April 30th, 2018

It’s 70 degrees as I open the door of Ivy Tech community College with my paper in hand that is signed, stamped, and officiated with the words “passed”. Suddenly it’s like I’ve walked into a different world. I’m starting my career. I’ve taken the first step. I’ve earned the title.

I take in the screamo music blaring from the speakers even though I am not necessarily a fan. I focus on the lyrics because words are what I live for. My co worker drives, focused on the bumper to bumper traffic in downtown fort wayne. Her unforgettable bright red hair makes her hard to forget.

She pulls into the parking lot of the Glenbrook mall for some celebrational food. I laugh internally because I’ve only been here a few times and she navigates it like it’s normal for her. I think about how I’m not a typical teenager. I don’t go very many places. I don’t shop at big outlet malls. Instead I go for bargains and clothes with character.

I snapchat Daryl while I wait for my food. I’m in a mood. One of my crazy, I want to feel something moods. So I tell him that I need to celebrate. He takes the hint and says we’re going out to eat tonight. He asks me where I want to go like he already knows from the few times that we’ve gone out that I’ve always got a specific craving. So today I tell him, somewhere with ice cream.

I stop at walmart because I am a young adult and I need to be responsible. I grab an armful of microwavable dinners for the next week. It’s going to be a busy week and I pack my lunch and diner.

Then I make my way to dairy queen to meet up with daryl.

He pulls up in his white suv. Not the red pickup that I love. He’s got the stupid cheesy cookie monster shirt on with his classic gold chain and he’s got his hat on backwards. His hair, freshly cut and cologne drifting off as he walks past. Like a country rebel. He flicks his cigarette on the ground and asks me if I’m ready to go in.

I grab my food while he’s in the bathroom just so he wouldn’t pay for me. I choose a booth by the window and sit down. He slides in on the other side. I’ve got a large frappe and he’s got a basket with a burger. We spend 45 minutes just talking about life, until he has to leave.

I’m not sure why I’ve been spending this much time with him. I mean, yeah he’s attractive. But I’m not looking for anything and neither is he. Besides, we hung out three times last week and nothing remotely even happened. But I love sitting in his passenger seat while he dj’s and smokes one cigarette after another while telling me all about his life in the past 3 or 4 years. He’s always been a flame and I’ve always loved playing with fire.

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