A/N: So this story is actually something that I wrote two years ago based on a contest theme on Penana. I've edited this piece from my original contest work and I just thought I'd publish it here for your reading pleasure. R&R please :)
Disclaimer: This is a fiction work and does not resemble any real events, living or dead people. Everything in this story is made up and belongs to me.
Although it was ten in the morning, the heat was already getting to me. Worse, the fact that I was sweating like a pig didn't help my situation either as an old lady, quite literally, crinkled her nose in disgust at me before walking out of the store.
I frowned after her and muttered, "Well, try having to stand in front of the oven retrieving freshly baked pies and we'll see who-"
"Are you talking to yourself again, Frances?" someone said next to me, their voice brusque.
I jumped in surprise and turned to my left only to find my boss, Bass looking at me disapprovingly. I inwardly sighed.
My employer, Bass Graham doesn't like it when his employees slack off during their shift or talk to themselves, although I wasn't the only one doing this. Jenny, our cake artist did this quite frequently as well. She claimed she's having a pep talk and I totally believe her. Our boss probably doesn't even like us breathing but oh well, that's just Bass when he gets grumpy or anxious about something. That aside, he's actually a responsible and passionate man about what he does and I knew this because I had been working here the longest, besides Jenny, my friend and two other co-workers at Bass Bakes for almost two years.
Still, that didn't mean I wasn't intimidated by him, especially with his burly physique and sharp tongue.
My eyes widened at his fierce frown and I stuttered out, "S-sorry, Mr. Bass."
"Sorry doesn't get you anywhere, Francesca! And why are you standing in front of the oven? No wonder you're sweating." he barked before walking off to probably scold some employees in the back.
My jaw went slack a little. What?! You literally told me to go retrieve some bloody pies, you oaf!
I wanted to shout at him.
Sighing, I glanced at my watch and noted that it was already my break time so walking out from the store, I stood outside and breathed in the fresh air. Despite the heat, there was a faint cool wind in the air, which was undoubtedly better than the humid shop. I sighed, hoping that I wouldn't have to go back in any sooner.
Fridays never seemed so dull to me right now. Usually the bakery gets busy with customers and orders but today was an exception. The shop looked dead and with Mallory and Jake on leave, the other two co-workers who had been working here before I did – not to mention were part of the reason why the bakery gets busy and going, the boss might as well close it down for today.
But then again, it was only ten something in the morning.
The air started to get cooler and I grinned to myself, appreciating the bliss of it. I really needed to dry off the sweat off of me. I thought about going home to change but I doubt Mr. Bass would even spare the thought of it. Doesn't he care about his employees' well beings?
Not only was it very uncomfortable but it's also unprofessional of us to work in environments like this. Sometimes I wonder why I can't even utter something to defend myself without quaking in my shoes.
Oh yeah, it's 'cause the money that he pays, despite being a complete ogre, was pretty good. And as a broke college student, I really had no choice in this matter.
That, and the fact that the cakes and pies sold were so delicious, I would buy every single one of them – if I didn't have to think of saving up for my college fees and other necessities.
The sound of an open, creaking door brought me out of my trance before I heard my boss yell to me. "Frances, what are you doing out there? Get back in here!"
Ugh. "I'm coming." I muttered reluctantly, rolling my eyes and cursing him mentally before begrudgingly walking back towards the shop.
I changed my clothes that evening.
Thankfully, the boss had to run an errand elsewhere and Jenny brought some extra clothes from our dorm. Did I mention that we're dorm mates as well? No?
Well, there you have it.
We tied an apron around our waist and got to work. Since Robbie, our delivery guy was out on an errand as well, Jenny and I were the only ones left in the bakery. While Jenny was working on arranging the pies and cakes neatly on the display, I started on washing whatever was left in the sink. Since the kitchen were beside the front that consisted a cashier counter top and cake showcase, I could see what Jenny was doing while we conversed.
An hour after cleaning and tidying up the place, I swept the floors before arranging the tables and chairs properly. Jenny was halfway on telling me about her date with some guy two days ago when we had a customer.
