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Standing In Shadows - 11. Chapter 11

SIS 11

After a few hours passed, and neither of us catching any fish, I heard Clinton sigh. We were both sweating in the late afternoon heat, and I was sure my ears and face would be uncomfortably sunburned if we stayed out here in the sun much longer. We hadn’t done much talking, Clinton would give me tips when he noticed me struggling with the different lures he presented for me to try. He wasn’t having any luck with it either, and I was starting to see the frustration build up in him.

“It must be too early,” Clinton said, reeling in his pole for the last time. He stood from his leather chair and stretched, his shirt sliding slightly up past the hem of his shorts. I glanced from the corner of my eye as I reeled my own pole, jumping when it made a loud strained noise when I had reeled it too far and the lure was stuck at the top.

“Sorry,” I said, hoping I didn’t break it, but Clinton just smiled and took the pole from me.

“My cousin Jared is left-handed if I can get him over his fear of water he can use the pole, but you didn’t break it or anything,” Clinton said as he pulled the two poles apart and stashed them in a sealed storage box on the front of the boat.

“Where do you pull up the anchor?” I asked looking around. Clinton pointed to the back, where a shiny metal black crank was. I walked over and started turning it with my good arm. The water at the lake was deep, so it took awhile and when I was finished, my arm stung and I had began to sweat. The life jacket was light weight, but seemed to absorb the sun’s heat, making it hotter. Clinton hadn’t put his life jacket on, but I didn’t feel foolish. I still didn’t trust Clinton enough not to pitch me overboard or play some other prank on me. Then laugh, taking pictures of my soggy cast as I awkwardly tried to get back on the boat or get to shore with one good arm. It would be the most devastating prank either of them would have pulled. I hated thinking that Clinton was capable of something like that, especially since he had been nice all day.

“I knew the fish wouldn’t really be biting, they’re all nesting,” Clinton said standing behind me. It caused me to jump, not expecting him to be there as I tried to figure out how to lock the anchor to keep it falling back into the water. “You just pull the crank up, it locks it.”

“Ok,” I said, hearing the click when I did what he said. I faced him, what he said finally sinking in, “then why did we go fishing?”

“Isn’t it fun just to hang out somewhere?” Clinton said, avoiding my question. He smirked reaching into a red cooler for a bottle of water. He handed it to me then retrieved another one. They were ice cold and dripping from melted ice, it was refreshing in the heat.

“Beats mowing the lawn,” I said after I drank half the bottle. He watched only taking a few small drinks from his.
“That it does,” he said and I wondered if he ever had to mow a lawn in his life or if they hired some neighborhood kid to do it for them. Someone like me, from the other side of the small county.

“Dad says it’s a good responsibility, I stopped getting paid for it around ten though,” Clinton said and I laughed at the slight whine in his voice.

“I thought you hired some unlucky kid to do that shit for you,” I said and he looked at me, he shook his head.

“No that’s Cj’s Dad Bill,” He responded, “my Dad thinks a little pointless responsibility will keep my ass humble.”

“My Dad just doesn’t want to see me ever sitting down,” I said, he chuckled rolling his eyes. He stepped around me and walked back towards the cabin of the boat. He took control of the wheel and brought the blindingly white boat back to life. I grabbed hold of the side again, before we started moving. I noticed him give me an awkward smile, turning back to look where he was going as he turned from the mouth of the river that helped feed the gigantic lake.

“I’m not going to push you overboard or anything,” Clinton said, over the roar of the engine I barely heard him, but his face contorted into a frown. “So you can stop holding on to things, I’m not that big of an ass.”

“Well you know,” I started before I thought about what I really wanted to say to him. The day had been good and I was starting to think nothing about Clinton’s intentions about this trip. Maybe it was just charity, to make up for ruining my phone at the party, then breaking my arm.

“What?” He said slowing down the boat ready to make a turn to do another lap around the lake. I looked behind us at the white rippled water left behind in our wake, and the waves speeding towards shore. The water was a dark green color, it was probably murky and someone probably couldn’t see around them beneath the water very far. It made the idea of falling or being pushed into the frigid water less appealing, the uncertainty of the water in the lake has always made me nervous.

“Well I don’t know, I guess I just don’t know why you asked me to come,” I said glancing at my cast. “Other than you feeling like an ass about this.”

“I asked you to come because I wanted you to,” Clinton responded, his shoulders slumping and I knew we were slowly ruining the day that we had so far.

“Thank you, I’m having fun, really,” I offered, causing his smile to return. “I’m just not sure about boats and my footing.”

“Do you want to drive it a little?” He asked and I shrugged, it would be something else I never did in my life. “I mean it might help you with boats.”

