In her bedroom later that same night, Crisan was in her loose shirt and drawstring shorts sitting on her study table and turning on her playlists listening to a song entitled "Rainbow" by South Border while hand sketching a nature scene and she only used her pencil and her thumb to shade. A beautiful Montana Lake with a mountainous view, lots of trees and clear water. At first, she hummed in the intro then once the chorus came She sang along. Suddenly her mom knocks on the open door to get Crisan's attention, so she stopped what she was doing and turned to her mom, "Excuse me, Crisanta, I will be heading out now, do you need anything before I go ?", her mom asked.
"Oh, no, that's okay, mom, I'm good", Crisan assured.
"Since I won't be here tomorrow and I'll be out of town until Monday and you might be alone in the house," her mom said feeling worried, "will you be okay while I'm gone?".
"I'll be fine, mom," Crisan assured her, "you enjoy your trip".
"Okay, but you can still call me if you needed anything," her mom reminded her.
"I know, thanks, mom", Crisan responded.
"You should get some sleep so you won't be late for your photoshoot tomorrow," her mom reminded again.
"Yes, mom, I'm just passing time right now," Crisan explained.
"Okay Crisanta, I better get going so I won't be late," her mom parted.
"Bye mom, have a safe trip" Crisan parted back.
"I will, Goodnight Crisanta," her mom said then she left.
Her mom walked away and locked the front door when she got out. The next morning at a park near her where people are jogging, cycling, walking, kids were playing at the park, and a family having a picnic. She walks with Tori to meet with their photographer friend wearing a white shirt over a black jean jacket and skinny pants, Munro, at a parking lot setting up his things, "Hey," Munro greeted and stopped what he was doing and walked to them and hugged Tori then Crisan.
"Hey," Tori and Crisan greeted simultaneously.
"You came so early," Tori noticed.
"Yeah, I have to go to a friend's house to get a memory card for my camera," he explained.
"Anyways, why are we shooting here in the park again?" Crisan asked.
"The concept is a day at a park emphasis on the park with an old-timey feel," Munro answered.
"And I have the perfect outfit for you to wear," Tori said showing the clothes to Crisan a short floral red A-line short sleeve dress.
"Cool," Crisan complimented. Then Tori handed it to her.
"We'll be in the lady's room to fix her up," Tori informing Munro.
"Take your time, I'm still setting up," he assured.
Once the girls went to the ladies room, a car came not far from where Munro's car truck parked, and Gage his dry-fit shirt and a shorts showing his muscular legs came out from the driver side of his car and then Courtney came out on the passenger side, "Are we late?," she worries.
"Relax, we're just in time," Gage answered her as they walked together to the club's meeting place somewhere at the benches where people would just relax, or a parent looking out their kids playing in a playground and sandbox. They stopped and saw the other member warming up.
"Nice, you guys made it," Mr. Gordon greeted.
"Wouldn't miss it," Gage said.
"You two should stretch first, we'll start in five minutes," Mr. Gordon reminded.
"Okay," Gage answered.
Twenty minutes later, In the lady's room, Crisan was wearing the outfit handed to her for the photoshoot and applying make up by Tori, "You look great," Tori complimented while putting eye shadow on her.
" Thanks," Crisan said.
"I need this for my styling portfolio and Munro needs this for an exhibit," Tori said.
"I like doing this," Crisan said to her.
"Me too," Tori agreed, "okay, should we go bloody red or sweet innocent pink for your lips".
"I like bloody red, it matches the outfit," Crisan answered.
"True," Tori responded. She put it on Crisan and fixed it properly, "There, we're done".
They both got out of the comfort room and walked along the park to meet up Munro again.
There was an area at the park where there are full of different kinds of flowers and it's a perfect place to do the shoot, "great, you're ready," Munro said.
"Yep," Crisan replied, "let's start".
