Posted April 13, 2012
This story is part of ULTRA. Support the author by liking it on Facebook!
The afternoon sun was beating down through the the sunroof of Kristen’s Jeep. The suburban streets were quiet, and it felt like they were the only people in the world. Ricky was thankful they weren’t, though. Kira, the girl he loved, was waiting for them at Lake Castaic along with Kristen’s date, Dan.
“You are insane, Kris,” Ricky said, forcing the words through his French-Canadian accent. “I was going to go anyway, you didn’t needs to bring a gun.”
“Oh, please, that rifle’s so old, I doubt it would even fire if it were loaded,” Kristen replied, barely hiding the contempt in her voice. “But, Kira made it sound like you didn’t want to go, so I wanted to make sure she didn’t go through the trouble of setting up everything about this date for nothing. Honestly, sometimes I wonder why she likes you so much.”
He glared at her then, taking loud, deep breaths as his short temper got the better of him. Hitting the car door in frustration, he shouted, “Damn it, she loves me, Kris! And I love her! Why can’t you accept zat?”
The car came to a sudden stop, the girl driving turning to face Ricky eye-to-eye. She had an anger of her own, but it was much better controlled. What she said was as calm as her gray eyes, though no less forceful. “Because I see what you do to her. I’m her roommate and her best friend, so I’m the one she comes to when she’s upset because you’ve had a big fight.” The girl sighed, rubbing her temples. She loathed what she was about to say, but this was her best friend’s unofficial boyfriend. “Yes, she has a lot of fun with you, might even be attracted to you, and I can’t stop that. If you do anything to really hurt her, though, I’ll…”
Ricky turned away before she finished, scoffing. This was why he hadn’t wanted to go on a double date. Having to be with Kristen ruined the whole thing. When Kira had first asked him to go out, he was excited at the prospect of spending some time alone with her. Then she had mentioned it was a double date with Kristen and Dan, causing his excitement to wither. These were people they hung out with all the time, so there wouldn’t be anything special about tonight.
The girl thought about telling Ricky off for his behavior some more, but she decided it wasn’t worth it and continued driving. The rest of the trip was even quieter than it had started out, until they finally pulled into the parking lot for the campgrounds.
“Don’t get out yet,” she said, reaching around into the back while Ricky waited impatiently. Kristen grabbed a bouquet of white tulips off the floor behind her seat, which she had picked from around the neighborhood. She knew it would melt Kira’s heart to get them, and as much as she hated helping Ricky, she wanted to see her friend happy. “Here, give her these.”
The young man just pushed them away, rolling his eyes. “I don’t need your ‘elp. I got Kira somezing much better zan flowers.” He patted his pocket, before hurrying out of the car, leaving a frustrated Kristen to follow.
After a short walk, they arrived at the campsite. The sun reflected off the lake, causing it to sparkle. On the picnic table there was a whole meal that Kira had cooked herself, with Kristen’s assistance. She had insisted on doing everything herself to make this date go as well as possible, part of the reason Kristen was so worried about Ricky messing it up. There was also a telescope, as well as a large portable screen and a projector, activities for when the sun set.
Ricky wasn’t really paying attention to any of that, though. The first thing he noticed was Kira. He had never seen her wear a dress before, but she looked amazing in the icy-blue gown she had picked out. It went well with her blonde hair, though he usually didn’t like dyed hair, because it reminded him how some people could change what they didn’t like about themselves, but he couldn’t change how short he was. With the four of them gathered together, he was clearly the shortest despite being the oldest there. Luckily, though, Kira wasn’t more than an inch or two taller. As he approached her, he pulled out his gift: a matching set of bracelets, both engraved with the word “Thank” on the underside.
“Ricky, in English, it’s ‘thanks,’ not ‘thank,’” Kristen tried to correct.
Kira shook her head, though, smiling at Ricky. “That’s the point, Kristen. It’s how he used to say it when we first met. Thank to you too, Ricky.” She gave him a loose hug before slipping the bracelet on. “Now, let’s get to the food before anything else does.”
Dinner was fairly pleasant, much to the surprise of many of the people there. There was some awkward conversation, but the rest was the usual stuff friends would talk about. Ricky thought he was doing quite well at acting friendly consider how much he hadn’t wanted to be there. Just as dinner was ending and he was starting to get comfortable, Kira pulled him aside, wanting to talk to him alone. He went reluctantly, not sure what was so important that he had to delay his dessert. She took him a little ways from the picnic table, where the telescope had been set up on a large blanket.
“Alright, Kira, what is it?” Ricky asked, looking through the telescope.
The girl looked down, playing with her hands nervously. She hadn’t been entirely sure what she was thinking when she brought him here, just that she needed a chance to be alone with him. “I just… we’ve been friends for a while now, and…. Well, I’m not sure h-how I really feel about you. I’ve never even gone on a date before tonight, so I’m not sure if what I feel is what I’m supposed to feel.”
Ricky stared at her. Didn’t she love him as much as he loved her? Sure, she had never said it, but he had always known it. Or thought he did. Before he could say anything, though, Kira was right in front of him, her lips touching his. It was inexperienced, and over before Ricky knew what was going on. Kira got up quickly, face red as she ran back to help Kristen with the dishes.
The young man just stayed there, stunned, but also upset. She had run away before he had a chance to kiss back, to really enjoy it. For being so nice most of the time, he thought, she sure could be selfish.
* * *
Jeremy Quinn is a hobby writer who started with writing FanFiction. Recently, he’s been trying to do more original fiction, but hasn’t yet found his niche.
All content released under a Creative Commons license unless otherwise noted.