Soft Spot

❝Because when you think everything is going right, things always have to make their turns just to mess everything up.❞

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A story in which the sarcastic bitch collides with the egocentric asshole.

A story in which even the ones you hold dear to your heart could be the ones to stab you as soon as you have your back turned.

A story of trust and loyalty - follow Arvina Erikson's journey as she discovers the trials and tribulations of young love with Zander Maz, the guy that would teach her what it really means to fall in love, and to open up again even after you've had your trust broken.

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This story may contain vulgar language and mature content.
© 2017 | Aeanne. // peachienixie. | All Rights Reserved.

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6. {5}

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Arvina Erikson

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I made truce with Zander Maz this morning, which made English Lit far too interesting for my own liking, to say the least. When I decided to call it quits with him, I hadn't intended for things to be like this, but they are, and now I'm all smiley faces and butterflies, and I can't help but wonder how much I fucked up.

"You like him." Brielle stated as she was giving me my cardboard pizza during lunch.

"I do not." I pressed, frowning before taking a bite. "I barely know him. What's so wrong about giving him a chance to prove himself that he's not like Luca Jax, the Prince of Asses?"

"Because Alfie is not like the Prince of Asses, yet you hate him just as much as you hate the Prince of Asses?" She rolled her eyes, and I'd hate to admit that she made a point. "He's your type, just admit it!"

"Who's our type and what are we going on about?" Joshua asked, sitting down beside Brielle and pecking her cheeks.

"He is not!" I groaned. "You guys always make everything a bigger deal than it is."

Okay, so here's the thing: Do I think Zander is attractive? Hell yes. Do I like him? Hell...maybe? Would I ever admit this to my best friend? Hell to the fuck no.

Yes, Zander Maz might have been the most gorgeous man to ever roam Rosewood Secondary, but there is also Chris, who I have a lot and far more reasons to be attracted to. And besides, I don't even know Zander. Who knows? What if he liked tearing limbs apart for fun and eating them later on? Nuh-uh. Nope. Not going to get myself into that kind of situation. I'm fine doing what I've been doing way before he came, please and thank you.

"Arvina's got a cru-u-ush!" Brielle sang, smirking before biting into her custard muffin.

"Don't tell me you like Zander." Joshua raised his right eyebrow like some sort of a fatherly figure while crossing his arms across his chest. "God, please, out of all people." He shook his head disapprovingly despite the playful grin playing across his lips.

"Whatever," I huffed a heavy breath out as I collected my things - Lit binder, my copy of To Kill A Mockingbird, my bag. "I have a class that I need to catch up to, so if you excuse me, thank you very much." I stuck my tongue out at them and left the cafeteria, hearing Brielle shout "you mean you have a boy to catch up to" behind me and laughing, making me raise my middle finger at her as I laugh silently to myself.

Since I came a week late and therefore was late in the reading assignment, I asked Ms. Glenn if I could spend a few days in her classroom during lunch hour to catch up on whatever I'm missing, in which she agreed enthusiastically and announced that everyone is always welcome in her class if they need help with the analysis of the reading. To Kill A Mockingbird is actually a pretty easy read as I had advance knowledge of it from reading it in my English class during Year 10, and ending up liking it so much that I bought my own copy and spent the entire summer transitioning to Year 12, reading and analyzing it myself. My problem, though, is that Ms. Glenn had assigned a project based on it the week that I was gone (assigning a heavy project the first week of school - I know, right? Catastrophe.) that would reflect greatly on our grade by the end of the year. She wanted us to explore the question and the moral of the story, and she wanted us to provide real life examples and experiences in a slideshow.

"Hello, Ms. Glenn." I greeted her as I entered the classroom, smiling.

"Hey!" She smiled back brightly. "I'm so happy you came, now Zander is not all alone."

Zander Maz? Here? Doing work? What?

"Hey, Arvi." He smiled at me, waving from our seat.

"Arvina." I corrected him with a sarcastic smile as I took the seat next to him. "Bradford Badboy catching up on work? What, can't focus when everyone's throwing themselves on you?"

"What do you have against me?" He rolled his eyes jokingly. "I actually really need help with this project, I kinda suck with making slideshows."

"Right, and I wonder what real life experiences you could ever put," I pouted to tease him, "Mr. Maz is probably the Prince Charming of the Maz household."

"You don't know me." He narrowed his eyes. "And I'm more like an Aladdin."

"Okay, sure, and I'm Jasmine." I chuckled and rolled my eyes as I opened my book at the assigned page.

