Alicia's POV

I decided not to think about that mysterious girl for the meantime. This day is just full of surprises to begin with. I need a break. So I began thinking of other things. That's when my mind drifted to my childhood friend. Even though Phin is a school dormer, he still prefers his favorite sports car to be with him all the time. It is his most precious thing and he even considers it as his 'best friend' aside from my older brother. By the way, his car's name is Sunny - even though it's bright red in color. Phin's family is wealthy. His father's a businessman and his mother's an accountant. As the only son, naturally he'd be forced to take up business administration as his bachelor's degree in order for him to inherit the family business but he persuaded his parents to let him take up the course of his dream - that is, B.S. Chemical Engineering. I don't know how did he do it - must be really hard for him - but I didn't bother to ask him the details about that. I'm not fond of meddling other people's family life. Anyway, for taking such a difficult path, Phin is a real genius. He has aced all of his subjects in spite being a school varsity player in basketball. He's even a consistent Dean's Lister. I have no idea how does he balance all these things. He's just undeniably great and worth emulating. No matter how rich he is, he still wanted to be a college scholar so he took up scholarship exams in different schools and, of course, he passed them all. I just don't know why he preferred UCLA of all universities here in California. Knowing all these, I was deeply inspired by Phin so I also took a scholarship exam in UCLA and thankfully passed.

Originally, my brother suggested that I'd take a scholarship exam in California Institute of Technology (CalTech) - that's where he took up his pre-medical course (pre-med Biology). Realizing that he'd already be in a different school (Stanford University) once he finishes his pre-med course, he allowed me to take the scholarship exam in UCLA so that I could study there and Phin could look out for me in his place. My brother is two years ahead of me so I'm still in my third year and Phin in his fourth year. I took up the course of my dream as well - that is, B.S. Chemistry. Both Phin and I share the same sentiment of liking Chemistry as a subject. It is our favorite subject indeed. I may not be a real knack unlike Phin, but I can still manage to maintain good scores in class. Motivated by him, I also managed to be a consistent Dean's Lister. Whenever I have some difficulties with my classes, I have an instant tutor and that's no other than Phin.

Phin and I arrived at the school premises. This time, it's already eight in the evening. But before his car entered the school portal...

"Hungry?" He asked.

"A little." I smiled warmly.

"Okay then. Let's go somewhere you'd surely like - my treat this time." He winked. He really knows a lot of facts about me. Then he drove the car straight the driveway instead of going in the school portal.

"Aye sir!" I replied motioning a salute-like gesture in my seat facing him. He laughed hard. I'm grateful he doesn't mind me doing weird stuff like this even if people around think that I'm an idiot or so.

Phin was just quiet as he drove towards our destination. I didn't bother asking him where anymore 'cause I'm convinced he won't tell no matter how hard I persuade him. But what amazes me is his stamina. Like what? Doesn't he know how to get tired after what we had been through this day? Does he have a body like that of superman? Haha! That's ridiculous.

Meanwhile, the car slowed down. I looked outside the window and saw the sign Bandera. Wait. That's a seafood restaurant! Phin remembered that I love seafoods too?! Great! I haven't tasted such delightful cuisines for a long time! He parked the car at the parking lot.

"Like what you see?" Phin beamed.

"Of course Phin! Thank you." Then I leaned on to hug him. He slightly winced at first but later hugged me back. He's such a sweet friend to me.

"C'mon before the food gets cold." He patted my back and I nodded. I moved away from him and we both went out of the car. We entered the restaurant and a waitress led us to an empty table. I noticed the girl's flirty actions and I can't help but giggle a little. Phin simply frowned at me. After our orders were served (not to mention my favorite Grilled Scottish Salmon dish), the waitress left still eyeing at Phin.

"Hey, she seems to like you Phin." I whispered teasing Phin.

"Quit that Ava." He focused munching his Lamb Sirloin dish. I chuckled. I'm really sincere when I said he looks adorable when he's annoyed. Then we silently ate our food. A few minutes later, more customers arrived. I glanced at them while chewing my yummy Salmon when I saw a lady wearing a stunning red dress. She's holding the arms of a man next to her - her date most probably. I paused and instantly remembered that beautiful girl I saw earlier with that awful-looking eyes. I'm sure that girl has been in trouble right now just by merely examining her eyes. I'm pretty sure of it. I don't know how long was I spacing out when Phin abruptly held my attention.

"Hey." He scowled looking at me.