I wondered if Clinton suspected that. I knew Greg had, taking me places and doing things with me. The feeling that they both felt sorry for me about having a strict one-minded father crept back into my mind.

“Sure,” I said and he let me step into the cabin. He turned the key and hit a few switches then he stepped back out of the way to let me stand at the gears.

“You pull that one back to go backwards, but we have enough room to turn around,” Clinton said as he started to tell me what to do. I didn’t mind being instructed, I didn’t want to break anything, Dad would kill me if he had to pay to get a boat fixed. “You want to ease this one forward while you’re turning the wheel, you don’t want to do it fast though.”

“Ok,” I said and he let me take hold of the wheel and the gear. I slowly pushed it forward, feeling the boat lurch, I turned the wheel and had to steady my balance as the boat turned left. It was awkward with a cast, I couldn’t tell how much pressure I was putting on the gear like I would if my hand was free. I was able to turn the boat though, and I glanced over at Clinton to see him smiling.

“Now just push the same thing down more to get more speed,” he said and I pushed it before he had time to grab hold of the hand hold at the door of the cabin. He fell sideways onto a small leather bench laughing as I looked up and saw that we were going just below the speed limit of forty.

“Sorry!” I yelled over the roar of the boat, but he just waved his hand as he stood and grabbed the hand holds.

“I do that all the time,” he said as we sped in a straight line towards the more open part of the lake where other boats were.

Clinton let me drive his boat until gauges told us that we were getting low on fuel. The sun was also turning the sky from the clear blue, to the hues of orange and pink. It was getting late, later than I had thought until Clinton took over the driving, going back to the loading station. I looked around and felt the cooler temperatures and I realized that I had more fun this day, than in summers before this. Clinton looked over his shoulder and smiled, then cut the engine when we were at the docks. He hadn’t played a prank on me yet, so I trusted him when he offered to help me off the boat.

I watched as he and a helpful stranger put the boat back on the trailer, I wouldn’t be any help with the broken arm. I also didn’t know that much about loading and unloading a boat. It seemed simple watching, but I knew it wasn’t. Clinton talked to the guy for a few seconds then walked to where I was standing. He gave the guy a short wave and pulled out the keys to his truck.

“That was fun, wasn’t it?” He asked, I nodded offering him a smile. He then walked around the front of the truck and we got in. We rode in a more comfortable silence on the winding road away from the lake to the more straight roads of town. He seemed to be driving slower on the way back, being more careful or aware of the boat that he was hauling behind him. It was getting darker though and by the time we arrived at the house, lightning bugs were already coming out of their safe places they had during the day. The sun was hidden behind the trees around his house and gave everything a dark blue look of oncoming nightfall. Something was parked in the way this time though and I saw Cj leaned against his similarly large truck. It seemed to instantly solidify their bond again, having the same style of truck. Only Cj’s was a dark blue, but it looked black in the limited light. When Cj noticed me in the passenger seat, I saw his face darken as he frowned more. He had already been pissed when we arrived. Clinton got out of the truck quietly. He turned the caution lights on, still in the road. I stayed in the truck as Clinton closed the door and walked over to Cj. He made a motion, telling Cj that he was in the way, but he didn’t make a move to get into his truck and move. Instead he crossed his arms and I saw him nod in my direction. They weren’t talking loud enough for me to hear them from where I was.

They stopped when the front porch light flashed on and the front door opened. Clinton’s Dad entered the yard and looked at Cj, smiling he told him to move the truck, to get the boat out of the road. Cj hesitated for a few moments then did what Rob wanted. Clinton returned to the truck when Cj parked his truck next to my car, I grimaced when he missed my car by inches and I thought; intentionally parking it too close, where I would have to go around and get into the passenger side when I get ready to leave. Cj smirked when I got out of the truck, I hadn’t wanted to, but knew it would look stupid to barricade myself into Clinton’s truck while they talked.

“Hi again Corey,” Rob greeted shaking my hand.

“Hi Rob,” I said and he let my hand go.

“Did you boys have fun?” He asked and I noticed Cj turn to Clinton to wait for his answer.

“The fish didn’t really bite,” Clinton answered shrugging, dismissing the question as he glanced between his Dad and Cj not looking at me at all.

“So he taught me how to drive the boat,” I added, when Clinton didn’t explain the rest of the day. I felt the old feelings for Clinton and Cj rising to the surface now that they were both together again. Cj didn’t hide the smirk on his face, but Clinton had tried to hide the small smile that formed, he definitely didn’t want Cj to know that we had a good time on the lake without him there. It was probably one of the rare times that Clinton didn’t include Cj in his bigger plans for a day. It would be something I would have invited Andy and Keith to, if they weren’t at a summer camp.

