I Want to Know Potato
“I go to you myself with the kindness of my heart to help you sort things out in your head because I thought you cried by yourself the whole day, but what did I come home to?” Nichole scolded, disbelief and mock laughter in her tone.
“A burning sight that’s seriously making me consider replacing my eyes?” Leo suggested, hoping to calm her down.
Stupid. He’d still remember it even if he does something as crazy as replace his eyes. But if he tries to replace his brain instead, I’d vouch for him.
Nichole completely ignored him. She gestured to both me and Brandon. “I come home to see my best friend pressed on a manslut, both half-naked and getting it on. Actually, I’m pretty darn glad I walked in in that moment instead of the finale.”
Leo cringed. “Uh, don’t make me imagine it again.”
I was blushing furiously. Oh God. This was the worst. Why didn’t we lock the door. Gosh. So stupid.
“Sorry...” I said in a tiny voice. Despite the guilt and utter embarrassment, I was relieved that Nichole was talking to me again. She didn’t talk to me at school for nearly four hours. And yeah, between the two of us, that’s already a big deal.
I’m glad she got mad for me. It just shows how much she cares. And I don’t mind her scolding me for being so dumb.
She nodded, looking stubborn but I know she already forgave me. Then she looked at Brandon, expecting an apology from him too, maybe. He didn’t do anything, I think he didn’t get what Nichole meant when she was raising a brow at him.
I elbowed him, my eyes focused on my mother of a best friend. He awkwardly cleared his throat, finally understanding what I meant. “Oh. Um. Yeah, sorry I said those things to Mira. I already apologized to her.”
Nichole nodded again, pleased. And then Brandon opened his mouth again. “You should apologize too. You walked in at a very intimate moment.”
I lowered my head to conceal my cheeks. Damn why isn’t this guy embarrassed to say this stuff? I know he was just pulling a joke to lighten up the mood but still.
I heard Leo groan, being the drama queen that he was. Nichole sighed heavily.
“Look, I don’t care what you guys are gonna do or where this silly game of yours is headed, but Brandon, just know that if you hurt my best friend again, I’ll cut you.”
She was looking at him with a dangerous glint in her eye. She was serious as hell. I hid a small smile. I love her so much.
Brandon obediently nodded until Leo cut in.
“And to guarantee there’s no bias here, Mira, if you hurt Brandon here for some stupid reason too, I’ll...”
He looked up as if to think of a safe word to use on me. Choose wisely, fool. “I’ll pinch your face so hard you won’t feel it for a day.”
“What!” Brandon complained. “That’s not fair!”
I stuck my tongue out. Being a girl had its perks.
“The point is,” Nichole said, leading the conversation to an end. “Just know when to stop. Okay? I love you guys, and I don’t want our friendship to go to waste because of that game. Alright?”
At that moment I had a tugging feeling of uncertainty, some ominous or some sort. I don’t know. Maybe it was my intuition, or maybe I was just thinking too much again.
Nonetheless, Brandon and I looked at each other before we returned our gazes at our best friends.
In order not to drag this tiny issue any further, we both nodded our heads in agreement.
As soon as Leo and Nichole left, Brandon and I fixed ourselves up. I mean, when they were lecturing us, we didn’t look that presentable, and it was clearly obvious in our appearances that we fooled around even if they didn’t catch us in the act (which they did, unfortunately.)
I hid a blush again. Oh shit I’m remembering it. We almost... Almost. It didn’t happen. Well, maybe it wasn’t going to happen. But it was way past third base. Ah! My heart feels like it’s gonna explode. Oh gosh. My innocence...
Brandon sneaked up behind me while I was tying my hair into a messy bun. His hands crawled around my waist as he buried his face on my neck. I squeaked.
Seeing ourselves in the mirror like that made me feel self-conscious all of a sudden, and I did what I always do whenever I didn’t know what to do.
I got mad. Not really mad, just pretend-mad. Or playful mad. I don’t know.
“What happened to the patient wolf?” I asked accusingly. He looked surprised, like he just remembered. Then he showed me a smug grin in our reflections on the mirror.
“A wolf’s still a wolf.”
I couldn’t help but scoff to conceal a giggle. Gosh why am I so stubborn. I can’t even show my real emotions freely without thinking about it too much. “My ass.”
“Nice ass.” He said.
I turned around and stared at him weirdly. His hands were still on the sides of my waist. “What?”
He was just staring at me with his lips curled up into a smirk. “What?”
Damn him. I rolled my eyes before slapping his hands off me. I walked away to put on my shoes, smiling stupidly to myself while he wasn’t looking. This is bad. I shouldn’t be so happy about something like this.
As soon as I was through tying my shoe laces, he grabbed my hand and pulled me outside. I complained, but didn’t resist.
“Where are you taking me this time?”
He winked at me. Ugh. “To another good place.”
I rolled my eyes so hard, I saw my brain. His definition of “good places” gave me trust issues. “Let me guess, the kitchen?”