"You could be," he shrugged without looking at me, "you could've been, but you cut your hair, and Jasmine has a long hair, so no can do, angel."

My stomach almost did a backflip at the thought of him paying attention to my hair. He'd noticed that I cut my hair? I know that it was something so trivial and anyone would notice as I'd always rocked the waist-length hair and suddenly came back this morning with it lingering barely past my shoulders, but the fact that he'd even paid attention made me feel silly.

"You noticed," I teased, poking his side and making him jump, "and you're ticklish!"

"How could I not notice?" He laughed. "Your hair went from waist length to shoulder length within a day. And no, don't do that," he warned and gripped my hand, "tickle me again and you'd be responsible for your own injury."

"What was that?" I poked his side again with my other hand. "I couldn't hear you over the fact that you're supposed to be a tough jock but you're more ticklish than a feather."

He laughed again, grabbing my other hand with his other hand. "Feathers are not even ticklish, that's stupid."

"Okay, well you can't spell stupid without U." I bit back and stuck my tongue out at him.

"Yeah? Well you can't spell stupid without I either." He tried with a failed comeback without even realizing what he'd just said. I just looked at him seriously until he finally got it, his eyes widening and shaking his head. "Shit, I'm so dumb."

I laughed, shaking my head at him. "You're not dumb, you're just a confused little puppy."

"You're a confused little puppy." He stuck his tongue out at me too like a little kid taunting an adult.

"Woo! Nice! Ouch, my feelings are so hurt!" I pretended to clench my heart. "You just broke my heart with that really stupid comeback. Seriously, work on your wit!"

"And you have to work on your work before you fail my class." Ms. Glenn raised an eyebrow at me, and I wasn't sure whether she was kidding or not until she let out a laugh. "Oh, don't mind me, you two are adorable."

"Oooh, the angel got in trouble." Zander cried, making me blush.

"Shut up." I rolled my eyes. "And what's with calling me angel?"

"It fits you." He shrugged. "Do you wanna maybe be my study partner? I really need help with this shit."

"Okay, fine," I said, "on one condition."

"And that is?"

"We meet today after school at Cupcake Boulevard," I grinned, "and you buy me food."

"Thank Jesus, I thought you were gonna ask for a diamond ring." He teased, smirking.

I just rolled my eyes at him and fake gagged like I did this morning, making him laugh. I just shook my head and laughed as well before finally continuing with my reading. We were silently reading until the rest of the class began piling up, making the atmosphere loud and leaving no space for any other sneaky comments between us.

Halfway through the class, Zander scooted his chair closer to mine, writing a note on my notebook with a fairly neat handwriting.

so should I pick u up later? or do we meet @ CpckBlvd ?

I thought about it for a moment, looking up at the ceiling before coming to the conclusion that if we show up at the same time, the great Brielle would just increase her accusation, and I do not want that, so the proper answer was that we're meeting up. I took his notebook and wrote back:

Nope. I'll see you there.

We kept on passing notes to each other the second half of the class, deciding what time and changing the time we chose frequently to make sure they both fit in our schedules; he had a football practice right after school and I had ballet when he's out of practice, so we decided to go around seven o'clock, when we're both free.

Near the end of the class, he took my notebook again and doodled a little monkey holding a banana on the cover, drawing an arrow pointing to it and writing the initials Z.M. before handing it back to me, and I couldn't stand that he drew on mine and I didn't draw on his, so I grabbed his notebook too and doodled a stick figure girl with angel wings and a halo, with the initials A.E. and an arrow pointing to it the way he did with mine.

***

I nearly ran to Cupcake Boulevard as soon as my ballet rehearsal was over because for some reasons that are completely unknown to me, I was excited to meet with Zander. I have informed Brielle of the situation and after she kept giggling about how I got myself a date on our way home, she told me that she'd be working at the bakeshop tonight anyway so that she'd be there and I wouldn't have to worry about feeling awkward at all. Even though I don't feel awkward around Zander whatsoever. But I wasn't about to admit that to her, knowing well that it would only fuel her suspicions more.

He got there before me. He was sitting on one of the booths close to the window, sipping on some beverage in a white cup and reading the book we were assigned to read too early in the school year. I saw Brielle serve him a complimentary peach biscotti which he set aside after smiling at her politely.

"Hey," I greeted him, "sorry I was late, no one could get their shit together, so our instructor made us stay a little bit longer."

"It's fine, this place is so chill." He smiled at me before taking a bite of his biscotti.

"Isn't it? It's so cozy." I said, and it was.

