~ Chapter I ~
“Tye, honestly, isn’t there anything else you could do with your days then to watch that show? How about you get some fresh air, or go and catch a movie with your friends, Hmm? … or maybe spend some time with me for a change. Now doesn’t that sound like fun?!” Tye-Lyn turned to the woman that sat on the couch behind her; she was knitting a sweater of from a very vibrant orange yarn that Tye was truly hoping was not intended for herself.
“No offense Jane, but you aren’t exactly the most stimulating person I know…” She smiled and pushed a strand of lush hair behind a studded ear. “…Besides, all my friends are on holidays for the summer.” the teen retorted. Not with upset towards Jane, more so in disappointment for not having any summer plans herself. She turned her attention back to the flickering picture on the screen.
It was her favorite television show, ‘Deadly Obsessions’. The show was produce back in the early 1950’s. Black und white was the medium then. It was the intriguing plots and elegant posturing of each character that kept her wanting more. Being such an old show, the actors who had starred in it were long since gone and now all that remained of this, in it’s day ground breaking series, was re-runs. The little speckles and scratches would now be considered a classic film editing technique, when at the time, it was simply due to primitive equipment. These imperfections ran throughout each episode blotching across the screen from time-to-time. It was annoying as Hell, but didn’t at all distract from her enjoyment. Tye had been inexplicably drawn to this old time Mystery drama, and was loving every minute of it!
“Tye, honey… ?” Jane tried to continue, but a single finger held in the air abruptly silenced her. Tye’s eyes remained glued to the screen.
“Ssshtt!!” No one interrupts telly-time. Jane knew well to follow this pertinent rule. While Tye’s show was on, the world could be crashing down around her and she would not have a clue.
Realizing her faux pas, Jane smiled and went back to her knitting. She had done her best to be be the model Mother, and she knew Tye-Lyn was grateful to have her support, but sometimes she felt invisible. As if Tye was simply unavialable to her emotionally. She’d hoped to be close with her ‘daughter’, but understood that it would take time.
Tye-Lyn had lost her parents at the tender age of 12. A drunk driver had taken them away from their only daughter just as she was beginning her teen years. A most troublesome for a young girl becoming a woman. Jane would never be able to replace Tye’s parents. Her earlier attempts, she knew now were too aggressive, and she had stopped that method years ago. But that motherly instinct was strong in Jane, even THough she was unable to carry a child herself. It was a constant struggle to hold back, not to smother her. To give the sensitive girl her space, letting Tye come to her.
“So …. Still have plans with Emilee tonight?”
“Uhh …” Her show now finished, the end credits running, Tye was still only half listening. That is until there was a knock at the door.
“That must be her now, yes?” Jane assumed, dropping her needles onto the sofa cushion as she headed off to answer.
“I’ll get it, I’ll get it. I’ll get it!” Tye zoomed past, reaching and blocking the door before Jane could twist the knob. Another series of knocks hit the exterior of the wooden surface. A silent exchange passed between the two, and Jane stepped back a smile on her face. Not sure who was out there, but curtain that it wasn’t Emilee she went back to her seat. She remembered being a teenage girl. That reaction to a knock at the door could only be caused by one thing… A teen aged boy on the other side.
Tye pulled a wave of chestnut hair over her left eye and quickly preened herself in the mirror. There were no plans with Emilee, just a really cute boy from P.E. class. She did tell Jane she had made plans with a girlfriend to ward off any possible inquiries and bonding over boys attempts that Tye had no doubt that Jane would try.
“Hi Briiii – ….” Expecting the cutie who worked at the Grocery store Tye often popped over to for this that & the other Jane had forgotten from her shopping list, that had been toying with asking her out these last few weeks. Tye was somewhat disappointed (at first) to find that it wasn’t. In place of Bag-Boy Brian, A strikingly tall young man stood before her. Approximately her age she guessed, with long dark hair. His right eyebrow was bolted, the light spilling out of the open entranceway in which she stood glinted off it. A tattoo was visible on his inner forearm, it scrolled down to his wrist in what struck her as a word although she couldn’t read it clearly in the dim light of the shaded porch. He still had yet to speak a word. The two just stood there, Tye staring shamelessly as she took in the boy’s appearance.
“Bill…? Oh my Gh – I haven’t seen you in ages!” Tye lunged through the doorway with a little jump to her toes and threw her arms tightly around his neck. Briefly hesitating, he timidly hugged back smiling uncomfortably.
“Hey.” a barely audible greeting. Realizing her snap action to hug him had created an awkward tension, she stepped back. Tye’s stare continued. Hair, raven black, with the odd streak of gold accenting the soft frame of locks around his face, long enough to rest softly over his slim but handsomely squared shoulders. A quick little toss of his head flips an insistent bit of hair from irritating his long lashes. Tye found herself at a loss for words. Bill had changed over the years.
