Chapter 30 - Under the Same Roof
I totally forgot about it.
I gave myself a mental slap on the face as I helplessly watched my mother drag her luggage down the stairs.
"It's just for a couple of days. We might come home earlier or later. Who knows." She said as if it was the most natural thing to say.
I held back a whine. I don't know what to tell her at all.
"I asked Peyton and Ella to come check up on you guys every night. You know, in case you and Daniel get too cozy--"
"Mom!" I immediately stopped her from whatever nonsense she was about to say.
Well, it wouldn't be nonsense though. I don't have confidence that I might be able to stop Daniel or myself from doing... stuff.
Ahhhh just shut up thoughts! Shh!
This is why I don't want them to leave me alone with him for a few nights!
I mean... I mean...
"Oh look they're here! Jacob hurry up!" Mom said excitedly as Uncle John pulled over. Daniel was right behind him driving his own car as well. And the both of them got out at the same time.
Uncle John approached me with a warm yet teasing smile, and I could see his son's distressed expression from afar already.
Clearly he had received his share of teasing this early in the morning as well.
Dad came out of the house with mom's last piece of luggage. A worried gaze appeared on his face as the realization that they were going to leave us for a few days sunk in.
He placed a hand on my shoulder and sighed. "I trust you. I trust Daniel too. You kids behave while we're away, alright?"
I held back a gulp and nodded at my dad's words. He smiled and patted my head.
After loading the car with their luggage, the adults gave us their final reminders and goodbyes.
I can't believe this was actually happening.
My heart was racing as I watched the cars disappear into the streets, leaving me and Daniel alone with a rather uncomfortable silence.
I cleared my throat because it seemed like he wasn't going to say anything anytime soon and we were going to be late for class.
"I'll just get my bag inside." I said. And then I looked at him. "Did you have breakfast?"
"Um, nope." He replied. "But it's alright. I'll eat at lunch."
I let out a humorless laugh as I checked my watch and shrugged. "Ha-ha. No you're not. Come in. Mom made a lot of pancakes."
He hid a smile as he followed me back to my house. "Oh yay."
"Oh yay!" Ella squealed as I told her that our parents already left this morning for their out-of-town trip. Why she looked so excited scared me.
"Not oh yay," I said. "Mom said she asked you and Peyton to come and check up on us every night. Why don't you just sleep over? Please?"
My best friend laughed heartily. It caught Daniel's attention, unfortunately. And her voice was loud enough for him to hear. She probably did it intentionally too.
"And get in the way of a possible romantic evening? Ha! No thank you Tina."
I narrowed my eyes at her. "I think the purpose of my parents asking you to come check up on us is to prevent that so-called evening from happening."
She just kept laughing before she pinched my cheek hard. I hissed from the pain as she took her hand back before I could slap it away.
"Tina, my dear best friend. Why are you so conscious? Are you possibly afraid of losing control?"
I slapped her arm as she burst into another fit of giggles. Ughhh. This girl isn't helping my case at all!
I can't deny that I did somehow like the idea of us having more time alone, but I think I'm just gonna be awkward around him since I'm too nervous. And I have no idea what he'll do.
And I hate myself for somehow looking forward to it too.
"You're smiling." Ella poked my cheek. "Just what are you imagining? Ohh my innocent best friend is no more!"
I groaned and pushed her out of my desk. She just kept laughing back to her desk. Well isn't she in such high spirits today. I bet she had another awesome date with Chie or something.
I peered over my shoulder to check if Daniel was still eavesdropping on our conversation, but he wasn't there.
I looked all over the classroom and found him on the door, leaning his back against the frame as Anne talked to him with such an animated expression.
Since when were they there?
He looked kind of annoyed at what she was saying but I saw the corner of his lip twitching up. Like he was trying to stop a smile from forming.
Anne noticed this too, so she laughed and poked his rib. Then ruffled his hair. Then pinched his cheek.
Then got a lot more touchy.
I feel somewhat annoyed.
I shook my head. No. Stop it. I'm not allowed to feel annoyed about things like this. It's their business after all. They've known each other forever. It's only natural for them to act like this.
I sighed heavily as I opened my notebook to review the notes from last meeting's lecture. At least, I tried to look like I was reviewing. I didn't realize I kept stealing glances at their direction.
The more I looked at them, the more I felt... upset. I still can't get used to it.
Ughhh. I should just stop thinking about it too much.
