Friday, May 20, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls and Sara Bareilles

Cinnamon Rolls and Sara Bareilles

You know the feeling you can get when you absolutely know life is to good to be true?  Yeah, well, I am incredibly familiar with the feeling.  The morning of my parents’ anniversary I knew something was up.  My mom was in the kitchen making breakfast, and my dad was on the coach, not regular.  He was reading the Daily Texan, which made sense due to his job as a professor of mathematics at UT.  I smelled Cinnamon and Sugar, and had a feeling my mom was making Cinnamon Rolls.  I know, I know, your totally thinking, “OBVIOUSLY!” but this was my mom’s comfort food.  When she makes comfort food, which means something is seriously wrong in our family. 
Since you probably have no clue what I mean, I will recall for you the conversation my family had when my grandmother, Betty, died. 
My mother was serving the cinnamon rolls and my brother and I were sipping on our milk.  My father was drinking his black coffee, and reading the paper.  My father started the conversation by putting down the paper.
“Kids, your mother and I need to talk to you about something serious.”
“It’s about Gran isn’t it.” Ian guessed next to me.
“Unfortunately, yes.”  My mother put in, “she has passed away.”
I started bawling and my brother sniffled.  We were a very emotional family if you didn’t include my father.  My mother was already in tears even though she already knew.

As you can see, Cinnamon Rolls are a turning point in our family.  The rolls were also a decent sign that is time to walk our dog, Juno.
“Dad, can I walk Juno?  Please?” I begged.
“What?  Jenna, it is 8 o’clock in the morning!  You would wake up the neighbors!”
“No buts.  Sit down, your mother made Cinnamon Rolls.” 
I gave in, and sat down, awaiting the horrible conversation I was about to experience.

The difference in between this conversation and the one about Gran, is that in the middle my father said:
“Your mother and I are getting a divorce.”

I realized that no matter how hard I tried, my father will always have said those words.

Chapter 1

         I woke up the next day happy as usual that I would see Lexi.  Then, I remembered the conversation the previous morning, and the day that followed that conversation.  I will tell you one thing, it involved a lot of sobbing, nose blowing, and sappy comedy movies with my brother.  It was absolutely horrible.  I expected the same thing today with the differences:

-Nose Blowing

-Horrible feelings
-Head on Lexi’s shoulder
-Dreading going home

         So, surprisingly enough I was looking forward to the school day.  
         I decide to tell Lexi first.  I saw her leaning against her locker talking to Hannah, a fellow swimmer.  I slowly walked up to the two, and tapped Lexi on the shoulder. 
         “Hey Jenna!”  She hugged my and looked into my eyes.
         “Hey Jenna.”  Hannah said.
         “Hey guys.  Umm... Hannah? Can I talk to Lexi alone?”  I asked.
         “Uh... Okay.  See you around.”  Hannah walked away and I turned to Lexi.
         “What do you want to talk about?” Lexi said, shutting her locker.
         “I don’t know what I am thinking talking to you here, but my mom and dad talked to me and my brother yesterday.”
         “Wait.  Let me guess… Aunt Betty died?”  I cracked up, and hugged her.  She could really make someone feel better.
         “No, sorry, I wish.  Mom and Dad are getting a-” the bell rang, cutting me off.
         “NO!  They’re getting a divorce?”  She practically yelled.
         “Yeah.  Can you come over this afternoon?”
         “Totally.  Meet you at your car.”  She said and walked off.

