Kirin Matthews looked into the bright Arizona sun as he left the local grocery store empty-handed. He shaded his dark blue eyes in an attempt to get his bearings again as his phone rang in his pocket; starting an all too familiar ringtone. Please don’t be so naïve, you know you’re not fooling anyone; you’re not as tough as you think…
“Dude, I totally can’t do this! I don’t think my ego can take it!” Evan’s frazzled voice huffed through the phone.
“Man up!” Kirin shouted, lowering his voice when he noticed the stares he was getting. “You can totally do this. There’s no reason for a stud like you to freak out. Now, what’s your next move?”
There was a grunt on the other side from Evan as he neither confirmed nor denied what his next move would be. This wasn’t looking good for him. Kirin knew his little brother needed to get hold of himself or asking Jamie to the Winter Formal next semester wasn’t going to happen.
“I don’t see why you had to leave. I need you here, man! She’s the flipping head cheerleader! What if she says no? Where do I go from there? I’ll be the laughingstock of the entire school!”
Kirin pushed a hand through his hair and rolled his eyes at his drama king of a brother, thinking for a second. He couldn’t have his brother’s perfect reputation slip between his fingers just because the girl he liked denied him; it definitely wouldn’t work for him. Not in high school, where everything was about status.
“Evan, I’m proposing to her, it’s kind of important I’m actually there to do it. Much the same way you have to be there in order to actually ask Jamie to the dance. Do you want her to get asked out by some other guy?”
Kirin stopped at the crosswalk as the cars sped past him. It was too hot here. He’d already decided he preferred California weather to the too dry heat of Arizona. He lifted his hand to block the sun yet again as he noticed another man step out into the street while talking on his cell phone. Kirin looked up to see the “Do Not Walk” signal still in place. Jaywalkers never learn he thought to himself.
He looked across the street to the older man talking on his cell phone, clearly oblivious to the car speeding toward him. Of all the possible ways this scenario could go, none of them ended happily. Kirin shouted, but the man was still oblivious to everything around him. Kirin hoped the phone call was important enough to lose his life over.
Finally giving up on shouting at the older man, Kirin snapped his phone shut and ran.