Copyright© 2015 by Lumpy
For someone who spent the bulk of his life moving from home to home, waking up in a new bed really wasn't that weird. Feeling the weight of another body on mine, however, was bizarre beyond belief. As my senses came around, I could see the outlines of shapes around the room as dawn started to show through the windows. Zoe's head was tucked under my chin and I could smell the soft clean scent that I could only guess to be typical of a girl, seeing as how my experience was non-existent. Whatever it was, I found the fragrance intoxicating, and tried to lock the sensory memory into my brain. If this was a one-time thing, I never wanted to forget it!
I had always been an early riser. In some foster homes, breakfast was a first come, first served kind of thing. When the food was gone, it was gone! Somewhere along the line, my body had learned to push me awake at the crack of dawn. Besides my normal sleeping habits, a pressure on my bladder told me it was time to get up. That's easier said than done, when you have two-thirds of a girl sprawled across you. I managed to slide out from under her, and climb off the bed, but not without waking Zoe up.
I couldn't help but laugh at her sleepy question.
"Everything's okay. I am getting up to do my morning jog. I will be back in about an hour."
"K," was all I got back from her, as she curled into a ball and pulled a pillow under her. Smiling again, I covered her with a blanket. Thankfully, I was able to make it to the bathroom before anything drastic happened. Then I pulled my shoes on, and slipped out the back door.
Running is my peaceful time. Some people do Tai Chi, others swim; but, for me, the morning run is when I get my brain to focus. It's when I am able to turn the previous day's events over in my head and plan for the oncoming one. And man, did I have a lot of events to go over!
Only being one street over I made my way to my normal path and started slowly adding speed to bring me to my normal pace. I didn't push my run but I wanted to be able to feel it after I was done. I would eventually settle into a six-minute mile pace. I would hold this for the next forty-five minutes or so, before slowing to cool down near the end of my run.
As my feet began the rhythmic beat on the pavement, I marveled at how much my life had twisted in the last twenty-four hours. I'd had my first fight, yesterday. Really, thinking about it, I found that I was not happy to have been in a fight. Somewhere inside of me must be a secret pacifist. Not that I thought the fight was unjustified, nor did I think there was a way things could have happened to avoid the fight. I wasn't mad at myself for fighting, but simply wished it hadn't been necessary.
And Zoe. Wow. What was happening there? Here I was, a guy with no real friends before yesterday, spending the night sleeping with what seemed like the most beautiful girl in the world. She spent almost the entire day yesterday, once we were back from the hospital, in constant contact with me. She was either hugging me, sitting on my lap or just holding my hand. And that kiss. It was amazing! It seemed to reach down into the very core of my being. But what did it mean?
The analytical part of my brain was screaming to tread lightly. This was a girl pulling out of a traumatic experience, and clinging to the person who saved her. This was some kind of hero worship and not really real. I was, however, having a lot of trouble listening to that part of my brain. The sentimental side of my brain, which seems to have much more control, seemed to think there was real affection there. She seemed to really like me and care about me, but it has been only one day. I was already really attached to her, and even just thinking about her made me smile. What if this all wore off and she went back to her life and I went back to mine ... just two friendly acquaintances, who would nod at each other in the hall. I considered this possibility and realized if that was where things went, it would break my heart. Not just because she is a pretty girl who I seem to be developing feelings for, this was my first friend. I felt safe with her. I felt loved, or at least really cared about, by both her and her mother. These were new experiences for me! Now that I knew what it was like, I didn't want to give it up!
I'd been in my first fight, and yet yesterday qualified as the best day of my life. Life is really weird.
That last though crossed my brain as I slowed to a walk and headed back into their house. The door was still unlocked. I felt a little weird just opening their door, but knocking would have seemed really foolish. I could smell something cooking, and I peeked into the kitchen. Mrs. Bell was in a fluffy robe at the stove. She smiled when she saw me.
"Well, look who is up bright and early this morning. Did you have a good run?"
I nodded as I stepped into the kitchen near her, "Yes Ma'am. It was pretty good."
