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Fiction Teens & Young Adult

“God damn it.” I curse under my breath as I storm out of the office building. Fired. Again. I think to myself. I’d taken up six different jobs this past month, all of which lasted no longer than a week before each employer decided to call it a day and run a red line through my name, fired. 

I flounce through the parking lot, making my way to the bright red mini cooper that my mom had bought me last year for my birthday in hopes that it would bring me “luck” and “good fortune”. As I pull open the car door to the driver's seat, I notice the flat tire laying deflated to my left. 

“Hah. Red lucky car she says.” I mumble under my breath. Picking my phone up from the dashboard, I swiftly dial a number. 

“Hey Cherry what’s up?” the voice on the other end asks nonchalantly. 

“Yeah, I actually have a bit of a problem Noah.” I respond, tapping my fingers in the window of my car.

“Ah,” he says, “Typical Cherry.” I hear him chuckle lightly on the other end of the line.

“Yeah, yeah.” I roll my eyes, feeling a smile tugging on the corner of my lips. “Can you come and pick me up?”

There’s a brief pause which makes me nervous. My luck wouldn’t be bad to the point that even my boyfriend would refuse to help me would it?

“Anything for you baby.” he finally replies.

I feel my cheeks grow hot, “Cut the crap Noah and get over here then.” I laugh and he follows suit.

After a moment, he speaks again, “Cherry?”

“Yeah?”

“Where exactly is “here””

I smack my hand against my forehead, registering the fact that I hadn’t even told him my location. 

“My office. I’m at my office, Noah.” I tell him.

He hesitates, “Which office is that? You’ve switched jobs more times this month than anyone I know has in a year.” 

“Switched”, was a nice way to put it, I thought. 

“The one near the milkshake shop that we went to last week. Remember? The huge blue tile building. I pointed it out to you the other day.” 

“Oh. I think I remember now,” he paused again, “Ok, I’ll be there in ten.”

***

A bright blue pick up truck pulls over beside my “lucky” car. I see the door on the driver's side prop open smoothly, reflecting sunlight into my eyes. A young man steps out, throwing me a quick smile when his eyes lock with mine. 

He has thick dirty blonde hair and deep blue eyes which sparkle in the sun. He’s tall and well built with defined muscles on his shoulders and back. His smile sends butterflies loose in my stomach as he approaches me, glancing around the parking lot in curiosity. In other words, he’s the stereotypical image of a Ken doll. 

“Hey Noah. Thanks for coming” I say, returning his smile with a grin. 

“My pleasure.” he jokes teasingly.

“You didn’t tell me you got a job at Chick Fil A.” he laughs at my remark, and I roll my eyes.

“So what’s the problem?” he asks me, pulling a loose strand of hair behind my ear.

I point to the flat tire. “Just my luck.” I crouch down to get a closer look at the wheel, scrutinizing the areas around it in a futile attempt to discern what caused the deflation. 

“Yikes.” I turn my head to find Noah crouched down besides me, analyzing the tire himself. He feels around the ground. I assume he’s come to the same conclusion as me and is searching for a nail of some sort that could’ve punctured the wheel. 

As he probes around, his hands brush mine, and our eyes meet. In the next moment, I feel adrenaline rush through my veins. My heart rate doubles in speed, and suddenly, it’s much too hot for my liking.

Then, Noah stands up, scoops me off my feet, and carries me to the driver's seat of his blue pick up. He sets me down gently, and I stare at him in anticipation. I don’t have to wait long because the next second his lips are on mine, and we’re kissing. His hands run through my hair and mine press against his chest.

“You’re so damn beautiful Angela.” he says as our lips part.

My body goes cold, and I sense Noah become still, both of us registering what he just said. 

I push him off me forcefully, “Angela? Who the hell is Angela?” I accost, anger beginning to flood through me. 

Noah gives me a nervous shrug, “Angela? What are you talking about Cherry? Who’s Angela?”

I give him an irritated look, “Don’t play coy with me. I heard what you said. Are you cheating on me Noah?” I immediately regret what I say after, realizing how stupid I must have sounded. Of course he was cheating on me. Was that even a question?

I turn the other direction and start running because I’m not sure if I’d be able to keep the tears in any longer. Hurt and betrayal hit me like a hurricane, pain and frustration following suit. 

