Look, I would never have planned my afternoon’s meeting with Zack this way. But he just happened to be on the stairs, helping carry stuff for the new family that’s moving into our block, when I arrived. And I just happened to be pushing a trolley jam packed with three bags-worth of Valentine’s cards for me and me alone!
I accepted his offer to help me carry them up. It would have been a bit churlish to spurn him right then, right? And I wouldn’t have told him what they were if he hadn’t asked.
And I really couldn’t help that I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face when I said, “Oh these? Just a few Valentine’s cards for me that I’m bringing home from school.”
I certainly never planned to become “the most popular girl in the whole school”, which is what everyone has been calling me today. But I’d rather be that than “the saddest girl in the whole world”, which I think I might have been on V-day. The former is a better answer to the “Who am I?” question, don’t you think?
To tell you the truth I am actually feeling like The Shizzle. I am loved by many! What more could anyone honestly ask for??!
And after I’ve shown Zack my Valentine’s cards he evidently isn’t feeling very shizzlish himself. In fact he looks bleak. And possibly a bit nervous. I’m not sure – I’ve never actually seen this expression on Zack’s face before so I don’t really know what it means.
“I just need to do some things upstairs and I’ll come down and find you in a few minutes,” he says in strained, flat voice.
“Cool,” I smile cheerfully and head back into my flat.
My mom’s home early today and she’s a bit dumb struck by my Valentine’s haul.
I hear Zack close his front door on his way back out.
“Oh mom, I’m going out for a coffee with Zack. I’ll just wait for him at the elevator,” I say.
“Hang on, let me catch the lift down with you. I need to nip into the supermarket to get some things for supper.”
So both of us are standing at the lift doors when they open with a ching. And inside is Zack and his mother.
“Oh, hi Erica!” I say to her.
She mumbles a hello, but barely looks at me. I’m quite stunned. This is not like her at all. I glance at my mother and to my surprise she is looking might p**d off herself. She has her haughty, disapproving look etched all over her face.
And then I get it! Light bulb moment! My mom’s upset with Zack for breaking up with me, and Zack’s mom is upset that all the publicity has ended up making Zack look bad. And now they’re having a whole big silent emotional drama with EACH OTHER about it!
Hang on momma’s – given the circumstances isn’t it Zack and I who are meant to be all tense and upset with each other?! Unbelievable! Who are the grown-ups in this lift anyway?
I sneak a peek at Zack to see what he’s thinking. He’s looking at me, and he’s trying not to smile but he’s not doing a very good job of it. I can tell he’s also totally sussed the vibe. I giggle first and Zack’s mom shoots me a killer look. Then Zack giggles and my mom shoots him the death stare. And then the lift doors open and the two of us dart out, leaving our moms to deal with their own dramas by themselves.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Should the mom’s be getting involved in Zack and Hope’s problems?