Chapter 18 unite two lovers
Lying on my back I stared at the ceiling. Wondering if there any kind of sickness that you could conjure up in one day. I called Mandy and told her that I couldn't come because I was sick and quickly hung up apologising.
But I was one hundred percent sure she didn't buy it. Who would? You don't fall ill in the mere matter of hours.
The main topic to worry about now was what possible excuse could I give her the next day for not attending her birthday party?
The truth was I was hell scared. I've never been to this kind of high school parties ever before. But I fairly had an idea what it would be like. Music, dance, alcohol and girls in short dresses with huge makeup. I would never fit in.
There was a knock on the door. "come in ", I said, thinking it was Reshma. However, to my surprise it wasn't her. I sat up straight seeing him but then realising he couldn't be here right now I sank down on my pillow again. I must be hallucinating.
"See what I said about thinking about you all the time. I can even see you now", I said as he watched me with a bemused expression.
"You think I'm not real?", he asked. My favourite crooked smile playing at his lips.
"So now I'm hearing your voice too! Of course you're just a figment of my imagination. You can't be here right now ", I said getting up in the sitting position again.
He sat beside me. "Maybe this will assure you that I'm real", he said placing his hand under my chin and bringing his lips to meet mine.
Yup, this was definitely him. It definitely tasted like him. His minty breath mixed with the scent of his cologne. I couldn't be imagining all this.
He moved his face away to watch my expressed. "Do you believe I'm real now?",he asked.
"Yes, very very real", I said shaking my head to clear all muddled thoughts.
"Wait! What are you doing in my house at this hour! And how did you come in through that door?", I said getting up from the bed in horror, trying to hear ascending footsteps down the long hallway.
"Why? Can't I come to see my girlfriend? ", he asked innocently.
"Tyler, do you understand......", he didn't let me complete my sentence. He jumped to his feet, placing his hands on my shoulders. "Hey, relax! Relax! Nobody is in the house except Reshma, she let me in", he said.
"Still you should have called me before coming in like that. You could've given me a heart attack! ", I said.
He pulled me closer, wrapping his arms around me. "Do you think I'm that stupid to come in knowing it was dangerous? ", he said running smooth circles down my back.
"I can't lose you", I said meekly, I thought my voice was muffled by his T-shirt. But he heard me, alright.
"Then I promise you won't ", he said placing a soft kiss on my forehead.
"By the way sweetheart, weren't you supposed to be sick?", he asked, suddenly reminding me of my earlier facade.
"I'm sick", I said placing a little distance between us. The proximity between us wasn't helping me in conjuring up a reasonable excuse.
"Well, you look perfectly fine to me ", he said studying my face.
"It won't be that bad. And Mandy specially asked to bring you with me", he said slumping down on my bed.
" but I don't want to go. I know Mandy will understand. Why don't you go and enjoy? ", I tried to reason.
"Yeah, she'll understand. Her exact words were,' drag her here if you have to but I want her here by eight '. Even if I don't take you there she'll drive here and do it herself. And you seriously think I can enjoy without you?", he said rolling his eyes.
When I didn't respond he stood up slowly and walked towards me. "I'm not going without you. So please come. For me at least", he said cupping my cheeks.
"Fine!", I sighed. A smile spread across his face as he placed his lips on mine. "Get ready. I'll be waiting downstairs", he said kissing my forehead one last time before walking towards the door.
"I knew you couldn't refuse me", he added with a smirk before closing the door.
"God help me that I'm in love with this man!", I said and immediately pressed a hand on my mouth when the door reopened. "What did you say?", Tyler popped his head in.
"Oh nothing ",I replied immediately. He seemed to consider it for a while before saying, "I'll make you say it again ", and closing the door again.
My heart was beating erratically inside my chest. I thought he had heard. I placed my ear on the door to hear his footsteps.
I messed through my closet for an appropriate outfit, apparently there were just too many to choose from. At last ill picked a simple spaghetti strip black dress which reached upto my mid thighs. I left my hair in loose curls and applying minimal makeup I walked out.
