What am I doing here? I ask why that question over and over again since I stepped foot inside of Taylor Shaw's house. Honestly I can't stand the girl but for some reason she insists on Yvonne showing up to her little rendezvous and Yvonne would not go until I agreed to go with her. I really just wanted to stay home and watch a movie or something with granny but even she had plans to go out to eat with her church friends.
When Yvonne comes to pick me up, she isn't alone. Her cousin, Karim, is with her and I'm surprised to see him there but we get along well so I don't mind hanging out with him. Karim is a few years older than us and he graduated a while back. He now attends the state university a few hours away. He is in town for the weekend only and Yvonne decides to host him.
Karim is a pretty good-looking guy, I mean, he shares the same gene as Yvonne so their family is blessed. He's also one of the smartest guys I know. He graduated Valencia high two years ago when we were sophomores. Although he studies a lot, he still knows how to loosen up and have fun. And for some reason, Yvonne thinks he's a good match for me.
I don't agree. Besides, I'm not ready to even think about dating anyone else.
Although it's not a full out party, Taylor Shaw's house is filled with classmates of ours. She comes up to us loud as usual and all I want for her is shut the hell up. Yvonne just smiles at her and greets her back while Karim hides an amused smile. She introduces herself to Karim, giving him a flirtatious smile.
It's what happens next that has me gawking in shock.
All of a sudden Sergio Moretti walks up to us and steps right in front of Yvonne, air of confidence and determination pouring out of his pores.
"Yvonne." He says, eyes strictly on her.
Yvonne's eyes are wide in surprise but she quickly hides it, shooting Taylor an annoyed look and suddenly everything makes sense. This is a set up.
"Funny how we keep running into each other, Sergio." She drawls out, not at all amused.
He smirks. "What can I say, the universe must want us to keep crossing paths."
"The universe or meddling friends?" She questions. Yvonne isn't dumb. She can deduct for herself what's happening and Taylor decides it's best that she retreats and excuses herself before dashing out of the room. Thank God.
"Either way, we're both here and I think that counts for something." Sergio says as he shoots a cold look toward Karim. "Despite the unexpected...bumps on the side."
Yvonne raises an eyebrow and Karim lightly chuckles. I can only stand there and listen, looking around us and sure enough, I spot Sergio's friends a couple of feet away, observing the scene.
"What do you want, Sergio?" Yvonne asks him. "I thought I already made it clear that I wasn't interested."
"And this is me making it clear that I'm not going to give up. No matter what you think of me, Yvonne, I won't stop until you give me a chance."
"I just know what I want."
I could tell Yvonne is getting frustrated. And I'm getting the feeling things are about to get ugly.
"Well, let me tell you something, Moretti," Yvonne starts in a low tone. " I'm not interested in being another notch on your bed. I'm not interested in getting to know you and I sure as hell feel no attraction toward you. It's not going to happen."
I want to speak up but at the same time, it's not my place to do so. I know Yvonne can handle herself. Also a part of me is curious to see how Sergio would handle it. How serious is he really?
"One date." He says after a moment of silence if Yvonne hadn't just shut him down.
"What part of I'm not interested do you not understand?" Yvonne asks him, borderline exasperated.
He shrugs nonchalantly. "One date and if at the end of it you still feel this way, I porkise I will leave you alone."
Yvonne shakes her head and looks almost speechless. "It's not going to happen."
"Why?" Sergio asks, and I swear he's holding in a smirk. "You're scared you're gonna start liking me or something?"
She scoffs. "Hell no."
"So let's do it. Go out with me tomorrow night and make your decision then. I swear I won't bother you again if you deny me after that."
"I can't believe this, you're out of your damn mind." Yvonne looks at me and Karim incredulously. I couldn't believe it either but Sergio seems adamant and obviously he isn't going to let this go. Not until Yvonne agrees to his terms.
"What time should I pick you up?"
Yvonne glares at him. She's quiet for a moment, silently fuming. She's furious at this point and I cringe, dreading the next words that would come out of her mouth but she shocks me, Karim and Sergio by what she says instead.
"You will not pick me up. I will meet you at seven o'clock at a location of your choosing."
Sergio doesn't reply right away. He just blinks taking in her words just as Karim and I do. "Wh-what?"
"Seven on the dot and don't you dare be late. Now, excuse me, I have to speak with a few of my teammates."
Yvonne walks away from us toward the kitchen, clearly still angry and leaving the three of us standing there astounded.
"Did she just...?" Sergio asks us, as if he still can't process what just happened.