“Well the boat looks in one piece,” Rob said offering me a pat on the back, “Clinton is a good teacher though.”

“Yeah,” I responded, “I better be getting back home.”

“It’s only 8, your old man won’t worry, come hang out,” Rob said, turning and walking back to the house. “I bet you haven’t had dinner yet.”

“No,” I said and glanced at Clinton before I turned and followed Rob back into the house. He led me to the large open kitchen. The food had been placed in plastic bowls.

“Hi Corey,” Clinton’s mother greeted. I probably should have known her name, but I didn’t. She offered her hand and I shook it gently offering her a shy smile. “I don’t think Clinton mentioned that you two patched things up.”

“Speaking of,” Rob said, fumbling for his wallet, “how much did your watch and cell cost?”

“I can’t remember,” I said, “Dad can probably tell you, I wouldn’t worry about it.”

“Don’t put him on the spot honey,” Clinton’s Mom said, putting a hand on Rob’s arm stopping him from opening his wallet.

“Clinton broke his watch and phone Merie,” he countered, but he didn’t argue with her further.

“Clinton will pay him back with the money he gets from work,” Merie said, “you can’t be bailing him out of all of his trouble.”

“It’s really nothing,” I offered hearing the front door open long enough for two people to come into the house, then close. I was now trapped in a house filled with people that I didn’t know too well, that had heard an embarrassing tirade from my father. I hated that they were nice about it, like it was nothing to them. My phone and watch had cost me two months' salary and help from Mom, and Rob was opening his wallet like it had been nothing. It just reminded me of where I stood in this town now. Jenny’s voice came to me when she talked so bad about my Mom, quitting her nice job as a full time teacher and her job at the hospital on weekends. To run a store that wasn’t really making enough money to support any of us. I wondered if everyone shared the same thoughts on Mom as Jenny, even though I didn’t. The store had always been something that made her happy, so I wasn’t going to get in her way. Seeing Mom at peace and able to deal with my father was something I never wanted to see come to an end. So I would deal with not having a watch or a cell phone for a few months, I didn’t need either of them right now anyway.

“Warm up the food in the microwave boys,” Merie said and gently pulled Rob back into the living room.

“You go first,” Clinton said, still standing next to Cj. I shrugged and opened the plastic bowls, filling my plate, I put it into the microwave.

“Better go fix the settings, I doubt he’s seen one of those,” Cj said as I closed the microwave door and was about to push the reheat button. It was just like the one at home, but I pretended that I didn’t hear Cj., but the silence bothered me. I didn’t hear Clinton coming to my defense either. Instead he busied himself with fixing his own plate and when mine was hot, I carefully took it out and sat it back onto the counter to eat.

“There’s pop or lemonade in the fridge,” Clinton said, but I filled my glass with water from the tap and ignored the luke warmness of it as I took a sip. Cj fixed his own plate and we all sat on the stools around the counter and ate our dinner.

“So why didn’t you call me?” Cj asked leaning over the counter to look at me, instead of Clinton. For a moment I thought he was asking me a question, but I didn’t even know his number. I had never had a reason or desire to call Cj.

“No service,” Clinton grunted, chewing.

“Bullshit,” Cj whispered so Clinton’s parents wouldn’t hear, but I thought the kitchen was large enough to muffle any conversations from being overheard. I also knew he had lied, since Clinton had missed at least one call, possibly more when I was driving the boat and couldn’t hear his phone. Cj didn’t hide his anger though, slamming down his plastic glass of Lemonade. “I’ll guess I’ll remember that when Dad wants me to invite you this weekend.”

“Where are you going?” Clinton asked looking interested, neither of them paying any attention to me now.

“Climbing,” Cj answered and I glanced at Clinton to judge his reaction. I could tell he looked disappointed and I thought he was just going to shrug and tell Cj that he didn’t care.

“Come on Cj, don’t be like that,” Clinton said, taking both his dishes and Cj’s and put them into the dishwasher with the other dirty dishes. I rolled my eyes and walked over to the dishwasher and put my own dishes away, since Clinton made no move to do it for me. It would probably cause him to miss the climbing trip if he had.

“Then you’ll make it up to me before then,” Cj said and I looked at Clinton looking relieved that Cj was going to give him another chance.

“Where do you go climbing?” I asked not sitting back at the counter with the other two. I noticed that Clinton looked completely uncomfortable and Cj noticed as well, because the smirk never left his face. I wondered why Clinton put up with Cj, but then I remembered that they had been friends forever, about the same amount of time Andy, Keith, and I have. In this small town best friends were everything. Clinton and Cj never would part ways and Cj definitely didn’t like being left out or ignored.