As I reached the bottom of the stairs u saw Tyler chatting with Reshma. As soon as his eyes fell on me I heard him gasp.
"How do I look? ", I asked twirling around to give them both a beter view.
"Beautiful ", Reshma said with a smile.
"Tyler? ", I asked waiting for his answer when he didn't reply, fearing if I didn't look upto the mark. His mouth was still a little parted.
"You....I....you", he fumbled with his words. I felt my palms getting sweaty. How bad did I look that he couldn't even frame a sentence properly? Was he afraid his answer might hurt my feelings?
He must have seen the horrified expression on my face for suddenly as if out of a trance he embraced me in a hug. "You look amazing! ", he said pecking on my lips.
"Ready to go? ",he asked lacing his fingers through mine.
"As if you wouldn't take me if wasn't ready", I said rolling my eyes.
"True true", he said smirking.
"Then why bother asking? ", I said it under my breath but he still heard me. How sharp were his ears! Maybe it was just a result of years of practice.
"I'll make it a point not to ask the next time",he said laughing.
"Have fun and don't be late ", Redmarley called out as we headed for the door.
"I'll come in through the window", I informed over my shoulder.
The drive to Mandy's house was filled with anxiety. Tyler's soothing words weren't helping this time. I closed my eyes and tried to calm my wretched nerves.
The sudden loud noise flowing in my ears indicated that we've reached our destination. Tyler stopped the engine. I saw him getting out his phone texting someone before getting out the car. I was too tensed right now to notice who it was he texted.
I was fixed at my spot, I couldn't move. "Ari, we're here", he informed opening the door for me.
Unwantingly I opened my seat belt and got out of the car. "Do I have to go inside? ", I asked pointing the house.
But before he could answer Mandy walked out of the door in a red minidress. "thank god! I thought you'll never come!", she said hurriedly dragging me in with her. 'Help?', I mouthed at Tyler but he was busy enjoying the show.
"Hey! I thought you were sick", Lily yelled as she made her way towards.
"Yeah was", I said, not sure how should make up for the world's most stupid lie I've managed to weave earlier.
"Trust me, you'll have great fun! And you'll thank me later for throwing the best party of your life", Mandy said excitedly, clapping her hands.
"Hey I'll be right back. I need a drink ", Lily announced. "Oh me too!", Mandy joined in. "Should I get you a drink too Ell?", Lily asked. "No, I'm fine. Thanks", I waved the offer off. "Okay then. Will be right back ", Mandy said before dragging Lily with her.
I've never drinked before, but I certainly knew the consequences. I wouldn't want to do something crazy when almost half of the school was present here.
As I turned around someone bumped into me, spilling the whole content of his glass - whatever it was - over my dress. He didn't even bother to apologise and was out of my sight before I could yell, "watch it jerk! "
"Ugh!", I groaned while measuring the content of the destruction. I asked someone where the washroom was and they informed down the left corridor. But I immediately regretted coming here.
Even before I could I turned the knot the door opened at my face, revealing Nicole. Her cheeks has tear strains which meant that she must have been crying. Before I could understand what was happening she dragged me in, closing the door behind her.
"Did anyone follow you?", she asked, her expression held fear.
"I don't think so", I replied nonchalantly, trying to free my hand from her grasp. But her grip tightened, her nails almost digging into my flesh.
"Are you sure? ", she asked again.
"Look this is the general direction of the washroom. Anyone could come this way. How am I supposed to know if we're particularly following me?" This time I did manage to free my hand from her grasp.
"Do you have any idea what you're getting yourself into! How can you not understand? ", she said, almost shaking my shoulders.
"What the heck are you talking about? And keep your filthy paws off me", I said pushing her hands off me. "Look whatever your problem is, can you just keep away from my life?", I said moving to the sink and gently wiping my dress with a tissue paper.
"I'm not the one who's going to hurt you. I'll absolutely gain nothing in saying this to you but I feel like I should warn you at least. For there was no one to warn me, if there was maybe I wouldn't be here in this mess right now ", she paused to wipe the tear which had rolled down her cheek.
