Brian woke up first the next morning, his
arm around Sarah's shoulders, her head resting on his shoulder. He
watched her sleep for a little while, then decided to get up and wake up
his feet that were asleep. He carefully moved Sarah off of him and
stood up, walking to the bathroom. He got in the shower and quickly
washed off, then got out, still thinking of Sarah. He couldn't get
her out of his head, he liked everything about her.
'First I fell in love with her personality, now I'm falling in love with
her being,' he thought as he wrapped a towel around his waist and grabbed
another towel and started rubbing his hair dry. He hung up the second
towel and walked out of the bathroom, carrying his clothes from the day
before that he'd fallen asleep in. He saw that Sarah was still asleep,
all curled up on the beanbag, a peaceful expression on her face.
'For someone so beautiful and easy to please, she is so troubled.'
He'd found out the day before exactly what her childhood had been like.
She had loving parents, but they had a small stone in their relationship
that would later grow bigger and bigger until it would hurt them all in
the worst way. Sarah's parents were divorced and, though she didn't
blame herself, Sarah held a lot of pain under the surface, she never had
time to let it go. She'd told Brian about how fast it had all happened,
everything was done in less than a year. He tried not to have her
talk about it too much after she nearly started to cry, recounting the
day that her parents had the big fight. Brian shook his head as he
remembered the day she'd said it was.
'Thanksgiving, 1997, two years ago and the pain is still too fresh for
her,' he said to himself as he walked into the room he was using.
He closed the door over behind him and put his dirty clothes on the bed,
pulling new clothes out of his gym bag. He changed quickly and brought
the towel back into the bathroom. He came back out and saw Sarah
still asleep, and he couldn't help but think how gorgeous she looked.
'When I called her gorgeous whenever I wrote her, I was kidding, but little
did I know that she really was gorgeous,' Brian thought as he knelt down
next to Sarah. He smiled as he pushed a few locks of hair out of
her face, admiring her angelic and relaxed expression. He leaned
forward and kissed her forehead lightly, then backed away from her, deciding
to let her sleep.
'Now, let's see if I can turn on a regular computer,' he thought as he
crossed to the computer. He pressed the green power button and the
screen lit up, revealing a desktop with plenty of icons.
'Technical genius alert!' Brian joked with himself as he sat down.
He clicked on the AOL icon and it opened up. He highlighted the guest
name and waited as it signed on quietly, then typed in his screen name
and password. He checked over his mail, reading everything in the
mailbox, then went up to
the top of the screen and typed in hotmail.com.
He logged into that and glanced over the mail from his family and friends.
He read the mail from his parents, then decided to skip the rest, except
for the one from Nick.
'Hey, bro, hope you're having fun at the Jersey Shore (gag me). How's
Sarah? Beautiful as her personality? I don't remember if I
ever told you, but I talked to her once, pretending to be you. Don't
kill me for it, I just found out that she was incredibly funny and sweet.
I'm off her, Bri, don't go mental on me, she's all yours. From the
way you talk about her all the time, she must be something special to you.
But all I want to remind you is that she's sixteen, she can't even drive,
she's younger than BJ, and she's almost
young enough to be Kevin's daughter.
Just be careful, Frick, don't get involved in anything you can't follow
up on. I gg, no one knows where you are and they are going insane.
All the interviews have gone on as planned and we've told everyone that
you're just sick, but we can't do this for much longer. It'll only
be so much longer until someone either figures it out or they somehow beat
it out of me. Kevin is already getting an idea. You know I'll
keep your secret as long as I can, but if I think you're in trouble, I'm
onna tell. Have fun, relax, and hopefully I'll either talk to you
soon or see you. Frack.'
Brian smiled to himself and hit the reply button, writing a long reply
to his best friend, then logged off of hotmail and AOL. He closed
down the window and noticed an icon at the bottom of the screen reading
'Microsoft Word - Kee'. Brian clicked on it and a window opened in
front of him. It was a short story, the full title 'Keep the B-ball',
and it was in Nick's point of view. It was really funny, Sarah was
really smart and knew basically each of their personalities enough to write
a story. When Brian finished, he was trying hard to not laugh too
loudly. The whole story was just so realistic, it striked Brian as
funny. He minimized the window and clicked on the open file icon,
looking through the index of stories. He decided he had time for
one more and clicked on one that was entitled
'Just Another Night At Work'. He opened the story and found that
it was only a paragraph long. He read through it and started getting
an idea of who it was before he was halfway done. As he read the
last sentence, he smiled, understanding.
