Paramount
Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 23
Starbucks

   "Do you think Oliver likes me?" Megan asked Carter.
They were both sitting at the booth table in Starbucks. Megan had asked Carter to hang out with her so she could talk to him. Carter was more than happy to help her. He always thought of himself as a nice person. The kind that would help people whenever they needed it. He remembered in the fifth grade when he helped a third grade girl find her lost dog. He ended up getting a reward from it, but he turned it down because all he wanted to do was just help the girl.

"I think so." he answered her. "He talks about you a lot."
Megan's face lit up. "Really? That's great!"
Oliver Kessler was a friend of theirs that Megan had just recently developed feelings for. Carter knew for a fact that she was planning on going to Homecoming with him. She just wanted him to ask her out first.
She took a sip from her nonfat Caramel Brulée Latte before asking, "Who are you thinking of asking to Homecoming?"
 Carter pondered the thought for a minute. "I don't know."
"Come on." Megan said, her greenish-brown eyes flickering. "A lot of girls like you. There's gotta be one girl you could at least take to the dance."
"Well, there's this one girl---" he started, but she cut him off.
"Hate her."
  Carter laughed. "I hadn't even told you her name, yet."
"So," she said, giggling. "I hate every girl you like."
"That is true."
"So, who is it?" she asked.
"Her name is Nicole Lyon, but she's taking."
 "Good for you." said Megan. "I heard she wasn't that nice, anyway."
"Yeah, maybe you're right." he said, noticing two Junior girls walking into the coffee shop.
He knew Nicole through Andy.  Andy was good friends with Kimmie Tankersly, who was also best friends with Nicole. Carter had talked to Kimmie before and even exchanged phone numbers with her. He was a little disappointed that her friend Nicole had a boyfriend. Carter decided to shake the thought out of his mind. He could always take Jamie to the dance. She kind of liked him.
 "Hey, guys." Damien said, coming by their table.
Reese followed him.
"Hi, Damien." Megan said. "Sit, sit."
Damien and Reese sat down at the other side of the table.
"What are you guys doing here?" asked Reese.
"Talking." answered Carter. "Drinking some coffee."
"Give me that!" Reese said, snatching Megan's coffee from her hand.
She took a long sip from it.
"Hey!" chuckled Megan. "Give that back!"
"Make me!" Reese said in babytalk.
 "We were bored so we decided to drop by here." said Damien, waving at a couple of Paramount students who were ordering their lattes.
"Oh, that's cool." Carter said. "Megan was just asking me if Ollie liked her."
"Carter!" exclaimed Megan.
She didn't want Carter to tell everybody that she liked Oliver.
"Oh, that's okay, Megan." said Reese. "Your secret is somewhat safe with us."
"School was slightly better." stated Carter. "The teachers weren't as boring as last time."
"Even Ms. Smith?" Damien asked knowingly.
"Well, she's the exception." said Carter.
   He shuddered at the thought of hearing Ms. Smith drone on and on about the expectations for the class. Andy talked about his math teacher being boring, Carter wanted to trade teachers with him. He already had homework in almost every single class he had.
"Well, since we're here," Reese began, "we might as well order us some coffee."
"We'll be back shortly." announced Damien, sliding out of his seat.
When they were gone, Carter turned to Megan. "You think they're going out?"
"I don't know." Megan said wonderingly. "They've been hanging out more often than they used to."
Carter looked at Damien and Reese standing over by the ordering counter. He noticed Damien helping Reese order. If they were a stranger to someone else, they would look like a couple to them. He wondered why they were so into each other all of a sudden. They were good friends and all, but no one ever thought of them as a couple. Just mere best friends.
 The funny thing was that whenever Carter was with a girl, it was often thought of as a fling. Like when he dated Katie Russel in the seventh grade. Every kid at Paramount Middle School had thought they were just hooking up. That may have been true, but he hated when people assumed things before getting straight down to the facts.
He suddenly got a text from his mom. She wanted him to come straight home.
"Great." he groaned. "I gotta go."
"Why?" Megan asked.
"My mom wants me home."
  "That sucks." she said disappointingly
Carter got up to give her a hug. "I'll text you later."
"Okay." she said. "Wish you could have stayed longer."
"Yeah, same here, but my mom wants me home now."
 Every time he would go out somewhere, his mom would always call or text him to get back home. Carter wished his parents would leave him alone for five seconds. He was very close to his parents, but even he needed a little space sometimes.

 

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