A guy with tousled brown hair walked into the bakery wearing a button up flannel and skinny jeans. He looked up from his phone and I caught his gaze. My breath got hitched in my throat and my heart started thumping faster when I realized it was Kyle Samson. My crush.
Kyle was in one of my classes and I had noticed him the moment he decided to grace his presence into our class. Remember that cliché slow-mo scene that happened whenever you've caught someone that interest you and suddenly you felt like melting onto the floor? Yeah, that happened to me.
But I did not, however, melt onto the floor. Or fainted at the sight of him. Jenny knew about my crush on him and as I glanced to where she stood, I saw that she had a wide grin plastered on her face. I rolled my eyes at her while trying not to be too aware of the heat on my cheeks. I ignored her knowing look before looking at the object of my affection.
'Kyle,' I sighed dreamily in my mind, following his movement as he went to the cake display and browsed the collection.
With his soft and wavy hair, his beautiful green moss-coloured eyes, dimpled cheeks and crooked teeth, I thought he was really attractive. Not only was he one of the talented kids in school and captain of the archery club, he was also humble and had the warmest smile that could melt anyone. I was sure somehow that many hearts have been broken along the way with that smile of his. Heck, I wondered to myself, was I going to be joining the broken hearts club soon?
Although he was my crush, I tried not to harbor any thoughts that he would notice me because nothing good usually came out of it.
But then his eyes met mine and he smiled at me. "Hey, Francesca."
I was glued to my spot and in that moment, my mind went into a frantic frenzy. Oh, damn.
He knows my name. How does he know my name? I'm pretty sure we haven't talk before, much less tell him my name. Unless-
I was brought back out of my rambling thoughts when three fingers slowly waved themselves in front of me. I blinked and my eyes snapped to the owner of those fingers, my mouth unable to form anything other than, "Huh?"
Kyle's face was one of concern and I didn't think he could have looked anymore cuter. "Are you alright? You kinda spaced out there for a little bit."
My heart fluttered at the sound of his voice and I couldn't ignore the stupid flush forming on my cheeks then. Putting on my best attract-the-customers-smile, I beamed at him, unaware that my tone of voice had been slightly high pitched when I said, "No, I'm fine."
He looked skeptical but I convinced him. "Really."
Mustering up some courage, I asked in what I hoped to be a tone of nonchalance, "So, what are you doing here, Kyle?"
He tilted his head confusingly before letting out a chuckle. "I'm here to get some cake?"
Oh. Of course. I refrained from face palming myself. Of course he's here to get cake, this is the bakery, after all!
I sighed internally. I guess this was what having a crush does to people, reducing them to a bumbling fool.
Wanting to get over the fact that I had probably embarrassed myself, my mouth ran like a motor as I rambled on nervously, "Right, right! Okay um, you can go and choose some on the displays over there or if you want a newly bake one, then Jenny can…" I trailed off when I glanced at Jenny with a hopeful look, silently begging her to help me out of this mess I created.
If there was anyone I could count on, it was Jenny. While I was extremely awkward and shy with guys, she was the complete opposite. I didn't know what to do, really – besides, it wasn't every day I had my crush coming to my workplace and talking to me out of the blue.
Jenny met my gaze but instead of coming to my aid, she threw me a discreet wink and smirked at me. "Actually, I think I have to go deliver some cake." Then, she pretended to sigh in annoyance and rolled her eyes. "It's Robbie. He forgot about the other cake. Again." Jenny laughed as if it was the silliest thing to ever happen.
That's a lie! Robbie hadn't even come back to inform her that and he rarely messes up the orders!
My eyes widened as she started to untie her apron, and I felt myself panic. Jenny, no! Don't leave me here alone! I wanted to yell at her. But I couldn't do that with Kyle standing in front of me now, could I?
Kyle just smiled politely and nodded at her. Was it just me or did he looked a little relieved? I shook my head a little, thinking that I was probably overthinking it. It was typical of me, really, and I scoffed mentally at myself.
