Previously on What's 'Emo' in French? ....
Victoria's brother saw Matt, found out she's being tutored, and said that Mommy would kill her for being stupid, so she considered prostitution to escape her mother's wrath. Then, she was all hot and bothered by Matt's not-so-subtle advances, so to calm herself, she listened to the CDs he made for her and ended up laughing her ass off at his ramblings. The next day, she went into school and talked French with Matt and said Hello to her teacher for the first time. Then, at lunch, Matt bribed her with her most powerful weakness--food--into becoming his friend. ...But how long will that last? Dun dun dunnnnnnnn.....
What's 'Emo' in French?
After our little friend pact, Victoria and I got along famously. Well, as famously as someone could when they were fighting over whether or not to jump their new friend. And then mentally beating themselves up when they remembered that said new friend had a boyfriend.
Yes, I was still trying to hold back my growing attraction for Victoria Fitzgerald. And it was not easy, let me tell you. Every little thing she did sent me into a deeper chasm of wanting. You'd think after a while, all her antics and food worshipping would start to annoy me, but all they did was add fuel to my raging fire of hormones.
You know, hormones really suck. Why do we need them anyway? They're stupid and make us boys do really, really stupid things. I just want to rip all my hormones out of me, stuff them in a box and smash them into a trash can. And then pour lighter fluid on it. And watch it burn as I cackle maniacally. Like Jeanne.
Aside from my hormones acting out of sorts, everything was fine between Victoria and me. We managed to put aside our explosive tempers and finally get to know one another. In the mornings, I'd hang around her when she wasn't with Glen. During lunch, we'd have our study sessions. I'd even started joining her to Glen's soccer practices (although we focused more on talking to each other than watching the practices but hey, details, details).
My tutoring had developed into a routine of sorts. During lunch, I would teach her basic French rules. For her homework, I'd give her a couple of words to memorize. Once we exchanged phone numbers, I would call her after school and help her with the homework Madame Richards had given us. After that was done, our talks would wander off to different directions and we'd learn more about each other through those separate topics. Before we'd hang up, though, I would tell her to listen to a CD and she'd promise she would. She kept those promises, too, and always came into school each morning eager to strike up a conversation with me in French. Most times, she'd fail miserably and become discouraged, but I realized she could get over her disappointment in herself easily if I brought something yummy to our study sessions. And that was the reason why I was always bringing in some baked delicacy to school, not because I saw her cute round face and wanted to make her happy by ways of feeding her. Nope. Not at all.
I had become pretty good at lying to myself.
"What's wrong with you? You look troubled," I looked down at Victoria to find she was gazing up at me with intense interest. Her penetrating looks had long since stopped unnerving me. Now, I craved for those stares. Stupid crush. Nothing good could come from it, that much I knew.
Yes, as much as I'd hate to admit it, I had a crush on Victoria. I did everything I could to deny it so far, but spending time with her had only made me realize it even more. That was the only thing I could never lie to myself about.
My mouth twisted into a teasing smirk. "I'm wondering...should I get the Poptarts or the doughnuts?"
"Doughnuts. Then I'll get the Poptarts," she didn't seem to realize the eye rolling going on behind us. Cindy and Gerard were getting tired of waiting for us to move ahead in the line. "And I'll share with you."
"Deal," We grabbed our choices and walked about two feet over to the drinks. We both paused and studied the selections carefully. "Hmm...milk...or orange juice?"
"Or apple juice."
"Right. Can't forget apple juice." Then I shook my head. "No. The only thing that would go with both Poptarts and doughnuts is milk." Behind us, Cindy and Gerard sighed with relief. Struggling to hide the laughter in my voice, I pointed at the milk, "Now the only question is...chocolate or strawberry?"
"Or regular milk." Victoria nodded.
More eye rolling. And a couple of foot stomps, courtesy of one Disney princess.
"This is a very serious decision," Victoria stared up at me, her brown eyes wide and innocent but sparkling just a bit with mirth.
I nodded enthusiastically. "Which means it requires some serious thinking."
"No!" Cindy cried. "No thinking!" She slammed her tray onto the metal bars connected to the shelf of food. "We have been waiting in line for ten minutes because of you two. Get your damn food and let us get ours!"
