5 days before school starts
I felt heat and sweat in my face and all over my body. With eyes closed, I removed my blanket. Why it is still so hot in the morning? Yesterday should be the end of summer! I didn’t even turn my room cooler last night. It was already cold because I left my window open. It was raining! First rain of the month actually. It’s a sign indicating the start of rainy season here in TwinVille. That’s why I didn’t expect this morning to be hot. I tried to open my left eye but too much light brought it back to being closed. I covered my eyes and rolled to the other side of my bed.
“Zaaaaay!” –buk! Buk! Buk!
Someone shouted my name and knocked loudly on my door, continuously. I’m pretty sure it is my 14 year old younger brother, Yano. He always does that when he needs me to cook for him. Too old, right? My mom and dad probably left early for work and didn’t leave anything for breakfast. Well, they do that often, leaving Yano to my responsibility since we left our grandmother’s house in Montana and lived here. They didn’t even hire a nanny, I was 8 then and Yano was 5.
Buk! Buk! Buk!
The damn knocking continued. Urgh! That is oh so irritating! Lazily, with still my eyes closed, I let my hands scan my bed for something to throw on my door. Then my fingers caught something hard and thick. It was a book I think. I didn’t have time to check what book it is. I threw it directly at where the shouting and knocking is coming from, in short, my door, and it made a loud –BANG sound.
“Zyraah! Would you fucking wake up? I’m hungry!” He shouted and continued knocking.
“Would you fucking stop knocking on my door? And stop using the F word on me!” I shouted back opening my eyes and made myself sat on my bed, yawning and stretching.
“What? You used the F word too Zyraline! You’re allowed and I’m not? Get up! I’ll be waiting in the kitchen.” He stopped knocking and answered. I heard him walk down the stairs. How bossy! And Zyraline? Is he really making me angry? Not that I hate my real name. Okay fine, I hate it. It was better if it was only Zyra, its cool, but with Zyraline? It was like the opposite of being cool. It sounded like some medicine. The –line on the end took all the coolness away from my whole name. Zyraline Mcbridge.
Anyway, I lifted my butt to take a quick bath. I wore my pink and black racer back sleeveless shirt and gray running shorts, combed my light blonde pixie hair with brown high lights and then quickly went downstairs. As I was near the kitchen, I heard my brother talking to someone with very deep but sexy voice of a guy. The voice is really familiar, like I’ve been hearing it since I was born. Okay I’m definitely over acting. I peeked first so I would know if it was Yano’s new friend. There was this new family who just arrived yesterday to live in Mr. Allen’s house which is five blocks away from us. He died a month ago because of some sickness. His only son ,who grieved too much since his mom also passed away last year, decided to sell the house and leave for college. I peeked, but I only saw the face of my brother and the guy’s back. He’s wearing a white shirt and worn-out jeans. He has this gorgeous body like those who are in billboards and magazines. He maybe is a football player because his back and muscles are shouting that he is. I felt the need to drink water right now so I swallowed back my saliva. Gross but what else can I do? Who is this guy? And why is he making my mouth water with just seeing his back!
“Oh there she is! Zaay do you remember Neil?” My brother asked. I was stunned hearing the name. I stood there frozen waiting for the guy to turn from his chair.
“I hope she does.” The guy said as he turned. Right then, I saw my first best friend’s handsome face. Neil Candella. He was the first person I met here in TwinVille. It was after I finished unpacking my things on the day we arrived. I opened my window and saw a scared cat up in the tree of my new neighbour. Since the tree is near my window I tried to reach for a branch to climb and rescue the poor cat. Unluckily, I slipped as I grabbed the branch making me hang on the tree like a monkey. On good fate, Neil who is in my own age was living in that neighbourhood saw me by their kitchen window and run fast as he could to the tree where I am hanging. He was still too thin that time.