"Okay, I just set up the picnic so sit over there". Munro directed then Crisan sat on the picnic blanket "Okay, here we go". Crisan began to pose as Munro pointed the camera at her. She was working on it as a model for her friends. "that's good, hold on to that pose. She continues to strike different poses and different facial expressions.
A few minutes later, the running club just running in the area near the flower area not that far from as each other, Gage was with them and noticed that Crisan was there but she was too busy to even know that he just ran past the area. Gage almost lost focus on his running but when he recognized that it was her doing a photoshoot looking very stunning then he looked away and got his concentration. On the second lap, Crisan saw Gage yet she wasn't sure since it was him from a distance but she was so distracted she didn't even notice the camera flash aiming at her, she then shakes it off and got back to her focus.
The running club took a ten-minute break, there was a food cart owned by a man in his fifties named Sam near them selling sandwiches, juices, sodas, and milkshakes. Some of the members bought a bottle of water from him and talk to one another then Crisan still wearing that cute outfit that Tori made her wear with a red cats-eye sunglasses came up and also took a break too from the photoshoot and walked towards the food cart to order something and somehow caught Gage's attention while he was sitting while wiping his sweats off on his body. "One milkshake, Sam " she ordered.
"One chocolate milkshake coming right up," Sam said to her. While waiting, she was checking her phone for a bit and began texting someone and Gage stares at her, " so what are you doing in this fine afternoon?", Sam asked her while making the milkshake.
"Sun tanning," she answered sarcastically funny then they chuckled.
"It is getting sunny lately, I'll add more ice in your milkshake," Sam suggested. He finished making the milkshake and gave it to her," here you go, enjoy!"
"Thanks, Sam", Crisan said to him with a smile. She was about to go back to the flower area, she turned yet apparently Gage was standing behind her so they accidentally bumped into each other then Crisan's sunglasses fell and the milkshake she was holding, splashed on his clothes yet luckily nothing on her, Crisan was in shock and the other people including the running club were there and has their eyes on them and reacted quietly, " Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry".
"It's fine, I shouldn't stand behind," Gage apologized also felt a little shocked but in a more neutral way and then tried to wipe the milkshake off of his shirt with his hands.
"Oh my! there are milkshakes all over you and don't wipe it like that, the stain might spread" Crisan panicked, "Sam, can I get some tissue?". Sam immediately took out a roll and gave it to her, Crisan took out more than a dozen ply and then started wiping him.
"It's okay, it's my fault anyway," Gage assured her.
Crisan didn't know it was him when she stopped and noticed the guy's buff upper body, then slowly look upon his face and she was stunned."You?" she confounded.
"Hey," Gage said and smiled at her.
"Gage, right?", Crisan recognized as she collected herself calmly from what happened.
"Yep," he replied.
"Oh! gosh, I'm so so sorry," she apologized again.
"It's alright," he assured her again.
"Let me at least clean you up", Crisan insisted. She continued to wipe the chocolate foam stain on his chest again and Gage lets her and watches her unstained him, "I didn't know you guys will be running here".
"Ah...Yeah... We are just taking a break now," he answered.
"Cool, you guys are will be running the next six laps after this?", she asked him while she cleans him.
"Eight," Gage corrected.
"Nice, we used to do six or seven laps after a ten minutes break time", Crisan responded then they chuckled.
"I see, so what brings you here?", Gage asked her.
"I want to drink some milkshake", she answered.
"I mean why are you here in the park?", Gage repeated.
"Oh, I'm here with my friends," Crisan answered, "we were having a photoshoot at the flower garden".
"Oh! you were the model", Gage confirmed.
"Yes", Crisan said by nodding her head then she thought how does he know that but then she realized something, "Right, you guys ran passed us".
"Yeah," Gage affirmed.
Crisan finished up cleaning him, "there, the chocolate smudges are gone but you're still wet", she said.
" Thanks," he said, "and don't worry, it'll dry off".
"Yeah but you're going running," Crisan pointed out, "you might get sick, don't you have an extra shirt?".