Setting down the spatula, she gave me a brief bone-crushing hug that seemed to be her MO.
"My! You are all sweaty. Go take a shower and get dressed for school. And tell that slug still sleeping upstairs to get her butt up, and into gear. Breakfast will be ready in ten."
I headed up the stairs and into Zoe's room where she was still curled up. I pulled the covers back and gently shook her shoulder. After a few moments of this, she turned and looked at me with blurry eyes, stretched her lean body to its fullest length, and then totally surprised me. Reaching up with her arms she wrapped both hands around my neck and pulled my face down towards hers, pressing our lips together. As with last night, this wasn't a passionate kiss, but there was some force behind it. Finally, she let me go.
"Good morning. Mmmmm, you smell good, like a man. All sweaty."
I just chuckled at her as she gave me a somewhat devilish smile.
"I am going to go take a shower. Your mom said breakfast will be ready in a few minutes and you needed to get up and get ready."
She was starting to sit up so I went out and took a shower, brushed my teeth and got dressed. When I got back to her room, she had an armload of stuff and was headed out the door. Then, strangely, she pointed to the bed and told me to sit. I did as I was told.
About 7 minutes later ... which, based on my estimation of how long it took Tina and Margret to take showers at home, seemed really fast for a girl ... Zoe came back. She had a towel wrapped around her head, and another one around her body, just covering all the stuff that interest guys.
I was not sure what was going on, and was torn between total fascination, and wanting to bolt for the door.
She looked over her shoulder at me and smiled, but said nothing. She folded my shirt and put it on the top of her dresser with her boxer shorts. I guess she had decided to keep that shirt for herself. She reached into a drawer, pulled out a pair of panties, and slid them on while the towel still covered her. Keeping her back to me, she dropped the towel. Her body was toned and curvy, the bikini style panties showing the lower swells of her butt cheeks, where her legs joined the rest of her body. As she moved, I could see the muscles move in her shoulders and back. She pulled out a bra, did something in the front and then twisted it around putting the straps into place.
Now clothed, at least to some degree, she turned around and started gathering up clothes. She pulled on jeans and a t-shirt, sat down putting on socks and shoes. The whole time she kept glancing at me. I was pretty sure I had stopped breathing. While I had not really seen anything, at least nothing you wouldn't see at any beach, it was possibly the most erotic thing I had ever seen. It took me a moment to remember to get my heart beating again.
She pulled me up and kissed me gently again.
"Come on. Mom is probably wondering why we aren't down, yet."
Breakfast was a pretty quiet. We chatted about inconsequential stuff like my morning run and what classes we had. Mrs. Bell announced she was driving us to school, just until things returned to normal. When she dropped us off, she reminded both of us we needed to go to the office before going to class. As we closed the door, she rolled down one window.
"You kids have a good day at school and I will pick you up in the afternoon. Be good! Love you two!"
I tripped as my legs went out of sync and almost fell down. It was one of those off-the-cuff "I love yous" people say when departing, and was motherly on top of that; but it was also the first time anyone had ever said that to me. Being in the foster system, there isn't usually a lot of time to build affection, either between the kids or between the kids and parents. Even caring foster homes aren't places where people tell each other they love them. Zoe noticed, grabbed my hand, and squeezed it. We walked into school holding hands.
At the office, we were told to sit for a moment. The Principal came, called Zoe into her office. I waited. After about fifteen minutes, Mrs. Polanski got me, and brought me back to her office, too.
"The first thing is I wanted to say, is how proud I am for you to be here at Truman High, Mr. Grey. I looked at your previous grades, and notes from teachers, and you are clearly an excellent student. So, even if nothing else had happened, I am sure you would have been an asset. But your actions yesterday, on the very first day of school, exemplify what a good citizen should be. You stood in defense of a classmate you had never met. While we do not condone fighting, you seemed to do just enough to defend yourself. Coach Andrews tells me from what he saw; he believes you could have done a lot more damage. He also commented on how you stopped fighting as soon as there were adults available to make it safe for you and Ms. Bell.