I hurried home feeling the running of time on me, when I left behind the crowded city I started running. I had just wasted two hours in the library all of that reading a historical fiction of Bonaparte’s last years at St. Helene. I had been caught by the title “Betsy and the emperor” it was another version of my name, so my curious hand longed to hold it and my eyes couldn’t wait to know what was graphed in the page of that book. I spent four hours reading it, a little two hours plus the normal I spent in the library every time after school. And lost in the book I totally forgot I was the one preparing the family Tuesday Jeopardy.
When I arrived to the front door, it was already 7 and I was breathing hard, I opened the door and heard the bell ring. Matt had created that bell in case someone entered without them opening.
“It is just me” I said trying to make my breathing normal, and to make my little voice loud enough for everybody to hear.
I walked into the living room; dad and Matt were kneeled around the little table constructing something.
“Hello, baby male!” I said tickling my 5 year brother on his neck.
“Hey big male” I said kissing dad, I hated when he let his beard grow, when you kissed him it was like needles I wondered how mom felt about it. “What are you guys doing?” I said sitting down on the couch,
“We’re trying to make Matt’s telescope stronger, so he can make a project about it”
“Mmm” I was going to object saying that Matt was too young for it, but it was always like that in my family, you had to be smart from when a kid. I remembered the surprised look on my first grade teacher when she asked us to share something about nature and I presented the details of photosynthesis. I nodded “where is mom?”
“Still at work honey” dad said, he was now looking trough the many contacts they had added to the telescope, “almost done” he said to Matt who smiled and asked if he could try it himself. “I don’t think she will make it for the jeopardy”
“Hmmm, that’s great because there is no jeopardy for tonight, I didn’t prepare it” dad looked at me his gaze asking what I was doing and of course I knew his first thought was I had a boyfriend. “It’s not what you think daddy, I was just in the library, didn’t realize the time until they closed.”
“You just spoiled my evening, I had invited some friends over, but here” he said getting up and looking through the books over the TV. He took a hard drive” oh yeah! This,”
“What’s it?” me and Matt asked together,
“This is the greatest thing ever, 100 questions designed and composed by dad Ronald”
that’s how he called his second step father, the one that had cultivated in him the hunger of knowledge; the same hunger he’d passed to me and Matt and infected mom when they got married.
So the night went really good, the Perez couple came over, a brilliant blonde lady and his husband a Latino, always saying “oh you know this honey, just concentrate”. They said they had a kid my age; they were new in town and were still looking for a school for him to attend. Of course mom and dad told them about the school we were attending.
“I feel sorry for not bringing him; I didn’t think you had kids his age. And the poor boy, I bet he’s bored alone at home” Mrs Megan Perez said when we’d finished the half of the questions. They were really entertaining.
“Why don’t you call him and tell him to come? Betsie can tell him more about Hughes school” dad suggested.
Mrs Perez started looking for her phone,
“Don’t bother honey, I already dialled the number” Mr Roberto Perez said winking at Megan-they had insisted I don’t use their family names,
I drove to the address Dad had just gave me, I had been in the home library boring myself with the book I already knew the content. I hadn’t met anyone my age in this town, and the main discussion with the friend’s of mom who came home were “how was it in Mexico?” and I would tell the normal tale of my life down there, always adding to it as I retold. It annoyed me, I came here looking for a country where I could feel like someone normal not a foreigner and I received the same treatment here as I had in Mexico.
I knocked on the door, a kid probably 7 or six opened the door only enough for me to see his head.
“Are you a Perez?” he asked, looking me up and down.
“Matt stop acting like a jerk” her voice rang in my head generating a series of rainbows before my eyes; her hands pulled the door, wide enough for me to see her. She had dark brown hair, her eyes the same colour. She pushed the kid away before looking up. “oh sorry, sometimes he’s just like that” she said smiling, I stared at her face, the way her lips moved when she spoke, her eyes reflecting kindness and something more, curiosity maybe? But nor the same I saw in most of the people here, not curiosity about my ethnicity.
Our eyes met for a moment and they spoke to each other, I didn’t make sense of it at first, nor did she give me time to think it through.
“Oh, come in” was she blushing? I entered; she led me to the living room not looking at me.
“OH! Hey, Juan” Mr Evans said, I quickly made the association, surely she got the same brown eyes and heavy eyebrows, so fresh so natural, it wasn’t Mr Evans face now before me it was hers.