My silky, brown curly hair floundered around as I moved quickly from room to room. I was moving swiftly from one room to another trying to get all my stuff moved into my new bedroom. Father and mother were down the hall running past my bedroom door, back and forth, trying to prepare for their visitors. I never understood what the excitement was all about, but all I know is if they don’t slow down, then this whole house might collapse!
“Honey, are you done?” Dad called from down the hall.
“Almost!” I answered as I picked up a cardboard box that was full of all my movies and books. I could feel the muscles in my shoulders grow stronger as I placed it into the room next to my old bedroom. I wiped the sweat away from my forehead and continued to the next full box.
My Mom and Dad’s old high school friends from Florida were coming to stay at our house for a while. I was moving all my belongings to the other bedroom that was attached to my old bedroom. If I wanted to go to the living room, I would have to go from my new bedroom to my old bedroom, then I would exit my old bedroom and then I would walk to the living room from there. I have to knock, of course, but it seems better this way since the new kid is after all new and won’t be able to get to the living room if I am present in the room closest to the living room, “Alright, done!”
“Okay,” Dad was bringing in a full king sized mattress that was going to be placed at the far back center of the bedroom, “Their kid that is about 1 year older than you, will be staying in this room, okay?”
“Okay,” I answered with excitement.
Hopefully we’ll get along like siblings. My new bedroom looked similar to my old bedroom, except a bit smaller, but it was just right. They’re supposed to be staying here for two years, so their kid will be attending the same school as me while mom, dad, and their friends go out to catch up on their missing years they were apart while they hang out like, “We usually did in High School,” Dad always says enthusiastically.
Ring! It was the loud sound of the doorbell that rang throughout all parts of the house.
“Wow, they’re here” Mom was jumping up and down with a bright smile glued to her face.
“Mom,” I laughed, “You look like your sixteen when you get excited!”
“Really?” She smiled, “Are you telling me I look like you?”
“Yeah, sure,” I sarcastically answered and she just continued to be happy as she ran to the door, the same as father, to greet their best friends from high school.
“Bill Yarely!” Dad greeted with some weird handshake.
“Jeanne Yarely!” Mother greeted with a hug, “Where’s the kid at?”
“Well, the kid is driving around in his new car,” They all laughed.
“Well, I hope ‘That kid’ is a girl,” I hoped with all my heart and smiled secretly behind my parents.
“Ah,” Dad pulled me forward, “This is our daughter, Kathleen,”
“Nice to meet you,” We shook hands and greeted each other happily.
Vroom! It was the sound of a car engine being accelerated when put into neutral.
“Hey, Dad!” A boy? “The thing drives great,”
“That’s nice, son,” Dad praised him, “He finally got his license, but he’s a really good driver,”
“Hey, I’m Fate Yarely,” He greeted my parents. I stood behind them in shock. I’ll be sharing my old bedroom with a boy?
“Hi, I’m Ariel Shewn, this is my husband, Muriel Shewn,” She introduced.
“Nice to meet you,” Fate shook their hands while I started to creep away to the kitchen.
“Kathleen, aren’t you going to introduce yourself?” Mom caught me sneaking into the kitchen. I had to come up with an excuse fast.
“Uh, yeah,” I stopped at the kitchen door, “I was just... Uh... Just looking for my… hair piece,”
“Well, you won’t find it in the kitchen,” Mom smiled as if she saw right through me. I finally brought my courage with me when I walked towards my parents and towards my new next door neighbor.
“Hi, I’m Kathleen,” I pulled my hand out to shake his, but he looked more surprised than I was.
“Uh, Fate,” He accepted my hand. Wow, his hands are soft, that was something I wasn’t expecting. Our hands finally detached after we introduced ourselves.
“Fate, let me show you to your room,” Mom broke the silence and Fate gladly followed mother into the long, dim lighted hallway, “This will be your room and this door right here leads to my daughter’s room. You both have separate bathrooms and enough room to live well. If there are any problems, you can always find me in the living room, if I’m not there; you can contact me from this phone, right here,”
“Does that phone run through all the rooms in this house?” He asked curiously.
“You’re smart,” Mom praised him, “Yes, it runs through Kathleen’s room, my room, and all the other rooms in this house. What you do is follow this contact list. The number 1 call will go to my room and so on, you get the idea. If there are any questions about school or city touring, you can always count on my daughter for help. Any questions?”
