After my last story my friend Alex convinced me to start writing them here. Besides the lack of rights conflict there is one big benefit, spell check! This story stumped spell check several times, though.
For this build-a-story I said I'd take a name from the first three people to post one. Here's the source thread. One of the girls (she's my girl from way back, one of the few that knows me in-real-life) gave me options and I picked Ina. The other two names were Spencer and Theodore.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it (but I doubt you will, this was a real depression cloud buster for me. Thanks girls, I love you!)
The flick at the back of my ear wrenched me out of the book I had been living in since I had gotten on the activity bus. A second flick followed as I tried to dive back into the plot.
"Stop it, Theo-dork," I said in irritation to my oh-so-annoying step-brother in the seat behind me.
"Just making sure you are alive, Ina" he said. He thought he was so funny. His girlfriend did to. She giggled that air-head giggle of hers and I rolled my eyes at the sound of it.
Rolling my eyes was a mistake. It took my eyes off the page and they passed over the person I was trying NOT to think about, Spencer Adams.
Sweet, smart, sexy, Spencer Adams was incredibly hard to ignore. I was pretty sure I was the only female in a thirty mile radius that even tried. Even the guys worshiped him, and why wouldn't they? He was Captain of every team, smart, funny, and even had played the lead in the school musical last spring.
I went to see it, because I was supporting my friends in the chorus, not because I wanted to hear Spencer sing. In fact I wish I hadn't heard him sing, because it made him that much harder to ignore.
I tore my eyes off of the side of Spencer's happy face and forced myself to look at the page. I wasn't reading though, I was listening to Spencer talk to his friend about football. I wasn't much into sports, but Spencer could make anything interesting.
You would think a guy like him would be completely full of himself, and in this case you'd be wrong. If he had been I would have been over him a long time ago. I think arrogance makes guys ugly. I have a whole list of stars I can't stand to watch because of it. It saves me a lot of money, because I never go to the movies.
And no, I'm not the kind of girl guys ask to the movies. If I go, it's with a friend, and usually to the little theater downtown that shows indi-films. I'm not interested in cookie-cutter box office hits, and most teen boys don't get those.
As I stared at the page and listened to Spencer encourage his team-mate I wondered if he likes indi-films. I decided to think that he doesn't. He would like happy endings and characters that lived idyllic lives like his own, where the biggest problem is winning State and getting a date.
Not that either of those things were ever a problem for Spencer.
Sometimes I secretly hated him... almost as much as I secretly loved him. Almost.
Now incredibly angry with myself I put the book aside and turned to stare out the window. We were leaving the suburbs now. It wouldn't be long until we reached the paleontological dig that our Senior class was visiting today.
I was looking forward to it. Sure you saw more bones in the museum, but seeing it in the ground was going to be a treat. How many people got to see that?
The trip was wasted on people like Theo-dork and his girlfriend though. Theodore wasn't interested in anything but sports, and I don't think she had the IQ to be interested in anything but my step-brother. I just wished she was interesting enough to keep him from bugging me, but no... no girl had done that yet. She wouldn't last another month.
I knew I was being too hard on Theodore, even if it was just in my head, and therefore didn't count. He wasn't a bad guy, and neither was his Dad. Ted Sr. had, after all, possessed the sense to know my mom was a gem, even though she wasn't at all like his vapid ex-wife. I wondered how long it would be before Theodore figured out he should be dating girls less like his mom and more like mine. I had a whole list for him when he did.
The bus finally came to a stop and we all shuffled down the aisle and milled around the bus waiting for Mr. Freeman to finish talking to the Scientists. Spencer was right at his side, and I tried not to watch through the crowd as Spencer chatted with the Paleontologist like they were old friends.
From behind me I heard some laughing and turned to find some of the class clowns gathered around Eric, who was normal enough to come on field trips, but delayed enough to be easy fodder for the... well I'd use the R word to describe them but that would be an insult to every Special Needs person I know.
"Better watch out, the dinosaur might eat you," on of the boys was saying. The others backed him up with scary noises and looming clawed arm movements as they drew in tighter around Eric.
"What are you, twelve?" I asked them walking over and doing some looming of my own. "Grow up and leave him alone," I said glaring them down.
"Oh no, we've awakened the Ina-saurus," one of them said with mock dread. I rolled my eyes again as they walked away. Honestly, there was no hope for them.
"Ina-saurus," Eric repeated, and I caught the laughter in his eyes. I had always loved how much emotion showed in his eyes. He may not have looked like everyone else and acted like everyone else, but you could never tell me he didn't understand as much as everyone else.
"Don't you start calling me names," I said to him with a wink.
"Noooo," he said with a smile. "You my friend, Ina."
"You're my friend too, Eric," I said giving him a little hug around the waist, which made him laugh. That made me smile.
"I didn't know you two were friends," an unmistakable voice said from behind me. I turned to find that Spencer had come towards us while the rest of the crowd had moved away.
"Yeah," Eric said happily,but he was already bored with the subject. "Go see dinosaur," he said grabbing my hand and pulling me along.