         Some how I survived the first four periods: Geometry, World History, Band, and Biology.  Biology probably wasn’t the best choice for 4th Period, but I had no say in it.  I had tried to switch Band and Biology, but my counselor, Ms. Thomas, gave me that teacher look and finished what ever she was doing on the computer.  I gave up after that.
         Lexi snuck up behind me while I was walking to my table, and jumped up from behind me.
         “BOO!” She yelled.
         “AHH!!!” I screamed before I saw her.  When I did, I just laughed and sat down at our table. 
         “So…. How was Home Ec?” I asked.
         “Fantastic! Seriously Jen?  I hate Home Ec.  You know that.  I hate anything that has to do with cooking. I can’t cook to save the world.”  She laughed, and then changed the subject, “Did you talk to Charlie in Band yet?”
         “You kidding?  I couldn’t show him how to position his fingers for weeks!”   I cracked up and almost squirted milk up my nose I was laughing so hard.
         “Just asking.  Wait,” she said and nodded towards the door, “He is coming over here!” 
         “Omigosh!!!!!!!” I yelled in a whisper, which is incredibly hard to do, if you’ve ever tried.
         “Hey ladies.  Jenna, Lexi, can I sit with you?”  He asked looking at Lexi and me.
         “Uh, sure.” Lexi replied knowing I couldn’t even say hi if I tried.
         “So, Jenna.  What is up in that crazy family I’ve heard so much about?” he asked biting into his tamale.
Lexi gave me a look, and then I said, “Not much really.  My parents are getting a divorce.”  OH JENNA!!!! WHY DID YOU SAY THAT???? I yelled at my self under my breath.
         “Well, that isn’t exactly nothing.  Did you see it coming?”
         “Not really.  Charlie?  Could you keep that a secret?”
         “Totally.  I know what you feel like if I told.  My parents got a divorce last semester and Noah told seriously EVERYONE.  I still can’t accept his apology.  Anyways, I am not popular, and none of my friends would care, so don’t worry.”  He rambled.
         “Okay, thanks.  Sorry ‘bout your parents.  I didn’t know.”  Lexi cut in.
         “That’s cool.  Don’t worry about it.”  He replied.
         “Charlie, could I ask your advice on something?” Lexi asked.
         I looked at Lexi.  Why would she want to ask advice from a guy we barely know?
         “How do you get your best friend’s Aunt to stop bugging her?”
         Aunt Betty?  SO NOT NEEDED LEXI!!!  I anted to yell at her, but I didn’t because I am a good friend.
         “Hmm… No experience, sorry.  I would just call her up and tell her how much it annoys Jenna, honestly.”  He laughed, Lexi joined in, and finally I burst.  I cracked like and egg, and fell over laughing.  I accidently banged my head on the table and fell on my back on the cold tile floor.
         “OW!!!!” I yelled.
         “Oh. My. God!!!! Jen, you ok?” Lexi asked crouching down beside me.
         “Don’t worry I will take her to the nurse.” Charlie told Lexi and swooped me up in his arms. 
         I was in awe.  Lexi had caused my dream guy to pick me up and take me to the nurse.  I love her!

         I must’ve passed out somewhere in between the lunchroom and the nurse’s office, because when I woke up I was lying on a bed, in the nurse’s office and Charlie was holding an ice pack to my forehead.
         “Hey sleepyhead.”  He whispered.
         “Hey yourself.  I didn’t think you would still be here.”
         “Yeah? Well, here I am.”
         “Thanks.  Really, thanks a ton.  I really owe you.”
         “I have an idea about how to pay me back…”
         “Dinner, Saturday night, Enoteca, 7 o’clock.  I’ll pick you up.”
         “Really?  Wow, thanks.  Here is my number.”  I scribbled my number on a slip of paper he handed me, and handed it to him.   “Give me a call tonight.  K?”
         “Sure.  No problem.”
         The bell rang and he helped me up.  He handed me the ice pack, and asked if I needed help to 5th Period, and I turned him down.  What had I just done?  I had a date with my crush, Charlie, and I had nothing to wear, and I wouldn’t have anything to talk about! AHHHH!!!!!

Chapter 2

         Lexi met me at my locker after school to discuss the details of my experience in the nurse’s office with Charlie.   I was shutting the door and twisting my lock when she came bonding up to my filled to the brim with excitement.
         “How’d it go?”
         “Lexi you will never believe this!”  She stared at me waiting, “I have a date with Charlie Flynn!”
         “Oh. My. Gosh.  I can’t believe that I am partly responsible for a date, for my best friend!”
         “Thanks a ton.  I have no clue how to repay you…”
         “Don’t worry about it! Just have fun.”
         “All right. So, are you coming?”  I asked and ran off, her chasing after me.

         Traffic on South Lamar was really heavy on our way home.  Lexi was totally cool with it though, but only because she was listening to the radio.  I was off in dreamland thinking about Charlie.  It was all I could do not to call him up and ask him to come and watch a movie with Lexi and I.
         When we finally arrived in front of my house, Mom was gardening in the front yard, and Dad was in side in the study.  He was always working, so it was really hard to get a family conversation with him. 
         “Jenna!  How was school?  Hi Lexi!”  Lexi waved. My mom was always energetic and determined to make a good impression, even if it was on the mailman. 
         “It was good.  I banged my head on the lunch table, though.”  I replied trying my best to avoid a full on conversation. 
         “Oh.  That’s nice.”  My mom replied, and let us escapes.

         In the privacy of my room, I waited for Charlie’s call, with Lexi trying her best not to butt in.   My phone finally rang and I picked up on the first ring.
         “Hey Jenna, so I was calling about Saturday night.”
         “Great.  So does that still work?”
         “Yeah.  I was wondering if you wanted to go to a concert instead though.  We could grab pizza or something afterward, and then go back to my place.  That cool?”
         “Sounds fantastic!”
         “Great, can’t wait Jenna.”
         “Me neither.”  And he hung up.

