Chapter 27 - Bathroom Invitation
"Quit sulking." Ella said as she sat down beside me. I rolled my eyes.
"I'm not sulking."
"Yeah you are."
"No I'm not."
"Whatever. You're so sulking because Daniel and Anne aren't back yet." She said with a wide grin, as if what she just said was something to be proud about.
I set my pen down, knowing I wouldn't be able to concentrate on my work with Ella voicing out my thoughts.
We were in the council room at the moment. The council members already went home since their work was done, and Ella was just accompanying me while I waited for Daniel and Anne to come back.
He said they were just gonna talk. Privately.
What about though? About Kristopher? But I already know about it somehow. Why wasn't I allowed to listen in? I mean no. I should mind my own business.
But I feel so left out.
And I'm worried for some reason.
"Relax Tina," Ella sighed, pressing her finger on the wrinkle on my forehead. "I'm sure Daniel's going to explain everything. He doesn't keep secrets from you."
I nodded slowly.
Yeah, I'm kinda not sure about that.
"By the way," she stood up abruptly, her face beaming with excitement again. "Peyton wanted me to ask you a favor."
I raised my brows. Peyton, her big sister? Well that was rare.
Ella sighed. "You know she's in college right? And she's taking up Psychology as her major."
I eyed her curiously. "And?"
"And," Ella continued. "She needs help with her project. In other words, she needs Guinea pigs."
I could already feel myself sinking in my seat. Psychology? Guinea pigs? So Peyton was gonna observe my reaction or behavior or something?
"She actually asked me to gather my friends, in other words you guys, and bring you all to our place when she says so." She added.
"Can I say no?" I replied, already feeling exhausted, but a little relieved to know that I wasn't gonna be the only Guinea pig.
She eyed me seriously. "Can you?"
Recalling Peyton's personality and how she helped me with some stuff before, there's no way I could refuse. I owe her.
"Thought so," Ella sighed again, giggling at my groan of defeat. Even Ella can't say no to her.
Peyton's actually a really cool person. She's so wise and empathetic. She gives really good advices too. Her taking up Psychology as her major didn't surprise any of us.
Ella glanced at her watch before checking her phone for messages. "I'll convince her to buy us snacks in return for participating in her project."
Selling our souls to snacks huh.
After a few more minutes, Daniel entered the council room. As soon as he met my eyes, he sent me an apologetic look for taking too long. I just smiled at him.
"Well your husband's here. I better get going now." Ella said as she slid her bag around her shoulder.
I ignored her customary tease and held her arm to stop her from hopping away. "Want us to drop you off?"
She shook her head smiling. "It's okay, thanks. I have a date with Chie. We're gonna meet just outside school."
"Oh okay," I said. "Have fun. See you tomorrow."
"Yup see ya!" She cheered as she exited the room.
Arranging the stack of papers on my desk, I noticed that Daniel had a weird look in his face. And he kept glancing at the window as if he was anticipating someone to appear or something.
I wanted to ask him what he and Anne talked about, but I didn't want to sound nosy or suspicious so I buried my questions in the back of my mind.
I think I'll find out about it sooner or later anyway.
When we arrived at my house, I set my bag on the living room couch. Daniel followed behind me.
It was pretty quiet so I'm guessing my parents weren't home yet.
"What do you wanna do?" I asked him. He shrugged his shoulders before a playful grin appeared on his face.
Before he could suggest something butthead-like, I cleared my throat loudly.
"Wanna watch a movie?"
I'm trying my best to distract myself here. I'm dying to ask him what he and Anne talked about. Why isn't he opening up about it?
He smiled knowingly at my attempt to evade his sarcastic-slash-perverted remarks and just nodded.
I took the flashdrive Ella lent me from my room and plugged it behind our TV. I mindlessly selected Deadpool as our movie for tonight.
I had no idea what that movie was about. But the title sounded promising, I guess.
A few minutes after the movie started, I still kept thinking about what he and Anne talked about. I was pretty sure it was about Kristopher. But I still wanted to know the specific conversation.
When was I ever so curious about stuff like this? I can't just leave it alone.
Daniel sat beside me on the couch, focusing on the movie. Was it that interesting? I wasn't paying that much attention.
Our knees and shoulders were touching and I wanted to kick him for not noticing how troubled I was.
