"Two steps far from you." (3)
He continues playing while I sing to him, smiles plastered on our lips. When the song finishes, the pitter-patter of the rain on the glass roof becomes less.
So, I put my hands on the keys of the piano again and played A Thousand Miles. He barks out of laughter. Smiling, I nudge him and continue, but when I’m about to sing, I cut it off cause he is preparing himself to join me singing.
He frowns, and to my amusement, I playfully nudge his side. I continue the song. I sing the first verse, and after that, Nate surprises me by impersonating Terry Crews’s acting in White Chicks. I laugh so hard. I couldn’t stop myself from snorting, but still, I kept playing.
My phone’s ringtone fills the four glassed walls of the solarium, interrupting our lovely bonding. We stop playing, and I check my phone. It’s from mum, reminding me to go to Nan, which, of course, I forgot! So, I check my wristwatch and see it’s two twenty-eight already!
Nate laughs, “you volume up your ringtone.”
I smile. “Yeah, so Ros won’t murder me whenever she needs help. It’s totally hectic, she’s like a bride, and her wedding is tomorrow,” I sigh as I reply to mum. “Anyway, it wasn’t her, my mum reminded me of something, and it slipped from my mind.”
Nate looks at me, engrossed. “Oh, what did she say?”
“Well, it’s about my dress for tomorrow.” I smile, “I can’t believe I forgot about it!” I look apologetically at him. “Sucks,” I continue, “but I have to go now, and I have to tell this to Ros.”
I close the lid when he moves his hands away from the keys, and we both stand up. We descend the stairs and open one of the glassed doors wider. The rain has slowly stopped.
“Mariana?” he says, looking down at me.
“Yes, Nathaniel?” I laugh as I observe him.
He looks uncertain but goes with his guts when he asks, “Can I go with you?”
“I’m not sure your class representatives would let you.”
He looks dejected, and then he beams. “Who said about telling them?”
A few moments later, Nate snuck in and out of his homeroom to get his things. He joked about the beauty of being swift, and no one can possibly see you. I banter back how people are just oblivious to some things as I casually walk to my homeroom. When we reached my room, I told Ros and April about my dress, and they let me go. I also told them that we should meet at my house before the party later since my house is a couple of blocks from Ian’s. I grab my stuff, and then Nate and I head to the entrance.
Nate and I slide in our car, and Viktor pulls out from the main high school building’s driveway. Giggling and chuckling like idiots because of the adrenaline rush and with him accidentally hitting me when he swerved his bag, we tried to catch our breaths. I tell Viktor to go to mum’s childhood home.
My grandparents on mum’s side have two houses here. They own the penthouse of their hotel, The Manor, in the heart of New York City. Grandma told us when she was younger that it is the place where her mother used to work as a lady-in-waiting for an heiress after they survived the sinking of the R.M.S Titanic. Considering the place as her home, a few years before Grandma got married to Grandpa (who was one of the board of directors), they saved the hotel from being bankrupt and have run it ever since; Now it’s one of many Leighton Enterprises ownership.
The other house is within our neighbourhood; it was Grandpa’s wedding gift to Grandma so she could have a relaxing time by the beach, away from the city. But they decided to build their family in that home when she had auntie, mum’s older sister, and it is where they grew up. Mum told me in the text that Grandma and Grandpa with Nana Charlie are staying there, so I won’t have to travel long.
A few minutes later, we arrive at their house and climb out of the car. Will, their butler, opens the front doors for us with a smile, and I return the gesture by smiling back. As Nate and I walk into their foyer, Will asks what drinks we prefer at the moment. I turn to Nate and ask what he would like to drink, and then he says anything would be okay. So, I tell Will two Mountain Dews would be nice and thank him. He then informs me that Grandma and Nana Charlie will be with us shortly as he bows and enters some room and into the kitchen.
As I lead Nate to the living room, I look at him. He seems amazed as he looks around the impressive interior of my mum’s childhood home’s entranceway with a crystalline chandelier in the centre of the ceiling and pieces of marble statues neatly lined up on the sides of the room. A loud yet pleasing to the ears, swing music sung by Fred Astaire is playing, perhaps from a gramophone in the family room area, and it makes me want to sway and dance with Nate. He and I lock eyes when we recognize it is Isn’t This a Lovely Day, and we both laugh.
He then observes the fine things around him with his mouth hanging open. I can’t blame him. It absolutely looks like a museum here. I guess I know now why I was into historical artefacts and paintings.
Even though Grandma and Grandpa managed the main family business when they were younger, their hobby was to find mysterious, lost and not-meant-to-be-really-found things, and thus, their home looks like a museum. Oh! What more in their villa in Spain! Célina doesn’t like it here and always suggests going outside the garden every time we visit. She wasn’t really into history and such. Oh! The adventures my grandparents had experienced, I didn’t pay much attention to when I was little, but now, I would be ecstatic to hear everything all over again! But since we still have a party to attend, we need to hurry and get my dress.