✍️✍️✍️✍️ The Kiss 馃拫馃拫馃拫馃拫 Episode 36 || 37 || 38 || 39 || 40 ✍️✍️✍️✍️

THE KISS
{That changed everything ✓}
By KELSAY (M.M.A.)
CHAPTER 36
MARIANA
When I woke up, I tried to get up but I felt something weigh me down. I looked down to my chest and saw a bronze haired boy sleeping on me. Marion.
My arms went around him and he nuzzled his face into my neck like a baby.
“Good morning.” He whispered.
“Morning. What a surprise you gave me? Did you start the journey at dawn?”
“You know me. I know how to persuade mum and Dad very well.”
” Bossy huh?”
” Yeah yeah.” He got up and I did same.
” Where’s Betsy? Did you see him?” I yawned and got up.
I checked the time and it was 9:33am.
“Taken breakfast already?” I asked.
“Yeah I brought breakfast from home but I’m afraid if you don’t hurry, Betsy might finish everything.”
I walked straight to the dinning area to see Betsy busy with the food.
“Do you plan on eating all the food before I wake up?” I joked and sat down.
” Maybe.” She answered with her mouth full of food.
I looked at the table which was filled with food. There was pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage , and cookies. Pancakes are Megan’s favorite while Betsy is for cookies the rest are my favorite. It looks like it was prepared for three.
Just then Megan got in and when he saw the food , he quickly sat. “Good morning ladies and” he looked at Marion. “Gentleman.”
” Good morning Mergan.” I replied and picked a plate.
“I will serve you.” Marion jumped to my side and loaded my plate with food then poured me a glass of fresh juice. “And I will feed you.”
“You don’t have to Marion, I can feed myself.”
“You won’t stop me sissy. I don’t know when I’ll come see you again so allow me.”
” Alright.”
He stood beside me and began to feed me with the bacon then the sausage and egg. After each bite he’ll feed the juice.
“What plans do you guys have for today?” Mergan asked and wiped his mouth.
” I will be spending some time with my sister ‘Alone’ ” Marion said, emphasizing on the alone.
I took the fork from him and fed him the rest of the food.
“Alright, I have some things to take care of anyway. See ya.” Mergan said, getting up.
” Then what will I be doing all alone?” Betsy asked.
” You’ll go to your weird friends.” I answered.
” Oh I see. So now you’ve given me the go ahead then. Thank you.”
I glared at her and got up.
***
“So how’s school Marion?” I asked when we got into the mall. We’ve visited many places including the park and we even took a stroll on campus and right now am just tired. After this we’re going back. I need to prepare for tomorrow’s lectures, learn and if possible have a little nap.
“It was boring until a certain someone returned.” He replied.
” How?”
” I thought that someone will not come back to school again. I was sad but am happy now that the person is back.”
” And who’s that?”
” I’m not gonna tell you. It’s my secret.”
” I see, is it a girl?”
” I said am not gonna tell.”
” Okay so how’s everyone?” I asked.
” Everyone is fine except Grandpa Nicholas who has been acting a little strange to me. ”
” What are you saying?”
” I just thought he’s acting a bit strange.”
” Okay, what flavor do you prefer? I asked when we got to the ice cream.
“No. I don’t want an ice cream. Let’s go get some sandwiches. I mean Nutella sandwich then some pop tarts.”
” Okay. Whatever you wish.” We took another turn. It was Sunday and the mall was a bit crowded making it difficult to walk in freely. If I had knew it would’ve been the first place we’ll visit.
“We’ll be going back after this okay?”
“Why?” He pouted.
“Don’t ask me why. I’ve been with you since morning and now it’s 3pm. We have school tomorrow remember?”
” We still have many hours left. We can go play or swim.”
” You won’t be staying here Marion, so you’ll have to leave early and besides we’ve already had enough fun. We’ll do more some other time okay?.”
” Okay.”
We got what we requested and walked back to our car. I packed them in his bag and checked if he’s passport was inside. I’m to drive him to the airport since he insisted that none of the drivers will take him.
“I can see you’ve loosen up a bit.”
“What do you mean?” I asked and pulled out of the driveway onto the road.
“Where did he take you yesterday?”
“Who?”
