Authors: L.L. Collins
Alexis linked her fingers with his and leaned over, kissing him softly one more time. She couldn’t help it. He grinned against her mouth. She pulled away and whispered in his ear, “I liked that. A whole lot.”
When she heard the door open behind them, Greer whispered back, “I did, too, Alexis. A whole lot.”
She turned to smile at his parents, who looked back and forth between them. “Did you guys have fun?”
Greer looked at her, then turned away, his face reddening. The one thing he didn’t do was hide things. What you saw was what you got.
“We watched a movie,” Alexis explained, trying to keep the giggle out of her voice. “And had some snacks.”
Greer stood up, and she followed. He hadn’t said anything yet, and though she wasn’t worried about his parents being upset with her for kissing him, that didn’t mean she wanted it broadcasted right this second, either. His parents looked at him, waiting for him to say something. He hadn’t met their eyes once and was now looking at something over their shoulders.
“Alexis shouldn’t drive home late,” he said. “I will walk her outside to her car.”
Alexis looked over at his mom, who winked at her. “Sounds good, Greer. You make sure she gets in that car okay.”
Greer put his hand on her back, leading her to the door. She realized that was the first time he had ever put his hand there while they were walking. Most of the time, they held pinkies. She watched him out of the corner of her eye as they walked outside. He had a small smile playing on those beautiful lips. He was a different person right now.
When they reached her car, he stopped, looking shyly down at the ground.
“Alexis, are you sorry you came over tonight?” Her heart clenched at his words. Why would he think that?
“Greer. Look at me.” It took him a few seconds, but he lifted his eyes to hers. “No. A million times no. Tonight was the best night of my life.”
He blinked, processing her words. “Best night of your life?”
She nodded, reaching out her pinkies for his. He hooked his fingers with hers, then surprised her by pulling her flush to his body. “Alexis. We aren’t friends.”
Her stomach plummeted to her feet. “W-what?”
Greer picked up her hands and kissed each one. “I’m not good with words, Alexis. I’m sorry. What I meant was, we’re more than friends now.”
Relief flooded through her, and she felt like she could cry. “Yes, Greer. You’re right about that.”
“Are you my girlfriend?” She loved his bluntness. So many people could learn from his honesty at all times.
“Do you want me to be your girlfriend, Greer?” He tipped her head back and did something she would’ve never thought he would do. His kissed her forehead softly, both of her eyes, then her mouth.
“Do you like that? I’ve never done any of this before.”
She smiled. “Yes, Greer. I like that a lot.”
He smoothed her hair back off her shoulders, running his fingers through it gently. “I wanted to feel your hair. It’s soft. I want you to be my girlfriend, Alexis. But, I’m afraid.”
“Afraid of what, Greer?”
“I don’t know how to be a boyfriend. All those college boys that look at you, they would be a better boyfriend than me. They could understand more things.”
“Don’t you understand, Greer? I don’t want those other guys. I’ve never had a boyfriend, either. So we’ll learn together. You’re my friend, ultimately. The rest of it is just a bonus. I don’t want to change you. I like you for who you are. Okay?”
He nodded, looking at her shyly. “You’re my girlfriend.”
Alexis knew better than to laugh, but that was her natural reaction. She never wanted him to think that she was laughing at him. “Yes,” she smiled, tracing his face with her fingertips. “You’re doing so great with me touching you.”
“I never want you to stop touching me,” Greer said, biting his lip. “It feels… nice. Like it’s supposed to. No one that’s ever touched me has felt like that. Your touch makes me feel calm. I feel… desire for you, Alexis.”
“Greer,” she breathed. “Kiss me again.”
As he dipped his head and found her lips again, she knew that she would replay this night over and over in her head for a long time to come.
Alexis hugged her mom tightly, fighting the tears that threatened. As she figured, she had gotten very little sleep the night before. When she had come into the room at almost midnight, Hailey had pounced on her like cats on catnip. After she relayed the entire night to her friend, she had squealed and probably woken up half the floor. She was Greer’s girlfriend.
“I’ve missed you, Mom,” Alexis said. “Your hair looks really pretty.”
Kayley laughed. “Thanks, Lex. We’ve missed you, too. Looks like college has been good to you.”
Hailey bounced on her toes behind her, and Alexis gave her a warning look. Her parents knew about Greer, but she wasn’t going to just blab it out right now that she was dating him now.
“Princess,” her dad said, squeezing her. “I can’t wait to see my big girl out there today. We’ve tried to catch you on TV, but they rarely show you guys.” That made her think of Greer, and she smiled.
“What are you smiling about?” Ben, her brother, teased.
“I missed all of you. I’m so happy you’re here.” Alexis hugged Cierra, then Dalen, who rattled on and on about the football players and could he go and meet any of them. He was a complete sports fanatic, and could tell you every statistic of every player in all sports. She wouldn’t be surprised if he grew up to be a sportscaster.
“How long until you have to get to the stadium?”
“I have a few hours. You’ll want to get there early too, it gets crazy.”
“When is Greer meeting us?” Kayley asked.
