Behind the Eight Ball

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Chapter 10 - Cupcakes, Crushes & Crazies

"You have to pay for those?" I tell Tyler who is now chowing down on his third cupcake from the boxes I collected from the activities office.

He groans and throws a ten-dollar bill at me. "Don't bother with change I'll most likely be eating at least two more."

"My Mom's cupcakes are addictive," I say, laughing throwing in my own two dollars before grabbing, one for myself.

"This is why you asked me to help, isn't it? So you don't have to actually try and sell any during lunch," Tyler says, moving on to his fourth.

"Would there be another reason?" I ask, enjoying my own cupcake.

Miss Valentino comes up to our table. "Who did those posters?" she asked and Tyler looks behind us. He shrugs.

"Brynn Shelby," I say proudly although none of the credit goes to me. I just hung them up, with Brynn's help.

"They're beautiful," she says, leaning over the table to get a better look.

She wasn't the only one getting a better look. Poor Tyler is nearly drooling. Her blouse was open just enough at this angle to give him, well actually both of us, a good view of her chest.

"Speaking of beautiful..." Tyler breathes and I kick him under the table.

He swears and gives me a dirty look. As I give him a wide-eyed stare and head nod letting him know he's doing it again.

"Sorry?" Miss Valentino says, after straightening up rather abruptly.

"Speaking of beautiful," I say quickly, "have you seen these cupcakes. Not only do they look good but also they taste even better. Isn't that right, Tyler?"

Tyler is still rubbing his leg but noticing he now has Miss Valentino's undivided attention says, "Yeah... and if you buy'll be supporting a good cause." He adds emphasis to his statement by holding the box out to her.

She doesn't look very convinced that this was all Tyler was talking about and is smiling a rather knowing smile. "You have a little icing," she says while leaning over the table again, "right here." And she takes her thumb and wipes the icing from his cheek.

I half expected Tyler to melt into a pile of goo. Instead, he froze and looked a little panicked like he had no idea what to do next, but Miss Valentino just laughed and said, "I'll take two. After all it is for a good cause."

Tyler sprung back to life and handed her the cupcakes, after I took her four dollars. "Thank you," I say and nudge Tyler in the ribs. After another annoyed look he adds, "Yeah, Thanks!"

"See you tomorrow, boys!" she says and then walks away.

Tyler punches my shoulder, hard. "You hit me again and I will flatten you like I did in the third grade. Got it?"

"Well, try and be a little less obvious next time?" I say rubbing my shoulder.

"I can't help it. You saw what I saw. How am I suppose to hold it together under such pressure and she touched me, did you see that?" Tyler asked pointing in the direction our teacher walked. 

"Yes, it was almost motherly. And when she called us boys, it was obvious that she wanted you." Shoving him I said, "Pull yourself together, Man. She's a teacher. You are a student."

"I know women, and that was not the look of a teacher," Tyler said defensively.

I scoff at this. Yes, it's true Tyler does date a lot especially in comparison to me but I doubt the girls he's been with could seriously prepare him for a relationship with someone like Ms. Valentino. I know he's seriously crushing right now but truthfully I'm worried.

"Whatever that was, it shouldn't happen again. Not unless you want her fired and you expelled."

Now it would seem it was Tyler's turn to look moody. What a couple of girls we are turning out to be.

Wanting to change the subject I say, "Did you know Brynn is on yearbook?"

"Duh? She takes the best pictures of me at our games. I'd love to get some of them blown up bigger, especially that jump shot from the game against Central High last year that made it in the yearbook. My Dad would love that."

"Huh," I'm still surprised I had no idea. "Wait, Brynn is at all of our games?"

"You really are clueless aren't you?" Tyler says shaking his head at me. "Brynn has been documenting your life for the last four years, with all the crap you are involved in. She probably knows you better than you do. Aren't you editor in chief or something like that?"

"Chief Editor, yeah but by the time I get the book most of the pictures are picked out and I just need to make sure everything is correct before it goes to print. I guess I just never took notice as to who was taking the pictures."

"All of our games, huh?" I'm still in disbelief.

"Yeah, Captain Oblivious. She'll be on the sidelines on Friday. I'll point her out to you." He laughed giving me a shove before taking another cupcake.

Once again, I'm amazed as Brynn, it would seem, has always been a part of my life but I just didn't see. Most people don't know I exist. Wasn't that what she said to me just a few periods ago. I felt ashamed that I could be touted among those who just pass her by. Hell, if she didn't leave me hanging with the bus would I still be oblivious? Probably and for some reason that answer bothered me.

Brynn is definitely someone worth getting to know. She's a little quirky to be sure but that isn't a bad thing, as she knows how to keep things interesting. I think of her letter again.


Edited: 09.11.2019

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