Right after Mr. Hart left, he groaned while wiping his face with both hands in the manliest way and turned to me, “Talk to me, Alana.”
“Huh?” I blinked back.
“I said talk to me. Say something. A word, maybe. You became mute after what I said an hour ago.”
My lips slightly twitched as I forced back a smile. It was funny and cute to see the confident and narcissistic Xavier Arquette out of wits or lost for words sometimes.
We’d been sitting in silence for about an hour which began from the moment he set an atom bomb inside the car. He’d tried talking to me and I tried to reply but the revelation had kicked me too far out from the world, twisting my tongue.
Yeah. I know, I’m such a loser.
“What . . . what do I say?” I flurried.
He stood up and smirked amusedly, “You’re as dumb as a mushroom, Mongrel.”
The corner of my lips twitched again. This is one thing I like about Xavier. He has the ability to lighten situations with his funny way of speaking. And that was way easier than hearing him say he like me. I glared at him though... Habituated. He winked at me and walked towards the door to leave.
My eyes widened suddenly. You might be wondering why. Definitely not because he had grown two heads. It was because this time I saw him, like really saw him. If you ask me to name the most beautiful creation I’d ever seen, then I guess, I would blurt the name Xavier Arquette without thinking twice.
Tall; like more than six points two, tan skinned, his eyes . . . do I have to speak about how captivating his eyes are all over again? If there was something like a brown star then that would be his eyes. And his perfectly defined jawlines were hard to miss.
As I stared at the door even after he had left with his street clan, I couldn’t help but wonder how the hell he came to like me. It was as impossible as Zeus turning up to my door with a bunch of red roses and booming
‘I like you, Alana.’
But seriously, me? Of all the other hot girls in school who are way cooler and sexier than me, of all the other girls who would be perfect for him . . . Me? A hopeless nerd whose sexiness is not even the size of a grain. It’s too hard to believe. Maybe, he just wants to mess around with me.
Well, I’ll never admit this out loud but there was this feeling where I felt my heart shrinking to a lifeless piece of plastic when I thought about him messing with me and not see me as someone different. It felt depressing.
Alana, get over it. It’s not like you like him.
“You look like you’re about to cry.”
I spun my head that it almost snapped or did I hear a small crack of knuckles? Kendra was staring at me with a blank look.
Oh oh. She must have been witnessing my psychotic mental drama. I wonder how many different kind of faces she’d seen me pull up.
I presented a very pathetic fake laugh, “Hahaha.”
“Do you know, you were also just about to start drooling.”
I rushed out of the chemistry lab after signing my name. I still had to go pick David and chemistry practicals always went over time, especially if it was the last class for the day. Besides, I knew Xavier would also be still waiting for me. I came with him to school. He wouldn’t leave me since he was my drive.
I rushed out the building and down the entrance steps. There was Xavier leaning on the side of his car and playing on his phone. By now, the yard was almost empty. His was the only car left in the west wing. He looked up and smiled at me, shoving the device in his Jeans pocket.
“So sorry to keep you waiting,” I said when I reached him.
“No problem, Mongrel. For you, I’d wait a lifetime.” He gave a dashing smile and winked flirtily as he opened the front door for me.
I smiled back.
He’s so cheesy and flirty.
Xavier drove a bit faster than usual. Maybe he was also anxious at the thought of David waiting for us alone in the school yard. It was puzzling how Xavier cared so much about David.
He’d almost become a brother David never had. Xavier didn’t even like to keep David waiting for us alone at the yard. The Charger which in the first month of my stay in Los Carlos used to give me heart sinking view no longer seemed so bad to keep seeing.
We parked outside the gate and went inside Kingston’s campus. David was sitting on the grass near a bush with his back against us. He was looking down to the ground, his little head between his legs like a small ball.
“David?” I called.
He didn’t look up, didn’t reply.
“David.” I called again as I approached him, starting to worry a bit.
“David, what’s wrong?” I strode towards him and held his chin to face me.
What the . . . Bruises and bumps?
“Nothing.” He stood up and walked towards the gate, dragging his back pack behind him.
Is it wet?
“David.” I tried to follow him but Xavier tugged me by my elbow and held me back.
“Let me talk to him,” he said and walked ahead of me, following close behind David.
Xavier looked back, signaling me to wait around the gate for a while. Then he held David by his shoulder and scooted down. I watched them talk for a while near the car, saw Xavier check David’s bag and bruises. Then he opened the backseat door and David got inside.
Xavier came back to me, put his hands inside his pockets and said with a sigh, “He kinda got into a fight. Don’t scold him.”
“He got into a fight, Xavier.”
“I know. It happens. It’s not like he killed somebody. It’s not a big deal, Alana.”
“No. It’s a big deal, Xavier. He’s never been in a fight before.”
“So what, are you gonna eat up your brother alive now?” He rolled his eyes.
“It’s not funny,” I grumbled and marched off towards David.
Xavier pulled me back by my arm and said, “Don’t say anything to him.”
“I’m his sister!” I retorted.
“I know that clear enough but right now David doesn’t need a hyper reactive sister.”
“Screw you!” I yelled, “He’s my responsibility. Not yours.”
“He was bullied, alright, and he stood up! That’s way better than eating their goddamn shit!” For the first time Xavier snapped at me and I was quiet.
We stared at each other, fuming.
“Sorry,” he said, “Just don’t say too much. He’s already scared to hell about what your father might say. Take his side for the sake of him. He’s still a boy.”
Speechless... never in my wildest dream had I ever thought that Xavier Arquette, the street-lord, could ever be that considerate. I looked towards the car. David. Somewhere inside, he was sitting scared and worried. I felt sorry for him. He was the sweetest thing in my world, my life.
I sighed, “Fine.”
Xavier’s face broke into a wide smile, “Thanks.”
“You should’ve told me he was bullied before anything, idiot.”
“Sorry again, your highness.” He chuckled again.
“Doesn’t my dad already know?”
“It was after school.”
“What exactly did they do to him?”
“Spilled water in his backpack.”
“Screw them,” I muttered.
Even though I didn’t like that David got into a fight, what I didn’t like more was anybody bullying my brother. I’d give them the worst curse I know.
Xavier chuckled at what I just said, the brown stars inside the sockets of his eyes gleaming brightly. Oh please. Give it rest, charmer. I honestly don’t like looking at that gorgeous face. If life would have been kinder I would be happy to find that you have already left for your home sweet home. Seeing your gorgeous face always give me mini heart attack for God-knows-what reasons.