Everyone was sat around a wooden dining table, a light up blossom tree sat in the middle of the oval table, two smaller candles sat either side, the room was decorated by paintings, two large windows sat either side of a fireplace on the other side of the room, “Everything in your house is so beautiful.” Sophia said, turning to Calum.
“Thanks.” He smiled at her.
They all took their seats, “Sit next to me!” Rose exclaimed, pulling Sophia’s arm to one side of the table. Sophia sat, Rose on her left and Calum on her right. Across from her was Julie, and next to Julie was their father. A couple of men and women, dressed in black suits and dresses, brought out platters of fruit, and sandwiches, along with a couple of jugs of water and juice.
“So Sophia.” Julie began, smirking. “Tell us about yourself.”
Sophia looked over at Calum who nodded and then down to her plate, “Well, there’s really not much to tell.”
“That’s nonsense.” Julie laughed, “Calum can never shut up about you.”
Sophia blushed in unison with Calum, “That’s because she’s really incredible. You should hear about some of her achievements.” Calum stated.
“What achievements?” All eyes were now on Sophia and she could feel her heart beat increase.
“It’s nothing really.” Sophia shook her head, smiling.
“Oh, come on Soph.” Calum nudged her, “If you don’t tell them I will.”
Sophia looked up and around at everyone, “Well,” She sighed, “In that case. I’m currently in the top 0.02% of Australia in Mathematics, English and Science.”
“That’s so cool!” Rose exclaimed, a mouth full of bread.
“That really is amazing.” Calum’s dad, Sir, said from across the table, nodding at Calum again. The group continued their small talk; Julie and Sophia shared their favourite poems, Rose spoke about games and school, Sir nodded at Calum constantly, occasionally letting out a laugh, and Calum and Sophia shared glances, they joked, they laughed. The group of well-dressed men and women reentered the room, this time to collect the platters and glasses.
“If we may be excused.” Calum said pushing his chair out, “I’d like to show Sophia around.” His dad nodded at him once more as Calum walked behind Sophia and pulled her chair out gently. “Shall we?” Sophia nodded and followed Calum out of the room.
They began down the hall covered in portraits, “So,” Calum broke the silence.
“So?” Sophia mocked playfully.
“What do you think?”
Calum laughed, “Of my family.”
Sophia smiled, “Oh, your family.” She laughed, “They’re really amazing aren’t they. And your dad, he’s so proper.”
Calum nodded, “Side effect of his job.”
Sophia looked at Calum, a puzzled look, “Side effect?”
Calum placed his hand atop Sophia’s hair, “That’s my story for another time.”
Sophia nodded, “Touche.” Calum lead Sophia through his home, showing her each room; he’d give a short speech on each room, and she’d listen, she’d laugh and nod as he spoke just for her.
“And coming up on our right is the room we’ve all been waiting for.” Sophia tilted her head slightly, questioningly, “My bedroom.” Calum laughed, opening a door. As Sophia stood in she looked around, a couch and TV were positioned in the back left corner, there was a large window at the back of the room, it looked over the pool. On their left, directly inside the room, was a small bar fridge and bench. A wooden door was on the right, Calum opened it to reveal a neat and small bathroom. Sophia continued to look around the room, at all the small details; the dart board with three darts nowhere near bulls eye, the coffee stains on the books scattered on the desk on the right, the Tetris block lights near the bottom of the spiral staircase.
Sophia was looking up the staircase, “So, you sleep up there?” She looked back to Calum who was now nodding at her.
“Well, come on then.” He said grabbing her hand, pulling her up the staircase. The wall on the left was lined with mirrors that opened to cupboards. The right wall had a simple black and white wallpaper, a king sized bed of black and white sheets and pillows was neatly made. Two small bedside tables sat either side of the bed, both with small lamps, and on the wall directly in front of them; a window overlooking the pool, into a small forest, you could just see the waterline of the beach. Calum crossed the room to his bed, flopping down, staring at the ceiling, “Make yourself comfortable Soph.”
Sophia’s cheeks burned red, “Uh, okay.” She walked to the bed and sat beside Calum.
“You can lie down, I won’t bite.” He laughed, his eyes fixed on the ceiling. Sophia pulled her legs onto the bed and swiveled sideways, slowly lowering her back to the bed, she looked up at the ceiling, it was plain white. As Sophia lay next to him, Calum turned to face her, “Do you like it?”
“It’s amazing.” Sophia smiled, looking at Calum.
“Hey, Soph,” Calum sighed, she looked at him waiting for him to continue, “I just; I’d love to hear those stories y’know.” Sophia sighed as she stared at his blank ceiling, I should tell him, she thought, he’s been so good to me. He deserves to know. “I really want to know everything about you Soph.” Calum begun, Sophia began to blush, “I want to know why you wanted to be alone, I want to know about your dad, I want to know why you ran out of class, I want to know why whenever you look at Tom there’s an unmistakable sadness in your eyes.” Calum sighed, pausing for a minute, “I want to know why you were reluctant to come here. I want to know everything there is to know about you, Sophia Puller.”
Sophia could feel her cheeks burning as she sat up, looking into her lap, “I don’t get it.”
“Get what?” Calum was now sitting next to her.
“Why you want to know?” She looked away from Calum, toward the staircase.
“I just do.” He leant back on his arms.
I really should tell him, nothing bad could come from it; it might make me feel better. Sophia sighed and turned to face Calum. “Well, the thing is,” Sophia begun, “Tom, he kind of.” Sophia was cut off by a knocking on the door.
Calum sighed as he stood up, walking toward the staircase, “Another time?” Sophia nodded following Calum down the stairs to his bedroom door.
He opened the door to see Julie carrying a small basket, “I hope I didn’t interrupt.” She giggled.
“As a matter of fact, you did.” Calum grunted, leaning against the door frame.
“Oh is that so?” Julie raised an eyebrow looking over at a blushing Sophia.
“We were just talking!” Sophia reassured.
“That’s boring,” Julie laughed, “Anyway, I was coming to see if you’d like to come for a walk to find some pretty shells with me and rose.”
Calum shook his head, “Sorry, that doesn’t really interest me.”
Julie pushed him out of her way, stepping toward Sophia, “I wasn’t asking you Calum, I was inviting Sophia.” She smiled, “So how about it?”
Sophia nodded, “I’d love to come, let me just go grab my shoes from down the hall.”
Julie smiled and watched as Sophia walked down the hall, “So Calum,” her look was more serious, but still playful, “You figured it out yet?”
Calum shook his head, “I don’t see why you can’t just tell me. Damn you’re annoying.”
Julie smiled, “I try.” She looked down the hall to see if Sophia was returning yet, “How about a hint?”
“I don’t want to play your petty games.”
“Oh Cal, it’s not a petty game.” She could see Sophia beginning back in their direction, “Here’s your hint; look at how happy she is,” Calum looked down the hall and saw her smiling at all the photos, he couldn’t help but smile himself, at her innocence, her cuteness.
He returned his gaze to Julie, “What about it?”
“It makes you really happy doesn’t it?” And with that Sophia had returned, “Shall we go?” Julie said, beginning toward the door leading out to their back yard.
“See you later.” Sophia laughed as she ran to catch up with Julie. Calum stood there, his back against the door frame, The hell is that idiot on about? So what seeing her happy makes me happy? He sighed as he pushed off the door frame, pulling his door shut behind him. Honestly, Julie, what do you mean?