|To Be Loved
Author: xianzhi PM
"To be loved. That’s all I wish for, to be loved." Yep, I’m the fool who had just said that out loud. Oh and that idiot on the floor laughing his head off? He’s the biggest jerk of all time. Uh huh. My life is officially ruined.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 3 - Words: 11,364 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 15 - Updated: 05-27-11 - Published: 10-09-09 - id: 2729042
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The phone rang, jerking me awake from my nap. Ignoring it, I tried to get back to oblivion but the shriek ringing would not stop. It was times like this I regret setting the phone to unlimited rings. Grudgingly, I reached out an arm, groping around lazily for the portable handset.
I opened one eye to check the caller ID, but unfortunately, it was set to private. Unenthusiastically, I answered with a grunt.
"Don't tell me you're still asleep. It's three o'clock in the afternoon." A laughing male voice emerged from the other line.
Frowning with my eyes still closed, I asked irritably, "Who is it?"
"What!" Exclaimed the voice. "I am hurt. Here I am thinking only of you, only to find the object of my affections doesn't even recognise my voice?" A deep sigh reached my ears.
Despite the minor pounding in my head, I was getting quite entertained. "That's what happens when you keep your feelings bottled up, no one will ever know."
"Is that right?" He asked, amusement clearly in his voice. "Then how about you meet me for dinner tonight, and I'll confess everything?"
Smiling and quite awake now, I sat up on bed while my mind worked hard trying to figure out who exactly was this mystery caller. "Oh, I don't know about that. If I went out with every admirer of mine, hell, I would never get a night out with my girls for years!" I boasted with an obvious lie as I unattractively rubbed the sleep from my eyes.
He chuckled. "No one expects you to meet up with just anyone sweetheart. But how about making an exception for an old friend?"
Who was this guy? No name came to me, but it was clear from what he said that I should know him, quite well in fact if I went by his belief that we were 'old friends'. However the voice was not familiar at all, not because I have bad memory or anything, but Matt had spilt orange juice over the handset a few nights ago and since then incoming voices have all become quite low pitched and unrecognisable.
It was too late to ask seriously who he was without making this very awkward, and so I decided I had better make the most of this call and discreetly get the answer out of him. 'Phone-Who-Am-I?' I'll call this game.
"Um... I don't know about that. What makes you so special?" I asked my first question.
"Well, I guess you could say I know you better than most."
He could be a stalker for all I know and yet a smile escaped my lips. I ignored the idea that he might be psychotic and said, "That's not helpful... I mean, it's not a very persuasive argument." I amended, hoping he didn't catch my slipup.
"How about this. I've seen you naked. Makes me special enough?"
My eyes widened, my heart pounded strongly against my ribcage. This wasn't funny anymore. Was he serious or not?
"Hello? Rays, you still there?" He asked, amusement evident in his chuckle.
My face flushed warmly as I figured out who it was. Nathan. It had to be since only he called me that. To say that I was relieved it was someone I knew would be a lie because what he said still echoed in my mind.
"WHEN THE HELL DID YOU SEE ME NAKED?" With no self-control or sophistication, I yelled my thought right out of my mouth.
He laughed and only when he sobered up did he answer me. "Did you forget I used to help change your diapers?"
"I don't know if I should be embarrassed or relieved." I replied.
"I'll go with relieved if I was you." He advised unhelpfully. "So tonight? How about it?"
I had forgotten about my heart, and I'm suddenly aware of it pounding painfully loud again. We haven't been to diner just the two of us for a very long time now. Naturally, I would die before I decline and yet, I cannot help but wonder if it was a good idea.
"Aww, come on Rays." He coaxed, mistaking my silence. "I'll take you to your favourite fancy restaurant, the Golden Dragon? What do you say?"
"How can I refuse the Golden Dragon?" I joked, however my smile was stiff.
"Great! I'll pick you up at seven thirty. See you then."
He was gone before I could say bye back.
"Rain for the trillionth time, you look hot. Stop complaining!" Rache said with annoyance as she helped clean up my room.
"What do you mean hot? I don't want to look too good. I don't want him to think I'm trying or anything." I asked as I twirled around to have a better view of my back.
I could feel Rache roll her eyes from her silence behind me. "Rachel, you know I can't make it too obvious!" I explained, hoping for some moral support, any comfort for my current giddiness.
She signed, understanding immediately what I was feeling. She came and stood beside me, staring at me through the full length mirror in front of us. She tilted her head to the side, analysing my dress. "You look hot but not slutty." She assured. "Neckline is low to show you're not a nun but can't see you boobies so, modest.
