Both of us stood still in silence of what just happened. I was trying to get over the fact I just exposed myself. He, on the other hand, was smirking. It felt like he was mocking me with his smirk. 'I exposed you.' Is what it's trying to say. I cursed myself. Then he finally spoke. "Well, well," He said taking steps closer to me and closing the distance between us. I stepped back because I did not want to be closer to him. "Such strong language. If I recall the rumors, weren't you supposed to be kind and patient?"
Then he laughs at my face, like he said something funny and we're all supposed to laugh. "Oh but I guess, this means these are you're true colors." He said once again smirking. "Yeah, well, what are you going to do about it, Sherlock?" I said trying to put a front so he won't know I'm actually nervous. "Spread a rumor about me and get them to bully me? Bitch please. Do you're worst." He got serious now. "Nothing of the like. I just want you to help me with something." He said.
I looked at him suspiciously and I subconsciously thought the worst situations possible. I brushed away the thoughts with questions that came to my head. What is he playing at? Who does this guy think he is? What does he want? Is he going to tattle on me? "Spill it." I said ignoring the question. It's better if I don't think at all right now. "I know you have a sister. Her name is Lucia. And if possible, I would like to meet her." He said and I laughed. So that was it. He has a crush on her.
"How do you know her? Don't tell me you're a stalker." I said. "We… the three of us… were childhood friends…" he said silently. "I don't remember being childhood friend's with you." I said firmly. It's true. Although he does look like the guy in my dreams, it's not him. It can't be. He's expression changed to one that looked almost sad. Then he reverted back to serious. "Anyways," he said changing the subject. "Point is I want to meet her again."
"And what's in it for me?" I said carelessly. "Protecting you're secret. If you don't let me meet with her, I'll reveal you're secret." He said smiling smugly. Oh it was full with confidence. He knew I was going to help him no matter what. I breathed out hard. I couldn't believe my ears. He was manipulating me. "All I need to do is have you meet her?" I said ashamed of myself. I have fallen into his trap because of my stupid reputation. But those hellish days… He smiled as he passed me by. "You've made the right decision. Oh, my name is Peter." He said. "Screw you, Peter." I said as I collapsed on the ground. This isn't good… I need to go home… then I can…
I had already left school and was arriving at home when Lucia passed in front of me. She did not acknowledge my existence again and for the first time in years, I looked where she was headed to. She was heading towards the living room. It looked like she was going to study there when I saw her boyfriend with her. He waved at me and I waved back. Then I thought of what Peter had mentioned earlier. We were "supposedly" childhood friends. Another crazy thing I did. For the first time in years, I approached Lucia.
"Lucia." I called out and she death glared me. "What do you want?" she asked rough. 'Ignore her bad attitude Rosina.' I said to myself. I breathed in and out. "Did we know a Peter when we were younger and lived in Italia?" I asked sorta rushed. I did not intend that but the words blurted out on their own. Then I looked at Lucia and she looked like having nostalgia. For a second there, I thought I saw her smiling but I thought it was an illusion. "Yeah… we did. The three of us used to play a lot together. Why?" she said softly looking at something distant. "No reason." I said. "Thanks."
I decided to take a bath as I thought things out. I usually think things thoroughly in the bath. It's when most relaxed I feel.
As I took a bath, I remembered his expression as he mentioned her. Then I remembered Lucia's expression as she remembered the past. Images from middle school come into mind. She always scored the highest grades in school, everybody liked her because she was nice and was always a natural in sports. I was always compared to her… It's no wonder he likes her. She's always been pretty, way more intelligent than me, and can manage her temper unlike me.
I then splashed water at my face to get over the thoughts. "Don't let it get you down!" I said to myself as I washed my body from the soap. After I finished taking a bath, I decided to study. As I sat down to study, I heard loud noises from downstairs. I heard music, laughs, and people. I tried to ignore it but the noise was so great I had to see what it was about.