"Cindy," Victoria patted her friend's hand. "All that anger can't be good for your face. Remember, princesses can't have wrinkles."
Recognizing the dark look on said princess's face, I tugged on Victoria's shoulder. She turned around and I grabbed a carton of chocolate milk, which I had learned to be her favorite. Dropping the milk on her tray and grabbing another milk for me, I ushered her to the cashier. Leaning down, I whispered into her ear, "That is the last time we buy breakfast with Cindy."
Victoria covered her mouth with a hand to hide her smile. Giggling, she unconsciously leaned closer to me, "I always thought it was the villain who turned into a monster, not the princess."
"Then she must be the villain in disguise." We looked over at her friend and I wiggled my fingers in a half wave, causing Cindy to fume even more. Chuckling, I pulled Victoria behind me. "Don't worry, I'll protect you, fair maiden."
She burst out laughing and then turned away to fetch her wallet out of her purse. After paying for her food, she peered into her wallet and frowned. I glanced over to see what she was frowning at and saw only a few bills in the wallet. "What's wrong, Pork Chop?"
"I'm running out of money." Her frown deepened as she closed her wallet and stuffed it back into her purse. Picking up her tray, she muttered, "Stupid mothers who prefer rabbits to daughters."
I wasn't even going to ask. That's one of the many things I learned about Victoria. Under any circumstances, never ask. Believe me, it was better not to. The last time I had asked, I'd been stuck in an almost hour long lecture on why a cheese wheel shouldn't be called a cheese wheel because it didn't really hold up anything to wheel around on. Therefore, it should be called a cheese circle because it was circular. I was never going to be able to look at cheese wheels the same way again. Yes, not asking was best.
Feeling depressed at seeing her in such a sullen state, I asked her as we went to go sit down at a table in the cafeteria, "Victoria, quelle heure est-il?"
Brightening up considerably for someone who looked almost as emo as I did, she answered, "Il est sept heure vingt. Il est tôt."
"Il est très, très tôt." I grinned down at her, happy to see her in better spirits. She had gone through numbers pretty quickly and had learned how to say the time even quicker. It wasn't that hard to see how numbers in general excited her. So far, it was the only tactic I could use to cheer her up when she was in a bad mood. And it worked almost as well as food.
Returning my own smile, she opened her mouth to say something but was cut off by a male voice calling her name. We looked over to see Glen stalking towards us. My pride forced me not to show any disappointment, but the slouching of my shoulders could not be deterred. Just when everything is all fine and dandy, he has to show up. Jealousy was an ugly emotion, but that didn't stop me from feeling it.
Glen pulled Victoria to the side, murmuring something in her ear that I couldn't hear. She blushed and looked guiltily in my direction. Feigning an indifferent attitude, I waved her off and she mouthed 'A bientôt' to me. A swell of satisfaction erupted in me. She caught on quick to the French that I had taught her. Not Glen. Me. Itaught her. Not him, her boyfriend. Me, her emo-looking tutor who had a growing crush on her. Yep. Me.
Looking over his shoulder, Glen threw his arm around Victoria, crushing her to him in a very boyfriendly way. She stumbled and made a sound of protest when her milk almost fell off her tray, but he didn't notice. His eyes were too busy sending me signals to not get too cozy around his girlfriend. Maybe he didn't think I got the message quite clear enough because he swooped down and captured Victoria's mouth in his. My knuckles were turning white as they clutched the tray tightly. The grin he sent in my direction taunted me, and it took all I had not to follow him and rip him away from Victoria.
Then again, it was her boyfriend who was kissing her. Not me.
I stood still, watching as Glen led her to a table with his stupid soccer pals and proceeded to kiss the crap out of her even more. And Victoria ate it all up. Disgusted with their displays of the cute and affectionate couple, I looked down at my tray. I didn't even get a Poptart. Not that I minded in the least bit anymore. After throwing away my tray, I stuffed my hands deep into my pockets and ambled over to Gerard's table. I wasn't feeling so hungry anymore.
"Matt! Your girlfriend's on the phone!"
Whoever came up with such a thing as little sisters was going to hell. And I would happily send them there.
