Home Can Be You

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Chapter 7

“Mom, we’re home!” Andro called as we stepped foot into the house, Elara ran to the bathroom because she was in need for it, no need for more elaboration. Mom emerged from the living room with a big jar of popcorn. She was wearing a big hoodie and shorts. She looked like a teenage girl more than I ever did and she looked so beautiful and carefree. When she saw us, she smiled brightly and hugged Andro and me tightly.

Elara came back after a while and she got a bigger hug from mom. “Oh, I missed you all so much. I’m not used to not working and I’m sure as hell not used to not having you around me all the time.” She spoke as we all entered the kitchen. I was hungry and I saw homemade food waiting for us on the counter, it looked and smelled delicious. This was expected from mom. “This is for you guys, dig in and tell me what do you think!” She added and we all sat on the chairs.

The first bite was amazing and the second bite was addicting. I couldn’t talk until my plate was clean from any food my mom had made for us. It tasted like heaven and like they always say: Food was symbolic of love when words were inadequate.

“Thanks for the food, mom, it was great as usual” I expressed my gratitude and then cleaned my plate in the sink.

Mom waved her hand. “Don’t worry about it, glad you liked it and now tell me, how was school?” She asked us three while she grabbed my dad’s empty plate and walked towards the sink and stood next to me to clean it.

I smiled. “It was great actually, I made new friends. Their names are Emilia and Franky and they have a huge crush on Andro’s friends” I cleared in excitement and Andro nodded for a second then his eyes widened in realization at what I said. “You do know that, right?” I asked him and we all walked to the living room after cleaning up.

“No, I don’t” He replied with raised eyebrows and I felt like an idiot for telling him. “Who likes who?” He asked me already wanting the details like an old neighbour lady who lives for gossip and love stories.

I sat on the couch and Elara sat next to me with a phone in her hand. “Promise me you won’t tell them, because it’s not your call to do that” I warned him in a serious tone and mom and dad nodded in agreement with me. Andro nodded with a genuine smile and I knew I could trust him. “Well, Franky loves Rick and Emilia loves Jace. They met me in the bathroom to make sure that I didn’t have any feelings for them and I told them no and I will help them get closer together, then we hit it off and became good friends at the end of the day” I explained and everyone was staring at me like I killed an innocent butterfly. “What?” I asked and waited for their reply.

“Wow, they didn’t bully you at first, right?” Dad asked with a concern expression and I shook my head no.

“They were too kind to do such a thing, they just needed confirmation if I was their new rival and luckily for them, I’m not and will never be,” I answered him and then continued. “My day was normal except for the fact that dad hid the fact that he was the freaking principal in a school that the majority of it is male students! Mom, you knew?” I asked her and she laughed. She did...

“I did, they told me to keep it as a surprise and I agreed. Surprise!” She admitted and I huffed in annoyance. What a great family! I stood up and walked to the door. “I will walk for a bit to get to know the area a bit more, I will be back before it’s dark,” I told them and they nodded. Andro stood up and walked me to the door.

He put his hand on my shoulder. “Just be careful of the small groups of guys. Stay away from them” He warned me in a firm tone and I hugged him to show him that I will be just fine. I was not weak. I walked out of the door and headed to my new neighbourhood.

I walked for about ten minutes until I reached a little Caramel shop, it looked so cute but what really caught my attention was an old lady who was looking at her reflection in the window. I approached her slowly and looked at her reflection with a smile. “Is something the matter?” I asked her gently and she looked at me with a warm smile.

“Oh dear, I once was young and beautiful but now I’m just beautiful.” As she said those words, I seriously wanted to say slay but I admired her facial features instead. She was indeed beautiful, even though she had wrinkles and grey hair like any other old lady, she still looked elegant and she was confident about herself. I really hoped that I’d be like her in the far future when I get old. I wanted to be able to look at my reflection and say: I’m still beautiful.

“You are indeed an inspiration to all of us, girls and boys” I countered in a clear tone and she chuckled at my statement.

“Honey, I lost the one person who used to remind me of how beautiful I was a few years ago that’s why I remind myself every day of that fact” She exclaimed in a cheerful tone and I couldn’t help but hug her. “Oh my...”

I let go of her and laughed. “Sorry, I just felt the need to do it. I’m Evelina by the way” I introduced myself to her and she rubbed the back of my hand and inspected my face like my grandma used to do.