“My mom and I just moved here. Her business is doing great and is expanding so we had to move to a more prudent location…” he paused, waiting for Tye to join in. She didn’t. Bill continues
“… You know, more customers and stuff…” silence. “… Sooo,… I guess we’re neighbores again. Surprise.” A smile, and a weak ‘Uh Huh’, was all she managed.
“No doubt she’ll be over soon. I think she has a pie or something.” He prattled on, filling the void. ‘Ya, that’s the Bill I remember’, she thought to her self. Comfort returned.
“Your Mom cooks? Really? In all our years, I never knew her to – Is she any good?” Tye inquired. Bill shook his head.
“Hell no, she’s terrible!” He grinned. “THe dog seems to like it though!”. They both laughed.
Curiosity getting the best of her, Jane came up behind Tye.
“Ahem.” Making her presence known. Wondering when Tye was planning to introduced her to this gorgeous young specimen standing on their front porch.
“Oh, this is my – This is Jane. Jane, this is Bill.” Jane smiled and extended a hand.
“Hello, pleased to meet you. And this…” Bill turned in direction to a thin woman making her way across the lawn. “…This would be my Mom.” and just as Bill had predicted, she carrying something in her hands topped with tin foil. The woman approaching was smiling brightly, happy to see the girl she had loved as a niece and had been missing these years since her dear friend had passed. No longer the little Tom-Boy Simone once knew, she was a beautiful young Lady now.
“Tye-Lyn! So nice to see you again Honey.” Tye’s response was monotone. Not that she wasn’t on some level happy to see Bill’s mother, she was. But in seeing her it also brought sad memories of loosing her own Mother. There was also the fact that she had dislike being called by her full name (only her Mommy could do that).
“Tye will do, thank you.” She managed a smile before she was caught in a brisk hug.
“Tye, why don’t you go and show Bill around the neighbourhood,” suggested Jane, sensing that these two young adults would make a nice pairing. A subtle glare from Tye said; ‘I know what you are up to’. Jane smiled back. Having put her on the spot in front of the boy, what choice did she have but to give a tour. After a moment of discomfort, the two headed off down the sidewalk. The same pleased look of contentment, of knowing, rested on the faces if the two women left on the porch as they watch Tye & Bill walk off.
A lovely aroma wafted to Jane’s nose, awakening her stomach and drawing her eyes down to the foil topped item that ‘Bill’s’ Mother held in her hands. Whatever the ‘delicious’ dish was that Simone had brought with her, it sure smelled tempting.
“I’m sorry, I just have to ask, …What is that wonderful smell?”
“Pie! Freshly baked!” Simone responded excitedly
“You must be quite the pastry chef”
“Who? Me? Oh no, no, no. I picked it up on the way.” holding back laughter at the thought that she could ever bake something sutable for human consumption.
“Well, either way, I bet it would be great with a cup of coffee.” The ladies headed into the house. The promise of a new friendship in the making.
“So you live with ‘Jane’, is it? An Aunt” Bill asked. Tye kicked a rock with her shoe.
“ya,… oh, my Aunt? No, Foster parent. We’re not at all related.”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.” Bill raised a single brow.
“Do I? It’s not, well not really. I mean, Jane is really nice. She’s been really good to me, but she’s…” Her voice became a quiet mumble, “… she’s not Mom.” Bill understood, well he could imagine. He never knew his birth Mother. Bill had been adopted as a baby. A secret never kept from him by Simone. She had let him know as soon as he was old enough to possibly grasp the concept. Explaining that most Mommies, when they have babies, they don’t know what child they will get. Where as Bill, he was chosen. She had wanted the sweetest little boy she could find, and that was Bill. He was special. Sounds corny now, but growing up it was exactly what the shy insecure little boy needed.
At the age of 13 Bill was sent to a swanky Private school in the next State. He had heard of the tragedy that had befallen his best friend of nearly all his years. Bill had wanted nothing more then to get back home, to just ditch this whole schooling thing! Just to be there for Tye. After many feuds with Simone about quitting, and then being told Tye had ‘been moved’ Bill was distraught at not being able to come back to comfort her. He succumbed to the knowing that as a thirteen year old boy, he hadn’t really any power to change the situation.
“I am so Sorry that I wasn’t here for you, I feel just terribly about that.” Bill had stopped walking as he said this and turned to her. He had wanted to hug her, to try to comfort her now (or was it his feeling that he had abandoned her that he needed to comfort?). She had wanted a hug, needed a hug. She had missed her best friend. The loss of her parents and Bill had been all too much to bare for her years ago. She had found a way to cope with her life change, but with Bill standing before her now all the hurt came flooding back. Her brief hug at the door was awkward. The last few years had seen many changes. Their bodies matured, emotions and feelings were received differently now. It would take some time for these two to get re-acquainted, but under all this new, the bond was still there. They both felt it. He didn’t move in for an embrace. She continued to look anywhere but at Bill.
