Star of Youth

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Chapter 5

It was a new day and Vanessa was with Ari on their way to school.

“Whatever they say, ignore it, okay?” Vanessa told her grandson.

Ari smiled into her eyes and promised that he will do his best. They stood from a distance from the school and Ari then heard: “Look, it’s the shit musician.”

One boy then shouted at Ari: “Nobody likes you!!”

Ari then started to hold his head low and Vanessa became furious. She approached the duo, and she asked: “Who do you think you are?”

The two boys chuckle as they look at Vanessa. She inspected the two boys: one was chubby and the other athletic, but overconfident.

The chubbier boy insulted Vanessa while chewing on his kebab: “You look like a whore.”

Sweat was coming from his forehead to his chest even through his shirt. And he took another bite of his kebab as he as he stared into Vanessa’s eyes

Vanessa then replies: “I would be more careful worrying about the pacific ocean on your back.”

She then gave a wide smile to the boy which frustrated him to his core.

The boy’s blood was boiling, and he told her: “You stink with that shitty perfume!!” He says, almost out of breath from the hot weather.

“You should be careful not getting a stroke.” Vanessa finishes with a smirk.

The overconfident boy then chuckles from the insults at his chubby friend like a snake. Vanessa turns her head, and she tells him: “And as for you.”

Vanessa couldn’t finish her sentence because the boy comes in and says. “You can’t roast someone who is handsome and gifted like me.”

The frustrated grandma then sighed back: “You’re right…”

“There are people who are handsome and gifted in this world and that gift can be borderline stupidity just like in your case.” She fired.

After that, the boy replies furiously from his ego being hurt: “I hope you fucking die!”

Vanessa gave the bullies a smirk and walked away with Ari. The boys looked at each other and the athletic boy said: “We gotta tell others. Ari will pay for this.”

While they were approaching the main entrance of the school, Ari felt more confident knowing his grandma insulted his bullies, but he couldn’t stop thinking about the consequences. The two bullies walked past Ari without a single word. It surprised him he didn’t hear an insult.

“See you later.” Vanessa told her grandson.

Ari smiled at his grandma and told her his goodbyes and set his foot in the school.

On the way back to Emma’s house, Vanessa dances full of relief, knowing she dealt with those annoying kids.

As she arrives home, she sees Susan lying on the couch staring at her phone, looking at her crush.

Susan looks away from the phone at Vanessa and says: “Could you give me some space?” her grandma nods with a gentle smile and she heads upstairs.

Susan gets up from the couch and dials her friend while being nervous.

Her friend picked up the phone and started an avalanche of questions at Susan.

“Hi!!! Did you ask him out?!!” the friend asks excitedly.

“Not yet Tinna…” Susan replies, disappointed in herself.

“Are you going to ask him out today?!” Tinna asks in a high pitched yet excited voice.

“Yeah, I will. Although I’m so freaking nervous.” the troubled Susan says.

Tinna then asks: “Are you going to ask him through a text or to his eyes?”

Susan then stops for a second and she replies: “I don’t know honestly. I guess to his eyes.”

Tinna then gets called by her boss to go talk to the customer and she tells Susan: “Oh my god sorry I have to go I wish you good look hun!” and she hangs up.

Susan sighs, and she goes to the bathroom to motivate herself. “I can do this.” she says to her reflection.

Then a voice from her mind tells her she is worthless. Susan held her head low, and she doubted herself more and more. Shaking her head, she motivates herself that this year will be the happiest she will ever have.

Later in the day, Ari journeys home after a peaceful day at school. All he was thinking about was how he could repay his grandma for dealing with his classmates. A light bulb lit up above his head and he bought his granny a chocolate.

After quickly entering the shop, he takes the bubbly chocolate, and he buys it for his sweet and kind grandma. Ari gently carries the chocolate to his home like it was sacred.

Meanwhile, Vanessa stares at the ceiling in the living room while lying on a couch. Immediately after hearing the door open and her eyes sparkle from excitement and she jumps up from the couch and welcomes her grandson. She quickly comes to the door and Ari hands her a chocolate with an innocent smile.

Vanessa was speechless and her heart melted and she asked: “Oh, my gosh! That’s for me?!”

She felt like she was about to cry.