'Its about me, I like it,' he thought. 'Its amazing, she knows so
much about my personality, yet she isn't like one of those rabid fans that
chase me down the street, she's just really sweet and real with me.
What's cool is, she actually knew what went through my head before a concert,
but she doesn't make it seem unreal, its totally true.' He closed
down the story and returned everything the way he found it. He put
the computer back on standby and got up, turning to face Sarah.
'Hate to do it, Sarah, but I have to wake you up,' he thought as he sat
in the beanbag next to her. He reached over and gently stroked her
cheek with his thumb, noticing how smooth her skin was.
'She's so beautiful, why doesn't she see that?' He asked himself.
He kept stroking her cheek, then kissed her forehead lightly before her
eyes opened. "Hi," he whispered to her.
"Hey," Sarah said, her voice blanketed with sleep. She looked around
and stretched. "What time is it?" She asked, closing her eyes
Brian looked at his watch. "Nearly twelve, I thought it'd be a good
idea to wake you up for the day before it passed by," he said, smiling
Sarah smiled back and yawned largely, then
sat up. She stood up and walked to the bathroom, leaving Brian in
the living room alone.
'Truthfully, I wanted her to wake up so I could look into her eyes.
She has the most beautiful hazel eyes, how I ever lived without seeing
them is beyond me,' he thought. He stood up and walked into the kitchen,
looking through the cabinets for some breakfast. He opened the two
cabinets above the stove last and found what he was looking for.
'Bingo, cereal. Just like she said, her favorites, corn flakes, and
frosted mini-wheats,' he thought as he reached for the mini-wheats.
He opened the left cabinet above the counter
and took out a bowl and poured himself a
little, then reached into the fridge and took out the milk. He poured
some on the cereal and sat at the table as the bathroom door opened and
Sarah came out wrapped in her robe.
"Ah, he's found my cereal, don't eat all of my mini-wheats," Sarah said
jokingly, shaking her finger at him as she walked to her room, running
her fingers through her wet hair.
"Ma'am, yes, ma'am," Brian said, saluting her. Sarah laughed as she
closed her bedroom door and Brian smiled to himself. Sarah really
was beautiful, in mind, spirit, and body, if only she would believe that.
'But then again, she's been through so much and had been told so much crap,
she probably believes it by now, just like she believes that she'll never
sing professionally,' Brian thought as he stood up and put his empty bowl
in the sink. He washed it out along with his fork and plate from
yesterday and put them in the drain. He was drying his hands as Sarah
came out of her room, fully dressed and brushing her wet hair.
"Oh my goodness, bless my soul, a man that does dishes without being told!"
She exclaimed, impersonating a southern accent to perfection.
"Yes, my lady, I am the ideal gentleman," he said, bowing.
Sarah laughed and returned into her room, leaving her door open.
"Gentlemen. I kinda never really knew what you fellas looked like,
its nice to know what you do look like now, I'll remember it," she said,
smiling as she put her hair up in a clip.
Brian smiled and crossed to her room. He walked up behind her and
wrapped his arms around her waist and looked in her mirror with her.
"I try, I really do," he said insistently, nodding his head.
Sarah laughed and put her hands on his. "I'm sure you do," she said,
patting his hands, then moving them from her waist.
'Now, did she do that because she doesn't like me? Or because she
doesn't like the way she looks? Or because she just wanted to move?'
Brian asked himself, watching her as she reached for the remote to her
"What's this?" Brian asked, spotting the milk ad he and the guys
had done the year before. There was white out pen on it in the shape
of thought and speech bubbles, all of them having writing in them.
"Oh, nothing, just an inside joke," Sarah said, blushing slightly and pushing
Brian out of her room. Brian smiled devilishly to himself as she
pushed him out and closed the door behind her.
