Listen to Your Heart

Page 28


“You’ve been out here for a couple hours? By yourself in the dark?” I asked Diego.
“It doesn’t scare you out here?”
A slow smile spread across his face. “Does the lake scare you at night?”
“Not the lake. Just the water.”
He laughed. “Isn’t that the same thing?”
I ran my hand over the handlebar of the WaveRunner and shrugged. It was hard for me to admit there was any aspect of the lake that I didn’t love.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Nothing. I just …” I always said too much around him. He was too easy to talk to. “Nothing. Have you caught anything yet?” I asked, noting the red ice chest in his boat.
His dark eyes danced. “That is a question you are never supposed to ask a fisherman.”
“So, no.”
“No.” He sighed.
“Is this your boat?”
“I saved up six months for this piece of garbage and yes, it’s all mine.”
“I’m impressed, piece of garbage or not. That’s a lot of time saving for something. I should save money. Instead I spend it all on gas.”
I patted the WaveRunner. “Yes, I have a problem. Maybe now that fall is coming and I won’t go out on the lake as much, I can save up. But I mostly work during the summer. It’s ironic. The only time I would have extra money is the time I don’t work.”
“You don’t do snow sports?” Diego asked. “Skiing or snowmobiling or … I don’t know, what is that sport where you tie baskets to your shoes?”
“That’s not a thing, but I don’t do any of the above. I need to find some winter hobbies, I guess.” I gave his boat a once-over. She actually wasn’t as bad as he claimed. She was silver and well maintained. I could tell he took pride in owning her. “What’s her name?” I asked.
“I haven’t named her yet. I need to.”
“Yes, you do. Every boat deserves a name. Might I suggest Forest Monster? Then she might actually catch some fish. She’s out early enough.”
“I try.”
He looked past me to the lake. “I’m surprised Alana isn’t with you this morning. You two are always together.” He wished Alana were here. That was cute.
“She’s sleeping, which is what I’d rather be doing. Only fishermen and moon worshippers are up at this hour. And we know we can’t trust either of them.”
“For sure.”
I powered on my WaveRunner. “I guess I better get back to work.”
“Good luck,” he said.
It was nice to see Diego out on the lake, like he actually belonged there. Like it wasn’t foreign to him. Like it was a destination only thirty minutes away, and not an eternity away like so many people in Oak Court seemed to think. Diego would fit in well with the lake stock. I’d let Alana know.
“Have you seen Frank?” I came to a breathless stop at Alana’s locker Monday morning. I’d run from my car to Frank’s locker and now to hers in less than five minutes.
“What?” Alana asked, turning around with books in her arms.
“Frank. Do you know where he’d be right now?”
“He’s not here today. Remember? Soccer tournament.”
“Oh. Right.” I let my anger melt away now that I knew I couldn’t confront him.
“Why are you looking for Frank?”
“I want to talk to him about the marina incident.” I’d told Alana in hurried texts about what had happened over the weekend but didn’t tell her who I thought was responsible. Maybe because I wasn’t willing to commit to it until I confronted him. “When did he leave for the tournament?”
“Today. But wait, you think Frank did that?”
“It doesn’t sound like him.”
“He’s upping his game.”
“Huh. If it was him, I’ll find out.”
“Me too.”
She shut her locker. She was wearing an oversize gray hoodie I’d never seen on her before.
“Is that new?”
She smiled. “It’s Diego’s.”
“He let me wear it Friday night after we left your house.”
“And you incorporated it into your wardrobe?” I didn’t know why this seemed to bother me.
“I’ll give it back to him. But this is Flirting 101: Let a boy see you wearing his clothes.”
“Because then he associates you with his possessions?”
She shook her head and shoved my arm. “No. Because he thinks you look cute with his stuff draped around you.” She motioned her thumb to the side. “Come on. Let’s get to class.”
I’d come early to confront Frank, so we still had some time before the bell rang. “I’ll meet you there. I need to go to my locker.”
“I’ll come with you.”
We navigated the halls and came to a stop at my locker. I dug below a stack of papers and grabbed my history book.
“Who even needs books for class?” a voice behind me said.
I let out a small yelp and my history book fell to the floor with a slap.
Diego smiled but then bit his lip, looking apologetic. “Sorry, I didn’t think talking in a loud hallway could scare someone.”
“She can be jumpy,” Alana said.
Alana pulled at the sleeves of the hoodie she wore—Diego’s hoodie—as if to draw attention to it. “What’s up with the golf club?” she asked him.
I hadn’t even noticed he was holding a golf club until she’d pointed it out. He moved it up onto his shoulder like a baseball bat.
“Do you golf?” Alana asked.
He took it off his shoulder and held it out as if evaluating it. “Yes and no.”
“How is that a real answer?” I asked.
“Well, I don’t golf, but I like to go to driving ranges sometimes. And Garrett Wilson bet me that I couldn’t hit a golf ball through the goalposts from that big hill behind the stadium, so I did what had to be done.”
“What had to be done?” I asked, straight-faced.
Alana laughed. “He had to hit a golf ball through the goalposts. How far do you think that is, anyway?”
“Probably like two hundred yards … give or take,” he said.
“I’m guessing more take than give,” I said.
He chuckled.
“So did you?” I asked.
“Wow,” he said, gripping his chest. “You have no faith in me.”
“Geez, Kate,” Alana said.
“Do I have to prove it to you, too?” he asked.
“I just know that wouldn’t be easy.”
Diego narrowed his eyes, a smirk on his lips.
Alana squeezed my arm. “There’s Bennett. I have to give him some notes from Math. I’ll see you in class.” She waved to Diego and then was gone. I couldn’t tell if this was part of her strategy again. Now that she’d gone on an official date with him (even if it was only to my house) and was wearing his hoodie, was she trying to show him that she had other options?
Diego stared after her, an unreadable expression on his face. Sometimes I wasn’t so sure about Alana’s strategies.
I turned back to my locker to get my history book but couldn’t find it anywhere.