He settled in the driver’s seat saying, “Alright, let’s go get David.”
But before revving off, he twisted his body towards me, keeping his left hand on the steering wheel and grinned amusedly, “You know what, Mongrel. I’m starting to think it would have been better if you had dared to, right babe?”
On hearing him, goosebumps blossomed in full blown bloom. Oh for the love of God, not him! But instantly, I hallucinated him kissing the life out of me and I winced in disgust. Gasping, my finger tips touched my lips as I stared out of the front window.
“What did you see?”
I whirled my head at him. He was snickering at me, his eyes sparkling in undeniable mischief as if he knew what I saw, as if my forehead was a natural high definition TV screen.
I can’t let him know.
“Nothing. And I’m not your babe.”
“Oh right. I forgot. You’re my Mongrel,” he said and smiled a very fake and unappealing smile, “a pretty canine.”
There he go again. Better luck next time, Alana.
I made a face and looked back to my window. He chuckled a bit, celebrating his victory. What a baby.
“You saw us kissing, didn’t you?” He said after a while.
Why the hell can’t he just forget about it?!
“Hah! It’s written all over your face, Mongrel,” he laughed as he stared ahead.
I squirmed on my seat.
“I bet you asked for more.”
“I rather kiss a fifty year old orangutan instead of you, moron,” I snarled.
“You think so? I doubt orangutans are attractive enough to compete with me,” he remarked matter of factly, “Besides, any girl would give a kill to get a near one and I’m offering it to you.”
“You have just lost to the fifty year old orangutans FYI. Besides, I’m not one of your stupid fan girls and I’m not taking any of your offer, neither are you getting anything from me.”
“Awww!!! You’re so adorable when you act stubborn!!” he exclaimed teasingly, “But yeah, right!” he nodded and chuckled, “You can’t be manipulated by my charming smile, right pretty?”
Charming smile... He’s never forgetting it. It’s assured.
Folding my arms defiantly, I sat sulking without replying or looking at him.
We were quiet until he asked me, “Why don’t you come out with me Saturday night?”
“I don’t want to. I have no reason to and I don’t owe you anything.”
He snorted, “Owe me, my ass.”
That came by surprise. I turned away towards my window to hide the slight curved on my lips. As scary as he was, he was funny too. Sometimes.
He pulled up in front of David’s school and I moved out.
It felt like a dream come true to be spending time with Jacob. The same thrill that struck me when Cinderella’s prince wore the glass slipper on her foot struck me again as Jacob’s hand lightly rubbed against mine as we walked side by side outside the movie hall.
“You liked the movie?” Jacob asked as we walked down the street.
“Absolutely. It was terrific. How come you got all those things in your mind?” I laughed, thinking about how we spent the whole time.
“My specialty.” He smiled proudly. “If you need a good dose of commenting, just whistle.”
“Must do that.”
He had the parody version for every single scene and I had to cover my mouth with both hands the whole two hours.
We headed for a cafe to have ice cream before we get back home before my curfew. I had my favorite vanilla ice cream and he had a butter scotch.
“How was East Port?” He asked as we ate.
“Hmm.” I nodded vigorously as I mouthed a spoonful. “It was good. Nice place.”
“And how’s school?”
The first thing that crossed my mind was my tormentor. But then, as I slowly realized that I was actually having more fun than I have ever had in my school years. Kendra, Connor, Kendra and Connor, then there’s Brittany my defender, Hunt, Scott and Matt and finally and ultimately . . . Xavier. My days revolved around Xavier and his teasing and flirtings. Without answering Jacob, I simpered away to myself; lost in thoughts.
“What?” Jacob asked, his lips curved lightly into a small smirk.
Surfing back to reality, I answered, “Greenwood’s good. It’s fun.”
“I wish you were in Spencer’s High though,” he smiled.
I was just about to insert another spoonful into my mouth but I stopped.
Is he kidding me?
I looked at him. He smiled wider with warmth; the kind of smile that I would just die for. Soon I was smiling as well, smiling in my best, needless of any kind of effort. It just happened like all times whenever I was with him. But there was something behind the scene that made the difference this very night. We communicated in our gazes.
But then the next moment, the delighted curve on my lips slowly faded.
No. I love Greenwood... and the people there. Xavier is irritating, no doubt, but he isn’t a reason why I wouldn’t want to be a student of Greenwood. In fact, he is a reason why I find Greenwood fun.
We talked and talked about other things too as we sat and ate. As we walked back to his car, he said he missed bear hugging me and so he wrapped an arm around my shoulder, pulled me in to his side and hugged me tight. I laughed. It was sweet and nostalgic at the same time. I suddenly remembered all that we had been when we were younger and how I regretted having to leave Carlos and live six years without him. Growing up with him would have been so much fun. He would’ve been a great friend for David too.
Now that I have mentioned David, it was puzzling that he was more fond of the street boy, Xavier Arquette. I knew he spent time with him in his school yard almost everyday which he did enjoyed to point of no return but Jacob was the better option. I mean Jacob was a good boy. A kid like David needed a role model not a street-lord.
