I was sleeping when I felt someone shake my shoulder. Automatically, I responded with a groan. Who is it that would wake me up this early anyway? The party went hectic and I figured that’s a reasonable answer to sleep much longer. I mean, who would’ve wanted to wake up when you’re sleeping so comfortably?
Someone then pushed my arm away. “Ugh stop” I mumbled sleepily.
“Jesse move” I heard Emmie say.
“No.” I snuggled closer.
“Oh my god Jesse move the fuck away. I swear your lesbian symptoms have been showing lately.”
“The fudge do you want?” I growled.
“Your hands are on my boobs, hello?” At that, I looked up to see she was indeed right. Immediately I retreated my hands away from her. She returned my shocked expression with a smirk.
“Not funny” I glared.
“Ooh. Have you been having rainbow dreams lately?” She wiggled her eyebrows and laughed at my disappointed face. It was too early for jokes and I was not in the mood for it. Instead of fueling her jokes, I turned to the opposite of the bed and scooted as far away from her.
“Bummer. You on your period?” she giggled but then came closer to snuggle.
“Go away Em,” I said, kicking her legs away.
“I don’t take orders sorry”
“Oh my god, you’re so annoying! Shoo” I tried to pry her arms away but she kept pushing herself into me, causing the both of us to fall on the floor with a loud thud. The floor didn’t hurt me but Emmie’s weight was surely suffocating.
“Get off dumbass”. Emmie simply shrugged then pulled the blanket on top of us while we ’re still on the floor.
“Jesse, remember when we used to make blanket forts?” she said excitedly.
“Your point?” I asked, bored.
Suddenly, we heard the door open and Kristina peaked. “What are you guys doing?”
Emmie popped her head out of the blanket and replied “Trying sex”
Oh my god, this mouth of hers needs to be washed not only with Listerine but with a fucking toilet washer.
Kristina chuckled. “And on the floor?”
Emmie smiled. “Yeah we went hardcore on the bed and the floor got jealous so we had to do it here too.”
“Okay, I don’t want to hear your jokes anymore especially if it involves my little sister here. Ugh, mental pictures go away” Kristina said, shivering and rushing to leave the room immediately.
“I can’t believe you said that. That was purely embarrassing!” I slapped her on the leg.
Emmie got off of me and helped me up. “Oh come on. It was funny. Look at your face though, ha!”
I started to clean up our bed since there was in no way I could go back to sleep especially if Emmie had fully awoken. The woman didn’t even help me clean instead she was just on the floor playing some cat game on her phone.
“Jesse you should download this app.” she blurted out randomly.
“What is it anyway? I’m not much into games app you know that” I said while folding the blankets and making sure there was no wrinkle on the bed sheet.
“It’s called Neko Atsume. It’s a kitty collector” she said smiling. Then out of the blue, she laughed.
“Haha. Kitty collector. Get it?”
I looked at her confused. “Huh?”
“You need to improve your gay vocabulary Jess,” Emmie said shaking her head.
I walked up to her back and looked to see what that ‘kitty collector’ was and surprisingly it was just a screen of a yard that was filled with cats.
“I don’t get how you play it,” I told her.
She then pointed at the screen. “See this yard? It’s your own yard. Your goal is to collect...cats. You know”
“Okay? And how do you that?”
She then pressed some buttons on the screen. “Well similarly in real life, to attract cats, you need to find something that would lure them. Look what I have in my yard.”
I squinted my eyes and pointed at a pink ball. “A ball.”
Emmie snorted. “Yeah. Toys attract cats sure.” She giggled right after.
“I don’t get why you’re giggling?” I was so damn confused.
“Sometimes I wish you weren’t so innocent” she mumbled.
Deciding to ignore her, I pointed to an object in her yard.“What’s that?”
“Oh, it’s a Cat Condo Complex. It’s a place for them to sleep and play I guess.” she shrugged. “Oh and one more thing. What do else do you have to do? What do you think would make them come back more often?”
I shrugged. It was no tricky question.“Duh you feed it”
“And for them to like you more?”
“You pet it?” I asked.
“Exactly! I’m so proud of you.” Emmie had tears in her eyes from laughing consistently. “Keep feeding them and they’ll come back many times. Remember that Jessica. Now give me your phone and I’ll install it for you. Let’s see how many kitties you get”
“You are so weird,” I said, shaking my head.