"Look, can you be a little clearer? I can't understand what you're trying to say", I said focusing my attention back to my dress.
"I can't say much. Just stay away from Tyler. It's for your own good", she said before walking towards the door.
This was enough to get me infuriated. "For my good or yours? ", this made her stop in her track and turn around. "you're just jealous, aren't you? You seriously think you can take him away from me like that. Why can't you get this through his thick skull! He'll never be yours!", I almost yelled.
I was shaking by the time I was done but she maintained her cool stature. With a cold smile she said, "no he'll never be mine but he'll never be yours either"
With another parting shot she left. What was with this girl and her incomplete sentences that always made me rethink everything all over again.
What did she mean he'll never be mine? He was mine. Was it a threat? Would she do something crazy to snatch him away from me?
I stomped out of the washroom in rage. No matter what happened today, I would tell Tyler that I love me. But the question was how?
That's when my eyes fell on a group of drunk teenagers, who were playing truth and dare. That's it! I thought. All I have to do is get drunk and the words will come out on their own. So I headed towards the kitchen.
Danny was pouring himself a drink. "Need one?", he asked seeing me. I just nodded. He poured some liquor from a bottle in two paper cups and handed me one.
I gulped down the whole content of the cup in one go. I didn't like whatever it was. However, I started to feel dizzy the moment it entered my system.
"Whoa! Slow down there princess", he said chuckling as he refilled my cup. I didn't refuse since I wasn't sure if one drink was enough to get the whole sentence out.
"Have you seen Tyler anywhere? ", I asked leaning on the kitchen island.
"Don't worry, he must be right here. He can't stay away from you for too long", he said taking a sip from his cup and we both ended up laughing.
It was after four drinks that I completely lost it and ended up having a silly competetion with Danny about who could catch more chips in their mouth.
Every chip Danny tossed in the air landed up in his mouth, and every single one I tossed landed up in my hair, or on my nose or a a few inches away away from my mouth.The truth was it landed in every direction than where it should have.
I was labouring hard to toss the chips in my mouth when a redhead from somewhere dragged Danny with her to the dance floor. He apologised and excused himself.
Finding almost nothing else to do, my eyes wandered around. Some were dancing, some were busy in a heated makeout session, and others were too drunk to understand what they were doing.
I was trying to find something interesting to keep me busy when my eyes landed on Sebastian, who was busy staring at Lily, who was chatting heartily with Aidan, whose eyes searched for someone, perhaps Ashley. Easy enough to follow?
The alcohol must've completely took over my senses for I found myself heading towards Sebastian.
"You should go talk to her ", I said looking down at Sebastian, who was sitting on a couch. He looked up at me in sudden surprise. "She won't bite you know", I said, sitting on a chair across from him.
"Could you just leave me alone ", he said preparing to get up and leave himself when I didn't seem to budge. How much did he despise my company!
"Look I don't mean to irritate you. But knowing my friend Lily, I can tell you this, she's the world's most clueless person. She won't get a hint of how much you like her until you tell her", I said making him turn to look at me.
"Is it that obvious that I like her?", he asked looking down at his feet.
"Yup, I think everyone knows except her", I said.
"Do you think she'll like me?", he asked looking hopefully at me. Even drunk I couldn't say no to the face. Lily first reaction I was sure of, she would be surprised before had never talked before to her and she was too occupied with Aidan to notice Sebastian. The thing was if he directly confessed his feelings for her, there was a huge chance he could scare her off. It was natural, any girl would be taken by suprise if suddenly one day a guy who has never spoken to her before comes and says "I like you".
So instead I tried to answer him as honestly as I could without hurting his feelings. "She would be a fool not to."
"So you mean I should go talk to her", he asked although he had already gotten up and was ready to go to Lily the moment I said "yes".
"Yes, that's absolutely what I mean. But just talk to her in a natural way, like you're just having a casual conversation. Let her develop her trust in you first and I'm sure once she gets to know you better, she won't be able to help liking you", I said encouragingly.
