Author: Andramion PM
Best friends Sophia Fontana and Lissa Prince spend their summer without each other for the first time. While Sophia goes to Italy to meet the family she hasn't seen since her father passed away, Lissa has to stay home and work in her parent's free house. Both girls find out things - about themselves and others - they hadn't expected.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Family - Chapters: 2 - Words: 6,305 - Reviews: 1 - Updated: 09-14-12 - Published: 09-08-12 - id: 3056822
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"So when you arrive, you need to call me immediately or text me and we could always…" While Lissa kept talking, Sophia went through her mental checklist of the things she needed to pack. Somewhere halfway through it, she realised she'd forgotten her beige sandals and turned towards her closet to get them from the bottom drawer.
"... that way we'll keep in contact. Are you even listening to me?" Lissa asked. She was sitting on Sophia's bed, her long, skinny legs crossed. Sophia nodded and couldn't keep herself from smiling.
"We can keep in contact, I know. It's not the end of the world, Lissa, I'm just going to Italy for the summer holidays, alright? And I'll make sure to look for an internet café or something like that. Easy, right?" Sophia found a plastic bag in the corner of her room and put the sandals in there before she tucked them into her suitcase.
"I know it's not that long, but it's the first time we're not spending the summer together," Lissa explained. "I mean, while you'll be lounging on the warm sand of the Italian coast, I'll be at home, working in the restaurant." She made a very unattractive snort. "If you even want to call The House a restaurant. But you know what I mean, right? It's always so much fun, spending the summer together."
"Of course," Sophia was quick to reply, "You know I'm only going because it's family there? I haven't seen them since..." She couldn't finish the scentence.
"I know. I'll all be fine, Soph." Lissa got up and patted Sophia's shoulder. "How long has it been now? Eight-"
"Eight years," Sophia said at the same time Lissa did. "I know, I can't believe it's been that long already. I haven't seen my grandparents for over nine years. It feels to me like it's going to be... a little awkward." Lissa patted her shoulder twice more before she moved over to the door.
"I need to get to work, it's almost four." She turned around again in the hall, just before she was out of Sophia's sight. "I'll come to wave goodbye tomorrow morning."
Sophia's luggage was already in the boot, her mother's was being put in now and Sophia herself was looking for her little brother. He'd hidden somewhere in the house, not because he didn't want to come, but just because he liked to play hide-and-seek.
Sophia could laugh about the situation, but her mother? Michelle Fontana-Fisher (exotic huh?) was not the type of person that coped well with deadlines. The plane counted as a deadline. She was standing in the middle of the living room, screaming.
"PATRICK! IF YOU DON'T COME HERE RIGHT NOW YOU WILL REALLY BE IN TROUBLE!" Sophia tried to keep the grin off her face when she put her hand on her mother's shoulder.
"I'll look for him, mum," she told her and her mother seemed to calm down a little bit. "Just go and sit in the taxi." Her mother shook her head and, grumbling, walked to the front door.
"It's safe, Pat," Sophia said, no louder than her normal voice and her brother came crawling from under the sofa. He's almost eight already, she thought, which made her think about her father, so she stopped her train of thought there. She'd hardly noticed that Pat had put his hand in hers. "Come on, Pat, we need to get going, or the plane will leave without us. And then we wouldn't be able to see grandma and granddad at all."
"Mum says it's nonno and nonna, Soph." Pat was pulling Sophia to the door now, completely hyper because of the prospect of going on a plane.
Right at the moment she turned around after locking the door, Lissa came running around the corner of the street. "Sophie! Sorry I'm late!" Lissa stopped right in front of her friend and leaned forward with her hands on her knees to catch her breath. "Dad wouldn't let me go before I finished cleaning all the tables." She looked up at Sophia and changed the subject.
"Have a lot of fun in Italy and say hi to your grandparents for me!" She wrapped her arms around her best friend and hugged her tight. "And don't forget to keep me up to date on all those hot guys there, Soph," she managed to whisper into her ear before she had to let go.
"Soph! Look at how big it is here! It's huge!" Pat ran a few feet ahead of his mother and sister while his gaze shot from the high ceiling to all the little stalls and shops. "Just look at this!"
"I can see, Pat, but we need to hurry up." Sophia rummaged through her backpack, which she had slung onto her stomach, looking for her cell phone. Why did I wear a pair of pocket-less trousers today of all days? As they walked on and she kept looking, her mum had to call Pat back to them repeatedly and tell him to stay with them. Pat – as usual – forgot to obey that order the moment they caught up with him. Eventually, Sophia power walked over to him and grabbed his hand to keep him close.
