As They Say

by D K Daniels

Entry 14

This story takes place in Ireland, my homeland. Some words and uses of words may be unfamiliar. I'll list them below and explain them as best as I can.

Rasher - Rashers are a large strip of Bacon-Ham, substantially thicker and broader than American bacon.

26th May 1991

Sorry, I didn't get a chance to check in with you yesterday. I didn't feel like writing yesterday not that yesterday was a sad day or anything. I guess nothing fascinating happened. Ross and I woke up the next morning and the both of us pretended that nothing had happened. Yeah sure he was a little weird when he woke up, I get a bit groggy too, which was cute to see. But after breakfast which was an outstanding breakfast mam cooked up a fry for all of us. We had sausages, pudding, rashers, toasted bread and scrambled egg. It was gorgeous, and everyone was in high spirits even Ross's mood shifted at breakfast, he was back to his radiant self, and it was like last night never even happened.

Yeah, it might have made me a little sad, but I'm glad that whatever had happened didn't seem to come between us. I can't believe the two of us locked eyes with each other last night; It felt natural the two of us falling asleep facing each other; I don't think it's terrible I'm just majorly confused as to what is going on. Mam was all happy, and she was talking with all my friends, and she was asking what we want to do for the day. I didn't think much of it of what do for the day. All the time she's talking with the boys; I couldn't help myself, kept glancing across the table as everyone munched on toast and sausages to see Ross. Every time he smiled, it made me squirm in the chair and when his smile faded as he continued eating this mysterious force drew my attention to him. He has the most unbelievably white set of teeth I have ever seen on a person, and probably the most kissable lips. But I think I was looking at him a lot longer than I should have been. I guess mam picked up on it. When I turned my attention back to the group at the table; I caught my mam staring at me. She had this weird expression on her face; she was listening oddly to the boys talk, while at the same time she was observing me. I merely brooded and guided my eyes down towards the breakfast plate. Though every time I attempted to raise my eyes to the tops of my sockets; she was still looking at me it appeared that she was trying to evaluate something that she saw. She'd occasionally smile when one of the boys said something funny and then like a robot or something she just went back into what she was supposed to be doing. You know like one of those times when you see someone in a trance, they're just dead staring at a particular spot or someone; while all of a sudden they just spring back into life and then they just kind of jolts themselves back into the moment and then they answer you or something like that. Yeah like one of those times.

So after brunch, we all decided to get dressed and head into the town. I brought some money with me, and I bought everyone candy while we were in there. I asked Ross what he wanted, and he got gummy bears of course. He surprisingly likes those, doesn't he? We were going to go to the GAA grounds, but instead, we decided to give Ross a bit of a welcoming party or something. Because Eli said that we could go to his house and we could do a round of paintball. Now when I thought about it, I just assumed- or my mind jumped to how sore this it could be. But it wasn't sore. I thought it was going to be, though ironically not.

Ross seemed down for the idea, and if Ross was down for the idea; then I guess I had to do it because I wanted to be around him. When we got there, do you know who came running out of the house when she saw all the boys walking up the driveway? Emma; Eli's sister came running out of the house, and she was like, "hey boys what are you doing." Her eyes wandered the line; the moment she caught sight to me she just started making her way to me, and she was like, "Hey Adam… How are you today." I just grumbled, "I'm fine." I hope that she's rather got the message; apparently, she didn't. Emma just seemed to brush my little standoffish escapades and carried on with her lecture, and shifting smiles in my direction; which is totally gross. When Eli said that we were going to play some paintball- it wouldn't take a genius to guess what she said. "Can I play," Emma asked. She was so enthusiastically repulsive. Everything from the way she was acting was so extra; she wanted to be around me, and it was annoying at first, now it's getting frustrating. I can't even hangout Eli anymore without her getting in the works. Can't she take a hint; like I've been as rude to her as many times as I possibly can possibly brush someone off; though she still does not get the memo. What do I have to do to tell her that I'm not interested; she's just so goddamn persistent.

And to make my matters worse, all the boys said, "yes." I didn't even have a say in the matter. I didn't bother saying anything; before I could even consider getting a word out my mouth, everyone just said "sure" Talk about letting a man go at it alone. If this is some sick or cruel joke that I am being petitioned for. I don't want to be. If this is some TV show where they record your reaction and put it on national TV for the entire world to see that they've punked you; then I want to be paid a salary for all the misery that is being thrown my way.

Anyway, so Eli goes in and tells his mam we're all here, then we headed out around the back of the house where his shed is. His dad runs some of the local funfairs and stuff in the town. On top of that, his dad is the go-to guy for entertainment or catering equipment on the West Coast. So anytime there's something big happening in the likes of Cork, Kerry, Galway, or Mayo his dad usually caters. In our case his dad stocks paintball guns. They don't have a whole lot, probably about ten of them, but it was enough for us anyway. So, Eli dawdled around for the most part and made sure all had air in the canisters and paintballs for people to fire. Eventually, we went out to one of the fields down the back that has a lot of trees. It's kind of like a forest, though the tree line flushes onto Eli's property. We decided that this was probably the best place to do it considering there's no other place for kilometers to use for cover and on top of that I don't think his mam would be very happy if the lot of us decorated her house.

