They were sitting on one of the Angel Square park benches, with Odessa trying her hardest to pay attention to The Boy, whose eyes were illuminant under the park’s lights. He’d been explaining to her that he’d stayed nearly 3 more hours after Odessa left the garage that afternoon, and basically went home to pass out. When The Boy received the early phone call from his boss, he’d apparently forgotten to unplug the phone cord before leaving his place. When he returned home he’d been napping soundly, until he received a call shortly before 8:30pm; coincidentally close to 25 minutes before halftime was to begin. It had been Gisella, who’d managed to get The Boy’s contact number from her pseudo-grandmother Roxy, who in turn happily gave it to her. Gisella made the call and asked The Boy to meet her on the hill. She claimed it was a “huge emergency” and she needed to see him. They agreed to meet on the large hill near the stadium. However, it appeared the emergency was her mum and little brother were visiting her Grandmother Vicki for the night, and she had the house all to her herself. In other words, Gisella was “propositioning” The Boy. He rejected Gisella’s offer and she ensued in expressing her feelings for him. The Boy then felt he couldn’t let Gisella carry on any further, and he explained to her that he liked her, but only as a friend. A relationship between them wasn’t possible, mostly because he had really strong feelings for someone else: Odessa. In a nutshell, he’d let her down easily but firmly, although she was being extremely persistent. Eventually, she got the picture though. What Odessa had seen was the end of the conversation, where Gisella was giving him a friendly hug.

Odessa was all of amused, annoyed and shocked upon hearing this: amused that Gisella would stoop so low to be that pathetic; annoyed that Gisella actually got to speak with The Boy on the phone when she, herself, still hadn’t; and shocked that The Boy was able to get through to Gisella that he wasn’t interested in her offer.

“And what about the kiss?” Odessa asked cautiously.

“Kiss?” The Boy tried to recall. “Ohh, that’s something she took upon herself to do, I guess…” he chuckled.

Hmph! I’ll bet!!

“Look, the bottom line is there is nothing going on between Gisella and me... I can’t stress that enough,” his arm was around her and he gave Odessa a reassuring squeeze.

“I swear that girl never ceases to amaze me,” Odessa started. “Do you know that she was actually at the game with her part-time college fling, who also happens to be my older cousin’s best friend? Obviously, she was able to sneak away from him during the game. I mean good grief! Gisella takes the word ‘tramp’ to a whole, other level!”

“Well, she seemed nice enough. At least I got some free milkshakes from her,” The Boy teased.

Odessa gave him a disapproving look, but she laughed when remembering Kiko’s comment about getting free milkshakes. “She’s definitely worth the price of free ‘shakes, alright.”

“Oooh, harsh! What’s the deal with you two anyway?”

“It’s a long story, maybe one day when you’re older I’ll tell you…”

“Hehe, so it’s like that huh? Actually, I think I remember her telling me one time she’s going to be in her cousin’s wedding. I’m assuming she meant Jamie Vega.” Odessa’s eyes widened at the reminder. “So you’ll be bridesmaids with her then?” The Boy continued.

“Uhh, I think it’s time we changed the subject now.”

The Boy smiled but slowly became solemn. “Alright then… How about us?” Odessa looked at him, puzzled. “Where do we go from here?... Do we give ‘us’ a chance?”

Odessa gave him a bright, cheeky smile. “Tim, I really hope that was a rhetorical question.”

He returned her smile and shrugged. “I don’t know… I think I’ll need some sort of assurance.”

“Hmm, well I think that can be set,” she reached forward to give him another sweet kiss.

“Hooo! Okay, now I’m convinced…” he said and they sat on the bench comfortably cuddling in silence. A short while later, Odessa remembered to phone Tyler, who wasn’t happy she’d hung up on him earlier. The game was almost over, and was Llanview had possession of the ball and was winning 30-27 with a minute left in the game. The Warriors were likely to win and the group was going to stop by the Diner Vega for a post-game celebration. He wanted to confirm if she was with his father at the hospital, and whether she was getting a ride home from him. He also told her Gisella wasn’t with them as she left sometime during the third quarter with Ace. Odessa was the least bit surprised at that. But she said that she was with actually by the Angel Square statue at the moment, and could meet them over at the Diner. Tyler wanted to know why she was there, but she told him not to worry about it. After getting off the phone with Tyler, Odessa asked The Boy if he wanted to come with her. The Boy was hesitant because of the, more than likely, huge crowd that would gather over there.

