Now that Blythe was a teenager, she could finally cook for herself. So of course, she jumped right to it the first chance she got. As luck would have it, she produced an excellent quality breakfast for herself. This was a very encouraging start for Blythe.
Blythe was absolutely ecstatic to start High School...even if she started as a 'B' student instead of an 'A' student, she would rectify that shortly. Always the over-achiever, she already had a carefully laid out plan on how to get her 'A' Student status back, and how to get a head-start on skills she would need for her career. She was determined to start a career with a head-start!
That weekend, Blythe and Anne were having a lovely Mother-Daughter moment in the morning. "So in the end, it only took me two days to get to 'A' Student, Mom. Now I can focus on training skills that will be of use to my career." Anne was saying over breakfast.
Anne smiled fondly, "Sweetheart, that's great. You've always been a great student. It's the weekend however, I'm sure by now you've already done your homework and even the extra credit homework. Why don't you go out for a bit? Have a little fun darling while you're still young."
Blythe looked at her mother as if she'd spoken in a different language, "Go out? But Mom... I have far more productive ways of spending time, and even having fun. I haven't played chess in a while..." She said thoughtfully.
Anne chuckled, "Sweetheart, you're a lovely girl and soon you'll be a young adult. You need friends, dear. You know, your father and I love you dearly, but we won't be around forever. It would be a comforting thought to part this world knowing my one and only child shall not be alone..." Anne said with a sigh.
"Oh, mom.... Alright, I get your point. I will go and...socialize. I'll give it a try at least. But for the record, I think it's a complete waste of time." Blythe said stubbornly.
Anne only smiled happily.
Blythe decided to go to Oasis Springs, she'd never been there before and she figured it was a good place to 'socialize' without running into too many of her parents' acquaintances or that mean Scholl lady.
She met a few people there and actually had a fairly pleasant time, though she still thought she was better off at home practicing programming or playing chess. Until she met Ben Landgraab that is. Ben lived in Oasis Springs with his older brother, it seemed his parents had recently passed away. Ben aspired to be a Bestselling Author, he loved the outdoors and like her he was a genius.
Blythe and Ben spent quite a while chatting until it got to around dinner time and Ben invited Blythe over to his house. Blythe wasn't sure at first, but then she figured it might be rude to say no, and she rather liked Ben so she accepted the invitation. She only hoped her parents wouldn't be worried about her.
The Landgraabs lived in a really nice and really big house. Well, it was bigger than the Montgomery Home at least. Blythe wondered why someone would get such a big house if they only had two children. Perhaps the parents had been thinking ahead and were planning on having their grandchildren live in the house as well. Yes, that made more sense to Blythe.
After all, her parents had bought a three bedroom home when they only had one child. And from the looks of it, they weren't in a hurry to have another child any time soon.
Ben turned out to be very good company. He was smart and they could both carry on a conversation that might have bored others. They exchanged chemistry notes and invention ideas. It was perhaps one of the best conversations Blythe had had with anyone not related to her.
"I really should be going home," Blythe said when she finally noticed it was dark outside.
"Oh." Said Ben failing to mask his disappointment.
"It was very nice to meet you Ben. It's interesting talking to you." Anne said thoughtfully. She was surprised to find she wasn't that eager to go home.
Ben smiled a little, "It was nice to meet you too Anne."
"You know...It's my parents' birthdays tomorrow, you can come by if you wish." Anne said shyly. She really wasn't sure what she was doing, or if she was doing the right thing.
Ben smiled brightly. "Really? Both of their birthdays? That's odd." He said casually. "And sure, I'll go... if your parents won't mind that is."
Anne was thoughtful for a moment, "I really don't think my parents will mind. They've been going on and on about...." she said then thought better of it. She wasn't sure saying she had no friends aside from her parents was...well, the average for kids their age. "I really don't think they'll mind. They're lovely people."
Ben smiled a little confused, "Alright, I'll be there tomorrow then. You live in Willow Creek, right?"
"Yes. I"ll text you my address and directions how to get there. Good night, I really must go home. Thanks for having me by." Anne said hurriedly, though she wasn't sure if she was in a hurry to get home because of her parents, or if she was in a hurry to leave Ben's house before she felt more awkward.
The following morning Blythe was busy making preparations for her parents' birthday. Her parents were being pretty good about not asking her too many questions about her day out yesterday. That suited Blythe just fine since she wasn't exactly in a sharing mood when it came to that topic. Even she couldn't make complete sense of it all, let alone trying to explain it to her parents.
Things got a little trickier once Ben had arrived at the Montgomery Home. "You didn't mention this friend of yours was a boy." Her father had said after pulling her aside.
"He's a friend, what does it matter if he's a boy or a girl?" Blythe asked puzzled.
Alex mumbled to himself annoyed and simply walked away.
Fortunately, the celebrations went on in a pleasant manner despite the unexpected guest. Alex and Anne though no longer Young Adults, were very happy none the less. They had had a great life thus far, though neither of them could help but feel like life was about to get a bit bumpy.
Ben thought Blythe looked remarkably a lot like her mother. It was scary almost how much they looked alike. There were small differences of course, Blythe's face wasn't exactly the same shape as Anne's and her eyebrows more like Alexanders. Still, the likeness was uncanny. He decided to keep that to himself for the time being however, he didn't want to make any sort of bad impression on Blythe's parents. He really liked Blythe, and he could tell she was very close to her parents. He had a feeling that if her parents told her to stay away from him, Blythe would happily grant their request.
After the celebrations, and after Ben had helped Blythe with cleaning up (he had quickly discovered Mrs. Montgomery was a bit of a clean-freak), Ben wasn't quite ready to call it a day.
