Two honks from the driveway was all it took to make me smile first thing in the morning. I rushed to the window and peered down after hauling in a deep, deeeep breath to calm my nerves... Because I knew it was Xavier.
Coming out of his pet Charger with black shades over his eyes, he looked up at me and smiled whilst removing the shades like one of those swoon worthy hero in a romance movie.
Well, um... I might also have swooned a little bit.
The distance did no good in keeping the glow from his splendid smile to reach me, compelling me to helplessly smile too like some hopelessly infatuated teenage girl. It felt like tiny, pink, pretty butterflies were tickling my insides. I forced back a giggle by biting down on my lip. Then he blew me a kiss... in the same way he did when he came to pick me for the first time. And I almost dropped to the floor. He had me grinning there as the little memory pinched my heart, forcing me to relive it.
Laughing at myself, I pulled the curtain close and ran out of my room, picking my backpack on the way from my bed.
I rushed back in and checked myself for the umpteenth time in front of the mirror. My hair was pulled up in a neat ponytail. I was wearing my favorite white tank top, blue skinny jeans and Chuck Taylors; nothing ravishingly amazing - just me - but me in my most comfortable and favorite outfits . . . All for him.
I dabbed a bit of lip gloss over my lips again and then rushed back out, slamming the door behind me and I shrieked a little at the sound of loud bang.
Sorry, dear Door.
“David!! Xavier’s here,” I called as I ran down the stairs, pitching my backpack on my shoulder.
“Okay! I’m ready!” he answered.
The excitement in his voice was hard to miss. He’d become a fan boy. And before I reached the door, dangling his schoolbag behind him hastily, David had dashed out to meet his buddy. I chuckled, shaking my head. It made me happier because I had finally understood the reason why Xavier was so fond of David.
It made me happy that David could fill the hole in his heart.
It made me happy that they are happy together.
Two puppies from the same mother. Yeah, that’s what they are like.
Before I walked out, I heard dad call me.
He was coming out of the kitchen holding a coffee cup in his hand. I waited. He looked out through the door. I followed his gaze. Xavier’s tall frame was bending over and David was whispering something in his ear excitedly. Xavier was smiling brightly as he listened to David.
My eyes darted towards dad. Before I realized it, I was smiling too... looking at the two boys outside. I wiped it off quickly as dad eyed me weirdly.
I licked my lips and answered, pushing back the grin threatening to break any moment, “Yeah. He’s been out of town lately.”
“Uh... He has a band and so he was touring.”
Dad raised an eyebrow and stated, “A rock star, huh.”
I almost laughed looking at dad’s expression. It was kinda funny.
Nevertheless, I answered. “Yeah... like that.”
He drank his coffee and then asked the question, the question whose answer has the power to turn my world upside down.
“Is he your boyfriend?”
That was a knock on the top of the head that makes you senseless and dumb and dump.
My mouth fell open. I tried saying something but no words came out. I swallowed and exhaled a long whiff of breath which I had no idea I was holding back.
“Uhh... I... I don’t... No. We’re not... There yet,” my paralysed tongue laboured out.
Literally, we were not a thing yet. I don’t know. But practically, we were so close to that too but I didn’t wanna rush anything like a hasty middle aged woman.
I closed my eyes and shook my head to find some sense.
Opening my eyes, I corrected quickly, “Uhh... I mean, yeah... Well, you know... I don’t know,” I sighed in the end, stopping to battle for words that would never come for help.
Dad laughed a little at the way I was stuttering and blushing crimson red.
“He’s been driving you to and off from school for quite some time already.”
“Yeah but... We’re not that yet.”
“He’s interested in you, right?”
Okay. Dad also knows.
“Umm...” I licked my lips again and faltered, “Uh... Yeah.”
