II. Beautiful Girl
Hailey Vaughn: 13 years old
Joshua Greyson: 15 years old
I snuggle deeper into the comfortable bed. Sticky sweats were covering every inch of my body as my lungs tried to function correctly. Etching myself into the hard bare skin, I hear a groaning sound exit beside me.
A groaning sound?
Lifting my head, I take a few blinks, feeling warm air blowing onto my face. The sun peeks through the dark blue curtains, casting shadows on his tan features. His long lashes rest, covering his beautiful orbs. Slight baby fats color with a shade of tan cheeks squish against my forehead.
Elegantly, like sleeping beauty, his lids crack open. He flutters his long lashes a few times, scrunching his fist and rubbing his tired eyes. Then, an animalistic yawn surface, ruining the enchanting moment. He stretches a single-arm, releasing the tension in his aching muscles, then throws it back on top of me and begins sleeping again.
“It’s so hot,” he grumbles into my moisten neck.
I scoff, pushing his burning body back. “Because you’re sleeping with like three blankets!” I try to exhale through the dense layers.
“Last night was cold,” he mutters.
“Because you blasted on the AC!”
There’s a momentary silence lingering in the air. “I’m a complicated guy.”
I kick his stomach, and he grunts, releasing me. Rolling off the bed, I reach for my glasses and pop them on. When I turned back, Joshua fell back to sleep with his mouth wide open, ready to catch a fly.
I exhale, running my fingers through my tangles, and walk towards the bathroom to get ready for the day. I stop walking, feeling the cold surface rushing through my soles. “Wait. How did Josh get into my bedroom last night?” I whisper.
My parent’s bedroom door opens, and dad steps out, fixing his red tie. “Good morning.” He kisses my forehead, “Who are you talking to?”
My eyes automatically maneuver towards my light pink bedroom door, and I mentally curse myself, realizing he notices my odd behavior.
He clenches his fists and marches towards my bedroom, slamming it open. “Joshua Greyson! How many times do I have to tell you! Stop crawling into my daughter’s bedroom!”
I sigh and drag my legs towards the bathroom to get ready for the day. While brushing my teeth, I stare into the mirror. My hand lowers towards the extra fat on my stomach. I exhale, then open the door when I realize the screams are increasing.
Josh rushed out of my bedroom, trying to button up his pants. “You know what Mr.Vaughn? It’s not my fault you didn’t install better security!” he laughs.
“I’m going to kill you!” Dad shouts, waving a slipper in the air.
Josh rushes down the hallway, while mom appears from the room, still in her blue robe. “Oh, good morning Joshua. Will you be staying for breakfast?” she asks, with her natural sweet smile, as she rushes her fingers through her blonde hair.
He pulls on his loose black shirt. “Thank you Mrs.Vaughn, but your husband is trying to murder me right now with a slipper,” he said quickly, before planting a kiss on my forehead then ran downstairs while I continue brushing my teeth.
“Morning, Alvin! Got to go! Your dad is trying to kill me!”
“Cool! Can we hang out tonight?”
“Sorry, dude! I belong to your sister the whole day, but we can hang out a bit tomorrow before I go to the airport!”
“Awesome!” I can imagine Alvin smiling widely while Josh messes his hair.
For as long as I can remember, Alvin had always been attached to Josh, seeing him as a big brother. Once, he even tried to ship me to the orphanage. He thought that when I’m gone, he can have Josh all to himself.
I roll my eyes and continue brushing my teeth.
Dad ran towards the stairs, but mom held him back by the belt on his pants. “You’re seriously going to kill him with a slipper?”
Dad holds the slipper tight. “That boy! He needs to be taught a lesson!”
Mom grabs the slipper. “But with a slipper?” she said, then glance down at the single slipper on dad’s foot and shake her head. She sighs, then goes back to the bedroom.
I continue brushing my teeth.
Dad turns towards me. “Stay away from any Greyson’s boy. They are nothing but trouble,” he said in a stern voice before going back into the bedroom.
I shrug and continue my day, knowing dad will get over it. For as long as I can remember, Josh and I had always been sleeping with each other. He would often sneak into my bedroom at night since I keep the window open. Probably, not the safest thing in the world.
When we got older, dad started putting up the no boys policy, which applies only to Josh and forbids him from sleep in my bedroom. It’s apparent that Josh isn’t good at listening to orders.
I walk downstairs, smelling fresh eggs, pancakes, and bacon. Releasing a satisfying groan, I grab a plate and stack the food, then dive into breakfast. After I finish, I burp a round of satisfaction.
“Thank goodness you have Josh,” Alvin mumble, then went back to his video game.
Dad points a fork at Alvin. “She has no one.”
