Chapter 3

“You up yet” I sent via text. Two minutes later my phone beeped.

“Yep. Couldn’t really sleep last night soooo I’ve basically been up like 3hrs. School out already?”
“Yup. What do you want on your bagel?”

Thirty seconds later my phone beeped.

“What?”
“What?”

Ten seconds later my phone beeped.

“Where are you?”
“Three blocks from your apartment. You gonna tell me what you want on your bagel or do you wanna cosplay as 50 Cent?”

I didn’t have a chance to lower my phone before the next message came in.

“You’re an idiot. I want cream cheese on a poppy seed bagel.”
“See you in fifteen.”

There’s a diner not too far from her apartment building that she and I frequent for breakfast. And sometimes lunch. They offer a wide variety of different breakfast foods and once the clock struck eleven it was time for lunch.

There wasn’t much of a morning crowd but that’s due to it being almost lunch time. I’m just making it for their breakfast menu. Otherwise I would have had to trek seven blocks to Dunkin Donuts. It’s just not the same thing when you’re used to one thing.

I was the only one in line so my food was done in five minutes. Two medium coffees along with two bagels with cream cheese in a brown paper bag in my hand and I was off.

At Wentworth High School Denise Maxwell was considered the hottest girl in school. Rumor has it she’s got eyes for me. Her continued flirting confirms this. I’ll leave her for Novak because I’ve only got eyes for Charity Banks- the hottest girl in all five boroughs.

She may have a porn star name but her awkwardness would not get her cast in any x-rated film. Although I hear girls like her are in demand. Aren’t they all?

I met Charity after a game last season. She was heading to the NY Comic-Con dressed as someone from an anime called Death Note- Misa Amane, I think her name is.

You couldn’t tell by looking at her but Charity is very much into graphic novels. Her father gave her his copy of The Killing Joke when she was six and hasn’t put them down since.

On our first date she said it is because of The Killing Joke that she became inspired to persue art. So she set her sights on the School of Visual Arts. This is her second year attending. I envy Charity for knowing what she wants to do with her life. I still have no clue.

Then again I can’t really blame myself, or anything for that matter, on not having at least an idea. Nothing has really kept my interest for very long besides baseball and of late, Charity. Could I turn the two of them into a future, or am I setting myself up for an inning ending double play?

I rang the outside buzzer to Charity’s apartment. Without asking who it was she simply returned the call by letting me in. I took the elevator up to the third floor. Her apartment is 3D. Ironic.

Charity answered the door in a loose fitting cut up Guns N Roses tee shirt and leggings. No socks and from the look of it, no bra either.

Charity wrapped her arms around me almost causing me to spill the drinks. She let go and then took both coffee cups while leading me deeper into the two bedroom apartment. It was just her and her father, a detective in the NYPD. Nice man, seems to like me plenty. But what father actually likes any of their daughters boyfriend’s?

“Thank you for breakfast, bubbie.”

That’s one of many nick names she’s given me.

“Might be a little cold. I don’t think the guy kept the bagel in the thingy for too long.”
“You mean the toaster?”
“No this looked like something else.”
“Dunno any other machine you heat bagels in other than toasters, but, okay.”

Charity sipped her coffee while crossing her legs on the living room couch. She’s thin but not unhealthy looking. Charity has a very healthy appetite. Might rival two teenage boys combined. There really isn’t anything special about Charity’s appearance but I’m so drawn to her. Maybe it’s her weirdness like how she nods three times before responding to someone. Or it could be how, by some miracle, the way strands of her hair fall in her eyes makes her look dramatic- almost poetic. It somehow reminds me of those toy soldiers that come equipped with a parachute. I don’t know why…

You would never guess the two of us were dating. I look like a jock while she’s the class nerd. Just because I play sports doesn’t mean I’m a jock…right? I have a feeling people “root” for us because she’s black and I’m white. Interracial couples are in season and according to what I’ve heard, we’re a “hot item.”

“How was practice?”
“Today was just a meeting. The first practice isn’t for another two weeks.”
Three nods, then “When is your first game?”
“Not sure. But I’m sure it isn’t far after.”
Three nods. “May I come to your first game?”

Charity asked this as if she needed permission to see me. She did this all the time. It was like a game to her. I think she’s trying to be cute. I simply let her be.

“Of course you can.”

Charity’s face lit up. She uncrossed her legs and lept into my lap, wrapping her arms around my neck.

“Isn’t your dad home?”
Three nods. “Nope. He’s working overtime. I overheard on his radio that there was a murder similar to, uhh, what’s his name? The guy who leaves roses at each crime scene?”
“Name isn’t crossing my mind but I know who you’re talking about.”
Three nods. “Right. Well, him. So, my dads not gonna be home for a while. Paperwork and stuff.”

I playfully crossed my eyebrows. “Last time you said something similar in that way, we ended up in your bed. Naked. For an entire afternoon.”
Three nods and a grin. “What’s wrong with that?”
“I wanted you to draw me like one of your French girls. Instead you used me.”
No nod. “I did no such thing!” She said with mock surprise. “But speaking of drawing,”

Charity got up and raced for her room where she returned a minute later brandishing a single piece of paper. On it was a picture of me done with acrylic. It was great. She was growing more talented every day which only made me envy her that much more.

“You like it?” She asked in a tone like a child awaiting approval.
I looked up at her with a smile. In that smile I said ‘of course I like it. I like everything you draw. You’re amazing. I’m happy that you’ve come so far with your talents.’

But my vocal cords said “it’s awesome, babe.”

Charity didn’t require many words of affection. What my eyes said I knew she could feel. What I actually said is the abridged version. Both gave her heart the right tug which gave mine the same.

I don’t know if that’s what love is but it feels like it might be. Charity and I have been dating practically a year. That’s the only thing officially said between us. The feelings are there. We have no reason to look elsewhere for the affection and attention given to one another. I’m happy and I believe she’s happy.

Isn’t that enough?

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