“Evelina! What a beautiful name for a beautiful young lady! I’m Ruth and I owe this Caramel shop, would you like to come in?” She asked with a smile and I couldn’t refuse.

“I’d love to” I replied and we entered the small shop that looked like the sun from the inside. The yellowish walls were warm and reflected happiness. It gave me a warm feeling of a home. I looked at the sweets and had the urge to buy some. “Can I buy some of those?” I asked her.

She walked to me and grabbed a small bag filled with what I wanted. “You can have those for free if you promise me to come and visit every once in a while. You remind me of my good old days” She said and pushed the bag into my hands. I tried to resist but she didn’t let me.

“I can’t accept this, it’s too much!” I objected but she gave me a stern look that made me give up. I sighed and gave her a big hug. “I will come and visit you every once in a while since I just moved here to live with my dad and twin brother,” I told her in reassuring and she stopped me from moving any further.

I raised my eyebrows in confusion at her sudden action. “Who’s your father? He doesn’t happen to be Carolos, right?” She asked and I smiled. “If you like him then yes, he is my dad, and if you don’t... I don’t know who you are talking about!” I countered in a nervous laugh. I didn’t know what to expect.

She laughed and shook her head. “Honey, I love him like a son. He comes and visits me with Andro every two weeks.” She said and I was surprised. “What a small world!” She added and I let out a relieved breath.

I nodded. “What a small world indeed. Well, it was nice meeting you, Ruth, I will come and visit real soon. Bye bye!” I told her and then made my way back home. It was getting darker by the minute and I didn’t want to meet new people who had evil-nasty thoughts. I quickened my steps and didn’t look behind me. I was afraid to do so.

After a while of walking and gazing around, I saw a group of men standing near the bus station while smoking. I didn’t know what they were smoking and I didn’t want to know so I tried to cross the street and walk from the opposite side of the road. My luck was limited these days because one of them saw me and gave me a sly grin. I didn’t like it and I sure didn’t like him when he nudged his friends and they all looked at me. That was my cue to cross and I did.

“Hey little girl, won’t you stop?” One of them called and I looked behind me to see them all walking after me. I rushed home but I knew that I wouldn’t make it before they catch me so I began running. I heard running footsteps behind me and I didn’t dare to turn around and look because I didn’t want to trip. I looked nearby to see if anyone was outside but I saw no one. I kept on glancing around and I finally found a house with the front door wide open.

I saw a little girl playing outside alone, and I ran to the house and she noticed me. She stood up and tilted her head in confusion at why I was running towards her with a terrified face. I didn’t have time to explain, so I just pointed behind me and quickly held her in my arms and ran to the main door to her home. “Stop her!” I heard one of them yell. Like anyone can stop me!

I threw the girl in the house as gently as I could and slammed the door shut and locked it. I heard loud knocks on it but I ignored them and slid down on the floor. I let out a sigh of relief and took some deep breaths. I turned around to see if the girl was okay but I was startled to see a guy standing in front of me. I screamed at the blow and fell on the floor. “I’m so sorry for intruding like that and I’m sorry for throwing you, are you okay?” I asked as I walked to her. Luckily, she landed on a thick carpet.

She shook her head with a smile. “Nah, I’m fine and I get why you did that. Zeno, they were after her” The little girl responded and she held my hand gently.

The guy looked at her in confusion until we heard the loud knocks on the door. “Get out little girl, we just want to have fun!” One of the men stated and I quailed away from the door. The guy, Zeno, seemed to understand why I broke into their house like that and he looked at me with a serious expression on his face.

“Oriana, get her water while I deal with them,” He requested from the girl, Oriana, and she nodded with a dazzling smile. I silently thanked him and walked with her. She filled me a cup of iced water and I drank it in one gulp. After five minutes of waiting, Zeno came back to us. “Don’t worry now, are you okay?” He asked me in a quiet tone and I nodded.

“Thank you, but what did you do?” I asked him feeling really curious about his way to drive them away. He sat on a chair across from me and then he shrugged his shoulders.

“Threatened to call the cops and they just ran away. The end.” He explained in short and I figured that he was not the kind to talk a lot. “I’m Zeno Toler and this is my sister, Oriana” He introduced after a while of silence and I smiled at him. He smiled back and that was the first thing that I noticed about him. His smile was beautiful and genuine.

“Thanks for saving me. I’m Evelina Bamford, nice to meet you, Zeno and Oriana,” I said and smiled brightly at them. I guess my luck was not limited after all...

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