4. She'd Even Forgotten Me
When she reached us, David leaped down from the seat and shouted, “You’re here! How’d you know I was here?”
“David, you picked the worst time to play hide and seek. Why didn’t you wait at the school yard? What are you doing here?”
He shrugged nonchalantly, “It was boring inside so I came out.”
“You know you almost gave me a heart attack, right?”
“I’m sorry,” David replied, adjusting his glasses.
Then, Miss Alana Lancaster flickered her eyes towards me. I was sitting there, watching and enjoying the live talk-show in front of me. I smirked.
I stood up saying, “So this is your sister.”
“Yeah,” David answered.
“And how come you’re here?” Mongrel asked me.
“Let’s say we’re match made in heaven, Mongrel,” I replied in the cockiest way possible.
“You know her?” David asked me surprisingly.
“Yup, buddy. We know each other very well,” I replied but my eyes were fixed on Mongrel. I wanted to see her reactions, every change on her expression. God knows I enjoy watching her just as much as I enjoy kicking Damien’s ass.
“I don’t know you,” she returned stubbornly.
“Yes, you do. All you have to do is a little remembering, Lancaster.”
“I won’t and it’s my privilege not to,” she murmured a notch down in her tone.
I narrowed my eyes at her and pursed my lips to suppress my amusement. She was trying to be mean but, I couldn’t care less but the fact that despite all the changes, the little girl I used to be head-over-heel for still there inside of her.
I stared into her eyes in a challenging manner. She couldn’t take it for long. She pulled her gaze away and turned to her brother.
“You’re new here. You should know that you’re not supposed to walk about alone in the street. You don’t know anything. Something bad could have happened to you!” she chided him.
“Don’t worry. I know all the way. I learned it when dad drove me up,” he replied.
“No, you don’t,” my Mongrel countered.
“Yes, I do.”
“No, you don’t,” she persisted.
David, on the other hand, was one who wouldn’t keep his pride at stake just because his sister said he doesn’t know the way back home. What’s funny is that, he literally recited the entire route like he was singing rhymes and he was correct without a dot misplaced.
If you ask Alana how many street lamps there are from their house to the school, she’ll probably call you crazy but if you ask David, you’re likely to get the correct answer.
“See?” Pride oozed from David’s body as he grinned at Alana. I laughed.
Scratch that, Mongrel. He knows.
“It still doesn’t mean you’re allowed to wander about.” She wasn’t giving up either.
“It’s okay. I’m fine,” David sighed, “Where’s dad?”
“Dad’s not picking us up today. We’re taking the bus.”
“Ah . . .” David groaned, throwing his head backward.
Good for me.
“Come on. I’ll give you guys a ride,” I said.
“Really!” David exclaimed happily.
“Yup, buddy!” I smiled.
“Great!” he came towards me and we started to walk out of the bus-stop.
“No!” Mongrel shouted behind us.
We looked back.
Aww. Mongrel doesn’t wanna ride with me.
I wanted to aww so hard on her face. Nevertheless I raised an eyebrow at the arm she was raising at my direction as a stop sign.
She dropped it and rephrased her NO to, “We’re taking the bus.”
“I’m not gonna kidnap you. Well, not for now.” I smirked at her.
She narrowed her eyes at me. I winked at her. To which, she rolled her eyes.
“David’s already rooting for me and I root for myself. You’re alone. Majority wins so I’m dropping you guys home,” I said, smirking again.
Xavier fucking rules.
She rolled her eyes again. For a while, she refused to ride with me; being a tight pack of stubbornness. But later on, she agreed.
I led them to where I parked my car, across the street. As we walked, the devil inside of me was rejoicing like - hell holy shit, I’m gonna be finding out soon where my Mongrel lives.
When I first offered the ride, I didn’t have this on my mind. I swear. It was a pure, noble intention. I just happened to realize it later on, you know.
When we reached my car, David gasped, “Whoa!”
I rode a 2016 Dodge Charger Srt8 Hellcat. I got it on my sixteenth birthday. I actually thought I would buy something less than this but, I was a sucker of fast cars and Alex liked it too so, I just couldn’t keep my hands off it.
I had to push aside my badass behavior for almost a month to get it. Claire didn’t trust me on fast cars. For all I knew she would never allow this baby in the family unless she sees some change in me. So yeah, I had one of the hardest month of my life just before my sixteenth birthday.
And the first few weeks I started driving this thing, people in school reacted exactly like David did and some even started researching ’bout my parents – what they do and those shit. But now, they’d grown used to it. Problem solved.
And does this little guy even know about cars?
I opened the front seat door and he leaped in. Then I opened the backseat for Miss Lancaster.
“How did you happen to be with my brother?” She asked as she came up.
“He helped me cross the road.” David poked his head out if the window and answered.
“Not to mention, I thought of kidnapping your dear brother.” I joked.
“Yeah. Yeah. I’m sure you did,” she rolled her eyes again and got into the seat.
We reached the house after about thirty minutes. They were back to the same house they used to live in. I thought they would’ve moved back to a new house. David volunteered to direct me the way here to show his sister he really knew the way and as he did, I had started to suspect maybe they were back to the same neighborhood. Who knew.
“Thanks, Xavier,” David said and jumped out of my car the moment I pulled up at their driveway.
“I’m starving!” he exclaimed and ran towards the door.
