He just laughed and started driving. “How about Chinese? You like that, right?” he asked, glancing at me from the corner of his eye.
“Yeah, I love Chinese food!” I chirped happily, grinning like I’d won the lottery. Jake hated Chinese food so we hardly ever had it; Liam smiled and drove us to the restaurant on the high-street.
We were now sitting, eating our food. We had been chatting happily for nearly an hour and I was again surprised by how easy it was to talk to him. I’d known him for twelve years and I’d never really just spoken to him properly about stuff. His leg brushed mine under the table and made me jump, not because of my fear, but because it sent a little jolt through my system, making the hairs on the back of my neck prick up and my pulse quicken.
I decided now was the time to sort it out, there was only one other couple in the restaurant so we could talk freely, but I just didn’t know how to begin. “Liam, I think we need to talk about something,” I said quietly.
He cocked his head to the side slightly and looked at me curiously. “OK. What’s up?”
I took a deep breath, I just needed to get it out and see what he thought about it. “I really don’t know what you want from me; I mean, you can have any girl that you want. I’m an emotional wreck for goodness sake… I mean…. I flinch every time anyone touches me. I…. I can’t give you what you want,” I rambled, frowning. Wow, that came out a little different than I thought, but at least it got the point across.
“You’re worried about sex,” he stated, looking at me knowingly, not seeming to be bothered by this conversation at all.
I gulped and nodded. “I just…. I’m not ready for anything like that, so if that’s what you want then there really is no point in starting anything,” I said quietly, looking down at my plate and wishing the ground would swallow me again.
He put his hand under my chin and lifted my face up to look at his; he was smiling his beautiful smile. “I can wait as long as you want. I really am crazy about you, it’s not about sex,” he said tenderly, making my heart start to race.
Is he serious or is this a trick so I’ll give it up sooner? “What if I said I didn’t believe in ha**ng s*x before marriage?” I asked, testing him.
His eyes showed his amusement, but he just kept his face straight. “Then I’d say how about we get married as soon as you’re old enough. Eighteen is the legal age, right?” he replied, winking at me.
I laughed but was still unsure what he meant, I wasn’t eighteen for another two years, is he saying that he’ll wait two years for me? No sex until after marriage wasn’t something that I believed in; I’d just wanted to see his reaction. “I don’t believe in that, but I don’t know how long it’ll be, Liam, honestly.” I chewed on my lip nervously.
“Angel, I said I can wait as long as you need. I want to be with you.” He looked me right in the eyes as he spoke. I didn’t see one ounce of doubt or trickery there and I felt hope building up inside me. Was he really that into me that he would wait for me?
“What about in three months’ time when you still haven’t gotten any, and some random girl throws herself at you, could you wait then?” I asked sceptically.
He laughed. “You really do think I’m some sex crazed player, don’t you?” he asked. I nodded in confirmation. I didn’t think it, I knew it, he slept around a lot! “Do you know why I’ve been with all of those girls?” he asked, suddenly looking uncomfortable and embarrassed.
“They give good head?” I asked sarcastically. Is he really going to go into details about his sex life to a girl he’s just told he’s crazy about and who is scared of having sex? Does he actually not have a clue?
He choked on his laughter, and shook his head. “No, Angel. The reason I went with all those girls was to try and get over you. I wake up next to you every day. You send my mind and body into a frenzy. I can smell your hair when I close my eyes, or I can imagine how your hand feels when you lay it on my chest. It kills me every day to be so close to you, but be so far away,” he said, shaking his head and taking a deep breath, looking at me hopefully. “I thought maybe if I met someone else that I’d be able to stop thinking about you, but it didn’t work. Nothing works. When I’m with them, I wish it was you. When they laugh or talk, I can’t help but compare it to your voice or your laugh. It’s always been you; it’ll always be you, Angel.”
I couldn’t speak. What on earth do I say to that? I mean, I know he’s a player, but I was killing him? That speech was so freaking adorable! “Oh,” I choked out.
He burst out laughing. “Oh? That’s all you can say?”
I nodded and laughed too. I still had no words to answer that little confession he’d just made. My head was still spinning and I knew if I said something now I would just make myself sound like an idiot. I leant across the table and took his hand, he smiled happily at me and that seemed to be all that was necessary.