“Let go of the branch! I’ll catch you.” That’s what he said to me. At first I hesitated because he may not be able to catch me. But I don’t know, maybe I trusted him that time. He caught me perfectly like I was princess. When I looked at him I felt my heart skipped a beat. He had these hazel nut eyes. His chocolate brown hair is a little messy which looks like he had just taken a bath. He smelled really like chocolate and mint. Everything that time was a slow-mo, and then I promised myself as a kid that I’ll marry him one day. Well I do until now. We easily became friends and later turned into best friends. Well, he doesn’t know I like him. If he did, then we won’t be best friends in the first place. We grew up together; he was always helping me with my brother when my parents are away. He was close to Yano too. I even sometimes get jealous with Yano when they hangout and I’m not allowed to go with them. I saw him changed from a thin kid to a jaw-dropping and mouth watering teen. But when we were 14, his dad got a high salary job in California. They moved out. Neil and I spent our last day together under the tree, where we first met, just hugging. No kissing of course! That was the best and worst day of my life. Best because I had to hug him the whole day and worst because I won’t be able to see him again after that day. I hadn’t had the chance to tell him that I like him. I cried for months because I miss him. His phone then was lost and we only exchanged emails but he became busy there and we lost communication. Well that was the story, let’s go back to reality.
“Neil? Is that really you? Why are you here?” Surprised, I asked him. Well, forgive me! I can’t really believe he was 10 times hotter than the last time I saw him! He had his charming brown hair uncombed like a rock star. His eyes were still the same but brighter I think. What changed is he became huge. Real huge! He was taller and his body! I scanned his biceps and triceps. He has Pecs! I can clearly see it from his shirt! Having this muscular body seemed to fit him. I stopped myself from gazing at it.
“Of course I am! Did you miss me baby? We are going to live here again! Come here and give me a hug.” My heart melted with that. He always calls me baby back then because he said I’m too cute like a baby and because he doesn’t have any sibling. And here I am wishing there is another reason. I walked towards him and he hugged me. I hug him back. His chest is incredible that I can sleep on it all day and never wake up. He is taller than me for about 5 inches.
“I’ve missed you Neil! Are you here for good? And never gonna leave me again?” I sounded like a selfish little girl. But I don’t care, I hugged him tighter. I heard him laugh silently.
“I won’t leave you again baby.” He said.
I felt his lips kiss my hair. I sniffed on his shirt and he still smelled like chocolate and mint. I wanted to stay there forever. But then my brother interrupted my glimpse of heaven.
“Okay ZaayZaay! Enough of that cuddling-my-oh-so-clingy sister, I am very hungry and Neil is hungry too. He just got here this morning. He left his car in their new house and quickly went here to see us. He didn’t even greet his mother yet.” Yano said while rubbing his belly in circular motion.
Neil smiled and said “I missed both of you and my mom would understand if I get to see you first.”
We stopped hugging and Neil went back to his chair. I gave my brother a death stare. He knows my secret love for Neil but his loyalty is on my side. I opened the fridge to see what I can cook. I decided to cook omelette since our fridge is close to being empty. I really should go to market later. I can feel Neil’s eyes on my back while I cook, I feel like what I’m wearing is too small. Maybe he thinks I look like a slut. I should probably change later.
“So Zay, you should be happy coz Neil’s parents bought Mr. Allen’s house.” My brother said.
I turned my back and faced them with a gleaming smile. I wanted to shout and say that I’m really happy that I could see Neil now everyday but it would definitely make me look like a complete idiot. I tried to calm myself and said
“That’s good news! I hope you’re going to TwinVille Academy this senior year.” I thought of going to school with him every day that would be so nice, but then, with his mouth-watering looks and body, he’d be the new candy for the BOA, Belinda-Olivia-Amanda, the real sluts who are also popular for the name Bitches Of the Academy.
“Yeah, I’m going there and we had the very same schedule Zyra. My mom asked the Academy’s registrar for the same schedule as you.” He said as I put plates in the table. I smiled at him and our eyes met. My knees instantly turned into Jell-o. I haven’t looked at those eyes for a long time. I guess that’s a bit awkward for me now. I tried to look down.
“Aiiishh. That would be so tiring if you would be seeingZay in class every day then seat with her at lunch too! That’s torture!” My brother said.
“Hey!” I protested. Neil laughed. I missed that laugh.
“No worries Yano, I got already a spot in the Football team in the Academy, I won’t have to spend all my time with your clingy sister” They high-fived.
“What Neil? I thought you’re on my side!” I pouted.
