Chapter 2 - The Start of a Bad Relationship
"Kristina! Sweetie what's wrong?!" Mom shook my shoulders back and forth. I was wrapped in a towel-dress now, and couldn't get myself to open my mouth.
Did that... just happen?
What. The. Hell. What the hell!
That guy! Who was that guy?! I keep trying to calm down my rapid heartbeats but it was useless. I'm going to kill that guy when I see him!
I glanced at my mom; she was giving me such a worried look. Well who wouldn't? I just screamed at the top of my lungs and when she finally got to my room, I was still standing behind the curtains, petrified from the shock.
I can't tell her about that guy just now. He must've been the most awaited guest and just got lost or something. And if I tell her now, she might get mad at him and chase him out after they just arrived.
"A spider!" I yelled. I knew how much my mom hated spiders, so I used that one as an excuse.
"WHAT?! WHERE?!" Her eyes widened in horror when she heard the accursed arachnid's name. Then she jumped towards the toilet bowl, hugging her legs. Usually I'd laugh at her but considering the situation, I'll pretend that guy was a freakin' spider.
"It's gone." I explained that the reason I screamed earlier was because this big spider crawled on my leg while I was taking a bath. She bought it.
Or so I hope.
"JACOB! HELP!" she yelled my dad's name hysterically, hugging her legs tighter against her chest and shutting her eyes close. "THERE'S A PERVERTED SPIDER ON THE LOOSE!"
I sighed. Yup. She totally bought it. And my mom's totally hopeless.
I quickly made my way down the stairs when Aunt Lizzy went inside the bathroom to check up on that girl. I was actually hiding inside another room earlier in case she sees me and gets suspicious.
I want to punch myself in the eye right now. Of all the rooms to enter, it had to be the bathroom.
But did I regret it?
I was embarrassed when I saw that naked girl, yeah, but did I regret it?
"Dan!" my dad surprised me. He was waiting down the stairs and I'm sure he's confused why I'm up here. Reason, reason. "Where have you been? Did you hear Kristina scream? Is she okay?"
I caught my breath. Good. He's not the least bit suspicious of me being the reason for her screaming.
I think I just sounded like a rapist just now. If anybody could read my mind right now I'm screwed.
Please shut up, mind.
"Uh... I don't know. Maybe they saw a spider. She's okay now I think."
He looked relieved and then his cheerful face appeared again. "That's good. Lizzy hates spiders, so I guess Kristina hates it too. Like mother like daughter!"
Wait, I just realized what he said. So that girl really was her. That was Kristina. Poopy.
"Johnny, is that you?" I heard a familiar voice behind my father. When we both realized who it was, dad laughed merrily and immediately gave Uncle Jacob a hug and a pat in the back.
"Yes Jake, we're back. Good to see you again!"
"Good to see you too! What are you doing here? Where's Lizzy?"
"We heard Kristina scream because of a spider so Lizzy went up to help her."
Uncle Jacob nodded his head in understanding. Maybe he was already used to this? "I see. And this boy, is this Daniel?"
The corners of my mouth twitched up just to force a small smile. How the heck can I smile at the father of that naked girl? This is so awkward. "Hi uncle."
The man smiled warmly at me upon patting my back. "You've grown up! Have you seen our Kristina already?"
Have I seen her? Well, I've probably seen more than necessary...
"They're probably still getting ready. Come you two, I'll show you the garden. Lizzy hired a landscape artist and..."
I didn't pay attention to the rest of the conversation because my mind was occupied with thoughts like: how should I face her later? Now this, will be interesting.
"Mom... what the heck is this..." I took the hungered dress from my closet and stared at it in annoyance. "There's no way I'm wearing this thing. And come down from the toilet already! The spider's gone."
As if there was one in the first place. Sorry mom.
She looked left and right, then dashed into my room. She bounced on my bed a couple of times before giving me a big smile. "Aaaw but that dress is so cute."
"It's not cute. It's too short," I complained. "I'm not wearing this." I threw the dress on the bed and grabbed my favourite sweatpants. I'd rather be comfortable than cold.
"No! You have to wear this!" Mom begged. "Please? Just this once? I went through a lot of trouble just to get this for you..."
She took the dress from the bed and showed it to me. Well, it did look kinda nice. It was a pink, long-sleeved, turtle-necked dress that trailed about three inches above my knees.
Yes. That, for me, was already too short.
"You never wear anything I buy. You wear the same ten shirts and pants in a cycle everyday!"
