Falling for my Neighbor

By: Lila Younger

To be honest, I’ve never even really traveled outside of the state. We only go to the city to get presents for Christmas, and both sets of my grandparents live in state. I probably seem like such a country bumpkin now.

“You’re in for a treat then,” Macon says. He hands me the food. “Do you want to set things out while I check in on Jamie?”

“Sure,” I say.

He heads upstairs and I go to the dining room before I remember that I’ve just set everything out from the boxes. There’s no way for us to eat together on there, not without having to move a bunch of stuff. I’m debating whether or not I should move everything when he comes back down.

“Why don’t we just eat on the couch?” he says. “You don’t mind, do you?”

“I’m very easy,” I assure him, and winch at the words. He doesn’t notice however, and moves straight for the L-shaped couch. I bring the food to the coffee table. There’s a lot of food, and he points them out to me as we unpack. Spring rolls, deep fried tofu, dumplings in soup, shrimp Pad thai, and chicken and beef skewers. Everything smells strange and yet delicious, and I release my breath. I’m glad there’s nothing strange like snake meat or something like that. The strangest thing is tofu, but I can handle that.

Macon sits down on the other side of the L, close enough to almost touch. I quickly banish that thought though. He’s just being nice. That’s it.

“I almost forgot,” he says, standing back up. “Do you want a beer or anything to go with this?”

“Oh,” I say, heat creeping across my cheeks again. “I... can’t drink. I’m only eighteen.”

I hate that I reminded him of my age, but there’s no way around it.

“Can’t or don’t?” he asks teasingly.

“Don’t,” I admit. “I guess that’s kind of lame, huh?”

He sits back down.

“Hey, don’t mind me,” he says. There’s a pause, and the look he gives me is difficult to figure out. “You’re a good girl, aren’t you Vanessa?”

I’ve always hated that label, because nobody ever says it to be nice, but it’s true. I don’t go to crazy parties, I get good grades, and my biggest act of rebellion is delaying business school for a semester. I didn’t even have the guts to tell my mom no outright.

“Can you use chopsticks?” he asks, changing the subject.

For a moment I want to say yes, but quickly decide against it. If I’ve never eaten Asian food, then why would I be able to use chopsticks? Plus, I think, eyeing the wooden sticks warily, they don’t look easy to use at all.

“I’ll stick with the fork,” I say sensibly, and Macon grins.

“I don’t blame you,” he says, dropping the chopsticks and picking up the forks for both of us. “I hate the things too.”

He puts some food onto a plate for me, and I try to balance it on my lap. I carefully stab at the tofu and take a bite. It’s sort of bland, but it is fried, so it’s not terrible. I make a ‘mmm’ noise, hoping it’ll convince him.

“Try it with the sweet and sour sauce,” Macon instructs.

I dip it into the bright orange stuff, and take another bite.

“Better right?” he says, reading my face.

“Much better,” I say.

His eyes are on mine, and I can’t look away from them. I want him to kiss me. I’ve never even done that much, but I want him to. It’s the only thing I can think of as my brain short circuits. I want him on top of me, kissing me, ripping off my clothes and taking my virginity on this sofa right now. My heart is in my throat, and I’m not sure I’m even breathing. Finally he breaks eye contact, and I drop my eyes down, letting my hair flow down past my shoulders. God, how embarrassing.

“So this is your first time,” he says.

My eyes fly up to his, but then I realize he’s talking about the food.

“Um, yes,” I say, trying to string two words together. “We’ve never... well my dad’s a real steak and potatoes guy, so...”

I don’t know why I brought up my dad. Real smooth Vanessa, now he’ll really be into you.

Top Books