As Jenny started to make her way towards the kitchen, I excused myself from him, saying a quick, "Uh, just a moment please." to him before going after her.
I managed to get to her as soon as she got on her motorcycle and put my hands on the hip, giving her my best glare.
She rolled her eyes. "Oh please, you and I both know you can't look menacing with that glare. Besides, I can see the way you look at him so you should totally thank me for this opportunity." Jenny flashed me her charming grin. Then she said, "You better get in there quickly before he finds another bakery." She then revved the engine, its loud purring sound breaking the stillness of the air and took off, but not before I heard her say above her laughter, "Not that there's another bakery in this town anyway!"
I shook my head at her in frustration as she turn around a corner, her words finally sinking in. Then, I nodded to myself, agreeing with her on one thing – Bass Bakes was, actually, the only bakery in this part of the town.
He didn't want any newly baked cake and that was okay with me because I couldn't bake to save my life - all the best bakers were on leave today. Looked suspicious, doesn't it?
"So for today we have an orange cheesecake, blueberry black forest, red velvet vanilla, ice cream fruitcake, vanilla pudding ice cream cake and coffee cheesecake. Which one do you prefer?" I asked him, still giving my best smile reserved for the customer, despite the frantic pounding of my heart.
Although, considering this was my crush I was dealing with, there really wasn't any need for the extra effort of the customer-reserved-smile. I was practically beaming genuinely and my face was starting to hurt a little.
His brow furrowed a little as he looked to be in deep thought, his eyes scanning the display thoughtfully at the cakes I mentioned. I watched as his then pensive face slowly change into one who finally settled on a decision, a slow smile forming on his lips before he glanced at me briefly and pointed at the one he wanted. Kyle grinned, showing that prominent dent on his cheeks. "I love fruitcakes, so I'll go with the ice cream fruitcake."
That dimple is going to be the death of me. "Yeah, me too." I said softly, almost breathless.
Putting his hands in his pocket, Kyle smiled that dimpled smile at me. However, he suddenly looked nervous and before I knew it, I opened my mouth. But as luck have it, he opened his too.
"Is there anything-"
"Francesca, are you free tonight?"
My mouth was slightly jaw slacked as my eyes widened a fraction. It took me ten seconds to process that. Did he just asked me what I think he did?
Was this it?
WAS KYLE SAMSON ASKING ME OUT?
I must have looked alarmed because his face were getting redder by the minute. Stuttering out the words hastily, he said to me, "No, you see, i-it's my birthday today and I'm having a birthday party so what I'm saying is, do you wanna come to my birthday party? I mean please come-WAIT, I MEAN YOU'RE WELCOME TO COME." He rambled and yelled out the last in frustration.
As if he'd realized what he did, he became flustered and looked away, coughing into his fist. "I'm sorry about the outburst." Kyle apologized sheepishly. I barely heard what he said though I nodded mindlessly as my mind contemplated what just happened.
Alright, so he wasn't asking me out…which was fine because he had invited me to his party and that was better than anything. I mean, this was something of a progress from not talking to him before to getting birthday invites. What more could a girl ask for, right?
And then it registered in my mind that Kyle was nervous when he said that. He had actually been nervous – something the student body had rarely seen, and one that I had just witnessed.
That was a good sign, wasn't it? After all Kyle Samson doesn't do nervous…but he just did when he asked me to his party.
I didn't know what to expect or think about that but I couldn't help feeling some hope swelling in my chest.
Kyle was about to say something and because he looked like he felt stupid and almost regretting what he said, which I was hoping might not be the case, I beat him to it, with a bright smile on my face.
"Yes, I would love to."
In that moment, I thought his smile couldn't get any bigger as he grinned from ear to ear.
As soon as he left, I immediately called Jenny. As it turned out, she was just riding around the block, that little witch. I told her about what happened and we both couldn't stop grinning as I shrieked in excitement.
"I can't believe it. I just got asked out." I said, still in a daze.