Snatching the phone out of Macy's hand, I pushed my little sister away. "Hello?"
"Hey! So, I'm your girlfriend now, am I?" Victoria's laughter sounded in my ear.
Still trying to push my sister away from me, my answer came out as a sort of grunt, "Shut up."
Macy grabbed onto my leg, unrelenting. She reached up to try and steal the phone from me, but I held it out of her range. Then she started jumping. God, what did Mom feed her for dinner? I really needed to invest in a tranquilizer gun. Why did little kids have to have so much energy? I bet they enjoyed throwing their youth in our old people faces. What monsters they were. And Macy was the biggest monster of them all.
"Hold on," I told Victoria, scooping Macy up with one arm. She giggled and screamed at me to put her down, but I ignored her cries. Instead, I walked down the hall to Macy's room, threw her onto her bed, and slammed the door shut on my way out. Then I ran to my room and slammed that door shut, too, just as Macy came rushing out her room. Keeping a shoulder balanced against the door, I put the phone up to my ear again and joked, "You wish you were my girlfriend, Oinker."
"How did you know?" Victoria let out a scandalized gasp and then laughed again. I smiled at the sound, even as Macy started to try and push open my door. "Who was that anyway? The one who was screaming?"
"My sister," I replied, glaring at the door as Macy rammed her body into it to try and make it budge.
"You have a sister?"
"Didn't I tell you?" Victoria told me that I had not, in fact, spoken of anything about a sister. "Oh. Then that's probably because she's the devil."
"I feel the same about my little brother," and from there we began a topic on how evil younger siblings could be. After we expressed our views on that conversation, we started to work on our homework. It was easy stuff for me, but Victoria, as always, found it much more difficult. Fed up, she gave a frustrated huff and said, "I think we should work on this tomorrow. You can point out what I'm doing wrong that way."
Tomorrow was Saturday. And I had something to do. Looking over at the calendar next to my computer, I thought it over. Finally, I told her, "Fine. We'll meet up at Chapman's."
"Yeah, that'd be great. And then you can buy me a muffin."
"A muffin? How boring. Wouldn't you want some pie? Mr. C just made some really good cherry pies."
"No, I want a muffin. I'm in the mood for...blueberry."
"You have no imagination. You suck."
"I thought I oinked."
"That, too." After a moment of name-calling, we agreed on a time to meet and said goodbye. When I opened my door to put the phone away, I found Macy sitting on the floor, glaring at the door. Blinking, I realized I had forgotten she was even there. Her pounding had long since died down, and I couldn't remember if I had even noticed.
She crossed her arms and looked pointedly at the phone in my hand. "I wanna meet her."
"Your girlfriend," she pouted.
Sighing, knelt down to be at eye level with her. "Mace, she's not my girlfriend. She's a friend who I teach French, just like I taught you French."
She turned her gaze to the floor. "I still wanna meet her."
Ruffling Macy's black mop of hair, I told her sternly, "Well, you're not going to. So go to bed." It'd be a hot day in Antarctica before I brought Victoria home with me.
Macy grabbed onto my legs, hugging me. She looked up at me with dark eyes similar to my own. With eyes like those, she'd definitely be a heartbreaker one day. Just like her big brother. At least I could take credit for that. "Je t'aime, Matt."
"I love you, too, Mace. But you're still not gonna meet her." I unwrapped her arms from around my legs and pushed her towards her room. "Go to bed."
Victoria showed up at the bakery at 1:40, twenty whole minutes before our agreed time. Lucky for her, I had arrived ten minutes before that, so when she opened the door, I had a blueberry muffin out and waiting for her on the counter. She smiled when she saw me but stopped abruptly when she took in my appearance. I was wearing a black T-shirt and jeans underneath a white apron that was already covered in flour and what I suspected to be egg yolk. And if I wasn't mistaken, I was pretty sure I had a dash of cinnamon on my cheek, a product of trying unsuccessfully to bake some of that delicious cinnamon bread.
She stared at the dirty apron and pointed at the logo printed on the front of it. "What are you doing behind the counter?"
"What's it look like?" I took her moment of confused silence to straighten out a sleeve of fresh baked rolls beneath the counter. "I'm working."
