Of Confidence


Melanie watched as her mom scurried around the room, picking up each and every piece of dust that may or not even been lying on the object after she dusted everything in the Hendricks's household.

"Mom, Grandma and Grandpa have seen our house a mess before, you know this right?" She laughed, shaking her head at the middle aged woman who moved frantically around the home.

"This isn't for them, Melanie. You have a graduation dinner here tomorrow night, remember? People from your father's office will be here as well as your cousins, and friends from around the street. And, your cousins are coming in tonight as well as your grandparents."

Melanie rolled her eyes, "Oh how could I forget about Aunt Darla, I'm sure one piece of dust will make her fall over and die on the spot."

She watched as her mother stopped moving, a frown on her face as she stared at her daughter. "Why would you say something like that?"

Melanie's father chuckled, as he walked into the room. "Trust me, it takes way more than that to kill Darla, I've been trying for years."

Melanie held back her laughter as she watched her mom's disapproving scowl burn holes into her father. He held his hands up in surrender as she ferociously stalked out of the room and into the family's kitchen.

Melanie shook her head, "Mom's going crazy."

Her dad gave her a warm smile, "Who isn't now a days? I'll tell you who is though! Those damn Kardashians."

She laughed as her dad nodded his head at her, gesturing her to follow him into his study. Melanie sat down on the opposite side of her dad's desk as he sat in the plush black chair behind it.

"What's up dad?" She smiled, leaning back in the grey roller chair.

"Well, you graduate tomorrow, and I thought gifts were in order before your mother and I head to Australia, and you to London for the boys tour," he smiled, pulling a long, thin black box from the inside of his suit jacket.

"Dad, you didn't have to get me're already paying for college, " Melanie laughed, taking the box from his hands.

"I'm your father, it's what I do," he said, a smile on his tanned, but aging cheeks.

His white hair made his blue eyes shine like moons, similar to the effect Melanie's blonde hair gave her. Wrinkles appeared over the years around his tired eyes and his mouth that often hung low and concentrated as he performed a procedure in the emergency room.

"Open it, Melanie!" He laughed.

She laughed as she began to crack open the box, and gasped as she saw its contents. The nine carat gold bracelet lay motionlessly in the box, its links were intertwined with each other and it was so clean, it sparkled in the light. "Grandma's bracelet," she gasped. "Dad, I can't take this."

"Yes, you can. And, you will," he smiled, taking the bracelet out of the box and putting it around his daughter's wrist.

"I-I can't believe this, thank you so much Dad," she said, not being able to wash the grin that was bathed in admiration of the gold around her wrist.

"You deserve it, babe," her father smiled. "Now, I better go before you're Mom really starts going insane," he chuckled, leaving the room.

Melanie stayed in her seat in front of her father's desk, looking at the contents that it held. She smiled at the picture of her, John, and Haley on the left corner. The two girls sat perched on John's lap and they were all covered in mud, nothing to be seen but their blue and green eyes. The picture was in a 'My Daddy's the Best' photo frame and Melanie remembered when she and John had a lemonade stand for three days just to afford the two dollar gift for their parents.

Melanie was torn away from her thoughts as Haley walked into the room, her black ballet flats smacking lightly on the wooden floor. She turned her head and watched as her sister lightly pulled on the bottom of her zip up skirt that covered the black leotard she was wearing below. "Grandma and Grandpa are here, Melanie."

"I'll be right there," she replied, adjusting the pink snood around her neck. She nervously shifted the gold bracelet on her wrist as she went out to meet the aged pair of adults that were waiting in her foyer.

Melanie watched as her grandmother gasped as she looked over the eighteen year old girl. Her grandma opened her arms wide, as her mouth formed in that smiling line that people got when they were trying to contain their emotions. She wrapped her arms tightly around the older woman as she held her tightly.

"You've grown up so much since last October!" Her grandmother said, releasing her.

Melanie laughed, "You always say that Grandma!"

"It's true though, darling," she smiled. "You're gorgeous."

"Thank you," Melanie replied softly before letting her Grandpa engulf her in a hug.

"How many boys had your father had to chase off young lady?" Her grandpa laughed, his voice deep but soothingly soft.

She chuckled, "Not too many, I promise." Not any at all, she laughed to herself. Her father had planned since she was five her marriage to John Cornelius O'Callaghan V and until now she had never wanted to disappoint him; but people change.