My eyes fell on the mailbox standing at the edge of the driveway where I had, once upon a time, stuffed a whole lotta Starbursts in there. My Mongrel still had no idea ’bout it.
I went to open her door but she beat me to it.
“Thanks,” she said, pushing back the door.
“Anything for you, Mongrel,” I replied.
Jamming my hands inside my jeans pockets, I leaned back on the side of my car and stared at the house, the mailbox, letting the memories and the guilt of that day take me over.
Funny how a common mailbox could trigger so many old memories and a . . . Heartbreak too.
She doesn’t know I came here.
She doesn’t know a lot of things.
She’d even forgotten me.
“What are you staring at?” she asked.
“You’re back at your house,” I said.
“How do you know where I lived?”
"This isn’t my first time here.”
I wasn’t supposed to say that yet. She, most probably, would ask me when I first came here because I’d never been here to her knowledge and I wasn’t ready to talk about it yet.
Like I expected, she began to ask, “When did you . . .”
I stopped her.
“Wait, you and your mother share the same birthday? The other day was your birthday right?” I asked, changing the topic, suddenly glad how that struck me out of nowhere.
“Yeah! How did you . . . How did you know?” she frowned at me in surprise.
How the hell do I know all that, right? Surprise. I care ’bout you. You just don’t know.
Looking at her face; those eyes that kept staring at me in shock, I chuckled, “You look like you spotted a dinosaur.”
“How did you know all that?” she asked demandingly, crossing her arms over her chest, bringing back her adorable attitude to make me spit.
“You left town on the your birthday, if you don’t remember,” I said.
“And you came back again on your birthday after six years.” I smiled at the coincidence.
“Yeah, right. But how come you remember all this? My birthday . . . When I left . . .” She was so lost it was getting funny to look at her.
I looked back towards the house and shrugged, “I was thinking ’bout you last night . . . ” I stopped and quickly glanced at her before adding, “About how annoying you were and just remembered somehow.”
Okay. That last part was a lie. I mean, really. How could I ever find her annoying? She’s a special case. A special one.
“But seriously, who are you?” she asked again.
“You really don’t remember me, do you?”
She slowly shook her head. “No.”
Kicking a pebble, I laughed and watched the pebble fly five metres down the street as I said, “I think I’ve given you enough clue, Alana.”
I was waiting for her answer as I watched the pebble skid down the concrete road. But when she didn’t say anything, I looked back at her and found her staring at me. Guess where? My lips. My amazing lips which I was habitually biting. She swallowed slowly.
I moved away from the car and stood straight in front of her, tilted my head a bit to the side and gazed at her, smirking, with a face that said ′wanna kiss me?′ Her face crimsoned and she started blinking. Cute.
Teach me how not to like every single thing she does.
“What . . . What kind of . . . clue are you talking ’bout?” she stuttered.
There she goes again with not remembering me.
I ranked a hand through my hair and groaned, “Alana, you’re driving me crazy.”
“You’re the one driving me crazy. Why don’t you just tell me who you are, although I don’t really care, and give me peace,” she kinda complained and grumbled.
“Peace? I’ve become the reason for your peace?” I teased.
“Hell yeah,” she snorted sarcastically, “If you’d just stop irritating me every once in a while, my life would be perfectly as peaceful as death.”
And then she started walking away from me. As reflex had it, I caught her wrist and spun her back to me. She let out a loud gasp as she almost crashed into me. Our eyes met and she stopped blinking as she caught her breath and stared up at me a bit aghast.
“Happy belated birthday, Mongrel,” I said, fighting the urge to tuck back a strand of her hair behind her ear.
The proximity was already challenging my gut out. If I dare touch her further by taking chance in that strand of hair, there was no way I wasn’t kissing her. Because right now, all I wanted to do as her big hazel eyes gazed up at me adorably like a pair of hazel Venus, was to kiss her, kiss her with all that I’d got and then, kiss her more.
But I couldn’t let my hormones get me. For all these years, I’d never been with any girl. I’d fought my hormones to the ass and that was my pride. But now I wasn’t sure if I was gonna be the same with Mongrel. I mean, she wasn’t just any girl to me. She was my first love, the source of my first heartbreak. And for all I knew, she was damn close to having me whipped again.
God knows how much of a challenge she is to me.
And therefore, I tried to lighten the situation whilst getting over the mystery hunt of who the heck I am.
I said, “And don’t forget to bring starburst with you tomorrow.”
Turned out to be a disaster because my hormones refused to leave me just like that. My voice came out in a deep hormone-driven sound and she kept staring at me. It was fantastic.
There wasn’t anything I could do to fix that so I walked back to my car before her thoughts raced forward and call me a hormonal-freak. But then again, that is if she even noticed any of it.
My Mongrel hardly notices anything. One point for Arquette.
I had started my engine but she just stood there like a lost puppy, rolling her eyes from one side to the other in deep thoughts as if she was trying to crack a code to a safe. That code being why I asked her to bring Starbursts, I reckoned.
So leaning towards her, I supplemented through the other window of the front seat, “My dog’s been missing it a lot!” I grinned at her.
If she still can’t remember me after this, I don’t know anymore. There’s no other way.
I never actually liked Starbursts. I just stole them to get her attention. She loved Starbursts as though it was the best thing in the world, so I couldn’t keep my hands off them. And Captain just happened to like it.
So Miss Alana Lancaster, I guess I’ll see you in school tomorrow.
I smiled at her and left.