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Chapter 19 - Nancy

I knew the moment I laid eyes on Greg that something was wrong. The moment he got out of his car and slammed his door shut and stomped into the house was a clear sign that he was angry. Something happened at school and he wasn’t going to want to talk about it by the looks of it. Mom and dad noticed and let him storm off to his room to cool down before even attempting to talk to him. “Nance?” Looking down, I am met with Lo’s questioning face. “Yes Lo? What is it?” He bites his lip a little as he looks in the direction Greg disappeared in without any acknowledgement to anyone in the house. “Did Lo do something to upset Greg?” My eyes widen as he assumes that it is his entire fault that Greg is angry. I know why he thinks that though; yesterday Greg had given Lo a little talking to about something that had happened in the time I was at Rafa’s house. “No of course not your fault sweetie, Greg’s current mood has nothing to do with you or me. I know for sure that something unpleasant happened at school to make him act like this.” Although he looked a little uncertain he nodded his head and returned to his colouring book at the kitchen table.

Greg didn’t join us for dinner that night, it wasn’t a huge surprise to me, but mom insisted to bring him a tray. Like Greg had done to him to talk about their fall out the other day. As I made me way to my room, I could hear the low murmur of voices. That’s good, now Greg will return to normal. Upon entering my room I see little Lo sitting a little dejectedly on my bed. He is hugging Woolley to his chest, a stuffed giraffe Greg had given him since he joined our family when he was just nine months old. My eyes soften as I sit down next to him wrapping my arm around his shoulder. “What wrong sweetie?” He sniffles as he buries the bottom part of his face into Woolley’s head. “I knows Greg is upset with Lo.” I open my mouth to respond but Lo beats me to it. “And now not only Greg is no longer friends with Lo, but now Syl is no longer Lo’s friend!” !” He wails with tears streaming down his face and snot dripping from his nose. Mom who apparently finished his talk with Greg appeared on the threshold looking shocked. “What happened sweetie?” Lo only cried louder as mom lifted him as he poured out the story. Mom gave me a questioning look since he can’t follow Lo’s story at all. I just shrugged and mom left with a now hysterical Lo.

When breakfast came the next morning it seems that Lo and Greg made up. I smile as Lo returned to his happy self once more, now more determined than ever to make up with Syl. He doesn’t like feeling like sad the whole time at all. A honk announces Rafa’s presence; I wave to everyone before disappearing out the door. I wave to dad who just walked into the kitchen at the kitchen window he just shakes his head as he sips his coffee. “What has this happy so early in the morning?” Rafa questions as he parks his car in his usual parking spot right in the middle of the car park. “The fact that Greg and Lo are friends again. And that he is going to make up with Syl as well.” He just raises an eyebrow in silent question and I elaborate. “So that’s why you wanted to know about what went down between Syl and Lo yesterday.” I nod my head as we make our way to my locker. “I don’t think it was anything serious but from what I was told by Ty was that Sean was involved.” I roll my eyes at the mentioning of Sean, ever since he joined Syl and Lo he has been nothing but trouble. Rafa grins as the bell signals it’s time for the first class and kisses my temple. “See you at lunch Teroso.”

School dragged on until lunchtime, when that bell rings everybody storms out of the room like starved animals. Well hearing several stomachs rumble during class I guess some of them were actually starving. I calmly gather my books, binders and pencils and put them in my bag before making my way to the door. As I am next to the teacher’s desk, I hand in my math homework. I enjoy the peace and quiet of the halls as I make my way to my locker. The closer I get the more I grimace as I hear several voices shouting at one and other. Great! The whole football and cheerleader teams are at their lockers. Ever since mom and dad came to school about that little joke they pulled on the stuff in my locker, they had relocated my locker a little further down the hall. All conversation comes to a stop as I start putting in my combination and open my locker. I switch my books form classes where I already finished the assigned homework for the ones of my last classes. I ignore all the stares as I close my locker and turn on my heel and make my way to the cafeteria.

My last few classes are usually a little dull seeing as there are no football players or cheerleaders in those classes. They usually skip those to make out behind the football pitch or get in a little more practice. So I am unpleasantly surprised to see the usually empty desks filled with them. I don’t acknowledge them as I take my seat in the middle of them halfway the row near the window overlooking the football pitch and the forest behind it. As much as I hate to be surrounded by them, I don’t want to trade places with anyone else. At this hour Rafa’s class has P.E. and my spot gives me the perfect spot to watch Rafa during P.E. Watching Rafa during P.E. is way more interesting than listening to our teacher drone on about social structures. Our social study is given by the most boring teacher in our whole school. I mean even the overachieving kids and the nerds are yawning and looking sleepy once the teacher opens her mouth to start her lesson. And that is saying something!

