Frostbite of the Lovey-Dovey

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Closing her eyes, Bea takes a deep breath as if I’m giving her a terrible migraine. “That yucky-chocolate-haired guy, was a total jerk.” Her reflection opens her eyes again. “Shove the past away from your face, and for heaven’s sake you’re only twenty-two! You’re literally giving up the … whole ocean just because you’ve got a…stupid food poisoning from eating one of the fi – anchovies!”

Submitted: April 19, 2014

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 19, 2014



Bea holds me at arm’s length and gives me one last hair-to-toes inspection. She twirls me around like I’m a mannequin of sorts. Tenacious Beatrice Hawthorne mode is still on. She squeals out of the blue, making me jump back a little. Clapping her hands, she bounces like a five-year-old, thrilled.

This, is soooo perfectly perfect! O.M.G.! God, kiss my endowed talent!” She hugs herself in glee and blows a flying kiss at the ceiling. Jeez, and I thought she’s 22. “You, are definitely gonna rock the runway tonight, sweetie pie.” She put her hands on her hip and looks up, her eyes twinkling with excitement.

“Mm-hmm.” I swear I’d tried my best not to sound so indifferent, but then I’m not an emotion-masking expert.

Bea sags almost immediately and throws her hands up. “Oh c’mon Pandora Hayes! Do not tell me you intend to blow this biggie again! It’s been like – whoa, wait a sec. You’re not really gonna screw this up again, are ‘ya?” Her brown eyes widen royally and she gapes at me like I am a revived corpse.

I magic a wry smile and resort to void-staring. This topic has been a hard limit. It’d been like …. six months? Since he broke up with me over the phone, on our fifth anniversary of all possible days. His voice still haunts me until now.

“I’m sorry but in this case, our feelings aren’t mutual. Our…coffee has become slightly …bland…recently. And … I like strong coffee.” Then he hung up when I said nothing on the other side of the phone. I’d hated coffee since then. Beatrice had sneered about his poor analogy because I didn’t let her in on our very first encounter at the Coffee Beans down the street. I had swooned under his feet like a gullible child, and I hate myself for that.

“Well?” Bea snaps and crosses her arms, her adorable brows raised.

Well, I think … I’m truly enjoying my single life right now.” I reply carefully. Faking a smile again, I stare down at my dress.

Bea freezes, and stomps over to the standing mirror beside her bed. “C’mere, Panda.” She beckons, and places her hands on her hip again. She really is reminiscent of my kindergarten teacher sometimes.


“Fine. C’mere, Aura.” She rolls her eyes.

I walk over to her lazily. “Save your words. I know what you’re gonna say.” Sure enough, she ignores me.

 “Listen here – though I’ve chanted this for a million times – you’re a total babe, and you deserve much more than this.” She gestures at my reflection.

I remain silent. I’m always a mere listener when we come to this. My mouth would be too full of bile to work.

Closing her eyes, Bea takes a deep breath as if I’m giving her a terrible migraine. “That yucky-chocolate-haired guy, was a total jerk.” Her reflection opens her eyes again. “Shove the past away from your face, and for heaven’s sake you’re only twenty-two! You’re literally giving up the … whole ocean just because you’ve got a…stupid food poisoning from eating one of the fi – anchovies!

I quirk a brow at her bizarre pelagic analogy, but she doesn’t seem to catch it. Her large brown eyes still bore into mine, and my heart thaws a little for her genuineness. I gaze into those two crystal pools of orbs again, and the ice of my steely decision cracks. A little.

“Life’s too short to hide, Panda.” A crooked smile stretches across her lovely face slowly, and she snorts. “Try the crabs … or even lobsters. You’ll find your taste eventually.” Bea nudges me.

I burst out laughing at her metaphor. “Did you just chant that spell of yours out loud?” I turn around to face her. “You’re a decent witch, I have to say.” I cross my arms like she always does, and nods approvingly at her.

