Chapter 37 - The Good Boy
• 6 years old •
Aunt Lizzy was running around the house, stuffing some stuff in her purse while Poopy and I just sat on the bed, watching her.
It's almost nap time so I don't understand why she's running around like she's gonna be late for work.
After that, she walked towards us and gave us a really worried look.
"You kids stay here for a bit alright? We're just going out for a bit."
Poopy nodded at her mommy with a smile so I did too.
"Honey we need to hurry," Uncle Jake peeked by the door, lifting his wrist up to show his watch. "Johnny called. Richard's already there."
"Okay, okay." She replied, sighing heavily. She looked at us and held the top of our heads gently. "Kristina, honey, remember what I told you to do if mommy and daddy aren't here?"
"Lock all the doors and windows and stay in my room 'til you come back." She replied.
"Very good." Aunt Lizzy smiled, then she looked at me. "Now Danny, what did your daddy tell you to do?"
"Call as soon as we hear anything weird and never leave Poopy's side whatever happens."
She smiled again before kissing our foreheads. "We're leaving now. You kids behave."
When they left, Poopy and I were quiet. It felt like we were prisoners in this room since we weren't allowed to go out until the grown-ups come back. And there was nothing fun to do here.
An hour later, we were dying of boredom.
Poopy's room didn't have a TV; she had girly books that I didn't wanna read and the only toys she had were her dolls and plush toys.
For the next twenty minutes, I just played with her plush toys but quickly got bored with it. Squeezing the bunny wasn't so fun anymore after Poopy made a face at what I was doing to it.
I was just squeezing it to see if its head will explode if I do it hard enough. She didn't look too happy so I released the bunny.
Now that my source of entertainment was gone, I had to look for something else.
I reconsidered reading her books.
I didn't like the books she had on her shelves. Princesses and stuff. There was nothing good to read here.
Then suddenly, I had an idea.
I recalled some books I read back then about weird stuff and decided to tell Poopy about it.
I told her that there used to be this little girl who had a doll. She loved this doll so much. But when she got older, she outgrew the doll and left it inside a box when she and her family moved out.
A few years later, the doll came back with a vengeance because it was abandoned. The doll killed the girl.
I looked at Poopy's reaction and snickered. She kept nodding at my story but her eyes kept glancing at her plush toys.
I proceeded to the next story I remembered. I told her about this guy who escaped an insane asylum and climbed up houses and killed everybody in it.
Poopy just gulped.
Next I made up my own story, just for fun. I told her there was this bloody hand inside the toilet that'll grab your butt when you poop...
I was about to burst out laughing because it was just so funny, but as soon as I saw how Poopy was shaking, how her lips were shaking, I stopped.
But I was just joking...
I didn't mean for her to get so scared. Those stories were ridiculous. I snorted when I read them before. I thought it'd make her laugh too.
I feel really bad now.
Before I could apologize, the wind whistled from outside and the tiny branches of the tree outside the window started knocking on the glass.
I think it was gonna rain.
I heard a small whimper but when I turned to follow the sound, Poopy just kept a straight face. I noticed that her knees were shaking as well.
Lighting flashed from outside and it was so bright. Loud thunder followed, causing the room to shake a little.
The lights went out after that.
Poopy screamed lightly and I could hear her quick breathing. It was dark but I know she was just in front of me so I blindly took her arm and pulled her so we can hide under the covers.
I hugged her as she clung to me, sniffing and whimpering. I could feel how fast her heartbeats were, how cold her hands were and how badly she was shaking out of fear.
I feel really really bad. Aunt Lizzy is gonna hate me. Daddy's gonna get mad at me. Poopy won't like me anymore.
This was all my fault.
I didn't know what to say so I just held her. I held her and rubbed her back to calm her down. At least, that's what I think I should be doing. I don't know why I'm doing it either. I hope it works.
"Peanut Butter..." She said, her words coming out in stutters.
"Don't worry," I said, putting a hand on her head like what Aunt Lizzy did earlier. "I'm here."
"Don't leave me."
She took a deep breath and cried, sounding so sad. My heart hurt. "Please don't leave me."
I felt like I wanted to cry too but I was the man here. Dad said I had to protect and take care of her while they were away.
This was all my fault.
I patted her back and nodded. "I'll never leave you."
• Present •
I woke up with a start, my heartbeats punching my ribcage like a workout. I breathed slowly and then I saw Kristina lying on my shoulder, still sound asleep.
I didn't even realize we had fallen asleep already. Guess we were just too comfortable.
It was the middle of the night, and I could hear the rain pouring outside. I watched her as my heart filled with warmth, and then moved the hair away from her face.