“Nevermind but you should know that mum and dad are keeping tap on whatever you do here. Well not what you do. They don’t really care what you do as far as it won’t bring any trouble. I’m just the inquisitive one. I saw you going out with him yesterday and then the night before you and Betsy went to a mask party am I right? ”
” What? ” I was horrified by Marion’s revelation. How did he know all that? And what does he mean.
“I don’t understand anything Marion. What are you saying?”
“I shouldn’t be saying this but as a brother, I think I owe you that at least. The thing is mum and dad are a bit scared now that you’re away from them. In order to ensure your safety, they got some people to be watching over you. So you’re actually being guarded but you don’t know. And about how I got to know you’ve been going out, I fixed a micro camera I found in uncle Daniel’s office at your doorstep. So I see everything.” He grinned and I just feel like pulling his hair out.
” Why would you do that? You know it’s bad right?
“Yeah, I just wanna be the first to know when you get a boyfriend.” He grinned as if he won a trophy. I can’t wait to get that thing off once I get home.
“That’s bad Marion. You didn’t have to do that.” I muttered and parked my car at the parking lot when we got to the airport.
“And forget it, am not ready to get a boyfriend. I don’t even want it”
“Okay, but promise to let me be the first to know in case you change your mind.”
” Alright.”
The instant we got down, my eyes met Mergan’s Dad. Daniel Dante. I guess he’s here to take Marion back.
“Wow.”
“Hey angel.”
I grinned and run into his arms. I missed him.
” How have you been.?”
“Am good Danny. I’m so glad to see you.”
“Me too.” He cupped my face after we parted. ” So how’s school?”
” So far so good.” I replied and he chuckled.
” Did you guys have a good time?” He asked.
” We tried.” Marion replied sullenly and gave his backpack to his personal driver. I guess he came with Daniel.
” It seems like the big man don’t wanna go home again.” Daniel teased.
” Somehow. Now will you get going? I wanna say my last goodbye and you’ve already taken almost all the time.” He said grumpily.
Daniel laughed. ” Okay am sorry. Take all your time. We took the private jet. I’m going to wait for you.” He gave me a final hug and walked off.
” You can be dramatic sometimes. This isn’t our last goodbye Marion. You can come every weekend okay?”
” Alright.” I hugged him and we stayed that way for sometime.
” Take care. Make sure to study everyday.” I pulled back and made to kiss his cheeks but he moved he presented his lips instead and I pecked it.
“I don’t have to learn all the time. Am not a nerd.” He pouted.
“Okay fine. Just make sure you always come first in your class.”
” It’s not like there’s someone else who takes it.” He boasted with a smile. ” My sister is a brainiac after all.”
He hugged me again and whispered. ” He came to look for you. And he looked like the one who took you out yesterday.”
Before I could ask him who, he was already gone leaving me in a great suspense.
I got into my car and drove straight home with the thought of what Marion said. Who’s he talking about? Is he Novan? But why will he come to my house and to look for me? I thought he’ll still be angry. And when did he come to my house? I think I’ll have to call him once he get home. He needs to clarify things to me.
But if Novan really did came, then he must’ve forgiven me then. Oh Lord, I hope Marion is not messing with me.
The thought of Novan visiting me got me so excited. If Marion really meant it,then my joy will be unmeasurable.
When I parked in front of my hostel, it was already four pm and I have so much to do. I hope Betsy and Megan won’t come to disturb me.
I pulled my keys out to open the door but it was already opened. I frown slightly. I know Betsy is in there.
I got in and as usual, my shoe was the first thing I took off and threw it somewhere around the room instead of putting it on my rack.
I heard a silent ‘ouch ‘ and turned, looking around.
My eyes scanned around before settling on an unfamiliar figure. Well not unfamiliar. I recognize the person now.
Oh my God!
My eyes went wide, my mouth opened wide and my heart began to pound against my chest rapidly.
No it can’t be him. I must be daydreaming. I blinked my eyes multiple times. It was just yesterday Betsy was telling me he’ll come knocking my door soon and here he is. I can’t believe this. I feel like jumping over the moon.
“Hey, is that how to welcome me after such a long time? You’re such a meanie.” He rubbed his arm, the part I must’ve hit with my shoe.
It’s him. It’s really him. In all his tattoos and handsomeness. Standing right in front of me and in my room. My fucking room. And how did he get here anyway? Forget that. I’ll think of it later.
