|Loved by a Stranger
Author: Imika PM
"Just…don't move, okay?" I was taken aback by his request when all of a sudden, he leaned forward and pressed his lips against mine. My eyes widened as he softly wrapped me in his arms. I hardly knew him, he was a stranger...how could he kiss me? COMPLETERated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 15 - Words: 21,389 - Reviews: 126 - Favs: 74 - Follows: 75 - Updated: 04-26-12 - Published: 03-18-10 - Status: Complete - id: 2786752
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I stared at the beautiful bouquet of flowers that decorate the sales window of the shop. They seemed to accentuate the beauty of the wedding dresses on display. It was Christmas Eve tomorrow, and the streets were lighted up with decorations, although the only thing that attracted me was the flower decoration of this particular shop. My phone rang, and I answered, "Hello!"
"Eve, where are you?" I heard the boyish voice of my brother, Max, ask.
"Um…I'm coming, bro. I was just looking at the flowers here and there," I replied.
"Ah, you and your flowers! Come home soon, would you?"
"I'll try. Bye."
Humming one of my favourite songs, I began walking down the road. It had already begun snowing, and I was awed by the beauty of my surroundings. I continued walking; home was just 15 minutes away.
Home meant just my brother. He was twenty-six, ten years older than me. He was all I had, because all I know about my parents are the screams that used to emanate through the house, the crashing sound of objects being thrown about, until one day, the sounds stopped. They had left. Mom had left Dad, deciding that her children weren't worth enough to be held down in a marriage of this kind. As for Dad…I suppose Max knew better. But I guess there was only so much a man could handle until he craved freedom.
He left. And to make himself feel less guilty, he made sure we had enough money to not starve to death. At least until Max could make a difference. I sighed.
It had started to snow a little, and I started walking slower with careful steps, trying to feel the gathered snowflakes crush and spread below my feet. I stepped on quite a nice pile when my eyes drifted towards the figure sitting on a bench under a dimly lit lamppost nearby, and I immediately stood straight, thinking that the person might find it weird of me and stare, but I looked closely and found that he wasn't. Yes, the figure was that of a boy. He was staring down, with his elbows resting on his thighs. I knew better than to talk to strangers, but somehow I found myself walking towards him - the stranger who sat there while snowflakes started settling on his shoulders.
I'm too stupid for my own good.
"Hey…" I said, my head tilted to one side.
The boy looked up at me, and my eyes widened. He looked about eighteen, with pitch-black hair and dark brown eyes – normally, they reflected pure royalty, but at the moment, the pupils were dilated and round, and it made him look gloomy.
He didn't say anything. We were there, staring at each other for quite some time until I blurted out, "Mind if I sit beside you?" Damn, what was I thinking? Sitting beside someone just because they looked unhappy?
He shrugged. Taking that as a 'yes', I sat down. I was looking at him from the corner of my eye and I noticed that he was clutching a picture in his hand. Girlfriend problems…on Christmas? Now I know why he seems so down, I thought. I waited for him to speak, knowing that I had been enough forward already. I was really patient…. and only God knew what was wrong with me.
After a few minutes, he turned to look at me. "What?" I asked.
"Merry Christmas," he whispered softly, his face expressionless.
I stared at him. Just stared. And I thought I was being weird? Even after that, I smiled and replied, "Merry Christmas!" I had realized that it was past midnight already. The idea of Max worrying about me was poking me at the back of my mind, but I shoved it away. "Uh…I'm Eve," I began and put my hand forward to shake.
"Tristan." His reply was short, and firm, but he didn't respond to my gesture.
"It's rude to ignore a handshake."
He looked at me again and asked, "Why do I have to?"
"But that would be rude."
"…Is that bad?" he asked, innocently.
"Yeah." I smiled sheepishly, almost like a kid. I'm sixteen for God's sake, why am I even behaving like this?
He gently put his hand in mine and we shook hands. "Happy now?"
"Hey, I'm not the one who looks like he's suffering from depression."
He narrowed his eye at me. "You don't know me…"
A small smirk spread across his lips. "I could rape you," he stated. What a change of mood…
"But you won't, will you?" I asked.
"How would you know?"
"You look more of a heart-broken guy," I said. It was still snowing, and for a moment, his face turned grim again, before it recovered back into a jolly expression.
His fingers gently ran through my hair. The gesture seemed intimate, too intimate, but I didn't notice. "Really?"
"Why does it matter to you?" he asked back.
"Because you look as if you could use a friend."
He smiled. "As I said, you don't know me."
"Does that mean I can't help you in some way?"
Slowly, the smile turned into a chuckle, and then he burst into laughter. Seeing no reaction from me, he settled for a bleak smile. "You're asking a stranger if you could help him on the night of Christmas?"
"It seems unfair that I'm happy whereas you're not."
"But I'm no one to you, why would you judge?"
I shrugged. I supposed it really was weird of me to feel that way. "You ask a lot of questions, you know."
