3 || once upon a friendship
"Bella . . ."
"Bella, wake up."
Who is bugging me in my sleep?
"Angel, wake up."
There's a low voice calling me. I think it's daddy.
"Daddy?" I say in my raspy voice since I'm still sleeping.
"Daddy? I'm not your daddy." I snap my eyes open and see Luke in front of me, really close to my face. I scream out loud then jumped on my bed, hitting my back on the wall from horror. Ow! That hurt! "Luke!" I rest my hand on my chest feeling my heart racing.
He laughs while squinting his eyes shut. I can't believe he did that. And I called him Daddy. So embarrassing! I hit his shoulder really hard and he rubs it trying to comfort it. He's still laughing! "Luke! Stop laughing!" I whined sticking my bottom lip out.
"I'm - ahaha - sorry - ahaha." He breathes out still laughing. I fold my arms over my chest while I'm sitting indian style on my bed, lowering my head feeling embarrassed from what happened.
His laughter dies down and he stares at me looking guilty. "I'm sorry, Bella." He said silently. I look up at him and I grin at his sad gesture. Every time I'm sad, he's sad. Every time I cry, he cries. Every time I'm angry, he's angry. He's like my other half.
I scoot myself closer to him on the edge of the bed and wrapped my arms around his waist, resting my head on his shoulder. "It's okay, Luke." I whispered. I feel his arms wrap around my little waist, hugging me tightly. It's funny how he's bigger than me now and I'm short. The first time I met him, we were about the same height, now He's about 6'4 and I'm 5'8. It's ridiculous. He has been my best friend for twelve years and he means everything to me. He's always there for me over the years when I had troubles or some sort. He's like my secret diary because I tell him everything, when I'm sad or angry, he's always there. And I can never be more grateful to have him in my life.
I let go from our comfortable hug and I look at him in the eyes. Sky blue eyes. "Why are you in my room?"
"I came to wake you up because today's a big day." He smirked. What's special about today?
He looks at me flabbergasted from my response. What did I say?
I shrugged my shoulders waiting for him to tell me what's today. "I can't believe you forgot your - own - birthday." He finally responded dramatically.
Today is my birthday! I'm eighteen today. I gasp as I jump off my bed making the blankets fall over and I run to my closet getting my clothes ready.
"That's a shame. You forgot your own birthday."
"Man, shut up." He chuckles and walks over to me, watching me look for an outfit to wear. "I probably would've remembered if you didn't scare the shit out of me."
"At least I didn't call you daddy." He snickered. I feel my cheeks getting hot from embarrassment.
"It was an honest mistake." I murmured.
"Aw, it's okay." He walks closer and wraps an arm around my shoulder. "I was just messing with you. I love you, Angel." He said genuinely.
I look at him giving him my best grin. "And I love you too, boo." I smile and he smiles back like a little boy. I look back at my closet and I finally found a cute outfit. Navy blue denim jeans with a lime green tank top. I look up at him and he's just staring at me.
"Do you mind if I get dressed." I say without making it a question.
"And what if I don't leave?" He asked smirking while folding his arms over his chest. Is this how it's going to be?
"Hmm, you either leave my room now or I put my foot somewhere you don't want a foot to be." I offered while smiling so sweetly, challenging him. His eyes grow bigger, knowing what I'm talking about, and he leaves my room without saying anything. I laugh at him; he's such a baby. But I love him.
Now . . . time to get ready for my birthday surprise.
I finally got my outfit on, finishing off with a pair of nude, shiny flats. I applied light brown eyeshadow and two coats of mascara on my lashes. I don't want to look like a Barbie, they're disgusting. I walk back to my bedroom to get my purse and keys because I know my parents are taking me out to dinner for my 'birthday surprise'. They're so predictable.
I do finishing touches on my natural long brown - wavy hair and I walk out of my bedroom, go downstairs to the living room. As I walk to the living room, I see my presents sitting on the dining room table. Three of them. And a birthday cake resting on the center of the dining table. I walk closer to the table and I see baby pictures of me next to the presents. Of course mom would bring them out. I look at the small birthday cake reading Happy Birthday Isabella!, with a 1 and a 8 candle making the number 18. I see everything set up but I don't see my family.