"I think she did." Karim says to him. "Good luck to you, man. I don't think you really know what you've gotten yourself into by asking out my cousin."
"Cousin?" Sergio repeats. "Shit, I thought...damn, I'm such an idiot."
Karim chuckles. "Damn right you are. A lucky idiot."
Sergio turns to me. "She was being serious, right Tianna? She won't cancel on me, will she?"
I shake my head, slightly impressed at how committed Sergio is to this. "She keeps her words."
I had a feeling there was more to their story. I can't help but smile as Sergio grins excitedly before excusing himself to get back to his friends and tell them what happened.
"Moretti, huh?" Karim says after Sergio leaves, looking at me with a questioning frown. "Isn't he the guy she had a huge crush on her freshman year?"
I smirk, glad that I'm not the only one who knows and remembers this piece of information and able to put everything together. "The one and only."
Yvonne isn't in a better mood the next night. She is still annoyed, especially after a long day of shooting and posing and now has to get ready for her agreed date with Sergio Moretti.
"I should just cancel." She mumbles holding a curvy black dress she is considering wearing.
"No you're not." I tell her.
She sighs, putting the dress away and walking into her closet to grab another one. "This is so stupid." She says as she's walking back out, holding out the new dress, this one not as appealing. "The nerve of him to just...walk up to me and demand I go out with him. I can't believe I agreed to it."
"It was kind of inevitable, don't you think?" I pin her with a knowing look but she only glares at me. I let out a low chuckle, lounging back on her bed and watch as she walks back inside of her closet once more.
It's a few minutes later when she comes out, dressed in a tight fitting black dress and matching heels and I know that this is the winner. "How do I look?" She asks me as she poses.
"Like you're trying to give him a heart attack."
She groans. "I should change-,"
"No!" I get up from my spot and hurry toward her closet to shut the door. "You look great, Von. You have to get going, it's almost seven."
I grab the black Yves Saint Laurent purse that I know is her favorite and check to make sure her essentials are inside of it.
Her eyes are nervous when I hand her the small purse, I hold onto her hands for a minute, hoping I could ease her anxiousness.
"Freshmen year seems like a long time ago, doesn't it?" I start to say. "Everything was so simple and new. I started crushing on Miguel and you...you thought Sergio was the hottest thing you've ever seen."
She doesn't say anything for a moment but I know it's coming. So I wait.
"He never even noticed me, Tia. Back then, he never paid attention to me. He dated around a lot so I moved on. Why now?" She finally asks.
I understand Yvonne's reservations. I honestly do. She has every right to question it and wonder why all of a sudden Sergio Moretti who she once upon a time couldn't stop thinking about is suddenly insistent on dating her. Sergio has a track record, and because of that Yvonne also developed her own.
"I don't know. But I think that you should ask him that tonight."
Yvonne seems unsure but nods after a second and gives me a hug. "Thanks for being here."
I smile and return her embrace. "Always. Now, go and enjoy your date. Don't be too mean to the boy."
She scoffs but allows me to lead her down the stairs to her car.
Saturday night comes and It's just the four of us right now, this time over at my house. Nathan and I are battling it out on my PlayStation while Gabe and Jess do what they do best. Cuddle in the love seat and whisper sweet nothings in each other's ear. They've been like that since they got here so Nathan and I are ignoring them while they have their own date night.
"What time is it?" Nathan asks out loud but since Gabe and Jess are too busy breathing each other's air to answer. I pause the game and check my phone.
"Almost nine." I say before returning to our match.
"How do you think it's going?" He asks me.
"He's not back yet, so hopefully he's impressing her." I reply.
"And if he doesn't?" Nathan wonders. "I've never seen him like this, man. He's never been into a girl like that...hell, he hasn't hooked up with anyone in weeks. I mean, that's good but, what's gonna happen if she really doesn't want anything to do with him?"
I know what's going to happen. Sergio is going to lose it. Despite his jokes and easy going demeanor, underneath it all my cousin is an emotional guy. So if Yvonne Warner breaks his heart, all hell is gonna break loose. He's going to shut down. He's going to make bad decisions and despite it all, we will all be there with him so he wouldn't have to go through it alone.
"Let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet," I answer Nathan. "I'm sure he knows what he's doing."
At first I thought Sergio wasn't really serious about Yvonne. I thought maybe she was just another hot girl he wanted to play with. From the get together the night before, Yvonne made it clear that she isn't the type to be messed around with. At least not with him. Sure she dates around but she made it clear that she doesn't sleep around. If Sergio really wants a relationship with her, then I'm positive he will make it happen.