“Uh, no,” He politely smiled, “I think I can handle it from here,”
“Alright,” Mother smiled, “When Kathleen returns from her friend’s house, she’ll be right up to her room at about 6 o’clock, so it’s just for 2 hours. I mean, if it bothers you to have her enter your new room at that time, I can reschedule,”
“No, I mean, this is her room, of course,” He was being very considerate of whose house it was and whose room it was.
“I know, but it might seem awkward for her to have a boy living next door to her,” She smiled in appreciation when she realized that he was kind and had much consideration of the situation, “She doesn’t want to feel like she’s intruding,”
“Ah, I understand,” He shakes her hand and then he follows her to the living room where everybody was sitting around a table talking to each other about the past and the present.
****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ******
“So, I heard your parent’s friends are staying with you for two years, why?” Amy asks as she rolled over on her bed like a puppy.
“I don’t know, I think it had something to do with work or business,” I guessed, “So, how’s it going with you and Lynne?”
“Ugh, the same!” She complained, “He never does anything, like on our anniversary, he asked me out to the movies and not once did he look at me or hold me,”
“Oh, that bad, huh?” I fiddled with my shirt collar for a bit. I didn’t want to tell her about the boy that was going to be sleeping in the room next to me.
“Oh, I also heard that your parent’s friends have a son,” She started, “What’s he like?”
Buzz! I felt the vibration of my phone go off in my hands.
“Oh no, I have to go or else mom will kill me for being late,” I excused myself from her room, “I’ll talk to you later,”
“Uh, okay?” She laughed in curiosity and I saw her picking her phone up, but I left her room quickly and I was unable to hear who it was. It was mostly likely her boyfriend, Lynne.
****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ******
“Oh, Kathleen, you’re early,” Dad greeted while Mom was fixing the table with fresh dinner and desserts.
“Wow, mom, it’s like a buffet in here. I like it,” I complimented happily as I pressed my hand before my stomach as a sign of saying that I was starving.
“Well, thank you,” She smiled, “Are you going to eat here or in your room?”
“If you don’t mind, I’ll eat on the balcony,” I felt tired and needed some air near the ocean. I fixed a plate with tiny sliced sandwiches and then I dashed for the stairs to the balcony. As I opened the door to the balcony, I saw Fate, “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know anyone was up here,”
“That’s okay,” He replied calmly. He was staring off into the distance where all you could see were dolphins rising up above the ocean and dipping themselves back into the water without a trace of sight.
“I’ll just leave you,” I went to close the door, but he stopped me.
“You can stay,” He quickly responded while turning away from the ocean.
“I… guess I can,” I closed the door behind me, and then I placed my plate on the patio and took a seat. His back was facing me until he turned around to take a seat in front of me.
“I was shocked today,” He started as he folded his hands in front of him.
“About what?” I was nervous for he wasn‘t at all ugly. He had a face that any girl in this world would love to see by their side every day. His eyes appeared as a light brown color when they were gazed upon by a light that shined like the sun. His lips were neither fat nor thin, but they were just right. Could he be an angel?
“You being a girl,” He sounded very calm, but I also noticed that his face had no expression. It’s hard to say, but I felt almost as if I was talking to a talking brick wall, “Not to be offensive or anything,”
“None taken, I was quite shocked myself about you being a boy,” I finally picked something off my plate, “Aren’t you going to eat?”
“I did,” He answered, “How old are you?”
“15 going on 16 next month,” I answered, “What about you?”
“16 going on 17 in three months,” I looked at him for the second time and this time he was smiling, his face was like an angel! I almost choked, “You okay?”
“Uh, yeah, I’m just clumsy when it comes to eating,” I made an excuse, although, it’s not a lie, but he just laughed and I couldn’t help but notice that he seemed a little bit mysterious.
“It’s alright, no need to lie. You’re just nervous, that’s all,” He laughed and I almost choked again.
“What makes you say that?” I avoided his eyes.
“You can’t look at me and you tried to use that ‘hair piece in the kitchen’ excuse,” He caught me and saw right through me! Could it be that he has telepathic powers?
“Maybe I don’t want to look at you,” I lied and I found that my plate was almost empty.
“Oh, how sad. I’m hurt, honestly,” He joked. Why are we joking around when we hardly know each other? It’s almost as if we’ve known each other for a long time, right? “So, school starts next week?”
