The rest of the road trip was awesome. Kirstie, with her two nerdy best friends, traveled around the state, and to a couple of neighboring ones, visiting the ocean, some mountains, going shopping, and mainly enjoying the different foods. Kirstie is a huge foodie. But now they have to go back home. Kirstie needs to go back to school on Monday, and Eli and Layne bunked school for a week. Their magical vacation had to end. So the boys dropped Kirstie off home, and Angelica met her at the doorstep. Kirstie had tears in her eyes, frowning at her best friends. She thought she was smiling a sad smile, and unlike her new boys, her old ones understood.
“Bye KT. We love you.” Layne said. Kirstie nodded, waving a little.
“We’re always just a text or a phone call away. We will drop anything to help you, even if you think it’s something tiny. We’ll be there.” Eli said.
“Bb-bye g-guyyys. L-love you.” Kirstie said.
They chorused back “We love you too KT.” before driving off into the sunset.
“Did you have a good time?” Angelica asked, taking Kirstie’s bag to wash her clothes. She knew about the dinner situation and was asking about after that.
Kirstie nodded, thinking of Eli and Layne. “The b-best.”
“Well, you better have a shower and hurry off to bed Kirst. You have school tomorrow and you’ll be exhausted. You know how much harder you find sensory input when you’re tired.” Angelica said. Kirstie nodded, stimming on her leg a little bit. Her Mom was right. She needed to sleep if she had any hope of having a good day with the boys and Avi tomorrow. So she did that, had a shower, dried her hair, and went straight to sleep, dreaming of the worst possible scenarios of the next day.
This made her ten times more nervous the next morning and she could hardly look at the jam toast that Angelica made her. With her nerves, it just made her stomach churn, and that stressed her out more. So she went to school hungry, which made her a little dizzy but it was fine. As long as her boys accepted her today, she was fine.
Once she got to the building, she sighed and took a deep breath before beginning her day. She had Avi in English right before lunch, the first time she would see any of the boys that day. She froze walking into the classroom, briefly making eye contact with Avi before she looked away, it makes her uncomfortable, but Avi looked away too, knowing that she wouldn’t like it. She appreciated that. Kirstie sat down and unpacked her stuff, and prepared to spend another lesson being invisible.
But Avi wasn’t going to let that happen. He passed her a little note halfway through the lesson, distracting Kirstie from the teachers monotone voice. She didn’t know if she was missing anything like she was unable to understand some of the sarcasm and humor she was using, as she does with most people, but unbeknownst to her, she wasn’t missing anything for once. The teacher really was just that boring.
She opened the note. ‘Hi, Kirstie. How are you today? You look gorgeous.’ it read. Kirstie blushed and frowned, making Avi unsure whether she loved it or was humiliated by it. She loved it though. She really did. She wrote a reply on the back and went to pass it to Avi when she dropped it, not having the best coordination, especially since the accident, and she felt like she was going to cry. How humiliating!
Avi to the rescue though. He knocked his pen onto the floor and apologized out loud for ‘his’ clumsiness, picking up the pencil and the note. He smiled when he saw ‘Thank you. You’re cute too.’ and Kirstie knew that one. A smile is happy. He likes her note. She couldn’t keep in her happy squeal and it made Avi’s heart melt, but the people around her snicker and pull disgusted faces. Kirstie didn’t notice, she never did. She thought no one else could hear them. But it just made Avi want to be protective again. He had to remind himself to not be too protective. Not again. He can’t drive her away again.
After the lesson had ended he walked with Kirstie to the science room, both of them bringing their own lunches, Kirstie because she’s very fussy with what she eats as strong smells, textures, and flavors can be uncomfortable for her, and the cafeteria is loud, and Avi because he doesn’t want to leave Kirstie. He is the smooth peanut butter to her sweet jelly personality. They got to the room and the other boys were in there already. Kirstie froze in the doorway, a little nervous. Avi held his hand out to her, and she exhaled a deep breath, like her old therapist used to tell her when she got anxious, and she let him lead them to her normal seat.
“Hi sis,” Mitch said, and Kirstie smiled a little as she unwrapped his sandwich.
“Hh-hi Mi-Mitchie,” she said nervously, and Mitch smiled back, Kirstie recognizing it and calming down a little.
The other boys greeted her back to their circle and began to chat like normal, Kirstie pitching in every now and then, sometimes struggling to keep up with the conversation. Kevin split his snickers bar with her, knowing she loves nuts, and Mitch whined about how many calories he was consuming, then ate half of Kirstie’s lunch, the boys too protective of their own meals to share with Mitch. They can all eat tons and not be full. It’s a skill really. This thought made Kirstie burst out laughing, and the others turned to her, not pointing out that her eyebrows were frowning rather than smiling.
“What’s so funny honey?” Matt asked. Kirstie blushed a little at the name and shook her head.
“N-nothin” she said. The boys resumed their conversation as Kirstie zoned out, daydreaming happily.
This was normal, it was familiar, and she was home.
YOU ARE READING
Kirstin Maldanado moved into town to escape bullying. She was always different from other kids, because of her autism. Surprisingly to her, not only does she make three amazing friends, but also a boy that may be a little more.