Jenny laughed and said in a matter of fact tone. "Technically, he asked you to come to his party."
I laughed and dismissed it with a wave of my hand but the excitement was soon short lived as I realized something important.
I had a full shift tonight.
I voiced my concerns to Jenny, panicking. "What do I do now? Here's a chance where I get to be with the guy that I really like and now…now there's this." I muttered in disgust at the apparent obstacle I was facing.
Looking over to her for help, I was quite surprised and annoyed to find her grinning and shaking her head at me like I was the world's biggest idiot.
"What?" I frowned at her.
Shaking her head at me, she put her hands on her waist and raised an eyebrow at me. "Do you realize that your shift is only until nine? And what time is the party, anyway?"
Before Kyle left, he told me the time and address to his place. "…Ten o'clock." I replied without hesitation, unaware of the solution at first.
Then, it dawned on me and I have all the reason to feel like a complete dolt. I must have looked sheepish because she slapped my shoulder before pointing to a clock.
I nodded vigorously and went back to grab my things when I remembered something.
"Wait, Jenny. Will you come to the party with me?" I asked with a hopeful expression.
Jenny looked a little taken aback before answering casually with a smile, "Sorry, but no."
I was about to counter why when she continued, "My date's coming over later. You know, Robbie." She grinned at that.
I was confused. My brow rose skeptically as I asked, "Wait, Robbie the delivery guy?" I didn't know she was into our delivery co-worker. Then again, I had caught him stealing glances at Jenny before so maybe he had asked her out…
She made a face. "No, it's a different one. The guy whom I had a date with two days ago."
Oh. "Oh…okay. Well, I hope your date goes well." I nodded and smiled before giving her a two thumbs up.
"Thank you for that and for the invite, Frances. Now, get your cute little butt out of here. You've got a party to attend, and please don't wear that ridiculous top you bought at your cousin's garage sale to the party!" She slapped my bum as I got ushered out of the bakery.
Ah, the green strapless blouse. Of course, I would have never considered it.
I laughed a little before giving her a hug. "Thanks, Jenny!"
She chuckled. "Not a problem." Before we parted ways, she added with a grin. "I hope the party goes well too. You know, with him." She winked at me and I felt my face grew hot.
Nevertheless, I rolled my eyes but grinned back at her. I hope so.
I couldn't move from my spot. His house was huge.
It wasn't exactly like a mansion or a castle on a hill but it was big, as in I could hardly tell the difference whether it was the building itself or the people milling in and out of it.
I knew he had so many friends and acquaintances but this was like having a party for celebrities. I thought it was going to be a normal celebration with some friends from college and maybe some relatives around but I guess that's not happening here.
Just standing there on the mowed lawn with all the people laughing around and flooding in and out of the house was starting to make me feel awkward. I was never really one to enjoy parties, despite having been to a couple of them back in high school. Everyone seemed to dress up for the occasion somehow and then there's me with my tattered jeans and long sleeve striped shirt.
I frowned and told myself to snap out of it. I didn't understand why I should even feel like this. It was just a birthday party for music's sake, not a gala or something!
But perhaps I could back out now and he wouldn't even know that I came here, my traitorous mind piped in. I closed my eyes and mentally shook my head at it because that would be a totally shitty move considering that I said I would come.
Besides, I love the way his smile light up his face. He would probably be bummed if I chicken out.
Gah, I'm hopeless.
I'm totally blaming it on the atmosphere here.
I must have stood in front of the house for quite a while now because some random guy who passed by me stopped and cast me a weird look. "Are you gonna come in or stand there all day?"
I flashed him a smile and nodded, taking in my first step towards the place since I arrived. "Yup, right about now."
Despite my brave front, I gave myself a mental pep talk. Relax, it's just a party with a bunch of people having fun and your crush is inside there. No big deal, Frances. You're going to go find him and wish him a happy birthday even though you already did earlier and it's gonna be fine.
There were people everywhere. It was literally a room full of people grinding on the dance floor to the upbeat hits, and flashlights beaming everywhere. People were making out passionately and impatiently at each and every corner of the place; the couch, the wall, stairs, even on the table.
