Sunday morning strangely replicates Saturday morning. When I walk downstairs and see my mother dressed in her church clothes and my father laying on the couch, I know that he is sick, almost instantly.
"Liliana, dear. Your father has a headache from staying up so late last night. And those boys are making a huge racket.. again. Please go tell them to take it elsewhere."
Unfortunately for my parents, the Hemmings' garage, where the boys usually practice, is actually much closer to my living room than to their own living room, so it's not too loud inside of the Hemmings house, but in ours, the noise is colossal.
As I did yesterday morning, I walk over to their house. Instead of going to Liz, though, I go straight to the garage. When the boys see me, they stop playing. "Too loud?" Luke asks.
"You guessed it," I respond with a chuckle. "Because you boys kept me out so late," I say accusingly, "My dad has a massive headache this morning. They request that band practice be not held today."
Calum shrugs, "Alright, why don't we head out? Go swimming?" I watch as the other three mumble something along the lines of yes, and they begin to put their instruments away.
I turn to exit the garage when I'm stopped by Ashton's voice, "Are you going to come with us?"
"Oh, no. It's Sunday. I have to study."
"What do you mean you have to study? It's the weekend," he says, smiling an adorable smile.
"No. Friday and Saturday are the days that I don't study. Sunday is a study day. It's the rules."
Luke chuckles, "And Princess never breaks the rules," he adds a wink, ensuring that I understand he's insulting me.
"Shut up, Luke," I snap, feeling angry. I understand that I follow rules meticulously, even if they seem like unfair ones to others- and, admittedly, sometimes to me- but it's gotten me so far. I value a lot of things that others don't and it's setting me up for a successful life, even if it may be a miserable one.
"Oh, come on," Michael complained. "When's the last time you did something without your parents knowing?"
"Last year I bought a laptop," I said, smiling widely, only to see that the boys' faces are all very confused. "I'm not allowed technology- you know that Calum!"
This causes laughter to erupt from all of the boys, with me yelling at them. "Shut up, guys. It's not funny," I mope.
"Listen, Princess, what time does your mom get home from church?" Luke asks.
I look at my digital watch, it currently reads 9:45. I know that worship starts at 11 and the sermon typically ends around 1:30. "She gets back around 3- after she's gone grocery shopping and all," I start, "But I don't know if its a good idea. My dad is home-"
"With a headache-" Mikey interjects. "We'll get you back home by 2:30, okay?"
"I don't know," I say, hesitantly.
"Come on, Lil. Lighten up and live a little," Calum says, holding out his hand for me to grab and follow them to the band van.
It surprises even me that half an hour later I'm in a lake, wearing only my bra and shorts, with four boys who, until yesterday, I had hardly ever spoken to.
"Isn't it fun to rebel?" Ashton asks, wiggling his eyebrows.
"No!" I cry. "I'm so anxious. What if she doesn't go grocery shopping today or what if your car breaks down or-"
"You worry far too much.. Princess," he says, winking.
"I hate that nickname and I hate all of you!" I shriek, as Luke splashes the cold water at my face.
"That's why you're swimming around half naked with us," Mikey laughs.
"Because you clearly hate us," Calum adds, emphasizing the word clearly.
"It's exactly like a swimsuit!" I argue, but can't help the grin the breaks out on my face.
I feel someone pull me close to them from behind, "Except more intimate," Luke whispers, shaking his body in a fashion that he is nearly grinding on me, which causes a fit of hysterics from the entire group, as I yell for Luke to get off of me.
The lake is surrounded by woods, which unfortunately for the boys, means that I continually insist that we leave by 12:45, so that we have enough time to get out of here, sneak me into my house, shower, and begin my studying so that my mother thinks I've been at home all day.
When I finally convince them to leave- which included me having to walk into the surrounding woods by myself until they got out of the water- they're all complaining that I ruin all of the fun, but still laughing about how we should all do this again sometime.
As we're walking to the van, I realize for the first time, that I actually didn't know Ashton two days ago. "Hey, what school do you go to?" I inquire.
"Oh, I graduated from Richmond last year," he laughs.
"Oh, so you're eighteen?"
"Yup," he says, popping the 'p' sound. "I'll assume you're a baby like the rest of the lads? Seventeen?"
"Sixteen, actually. I skipped sixth grade," I say proudly, but, Ashton is seemingly unimpressed. "I turn seventeen next weekend."
The ride home is pretty silent, only with the occasional banter between the boys causing noise. When we arrive back at Luke's home, I go to my backyard, and enter quietly through the back door. I go upstairs and quickly shower, scrunching my hair, so it looks as though I could have showered ages ago, and throw on some light makeup, to ensure that my mother suspects nothing of me.
I begin to study for my Biology midterm that is on Tuesday and time flies quickly, because it doesn't feel like long before my mother calls up to me, "Liliana, come help get the groceries, dear."