"Here?" She asked incredulously, still staring at the apron, only this time her eyes held a mixture of wonder and awe.
"Yes," I pushed the plate with the muffin on it towards her. "Here. Now, eat this. It's on the house." I was sure to add a cocky grin that made her roll her eyes.
"I bet you've been waiting to say that your whole life," she grasped the muffin, opting to turn it around in her fingers before actually taking a bite.
"Bien sur, mademoiselle.Maintenant, tu manges!"
"Just eat, Victoria." Leaning forward on the counter, I watched in fascination as she obeyed my order and began to nibble on the edge of the muffin.
Still eying my uniform with plain curiosity, Victoria made a small gesture towards me and questioned, "So, how did this all come to be? When did you start working at Chapman's?"
I immediately launched into the story of how I noticed the Help Wanted sign outside the store the last time we had been in there. So, earlier that week, I had returned to the bakery and applied for the job. Having a mother whose sole joy in life was endlessly baking cakes had been more beneficial to me than I thought. Turns out, my somewhat baking expertise had impressed Mr. Chapman. The fact that I could also carry the heavy metal trays used at the bakery had been a plus in his eyes. And I guess being friends with his number one customer had helped. Naturally, I had been hired.
Victoria soaked up my amazing tale with enthusiasm. The fact that I worked at her favorite bakery seemed to excite her, and it wasn't long before she began asking me about the mysteries behind the counter. Truthfully, if I had known it would make her this happy, I would've told her as soon as I had the job.
"You should get a job. It gives you a great sense of responsibility." I teased her.
"No way." She shook her head. "Responsibility is for losers. Or emos who need a distraction from cutting themselves." The corner of her mouth lifted in a tantalizingly sweet grin, and it took me a couple of seconds to remember that I couldn't lean over the counter and kiss it.
"Well, then, I'm going to need that muffin back."
Holding the muffin closer to her, she narrowed her eyes suspiciously at me. "Why? You gave it to me. You said it was on the house!"
Holding back my laughter, I explained, "Sorry, but I just remembered we're not allowed to feed the pigs."
She smacked my hand, "You're so mean!"
"I'm mean? I'm not the one accusing people of cutting themselves." I chuckled at her pouting face. From the kitchen, I could hear Mr. C calling me. Waving towards a table, I told her, "Go sit down, Piggy. I'll be back after I help in the back."
Huffing, Victoria spun on her heel and walked towards the table with her muffin in hand. Still laughing silently to myself, I went to go help Mr. Chapman.
Several minutes later, I had convinced Mr. C to let me go on break, and walked out to find Victoria sitting down at the table with her cell phone pressed to her ear. I pulled up a chair next to her, and she nodded at me, holding up a finger to tell me to wait a moment. I leaned in close to hear the person on the other end of the phone, thinking it was most likely Glen. However, I was happy to note that the voice was unmistakably female.
Smiling, I leaned closer and asked, "Who is it?"
Victoria pushed my head away, but I came back a second later. "Is it Cindy? Or Lauren? Whoever it is, tell them I said hi."
She shook her head, trying to get away from me, but I held on to her shoulder, keeping her in place. I reached over to try and steal the phone away from her, but she pulled back, giggling.
"Who's on the phone, Tori? Huh? Huh?" I pestered, my face getting closer with each 'huh?' that slipped from my mouth.
"Hold on," she said to the person on the other end. Holding her cell away from her, and me, she tried looking threatening but failed when the corner of her mouth lifted in a small grin. "Shut up."
"Not until you tell me who is on the phone," I demanded.
"I want to say hi. It's the polite thing to do."
Rolling her eyes but still smiling, she turned away from me and mumbled, "Whatever. Just get out of my face."
Testing the waters, I leaned forward even more over the table. "Maybe I like being in your face."
Eyes widening, Victoria turned back to me and suddenly realized just how in her face I was. I was close enough to feel her breath on my cheek and to see that in the light of the bakery, her dark eyes looked almost golden brown. From her cell came the unmistakable voice of one of her friends, and the urge to reach over and shut off the phone was quite tempting. But for now, I was too busy watching her watching me. She visibly gulped and parted her lips. Perfect. Now...