Wow, it's like an orgy fest in here. This was slightly different from the ones I'd been to, I mused silently.
My eyes widened in surprise at the people around me and as I started to feel the traitorous blush creeping up my neck, I immediately looked away and pushed my way through the crowd. I spotted a line of table at one corner where the cool drinks, snacks, sweets and a huge bowl of fruit punch are at. Since the music was so loud and my ear was starting to throb, I took a cup and poured myself some drink before downing it over my dry throat. Feeling relieved and calm a little, I breathed a little sigh of contentment to myself.
"You came." Came a voice from behind me.
Startled, I almost drop the cup but managed to get a grip on it before turning around…
…and boy was I glad I did because there was Kyle Samson.
Dressing up real nice with a long navy blue sleeve shirt that rolled up to his elbows and dark jeans, I didn't think he could look any better than he already did, not to mention he also smelled good. Was it something akin to vanilla?
Kyle also looked relieved as his eyes lit up and his smile widened. Or maybe he was just happy because well, this was his party after all.
At that moment, I felt as though every thought in my mind was everywhere and I was trying to catch them and make sense of it. Because of that, the first thing that I blurted out with a beaming smile was, "Happy birthday, Kyle!"
Chuckling, he nodded, his green eyes sparkling with amusement. "Thank you, although you've already wished me that earlier, Francesca." Then, he swept a quick look over me and grinned boyishly, "You look good, by the way."
I felt myself blushed as I bit my lower lip to prevent myself from grinning. My heart soared in happiness at that but I had to calm myself lest I'd do something foolish and embarrassing in front of him.
Although I ran through the words confidently in my mind, I ended up stuttering them, "You can c-call me Frances." I mentally slapped myself and added as an afterthought, "And thank you. You look good yourself." I smiled shyly.
He leaned against the wall with his arms crossed, smiling that gorgeous dimpled smile of his. Kyle was about to say something when his attention shifted to another as someone called out to him.
"Kyle! Sorry man, but something came up and we need your help."
He nodded at that person before looking back at me, looking reluctant as he excused himself. "Uh, sorry but I need to go check what's up. I'll be right back, though." And with one last smile, I watched as he walked towards a group of guys, immediately falling into a discussion of something as they head upstairs.
Figuring I should probably keep myself busy so I wouldn't look like a friendless person, I tried engaging some people into a conversation. That only lasted for about five minutes before they found some better things to do. Naturally, that prompted me to walk away and into another room and I sat on an empty couch. The place was pretty vacant except for some couches and a television. There weren't any picture frames or photographs, however, and I noticed the same thing in the main living room as well.
Although it seemed odd, I didn't dwell too much on it – it wasn't really my business despite my curiosity. Besides, his parents had probably only moved into this place recently, I thought to myself as I glanced around– the place did a looked a little bit scarce of some things necessary to complete the look of a warm house.
The place was nice, and even without its complete furniture, it still looked it.
Most of the party going on was in the main living room and the room I was in now were currently used as a love nest for people who wanted some privacy with their partners or whatever.
Minutes turn to hours - okay, maybe not hours considering it had only been twenty minutes, but it sure didn't felt like it to me. I couldn't sit there on the couch watching two people making out enthusiastically without blushing like a tomato, so I got up and decided to walk around. My mindless wanderings found at least four rooms, a dining room, a huge kitchen which overlooked the backyard with a swimming pool and a balcony. As spacious and nice the house was, I could probably get lost easily if I wondered too far.
So far I'd amused myself with people's antics especially the piss faced ones but all of that had to come to an end anyway as I was forced to realize that Kyle was nowhere to be seen. Maybe he ditched me. Maybe he forgot about me, I didn't know.
But what I did know was that I was not going to sit around and wait for him to come back. I mean, yeah the party was great but I didn't feel like it nor do I feel like I belong here...so what exactly was I waiting for now?
Oh yeah, I reminded myself, I wanted to see Kyle once again.