Why the heck am I waiting for him to notice himself? Asking him or telling him directly was the logical thing to do.
But I don't want to be logical right now.
Being a girl sucks.
The movie reached the part where the guy and girl went... wild. I instinctively grabbed the remote and paused the movie.
Oh God. I paused it at a very bad part. It was ridiculous. They were overexaggerating what they were doing! Does that really happen in real life?
I could hear Daniel snickering beside me, and I jabbed his rib knowing what he was thinking.
"I admire your taste in movies, Poopy." He said.
"Shut up." I mumbled as I stood up.
I gave him the remote as I walked upstairs to my room. I was just gonna leave my bag there and then come back but as soon as I finished my task, I saw Daniel leaning against my doorframe.
"What are you doing here?" I sighed.
He pouted. "You just left me downstairs with the remote."
"I don't wanna watch that movie without you."
I rolled my eyes as a smug grin replaced his fake pout.
"You just like seeing my stupid reactions to those scenese."
He shook his head, his grin growing wider. "Nah, I just like you that's all."
I can't say anything against that.
"I'm going to the bathroom." I announced, walking past him and heading straight for my destination.
I was just gonna wash my hands. I felt like it was dirty or something, I don't know. Daniel followed me there nonetheless.
"You're like a lost puppy, seriously." I sighed as I turned the faucet on. I left the door open as well since he seemed like he had something to say.
"Are you saying I look cute?" He inquired, batting his eyes at me.
I sprinkled some water on his face as I laughed. He winced but he laughed as well.
I washed my hands with my favorite melon hand-soap and then rinsed it with the cold water. Upon wiping my hands dry, Daniel spoke up.
"Aren't you gonna ask about what Anne and I talked about earlier?"
I stiffened and felt my heartbeat quicken as he said this. Was he aware of my uneasiness after all? Was he just waiting for me to ask him?
I didn't dare look at him. I couldn't.
"Are you gonna tell me?" I asked.
"Of course." He nodded.
I sighed, somehow in relief. It didn't sound forced. And judging by his tone, what they talked about probably wasn't what I was unnecessarily worrying about.
I finally raised my head to look at him. "Please tell me?"
He smiled after seeing my expression. "She asked me about everything that happened between Tops and I since he got here. She had a lot of questions. A lot. A lot."
The repetition of those words clearly stressed how stressed he was.
"I think she's planning to confront him or something, and is just using our reconciliation as reference." He said, sighing.
I nodded. So that's what it was about after all. I see. Okay.
Why do I feel so relieved?
I cleared my throat after a momentary silence, and asked what was on my mind. "Does Anne like Kristopher?"
"Well, yeah." He replied.
"And Kristopher likes Anne," I clarified.
I had to resist throwing my hands up in the air for utter confusion or rather frustration. "Then why are they being like this?"
Daniel smiled at me as he shook his head. He sighed, leaning against the wall. We were so absorbed in our conversation that we didn't realize we haven't left the bathroom yet.
"It's exactly because they like each other that they're being like this."
I just gaped at him. He looked like he was about to burst out laughing. "I don't get it. Explain it to me."
"All relationships are different. You can't understand them all," he simply said, as if that answer alone was satisfactory. "Ours for example."
I almost choked on my own saliva.
"What do you mean?" I said as nonchalantly as possible.
Instead of a reply, he thought a suspicious grin would suffice. And then he walked closer.
"Don't come any closer." I warned, taking a step back as he advanced with that misleading smile. He's killing me!
"Why not?" He tilted his head to the side, trying and successfully pulling off an innocent smile. But I knew better.
"Because you're changing the subject." I said, but he was already right in front of me. The distance between us was almost as thin as paper. Why does he keep doing this?
Why don't I dislike it? Is it because I like him? Is that it?
I squealed internally at my own thoughts. Shut up Tina.
"No I'm not," he said, his hand crawling to my lower back to pull me even closer. I hate that I didn't even want to resist. "We're talking about our relationship here right?"
He held my face with his other hand, and he stared at me with that innocent grin of his. He wasn't gonna kiss me, was he? He said he wouldn't. Not until we're... you know.
I feel like my knees are gonna give up soon. Why is he making this so hard for me?
I looked away and tried to distract myself by staring at the open door of the bathroom. And yes, we were still inside the bathroom.