He stayed silent until we reached his car. We were already on the road when I kept asking him where we were going. He just smiled. “Dinner. We’re just going out to dinner. Calm your t- ” He stopped and snorted. “Never mind.”
I knew the rest of that statement. I scoffed and looked out the window, but I doubt he didn’t see the smile spread on my face.
And no, I wasn’t smiling because of his dumb jokes. I think I was smiling because he was just so sweet. It scares me sometimes.
We arrived at a small family restaurant downtown. I could smell the aroma of the food all the way here in the car. We got out of his car and he led me inside.
“Order anything, dinner’s on me,” he said with a grin. We chose a table near the window, away from where the rest of the customers were sitting. A petite waitress waited patiently for my order, but I stopped and looked at Brandon quizically.
“But the rules?” I said. He shook his head slowly.
“Didn’t we already break one of them? What’s the harm in breaking another? No one’s getting hurt here or anything right?”
I unsurely nodded my head. Well, whatever. I won’t reject this offer of free food. I ordered what sounded like the most delicious dish in the menu and then Brandon told the waitress that he’ll have the same.
When she left, it was just the two of us again. I couldn’t sit still. I was so nervous. And I still feel shy about what happened earlier, I don’t know. Being shy is not like me.
I still can’t believe everything’s that happened today. It was just so eventful. So much emotions in one day is not good for my heart. At all.
I studied the restaurant a bit and admired it’s homey ambiance. It was easy to get comfortable, well, not that easy since Brandon kept staring at me the whole time.
I ignored him for a few seconds but every time I peek if he’s still watching me, he is. Like he never took his eyes off me. My self-consciousness rose from 75 to 90%.
“What are you staring at you creep.” I snarled. Ugh. Be nicer to the guy you like Mira. Don’t be such a kid. He chuckled deeply before shaking his head.
“Nothing. I just like staring at you. Calms my nerves down.”
I inhaled quietly through my nose. I need a good reply. One that won’t make me sound too mean or too flustered. Just natural.
“Alright. Keep staring until you get sick of my face.” Good. That was good. Strong but humble.
“I’ll never get sick of your lovely face,” he smiled boyishly. He had such a sweet tongue.
That was a figure of speech by the way. But he does taste sweet whenever we kiss. Maybe he eats chocolates or candies before -
Mind, shh. Stop it. Stop. He’s right in front of you.
“The food’s here,” I quickly announced. I’m glad it came at such a perfect moment.
All my thoughts were washed away in that instant because right now, I was living in the glorious moment of our food arriving.
It smelled so good, I had to close my mouth to prevent myself from drooling. I’m definitely coming back to this place with Nichole someday.
We dug in immediately without exchanging a single word or even a split-second of an eye-contact. We were that hungry.
It didn’t even take ten minutes for us to finish the whole meal. It was so damn good. Or maybe its taste just increased tenfold because we were that hungry. But who cares? It was a great meal. Plus, it was free.
I lied my back against the chair comfortably as I held my full stomach. I was satisfied. Brandon smiled at me again. I smiled back quietly.
These exchanges of quiet smiles always makes me feel fuzzy inside.
He was probably about to say something but something else caught his eye and caused him to get distracted. Judging by his expression, he looked guilty and hesitant, but he was forcing a smile.
I turned around to see what was up and saw three boys coming our way. They didn’t see us yet since they were so absorbed in their conversation. And their sights were fixated on the empty table behind us.
When they got a bit closer, I glanced at Brandon again. He never took his eyes off them, and it was as if he was waiting for them to notice him or something. His hand was already making it’s way up to wave at them.
They finally noticed us before they sat down. All three of them looked at Brandon as if they couldn’t believe it was him. To be more exact though, they looked quite cautious of him.
He waved smally before offering them a sincere smile. “Todd, Ken, Arvy. Good to see you guys.”
One of them nodded unsurely. “Yeah. You too Brandon.”
“How are you guys? It’s been years hasn’t it?” He asked, but he sounded cautious as well.
The other guy, the skinniest of the three replied. “Yeah, we’re good. Hey, we’re gonna sit over there,” he pointed at a table which was pretty far away from ours. “Nice seeing you again.”
They glanced at me and then at Brandon, and then at each other before walking away. Huh. I could’ve sworn they wanted to sit at the table behind us.
I followed them with my eyes until they sat down. One of them caught me staring so I looked away quickly. Why was it kind of... Tense?
I looked at Brandon and noticed how he gathered his hands and lowered his head, his brows creased and his lips were pressed together, forming a thin line.
Something was going on.
“Hey, potato?” I tried to sound as gentle as possible. He didn’t look that approachable at the moment but I can’t leave him alone.
He cleared his throat and placed our bill on the table. “Let’s go?”
I quietly agreed and followed him back to his car. He didn’t glance back at those boys but I did. They were staring at us the whole time. Creepy.
We went back to my apartment and hung out in my room. Brandon was quiet the whole time and I knew him well enough to know that something was bothering him. I knew it had something to do with those boys earlier.
