- One-shot -
"Sineka, you can take that seat." I glared at my teacher when she pointed to her printed seating plan. I mean, seriously, it was the last row on the bus - and everybody knows the back rows bounce like crazy with the motion of the wheels.
"But Mrs. Joseph-"
She rubbed her temples. "Please Sineka, I'm not in the mood to argue this early in the morning. Take your assigned seat."
I sighed and managed a tiny smile before boarding the bus. You would think that getting to the school 20 minutes before the stated time would guarantee me better seating...but no, it just plopped me straight into the worst one.
There was nobody on the bus, so I bumped my way to the back - not having to worry about irritating somebody with my bag slamming into their face - and slid into the seat so that I could lean my head against the cool glass of the window.
I must have fallen asleep somewhere along the line, because when I woke up there was a flurry of moving landscape outside the window. Yawning, I turned to ask my seatmate the time and then gulped and quickly turned away.
"Good morning Sin."
Maybe if I ignored him, he would disappear.
Luck was not with me (again!), because he leaned over and blew hot air into my ear, making me squirm.
"Stop that," I snapped.
"Good morning Sin," he repeated.
He blew more air into my ear, making me wish for earmuffs. Sure, it was June and boiling hot...but the sweat would have been worth it.
"Good morning Sin."
Knowing I would squeal if he blew in my ear again, I grumpily returned his greeting. "Good morning Alec."
"See, that wasn't so hard, was it?"
"Was too," I muttered, squinting down at our legs to make sure there was a large enough gap between our bodies. Why, oh why, did Mrs. Joseph have to put him beside me?
"Are you still mad?" he wanted to know.
I snorted. "Take a wild guess."
Alec contemplated my face. "No, I don't think you are," he decided. Apparently my 'grr-I-will-eat-you' expression did nothing for him.
"Wrong," I drawled, planting my face on the window. A child in the car passing parallel to the bus burst into tears...probably at my squashed nose.
"Ever plan on forgiving me?"
"Come on, I'm on this stupid trip for you, aren't I?"
I peeled my face off the window to turn and glare at him. "Did I ask you to come? How are you even here - you don't go to this school?!"
"Don't throw a hissy fit now..."
Hissy fit? Hissy fit? HISSY FIT? "I AM NOT THROWING A-"
"Sineka, use your bus voice!" Mrs. Joseph snapped from the front.
My bus voice? What the hell is a bus voice? "But Mrs. Jos-"
"Sineka, please!" she groaned. "Leo, please get your seat partner to calm down."
"Why don't you get up and salute while you're at it?" I looked at him grouchily. "Hey, wait...she said Leo! You're not Leo!"
Alec looked at me calmly. "No, I'm not Leo. Thanks for noticing."
"Where's Leo?" I asked, panicked. Did Alec murder him? Stash his body in the dumpster behind school? Eat him for break-
"Leo," he responded, pointing over his shoulder at the adjacent seat.
I peered around his body and narrowed my eyes at the occupants of that seat. "Leo?"
"Hey Sin!" he responded chirpily from his spot between a couple of girls...not that they seemed to mind. "We're tripling!"
"As long as that's all you're doing," Alec muttered, and it took me a great deal of effort to keep a straight face.
"How'd you get him to agree to this?" I hissed at Alec.
He eyed me blandly. "Get him to agree to have two pretty girls practically sitting on him?"
Well, when put it that way... "Are you saying I'm not good enough for Leo? Hmm?"
"Gee, let me think...is Leo, the most sought-after guy at your school, too good for you?"
"Asshole," I muttered turning back to scaring young children in passing cars.
Alec wound his fingers around my wrist. "That's not what you said when we were dating," he whispered into my ear, pushing his body against my back.
My body tensed. "You have no right to bring that up."
He was silent for a few seconds. "Why do you think I'm here now? I want you back Sineka...I miss you."
I pushed his body back and whirled around to face him furiously. "It has been six weeks since you dumped me," I bit off. "Six weeks since you told me your parents didn't like me, that they believed I was not good enough for you, and that you wanted things to be over."
"Six weeks," I continued, "since my father's company went bankrupt and we moved from our mansion to a little apartment on the opposite side of the city. Six weeks since I went from being the most popular girl at your - our - private school, to a nobody at a public school. Six weeks since you last saw me."
Alec sighed. "And in those six weeks, I realized how much you actually mean to me...and I want you to be mine, no matter what the difference is in our social standing."
"Difference in our social standing?" I seethed. My nails were biting into the flesh of my palms - that's how tight my fists were clenched. "You forget, my ancestors were amongst the aristocratic elite...whereas your family is of new money." I was able to channel strong distaste with the emphasis of 'new'. "Do not preach to me about the social hierarchy."
He put up his hands in defense. "I wasn't trying to insult you. Just hear me out-"
"Why should I? You left me when I was the most vulnerable, and now you think you have some right to barge back into my life?"
