I’m pacing around my bedroom nervously. Its a mess. I’ve never been more aware of the fact that I don’t contribute much to the cleaning of our place.
Finally, resigned to the fact that I have no hope of cleaning my room before Morgan arrives, I stop pacing and look through my blinds. I can see the street below, busy with slow moving traffic due to the slippery roads. I can hear the people in the music store downstairs, talking. It’s so quiet up here. No one is home right now. I don’t know why either. Even if they told me where they were all going I probably wasn’t listening.
I move away from the window, Morgan wouldn’t be here yet. I’m so nervous I start looking through my closet, for a nice sweater or something to wear. I hate all my clothes. Finally I decide to wear what I was already wearing. Cuz I don’t want Morgan to think I changed my clothes just because he’s dropping something off for me.
I go back to the blinds again and chew my fingernails till Morgan arrives. I see the car pull up in front of the music store and park in the loading zone. I see Morgan get out, box first. It is big! I feel excited now. I haven’t gotten a birthday present in a box that big since I was a little kid. I’m worried that Morgan’s mom is going to leave her car there, in the music store’s loading zone, and try to come up and talk to my mom.
But no one gets out from the driver’s side and Morgan waves goodbye as the car pulls away. I run out of my room and fumble with the door knob on the upstairs door. Then I run down the stairs, almost tripping on the bottom step, and rush down the narrow hallway that leads to the door facing the street. When I get to the front door my heart is beating wildly. I unlock it.
Morgan can barely see over the box he is holding.
“Hi.” I say, taking the box from him. I set it inside the hallway by my feet, staying in the doorway to block Morgan from entering.
He is wearing those kind of mitts that have the finger holes cut open so you can use your fingers for things like texting. He’s got a grey jacket on and a brown toque over his wavy hair, the curls trying to escape from underneath. When I don’t invite him in he looks at me with his light brown eyes, waiting. I don’t say anything. He smiles, looking unsure now, and I smile back.
“My mom will be back to pick me up in an hour.” He says, his breath making puffs in the cold air as he speaks.
“Sorry, you should have asked me first… about coming up.” I’m playing with my fingers nervously now, worried. What am I going to do with him now? He can’t come upstairs.
“I can’t go up?” He asks. “I won’t get in your mom’s way, I promise.” I don’t want him to come up and see that we live here and that its messy cuz I never do my chores. What if he’ll think differently of me cuz I’m not rich? Part of me wants to let him come up, but its just not a good idea.
Morgan waits for me to answer. I can’t come up with any excuses when he’s looking right at me, and his eyes are so captivating.
“So you got contacts?” I say instead.
“Yeah.” Morgan bounces around a little, trying to warm up.
“How come you never got contacts before?” I ask, folding my arms against the cold.
“I tried once but I was really bad at putting them in. Plus they ‘re really expensive, the ones I need.”
“So it just wasn’t worth it to use them before.”
“But its worth it now?”
My stomach does a little flip when Morgan smiles. I still can’t believe he’s actually here. He could be at Lindsay’s if he wanted to be, but he’s not. He’s here instead. And he brought me a present! I want so badly to give him a big hug for bringing it. But I feel frozen in place.
“Do you want to go across the street to the donut shop and talk?” Morgan asks, moving a bit closer.
I do! I do want to go! But instead I say,
“I can’t.” I lie, unable to look him in the eyes as I say it. I keep my gaze down, inspecting a piece of wood that is coming loose at the base of the door frame. I push it down into place with my toe.
“Okay.” Morgan concededs with a sigh. “I’m gonna wait for my mom at the donut shop, cuz its cold.”
I nod, feeling really bad that I’m not letting him come upstairs. He looks at me one last time before running across the street, maybe to see if I’d changed my mind.
I feel like crying.
“Sorry.” I say, even though he can’t here me anymore.
Then I can no longer see him through the falling snow, and he’s gone.
I close the door and lock the deadbolt.