After cleaning up the room, Emmie and I decided to just watch some random TV shows. Of course, bored as I was, I decided to open up a book and read instead. Suddenly, we heard Emmie’s phone rang.
She opened and quickly answered it. “Hey, dad!”
I quickly looked at her and she returned with a smile.
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
Grabbing a pillow, I held it in my arms.
“It’s fun. Jessie and I did a lot of fun things together and her friends are awesome.”
I wanted to hear what they were saying but I didn’t want to interrupt. But it’s true, it’s been fun ever since Emmie came and am really glad she’s with me to spend her holidays. Emmie has the been the only person whom I can truly let myself be.
“I understand. I’ll home soon don’t worry. Oh? Yeah, I’m finished all. Yes. See you tomorrow! Bye dad”
But sadly, she’s going to go home tomorrow night. And once again, I’ll feel empty without her presence.
Once she was finished, she set her phone down and looked at me. “He just called to see what’s up.”
I nodded and hugged the pillow tightly. “I hate you.”
“Awe come on Jessie~” Emmie sat beside me closer to pat me on the head.
“Why do you have to go?” I felt my hands tighten.
“School you know.” she shrugged. “Besides, you’re a grown girl. Look how many friends you’ve made in a short period of time.”
“I still hate you.”
“You love me” she put her arms around me and hugged me right. I let out a sigh and slowly, I’ve released the tears I’ve bottled up since then. I will truly miss Emmie even if she was an annoying brat sometimes.
“Jessica. Someday, there will be that person who will put their arms around you and will never let you go,” she said stroking my hair. ”
You are the greatest friend I’ve ever had and I am thankful to be part of your life. You’ve made my birthday party a blast and thanks to you I’ve met great people like you. I approve your family. I approve of your friends. And especially I approve of those girls. So now, you’re a free bird. Whatever path you choose, I’ll always support you.
“You’re not my mom and what do you mean you’re approving?” I said, biting my lips, in attempt to stop my tears from flowing. But it was futile, knowing I’ve wetted her shirt and she’s been brushing my tears away already.
“You’re such a cry baby. And I meant I approve of the people around you. I know that you’re going to be safe cause there is a lot that cares for you.
“I hate you,” I said, punching her chest lightly
“Love you too~ Now excuse me for a moment cause Kristina just texted me and she needs help”
“Ditching me already?”
Emmie laughed out loud. “Dear God.”
“Fine go prance away with your unicorn bud,” I said scoffing and burying myself deeper into the couch.
“You’re just jealous.” she winked.
“So not,” I yelled back.
“So jealous cause none of your girls are here to accompany you.” she laughed.
“I’ll just call Irene and tell her how you’re bullying me”
“Tell Irene I said Hi!”
Irene is 3 years older than me and she’s currently in college studying Medical Lab. She’s also my cousin on my mom’s side. She’s a very independent person and when it comes to asking for advice she’s my usual to-go person when Emmie happens to be busy. But for now, I just plan on checking up on her and see how her holidays are going.
“Whatever. Bye bitch” I mumbled, now clicking on Skype to video call Irene.
The call rang and rang until she finally picked up. “Hi, Jessica!”
She was in her usual chill attire, a pair of sweats and a Starwars shirt. Irene must be the laziest person I’ve ever known.
“Hey. You look... Tired? How’s it been?” I waved at her.
“Studying... For exams. I think I’m going to fail” Her worried face worsen. “Look. All I’ve been having is coffee just to stay up to study.”
“Woah. Your studying?!”
She rolled her eyes at me. “Yes, apparently mom is going to send me off in France if I fail or something. So no more parties for me.”
Chuckling, I told her “Want some studying tips?”
“Sure. Make fun of me whatever.”
“Just do it.”
“Take a break from it.” It was easy. She just gotta know how to limit herself.
“Anyway, what about you? How’s your new life?”
I shrugged. “It’s fine. Everyone is friendly. I’m just still keeping to myself.”
“Then open up.”
“I’m trying. I have friends here now” I said. Her eyes twinkled with curiosity.
“Oh my gosh. You have friends?!”
“Well it’s surprising as how you’ve heard that I’m currently studying.” she giggled. “So tell me who these friends of yours are?”
“Um... I met them at school. Well, the closest would be these four girls. Uh I think”
God, I had no idea what I was saying.
