Hazy Days and Cloudy NightsHow It All Got Started 035: Alex
Saturday, June 23, 1984
“Are you still there?”
Alex blinked. He tried to relax his grip on the telephone receiver.
“Yeah.” He swallowed. “What?”
“Nothing.” Angel sounded… disappointed? Maybe just tired?
Alex exhaled and closed his eyes.
“Yeah, I do,” he said. “I do like you.”
Alex listened to faint white noise and little crackles on the phone line until he couldn’t take it any more.
“You still there?”
She laughed, nervous and quick. “Yeah.” Another, shorter space of nothing, then, “Like, more than a friend, like me?”
Alex went for broke. “Yep. Kinda, um, took me by surprise.”
Hope bloomed, pushing at his ribs. “You… too, what?”
Alex said, “That’s why I came by. On Monday.”
“I knew there was something up with you,” she said. “Uh… sorry about Mike.”
“Oh, well, heck,” Alex floundered. This was still Angel, he reminded himself. His best friend. They could talk about anything. Why should this change that? “You didn’t know I was coming by.”
“Wish I had.”
Alex chuckled. “I’ll call next time.”
“That would have been good. I could canceled on him.”
Her laugh, still hushed and restrained, probably to keep from waking up the rest of her house, was a little more relaxed. “Yeah.”
“So… how’s that going?”
“He’s a dick,” she said. “You should be proud of me. I figured this one out in less than a month.”
She’d been hanging out with that guy for a month..?
Put that away for now.
“I am proud of you.”
“So, um… how’d you know?”
“You were acting like a boy.”
“Like a boy? You mean stupid?”
She choked back another laugh. “God, I’m gonna wake up my dad..! No, not stupid, Alex. Just… I knew something was up.”
“Okay, I’m not sorry. I just, like… I don’t know. I don’t want this to, y’know, mess us up.”
“I mean, I don’t…”
“I…” This wasn’t easy. He was totally at a disadvantage. “I don’t know if…”
She cut him off. “How tired are you?”
“Um, I don’t know. Not really? Why?”
“Can you stay awake long enough for me to get there?”
There was that hope balloon again. Alex sat up straight on the kitchen floor.
“Sure I can.”
“Okay. I’ll see you soon. ‘Bye.”
The dial tone sang.
He hung up and stood in the dark kitchen. Angel was coming over. That had to be good, right?
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