With a mission set in mind, I walked towards the stairs that I last saw him at. Standing at the last top of the stairs, I noted that there was a huge but long hallway that had rooms on almost every side. The hallway ended with a different and spacious room around the corner. As I walked further through the hallway, a faint sound of music reached my ears and I followed it. The closer I got to the room, the louder the music became. I finally came across it….
….only to abruptly halt in my steps.
I had to blink my eyes several times and as I did so, I felt hot tears started to pool in my eyes. Is my eyes deceiving me?
In a room full of guys and girls - I supposed this was one of those lounging space where people play video games and such, stood Kyle who seemed to be passionately making out with one of the girls there on the couch. His lips moved slowly against hers in a sensual way as everyone cheered them on. I also spotted several bottles of beers.
Huh. So this was where he had been. Great.
I knew I shouldn't feel jealous towards him because he wasn't even my boyfriend and he can do whatever he wants. But still, it hurts because only now do I feel like an absolute fool who've been making a fool out of herself with foolish thoughts about him. Funny how things got real so quick the moment you're heartbroken. Those words had hit me like a bucket of ice cold water and I stilled on my spot.
I couldn't get over the possibility that what if he had planned that encounter slash moment with his friend as he excused himself earlier because "he had to go check what's up". If so, that's a great play right there.
Unable to control the tears running down on my face as well as stopping my lips from trembling, I accidentally let out a loud sob and several people turned to look in alarm at the sight standing before them. I didn't know how I looked at this moment but I was sure I'd be alarmed as well.
Kyle too looked over and what I saw broke my heart even more. He looked at me with such indifference that I wonder how this guy could be the same Kyle that I met earlier. I guess some people are just good at pretending,' I thought bitterly, wiping furiously at my face.
Too embarrassed to even utter a word, I let out another sob before fleeing the place and racing down the hallways….tripping myself in the process. As if that wasn't enough, I had to crash into of the doors in the hallway.
As soon as I landed on my rear with a thud, everything went pitch dark.
I didn't know how long I was stuck in the dark and enclosed space that I assume was a room. All I remembered was the shock of finding out about Kyle and his indifferent act before running off and losing my footing.
I tried to feel up the wall for any switch and banging on the wall but it was to no avail. All of these feelings and what was happening now seemed too overwhelming for me as I started to panic and cry silently. Not knowing where I was, I was pretty sure no one else did too because I just had to run and fall into a dark room. I sighed in frustration at my helpless situation. Hugging my knees to my chest, I thought of Jenny; about how her date would have gone well and she'd probably tried calling me but because I was getting ready in a haste, I forgot to bring my phone so now I was contact-less.
What time was it now? Was it three in the morning? Did anyone even saw me in the hallway? Did-
The sound of heavy footsteps shook me from my stupor as I listened to any sounds or where it was coming from. Desperate for any form of help and needing to get out of there, I started screaming, banging on anything to make sounds so that I could be heard and be rescued.
Before I knew it, a very bright light shone to my face. On instinctive act, I shield my eyes from the glaring light as I tried to search the face of the knight who saved me. But relief quickly turned into horror as my mind tried to process who the person standing before me was.
It was Kyle.
But I wouldn't have reacted as I did if it weren't for a carbon copy of Kyle Samson.
And because of the events that happened tonight taking its toll over me, I screamed.
I was still screaming and both of them looked stricken by my reaction as one tried to calm me down while the other muffled their ears and glared at me. "For goodness sake, shut her up or I will!" The carbon copy of Kyle Samson yelled.
"What do you think I'm trying to do here, brother?" Kyle said in a tone of annoyance at the other guy. I wasn't sure if that tone was directed at me but it looked like it was aimed for the carbon copy one.
I would have kept screaming if it hadn't been for that one particular information.
"Hold up! Brother?" I asked, astonished and thinking how I never knew he had one. My mind was still trying to wrap that information in.
Kyle nodded while Kyle look-alike narrowed his eyes in irritation before an expression of indifference settled on me which, come to think of it….looked similar to the one I'd seen before.
