With an utterly frightened heart, Xavier sprinted out of the schoolbus, rushed across the street and down the lane towards her house. Matt followed at his fastest pace, holding onto his backpack.
Xavier had always been a faster runner. He was lighter and lankier. And moreover, he was pretty anxious this very day. He couldn’t help to waste a second. He couldn’t stand to be too late.
′Just one more house, Xavier. Few more steps. She might still be there.′ He thought as he whipped through the sidewalk with a racing heart, praying in mind all along.
“Matt!! Which one!” He shouted as he ran ahead.
Xavier himself was new to town and this would be the first time he’d ever come to her house. And she was already leaving . . .
Shit. I should’ve known.
I shouldn’t have gotten the flu and miss school.
“The next one!” Matt shouted behind him.
Passing the lady who was watering her yard, Xavier grabbed the mailbox post to pull himself to halt at the next driveway.
Panting heavily, he looked up at the house. At the sight of the empty driveway, a disheartening quietness immediately settled in his stomach. Matt reached him in the next minute. Bending over and leaning on his knees, he panted too catching his breath.
“They’re gone.” The lady next door, who was watering her yard, said.
“Are you sure?” Matt asked through his erratic breathing, still leaning forward.
“They left in the morning. I saw them. Need something?”
Xavier faintly shook his head and stared ahead at the house again, too sad to even breathe a word. He hated his unluckiness.
“What do we do?” Matt asked.
“What else? I’m going home,” Xavier answered sullenly.
He set his backpack down next to his feet, opened the first pouch and took out the packet of Starburst he’d bought for her birthday gift. Too bad he wasn’t getting the chance to even meet her and give it to her. . . or even confess that he actually like her and that was why he kept stealing her Starbursts in school.
He opened the mailbox, dumped the whole thing in it, closed it and then kicked the metal post once, throwing all his anger, guilt and frustration in it.
“Hey! Why’d you do that!” The lady chided.
Xavier looked back and glared at her dead in the eye.
Don’t talk to me. I’m very angry right now.
And seemingly challenging the middle aged lady, he kicked the post again, harder, and left without another word.
“What’s wrong with you? Hey!” He heard the lady shout behind him but he didn’t even care to look back.
Matt silently followed behind him. He wanted to ask Xavier if he was okay but with that frowning face, he knew there was no need of asking.
Xavier was only eleven then but for all Matt knew, his cousin had just gotten his first ever heartbreak.