Chapter 41

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Chapter 41

My mother has a new boyfriend. His name is Doctor Peter Salisbury but he told me to call him Peter. I woke up Sunday morning to find him standing in our kitchen making pancakes while my mother was pouring herself a bowl of cereal. I think it's safe to say that was one of the weirdest, most awkward moments of my entire life thus far.

After my mother introduced me to him and explained that they both worked at the hospital together, he made me three pancakes for breakfast. He's a nice guy I guess. He has a very narrow face, dusty light brown hair, and he wears glasses that look too small on him. He's also almost a whole foot taller than me. I'm happy for my mom, really, and kudos to her for dating a man who actually knows how to cook really well. I know that she's been secretly staying at his house for the past few nights and that is why I haven't been seeing much of her lately. This doesn't really bother me at all because it was always easier then for Daniel to come over and not have to worry about her walking in on us.

So, with my mother preoccupied with her new boyfriend, I decide to get up extra early on Monday morning and make a run by the Starbucks. The weatherman said it was supposed to be one of the hottest days of the year and it figures it would be on the last day of summer vacation. It takes me twenty minutes to walk to the Starbucks in the scorching heat, thank God I wore my sunglasses and a super light tank top.

At the Starbucks, I buy myself an iced coffee and a blueberry scone before choosing to buy Daniel something too. I get him a Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher and a breakfast sandwich, hoping he hasn't had anything to eat already this morning. It isn't even ten o' clock yet so maybe he's still asleep. I haven't seen him in two days, since he told me about helping his brother move into his new apartment. I had sent him a quick text last night, asking him how the moving had gone but his response was surprisingly vague. In any event, he had already given me his new address and apartment number and that's where I'm planning on going right now.

When I return home, I ask my mom if I can borrow her car, saying that I was going to be spending a couple hours at Lizzie's house. Because today is Labor Day, my mom isn't working and when she doesn't work she stays home all day and refuses to go anywhere, with the exception of the grocery store. She says I can use her car because I've recently completed my driver's education course and gotten my license. I originally was going to wait to take the course in the fall but Daniel encouraged me to take it during the summer because he was quote on quote "sick of picking me up and driving my lazy ass around all the time." He was joking of course but I took his advice anyway and now, thanks to him, I'm a licensed driver!

I put the keys in the ignition once I'm inside my mom's blue Honda Accord and shift the gear into drive. I plug Daniel's new address into the GPS and it only takes me fifteen minutes to get there. Once I've pulled into the main parking lot of the apartment complex, I'm able to find a space right across from his building. The apartment number is 208 and the outside of it is a bright foamy green. There are two potted plants on either side of the brick walls leading down the pathway towards his door. I swing the Starbucks bag at my side as I ring the doorbell. At first, nobody answers for a good ten seconds and there is complete silence all around me until a seagull lets out a call over head. I watch it land on the Spanish style roof of the building. I impatiently begin to tap my left foot and try ringing the doorbell once more. I'm starting to think this isn't the right address and that I must have misheard Daniel when he was giving me the new address over the phone. After another few seconds go by, I'm about to turn on my heel and head back to my car, when the door finally opens. The guy who answers it has a slim build and black over-gelled hair with a few strands of it falling onto his forehead. I have never seen him before.

"Hi, does Daniel Gonzalez live here?" My voice came out more timid than I would have liked.

"Who are you and how do you know 'em?" He asks me in a heavy Hispanic accent.

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