Chapter 1: Returning
I pushed open my bedroom window and took in the morning air. It’s been years since I woke up to the freshness of Narier Town. I’ll never get tired of it.
A knock on the door called my attention to it, before it opened to reveal the cheerful face of my aunt. “I see you’re up. Come down for breakfast.”
“’kay.” I skipped to where she stood and put my arms around her. I missed the breakfasts she makes.
“I was really surprised last night. You really should have called me.” She said smiling at me affectionately as we head down for breakfast, I just grinned.
Aunt Marry’s face last night when she saw me was just epic. It’s like she saw a ghost or something. Well, I can’t really blame her; the last time she saw me was over two years ago, when she drove me to the airport. Let’s just say I’m not too keen in traveling across the continent, especially since there are a lot of memories I wanted to forget in this town.
“If it weren’t for your frequent calls, I would really have thought you don’t want anything to do with me anymore.” She pouted.
I just chuckled. “Aunt Marry, I’ll never do that.” I kissed her forehead affectionately. “You’re the only one I have left. I would never do that even if you ask me. Plus, you have the best pancakes!”
She grinned at me. “I know.” And she began telling me how she made the pancakes for me today.
“How are Sora and Haru?” She asked, placing a plate of pancakes in front of me. “You should have brought them with you.”
“I would if I could.” I shrugged before putting a forkful of pancakes in my mouth. And choked.
“You never change!” She gasped in horror, hurriedly handing me a glass of juice. I coughed for a few minutes before I could breath normally again. She just frowned at me.
“Sorry. I guess I was hungry?” I grinned.
She shook her head and smiled. “Just eat slowly, okay?”
I continued eating, slowly this time, and let her talk about the changes in the town, but after a while she just contented herself with staring at me. I gave her a curious look.
“Dear, why are you really here?” She asked seriously, though her eyes are dancing with amusement.
I raised a brow. “I told you, the twins won’t shut up about me being cold to my aunt.” Of which, I felt guilty about.
“Don’t get me wrong, dear. It’s just that you’ve never been here for vacation, even on holidays.” She smiled cheekily.
“I know, and I’m sorry.” I sighed guiltily. “It’s just that– never mind.”
She chuckled. “Dear, I understand that you had things you had to do. And you were always giving me calls, so it’s really okay.”
I just frowned. Of course it’s not okay. Aunt Marry is a family person, and only has me as her kin as well. I bet she was really sad all those years.
“Anyway, the reason why I asked is because, I heard from Lissa that her son is finally back. After being away for three years, and he’s having a party organized.”
Lissa who? “Um…So?”
“Dear, I’m talking about Lissa Roose. Mathew’s Mom.”
Mathew’s mom. Mathew. Matt.
Now I’ve lost my appetite.
“She said it was exclusive for all of his classmates in high school. So, I was thinking that you came home for that?” She grinned at me, clearly implying something.
“Aunt Marry, I’m here because of you and not because of some stranger from abroad.” I said bitterly.
“Wish! How can you say that? Mathew is not a stranger.”
“Yes, he is. We’re not friends. I don’t feel anything for him and– ”
“We both know that’s not true.”
I looked away. I don’t want to talk about this.
She sighed. “I know your high school life is not that pleasant, but you’re different now. Totally different from what you used to be. You told me that yourself with pride, remember?” No reply. “Dear, this is the perfect time to show those bullies what you are now, to make them all regret the things they did to you.”
Aunt Marry has a point. I know. My transformation can never be completed without showing them, showing Matt. I’ve been imagining it for years; picturing myself socializing, without them knowing who I am, and then seeing their shocked expressions when they finally do.
I sighed. Still, seeing them for real is different; even though I don’t hold any hatred against them anymore, only indifference. I think. Matt, though, is a different story. “Like I said, I am not friends with Mathew Roose or any of his friends. And I believe he feels the same way. Plus, I’d rather refer him as a stranger than my ‘bully’.”
“Acquaintance is a better term.” She piped cheekily. I just stared at her blankly.
“And you did say it’s exclusive. Who would invite a stranger to their exclusive party?”
“Isn’t there really something I can do to convince you?”
“Nope.” I said immediately. When she looked at me sadly I added more gently. “Aunt Marry, I’d rather spend my time here with you, than with a bunch of people I don’t want to ever see again. Don’t you?”
“Of course I do, dear.” She smiled lovingly. “I just wish you’d be more confident with yourself. And then maybe, finally find a boyfriend. You’ll be twenty one this year, and– ”
She smiled at me sheepishly.
Seriously. I wish she finds a match already, and get married. Maybe then, she’ll stop finding ways to pester me with my love life.
“Sora still hasn’t confessed to you?”
Maybe I should look for her match myself.