Home Can Be You

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Chapter 8

“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 replied and smiled brightly at them. I guess my luck was not limited after all because if it was, I wouldn’t be here in a safer place.

“Don’t mention it, I would have killed him if he didn’t save you, even though I’m 10 and have a small body, I still can beat his butt just because I’m his only sister,” Oriana replied with an angelic smile yet it made me shudder from fear. She was very cute and had an enchanting smile but I flinched from her inner thoughts. I didn’t want to know what was going inside so I didn’t ask. I just smiled and thanked her. “Say, Evelina, did you always live here?” She asked me after she made me sit a while longer.

I looked at her, then at her brother only to see him staring at me. I saw his eyes and I thought that they were so pretty and bright yet dull at the same time. He gave me mixed emotions and it made me a little bit overawed by him so I focused back on his sister and her question. “No. I just moved here with my mom and we are living with my dad and twin brother now,” I replied then started fiddling with my fingers. I thought of our old home and felt extremely sad. As I was trapped in my own head, an important question crossed my mind for the first time since that night, the night our house was burned down. How did the fire start? Was it really an accident?

I felt a tiny hand on my shoulder blade and I snapped out of it. “How are you liking it here?” Oriana asked in a tender tone. I gave her my brightest smile and stood up.

“I love it” I replied genuinely and then looked at the time. “It’s getting late, I should head home now” I stated then walked to the door. Seconds later, I was stopped. I looked at my wrist and saw Zeno’s hand wrapped around it. I looked into his eyes and waited for something to happen. “Yeah?” I was stunned by his sudden action but I didn’t show it.

He let go of my hand almost immediately and rubbed the nape of his neck and avoided eye contact with me. His face was stiff. “Um ah no, I just thought it’s not safe for you to walk alone. You might find another group of perverts, I’ll walk you home.” He cleaned in a monotonous tone and I felt that I didn’t have the choice to choose here. I just nodded. “Lock the door, Oriana, I won’t be late and do not open to anyone but me.” He enjoined but it was a soft order. His love for her was obvious and I admired it. They reminded me of my brothers.

“Sure and be safe!” She replied then hugged his legs and then pushed him out of the house. I chuckled at her action and Zeno gave me the -do not comment- look and I didn’t. It was dainty and cute.

As we began walking, I debated with myself if I should ask him what was bugging me the moment they spoke or not but my cruoisty surpassed my logic and I asked. “Um, are you Italian?” I then realized that I asked without any warning so I stopped in front of him and he looked into my eyes. “Sorry, that was rude! I meant to ask you that but in a politer tone, sorry.” I apologized but deep down, I wanted him to answer my stupid question.

He gave me a small simper and I let out a long sigh. I was timid. “It was not rude at all, I would have asked the same question if you sounded Italian” He stated and I nodded. “And I’m half Italian, half American. My mom was from Italy, Rome.” He answered then looked at the sky. His mom was from Italy which meant it was a touchy subject. I just my shut stupid mouth and we continued walking in silence. It was not awkward yet it was not comfortable.

A few minutes later, we arrived at my house. As we stepped foot in our garden, the front door was slammed open and I saw Andro run towards me. He hugged me tightly and I laughed. “What’s wrong?” I asked and he let go of me.

He gave me a worried expression but it soon was replaced with relief. “I thought something bad happened to you!” He exclaimed and I felt bad for not calling them and telling them that I would be late. It was indeed my fault. “Anyway, are you oka-” He stopped talking as he noticed Zeno behind me. They eyed each other like they were having a secret communication and then Andro looked at me in a confusion. “What... Who is he?” He asked me, he sounded unsure of his question and I looked at Zeno to see him eyeing my brother the same way he eyed him. I felt weirded out by them so I spoke.

“Andro, meet Zeno. Zeno, meet my brother, Andro.” I introduced them and then gazed at my brother. “He helped me when a group of guys chased after me. He and his sister gave me shelter for a while and I’m grateful for them, you should be too,” I clarified the situation and crossed my arms as in: don’t you dare be rude to him.

Andro glanced at Zeno then at me and he finally smiled. “In that case, you should come in and drink something as a thank you,” He responded and pushed us inside the house. Our parents saw us and I explained to them what had happened and they insisted to cook for him in gratitude but he refused because Oriana was all alone, he needed to be home soon. And he left.

A week had passed since I met Zeno and Oriana and I was getting ready for bed because the next day was Monday. I heard a light knock on my door and I quickly wore my shirt. “Come in,” I invited whoever was at the door and sat on my bed with a book in hand. I expected Elara to enter but it was my mom. “Hey” I smiled.

“Hey sugar pie, mind if I sit?” She asked and I patted the spot next to me. She smiled and relaxed. “How are you?” She asked me and I arched my eyebrows at her. “I mean, as in fitting in school, here, your new home. Everything’s okay?” She cleared her question and I nodded in understanding.

“Yes, it is going pretty good actually. Andro’s friends became my friends too and Emilia, Franky and I are having fun. I love it here because we are all together again, except for Nolan.” I reasoned with a sad smile and she embraced me tightly.

She put her finger under my chin and made me look at her. “Honey, Nolan will come home eventually and we will be complete again. I’m happy to hear that you are having fun at school but I hope I don’t ruin it due to what I’m going to say next...” She countered in a nervous tone and I put the book that was in my hand on the small table next to me.

“What? Is it bad? Was my dad fired?” I asked feeling a little panicked.

She shook her head and made me calm down. “No, that’s not it. Um, starting tomorrow, I will teach chemistry in your school...” She declared in a quiet tone and I thought about what she stated. “I didn’t want to surprise you like your dad and Andro so I told you now to give you the heads up. Should I not teach there? Say something Eve!” Mom replied and I snapped out of it. My own mom would be there with us most of the time and my dad was the principal, in any normal situation a teenager would be annoyed by their parents being on their tails all the time but I was delighted because I loved my family and family was irreplaceable.

“Are you kidding me? It’s great, mom, why would I be upset?” I asked then kissed her cheek. I was happy and I made sure to show it. She shrugged and then laughed.

“I don’t know, I worry too much, right?” She countered and I nodded in agreement. “Okay, thank you for telling how you feel, sugar pie, now sleep well.” She added, kissed my forehead and walked to the door. Before she could turn off the light, I screamed a no. “What?” She asked, startled at my action.

“Don’t turn off the light, I need to know what would happen to Alys after she meets the soul eaters!” I explained and she eyed my book and sighed.

“Fine but don’t stay up all night reading it!” She ordered and I hummed as if I agreed. After all, I did stay up all night and finished the book. It was amazing but I was so sleepy and when I decided to close my eyes and rest, Andro woke me up. It would be a long day.

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