Ari nods with a big smile across his face. Vanessa then quickly embraces her little grandson. She held him tight and was unsure if it was a dream.

Her grandson hugged back and his granny asked: “Wanna hang out with Susan in the shopping center?”

Ari agrees to go and then his grandma heads to find Susan. Vanessa peeked through the corner and she asked if her granddaughter was ready. Susan turns around, and she walks past her grandma. Vanessa sighs and she thinks about what to do to help her grandchild.

As they walked to the shopping mall Susan asked: “What are we going to do?”

“Get to know each other and hang out.” Vanessa replied.

With an uninterested eye roll, Susan just walks and says nothing. Upon arriving at the mall, she notices a couple holding hands. Susan felt cold and unloved. Vanessa looks at the couple and smiles, feeling happy for them.

As they enter the shopping center, she asks: “They look good together, am I right?”

Susan stares at the ground and lightly nods her head.

“Do you want some ice cream?” Vanessa asks her grandchildren.

They both agree to sit down and relax. Ari orders a chocolate ice cream and Vanessa orders a strawberry flavor.

“Do you want anything?” Vanessa asks her granddaughter.

“No, I want nothing.” Susan said, lost in her thoughts.

After ordering their ice creams, Vanessa and Ari enjoy their treats while Susan is observing the surroundings. She looks into the distance and suddenly she sees a familiar face. She sharpened her vision and realized it’s her crush. Then, like in a trance, Susan stood up, and she approached her crush. Ari and Vanessa give each other a confused look. When approaching him, Susan takes a deep breath, and she tells herself that she can do it.

After calling his name, he looks over his shoulder to look at Susan.

“Hi Alvin…” Susan said with her forced smile.

Alvin looks at Susan and greets her back with a smile.

“Sorry for disturbing you.” She said, with her legs shaking.

“It’s okay.” Alvin responded in his gentle voice.

Susan then looks into his pearl like eyes and she tells him with her shattered confidence: “Hey I really really like you. Would you mind going out someday?”

She then shuts her eyes as she shakes from her shyness. Alvin awkwardly smiles, and he responds with an unsure: “Uhhhhh…”

Susan started feeling like she was about to collapse from her rapid heartbeat.

“No thanks, I’m good.” Alvin said, chuckling, and he quickly starts walking away.

“Talk to you later!” he told Susan.

Susan started tearing up, and she covered her face from the embarrassment. Vanessa quickly comes to ease her granddaughter’s pain. Susan couldn’t hold back tears and she hugged her grandma.

“I’m such an idiot.” She claimed about herself.

Vanessa gives Susan a warm hug and says: “I’m so sorry.”

“I want to go home.” Susan tells her family.

Vanessa nods at Ari, and she walks home with her grandkids.

As they walk home, Susan self hugs and she tries to pick herself up from the heartbreak. She stares at the trees, trying to think about something else, but she couldn’t stop thinking about Alvin.

After a while, they arrive home and Susan rushes through the door and she closes the door to her room after she gets upstairs. Vanessa tells Ari to go watch the TV for a while. “I’ll deal with this.” she said. Ari nods and he turns on the TV.

After Vanessa gets upstairs she knocks on the door and asks: “Can I come in?”

“I don’t care anymore.” Susan said, curled up in her bed.

Vanessa opened the door, and she sat down on Susan’s bed to comfort her.

“Don’t comfort me.” Susan informed her grandma.

“Why not?” Vanessa asked.

“Because I am worthless.” Susan replied.

“Just because you don’t have a douchebag as a boyfriend makes you worthless?” Vanessa asked.

Susan lied in silence, not knowing what to answer with tears of disappointment.

“Susie, you know deep down that you don’t need him.” Vanessa told her granddaughter.

Susan’s eyes filled up with tears and Vanessa continued: “You know you need self love.”

Susan agreed, but she remained silent.

“And if you really need love from others, know that your family is always here for you and we will always love you.” Vanessa reminded her granddaughter.

“I’ll leave you some space.” Vanessa said, and she stood up.

Susan then said: “Thank you granny.” as her grandmother almost left the room.

Vanessa stopped, smiled and then she told her granddaughter to get some rest. She closed the door, and Susan shut her eyes, trying to think of something else other than Alvin.

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