Friday, April 27, 2012
Chapter 26: Confidante
Chapter 26: Confidante (Wattpad)
Mom and Dad were reading on the sofa. They were side by side, and they seemed really interested and absorbed. I bit my lip as I stared at them adjacent to the couch, tapping my pen against my Bio assignment. I’m still trying to find the opportune moment to ask them about tomorrow and my confidence just fails me. As always.
I thought of Travis’ hopeful face as he dropped me off from school.
“Dad? Can I ask you something?”
“Hmm?” he said absently, no looking up. Wha – he didn’t even look at me!
“Dad.” I complained. No response. “Mom?”
“Yes, honey?” she smiled at me. I sat up straighter and said, “Can I go with Travis’ family tomorrow on the beach?”
“Will you go home late?” I knew she wasn’t really asking – she knows already. To be frank, she’s used to Travis going in and out of the house and it’s become habit for her to reserve some cookies for him whenever he decides to pop in. But the same can’t be said for me; I can hardly visit time to time in their mansion whose guards probably wouldn’t let me in, anyway.
“I really don’t know. Travis will drive me home.” We hadn’t really discussed that part but I’m sure as hell that he will. “So, I’m going to meet Mr. and Mrs. Warner and…Mom, what the hell should I wear?”
She burst to laughter and finally put her book down. ‘Is that what you were going to ask your Dad? Because asking him is probably not a good idea.” I can’t help chuckling in spite of my inner dilemma, “I was asking or permission, but…” I glanced towards Dad, who was, predictably, still sticking his nose in the book he’s holding. Mom caught my eye and she mouthed plants. Then she winked.
Without speaking, she got up and put her arm on my back and I left my assignment on the couch and went with her upstairs to my room. The moment we were inside, she assessed my face and said, “You’re worried.”
“Not that much.” I squeaked.
“Good. You’re worried.” She nodded as if satisfied and got my hand and led the way to the cabinet. “Let’s see.’ She pulled both handles open and quickly skimmed the contents, pursing her lips. She said conversationally, “Ave, do you want advice?”
“About the thing I’m wearing?”
“No. About Travis, honey.” She as still perusing my inventory but I can tell she’s serious about what she’s going to say. Cautiously, I said, “Sure, Mom.” I realized I was nervous. Not because Mom isn’t close to me – we’re close as hell – but it’s just that she’s never given advice about something like this before and…it’s just new.
“If you want to know how he would treat you in the long run, just look at how he treats his mother.” She has her hands on a green scarf I got from Aunt Laine on my 14th birthday, but she looked at me and smiled pleasantly. Maternally. “That would speak for itself.”
I nodded soundlessly and managed to smile a little. I will definitely do that. Suddenly, she said, “I like this one.” I saw her pull out a summer dress which has a colourful blending of ocean green and magenta. It’s one of those kinds where you tie both ends of long, thin strings of cloth at your nape. And…my shoulder blades will be exposed.
“It’s nice, Mom. But – ”
“No buts here, Avery. El gave you this and you didn’t even use it once. Don’t you think she would be disappointed?”
“She knows I wouldn’t wear it, so she gave it to me.”
“So, don’t you think It would be nice to show her that you can wear it?” she lifted her eyebrows and smiled triumphantly. I sighed. Trust mothers to have their way with everything.
“You win. But don’t tell me that I have to wear a – ”
“How about a bikini?”
I groaned. “Mom. I don’t do bikinis. I’ll look pale.”
“But you’ll be under the sun, honey. You’ll probably get a good tan, but bring sunblock, okay? And extra clothes, money, just in case – ”
“I’m not going to wear the bikini. Ever. I’m going to murder Uncle Zed – ”
“She just laughed at her brother’s antics. But it is not funny. Not in the slightest. I mean – me? Bikini?
“He said they matched your eyes and he’s quite right, darling. And it’s really worth trying.”
“I’m going to have a heart failure when I look at myself in the mirror – ”
“If you’re going to have a heart failure, imagine what would happen to Travis.”
Fuck. I blushed furiously and I was stunned momentarily. I sighed, “Mom, that’s so unfair. I’m not model perfection like him – ”
“Nonsense. You’re perfect.”
I rolled my eyes and sent her a look that plainly said, You don’t say?
“Mom, you’re extremely biased.”
“Well, that’s a good thing. But that’s not exactly the point. You will wear your Uncle’s gift. No excuses and no buts.”
I gritted my teeth. Maybe asking my mother was a wrong move. So what should I’ve done, then? Ask the neighbors?
“Is this payback-for-all-you’ve-done day or what?”
She grinned. “It’s the first one.”
“Mom. Do I have to beg on my knees?” Maybe I should’ve asked Dad instead. Or maybe, I should’ve had the initiative to do it myself.
“Avery, that won’t be necessary. But when Travis sees you in this two-piece caramel bikini – ”
“Mom – ”
“It would be really nice if you could snap a photo of his face.” She continued as if I didn’t interrupt. She smiled hugely, “Now, I’ll help you pack your things, how about that?”