“Of course I am baby, I’ll never grew tired of you! “ He smiled charmingly making my knees became weak again. There’s something different in his tone of saying baby. Is it just me or does it really sounded flirty?
We ate the omelette I cooked as we change our stories to catch up. I hadn’t had time to change my clothes because Neil requested me to seat beside him. He had already put his hand on the back of my chair, so I can’t leave now; I wanted him that close to me .Sometimes, I catch him looking at my face, then my chest, my legs and back to my face. And when we got eye contact, he just smiles, but a different one, not sweet. Then he talks to my brother. That was awkward, I don’t know if he’s checking me out. He told us that his father’s secretary got pregnant, and the secretary claims that the child was his Dad’s. They had the child’s DNA tested but the results did not match. The secretary did not believe the results and went wild following and threatening them that her brother is in navy. His mom’s heart brokeafter hearing the news and went to his grandma for a while, his dad followed his mom and then when they both get back they’ve already decided to be back here and make a new life. His dad quit his job and never told anyone where they will go. And then they’re here. Neil just arrived this morning because he needed to fix things in his dorm since he’ll live here now with me! Okay just here, emit “with me”.He hadn’t told us any girlfriends so I think I have a chance!
After eating, Neil said goodbye because he need to see his parents. He promised he’ll treat me ice cream later in the afternoon, just like the old times, only me and him. But before saying goodbye he kissed me in the cheeks and my heart jumped a thousand times. I was left to the house alone because it’s a Saturday and my brother had their band practice. I called Liza, she became my best friend when Neil left. She had her obsession with the lead singer of The Script, Danny. We had once a sleep over at her house and she had these pictures of the topless Danny on every corner of her room. After a couple of rings she picked up.
“Zyra?” She sounded sleepy.
“Hey Liza, Are you still sleeping? Get up sleepyhead! It’s near lunch already!”
“Uhhh! Danny and I had a late date last night.” She meant that she had watch again The Script Concerts. She had a shelf of CDs and DVDs of their concerts and albums.
“Okaaay, I have to tell you something. “ I said slowly.
“Uhuh, What is it?—Wait! Don’t say you had a summer affair with Mr. Yummy Carlson QuarterBack?” She shouted back at the phone that I had to pull it away from my ears. Carlson was our football’s team QB. He’s a senior too. He started bugging me after Neil went to California. So probably it has been a long time. He is handsome but he had the brain of a tree. Okay, tree has no brain so probably you know what I meant with that. He is a walking douche bag who loves getting relationships broken by sleeping with the girlfriends of every guy in our academy. But the guys in our academy are all coward, they just let Carlson get what he wants. Almost all girls in our campus die when he walks in front of them, but not me and Liza. I had to hide when he’s there because he’ll try to kiss me or touch me everywhere when he had a chance. He had once cupped my butt when I was getting my things in my locker and I didn’t know he was there. I shouted so loud that I caught everyone’s attention and what they saw is Carlson’s hand on my butt. I was the talk of the campus for the whole week because someone took a picture of the scene and just like that it spread within seconds.
“I AM NOT! Jeez! Who am I talking to? What did you do to Liza?” I heard her laugh on the other line.
“Sorry I was dreaming about you and Carlson when you called, I thought it was real. He--” I stopped her before she goes on the details of her dream.
“Argh, STOP! Listen to me, NEIL-IS-BACK!” I yelled. She stopped whatever she’s saying and there’s nothing but silence on the other line.
“Hey Liza? Are you still there?” I asked waiting for her response. After half a minute of waiting she responded with
“OH MY GOD!” She said the words like she just saw a movie star walk in front of her. Before I can answer her she talked again
“What are you going to do Zyra? Are you going to tell him now what you wanted to tell him three years ago?” I was surprised by her question. I expected the what-does-he look or is-he-hot questions.
“I don’t know Liza. I can’t still believe he’s here and will be on the same class I have every day.” I told her about the class, the way he says baby differently and how I think he’s looking at me like a candy he wanted to lick. Liza screeched on the phone on the entire conversation. After I felt my eardrums hurt, I told her I’m going out to buy some lunch in Uncle Dino’s diner and then we hanged up.
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