“Yeah,” I answered, I could tell he’s been staring at me this whole time. I wonder what I look like through his eyes right now.
“Well, I guess I better go find a job and buy some school materials,” He pushed his seat back and stood up on both his feet, “I hope we get along for these two years we spend together,”
“You sound like you’re looking forward to it,” I mumbled under my breath and I hoped he did not hear me.
“You could say that,” He left while closing the door behind him. He heard me again! What’s up with this guy?
****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ******
Night had finally arrived and I had my door locked, or so I thought. I turned out my bedroom lights at 10:30 pm and opened my window. I climbed out of it while quietly closing it behind me.
“Wow, that was amazing,” I whispered to myself. I started down the road and headed for the park. I seriously don’t like sitting in a room at a time I can’t fall asleep, so I would just sneak out of my bedroom and go someplace where it’s quiet. I finally arrived at the park in about 5 minutes, no one was there. Great! “Ah, the air is so fresh!”
I sat on one of the swings and cooled myself, before I heard rattling sounds within the bushes behind me. At first I thought it was just the wind, but I didn’t feel that much wind on my skin to have the bushes roughly shaking.
“Boo,” My heart jumped and I almost had a heart attack. I searched for the face of the person who had frightened me from behind. The person started to chuckle, “Look what we have here?”
“Who are you?” I asked curiously as all I could see was a silhouette of a person and all I heard was a voice of a man.
“Does it matter?” He asked while getting closer, “If I was a criminal, how would you deal with it?”
“What?” Now I was confused. I felt like I had just been given a one million dollar question, but what would happen if I had answered the question wrong. Would I die?
“I’m a criminal who escaped from prison not too long ago; I’m searching for revenge on women!” He roared and held something in his hand. My heart began to finally pound and my blood began to freeze as he started to get closer. I got up on my feet to run, but he had caught me by my wrist and held me close to him.
“W-what do you want?” I tried screaming, but it wouldn’t work. Fear had left me paralyzed. I could not move and I could hardly speak.
“What I want is simple,” He chuckled in my ear, “I would like for you to go back home and never do this again,” His voice changed. His grip loosened up and I escaped his grasp.
“Fate!?” I guessed as I tried to study his silhouetted face in the dark.
“Were you scared?” He asked as he stepped under the hovering streetlight where his face became more visible.
“To the point of dying,” I answered truthfully while dusting the dirt off my clothes.
“The feeling would have been worse if it had not been me,” He said as if he knew what it was like.
“Why’d you do it?” I asked calmly while swinging slowly back and forth on the large swing set that was pinned down to the ground. If someone of my size were to swing higher and higher into the air while the swing set was not pinned, then the whole thing would come crashing down.
“To teach you a lesson, of course,” He swung closer to me, “Now that you know it’s me, are you relieved?”
“You ask too many questions!” I evaded the question. If I had knew him better, I would have been crying on his shoulder by now, but instead I just stood there surprised by his action.
“Do your parents know you come out this late?” He asked in a way a grown up would have asked to a suspicious teenager wondering town without a parent or a guardian.
“N-no,” I answered nervously. I don’t know what it’s like to have an older brother, so I wonder if this is the feeling a younger sister would have being scolded by her older brother.
“I’ll keep it a secret if you grant me one wish,” He changed from angry to scary. It was strange and it was definitely something I wasn’t expecting.
“What is it?” I asked. He couldn’t possibly do something harmful. I looked at him to find that he was greatly amused.
“Make me a homemade bowl of coconut ice cream,” He smiled almost nearly laughing when he saw my face.
“What!?” I was so lost now. Why is he so hard to figure out? As I grew up, I was told that if I ever came into a blackmailing situation, then it would be the hardest thing to get out of. But for something I could get in trouble for became the easiest way to get out of trouble, but can I really trust him?
“You heard me,” He just keeps smiling, “Here’s thirty bucks, this should be enough,”
“Wait a minute,” I stopped to think about what he had just told me to do, “Now let me get this straight, I have to accept money from you, go to a store, come home, and then make homemade ice cream for you?”
“Yep, homemade,” He crossed his arms. If my parents knew I was sneaking out, I would be on their naughty list, in other words, they would hate me forever! The angel has become darker every time we meet!
