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“Hurry up we’ll be late for the movie.” Isa ran a brush through her hair and rolled her eyes at Carolyn who was looking in the mirror holding one leg up then the other.
“The black flat.” Both looked fine to Isa.“Nate has been waiting for like twenty minutes.”
“Nate can wait. He gets you all the time. What color lip gloss?” She dumped an array of lip glosses on Isa’s bed.
“Good grief, Care. You’re only staying one night. How much stuff did you bring?” Isa rolled the lip gloss around with her index finger. “And what do you mean Nate gets me all the time?”
“You hang out with Nate all the time. I miss my best friend.” Carolyn tugged on her sweater. “Does this look okay?”
“Nate and I live next door. Besides you have field hockey.” Isa picked lint off Carolyn’s sweater. “The sweater’s great, but the skirt is way too short.”
“I have on shorts.” Isa pulled up her skirt revealing fluorescent pink shorts. “I know I’ve been M.I.A. lately. Coach is really riding us hard. So I guess I understand why you’d hang out with Nate. But I’d feel better about it if you two … forget it.”
“If we what?” Isa pulled her hair in a ponytail.
“If I thought you guys were… you know… dating.”
Isa shook her head. “Not going to happen. You know my ideal.”
Carolyn popped a hand on her hip. “A dashing Greek with the potential to do bad, but chooses not to.”
“Exactly. And Nate is…well, he’s sweet—”
“And gorgeous.” Carolyn grinned.
“That’s the other thing he’s too perfect looking. You know my dashing Greek also has a slightly crooked nose.”
Carolyn groaned. “You and your crooked nose.”
“Come downstairs when you’re ready. I’m going to hang out with Nate .” Isa opened the door and as she shut the door she heard Carolyn whisper, “Of course, you are.”
Isa found Nate sitting in the living room with Aunt Hazel, a comfortable silence between them. Aunt Hazel knitted while Nate read Lord of the Rings. The boy was never without a book. Isa glanced at the clock on the wall. Only a half an hour before the movie started. They’d have to allow twenty minutes to walk. Carolyn better get a move on.
Isa took the book out of Nate’s hand. “C’mon let’s wait outside.”
“Sounds good.” He stood. “Later Hazel.”
Isa’s aunt looked up from her knitting. “I thought Carolyn was going to the movies with you two.”
“She is. She’s just taking her sweet time.” Isa and Nate turned to leave, but Isa stopped and turned back to Aunt Hazel. “Did you ever walk to the movies with your friends?”
Aunt Hazel rested the knitting on her lap and smiled. “As a matter of fact, I have great memories at that old movie theatre. I’m glad they’ve kept it going. I’m also glad they play only the classics there, none of this new trash they put out now.” She picked up her knitting again.
“Who did you go to the movies with?” Isa asked in her most nonchalant voice.
Of course, Lucille. Aunt Hazel’s best friend. They still spent Saturday afternoons together combing the antique shops for treasures. Then again. She did say, usually Lucille. That meant she’d gone with other people. Isa just had to figure out who those others were. And were any of them the mystery man?
Isa tugged Nate’s hand and they left Aunt Hazel to her knitting. Once outside, Isa traipsed across the lawn to a row of tulips past their prime. Isa didn’t care though. They still were beautiful. She knelt beside the tulips, cupping a bloom in her hand. Isa shivered. April in Virginia was still cool at night.
Nate hunched down beside her. “Wouldn’t you rather sit on the porch?”
“Do you think we’ll ever find him?”
Nate cocked his head and looked into Isa’s eyes. “Why is finding your aunt’s mystery man so important?”
Isa shrugged. “Everyone deserves love.”
Nate tipped Isa’s chin. “She does have love. She has you.”
Isa shrugged off his hand. “Don’t be such a peacock.”
Nate cocked an eyebrow. “Peacock?”
Peacock? What was she thinking? “You know all cocky and know-it-all…and pretty.”
Nate grinned. “Thanks. I am pretty. Aren’t I?”
Isa stood and brushed off her jeans. “Where’s Carolyn? We’ll never make the movie.”
Right on cue, the front door opened and Carolyn walked out. “Ready?”
So ready. “Yep. Let’s go.”
Nate may have been her best boy friend, but she wasn’t ready for the way he made her feel sometimes.
It’d be so much easier if he were just a girl.