I'm breaking my own heart.
"You sly boy you." Anne teased openly, not caring if anybody (everybody) could hear her. "So you two are really going to be alone under the same roof for two nights?"
I quietly nodded, looking away.
She squealed and hit my arm. Ow.
"Oh my God! You must be so excited! You pervert!"
"Wow, that's what you're gonna say to me?" I scoffed. She giggled in response to my sarcasm.
"Admit it though. You're looking forward to it. Well? What's the plan?"
I raised my brows. "What do you mean plan?"
She rolled her eyes and looked at me as if I was stupid. "You're going to be alone with her for two whole nights. Don't you have something romantic in mind? You know, something to get her heart racing, and get her to fall for you!"
I quickly looked around our surroundings and held myself back from clamping this girl's loud mouth shut.
"Keep it down," I hissed. She just laughed without a care. "And no. I don't wanna make things awkward between us. I think we're doing just fine without me doing such tactics."
I actually wanted to talk to her about Tops today. See if I could somehow help their case. But I guess she sensed my intentions and quickly diverted our subject to my current dilemma.
She keeps avoiding my questions about Tops. Just how were they gonna fix this if she keeps this up?
"See, that's where you're wrong," Anne winked at me, a mischievous grin forming on her face. "Girls expect guys to put in some extra effort especially when an opportunity like this arrives. I'm sure something's bound to happen within those two nights anyway. I mean c'mon."
I sighed. I guess I can't talk to her about Tops today too. "Something like..."
After she realized what my wry smile meant, she narrowed her eyes and hit me.
"Jerk." And then she snorted. "As far as I know, you're quite the wimp when it comes to Tina. I doubt you'd be able to make a serious move on her. So good luck Danny-boy."
I hid a smirk. Oh if she only knew what moves I've done and what I had in mind.
Unholy thoughts, not now.
"Alright back to your seats!" The teacher's voice boomed as he passed between Anne and I by the door.
Everybody scattered from their groups and went back to their seats. When I sat on my seat next to Poopy, I noticed that she looked a bit... Um.
I'm not sure. Maybe something happened. Maybe someone in the student council made a mistake again? Guess I'll just have to ask her later.
The day passed like a blur. I couldn't concentrate on any of the lectures because I was so lost in my useless thoughts.
I didn't even realize I've been spacing out that long until Ella nudged my shoulder and told me classes were over.
I took a deep breath to somehow remedy the weight in my chest and then released a quick sigh.
I don't know what I'm feeling right now. Sad? Annoyed? Mad?
I really don't know. But I wanna lash out on the butthead for some reason. Ugh I don't know. I wanna punch him.
"Danny!" I heard Anne call his name in her usual cheerful tone.
Usually, Daniel would ignore her and she'd come to his desk herself to talk about some stuff. But this time was different.
This time, he stood up and met her outside like they had something important to talk about.
Something they probably didn't want me to hear.
The weight got heavier in my chest but I just looked down at my desk. What else could I do?
It's not like I'm forbidding him from meeting with his best friend. I have no such right. And even if I did have the right, I would never do something like that.
But why am I overthinking this situation again? This happened several times already. And I know she might still like Kristopher. So what's with all these unnecessary worries?
I peered over my shoulder and saw Kristopher quietly using his phone. I know he's just pretending to act nonchalant about everything.
Anne's still ignoring him.
I breathed out another sigh.
Damn it. I'm pathetic.
"Tina!" Ella shouted, stealing my attention and waking me up from my little daze. "You alright? Did you hear what I just said?"
I shook my head slowly and earned myself a sigh from my best friend.
"I said I'll come by your house in the evening. I have to go somewhere for a few hours. I'll text or call you when I'm coming, okay?"
I nodded at her words, but was processing it in my head way slower than the usual. "You're going out with Chie again?"
She sent me a small smile, but the look of worry didn't disappear from her face. "Yeah. Listen, you're probably just tired. The lectures were draining, and exams are around the corner. Why don't you get Daniel to take you home so you can recharge, hm?"
I made a mental whine.
I don't wanna see his face right now.
Ella's worried because she thinks I'm burned out with my studies and my council president duties, but truth is, those things never even entered my mind at all today.
I don't know why I'm acting so strange. Is it that time of the month?
"I'm heading out now. Text me when you get home, okay?" Ella said while patting the top of my head gently.
I gave her a smile. That little motherly gesture calmed me down a bit.
