You Are Kidding Me!

I'm sure you'd hyperventilate if you found that you're jumping from an only child to the brother of three siblings. Make the three new arrivals a tomboy, the new favourite in the family and the girl-you-fall-for-who-hates-you-at-first-sight, and you have the makings of a nightmare. Alas for Nathaniel K. Smith, its a living one.
Despite his usual tenacity, determination and way too vivid imagination, this is certainly beyond his wildest dreams. With his reputation on the line, will he be able to keep the terrifying additions to his family a secret?
Jeer, cheer, laugh or aww in this way too cheesy reminder that coincidences are never coincidences, love is never easy and not to ever wish life was less boring...

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3. Chapter 2

Elizabeth's pov

Thank God I don't have to switch schools.

Not that I would attend the same school as Nathaniel, either way. He's in that crummy brother school of ours called Hawkings. What a waste of a perfectly wonderful name.

Despite my earlier fears and inhibitions about our new family, I slept soundly last night, not besieged by the usual nightmares that have plagued me constantly and left my body shaking and my pillow soaked in salty tears.

I wake up, brush my teeth, comb my hair and dress in my uniform, smiling drowsily. As I clatter down the stairs with my things, I realise with a start that everyone has already begun eating. I apologise profusely but Mrs Smith waves it off with a smile.

"Sorry sis," Crystal apologises. "But you were sleeping with such a sweet smile on your face that I couldn't bear to wake you up."

"What were you dreaming about, hmm?" Mrs Smith asks.

For some reason I look at Nathaniel and find he's looking at me. To my horror I feel a blush creep up my neck and spread nicely on my face.

Great. I can't control my nerves in the morning.

Esther, Crystal and Mrs Smith ooh, and I scowl at them half heartedly.

"The truth is, I didn't dream at all," I explain. Mr Smith nods. "No nightmares huh?" I smile at him, grateful for the change in topic. He's really thoughtful.

Unlike his son Nathaniel. I turn to look at him again.

He's currently pouring a waterfall of syrup on his pancakes, stopping only when it begins dripping on the side of the plate and onto the table.

At least I didn't dream of his awful manners last night.

I break out of my reverie and resume breakfast. Soon everyone is in the car headed to their respective schools.

x~X~x

I get out of the shower, wrapped in my towel, and sigh in contentment. No one asked too many questions today, and my close friends were very supportive, especially Hilda. I didn't feel like crying once.

But I don't cry in front of people.

"Hi, can you lend me..." the door is suddenly flung open and Nathaniel, shirtless, strides in.

My mouth widens in a noiseless scream.

As if just realising the situation he's in, he stops short and looks at me. His expression is priceless. There's a mixture of shock, horror, sheepishness in that expression. Then his jaw slackens and something else crosses his features. Sort of a weird creeped-out look.

Then I remember I'm only wearing a towel. Now I really scream. A half strangled scream escapes my throat and I gesture frantically at the door. "Get out pervert!"

He leans against Crystal's bed post and retorts, "How was I to know you were bathing?"

"Well, now you do!" I say indignantly. "Now get lost!"

"Tch, manners, girl."

Boy, this guy could land me in jail for first-degree murder, I want to kill him so badly. Restraining my venomous thoughts, I clench my fists and as politely as I can, point out the obvious.

"You are half naked," I point out, trying not to look at his chest and potential muscles- wait what am I thinking?! I chase out unwanted thoughts of hot guys I've fangirled about before and grimly continue.

"And I'm just wearing a towel." So, mister, even a stranger would assume we were doing dirty things. I give him a meaningful look, hoping he'll understand. "Especially our family."

"Oh. OH!"

He gets it.

"Alright, leaving," he calls out as he turns and heads for the door.

"But I'll be back."

And if that isn't enough insults for one day, he turns and smirks, "Hey, your underwear is pretty cute." I can hear cackling all the way to his room.

I swear my face turns the darkest shade of crimson the world could see on a face.

Its the result of both anger and extreme mortification.

I had wanted to sort out my clothes after showering, so I had poured everything out on the bed.

Everything.

Its official. I hate Nathaniel K. Smith.

x~X~x

Elizabeth's pov

I sigh deeply for the hundredth time today at lunch recess. I can't believe how calm and collected I was during my parents' funeral, yet fell to pieces when that antagonizing boy basically ruined my new life!

How am I going to cope living in the same house as him! Even living in the same vicinity we wouldn't get along.

"Lizzy! LIZZY!" My friend Hilda finally manages to attract my attention.

Meet Hilda. 152cm, hazel eyes and the most studious, obedient, gentle girl I've ever known. Unless you count the time guys tried to snub us and she retaliated.

"Honestly, what has been up with you for ages?"

In the past week my parents died, I've moved out of the neighbourhood I've known for years, and I'm living with a pathetic example of a guy.

Hilda realises her error and is horrified. "I'm so sorry Lizzy! I know you've been miserable since they passed."

I wave a hand to calm her down. Its not what's pissing me off now.

