Curly Headed Cutie

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Chp. 16: She Scares Easily

Nothing.

I haven’t had a single call for my catering service all weekend. I’m starting to worry...

Hopefully, Luka’s Mom told her friends about me...

I mean, she said she would...

But what if that was a lie??

Was it unprofessional for me to let Travis come with me? I didn’t think it was, but what Luka’s mom did? What if I was annoying, and didn’t realize it?

Oh dear god, what if this is the end of my catering services?!

“Tiffany.”

“I’M HERE!!!” I shout, looking up from my cake, and at Victoria standing in front of me.

Allow me to refresh your memory on who Victoria Frank is if you don’t remember. The mean bitch in my after-school baking class who hates me for no damn reason.

God, did that feel good to say...

Anyway, let me catch you up to speed on what you missed within the past few days! I hung out with May and Stormy the whole weekend, and we just did stupid stuff, lol. It’s Monday afternoon, and school just let out a few hours ago. My day was pretty uneventful as usual.

Travis didn’t show up for school, not that I’m surprised. I’m currently in cooking class, learning diverse ways you can ice a cake for certain effects.

And as you can see, I’m not really paying attention...

I’ve been spaced out all day because I’ve been thinking about my catering job. I haven’t had anyone call me asking for my services, and it’s making me nervous.

I frown staring into Victoria’s deep brown eyes, “What do you want, Victor?”

“It’s Victoria, stupid, say it right!” She retorts, glaring at me. She rolls her eyes, “Anyway, I heard that you’ve started a catering business. Mind to share why you did that?” I raise a brow, “What do you mean, ‘why’?”

“Think about it. What made you want to become a caterer? You’re not even a great baker, so I figured I’d ask why.”

I laugh bitterly, “OH! So that’s why you came over here! You’re jealous!” She frowns, her braids sliding down her shoulder, “As if I’d be jealous of you. I was just saying. You aren’t going to make it far with-”

“I’m sorry, Vicky, I hate to interrupt, but I’m just having a really tough time understanding something,” I interrupt, shaking my head, and she stares at me, confused.

“When did I ask?” I ask, shrugging, “I don’t remember asking, so if you could refresh my memory...”

She narrows her eyes at me, “You rude bitch...”

“How is that being rude? I only asked a question,” I state, shrugging, gathering my cake knives.

Why do I sound like Travis???

I shake my head at that thought and take the knives and make my way over to the knife bucket.

Later On That Night...

“I’m sure you’ll get a phone call, Tiff, you just have to be patient,” Dad states, as I stare at my dinner plate, feeling sad. I nod, “Yeah, I know. I just can’t help but be in my head about it...”

“I’m sure you did fine,” Daniel chimes in, coming from the back of the house, gym bag in hand, “You’re a pretty good baker, so I’m sure people would want you to cater for them. I know I would.”

I smile and look up as Daniel sits next to me at the kitchen table, “Thanks, Daniel.”

“No problem, sis,” Daniel replies, smiling, as he pulls dirty socks from his bag.

They were white...

“Do you think these socks need to be washed?” He asks, holding them up to my face. I gag at the strong smell of sweaty feet and other things. I back away, pinching my nose, “Yes, please get them away from me.”

“Really?” He sniffs them, “I don’t think they smell that bad...”

“Then something is terribly wrong with your nose...” I state, shaking my head, “Those socks smell like death...”

Dad laughs, as Daniel tries shoving the socks back into my face, taunting me, “Oh c’mon, Anni, they don’t smell that bad do they?”

“Daniel, I swear to god if you don’t quit, I will literally shove those socks up to your you know what.”

“My what, Tiffany, tell me.”

“Move them!!!”

“Answer the question, Anni!”

“Alright, Daniel, that’s enough. You can stop now,” Dad laughs, putting away dishes. Daniel chuckles, stuffing those nasty socks back into his bag.

I un-pinch my nose, and glare at him, “Butthole!”

“Crybaby!” He retorts, smirking. I roll my eyes as Dad sits next to me, laughing. Dad nudges me, smiling, “Aside from your brother being your brother, just have a little faith. I’m sure you’ll get the phone call.”