A blinding flash interrupted us. Pulling back, I blinked and looked to the source of the mysterious lighting. Mr. Chapman was standing in front of our table, holding a Polaroid camera in one meaty palm and shaking a photograph in the other. My glare probably showed him exactly what I was thinking--what the hell! Jeez, who even has Polaroid cameras in this day and age? Didn't they become extinct when people started taking pictures with their phones? What was his problem?
"Je suis désolé, Mathieu," he snickered. That was probably also another reason why I had been hired at the bakery. Mr. C seemed to want to talk French all day, all the time. Only he had no one who even remotely understood anything other than 'Oh, la, la' and 'French fries'. So, when the opportunity (me) had shown up, he had seized it (by hiring me). "Mais tu sembles bon avec Victoria."
Chuckling, he handed me the picture and walked back to the counter. Glancing back over at Victoria, I noticed that her cheeks had gone red and her chair seemed pulled out farther away from mine. She had gone back to talking on the phone and was pointedly not looking in my direction. Fine. If she wanted to be like that, then so be it. I scooted my chair away from her. Taste your own medicine, Victoria. Just taste it.
"What did he say to you?"
"Nothing. He was just sorry." Heh. Sorry my ass. "Now, let's get on with le leçon de français. What were we talking about last night?"
"You were explaining the past tense to me." She offered, bringing out a notebook from the messenger bag she carried and opening it to where she was taking notes the previous day.
"Yeah, passé composé. Now, what you do with that..." I placed the photo in my apron pocket. I'd look at it later.
"So, this was fun," Victoria commented as she packed up.
Letting out an undignified snort, I replied, "Yeah, fun." Because almost kissing you and then having my boss interrupt it was the the most exciting thing to do for my ego. Then having you try to ignore me for the rest of the day for said almost-kiss and butcher the French language at the same time was just the cherry on top. Real fun, Victoria. I need to contain my joy.
"You won't get in work, will you? For tutoring me instead of working?" She asked, pulling of her light jacket slowly.
"Not really. Mr. C's delighted that I'm teaching you French, so he doesn't mind if I take a four hour break just to teach you." Hmph. He just wants someone else to speak to in that language.
After pushing her chair in, she settled her bag on one shoulder and smiled at me. "So, see you at school?"
"Mhmm," I hummed. Pulling my apron off of the back of my chair where I had set it, I yanked it over my head and tied it around my waist. Time to go back to work and all that jazz. "Oh, and for your homework," I added before she left. "Think of some ideas for our project."
"Project?" she questioned and I let go of a sigh. Someday, I was gonna have to get a cattle prod so that whenever her mind drifted off in class, I could just poke her with it.
"The French one we were assigned yesterday in class?"
"Well, yeah, I know about the project," she scrunched up her nose at my disbelieving expression. "I do listen once in awhile. It's just that, usually I do projects with Cindy."
"And what do you get on those projects?"
"Well, C's, mostly, but that's because I let Cindy do all the work."
"And if you had taken charge of those past projects, I bet you guys would've gotten only F's." I explained to her. "Look, I'm your tutor and I expect you to do good in class. That doesn't just mean homework and quizzes. Every single little assignment counts. Even projects. So, congrats. I'm your new partner."
"--will have to find someone else." I stated firmly. "Because the only person you're working on that project with is me. And I'm not gonna let you get away with not doing any of the work. This project can't just be all me. We have to sprinkle a bit of you in there for flavor."
She shot me a deadpan look. "You're really letting this baking thing go to your head, you know."
"Just like everything else." Shrugging my shoulders at her eye rolls, I pushed her towards the door. "Now go home, think about it, and you'll see that I'm the most logical partner for you."
Standing her ground, she shoved my hand away from her arm. "You're being really mean today."
As opposed to earlier, when I was in a romantic-like mood. Yeah, well, moods change. Especially after almost-kisses. Not caring, I pushed her one last time in the direction of the doors. "Goodbye, Victoria. See you on Monday."
"Seriously, you're sulking. Get over whatever it is that's making you like this."
"Maybe I would if you'd just leave." I countered.