Jacob kept me in his arm as we walked. I was having a good time wrapped up by my crush until we ran into Xavier, who suddenly appeared out of nowhere. He came out laughing at something or someone inside the recording studio, stationed by the street, and he certainly wasn’t looking out.
Jacob and I immediately stopped walking to avoid bumping into him. Well, I almost did but Jacob rescued me. Xavier turned and looked at the two of us, the laughter wiped off in an instant. His chin was held up, definitely looking like the Almighty Zeus. I could possibly feel the pride oozing out of his body as I observed his deportment.
“Well, what do we have here. Jacob.” He paused as he eyed me. “And Mongrel.”
I wasn’t supposed to feel this way but I suddenly felt like a five year old caught stealing sugar from the cupboard aware of the fact that... it’s Saturday, the day Narcissist asked me to go out with him.
“Xavier,” Jacob replied.
It was awkward. Both of them knew each other. Conscious of the way Xavier was eyeing Jacob’s arm wrapped around me, I slowly wriggled out of it. Then came Hunt, laughing in the same way Xavier did. The moment he saw us, he let out a low, fretting whistle.
“Hey, Alana,” he said and stole a peek towards Xavier with a sly look on his face.
“Hi,” I answered.
An awkward silence fell among us.
“So . . . Uh.” Hunt cleared his throat. “You came out for . . . ?”
“A movie,” I answered again.
Xavier was gazing at me intently that it scared me at some point.
I wonder what was wrong with him that he got the nerve to lean in to me and whisper, “If you wanted a puppet so badly you could’ve just told me, Mongrel. I would have bought one for you to sleep with let alone having a movie night with it.”
Stupefied, I stared at him wide eyed. How dare he call Jacob a puppet! How dare he... I hope Jacob didn’t hear that. He stood back straight and smirked at me contentedly. If I were a cat I would be shooting my claws out ready to scratch that jerk.
“What was that ’bout?” Jacob asked, wrapping his arms protectively around my shoulders again.
Xavier’s eyes leisurely and yet quite frighteningly dragged from my shoulders, to my eyes and then to Jacob.
“It was a compliment. I told her you’re cute,” he answered easily.
My eyebrows furrowed. He smirked.
“I mean damn!” Xavier reached out to Jacob’s collar and pretended as if he was fixing it sincerely, “You look just like Ken. You know, Barbie’s boyfriend. Cute. Damn cute.”
They were about the same height but Xavier was a bit taller and a lot more domineering.
“Hey, man.” Hunt tapped at his shoulder and motioned his head to something across the street. “There’s our guest.”
Xavier’s face turned stony and animal-like in an instant as he peered far off. He looked like a tiger stalking on its prey.
He looked back at us and said as the humour drained off from his face, “See you around.”
Then both of them hurried off towards the other side of the street. Jacob and I watched. A little way down by the door of a club, the moment they reached it, Xavier grabbed a collar and threw a punch right on the guy’s face, knocking him down. He applied so much force to it that I cringed whether he might’ve punched a hole right through the other boy’s head.
People started shouting like a mad show all at once in a mixture of anger and fright.
Soon enough there was a brawl by the door. Hot headed youngsters knocking one another down, something I wasn’t prepared at all to see on a Saturday night out with my crush. It wasn’t like any other scenes from the movies where the screen was fixed on one-two characters. This was a jumble of images where we can’t make out if people are actually flying or bouncing or swimming. One seemed to go right, ends up wrong. Another appeared to be in control with pretty firm stance then stoop a little and fall flat the next moment.
Screaming and shocked, people nearby scattered about, some trying to hold them fighters down, some running for their lives. Terrorized, I statued on the same spot where Xavier and Hunt left us. I might sound ridiculous but as much as I hated him, I didn’t like seeing him in anything like that. I rather see him clean and looking smug, all the while bragging about how good looking he is instead of a monstrous looking street fighter bashing up right in front of me. It was terrifying.
“We better go,” Jacob pulled me closer to him and led me on to where we were heading to.
The sound of sirens filled the area in no time. It hurt my ear. I tried not to look at Xavier. Seeing him in a fight was already more than disappointing. I didn’t want to see him in handcuffs. Yet I looked back.
I saw him pushed against the cop car to be handcuffed. But he still looked completely unhinged and savagely furious nevertheless. He didn’t even seem to care ’bout the fact that he would be going to jail.
Then the next second, his sharp eyes came for me. My breath hitched and it was getting hard to breath. Even from a distance across the street I could make out without doubt that he was looking at me. The feeling that coursed through me as the look in his eyes pierced through my gaze was new. It wasn’t like anything else I’d ever felt before. But as his gaze held me captive, all I knew was that he wasn’t happy about something and it was like I was sharing a part of it, like some sort of connection.
I felt like I should walk down the street and just be with him and at least, say something . . . I had subconsciously begun to take a step towards him but Jacob called me and I had to go with him. Xavier looked away from me with a steely yet vulnerable expression on his face as I left the place.