13. And I'm proud of him
So after I confessed how I felt about her, we had the awkwardest ride to school ever. She pretty much went mute and even me, I was pretty lost myself. I didn’t mean to say it so soon but I did. And it was kinda strange. I mean, I’d never done anything like that before.
The silence continued till the end of the Hart’s class.
[ Alana’s POV]
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 kinda funny and cute that the confident and narcissistic, Xavier Arquette, was out of wits or lost for words.
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. Standing up, 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.”
“Did you know you were also ogling?”
“Nope! I wasn’t.” My face crimsoned at once.
“Seriously, Alana.” She laughed.
School was over and most people had left. I stood leaning on my car as I waited for my beloved Mongrel who was still in the Chemistry lab for practical.
I was checking out some new video games in my phone when she came rushing out of the building. I put back my phone in my pocket and smiled up at her as she scurried down the steps, her brunette locks flowing behind her in the most beautiful way. It always felt good to see her.
“So sorry to keep you waiting,” she said.
“No problem, Mongrel. For you, I’d wait a lifetime.” I grinned at her with a wink as I opened the front door for her.
She smiled back and got in.
On the way, as we drove towards Kingston to pick David, I wanted to tell her about the gig we would be having on Friday night at Brother Bear, and perhaps even ask her to just, you know, come out and chill if she was willing but then, she didn’t seem like she’d be interested so I dropped it.
When we went inside the gate, David was sitting on the grass in the yard with his back against us. Something about the way he was sitting with his head drooping down like he was guilty of something wasn’t a good sight.
“David?” Alana called.
He didn’t reply. He didn’t even look up.
“David.” She called again, approaching him.
No reply yet.
“David, what’s wrong?” Alana strode up towards him, ahead of me and squatting down, she gently held David’s chin to face her.
“Nothing.” David stood up and walked towards the gate, dragging his back pack behind him.
I noticed it was wet and it immediately gave me a bad feeling; almost making me pissed at once.
“David.” Alana tried to follow him but I held her elbow and pulled her back.
“Let me talk to him,” I said, signalling her to stay back and wait for a while.
For all I knew, David wasn’t going to talk to his sister about it. Just the way I didn’t talk to Claire about it.
He walked ahead towards my car. I followed.
“David,” I called when I reached him.
He glanced up at me slightly and looked away quickly.
“David,” I called softly and placed a hand on his shoulder.
He stopped walking. I scooted down to his level and held the other shoulder too.
“I know it wasn’t you. Somebody messed up with your backpack, right?”
He slowly lifted his eyes and met my gaze through his glasses. He didn’t answer.
“Hey, it’s okay. You can talk to me. Why did they do it?” I asked as I pulled out his glasses and cleaned them with my t-shirt.
“I don’t know. I didn’t do anything to them. They said I’m dumb and . . . They just don’t like me.” He answered in a low voice.
With what I’d gone through, I felt myself getting pissed immediately. I clenched my teeth tight and took a moment to suppress my building anger.
“You’re not dumb, David. They just don’t know you’re smart. Hell, you’re the smartest kid I know.” I said, putting his glasses back on him.
I opened his backpack and checked out his books. Not much damage was done but one two books were wet.
“Did they do this to you?” I asked, zipping up the pouch and checking out the bruises on his face.
“They were being so mean, they kept picking on me. I tried to stop them and we just got into a fight.”
Though I was literally pissed inside, a huge smile broke over my face.
He stood up against his bullies.
I’d never been more proud of anybody else.
I ruffled his hair and smiled at him, “I’m proud of you. You should never let anybody put you down.”
“But Alana doesn’t like fighting. If Dad finds out, he won’t be happy either.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll talk to her. She’ll understand. You just wait inside.”
I stood up and opened the backseat door for him. He got in and I went back to Alana who was standing by the gate.
With my hands in my pocket, I told her with a sigh, “He kinda got into a fight. Don’t scold him.”
“He got into a fight?” She questioned back before I could explain further.
“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?” I rolled my eyes.
“It’s not funny,” she grumbled and marched off towards David.
I pulled her back, “Don’t say anything to him.”
“I’m his sister!” She retorted.
“I know that clear enough but right now David doesn’t need a hyper reactive sister.”
“Screw you!” She yelled, “He’s my responsibility. Not yours.”
“He was bullied, alright, and he stood up! That’s way better than eating their goddamn shit!” I snapped at her, fuming with a passion I’d always tried to bury.
David didn’t deserve it.
David is one of the kindest kid I’ve ever known.
I love David . . . Just the way I loved Kevin. I
And I’m proud of him.
Then she was quiet. We stared at each other, her hazel eyes burning into mine.
Eventually realizing I might’ve crossed a line, with the way I was shouting at her, and hurt her pride as a sister who’d always taken good care of her brother, I deadpanned, “Sorry. 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.”
And he doesn’t deserve it.
She exhaled in kind of a surprise at what just happened, how we were yelling at each other, she sighed, “Fine.”
I instantly smiled at her, “Thanks.”
“You should’ve told me he was bullied before anything, idiot.”
Right. I lost track.
“Sorry again, your highness.” I chuckled.
“Doesn’t my dad already know?”
“It was after school.”
“What exactly did they do to him?”
“Spilled water in his backpack.”
“Screw them,” she muttered angrily under her breath.
I laughed again.
I knew she’d understand.
She was really a good sister and a nice person. I was proud that I liked her even though she didn’t like me back. I was just simply proud of her too.