Huffing, she spun on her heel and marched out the door with only the faint scent of vanilla and blueberry muffin to prove that she had actually been there. Finally. If she'd stayed just a bit longer, I would have blown up on her. Why the hell was she so...so...stupid! Doesn't she get anything?
Noticing my hands were starting to become clammy because of their being so clenched, I wiped them down on my apron. Feeling something in my pocket, I pulled it out and recognized it as the picture Mr. Chapman had taken earlier that day. Back when he screwed everything up.
It was actually kind of good. Rough, but good. In the picture, my face was near Victoria's, who was at the time, holding her phone away from her and staring back into my eyes. I wore a tiny smirk on my face. I had been so sure that I'd kiss her. She had been looking at my face, a kind of wondrous expression displayed on her own. It looked like one of those cheesy came-with-the-frame pictures, with the pseudo-French atmosphere in the background from the bakery and the fact that we seemed very couple-ish. It made me think of that picture of my parents in the French restaurant. I really needed to find that picture.
Putting the Polaroid back into my pocket, I silently figuring out where I'd hide it when I got back home. There was no way I'd let Mom or Macy see it. Too many questions would arise that I just did not want to answer. I'd have to go straight home and rush to my room to hide it because if I socialized with my family at all before I hid, they'd manage to find it somehow. It always happened like that.
But for now, I had to go back to work. As I walked behind the counter, I took notice that we only had two last blueberry muffin. Seeing as it was nearing the end of the day, I doubted anyone would buy them. Mr. C usually gave us permission to take whatever we wanted home at the end of each day--he didn't believe that good food should be wasted. Not thinking about it, I grabbed a white paper bag from under the counter and placed the muffins inside of it. I'd bring them home for Mom and Macy. That would distract them while I hid the picture somewhere. I had no intention of bringing them to lunch at school on Monday. None whatsoever.
Authoress's Notes: Yeah...that chapter only took forever for me to do. I realize that the last chapter I updated was back in the spring/summer time. I know. I am a disgrace to myself. I won't even make excuses. I just plain suck.
So, anyway, I'm surprised I even finished this before the end of school. Because right now my life is really busy and I barely have time to even think about a whole story plot before something else in my life happens and I have to focus on that. I've been busy with school, work, home, friends, and I joined my school's bowling team and I practice like every day. But bowling's finally ending soon so that should free up some of my time. Although my school work is getting more hectic. I have a research paper on Wuthering Heights to write and we're just starting poetry in English which I am absolutely TERRIBLE at, so I'm busy doing so much stupid English homework that I can't do all my French homework which means my grade for French is slipping. It sucks. And yet I still find time to finish this for all my wonderful readers who have waited so patiently for this chapter.
My fish died yesterday. I had him for, like, two months. And now he's dead. His name was Pierre-Francois and he was a Frenchie fish. And now he's dead. He liked to spaz a lot. It was kind of funny. But then I noticed that he was kinda floating and not spazzing in his aquarium. So, yeah, my sister said he was dead. And then I flushed him down the toilet. And now he's dead.
Please review even though I am horrible and make you wait so long for each chapter. And ignore grammar and spelling crap. I'm really tired (as usual) and I'm using my mom's lap top which has an even smaller board than my sister's lap top or my regular computer keyboard. So, I miss a lot of keys. And that results in a lot of errors. I went through and fixed most of them, but I'm pretty sure there's still some there...just lurking there...ready to pounce...and stuff...
quelle heure est-il? : What time is it? (summer time! It's our vacation--oops, sorry...in a High School Musical mood...)
Il est sept heure vingt. Il est tôt. : It is 7:20. It is early.
Il est très, très tôt. : It is very, very early.
A bientôt : See you later/Goodbye.
Je t'aime : I love you.
Bien sur, mademoiselle. Maintenant, tu manges! : Of course, miss. Now, eat!
Je suis désolé, Mathieu : I am sorry, Matthew. (Mathieu is the French form of Matthew, if you didn't notice.)
Mais tu sembles bon avec Victoria. : But you look good with Victoria.
le leçon de français : the French lesson
passé composé : a verb tense that is kinda like English's past tense
Je Travaille: I work
Wow...lots of French stuff in this chapter. Yay!