"I had no choice! Sin, my parents-"
I wrinkled my nose in distaste at the mention of his Barbie-and-Ken parents; they were just that plastic. "Don't tell me they're suddenly accepting of your so-called 'love' for me?"
"I do love you," he said quietly.
A series of 'aww' and 'how sweet' came from the seat in front of us. My traitorous new friend, Emily, and her worst enemy, Jessica, popped their heads up to peer down at us; I guess Mrs. Joseph had stuck them beside each other in her infamous seating plan.
"He's so cute," Jessica told me after giving Alec a thorough once-over. "Just give him another chance."
"Yeah, she's right," Emily agreed...and then she blanched and looked like she wanted to throw up. "I mean, I don't mean she's right...but I had the same idea...oh crap. I still don't like you," she finished with a glare at Jessica.
Jessica rolled her eyes. "We're sisters, we're not supposed to get along."
"That's explains why they look identical," Alec muttered to me out of the side of his mouth.
Unfortunately for him, Jessica had overheard. "We do not look alike!" she snapped at him. "Go get your stupid eyes checked!"
"Yeah, what the hell are you thinking?" Emily joined in. "Maybe you're not the right person for Sin!"
Alec looked like a deer caught in headlights as the twins began a verbal spar with him. Anything he said was taken the wrong way, and I was highly entertained...until I fell asleep again in the middle of it.
When I woke, I noticed two things. First, my face was on a solid surface - except I was leaning to the right, which meant it couldn't have been the window. Second, there was something banded around my waist. Third, it was bright out.
Okay, that was three things I noticed.
Oh, wait - there's a fourth thing. Although Jessica's head was nowhere to be seen, Emily was leaning over the back of her chair with a look of dreamy adoration and wistfulness on her face.
What the- I lifted my head from my pillow and came face-to-face with Alec. Or rather, I came face-to-ear with him.
"EEK!" My girly screech, although disgusting to me, was quite effective in jolting Alec.
"What?" he demanded, sitting ramrod straight as he went from slumber straight into panic mode. "What's wrong Sin?"
From the front of the bus I heard Mrs. Joseph call out "Use your bus scream, Sineka!" before she sank back into sleep and her light snores echoed through the bus.
I ignored them both, because I was too busy staring at Emily, who had not moved a muscle since I had woken up. The dreamy smile was still on her lips. "EMILY!"
"Hello," she murmured. "Isn't he cute?"
"Um. Sure...yeah, he is." Hey, it was the truth!
Alec grinned at me. "Did you just admit I'm cute?"
"Yes." I looked at him with my face devoid of any emotions. "It's a physical observation - it means nothing."
He looked upset. "How many times do I have to say I'm sorry? I've been trying to call you, visit you, or try to at least see you for the last week!"
"I didn't want you to call me, visit me, or try to see me...I wanted to be out of your life, like you'd asked me to do."
"I know you don't mean that," Alec said, his voice pleading with me. "I know that I'm the one in your heart."
"No, you're not." I watched Emily as I responded. "And do you know why?" I continued, turning to meet his eyes. "It's because I don't have a heart - you shattered it into a countless number of pieces when you walked out on me that day...that day when you told me you're going to go through with the engagement your parents arranged between you and Melissa Davidson."
That, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, snapped Emily out of her trance. Her head disappeared from my peripheral vision as she lowered herself back onto her seat and began whispering furiously to her twin.
"I called it off."
"Doesn't change the fact that you agreed to it while I was bleeding my heart out."
"Do you think you're the only one who was hurting?" he demanded, squeezing my waist. It was then that I remember his arm was around me protectively, and I pulled back to break his hold on my body.
If only it were that easy to break the hold he still had on my heart.
I had not realized tears were flowing freely down my cheek until he pointed it out. And when he reached out and wiped the trail with his thumb, my sobs became more pronounced.
Jumping up, I shoved by him on the seat and crawled in between Emily and Jessica, who immediately cuddled me in a group hug.
"Breathe deeply," Emily instructed as Jessica dug through her backpack.
She produced something and shoved it in my hands. "Here, I don't have tissue, but this should do."
I looked down through blurry eyes and realized I was holding some make-up removal pads. Giggling helplessly, I stuck the pads under my eyes and waited for them to absorb the tears.
Emily rubbed my back as Jessica stuck her head over the seat to converse with Alec. I couldn't hear what they were saying because of the shuddering breaths I was taking.
"I think he really does care for you," Emily whispered to me.
I shook my head. "I know he does," I admitted so that only she could hear, "but I can't risk everything."
She looked surprised. "What do you mean?"
We leaned closer to each other so that we wouldn't be overheard. "His family is not that much better off that my own," I confided in her. "My dad handled his parents' financials before...before we lost everything. Alec's family is on the verge of bankruptcy, and their best hope is to marry him off to Melissa. Her family is filthy rich - they can afford to buy half the town and still have money left over."
