Caleb was sitting on the couch catching up on a few Netflix shows. He was nearly through the first season of Bloodlines and was excited to see the finale. His Mom didn’t like him watching these types of intense dramas but his Dad didn’t mind too much.
He heard soft footsteps padding up behind him, “Care if I join you?” a low pleasant voice asked.
He turned and saw Beau walking toward him. He paused the TV and gestured toward the couch. Her baggy pajamas and thick sweatshirt didn’t match the pillow fight image but his heart still quickened at the site of her.
“No, sit down. Just nearing the end of this episode. Mind if I finish?”
She shook her head and sat at the other end of the couch and browsed on her phone for a bit while he finished the episode.
As the credits rolled Caleb switched off the TV. “So, why aren’t you and Camryn, I don’t know, doing nails or makeup or something?” he asked with a laugh.
“You know that’s stereotypical right?” the dark haired girl smiled. “Besides we did that earlier,” she admitted with a laugh.
He smiled at her, she had a low throaty laugh. He found it extremely distracting, and sexy. Definitely sexy.
“So what were you watching?” Beau asked with a small head nod toward the TV.
“A Netflix original. It’s about a family that owns a bed and breakfast type resort on an island and a murder and drama. It’s really good. I only have two episodes left,” Caleb explained.
“Oh, I can go if you want to keep watching,” she offered starting to get up. “Camryn hit the sack already so I was a bit bored. I’m not really tired yet.”
“No, no, stay. I can finish another time,” He hoped he didn’t sound too desperate for her company.
“Ok,’ she sat back down “So, I remember seeing you playing chess with Camryn when you’d come to visit her at New Life. Are you any good?”
“I am,” he stated it as a fact, not as if he were bragging. “Well, and Cam sucks,” he laughed. “I can see her next move three moves before she makes it.” ‘She noticed me when I was there with Camryn?’ he thought with interest.
“You must be pretty smart then huh?”
Caleb made a non-committal shrug. “I dunno. Not really. I just like chess and I get it. I played a lot with my Dad when I was younger.”
Beau smiled and nodded.
“So, can I ask why you were at New Life?” Caleb slid a bit closer and looked at her hoping to not offend. From what Camryn had said, the patients left with very few secrets left anyway. He was hoping to understand Beau a bit more.
“Same as most I suppose,” Beau began. “Eating too little, stress binging. Similar to Camryn’s story I guess. I suppose the difference for me was probably mine wasn’t stress and fear like Camryn’s. I had home issues. My Mom’s boyfriend was far too friendly and I began trying to control the one thing in my life that I could control. My food and exercise.”
“Aww man, that really sucks,” Caleb said with anger in his voice.
“Yeah, my Mom threw him out when it all came out, but that was going on off and on for nearly a year before I finally got help. It was a rough time for sure,” Beau looked down. “Hey, you don’t mind if we change the subject do you? I mean,” she trailed off with a weak laugh.
“Yeah, I get it, you probably talked enough in therapy huh?”
The girl nodded.
Caleb’s fists clenched a few times thinking of some asshole with his hands on Beau. The thought literally made him see red for a moment.
“So, what do you do for fun?” Beau asked seeing the tension in Caleb’s face.
“Oh, I play video games, toss the football around with my friend Jayce. I work at a landscaping company on weekends. But I guess that’s not fun,” he laughed feeling the tension leaving him.
“What do you do?” ‘Not mentioning your good buddy Teagan I see,’ a small voice in his head piped up. He squashed that voice. He and Teagan were friends. That’s it.
“I love to visit the museum. I can spend hours just looking at the different paintings and sculptures. I want to be an artist.”
“Really? That’s cool,” he grasped for one of the only local artists names he knew. “I’m a fan of Debra Hurd. She has a painting at the Willow Creek museum that my Dad loves. It’s a keyboard. Like a piano, not like a computer keyboard,” he laughed.
“Oh, I’m familiar with Hurd’s work. She’s lovely with her color choices. She really evokes a lot of emotion.”
Caleb nodded. He’d been to the museum a few times with his Mom and Camryn but it had been a while. ‘Quick,’ he thought, ‘Think of someone else…’
“And of course the classics like Van Gogh’s Starry Night and The Scream by Munch,” he felt sort of lame now just trying to rattle off artists like he knew something about them.
The Starry Night just looked like yellow circles in big blobs of blue paint. The Scream looked like something Carter would be able to draw in a few years. He didn’t really understand art at all, but wanted so much to have something in common with this exciting dark beauty.
She nodded and her eyes took on a drifty far away look. “Yes, The Scream is one of my favorites actually. Supposedly it’s what Munch felt at sunset one evening while walking with friends. He has been quoted as saying he felt the ‘infinite scream of Nature‘.” she looked back at Caleb and smiled. “It’s cool that you know that painting.”
Caleb felt his ears turn a bit pink. Her passion for the classic painting was contagious and he felt a bit awkward about thinking just a moment ago that Carter could paint the Scream.
“So where do you see yourself going with Art?” He slid back on the couch and stretched out a bit.
“Well, I’m going to spend this Summer at Granite Falls. They have a kids camp program for art. It won’t pay well, but it will look great on my college applications.”
“Oh that’s great! Maybe I can visit you this summer if my folks feel like camping. I know my Mom has some old camping gear laying around in storage somewhere in this place.”
“Well, that would be fun for sure. I know I’d love to see Camryn and her whole family this summer.” Beau smiled at Caleb. He felt that same quickening of his pulse.
The pair talked for several hours and Caleb didn’t remember feeling this same level of excitement before taking Teagan out on their train wreck of a date. Maybe this was the real thing?!
“Well, good night Caleb, it was great talking with you,” Beau covered a yawn with her hand. “I’m super tired suddenly.”
“Yeah, g’night Beau. I’m glad we got to chat too.” he was sorry that she was tired. He felt he could talk to her all night. He looked at the clock on the wall. “Wow, it’s nearly 3 am!”
“I know! I’ve got to get some sleep!” she chuckled with her sexy laugh.
Caleb wanted to hug her but felt that would be weird. They really had just gotten to know each other a bit.
“Hey Caleb, is it weird that I want to hug you? I mean we really just met, even though not really.”
“I don’t think it’s weird!” he really hoped he sounded casual and cool and not as nervous and excited as he felt. Oh god, please don’t think of pillow fights… think of running, think of soccer, think of the Olympics, think of anything else.
The End G02: 13