It was a sunny Saturday. I was in the mall, in a grocery shop. Slowly skimming the aisle, I walked by, with my basket in my hand. I usually do the grocery shopping for my mom. There were some people around the area, checking out the labels and stuff.
I was blindly walking by, while skimming through the shelves as someone stood halt in front of me all of a sudden. I raised my head to him, wondering who it was, and felt anger burning inside me when I recognized him.
“What are you doing here, Tylor?” I asked him while gritting my teeth. “Is that how you greet people?” he asked. “Is that how you treat people back a few days ago?” I demanded. This time he didn’t reply. Giving him a glare, I walked past him and kept going on. “Oh, come on!! Why can’t you forget that?” he asked, following me. “How can I possibly forget such rude thing?” I told him. “Okay fine! I-I am… sorry! Okay?” he finally said after hesitating for a while. Did he actually said sorry? I am sure that it’s not something he says often!
I turned to him. He looked at me with the same solid expression. “You don’t look like you are sorry.” I told him. He sighed. “Why do you hate me so much?” he asked. “Really? You don’t know that? Have you ever counted how many people you have bullied? Have you thought of how they would feel like? Have you ever wondered what respect to teachers mean? Or what others reputation means? I have heard so many people tell so many tales about you guys bullying them ever since I knew about you! And you even tricked me to think that you are not from the Morte gang! I should have known that there has to be a special reason that you are allowed in that huge office! Are those not reasons to hate you?” I said. By that time, he looked kind of a bit sad and guilty about it. “Look. I don’t know what you are thinking about, but I believe that everyone can change. Okay? Why don’t you stop all of that?” I asked him. He looked me deeply into my eyes, as if trying to read my mind and said; “you forgot to add tomatoes into your basket from the list.” SERIOUSLY? THAT’S WHAT HE HAS TO SAY AT THAT MOMENT??!
“Tylor! You got to be kidding me! That’s your reply to my advice? Were you paying any attention to what I said?” I asked him. “I never pay attention to anything the teachers say!” he replied, chuckling. With anger, I groaned and went to get tomatoes. Well, for once… he is right. I did forgot about the tomatoes!
Walking up to the huge carton full of ripe red tomatoes, I dug into them and grabbed one at the very bottom of the carton. “Why did you just pick one up from the bottom while here are plenty just above the surface?’ Tylor asked. ‘Because, they put the good ones deep inside and bad ones right on top so the customers pick all the bad ones until there are no bad ones! By that time, the fresh, good ones would have gone bad. Perhaps you should bring out all the good ones inside you and throw out the bad ones!” I told him and walked away.
By the time I have put half of the stuff on the list, my basked began to get a bit heavy. “Boy, this is heavy.” I said, hoping that Tylor would help me carry it. But he didn’t even look. Just followed me around. “Hey, if you want to follow me around, why don’t you carry this thing?” I told him. He looked at me as if I was from outer space. “Why should I carry that?” he said, folding his arms. That got me steaming mad. “Ugh! Fine! Just stay there being a jerk! Who wanted you to be here anyway?!” I said and began walking with the heavy basked in my hands.
Before I could go any further, one of the sales boy helped me with the basket. He took it and emptied it into a trolley and gave it to me. I said thank you with a smile as he went off.
“Such a kind guy. He seems nice!” I said as Tylor came up to me. “Nice? His ass!! They are pretending to be nice so that you would buy more from their shop!!” Tylor protested. “Oh, lighten up! He seems kind of cute too. He smiles every time he sees me here.” I told him. Tylor looked around for the guy. Then, after hesitating, he took the trolley from me. “ill- I’ll hold this for you!” he said all of a sudden. “Hey! Why help now? I can push that around! You think I have to carry that?” I exclaimed and swiped the trolley from him. “You’re seriously nuts! Aren’t you?” I asked.
Finally, I walked up to the counter to pay. I had to stand at the back of a huge queue from the counter. Even at that time, Tylor was still following me.
“Why are you still here? Its gonna take a while to reach the counter so its best if his majesty go home before it gets boring.” I told him. He looked at the rest of the queue. After thinking for a second, he grabbed my hand, and grabbed the trolley with the other hand and began walking towards the counter. “Tylor! What are you doing?” I asked him. He didn’t reply. “Let me go!” I told him. But still, he kept on going until he reached the counter. “I am sorry, but please stand in the line, sir-“the boy said to Tylor. As the boy raised his head and looked at him, he was startled. “Sir! What can I do for you?” he asked politely as if he knew Tylor. “I am here to pay for these. Also, has the last container of goods arrived” he asked. “Yes sir. We put on sale on the old ones and the new ones are on the shelves.” The boy replied, dragging the stuff in the trolley by the scanner. What are they talking about?