"The colour is not blood red, so not screaming sexiness; the colour is bordering to reddish-pink so it says you're sweet yet hot. Aright!" She added, in her usual impatient tone. "Can you just trust me? I know what I'm doing. And you're makeup is perfect, if I do say so myself."
She went back to cleaning my room, but I continued to stare critically at my reflection. "Do you think I should pull my hair up, and the dress, is it too short?" I asked, unable to help myself.
Rachel, not lifting her head from what she was doing answered merely with, "No and no."
I sighed, I needed more support but since I myself could hear how annoying I was getting, I could only imagine what strain Impatient Rache was under to hold onto her own patience.
I slipped into my silver strappy high-heeled sandals, while wondering if I'm getting diarrhoea from sheer nerves.
The front doorbell rang, causing us both to freeze. She was the first to regain her collectedness and she rushed to stand in front of me. Her usually confident hazel eyes were now soft with real assurance.
"Alright sweetie. This is it." She took my stiff hands into her warm ones, squeezing them softly. "You don't need your hair up. You look better with your hair down, and it looks natural. And your dress, honey its just above the knee. You're fine. Don't worry okay?" She raised her eyebrows in question.
I nodded, only half listening as I could hear Nathan downstairs talking and laughing with Matty.
"Rain, just have fun. Live the moment, but just," She hesitated.
I squeezed her hands, silently telling her it was okay for her to tell me. She smiles softly in understanding. "Just don't get your hopes up, and don't fall too deep!"
It was my turn to smile reassuringly, "Don't worry mother." I half joked. "I'll be okay."
We hugged just as Matty barged into my room unannounced.
"Rain come on! Nate is waiting!" He whined, unable to keep the excitement out of his eyes.
With one last look at my best friend, I turned to Matty and regained some older-sister composure. "Alright Matt, you listen to everything Rachel tells you to do okay?" I asked sternly.
Matty rolled his eyes, not at all afraid of me while he came up and started pushing me out the door. "Don't worry sis."
We walked down the stairs together, my eyes searching for Nathan. On the third last step on the stairway, I found him, leaning lazily against a column to the side of the staircase. He looked up just as I found him, and a natural smile greeted me.
I smiled back enthusiastically as he came up towards me with an outstretched hand. I placed my hand into his and he gallantly lifted it to his lips and softly kissed it. I blushed, feeling my skin tingle from his touch.
"You look beautiful Rays." He said softly; his deep soft voice giving me shivers.
He wore a white shirt, opened at the collar and dark pants. His soft short brown hair nested perfectly on his head without trying. He was so handsome and I couldn't look away.
"Thank you." I replied stupidly.
"Hey Rache. You want to join us?" He asked casually, looking over my shoulder.
Rachel's laugh was easy and relaxed. "I love to but not tonight. Matty and I have a game to finish. Right Matt?"
"Yes! Rache and me are in the middle of a chess game! And I'm winning!" Matty informed us excitedly.
"That's great buddy." Nathan encouraged him and ruffled his hair. "Ready to go Rays?" He asked, looking back at me with his beautifully clear light-blue eyes.
"The question is, are you ready to dig deep tonight? Because I'm warning you, I'm not paying." I joked, feeling my normal self back as I lead the way to the door.
He laughed, used to our banter. "I'm not worried, if needed, we'll just need to wash the dishes tonight."
We waved goodbye to Rache and Matty, who stood at the front porch watching us depart.
As usual the Golden Dragon was filled with people. We squeezed our way through the customers who were waiting for a table and found the owner of this five star Chinese restaurant, Max Xiao standing behind the podium.
"Hey Max! Hows it going?" Nathan greeted Max happily with a warm hand shake.
"Mr Nathanial, it's been a long time! When I saw your name in the reservation book, I couldn't believe my eyes." Max joked in his beautiful deep British accent. "Hello my dear. How are your parents?" He asked me, greeting me with a customary hug.
"Hi Max. Yeah, their good. They went camping yesterday with the Petersons. Expecting them back in two days." I reported.
"Good good." Max replied, suddenly distracted with someone talking to him in his headset. "Okay," He returned to us, "your table is nearly ready. I've just been told that the customers are leaving now. Won't be long." He assured us before answering the phone.
"Don't tell Max, but I tried making a reservation today but the lady said they were all booked out." Nathan confided in my ear.
"Then why did Max say you..." I started to ask but quickly understood the situation. We were stealing someone else's reservation. We stared shiftily into each other's other before I burst out laughing.