My head was spinning with thoughts; I really didn’t know what to believe. He just made that huge confession about how he feels, but does that mean he’s not going to cheat on me? Well actually, we weren’t even officially a couple. Liam only ever did dates; he’s never had a girlfriend, so technically I have no claim on him anyway. I needed to be really careful, the more time I spent with this nice Liam, the more I liked him. I was in real danger of having my heart crushed.
My cellphone rang, saving us from the slightly weird silence. It wasn’t an awkward silence though, just strange, like he seemed perfectly content just to hold my hand and look at me. The caller ID said it was Kate. “Hey, Kate, what’s up?” I said cheerfully.
“Hey, Amber, want me to bring a movie for tonight?”
“Yeah sure. Nothing scary though.” I smiled and slapped Liam’s hand lightly as he tried to steal one of my spring rolls from my plate. ‘What?’ he mouthed to me innocently. I rolled my eyes at him and passed him my plate.
“I was thinking, Dawn of the Dead,” Kate replied.
I gasped; is she kidding me? “No way! I’m not watching that, it’ll scare the crap out of me!” I cried, horrified at the thought of watching a zombie movie. They made me so scared that I couldn’t be alone for days afterwards; I had to pee with the bathroom door open for goodness sake!
I could hear her chuckling. “Please, Amby? I really want to see it,” she begged, I could imagine the puppy dog look on her face right now.
Liam was giving me a quizzical expression so I put my hand over the mouthpiece and whispered, “Dawn of the Dead.”
He widened his eyes slightly before giving me his smirk. “Don’t worry, Angel, I’ll protect you,” he whispered confidently, making me smile.
“Amby, please?” Kate begged again.
“Oh jeez alright fine, bring that damn movie,” I muttered, defeated.
At least Liam would be there, he always kept my nightmares away. It would only be bad when I was on my own, like in the shower or something. I guess I could always make him stand outside the door and read to me or something while I was in there, it’s not like he hasn’t done that for me before. I looked at him a little shocked, actually the more I thought about it, the more this sweet, funny Liam, popped into my mind. He quite often did little things for me that I never took any notice of before. Had he always been sweet to me, but I was just too prejudice to see it?
“So, what do you think, is that OK?” Kate asked.
I snapped back to reality. Crap, I hadn’t been listening to her at all! “Sorry, Kate, what? I didn’t hear you, sorry. I was panicking about that stupid movie.” I winced just at the thought of it.
She sighed. “I said that my mom and dad are going away for the weekend so do you think it would be alright if I just slept at yours tonight and tomorrow night? I don’t really want to stay on my own,” she said in a small voice. I looked at Liam and winced. If Kate stayed over that meant that he couldn’t, because she slept in the camp bed on my floor.
“Um sure, Kate, you can stay over for the weekend. Jake won’t mind,” I agreed reluctantly.
Liam shot his eyes up to mine, and he shook his head. ‘NO!’ he mouthed to me pleadingly. I just gave him an apologetic look and shrugged, I couldn’t say no to her, she was my best friend.
“Great. Well I’ll come over at about seven then, OK?” she chirped, sounding excited.
“Yeah, OK. See you.” I snapped my cellphone shut and looked back at Liam.
“The whole weekend? I don’t get to sleep for the whole weekend?” he whined, as soon as I had shut my phone.
“Sorry, but I couldn’t say no. Her parents are going away for the weekend and she doesn’t want to stay on her own.” I looked at him apologetically.
He sighed looking defeated. “OK sure. But you do know you’ve just agreed to watch a scary ass zombie flick and I’m not going to be there for the next two nights,” he stated with a cocky grin.
I gasped. I hadn’t thought about that! I didn’t sleep very well without Liam there, I had nightmares, bad ones, about my father, and now on top of that I would have zombie dreams too? Since I was eight years old I had only ever spent a few weeks away from Liam, like if one of us went on vacation, or one time he had chicken pox and I had to stay away from him for four days. Every time I was on my own, my dreams would be so bad that I would wake up screaming. I’d asked Jake to sleep in with me a few times when I was younger, but he didn’t stop the dreams so I just stopped asking him.
I knew that Liam didn’t sleep at all when he wasn’t with me. He literally laid there awake, not being able to get comfortable. He always said that his bed felt strange because he hadn’t slept in it since he was ten years old. He hated it when my friends came to stay and bitched about it the whole of the next day, dropping not so subtle hints that he wasn’t impressed at having to sleep in his own bed.