Melanie watched as her parents and her sister welcomed the couple into the home, as she went to answer the ringing doorbell. She welcomed her cousins in the door taking their coats off and hanging them on the rack. The whole family exchanged embraces before Mrs. Hendricks showed them all to the dining room, exposing the dinner she had prepared for them.

There was a turkey in the middle of the table, surrounded by dressings that you could put on the top of it. There was fruit salad, Caesar salad, eggs, mashed potatoes, corn...and every other item you'd see at a Thanksgiving Dinner.

The family sat down, and said grace before they all began to eat. Melanie softly bit into her turkey as her grandpa began to talk to her. "So Melanie, I hear you're leaving for London tomorrow?"

She outwardly smiled, while her insides began suddenly nervous at the thought of what tomorrow night held for her. "Yes sir, I am. My friends are on tour with their band and they're flying me out for their last week, and it just so happens to be in London."

Melanie heard her cousin Kayla chuckle as she looked at her, "Which one are you dating!?" She asked, excitedly.

Melanie couldn't help but to laugh. She looked over to her parents who had grins on their faces, as if they thought they knew something. "None of them, we're all just really great friends."

"Oh whatever," her cousin David laughed, raising his eyebrows at her. "There's got to be one."

No, there are two, she thought to herself. "Nope."

She looked at Haley from the corner of her eye and noticed how pointedly interested she seemed to be in her vegetables.

"What about the John character you brought to our home in San Diego a few years ago?" Her grandfather asked, bringing an overwhelming feeling over her as she thought back to that trip.

Melanie stared at the boy in front of her, his shaggy light brown hair hanging into his blue green eyes. His crooked smile brightened up his youthful face as the fifteen year old laughed at her. "Melanie, it's just once," he said softly, as he put his hands on her waist.

She swatted his hand away from her hip bones. "John stop, I'm wearing a bikini."

"I've seen you in a bikini for the last eight years, Mel."

"It's different when you're proposing ideas like this, John," she replied.

"Melanie, it's only as friends. I'm not asking you to be my girlfriend," he laughed. "I'm just saying, having my first kiss already done before I start high school in a month could be helpful. And I don't want to screw up my first kiss with a legitimate high school girl, so I think I should get it out of the way now, and with you I'd be less nervous."

Melanie sat in the sand as she contemplated his offer. Going to high school in two years would be easier with one of the most insecure things she could experience out of the way, and having it with someone she trusted would be even better. But, John said he wouldn't be nervous, and this made her sad. Had he not noticed the uneasy feeling he had recently began to give her, had he not seen the new way her eyes looked into his when they had their childish stare downs? He wasn't attracted her the way he recently had become to her. He wanted high school girls and she was just his practice test.

He sat down in the sand next to her, and softly put his hand on hers. "I shouldn't have said anything, I'm sorry. It's just, I don't know. Your first kiss is supposed to be special, and I can't think of anyone who it would be more special with, I-I mean you're my best friend, Melanie."

She smiled at the way he stammered, showing that he too was as nervous as she was. Melanie gave him a soft smile, "Ask me," she said quietly.

John looked into her eyes, surprise showing in his own. He was silent for a moment as he composed himself, and he held his hand out to her as he stood up from the sand. She took it as he walked them in to the ocean water. She could hear the sounds of families disappearing into their cars as she watched the sun disappear into the horizon.

He walked them about knee deep in the water, never letting her hand go along the way. She smiled as he stopped and turned to her, the ample sunlight that was left lighting the left side of his smile.

"M-Melanie, can uh, can I kiss you?" He asked timidly, his confidence fading away and his eyes looking down at the water at their knees.

Melanie followed his gaze down to the water, speaking in a tone as gentle as his, "I might be bad."

She felt his fingers touch her chin, pulling her face up to look into his eyes, and it looked as if they were smiling into hers. He moved his hand to where it cupped her face softly, and she could feel his fingers quietly trembling. John rested his forehead against hers and she could feel his breathing become rugged, and it was only a second before he took hers away.

John tentatively moved his lips against hers and Melanie found herself itching for him to be closer to her. She nervously put her hand on his hip as he put his on hers, pulling her against his bare chest.

She wasn't sure how her lips knew what to do, finally chalking it up to the fact that she had watched too many romance movies to not know how to kiss a boy by now.

She gasped as John's tongue slowly pressed against her lip, and she guessed that all she had to do was let him in; and she was right. She let his tongue explore her mouth slowly as she took in the taste of him, crystal mint Orbit gum and minty Listerine.