True, but I was comfortable and warm. Plus, it's not like I don't wash them whenever I wear them again.
"You don't appreciate the things I buy for you at all," mom sounded serious now. Ah hell I hate it when she's like this. Making me feel guilty and terrible. Like an ungrateful daughter.
"Alright fine." I groaned. "I'll wear this stupid dress."
My mom recovered quickly. She gave me a triumphant grin before helping me put the dress on. Something tells me she tricked me again. "Yay! Hurry, I'll fix your hair."
When we were done, we went downstairs and headed for the dining room. My mom insisted putting on just a bit of make-up on me - I'm glad I talked her out of it. I think I looked fine. It's not like I'm trying to look pretty for anybody.
Which reminds me... that guy earlier.
He looked kinda familiar.
I need to give him a piece of my mind that bastard.
My dad entered the room and his jaw literally dropped when he saw me. Really dad?
"Kristina?" He exclaimed. "Is that you?"
This is annoying. I wasn't that ugly before mom fixed me up.
"No, no. I am called Linda, ruler of the underworld. I have taken over your daughter's body." I said in a sarcastic tone. Dad laughed and carefully ruffled my hair. Mom had to pinch his hand because she took her time combing my hair earlier.
"How are you able to say that with a straight face? Just kidding, you look beautiful hon."
I smiled at him as he kissed the side of my head. He was gentle and soft-spoken, the complete opposite of my mom.
"Now that we're ready, where's the food?" She asked. I could tell she was silently squealing. What's she so excited about? Dad quickly opened the paper bag he brought home and prepared the Chinese food on the table.
"Done," he said.
"Seriously?" I said. If these guests were so important, why'd he prepare this kind of food? I don't think it's very welcoming. Maybe he just bought it in a whim because of work?
My Dad, Jacob Karlins. He works in a bank and is probably the nicest and most patient man you'll encounter in your whole life. My mom's hyper personality mixed with dad's patience... yeah, they're the perfect match.
"You ordered take-outs?" I raised a brow. I had to wear a dress for dinner, in my own house, to eat Chinese take-outs?
"Never mind that," mom rolled her eyes. She tidied her blouse a bit before giving me a wink. What was that for? "Johnny! Daniel! Food's ready! Hurry, hurry!"
The names sunk into my brain quite late. Please tell me I heard the woman wrong. My heart beat hard inside my chest. "Wait what did you say?"
That means... that means that guy earlier was him?!
"Uncle John and Daniel are here?!" I sent my mom a pointed look, clearly surprised. She never told me about this! Daniel Curtis, my only childhood friend, of all people, had to see me in the bathroom! Naked!
Mom smiled sheepishly. This woman seriously!
When our guests entered the room, Daniel and I made eye-contact immediately, like he knew I was going to be looking for him.
"You." I spat like venom. I felt a nerve pop.
"Happy to see each other again?" Uncle John grinned upon patting his son's back. Daniel looked at me and then looked away as if he wasn't interested. I think I even heard him scoff.
I've fallen in hate with him already.
We all sat on the dinner table, and as lucky as I'll ever be, Daniel sat in front of me. I had to avoid looking up to see his damn face and I especially had to avoid engaging in a pointless conversation with him.
I have a feeling this wasn't going to be such a quiet evening.
"Kristina, you've grown into such a fine young lady now. You look so pretty," Uncle John said as he started munching on the chicken. No wonder dad ordered Chinese take-outs. It was their all-time favourite.
"Yeah. Um... Thanks, Uncle John." I replied, trying my best to sound casual. His son just saw me naked. His son just saw me naked.
And I still didn't feel comfortable with my clothes. It wasn't that revealing, but I felt weird without my sweatpants. And addition to that, a freakin' pervert saw me naked and is sitting right in front of me so now I literally feel naked.
"You still remember my son don't you?" He asked, his eyes twinkling with excitement. "Dan, talk to her!"
Ah hell no, don't make us talk.
Daniel looked at me with his doe-like eyes and then turned away, a smirk curling up his lips. My eyes widened and I felt my face heat up. Is this guy really him? How much did he change? And he saw me naked! AAAH!
"I'm sorry, I don't remember him," I lied, completely avoiding his robotic eyes and concentrated on my food. I want to hit him. I haven't even heard him talk since we sat on the table. Was he always this quiet? And rude?
There was a slight pause in the room and the adults exchanged glances.
"Well... You both used to play a lot in this house when you were kids. You have to remember something. Anything," mom urged.