He turned away from me and stared ahead. The snow kept falling, and I had started to shiver, which made me think why he was still here. "Eve…" he whispered. I felt my heart jump when he called out my name.
"Can I ask you for a favour?" he asked.
"Does that mean we're friends?"
"Mmm…I guess so."
"What is it?"
"You wanted to know if you could help me, right?" His voice was soft, silky, and it called out to me longingly.
He turned to me, his face holding a serious expression. "Just…don't move, okay?"
"Huh?" I was taken aback by his request when all of a sudden, he leaned forward and pressed his lips against mine. My eyes widened as he softly wrapped me in his arms. I didn't move. I couldn't even if I wanted to, because I felt paralyzed. The only thing I could do was be quiet and feel him, his lips – nice and…soft. His eyes were closed, and mine were just open. I stared ahead. Moments later, he pulled away and looked at me, and smiled. My eyes were still wide with surprise, but I wasn't angry at all. Instead, I felt my cheeks getting warm. This time, I was sure something was wrong with me. This guy stole my first kiss and I'm not angry?!
My phone rang again, and I knew who it was without bothering to check. I let it ring.
"Go on, take it," the boy in front of me urged on.
My fingers took the phone out, pressed the 'answer' button and held it to my ears. "Yes?"
"I don't care where you are, Eve, come home right now. Do you know what time it is?"
"Hm…" I found myself replying with only that before I hung up. My gaze was still on Tristan, and I didn't even know what to say. He was just sitting there, smiling. "You helped," he said.
"How can kissing be helpful?" I demanded, finally enraged by his attitude.
"It just is," he stated nonchalantly.
"You're annoying…" I muttered.
I crossed my arms. "I deserve to know the reason for your unhappiness, now that I 'cheered' you up."
He smirked. "No, I won't tell you."
He came close to me and said, "Because…" I waited. "You have to leave now."
"I can wait all night!" I said, stubbornly.
He stood up and began taking off his coat. "I can't. I need to go home, too." Saying this, he wrapped me in his coat and kissed the tip of my nose. "Thanks a lot, angel," he whispered. My lips still felt warm.
His coat smelled so…good. I inhaled. "You really are weirder than me…"
He chuckled. "I wish I was a part of your life, Eve." He walked away, and soon I couldn't see him anymore. I sat there for a moment, thinking it all up. I had just been kissed by a total stranger…but the strangest thing to me was that…I felt as if I'd known him all my life.
When I reached home, I heard a growl coming from the kitchen. "EVE!" A few seconds later, I was facing an angry Max. "Why are you so late?" he demanded.
Whenever we were together, people instantly knew we were siblings. Both of us had naturally tanned skin; brown, coffee colored hair, and grayish green eyes. The only difference was that Max's eyes emphasized on the green more than the gray, and mine was grayer.
"…I was helping a little puppy," I replied. Nothing new, I had actually done that before. I'm a little childish, I can't help it. It felt odd not telling him the truth, but the idea sounded good for now.
Immediately, his angry expression softened and he hugged me. "I've been worried sick, you know," he said.
"I'm sorry, brother."
"You're my only family, sis. I'd go mad if I lose you."
…And that's why I loved my brother so much. Even though he was a decade older than I was, he was like a kid when it came to family. I don't blame him; he was the one who had seen the worst side of mom and dad. The fights were terrible, but brother and I were left when I was seven years old, and I hardly remembered much of what we used to be. I just remembered Max. Always reassuring me, always being there to protect and take care of me.
"Merry Christmas, brother," I said. He pulled away and smiled,
"Merry Christmas, little sis."
"Well, well, no one would wish me, would they?" I turned around to see Sabrina, standing right there at the doorway of the kitchen. I ran to her and hugged her, "Merry Christmas!"
Sabrina was Max's girlfriend. They'd been dating for six long years. She was a brunette with clear-cut features and a dazzling smile; her blue eyes only made her look prettier. She was wearing one of those adorable Christmas hats with those fluffy white balls.
"Merry Christmas to you, too, dear. So, did the puppy give you the cool coat, too?" she asked.
Something in me made me refrain from telling the truth. No one would believe me, anyway. "I was feeling really cold…and God sent this to me." I smiled. Yeah, God sent a real good kisser, too.
Max ruffled my hair as she chuckled. "You've always been loved, anyway," she said, and smiled.
"Come on, let's celebrate," brother said and all three of us enjoyed the night. Brother had baked a really tasty chocolate cake for dessert whereas Sabrina boasted about her awesome cooking skills. There were points when I stopped laughing to observe the two - the way she and Max looked at each other always seemed adorable to me. It was one of those nights when you wished the sun never came up, that never ended.
But as memorable as it was, under my blanket, warm and snuggled, my mind drifted off wonder what Tristan was doing on this Christmas night.
Author's Note: I have finally started editing the story, taking the criticisms and suggestions into account. Hope it's still likeable, and improved. :D