"Hey Blythe, I was wondering if you'd like to go out for a bit of fun, maybe a juice?" Ben asked trying to be casual even though he didn't feel casual.
"Uh...today?" Blythe asked surprised.
"Yeah, if you want. We could always leave it for another day though." Be said quickly.
Blythe was thoughtful for a moment. "Um... sure, why not." She said with a shrug. She hadn't planned on going anywhere today but it could be fun.
"Cool. I was thinking we could go to the Rattlesnake Juice Bar in Oasis Springs." Been suggested.
Blythe looked at him doubtfully, "With a name like that...it sounds like a dreadful place to go for juice!" she said with a laugh. "Who would give any place that? It sounds frightening!"
"Hmm, I never really thought about it that way. When you live in a desert-like environment though, I suppose certain themes are bound to pop up." Been said with a smile.
"Alright, but if I get any sort of food poisoning, it's entirely your fault." Blythe said playfully. "Hold on, I'll just let my parents know and we can be on our way."
Ben was a little surprised at how young Blythe's parents were. His parents hadn't had him until they'd been halfway to their elder days or so. He had lost his parents not too long ago, so seeing Blythe with her parents was a little painful.
Anne however, was more than a little surprised by the sudden change of plans. "You're what?!" She asked surprised.
Blythe tried not to laugh as her mother lost her balance on the treadmill and went down face first. "Uh...I'm going out with Ben for a little bit." she said with a chuckle.
"A date? You're going on a date?" Anne asked frowning. Alex was going to have a fit!
"Date? Uh....I guess I am." Blythe said thoughtfully. She hadn't thought of it that way, but maybe it was a date. "I don't know mom, we're just going to get some juice, will you relax."
Anne sighed sadly, "Oh alright...just be safe." she said as she got back on the treadmill. It was bound to happen but did it have to be so soon? Anne thought to herself.
"Was your Mother ok?" Ben asked when they were at the juice bar.
"Hmm? Oh, yes. Yeah, she's ok." Blythe said with a small chuckle. "They...they're not used to me going out much. She's alright though."
"Oh, Ok." Ben said distractedly. "You know... You look a lot like your mother."
Blythe nodded in agreement. "Yeah, I get that a lot."
"You and your parents seem really close. It's nice." Been said as he remembered his parents. He hadn't been that close with his parents. He loved them dearly, but theirs had been a different relationship than what the Montgomeries had.
"Yeah, I suppose that happens when you're an only child." Blythe said fondly. "You mentioned you had an older brother, do you two get along well?" She asked curiously.
"We get along well enough, I suppose. We have our moments. I guess since he's the grown up he feels like he should act like a parent and well...that can get a bit annoying." Ben said with a frown. "He means well though..."
Blythe smiled warmly, "I'm sorry about your parents, Ben. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it must be for you."
Ben shrugged, "Thanks. It's alright. I manage. I miss them still but... I guess that's life. Never mind that though, we came here to have some fun!"
They effectively changed the topic of conversation to other more pleasant matters. As they talked more and more, the two felt more at ease with each other. They went in to listen to some music and sat down on the sofa, it wasn't until it was too late that Blythe noticed Wanda Scholl.
"Oh no..." Blythe whispered more to herself than to Ben
Ben looked at her concerned, "What's wrong?" he whispered back.
Blythe shook her head silently and moved closer to Ben in order to distance herself from Wanda.
Ben wasn't sure what was going on. On one hand, Blythe was sitting closer to him and that was great, but the look on her face told him she didn't do it with any romantic thought in mind. To him it felt like something was wrong, and he had no idea what.
So Ben snuggled closer to her until they were cuddling together, he just hoped she wouldn't hit him though admittedly, it would be well worth it. "What's wrong Blythe?" he whispered once they were as close to each other as was humanly possible and allowed in a public place. And really... it was too close because now he was just all distracted.
Blythe was momentarily distracted by Ben's closeness, or rather confused. She realized quickly though, what he'd been trying to do. "Nothing, " She whispered back. "It's just, this lady sitting next to me lives in my neighborhood."
Ben looked at Wonda and frowned not understanding. "Oh, I'm sorry. Should I not have gotten this close then? Are you worried about what she might tell your parents?" Ben said worried and just a little disappointed.
"No!" Blythe said almost forgetting to whisper. "No, no. It's nothing like that. You see, this lady really hates my mom. I don't know why, I've never understood it. Quite frankly, I'm not sure even my mother knows why. But this lady is very mean.... honestly, she's evil..." Blythe said uncomfortably. She really wasn't comfortable being this close to Wanda Scholl, the lady gave her the creeps.
"Oh...I see." Ben said relieved. He had thought Blythe was uncomfortable with him! He was so glad it wasn't him at all. "It's ok, let's just sit here for a bit longer, then we can leave."
Blythe smiled, "Thank you, Ben. You're so sweet."
And just like that, Ben forgot all about the evil Wanda and focused on nothing other than Blythe. After an hour of cuddling and talking however, it was time to end the date. Ben remembered Wanda resentfully then, had it not been for that woman, this date might have lasted longer!
"I can see you home, Blythe." Ben said hopeful.
"Ah, no. It's ok really. Your house is close by, I'll get home ok." Blythe said with a smile. "Thank you, Ben. I actually had a lovely time, despite Wanda Scholl." She said giving Ben a hug.
Ben again, forgot all about Wanda Scholl and hugged Blythe back. Blythe was so warm, and nice and beautiful, Ben worried he was dangerously close to falling head over heels in love with her. As he watched her leave, he wondered if he already had.
As lovely a time as Blythe had had with Ben, she was glad to be going home. She hadn't realized how late it was and she was tired. This dating thing... it's exhausting! She thought to herself as she went home.