I feel my eyebrows twitch in annoyance as the ‘popular kids’ around me start snickering and whispering. Though they annoy me to no end, I still smile and wave as Rafa looks up at me with a blinding smile. Tyler elbows him before rolling his eyes and nods at me before he tugs Rafa with him to the middle of the football pitch. A throat being cleared in front of me has my eyes returning to the classroom and Mason who is half turned to me and holds out a hand full of paper. Letting out a sigh I grab hold of the paper gingerly, I wouldn’t put it past him to give a paper cut by ripping the paper out of my hands once I hold them. He holds on the paper for a few seconds, without ripping them from my grasp looking me deeply in the eyes before he turns back to face the class. Huffing I take a pack of stapled papers before handing them to the person behind me. I am quietly reading the worksheets and answering the questions when I am ripped out of my concentration because of the screetching of a table and chair benig moved across the floor. My table jolts as Mason pushes his against mine “What?” He questioned as he glares at me. “The worksheet said to work in pairs on this thing so we’re a pair.” He states before he takes in my already half finished first worksheet.

To my utter astonishment the teacher applauds us for working together and urges the others to follow our example. I roll my eyes at her before quietly helping Mason through the parts of the worksheet he doesn’t get. I know his grade isn’t the best in this class along with all the other popular kids since they skip it a lot so I don’t really mind him using my answers for a better grade. The teacher announced that teamwork between groups of people who normally avoid each other are more rewarded than those who stick together. Mason nods at me in passing once the bell rings what signals the end of our education for the day. I try and hold my squeal of surprise in as two warm and strong arms wrap around my waist as I exit the classroom. “I am so proud of you Teroso.” Rafa’s warm breath tickles my ear as he murmurs the words. I wrap my arms around his neck once he turns me to face him and kisses me softly. “I know how much you dislike them Teroso, so I am very proud of you that you helped that boy with his worksheet.”

Upon entering his house, my ears and nose are assaulted with noise and delicious scents. As one could expect form an Italian family this one is loud and busy. “Ah! Ciao Bella!” Rafa’s father Enrique smiles as he comes over to us; his hands cup my cheeks as he kisses both my cheeks. “So good to see you again Bella.” His accent is thick as he speaks making me giggle. Rafa just rolls his eyes and says something in Italian, since becoming Rafa’s girlfriend and being introduced to his family I have been slowly picking up words and pieces of sentences. My best guess is that he told his father to knock it off and go back to what he was doing before we came. My guess is right when Enrique pouts before grabbing Rafa in a headlock saying he needs to respect his elders a little more. Hearing all the commotion in the hall Rafa’s mother Christina came over from the kitchen and smacked both father and son on their heads with her wooden spoon. With her hands on her ample hips she told them both to stop causing such a commotion in the hall before smiling at me and welcoming me.

After eat more than my fill at a full Italian dinner, Enrique’s brother came up from Italy to visit them, we were curled up on Rafa’s bed. Rafa was gently combing his hands through my hair, something he loved doing whenever he got the chance. I look up to him and a warm fuzzy feeling starts in my gut as I see the adoration and love in his eyes. Slowly lifting my hand to his five o’clock shadowed cheek I trace his plump lips with my fingertips. Still wondering how I managed to land him as my boyfriend when there are pretty people like Veronica or Leigh. “What is going on in that pretty little head of yours Teroso?” Rafa lightly kisses my fingertips as he looks down at me. “Wondering how I got fortunate enough to call you my boyfriend Rafa.” He smiles so beautifully it steals my breath as he gently grips my wrist and folds it against my chest. “I am the one who is fortunate to call you mine Teroso.” He murmurs before pressing his lips to mine softly.

I didn’t mean to, but my eyes closed against my better judgement. I was surrounded by warmth and feeling loved. And the fact Rafa curled his arms and legs around me didn’t help. I heard Rafa murmur something in my ear and felt the heat of his lips on my forehead. Turning on my side, I wrapped my arms around his torso, placing my ear near his steady heartbeat. I snuggled deeper into his warmth and let out a content sigh before his heartbeat lulled me into a dreamless sleep.

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