t keep my hands on him forever!

I looked towards Mel and silently worded “What do I do?” She laughed even harder, seeing me panic.

“Come on Mel, stop laughing and tell me who it is,” he said, still laughing.

“You’ll find out soon enough,” she chuckled.

Luca placed his hands on top of mine and started to feel around to see who was covering his eyes.

“Hey, it’s a dude, haha. Let’s see,” he said as he felt around. God!!! Why did I have to sneak around!!!

“Eric? Nah, he would never do something like this. Hmmm, maybe Tim? Nah, neither would he. Wait… Ca…Casey!!!” he said as he pushed my hands away and turned around.

“Umm, surp…surprise,” I croaked.

“Casey! I have to go now! Kate says that she needs me,” Chobey yelled from where he was standing. Yes!!! Chobey I love you SO much right now!

“Well, I have to go now, bye,” I told them as fast as I could and ran from there.

“Chobey let’s go!” I told him as I passed him.

“Okay, but don’t you want to eat your ice cream?”

“Noooo, let’s go Chobey. You can eat it for me. Besides, I don’t want to make Kate wait,” I told him as we left the place.

‘Phew, made it,” I said as I got inside my car, “Thank you so much Chobey,”

“For what?” he asked puzzled.

“Umm, never mind, let’s get you home.”

When we arrived about twenty-five minutes later, I dropped him off and told him it had been great hanging out with him. Like I thought, he squealed in excitement. I admit hanging out with him, without counting the Luca incident, had been enjoyable. So after saying good-bye, I made my way back home.

Sigh, that was a not what I had planned on happening. Well at least Chobey took my mind off things during the drive. I want to cry! What am I going tell him the next time I see him?

I got home around 6 and was happy to see that my mom was already home. I parked my car in the garage and entered through the kitchen door.

“Hi Mom,” I greeted her.

“Hi Love. I’m making dinner,” she said as she stirred a pan.

“Wow, you making dinner! When did I get a normal mom?” I teased her.

“Very funny Casey, but your mom does cook.  Once in a blue moon, but she cooks,” she said.

“I know Mom, I was just teasing you,” I laughed. “So what’s the special occasion?”

“You, Love.”


“Yeah you, silly. And we also have a guest over.”

“Really? Who? Have you finally realized my greatness and decided to throw me a party?” I asked.

“I realize it every day, Love, but that’s not the reason. It’s only one guest and that’s all you’ll get out of me. You’ll find out soon enough.”

“Please don’t tell me it’s Luca. I don’t know if I can take it again. Please tell me it’s not him,” I pleaded. Why is it that every time something’s a surprise it has to do with him?

“Don’t worry, Love, it’s not him. And why would you be expecting him? Are you guys friends again?” she said grinning.

“Don’t even think about it, Helen. We are not friends and I’ll tell you what happened later.”

“Sure, Love. Dinner will be ready in twenty minutes.”

“Ok, I’ll just shower and get ready.”

“Love, please don’t get naked on the middle of the stairs like you always do.”

“Aw, but that’s the best part.”

“I don’t know where you got that from,” she laughed.

“From you, Mom,” I grinned. “And you win, I won’t strip on the stairs, I’ll just have to strip in the hallway.”

She laughed and continued to stir one of the pots. Wow, she’s actually cooking, hehehe it seems weird. So I went up the stairs, clothed as I said I would, but as soon as I was in the hallway, I started to strip. I was butt naked by the time I reached my room.

I went inside my room and over to the hamper. Huh? Should I throw these pants in the hamper or not? Suddenly, everything went dark and I felt someone’s hands covering my eyes.

“Whoever it is, it’s not funny!!!” I yelled.

“Cheer up, Casey. No need to be grumpy,” I heard Mel chuckle as she released her hands.

“Mel!!! Why didn’t you say anything to stop me!” I shrieked.

“Tell you what?” she asked innocently.

“That it was Luca and not Eric!”

“Hmm…I have to go now,” she said, quickly removing her hands and making a run for it.

“Nah ah, you’re not getting away from me that easily,” I said and playfully grabbed her.

“Come on Casey, it wasn’t my fault,” she giggled as she squirmed around under my arms.

“Besides, you’re the one who wanted to get playful with Luca.”

“See, now you’re gonna get it,” I told her and started tickling her.

“Ah…come on… Casey…stop that…besides you’re naked,” she said in between bursts of laughs.

“Why didn’t you stop me?”

“Because I wanted to see the look on your face when you realized who it was.”

“You’re a very mean girl, you know that,” I said letting go of her.

“Yep, but it was soooooo worth it. I don’t know which was better, your panicked “Deer caught-in-headlights” look or Luca’s bewildered look.”

“Oh shut up. But why was he wearing Eric’s sweatshirt?”

“Because Eric gave it to him as a gift.”

“A gift for what? Was it his birthday? No, his birthday is in three months. So what was it for?” I asked both her and myself.

“Why so much interest, Casey?” she asked grinning.

“I’m not interested in him! I just want to know what caused my mistake.”