"Don't worry about it, it's a dry-fit material ", he assured her, "I shouldn't have stood behind closely to you".
"Yeah, you shouldn't have," she mumbled that Gage didn't hear that, she finger-combed her hair and remember the shades she was wearing is not on her," Oh! the sunglasses".
Gage even looked down and immediately found it, "there it is", he pointed out. Crissy was about picked it up but Gage stopped her, "let me".
"Okay," she responded.
Gage bend and reached down and grabbed her shades and handed it to her, "here you go", he said with a smile.
"Thank you," she said with a smile, took it from his hand.
"Sure thing", he replied.
"Oh! right, the milkshake. Sam, can you make another one?" she remembered then looked at Gage, "were you gonna buy something?".
"Just a bottle of water, why?", Gage wondered.
Then she turned to Sam, "bottle of water on me." she requested.
"Wait," Gage said holding her elbow, "you don't have to do that".
"It's fine," she claimed then she took out her wallet.
"No, you know what? I'll pay even for that milkshake", he insisted.
"I'll pay, it was my fault," she pointed out, "I should've watched where I was going".
"If it wasn't for me, it wouldn't have happened", he said.
"It's okay," she still argued, "let me do this". Sam watches them squabble and doesn't know who should he listen to and half of the running club even stares especially Mr. Gordon and Courtney who were cringing.
"No, I'm not gonna let you, I'll take this one," he argued back.
As they still go back and forth on who will pay for the drinks, Sam had enough then banged with his hands the cart to get their attention and they both jolted and turned to him, "You know what, it's on the house," Sam said.
"Excuse me?" Crisan said in disbelief then the two looked at each other and then at Sam in perplex.
"It's free, let's leave it that," Sam explained as he already started to make the milkshake.
"Sam, you don't have to do that", Crisan insisted and Gage nodded.
"It's fine, what happened was an accident and I witnessed it and it's in the rule book", Sam explained.
"But.." Crisan uttered.
"Crisanta, don't argue with me," Sam interrupted on what she was going to say.
"You don't have to," she uttered.
"Hey! what took you so long?" Tori appeared and called out her out. Before Crisan could answer, Tori notice the mess in front of Sam's food cart, "Uhm, what happened here?"
"I... uhm..kinda bump into him," Crisan said in a guilty tone and cracking her hands then looked down on her shoes.
"What?", Tori asked looking confused looking at Crisan then she saw Gage and his wet clothes then it hit her, "Oh, crap".
Crisan cringed a little, "yeah, my bad," she confessed.
"No, it was my fault", he said.
"Here are the drinks and please stop that," Sam interrupted aloud not wanting them to debate more.
"Right, Thanks, Sam", Crisan thanked and took her milkshake and felt awkward.
"Thanks", Gage thanked too and took his bottle of water.
Then they both looked at each other, "I'm sorry...", they both said simultaneously and paused when they realized it. Sam rolled his eyes and facepalmed and Tori's face looked like it's an eye-opener with a shrink.
"You know what let's just forget this ever happen and move on," Crisan suggested to break the utter awkwardness and embarrassment she's feeling and then clenching her two hands together and she looked at Gage again, "Nice to see you again, let's go". She grabbed Tori's hand, buried her face with her hair then walked fast.
"Wait, I..." Gage uttered as he wants to say something to Crisan but no avail, because she was in a hurry to leave and it causes her not to hear him, he felt bad kind of bad for the moment.
Crisan and Tori got further from the scene and Crisan still holds Tori's arm and continues walking, "Hey... slow down," Tori said to her and they stopped, "I think we got far from the food cart, what's going on and wasn't that Gage?"
"Yes that's him," Crisan answered hesitantly.
"Okay, what's up?", Tori asked feeling confused.
"I splashed a milkshake on him when we bumped so I cleaned him up and I offer him a bottle of water and then we went on and on who will pay then....", Crisan explained nervously and anxiously pacing back and forth and cracking her knuckles, "It all happened so fast".