"Daniel," I hissed. "Stop that. Behave yourself. "
"Why?" He chuckled teasingly. "Your parents aren't here. You think I won't get ideas?"
I know he was just teasing me but still. His words, his tone of voice, his breath... They all had a certain affect on me. Damn it I hate admitting these things to myself.
Before I could respond with something sarcastic, we heard my mom climbing up the stairs and yelling my name.
In a panic, I jumped off Daniel's embrace and kicked the door close. I could hear her getting nearer.
"Hide in the curtains!" I shout-whispered. "Go!"
Confused, he did as told and hid behind the curtains. When I realized what I had done and what I should've done in this situation, I slapped myself.
Why didn't I just kick him out before I closed the door? Why did I panic? Stupid, I'm so stupid.
I don't even want to know what mom's gonna think if she knows Daniel's in here with me.
I didn't realize that I left the door unlocked. The knob twisted and I panicked again. I jumped behind the curtains with Daniel, an attempt to hide.
"Are you in here honey?" She said, her head poking from the other side of the door.
Afraid that she would come inside and check the curtains, I turned the shower on and made my presence known.
The look on Daniel's face when I turned on the water was unexplainable.
Why the heck did I just do that!
"Oh, were you taking a shower?" She asked. I quickly peeked at her from the shower curtain and nodded.
"Yeah. Do you need something, mom?"
She opened the door wider and was about to enter completely when I stopped her.
"Wait!" I yelled. She looked at me, surprised at my sudden outburst. I clutched the curtain and gulped. God I am an idiot. "Umm... Can we talk later?"
Mom stared at me for a few seconds before releasing a short giggle. "Oh honey, what you're trying to hide isn't something I don't have. We're both girls here."
That's not it at all! What I'm trying to hide is a zombie! A zombie who's probably enjoying the situation right now.
"Well, alright. Just meet me downstairs." She said. I sighed in relief when she was about to leave, but then she stopped in her tracks and eyed me suspiciously. I stifled a gulp. "Sweety, are you wearing your uniform in there?"
I looked down and feigned innocence. I hope the look of distress wasn't so obvious in my face.
Mom shook her head. "You're even wearing your shoes. Those are leather too! Goodness, what happened to you Kristina? Did something happen at school?"
She was about to walk in again but I stopped her yet again. I shook my head as I used my free hand to cover Daniel's face, signalling him to turn around.
"I'm just kinda out of it today mom," I said shakily as I unbuttoned my blouse and slid off my skirt. I also took off my shoes. Everything was totally wet.
I wrung my uniform and handed them to my mom, refusing to let go of the shower curtains.
Mom looked at me quizically as she took my damp clothes. She must be worried something bad happened to me or something. How am I going to explain this to her?
"I'll send this to the dry-cleaners then. We need to talk. Come down after you're through, alright honey?"
Mom's tone of voice was sweet and reassuring. She sounded so worried. And that just added to my guilt.
I guess I was pretty out of it today.
I gave her a brief nod before she finally closed the door. After listening to her footsteps fading away and when I was sure she was already downstairs, I turned to look at my companion.
I looked at him from head to toe. Uh oh.
"What is this situation." He said, finally turning around to face me, water sliding down from his hair, lashes, nose, lips, jaw...
"I'm so sorry. I don't know what I was thinking." I honestly said.
He chuckled, sounding quite amused as he turned the water off. He then grabbed two towels from the rack near us.
He placed the towel over his neck as he wrapped the other one around me. I just realized I was only wearing my underwear.
I'm kinda glad I wore the presentable ones today.
I mean what. That's not the issue here!
"You could've just told your mom I was in here," he said in a matter-of-fact way. He was grinning slightly too.
Anyone could tell he was enjoying this. I glared at him, unable to fight back since he was right.
"Maybe you just wanted to get us both wet." The corner of his lip crawled up into a smirk.
I scoffed at his attempt to get me flustered. But still. I couldn't help the heat rising in my cheeks.
"Or maybe you just wanted to strip in front of me?" He raised his brows suggestively. Taking it from where he left off earlier, he started walking closer towards me again.
This time it was almost impossible to escape.
I don't understand why I couldn't utter a single word.
"Are you teasing me?" He asked, looking at me. I kept taking steps back as he approached. It won't be long until my back hits the wall.