A few minutes after she left, I noticed a tall figure standing beside my desk. I was still spacing out so I was slow to react or even care enough to look at the person.
When I looked up, I wasn't surprised to see Kristopher. I raised my brows, silently asking him what he wanted.
We were the only two left in the classroom by now. Daniel's and Anne's bags were still on their seats.
"They're not back yet, huh?" He said.
My heart sped up.
"No." I replied. I gathered my things and stood up, preparing to leave. "I'm going to the council room. If you see Daniel, tell him I went ahead."
He let out a small laugh. I looked at him in question, a bit annoyed.
"Did you guys fight again?"
Fight? No. We barely even talked today. I shook my head at him as my answer.
"Then," he cleared his throat. "Are you upset with him about something?"
My eyes widened at his inquiry. Was he observing us? Was he just teasing me?
I looked down and thought about what to tell him. Am I upset with him? I think I am. But we didn't fight or anything.
Another chuckle escaped from Kristopher's as he watched me make a stupid expression. Despite looking amused though, I noticed that he looked quite bothered himself.
But before I could point that out, he spoke again.
"Little Tinz, you are quite adorable when you're jealous."
He said it as if he was talking to a child, so it hit a nerve.
I'm not jealous. Huh. Why would I be jealous? This isn't jealousy what I'm feeling right now.
This is... This is just me being moody because I couldn't pay much attention to today's lectures.
I scoffed and tried my best to act composed. It really wasn't true, so why was I so affected by his words?
I'm really not jealous.
Not at all.
Kristopher snorted. "Well, even if you deny it, I won't." He sighed heavily. I looked at him. He was still smiling-- it was kinda scary. "Want me to get revenge for you?"
"What..?" I said, unsure of what he was talking about.
At that exact moment, we heard voices and footsteps approaching the empty classroom.
They were back.
When Daniel and Anne saw Kristopher and I together, they stopped whatever it was they were talking about and stared at us for a moment.
And as usual, the loud ones broke the ice.
"Tina!" Anne called my name with glee as she practically ran towards me.
"Danny!" Tops yelled at the same time.
The both of them completely ignored each other's presence.
I forced a weak smile as Anne sat on my desk. She's as energetic as Ella. I just can't keep up.
And I can't explain this weird feeling in my stomach every time I see her and Daniel together.
I mentally slapped myself.
I'm not jealous. I shouldn't be.
I had no such right.
Anne peered over her shoulder to check if the boys could hear us. When she saw that they were immersed in a serious discussion themselves, she leaned closer to whisper in my ear.
"Give him a hard time. Be sure to counter all his moves. Enjoy!"
And after that, she grabbed her bag and ran outside, giggling like a maniac. I noticed the stern expression in Daniel's face as Anne left the room.
What did she mean counter all his moves?
"Ahhh," Kristopher released a forced breath. "Now I'm really annoyed. Attack!"
Before I could ask what he meant, Sean unexpectedly dashed inside the room, carrying a small bag against his chest.
Where the heck did he come from?
Without further notice, and without even giving Daniel enough time to make out a clear reaction, Kristopher ducked and Sean started throwing something at Daniel.
It was like watching everything in slow motion. How Kristopher's wide smirk formed on his face wasn't as amusing as how Daniel's eyes widened as he got hit. He didn't have enough time to defend himself because of the surprise.
Sean was throwing eggs at him.
"What the hell!" He yelled as he wiped the yolk off his face. His cousin was laughing hysterically at the corner of the classroom. He kept his distance to avoid getting hit by the eggs.
Instead of getting mad because the classroom was gonna end up in a huge mess, I started laughing too. I laughed too hard not because it was hilarious. But because I wanted to release some weight off my chest, and this was the best excuse to do it.
This was what Ella usually did, I guess.
Where Sean got the eggs and why he thought to throw them at Daniel, I had no idea. But it was ridiculously funny. It was such a waste of eggs too.
"Taste the unborn you chicken-murderer!" Sean yelled.
Daniel scoffed loudly as he wiped the eggs dripping down his face, collected the slime in his hands and charged at Sean.
Sean attempted to make a run for it but he clumsily slipped on the mess on the floor that he himself created.
He yelled in disgust as Daniel wiped his slimy hands on Sean's hair, face and clothes.
The butthead looked like he was enjoying his revenge.
And Sean was completely annihilated.
As the two continued their little battle on the floor, Kristopher walked up to my desk, snickering.