Seeing him right now, I just realized I missed him than I thought. He was wearing his signature black shirt with jeans and boots. He didn’t wear any jacket so the tattoos on his arms were showing. There was a slight smile tugging at the corner of his lips. His hairstyle was perfect just like always and he looks just like the Novan I knew.
“Hey, will you just stand there and gawk at me? Don’t you have anything to say? I just broke your door. You should be screaming at me. Just like you always do.”
Well I don’t know how to react but I really want to hug him right now and ask him so many questions but I won’t.
Instead, I will do what we always do. What we are good at and known for.
****

THE KISS
{That changed everything ✓}
By KELSAY (M.M.A.)
CHAPTER 37
MARIANA
I walked past him then dropped my bag on the couch and proceeded to the kitchen.
I got myself a glass of water and gulped it down at a go. I was aware that he was observing my every movement and probably amazed.
I made to walk past him but he got my hand. “What now? Are you not going to talk to me?”
I eyed his hand on mine and he quickly withdraw his hand. I almost laughed.
I walked to my shelve and picked the Novel we’re studying then drop it on my bed including my note.
I took my bag then checked my timetable for the subjects we’ll be having tomorrow. It was just three which means I’ll be home early tomorrow. I can use that time to go get some groceries or sleep. It’s not like am the one who has been eating anyway.
After everything was set in my bag I hanged it then set my alarm.
I walked to my closet and got my pajamas before walking off into the bathroom. I’m not sure he’ll be around before I come and in end, i think I’ll be blaming myself for pulling this childish stunt on him.
I removed my bracelets but didn’t bother with my necklaces. I don’t really take them off.
The thought of him leaving before I finish showering caused me to hurry up.
I quickly dried my body and slipped the pajamas on.
I hurried out and I forced the urge to place my hands on my chest in relief when I saw him sitting on my bed with my novel in his hand.
“I wanted to go but then I realized that you’ll be sad and blame yourself the entire night. I know everything Mariana.” He placed the book down and got on his feet.
” So tell me, are you done playing your little game of pretense?” He tilted his head in my direction, cocking a brow.
I wanted to speak but I know when I do then he’ll win. I really don’t want to talk to him just yet.
“So you’re really not going to talk? Have you suddenly gone dumb while I was away?” He walked to me.
I ignored him, sat on my bed and took the novel. I know I won’t be able to read anything with him here.
“Okay, this isn’t funny anymore.” He snatched my book and slammed it on the floor.
Oh wow! This was what I wanted. I mentally fist bump myself.
“What is wrong with you? You don’t do this is in peoples house.” I picked it back but he snatched it again.
” I know why you’re doing this. ” He grinned.
“What?”
“Yes I know but will you please stop it? It’s not like we’re celebrating some anniversary where you have to remind me of all the fight we had. ”
” I don’t understand what you mean. Enlighten me. ” My hands went across my chest.
” I know you missed our fights and right now you’re trying to revive those moments. Please spare me that. You can reminisce on it all you want but don’t make me a part of it.” He also crossed his arms on his chest.
” You got it wrong there Novan. Am actually angry that you barged in to my room unannounced.” I lied
” So? Is that why you don’t want to talk to me? It’s a lie and you and I know that.”
” You’re being so sure and hopeful. Take care of it else I might crush it!”
” It’s okay, you won.” he put his arms in defeat.
” What?”
” I’m actually getting pissed which I didn’t want to but would you stop being annoying.” He took a step closer to me as his arms slide behind him.
” And would you stop being a jerk?”
” How can I? You drive me crazy even after so many weeks. You still got that potential of pushing my buttons so well.” He came much closer.
” After paying you a fabulous surprise visit, all you did was give me attitude and refuse to talk to me instead of giving the hug that I deserve.” He placed his two hands on my shoulder then locked it at the back. Looking down at me, he raised his eyebrows.
His acting so nice, something he doesn’t do. I’m ecstatic. I feel like crying.
I throw my fist on his chest, hitting him as I speak. ” Why did you do that Novan. You got so angry at me and didn’t speak to me then you left. You should have promised to be a jerk and mean to me while you’re around but you left instead. Why?”
He laughed and took my hands, stopping my fist to connect with his chest.
“Aww doll face please stop being dramatic now will you?.” He cooed and pull his lips out in a pout. I laughed and he joined.
I missed him calling me that. I missed my pet name. I looked into his eyes then in one second, I was hugging him.
His arms went around me as he brought me much closer to him. There was no space between us then he hugged me back.
