“Calm down, girl,” I shout frustratedly at my friend Kristan, “I have just woken up! I need at least one hour to feel like a human.” I grab all my hair in one hand and look around for a hair tie which I may have thrown here, somewhere, in my sleep.
“It’s is eight p.m. !” Kristan exclaims while checking up the time on her phone, “We have to be there in an hour, hurry up!”
“Your boyfriend is having a boxing match,” I say and roll my eyes when I found my hair tie wrapped around my wrist only, “Why the hell, you are dragging me with you?” I tie my hair messily.
“You need to get out of the house.” She digs into my half-unpacked stuff, as I go to freshen up, “It’s been a week since you came back home, and all you did is sleep.” She hands me, baggy jeans and a crop top, as soon as I step back into the room.
“I am totally going to raid in your wardrobe, someday.” She picks up a lime green sundress. Putting it on herself, she checks herself in the body length mirror.
“Take it,” I call over my shoulder as I go behind the wooden partition in my room to change my clothes.
“Thank you.” She squeals happily, making me smile.
My mother died while giving birth to me and my dad passed away when I was nine years old. My grandfather was the only family I had, so obviously he became my legal guardian. Pops brought me with him to his home, in Northedge town. I loved being here, as this town is surrounded by mountain forest. And as soon as you enter the town, you can smell the greenery in the air, which pretty cool and refreshing.
Pops loves me so much that I rarely feel the absence of my parents from my life. However, I still miss them.
Kristan was the first and only friend I have made here. As most of the kids here, especially girls, never liked me from the beginning. I still don’t understand the reason for their animosity towards me. However, Pops noticed this and decided it was better, that I should be sent away to the boarding school. As he was afraid that this might have a negative effect on me.
Initially, adjusting into boarding school was difficult for me. But after some time, I started to like school. On school breaks, I used to come back home. Even though I used to be away most of the year, but still Kristan and I remained friends.
Currently, after being graduated from school. I am enjoying the one-year break, which I am taking to explore different things.
“I am ready.” I grab my phone and car keys from the dresser and announce, “Let’s go.”
“You are going to talk with other people, and make friends,” Kris says as she clasps the seatbelt, “And will try to be more social.”
“I talk with other people, ” I say as I reverse the car out of the driveway, “However, I can’t say anything about making friends.” I shrug.
I prefer being with myself rather than surrounded by fake friends. I am not anti-social, however, I don’t like being much social too. I desperately need some me time after being around people for a few hours.
“I know you talk to others.” She puts the address on the GPS, “What I meant is that you will speak more than ten words.” She rolls her eyes.
“I will, only if I find a company who is interesting enough to get along with.” I laugh as she sighs and shakes her head, as she knows I hardly find others interesting.
I believe in feeling the connection with other people. It just takes a moment to click with someone and you instantly know you can be yourself with them.
After following the directions for twenty minutes, we reached the outskirts. Town has a pretty good nightlife. But to maintain the peace of the town, clubs, bars, and all those sorts of entertainment spots are outside the town.
Soon enough the GPS shows we have reached our destination when I see a large building. In my mind I pictured it to be somewhat like a shabby warehouse or something. But it is quite the opposite, from outside it looks newly build and decent, which is a surprise for me.
“All these fights are legal?” Surprise evident in my tone, as I notice a few cops also near the building.
“Of course.” She nods, “It is not like an underground fight or something. It is more like a professional thing.” Before she can tell me more, her phone rings.
“I’ll be there in a minute, babes,” she says as soon as she picks up the phone.
“Jake is waiting for us.” She motions me to get outside.
She has started dating Jake last year and from what she has told me things are quite serious between them. Jake sounds like a nice guy to me, even Pops has met him a few times at Kristan’s house. And I have heard good things about Jake from him, so I am not much concerned about my friend’s love life.
When we enter the building, I can actually feel the excitement radiating off from people. People are shouting and cheering for their favorites. It is a bit chaotic, honestly. Once or twice we have been pushed by some eager crowd too.
“Losers,” Kris mutters, as she holds my hand drags me in the opposite direction of where people are heading to.
“Jake will meet us near the bar,” she says while pulling me along with her.
“Hey, babes.” She leaves my hand and walks into Jake’s arms, as she sees him leaning against the bar counter.
“Hi.” Jake smiles then they share a quick kiss.
“Hey, Jake.” I smile and extend my hand to him.
“Avery.” He smiles, “Thank you for coming.” He gives me a side hug.
“Kris talks about you so much.” He loving glance at Kris, “I am glad to meet you.” He politely smiles at me.
“It’s nice to meet you, too.” I return his smile, “And all the best for your fight.” I suddenly remember he has a fight in some time.
“Thank you,” he says, then turns to Kris, “I have to get ready, I am going to be up next.” He checks the time on the digital clock, hanging on the wall.
“I will take you both to the front, where my friends are.” He looks between both of us, “You both will be safe with them, as sometimes crowd becomes a little aggressive.”
“I think I will just sit here.” I point to the empty semi-circle table in the far corner, “It’s a bit too crowded for my comfort.” I look at the increasing crowd near the ring.