“It’s a club thing,” Clinton said, “they go climb cliffs all around the state.”

“It’s really exclusive,” Cj said, glancing in my direction. “Dad is the president of the club and friends are invitation only by members.”

“I haven’t ever heard of it,” I said, then I regretted it when I saw the look Cj gave Clinton before turning to look at me.

“I guess you’re too busy trying to win a championship, so that your lame ass Dad can keep his job,” Cj whispered laughing. He shot a glare at Clinton, testing to see if he would come to my rescue, but Clinton didn’t. He was slumped over the counter not meeting my eyes. I knew if I stayed it would only get worse, but it was definitely the last time I would have anything to do with either of them.

“Well I’m out,” I said, “thanks for dinner.”

“Probably the most you’ve eaten since Thanksgiving,” Cj smirked, but I ignored that too and walked out of the kitchen. Even in the humid night air I felt better than in Clinton’s kitchen. I hated that I didn’t defend myself like I usually did. I knew it would have made it worse though and I needed to get away from them before something happened that Dad would know about. I would hate for him to lecture me about standing up for myself again, even if I was now conflicted about that. I would never admit to him that he was right though. I imagined Dad being a lot like Cj in high school though, full of himself. He definitely was the bully in his grade growing up, there wasn’t any doubt about that, his friends and him told tales of how Dad was in high school. Mom would just roll her eyes, but she never told anything different.

When I got home Dad was discussing his weight with Mom again. I could see the smile playing on Mom’s expression. Dad was still surprised that none of his clothes seemed to be fitting him right anymore. It was something that we both saw developing along with his bulging belly.

“I’m telling you Cora, I’ve not gained a damn pound,” Dad said standing and walking into the bathroom where a scale was. He brought it out and slammed it onto the floor. Mom stood and walked over to see for herself.

“No dear you’ve gained well over a pound,” Mom commented laughing, “try over thirty.”

“Hell,” Dad hissed stepping off the scale, “how did that happen?”

“Well you don’t ever mow the lawn anymore, you don’t weight lift with the team, all you do on your breaks is sit down and drink beer,” Mom started, but Dad waved his hand, bending to pick up the scale. We all heard his pants give way in the back, but I chewed on my lower lip to keep from laughing, I knew if he heard me, he would explode into a tirade. Mom openly laughed though as he passed by her with the scale hiding the rip in his pants. We heard the bedroom door slam, with him out of the room I laughed.

“Hi Mom,” I greeted walking across the small living room to give her a hug. She kissed me on the cheek.

“Nice to see you dry,” she said looking me over, “and in your own clothes.”

“Yeah,” I said, feeling a slight flush cross my face. I guess it was a change from the last few days. I wasn’t used to only seeing Mom a few times a day, but spending all day with her. It made me miss her a little, but she was only next door during the day. If I didn’t have anything planned there was nothing wrong with me working around the store.

“Do you want some dinner?” Mom asked looking over at the kitchen table at the plastic bowls containing what her and Dad had for dinner. It looked like ribs and I smiled.

“No, I already ate something,” I answered and she started putting things away.

“I should throw this out to keep your Dad from eating more,” Mom whispered, “but the moment I did he’d fuss.”

“Has he blamed your cooking yet?” I asked, helping her put things away.

“Everything but himself,” Mom answered laughing again. “Now tell me, what did you do today?”

“I went to get a milkshake,” I answered, sounding lame. She chuckled and I felt my face flush again. I didn’t really want to tell her that I was hanging out with Clinton, but that was all that I did today.

“As long as you’re not doing drugs or anything you don’t have to tell me,” Mom said, still smiling. She knew I would never do anything like that.

“I was on a boat,” I said, “with Clinton.”

“Then I am surprised that you are dry,” Mom said walking over to sit on the couch. I followed her and sat next to her. Dad had one of the old game tapes paused with me throwing. I saw his scribbling on a notepad with my name written on it more than once. At the very bottom he had written for me to learn how to throw with my off hand. He had decided not to let my broken bones get in the way of his championship season.

“Me too,” I shrugged, “It was fine though, he’s not the same without Cj.”
“Well that’s good, just I wouldn’t tell your father,” Mom said looking towards the hallway. “He wouldn’t want you fraternizing with the enemy.”

I laughed hearing her mock his voice, but I already knew better than to tell Dad about my day. It would have involved Jenny, like he had suggested before I left the house. I was afraid she checked in on me, but Dad didn’t say anything about it. It would have been the first thing he had said upon seeing me, but maybe his weight was really getting to him.