"Calm down," Tori told to Crisan, "I think you're just over-reacting, maybe it wasn't that bad".
"Ugh...I don't know, it seems chaotic," Crisan said.
"Look, just forget about it, for now, come on, Munro is waiting for us," Tori reminded.
"You're right, let's get this over with," Crisan said positively and shake off what happened at the food cart. Then they go on walking to the flower area.
Back at the food cart, Gage still can't wrap his head on what happened, he sat on the ledge in deep thought while Courtney sat next to him, "That was weird," Courtney said.
"Yeah, it was ", Gage agreed yet he tried his best to shrug it off, "but it's fine, it was really my fault and yet she offered to buy me a bottle of water ".
"You could've let her", Courtney suggested.
"It wouldn't be right, Court", he replied.
" I'm just saying," she said jokingly.
"You two were so cute back there," a girl about their age intervenes, who was also a member, joined into the conversation.
"Excuse me?", Gage asked and Courtney looked at each other looking confused.
"It's just that you and that girl were like going on and on about who pays the drinks even though neither of you did", she explained.
"Right," Gage chuckled in disbelief and looking at the girl in a weird way.
"Everyone!", Mr. Gordon called out and it got all the member's attention especially Gage and Courtney, "Break time is over, Let's go and do the next eight laps".
Later on, the day was almost over and Munro sat between Crisan and Tori and checked out the pictures in his camera which he took from the photoshoot, "Wow! these look great," Tori expressed, "Thanks to you guys!".
"Sure thing, Tori and thank you, guys, too," Munro said to her.
"No problem, I enjoy doing this with the two of you," Crisan said feeling proud of her best friend.
"You aced being a model," Tori complimented to Crisan.
"Thanks," Crisan thanked her.
"I'm so happy," Tori said gleefully, "let's do this again next time".
"Yes, of course", Munro agreed, "you know where to reach me".
"Anyways, I'm going to buy us some celebratory shawarmas", Tori offered.
"Yay!", Crisan cheered.
"Thanks! Tori," Munro responded.
"I'll be right", Tori said then she left.
"Munro, can I see those pictures again?", Crisan asked him.
"Sure," he answered then he turned on his camera and set it on the gallery. He presses the next button every two seconds then a photo caught her attention, it was a photo of when she was distracted when she saw Gage and the running club were running past them. In the photo, it was where she sat on the picnic blanket, she was on a sidesaddle style, and her one hand was on her head and her eyes seem kind of open wide like when someone tries to get her attention and her mouth was slightly open like she was sighing.
"Oh gosh! that's a wrong pose." Crisan reacted, Munro took a closer look a the picture she pointed to see what was wrong.
"Doesn't mean it looks bad," Munro voiced his opinion, "in fact, it's my favorite".
"I'm not feeling it", Crisan said to him.
"It's fine", Munro assured her.
"Thanks but please don't send that to Tori, she'll post it", Crisan begged him.
"Maybe it will be highlighted", he teased her.
"No, come on delete that", she still begged.
"Crisan, I'm not going to do that", Munro said to her.
"Come on, please," Crisan continued begging.
"It's great," Munro insisted, then he turned off his camera and puts it in his bag.
"Fine, if you say so," Crisan said when she saw him puts away his camera and she can't do anything about it.
"You make a great model", Munro added.
"Stop, or the person behind you might hear you", Crisan giggled and feeling flattered.
"But, it's true, you are," Munro said. Crisan giggled and shoved him lightly.
On a distance at the parking lot, Gage and with the other member of the club finished their laps and was getting ready to go home, "Great job, everyone", Mr. Gordon said to his running club,"remember to those who wants to enter the marathon next month, send me your details". Everyone nodded and said yes that understands what to do then they are getting ready to home.
"So, are you gonna sign up?" Courtney asked Gage as they walked to his car.
"I'm thinking about it", he answered her, "you?
"I don't know too," Courtney replied to him.