"Come on, listen to mum, I don't want to miss the flight. If we do, I won't have a choice. I'll have to cut your head off." Even though Pat was laughing about her bad joke, Sophia was reprimanded.
"Sophia Caterina Fontana! Stop your ridiculous behaviour, you'll give your brother nightmares!" Sophia rolled her eyes. She really did love her mother to pieces, but Michelle was wound a little too tight. Some times, she wished her mother was little mother like her father had been.
Sophia sighed. Her father had passed away eight years ago. Heart failure. The irony of it still made her sad. Her father, Massimo Fontana, had been the most kind and caring man she'd ever known. His heart had always been open to anyone.
After his death it had become incredibly quiet in the house. Sophia had shut herself into her room more and more often headphones blaring music, just to make sure she wouldn't have to hear the deafening silence. But half a month later, her mother had shared the news: she was pregnant.
They'd cried together for the rest of the evening, because they were so happy, because they were so sad that Massimo had never known he'd get a son.
And when Pat was born, sound returned to the house. He brought the life back in the family. As he started walking, speaking, Sophia and her mother recognised more and more of Massimo in him. Pat was always smiling, always happy. He loved being outside and he enjoyed the little things. His big brown eyes were the same as his father's and even his hair kept darkening until it reached the colour of Massimo's, apart from the grey that had been woven into the older man's hair.
"Sophie, could you fasten Pat's seatbelt?" She was pulled out of her thoughts by her mother's voice and turned to do as she was told.
"Why do I have to wear that?" Pat asked, curious while he was holding his stuffed dog.
"Because we're going to take off in a minute," Sophia explained and she ruffled his hair. After that, she looked over his head, out the window and sighed deeply once more. I'm coming, Dad, she thought.
Lissa stood on the pavement, watching the taxi pull away, waving at the face she could hardly discern through the back window. Then she turned to go home. She felt a little droplet of sweat trickle down her spine and she shivered. She had run the mile between her house and Sophia's. Normally, she wouldn't mind running, but when she was wearing her normal clothes that she had to make do with for the rest of the day instead of her jogging suit, she liked it a lot less.
I'll have to put on a clean shirt once I'm back home, she thought, before she realised it would probably be pointless anyway. She'd have to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening standing over the frying pans anyway. When she turned right onto the Beechstreet, she tapped the wooden fencing on the corner of the sidewalk.
"Lissa!" She turned around and saw her brother's best friend, Sam, jog to catch up with her. His black hair flipped up and down with each stride. He slowed down next to her. "Going home?" he asked with a smile and Lissa nodded. "Good, I'll walk with you."
"Did you just come off the bus?" Lissa skipped through part of the street, then walked normally next to him.
"Yep, I'll be staying with you guys for about a week." He used his free arm to point a thumb at the large backpack slung over his right shoulder. "Your brother told me Sophie's not going to be there this time?"
"What? Oh, no, she's on her way to Italy as we speak." Lissa chuckled. "And yes, I am extremely jealous of her. I'd like to go on a proper holiday for once." They turned the corner again and she could see her parent's restaurant on the corner at the end of the street. "Ah well, at least I'm making a lot of money this way, right? Maybe I can go on holiday on my own next year."
"I don't even have money to do so," Sam admitted. Lissa glanced up at him and in the half second she dared to look him in the eyes, she marvelled at his incredibly blue eyes once more.
"There is a reason I always come here."
At around seven, it started to get busy in The House. The same old group of elderly men was enjoying a pint of beer at the bar and a young family of six was sitting at one of the bigger tables, the parents trying to keep their spawn on their seats. In the back, a group of teens was waiting on their order, meanwhile listening to the bloke pouring his heart out in song on the stage. Busker's night was always busy.
"Steve! Can you come and help out here? It's booming here!" Lissa called from the doorway to their livingroom, in between the public area of the free house and their own home.
Balancing a couple of plates and a bowl of salad in her arms, she made her way to the back of the room.
"Sorry for the wait." She looked at the guy sitting closest to where she was standing. He had an arm slung around the only girl. Too bad, Lissa thought, he's kinda cute. "Sirloin stake with baked potatoes and mixed vegetables?" The red-haired guy across the table put his hand up and Lissa leaned over the table to put his plate away. She really didn't feel like minding the etiquette today.
