When I look into Aaron’s eyes, I feel little brown butterflies flutter and bounce around in my stomach. He catches my gaze and holds it, and then smiles. I smile too. I feel like I'm starring in a rom-com whenever I'm with him.
“I’m glad you’re here.” He says softly while returning his gaze back to the cassettes he fumbles with.
I pause, and search his face intently, then I mutter a mere, “Me too.” I stare at him and study all his mannerisms I have memorized.
He stops and immediately stares me dead in the eye, ideas spinning around in that perfect head of his.
“Let’s take a break from this project. We should play a game or something.”
“Oh...sure.” I say, a bit disappointed, but I would never object to Aaron.
“Alright, what about truth or dare or something like that? Just a short game I guess.” He shrugs, and I can’t help but agree with him, “Or 20 questions?” I suggest.
“Ok!” He lights up and fixes his posture, then says proudly, “I’ll think of a sentence, and you try and guess it.”
“Hm.” I breathe out steadily.
“Alright, I’m ready.” He waits for a response, but I’m staring at his dad from behind us.
He shoots me a confused look, then turns around and sits patiently while he waits for his dad to say something.
“Hey, boy, I’m going to your Mama’s grave. I’ll be home by 10:00, ok?”
“Um, yeah.” Aaron’s response is tired and dark.
“Hi, Nina. Alright, bye you two.” His dad nods simply to me, and then leaves out of the front door.
Aaron waits for me to say something, but I’m waiting for him to say something, so that leaves us stuck.
“What were we doing again?” I ask curiously while taking my stare to the shag carpeted floor.
I graciously run my fingers through the dark green color and wait for Aaron to respond.
“A break, ok, well I have the sentence anyways, so guess...I guess.” He murmurs.
“Um, is it a person?” I ask carefully.
“Nope, but it’s related to a person. That’s question number 1, you’ve got 19 left.”
“Alright, is it about our project?”
“Is it about me?”
“Wow, this is harder than I thought.” I try a smile at him, but his expression is grave and sorrowful.
“Sure is.” He replies with black eyes.
I really want to ask him the question, but his eyes just aren’t responding to me.
“Aaron, I’m sorry about your mom.” I mutter.
“I know.” He shrugs, then gives me a forced tooth-showing smile, “We all go at some point.”
“Uh, yeah.” I retort calmly, I’ve never been an expert at comforting people.
“Well keep going.” He rolls his eyes playfully and waits for me to say something else.
“What about like something to do with school?”
He shakes his head slowly, a small smile plastered across his face.
“Can you give me a hint or something?”
“Sure.” He tilts his head to the side, “It counts as a question though.”
I nod my head feverishly, “Tell me.”
“Alright it’s something that is going to happen soon.”
“Aaron that’s a terrible hi-“
“Shh! Keep guessing.” He rises from his seating position and I look up at him.
He begins to walk away into the darkness and I follow after him, my heart racing. I follow him into the kitchen where he grins mischiviously.
“Is it about you?”
He nods his head.
“It’s about you and me? And something happening soon?”
I smile, “You can just tell me Aaron.”
“No, I want you to guess.”
“Alrighty so it’s me and you, and something happening soon. What could it be?” I say sarcastically, he shrugs, and leans against the kitchen counter.
“You’ve guessed seven times. 13 guesses left.” He retorts quickly, his hair hangs in front of his eyes, creating an ominous shadows where his eyes are.
I stay quiet for a minute, why would he put me on the spot like this?, “Do you like me Aaron? Is this what this is about?”
He looks down at the tile below us, and then nods his head. “I like you Nina.”
“Is the sentence something to do with me and you becoming an item?”
“Aaron I think I won the game.” I say cheerily, but he still looks morose, “Is that not it-“
“You have 11 guesses left.”
“I don’t think I have to guess the exact sentence you thought of though. Isn’t it just the gist of the sentence or whatever? You like me I like you, is that it?”
“Nina, you have 10 guesses left.” His eyes don’t move from the tile floor, and my heart starts to pound harder.
“Aaron what’s the sentence already. I’ve had a long enough break.” I start inching back to the front room, but his hand catches my wrist, his icy grip shocks my body.
“Does it happen in a month?”
He nods his head tediously and his grip on my wrist loosens, “You’re getting closer Nina.”
His hand begins to shake slightly, and I stare at him for a long period of time, his voice startles me.
“Well aren’t you going to guess silly?”
“Is what’s going to happen...” I trail off, and clear my throat, “is it something like we’re going to date?”
“Are we going to kiss?”
I swallow really hard, like I’m swallowing a rock. His hand slowly reaches for a drawer handle, and he draws out a sharp knife, my reflection flashes towards me as he tilts his head to the side, “You’re getting colder Nina.”
My hand points to the knife, and I study his face. Now crazed with anticipation, his mouth snarls and he is slouching uncomfortably.
“Is it something to do with that...?” My finger jabs the air towards the knife.
He shrugs and bites his lip, “Something like that, I think you have...what like...4 guesses left?”
My foot takes a step back from him, and then I take two more steps away from him.
“Aaron if...if you’re p-pranking me right now it’s not funny.”
“You’re such a silly girl Nina. Keep guessing.”
“Are you trying to-to stab me with that?”
He nods his head and mutters, “3.”
I whip around, and my legs begin to power me forward, but before I know it, Aaron’s latched onto my hair, and he yanks me backwards, making me fall onto the floor with a loud thud. My stomach feels like it’s going through sixty loop-de-loops, and my chest feels like it’s just been hit, and it’s a homerun.
Aaron stands over me, his hair dangles in my face. He grabs my arms, and I begin to struggle, I whip back and forth, trying to untangle myself from his stone-cold grip.
“SEE, Nina, when a silly girl like you tries to charm herself into my life...it just reminds me of how my mom was. I-“ I yank free when he’s not paying attention, he seethes with rage, and whacks my head with a nearby hanging telephone. I see stars dancing with each other in my vision.
“God, you really put up a fight. Just relax for a minute,” He touches my cheek softly and chews the inside of his mouth, he runs the cold knife across my neck gently, threatening me, “my mom always tried to be charming, or whatever you could call it, and then one day bam! She’s dead. It’s just pretty girls like you always remind me of her, and I like keeping you all right where I want you.” He rises the knife above his head, then right before he plunges it through me he smirks, “Keep guessing.”
“W-what?” I shake and shutter with fear, my stomach is twisted into a tight knot.
“Keep guessing, remember...20 questions?”
“Aaron likes to kill girls?”
“Aaron is going to kill Nina tonight.”
“Wow,” He smiles brilliantly, “clever.”