“He said he would meet you outside the stadium by the G entrance, where your tickets are. He said he’ll be the one wearing a Florida State shirt.”
They all laughed. He had actually said that. Greer had
with her. “No, really he said he would wear a yellow hat. That’ll stand out for sure. And I have a picture of him.” Alexis took out her phone and clicked on the photo he had allowed her to take of the two of them last night. His face was pressed up next to hers, and a big smile covered his face.
“Is he your boyfriend?” Cierra asked, leaning over her shoulder to see the picture. “’Cause he’s hot.”
“Cierra,” she admonished. But both of her parents looked at her expectantly, and she saw Hailey trying to cover her laughs. She guessed now was as good a time as any.
“He’s my boyfriend,” she confirmed. Her parents both smiled at her, and Hailey clapped her hands at the end of the table. “We just decided last night.”
Cierra sighed. “I can’t wait until college.”
“There’s some things you should know about Greer before today,” Alexis began. Her parents knew a bit about him already, but she wanted to make sure her brothers and sister were clued in.
“Other than he’s gorgeous and is now your boyfriend? I won’t steal him,” Cierra winked.
“Greer has never been to a football game, because he doesn’t like crowds. He’s doing this for me. He’s also sensitive to a lot of noise. Having a conversation with him isn’t the same as having one with any other almost 20 year old.”
“What are you talking about, Lex?” Ben asked.
“Yeah, what’s the deal with this dude,” Dalen chimed in.
Alexis reigned in the urge to lash out at her siblings for seemingly being insensitive. She knew they weren’t meaning it that way. “Greer has Aspergers.”
“Aspergers is…” her dad began in his doctor voice.
“Cool. I have a friend at school that has Aspergers. He’s super smart,” Dalen interrupted. “It’s like his brain just works a little differently than ours.”
Alexis hugged her brother, fighting the emotion building inside her. She wished she could take him to some of these so called ‘adults’ and have him teach them a thing or two.
cool,” Alexis explained. “But, he might be overwhelmed today at the game. Don’t touch him unless he knows you’re going to. He knows what to do if he starts feeling anxious, so don’t help him unless he says he needs it. Otherwise, enjoy him, because he’s probably the coolest person I’ve ever known.”
Her mom stood and hugged her. “You’re a beautiful person, inside and out, Alexis,” she said, squeezing her gently. “I can’t wait to meet him. You know we work with many kids like him at the therapy center.”
“But he’s an adult,” Alexis said. “So don’t treat him like he’s a kid.”
“I know, sweetie. I was just saying, we know a lot about Aspergers and being on the spectrum.”
“We’ve got this,” Cierra said, and Ben and her dad nodded their heads. “You worry about cheering and doing your best. We’ve got Greer. Maybe I’ll even give him back to you at the end of the night.”
Are you here?
Alexis texted Greer. She hadn’t heard from him all afternoon, and she wondered if he was holding up okay. She knew that this was bigger than big for him, attempting this with people he had never even met before. Maybe she should’ve had him come to lunch.
You’re so stupid
, she thought to herself. She still had a lot to learn about how to make Greer the most comfortable.
Yes. I’m wearing my yellow hat. There’s a lot of people here, Alexis.
Her stomach clenched. She fought the desire to run out of the locker room and find him, but she knew she couldn’t. They were due to go on in ten minutes, and she’d never make it back.
Alexis texted her sister quickly, asking her if they were there yet. She hoped they weren’t running behind. She felt that the longer Greer had to sit there and wait, the more overwhelmed he would be.
We’re walking up now. I see him. Wow, Alexis. Other than the bright yellow hat, he’s gorgeous.
Alexis smiled. Yes, he was gorgeous. And he was her boyfriend now. Thinking that was still crazy to her.
Opening Greer’s text back up, she told him that Cierra saw him and to look for the mom and sister that looked like her, plus her dad and two brothers.
I see them. Cierra is waving. You look just like your mom, Alexis. I hope I’m not too weird for them
She hated that insecurity he felt, despite everything she told him.
You’re NOT weird, Greer. My family will love you. Take care of yourself, and if you have to go before the game is over, I’ll understand. See you out there.
I can’t wait to see you
, the response came almost immediately.
I’m nervous, but I’ll be okay.
You’ve got this. I’m proud of you.
Alexis tucked her phone into her purse and shut the locker, going to find Hailey in the crowd of girls. She couldn’t wait to see Greer sitting with her family.
Alexis looked up from the sideline, scanning the crowd for her family and Greer. She knew they were in this mass of people somewhere. She had been waiting for the time when they would come cheer on this side so she could find them.
“Do you see them?” Hailey shouted next to her as they made their way through their touchdown cheer.
Alexis shook her head, trying to keep up and look for them. After a few long minutes, she saw her brother Ben waving furiously. Beaming, she waved to them and jumped up and down, going into a round off back handspring followed by flips across the end zone. When she came upright again, she turned back to them. Her mom, dad, brothers and sister jumped up and down and waved at her. Alexis blew them kisses but then her eyes moved frantically to either side to look for Greer. Where was he?