“Oh c’mon Tim! What’s with you and crowds anyway? Nevermind that, I want you to meet my cousin, Tyler”

The Boy was still deliberating but finally relented. “Alright, but only for a little bit…”

“Great! Oh, um, I hope you don’t mind but I think it’s best that I ride home with him, since my parents aren’t aware that I’ve now been on a motorcycle... I’ll have to prep them for that, but tonight’s not the night I feel like getting chewed out if one of them hears a motorcycle outside the house.”

“Hehe, it’s cool. I’ve got some other things to take care of…”

Odessa was curious, but not suspicious. “Oh yea? Like what?”

Before he could answer, the young couple heard a small crowd of people on the other side of the square. They were hooting and hollering joys of victory.

“WOOOOOOO! LLANVIEW HIGH IS WHERE IT’S AT!” yelled one, overly loud person.

The Boy chuckled. “I take it we beat our rivals, huh?” Odessa smiled and slowly nodded. Just like I beat mine…

Moments later, as they were walking over to The Boy’s motorcycle, parked nearby. From all the way, across the square The Boy spotted two people walking on the other side of Square; they stopped in a spot that was not well-lit, and appeared to be hugging each other. The Boy tensed up and was glowering over in their direction, and Odessa, who couldn’t see the two particularly well, noticed The Boy’s odd expression. “What’s the matter? Is something wrong?” she asked.

The Boy said still looking at the pair. He then turned to Odessa and smiled. “Nothing’s wrong, I thought I recognised that man for a moment, but I was probably mistaking.”

Odessa was baffled. “Huh? What guy? How can you even see that far in the dark—ohh, right! Nevermind… I forgot you have some sort of crazy eyesight or something,” she chuckled. But as the couple started walking off again, The Boy tensed up again and continued to stare at the man. Odessa was now curious and squinted her eyes, hurting and struggling to make out who the two people could be. The couple was walking into a bit of light and she was, barely, able to recognise the pair to be Hugh Hughes and Kiko’s mother, Kelly. “Whoa, it’s Kiko’s mom! If Kiko saw her with D.A. Hughes, she’d be hella pissed!” Odessa pointed out. The Boy was still silent. “Are you sure you don’t know Hughes?”

“Yea, I’m positive.”

Odessa was pondering for a moment. “Well… like you, he is from San Francisco, and he wears glasses, too… oooh maybe you two are related or something,” she kidded. “Like the saying goes, ‘it’s a small world, afterall’.”

The Boy scowled at her comment. “That’s for damn sure…” He said as he was putting his shades back on.

“Oh relax, I’m just teasing, besides… that guy comes off as a real asshole anyway, and you are far from that.”

“I know you were joking,” he said but he went back to glaring at D.A. Hughes again, until he and Kelly were out of sight.

Odessa looked up at The Boy, puzzled again by his reaction to Hughes. Then she recalled him at the cemetery. “Tim, you’ve never been to Llanview before, have you?”

He looked at her quickly. “No, why do you ask?”

She still hadn’t told him about her spying on him that day. “Nothing… just wondering…”

The Boy was now closely watching Odessa, which made her a bit edgy, especially since she couldn't see through his shades. But then he broke into a smile. “Nevermind... Like I said before, I was probably just mistaking.” He got on his bike “Alrighty, let’s head to the Diner now. Gotta get through that crowd, right?” and he handed her his helmet.

Odessa slowly put it on her head, still a bit thrown off about The Boy’s odd behaviour. But then she passed it off when she saw was he playful again. “Right... Anyway, I'm in the mood for mikshakes, all of a sudden.”

With that the young duo went off to the Diner Vega...


[Author's Note: This concludes the end of Part I… Reader feedback is highly appreciated. Cheers! :-) ]