"I'm living in the same house as someone in our brother school," I explain bitterly.

The revelation is greeted with silence and flabbergasted expressions. I look from the auburn hair of my best friend Hilda, to the popular girl and finally the red haired bouncy person who completes our group.

"No need to be so shocked. You know everything turned upside down when my parents passed."

"Wait. So you're living with a guy in our brother school?" Azalea asks with a gleam in her eye. "And are you living in the same room?"

Meet Azalea. 162cm with heels, (the lowest the school will allow) a beautiful complexion and a tendency to attract trouble wherever she goes. She may be born in the lap of luxury, but she certainly has never flaunted it.

I splutter, the milk I have sipped splattering onto my plate. I daintily hold a paper napkin over my mouth to avoid any other accidents. In a hiss quickly turning into an all out shout, I say, "Absolutely not! What do you think I am, excuse me?!"

Azalea puts up her hands in an attempt to evade my wrath that surrounds me like an aura. "Woah, woah, calm down girlfriend!" she says.

We chatter a bit more on the topic and my friends deeply sympathise.

Eyes glittering with excitement, Sophie declares, "No worries! I'll just grab my softball bat and come to your rescue anytime!" We smile uneasily at her grinning expression.

Meet Sophie. 156cm, gregarious and pretty if not for the wire holding her front teeth back. Despite her tomboy personality, she is no less ostracised than Azalea.

Azalea rolls her eyes as Hilda tries to talk sense into Sophie, with no success.

"But honestly, we'll be there every step of the way if you need us, gal." Azalea speaks softly, and my eyes well with tears of gratitude. I fight down the sudden tightening of my throat and the urge to just release all my problems right there and then.

But I can't burden them with my issues, not when they have problems. I know Hilda's been devastated since her boyfriend of 9 months broke up with her a year ago. Sophie's been having family problems, and worst still Azalea's picked up that bad habit of endlessly flirting with guys... I sigh and watch the three of my closest friends with wry amusement. Now they're arguing over who gets the last french fry.

For now, this memory will suffice, the present being far better than the pain of the past and the uncertainty of the future.

x~X~x

Elizabeth's pov

After school, I change out of my uniform and switch on my computer. After checking a few emails, I begin watching the current anime I'm hooked on.

I'm so engrossed I don't notice the door quietly creaking open, and footsteps approaching me.

"Elizabeth?"

Shoot. I slam the laptop shut and spin around to come face to face with Nathaniel.

"Too late. I can't believe you watch such romance anime," he scoffs.

My cheeks are flaming. "What are you going to do, laugh with your friends over it?" I ask bitterly.

To my surprise he is shocked, outraged even. "Are you accusing me of being a blackmail bully, Elizabeth? I assure I am no low down person." He looks away. "This is just pay back for the first impression humiliation," he mumbles.

I fight a grin. So my snub had affected him. I smile sweetly and say, "Tell you what. I forget about the past you I knew, and you forget about the present knowledge of me."

"Deal."

o~O~o

Nathaniel's pov

Another dull morning. I step out of the cool, refreshing shower and make my way downstairs. To my surprise Elizabeth is cooking.

"The food smells good." I say conversationally. She nods and smiles at me. I catch a whiff of lavender shampoo.

"And so do you," I blurt out.

Shoot! What if she hits me. Not that it mattered anyway. She wouldn't hurt a fly.

Then I feel something come into contact with my skin hard.

Correction. It hurts like hell.

{Dude, don't ever compliment a girl on how she smells}

I look up at her, expecting a cheeky grin or a gaze of intense disapproval.

But I see none of that.

Her smile has disappeared, replaced by a look of concern on her face. She curses and I'm shocked once more. This is a first. She dashes to the bathroom, yelling at me to put my arm over cold running water from the tap. I finally look down at my stinging arm and realise its been scalded. I quickly switch on the tap and thrust my hand into the cold refreshing water that gushes out.

She comes out of the bathroom with a towel and grabs my hand. Pulling it towards her, she gently dabs the red spot remaining with the towel. I don't know which is more soothing, the coolness of the water on the skin or her gripping my hand firmly yet gently.

It takes an unusually long time for her, but finally she realises that I'm staring at her admiringly, and her sisters and my parents are present and grinning at the two of us.

With a yelp, she lets go of her hand, and acute disappointment races through me. I mask my emotions with a grin and wryly address my family, "Good morning everyone."

Breakfast is a pleasant, light-hearted affair, a huge relief considering the cold shoulder I've endured this past few days. Despite not having exactly warmed up to me, Elizabeth is definitely making an effort to be friendly to me. Seeing their older sister talking to me, the other two take no time in interrogating me about the past 14 years of my life.

I patiently answer their questions and even carry Esther's bag for her to the car. Elizabeth thanks me and I shrug. "I've always wanted to have siblings, you know?" I say, a bit wistfully. Elizabeth's looking at me with an expression I can't really understand, but she quickly covers it up with her stoic reply, "Well, you have three of us now."

"Yeah."

 

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