Hopefully...

Travis’s POV:

I pull my shirt over my head, revealing my large tattoo across my chest, hissing with pain. I look in the mirror and seeing the big ass bruise on my side.

“Shit...” I mumble, biting my bottom lip, “Maybe I overdid it just a little bit...” I sigh, turning to reach for the peroxide, and other disinfectants.

After I started doing these street fights, I’ve taught myself the art of cleaning and fixing my wounds.

I didn’t go to school because I was unbearably sore, but I should be good to go for tomorrow.

Do I want to go tomorrow?

Not really...

Anyway, like any normal person would, you’re probably wondering why I even started fighting in the first place. Long story short, my mom cut my allowance off, so my favorite dumbasses, Christian, Joshua, and Jamie, figured I should street-fight to earn money.

Honestly, not the worst idea. Plus, it’s fun.

Aside from the wounds...

I finish patching myself up and look in the mirror, seeing my bruised cheek. I chuckle, shaking my head, my black hair falling in my face, “If my mom knew about what I do when I’m not home...”

*KNOCK*

*KNOCK*

“HEY TRAVIS!” Samantha, my older sister, shouts, knocking on my bathroom door.

Samantha Reel, she’s, as stated before, my older sister. She’s 22 years old, 8 months pregnant, and the coolest sister I could ever ask for. I love her, she’s my best friend, but I couldn’t tell her that.

She’d tease me for it...

“Yeah!” I reply, cleaning my bruises. “Come feel the baby kick!” She says, excitedly. I smile, rolling my eyes, as I open the bathroom door, “Sam, I thought you had left already.”

“Yeah, I was about to, but Oscar wanted to say hey to Ma’ before we left,” She replies, her long black hair tied into a high ponytail.

Oscar is also one of my favorite dumbasses. He’s pretty chill, funny as shit, and I swear he’s high most of the time. He’s also my future brother-in-law and Jamie’s older brother.

She then places her hands on her large belly, “Now feel the baby! He’s kicking!!” I smile, placing my hand on her round belly. I feel various thumps, and Sam smiles brightly, saying, “You feel him? He’s moving around in there a lot...”

“You’re definitely going to become a soccer Mom,” I state, and Sam gasp. I chuckle as she says, frowning, “I am not going to be a Soccer Mom! I refuse to become one!”

“Yeah, but you already have the soccer mom van. If that’s not foreshadowing enough, then I don’t know what is,” I state, walking back into the bathroom. She crosses her arms, and follows me, “My car is not a Soccer Mom Van. It’s a Chevy Uplander Minivan.”

“Yeah, aka, the Soccer Mom van.”

“Be jealous, Travis, be jealous.”

I chuckle, grabbing band-aids, “Okay, Sam.”

She stares at me through the mirror for a moment, as I finish cleaning up my bruises. There’s a long silent pause before Sam suddenly asks, concerned, “Travis, what happened to your face? Mamma and I saw it earlier but didn’t say anything.”

I tense up, turning a little more to the side to hide the huge bruise on my side. I look over and at her, and laugh nervously, “Oh! This? Yeah, I was, um, I was cleaning my car over at...Josh’s, and fell down a, uh, hill...”

Of course, I start stuttering...

She narrows her coffee brown eyes at me, “Really? You fell down a hill?”

Sam and Mom don’t know about the fights I do. That includes Oscar too, he has no idea that his little brother is helping me potentially get my ass beat for cash. If I had told them, I’d be six feet under.

I nod, quickly slipping my shirt back on before she notices the bruise on my side, “Yeah! I know that sounds made up, but that’s the truth.”

She nods, suspiciously, “Okay...” I nod too, wincing a bit from putting that shirt on too fast. She stares at me for a lingering moment, causing me to feel even tenser.

Please tell me she believes me...

She sighs, “Alright, loser, I’m believing you just this once. If I see those bruises again, I’m interrogating you, and getting Mamma.” I chuckle, awkwardly, “Trust me, it was just a little accident...”