Basically, we set off, and we split into two teams. Me, Carl, and Emma. And the tagalong of the group, Jonathan was on my team. While Eli decided to take Ross on his team and the other two boys. We divided, furthermore we ran to separate sides of the wooded area. Before the match began, Eli gave a time that we would all start the actual game, deciding that we wait 10 minutes for everybody to get in position. Once the ten minutes were up; my group headed out into the woodlands. I'm astonished that nobody ignited the competition before the ten minutes were up. Genuinely; I am astounded because comprehending the boys they would have simply begun without really giving a shit whether a time allowance was set.

Eventually, we were tackling each other head-to-head. Everybody was pretty heated for the most part. Ross was holding himself quite well, to be honest. I never imagined that he would be able to carry himself like a hero. But every time I wanted to get up close to him and shoot a paintball at him I couldn't. I think; actually I know so my legs are bruised from all the paintballs he shot at my legs. No matter how many times I came out from cover behind a tree to shoot at Ross, I could not pull the trigger. Sure I had no problem pulling the trigger on anybody else especially Eli sister. She was useless; she could not even aim the gun accurately nevermind shoot it. And if she did fire; I assume she'd be dangerous because she was pointing at people's heads and everything. Or well thereabouts. I can guarantee if she managed to fire off one shot she would've taken somebody's eyeball out, then again we were made wear protective headgear. Thank God for that, but it feels a little weird that I'm gone a little soft I mean a couple of months I would have no problem shooting one of the boys for the paintballs. I couldn't blast Ross; what was up with that.

There was a moment though when I did chase Ross; I was determined to y shoot him but then again, I couldn't. I fired a shot finally, but I aimed off toward a tree, and it hit a trunk. You have no idea how hard it was not to hit him. I wasn't even aiming for him when I shot him I guess I just wanted to provoke some paranoia in him that I was actually trying to inform even though I wasn't. And then just out of nowhere, he turned to glance over his shoulder, and he stumbled forward and went straight into a tree. My heart sank; I stopped aiming, and I started running towards him; he began to panic because he taught that I was going to obliterate him. Then when Ross saw me that I was being soft and genuine -and I had no ill intent, he calmed down. It was just the two of us are there amongst the trees. I could hear the boys and Emma screaming back in the background and it felt weird because the two of us were so along. The intensity of nature and the group off in the distance intensified.

"Are you okay," I asked. I bet my eyes looked hungrily for a response. I feel like this my fault; if Ross hadn't of looked over his shoulder, he wouldn't of went straight into a tree. But he just cracked a smile and just said, "I'm all right."

With the two of us alone; acknowledging the awkwardness, I could've sworn that he was acting adorable on purpose. I'm not too sure how to explain it; you know that thing that girls do when they're interested, they get bashful and all shy. Yeah, well it felt like Ross was doing that to me. Leaning back on the tree; He bit his bottom lip. The thought crossed my mind about kissing him. I mean I was going to do it; I think he wanted me to do it, but then Carl's voice called out, "shoot the enemy," he shouted. Just like that he opened fire on me with no remorse, I gripped onto my gun even tighter and darted between the trees. I think Carl was the only one that chased me because Ross didn't when I glanced behind.

But yeah that was my day, felt weird actually. I mean yesterday I was nervous about even being in the same space as Ross. The day before that I was terrified of hosting a sleepover party would all my friends and a cute boy. Though now I feel like I want to make a move; I know I'm not entirely ready. I don't know how I know; still, I just do. I'm not crazy or anything – but I just want to be careful because you know, I don't want to scare him off. I don't think I'd be able to forgive myself if I scare him off.

Oh… and yeah, I forgot to mention; Carl asked if I could help him on his farm tomorrow. His dad said he'd take us into to Killarney for the day. I didn't want to go exactly. I mean yeah sure it's okay except it felt like I would be wrong to go without Ross. For some odd notion, I keep thinking of Ross Castle. He liked that day; I'm pretty sure he did. Maybe I should ask my mam to bring us there again, or perhaps I can think of someplace better to take him.

What does this town have the best to offer... apart from the massive hill on the O'Neill's farm or the sweet shop in the town? Awhh... yeah and the church which I don't take Ross as the religious type. The only other thing I can think of is the parklands. I haven't been there in years; It is a nice place. The parklands house sculptures built from a load of really arty type people. A lot of people go there during the summer months; it's like our version of Killarney National Park only smaller. Perhaps I can attempt to speak to him regarding these odd occurrences arising between us. I know things are happening, I assume both of us knows that something profound is occurring; I understand it's going to be delicate although at least we will be alone to address it. Let's hope that I don't chicken out. I'm getting sick of becoming chicken. I want to be courageous and approachable; you know one of those guys. I don't want to be a stuttering mess all my life; I need to man up and act my age. Okay well I've got to go I'll talk later – Adam.

The End Of Entry 14

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