Life In General
By Jade

She's looking at me.

I can feel it. It's like her eyes can see through me and into my soul. Oddly enough, I try to ignore it. I know I can't, because it's just so intense that I feel as if one more second of her staring at me would cause me to spontaneously combust. There are so many theories on spontaneous human combustion and, well, I don't want to become some kind of experiment to science.

Now that I think about it, maybe it's people like her and the way she is intently staring at me that causes these things to happen to people like me. I don't know, but I don't really want to think about it. Truthfully, I like the fact that she's staring at me. It makes me feel, I don't know, important.

I must be crazy to think this. I mean, really. For all I know she's staring at me because I have ketchup on my shirt and she thinks I'm embarrassing to be seen with in public. Ok, I just checked; no ketchup. This is good. That means she's staring at me for some other reason.

A million thoughts are running through my head right now, but I can't comprehend anything but her. The way her hair cascades across her shoulders and down her back. The way her eyes are looking intently at me, but I guess you've figured that out by now. The way her lips are just perfect. Her amazingly soft skin that brushed against my hand when we both reached for the same menu. I felt as if my hands were sandpaper, compared to her hands, which felt like silk.

Then I ask myself why I'm thinking these things about her. I'm in a relationship and I'm totally happy with it. Well, truthfully, the last part is a slight lie. Life as I know it will never be absolute bliss, but sometimes it comes pretty close.

Sometimes, I find myself wondering if I was ever normal, but all I seem to think about is everything that has happened in my not so normal life. I used to strive to achieve that state of normality, where everything was planned and carried out so that it didn't leave time for anything else. And my life was like that, normal that is, until that day. Then everything changed...and not only for me. For my friends, my parents, people I hardly knew. I won't bore you with the specifics, but believe me...normal was completely out of the picture.

I don't think I would change anything though. If I did, then I wouldn't have been able to get to know her the way I have. Could I live with that? Would I want to live with that? No. Just seeing her face light up with a smile was enough to make me forget about being normal. No, just being right here, in this booth, with her sitting across from me was enough to make me die a happy person.

Normal was extremely overrated, anyway.

"Are you going to order?"

I snapped out of my daze and focused on my surroundings. She was looking at me again. "What?" I asked, blinking a few times.

She smiled again. "Are you going to order?"

"Oh. No, I don't think so." I glanced at the menu and then up at her. "Well, I guess I can. My parents are out of town, anyway. It will keep me from having to cook for myself."

"Something I know all too well." Isabel smiled and studied the menu. "My dad is always going out of town for some kind of business meeting. For some reason or another, my mom usually decided to pick that time to visit the rest of the family."

"Maybe she's lonely." I said softly, looking up at her over my menu.

Isabel looked thoughtful for a moment. "Maybe." She put her menu down and murmured under her breath. "Again, something I know all too well." She said it so quietly, I almost didn't hear her. Almost.

"We all feel alone sometimes." I bravely reached out and touched her hand, causing her to look at me. "I'm here if you ever need me."

Isabel studied my face for a moment. During that moment, everything in my body stopped. My brain didn't send any messages to the rest of my body, causing my heart to stop beating and my lungs stopped taking in air.

Then she laced her fingers with mine and smiled. "I know." Isabel then stood up. "I'm not hungry anymore. Maybe we can take a walk instead."

I assume my body began to function once more, because I took a deep breath and nodded. "Sure." I followed her out of the building and we walked down the side walk silently.

It was one of those silences where you were absolutely comfortable. We didn't need to talk; if we had then the moment probably would have been ruined by some nervous comment one of us would make. It would probably be me, just because Isabel seemed to always been calm and collected.

A few minutes later, I realized we were outside her house. I saw the Jeep in the driveway, which meant Max was home. I didn't want to talk to him, not tonight, so I just stood on the porch with Isabel.

"Tonight was fun." Isabel commented lightly, brushing a lock of her long, blonde hair out of her face.

"Yeah, definitely." I nodded and nervously fidgeted with the hem of my shirt.

"Maybe we can do it again sometime." She suggested, as if she was trying to prod me into saying more.

"Sure." I looked at her and smiled. "I'd like that. A lot."

"Tomorrow then?" Isabel asked. "I don't have any plans."

"It's a date." I said, before realizing it was the wrong choice of words. "Well, not a date, it's just a..." I blushed. "I'll just see you tomorrow."

Isabel laughed and opened the door. "Call me." She said, before walking inside.

"I will." I said softly, before turning around and walking down the steps.

"Wait!" Isabel called, the door banging shut behind her. She jogged over to me and put her hand on my arm.

I turned around and looked at her. "What is it?" I asked.

"I just..." Isabel trailed off.

"You just...?" I prompted her, trying not to dwell on the fact that she was still touching my arm.

Isabel moved her hands to my shoulders and closed the space between us, before pressing her lips against mine. "Thank you." She whispered, taking a step back.

I just nodded, at a complete loss for words, before managing to string together something coherent to say. "Goodnight, Isabel."

Isabel smiled again; something she seemed to be doing more frequently these days. She turned and walked up the steps, but before she disappeared, she turned her head to look at me. "Goodnight, Liz."


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