It’s her turn to frown at me. I smirk. “Lobster’s cool.”

Bea bites her lips, obviously trying to stifle a laugh, and I hug her lightly. “Thanks, Beefie.” I could almost see her scowling at me. She hates this nickname as much as I hate mine.

“Always, Panda.” Beatrice squeezes my shoulder.

I shake my head, wondering what I would do without her.




I couldn’t believe I had let Beefie talk me into this. Maybe I was right about her putting a spell on me. Annoyed, I fork my eighth hash brown from the silver tray and shove it into my mouth in a totally non-ladylike way. Bea’s already out dancing with a blonde stranger on the dance floor, her hands curled around his neck and her head on his chest. That guy ( Nick or Mike again? ) whispers something in her ear, making her smile coyly before swaying to the music again.

Somehow I know that I’ll be walking home alone tonight, so I decide it’s time for me to leave. Gulping down my remaining orange juice, I leave the refreshments table.

The mob inside the room really is daunting, I couldn’t even make out Beefie’s head from the dancing couples anymore. I cram my way through the throngs outside the dance floor, stumbling all the way. Why would I ever want to attend this party?

“Excuse me.” I nod apologetically at whoever’s in front of me before cutting off another conversation, ploughing my way to the exit. “I’m sorry. Excuse-“


I’d stumbled and bumped into a tall guy coming my way. I wince awkwardly when I see his partly drenched blazer and the glass in his hand.

“I’m really, really sorry. I didn’t-“All the air escapes from my lungs when I glance up, into his gray orbs, into those two deceitful eyes I’d come to know for five years. Eugene.

“Ah, what a beautiful lady.” Squinting, he leans in closer, his hand with the glass swaying. He’s drunk.

“Get lost, Eugene.” I shove him aside and scurry out to the lawn of the mansion, the need to get myself out of there boiling wild. Why did I have to run into him again when I’ve taken a hell lot out of me to erase him from my life? I brush at my eyes to keep the tears from spilling over. Get a grip.


I break into a run when I hear the footsteps behind me quickening as well. I stumble headfirst when he grabs at my arm. Tugging my hand away, I wipe at the escaped tears from my cheeks forcefully. If there’s one thing about Eugene, he’s a stubborn cookie, so I don’t see any chance of myself making it through the mansion’s gate. Not yet.

You-“ He points at me, that dazzling smile of his back again. “-forgot something.” He leans in close enough for me to feel his breath against my ear. “You didn’t leave your contact number.” He slurs.

I take a few deep breaths, knowing that the volcano inside me might explode at any time. I don’t need new bad memories to add to my collection. I could’ve yelled at him for all I want, but I find my throat stuck with an unbidden lump. He draws his hands around my waist and pulls me in closer.

Eugene Henderson, let’s not play this the hard way, shall we?” I stare at him, his eyes still the same old alluring shades.

He frowns, but grins again the next second, his eyes flashing. He backs up a little, his expression one of the amused. “We’ve met before?” He laughs and shakes his head disbelievingly.

I swivel around and made my way across the lawn while he’s still distracted, my cheeks still scorching from what I have no idea. Anger. It must be anger.

“Are you trying to run away?” He manages to get in my way again. “Come on.” He reaches out for my hand.

“Don’t touch me!”

He chuckles. “What? Really? Don’t you think-“

I believe, the lady said no.” Eugene and I swivel our heads around to the voice across the lawn. A man about my age is leaning casually against the wooden fence, his arms crossed, suggesting that he’s been watching us for a long time. He doesn’t look like he’s here for the party. His denim jacket and jeans are of the outdoorsy with his plain white shirt inside.

Eugene raises his hands palms-out, stares at the man and gives him his what’s-the-fuss wide gesture. My vision’s blurring again. I have to get out of here. Turning on my heels, I sprint across the lawn over to the mansion gate, the wind hissing in my ears. Coward! I hear them. Or is it my subconscious?

