See the contest this is for here: http://sjaisling.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/artwriting-contest-when-imaginary-worlds-collide/
Read my first entry (and the first part of this story) here: http://emilyrachellewrites.blogspot.com/2013/07/my-imaginary-boyfriend-episode-one.html
See even more of Rykel at his interview follow-up, where most of the questions are mine! Haha check it out: http://sjaisling.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/ask-rykel/
It so happens that the first 150-ish words of this story (the portion that can be seen before the jump) are also my entry into this contest: http://goteenwriters.blogspot.com/2013/07/new-writing-contest-ive-never-been-type.html
I've never been the type of girl to say yes to just any boy. I have a list exactly thirty items long that every potential date must meet - not to mention highly conservative parents.
You can see how holding hands with Jack Brant Rykel at a glam celebrity party is as great a shock to me as anyone who knows me. (No pun intended.)
It wasn't the stardom, I'll tell you that. I'd never even heard of the Conductives when I met him. I can't really say what attracted me to him. I knew he was trouble the moment I first saw him in a convenience store buying Red Bull. Even now, I feel like I don't know much more than that.
So when he asked me out the first time I called him, I still don't know why I said yes.
All he told me was to wear something nice and be ready at six at a coffee shop near my school campus. Now, at 5:40, I sit waiting anxiously in said shop. At 6:18, Rykel walks in. He smiles when he sees me.
"Hey babe. You ready?"
I smile and stand, smoothing out my knee-length blue dress. I was so afraid of under- or over-dressing, but the Sunday-morning suitable dress, braided crown of hair, and gold flip flops work perfectly with his dress pants and not-completely-buttoned white dress shirt. Of course, his many (many!) piercings really set us apart.
"Ready as I'll ever be."
He slides his hand into mine and I bite my bottom lip, nervous and pleased at the same time. We walk out to the parking lot.
I hadn't really considered the fact that he drove a motorcycle back at the convenience store. After a bit of finagling with my dress, I manage to get myself properly seated behind Rykel with my little black purse securely between my legs.
Rykel passes me a helmet. "This will be yours for tonight, sweetheart. You'll have to hold on tight to me so you don't fall off."
I smile shyly and curse my fair, freckly skin as I feel heat blossoming into a deep red blush. "Thanks."
I strap my helmet on and wrap my hands around his waist. He grins back at me. "Ready, ginger?"
I laugh. "Ready as I'll ever be!"
He revs up the engine and pushes off. Wind rushes past my face and I laugh, giddy with the speed and excitement of riding a motorcycle for the second time in my life. The noise from the wind makes it impossible to talk, so I just enjoy the wind whipping around us and the warmth of sitting so close to him.
Eventually we reach a large, elaborate brick building with a grand marble fountain and several vehicles pulling through the circular driveway. To my surprise, Rykel slows and turns in to the driveway.
"What are we doing?"
He turns and grins at me again; I feel heat course from my heart through my body. "You'll see."
We follow the course of the cars - even limos! - until it's our turn to disembark. Rykel puts down the motorcycle rest, steps off the seat, and offers me a hand. I slip my purse strap onto my shoulder and accept his help, careful to keep my dress pulled down as I slide off the seat. Once I've pulled off the helmet, handed it to the valet, and patted down my red hair, I have a chance to look around.
Red carpet leads through the doors of a mansion, with cameramen and women lining the walkway. They snap away as I stand taking everything in. Rykel waves at the crowds, smiling. I have no idea what to say or do. Where are we?
Rykel slips his arm around my waist like it's second nature. I glance up at him. He smiles, whispering, "Just follow my lead."
We pose for photos. Rykel signs autographs and shakes hands with fans - I guess they're his fans? I wonder if he's an actor or singer or something. Interviewers ask all sorts of questions, from "powers" to "girlfriend" and other things that I don't understand. Who is this man standing next to me?
Eventually we make it inside, where there are much fewer cameras and nobody asking questions. There's also several people wearing very nice, very formal, and very expensive-looking clothing, walking by tables of hors d'oeuvre and champagne flutes.
Rykel turns to me and lays his hands on my shoulders. His shockingly blue eyes sparkle as he smirks at me. "So, how we doin' sweetheart?"
I respond with the first coherent thought that I have. "I'm underdressed."
He laughs and drops his hands. I find myself surprised to be missing the warm, strong sensation. "Nah, you look great." He flips his hair out of his eyes. "Anything else?"
I cross my arms. "Who are you, and where are we?"
He takes my hand in his, uncrossing my arms, and gives a playful handshake. "Jack Brant Rykel, Conductive training at Polytech, at your service."
I blink a few times. "Conductive?" Polytech? Huh?
He cocks his eyebrow. "Listen, babe, give me a minute and we can split if you want. I'll explain everything. You and me, some dinner maybe? I just had to make an appearance, that's all."
"Um... okay. That works." I really have no idea what is going on.
He stops to talk with a few people, flirting openly with the ladies. I'm receiving the general idea that most people here just tolerate him. After a few minutes, he grabs my hand and leads me through one richly decorated room after another. We reach a back door that opens into a parking lot. With Rykel leading me, we weave among the vehicles until we reach his motorcycle.
It's a short drive to town and the small Asian restaurant where we stop. Rykel pulls out my chair for me before sitting and we look through the menus without saying much. When the waiter comes for our order, I get a chicken and noodles meal I used to have in Japan. Rykel orders a... veggie meal? I wait to talk to him until after the waiter has taken our menus and left.
"Are you one of those healthy eater people?" He certainly doesn't strike me as one.
He shrugs. "I'm vegetarian."
I raise my eyebrows in surprise. "Oh." I'm not sure what else to say. "Seems there's a lot I don't know about you."
He laughs and I smile, quite aware of the butterflies racing inside me. "You know that shock you felt when we first met, shaking hands in the gas station?"
"Yeah." What does that have to do with anything?
He grins. "There's a whole lot more to that."