Ellie found the chocolate chip muffins in the kitchen. They were right out of the oven. Perhaps Roger was making a piece offering of some sort. She knew they hadn't talked that much since she got back.
"So how's your job?" She pulled up a chair with her mug of coffee.
"It sucks." Roger shrugged.
They were quiet then as they pulled apart muffins and began to eat.
"What's he doing?" Roger asked.
"Are you going to just call him he, all the time? He has a name." She shot Roger a look. "Lon's asleep."
"God, how did this happen?" Roger looked at her then as if she'd wounded his whole summer.
"Lon is not Lonnie." She shrugged.
"Yeah, I can see that." Roger sipped at his coffee. "I just didn't think you would do something like this. Not after this past year. You were so not that girl who got mixed up with Ryan. And the whole Elliot thing. God, are you sure you want to do this?"
"This is different." She nodded.
"No, its not. Its like you on boys, or should I say you on drugs. Boy drugs. Just you have it easier now. Probably, just your summer fix." Roger pointed out.
"Look, he's going through some stuff." She winced.
"And you're going to save him?" Roger said quickly.
"You are so wrong about all of this. I-I think I've grown up." Ellie nodded. "And I feel comfortable with him. And, and he likes being with me. And I didn't want to just let it slip away, you know. I want this. I do. And you don't have to be such a butthead about it."
"Sorry." But Ellie knew he wasn't. He got up then and washed his dish. She watched Roger, but she thought of Lon. And she couldn't help but smile.
She thought of the first moment she met him. Instantly, she couldn't even find words in her dizzy head to even manage to get a sound out. She'd just smiled, and she thought he slightly winked at her. His smile was contagious, and he'd made the silence of Lonnie's graduation so giddy and almost uncomfortable, yet not.
He looked outrageously cool in the brown western cut suit he'd wore. Perhaps a punk of some sort. Anybody else would have looked cheap in that sort of thing, but he'd made it work with those pointy-toed tan boots. And he never sweat once in that hot gym. He'd mentioned something about hunting for wild fires that day. Afterwards, they'd gone out to dinner with Lonnie's family, and people kept saying things along the line, "Who's your date, Lon?"
At first he'd explained that it wasn't a date, but then after awhile, he let it slip. It was as if everyone just assumed they were together. Then there was the dance. Ellie was reluctant to even try this country and western stuff, but then she didn't dance with anyone but him. Although, it had been awkward in the beginning to do the two-step with him, but eventually, it became this amazing thrill as she let go and felt a part of the music with him. Spinning. Gliding. Everything in sync. Being a part of each other. And she knew she wanted so much to exactly know how it would be if they were actually together.
He just gave her a silly grin as if he knew exactly what she wanted. It had been a hot night with a dry heat, and he'd looked at her under the street lights in her car. He'd driven because he knew where to go.
That's when he gave her a run down of his history. He told her right then she didn't want to get mixed up with him. And yet they'd kissed and after awhile she was sure she did. She was sure of it. Then he'd talked of the beach. Told her, she hadn't been to Texas until she'd been to the coast. "You need to go. That's what you really need."
So they'd gone. And it was so quaint, yet real. Nothing big. Just the two of them. The hot sand. The beach. Perhaps one test after another. Camping. Fishing. And somehow she'd kept up. He'd waited for her. Maybe he could still be waiting for her, but she didn't want him too.