"I'm sorry I left you." I whispered, even though I knew she wouldn't hear me. That dream made me feel all sorts of guilt. But that was a long time ago.
I was here now. She was here.
I couldn't resist, I kissed her forehead and pulled her closer. She stirred a bit in her sleep, probably having a dream herself.
I won't count that one as kiss though. I didn't count a lot of kisses. As sly as that was.
She mumbled something incoherent so I had to lean closer to listen more closely. Maybe it was something important.
After a few more mumbles, there was one word she said so clearly.
I held back a snort as I resisted the urge to pinch her cheeky little face.
I can't help but find her adorable.
"Poopy." I replied to her mumble, as stupid as that may sound.
I don't know, but after I said that, a small smile formed on her face. I was sure she was completely unconscious though.
Again, I held back a snort.
It was about time I went back to sleep, so I made a small yawn and I placed my hand on her back. She snuggled closer to me as I gently patted her back until I fell back to sleep.
Morning came, and I awoke to the light spilling out of the windows, annoying my eyes and giving me a headache.
I was about to grumble and curse at the sun but then I saw an angel beside the window, the light gracing her features as she fixed her hair. She was already dressed for school.
I didn't realize I was gawking at her like an idiot until she saw me awake.
"Get up, Danny." She teased.
I yawned a bit before nodding, hiding a stupid smile. She looks so radiant. I don't mind waking up every morning to that face.
That'd be nice. That'd be a dream.
Did she just call me Danny again?
I got out of bed and took a quick shower, changed into my uniform and went downstairs for breakfast.
She prepared some sandwiches and they were edible. Very good.
We didn't talk much even on our way to school. But it was a comfortable silence. I felt both happy and upset. I felt more upset than happy. I don't know.
The day passed like a blur. I wasn't paying much attention at class. My thoughts that seemed like minutes to me were actually hours. I didn't even realize that until later.
I kept staring at her. I kept staring and thinking and thinking and thinking...
It's been days since I confessed now.
How was she so cool about it?
Did she even give it a single thought?
Was it so insignificant that she just brushed it off?
Why wasn't she saying anything?
Maybe she didn't feel the same way?
That last thought felt like a stab in the chest, but I just released a strained sigh. I shouldn't be thinking so much. I've never dwelled on something this long before.
My stupid thoughts were given a recess when I saw Tops casually (nervously) walking towards Anne and Ella.
It was study hour again. I didn't realize until I saw that our classmates had formed in groups in our classroom.
I noticed Poopy wasn't in her desk anymore. I figured she went to the council room or something.
To distract myself, I got up and went to our friends.
Tops greeted Anne quite awkwardly and Anne just smiled at him, her cheeks turning rosy all of a sudden.
Ella and I looked at each other knowingly.
I put an arm around my idiot cousin because he didn't seem to notice my presence since his vision was limited to Anne and Anne only.
I immediately earned a glare from said cousin.
"You seem like you're in a good mood today." Anne commented, though I know she was just trying to shift the subject and mood. "Did something good happen?"
"Good mood psh," Tops replied before I could. He grinned at me quite menacingly. "He's just trying to distract himself."
"From what?" I asked, feigning innocence and narrowing my eyes at him.
He took my hand off his shoulder and folded his arms. He was shaking his head in a disappointed manner. "From Tinz. You're panicking. It's written all over your face."
"Really?" Ella said with wide eyes. "Now that's interesting."
"Our poor Danny." Anne cooed, batting her eyes and pouting her lips in such a sarcastic manner.
Wow. The amount of encouragement I get from these so-called friends is unbelievable.
I didn't say a word and they just continued teasing me about it. Am I being bullied right now? I think I'm being bullied.
"Cheer up." Ella patted my shoulder a bit too strongly.
They continued chatting with a topic I wasn't interested in so I grudgingly went back to my desk.
Okay now I feel really sad, as pathetic as that sounds.
I laid my head against the cold desk and glanced at her seat. She wasn't here yet. I could feel the corners of my mouth twitching downwards.
I feel like my heart just sank deeper than the titanic, as dramatic as that sounds.
This is just sad.
"Quit your whining and keep still you old baby!" I told my husband as I guided him back to his bed.
His back was still aching after going too low on the limbo. I told him several times not to move around but he was just so stubborn.
"But we have to go home now." He said, weakly. "Kristina--"
"Is safe with Daniel in our house. What are you so worried about?" I said, hiding a small laugh. I knew exactly what he was worried about.
But I trusted those kids.
And I even asked Ella and Peyton to check up on them. You know, just in case.