“Do you think I could work a little at the store?” I asked and Mom’s smile faded slightly into a questioning expression.

“No,” she answered, “I gave you freedom, you take it.”

“Well there’s not really that much to do,” I responded, “Keith and Andy are at camp.”

“I know,” she sighed, rubbing the back of my head with her fingernails in a soft circle. It was the small things she did to calm me. It seemed second nature to her, but she has always been the nurturing kind of person, even with people she didn’t know. How she ended up with a brutish man I never understood, but I was glad she was there to be the calming factor in the house.

“And Dad wants all my plans to include Jen,” I added sighing and leaning my head back into her hand.

“Your father,” Mom said rolling her eyes, “I normally wouldn’t tell you to just ignore him, but you need to make the friends you want and not what he wants.”

“Yeah,” I offered smiling. The day I said that to my father would be the day I would never walk a straight line again.

“Greg and his friends left today,” Mom said, turning to study me again, “it's a pity he couldn’t stay longer, you two really seemed to be becoming friends.”

“I guess,” I commented, if she knew what really happened, she wouldn’t recommend Greg being my friend. “We really didn’t have that much in common. He probably would have got tired of hanging out with high school kids.”

“You only have a year left,” Mom countered, probably sensing more behind what I said. I always wondered how well Mom could read into me, but she never let on. She never really pushed for information either, unless she noticed that I was falling apart. “So just go and enjoy the summer, my answer is still no.”

“Ok,” I sighed not really knowing what I would be doing for the rest of the summer. It made the time before going back to school seem longer; longer even when I would be working at the store while everyone else got freedom. I had always been jealous of them, but now I didn’t know.

Copyright © 2014 Krista; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

This just makes me want more! And I guess that is the chapter's purpose. So Clinton wants to reform and CJ is determined not to let him, lol. A strange love? triangle? Corey is having his best summer ever I hope. Enjoyed and thanks again for a new chapter.

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This is my first review of this. I really like your character development and the plot. It made me think. Some times I think having to think is loads better than being led around like a dog on a leash, by the writer.


I don't know what to make of Greg though, misleading Corey with that kiss and all.


I can't wait for the next installment...there is going to be a next installment...RIGHT!!!!


Thanks for letting me and all those other people read this.




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On 08/13/2011 01:26 PM, Swhouston44 said:
This is my first review of this. I really like your character development and the plot. It made me think. Some times I think having to think is loads better than being led around like a dog on a leash, by the writer.


I don't know what to make of Greg though, misleading Corey with that kiss and all.


I can't wait for the next installment...there is going to be a next installment...RIGHT!!!!


Thanks for letting me and all those other people read this.




Yes sir, there will be a next chapter. :) It probably won't be the last time Corey runs into Greg either. ;)
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On 08/13/2011 06:21 PM, Menace said:
Oh god....i want more....please more......i need...more chapters to read.....


Hey! Thanks for reading. :) I'll try to be a good girl and get the next chapter out sooner.. :)
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On 08/12/2011 08:38 PM, Foster said:
This just makes me want more! And I guess that is the chapter's purpose. So Clinton wants to reform and CJ is determined not to let him, lol. A strange love? triangle? Corey is having his best summer ever I hope. Enjoyed and thanks again for a new chapter.
Thanks for reading stud. ;) Hmm a weird love triangle? Nah.. Cj is straight.. :P
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Corey still has no one. I was glad to see the phone and watch thing was addressed. But it wasn't clinton's issue as much as C.J.'s And he still needs a phone. Not that there is anyone to call. It's a shame that Clinton couldn't grow a set. I guess I'll just have to wait for CJ to get his.

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Two sides in Clinton, one that wants to be nice and friendly with Corey, and the other one that wants to be friends with Cj and doesn´t stand up for himself. How about leaving Cj on that climbing trip, permanently :P

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I’m guessing they do more than just rock climb on these trips otherwise Clinton wouldn’t be so upset at the idea of missing one. Clinton seems to want to befriend Corey but wants access to the fringe benefits he gets as CJ’s friend as well so as long as CJ is around he’ll treat Corey like dirt. CJ’s stupid joke about the microwave doesn’t make any sense as it’s not like Corey is too poor to own a microwave or wouldn’t know how to work one. I think Clinton showed potential but his atttiude when CJ showed up indicates to me that he’s not someone Corey should befriend unless he stands up to CJ as he made claims he wouldn’t let CJ bother him again if I recall correctly yet let him verbally abuse him without saying a word.

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