"Just say that you don't want me to beat you at the race," Gage teased her.
"Oh stop!," she said to him, "I could beat you".
"Yeah right," he chuckled to her then he looked at his shirt, "Oh right, I have to change first". They walked to Gage's car and then they stood at the car's trunk. Gage opened the trunk and there was a sports bag in it and he opens zipper. Courtney stood beside him waiting and watching what he was doing. Gage took off his shirt right in front of Courtney and she looked away and blushed that shows that she had a crush on him. He took out a clean shirt and puts it on then looks at Courtney, who got back to her senses and look away quickly.
"Come on, let's go, our history project won't finish themselves", Courtney stammered then got in his car in the passenger side, Gage nodded and was about to go inside his in the driver side but then he saw Crisan in distance, giggling with Munro and somehow he was not happy to see her with him or at least with a guy.
Tori came back with their celebratory Shawarma and caught them joking around them, "Hey, what's with you two?", Tori asked them then gave them their shawarma and sat next to Munro.
"Munro has a stolen shot of me ", Crisan whined.
"What?" Tori reacted.
"Not on purpose", Munro trying to explain.
"Let me see it," Tori said to Munro, he then took out his camera again and turned it on and set it on gallery and the photo they where mentioning was there, Tori looked at it for a second and looked at Crisan feeling confused, "it looked good to me, what's wrong with it?".
"I look weird," Crisan said.
"I think you're crazy, intentional or not it looks great," Tori insisted yet Crisan doesn't feel sure about it. Then Tori gave her a babyface, "please".
Munro joined in, "Pretty please," he pleaded. Crisan gave in and rolled her eyes.
"Fine", Crisan reluctantly approved their plead.
Tori and Munro high-fived each other and snickered then suddenly, Tori had a eureka moment, "Oh my God", she said.
Crisan and Munro looked at Tori in a confused way, "what?" Crisan asked her.
"I can use this for our art gallery", Tori said with glee.
Crisan shook her head and Munro's eyebrows raised, "No..." Crisan responded with shock.
"Art gallery?", Munro asked them.
"Our school arranged this art appreciation event", Crisan explained.
"Oh, yeah you should submit this photo", Munro said to Tori.
"Right?", Tori said with glee and nodded
Crisan facepalmed at the idea, "the things I do for you too", she responded.
"I just want to ask one thing, Tori", Munro said.
"Okay, what is it?", Tori questioned.
"Is it okay if we share the credit?" he requested, "you show it to your school and I'll show it to mine". Crisan's eyes got wide and her mouth dropped.
"I'm in the picture and I have no say in this", Crisan said to herself.
Munro and Tori looked at her with a cringe, "Sorry", Munro apologized to Crisan, "so are you cool with?".
Crisan smiled and trying to hold her smile, "Of course", Crisan approved.
"Thanks, Crisan", Munro said and hugged her.
Tori felt relieved on Crisan's affirmation, "Good, and yes to that credit, Munro," Tori answered to Munro so he then hugged Tori.
"Thanks", he said to Tori.
"Regine was right", Crisan realized, "ideas do come unexpectedly when will mine come?".
"Don't worry, you'll think of something", Tori assured her.
"Yeah", Crisan sighed.
"What if you make a sculpture of you know who?", Tori teased Crisan again about her liking Gage, " you know like the statue of David so just imagine him shirtless and of course, he'd still wear a short".
"I'd rather not join at all than show that", Crisan exasperated.
Munro felt out of place with the conversation, "who's 'you know who'?", he asked them.
"Crisan liked this guy named Gage", Tori answered Munro.
"Who?" Munro asked again with a confused look on his face.
"It's this guy I met a couple of days ago", Crisan answered.
"Who she likes, maybe at least a sketch of him shirtless", Tori suggested by continuing teasing Crisan.
"Maybe that's not a bad idea", Crisan responded and the two girls giggled. Suddenly, Mr. Gordon appeared and approached them.
"Gage", Munro said and he looked like he was thinking.