After everything has been scanned, Tylor took out his wallet to pay. “No. I’ll pay for it! I am the one who took all of this!” I told him. “It’s okay! I’ll pay!” he said. “Stop being so nice Mr. pretending-to-be-nice! I’ll pay!” I protested. “Um… I can give you a discount, sir. How about that? No need to pay.” The boy said. I was surprised. “What? For free? How come?” I asked. “You still haven’t figures out the part about me being rich, right? This is my place! My dad is the CEO here!” Tylor replied. That got me a bit started. I ran out of words.
“I’ll pay. It’s okay.” Tylor said and handed over the money. The boy smiled at me when he realized that I was blushing about the fact that Tylor’s dad was the CEO of this whole place! When the boy put everything into a plastic bag, Tylor took it, grabbed my hand and walked out.
“Let me carry that!” I told him, motioning my hand. He didn’t respond. Instead, he looked at my face. “You are blushing aren’t you?! No need to cover that!” he chuckled as he saw me trying to cover my face with my hair. “What? Feeling excited to walk with the son of the CEO of the mall?” he asked. “Actually, I am embarrassed to walk with you!” I snapped at him, giggling. His smile faded. “When am I ever going to get your trust?” he moaned. “Try proving that you are worth gaining my trust! Forcing people will never accomplish anything.” I told him. “Do I force people?” he asked. I shook my head no. “You scare people!” I told him, chuckling. “Now give me that bag!” I told him and tried to snatch it away. Tylor shifted his hand, which made me miss the bag and loose balance. Before my nose got crunched on the ground, Tylor caught me. I was startled when I felt his hands around me. My hands got cold all of a sudden. I felt butterflies in my stomach. My heart began to beat faster. What is happening to me?! Being paralyzed for a moment, I looked at him, who seems to be as shocked as I am. His eyes melted deep into mine. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. There was something preventing me to turn away. What’s wrong with me? What just happened to me? I wondered, rubbing my hands together, trying to burn away the cold feeling. Why do I feel so different? I never felt like this before!
Finally, he moved. His ears seems to be a bit red. I bet my cheeks look the same too! “I’ll take this.” I said quietly and took the bag.Then I began walking without even looking at him. I was too embarrassed to look at him!
“Hey! Where are you going?” he finally called after me. “I am going home! Where else?” I replied. “Let’s go together!” he said and jogged up to me. While walking, I looked at him. “Seriously tell me. Why are you following me?” I asked him, narrowing my eyes at him. He opened his mouth to say something when the question struck him, and made him go speechless. “Uh… my house is also… in the same direction you are going! That’s why!” he finally said after thinking for a while. “Really? Or are you stalking me?” I asked him. “No! Why would I do such thing?!” he said. “You’re saying that you don’t have the guts to stalk me, but have the guts to bully people? Very funny.” I replied. “Why bring up something in the past?” he muttered. “But why aren’t you bullying me? I mean, I heard that you never talk to girls. Then why are you hanging around with me?” I asked. That made his ears turns pink. He shrugged. “I don’t know. You seem… different from the rest of the girls I know.” he replied. “Is that why you don’t bully me? Why do you pick on people anyway?” I asked him. He kept silence and didn’t even look at me. “Okay. Some say people bully others are because of something bad that happened to them in the past, or is happening. You don’t need t tell me if you don’t like it.” I told him. “I wasn’t even planning to tell you! You think that will work on me?” he said mockingly. “You are seriously a big jerk, aren’t you?” I asked him in a disgusted way and began walking faster than him.
“Hey! Wait up!” he called. “Look Tylor, I don’t have time for your little jokes. I need to get this home before mom gets angry.” I told him, walking faster. “I can give you a ride!” he told me. “Oh, so you do have a private car and a driver! Of course his majesty has one! Why didn’t you go home in that in the first place?” I asked him. “Look, you want a ride or not?!” he asked, stepping in front of me. “I don’t get into strangers cars. Sorry. Now leave me be!” I told him and walked past him. “No, wait! I can give you a ride! It will be faster!” he protested and tried to stop me. I turned around. “Look. I don’t want a ride and that’s final. Okay?” I told him. “Why do you avoid me so much?” he asked. “Try changing your behavior! Then I might not avoid you!” I told him as I walked away. This time, he didn’t follow me. I was a bit relieved. But why was he following me anyway? How come he hangs out only with me among all the girls he met? Am I his next target to be bullied? And sometimes, he can be a real jerk!
All these thoughts were circling my mind as I went home.