That's not it mom. I remember him. It's just that this person right now is completely different and I want to kick his face.
"Don't force her if she doesn't remember Aunt Lizzy," he finally spoke. Oh, so his voice got deeper. "She's probably forgotten about me now."
"There you go, thank you very much," I said in a rather angry tone.
The atmosphere was getting heavier by the second. Maybe it was because Daniel and I kept ignoring each other on purpose and our parents kept observing us. He didn't even touch his food.
After a short while, he stood up and excused himself from the table.
"Where are you going? You're not hungry?" Dad asked.
"Nah." He sighed a bit. The nerve of this guy! "Maybe I'll step outside for a bit, I kinda feel uncomfortable here," he was looking at me with a straight face when he emphasized that word.
That's it. That's it! This guy's asking for it!
I felt blood rush into my head, my knuckles already white from balling up my fists too hard. I stood up and slammed both my hands on the table, causing the glasses to shake. "YOU UNCOMFORTABLE?! HOW DO YOU THINK I FEEL?!" The words just shot out of my mouth. I'm so pissed right now!
"Look I didn't mean it okay? It was an accident." He said in a calm tone, trying to get away.
"If it was an accident then why'd you stare at me for so long?!"
"I said I'm sorry, OKAY?! I wasn't happy about it you know!" His calm expression broke into an angry one. Good I cracked the robot!
"Yeah right!" I didn't believe him for a second. What kind of a guy is he if he didn't feel happy seeing a girl's naked body? "You obviously haven't heard of knocking! This isn't even your house!"
"Well you obviously haven't heard of locking!" he bit back, his voice raising. "Even if this is your house, you knew visitors were coming. Isn't it common sense for a girl to lock the bathroom door? Are you even a girl?!"
THIS BASTARD! He doesn't have the right to be mad when it's all his fault! "Well gee, didn't you figure that out when you saw me naked?!"
Don't you just love slipping unnecessary things, my stupid mouth?
Mom, Dad and Uncle Jonathan stood up at once. My dad still had the chicken in his mouth though.
"WHAT?!" They all yelled in unison.
"He walked in on me!" I was screaming at the top of my lungs. I can't accept the fact that he saw me naked! I won't! I won't! DAMN IT!
"I did not!" he protested.
And he keeps denying it! Amazing!
"Wait wait wait. Let me get this straight. That was the reason why you screamed earlier? You said it was a spider! A perverted spider!"
Really mom? That's what you're troubled about?!
"Y-Y-You saw my daughter naked?" Dad stuttered, dropping the chicken and beads of sweat forming on his face.
The douche looked at me again, his eyes raking my appearance. I felt like covering myself up. He really is a pervert this guy! I can't take this! I have to punch him!
"A little bit," he replied.
I hate how he can keep such a straight face while saying those things! Is he used to this or something?!
Out of nowhere, mom happily clapped her hands and shrieked. "This is great! Now we'll have no problems!"
"What?" I asked, sounding half-annoyed and half-puzzled. Now what?
"This may not be the best time to tell them this..." Dad second.
I don't like where this is going.
"Um... Let me handle this." Uncle John smiled at my parents before looking at his son. "Daniel, remember back then when I told you that we will return here because I had an agreement with Kristina's parents?"
"Yeah, so what?" Daniel looked disinterested. What's wrong with his way of talking? Is he a robot? And why am I the only one bothered about it? I don't remember him being like this before.
"Well..." Uncle Jonathan looked like he couldn't say it.
I'm getting a really bad feeling about this.
Mom jumped at the middle of the conversation with a grin so wide, it almost reached up to her pinkish ears.
"You two will be engaged! How nice right?!" She looked so happy.
Did... Did she just say engaged? Engaged? ENGAGED?!
Was that even legal?!
Daniel was just as surprised as I was. I didn't even feel mad anymore because the feeling of shock overpowered and numbed my whole body. I could seriously feel my eyes bulging out of my sockets, and Daniel...
He was just staring at me, mirroring my exact expression. We weren't told about any of this!
Dad was wiping the sweat quickly dripping from his face while Uncle John was blinking rather fast.
"Oh, and Daniel!" mom added, as if we weren't already paralyzed enough. "I really want three grandkids! Two girls and a boy you got that?"
HOW CAN SHE SAY THIS WITHOUT EMBARRASSMENT? WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS FAMILY?!
"P-Please be gentle..." Dad too.
OH MY GOD!
Daniel raised his arms above his head and scoffed in disbelief. He was in a loss for words and so was I.
This can't be happening!