Panting and with my head swimming, I allow myself to slow down, and find myself on the grass verge beside the road. How long have I been running? Lucky me for wearing flats. Choking over the overly large gulp of night air, I collapse onto the grass, my hands grasping the lamp post for support. Dark’s taken over the sky. Bea would’ve called me by now if she was home. Guess I’m all alone again tonight.

My breath finally calm, I drift off a bit and in a flash, my encounter minutes ago swarms around my whole being, snapping me into the reality again. Grunting, I knock my forehead against the post, the dim glow from the lamp post suddenly blindingly bright. Here comes another Miss Cowardly badge. I should’ve -

“So this is how you thank your hero? Running off like that?” a voice comes from behind.

I wheel around, startled to the core of my skin. His arms imperiously crossed, Mr. Denim stares down at me, but I don’t sense any acrimony in his voice. There’s a slight amusement somewhere beneath his tone, and I hope I’m wrong. I don’t need accreditation for my new badge.

 “Could you at least make a little sound while you’re walking?” I stammer out, still clutching at my thumping heart.

He frowns slightly, “I did.” and fixes his gaze on me again. “You really should work on your thank yous.”

Turning my body around, I lean my back against the post, cross my legs, and stare up at this stranger. There’s something familiar about him, though I’m sure this is our very first meeting. His gaze is unwavering, and it’s creeping me out.

“Heroes don’t go around asking for remunerations.” I say at last, somehow still mesmerized by his sapphire orbs, but I manage to shake it off quickly.

His eyes widen a little, defenseless. I couldn’t help but smirk up at him. He pulls his face into a deliberate grimace at my knee-length dress and points out, “You know that’s soil you’re sitting on, right?” Again, the amusement in his voice is infuriatingly noticeable.

I roll my eyes impatiently and imitate him, crossing my arms as well. “It’s black.” I nod at my dress. The truth is, I won’t be wearing this dress again. I have a lousy immune system towards nightmarish memories.

Mr. Denim’s mouth curves up imperceptibly. I must’ve been hilarious. Bea tells me that all the time. Gesturing at the empty space beside me, he asks, “May I?”  The grin in his voice can still easily be detected. Denim Megalomaniac.

“You know that’s soil you’ll be sitting on, right?” I try to muster the most mocking look.

“They’re jeans.” He rolls his eyes.

I watch as he settles down beside me, mesmerized by his peculiar deft moves. I rummage through my memory box again. I’m almost sure I’ve known him for eons.

I scowl. “Do I know you, superhero?” My head still against the post, I turn slightly to have a good look at this stranger. Ruffled copper hair, brooding sapphire eyes, perfect nose, sculptured cheekbones… I look away immediately, and scoff. Probably just another typical playboy.

“Did you just scoff at me?” He asks, and laughs lightly. Am I really that amusing?

Tilting my head back to face him, I hold his gaze, but only to find it deadly intoxicating. I’m in the danger zone again. Even with a light laugh a pair of captivating dimples has surfaced, and his eyes are now crescent moons, sucking me into the space.

I gasp, but I’m lucky he cuts in and his voice drowns it out….I think.

“So what’s with this Eugene and you?”  He asks, his tone one of those when people ask how long it is till summer break.

I stare straight ahead. Technically, I’m certain I’ll be snarling at whomever that has breached this border line, but words fail me majestically. I let the silence stretch, my thoughts gallingly back to Anchovy Jerk. Mr. Denim seems to realize that he’s crossed the line unwisely, because he’s fumbling awkwardly moments after.

Look.” He runs his hand through his unruly hair, fraught. “I apologize if I’d somehow-“

“The name’s Anchovy.” I spit out before I know what’s spilling out of my mouth. “We had a past. Period.”

Mr. Denim’s eyes widen a royal fraction, wondering where all of this is coming from. My breath’s rushing all of a sudden again from this burst-out. I bite at my inner cheeks irritatingly, knowing that my cheeks must be beet red at that moment.