         Lexi was sitting on my bed, watching America’s Next Top Model, and chewing on Twizzlers.  Twizzlers were her addiction, and I had learned to keep some in my room in case of crisis. 
         “We’re going to a concert instead of dinner.”
         “Then his place.”
         “Fun.”  Then she processed what I had said, “His place?”
         “Jenna, you know what that means right?”
         “I think.  I am not really ready yet.  I might bail on the whole his house thing.”
         “Good choice, I think.”
         “That’s what I thought.”
         “Well, ANTM is back so let’s cheer you up.  Come on.”

         Lexi entertained me with America’s Next Top Model with Tyra Banks.  It was an interesting episode and I wasn’t paying attention for most of it.  By the end, I had no clue who left, and who won.  Lexi was pissed.
         “JENNA!  YOU CAN’T ZONE OUT DURING AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL!  You just aren’t allowed to do that.”
         “Sorry Lexi.  I was thinking about other stuff.”
         “Pay attention please.  Okay?”
         “All right.”
         “You need to talk?”
         “No.  Can we start on homework?”
         “Sure.  What do you wanna do first?”
         “Geometry okay?”
         “Great, I need your help anyways.”

         So, I did homework with Lexi, being the fantastic friends that she is, and ate way too much pizza.  It was a very enjoyable night. 
         Lexi left at 10, I texted Lauren.  Who is my neighbor friend, and happens to have amazing clothing taste.
         “L, come over.  Need ur help w/ clothes.”
         She replied a minute later, “K.”

         I heard a knock on the door about 10 minutes later and Lauren stood in the doorway wearing dark skinny jeans, Aeropostradale tee, gold chains around her neck, and jet-black short booties.  Understand why I asked her over?
         “Hey Lauren.  Come on.”
         She followed me up to my room and crashed on the bed.  I totally got how she was feeling.  Tired and burnt.
         “So, I have a date Saturday night to a concert and I have no clue what to wear.”
         “Oh Jen.” She sighed and walked over to my closet.  “Well, check the weather, you don’t want to be cold or hot.”
         “75 degrees.”
         “Awesome! Fantastic weather.  Dress, skirt?”  She rambled.
         “Skirt, I think…”
         “Great, you have a great collection.  Could I borrow from you sometime?”
         “Sure, I guess.”
         “Back to this.  Hmm…”

         About 20 minutes later I had five options left on my bed.   I pulled the shirt of the next on, a white cardigan, and Lauren immediately said,
         “No.  Definitely not.”
         “Okay.”   I said and took it back off.
         The next outfit I loved.  It had a deep red Abercrombie shirt with a chartreuse flower printed on the front, and a small pocket.  On the bottom was a ruffle skirt with small purple flowers.  She had paired a pair of black sleek leggings and my black blazer.  I looked amazing.
         “Jenna.  You. Look. Unbelievable!” She cried and jumped up and down.
         “This is it.”
         “All right.   Shoes and jewelry now.”
         She pulled out a long gold chain and held it up.
         “Put this on.”  I slipped it over my head, and looked up.  She looked content.
         “I like it.”
         “These earrings.”  She handed me these red ball pair that my mom had bought me last summer.
         “Awesome,” she replied and walked back to the closet.  “I’m thinking booties.  That sound good?”
         “Totally!”  I replied.  I look great and Charlie would be really surprised. 
         “These I think would look good.”  She handed me some Steve Madden black booties with a silver ribbon around the seam.  I tried them on and received a happy look from Lauren.
         “I’m done here.  Pleasure to work with you.”
         “Same to you.  Thanks a ton.  I will let you his reaction after the date.”
         “Sounds good.”   She left and I changed into my pajamas, and put away the rejects.  It would be a long week.

Chapter 3

         Saturday morning was a nightmare.  Seriously.  My mom decided that she was going to let me sleep in and miss breakfast!  (Yes, I know, that sounds odd, but breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and I NEVER miss it.)  Then, she proceeded to not cook me breakfast when I woke up at 11 in the morning, starving! 
         I ended up waiting until lunchtime to eat, doing my homework in the hour I had left before lunch.  I had English, Geometry, Pre-Cal, and World Geography to finish.  I decided to start with Pre-Cal, with a fresh brain.
         Find a polynomial of degree 10 that has zeros 2-3i, 7, 8, -4, and 5-i. You do not have to simplify your answer.
         Damn… I thought and tapped my pencil.  I might need to save this for later.  I pulled out my trumpet, and began to play the new song we were learning.