I scream and turn around seeing my family and Luke screaming 'surprise' at me. Seriously! I got scared two times today, they're gonna give me a heart attack.
"Happy Birthday, honey!" Mom exclaimed while walking up to me with open arms. Even though she scared the crap out of me, I'm glad she's my weird mother. I hug her with open arms while smiling.
"Thanks, mom." I let out a small laugh.
She lets go of me and looks straight at me. "I can't believe you're eighteen. It felt like yesterday you were taking a bubble bath naked with your rubber ducky."
"Oh, my god, mom!" I stared at her flabbergasted that she said that out loud. I hear my dad and Luke laughing behind her. Great . . .
"I'm sorry, it's just you're growing up way too fast and I don't like it."
I rolled my eyes at her motherly ways. "That's life, mom." I say giggling.
"I know." She frowned, I see dad walking to us and looks at mom.
"You can't change her age, Marybeth." He chuckles.
"Growing up, we know." He cuts her off while laughing. He walks closer to me and hugs me by wrapping his arms around my waist. "Happy Birthday, honey."
"Thanks daddy." I breathe out from his comfortable hug. I look at mom over dads shoulder seeing her smiling at our embrace. "See mom, at least dad's normal about this." I feel dads chest vibrating because he's laughing. He lets go and stares at mom.
She has her bottom lip sticking out, while her eyes look sad. "Hey, it's okay. It's not your fault you're weird, it's completely normal."
"Shut up!" Mom hits dads chest and I can't help but laugh. Their relationship is so special and hilarious at the same time. They probably had a great connection when they met.
Luke laughs a little behind me and sees me looking at him. He walks over and smiles at me just like he did when we were kids. "You're the next eighteen, Bella!" He said with enthusiasm.
"I sure am!" I giggled as I wrap my arms around his waist and lay my head on his chest.
"Happy Birthday." He whispered to my ear and I can't help but smile. When we met twelve years ago, he was so shy and quiet. Now he's so energetic and loud. I'm so proud he's different around me and so protective. He lets go of our warm embrace and we look at each other. "Can't wait for you to open your presents." He smiles.
"Oh yeah, she needs to blow out the candles!" Mom randomly examined. "Bianca, come blow out your candles." I walk towards the table, mom scratches a match and lights them on each candle, smelling the burning wax. The candles lit up, dancing around waiting for them to be blown out. "Okay guys, let's sing."
Oh no, not the song.
"One.. Two.. Three.. Ha--"
"Please don't!" I begged. They all stop and look at me with confusion looks on their faces. ". . . please don't sing that horrible song." I put the emphasis on 'horrible'
"Why not?" Dad asked confusingly.
"Because it's awkward . . ." I muttered. I hate when people sing 'Happy Birthday' to me. I just stand there while they sing and it feels so uncomfortable. I loved it when I was a kid because I felt so pleased and had special attention, but now I hate it since I'm so used to it.
"Bella, you're no fun." I heard Luke say. I look at him while shaking my head. He grins from ear to ear, he knows I hate when people sing happy birthday to me, yet he was about to let my parents sing it anyways. "Blow out your candles, they're waiting for your cold air." I snicker at his stupid brain.
I look at the beautiful vanilla birthday cake with light pink swirls at the bottom, and the candles shining. I close my eyes making a wish.
I wish today will be the best birthday ever.
I open my eyes, aiming my lips near the candles and blew them out freely. I see the remainder of smoke flying out. Cheer and clapping happen behind me from my guests. I turn around looking at my parents and Luke smiling at me.
"Aw, it's official." Mom cooed. She goes through her back pocket and takes out a green envelope. She walks over to me and brings her hand out with the envelope in her hand. "This is from your grandparents. They couldn't come visit but they wanted me to give you this." Mom explained. I'm sad that my grandparents couldn't come visit for my birthday, but it's still thoughtful that they're still giving me something.
I take the envelope from moms hand and I see writing on the front of the envelope that says, 'From your Loving Grandparents'. I tear the sealed envelope, carefully not ripping the whole thing, and I see a card plus fifty dollars attached to it.
