I walked around the truck and climbed into the driver’s seat. I started the engine and headed in the direction of her grandfather’s farm. The radio was on; I played with the dials, searching for a song.
Mikayla was the first to speak. “When you drop me off, do you have a sec’?”
“Yeah, I have a two hour break before I have to be back at practice.” Maybe my day wasn’t going to be so bad after all.
“Perfect.” She didn’t say anything else, but left me wondering what she had in mind. She leaned her head back and relaxed as the wind from the open window blew her hair all around. I wasn’t prepared for how happy it made me feel to see her riding in my truck. I could get used to having her next to me.
I waited until we were parked in her driveway to apologize. I cleared my throat. “I’m sorry about yesterday. Thanks for giving me a second chance. What can I do to make it up to you?”
“You just did by giving me a ride home. We can call it even.” She smiled. “Wait here. I’ll be right back.” She quickly jumped down from the truck and walked toward the house.
Without even being invited, I followed her.
She stopped on the front porch and turned around to face me, “Wait here. And I mean it.” She pointed her finger at my chest.
“Where are you going?” I asked, but she didn’t respond.
She disappeared into the house, returning a minute later. “Here’s your shirt. I washed it for you.” She held it out to me.
I was taken aback. This was not what I had expected. “I said you could keep it.” I pushed it back at her.
“You said a lot of things.” She sounded both angry and hurt.
Finally I understood why she had me drive her home. She wasn’t giving me a second chance; she was paying me back for standing her up. She led me here on false pretenses only to let me down. “So you are mad about yesterday.” She didn’t say anything but the angry look on her face said it all. “I really was helping my dad change a tractor tire. I called. Did Emma tell you?”
“Yeah and she also said that you’d call back.”
“I took a shower and then crashed.” I didn’t tell her that I’d decided she’d be better off without me. “Changing a tractor tire isn’t as easy as it sounds.” I took a deep breath. Lowering my voice and changing my tone, I added, “I’m sorry I didn’t call. Can you give me another chance?”
“No.” She turned to disappear back into the house.
I couldn’t let her go that easy. I had to get her to change her mind about me. I reached out and in one swift move I pulled her against my chest. I could feel her heart beating against mine. I paused one second too long the other night and I wasn’t about to make the same mistake twice. I dipped my head down. I couldn’t wait to taste the sweetness of her mouth. I was inches away from touching my lips to hers when she stiffened in my arms.
She pushed against my chest with both hands. I let her go. “It’s time for you to leave, James.” She stormed inside, slamming the door behind her.I bent over and picked up my fallen shirt. I left it neatly folded on the swing. I wanted her, but I could wait. Forcing her to feel something that she wasn’t ready for was not my style. She’d come around. She wouldn’t have bothered to go to such extremes to get back at me if she didn’t care. I’d give her time to cool down and then I’d be back.