“Dad. Why don’t you like Josh?” I ask, grabbing my plate and placing it in the sink.
“Because...he came from Matthew Greyson,” he grumbles, sipping on his morning coffee.
I look at mom, who shakes her head. I walk towards the fridge, grabbing a container filled with orange juice, and pour it inside a glass. “But you like Mr.Greyson! You two always hang out when he comes to California!”
Dad places the cup down. “Jellybean. I don’t like any boys. They aren’t trustworthy.”
I inhale the orange juice. “I’m going to go hang out with Josh.”
Dad glared at me, but mom hit his head. “Have fun, sweetheart,” she said, wiping her wet hands on the towel.
“Why do you call her jellybean, but I get tootsie?” Alvin complained.
I sniff the air and groan, causing Alvin to smile. Dad’s nose scrunches before he stands up, walking towards the other side of the kitchen. “That’s why.”
I hop upstairs to get ready for my last day of summer with Josh. He lives in New York, so I only get to see him three months out of the year.
Stepping inside my bedroom, I smile, seeing the infinite amount of photos of us hanging around the room. Every birthday, holiday, or vacation, we would always be together. I walked towards the closet, and a picture caught my eyes. I ran my fingers across it and smiled.
It was when Josh and I went to Thrift Bridge in Switzerland together with our families. It’s one of the best and worst days of my life.
While we were crossing the bridge, I realized I had a fear of height, or more explicitly, dying. I held onto the metal and refused to pass while I was halfway. I peed in my pants that day and a bit on Josh when he had me.
“Let’s do it together, Hay Bug! I’ll be here with you the whole way!”
“P-Promise, you won’t l-let go?”
“I promise....I’ll never let go.”
A rock hit my window, breaking me out of the enchantment, and I walked towards it, eyes meeting hazel ones. He cups his hands together. “Are you ready for the best day of your life, Hay Bug?”
I press a finger over my lips. “Joshie Pooh! Be quiet! Do you want to die?”
Josh waves a hand across his face and makes a seemingly scoffing sound. “I’ll die for you any day!” He smiles brightly while the blood rushes towards my cheeks. “I’ll wait in the front,” he tries to whisper-yell.
I laughed, then gave him a thumb up.
While he jogs towards the front, I rush to the closet. I grab a white sunflower dress and decide to wear it. I want to give him the best memory of me before he leaves.
I ran downstairs and grabbed my white shoes. “Be careful!” Mom screamed.
“Okay!” I respond before throwing the door open to see him standing there. He leans against the wall, hand tucked into his pockets, and the other holding a cell phone.
He slides the phone back into his pocket. “Took you long enough,” he said teasingly, holding out his hand and proceeding to wiggle his fingers.
I grab it, and he leads us down the pathway. “Where are we going today?” I ask, feeling my palms sweating, heart pounding uncontrollably like always.
He shrugs, “I thought we could just walk around, you know?” He peeks at me, “Is that okay?”
I nod, “I would love that.”
We decide to go to the mall to hang out. I bit my lower lips, noticing how many girls were gazing at Josh. He rushes his fingers through his messy dark hair and smiles. “What’s up, Hay Bug?”
I pout, “Nothing.”
He stops walking. “Wait here. I’ll grab us some smoothies,” he said, and I nod, taking a seat on the wooden bench.
“Go talk to him!” a girl whispers, shoving her friend towards Josh.
“He is with someone else!”
The friend rolls her eyes while I pretend to play on my phone. “Look at her! She is so...fat! How can they be together? She is probably just a friend!”
I bit my inner cheeks, feeling my eyes welling up. They aren’t wrong; I am fat. I look up towards Josh, who’s perfect. He rakes his slim callus fingers through his soft dark hair, tugging his hands into his pockets as he began ordering. The girl walks towards him, and they start talking. He laughs, covering his mouth with his fist while she blushes. I sigh, looking down at my feet, not wanting to witness the scene any further.
When I feel a cold cup on my head, I look up. “Let’s go,” he said, handing me my favorite strawberry banana smoothie.
Josh leaned down and grabbed my hand, leading us away. I chew on the straw, peeking at him. “She’s pretty,” I mumble.
He sips on his cup, “Yeah, I guess.”
“She seems to like you.”
A snorting sound exits his nostrils. “I know.”
“Are you going to like...hang out with her or something?” I ask, quite curious about his response.
“I don’t know her; why should I hang out with her?”
“Because she’s pretty,” I grumble.
He laughs a slightly deep crack, a wondrous sound. “I only hang out with beautiful girls.”
“But you’re always with m-” I stop seeing him smiling at me. I release his hand and punch his hard chest. “Shut up,” I grumble, unable to hold back the smile.