“Done!” I accepted and walked away, but he followed me, “I don’t need your guidance,”
“Yes, you do,” He stubbornly follows me to the grocery store. We finally arrived at a 24 hour Food market, “Wow, it’s the old Wal-Mart from back in the day,”
“What would you know?” I snapped at him, but he did not listen. We entered the building silently and was greeted by the scent of fresh vegetables and fruits that were stocked on shelves on each side of the store. The store was small, so the alleyways were a tight fit, but it provided all the products a small town would need.
“Someone’s grumpy,” He laughed in my ear, “Anyway, what does it feel like now knowing that you were in my arms?”
“Please, don’t flatter yourself,” I threw two bags of coconut flakes in the basket, a container of vanilla ice cream, vanilla extract, a huge bowl, plastic spoons, and plastic bowls, “What are we gonna do with the extra’s? We can’t just leave it out,”
“Eat some with me,” He invited, “Come on, you scared?”
“How do you do it?” I asked him as I saw more happiness in his eyes than they were this morning.
“Do what?” He finally sounded lost.
“How do you act like you know me so well?” I specified my question for it did also lose me when I first asked it in small detail.
“Well, I know you better that way when I act like I know you,” He smiled and patted me on the head. I felt like I was his slave and he was my master. How did it come to be this way?
“Fine, but if you’re gonna do that, then I’m gonna start calling you brother or bro,” We walked up to the counter and I saw that Mr. J was asleep in his torn up chair that looked like it would fall apart in any second. Mr. J was the owner of this market and he does what he can to help others in need of advice and they work very well, but what gets me is that he can’t seem to follow them himself even when he’s the one telling them.
“Hey,” Fate pocked at him lightly, but he did not budge.
“That wouldn’t wake him, even a tornado couldn’t wake him up,” I walked over behind the counter and opened up a can of soda, “Mr. J, the mountain dew is being taken away, you better get up or you’ll lose it,”
“Uh,” He coughed, “Soda… Soda’s gone?”
“No,” I laughed, “Here, this should wake you up,”
“Oh, Kathleen, it’s you,” He finally recognized me after he rubbed his blurry, old eyes, “And whose this, your first boyfriend?”
“No,” I responded quickly and was embarrassed that he had added first. I’ve lived a life wanting to know what love was really like, but it never seemed right. I couldn’t bring myself to come close to anyone because I’ve feared that I might do something wrong and I wouldn’t be able to stand up to say what was really going on in my mind. I’m afraid I won’t be understood and that I’ll only be misjudged.
“That’s too bad,” Mr. J laughed though his cough and he took another sip of soda. His face was very pale and it frightened me. I’ve known him for years and I just couldn’t handle seeing him this sick.
“Mr. J, can you do me a favor and not tell my parents about this late visit?” I asked to make sure to cover my tracks.
“Of course, but why the secrecy?” He smiled. I could tell he had a weird thought in his mind about me and Fate, but it could not be helped for it was late and Fate was after all the first young boy I’ve ever been with for more than an hour.
“I’m buying ice cream and coconut with vanilla extract, come see for yourself,” I advised him.
“Oh, Homemade coconut ice cream, I guess,” He nails it right on the dot, “I remember when this stuff was famous,”
“Don’t worry, we understand, but right now, we’re kind of in a tight situation, so we need to hurry,” I quickly reached in the basket, but they weren’t there, they were already on the counter. I looked at Fate, but he just stared at me in silence, then he opened his mouth to speak.
“What? I was bored,” He smiled. He was good, he was really good. Although, I could not hide the fact that him being bored was just down right hilarious.
“This one’s on the house,” Mr. J announced to me while eyeing Fate.
“Huh? Since when?” I asked him with curious eyes.
“Hey, don’t make me look like a bad guy in front of this good-looking man that you’re so hung-up on secretly,” He seriously thought we were going out? Fate laughed, but I thought it wasn’t funny. There’s no way I’ll ever consider this guy as a lover! Never!
“Thank you,” He accepted it. I turned to him with sharp eyes, “What is it?” He pats my head and then we left after saying our good byes to Mr. J.
“Do you have to act weird everywhere you go?” I asked carrying the bags. I also saw that I was the only one carrying the bags. What’s up with that?
“What do you mean, I like being your mystery man,” He didn’t sound like he was joking either. That’s what scares me the most.
“Well, you won’t be mysterious for long,” I held tightly onto the bags. I really couldn’t tell if I was having fun or not. How does he do it?