Yeah, I “accidentally” set up a fight to win some cash...

“Well, I’m about to go home, so...” Sam mumbles, yawning. Before I know it, Samantha wraps her arms around me, hugging me.

A tight hug.

I grunt, grinding my teeth together as she says, “I’ll see you tomorrow, doofus if I’m not too tired to stop by.” I pat her head, trying to act like I’m not in pain, “See you tomorrow, maybe, dummy.”

Unwrapping her arms from around me, she stares up at me, looking as if she just remembered something, “Oh! Just for the record, Richard is staying the night again. Good luck!!! Love you lots!!!”

“Wait!” I shout as she waddles as fast as she can out of my room, and into the hallway. I groan, annoyed, “Fucking, Richard...”

If you remember, Richard Hampton is Mom’s boyfriend, and I don’t particularly like him. He’s a police officer, so he always talking about peace and justice.

It’s annoying...

I sigh, making my way into the long wide hallway, seeing a few maids. I wave at them, and they all wave back saying, “Hey, Travis!”

“What up, Maria, and Angie!”

“Tell your mom that dinner was delicious!” Maria says, excitedly, her chestnut brown curly pulled back. She grabs her coat, and Angie does the same, “And don’t forget to tell her to thank you!”

“You know I wouldn’t,” I reply in a matter-of-fact tone. They both smile, sweetly, still gathering their things. I make my way downstairs and into our large kitchen, only to find Richard sticking his tongue down my mom’s throat.

MY POOR, SOMEWHAT VIRGIN, EYES!!!

MAKE IT STOP!!!!

I gag, turning away and covering my eyes, “AGHHH! What the fu-Mamma!”

Giggling, Mom and Richard quit, and I uncover my eyes. Mom stares at me with her round hazel eyes, smiling. She giggles, and then says, in a light Italian accent, “Sorry, neonato.”

Andrea Reel. If you remember, she’s my mom. I love her, but she picks on me.

I’m her kid, and she bullies me...

Plus, she’s dating Richard, the fucking “commander of peace”.

“Sorry about that kiddo,” Richard laughs, wrapping his arm around my mom’s waist, “Didn’t realize you were there.”

“Well, as a Cop, it’s kind of your job to be observant,” I reply, rolling my eyes. Mom giggles as she walks away to the other side of the kitchen, while Richard narrows his green eyes at me.

“Well, I like to think I’m pretty damn observant. I was best in my class,” Richard says, laughing. I nod, sitting at the island, “Mhm, well, clearly you’ve lost your touch, so...”

“Travis,” Mom says, smiling, shaking her head, “Stop being a jerk.” I shrug, “What? I didn’t do anything. I was just inserting my opinion.”

She shoots me a look, and I look everywhere but at her, scratching the back of my head. “Right, anyway,” Mom says, rolling her eyes as she puts away pots and pans, “May and Stormy were talking to me the other day, as well as Christian, Jamison, and Joshua about your new friend.”

I know where this is going...

“Oh! You mean Tiffany, right?” I reply, eyes narrowing with suspicion. “Yep! That’s her. Your friends say that they really like her. I was just wondering, who is she?” Mom asks, staring at me, and Richard sits at the Island near her.

“A friend from school,” I reply, “Not my girlfriend.” Mom huffs, slamming the cabinet close, and Richard laughs, “Damnit, Travis! I was hoping you’d say she’s your special friend!”

“Mamma, I told you, I’m not interested in having a girlfriend. After I broke up with Victoria, I realized I like being single,” I state, shrugging.

That’s true!

I like being single and free!!!

No restrictions allowed!!

“Victoria Frank was her name, right?” Mom asks, slicking a strand of her black hair behind her ear.

I nod, tiredly, remembering her, “Yeah, that’s her. God, I couldn’t stand her.”

“You dated her,” Mom says, laughing, “Anyway, when can I meet your friend Tiffany? From what I hear, she’s a sweetheart.”

“Well, I could invite her over one day, but...”

She scares easily...