"Exactly," Johnny agreed to my statement. He just entered the room with his phone on his hand. I could clearly see the distressed look on his face in which he was hiding with a smile. "My son may not look like it, but he's very dependable. And even though we all know he likes Tina a lot, he knows his limits. In fact, I'm sure its your kid giving him a pretty hard time right now."
I stifled a giggle. I can imagine. Danny is pretty helpless when it comes to Tina.
I can't wait to go home and interrogat--I mean, ask them how their days together went.
Jacob didn't look convinced but he had no choice in this matter. The doctor advised him to stay in bed for at least two more days.
"We'll call them later if you're still worried. I'm sure you just miss her." I said, running a hand on his hair. I could spot a few gray strands popping out as I did this.
He hid a small pout and just nodded.
"Now that that's settled, Johnny," I turned to look at our best friend, who seemed a bit dazed at the corner of the room. "Who called? You don't look so good."
It took him a little while to respond. His eyes looked a bit dazed as his brows knitted, making the lines on his forehead visible.
He was obviously troubled. And I had a bad feeling about this.
"Johnny." I said again, making my tone as soft as possible.
He let out a strangled sigh as he placed his hand on the back of his head. A usual gesture he did whenever he was facing some sort of problem.
"Richard." He replied. "Richard called."
I concealed a small gasp as Jacob sat straight up, not even caring about his back anymore.
"What did you say?" He asked. "Richard? That Richard?"
I gently put a hand on his back and carefully made him lay down again.
Johnny nodded slowly, placing his hands on his face and sighing heavily again. "He knows why Danny and I are here. He's planning something. I'm sure he's gonna call him soon too."
"Wait, let's... Let's all calm down for a sec, alright?" I said, trying to ease the atmosphere. As soon as that man's name popped up, we were all tense. "It's just a call, okay? He's not here. We still have time to prepare ourselves."
"His son is here." He said, causing my eyes to widen. "To spy on Danny I suppose. I haven't met the boy personally, but if he's anything like his father, I don't want him anywhere near our children or their friends."
"Oh my God." I mumbled, putting a hand to my mouth. This was... This was...
"We have to go back home." Jacob said. "As soon as possible."
We all nodded in agreement. Our minds weren't at ease with the sudden news. And we were still confused as to what was really going on again.
All I know is that we have to be with our kids if something happens. Especially if that something involves Richard Watanabe.
"Can I get a quick treatment for this?" Jacob asked, referring to his back. I looked up to think.
"I'll look for a chiropractor."
"I'll go. You stay with him." Johnny volunteered. I sent him a smile in gratitude. "I'll be back in a bit. Let's not worry too much about it and just relax until we get home, okay?"
My smile dropped as soon as he closed to door.
How can we not worry? As soon as we became parents, there had never been a day where we didn't worry about our kids.
This was a serious matter. I was afraid he would show up again. After twelve years, he's finally going to make his move.
I just hope the kids are ready for what's about to come.
"Where have you been all day?" Ella asked as everybody got up to leave. The bell rang just a few minutes ago, signalling our dismissal. "Did you skip?"
"Are you serious?" I snorted. She snorted as well.
"Kidding. You wouldn't skip class. Unless you were with Daniel, the I'd believe you if you were skipping."
I made a small hiss sound and my best friend just let out her usual carefree laugh. "But seriously, where were you? You didn't come back until last period."
I groaned slightly, remembering what I had to deal with back at the office.
"Aside from fixing some slackers' mess, the principal asked me a favor to organize next month's events and asked me to coordinate with blah and blah to do blah and blah."
"Aaah," Ella just nodded. "Sucks."
I sighed before sending her a big smile. "I literally signed up for this when I became council president. No biggie. I've been slacking off myself for these last couple of weeks so this is a good way to get my head back in the game. "
Ella gave me a tight side hug before pinching my cheek. It was her way of encouraging me. "Atta girl."
I was in the middle of fixing my stuff when she suddenly motioned to the zombie blankly staring at the window.
I raised a brow at Ella and silently asked what was wrong with him.
She giggled and shrugged her shoulders. She obviously had an idea about what was going on.
"He's been like that since this morning."
I think I kinda know why.
"Anyways, I'm late for a date. I'm going ahead. See you tomorrow?"
"Yeah sure, enjoy your date." I said with a grin. I'm happy she's happy. It's been a while since she was genuinely excited for a date. And this was like their hundredth one already.
I just hope Chie won't break her heart.
As soon as everybody was gone and it was just Daniel and I left in the classroom, I tugged his sleeve.
I've been waiting for him to get up and make a fuss about hurrying up because he wanted to go home and sleep already, but he was unusually quiet today.
I wasn't here for most of the day so I don't know if anything happened at class.
