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The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden, Page 35

Jessica Sorensen

Page 35



  Seth wakes me up the next morning by nudging me a ton of times in the ribs. He has iced lattes in his hands, his blond hair is a little messy, and a he has a determined look on his face.

  “I had this dream,” he starts, lowering himself onto the edge of my bed. “That you may need to talk to me. In fact, I have this really bad feeling that you’ve been keeping something from me. ”

  He’s right. I haven’t told him how I broke down in front of Kayden. He’s been really happy lately, going on dates with Greyson, and I didn’t want to ruin his mood with my dark thoughts.

  I sit up and take the iced coffee, nearly downing it in just a few sips. “I thought you were heading home this morning?”

  He nods, sipping on his straw. “I am, but I’m giving Greyson a ride, so I have to leave a little bit late. ”

  I guide my legs to my chest and rest my chin on my knee. “Is he going home with you?”

  He shakes his head with a look of astonishment on his face “No way. Could you imagine if I brought a guy home to meet my mom? Besides, I barely know him. ”

  I elevate my chin away from my knee and chew on my straw. “But how long do you have to know someone before it means something?”

  He sits down on my bed and rests his arms on my knees. “That’s for the people who are in the situation to decide, which brings me to part of the reason I stopped by. ”

  I fake a pout. “It wasn’t to say good-bye to your best friend?”

  “That’s part of the reason,” he says in a serious tone. “The other reason is that I ran into Kayden this morning. Now, typically we have quick little chats about really stupid stuff, but today, he kept asking me about you. He wanted to know if I knew what you were doing for Thanksgiving and if I’d checked on you lately. Now would you like to tell me anything?”

  I frown. “Do I have to?”

  He nods, placing the plastic cup on the ground beside his feet. “Did something happen between you two?”

  I dither. “Maybe. ”

  He waits patiently for me to explain. Sighing, I finally spill it out to him leaving out a few of the more intense details but giving him enough that he gets the gist of it.

  “You told him?” he says, his brown eyes huge. “Like told him, told him? Why did you not tell me this earlier? That is the kind of info that should be divulged to me as soon as it happens. ”

  “Because you were happy and because I don’t even know how I feel about it. I mean, I told him by accident. ” I throw the blankets off me and scoot over to the edge of the bed, swinging my feet to the floor. “During a freak out moment on my part. ”

  “Because he was touching you?”

  “No, that wasn’t it. I liked that he was touching me, he just said something that reminded me of… it. ”

  He stirs his straw around in his drink. “Kayden was okay with you? He didn’t hurt you or make you feel like shit after you told him?”

  “He seemed okay. ” I grab my drink and the condensation dampens my skin. “But he could have been doing it because he felt sorry for me. ”

  Seth thrums his fingers on his knee. “Or because he understands what it’s like to have someone hurt him. ”

  I wipe my wet hand on the front of my pants. “That might be, but I don’t want him to have to deal with my problems. He has so many of his own. ”

  “Or maybe, it’s that he scares you because he makes you feel things your uncertain about. ” He points out.

  “Are you Psych 101ing me again?” I ask, getting to my feet.

  He shrugs. “Maybe, but the thing is I think he really cares for you. You should have heard him that day when you were in the library and I called you so he could find out where you were. He was really worried about you. ”

  I grab a rubber band from the box on top of my dresser and fasten it around my hair, leaving pieces out around the front of my face. “Probably because I ran out on him after I…” I trail off.

  “Had an orgasm?” he finishes. “Orgasm. Orgasm. Orgasm. It’s not a bad word, Callie. ”

  “I know that. ” I finish off the last of my drink, sucking the whip cream off the straw before tossing the empty cup into the garbage.

  “Okay, then. ” He stands up, smoothing out the wrinkles on his skinny jeans. “Here’s what I suggest. You should go home for Thanksgiving. Ride with Kayden and Luke, go back and have some fun. Don’t sit around here by yourself. It makes me nervous. ”

  “I want to go with them,” I admit. “But what if he’s there?”

  He hands me my phone. “Call your mom and find out. ”

  I snatch my phone from him. “I’ll send a text. ”

  Me: Who all is going to be staying at our house for Thanksgiving?

  Mom: No one so far. Your brother said he wasn’t coming back and Grandma and Grandpa canceled. Please tell me you’re coming home sweetie.

  I hesitate and let out a frustrated grunt.

  Me: I’ll come home, but I need to see if I can catch a ride still.

  Mom: Dad can come get you if you need him to.

  Me: I might be able to ride home with someone.

  Mom: Who?

  Me: Someone

  Mom: Callie Lawrence, what are you keeping from me? Is it someone I know?”

  Me: I don’t know.

  Mom: Callie, just tell me. Please. I’ll bake you your favorite pie.

  Me: Gotta pack. C u soon.

