Coffeeshops and Rock Stars
Ashton picked me up about 10 minutes after I got home. Thankfully I had time to change out of my work uniform. I put on skinny jeans with holes in them, and my Queen tee shirt. I fixed my make-up, too, thankfully, because it had all pretty much washed away during work.
I saw Ashton pull up in a silver Ford Taurus, and I walked out of my door. When he saw me, I swear his jaw dropped through the bottom of the car. I smiled to the floor as I walked to the passenger side of the car. He leaned over and opened the door for me, and I mumbled my thanks, embarrassed because I knew I wasn’t nearly as cute as he was.
“Wow. You look amazing.” He told me, as he pulled out of my driveway. He put one arm behind my headrest and turned around to make sure no one was coming. His arms were amazing. They looked especially amazing in that Nirvana shirt of his. It was riddled in holes though, so it looked like he washed his shirts in a vat of scissors. Then it registered what he said. You look amazing. He said that to me? Me? Yeah right. Oh god- I hadn’t said anything to him, I probably sounded really snotty, I should say something.
“Oh, uh, thanks.” I laughed awkwardly. He looked at me with a smirk.
“You’re welcome” He laughed. “So where are we going? What’s fun around here?”
“You do realize you’re in one of the smallest towns in Missouri, right? We have a mall, but it’s about a 45 minute drive…” I trailed off, realizing that a twenty year old like him probably didn’t want to go to some stupid mall.
“Okay, let’s go.” He said with a smile, and pulled out of the stop sign we were at. I directed him towards the highway and we got on.
“Oh, be careful about speeding around here. The police are really strict.” I warned him, and he let up on the gas a little bit.
“Thanks for the warning.” He said as he drummed on the steering wheel. “So, Bree-the-girl-from-Starbucks, tell me about yourself.” He turned to look at me, waiting for a response.
I hate these questions. I was never good at describing myself.
“Well, I’m in college, working to become a psychologist. I want to help kids who feel helpless because of their brain chemistry.”
“Wow… What made you decide that’s what you wanted to be?”
“I have a lot wrong with me, myself. I went through numerous hospitalizations, therapists, and medicines, just to realize that I was the one holding myself back. I was living in the past.”
“I understand. I’ve dealt with the same thing. What else should I know about you?” He looked at me, giving me a genuine smile. I was shocked. Why wasn’t he judging me? Even my parents couldn’t stick with me when I told the story of my depression, and this boy I met today understands? I couldn’t believe it.
“That’s all there really is to me. It’s all I have time for.” I explained, realizing how lame that is. “If we weren’t hanging out right now, I’d be researching more about serial killers and their mental profiles.” I explained shyly. I hated how nerdy I was, especially when it came to my course of study.
“See, I call bullshit. There has to be something you like to do besides read about serial killers and mass murderers.” Ashton continued drumming on the steering wheel as he glanced sideways at me.
I furrowed my brows together. What did I like to do? Who am I? “Books. I love books. I work a second job at ‘Dog Eared Books’ which is this half-price, used book store here in Lamay, and I get an employee discount along with a great bargain. They’re worn in too, which means someone loved them enough to read them over and over again, or loan them to friend after friend because they were that good. I love it.”
“Favorite classic author?” He looked straight ahead, but I saw a dimple, so I knew he was smiling. God, his dimples were so cute.
“It’s a tie between Edgar Allan Poe, and Lewis Carroll. Both absolute literary masters, yet, if you’ll forgive the phrasing, mad as hatters.” I laughed out loud at my own joke.
Ashton gave a hearty laugh, one that I could just wrap myself up in and never leave.
“My turn to ask questions. Tell me about yourself.” I poke Ashton in the arm.
“Hey, don’t mess with the driver!” He yelled as he poked me multiple times back. It tickled so badly, I wrapped my arms around my torso and doubled over to protect myself from his attack. I yelled for him to stop, but I couldn’t quite get it out because I was laughing so hard.
The laughter immediately ceased when we heard the police sirens behind us. We were the only ones on this stretch of highway. That meant the cops were there for us.
“Shit.” Ashton pulled over immediately. I knew what was going on.
The cop walked over to our window and knocked. Ashton cranked it down, and I saw the face of my father in the window. “License and registration.” My dad glared down Ashton, while he reached over to the glove box, and pulled out the car’s papers. He grabbed his Australian license and handed them over. My dad looked them over thoroughly and glared at Ashton.“Do you know how fast you were going?” He spit the words out like poison.
“Uh, no sir. We were busy.” Ashton looked at my dad and gave him a suggestive grin.
“Just talking, dad.” I leaned in front of Ashton to look my father in the eyes.
“DAD?!!?” Ashton yelped. I looked down at my knees. He turned back to my dad, “Sir, I am so sorry for that last comment, and speeding, and for everything. I am so, so, incredibly sorry.”
“Uh-huh. Get out of the car. You too, Bree.” He motioned for us to open our doors, so we did. I walked around the car and stood with a hip popped and my arms folded. Ashton was much more timid than I was, and he stood with his hands in his pockets and his eyes on the ground.
“Let me talk to you. Now.” The words were directed at me, and my father walked towards the only squad car the town owned. He was the sheriff, and it’s not like we need too many. The rest of the cops were on bicycles.
“Did you see how fast he was going, Bree?! You guys were going to die!” My father stage whispered to me when we were far enough away from Ashton.
“I did happen to see how fast we were going, and we were only 5 above the speed limit which is still technically legal. I think the real reason you’re here is because you’ve been following us since we passed the station two miles ago and needed a reason to pull me over because you don’t trust me with him. And I think that stems from the long list of partners you’ve had-“
“Goddamnit, Bree, you know I hate it when you do that weird Jedi mind reading trick. Quit poking around. And I don’t trust him because I know who he is. This guy Paul at the station, his daughter is obsessed with him and his band. Apparently they’re bad influences.”
“Honestly, dad? You think I have that low a level of social pressure tolerance? And besides, I’m legal to do anything and everything except drink. And I hate alcohol anyways. I like being in control of my own brain again.”
“Paul says Natalie is going to their concert in St. Louis. Apparently they’re underage drinkers.”
I sighed. My dad was smart, but only when it came to American law. “Dad, when they drink, they’re legal. It’s okay for them to drink in Germany, Australia, so on and so forth because they’re at least 18 years old.”
“And may I remind you, o-father-of-mine, I am 18 as well, so there really isn’t anything you can do to stop me from making my own decisions. I haven’t broken the law, neither has Ashton, so I’m walking away. Please get over this constant need for power.” I walked away from my father with his mouth open.
“Well, how did it go? Am I getting a ticket? Are you in trouble?” I was bombarded with questions as soon as I got back to Ashton’s car. I looked at him and smiled.
Hey you guys! The problem's going to be introduced in this next chapter, along with the character of Natalie.
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