“Ooh cool! Any guys?”
“Sure. There’s Jace whom I talk to once in a while.” I glanced at my watch and figured I still have time to chat. Besides Sarah hadn’t called me. Today was supposedly the snowboarding trip that we both promised.
Suddenly, the door to my room opens and Emmie rushes beside me.
“Irene. Our baby has grown so much. She finally has a crush” Em said. I punched her in the shoulder to shut her up.
“Yeah, and they’re girls,” Em added in. At this, Irene coughed and nearly choked on the glass of water she was drinking. I just hid in embarrassment.
“That’s like the second time you said that ” I muttered. I smack Em’s head to hit her.
“What?” Em innocently smiles.
“Don’t what me,” I said, crossing my arms.
“I need details. But wait. ” Irene gets up from her rolling chair and moves to the other side of the room where it wasn’t visible to the camera. We heard paper shuffling and bunch of cursing.
Shortly she came back, “But I have to go. I forgot to drop some important papers.”
“Aw.” Em pouted and I chuckled at her childish behaviour. Those two were alike.
Then the call was cut off.
I sat and looked at nothing in particular. My eyes were focused on an object yet my mind was drifting off somewhere. I’ve thought about what has happened and what’s been happening. The past months were life-changing experiences. The girls had the most effect on me especially those two. I had not yet known what these new feelings are. They were foreign and scary, yet they bring out the best feeling when you’re with that person.
Sarah and called me earlier and apologized that our activity would be canceled cause she had to watched Jackson. I understood so I wasn’t so affected by it. But I felt the emptiness. Whenever Dennis wasn’t around, I would still sometimes feel like I’m still a stranger living in someone’s house. Thankfully, Kris and Nat were always open. It was only me who had still hadn’t moved on. If I wanted something to change, I needed to take action.
And that was what I was going to do. The year is coming to an end and even if Emmie will not be right beside me making decisions, I’ll start deciding for myself.
Emmie and Kristina come out finally, the two of them giggling and continuously making remarks of other people. Those two were unstoppable. I smiled, happy that those two got along. Though somewhere in my heart, there was a hint of jealousy on friendships.
“Jessie!” Em tackles me with a hug and I return it whole-heartedly.
“Want to come with us?” Kristina offers and smiles.
“Oh. Where to?” I asked.
“We’re going for more Christmas shopping. It’s the 25th tomorrow” Emmie says while putting her scarf around her neck. I sigh and fixes it for her. She sucks at tying.
“Yeah and no thanks,” I said.
Yawning, I told them. “I’m not coming. I’m tired.”
Emmie made a boo-ing sound.
“Are you sure? Why are you feeling ill?” Kristina asks concerned. She then came over to feel my forehead.
I chuckled nervously and just said “I’m fine. Plus you know I’m not so fond of shopping. I got everyone a gift already.”
“Ooh, I’m excited about mine. Better wrap yourself tight for me Jessie.” Emmie teased then even had the nerve to wink.
“Okay stop,” Kristina says laughing.
“I’ll wrap you Em and send you back to Canada”
“But you’ll miss me.” she grins.
“We will. Not only me Em” I smiled at her. “You two should get going.”
“Whatever. Stay inside and lock up the house. Don’t let any stranger inside Jess” Em said in a serious tone while looking at me straight in the eyes.
“You’re not my mom” I grinned back.
“Byeeee... Mom” I chuckled then waved them off. Once their car disappeared from my sight, I checked to make sure the gate is locked up. But a moment after, a car stops in front of the house. Right away, I started panicking inside.
The nervousness didn’t stop especially when a familiar blonde hair came out of the car.
“Hey, Jessica” she smiles.
I blushed at her intense gaze and then noticed that she wore the beanie I gave her last night.
“Um... Er, what are you doing here?” I asked curiously. She closed the door to her car then opened her trunk. I noticed that she was cold because of the redness on her cheeks.
“I came to give my present to you since I’ll be busy with my family tomorrow,” she says smiling. Then she takes a red box and hands it to me.
“What is this?” I looked at the card and a perfect handwritten note that says ‘Merry Christmas’ along with her name.
“Er, it’s a secret. I didn’t really know what to get you but yeah. Don’t open it until tomorrow! Okay?”
I nod twice and smiles at her. “Thank you...”