Not only did my boyfriend just call me by a different name in the middle of our make out session, but I also just lost my job and for what seemed like the hundredth time. To add onto all that crap, I didn’t even have a working car to escape the awkward situation afterward.

Just my luck. I think to myself. My crappy, shitty luck. 

***

“That’s tough Cherry.” Molly, my best friend remarks as I finish summarizing the crappy, shitty day that I had. 

In my apartment, she’s lounging on the couch in the living room, both legs sprawled over the soft cushions that I had laid on top to compensate for the hard material the actual couch was made of. As usual, her ivory black hair was tied up in two tight pigtails, complimenting her eyes which were a dark shade of jet black. She tugs on the pineapple pajamas she’s “borrowed” from my closet and licks her lips, waiting for me to speak again.

I shrug, “Just my luck.” 

Then, as if struck by lightning, Molly bolts up from the couch and gives me a sly smile as she tugs on both ends of her pigtails.

“What do you say we turn that around tonight then?” she asks, nearly squealing in excitement.

I give her a dubious look, “I’m going to need further explanation and clarification on what exactly you mean by that.”

Her grin widens, “I’ve got a meeting for Disco night at the bar just across from here. It’ll be fun!”

“You’re kidding right? I lost my job. My car tire deflated, and I caught my boyfriend cheating on me in the middle of our make out session.” I pause, out of breath, “And now, your big idea is for me to go and get drunk at the bar with you and your boyfriend?”

Molly shrugs innocently, “I mean if you want to turn your luck around, you’re gonna need to turn your life around too.”

“You’re unbelievable.” I say, “When do we leave?”

***

The music blares in my ears as I walk across the bar room, making my way to the bar table that Molly and her boyfriend have already found.

“This isn’t exactly what I had in mind when you said fun.” I yell at her over the cacophony of sounds bouncing off the walls. Around me, people are dancing, drinking, and screaming at the top of their lungs. Disco lights scatter across the floor and wall, adding color to every corner of the room.

“What did you say?” Molly hollers back at me as she takes another sip of her third cup of cocktail. 

“Never mind.” I mumble under my breath, pushing past the swarms of bodies in a vain attempt to find the exit. My shoulder brushes into another person, and I look up to see Noah, staring back at me.

Anger boils in me, but it’s not directed at him. It’s me. This boy that meant the world to me, broke my heart, and didn’t even bother to give me a call afterward. Yet, upon first seeing him again, my heart skipped a beat, and I grew hot in embarrassment. 

“Hey Cherry.” he says, and I turn away, ready to escape the situation once again.

He grabs my arm quickly and pulls me into a tight hug, “Hey don’t leave. Not again.” 

My heart races faster as my skin touches his, and it seems like we’re inseparable.

“Let go of me Noah.” I order, although I know I don’t want him to. 

He looks down at me with guileless eyes, “What’s wrong. Why did you leave? Weren’t we fine just this morning?” 

I stare at him in disbelief, “You called me Angela. My name is Cherry, and you called me Angela.”

As I say this, relief flushes across his face, “Angelos.” he sighs, “ I said Angelos, Cherry. It means Angel in Greek. My family is from Greece, and I grew up speaking the language. Do you remember me telling you that?”

I think back to the first few times we went out to get coffee and recall the conversations that we had. I did remember him mentioning being of Greek heritage. 

“Oh.” I say, “Then why didn’t you tell me at the parking lot?”

“I didn’t get a chance to explain before you ran off Cherry. I wanted to call you afterwards, but you never answered.”

I want to tell him I didn’t receive any calls, but then realize my phone had died moments after I had called Noah in the morning. 

Just my luck. I think.

“So there is no Angela?” I ask, inundated with embarrassment for the drama I had caused.

“Angelos is you Cherry. You are my Angel.” I can feel him leaning in closer to me, waiting for my confirmation.

The next second, I pull him to me and kiss him. His lips are warm and soft on mine as we embrace. His arms are wrapped tightly around my waist, mine around his neck. We stay like this for who knows how long while everything around us shuts out. The only things that exist are him and me.

Huh. I think. Maybe my luck isn't that bad after all.  

June 16, 2021 16:17

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