I was going downstairs when mom saw me. "Oh sweetie!" She said cheerfully. "Look who's here!" Then she guided me to the living room, where was my dad chatting with two people who looked equally as cheerful as my mom, and Lucia was chatting Peter. Peter. Peter… what was he doing here? "Do you remember them Rosina? It's you're childhood friend Peter from Italia! We met accidentally in Ralphs!" mom said pointing at Peter. By then I was surrounded by the people. "Rosina! How you have grown! Look at you! You look so beautiful!" the lady said hugging me tightly. "How are you?" the man said. I was trying to ignore them and calculate what was happening. Then Peter looked at me, smiling. "Rosina." He called out. "Long time, huh?"
My head was spinning in confusion. It was aching hard and wildly that I wasn't able to concentrate. I then felt dizzy from everything. Slowly, I lost vision and I felt my body fall to the ground. I hear dimly the voices calling out to me. I lost conscious.
I was in Italy, Neo Verona hiding behind a dumpster in an alley. I was once again bullied by everyone in school again. I once again couldn't make a friend today either. I was crying today. I had finally reached my limit that day and I started to cry. I didn't like to cry. I felt weak and powerless. I thought it meant that I couldn't do anything else except cry.
My sister had come running some time ago. She looked really worried about me. Then in amidst the kicking, she left. Maybe she left looking for someone to stop the fight. I'd like to think it was that. Just when I thought I had no one else, a boy stood in front of me. I looked up to see who it was and for a second I thought it might've been dad. But I then realized it was Peter who was in front of me.
He was kneeling down so he could be on my level and started to wipe gently the tears from my face. "Don't cry!" he said scolding me. "But… why do people bully me… because of what I said…?" I said sobbing, breathing in and out. "I just said what I felt…" "Well," he began saying but I interrupted him. "They always say that I'm a scam… I may be cute… but I have a horrible personality…" Sobs. Sobs. "And the worst part of it…" I said, pausing, breathing in and out hard. "I don't have one single friend!" I broke down crying in front of me. He did not look taken back. Maybe he thought it was bound to happen anyways. Then he grabbed me by my two shoulders and made me look at him.
"Rosina, listen to me!" he said firmly. "It doesn't matter what other people think of you! Just be yourself and you're bound to find a friend who likes you for yourself. There are so many people in this world who would like to have such an honest friend like you. And besides… you do have a friend and that's me. And I'm proud of it! Never, ever forget that!" Then he hugged me tightly. I expected tears to fall but the tears stopped falling. Instead, I felt my face flushing and I hopped he would never notice it. "Thank you, Peter…" I said softly. He pulled back and smiled at me. "You're welcome."
I woke up to the surprise of the dream. Then a sudden dizziness came and I was forced to fall again on my bead. This time, however, I did not fall unconscious. I looked around for the first time since I woke up, and I was in my room. I realized the music was still loud and that someone was watching over me because someone had pulled a seat next to the bead. I slowly got up and I looked at myself in the mirror. I looked surprised. 'I remember everything.' I thought dimly. Then I found myself again remembering something else…
It was the day Peter was finally moving. His dad job had been transferred to Puerto Rico and he had to move there with his family. Peter had told us a week of anticipation but no matter what, I could not get around that idea.
We were at the airport that day watching them off. They had a bit of time to hang out with us for one last time before they left. But no matter what we did with them, I found myself sad. Then when he left… he hugged me one last time, waved at me and left. I tried to see him off but I cried on my mom's shoulder the whole time. I found it strange how I was crying more than I had thought…
I laughed awkwardly because life worked in such funny ways. Then I face palmed and I walked back and forth around my room. I finally stopped to remember my suspicion of them being the same person and denying it. "Oh who cares really?" I said at first. "If I like him, then I do dummy." I remembered the dream from earlier and the girl's question earlier. "I guess, from a start I knew his name of the boy I liked… his name was… Peter."
It felt weird to actually say it out loud. His name. To acknowledge that he was my first love. It felt like the void I had all these years, was able to be filled up.
"To be continued…"