“Don’t feel bad. The Fates stepped in and took over. Nothing anyone could have done to fix it” although Tye knew she would have weathered through it all some better had Bill been there. Still, she didn’t want him feeling badly about it.
They continued their walk, in silence for a short time before Bill’s gift of gab took over. Trying to distract from the sad topic of loss, he went on about his years away at school. What living in the dorms was like, the other students, the job that he took on to help out his Mother. Bill had gotten a full scholarship, but still worried about his Mother alone at home so he had taken to singing in a small off compass eatery, and sending money back to her.
“Wow, you’ve really had an interesting few years.” Bill’s life since moving (leaving) seemed so much more eventful then her’s had been, but that was a good thing. Tye wanted all the best for Bill. He was a wonderful person, and she strongly felt he deserved it.
“They would have been better if you were in them…” Tye felt a heat rise to her face. Made her feel foolish. Why was she blushing? This was after all her best friend since as long as she could remember, he’d never had this effect on her before. She dared a glance over to reassure herself that this was just Bill. Well, that didn’t help! He had grown at least a foot and a half, at least it seemed so. His hair was long now, it hung down his back and the soft strands around his face gently waved in the spring breeze. His profile was no longer of the cute little boy she was use to, but that of a very handsome man. His jaw line chiseled and strong.
“…Mom tried to find where you had moved to so that I could at least write to you, but the agencies wouldn’t tell her anything.” Oh how a letter from him would have helped her then, when she needed him most,
“Bill, don’t worry about those things now. I have fault here too. I should have found you…” It’s true, she could have much easier have found him then he could have her. But, with all that was going on for her, she retreated into herself the first couple of years. It wasn’t until just over a year ago that she had started to socialize again. She even had a boyfriend for awhile, but it never bloomed into a romance. More so, they found themselves instead, comfortable sitting in ‘The Friend Zone’. There was her show, that TV show that she seemed to be so fascinated with… it was around the time that she started to watch that that she started to feel differently. And now, with Bill being in her life again she wondered in what direction that life might lead her.
“… Well, it’s starting to get dark, smells like rain too. We should get back.” Trying to change the topic, lighten the mood. It worked. Conversation then turned to the house that Bill and his mother had moved into. It was just two doors down. Probably why she didn’t notice new neighbors moving in. He had noticed her though. She had been on her porch reading, doing homework maybe, he wasn’t sure. He was sure that it was Tye though. He couldn’t believe it at first, but with each trip he made to the truck to retrieve a box he grew more and more certain that this beautiful girl was his childhood friend. A friend that he had secretly been crushing on throughout those many years. It would take him three days more to tell his mother of his discovery, knowing that she would march straight over dragging him in tow to say Hello. He wasn’t sure if she would even want to see him or not, but he just had to talk to her again.
Back on Tye’s porch now, they could hear their mother’s voices through the open windows. Sounded like they were wrapping up their little visit as well. Standing with finger tips in the front pockets of his slim fit jeans, Bill worked on his courage.
“Thank you for the tour.”
“Oh, Ha, … not much of a tour.” she laughed slightly at this. Their walk that took them to the end on the block and back had hardly been a ‘tour’.
“Ha, ya well… maybe you could give me a longer one sometime soon?” Half asking, half suggesting.
“Certainly, anytime.” tension was growing once again. Then, rather abruptly, Bill reached for Tye and wrapped his arms around her.
“It really is good to see you again Tye-Tye” Shocked by his boldness, she was grateful as well. The ice melted away, and she returned the hug. The rattle of the door knob sent the two back a few steps. Startling them from their brief embrace.
“Well now… what have you two been up too? You both look like you just raided the cookie jar.” Embarrassing to say the least, but the women had seen nothing. There was nothing to see! Why was Tye feeling as if there was? Saying a quick goodnight to Bill and Simone, Tye ducked into the house. Leaving Jane thanking her new friend for the pie, and exchanging more Nice to meet yous.
“What a lovely woman that Simone is. And her son, well. Quite a handsome boy isn’t he…” There was no response from Tye as she removed her shoes. “… she left the pie if you’d care to have a slice? It really was quite good.” Tye had other things on her mind. She darted up to her room, calling back over her shoulder, “No thank you Mh – Jane, I’m fine.”
She rushed to her window getting there just as the rain started to come teeming down. And just in time to see Bill running for cover, his jacket held over Simone’s head in an attempt to keep her dry.
Rain pelted the window soothing Tye to sleep. The last thought in her mind was of Bill. That hug, and a feeling she could not describe. It felt like, it felt like… ‘home’.
If you enjoyed THe 1st chapter, please read on!
– Chapter II
– Chapter III
– Chapter IV
– Chapter V
– Chapter VI
(comments are appreciated) ; )