Awesome! They gave me money! I look at the front of the card reading the original writing that says, 'A Birthday for our beautiful granddaughter'. This card is a lie, I'm not beautiful. I open the card anyway going to read what they wrote:
I can't believe you're eighteen years old. It felt like yesterday, you were born all healthy and proud to be alive. Now you're a beautiful young woman about to finish your last year of high school. Your grandfather and I can not be more proud of you. We're so sorry we couldn't make it for your special day. However, I hope our special present will cheer you up for buying cute clothes ;) we all love you, sweet girl. Especially your grandfather, Ethan. Hope you have a special day.
Your Ma & Pa.
After reading this novel of a letter, I was touched from their message. I wish they were here so I could hug them for the card and the present. I cooed at the card and I think my mom noticed because she started talking.
"Do you like your present?" She asked.
"Yes, but I wish they were here. They never miss my birthday." I say sounding upset.
"I know, they tried but they couldn't make it because of money issues." She explained looking sad as well.
"Oh." I mumbled feeling bad. I would've helped them if they had money issues, however, I can't because I'm broke.
"But you can call them later and thank them, right?" She said trying to lighten up the mood. I nodded and she smiles. "Good! Now how 'bout you turn back around and open those presents we got for you." I turn around seeing the three presents on the table. I look at one average sized bag that's red with glitter stripes around it, another big rectangular present, wrapped in plain dark purple paper with a gold bow on top. Lastly, a medium sized bag that's just plain yellow like a school bus.
"Open the red one, that's from me!" Mom said excitedly. I roll my eyes at my moms excitement but still smile at her childish behavior. I pick up the red bag and it feels a little heavy. I shake it a bit trying to feel something rattle. "What are you doing?" She asked.
"Trying to see if there's gold in here." I said sarcastically smiling at her.
"Girl, open your present." She playfully hits my arm while snickering. I laugh a little and I open the bag wide taking out the light pink tissue paper. I notice there's not a card in the bag. "Where's the card?"
"Honey, you don't need a card. You already know we love you. Why say it again?" She said laughing by herself. She is right though, I can't lie about that.
I throw the tissue paper on the table and I look back inside the bag seeing a white box, I drag the box out of the bag finding a picture of a Mac laptop on the box.
"No way! You got me a laptop?!" I screamed excitedly while jumping up and down. My mom laughs at me including dad.
"Yes, but you only use the laptop when you go to college." She explained.
Wait . . .
"But that's eleven months away!" I whined.
"Exactly." Mom smiled. I give her a death glare and she just smiles at me, "Most kids just say, 'Thanks mom, I love the gift'." She lifts an eyebrow giving me the look. Even though I have to wait for an eternity to use my new computer, I'm grateful she wasted money for me.
"Thanks, mom." I give her a loving hug because I am grateful of the present she got me. She hugs me back with a tight embrace. "I love it." I muffled against her shoulder since we're about the same height.
"I'm glad you like it. Hopefully you'll like it more when you actually use it." She giggled and I roll my eyes. We let go of each other and I see dad walking towards us.
"Okay, my turn." Dad grabs the yellow medium sized bag, which I'm guessing is his, by the handle. "Hope you like it."
I smile at the bag, it looks bigger than moms. I grab the yellow bag and open it seeing white tissue paper. I once again, take the white paper out and putting it on the table. I look inside the bag and see . . .
I yank a makeup pallet out of the bag and I see a hundred and fifty colors of eyeshadow, that comes with Mac black eyeliner and three Mac lipsticks; one in the color Dark Purple, second one in Rose Pink, and the last one in Vampire Red. This . . . is . . . so . . . Beautiful! I squeal out loud making everyone look at me. I look at dad and I see a smile on his face. "Daddy . . ." I wheezed while wrapping my arms around his waist, hugging him tightly. I feel his body shake, he's laughing at me but I don't care. "This is so . . . BEAUTIFUL!" I exclaimed against his chest.
He chuckles and I feel him kiss the crown of my head. "I'm glad you love it." He said while smiling. I pull away from him and I smile at his gift but surprised he bought this for me.
"I'm shocked, dad, you never buy girl products." I told him wiggling my eyebrows. He looks back at me looking annoyed and I snicker at his expression.
He sighs deeply and opens his mouth, "Your mother wouldn't be quiet about making me buy your make-up while she buys the computer." He explains with a disgusted look on his face when he said 'make-up'.
"Well thanks, daddy. I appreciate it." I smile and he smiles back happily.