She nervously let hers move against his, and she could feel the new way it made his body tremble when she heard a soft moan from the back of his throat. They pulled away, both looking at each other in a new way that the other was unaware of. John slowly moved his hand away from her cheek, but not the one that was gripping her hip bone. "Whoa," he chuckled.

Melanie felt her cheeks heat up as she turned her gaze to the sun that was no longer there. "That pretty much says it all," she giggled.

Even through the dark she could see him smiling, and he slowly bent his lips down to hers again. She could feel his smile against her lips as she wrapped her arms around his neck. He put his arms around her waist as he disconnected their lips, and he lifted her out of the water. She laughed as he spun her body around in a circle. He carried her back to the sand before setting her down. "Thanks for helping me get that out of the way before I move on to high school chicks," he laughed.

She felt her new high fade away as she reminded herself of the point of the kiss: to get it out of the way. It was a onetime thing. "Oh, you're welcome," she said, trying to mask her disappointment.

He smiled as he gave her one last peck on the lips, chuckling. "I have got to tell Kennedy about this!"

Melanie watched as he skipped off joyfully to her grandparents beach house to call his best friend and tell him that he was finally ready for the big leagues and that was when she realized that he had just changed everything; she liked her best friend.

"No Grandpa, not even John."

She dialed the familiar number into her phone and she became uneasy as she heard the ringing begin. Melanie hadn't talked to Kennedy since their fight, but she needed to talk to him, she missed him.


"Hey Kennedy," she said nervously.

He was quiet for a moment. "Hey, Mel."

She listened to his soft breathing on the other side of the line, before she spoke all at once. "Kennedy I am so sorry for the other night..."

"I am too," he said. "I didn't mean to hurt you."

"Me either, Kenny. You know that, and I'm sorry I tried to guilt you against what you obviously want."

"No, you were right. I'm just scared," he said honestly. "And, maybe when I get home and we sort this whole thing out and just be friends for a while...we could just see what happens."

Melanie felt herself smiling, "I'd like that."

She could feel Kennedy's relief through the phone lines and it matched hers. "I get to see you tomorrow."

"I'm excited. Not only do I get to see my boys, but I get to graduate as well," she smiled into the phone. "Graduating is scary Kennedy."

"Why are you nervous?"

"Everything's just changing so fast. Pretty soon I'll be leaving for college... and starting a new life, it's just nerve racking," she said.

"You'll be okay, I promise. And then tomorrow night, we'll party hard... as friends," he laughed.

Melanie sighed. "I miss you too much, Kennedy Brock."

"I miss you too, Melanie. Everyone does. Especially John," he said the end quieter.

"Yeah, well whose fault is that?" she replied.

"I know, I know," Kennedy sighed. "You should get some sleep. You've got a long day ahead of you."

"It's only graduation, Kenny."

He was quiet, but when he spoke again he stumbled over his words, as if he was hiding something. "Well, you know your parents and the O'Callaghan's will want millions of pictures," He chuckled.

Melanie groaned. "I wish you were here."

"I wish I was too. Now, stop stalling and go to bed, okay darling?"

"Night, Kennedy. Love you," she said.

"Love you too, Melanie. As friends," he clarified, receiving a sigh from her. "Sweet dreams."

Melanie hung up the phone before plugging it into the charger next to her bed. She laid her dress out that she would be wearing under her gown and put her heels on the floor next to it. She laid into her bed, pulling her covers up to her neck and nestling deep into her pillow.

She felt herself slowly drifting to sleep, but not before the vibration on her phone forced her awake. She wiped her eyes of sleep as she looked at the screen that was brightly shining. She felt her heart lurch as she read the name on the screen. John O’Callaghan

She uncertainly pressed the green talk button on her phone, before putting it silently to her ear. She didn't speak, and neither did he.

Melanie could hear John's steady breathing on the other side of the line, and it had her pulse racing. She didn't know how long they sat like that. No words being spoken, the only sound was breath. After nearly five minutes of stillness Melanie found the nerve to speak. "John," she whispered.

"I-I have to go," was all he said before she heard a click, and not even thirty seconds later she watched his bedroom light flicker off.

John O'Callaghan was home.
♠ ♠ ♠
Melanie's outfit.
Did anyone else miss John? Haha. The next chapter will be pretty...intense. And from there, it all hits the fan. I'm excited. Let me know how you're feeling?
And, thank you so much for all of your comments! I love you guys <3