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FICTION: Mikey from Middle School

Short Story - Contemporary Romance Comedy

Natasha scoffed seeing the café's order line reaching the door. Christmas was just three days away and people needed their coffee. Not wanting to face her mother just yet, she'd had the Uber driver dump her here. Her purple and magenta long hair and weight would definitely get her mother’s snarky commentary upon arrival.

How long has it been since I last saw her? Does Dad’s funeral even count?

The line shuffled forward, only to halt again a few steps later. She groaned, the heat in the place stifling.

Maybe I should go back home. I know I didn't want to be alone this Christmas, but…

“Natasha?” A man’s voice made her jerk and she looked through the sea of customers. “It’s you! Oh my…”

The man sounded choked up; where was he? A large, heavy hand hit her shoulder. It spun her around and she found herself hugged into the warmth of a man who wore really nice cologne.

Wow, that smells great... and expensive.

He let go, stepping back, and she gasped.

Did Chris Hemsworth have another, much hotter brother?

His light brown hair complimented the sparkling blue eyes.

Movie star? No... with a body that hard, he's got to be a model.

She measured him with her green eyes. He had to be six-foot-two-inches tall like her dad had been. But the similarities ended there. This guy was muscular. He had to be able to lift some serious weight. The way he’d wrapped his arms around her revealed bulges she didn’t know a man’s arms could have.

“Nana Banana.” The middle school nickname made her shudder. “I haven’t seen you since you left town! I’ve missed you!”

She blinked.

Wait, he knows me?

Narrowing her eyes, “And you are…?”

“It’s me! Mikey from middle school!” Throwing out his arms, he made a girl squeal as she defended her latte. “Oh, sorry.”

Natasha laughed half-heartedly, no clues rising to the surface. “Yea... oh man, Mikey... from middle school... I can't believe it...”

Who the hell is Mikey? I don’t remember any friends named Michael, Mike, or Mikey!

“Come sit down.” He led her out of the line.

Nooooo! I was halfway to the counter. I want my white mocha latte with whip cream!

Natasha sat in the chair obedient and silent. Ripping her eyes from the barista, she glared at him. Across the table was a smiling, handsome man named Mikey. Nothing about his voice or face was helping her remember how she knew him. Nor why she should know him.

“Your mom’s so excited.” He caught the attention of someone at the counter and motioned them over. “Was your flight smooth?”

He knows Mom! Who is this guy? Why is he not ringing any bells?

She shrugged. “As good as a C-class seat in the peak of Christmas rush could be?”

Inhaling the coffee-laden scent, she held it.

Maybe I can get some caffeine in my system if I hold my breath long enough.

Closing her eyes, Natasha dredged up the blurry memories of middle school. She’d attended two schools, and only been here for a few months before going north. Her parent’s divorce had been ugly, the entire summer ruined.

“It broke my heart when you left.”

“Wait. What?” She gapped at him in confusion.

“We’d only dated for a few weeks.” He looked to the ceiling as if the memories of middle school could be seen there. “I can remember it like it was yesterday…”

Natasha leaned back, looking up, she hoped she’d see something too.

I doubt that. It’s a jumbled mess for me, buddy.

A barista came over and stuttered, “Y-yes, Mr. Montgomery?”

“Give me my usual and for Natasha here…” He smirked, the sparkle in his eyes making her lift an eyebrow. “You still into white mocha everything?”

Natasha’s heart pounded against her chest. “Y-yea.”

“Perfect.” The boy turned to leave.

“With whip cream!” Natasha covered her mouth as Mikey and she spoke in unison.

“Jinx.” He leaned over, lowering his voice, the heat of his breath against her ear, “You still owe me a kiss.”

A lock of her hair slipped, obscuring her face.

I’ve never been so thankful for a spotty haircut in all my life.

Inside her chest, her heartbeat ran wild like the galloping of a thousand horses. He leaned back in his chair, his eyes never leaving her. She looked around the café, desperate for someone to rescue her.

Help! A hot guy is madly in love with me… still? And I can’t remember who the hell he is!

“But just so you know,” He started and she looked at him with her eyebrows high. “I knew you were just going out with me to get closer to Timmy.”

“Timmy.” The name fell from her lips with dread and it all came flooding back.

NO WAY! Mike the Ike Eye Sore! What sorcery is this!

“He never liked you, and I felt bad.” He blushed and Natasha leaned in, marveling over this stranger. “You know, when you left, he and I got into a fist fight. Did your mom tell you that?”

“Uh, Mom and I stopped talking?” She squinted her eyes, staring with great interest at Mikey’s mouth. “Fist fight. Over what?”

They’re straight. In front of me is the most gorgeous man on earth who once wore the worst botched braces job the world had ever seen. I can’t believe this is MIKE THE IKE! Wasn’t he six inches shorter than me?

“He started spreading rumors about you and I got pissed. No one came to your…”

His voice faded with her focus. Natasha leaned closer, picking apart his appearance, comparing it to her memories. He rushed forward, planting his lips firmly against her own. Shocked, she threw herself back, her chair losing its balance and tipping backward. She stared up at the ceiling.

What happened?

Mike leaned into view with a satisfied smirk across his face. “Happy to have you back home, Nana Banana.”

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