Tame a Monster

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Chapter Twenty One

“So… what’d he say?” Daniel asked me the next day.

“Surprisingly… he said yes.”

“See? I told you things would work out. You just gotta have a little faith.”

“I guess... do you know who else is coming?”

“Mostly everyone from our lunch table, including some other people. It’ll be fun.”

“Okay.”

“So I’ll pick you up at seven, I’d ask you to text me your address but…”

“Oh yeah… right! I’ll write it down for you.”

“Don’t bail on me now.” He gave me a pointed look and smiled, the corners of his eyes crinkling.

“I make no promises.“ I say and we start walking to my math class, strangely, he’s been walking me to my class every day, at first it weirded me out but now I guess I’ve gotten used to it.

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

I’m finishing some of my school work in class when I hear someone whisper my name. It was the same red lipstick girl from last time, and she was leaning so far over her desk I’m surprised it didn’t topple over.

“So… are you and Daniel, like, dating now?” Her eyes were wide and expected.

“No! No, we’re not dating, we’re just friends.”

“Oh really? Because Daniel doesn’t walk, talk, or just hangs out with anybody. He’s nice to everyone, sure, but only a few are let into his inner circle. I mean you just got here and you’ve been sitting with him at lunch for chrissake!”

“Oh… um-”

“So why you?“ She said, raising her brows, she seemed genuinely confused.

“It’s not like that at all, I think he’s just trying to be welcoming if anything… he’ll probably forget all about me by next week, guaranteed.”

Why am I trying to prove Daniel and I’s lack of status to her? Why do I care what she even thinks?

“But I heard you guys are going bowling later today.”

“Yeah, he invited me.“

“Would it be totally cool if I tagged along with you, because you know, we’re friends?” She said cheerily, I didn’t even know her name, but I also didn’t know how to say no.

“I mean… I could ask? It’s not really my place to say yes-”

“Yeah would you do that for me?!”

“Sure.”

“OMG! You’re such a good friend!”

“Yeah what’s your name again?”

“Oh of course! I’m Nelly.”

“I am Ang-”

“Yeah, Angeline, I know, everyone does. If you haven’t noticed, you’re kinda the talk of the school right now.”

I am!? What do you mean?”

“Well everyone’s just curious about you… not just cause you’re new, but also because you managed to capture Daniels attention. No else has, you know he’s never dated anyone here, or showed any remote interest in any girl.”

“How?”

“Beats me, for second I thought he might have been gay but there’s no way someone that yummy can be gay.”

Something tells me she’s not the brightest tool in the shed.

“So you’ll talk to Daniel after class? I know he likes to walk you to your bus stop.”

That’s not creepy at all, “yeah, sure.”*

“Cool! You’re a good friend!”

I just gave her an awkward laugh.

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Stop biting your freaking nails!

I chide myself as I stared at my face in the bathroom mirror.

It was currently 6:48 PM and Daniel was set to be here any minute now.

I was beyond nervous, I mean what if he never comes and this was some set up?

It definitely wouldn’t surprise me but I’d also be upset with myself for falling for such a stupid gullible trap.

I decided not to change the outfit I was wearing at school, an oversize sweatshirt and baggy jeans. I didn’t want it to seem like I was trying too hard.

I did ask Daniel if… what’s her name again?… I… I really can’t remember.

But anyways, I asked Daniel if the girl from my math class could come and he said it was all right. Unbeknownst to me, she was standing behind me the whole time, awaiting his response and jumping up and down from excitement when he said yes.

Very briefly Daniel stopped to tell… Nelly! That was her name! He told her the location and time before excusing himself politely so he could walk me to the bus stop. He put his hand on the small of my back and led me to the buses.

Honestly, this boy confused me, why does he feel the need to walk me to places? It’s been a couple days now, I know the way to my classes at this point, but still, he insisted on walking me to my classes.

Weirdly enough, I felt a tiny flutter deep in my belly. A flutter I had no business feeling.

I freeze when I hear a sudden knock on my front door.

“No dad! I’ll open it!“ I say racing over and almost knocking my poor father out of the way.

“Necesito de conocerlo de todos modos.”

“I know you need to meet him anyway! But dad… lemme just say hi first, and please don’t scare him away! Okay!?”

Opening the door, I see Daniel, looking ever so good-looking, with his golden blonde hair and sun-kissed skin. He had his usual dashing grin plastered on his face.

But his smile wasn’t for me; he was looking at my dad right behind me.

“Hi, I’m Daniel.“ He stuck his hand out for my dad to shake.

And for the next 15 minutes I basically became a third wheel to my own dad and friend as they bonded over cars and mechanical work. About 15 minutes went by and their conversation did not appear to be ending any time soon.

Sometimes it was fascinating or even scary how charismatic Daniel was, I have yet to hear anyone see a bad thing about him. It made me wonder if it was all an act, or if someone could be that likable and kind.

It made the contrast between Daniel and Keenan all the more striking. They were so similar yet so different at the same time. The way they commanded attention, whether it be by good looks or their dominating presence, I don’t know. Or how they both had a following so eager to please them.

I guess the main difference was how they “ruled” their school. Keenan scared the shit out of people, me included, obviously, that’s how he kept people in check. Through intimidation and blackmail, and above all fear. But Daniel was the complete opposite of that, people loved him. He was kind, funny, charismatic, and charming, it doesn’t matter if you are a loser like me, he treats you like a human being.

“Okay thanks Dad! We have to go now.” I interrupted their conversation, my dad had just offered Daniel to look at his car for him, apparently it was making some strange noises.

My dad and Daniel quickly say their goodbyes and I practically drag Daniel out by his hand.

Now what awaited me outside took me by surprise, I expected a flashy expensive sports car like Keenan’s, from what I hear, Daniel’s family is quite well off. But Daniel’s car looked ordinary, not extremely old but not new either. It was a little relieving, not gonna lie.

I guess I wasn’t that discreet at hiding my surprise because Daniel then said, “what? Were you expecting something else? Something more expensive? A Camry not good enough for you?”

“What? No! It’s not like that! I just wasn’t expecting… I mean it’s just that… people said… I mean there was a rumor… but I don’t care about that kind of stuff! If anything I’m relieved!”

“Relax!“ He chuckled, “I was just teasing you, but to answer any of your suspicions, although my parents have money, I wanted to save and pay for my car by myself. Sure, it’s a piece of crap but it’s my hard earned piece of crap.”

“Wow I think that’s really… admirable? Is there really anything wrong with you?”

Daniel laughed , “and what’s that supposed to mean?”

“Well you’re incredibly kind, people like you, surprisingly not a jerk for how goodlook -”

I stopped mid sentence, Daniel raised his eyebrows and grinned, “for how what?”

Immediately I felt my face become hot and I imagined if I could see myself, I’d be the color of a tomato.

I gave a nervous laugh and shifted awkwardly in my seat. “I mean you must know those rumors about you too.”

“What do they say? That I’m the sexiest man alive? The most dreamy, the most desirable, gorgeous man in the world?”

“Verbatim.” I giggled, “however they said humility wasn’t your strongest suit.”

“What!?” He screamed, “I’m the humblest person I know!”

I’m suuuuuure,” I laughed, “oh my gosh I love this song!”

“Who doesn’t love this song?!” Daniel says turning up the volume, Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen blasting throughout the car.

We spent the rest of the car ride singing our hearts out.

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