Sweet Hot Afternoon
The sunny, hot, shiny, sticky, sweat-provoking afternoon was an absolute nightmare for Sakura.
December wasn't even supposed to be hot. Or sweat-provoking. It was supposed to be windy and maybe sunny. What the heck was happening? Agh.
Besides, the car's air conditioner died on November and everyone was like, Oh, well, it doesn't matter, anyhow is basically December. Chill. No. Not chill.
"Are you even listening to me, Saku?" Dad said with his thick latino accent. Sakura was pretty sure he only talked with it because her Mom loved it. And deep down, Sakura did too. It was both funny and sweet.
He sometimes demanded the Japanese accent of her Mom, but Mom had always rolled her eyes and said he was being disrespectful, and he fired with winks and tickles. Sakura only squeaked with disgust and left the room, (but always with a smile on her face).
"Please don't call me Saku. Ever." She muttered and rolled her eyes as the car conveniently stopped at a red light, and the light, almost nonexistent breeze automatically did too. Damn it.
"But what's your problem now?" He questioned her with a frown and an arched brow. "Are you on your period?"
Sakura rolled her eyes at him now. "So that's what all men think? We can't be having a bad day, oh no! It's our menstruation!" She fought back the smile, little remains of her childish self laughing inside her. Okay, cut it.
Her Dad, however, wasn't that smooth. "Okay. Really, has something happened with the Raj guy?" He wiggled his eyebrows in a gesture he was actually proud of.
Sakura felt her cheeks going red. Damn this.
"There's nothing with him!" she said, maybe a little too high. His dad chuckled and shook his head. "Seriously. Nothing about him. I don't like him. And besides, he's into this other girl" Sakura breathed.
The red light changed, thank God, and his Dad grinned as he hit the gas.
"Yeah. Right. Celosa."
Sakura jolted and turned her flushed face toward the window. "I am not jealous! God's sake."
The soft breeze chilled some of her heat, not much though. She was too proud to admit to herself, least to people, her gigantic crush on Raj Patel, one of her classmates. She wasn't sure why she liked him though. They had never kept a single conversation that exceeded the use of four lines.
Raj: What's up?
Sakura: Not much.
And no, he didn't purposely talk to her. It was more like bumping-in-the-hallway kind of talk. And the Anna business. They couldn't be like three meters apart from each other, (and it pissed her off more than the fact of the nonexistent talking, because some stupid brat had a real, talking and that someone was Anna.)
And no, they weren't a couple. They were just friends. BS. That just friends crap wasn't real, Sakura knew it couldn't. She had a few hypothesis, they weren't still proved.
The one she didn't believe; 1. They were just friends after all.
The one she thought was possible; 2. The cliché I-Like-My-Bestie garbage.
The one she thought was highly probable; 3. Anna wasn't exactly into him, but as she was an evil female dog she had to have control over poor Raj, who was fooled by her charm. What? It could be.
And the last one that part of her wished for it to be the real one and part of her laughed at: 4. Raj deeply liked her (Sakura, not Anna) and played along with Anna to make her jealous.
It was like when you are sick, or at least, Sakura thought, when I am sick. You wake up, open your eyes and feel like crap and think, well I am sick.
It was just like that. One day, she woke up, opened her eyes and thought of Raj and then, hold up, what's going on?
"I can say I so understand women, because you lot are all so confusing and I get that. Really. Besides, you are the one who said that if two people liked each other, they should be together." Her dad kept pushing.
"Dear papi, the thing is, he doesn't like me, so the equation wouldn't work" she informed him and the added under her breath, "and still, he's got his pretty Anna after all."
"So what you are saying is -you like him." he smirked.
Sakura turned her face to him so fast it almost hurt. "What? No! That's not what I am saying. Jesus what-" she was interrupted by the realization of the car stopping again. She threw her hands at the air. "Why?" Sakura cringed.
They were really close, maybe three or four cars to the traffic light, which meant premium seats for the Street Circus, as Mom used to call it. Sakura preferred Street People. (It sounded classy to her).
This time they were two guys, two of them juggling with bowling pins, nothing too impressive until they started sharing the pins, throwing them to each other. Sakura raised her eyebrows in awe; she had always thought juggling needed a lot of coordination, something that she didn't exactly have.
But it wasn't all. Out of nowhere, a third boy appeared and it caught Sakura's attention.
He was juggling too, at first with simple sticks, but in one of the turns, their ends suddenly lighted on fire. He was all on fire, his golden curls shinning with the fire and the sunlight. It was impressive, and then, he did something that made Sakura's mouth hang open like an idiot. He grinned to the crowd of cars, held the torch near his mouth, and throwing his head back, he blew fire.
The cloud of fire was enormous, reaching meters above his head, and for her to see, Sakura had to lean forward to see its end. It was amazing, and with a quick glance to her Dad, she saw him surprised too, widened eyes.
The boy kept blowing and blowing until he stopped only grey smoke where the fire used to be, sliding off his mouth and surrounding him like an aura's light.
He grinned and only then she had realized his partners kept juggling next to him, he had completely overshadowed them and Sakura felt bad for the other boys.
Then the guy blew the remains of the flame. He gave fists bumps to his friends and together, they grinned and gave the audience a clumsy ovation.
Sakura smiled and turned to her Dad, expecting him to say, "Oh sure, let's give those guys a hundred bucks because what the hell, that was awesome!"
Instead, he said: "Oh no. We are not giving them money. They probably are junkies. No, no." He shook his head. Sakura felt her smile melt as if the heat had affected it too.
