Thursday, April 19, 2012
Chapter 4: Parent exposure
Chapter 4: Parent exposure (Wattpad)
“Avery, you pray.”
“Dad, you pray.”
“Okay, Mom. Okay. In the name of the Father, of the Son…” I recited the words memorized since childhood, and saw Mom and Dad murmuring as well.
“Amen.” In unison, we held our utensils and started to eat dinner – soup and broccoli. Mom just got home thirty minutes ago, and her work clothes are now changed to a t-shirt and comfy jeans. I know they’re comfy because I tried them on before. Don’t ask why – I was seven. “Dad, can you pass the – oh thanks.”
My father has a special talent like that. He can read my mind sometimes and it’s really creepy. Mom flipped her coppery hair from her shoulder, “Charlie, have you been gardening all day?” she asked in a lilting, but at the same time demanding voice. Dad was at the head of the small table, but he fidgeted in his seat as Mom’s caramel eyes – exactly like mine – bore right through him.
It’s fun to see Dad squirm.
“There were weeds around honey and…yes, all day.” I saw Mom’s lip curve in what I know was a loving, but disapproving way, and I joined in the conversation.
“He also helped me with the bike, Mom.”
She turned to me instantly and I saw behind my mother’s back that Dad was shaking his head, unmistakably mouthing the word ‘no’ with ambivalence.
“What happened to the bike, Avery?”
Gah. I suck at lying, but to hell with it. “Uhm, you know. Dad was just checking if…”
“Maintenance.” Dad said suddenly, then put a fork of broccoli to his mouth. “Things should be checked regularly, don’t you agree?” he said to Mom and I sighed in relief as she smiled and resumed eating.
You’ve witnessed firsthand how Dad becomes my partner-in-crime these past few years.
We ate quietly after the close shave and I saw Dad smile to me and secretly giving me a thumbs-up. I winked in response. Then he turned to Mom and asked, “Did you see the news today? That…”
I ate silently while they were engaged in their own conversation. I can’t see any point in rising up my opinions, mainly because they’re talking about politics. And I don’t even like politics. I was jolted back to reality when I heard my name.
“Avery, how was school?”
Mom, the new students have been ogling at me, the school’s SuGee. It was terrible.
“Mom, it was great.”
“That’s good, Ave. Did you have fun with Cassie?”
“Yes, Mom. I always do. Why don’t we just – ”
“How was Chem?”
“Easy, Mom. Can you – ”
“How about – ”
“Mom. Everything’s fine. School is great.”
“Okay, then.” She flashed a perfect smile at me and then turned back to Dad. Oh. She didn’t detect the irony. I sort of hate dinner time sometimes.
Dad suddenly said out of nowhere, “Avery, we’ve been planning to talk to you.” He automatically acquired a fatherly, I-am-your-parent-therefore-you-are-my-responsibility voice and he looked at me in the eye.
Oh, no. The talk. I can feel it coming. I want to crawl into a hole so badly and let the bacteria decompose m tissues. Mom sensed my discomfort and smiled at me reassuringly – in this territory, Mom is my trusted ally.
I met Dad’s gaze as he said, “You don’t have to hide things from us, honey.”
“Dad. I told you before that I’m not hiding – ”
“Ave, honey. You don’t have to be scared. You should – ”
“Dad, please. I never – ”
“Just promise to me and your Mom that we’ll get to meet them soon.”
“I don’t – he doesn’t even – ”
“Just listen to your Dad, Avery.” Mom smiled at me and I just know that she’s enjoying this. Okay, so here’s the thing. Dad actually thinks that…that, you know…
“Your boyfriend would be quite something, wouldn’t he?”
“This boyfriend doesn’t even exi – ”
“Did you have a fight? Kids usually do that these days.” He ate some more.
Yes. My father thinks I have a bloody boyfriend. Oh, Jesus Christ. I can’t even stand to say the word out loud. I don’t even want to think about the word. That b-word has this taboo all the time and everywhere I go. Why can’t he just see that I don’t have the bloody boyfriend – gah, hate that word – he’s talking about?
My Mom chuckled at my gobsmacked face and thankfully, thankfully, came to the rescue. She turned to Dad and said, “Give it a rest today,” then she smiled, “Attack her later or tomorrow, hun.”
Dad is so unbelievably persistent in this thing. He didn’t give up just yet and said, “But we’ll be meeting him, right Ave?”
How the hell can you meet a non-existent person?
I inhaled deeply to regain control of myself and exhaled through my mouth. This is just unbearable.
“Okay, Dad. Okay. You happy now?” I saw him smile jovially. “Very happy, darling. Now, let’s just finish this tasty soup.” I gritted my teeth. I don’t even know why I’m annoyed, but I am. I don’t have a bloody boyfriend – I really hate that word – and I have no intention of making the mistake of having one.
People at highschool are so loud. And do they even know that some people actually needs peace and quiet? It's not like they’re Eskil Donningsbakken and brag about their talents. You know, that extreme artist from Copenhagen, Denmark who does a handstand – handstand! – on top of the 280 ft. high Radisson S.A.S. Scandinavia building. He’s really my idol and I also found out that – oh. Nevermind.