"Casual conversation, like what?", he asked nervously.
"Like you know your likes and dislikes. How this party rocks but don't go to the 'how she's the most beautiful girl in the party to you' conversation at the beginning ", I said.
"Okay. Talk casually, do not completely too much at the start. Anything else I should keep in mind? ", he asked.
"Don't forget to be yourself ", I added. He sighed and turned around walking at her direction. He turned back midway and came back. I thought there was something else he wanted to ask but he surprised me by engulfing me in a hug.
"Thank you", He said against my hair. "You're welcome ", I said as he let me go. "I'm sorry I've been so rude to you....", he started but I stopped him. "it's okay. will you go already! ", I said pushing in the direction of where Lily stood.
Aidan excused himself as Ashley hugged him from the back and the couple left. The frown was visible on her face even from a distance. That was when I noticed Sebastian had slipped into the seat next to her. At first as I had anticipated, lily was taken aback to see Sebastian sitting there beside her and talking to her. But gave in to the conversation anyway. After a certain interval, I even saw her laughing at something Sebastian said. When he thought Lily wasn't looking, he glanced at me with a wide grin, and I knew things were going according to plan. I gave him a thumps up.
All this while I was so engrossed in the new love story playing before me that I didn't notice someone else was watching me the same intently.
"United two lovers?" It was only when I heard his voice that I almost jumped three feet up in the air.
"Oh Tyler! ", As soon as realisation hit me, I threw my arms around him.
"Hi there", he said softly pecking on my lips.
"Are you drunk? ", he asked, holding me at an arms length, studying my face perhaps.
"Uh......maybe a little ", I admitted.
"Ari!", he sighed. "Come on, it's late. I'll drop you home", he said placing his hand on the small of my back and already directing me outside, towards his car.
"But I don't want to leave yet! ", I winner like a little schoolgirl.
He pretended not to notice me and fixed my seat belt. Perhaps he thought that I was too drunk to do it myself, and honestly, maybe I was.
"Oh wait! I've to tell you something ", I said suddenly remembering the reason why I was in the first place. "Tell me later", he said closing his side of the door.
"But I'll forget ", he didn't let me complete my sentence, he placed his lips on mine, shutting me up. Although it wasn't enough to shut me up for the rest of the drive back home. However, it was enough to divert my mind from the main topic here.
All the back, I kept babbling about how wonderful the party was, how much I enjoyed it. Making peace with Sebastian and what not.
The main difficulty came when we arrived under my window. How was I supposed to get in. Turned out I was sober enough to climb up with a lot of his help and didn't wake up the whole house in the process.
I don't remember everything very well, but I was half passed out when I was done changing and getting ready for bed. Tyler was still sitting on my bed, busy with the baby panda he had given me earlier.
"Fluffy huh?", he asked as I came out of the washroom.
I just shrugged. It was actually the only name I could think of that was cute enough.
He was tucking me in when I suddenly remembered. "I love you ", I blurted out. He looked taken aback for a moment. He started in my eyes, as if trying to see something in the depths.
I don't know what he saw in my eyes, but he got up from my side. "Go to sleep Ari", he said placing a soft kiss on my forehead.
"No, don't go!", I said grabbing his hand as he was preparing to leave.
"We'll talk tomorrow", he said. "Please stay", I pleaded. He finally sighed and gave in, pulling up the quilt he slipped beside me.
"Go to sleep", he said.
"Fine", I agreed snuggling closer to him. It had been a long day in so many ways, yet I felt no sense of relief at its end. Almost as if something worse was coming tomorrow.
Laying my head on his chest I contentedly decided to give in to sleep at last. He ran his hand through my hair, humming a melodious tune all along.
I knew that song. Yes, I've certainly heard it somewhere. But where? I was sure once I must have been very familiar with the verses too but now I just couldn't recall them. With the tune still on my mind, I drifted off to sleep.
A/N: did you guys like the chapter? I would love to hear what you think. What do you think happens next? I'll give you a hint, part two begins! The rest I'll leave you guys to figure out. Do not stress yourselves too much though.