Mr. Denim licks his lower lip, pondering over his words warily, and whispers, “An…chovy?”

“So what’s your impressive figure?” I steer sharply away from the topic.

What?” He shakes his head, one brow raised in bewilderment.

“How many girls have you popped into your mouth like berries before spitting them out?” I glare at him, hoping what I bear is a python-venomous look.

He gapes at me, his impeccable forehead marred with a frown. “You speak English?”

I bend forward, lower down my head and hiss, but it comes out as a whisper, “How many girls have you played?”

Mr. Denim’s brows shoot up, and a surprised scoff ensues. I narrow my eyes at him.

“I don’t play girls.” He throws me what I assume is a dirty look. “Just because you had an unpleasant past with that …. Anchovy, doesn’t mean that all men are like that.” He leans closer and says, his voice relatively soft. Here comes playboy tactic number one.

I hold my chin higher. “I’m not a kid, super- stranger­ -, you don’t tell me what’s right about this world. I’ve lived long enough to know the nasty truth behind it.” There. So much for the new stupid badge.

I can see his pupils dilating, gnawing at my inside. “And I thought we have some sort of connection.” he says, that secretive smile of his surprisingly nowhere to be seen. I would’ve gaped like an idiot, as we’ve just stumbled upon each other minutes ago, but I’m stock-still for a while, my subconscious nodding solemnly in agreement. My brain on the other hand, is screaming that’s tactic number two!

I need to leave. Again. I could feel the sturdy wall inside crumbling down already. And that’s bad news. Though not to Bea.

Tucking a strayed loose hair behind my ear determinedly, I push myself up hastily. Seemingly taken aback by my sudden departure, Mr. Denim uses the post to pull himself up as well.

“Thanks for tonight, superhero.” I murmur with my back to him as I step onto the gravel again, my flats crunching against the rough road.

“For what?” he answers brusquely, and he’s promptly beside me trying to keep up with my pace.

For being my midsummer night’s dream. A dream where the ending’s always boiling down to waking up.

I brake, knowing waving him off would be slightly thorny. “A meal as a token of my gratefulness, how’s that? My treat, of course.”

He kills his pace, scrutinizing my mercurial behavior, his stare shrewd.

“Yes, or No?” I bend forward, gazing at him from a side angle, absorbing every tiny detail of his features though it’s obvious I won’t be seeing him again.

He blinks, and shakes his head slightly. For a moment I think it’s a silent rejection, but then he fishes out a pen from his jeans pocket. Who is this stranger anyway? He wasn’t at the mansion for the party, definitely, but …. why do I care anyway?

Taking the pen, I scribble down a number simply onto his palm, secretly hoping it isn’t a girl’s number. A static erupts in the thin air between us at the first touch, but I’m quick to break it.

Beaming up at him, I slide the pen into his jacket’s side pocket. “Goodnight.” Retreating back a few steps, I turn, my back to him again. Bile rises up in my throat. I’m not seeing him again. And it’s infuriating that I give a damn about this. On out-of-the-blue inspiration, I angle my head sideways and call out, “The name’s Tania by the way.”

With that, I stretch my legs and scurry into the shadows ahead, not waiting for his reply. I stop dead when I realize I didn’t even ask his name. For a moment, my subconscious wrestles with the logical part of my brain if I should head back to him. But on second thoughts, I shrug it off. I’m sure I’ll be googling up his name first thing tomorrow if I did. Uh uh.

Mr. Denim. Superhero. Mr. Denim. Superhero. Mr.Denim. Superhero. I juggle the words in my mind. That’s how I’ll remember him. Closing my eyes, I picture his angelic look again, mentally saving this into my brain’s memory box. Only then it dawns on me that the particular box has got a BITTERSWEET sign on it.




© Copyright 2019 Abby Callan. All rights reserved.

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