“Sure thing! One strawberry-mango-banana smoothie coming right up!”
Wide brown eyes followed the movement of the ball of energy in red rimmed glasses and a pale blue apron who smiled widely at the adorable seven dear old girl as she ordered her fruit smoothie. Brendon handed the young girl her drink in a styrofoam white cup complete with lid and bendy straw and waved as she giggled her “thank you” before trotting out the glass door, pigtails swinging. Brendon chucked as she turned and waved one last time through the glass before taking her mother’s hand and crossing the street.
Ryan kept his eyes on Brendon as he approached the counter where the pre-mentioned worker was busy with a wet rag, wiping away invisible crumbs. Brendon looked up and met Ryan’s gaze with a wide grin.
"Hi, welcome to the Smoothie Hut. What can I get for you today?" Brendon asked the pre-rehearsed question with a genuine smile that made Ryan's stomach tighten in an uncomfortable way that caused him to worry that it might drop through the floor below him.
"I'll have," Ryan pretended to peruse the menu above Brendon's head in thought, although it was pointless. he asked for the same thing every Wednesday when left work early. "a large strawberry orange smoothie with a date with you this Friday on the side."
Brendon let out a soft laugh that made Ryan's mind fuzz over for a minute. "One large strawberry orange smoothie, coming right up," Brendon turned to the short redhead working behind the counter with him and gave her the order. Ryan waited patiently as Brendon rang up Ryan's order and smoothly slid Ryan's debit card through the proper slot before handing the card back with a neatly folded receipt. A moment later Ryan was handed a large white cup.
"Here you are," Brendon said happily. Ryan took the smoothie and gave Brendon an expectant look, his eyebrow arched questioningly. Brendon leaned forward over the counter and rested on his elbows, glancing up at Ryan over red rims through thick black lashes, "And I'm visiting my sick grandmother this Friday."
Ryan nodded in mock understanding, "That's a new one," he mentioned casually.
"Well, it's good to have variety," Brendon responded in an equally nonchalant tone.
Both boys paused for a moment and simply held each other's gaze.
"Thanks for the smoothie," Ryan broke the silence, nodding to his drink in hand. He turned and made his way to the glass door. Just before the door shut behind him, he heard a soft response.
Ryan sighed as he shut his apartment door behind him and turned the lock with a click. He shook his head and walked into the kitchen area, letting his shoulder bag drop from his body to the couch along the way. He flicked the light on, tossed the empty Styrofoam into the garbage can and reached for the refrigerator door, pulling it open to view it's contents. Pulling out a box of leftover Thai from it's depths, Ryan grabbed a fork and carried his dinner into the living room, sinking onto the couch once burgundy, now a rust, dingy red couch beside his bag. Just then, a fat grey cat leapt up from beneath it and claimed Ryan's lap.
"Hey, Dylan," Ryan mumbled, scratching the cats ears who purred contently. Once Dylan was satisfied, Ryan reached for the television remote on the table beside him. As his hand closed around the cold plastic, a red flash caught his attention. Ignoring the remote, Ryan pushed the flashing red button of his answering machine. The animatronic voice told him that he had missed four calls. The first three were from his mother which Ryan promptly deleted after the first syllable of his name.
The fourth was from his roommate.
"Hey, man, it's Jon. Just wanted to let you know that I'm going to be at Spencer's for the rest of the week, probably through Sunday. If you need anything, I've got my cell, so call or text or whatever. Actually, call me tonight. I want to hear that Brendon kid's latest rejection-"
Ryan rolled his eyes and continued to pick at the cold noodles.
"-So, yeah, I guess that's it. See you on Monday, Ry. Oh, yeah, and don't forget to feed Dylan for me. Thanks."
Ryan stuck his fork back into the cold Thai and picked up the cordless phone to dial Jon's number.
He cradled the phone against his shoulder and reached for his dinner, chewing through Jon's Caring is Creepy ringback tone.
"Hello?" came a whisper from the other end.
"-ey Jon," Ryan greeted around a mouth of food.
"Hey, Ryan, what's up?" Jon continued in a whisper.
Ryan grinned, "Am I interrupting?"
"No, I'm just- hold on," Ryan heard light shuffling from the phone and Jon's whispering of 'Hey, baby, it's just Ryan. Go back to sleep,' followed by a drowsy, 'kay,' and then silence before, "Okay, I can talk now."
Ryan snorted, "Had a busy day, Walker?"
"Hey," Jon cut in, but Ryan heard the smile in his voice, "At least I'm getting some. Unless smoothie boy...?" Jon trailed off.
"Sick grandmother," Ryan supplied.
"Uh-huh... That's a new one. I liked the dog-swallowing-his-car-keys story better."
"Dude, shut up."
Jon just laughed.
"I can't figure out why he keeps turning me down," Ryan mused while chewing, " I mean, am I too tall, too thin, too ugly-?"
"Ry, relax, you're not any of those. If anything, he's got to admire your consistency. You've asked the poor kid out every week for two months now," Jon paused, "Are you sure he's worth all this?"
"I don't know!" Ryan sounded exasperated, "That's what I'm trying to figure out! God, Jon, he's so... himself and perfect and... god, he's got these eyes the size of the fucking-"
"Moon, yeah, you've mentioned that once or twice," Jon finished. He sighed, "Alright, man. I'm just looking out for my best friend."
Ryan smiled, "Thanks." Silence spaced between the phone lines as both roommates contemplated Ryan's current two moth long and running predicament. "I'll let you get back to your boyfriend, now," Ryan spoke after a moment.
"Alright. Call me if you need anything?" Jon asked.
"Yes, mother," Ryan answered, "Tell Spencer I said 'hey',"
"Can do. See you Monday."
"Later, J-walk," Ryan hit the call end button and returned the phone to it's receiver. Setting the now empty carton onto the floor, Ryan sprawled out on the couch, letting his feet dangle over the edge. Dylan took a moment to re-adjust his own position atop Ryan's stomach before falling asleep once more.
Ryan stroked Dylan's back absentmindedly as he thought back to every Wednesday of the past two months. It all started when the usual quite high school cello player had quit his job behind the Smoothie Hut counter to go off to college and was replaced with the dark eyed bombshell that was Brendon. Brendon with his almost black, spiked hair and many colorful hoodies and perfectly fitting jeans and wonderfully dorky red glasses and contagious laughter and too wide smile and... Ryan groaned. God, he was loosing his mind! Over what? A boy he had never seen beyond the colored plastic benches and giant smoothie with a smile sign above the register that was The Smoothie Hut.
Ryan wondered why he hadn't given up on Brendon yet. One would think that, logically, after being turned down nine times now, to continue the pursuit would seem not only desperate, but embarrassing. So why does Ryan continue to ask?? Maybe it's the fact that Brendon never actually rejects him and simply has a excuse as to why Friday is unavailable.
Sorry about the short chapter, guys. I hope it wasn't total crap. This was beta'ed my my friend, but she's super busy with a project for school now so I'm going to need a new one if anyone is interested. (pretty please? *battslashes* I have cookies!!)