“What do you mean you didn’t do it!”
Jude scrunched her freckled nose as she pushed her glasses up and continued. “You got detention again, didn’t you, Al. You seriously need to stop forgetting to do your homework assignments.”
“That,” I replied, “Is hard work that I am not ready to do. I mean, they can go on complaining to my parents as much as they want, but, at the end of the day, I pass with flying colors and that’s what it’s all about.”
Jude looked at me from over her glasses with a raised bow.
“Stop doing that! You look like an old lady teacher that caught me cheating or something.”
“Well, how else am I supposed to look at you, what will your mom say when she finds another detention slip in your hand?”
“My mom won’t say anything to me, and you know that very well. If it were ever in her hands, she wouldn’t have even sent me to high school, specifically because she’d never been to one herself and had no idea how to prepare us for it.”
My mother had a hard life as a teenager, making her the strong woman she is now. She survived the cruel world and raised amazing kids while loving her husband to the fullest. She’s my idol and if she can go through it all without going to high school, so can I. but then there is my dad. A very typical one for that.
Always over-protecting, over-suspecting, over-thinking because for him I’ll always be his little baby princess.
Jude breathed out an exaggerated sigh, rolling her head backwards in defeat. I smiled at her as I skipped forward to the bus stop to wave Jude good-bye. Then I was alone, standing on the school grounds, waiting for my dad to show up.
Suddenly, a hand tapped on my shoulder, making me turn around to face melting teal eyes boring into my soul.
Instantly, my legs felt weak and my heart was beating fast enough to leap out of my chest.
“Y-You!? From tomorr—I mean yesterday. Oh, thanks for saving me from falling. That would’ve been embarrassing.”
I rubbed the back of my head, wanting to hit myself hard for the unusual stuttering.
He said my name. And he said it ever-so slowly that I almost melted, the heat rising up to my cheeks like a volcano ready to interrupt.
“Uh, yeah! That’s my name! What’s mine—I mean yours?”
“Mason,” he replied, his head slightly tilted as he analyzed me, only making me self-conscious. i had the strongest urge to look down at my uniform to check if it was alright or not since I had no intention of getting embarrassed. . . again. But I kept my stare into his glacier-like teal eyes.
“Mason. . . that’s a nice name! it suits you, yeah! What are you doing here?”
The left side of his lip rose slightly as he smirked at me, making my whole face turn red. “I was just walking by. A good walk never hurts anybody, now does it?”
“But—I never seen your around before,” I pointed out.
He took a few steps closer and I took a few steps back. I could even smell his cologne from our close proximity. “Maybe you did but never noticed. Many people cross our eyes in a day. It’s the one who catches your eye that you notice.”
“T-True,” I gulped, feeling his breath brush my nose lightly.
But the word had barely come out of my mouth when Mason’s both hands reached either side of my waist, pulling me towards him until I was too close for my own good. My nose was touching his chest and I looked up to ask him why he did that, only to find him looking at a distant—at a car.
Then I realized, he just saved my life!
I looked at him again, my heart beating fast and words all scrambled in my mind. Someone whistled from behind and i turned to see my brother with his hands in his pockets and one earbud of his headphone dangling down, making me immediately pull away from Mason.
From afar, I realized that, to my utmost horror, my dad was running towards with a twitching vein very visible on his temple when he came near.
Now that is not the way I want to hear my name being called out.
Before anything, my face was caught between two hands and was being tilted around. “Are you okay? Why were you not looking at the road? Why the fuck were you talking to someone while standing on the road!? How many times have I told you always be aware of your surroundings, how many times!?”
“I’m sorry, daddy! It was just an accident.”
“Never again, do you hear me?”
“Yes, dad. I’ll be careful next time.”
“There shouldn’t be a next time!”
With the way he was screaming at me, my ears were close to their breaking point. So, I hugged him, and whispered in the sweetest tone “I love you, daddy.”
He sighed frustratedly then his eyes turned to the boy who was standing there and looking at us intensely.
“Who are you supposed to be and what are you doing with my daughter.”
“Dad,” I whispered into his ear. “He saved me… can you be a little nicer to him?”
“No one is that nice to save someone out of the goodness of their hearts, Alysa. You should always know that.”
So, I ignored him and turned towards Mason with a smile on my face and held out my hand. “Thank you, Mason, again. I’ll see you around then because we ought to get going. . . right dad?”
He only replied with a grumble as he started to make his way back to our car. Mason took my hand and pulled me close enough to let him lean in my ear. “You’re welcome. See you soon. . . I know where to find you, Alysa.”
With that, he walks away, leaving me, yet again, weak in my knees. I sighed and looked towards Alex who had a smug look on his face as he motioned me to follow him to our car.