Chapter 1 - Reagan
Present: Age 13
“Ri, you useless pig! Turn around. Hit them!” Andre yelled into his microphone.
“Y-you blind ba-bat, I d-did, t-take that female of a dog!”, I said, clicking onto the last zombie, I nailed it.
“Mu wa ha ha ha ha”, I gave an evil laugh, “We won!”, Andre and I gave a victorious roar.
“Who the fuck says female of a dog instead of a bitch? What are you? Ten? We will get you next time superwoman_007 and superman_007”, @Alex_the_great venomously bit out.
“In your wet dreams, Alexi!”, Andre howled with laughter. Before I could retort, @Alex_the_great logged out. He was probably swaying white flags in his room from wherever he was. I am so bored with his useless threats.
It is common knowledge now, Andre and I make a great gaming team. Nobody can even imagine to beat us. We are that good.
Giving out a sigh of content, I logged out and smiled. Immediately, my phone buzzed. Did you know? I am a psychic, and I know who is calling me. So, I don’t need to check my screen anymore. Just kidding, I only wish to be a psychic. Sometimes, being a plain-old-human is annoyingly dull.
“We are going to party this glorious victory!” Andre giddily yelled, making me place my phone away from my ear, and I laughed.
“H-hold on, better add Ju-Juliet on call. S-she will kill u-us”
“Oh yeah. I’ll add her”, Andre put me on hold and added Juliet. After about thirty seconds, I was on a conference call with them.
“Julieeee! We won. Today, we party!” Andre squealed. He wasn’t in front of me, but since we have established that I am a psychic, I knew he was jumping on his bed.
“Oh! Shut up both of you! I’ll be broke like that. You two play almost every day now”, Juliet scolded us. She was probably looking at the mirror and checking out her change of expressions while reprimanding us. Don’t I know my friends well?
“B-but Juliet, it’s ‘Ice-cream, you-scream, we-scream F-Friday’!”, I slumped my shoulders with my feeble convincing skills.
“Yeah, and it’s to-ta-lly free-ee”, Andre sang and added, “Sol called me and told me he’s making ice-cream for his experimental pastry try-out batch”. I could imagine the broad smile on Andre’s face while nodding his head. He probably even has his tongue out like a dog.
“Really?” Juliet asked while trying to stifle the excitement in her voice. I am not sure if it is for the ice-cream or because she has a crush on Sol. But what kind of crush is that when she keeps mixing between Sol and Adam? Noah has blue eyes, so he’s easily distinguished.
“Y-yes! Really. Please come over today. How does 7 pm sound? Oooh, l-lets have an n-night-over? W-we could have a D-Disney movie m-marathon!”, elation oozed through my veins.
“Hell yeah!”, both Juliet and Andre screamed.
They yelled at their respective parents while being on call for permission and drop-offs. We said our goodbyes excitedly. Standing up, I stretched and gave out a loud walrus yawn.
I sat on my chair and starting filling out Adam’s college application on my laptop.
It is my sole agenda now. I am going to push my brothers to college. Enough of this, ‘we have to stay home and take care of you; we need the money’ rubbish. I have been maintaining my own personal accounts book for the past three months. We have enough money now—no more stupid excuses on how they should not go to college.
And isn’t college supposed to be an investment for a better future? Between my three brothers, making Noah go to college is going to be the most challenging task. He is doing well with Dad’s construction company.
Though, I am hell-bent on sending Adam and Sol to college. Adam is a mathematical genius, and Sol is a culinary expert. I won’t let their talent go to waste. Plus, Dad is on my team. We’ve been secretly saving up for their college fund for a while now.
I was about to put my headphones on when I heard a car rumble in front of our old neighbors’ house. I peeked through my curtains and crunched my nose, feeling my imaginary binoculars around my eyes. I like being a snoopy person. It is nice till I don’t get caught. If I do, then, well, err…awkward.
Our old neighbor moved out six months ago; I never liked her. Period. She is the definition of the b-word. I think the word was invented for her.
“Stupid, old nosey h-hag”, I mumbled under my breath.
That woman knew no bounds. She was always asking me if my mom called me up or if she was coming back. Or if my stammer makes me an embarrassment to my family. It became gross when she was poking me to tell her about my brothers’ sex life. Ew! Who asks that to their sister? I felt a shiver run through my spine. I do not want to see their ding-a-lings. Ever. Or even think about it.
So, the difference between her and me is that I am a mere observer who collects information and stores in her mind. Yes, this is purely ‘intellectual curiosity’.
I nodded to myself in agreement. Narrowing my eyes, I squinted my focus on the old red Volkswagen parked in front of the opposite house.
I saw a boy in his teens, walk out of the passenger side of the car. He quickly went to the driver’s side and helped an older lady out, presumably his mother? She was beautiful. Long black hair, tan skin and a kind smile plastered on her round face. She must be in her mid-thirties.
The boy went towards the back of the car, opened the trunk, and removed the suitcases. The mother went to help him, and he fervently began to shake his head. The lady retreated towards the house. Could a teenage boy look so gorgeous?