Cupcake Boulevard is a cute, tiny bakeshop with peach coloured walls and tangerine colored carpet, soft music straight out of Brielle's playlist, and pink cushy booths where you're served the best peach biscotti and chai latte in the world for free. Not to mention that they have the best peach pie I've ever tasted, which is the Carinas' own family recipe.

"Yeah, and I've been served about ten biscotti and five cups of latte." He grinned.

"Oh god." I rolled my eyes. "You're only supposed to get one serving of biscotti, you jerk. Have you been asking Brielle for more?"

"I can't help it!" He defended himself, laughing. "It's too good to only have a few."

"True, but you've had enough." I stuck my tongue out at him as I took one of the remaining biscotti on his plate. "Okay, so, what do you need help with the most?" I asked, flipping through my binder. I also made note that I took the notes that I kept with me since the last time I went over it.

"Just, everything." He frowned in frustration. "What even is the point of this book?"

"Have you ever even read it?" I frowned at him when he shook his head. "How could you get it if you don't even attempt to read it?"

"I tried, I promise!" He raised his hands in defense. "I just can't get it through my brain. I read a few lines and I forget what I'm reading about. It just won't stick, I'm too cool for things like this."

"Alright, get off your high horse." I snorted. I showed him a highlighted quote from my own copy of the book, with the notes Good vs Bad written on the margin. "Look at this," I said, pointing at the quote as I took a bite of the biscotti, "Atticus Finch says this. 'You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.' That should be pretty explanatory, so what do you think does that say?"

"That you have to put yourself in other people's shoes before judging them?" He frowned at the book, looking intently as he processed each word. It was adorable how big he smiled when I nodded, as if he was really proud of himself.

"See? Not that hard." I smiled at him before taking another bite of the biscotti. "You just have to figure out how to pin point the most relevant quotes and try and analyze it from there."

"How can I tell which is relevant and which is not? I'm not the author, how could I know?" He frowned again as he sipped his apparently fifth cup of latte.

"You'd just know," I shrugged because I didn't really know the answer either, "if they were talking about peeing, then that's probably not very relevant and should not be a part of your project."

"God, you're cute." He laughed.

"Pay attention!" I rolled my eyes and ignored the fact that he just called me cute, despite the fact that it made my stomach do a somersault ten times over.

"Why is this even about killing a mockingbird?" He studied the cover of the book. "Why are we learning about killing birds?"

"Because it's not and we're not, you goof." I giggled. "It's a battle between good and evil; it's an exploration of human morality, and it presents the goodness or evilness of people."

"I love when you talk all literature to me." He smirked, making me shake my head.

"If you're not taking me seriously, I'm backing out." I cleared my throat and looked down on my notes to hide the fact that I was blushing fervently.

"I am taking you seriously." He leaned in closer with a snarky smirk. "I just don't need a tutor."

"What do you mean?" I frowned in nothing but pure confusion.

"I just wanted to get a date with you." He grinned from ear to ear. "It worked."

"You're despicable!" I gasped, throwing a piece of paper at him. "And this is not a date, thank you very much. You deceived me."

"I may be despicable, but at least I'm cute." He winked, making me fake a gag again.

***

When our fake study session was over, he dropped me off at my house and somehow guessed my number through a series of guessing game.

We were playing I Spy, and every time I'd get the answer right, he would yell out a number and I'd tell him whether it was one of my digits or not, and within six tries, he'd guessed all of it.

"How do you do that?" I frowned.

"Doesn't matter," he shrugged with a smirk, "I got your number."

I thanked him for dropping me off when we reached my house and he just nodded and thanked me for going on a date with him where I reminded him again that it wasn't a date and got inside my house, where I spent no time undressing myself and changing into a comfortable pair of sweats and an oversized shirt. It was already ten o'clock, and I was tired as hell, so I thought that my homework could wait until I get to study hall the next morning until I received a text message from an unknown sender.

07700 900947
guess who.

I laughed, seeing that the next few messages that I received from the same number were just monkey emojis, so I decided to save his number in my contacts under Monkey with three cute monkey emojis next to it. I replied:

To: Monkey 🙈🙉🙊
Don't text and drive, you dickshit. I'm not going to be responsible if you die tonight.

I wanted to say Please don't die tonight, I've just started getting to know you and I actually really enjoy your company, but I felt like that was a bit too much, so I didn't, and without reading the next message that I received or even bothering to check who it was from because it was probably from him anyway, saying something completely annoying, I fell into a deep sleep.

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