“Oh! I have another one, Avery – ”
“Shut up, I don’t even know you – ”
“Yes, you do. My full name is Travis Anthony Gedi Warner – ”
“Quit. I don’t like being rude but – ”
“Just listen, Miss SuGee – ”
“Don’t call me that.”
“Fine, princess – ”
“Don’t call me that, either.”
“Okay then, Edward. You don’t have to be so – ”
“Shut the hell up!”
Have you ever seen the devil laugh? I did right then. “You’re so touchy, Edward. I wonder why.” Can he just die? That would be purely a wish come true. He could burn at the stake or –
“So, want to hear my pick-up line this time?”
I closed my Biology book furiously and faced him.
I couldn’t care less if all the people kiss his feet in complete devotion because of his face. I admit, he is unusually handsome, and a lot of girls warned me to watch my step because they found out that we’re seatmates. Just seatmates, for the love of God, and they’re threatening me. I could see some of their point when I looked at his tousled, mild chocolate hair, his perfectly carved jaw and cheekbones, his handsome chin and long lashes. But life is unfair. Some are given looks and then there’s me, so average in contrast.
Of all the things this guy has to know about me, though – of all the bloody things! – it just has to be my secret little thing for Ed. I gritted my teeth. It wasn’t my fault that I didn’t know he was a keen observer. I had no idea. It was just one afternoon and I was looking – okay, staring – at Ed from my view on the window. They were playing ball and then the next thing I heard –
“I didn’t know you like Edward.”
Aaargh. I need a gun in my hands right now. I glared at him and said icily, “Go ahead with the bloody pick-up line.” He laughed, showing his perfect set of teeth and cleared his throat.
“You’ll really like this one, Avery. You being the school gen – ”
“Just get on with it! Why are you making this so hard – ”
“Okay!” he grinned and cleared his throat again, “Are you made of copper and tellurium?”
That’s just plain weird. “Why?” I asked. How the hell can a human anatomy include copper and tellurium?
“Because…you’re so cute.” He held his breath, smiling and anticipating my reaction. My brow creased together.
“Don’t you get it?” he asked with his face looking crestfallen, “Copper? Cu? And Te? It’s from the bloody periodical table!”
I burst out laughing. “That one is new.” I can’t believe it but I giggled again. It’s really corny and…it’s just corny.
He grinned at me and said, “Do you know I’ve been scanning the entire periodical table just to make sure I was doing it right?”
“I hate to burst your bubble, but it’s kind of…” I chuckled mirthfully.
“Kind of what?” he bit his lip.
Should I insult the pick-up line he worked hard for and let him crumble to dust or be the diplomat?
“It’s really nice.” I nodded and smiled a little. If I was born without a conscience, he’d be so sorry.
“Yeah, absolutely.” Gah. The damned conscience.
“Avery, I want to tell you something.” He said, still smiling. Oh, good. A distraction. I always welcome a distraction from a disaster of any kind. “What?” I asked.
“You suck at lying.”
“Was I, err. Was I that obvious?” he chuckled this time. “You were never really good at lying.” Well, that’s just invasive. It’s as if he knows me, which he doesn’t.
“You don’t know me, Warner.”
“Don’t call me Warner – it’s as if we’re not friends – ”
“We aren’t. Stay away from me. Go away.”
He winked and said, “Why don’t you just accept the fact that you like me?” Aaargh. I’ve never met someone like him in my entire life. His ego is unparalleled and just disgusting.
“Do you have eyes?”
“Yes, indeed. And I use them to – ”
“Make everyone crazy.” That sounded so wrong so I added, “In a bad way.” His smile turned wider as he said, “There’s no such thing as making someone crazy for you.”
“Not if it includes annoying the hell out of them.”
“I’m charming you,” I don’t think he even knows the meaning of the word, “And it’s not my fault that you see it the other way.”
“What other way?”
“Okay. Let’s have a little experiment.” He rubbed his hands together and swiveled in his chair, facing me completely. He said with a straight face, “Look at me in the eyes and tell me they’re hideous.”
“My eyes,” he shrugged. “Look at them and tell me they’re awful.”
This is just unfair. I know by soul that the color of his eyes is blue. Mediterranean blue. A nice-ish blue. Okay, I like the color of his eyes, shut up.
“What do you want from me, Warner?”
“That you like me. And don’t call me Warner.”
“Then don’t call me names, either. Do you know how hard it is for me to just – ”
“Okay, Avery. Now where were we?”
“I have no idea.”
“Come on, Edwa – Avery. Why are you being so hard?” This guy is impossible. “Hard on what? Will you just please stop annoying me?”
“I’m not annoying you. I just want to be friends. And afterwards, maybe we can have lunch together – ”
I will not bloody respond. He rolled his eyes then and just said, “Suit yourself. It’s your loss.”
Gah. I hate – no, I loathe him so much.