Still laughing, I turned to the caller. It was the last person I expected to see.
"Jared? What are you doing here?" I asked in disbelief as I walked up to him.
"Umm, I just finished dinner." He replied with confusion. "Ain't your parents camping with the Petersons?" He asked, looking around probably searching for my parents.
"Yes they are!" I replied in suspicion. "How did you know that?"
"Huh?" He turned back to me. "Mrs Pat came to borrow mum's camping chair the other day." He said distractedly. "Who are you here with?" He narrowed his eyes and looked around again.
"With Nathan." I frowned, not understanding his strange behaviour at all. "You know Nathan right?" I asked just as Nathan came up to us.
"Oh, hey Nathe, you and Raine having dinner together?" Jared asked as he shook Nathan's hand.
"You alright Jared?" I intervened, extremely curious at Jared's odd behaviour.
"Yeah I'm good. You look good Raine." He smiled, and seemed to have returned to normal. "Anyway, we gotta go. Nice seeing ya Nathe."
With that, he and the faceless brunette he was with disappeared into the crowd.
"What was that about?" I asked no one in particular.
"He's probably worried I'll tell his folks his out here when his supposed to be grounded." Nathan said as he steered me towards our 'reservation'.
As I sat down, Jared went right of my head.
The night went by wonderfully. Nathan told me story after story about all that happened at his New Year's Party. I, in turn told him about my parents, and their embarrassing glee at finally winning something for the first time in their life.
"I'm telling ya, they would still be over the moon had they simply won a few tickets to the movies. They would've taken a million pictures at the cinemas and come back with the tickets framed." I added on reflect .
He laughed, "I can see them doing that!"
We laughed together, relaxed within each other's familiarity of the other.
"I'm glad we did this. It's been awhile." He said, taking my thought right out of my head.
"Yes it has been." I took a sip of Jasmine tea and a curious thought entered my head. "What made you ask me all of a sudden?" I asked.
He looked surprised and took a drink from his beer. He shrugged good-naturedly. "You weren't at dinner the other day when I came over. And you know me, I love your family atmosphere. And I wanted to see you again."
I smiled back, but something didn't feel right. Silently, I slowly took a bite out of my desert as my mind tried to unravel this confusion in my mind.
Normally, if Nathan wanted more of my family's company, he would've came unannounced the next day for another dinner with my family, not call the house three days after the dinner and ask me out. Then I remembered how my parents acted before they went for their camping trip yesterday, how they were weirdly insisting that I stayed at home this afternoon.
"Wait a minute." I said slowly, realisation creeping into my brain. "Are you telling me that you only invited me out for dinner because my parents told you to?" I asked, feeling humiliated and disgusted.
His stared at me in shock and remained speechless. His attitude answered my suspicion better than any of his words.
I huffed in disgust. "I cannot believe this." I fumed, throwing my napkin on the table and stood up.
Nathan, getting some sense back, stood up too, and grabbed my arm from across the table.
"Ray please. Don't misunderstand. Your parents just told me that you were disappointed that you had to work when I came over for dinner. Please sit down, I'll explain." He tried to palaver his way out of trouble.
I shook my head, frustrated and embarrassed. "I cannot believe you would do something like this. This isn't like you Nathanial. If my parents told you to do something, especially relating to me, you used to always tell me! I cannot believe you would play me like this just because I trust you!"
"Rays, it's not what you think." He tried to explain. "I have wanted to make it up to you, take you out since New Years, but I've been busy. Please don't think I'm pitying—" He stopped short, closed his eyes momentarily as he realised what he was about to say.
I yanked my arm out of his grasp, so angry that I could hardly think straight. "I don't need your pity Nathanial. Just because I enjoy spending time with you does not mean I beg to be in your presence. And I ask that you do not ever again, take time out of your busy life to meet me because you think it is your duty."
By now we have made a spectacle of ourselves, the whole room was staring over at us in interest. Too angry to care, I marched out of the restaurant, making sure my face was blank from any expression.
Knowing that Nathan would need to take care of the cheque before catching up to me, I hurriedly jumped into an awaiting taxi. With the last of my strength I gave out my address before the tears gushed out of my eyes and I felt so horribly miserable and embarrassed I want nothing more than to shrink into the carpet.
A/N : Hope you liked it. :D Its been a long time since I uploaded this, but the good news is I have re-written ch 1 and 2 a bit. Not too much so you don't have to re-read them to understand this chapter. There might/most likely be grammar mistakes, I'm so sorry please bear with me.