I don’t know how to lie to dad or how to not answer him. Not that I wanted to lie. The hard thing about it was that we had never talked about this thing at all and we were quite awkward around each other at some point and I hoped I could do something about that. We grew distant as I grew up. Not that we were unhappy with each other or something bad happened but because of his work as a surgeon and mine as a, well, growing up teenager. Did I mention that my dad is a surgeon? I probably should have.
He looked through the door again. At the moment, I had no interest in knowing what the boys were up to. I just stared at dad as he looked outside.
What is he gonna say?
“What ’bout you? Are you interested in him?” he asked, bringing his gaze back at me.
With one glance towards the boys, I nodded bashfully.
For a split second that felt like a century, he stared back at me with no readable expression, tension building in the air between us. But after the split second (that felt like a century) passed, he shrugged off the tension and said, “Well. There’s no problem if you have a boyfriend.”
My face began to heat up even more.
“But you’ve never had a boyfriend and if that boy ever hurt you, I’ll sell his kidneys.”
I nodded again.
Dad smirked, the corner of his eyes crinkling and light with amusement.
I bit back a laugh as I assured him, “Don’t worry, dad. I’ll be fine.”
“I can’t be not worried, sweety. I can see that you’re growing closer to him each and every day,” dad replied.
I remained quiet until I said again with greater dose of confidence, “I’ll be fine, dad.”
He nodded and then kissed the top if my head, giving me a half-hug.
“Okay. Go now. You’ll be late for school.”
I nodded and stepped out of the door. The sky was so blue and clear with tiny whiffs of white clouds floating like small paper boats. I’d never felt so fresh and okay and confident. It felt like a new year, new earth, new sun, new atmosphere, new air and most important, I felt like a new me... Happier and as free as a bird. And the more I looked at Xavier, the more I felt like something heavy was slowly fading from my chest.
With him, everything feels new.
I knew what dad was worried about. He was afraid that Xavier would break my heart by leaving me after I have grown so much attached to him. But somehow along our daily squabbling and disagreements, Xavier had earned my trust - something I was never willing to give him. But he, he fought his way in and claimed his place. He fought. And the moment I stop struggling to push him away, he made everything new. He made me new.
He fought, that was the most important thing. He’d never once asked me to be his girlfriend and I was glad he didn’t. Girlfriend, to me, was just a term, or maybe like a business deal that you have a claim over someone; the kind of claim that means nothing more than the word. I’d always imagined something deeper.
I’m not Xavier’s girlfriend yet but I’m starting to feel that something... Something nameless yet.
Xavier and David high-fived (David jumped to reach Xavier’s hand) and I watched them smirk as I walked towards them.
What are they up to?
Xavier was wearing a maroon letterman jacket over a white T-shirt paired with dark jeans and Vans and he simply looked aggressively hot.
It’s a thing he’s so naturally good in. I mean, looking hot. He does it so easily.
“Any news?” I asked eyeing both of them one after the other and taking in a good amount of hot Xavier.
“Don’t tell her!!” David whispered shouted at Xavier.
“Don’t tell me what?” I raised an eyebrow in question.
“Don’t don’t don’t!!” David leaped and tugged the hem of Xavier’s shirt again and again.
Xavier chuckled at me as he opened the front seat passenger door for David, “I can’t tell you.”
Oh. He was so taking David’s side.
I narrowed my eyes at him, hoping the hopefully-dead eye would make him spill. He shook his head in response, smiling ear to ear. Then, I rolled my eyes in defeat.
David is always the first on his list.
He closed the door behind David and then opened the backseat door for me saying, “Your drive awaits, my beautiful Mongrel.”
Hell! There was no way I wasn’t smiling. I mean, how could I not?! He was reminding me all the little things he did on the very first day he came to pick me.
He was holding the door open for me as I passed him. I was caught off guard when he leaned in and placed a quick kiss behind my ear and whispered, “You look perfect, Alana,” his breath fanning my face.
Startled, I whirled my face towards him and stopped short with a small gasp when I found my face almost touching his face and his eyes compelling me to get lost in them... As always.