"What -you have to be kidding me! Those guys were amazing and I am contributing to their future." She defended them and reached to her purse.
Her Dad shrugged and leaned on the door. "Do what you want. You are contributing to their addiction."
"You are generalizing." She rolled her eyes and held a few coins. His Dad grinned and she could hear him whisper under his breath: Necia como una mula.
Sakura felt like she had to defend herself, but preferred to concentrate on the firebreather, who, along with his friends, had started walking among the cars, extending the hand and gifting that smirk of him.
However, unfortunately for her, probably fortunately for the other car's girls, he was on the other line, so the guy who came was one of the other jugglers, a blue eyed boy who had a tattoo of a cross on his neck. He had a pretty swollen face and Sakura thought for a moment about what his Dad had said, but quickly ditched it. She smiled at the boy.
"That was awesome, what you did there, and the fire thing was... unbelievable." Sakura exclaimed excitedly, and her always present rational side mocked her overreaction.
The boy smiled amused at her and yelled over his right shoulder, "Hey Luke! We have a fan here!"
Sakura's cheeks quickly reddened and shook her head. "No, No, I didn't -" she turned to glance at her Dad who gave her a it's your problem, you handle it look.
Damn him. From the other side of the line of cars next to them, the firebreather jumped in between two cars and landed smoothly at the swollen kid's right side.
The guy smiled and Sakura could swear she could hear the background sighs of heated girls. She wasn't one of them, though. She wasn't an easy target; yet still, she liked to appreciate beautiful things.
His eyes, under bushy black eyebrows, were the most ambiguous combination of green and gold and brown, she couldn't make the exact color out, and decided that what caused it was the afternoon's sunlight. They seemed to change with his smile; white teeth, not exactly perfectly lined, but framed by full pink lips.
She got the feeling that his face was made to constantly smile, maybe his handsomeness disappeared when he was serious and then transformed into a regular human been.
"Well, well. Look what we have here, Mike. Miss Oriental Beauty." Mike chuckled and shook his head.
Sakura raised an eyebrow. She wasn't much oriental-ish. She had gotten much of her Dad's genes, but her eyes were like her mom's, and yet still, they were bigger; the oriental genes not as thick as other people's. So the look of Oh look, Asian girl! didn't come as regularly as you may have thought.
"I am not sure if that's a compliment or a racist comment."
"Feisty." Luke chuckled and turned to see the traffic light turn red. The cars begun to move and the boy leaned toward her window, his face closer to hers.
"Sakura say bye to your friends" Her Dad mocked her.
"Sakura? I ate a sushi roll named like that once. It was tasty." He winked at her and she frowned. Yeah, frowned. He was still smiling and all, but this was getting awkward for her.
"Your racist comments are equally ignorant and stupid. I see why you are on the street now." She told him, maybe a little too harsh, yet Luke was still grinning.
She was getting concerned about this, maybe after all he was incapable of having a straight face.
Her car started moving. "You can't wound me Saku." He moved away from her, Mike already had started running from car to car behind them; maybe he got bored. That damned nickname.
"See you never." she unnecessarily snapped at him, as his face got out of the window's frame.
Her car was already on the move, far from him, when he waved at her. "See you soon, Sakura!"
She let her back fall against the seat and took a deep breath. That was not how she expected her ride to home to go.
Her Dad didn't seem exactly happy. "Congratulations, you got yourself a homeless boyfriend. Now what's left is to go all hippie on us and run away from home." His tone of fake happiness.
Sakura giggled and shook her head. "Oh please. Give me a break."
Later that night, as she got out of the shower and wrapped her body with a blue towel burrito style, Sakura picked her phone, and cursed under her breath as the screen wetted with the moisture of her fingers. It was a message from Darcy. Actually, there were four messages from her. The first one read; Heeeey! Humongous gossip! The second one IT IS CONFIRMED!!, followed by The awesomeness of the awesome news over this first school period has reached my wonderful lined ears. Wes and Camila are officially, after all this years, getting their crap organized and decided to have a baby! Xkfeofhfow!!
Sakura wanted to laugh. Or to facepalm herself. She loved gossip, because it was funny in an evil way to see people suffering from stupid things. It made her feel better about herself. Secretly. Shh.
Yet, this was no gossip. This was the last episode of a Netflix show Darcy watched. On Sakura's account, given the fact that she didn't possess one because her Mom and Dad had grounded her.
Sakura leaned on the sink, smiling and typing. But weren't them like, biological enemies?
Christ, Sakura you suck at this of teenage love. Of course they're biological enemies!! Duh. It doesn't mean that biologically they don't want each other ;) ;)
Sakura rolled her eyes and mentally pined this as the worst joke Darcy has ever made since they've met. The list was probably bigger than Santa's, Darcy never, ever told good jokes.
She thought about her inability to understand teenage love though. It wasn't true. Partially. Fine, half true. She knew the theoretical behavior. She understood it, disagreed with it, dismissed it. She never actually got to get the practical part though, the one when she had to behave like it. (Could be because she absolutely felt nothing but disdain for it.)
Sakura sighed, shaking her head and marched to her room. She wasn't going to get into an internal monologue in that moment. She was over it.
Instead, she put her pajamas (meaning: old Dad's shirt) on and threw herself on her soft, welcoming bed; holding her phone, she discussed with Darcy about the inability for teenagers in that type of shows to do a homework, when most of their high school life they were occupied by loving an impossible love and killing the love's kind, and yet, they got in the best college of the region! Darcy almost took twenty minutes to write her response.
It was a long night.