"Ok, whatever," Brian said, feigning disinterest. He'd look later.
"What are we going to do today?" He asked, turning to face her.
Sarah shrugged. "I dunno, you chose, I was just going to go sit outside
in the neighbors backyard for a little while, maybe swim in the pool, but
if you want to do something else, that's fine," she said, walking to the
kitchen and peeling a banana.
"Sure, sounds like fun," Brian replied, following her and sitting at the
table. "I don't mind swimming, I haven't in a while."
Sarah raised her eyebrows at him. "Out of all the hotels you're at
with pools, not once in the last few months have you gone swimming?"
Brian shook his head. "Nope, haven't had time. Too hectic of
a schedule, I was usually too tired to do anything except sleep," he explained.
Sarah shrugged as she finished her banana. "C'est la vie," she said.
She walked back into her room and came out a few minutes later wearing
a long white Z100 T-shirt and a pair of sandals. "Coming now or later?"
Brian bit his lip. "I'll be right down, I'll go change," he said,
standing up. He went into the room on the left as Sarah walked downstairs
and outside and he changed quickly into a pair of boxers, not having his
swim trunks, and hurried to Sarah's room. He read the captions on
the milk ad, laughing his head off. The captions all had something
to do with the songs each guy sang or stuff that they said. They
were hilarious. Brian threw on a T-shirt and grabbed his hat as he
hurried down the stairs and opened the door. He was met with a little
girl that was about as tall as the door handle and as cute as could be.
"Hi, where's Sarah?" She asked.
"She's in the backyard," Brian said quickly, hurrying down the steps.
The little blond girl shrugged and knocked on the door next to Sarah's
door as he hurried around the corner and up the driveway. He saw
Sarah sitting on a bench, facing a little pond in the back. He opened
the gate and walked in the yard, walking over to her. He sat next
to her and looked at her slightly dazed expression.
"You ok?" He asked.
Sarah nodded and looked at him after a few moments. "Yeah, just thinking,"
she said. She stood up and walked to the back door of the house and
Brian watched her go. She opened the door with a key and out came
a bunch of cats and three dogs.
"Travis!" Sarah exclaimed, running after the white dog. She
caught him and led him to the side of the house, clipping a chain
on the dog's collar. Brian smiled as two little mutts ran over to him and
started sniffing his toes.
"That's Harley and that's Mercedes," Sarah said, gesturing to the dark
colored dog first, then the silver colored dog. "Mercedes is Harley's
mother, yet Harley is bigger," she said, smiling at the two dogs.
"The white dog is Travis, and he is a handful. The cats, don't get
me started on. I know about three of them by heart, the others I
never bothered to learn their names, they all come running when I open
a can of cat food, that's all that matters," she said.
Brian laughed as the two little dogs started jumping up and down, trying
to jump on his lap. He picked up Mercedes and scratched the dog behind
"Why aren't you picking up Harley?" He asked as Sarah sat down next
to him and the dog started jumping up and down in front of her.
"I can't, I'm allergic to dogs and cats and any other animal that has fur.
If I touch them, I'll have allergic reactions, and those aren't very pleasant,
so I generally make it a rule to not touch any animal," Sarah explained,
making a gesture to the dog. Harley stopped jumping up and down and
hurried away, Mercedes soon following.
"Time to lay out, you can go in the pool if you want, I just cleaned it,"
Sarah said, standing up. She walked to a lawn chair set out and sat
back on it, closing her eyes and letting the sun hit her body, making
her slight natural tan grow darker with each passing moment.
Brian stood up after watching Sarah for a few minutes and walked up on
the deck of the pool, looking over into the water. The pool was dug
into the ground, probably to give it more support, and it looked to be
about four to five feet deep. He stuck his feet in, very cold.
He inched in, finally going under after a few minutes and felt a
shock go through his body, but felt better after the July heat. He
swam by himself for a few minutes, then floated on his back, letting the
sun hit his slightly pale skin. He closed his eyes and listened to
the hum of the filter and was nice and relaxed when
it was all interrupted.