"You planned this?" I hid a snort. He sent me a devilish smirk.
"Well, I'm a petty person."
I laughed. "You do know you're not gonna get out of this room unscathed, right?"
And as if he just realized that, the smirk on his face completely vanished.
He let out a nervous chuckle as he watched the boys cease their battle and lock their sights on him.
"Don't betray me now Sean," Kristopher said as he carefully took a step back. The playful glint in their eyes showed no mercy. "I sponsored those eggs."
"Then it's only fair for you to have a taste." Sean chuckled cruelly.
"I heard egg whites can tighten your pores," Daniel said as the two of them menacingly approached Kristopher like wolves preying on a helpless creature. "Allow us to give you a free facial."
"No thank you!" Kristopher yelled as he dashed for his bag. Before he could run out the classroom, the boys caught him and infected him with slime.
Kristopher yelled in defeat as he was completely covered with eggs and tiny bits of egg shells.
It was disgustingly hilarious.
He started groaning and whining about how sticky it was, but he was laughing just as hard.
They were like kids.
I wasn't in the mood, so I didn't complain or get mad about the mess they made. Instead, I just told them to clean it up before they leave.
The three of them groaned. Kristopher took his phone out and called over some people to clean it up for them. I just rolled my eyes.
Whatever. As long as the classroom gets cleaned, I don't care.
"Look at you." I clicked my tongue as I stared Daniel from head to toe. The slime dried out on his hair and skin already and he smelled like...
He let out an amused sigh. "I was ambushed. Not my fault."
"Go take a shower." I waved him away as I climbed up the stairs to my room. "You brought fresh clothes with you right?"
"Yeah." he replied.
Of course he did. He was, after all, staying over for two nights.
I didn't even feel like worrying about that at the moment. I just wasn't in the mood. I just wanna sulk.
I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. I lazily slipped my hand inside and answered the call without bothering to see who it was.
"Hey, how are you?"
I recognized the voice and felt mildly comforted. It was my best friend, checking up on me.
"Tired." I groaned. "You coming over later?"
"Yup. I'll be bringing dinner too."
I nodded as if she could see me. "Kung-Pao chicken?"
She giggled. "What else. I'll call you again when I'm coming over. I'm still with Chie."
I sat up and checked the time. It was still just a quarter to seven. "Is he coming over too? Can I meet him?"
There was a small hum on the phone. "I think he has plans after our date. I'll introduce you two properly next time. I promise. Okay?"
I smiled. "No prob. Have fun with your date."
"Have fun with yours too." She giggled.
I rolled my eyes before hanging up. I was in no mood to talk about him.
I pinched my cheek to snap myself out of it and got up to change into my indoor clothes.
I then went to our guest bedroom to check if the place was clean and if the sheets were new.
Mom did a pretty neat job tidying up this old room. The doorknob needed to be replaced though. A few more twists and it was gonna fall out.
I took Daniel's bag from the couch and brought it to the guest room. Then I walked back to my room and collapsed on my bed.
Ahh. I feel a lot more tired than normal.
When I recalled the times I've seen Daniel and Anne together, my chest just tightened.
Was I really jealous?
A few minutes later, I heard footsteps. I figured the butthead must be done showering already.
I got up and walked out of my room. I'm not sure if he knows where he was sleeping tonight. I should show him his room before Ella arrives.
I saw that he left the bathroom door open. The guest room was also open.
Oh, so he already knew where it was after all.
I assumed he was already in his room, hence all the footsteps I heard.
The switch was inside so I went in the bathroom to turn off the lights. I guess I was still spacing out even while reaching for the switch because I just realized that the room was actually still... occupied.
It took me a while to process the sight before me because of my clouded thoughts since this morning.
I saw skin.
The exposure of too much skin.
The water dripping from his hair.
The towel around his neck instead of around his waist.
A butt naked butthead.
I felt my eyes widening at the realization of what I was now seeing, and it seemed like he just noticed that I had just entered the bathroom too.
"AHHH!" I screamed with all my might, causing him to flinch from the shock. "PERVERT!"
He looked down to what I was looking at and quickly wrapped the towel around his waist. He looked at me skeptically. "Why am I the pervert?!"
Without another word and without much thought, I switched the lights off and slammed the door close. I then ran back to my room in utter humiliation.
Oh my God!
"Just so you know," Daniel said as he casually munched on the snacks mom left for us. "I was the victim this time."