"You're giving him up for money?" Emily asked, looking horrified.
"I'm not getting paid, if that's what you're asking," I assured her with a grimace.
She shook her head, "No, I would never think that of you! I meant to ask if you're giving him up so that he can live in money?"
I nodded and sighed. "Pretty much...he deserves the best."
"And have you ever considered that you might be what's best for me?"
The two of us looked up, horrified, when Alec's voice interrupted our conversation. We had neglected to consider being overheard from behind...or rather, above.
I focused my attention on my fingers, and closed my eyes when his fingers began running through my hair from behind.
"Sin, as far as I'm concerned, you are what's best for me. Melissa is a vain bitch, and she hasn't exactly been known for her fidelity." Alec's tone was very earnest.
I sighed and stood up, climbing over Jessica to rejoin Alec in the back. I motioned for him to shift over to the window seat and sat down on the edge. "You don't know how it is to be poor," I told him softly. "And, believe me, it's a drastic change going from the elite crowd to...to having nothing."
"Things can only get you down if you let them," he philosophized, reaching over to thread his fingers with mine. "I can make it through if we're together."
I snatched back my hand. "You don't understand!" I exclaimed. "This is not a story, where all our problems will magically disappear if we stick together - this is reality, and we don't have fairy godmothers to make things better!"
"I do have a trust fund though," he mused.
"What?" I asked, confused by the turn in discussion.
"From my paternal grandparents," he clarified. "I inherited it a couple of weeks ago - on my 18th birthday. It has more than enough money to see us through life...if we downsize our former lifestyles just a tiny bit."
"What?" I repeated.
Alec leaned over to press his forehead to mine. "I'm moving out of my parents' house in a few days," he told me gently. "I want you to support me through it...and I'd like you to move in with me."
"You're leaving your parents in their time of need?" Sure, I hated them...but this was just extreme.
He pulled back and arched an eyebrow at me. "You'd rather they dump me into misery by forcing me to marry Melissa?"
"It wouldn't be anytime soon-"
"Sin." He quieted me with my nickname. "You know my family very well - my parents were married when my dad was 19 and mom was 18; they wouldn't think I'm too young."
"Just like you don't think I'm too young to move in with you?" I responded snarkily.
"We're both 18, and we both love each other for all the right reasons...what's wrong with moving in together?"
I shook my head. "That's not how we were raised."
"Then marry me first."
I gasped, and heard two echoing ones from the seat in front of us.
"If you're not comfortable with moving in with me now, then marry me first."
"Are you joking?" I demanded. "What's wrong with you?!"
"I'm not joking, Sin. We can get married, go to college together..."
"You've thought about this."
"Yes...since the moment I inherited the trust fund and found out the real reason my parents wanted me to marry Melissa." Alec cupped my face in his palms. "I love you Sineka, and I know I want to spend the rest of my life with you...so why wait?"
I met his eyes and held onto them to see if there was any trace of doubt in them; there wasn't any. "Why wait?" I echoed.
And then Alec slid down to kneel in the tiny leg area of the backseat, and pulled out a plain silver box. "It isn't much," he said, flipping open the lid to display a simple silver ring with three tiny white stones, "and those aren't real diamonds," he continued, "but I can promise you love and happiness if you say 'yes' to me. Will you marry me Sineka?"
"She says 'yes'!" Emily called out, her head popping into view again.
Jessica's head leaned around the side of the seat. "Yeah!" she added.
"Thanks girls," Alec told them dryly, "but I'd like to hear it from Sin's mouth. Sin?" He placed a hand on my thigh. "My knees are locking up and my hip is probably bruising..."
"Get up," I pleaded, yanking on his arms. "Get up and give me my ring!"
His eyes brightened up as he sat and tugged me into his arms. "That's a 'yes'?"
"Of course it is!" I told him.
And when Alec slid the ring onto my finger, I buried my face in his neck and wept with joy. Yes, in the backseat of a bus.
A/N: Honestly speaking, I'm not sure how I feel about this piece...I know it's not my best work, and (yes yes) I know it's not realistic...but I have engagements and weddings on my mind (more about that later on in this A/N).
Anyway, please let me know what you think about this (even if it's a PM and not a review) because I'm thinking about a series - not about Sineka and Alec, but more of a "Bus" series with romantic encounters that take place on various buses. I already have ideas thought out for two more encounters.
And on to my news...
I was going to write a story about it (past to present), but it's taking me longer than ever to put down my thoughts...so I'm going to come out and say it now:
MY BOYFRIEND PROPOSED TO ME ON NEW YEAR'S AND I SAID YES!!!
Of course, we don't plan on getting married for a few more years (I just turned 21 and he's 23)...but it's thrilling, and I hadn't been expecting it to happen yet. My parents and siblings took it well (my older brother's expression was hilarious when we told him), and I'm still floating on clouds...
(I wonder if that explains my other recent gushy mushy one-shots?)