I could not believe how close Zayn was to discovering who I was. I tried using the English version of my middle name ‘Miguel’, Mike, to throw him off my trail. But that was proving to be harder to pull because if there was one thing that Zayn was, it was that he was really smart and people could not fool him at all. And today he proved that he was not easily swayed by what others said or claimed.
Still, I was going to maintain this guise for as long as I could pull it off. I didn’t want to be revealed as Mehmet to him or his mates, but especially not to Louis, who clearly hated my guts and never refrained from making it known.
My mom walked into my room. “Hola mijo, how was school?”
“A bust, as always” I said angrily.
“So that means it wasn’t such a good day?”
“Well I was planning to make your favorites tonight, Enchiladas de Pollo” she smiled.
I smiled too. “I can’t wait for dinner then.”
“Well before that can happen, we need to go to the market to get the stuff.”
“Mom, can I please stay home?”
“Not if you want your enchiladas” she chuckled.
“Well then I guess I’m going” I said, slipping my feet into my black Toms shoes.
I headed downstairs and then to my mom’s car.
We finally made it to the market. I helped my mom pick out some of the vegetables, and then decided to grab a cart so I could grab the rest of the groceries, and make this little visit to the market as quick as possible. I pulled out my iPhone and started listening to music.
After grabbing a whole bunch of groceries, and my mom telling me I could get whatever else I wanted, I headed to get some cookies and some cereal. I was practically dancing to the music on my iPod as I looked for more groceries.
I kept looking around the store to see what more I could find that my mom might need for tonight’s dinner. As I walked into yet another aisle that I had already visited, I noticed Zayn walking in my direction. I was tempted to turn around because he wasn’t exactly looking at me, at least not just yet. I continued walking, pretending I didn’t see him. I knew I couldn’t turn around without him noticing me. He would know I was walking away to avoid him.
Zayn finally looked at me. “Hey” he said.
“Wow, everywhere I turn, there you are” I glared. “I feel like I’m condemned to run into you when I least desire it!”
He laughed. “Well we do live in Los Angeles.”
“Wow, then it appears that I’m gonna continue running into you.”
“Again, we do live in the same city” he smirked.
“It’s supposed to be a big city.”
“Well the world is smaller than you think” he maintained that annoying smirk. I was resisting the urge to flip it upside down. And speaking of the world being small, my mom was somewhere around here, and the last thing I wanted was for him to see her, thus confirming to him who I really was.
My mom texted me to tell me that she was already in line. I was relieved.
“Well I better get going.”
Zayn stood in my way. “Want me to accompany you?”
“Why do you continue trying? Don’t you think your efforts in trying to get to know me are a little too clichéd at this point?”
“Whoa” he chuckled. “Didn’t mean to offend you.”
“Don’t assume anything with me. I’m not the kind that falls for everything people say. Now, if you will excuse me.”
I walked passed him without looking back. I finally saw my mom standing in line. I walked over to her.
“Oh hey. You got some of the things from my text?”
“Yes. I got the tortillas and the salsas.”
“Thank you for your help” she smiled. “You’re a great help to me.”
“Thank you. Now I hope that this line will go quickly so we can make the food that much quicker, cause I’m hungry.”
“We’ll get home soon enough."
My mom and I continued conversing, talking about what else we were going to make for dinner, since enchiladas were the kind of dish you made with side dishes. Usually we made rice, as well as beans. I suggested that we made a desert. Yes, that was definitely a must after eating this elaborate dinner, and it was definitely going to be an elaborate one.
Things were going well with us, until she looked passed me. It looked as if she saw someone she recognized. “Zayn?” she said, and that made my heart jump with fear.
I turned around, Zayn giving me that ‘you’ve been caught!’ smile. “Oh hi Ms. Narvaéz.”
He was acting natural around my mom, while at the same time giving me that look that said that I had just been discovered and exposed to the world.
“Please, call me Carmen” my mom smiled.
“Will do” Zayn smiled back.
“It’s been such a long time since I last saw you and your friends” my mom hugged him.
“I know. We’ve just been so busy with shows, tours, and interviews. We’re also going to be doing a few shows here in Los Angeles. But things will be calming down soon, now that we’re living here.”
“That’s good” said my mom. “Now that I know you’re living here in Los Angeles, I’m sure that we’ll be seeing you more often.”
“Oh yes” said Zayn, giving me that triumphant look of his. “I also miss your cooking.”
“Well then you and your friends should come over for dinner tonight, because I’m making your favorite enchiladas.”
“Mom" I stepped in. "I’m sure Zayn and his mates have better things to do” I said, realizing how used that line was.
“No, actually we’re available for dinner tonight. I’m sure all of my mates will be excited to have your enchiladas." Again, he shot me that same annoying smirk, and I knew he was doing it to annoy the heck out of me.
“Well then I will make sure to make enough for all of you.”
“Then as soon as I get home, we’ll head over to your house” Zayn kept smirking.
“Sounds good Zayn” my mom pulled out a piece of paper. She handed it to him with our address.
“We’ll be there” he handed me another look of triumph.
“I’m looking forward to seeing all of you again.”
The two hugged once more, and then Zayn gave me a hug as well. Not what I expected but I went along with it.
He walked off to pay at a different line.
“Mom, why did you have to invite him and his buddies?”
“Come on, you guys used to be friends.”
“We used to. Not anymore.”
“And why not?”
I sighed. “Mom, they accused me of thievery. Or better yet Louis did and he called the police.”
“That was cleared. And remember that Louis dropped the charges?”
“That doesn’t mean that it’s all suddenly fixed. Besides it’s been too long and we’re not friends anymore.”
“Mehmet, you have to be more tolerant. You can’t always assume the worst of others.”
“Well don’t expect me to attend.”
“That will be rude on your part to not attend” she gave me a pointed look.
“Well if they’re coming over, I’m not going to be around.”
“Mijo, please stay and don’t act that way. Please.”
Suddenly, I felt bad for her. I didn’t want to give her a hard time, so I agreed to this dinner.
“Fine. I’ll do it for you.”
She smiled. “Mijo, try and get passed what happened. Maybe you guys might become friends again.”
“I doubt that” I said, remembering all the hurtful things Zayn said to me, believing I’d actually stolen the money.
“Everyone makes mistakes. Maybe Zayn feels bad for what happened.”
“I doubt that.”
“Well I don’t think he would have agreed to come to dinner if he was still angry at you.”
“Mom, he’s only coming over to prove a point.”
“What do you mean by that?” she frowned.
“He showed up at my school last week. And immediately he recognized me, but of course saw that I looked a little different, so I took advantage of that and pretended to be someone else.”
She blinked a few times. “Why would you do such a thing?”
“I didn’t want him to know who I was because of how badly things ended between us.”
“But why would you lie like that?” she almost scolded. “And what name did you give him when you pretended to be someone else you were not?”
“I gave him the English version of my middle name, Mike.”
She laughed. “You did?”
“Well I had to think fast.”
“Hijo mío, you should never lie like that.”
“Look, maybe tonight will help you guys to reconnect. Maybe that’s what it will take for you guys to be friends again.”
“I really don’t know mom. It’s not that simple to be honest.”
“It’s only difficult because you’re making it difficult.”
“Maybe, but that’s not the only reason things are difficult.”
She took my hand and put hers against my wrist. I was tempted to pull my hand away for fear she would see the cuts I had. But I didn’t want to give her another reason to worry about me.
Finally, it was finally time for us to pay. What a relief.