"Don't talk to me." I stubbornly replied as I inched away from him. Why was he in my room? Oh God I can't even look at him right now.
"No this isn't right," he insisted, yet he sounded like he was teasing. "It should be me feeling really embarrassed right now. You're not being fair."
"Then be embarrassed." I said, still not looking at him. Oh God the image was still fresh in my head. "And don't talk to me right now."
"Why can't you look at me?" His condescending tone irritated the hell out of me. "Oh I see. You're afraid that if you see me, you'll picture me naked and imagine a lot of weird things right?"
I reacted without thinking and turned around to meet his playful grin. I shot him a heavy glare. I had no words.
"It's okay Poopy," he emphasized my nickname in a rather teasing manner. "I give you permission to fantasize about me."
My mouth fell.
"I didn't ask for your permission!"
"You didn't have to. See? I just saved you all the trouble and embarrassment." He proudly folded his arms against his chest.
I wanted to tell him off but I was too flustered. I was too speechless.
I couldn't look at him that long. It took too much of my energy. So I looked away and cursed under my breath. I hate being the underdog.
And he still smelled fresh. The fragrance of his shampoo and soap tickled my nose and it just made him more attractive than usual.
Damn it Tina.
What the hell are you thinking?
"We are not having this conversation." I deadpanned.
I felt him come closer, the mattress sinking behind me. "Don't be shy. It's completely normal. I understand."
How far was he gonna go with this teasing? I am this close to breaking his face.
"Shut up." I said through gritted teeth. Was this what Anne was talking about earlier? He's the one giving me a hard time right now!
"I fantasize about you too." He said, as if it was the most natural thing to say.
"You--What?!" I whipped my head to his direction so fast I though I was gonna get whiplash.
I was met with a sarcastic grin and then a snicker. "Oh so that caught your attention."
"Stop that!" I said in a panic, shaking his shoulders back and forth. He just kept chuckling. "I forbid you to think of me that way!"
His pressed his lips together to prevent himself from chuckling harder, and then the corners of his mouth curled up into a mischievous smirk. "What way could you possibly mean?"
I stared at him in horror, and my face was feeling really hot. Oh God. So he really..? No!
Why is he openly admitting it?! This was just so wrong. Oh my God. I need to forget this conversation ever happened. This is too awkward.
"You damn pervert." I accused. He feigned hurt at my words.
"In my defense, I'm just a healthy eighteen year-old with a very attractive imagination."
I scoffed, looking at him in mock admiration. "That's just another fancy name for a pervert."
After I said that, he just stared at me, quietly. We exchanged silent stares for a few moments until I saw him fight back a sly smile.
"You're doing it right now aren't you?" I said, glaring at him as I covered my chest with my pillow. "You're having lewd thoughts!"
He shook his head nonchalantly as he sat up straight. I kept my guard up in case he did anything stupid.
"Nah, I'm just recalling a pleasant memory."
He sounded serious now, but I was still doubtful.
"What memory?" I carefully asked.
He looked at me, the seriousness in his eyes was almost believable. "The memory of the first time I saw you after twelve years."
I immediately understood what he meant.
"You know you're just admitting how much of a big pervert you are." I said, my tone completely emotionless. Trying to argue with him was mentally draining.
He was having so much fun, wasn't he? This butthole.
"If it makes you feel any better, you can recall a memory of yours too." He said, ignoring my comment. "Specifically a memory about twenty minutes ago."
And as soon as he said that, the image flashed right back in my mind. My eyes widened and I couldn't help the whine that escaped my mouth.
I saw it. Oh my God I saw it. My eyes are tainted forever.
"Stop!" I cried out, squeezing my eyes shut and covering my ears like a kid. I could still hear him laughing in amusement.
"You're adorable." He ruffled my hair and pinched my nose so hard I let out a grunt of complaint. "Now we're even."
"Here you two are," I heard a familiar voice from the door. It was Ella, with an amused smile on her face. Please tell me she didn't just hear our whole conversation.
"Dinner's downstairs. Come down lovebirds."
She winked at us after her little announcement and then walked away. I held back a groan.
She definitely heard.
"Come on my little lovebird," Daniel teased as he grabbed my hand and helped my get out of bed. As if I needed any help. "Let's go have dinner. We'll continue with our important discussion when Ella leaves."
I slapped his hand away and shot him another glare. "Oh shut up."
He just laughed.