I chuckle at that thought, and shake my head, “She really does scare easily.” Mom raises a brow, “What?” I jump up, feeling heat rise to my cheeks, “What? Oh! Uh, I was saying I could ask her.”

I wonder what’d she’d say...

“Well, invite her! I would like to meet her, ” Mom says, pulling me from my thoughts. Her face becomes a little serious, “Um...does she...Tiffany I mean, know about...you yet?”

Of course she doesn’t...

I’m too nervous to tell...

I shake my head, feeling nervous, “No. I haven’t told her yet. I’ve been thinking about it though.”

“Well, do you like her?” Mom asks, putting her hands on her hips. I nod, “Yeah. Of course I do. If I didn’t, we wouldn’t be sitting here talking about her.”

“That’s good to hear, ” Mom replies, “Do you trust her?”

“Yeah...”

“So, ” Mom mumbles, playing with the ring on her finger, “why not tell her about...that?” I heave a heavy sigh, “I don’t know, Mamma. I trust her but...I’m afraid...”

She might not like me anymore if I had told her...

I don’t want her doing that...

It’s not even that serious...and yet...

Her opinion of me matters a hell of a lot...

Am I ashamed of that side of me??

Partly...

“Don’t be afraid, Neonato, ” Mom says, walking around the table, and giving me a hug, “I’m sure Tiffany wouldn’t judge you for that!! ”

But what if she did??

I lay my head on her shoulder, “Maybe...” Suddenly, my phone starts ringing, causing me to jump. Mom let’s go of me, and I dig into my pocket, pulling my phone out.

I groan annoyed reading the caller ID.

I thought I deleted her number...

“What?” I answer, bringing my phone to my ear. “Can we please talk??? I love and miss you!! Don’t you feel the same way??” Victoria pleads at the other end of the phone.

“No,” I reply, bluntly, “We were only together for like 4 months.”

“Yeah, and I learned to love you despite your assholic like tendencies.” She replies, sounding irritated.

She sighs, “Look, this took a lot of courage to call you up. Amelia, Jennifer, and Pearl had to convince me into doing it. The least you can do is talk to me.”

I groan, and my mom looks at me strangely. “È la mia ex Victoria,” I reply, and she nods in understanding.

(È la mia ex Victoria - It’s my ex, Victoria)

“Okay, what do you want to talk about?” I ask, standing up, and walk out of the kitchen towards the stairs.

“Us.” She replies in a matter-of-fact tone, “I want to talk about us.”

“And I don’t,” I reply, bluntly, “There is no us, Vicky, and I’m sure I’ve told you this before...”

“But why?!”

“Because! I gotta go! Delete my phone number,” I hang up, rolling my eyes. I walk upstairs and into my room. I plop down onto my bed, staring at my phone screen.

I pause, thinking, still lost in thought. My mind suddenly wanders to Tiffany, and I feel this strange feeling.

Should I tell her?

If I did, how?

I could call and tell her....

Right??

I sigh, annoyed, “The hell am I thinking...I can’t tell her over the phone...”

Why is this so hard for me to do?

I’ve told May, Stormy, Joshua, Christian, and Jamie so easily. And yet with her...

I can’t help but worry...

“Alright, Travis, just call her...rip off the bandaid, ” I say aloud to myself, staring at my phone screen, “Like Ma’ said...”

I take a moment to compose myself and scroll through my contacts and find her number. I hesitantly press it, and it rings. I lay back in bed, waiting for her to answer.

A few rings go by, and she answers, “Hello??”

“Hey, Tiny. I see that you’re awake.” I reply, plastering on a fake smile.

I’m nervous...

“Yeah, well, I’m up late doing homework, so...” She replies, sighing tiredly. “Well, I um...actually wanted to talk to you about something...” I state, nervously.

Just say it...

Just say it...

Don’t be a little bitch and say it!

“What’ that?” She asks, curious. I freeze up the room becoming dead silent.

I can’t say it...

Not like this...

Fuck...I’m stressing out for no damn reason...

“Travis?” She says, sounding concerned. I snap out of my haze, and laugh nervously, “Yeah, I was just wondering...how’s your day been?”

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