  “Wow,” Seth mutters as he reads the text from over my shoulder, blowing his coffee breath on me. “She’s super obsessed. ”

  “She’s not use to me having friends. ” I change my ringer to vibrate and put my phone into my back pocket. “She probably knows it’s someone from back home. ”

  A conniving grin expands across his face as he taps his fingers together. “What do you think she’ll do when she finds out who it is?”

  I shrug, grabbing a bag from under my bed, and then dramatically wave my hands in front of me. “Freak out. Jump up and down and go, ‘Oh, my God! Oh, my God!"

  He giggles. “But you’re going?”

  I nod with my heart squeezing inside my chest. “Yeah, I’m going. Just as long as Kayden will give me a ride. ”

  He covers his mouth with his hand to muffle his laughter. “I bet he would love to give you a ride. ”

  I press my lips together, holding back a smile. Pretend all I want, the idea makes my body tingle. I begin putting my clothes in a bag, ignoring his remark.

  “Do me a favor. ” He steps in front of me and looks me in the eye with a stern expression. “Let him get close to you if he wants to, okay? In fact, you can cross off number thirty-four on the list. ”

  I fold up my jacket and set it in the bag. “That’s let someone get close to you and I already have—you. ”

  “Well, I’m crossing it off and putting Kayden’s name up there. ” He backs for the door, pausing before he walks out. “Call me every day so I don’t worry. ”

  “Yes, sir,” I say firmly with a salute and he laughs. “And vice versa. ”

  Once he’s gone, I finish packing and sink down onto the bed to dial Kayden’s number.

  “Hey,” he answers and something thumps in the background.

  “Hey. . . are you getting ready to head back home?”

  “Yeah, we’re carrying our stuff out to the truck right now. I was actually just getting ready to come over to your dorm. ”


  He chuckles into the phone. “To make sure you were getting packed to go back home. ”

  I peel away at my thumbnail. “Who said I was going?”

  “I saw Seth this morning and he promised me he’d talk you into it,” he says. “And I knew he would. ”

  “Seth’s kind of turning into a traitor,” I reply, lying back on the bed and staring at the poster on the wall across from me.

  “Callie, if you don’t want to go, you don’t have to. ” He pauses. “But I really want you to.

  I’m still not sure I want to. “Okay, I’ll be ready in a few minutes. ”

  I hang up and stare out the window at the leaves and dirt splattered against the grass, put there by the wind. How could the direction of my life change so fast? I’m doing things I wouldn’t normally do, trusting people, feeling things, living life. I wonder how long it will last.

  Chapter 15

  #21 Let Yourself Be Bored


  It’s been two days since Kayden and Luke dropped me off at my house. Luckily, it was at night, so my mom didn’t run out and embarrass me. I’ve heard from Kayden quite a few times through texting, but we haven’t hung out.

  The entire drive home, I had an out-of-body experience. I was riding in the truck with Kayden and Luke and it was surreal, like I was watching it happen to me instead of living it. I’ve had a few similar moments, but they were never good like that. They were bad and full of images I wish I could have been blind to.

  It’s a couple of days before Thanksgiving and my mom and I are in the kitchen. The cupboards are stacked with food, the stove with pans, and the sink with dirty dishes. There are orange and brown leafy decorations along the tan walls, in the center of the table, in the windowsill, framing the doorway—my mom has always been a big holiday decorator.

  “I still can’t believe how much you’ve changed. ” My mother beams at me and I shake my head, chopping an apple on a cutting board. She touches my hair, noting the length of it. “And you stopped cutting your hair. I’m so glad. I’ve wanted it longer since the day you cut it off. ”

  “I’m not sure if I’m a fan of it,” I lie, angling my head sideways and moving it away from her. I’m a fan when Kayden’s touching it, which he did during most of the drive here, but that’s it. “In fact, I think I’m going to chop it off again. ”

  She puts her hands on her hips and narrows her hazel eyes. “Callie Lawrence, you will do no such thing. You look so beautiful, honey. A little skinny, but that’s probably because you’re not wearing all those baggy clothes. ”

  I fidget with the corner of my fitted black t-shirt. “I’m as skinny as I’ve always been. ”

  She reaches behind her back and refastens the tie on her apron with little apple patterns on it. “Well, we’re going to fatten you up a little. I’m making food galore. ”

  I set the chopping knife down and reach for another apple. “Why? If it’s going to be just you, me, and dad. ”

  “Oh, we’re going over to the Owens’ this year. ” She takes a wooden spoon out of a drawer, tucking a strand of her long brown hair behind her ear. “They’ve invited a lot of people, like they did a couple of years ago. ”

  I frown as I recollect the dinner she is talking about. That was the year Kayden started getting serious with Daisy and she made that dinner for me a living hell. “Who’s going to be there?”

  She shrugs and starts humming to the song playing from the stereo. “Should we go get our hair done that day before the dinner? Wouldn’t that be fun? To get all dressed up?”