“I... Um, th... Thanks. You too.”
I’ll never stop blushing around him.
He angled his face and gazed at me with a soothing smile flashed upon his face and sparkling his eyes even more. I smiled back and slid inside the car.
We dropped David to school.
“Have a nice day, buddy,” Xavier said, giving his fist as David got out of the car.
“Yeah, you too,” David replied with a fist bump and pushed back the door.
“Don’t fight,” I added from the backseat.
David spun on his heels towards his school gate, showing me his glorious back and then, he shrugged the reply for me.
Groaning, I threw my head back and grumbled, “He always shrug. He is so Xavierized.”
Xavier chuckled heartily. I could see his shoulders shaking in the front seat. I laughed too.
“That means he’s growing up to be the next pride of Los Carlos,” he winked at me from the rear view mirror.
“You are so going to leave me blind with your blindingly awesome narcissism which has grown to be twenty from ten times the size of Texas,” I replied.
“Stating facts, darling. Stating facts,” he rectified my incorrect use of term with a blindingly dashing smirk and said, “Come here in the front.”
Three minutes later, we parked in our school yard. We came out of the car and he pulled me in against his chest and wrapped his arm around me, possessively.
“Don’t walk alone. We look great together, sexy,” he grinned.
I reached out a hand to slap his lips but he caught my wrist before I could reach him and he smiled down at me. Then he pressed my fingers to his lips and he kissed them. I seemed to hear the fluttering sound of my heart in my ears as I melted to the touch, to the heat of his soft lips. I gazed back at him wordless and overwhelmed and extremely flattered.
I opened my mouth and was about to put the sandwich inside my mouth but I stopped short when I felt a kick on my feet under the table. I brought my eyes up from the sandwich to glare at him.
He grinned the Cheshire grin and said, “Long time no kick.”
Oh, Xavier, What do I do with you?
“Hey!” Kendra and Brittany and came with Connor and they sat with us.
“Hey,” we greeted them.
Soon, Hunt appeared. Matt and Scott a little later. The usual chattering began as usual. And I busied myself with the sandwich in my hand.
I looked up from my lunch. Xavier was smirking that blinding smirk as he looked down on his phone screen.
He took my picture.
Before I knew it, my hand had japed in a quick lightning movement and off went Xavier’s iPhone flying; flying, flying, flying and bang, it hit the tiled floor.
Goddamned reflex action!
I instantly clamped a hand over my mouth in shock as I stared at the phone which was face down on the floor after hitting hard like a passed out drunken old man.
Is it broken?
I slowly peeked towards Xavier guiltily. He was resting back on his chair and smirking amusedly at me as if he was watching a comedy show. Eventually, he stood up from his chair, went over and picked up his phone from the floor.
Please, let it not be broken.
“You definitely owe me something now,” he smirked mischievously as he looked down at the phone in his hand.
Dammit. It’s broken.
He held out the phone for us to see the screen saying, “There’s dust all over it.”
Oh thank God. It’s not broken.
“So you’re definitely coming out with me Saturday night.”
I quirked an eyebrow at him in question.
“You said you’d never come out with me unless you owe me something,” he explained as he returned to his chair and sat down saying, “So now that you owe my phone cleanliness, you’re coming out with me. You don’t get to say no.”
I remembered when did I say that. It was inside his car when he asked me to hang out with him one Saturday night and I refused because I already had a plan with Jacob and also because, those times, he was the first one on my to-screw list.
He would take any chance.
Funny how everything had changed in such a short fraction of time. One minute back, I would’ve traded anything to stay away from him, then the next minute, I couldn’t help but be excited about going out with him.
A bit of Xavier can turn my world upside down.
I smiled back. Actually, I beamed back, generously giving off all the light I could possibly emit in my not-so-blinding-as-his-blinding-smirk smile.
Saturday Night With Xavier.
I’m so going to be Xavierized too.
I shook my head, smirking at him.