"Eric man," Spencer said turning and falling into step with us, though of course no one could match Eric's step-slide gait, "You can't just go grabbing girl's hands like that, Dr. Jones said..."
"He's fine," I broke in, a little irritated with Spencer. Who made him the hand police? Why did he think he needed to boss Eric around anyway?
He looked a little thrown by my response, "Sorry," he said quietly.
We had reached the back of the group and Eric was straining to see over and around heads as the class listened to the Paleontologist talk about the find. He had a large trilobite in a box and was explaining how when it was found they knew this was a good area to start looking for other fossils. I held onto Eric's hand, occasionally soothing his arm with my other hand as we waited for the lecture to end. He was having a hard time containing his excitement, but he got this way over meatloaf sometimes too. I was really proud of him.
"Just a few more minutes," Spencer said from Eric's other side. "Remember I told you we get special time with the fossil, but we have to wait our turn."
"And Ina," Eric said swinging his arm up to display our still clasped hands. "Ina-saurus and dinosaur," he added with a giggle.
I laughed and shook my head at Spencer's confused look. Eric's excitement was rubbing off on me, and that coupled with my proximity to Spencer had me in a rare mood.
"Hey man," Spencer said. "I arrange all this and you ditch me for a girl? Where's the love, bro?"
Eric laughed again, which irritated some people in front of us. Their expressions changed when they saw who was hugging Eric back.
The crowd started moving and the Paleontologist moved down the line to give Eric a good look at the trilobite. Eric's eyes were bright and he danced around a bit as he looked at the fossil. I placed my hand on his forearm to try and help him calm down.
"Can he touch it?" Spencer asked hopefully.
The Paleontologist moved his head around and caught Eric's eye, "Gently," he said. "You can touch this one very gently."
Eric nodded furiously, and yanked his hand back nervously a few times as he reached for the precious piece of history. I could tell he was worried he wasn't going to be gentle enough. When his fingers finally did touch the surface it was too much for him. He yanked back and danced around, twisting my arm as he did, having forgotten he was still holding my hand.
I couldn't help but let an, "Ow," slip out as I disentangled my arm.
"Are you okay?" Spencer asked, the worry evident on his face. The Paleontologist had backed away with the box.
"Of course I am," I said. "He's just excited," I said shaking out the lingering pain. I was more worried that we had freaked out the Scientist. I turned to look at the dusty man, "Thank you, you can't imagine what this means to him."
The man smiled, "Oh, I think I can. I was just as excited the first time I touched something billions of years old."
I turned to find that Spencer had helped Eric calm down, and Eric repeated "Thank you," several times as the Paleontologist took the fossil back to its storage building. Spencer's grin was almost as big as Eric's. I took Eric's hand and he turned to look at me, "Sorry, Ina," he said, and I was ready for the "Ina-saurus" this time.
I winked at him to let him know we were cool then tugged on his hand so we could go watch the volunteers in the pit with the skeleton. We walked up the rise then stood well back from the rope while Eric craned to see, bouncing on the balls of his feet. This was like Christmas for him.
"Spencer Mom!" Eric cried out suddenly waving wildly.
Everyone turned to stare at us, including a woman in the pit who waved back with a smile. Spencer waved to his mom and I figured out where he got his great hair from. She waved at others in the group, obviously a known face among Spencer's crowd. I thought she looked back at me though before she returned to brushing at the dirt along a rib.
"Is that how you arranged this?" I asked Spencer around Eric. "Your mom works the dig?"
"It pays to be connected," Spencer said with a wink. "I think it took her a weeks worth of lunches to butter them up, but she'd do anything for Eric."
"Spencer Mom my friend," Eric said. "Ina-saurus, Mom-a-saurus."
I tried not to laugh at the comparison, I would never be anything like Dr. Adams. She taught science at the college, was completely gorgeous, and did all kinds of charity work. She was perfect, like Spencer was. If we were both dinosaurs she was an Apatosaurus and I was the chicken sized one no one knew the name of.
"Ina-saurus, Mom-a-saurus," Eric kept repeating as we followed the class to the tent where other Scientists were working on sifting dirt. The repetitive words were like the beat of a song that played in the back of your head, over and over.
"Ina-saurus, Mom-a-saurus," Spencer joined in. We were far enough from the others that no-one seemed to mind.
"Ina-saurus, Mom-a-saurus, Er-ic-a-saurus REX!" I cut in.
Eric loved that, and as we all laughed Spencer caught my eye. His hazel orbs were glimmering in a way I'd never seen them shine before, and our eyes stayed locked long after the laughter had left my lungs empty. I was unable to fill them for fear of re-starting time, so I stood there with a stupid grin on my face and let his gaze slowly kill me with pure pleasure.
Eric yanked our arms to get closer to the tent and I was released from that gaze. For a mili-second my heart screamed, destitute that the moment was over, but then Spencer looked right back over at me, a brilliant smile upon his face, and that smile was just for me.