I just had a slight doubt that he was being like this because of me.
But I won't assume anything this quickly. I'll have to ask about it to be sure.
"Let's go home?" I asked, carefully. He slowly peeled his eyes off the window and as they gently landed on mine, there was this empty expression on his face that I couldn't quite understand.
But he didn't say anything and just nodded as he grabbed his bag. I followed him out to his car.
It was a quiet car ride, and when we got home, he went straight to the couch. He just sat there and closed his eyes.
Okay now I'm really bothered.
I wanted to confront him but I had to get out of my stuffy uniform first. Maybe wash up a little too. I was a bit sweaty from today's work.
After a quick shower, I went straight to my room. I changed in the bathroom as well in case any more accidents happen.
It was a wise choice too, because when I got to my room, Daniel was sitting on my bed, waiting for me.
He was in a trance-like state when I entered the room. I don't think he realized I was already back.
"Hey," I said, putting a hand to his shoulder as I sat right beside him.
In the past, I would've cursed him out of my room. But the situation was different now. My feelings were different.
He slowly turned to look at me, sadly and a bit hopelessly. He looked like he wanted to say something, but was debating whether to say it or not.
"Are you just gonna ignore what I said a few days ago?" He finally said. I smiled at him a bit playfully. I knew it.
"Of course not, Danny." I replied, hiding a laugh. Calling him that was weird but quite satisfactory because of his comical reactions.
"Can we talk about it now?"
"There's nothing to talk about, Danny."
"I meant what I said." He said, firmly. My playful mood switched into something serious, and I almost gulped.
I couldn't say anything back.
"Are you gonna keep torturing me like this?" He asked, pleaded.
I was getting a bit nervous so I stood up and played it cool. I'm not good with these kinds of conversations. I was just playing around for a bit to let him feel how I felt back when he was doing the same to me.
"I'm doing no such thing, Danny. What would you like for dinner? I feel like eating some chicken and fried rice." I announced, quickly heading for the door and stretching my arms along the way. My back was already turned to him.
"Kristina please," he said. I felt a hand grab my wrist, stopping me from my tracks. I turned around to see a really ragged looking Daniel. "You're killing me here."
I almost agreed. He looked like he was dying with that pitiful look on his face.
I put on a sweet smile, touched by his actions, and wrapped my arms around his neck, staring straight into his eyes. "I'm sorry. What were you saying?"
I swear I heard a little whine.
He looked so weak at the moment. It was hard not to take advantage of this moment and tease him.
"I love you." He said, almost desperately. His hands were like dead weights on his sides, giving me the impression that he was completely worn out.
Okay maybe I should stop now. I'm not that sadistic to keep doing this to him. He literally looks like a puppy right now.
I let out a small sigh and stood on my toes to give him a peck on the cheek. His eyes narrowed at me as I sent him another smile.
That didn't count as a kiss. I'm not counting that one.
Does that sound like an excuse? It doesn't, right?
"Be a good boy and wait here, okay? I'm gonna order dinner."
I released him from my arms and turned around again to leave the room. I almost forgot to breathe.
He was too precious right now.
I had to get away fast. I had to resist.
I was already two steps outside of my room when he quickly grabbed my wrist again, but this time pulling me so close to him there was little to no space between us anymore.
He narrowed his eyes at me, a look full of determination as he placed his hand on my lower back, pushing me closer as if the space was still too much.
My hands were hanging useless at my sides so I mustered all the energy I had left and placed them on his chest. A lame attempt to push him away, but I know I didn't want to.
So I ended up grabbing his shirt instead; somehow holding on because my knees were close to giving out.
His stare was so piercing. I can't breathe. He was too tempting.
Where was that puppy a little while ago? I was looking at a wolf.
"I'm done..." he whispered slowly, making me narrow my eyes down to his lips. Shit. "...waiting like a good boy."
He crushed his lips on mine and I made no effort to resist. I grabbed his shirt for dear life as he guided me back to my room, not leaving my lips for a second.
It was quite difficult to move around so he grabbed my butt and I instinctively jumped and securely wrapped my legs around his waist.
Even I was surprised I did that. Why the hell did I do that? Why am I enjoying all these?
We broke the kiss for a few seconds for air only to dive right back in like our lives depended on it.
My heart was beating rapidly in my chest. My insides were twisting, burning.
I have to tell him.
He has no idea that I love him too. Probably even more than he can even imagine.
My fingers were all tangled up in his hair and then his face. I felt like I couldn't get enough of him.
This was what I was afraid of. To lose all control whenever I was alone with him.
He held me tightly as he blindly used his leg to kick something behind us.
And with that swift move, he closed the door.