A Little Taste of Heaven

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"Running out of time." (1)

April and Ros were already waiting for me in my room when I got home. They are rummaging inside my closet, and clothes scatter on my bed and the floor. I’m quite mad at them for trashing my room. But, I am too excited to tell them about what happened earlier. I place the box on top of the piled-up clothes on my bed, and then I slam my door to scare the two. I succeed because I hear yelps. Both of them jump.

“Holy shit, Mari,” April walks out of my closet, clutching her chest. “Don’t scare us like that!”

Ros peeps at me, her head out of my closet door, nodding, forehead creased.

I can’t help but smirk, shaking my head. “Seriously,” I put my hands on my waist and say, “You two better clean this all up.”

April cringes. “What maids are for?”

I roll my eyes. “No, you brought this onto yourselves.”

Ros nods. “Of course.” and she lightly hits April, “come on!”

Grabbing some of my clothes on the floor, I say, “I see you guys are still on your uniforms. Raiding my closet for you to use, huh?”

They both shrug, and April says, “You have tons of unused stacks of clothes right over there!” She gestures at the rack of clothes with tags still on and some on the floor. “Besides, we all know you have the best clothes.”

As the two clean up, Ros examines the ornate box my grandmas gave to me, which contains the dresses for tomorrow and states the obvious, “Is this what you’re gonna wear tomorrow?”

I laugh, my eyes widening to enhance the sarcasm, “Riiiight, I’d be wearing the box.”

April giggles, and then Ros throws one of the blouses scattered on the floor at me. I catch it and toss it on the bed.

Ros, annoyed, says, “Ha, ha, very funny.” She opens the box, “can I?”

I shrug and gesture my hand, “You’re already at it, so sure, why not?”

April runs to Ros’s side, and they both take a peek at the dress above the other dress.

“As an aspiring fashion designer,” April says in-a-matter-of-fact-tone, “I could tell the fabric is, or was, or probably still is, expensive! I mean, it’s gorgeous!” She looks at me. “Can I touch it?”

I nod, giggling through my nose.

She touches the carefully hand-sewn embroidered beads and flowers and then gasps, “I think I just came.”

Ros snorts. “Do you even know what that means?”

“Yes,” snobs April, tilting her head up, “uh, no?”

I roll my eyes and laugh at them. “Do you know what it means, Ros?”

“Well…” she says, unsure if she should spill.

But this is Ros we’re talking to, and she tells us everything, too much information to be exact, sometimes, and really unnecessary!

“I heard my brother’s girlfriend moaning ’I’m coming’ in his room when I passed by to drink milk because I suddenly woke up late in the middle of the night.” She reveals innocently. “So I looked it up on the internet and found out what it meant.”

I cringe and hit her with a pillow, “Ew! Oh, my god! Now I will never be able to look at Tristan the same way!”

She laughs.

“Why did you have to say that? You could have just told us you know what it means, that’s it.”

April shudders, “Seriously!?”

Ros ignores me and continues to laugh. “It was.”

I roll my eyes, not hiding my irritation.

April, still caressing the dress, changes the subject by saying, “Anywaaaaaay! I can’t wait to see you wearing this tomorrow!”

We are giggling when someone knocks on my door, and Martha pops in my doorway. “Miss Mariana, Mister Pérez just called to remind you the party is going to start in an hour.”

“Alright, thank you, Martha,” I say, and she closes my door, then I face the two. “We better hurry up then!”

We walk to Ian’s house minutes after the two finally dressed up. Thankfully the rain had stopped hours before the sun was setting. But I think, even if it rains, this ‘Beach Bash’ will still happen. The skies have cleared up, and as we walk closer, we could already hear the muffled music booming from their driveway. Everyone from school is coming to his house, and then we see Ryan walking, talking and laughing with his friends. April nudges me lightly, giving away that malicious smile.

One of his friends points at us, and Ryan’s mood glows even more, and if this is the real old me, I know my heart would stop at the sight of that smile. I didn’t notice he’s already in front of me when he greets us. He intertwined his fingers with mine as he led my best friends and me to the front door. April and Ros are not even trying to hide their excitement towards our possible relationship.

Ian welcomes us in a loud manner, flashing his vice-president grin. “I’m glad you guys made it! The refreshments and knickknacks are in the kitchen!”

As we enter, April and Ros leave us and search for our other classmates. Probably Ros is looking for Andrew, while April is looking for Gabriel. I shake my head and roll my eyes, laughing at my thirsty best friends.

Ryan laughs at my expression, then asks, “What’s your poison?” he kind of shouts through the blasting music, laughing. His crooked smile is undeniably charming.

“Mountain Dew, please!” I shout back near his ear.

He nods and goes off to the kitchen and turns his head back to smile at me.

I smile back, and when he’s gone from my eyesight, I cross my arms and sigh heavily. I had forgotten how cute and sweet he was. I looked around to search for familiar faces, and I figured Ian’s house is impressive. Everybody from school showed up, and they’re dancing, chilling and letting loose before the storm hits tomorrow, but I haven’t seen my friends on the dance floor yet.

Ryan dances his way back to me, carefully holding two red cups. His eyes are beguiling.

“There’s no alcohol in it, I hope!” I say when he gives the cup to me.

He laughs, “No! Only the seniors have the privilege to drink beer, apparently!”

I cringe, ugh. “Do you drink beer?”

While sipping his drink, he shakes his head and continues to dance to the beat of the loud music. So, I drink mine and just stand, looking around and finally at him. But he is already staring when I look up at him.

He then flashes me a smile. “Come on, let’s dance! Or do you want me to give you ‘The Look’?”

I laugh half-heartedly and shake my head. “It’s not my scene,” I say. I think it’s a bit much for me since I prefer intimate gatherings, not like this. Even after college, I still don’t enjoy these kinds of parties.

He finishes his drink and puts it down on the table by the stairwell, then holds my free hand to sway me with him. Even though I like the song which is playing, sipping my favourite drink, and I’m in front of one of the most handsome guys I’ve met in my life, shyness is taking over me. He must have felt my tensed composure because he intertwined his fingers with mine again and then twirls me around, laughing like a small child. His energy is contagious; needless to say, I am beginning to enjoy it.

“There’s the smile I’ve been looking for!” He says it loud enough for me to hear. Guess I didn’t notice my smile creeping up. I let it go. I’m in the past anyway, and Ryan isn’t a douche yet, so I’ll play along.

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