I took my bun off and let my hair cascade behind my back. It’s gotten quite long now, I better cut it soon.
Near my dresser, I saw a large bag of potato chips, and there was a sticky-note on it.
Mira, Leo saw this near the mall and we remembered you instantly. I shit you not, he used his own money to buy it this time.
P.S. I’m going home late, gonna hang out with Leo somewhere.
I snorted, but smiled. Aaw. Leo bought me something with his own money. I wonder if he wants something from me. The bag of chips is large indeed. I shook it to determine if 70% of its content was air but later concluded that only 15% of it was air.
That was good. More chips.
My grin widened when I saw the flavor. Hot chili. My mouth was watering already. I know I just ate dinner but still. I had room for one more snack.
I cradled my beloved chips back to my bed and saw Brandon just sitting there, staring at the floor.
I approached him carefully. “Hey, look what Leo got me.”
It took him a second to look up at me and then at the bag of chips. He cracked a hopeless smile. “You really love spicy stuff.”
I made a toothy grin. “And you can’t stand them. So, more for me.”
I kicked my shoes off and opened the bag easily. I was swallowing my saliva. The smell infiltrated my nostrils and brought me to an imaginative land of pure ecstacy.
Dude, it’s not drugs ’kay? It’s just that good judging from the smell and the appearance and the amount of chips alone. Let me describe it that way.
I made myself comfortable before I dug in. I took a fistful of chips from the bag and put them all in my mouth. My cheeks were stuffed as I started to chew, the sounds of crunching dominating the sound of anything else.
Damn, so good.
I heard Brandon chuckle beside me. I knew I made a stupid expression just now because of what I was eating but whatever. He’s used to it.
“Say,” I began, putting more chips in my mouth even when I still wasn’t done with the current batch I was chewing. “I heard you have a trauma about spicy stuff, or something like that?”
I wasn’t sure if asking that was the right thing right now. I mean, even Leo said he wouldn’t tell him about it. Why should he tell me?
And why am I so interested? Well.
I guess I just wanted something to talk about. Guess I just wanted to know him better.
He sighed before nodding. “Yeah. Kinda lame, isn’t it?”
I shook my head hurriedly. “No it’s not lame. It’s actually quite interesting. It’s the first time I’ve heard about that.”
Shit. I just said his trauma sounded interesting. Mira you’re so stupid! Think before talking for once will you?!
“It’s not that interesting,” he chuckled quietly. “It’s weird. But I really can’t stand spicy stuff. Just thinking about it makes my stomach turn.”
“Why?” I asked, genuinely curious and concerned. I really want to know the reason why. Maybe I can help.
He was quiet for a short moment. It actually got me worried because maybe I was being too persistent or nosy. I hope he doesn’t mind. “It’s a long story.”
I was honestly getting excited, shame on me, I know. But he really sounded like he was willing to tell me. Or maybe it’s just me thinking like that.
“Hey, you listened to my drama about my dad,” I pointed out. I was sincerely grateful that time. I hope he knew that. “I’ll listen to you talk even if it takes hours.”
I meant it.
He looked hesitant. I didn’t want to force him if he didn’t want to tell me but a part of me said he was this close to telling me everything. He just needed a little push to open up.
“You might think differently of me after you hear it,” he said, averting his gaze. Was he really so worried about that?
I stopped putting chips in my mouth and stopped chewing for a minute. I put the chips aside and gazed at him carefully. I was serious. “Like I said before, you’re still Brandon.”
He looked at me weirdly before laughing softly. His cheeks were heating up and I had to take a deep breath when I saw him that way.
At that moment, he just looked so vulnerable and it made me feel special somehow. Like I was the only one he showed this side of him to.
Of course, I wouldn’t believe that even if I wish it were true. I already swore to myself never to expect anything that might leave me disappointed again.
“Promise you won’t tell?” He asked, sounding like a little kid. He hasn’t even told me the story yet and I already want to hug him. His face said it all. He went through some serious shit.
I nodded and looked at him seriously. This is it. “I promise.”
He stared at me for a while, as if contemplating in his thoughts for the last minute if it was the right thing or the right time to tell me about his past.
His face lit up with a gentle smile when I gave him a reassuring smile as well. That simple smile alone made me feel trusted. He already made up his mind.
He took a deep breath and sighed heavily. I’m listening. “It started when I was eight.”
A/N: Guys, I don’t write these cliffies on purpose! It just kinda goes with the length of each chapter. Sorry! He-he.
Trivia: I am lying on my back with my legs up against the wall. An ri cable xfGSL6zth JC
Okay, that up there wasn’t a major typo. I was about to write something else but my phone suddenly decided to attack my face (making me forget what I was about to type, thank you very much) and so that’s what my face typed.
I didn’t erase it as a warning to you dear potatoes. Do not use your phone while lying down - especially when typing. It will see its chance to go ninja. My nose fucking hurts, ow.
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