“Suuure you do,” she grinned even wider.

“Casey, Mel, dinner will be ready in 10 minutes,” my mom yelled from downstairs.

“Ahh! I have to shower!” I yelled..

“Yep, you really do.  You stink,” Mel laughed.

“I don’t stink. What you’re smelling are my sweet endorphin inducing pheromones that make people go gaga over me,” I told her as I walked over to the bathroom.

“Who goes gaga over you???” I heard her say as I turned on the shower.

“What? I can’t hear you,” I told her pretending that I hadn’t.

Lots of people go gaga over me, right? Of course they do, I’m Casey Mott! Just look at me, I’m gorgeous in every single way.

When I finished my shower, Mel was nowhere to be seen. I decided to dress up nicely for dinner; it is a rare thing to see my mom cook. But what if she’s gotten rusty and forgets how to cook?

I went downstairs and headed towards the dining room. Wow, I forgot how big this room is. Hehe, it’s used once a year. Just look at the table, it seats 10 people. I remember it was really big for the four of us, but now it’s just humongous for me and my mom.

I sat down at the end of the table and waited for my mom and Mel to arrive… Mel was the first one to come and she was dressed in a really nice evening gown.

“You changed! When did that happen?” I asked.

“While you were showering away your deadly pheromones,” she giggled.

“Well, you’re looking very yummy,” I teased her and she laughed.

“Do I look yummy?” my mom asked as she entered the dining room dressed elegantly.

“Yes, Mom. Hershey chocolate yummy,” I told her, making her smile.

I helped my mom move the food from the kitchen to the dining room.. Everything seemed so perfect and nice, from the roasted chicken to the glazed carrots and mashed potatoes. We sat down at one end of the table, with Mel and my mom sitting on either side. Wow, it actually tastes good; she’s still a great as ever! Hehehe, I wouldn’t mind doing this more often.

We continued eating until I spoke up. “So…I accepted Mr. Ferris’s offer and I’ll start rowing next week,” I said.

“That’s great, Love,” my mom said.

“Hehe, I knew it,” Mel said. I just stuck my tongue out at her, making my mom and her laugh.

We continued to talk about recent events and, of course, me. I told them about meeting Kate and getting to know Chobey better. I tried to avoid the date at Pasque and anything that had to do with Luca, but Mel would not give up.

“Casey, you never told me about your date with Kate,” Mel said.

“Yes Love, you didn’t mention it to me either. Tell me all the juicy details,” my mom smiled as she kept on demanding to know what had happened.

So I told them everything that had happened with Luca from our date, to what happened outside of Mr. Ferris’s office, to my stupid mistake at Cold Stone. When I was done, Mel was giddy with excitement and my mom seemed to have this content and excited smile, yet glimpses of worry and confusion managed to penetrate it.

Why are they smiling, don’t they know it was a horrible thing to endure? Plus, what am I going to say to him when I see him. Should I just say, “Oh hey, sorry about sneaking up on you and grabbing you. I thought you were someone else.” Sigh, that’s not going to work. Well, you know what, fuck it. I’m just going to tell him, “I felt like sneaking up on you and touching you, so what. Deal it with it.” Yeah, that’ll work.

After the meal was over, Mel and I thanked my mom for the food. Mel left a few minutes later because she had to be home to babysit her little sister. My mom didn’t say anything at all about what I had just told her. I thought she would tease me about it and giggle as I tried to deny it. But this is so much better! I really don’t want to talk about it again.

“Love, I’m going to bed now,” she said as she hugged me.

“Okay, Mom. I’ll clean things up in the kitchen and then I’ll go to sleep,” I told her.

“Aw, you don’t have to do that, Love, I’ll clean it up tomorrow.”

“Don’t worry, it’s not that much. So go to sleep pretty lady.”

“Thanks Love. Good-night,” she said as she kissed my forehead and went upstairs.

I tidied things up in the kitchen. After I was done, I went up to my room and went to sleep.

The weekend passed by quickly since I was too busy to think. I helped my mom redecorate the house, hehehe more like throw everything away and buy new things. I followed her around as she went through store after store marking things and telling the salesperson to have it shipped.. It’s always a habit of hers to switch things up, so she’s never refurbished the whole house. Even when I questioned her about it, she just said that she felt like it. Hehe, how am I supposed to question that logic?

During the school week, I did everything I could to avoid Luca. Sigh, so much for my, “I felt like it” plan. But it worked! Even though I saw Luca throughout school since we had classes together, I didn’t actually talk to him. I just left the classroom early or walked the other direction. Damn it, it’s his fault for not being Eric!

But now I have no way out!!! I’m driving towards Al’s Marina to start this stupid rowing thing. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but please make the coach a hardass. If he gives us lots of stuff to do, then I won’t have to talk to Luca.

AHHH!!! I’m here already. Okay, just relax Casey, everything’s going to be fine. Besides so what! It’s only Luca and what do I care what he thinks. Yeah, there’s nothing to worry about. Hehehe, bring on the rowing!!!


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