Maria was livid. How dare he say something like that to her! He... He... "That shit!"
In her anger, she broke things overturned furniture, and generally screamed until her voice went hoarse. She flipped the coffee table so hard it actually slid on its edge four inches before toppling over flat onto its surface. A lamp caught hell when thrown, and it shattered against the side table; a pillow was torn open and the stuffing ripped out.
"Why does it have to be her!"
A picture of herself, that used to hang on the wall was smashed against the entertainment center as she roared out her frustrations.
"I fucking hate her! Why can't he feel the same way? She's nothing!"
Ruined photo abandoned, she hurried up the stairs and into her bedroom to land onto the bed, where she beat her head into the headboard. "I hate him! I hate him!" She screamed but stopped herself abruptly after hearing her own words. "I don't hate you.. No, no, no, no Yakusoku, I don't hate you," she said in a whimper of a voice. "I'm so sorry, I'm sorry." Retrieving her digital camera from her dresser, she crawled back onto her bed to rest on her side; thumbing through the photos taken of Yakusoku from the sports dinner, she calmed down.
'He looks so innocent and kind. He can't possibly love Enid, he's just confused. Adorable little sports boy.' She smiled. The tears ceased falling from her eyes, and the snot running from her nose got snuffled back.
She felt much better now, and she would feel even better once she came up with a plan to eliminate the competition. Enid Aarenstrup would suffer dearly for having the nerve to love her man. Yakusoku belonged to no one but her. He made a promise to her- he may not have said it with his words, but his body said it.
His dual colored eyes told the truth. He loved her, he was just shy. And shy people always needed a little push. Or in his case a BIG push, before he took the first little tramp that came along to sully him. Yes, Enid would pay and then Enid back off her pursuit of Yakusoku. Tomorrow was another day, after all. But perhaps...
Maria sat up in bed, camera forgotten beside her. "Promise will no doubt be a little standoffish now that his stupid friends are saying that I'm weird," She declared. Using the boy's translated name made her feel special, like it was something just between them. "Alright, I can back off a bit. But it won't be for very long, and in the meantime, I'll amuse myself with Enid."
Yakusoku showered, with a hard scrubbing motion, that night after dinner. Weird as it was, he felt like a plague, or dirt, or something unsavory had been thrown on him. Soaking him, baking its way into his clothes, and skin, and bone marrow.
Maria just sort of rubbed him wrong today, and he had to scrub it off. It wasn't until his skin was a bright pink, and his scalp was screaming- possibly even bleeding- that he'd finally stepped out of the shower. His friends were right... Maria did, in fact, have a crush on him. But why? He'd done nothing to bring it on.
He was just being nice. Was it so hard to understand that a person is nice without assuming they're in love with you? What is wrong with the world? Why does sex and love always have to come into play when genders collide in activity? Guys don't go gay just cause they had a good time with another guy! Girls... well, he just naturally assumed all girls wanted to make-out with each other. It was a guy thing.
Peeking in on his brother, when spotting Yakusoku laying face down on his bed, Ai asked. "Hey bro', wanna play games until bed?"
"Not tonight, I just wanna sleep."
"Really? Why?" He stepped further into the room, hopping onto the bed.
"Today was exhausting." Yakusoku sat on his bed as well, and, grabbing some cover, he slid one leg at a time into his boxer shorts, pulling them up over his hips. The towel still covered him until the shorts were securely in place, then he dropped the moistened cotton cover to the floor.
"Was Chester giving you a hard time about that girl?"
"Unfortunately it wasn't Chester, or Sophie... It was Maria. She..." He stopped himself. It was ridiculous to explain such things to a 10 year old. He wouldn't understand.
"Come on, tell me," he goaded. "I know how to keep my mouth shut, I won't tell mom or dad if it's really bad."
Blinking, Yakusoku stood up and continued dressing for the night, which consisted of nothing more than a t-shirt beyond the boxers. "It's not that I think that you'll tell, I just don't wanna think about it anymore."
"That bad?" The boy whistled empathetically, then crossed his legs by lifting an ankle to rest on his thigh. He then pretended to smoke a pipe. "Girls can be tricky."
Smiling, Yakusoku rolled his eyes. "Alright, Mr. Rogers, I'll tell you. She tried to kiss me," he said with a notable shrug in his tone. "See, no big deal."
"It really wasn't. So why so exhausted?" Pressing for more information, he asked. "Don't tell me she actually did it."
"No! God, no. I just didn't feel right about pushing her away like I did. She seemed pretty damned upset." Taking a seat on the bed, he looked at his little brother with eyes full of concern. "Can you believe she thinks that Enid likes me?"
"Enid? I find that hard to believe; she's been over so many times for dinner, sleepovers, and language lessons. She's practically our sister."
"That's what I thought, but I didn't tell Maria that. I just told her that I wasn't into dating yet, and we were friends only."
"But now I'm not even sure I want that much with her." He sighed. "She really does give me the creeps, and that's why I'm so exhausted. I'm wondering what the hell I'm gonna do about her. The guys said she was trouble, but I didn't listen. Now I'm screwed to hang out with her for all eternity."
Blinking in disbelief, Ai got himself up from the bed. "Teenagers. I'll never understand their woes until I get there myself." Walking to the door he grabbed the knob. "What if she's right- you know- about Enid? Will you act on it?"
Yakusoku had to laugh at that. "Are you kidding? I've known Enid for way too long to go down that road with her. Forget about it."
"Okay. Just wondering. Because, you know, friends who date each other never stay friends during or afterwards." He smiled sympathetically to his brother's problem to show him he had to buck up, before leaving the room.
"Friends who date friends, huh?" He snickered as he adjusted himself into a laying position. Grabbing his library book from the nightstand he opens it to where he left the bookmark, then begins to read.