“I’m sorry doll face. For everything. I’m sorry.” He said.
” Shshh. Stop it.” I pulled back. ” You only have to be sorry for leaving. You really shouldn’t have.” I stepped back.
” More importantly, I should be the one apologising. I was so foolish, I shouldn’t have done what I did. And I’m glad you made me have it. I’ve wanted to apologise to you for long and explain everything to you but ..”
” I didn’t give you the chance.” He finished my line.
I shook my head. ” No.”
” You don’t have to explain anything to me Riana. Only those who are guilty are required to give explanations. And you shouldn’t be apologizing either. I should. You had clear intentions and all you did actually helped me a lot and i should thank you”
” What do you mean I helped you? Are you mad? I almost killed your sister and that’s not help.” I snapped.
” You actually saved her.” He looked at me for my reaction before continuing. ” I knew Nervisa will surely undergo the operation one day but I was scared and chose the second option the doctor gave me. He said I either get her to do the operation or make sure she takes her medicines and give her proper care and attention. I chose the second one. I was scared she might die during the operation and that made me a coward.
But you came and I had the courage to let them operate on her because of what happened. I was raged and blinded by my anger. I didn’t know that you actually did me a big favour. And now if my sister is okay and normal like us now, it’s all because of you. I refused to see the good in what you did and am sorry. I was so mean.”
I was amazed at his long speech but none of them got me like Nervisa. ” So how’s she? Is she fine?”
“Yeah, she even went to school. She’s back on her feet and kicking just like us. The operation was successful.” He beamed happily.
I smiled happily. ” Wow, when can I see her? I miss her so much please.”
“I hope you won’t start worrying me with that like she’s been doing since she woke up from that hospital bed. She keep singing your name all day and I couldn’t take it so here I am now.” He rubbed his neck.
Something I’ve got to know he does when he’s nervous. But what could he be nervous about?
“So you came because she wanted to see me? Tell me, did you go to my house as well ?”
” What if I did?”
” So you did.” I concluded. ” You went because you wanted to find me for your sister.” My face dropped.
Don’t get me wrong, am glad that he’s here but not happy with the reason. He came because of Nervisa and if Nervisa hadn’t requested, then he obviously won’t be here. It hurts. What if Nervisa had lost her memory like how it happens in those soapies then I would never see him again.
“Alright, you saw me. Tell her that. Now you can go.” My voice was a little strained and I hate that it was so.
” Don’t tell me that you are busy feeling bad because your silly mind is telling you that I came because of Nervisa.”
” Well what do you want me to think?”
“Well it’s true I came because..”
“That’s it! So what are you denying now..”
” Will you let me land? I came because I wanted to. Don’t you think I can send Nervisa alone here to see you ? But I didn’t and it’s because I wanted to see you as well.”
” Well… thanks” I’m speechless. I cleared my throat.
“Is everything okay between us now? Are we good?” I asked. I want to be sure. I don’t want to look like a complete fool when I start being friendly.
“Yeah, why not? We’re friends now.”
“You’re actually being nice now, let me know if you’re switching to your ‘not nice’ side.” I joked.
” Alright but I can’t promise not to be a jerk sometimes. ”
” Yeah, I know it’s in your gene.”
” Likewise how the word nuisance is in your gene” he moved to sit on my single couch.
” Excuse me, you think am a nuisance?” I frowned. I’m offended. I took bold steps towards him.
“What now?” His eyes go wide on me.
” Are you coming to engage me in some tug of war? Relax madam, I’m not a jerk either but you gladly supported my statement. And now you look like an angry bird” He raised his finger and encircle my face in the air.
” If you’re not a jerk then what are you?”
” I’m just Novan. Just me, don’t give me any mean tittles.”
” Yeah, obnoxious Novan.” I scoffed.
” And you’re the obnoxious queen. ” He remarked and smirked.
He suddenly stood. “So how’s college Mariana? Look at you, all grown and already in college. ” His eyes swept me. ” And you’re looking pretty.”
My mouth fell open at his last statement. Novan thinks am pretty? He has never complimented me before or say nice things to me and now here he is saying I look pretty. He even told me once that am ugly and that I shouldn’t think so high of myself.
I waited for him to take his words back before I say something but he didn’t so I thought of saying something but then, he spoke.
“But you’re still ugly though, like that duckling. You remember? I know you do.”
