Home > The Sun Is Also a Star(11)

The Sun Is Also a Star(11)
Author: Nicola Yoon

As if watching Rob and Kelly try to eat each other’s faces weren’t gross enough, I see her hand snake out, snatch a record, and then slip it between their bodies and into her very bulky, perfect-for-stealing jacket.

No. Way.

I’d rather burn my eyes out than keep watching, but I do. I can’t actually believe what I’m seeing. They devour each other for another few seconds, and then her hand sneaks out again.

“Oh my God, they’re gross. Why are they so gross?” The words slip out of my mouth before I can stop them. Like my mom, I have a tendency to say my thoughts out loud.

“She’s just gonna steal that?” asks an equally incredulous voice beside me. I quickly glance over to see who I’m talking to. It’s an Asian boy wearing a gray suit and a ridiculously bright red tie.

I turn back to watch some more. “Doesn’t anybody work here? Can’t they see what’s happening?” I ask, more to myself than to him.

“Shouldn’t we say something?”

“To them?” I ask, gesturing at the little thieves.

“The staff, maybe?”

I shake my head without looking at him. “I know them,” I say.

“Sticky Fingers is your friend?” His voice is slightly accusatory.

“She’s my boyfriend’s girlfriend.”

Red Tie turns his attention away from the crime in progress and onto me. “How does that work, exactly?” he asks.

“I mean ex-boyfriend,” I say. “He cheated on me with her, actually.” I’m more flustered about seeing Rob than I realize. It’s the only explanation for me volunteering that piece of information to a stranger.

Red Tie shifts his attention back to the petty larceny. “Great pair, a cheater and a thief.”

I half laugh.

“We should tell someone,” he says.

I shake my head. “No way. You do it.”

“Strength in numbers,” he says back.

“If I say something, it’s going to look like I’m jealous and messing with them.”

“Are you?”

I look at him again. His face is sympathetic.

“That’s kind of a personal question, isn’t it, Red Tie?” I ask.

He shrugs. “We were having a moment,” he says.

“Nope,” I say, and turn away again to watch them. Rob feels me watching and catches my eye before I can look away.

“Jesus Christ bleeding on a Popsicle stick,” I whisper under my breath.

Rob gives me his patented stupid half smile and a wave. I almost give him the finger. How did I date him for eight months and four days? How did I let this accomplice hold my hands and kiss me?

I face Red Tie. “Is he coming over here?”


“Maybe we should make out or something, like spies do in the movies,” I suggest.

Red Tie blushes hard.

“I’m not serious,” I say, smiling.

He doesn’t say anything, just blushes some more. I watch the color warm his face.

Rob’s there before Red Tie can pull himself together to respond.

“Hey,” he says. His voice is a deep, reassuring baritone. It’s one of the things I liked about him. Also, he looks like a young Bob Marley, only white and without the dreadlocks.

“Why are you and your girlfriend stealing things?” Red Tie cuts in before I can say anything to Rob.

Rob holds his hands up and takes a step back. “Whoa, dude,” he says. “Keep your voice down.” He pastes the stupid half smile back on his stupid face.

Red Tie gets even louder. “This is an independent record store. That means it’s family-owned. You’re stealing from real people. Do you know how hard it is for small businesses to survive when people like you just take stuff?”

Red Tie is righteous, and Rob even manages to look a little chastened.

“Don’t look now, but I think your girlfriend just got busted,” I say. Two store employees are whispering furiously at Kelly and tapping the front of her jacket.

Rob’s stupid face finally loses its stupid smile. Instead of going over to rescue Kelly, he shoves his hands into his pockets and walk-runs out the front door. Kelly calls out to him as he bolts, but he doesn’t stop. One of the employees threatens to call the cops. She begs him not to, and pulls two records from her jacket. She has good taste. I spot Massive Attack and Portishead.

The employee snatches them from her hand. “Come back in here again and I will call the cops.”

She bolts from the store, calling after Rob.

“Well, that was fun,” Red Tie says after she’s gone. He’s smiling a big wide smile and looking at me with happy eyes. I get a sudden sense of déjà vu. I’ve been here before. I’ve noticed those bright eyes and that smile. I’ve even had this conversation.

But then the moment passes.

He sticks out his hand for a shake. “Daniel,” he says.

His hand is big and warm and soft and holds on to mine for a little too long.

“Nice to meet you,” I say, and take my hand back. His smile is nice, really nice, but I don’t have time for boys in suits with nice smiles. I put my headphones back on. He’s still waiting for me to tell him my name.

“Have a nice life, Daniel,” I say, and walk out the door.

Would-Be Casanova Shakes Cute Girl’s Hand, Offers Her Home Loan with Reasonable Interest Rate

I shook her hand. I’m wearing a suit and a tie and I shook her hand.

What am I? A banker?

Who meets a cute girl and shakes her hand?

Charlie would’ve said something charming to her. They’d be having a cozy coffee someplace dark and romantic. She’d already be dreaming of little half-Korean, half–African American babies.

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