"What about you, bro?" Nathan asks me. "Now that Adrienne is out of the picture and you clearly don't want anything to do with Taylor Shaw, anyone new on your radar?"
I scoff at his choice of words. "Nah, gonna keep it PG for a while."
He laughs at my choice of words as well before shaking his head. "Let's see how long that lasts."
I shrug, clearly not concerned about my own relationship status. Or lack there of.
We continued to play our game for the next thirty minutes, egging and jabbing words at each other until the front door opens and we hear footsteps approaching us. Sergio walks inside the living room a minute later and suddenly we all stop what we're doing and become super attentive of his movements . Gabe and Jess finally separate from each other Nathan and I end our game before facing him.
The questions quickly fly out of our mouths before he sits down.
"How was the date, man?" Gabe starts.
"Did she like the restaurant?" Jess asks next.
"Dude, did you score a second date?" Nathan poses one of his own.
"Tell us everything! What did she wear? I bet she looked gorgeous." Jess again.
"The hell is wrong with you?" I ask the last question and we all stare at him curiously and wait for him to reply.
Sergio doesn't answer us though. He's grinning foolishly and looks like he's floating in the air. He drops down on the seat between Jess and Gabe, squeezing himself in the the little space and lets out a dreamy sigh.
The four of us look at each other incredulously.
"That's a good sign, right?" Nathan asks cautiously.
Sergio just sits back against the seat, apparently lost in his own world.
"Dude." Gabe waves a hand in front of his face. "You're freaking us out."
"I think he's in the cloud." Jess says with a smirk.
That's when Sergio finally opens the mouth he usually can't keep shut.
"Guys," He starts. "She is so...amazing." Then he's grinning again like someone who had just won the lottery.
"I'm assuming that means we have a second date?" Gabe asks.
"Well, not exactly." He responds finally losing the creepy smile and sitting up properly.
"What the hell does that mean?" Nathan asks what we're all wondering.
"I mean, she didn't give me an answer yet." He answers then continues without Jess probing incessantly like I can tell she's about to. "It started off kinda rough. We met up at the restaurant and she looked stunning, as always and everyone couldn't stop staring at her. We sat down at the table and I stroke up a conversation trying to break the ice but she was being difficult. Like she wouldn't give me a break or let down her guards. I didn't really mind though. I expected her to be tough and mean, and boy was she tough and mean, but I kept it cool."
We're all listening intently, not wanting to miss any details of this amazing date. So far it doesn't sound that amazing but I'm hoping it's gonna get better so I keep my mouth shut and listen. Jessica's already giving me the signature look not to dare say anything.
"It wasn't easy though." Sergio goes on. "She was short with answering my questions and stayed quiet but I didn't want it to be all about me, you know. So I decided to do what I do best. I cracked a couple of jokes and at first she wasn't impressed but eventually, I made her laugh. Aw, man, that laugh of hers. Best thing I've ever heard. " he smiles at that point and stays silent for a few seconds as if hearing her laugh again.
I can tell Jess is ecstatic with the way she's grinning like the hopeless romantic that she is. Gabe is smirking and Nathan look almost as enamored as Jess. I'm just talking it all in.
"Anyways, it only got better from there." Sergio keeps on with his count on the date. "She let down her guards and even asked me some questions, she even asked about you guys. So I told her whatever she wanted to know. I felt being transparent was the best approach and I think it worked. She spoke about her modeling career, wanting to pursue it after she graduates, talked about her family and I got the chance to apologize for being a dick about her cousin who is just visiting her from out of town. She was cool about it, surprisingly. She spoke about her best friend too, Tianna, and how close they are to each other. Said Tianna was the one who encouraged her to go through with the date and even helped her get ready for it, which is a good sign. I want the best friend to be on my side and I can see how important their friendship is so it has to be important to me too. I wanted to keep talking some more and I could tell she did too but she it was getting late and she needed to get home. So I paid the check and walked her to her car and that's when she asked me the strangest question." Sergio looks deep in though all of a sudden.
"What question?" Jess asks after he pauses.
"She brought up freshmen year." Sergio is frowning a bit, obviously bothered by the thought of what she asked him. "She wanted to know if, hypothetically speaking, she asked me out back then, would I have said yes,"
"What did you tell her?" Nathan inquires and even I'm curious to know this piece of information.