I expected it so am not surprised. That’s how Novan is. He’ll say something nice then take it back and say the opposite which is sure going to hurt.
“I remember Novan. It’s not news.”
“Thank God you do, I’m just a little disappointed.”
” Because my reaction wasn’t what you expected?”
“No, not all.” He looked down at his boots. I know he’s lying.
” I guess you’ve run out of techniques to taunt me. Research more, prepare and come back. Best of luck.”
He rolls his eyes and I chuckled.
“All the same am glad you’re here. I still can’t believe that you’re here.” I sat beside him and kicked his boot with my feet.
He looked up at me and smiled.
“It feels too good to be true. I can’t believe it ” I added.
“Me too.” He replied giddily and rolled his tongue ring on his lips.
***
THE KISS
{That changed everything ✓}
By KELSAY (M.M.A.)
CHAPTER 38
MARIANA
“Me too.” He replied giddily and rolled his tongue ring on his lips.
We stared into each other’s eyes longingly and I started feeling weird and funny.
“Come here.” He said and I gladly went into his arms, placing my head on his chest. I feel strangely happy around him than I ever did.
“Aww. Look at us acting lovey-dovey.” He said, brushing his hands through my hair.
I giggled and settled more comfortably in to him. I felt as if I was high on something. But I haven’t taken anything too. But I saw Donovan and the happiness is overwhelming that it made my head spin.
“So when will I have the kiss you’ve been denying since?”
I jerked from him and stared at his amused face.
” I thought we settled that score long ago?”
“Nope.”
“Hey, stop lying. I wanted to kiss you but you rather made a fool out of me.”
” Ouch. I really shouldn’t have done that. I regret it. Please would grant me another chance?” He made a sad face.
I held his cheeks. ” Not goner happen. I’m not a fan of second chances.”
“Really?”
“Yes.”
“Okay hug me again.”
“Huh?”
“Come on, do it. It’s not going to take anything from you. We’re friends right?”
” Of course. ” I wonder if normal friends hug frequently like this. Shane and I didn’t even hug when he came.
I hugged him and he mumured. “Mhmmm”
“When will you be leaving?”
“Why? You want me out already?”
“No but I have to prepare for tomorrow. ”
” Don’t you enjoy me being around? ”
” No no. It’s not like that. I just asked.” ”
” Alright but why do you worry about school anyway? ”
” What do you mean? ” I walked into the kitchen and he followed. I’m suddenly feeling hungry.
” You’re worth billions and I’m sure your bank credits alone can feed a nation. Your family is also rich. If I were you I wouldn’t have to go to school. ”
” And am not you Novan. I like to make my own money. I don’t wanna depend on my family riches.”
” Boss Lady. ” He muttered under his breath.
” No it’s not that.” I said and walked to the fridge. ” I do and like to get my own things Novan. I hate to be dependent.”
” You’re a miss independent then.”
” You can say it however you want.” I replied and walked back to the the sitting room. I didn’t get anything to eat there, I’d rather order for some pizza.
“Cause she walk like a boss
Talk like a boss
Manicured nails to set the pedicure off
She’s fly effortlessly
And she move like a boss
Do what a boss do
She got me thinking about getting involved
That’s the kind of girl everyone needs”
I turned around at the person singing. This was the same song I sang for Shane. He changed the last line though.
“Tell me, how terrible was it?” He chuckled.
“It was lovely. I’m ordering for pizza. What will you like?”
” Not gonna take. Already ate something.”
” Oh okay.”
” Which school are you attending Novan?”
” You’ll know soon.”
” Alright.” I didn’t want to push it. Novan and I are really getting along so well.
” Do you mind if I spend the night here? I promise I won’t disturb. I will even wake you up early for school then I’ll drop you.”
” You’ve changed so much Novan. You’re being sweet but why would you stay here?”
” I just want to. Besides I can’t go home now. It’s late and I hate hotels..,”
“Don’t worry, you can stay. ”
” Alright, thanks. ”
I smiled. ” Novan, I hope you ain’t hiding anything from me. I mean you and Shane. Both of you look so much alike and yet you said you don’t know each other. ”
” What are you trying to say now?”
” Nothing. I’ve been wondering. You just sang a song I he played on the piano while I sang along. I just want to know if you’re twins or something. ”
” I think it was a bad idea for me to come here.” He took a step back.
“Hey, am sorry. I didn’t say you should leave. Please don’t get angry.”