“Are you sure?” Jake asks as he looks a bit concerned.
“Yeah, absolutely.” I assure him, “I will wait for you, guys, here only.”
“Okay, if you feel like leaving just text me,” Kris says, “I will come with you.”
“Go, cheer for your boyfriend.” I lightly nudge her with my shoulder,” I will be fine.”
“Don’t take drinks from anyone,” Kris says seriously, “I don’t want to find you dumped in any dark corner around here.” Her lips twitching upwards in a smile.
“Sure, mom.” I roll my eyes and laugh.
“Okay, the fight is about to start in fifteen minutes.” Jake wraps an arm around Kris, “I have to be there,” Jake says then his eyes shift to someone behind me and he gives a slight nod. After that, he leaves with Kris.
My phone vibrates in my hand once, indicating I have got a text. I turn around to head to the table, as I unlock it. Surely, there is an unread message, I tap on the message icon and my lips stretch into an involuntary smile.
I am going to sleep, and I will not come to pick you up from the police station. So, try to fall into those troubles which you can handle by yourself. Also, there is some leftover casserole in the fridge, you can have it if you safely return home.
Well, that’s my Pops.
Don’t worry Pops, I will stay safe and will try not to land in any trouble. I love you, bye.
I quickly shoot a reply to him, as I know he would be waiting for my reply. And he will not be able to get any sleep until he gets a response from me.
Feeling of someone’s eyes on me, makes me snap my head up. I look around to find the source, soon my gaze meets with the pair of eyes, staring directly at me.
They are the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen in my life... Nope, nothing like that, a normal set of eyes simply staring at me.
But my curious side is making me hold his gaze, as I study him. He is definitely an attractive looking guy maybe in his early twenties, with strong built. Even in his full sleeves black and white stripes t-shirt, his muscles are noticeable. His sleeves are pushed up to his elbows as he has causally kept his arm on the high table, standing there with his legs crossed at the ankle.
But I don’t let my eyes focus on his arms too much, as I have some serious liking towards guys forearm. I don’t know why but I just find them attractive.
He is wearing a stoic expression, but his eyes have a hint of warmth in them. Everything about him says that he has a strong personality, but he doesn’t intimidate me. His posture may be looking relaxed, but if you observe keenly you can see his whole demeanor is tensed like he is ready to leap into action if anything occurs.
Tearing my eyes away from him, I go and sit at the table in the corner, where it is less crowded. I can sense he is still watching me, but I choose to ignore him. Soon my focus shifts to the crowds cheering as the announcer announce Jake’s and his opponent’s name.
I just pray Jake wins. As I don’t want to hear all night, that how much Jake has worked hard to win or how he might be feeling sad. Kris is just a little too sentimental. I am sure if Jake loses, then Kris will bawl her eyes out rest of the night.
As time passes, I feel myself getting bored, which is nothing new for me. I mostly enjoy stuff, in which I am involved. I move my eyes around to find anything, which can help me kill the time. But after being unsuccessful in finding anything, I start to play games on my phone.
I get startled when the crowd erupts into a thundering cheer as Jake is declared as the winner. Some people are moving away from the ring while cursing, looking extremely annoyed.
Well, someone is not pleased with Jake’s win.
“Don’t tell me, you were sitting here and playing games on your phone the whole time.” Kris looks at me in disbelief, however, it should not have been that much of a surprise.
“No, I will not tell you.” I shrug, “As you already know this yourself.”
After hearing the recap for the match for fifteen minutes from Kris, finally, Jake comes looking all freshen up.
“You were so good,” Kris says as she hugs him, “That guy wasn’t much of match for you.” She looks at him with pride.
In the meantime, I notice even though Jake has won, but his opponent did get some good hits on him. As there is a light bruise starting to appear on the side of his jaw and the other near his right eye.
“Congratulations,” I say when Kris stopped praising him.
“Thank you.” Jake politely smiles.
“Let’s go and celebrate your win.” Kris excitedly claps, earning a chuckle from Jake.
“Whatever you want, babe.” He kisses her nose, making her laugh.
This guy is so whipped.
“You guys go, I will just go back home,” I tell them, as the last thing I want is to be the third wheel.
“No, you are coming with us, I want to hang out with both of you.” Kris shakes her head, “You two have to become friends, I always wanted my boyfriend and my friend to be friends. So my boyfriend can plan surprises for me with my friend,” she says as she holds my hand.
“Okay, then, let’s go and celebrate your win and our newly formed friendship.” I laugh as I look at Jake while Kris pulls me into a hug.
Jake and Kris start to walk towards the main entrance of the building while I walk a few steps behind them. I can’t help myself from turning my head around and looking at the spot where that guy was standing. Sure enough, he is still standing there, but now there are a few other people around him. Our eyes met as he is also looking at me.
My eyes slightly widen when I notice someone is about to hit him from the other side. Before I can warn him, he swiftly blocks the hit while not breaking the eye contact. The surprise must have been evident on my face, as I notice a faint smile forming on his lips. My own lips turn upward in a small impressed smile, but I turn my face around before it changes into a full-blown smile. Picking up my pace, I walk outside the building not turning around to see him this time.