"You're welcome." He kisses my forehead softly.
"Well I hope you liked your gifts?" Mom asked with a question, not a statement. I look at mom, giving her a look.
"Of course I did, mom."
"Okay good!" She clapped her hands. "It's cake time now!" She said excitedly. She walks to the table and grabs the cake knife.
I feel a poke on my right shoulder and I turn around looking at Luke. "You didn't open my present." He said sounding upset but I see his lips twitching to keep away from smiling. Why is he so weird?
Oh! The big present must be from him. I rush to the table and I pick up the heavy present.
"Mom, I'll be right back." Mom looks at me then sees I'm holding his present in my hands.
"Oh okay." She nodded, turns back to the cake and starts to cut the first slice. I turn around and I walk to the living room while Luke follows me like a lost puppy.
I sit on our large black leather couch and he sits next to me as I rest the present on the coffee table. I look at him, while he looks excited like a boy got his present on Christmas morning. "What?" I giggled.
"Aren't you going to open it?" He asked smiling so big, it's showing his gums. I scoot myself at the edge of the couch and I start to tear up the wrapping paper on the coffee table. As I'm tearing up the paper, I see him getting extra excited from the corner of my eye.
"Dude, calm down." I shake my head, grinning a little bit.
"Sorry, I'm excited for you to see what I got you."
I look at him and I just stare at him. "Whatever you got me, I know I'm going to love it." I said honestly. He looks at me and nods his head slightly. I look back at the present again and I continue to unwrap it. So far I see a picture frame that is made out of wood. I tear the whole present completely, seeing a portrait of a girl who . . . looks like me.
I was blown away by his choice of art, he painted a portrait of me so perfectly, it's so unreal. I swear his art skills has gotten better and better over the years.
I gasp as I take the picture out of the paper, placing it on my lap and I look at it in front of my eyes. It's incredible. "Do you like it?" He asked after four minutes of silence sounding nervous. I come back to reality, still staring at Luke's beautiful work of art.
"Luke . . . It's beautiful." I said at awe. I look at him and he starts to blush with light shade of pink on his cheeks, which looks adorable on him.
". . . It's not my best work." He said shyly. I look at him like he grew two heads. What does he mean by that?
"Are you crazy? This is like . . . the best work you've ever done." I said truthfully, while looking at him in the eyes. He starts to turn red from blushing and I can't help but giggle, it's just like when he blushed when we first met. "I absolutely love it."
He smiles like a little boy and he scoots closer to me. "I'm glad." I rest the picture on the coffee table gently and wrap my arms around his neck giving him a thank you hug.
"Thank you," Kiss. "Thank you," Kiss. "Thank you." I kiss his cheek in between each thank you. I feel his arms wrap around my waist, hugging me tightly like always.
"You're welcome." He whispered through my hair. I don't know why I feel comfortable being with him but I feel safe with him all the time. He lets go from our hug and I feel the cold breeze flow through my arms, missing the heat.
"I got you another present."
I stare at him looking confused. "But you gave me a portrait." I pointed at the picture on the coffee table.
"But this present is better." I look at him lifting my left eyebrow.
"What present is going to be better than the portrait you painted of my ugly self?" I asked wanting to know because no other present could possibly beat this one.
He stares at me with his eyebrows scrunched together. "What do you mean your 'ugly self'?" I stare at him like it's obvious but he's not saying anything.
"Luke, I'm ugly. I thought you knew about this." I said pointing at my face. He stares at me with a mad look on his face and I just look at him feeling puzzled.
"Bella . . . you're not ugly. Who told you that?" He asked furiously. I stare at him not knowing what to say because of how he's acting.
"Well . . . no one, but I know I'm ugly because I'm not attractive enough to get a boyfriend or anything." I muttered as I'm feeling upset about my appearance. I look at him and he has a sad look on his face.
He shakes his head about to speak, "Bella . . . you need to stop doubting yourself. Nothing's wrong with you and you're not ugly," he said slyly. "You're very beautiful." He whispered while I just stare at him at awe.
He never said anything like that to me before. He never called me beautiful either.
My face starts heating up from his compliment. Why did he have to say that? I continue to stare at him, feeling shy already. Why am I acting like this now?
"Uh . . . thank you." I said quietly trying to regain myself.