She smiles back. “You’re welcome.”
Then we just stood there looking at one another as if we both wanted to still say something yet our pounding hearts are preventing us. So with the courage of Emmie and my self-built confidence a minute ago, I asked out of the blue.
“Do you want to come inside?” I asked but at the same time she said, “I should go.”
“Oh” I looked down at the ground feeling embarrassed by what I had just asked.
“Um... I was wondering. If you wanted to come inside. I can make you a hot chocolate drink to warm you up. You know.” I said, fidgeting a bit.
“Warm me up?” she raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah. I noticed you’re cold.” I bit my lip to prevent myself from saying anything more stupid. What the fuck did I just asked? Warm her up? Really?
“You know there are more ways than one ” she smirked.
She laughed then patted my head. “Nothing. You’re cute that’s what I said.”
“I uh...” I was too damn flustered to say anything back. “Would you please come in?”
“So polite.” she chuckled.
“There’s no one else here so you don’t have to worry,” I said, hoping to ease her worries. She might get awkward if any of my siblings or parents were home.
“Oh?” she grins.
“I.. I mean that you don’t have to worry or feel awkward.” I blabbered.
She laughed once again and I turn away. “Jessie you should be careful of what you say to people. Because if I take your offer in a different way, then you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into.”
“I’ll come in though. You must be bored that’s why.”
Sabrina parked her car in front of the house then walked into the mansion with me. I told her to wait by the living room as I heat up the water and make hot chocolate for her. When I finished, I set her cup right on the table. She made herself comfortable by taking a seat.
“Thanks” she smiled.
“Yeah. No problem.” I sat next to her and opened the TV to ease the tension.
“So what are your plans tomorrow?” she asks, now drinking her hot chocolate.
Before I could reply, she yelps and coughed.
“Oh my god, are you okay?” I asked, suddenly my hands touching her shoulders.
“Er yeah. It was just hot.” she smiled sheepishly.
“Don’t worry. It’s supposed to be. Hence why it’s called hot chocolate” she said taking the blame out of me.
I signed and agreed. “Right.”
Then I giggled when she stuck out her tongue at me. I observed her gestures and actions. The way she held her cup with both of her hands to feel the warmness and when she poked out her tongue into the drink to check the temperature. It was all too adorable. She was just like a cat. She snuggled herself with the scarf she had on and the beanie that was once mine.
“I see you still have my beanie,” I said out of the blue.
She poked her head out of her comfort and looked at me. “Sorry. You want it back?”
I shook my head. “You can keep it. It looks cute on you.” Quicky, I corrected myself. “It looks good on you I mean.”
“Thanks. I like it too. It’s warm and fuzzy” she says.
“Actually. I have a gift for you too.” I scratched the back of my head. “Er... I figured I should give it to you right now too”
“Oh really?” Her eyes lightening up like Christmas lights.
“Yes. Hold up, I’ll get it” I got up and rushed to my room to get a small wrapped box. It wasn’t so much but I really hoped she liked it.
When I got down, she was switching channels and such. I shook my head and laughed in my head. Then I dropped the box on her lap.
“Oh. Aw, the wrapping is cute” she commented to the silver wrapping.
“Yeah it’s from dollarama” I chuckled.
“Still cute. Mine was from Wal-Mart” she laughed and so did I.
“You can open it” I shrugged. Her face screams excitement and I’m giving her the permission anyway.
Carefully she unwrapped the box and gasped when she saw a pair of mittens with a pairing scarf, toque, and a sweater inside.
“Oh my gosh this is so cute.” She took the mittens and wore it right away.
“I hope you don’t get a cold from now on” I smiled.
“My winter is better and warmer, now that you’re here,” she says. I blush and just muttered a ‘thank you too’.
Then unexpectedly, she wraps her around me. “Thank you, Jessica. Thank you so much.”
The suddenly Emmie’s words crept into my mind.
‘Someday, there will be that person who will put their arms around you and will never let you go’
Then I wondered if it was her along.
Next Chapter Preview...
When I didn’t say anything, she asked. “Do you like her?”
I dropped the towel and mumbled “I don’t know.”
“It’s okay. I know you haven’t moved on from me.” She joked while fluttering her eyes rapidly.
I smacked her arm. “Ha-ha. So funny”
“So which one do you really like? Is it that Sarah girl or her?” She asked once again.