As if I had found a missing piece to a puzzle, the realization dawned on me now that the guy whom I thought was Kyle was actually his brother…..
By the way he was narrowing his eyes at me like he was beginning to piece two and two together didn't help either. From the glint in his eyes, I think he recognized who I was now.
The real Kyle chuckled, unaware of my discomfort. "This is Len, my twin. He's older than me by two minutes."
Oh. My. God. Twins.
"H-hi, I'm Francesca." I mumbled and waved awkwardly, feeling like I should at least introduce myself even though I just completely humiliated myself in front of him because I mistook him for Kyle.
Len smirked as he glanced at his brother and then back at me. He nodded to himself with a grin – but I didn't particularly like the way he grinned compared to Kyle's. "Francesca, huh. Interesting."
He hadn't stopped glancing back and forth from Kyle to me and that made the former felt a bit uncomfortable as he rubbed the back of his neck.
I wasn't sure if I was imagining it but I think Kyle's cheeks just went red a little bit.
Kyle looked at me. The moment I caught his gaze, I looked away, trying to keep myself from blushing. It's like we're playing a game of tag here.
Once I gained my composure, I turned to the twins, studying them both while they were arguing about something, scrutinizing and finding some similarity or differences that could distinguish them. I found it instantly.
Despite the almost identical height, hair colour and physical attributes, one difference that I noticed was their eye colours. While Kyle's had been green, his twin were blue. Heck, their outfit wasn't even the same! Kyle wore a navy blue long sleeve shirt whereas Len wore a black fitted t-shirt with some band's name on it. I didn't know how that bit escaped me.
Just then, another thought suddenly occurred to me and I needed to know something about it.
"Hey, could you guys smile? Don't ask, just do it." I said in all seriousness, catching their attention at once.
The twins gave each other puzzled looks before complying - although Len seemed to be quite reluctant to do so that it looked like a grimace. But as they smiled, I concluded that while Kyle had dimples on both his cheeks, Len had a slight dent only on his right cheek.
"Okay…you're both brothers. I believe you now." I said with finality, nodding in satisfaction at the very apparent discovery.
Len Samson gave his brother a look of disbelief and said, "Is this chick for real?" Then looking at her, he said, "We're identical twins, for goodness sake! You must be pretty dumb not to put two and two together." He smirked.
Kyle protested at his brother while I huffed indignantly. "Hey! Just because I tend to pick things up slow sometimes doesn't give you the right to call me dumb. So beat it!" I snapped. Despite what Jenny had said, I tried to show my displeasure by glaring at him.
He barely looked affected at all as he rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah. Whatever." Len said before he walked away.
However, he stopped in mid stride before turning around and casting us both a mischievous look. "By the way, Francesca, you could just ask around about Kyle, you know."
Then, he pointedly looked at his younger twin, "The poor thing. She saw me kissing and thought I was you." And just like that, the older blue eyed twin cackled as he walked way, leaving Kyle frozen to his spot and me to deal with the disaster Len has unravelled.
I was stunned and speechless as my jaw went slack, my face burning in humiliation.
I hate this guy already!
So there we were, both of us standing in front each other, looking away as we pondered on how to approach this properly. I was thinking of ways to escape this awkward situation when Kyle spoke.
"So…you were crying."
Not knowing what to and afraid to speak, I kept my mouth shut at first. It was quite the moment of truth, really because he probably knew how I felt for him now and it might be a yay or a nay thing for me.
I didn't want to hold myself back anymore, and without giving anything much thought as I prepared myself to face whatever he was going to say, I took a deep breath and nodded subtly.
"And you were looking for me?" He asked slowly, this time meeting my gaze.
I nodded again. God, why does my chest feel painful? Where was he going with this?
My head snapped up and I frowned a little. What do you mean, 'why?'
"Why what?" I eventually asked quietly.
"Why were you crying? Did someone hurt you or something?" He looked genuinely concerned yet a bit stiff somehow.