'SPLASH!' Sarah jumped into the pool, landing a few feet from Brian,
but splashing him thoroughly and scaring him.
"Sarah!" Brian exclaimed, regaining his balance on his feet.
"What?" Sarah asked as she came up. She was still wearing the
T-shirt, but now it was completely soaked and sticking to her body.
"What was that for?" Brian asked, swimming over to her.
"I don't like to step in little by little like your kind of chickens do,
if you just jump in the shock is over quicker and you're used to the water
that much faster," she said, dipping her head under the water and smoothing
her long hair back. "Besides, it looked like you were falling asleep
there, you don't want to do that in a pool."
Brian flicked his hand at her, sending up a small splash. "Haha,
very funny, you scared the crap out of me, I could've drowned."
Sarah pushed some water back at him, splashing him in the back. "If
you did, I would've tried to save you, but its only four and a half
feet, you would've been fine."
Brian smiled and turned around, splashing her again. Sarah splashed
back and they started a water fight. He moved closer to her and pulled
her under water. As she came up and looked at him shocked.
"No fair, you're stronger than I am!" She said, wiping the water
off her face.
"No I'm not, not by much," Brian said, shaking his head and sending water
from his hair everywhere.
Sarah splashed a little water into his face and he dunked her again.
He walked away from her satisfied and suddenly found himself under water.
"Haha, thought I couldn't do it, did you?" Sarah asked as he surfaced.
She'd grabbed him by his ankles and yanked them from beneath him, sending
"I knew you could, but I didn't think you would," Brian said, swimming
over to where she was leaning her head on the side. He stood in front
of her, watching her kick her legs under water to keep herself from moving.
She finally stood up straight in front of Brian, coming right over his
head by less than an inch.
"Shorty," she said, smiling.
"Hey! I am not short! I'm vertically challenged," Brian protested,
crossing his arms.
"Whatever. You mean short," Sarah said, swimming slowly away from
him. Brian smiled out in front of him, then darted back and swam quickly
over to Sarah, catching her. He tickled her mercilessly for a few
minutes, making her squirm in his arms.
"Stop! Stop! Stop! Ok, you aren't short!" Sarah
exclaimed through her laughter. Brian loved her bright smile as she
tried to wriggle out of his grasp, her laughter that sounded in his ears
like music. He finally stopped tickling her and held her in his arms
in front of him, facing him.
"I won't make you say something that isn't true, I am short," he said quietly,
looking in her eyes. He leaned forward to kiss her when Sarah backed
away from him.
"A-ha! So he admits it!" She exclaimed, swimming to the ladder.
She got out of the pool and wrapped a towel around her body, hugging herself.
The sun was gone behind some trees and even Brian could feel a chill.
He got out and dried himself off quickly with a towel, then tied it around
his waist. He walked over to Sarah and hugged her from behind as she stared
into the pond, rubbing her arms to dry them.
'Why does she do this to me?' He asked himself, holding her in his
arms as she relaxed. He saw her close her eyes and lean back on his
chest and he held her close to him, nuzzling her neck. He just held
her as time passed by them and the sun set in the horizon behind them,
leaving them in darkness.
"Come on, let's go in," Brian suggested.
He let go of Sarah and walked up on the pool deck, grabbing his shirt and
hat, putting them on and hanging the towel on the railing, letting it set
out to dry. He walked down the small set of stairs as Sarah walked
inside the house, leading all the cats and Harley and Mercedes inside.
Brian followed her and watched as she fed the cats and dogs, refilling
the water and cleaning everything out. She led him outside and locked
the door after leaving the light on and checked Travis' water and food,
making sure he had enough. She opened the gate and tossed the empty
can of cat food in the garbage and hung the towel that was around her waist
sarong-style on the fence to dry and walked back to her house with Brian
close behind, neither saying anything. He walked in the house and
watched as she went into the kitchen and
turned on the little night-light and closed the curtains.
"I'm going to bed, I'll see you in the morning,"
Sarah said finally, walking over to where Brian was standing. He
nodded and watched as Sarah walked into her room, closing the door behind
her. He sighed and went into his room, lying on the bed, thinking.