"The truth, man. I don't know. Of course I knew who she was back then but... I never thought about dating her. I mean, I didn't see her that way. So I don't know. I asked why she wanted to know and she gave the most vague answer. She said maybe one day she would tell me. She looked a little disappointed at my answer but she hid it well. She just thanked me, promised to think about giving us a chance and drove off."
"That's it?" Gabe asks.
"Did she give you her number at least?" Jess asks him next.
"So there's no second date, you didn't get her number, and she looked disappointment about an answer that you gave her to a hypothetical question about dating her in the past and that's all a good thing?" Nathan summarizes and says what we're all thinking.
"Well, it means she doesn't completely hate me."
"Dude, you pretty much blackmailed her into going out with you," I tell him, bringing him back to reality.
"That wasn't blackmail...it was a...compromise. Besides, it worked didn't it?" He's back to grinning. "Yvonne Warner gave me a chance. That's all I wanted. Sure I would love to date her but If this is it and she says no, then at least I took my shot."
We all keep quiet for second because it's there. Sergio is good at brushing things aside but this...he couldn't hide it from us. We all hear it. The slight undertone in his voice...there's no way he would be ok with her not dating him. Especially now that he has gotten a taste of what it would be like. Yvonne Warner has no idea how bad Sergio Moretti had it for her.
I usually get a couple of the letters in my locker a few times a week and I never bother reading them, not after the first initial ones. I'm on a way to throw away the latest addition when it's suddenly snatched out of my hand.
"What's this?" The voice asks, staring at the girly writing on the letter. "Oohhh, is this one the infamous secret admirers letters that I've heard so much about?"
I stare down at my cousin, although unimpressed with her meddling, I couldn't find it in me to be angry with her. Just annoyed.
"Aria, hand it back." I tell her.
She doesn't. She just opens up the note and starts to read out loud. "Dear Romeo, I know you must get these a lot and I've even heard that you don't even read any of them but I thought I would give it a shot anyway-,"
"Aria-," I try to interrupt but she just gets louder as she continues to read.
"I wish I could tell you this in person. Matter of fact, I've tried but you don't make it easy to talk to you face to face. Maybe I'm not your type, actually I'm pretty sure that I'm not but I can't help how I feel about you and I'm not going to give up."
At this point although annoyed, I'm leaning back against my locker with my arms crossed, waiting for her to get it over with. She glances up at me for a second with her nosy grin and keeps going.
"I think you're an amazing guy. Even though some of my friends have advised me not to pursue this, I've decided not to listen to them and follow my own heart. I'm going to keep trying until you notice me, until you see me, the same way I see you. I see how much you care for your friends, how much you value your family. I even see how-,"
"What's going on?" Giovanni chooses that moment to make his appearance but Aria's eyes are wide as she stares at the next words on the letter.
"Enough," I take the letter from her, scrunch it up and finally throw it away.
Aria doesn't protest. She is just staring at me with a weird look on her face. "I think she's in love with you."
"It's just a silly crush." I shrug it off.
"What crush?" Giovanni asks.
"Ro just got another love letter," Aria tells him.
"Aw, man. I missed it, what did it say?" He asks.
"Nothing," I say to him. "Now the both you, don't you have classes to get to?"
They ignore my question.
"Who was the letter from?" Giovanni asks, looking at Aria. "Do we know her?"
Aria doesn't answer him but looks at me instead. "Don't you want to know her name?"
"They never leave their names." I tell her.
"She did." Aria answers and waits dramatically as if she wants me to ask her who it is. I don't ask. A minute later she just sighs before giving me a soft smile and waving at us. "Later."
Giovanni is grinning foolishly. "She left her name, bruh."
"Don't care. How's tutoring going?"
Gio just laughs at me. "Way to change the subject. It's good, though. I like my tutor, she's really smart and strict too."
"Good. That means she won't take your shit."
"Yeah, definitely not. She made that clear on the first day, but she's nice, matter of fact that's why I'm here. I have to meet her right now by her locker. I want to go over something with her before chem. I'm pretty sure I have a pop quiz." He looks down the hallway as if searching for someone and his face suddenly brightens up. "There she is! See you, cuz."
He's off running down the hall before I could say another word and I watch as he stops right in front of a very familiar figure.
I always recognize her as Yvonne Warner's best friend, but I also know her to go by her nickname, Tia. We share a few classes and Giovanni is right about one thing. She's very smart. Everyone who is in class with her knows that, but she also isn't your average teacher's pet. For one, she wasn't arrogant and she never claims to be smarter than anyone else. So I'm not really surprised that she's the one tutoring Giovanni. At least now I know for sure that he's in decent hands.
A/N: reviews are greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!