I was taken aback at the sudden snap of reality. I formed a crooked smile in my lips not knowing what to say and swiftly took another piece of my dish. I hope Phin's not going to think that I was just looking at that customer wearing a red dress. Please Phin! Let your genius brain freeze even just for this moment. Or else we're going to talk about that disturbing 'homo' (short term for homosexual) topic thing again! My tiny bit of hope vanished when Phin's head turned towards the direction of that red-dressed lady. I sighed softly. Gosh! I really can't escape him at all. Then his attention finally went back to mine. As expected, he'd give me that doubtful look. I leaned both my hands forward to grab another slice of Salmon with my fork and knife as calmly as I could.

"Ava, don't tell me you're really a ho-"

"I'm not Phin. No matter how many times I have to repeat this, I'll always tell you that I'm not a homo." I uttered these words with conviction, not even letting him finish his sentence.

"Then why were you just gazing that lady?"

"Oh Phin. Do I always have to tell you my reason? Are you jealous because I just drifted my attention to a girl?"

"C'mon Ava. Don't complicate things. I'm just worried about you being a homo." This guy is surely persistent. He does not know how to listen. It'll take forever to deal with him sanely. I sighed at the thought.

"If that's the case, then I should also worry about you being a homo since you clearly disregard that waitress who's been eyeing you ever since we entered this place." I stated pointedly. He froze a few seconds, obviously surprised of what I just said, before he spoke again.

"So you're saying we're a couple of homos then." He leaned back in his seat staring at me. I paused for a brief while thinking that his logic is right. It's quite funny but agreeable only because of our reasoning and not because we really both are homosexuals. Please, that's far from reality.

"Must be." I shrugged and stared back at him. It took a while before a smile formed across each other's lips and we both laughed together. Now I could say we really look like a pair of idiots. After that, Phin asked again.

"So why then are you gazing that woman?" I frowned and he continued. "Please don't get me wrong this time, Ava. I'm just curious. Trust me." I didn't reply. I was still doubting him.

"Is it because of the red dress? Don't worry. I'll buy you lots of those. I promise." I shook my head in disbelief. Poor guy. He really didn't notice it after all so I decided to tell him.

"It's because I remembered that gorgeous girl in red dress we saw earlier in the street."

"So?-" His eyebrows raised in confusion.

"Listen to what I have to say Phin." I looked intently at Phin seriously. "Her eyes Phin. There's just something about her eyes. Those eyes were horrifying. Any sane person would not possess those pair of eyes as long as nothing is wrong with that person."

"Ava, you might just be overthinking things." He replied

"Yes Phin. I'm aware of that but I can't stop worrying. It seems not normal to me."

"So what do you plan to do now? Research about this person and do some kind of detective stuff? C'mon Ava. Don't meddle in other people's businesses or else you'll end up regretting. You have your own problems to deal with. Your own problems are enough." He expressed in a conclusive tone. I pondered at these words. What he just said is also true. Maybe I'm going too far. I sighed in defeat.

"Yeah, maybe you're right Phin."

Our conversation ended a few minutes after Phin paid the bill. We went out the restaurant, gone straight to the car and proceeded towards our school dormitory. Phin accompanied me inside the girl's dorm lobby. The lobby was empty. Everyone else might have went inside each respective rooms already, preparing for tomorrow's class. It was already ten in the evening.

"Thank you so much for today."

"You're always welcome Ava." He smiled warmly.

"You must take a deep rest now Phin. I'm sure you're drained from our long trip today."

"Yeah. I guess you're right...but don't I deserve a good-night-hug?" He winked. I chuckled as I leaned forward to hug him once more and then pulled back.

"Okay. Good night. Off you go." I said sincerely. Then he walked towards the door and I waved my hand. I continued waving until I could no longer see him and went upstairs to my room.

I opened the door and saw my roommate sleeping soundly in her bed. Poor Audrey. She must have waited for me. I'm sure she was dying to know every bit of what happened in my trip today. I closed the door silently. Our room was dimly lit by a yellow lamp hanged in a wall. I went inside the bathroom, took a quick half-bath, brushed my teeth and changed into my pajama outfit ready for sleep. But before I lie in my cozy bed, I packed my things ready for the next day. We just finished all our pre-midterm exams last week so I didn't have any homework to deal with this weekend. At last, after the exhausting trip I had for today, I could finally take a peaceful nap and sleep with my cushy pillows.

x x x Hope you enjoyed reading! Still a long way to go. Please don't hesitate do leave your review. Thank you so much. x x x