His hair was jet black just like his mother, squared face with a sharp jawline. Even from this distance, I could see his teenage stubble growing. He wore a sleeveless plain white T-shirt and old ragged blue jeans. When he lifted the suitcases and unloaded the last one, I caught a glimpse of his upper arm muscles flexing.
Just for the record, I am not a pervert. But boy, did he looked yummy. I wouldn’t mind seeing his ding-a-ling. I giggled.
The boys in my school were alright-ish. I was never attracted to anyone. The only person I could tolerate talking to was Andre. If I ever want to date someone, he should be caring and loving as Andre Mason.
But, this guy. My my. The black hair glistening with Arizona’s sunrays and so deep that even the color black would be put to shame. Oh! Those muscles that were picking up those bags. Sweat was dripped off his forehead. Woah. I like a man who does labor. Who is hotter? The boy with blue-jeans or Chris Hemsworth? Blue-jeans will finish his growth spurt in a few years. He is so breathtaking already.
Oh, God! Does he have a girlfriend? Of course, he does. Why would a Greek God walk alone? But I am his neighbor. So, I get special privileges, right?
While I was mentally drooling, the boy-from-the-car was staring in my direction with bags in his hands.
I felt blood rush to my face and ears. I instantly shut my curtains and turned my back to the window. My heart was racing, and I was breathing heavily. Okay, so that was awkward. Were his iris brown or black? This time I physically drooled.
Get it together, Reagan! I scolded myself and walked towards the kitchen to fix myself a sandwich.
While I was on my last sandwich, I heard our door knock. It is probably my brothers. They have the keys, why are they making me walk? I slugged on the chair and suffocated my mouth with the last sandwich. My face probably looks like a hippo right now.
Another knock on the door. What the hell? They know not to disturb me when I am lazy. I got up and stomped towards the door and opened it rashly.
OH MY GOD. ALERT. BLUE-JEANS BOY IN FRONT OF MY DOOR. I quickly gulped my sandwich, almost choking my windpipe and wiped my face off breadcrumbs.
He focused at his feet and didn’t notice that I opened the door. He ended up making a third knock but on my forehead. The harsh movement made me groan.
But, he is free to touch me again! I must say he has strong knuckles.
With a surprise, he looked at me. I just focused on not drooling with my mouth open.
“Oh, God! I am so sorry. I didn’t realize you opened the door”, he apologized, raising his hand. WOW. How can one have a voice that is husky but sweeter than honey? His hands were suspended in the air; I backed away a bit. I am confused, what is better looking? His hands that look so artistic? Or his eyes.
He roamed his eyes on me. GREEK GOD IS CHECKING ME OUT! Where is Juliet when you need her to record this moment? Damn it! I should’ve changed my duck pants and worn the sexy red ones. He dropped his hands. NO! NO! Knock my forehead again. I don’t mind.
Did he just say he came to apologize? For what?
“My mom thought I was looking at you too long a while ago. It was inappropriate. I am sorry”, he said. Was it? I don’t mind if he stares at me all day. I just gave him a slow nod.
“You know, you could speak something”, he snapped at me. I took a step back in surprise.
So, I have two options: Let him hear me stammer or just shut up. Maybe he will think I am moody and aloof like in those teenage cheerleader movies. Yes, shut up. Works.
“What? You don’t speak, or you don’t want to speak to me?” he asked, narrowing his eyes. It is not that I don’t want too. I just don’t want to make a fool out of myself. You know, first impressions matter.
So, I continued with my fantastic plan. I kept quiet and just shrugged.
“Do you not speak?” he asked cautiously. See, I am a lousy liar. Don’t make eye contact. He will know you are lying. Look down. Just shake or nod your head. Let him make his assumptions. Play safe. Yes, safe is right. Safe is excellent.
“I am sorry. But, you can hear what I am saying?” he asked. Aww. Of course, I can hear him. Wasn’t I responding to his questions with my head nod/shake? He is still so cute.
“Oh nice, I do not know sign language”, he said. Cool! I don’t know either. Should I learn it?
“Err… we are your new neighbors. I am Joshua. I moved in with my mom; her name is Susan. What’s yours?” Don’t speak. Don’t speak, Reagan. Even if you reflexively want to.
“Oh, right, sorry. You cannot speak”, he looked embarrassed. Should I say something? Then we can be equally embarrassed! Err…
“I’ll just call you duck-girl”, he said with an enthusiastic smile. My eyes widened. Duck-girl? What the…?
“No! I meant, well… you are wearing duck shorts. So duck-girl…as in…”, he tried to explain. He is so adorable! Can I call him Blue-jeans?
“I think I’ll leave. See you around”, he said and turned to his house. NO. NO. Don’t go. Let me stare at you some more!
I frowned and almost moaned. Dejectedly, I shut my door and rested my back on it.
Did he say his name is Joshua?
“J-Joshua”, I mumbled to myself.
Yes, he looks like a Joshua. Joshua.
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