"Tempting me?" He tilted his head to the side curiously. His face neared mine. I swallowed hard as I watched the water drip from his cheek and to his neck. Why was I fascinated or something?
"Or are you possibly..." He whispered, my back finally against the wall. Pressing his forehead against my own and staring deeply into my eyes, I held my breath. "Inviting me?"
I felt so powerless. I hate my thoughts so much. I can't focus. Why the heck do I think he looks so attractive right now?
I glared at him again, annoyed at my own incompetence in these situations. I hate that I can't think of smart things to counter his remarks.
Still, I refused to be the underdog, even though I know I already am. I grabbed him by the collar and pulled him closer. I think I used too much force since our noses practically got smudged together. I sighed heavily, fanning his lips with my breath and staring at his eyes deeply.
I want him to kiss me.
"Stop trying to seduce me, you jerk." I said in the same tone he used on me. He looked surprised at my actions. The look in his eyes was satisfying somehow.
He quickly shook the shock off as his grin grew wider. "Did it work?"
I let go and scoffed. "Try harder."
He chuckled slowly, touching his lips for a moment. "Challenge accepted."
I rolled my eyes laughing.
I clutched my towel on my chest. I need to cover up. When Daniel noticed the anxious look on my face, he placed his hands over his eyes.
"I'm covering my eyes now. I didn't see anything I swear."
I released another scoff. "Liar."
"Partly true." Wow he didn't even try to deny it. "What you're hiding isn't something I haven't seen before anyway."
"I just knew you were gonna use that against me!"
He chuckled again and I couldn't help but laugh as well. I was getting used to it by now. Maybe that's why I don't feel so bothered about it.
Or maybe I was getting dangerously comfortable around him already.
"What are you gonna do about my wet clothes? I can't go home like this." He said, wringing the hem of his uniform.
"I think mom already went to the dry-cleaners. Dad won't be home until dinner. Give me your uniform, I have a hair dryer in my room." I voiced out my thoughts.
And as usual, the butthead found a way to twist my words to his own liking. "Ahh. So now that your parents are gone, you want to get me naked in your bedroom."
My hand moved on its own and smacked his arm. Hard.
"You can dry your own uniform then."
"Sorry." He jokingly said as he took his uniform off. I looked away until he was through. I didn't want to stare. But I wanted to.
Shut up Tina.
He gave me his damp clothes and I knew without looking that he had a smug grin again. I ignored it.
So our ridiculous situation that was caused by my stupid actions progressed, and we tiptoed to my room wearing only towels.
I locked the door and wasted no time changing into something appropriate. I left Daniel with the towel wrapped around his waist. I didn't have anything to lend him anyway.
I then proceeded to dry his uniform using my hair dryer. He was playing with my stuffed animals as I did this. I wanted to scold him or swat his hands away from my babies but I just couldn't look at him right now.
I'm humiliated at my own actions. Did he think I was leading him on or something?
Okay. Calm down man. Relax.
You're just in her room. She's just drying your uniform. You're just wearing nothing but a towel in her room.
Just you and her. In her room. Alone.
Shut up shut up shut up shut up.
I was only planning on teasing her a bit earlier at the bathroom but I didn't expect it'd lead to this. And I definitely didn't expect her to grab my collar and tell me to stop trying to seduce her.
I don't know why I feel somewhat turned on.
Shut up shut up shut up shut up.
Does she realize I'm about to go crazy here? Does she even realize what she's doing to me? It was so hard not to kiss her. I tried my best to control myself. But damn, she's just too irresistible.
Was she doing this on purpose? What kind of torture was this?
Smart words coming from the guy who loves making her feel flustered everyday.
"Just a wait a bit." She said, snapping me out of my thoughts for a moment. I nodded quietly.
She had her back turned against me as she dried my clothes. I stared at her. She was pretty quiet on the way back here. I wonder what she was thinking when Anne dragged me out of the room to talk.
She seemed so uneasy but she wasn't asking me anything, so I told her. But not the whole story. What Anne and I really talked about was Chie.
I can't tell her about Chie yet. It's for her own good.
And I didn't lie when I said Anne asked me so many questions about Tops. She literally asked a lot.
Half an hour passed, and my uniform was dry. She handed it to me and I thanked her before wearing it immediately.