         At about 6 I started to really get nervous.  I tried everything!  Writing in my diary, dancing to the radio, talking to Lexi, and eating chocolate.  Nothing was working when it came to calming me.  So, there was only one thing left.  Time to go surfing. 
         We live in Malibu, so surfing is one of my favorite hobbies. 
         “Jenna!”  I flipped around and saw that smile.  Liam.  (He is my BFF next to Lex.)
         “Hey Liam.” 
         “You okay?  You look odd.”
         “Liam?  Just so you know, I always look odd.  I have thick red curls and am like a giant.  I look odd.”
         “Jen, just so you know, you are like the most gorgeous girl I’ve ever seen.  If I wasn’t gay, I would have asked you out years ago.”
         I was taken a back.  I’m gorgeous?  Liam just said that? 
         “Thanks Liam.  I really appreciate it.  I need to release some serious stress, so ttyl.”
         “I’m coming.”  He grabbed his board and hopped over the Surf shop counter that he works at.  “Let’s hit it.”
         “I was hoping you would say that.”  I said and ran to the water.

         An hour later, I was laughing my head off, and totally relaxed.  I checked my watch and almost fell over. 
         “Liam, I have to go.  Charlie will be at my house I a half hour!”  I rode the next wave in, hugged Liam, and ran to my towel, Liam trailing behind me.
         “Well, nice surfing with you…  I had tons of fun.  Call me afterwards, K?”
         “Totally.  Bye.”  I yelled after me as I raced to my car, and drove off.

         I was dressed and putting on makeup when I heard a knock on the door. 
         “Crap.”  “Mom!!!!”  I yelled.
         “Don’t worry honey, I got it!”  She yelled back understanding my stress.
         I finished up my makeup and grabbed my bag.  Breathe Jenna, breathe I told myself.  I practically flew to Charlie, who was waiting downstairs.
         “Hey Jenna.”
         “Hey Charlie.”  He looked amazing, and was holding a rose.
         “This is for you,” he said handing me the rose, “You look great.”
         “Thanks, you too.”  My mom entered the room, and told us:
         “Be home by midnight, not later.  Bye hon, have fun!”  She pushed me out the door, and Charlie was staring down at me.

         The concert had great music, fantastic dancing between Charlie and I, and I had tons of fun.   After the concert, Charlie asked me if I wanted to go back to his house.  1 thought went through my head.  “So soon?  I had just met him?  Now he wants me to meet his parents?”
         “Sure.” I replied.
         “Awesome.  Get in.”  I jumped into his convertible, which was an odd car for a 17-year-old boy.  He was only a senior, like me! 

         He lived in Travis Heights, one of the nicer parts of Austin.  His house was all stone, and looked like it could have been one of those historical houses that I think are really stupid.  It was. 
         “Jenna, meet my Dad.”  I had totally forgotten his parents were divorced.  He told me as we walked into his living room.
         “Hi Mr. Bennett.  I’m Jenna.”  I shook both of their hands.  Mr. Brentwood looked in his mid forties, around the age of my dad.
         “Pleasure to meet you Jenna.”  Mr. Brentwood said, looking uncomfortable.
         “Well, I am going to give her a tour.  See you later.”  Charlie said and pulled me towards the hallway.

         I was sitting on his bed, when Charlie grabbed my hand, sending shots of electricity through me. 
         “Come on, I gotta show you something.”  He dragged me up a flight of stairs and down a hall o a sliding door.  “Close your eyes,” he told me, “really tight.”
         “K.” I closed my eyes and felt him drag me through the door and out into the March evening.
         “Open.”  He said.
         I opened my eyes and before lay the Austin skyline.  The tops of new condos, trees form the old houses, and the blinking lights of the cars below.
         “Its gorgeous.”  I said, looking up at his eyes.
         “Just like you.” He said, and bent down his head and gently pressed his lips on mine.  Lightly at first, and then with more passion.  I looked up at him, seeing why I had loved him all these years.  His bangs were a little tousled, and his eyes were so soft and loving. 
         “I should probably go,” I said, breaking the kiss. “I don’t want my mom to never let me out of the house again.”
         He laughed, “I wouldn’t be able to live.”  He kissed me again, before leading me down the stairs and outside. 
         “Do you want me to drive you home?” He asked.
         “Sure, that would be great.”
         He pulled me into his convertible and started the car, the radio switched on, a little to loud for the moment.  He sensed it, and switched over to the CD player, and hen turned it down a notch.
         Gravity started up, and I was astonished.  Not many guys listen to Sara Bareilles.  Yet another reason why I love him so much.  She is my favorite singer. 
         You're on to me, on to me, and all over...  
Something always brings me back to you.
It never takes too long.
         My favorite lyrics of the whole song.  They are so melancholy, and powerful. Its almost like she understands what I feel like.  Charlie sometimes will be so odd, but then I just can’t think of myself not loving him.  So, I always will still love him.  Even if it is our first date, I can’t think of myself with anybody else.  It’s meant to be.  Isn’t it?

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