Oh boy. I might as well say it now. If Jenny was here, she'd probably locked me in a closet or something with the guy that I like as she stood guard outside, whistling jovially as we demanded to be let out. My lips twitched at that mental image.
I took a very deep breath along with the risk. "No, I…the truth is, I like you."
Is it just me...or he actually let out a relieved exhale?
No. I shouldn't think anything of it.
Kyle's eyes widened slightly as he opened his mouth but I beat him to it.
"And I guess I thought you wanted to ditch me when you said you had to do something. Perhaps I was boring." I shrugged to myself, ignoring the slight pang in my heart even as I said it and cast my gaze to the wooden floor.
Kyle looked affronted. "Boring? You're the coolest and interesting girl I've ever countered. I've always wanted to talk to you but I never really got the chance to just do it. I think you're really funny and sweet, Frances. Never boring." His expression were of earnest as he smiled shyly.
My ears perked up as my heart soared a little higher when he said those things to me. And then he called me Frances and I loved the sound of my name on his lips and I couldn't help but feel like there were butterflies fluttering in my stomach right now. Squeal internally.
"Besides," he continued. "I was looking for you too." I didn't realize that we were actually making our way towards the balcony until I saw that the party was actually over and there were some people either passed out or too drunk to care, loitering around on the cut lawn.
"You were?" I asked in surprise as I looked at him. We were now leaning against the balustrade, me staring at him from the side as he looked over the houses across from us.
He smiled to himself before glancing at me and nodding, this time his smile was wide. "Mhm."
The atmosphere were beginning to feel pleasant and ease as we chatted about things for a while. After a moment, he asked me in bafflement, "What were you doing in the closet earlier?"
I blinked. Ah, so that space was a closet. And remembering that incident earlier was enough to make my face turn beet red. "I-uh…I tripped and crashed into it." But come to think of it, right after Kyle helped me up, I noticed that the door was still intact as there wasn't any damage to it.
My face must have looked puzzled because Kyle seemed to have read my mind somehow and let out a low chuckle. "That was a closet and the door is spoiled, actually. See, we're still trying to fix one of the doors because while it has some trouble getting it to open, it's pretty easy to get locked out. I was taking some things out earlier before the party and I completely forgot about it." He sheepishly said, his hands went up to run through his dark hair.
I gasped and glared at him. "So technically, you're the one who caused me to get locked in a damn closet for who knows how long."
He laughed but apologized. I think the sound of it melted my heart but I kept a straight face, even though my lips were about to twitch.
"That's really menacing, Frances. Real cute, though."
I rolled my eyes but giggled a little. We looked at each other with smiles that reached the corners of our eyes and we couldn't look away. Tonight had definitely taken a turn that I did not expected at all but somehow, I was kinda glad it did. And because of the mistaken issues earlier, I felt bad for saying mean things, being the weird person that I was. When I mentioned and apologized, he had laughed and told me he appreciated it, that I was forgiven - in a mock seriousness that he could muster.
"You know, it's a shame you missed out on eating the cake though. We did that at eleven just now."
My face fell in disappointment. "For real?"
Kyle nodded gravely. "For real." He then let out a few chuckle. "Nah, I saved some for you."
"For me? How do you know that I haven't gone home already?" I asked, quirking up my eyebrow at him in curiosity.
He shrugged and nonchalantly said, "I don't. I figured if you did went home, I'd just come over to the bakery next time and give you your share."
I laughed. "How thoughtful of you."
"Extremely." He nodded vigorously, laughing as well.
I didn't know when, but somewhere along the line, I could feel both of our laughter started to fade as our smiles dimmed. Kyle and I held each other's gaze. His eyes seek my permission to proceed while mine slowly started to drift away from uncertainty. Body languages shifted as we got closer, and closer...
Neither of us knew who leaned in or made the first move to kiss but we're both aware of the change that was about to happen between us as our lips touched. But before it did, Kyle murmured those eight words that made my heart skipped a beat as I smiled into the kiss.
"By the way, I like you too, Frances."
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