She was about to dry my shoes next when Aunt Lizzy called her for dinner. She sent me an apologetic smile as she unplugged the hair dryer and gave me back my wet shoes.
"I'll go get dad's slippers in the mean time," she offered. I shook my head.
She insisted and I politely refused. Her mom called again so she gave up and the both of us went down.
"Oh, so you were here Daniel!" Aunt Lizzy smiled. I nodded my head. "No wonder I saw your car outside. And the TV's on too. What were you guys watching?"
I heard a small gag beside me and I resisted a smirk. Oh Poopy.
"Just some superhero parody. Ella suggested it." I replied, doing Poopy a favor. Aunt Lizzy laughed knowingly before she told us to sit down.
"It's great that you're here. I was gonna tell Tina to tell you about this thing. You really saved me the trouble."
I looked at her daughter curiously. She just shrugged her shoulders. "What about?"
"Well," she started, eyeing us both with that suspicious, mischievous glint in her eyes. I had a bad feeling about this. "Actually, Johnny, Jake and I are planning to go out of town next week, for about three days."
Poopy also blinked.
Aunt Lizzy continued. "It's our high school reunion! It's so exciting, really. You guys know that Johnny, Jake and I were classma--"
"Mom." Poopy deadpanned. "You're gonna leave me home alone for three days?"
If it were me I'd be kinda cool with it. But to Poopy, hm. Maybe it's because she can't cook for herself? Or maybe she's scared?
I was about to suggest that she sleep over at Ella's when Aunt Lizzy called my attention.
"That's why Daniel!" She excitedly clapped her hands together.
"Yeah?" I carefully said.
She giggled again, making Poopy and my uneasiness grow. "I'll leave our Tina to you!"
"WHAT?" Poopy objected.
"Okay." I easily replied. I was just gonna do the usual by picking her up and dropping her off to school, right?
"Perfect." Aunt Lizzy laughed. "Because Johnny said he was gonna have your house repainted, so you'll be staying over here in the time we're away."
Dad did say something about having our house repainted last week.
But still. I didn't hear anything about him going out of town and leaving me at Poopy's house during his trip.
"Mother?!" Poopy cried incredulously. "Are you serious?!"
"Why are you two reacting like this, I wonder." She innocently pressed her finger on her chin. "Did you get any ideas when I said we were leaving you two alone for three days?"
Her daughter's face couldn't get any redder. I would tease her, but I was still on the process of understanding what Aunt Lizzy just said.
So she wanted me to babysit Poopy for three days and two nights?
"Mom." Poopy said again, calmly. But I could hear her breathing heavily. "That's not the point. You're gonna leave me alone with a guy?"
"It's not like you'll be staying in the same room." She giggled. "I'll clean up the guest room. He'll sleep there. Just do what you guys usually do until we get back."
Oh, do what we always do. Hm.
Unholy thoughts, disappear.
The part where she said I was gonna stay in their guest room put us at ease for a bit but then the woman just went ahead saying whatever she wanted.
"Plus, I'm asking Daniel to stay here to protect you. It's not like he's gonna attack you."
Well, Aunt Lizzy. I can't make any promises about that.
"Purify your thoughts and intentions dear children! My three grandchildren can wait. Ah! Let's talk about this when Jake and Johnny come back. First let's have dinner!"
I... have nothing to say.
Poopy just kept whining and groaning. I felt exhausted already.
This woman was trying to kill me.
Putting that matter aside from now, Poopy sighed and went to get the plates and utensils, leaving me and Aunt Lizzy alone in the table.
"Daniel," she said as soon as Poooy was out of earshot. I looked at her, preparing myself for what she was about to say next.
She looked at my feet and winked at me. "Your shoes are still wet."
Poopy came back with the food and plates. When everything was set, she sat down beside me, completely unaware of what her mom just dropped on me.
She didn't notice how stiff I was since she was probably too distracted thinking about stuff.
Aunt Lizzy just ate her dinner happily, and triumphantly if I may add.
I swallowed hard.
She knows I was with Poopy in the shower earlier.
Both of them ate while having random discussions, and here I was slowly sinking in my seat, hoping the floor swallows me up.
The woman knows. I don't know what she's thinking, or what she thinks of me right now.
Oh man. Oh shit.