"Yeah," Tori nodded, "why?"
"Somehow that name sounds familiar", Munro said. Crisan and Tori looked at each other looking perplexed.
"Hey! kids", he greeted.
"Hey! Mr. Gordon", they greeted back.
"How's the running session?", Crisan asked him.
"It's great, so what were you three up to back there at the flower garden?", Mr. Gordon asked.
"We are working on our work for art gallery", Tori answered him, "apparently".
"I see, Munro, how are you?", Mr. Gordon asked.
"I'm good", Munro responded, "long time no see, Mr. Gordon".
"Yeah, so anyway, I'm here to invite you three to a marathon next month", Mr. Gordon said to them.
"I'll try to come if I can", Munro said.
"Sounds cool", Crisan answered, "but I'll see".
"I hope you kids can come", Mr. Gordon said to them, "well, I'll go ahead. see you around".
"Alright, bye Mr. Gordon", Crisan said and they all waved farewell at him and Mr. Gordon waved farewell at them back and walked away.
Tori waited for Mr. Gordon to walk further and a few seconds later, "maybe Gage will be there?", she said.
"And maybe I won't", Crisan responded sarcastically.
"Just saying", Tori said, "by the way, let's go home, I have a family dinner to attend".
"Yeah, I have to go too", Munro said to them, "thanks for the photoshoot session, let's do this again". Then Munro hugged Tori.
"Thanks again, Munro", Tori said to him.
"You too, Crisan, you were awesome today", he said and hugged her.
"Thanks, Munro", Crisan responded. Then he picked up his bag and went ahead and Tori and Crisan left together in a different direction.
Later on that day, Courtney, Dave and Gage were in Dave's home in his basement working on their projects.
"Looking good, guys", Courtney said with happiness, "We are almost done".
"Yeah, I can't believe this too", Dave said.
"But this time I'll bring it home so I can keep an eye on it", Courtney requested and looked at Dave in an austere way.
"Courtney", Gage called her out.
"It's fine, I get it", Dave said.
"Well, at least we have one problem down", Gage said to them.
"Yeah," Courtney responded, "I still have algebra and chemistry to worry about".
"Someone needs a tutor", Dave jokingly said.
"Shut up", Courtney said aloud looking provoked but Dave thought she was playing too and Gage was chuckling too quietly.
"Or a shadow teacher", Dave continued joking.
"That's not funny," Courtney snapped at Dave and then ran out the basement. Gage and Dave were left stunned and looked at each other looking.
"Nice one", Gage farced and looking at him with disappointment.
Dave realized what he did and felt bad, "I'll go talk to her", he said.
"I'll talk to her", Gage said to him and walked out the basement. A few minutes later, he found her at the backyard of Dave's house looking upset sitting at the outdoor bench so he walked up to her, "Hey, you okay?".
Courtney recoiled and looked at Gage trying to hold back tears, "yeah, I'm fine", she responded yet still looking sad.
"Forget what Dave said, you know how much of a big mouth he is", Gage said to her.
" I know", she said to Gage and trying not to look at him, "I just wish that he doesn't have to remind me".
"It didn't come out right, but he was trying to cheer you up", Gage defended.
"He should be glad, I didn't pull his tongue off", Courtney said still feeling enraged but she felt she already took out her frustration.
"Right, now that's funny", Gage chuckled then he put his arm around her for comfort. Courtney felt something different when he did that and looked up at him and realized how good-looking he was and Gage looking at her and smiled but just felt nothing since he was just concerned and comfort her. She felt something warm inside her and quickly look away and Gage was taken aback a little, "what's wrong?".
"Nothing", Courtney responded and gently pulled herself away from him, "suddenly felt hot out here, why don't we get back inside?".
Gage smiled at her, "Yeah, let's go", Gage said to her.
"Thanks, Gage", she said to him, "I feel better now".
Gage looked confused but play along with, "Yeah, sure thing", he replied. Then they get back inside.
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