He clears his throat, "Here's your present." I hear him take out something from his pocket and I look up at him, finding a long red velveteen box in his hand.
"What is it?"
"How 'bout you take it and find out." He teased.
"I can't . . . you already gave me the potra--"
"I want to give you another one." He cuts me off. "Besides you're my best friend and I want you to be happy whatever you get." He shoves the red box in my hand, making me grip on it. I look down at the red box trying to figure out what's inside.
I don't know why I'm starting to get nervous, my hands are shaking so much I hope Luke doesn't notice. I grip my hand at the bottom of the box and I use my other hand to open the top. I open the top slowly and see some type of jewelry.
I open the top all the way and I see a necklace resting inside the beautiful box, oh my gosh . . . The necklace looks beautiful . . . I'm looking at a silver necklace with a heart pendent attached to the little hoop, and some words carved on the back. But I'm just concentrating on how beautiful this necklace is. I rest the box on my side on the couch and I look up at him feeling overjoyed.
"Luke, w-why," I stuttered trying to find good choice of words. "How much did you pay for this?" I asked curiously.
He looks at me as he brings his hand to the nape of his neck and rubs it slowly. "Uh . . . you're not going to accept it if I tell you."
"Why can't you tell me?" I whined.
"Because I know you, Bella. Every time someone gives you something for no reason aka me, then you won't accept it." He said giving me a knowing look. He's right, he does know me so well.
"But this looks expensive!" I whined again.
"Ugh! It was four-hundred and sixty dollars, okay?" He said over me.
I just choked on my salvia. How much?!?
"Luke!" I screamed. He flinches while putting a finger in his ear, shaking it trying to regain his hearing.
"Hon, I'm right here." He said gently.
"Why did you buy a four-hundred and sixty dollar necklace?!" I asked yelling as soft I could trying not to let my parents hear.
"Because I wanted to, and the money was no problem. The only thing I had to pay more was to have the heart engraved which cost sixty dollars." I look at him while my eyes are watering.
"How did you get the money to pay for this?" I asked with my voice shaky.
"I sold some of my artwork online." He answered shrugging his shoulders. I stare at him while tears are pouring out. I can't believe he sold his old artwork to pay for this expensive necklace for me. "Angel?" He asked sounding scared.
"Oh my god, Bella. Why are you crying?" He asked while getting closer to me. He caresses his hands on my cheeks and wipes my tears away softly with his thumbs.
"I . . . I feel bad." I whimpered.
"Why do you feel bad?" He whispered.
"Because . . . you sold your artwork to pay for this necklace and now I feel guilty." I sobbed more.
"Hey . . . look at me." He demanded. I look up at him with tears still falling down freely. "Don't feel guilty, okay? I wanted to sell my drawings to pay for your birthday present. So don't feel guilty about this." He whispers trying to calm me down. I try to stop my whimpering as I feel his thumbs wipe away my strain tears.
"I'm sorry." I sniffled.
"It's okay. I just want your special day to be amazing." He says as he brings my face closer to him and kisses my forehead softly.
"I know . . . and now I feel like a baby from crying." I said while wiping away more tears. I probably look like a messed up raccoon now.
"No, you're not a baby." He flicked my nose with his index finger and I giggle while squirming away. "But I still love you that you care." He smiles.
"Whatever . . ." I hit his arm softly. "I love you too."
"Good. Now fix your young self so we can go eat that delicious cake." He starts to stand up but I stop him.
"Wait, can you help me put this on?" I asked referring to the necklace.
"Sure." I turn my back so he's facing the back of my head and I grab a handful of my long hair, holding it up in the air.
I feel his warm hands go around my neck with the necklace and he puts on the necklace with a little click. He slides his hands down my bare shoulders slowly. "It's on." He announced.
"Thanks." I turn around looking at Luke smiling. I lower my head down, looking at my new necklace. I see the heart engraved saying:
I love you, my dearest friend
I can't explain how much I love his gift, it's very special to me because it came from him.
"Now! Let's get some cake shall we?" He says standing up. He sticks his hand out for me to take and I gladly take it, connecting the palm of my hand to his and he pulls me up. I curl my hands around his forearm like he's escorting me.
"We shall." I smile and we walk to the kitchen going to eat my awesome birthday cake.