“Hey, wanna start going out?” He asked while laughing. He tried to make it seem like a joke, but something in the way he said it made it seem as if he was partly serious. I hope he’s joking.
“Don’t joke about that,” I really couldn’t tell if he was joking with me or being serious.
“Anyway, I like that Mr. J guy. He seems pretty cool,” He relaxed himself and I tried to relax myself as well, “So,”
“So what, are you done talking?” I asked as I felt a surge of nervousness break through the barriers of my strong mind. We were alone and I was afraid he was about to start talking about things I wouldn’t even talk about to my mother.
“Is it true you’ve never had a boyfriend?” He nailed it, just the question I hoped he wouldn’t ask or even hear.
“I-I…” I stuttered, “I never had one, so what?”
“Wow, you must be very lonely,” He wrapped his arm around my neck, “Be my sister?”
“Accepted” Did I really just say that? What’s wrong with me? Have I lost my mind?
“Really?” He got excited. I finally decided, if anything, I’d rather have him act as my brother instead of a mysterious lover.
“Really,” I sounded bored, but it seemed as if it would be better this way, and then he kissed me on the cheek, “Hey, I don’t know you like that!”
We finally got to the house, I hurried over to my window, and tried to open it, but it wouldn’t budge. I just stared at my window and wondered why it wasn’t opening.
“It won’t open,” I whispered to him.
“Hmm, I wonder who did that,” He sarcastically patted me on the head. He slightly pushed me out of his way, “Let the master do it,”
“What master?” I mumbled as I looked away to hear the sound of the ocean clashing against the shore. It sounded very refreshing and comforting.
“Okay,” He opened the window just when I couldn’t. I was surprised. He just smiled at me, how come he shines when he smiles? It’s not fair.
A few minutes passed and I was already working on the ice cream, “Done,” I gave him the huge bowl of crushed coconut flakes mixed in with vanilla ice cream with a little bit of vanilla extract to make the vanilla taste a bit more stronger than usual.
“And how long have you been hiding this blender in here?” He picked up the blender from behind me that was hiding underneath my bed. I shrugged my shoulders as I looked at it.
“I don’t know,” I answered stupidly, “I think I’ve had for about five years now, if my memory serves me right,”
“Have you ever used it?” He sat it down straight up as if he was going to use it.
“I wouldn’t turn it on if I were you,” I warned him, “It’s loud and I don’t like it,”
“Then why do you have it?” He asked while he got up and looked through my movies, “Are you a tomboy?”
“I try not to act like it,” I answered with a little sarcasm within the tone of my voice.
“Star wars, batman, superman, spider man, and… Sailor Moon?” He sounded like he was about to burst out into laughter. I just stared at the case that he was holding, “What’s Sailor moon doing in your bedroom?”
“Questions, questions, questions, does it ever stop?” I sat up on my bed, “What is it, you wanna watch it?”
“Are you crazy, Serena’s character scares me more than Sailor Moon,” He answered as he started looking through my yearbook collection, “Okay, how about last year?”
“Ah, no,” I went to grab it, but he was too fast, “I don’t know you that well to let you see me from last year or to see anyone of my school year photo’s,”
“But I see you now,” He looked at me from head to toe.
“What are you doing?” I almost shouted.
“I’m not doing anything,” He laughed and placed the book back onto the book shelf.
“Whatever, C’mon and eat this,” I ordered him as I placed the bowl of cold ice cream into his arms.
“Fine, I will, sassy pants,” He mumbled and sat down on the floor and began scooping two bowls of ice cream, “Hey, it’s boring to eat ice cream when it’s so quiet,”
“Fine, I’ll pick a movie,” I insisted. I zipped from left to right through my movie collection, “Ah ha, we will watch Star wars episode one,”
“Awesome, although I’ve seen it a million times already in my life, but okay,” He agreed. After that, we were able to finish the whole bowl of ice cream. We weren’t sick at all. We went to bed right after we snuck the bowls and everything out to the big dumpster.
“Alright, goodnight, and please, tell me you don’t snore,” I freaked out.
“I’m more worried about you snoring, not me, so goodnight,” He closed the door quietly and obviously went to bed.
“That idiot, what does he know?” I whispered as I turned off my lights and went to bed. The morning would come soon and I was prepared to face whatever tries to bring me down!