"Thank you," the redhead mumbled and without picking up the cutlery, started eating his potatoes. Lissa raised an eyebrow at that, but went on without commenting on it. She still didn't know why people would go out for dinner if they couldn't mind their manners.
"And lastly, a Caesar salad?" They guy she'd thought was cute waved at the girl.
"For my little sister." He removed his arm from her shoulders and took the bowl from Lissa's hands. When he put it in front of the fair-haired girl and she reached for her cutlery, she knocked over her glass of water.
From that moment everything seemed to go in slow-motion to Lissa. The still almost full glass tipped, the water spilling onto the table and dripping off the edge. The moment the first drop hit the girl's lap, she started screaming. Really screaming: loud, pitched, frightened screaming. The guy that had had his arm around her, jumped up and pulled her chair back, then pushed her shoulders to make her lean forward, which stopped the hysterical reaction completely.
No-one had missed the scene, Lissa noticed. Even the artist had stopped playing.
"Oh my goodness!" Lissa's mother came rushing to the table and shot Lissa an angry look. The latter's eyes grew big in exasperation, but before she could tell her mum it wasn't her fault, the woman went on. "I am so terribly sorry! Come, let's clean that up. My apologies for my daughter's clumsyness, I'll-"
"No, no, no," the cute guy interrupted quickly and he passed the paper towels Lissa's mum had brought to his sister. The girl had calmed down already and attempted to dry her trousers.
"It's not her fault, Chloe knocked her glass over herself."
"I told you we couldn't take her with us yet," the redheaded boy, who had continued eating throughout this whole scene, commented. "I told mum Chloe wasn't ready for it."
"Shut up, Den." The cute guy looked at Lissa. "I'm really sorry," he said and then, to her mother, "This was my fault."
"It sure is," the guy named Den mumbled. The third guy at the table, who had been quiet up until now, shot a deadly glance at him and the boy turned his attention back to his food, instead of making snappy remarks.
The third guy got up and helped the girl from her seat too by putting an arm around her waist. "Come on, Ben, let's go home." Without waiting for an answer, he guided the girl to the door.
The guy that had taken the blame for Lissa nodded and followed them, but turned around at the door. He took one look at Lissa and came back, pressing thrity pounds into her hands.
"Keep the change, think of it as an apology for having to deal with that idiot." He used his head to gesture at the redhead. After that he managed to put a somewhat sad smile on his face.
"See you 'round." And then he was gone.
It took a while for Lissa to come to her senses and realise she was staring at the door like an idiot.
On her way to the bathroom to brush her teeth, she bumped into Sam. "Night," she said softly, extending her hand to the handle. She stopped when she felt a hand on her forearm. She turned around, avoiding his eyes.
He was wearing dark, loose pyjamas, the kind you see in an old film, but it fit him for some reason. His feet were bare, but it wouldn't bother him: the floor was covered with thick carpet.
Lissa pulled her gaze up to his face, but let her eyes linger on his lips. She couldn't bring them up to his eyes. Jesus, Lissa, she thought to herself, when are you going to get over him?
Eventually, she let her hair fall in front of her face and settled on staring at his chin while he spoke.
"Hey, listen," he started, his voice so soft and sleepy Lissa wondered how many films the guys had been watching. Steve loved films. Sam loved good films. "Do you think..."
"Sam, will you hurry up? I'm going to press play!" Steve's voice seemed to wake Sam up again.
"I'm coming!" Sam said, his voice loud enough for Steven to hear. After that, he looked at his hand on Lissa's arm and let her go, whispering "goodnight" as he went into Steve's room and closed the door behind him.
Lissa went into the bathroom and turned the lock behind her. She held her hands under the faucet and dabbed her neck and forehead with cold water. Then she brushed her teeth.
Later, when she was lying in bed, she couldn't but replay six years of hopeless moments with Sam in her head. Six years of memories of short touches, of the times he'd said her name and the moments she'd noticed him looking at her.
Then she thought of the guy in the restaurant that evening and smiled. He really had been cute.
First of all, thank you for reading this!
To all the readers of The Legend of the Nightrunner, I am really sorry for not updating! I am really busy with school at the moment and I really want to get that one right, so I haven't really gotten much farther with it. I promise to put all my effort into it once I have at least an hour to work on it.
This story is one I work on in the train, typing it out on my cell phone.
Please let me know what you thought of it!
Love to all of you!