“Am not angry Mariana. I thought we’re friends but you don’t even trust me. ”
” It’s not like I don’t trust you Novan. I just want to get things straight. ”
” So what do you want now? ”
” I want you to meet Shane.” I gulped. ” The three of us.”
“What else do you want? We both have met before or you have forgotten? ” He raised his voice.
…. ***
THE KISS
{That changed everything ✓}
By KELSAY (M.M.A.)
CHAPTER 39
MARIANA
“What else do you want? We both have met before or you have forgotten? ” He raised his voice.
” Yeah, you guys met but you didn’t talk. I want us to talk now.. like friends. ”
” And what happens when we’re no longer friends?” He glared at me.
” Wait. What did you just say?” My heart sank.
” I mean if you keep pestering me like this then we longer gonna be friends. In fact, I’m done. It was a ridiculous idea.” He yelled and stormed out.
My eyes got misty.
” What did I say wrong?” I muttered to myself as I stood stupefied in the position I was when he left. I’m so foolish. Everything was going on smoothly and I just ruined it.
The door bell rang so I rushed thinking that it was him. Maybe he changed his mind.
“I misplaced my key that’s why I have to rang the doorbell.” Betsy said and walked in with the pizza.
” I took the pizza on your behalf.” She said again and placed it on the dining table. “Have it already been paid for?”
“Yeah.” I replied.
” What happened? I saw someone drove crazily out of here and seem moody.”
” Novan was here.” I stated and pulled a chair.
” Oh wow. That’s great. I should’ve been here earlier.”
“Yea ” I whispered and locked my fingers on my lap. I can’t stop thinking about the good time we were having before I ruined it. He wanted to stay. It would’ve been more fun.
” You don’t look happy. What did he do?” Betsy asked in concern.
” Nothing. He did nothing. I was the one who infuriated him and he left angrily.”
” What actually happened?”
I started narrating everything to her.
” What you asked is not something bad that should make him angry. I don’t see anything wrong. It was just a simple request you made.”
” Are you sure? Maybe I shouldn’t have asked then he wouldn’t have flared.”
” Stop feeling bad Mariana.”
” What should I do? I threw him out even though he told me that he hates hotels. I wonder where he’s going to stay now.” I quickly picked my phone and checked through my contacts.
I threw the phone somewhere when I realized that I don’t have his number anymore.
“Who says he doesn’t have a place to stay?” She said as she unwrapped the pizza. ” Can I eat it?”
I nodded. ” I ordered it from our favorite place. It’s home cooked and your favorite. Made with Meat, chicken, mushrooms and octopus.”
” Wow, did you order it specially for me?”
” No but I had you in mind.”
” Thanks, I love you so much.” She took a bite.
” So now tell me, what did you mean by ‘who says he doesn’t have a place to stay?’ ” i repeated her lines.
She looked up at me, ” thought you forgot about that.”
“No. I didn’t. ”
” What I meant was that, he probably has friends around to spend the night with.”
” I don’t think he had friends here . The only friend was me.”
“Oh wow, I told you to try and know him and I can see you’ve done a great job so far ” she rolled her eyes.
” Is there something you know about him that I don’t know?” I looked at her in all seriousness. I was trying not to start suspecting her.
” He’s your friend. You’re suppose to know him more than I so why ask me that? And stop looking at me like that.” She got up and came back with two glass of juice.
” You speak as if you know him better than I . That’s why I asked.”
” Well, I don’t really know much like you think. But you should be careful. I’m well aware that he’s hideous and a little secretive. He’s also strange to me and to be frank, I don’t really like him to be around you. You guys are poles apart”
” What are you saying now Betsy? We’ve known Novan since high school.”
” I’m not refuting that. ” she replied.
” You never told me that you don’t like him.” I said.
” Point of correction! We both didn’t like him and that was why you guys always fought. I don’t quite know what has gone into you that has caused you to change towards him. He’s still that annoying prick!” She yelled.
” He’s not a prick Betsy. Mind how you speak about him. I won’t tolerate it.” I yelled back.
” Really? Are you gonna fight me because of him?”
” No. That’s not what am doing. I just want you to understand that Novan has changed. He’s not like that anymore.”
” That’s what you think.” She chuckled. “Who knows, he’s just around to plan a befitting comeback.”
” Stop saying these things Betsy.”
” Alright, but does he look geniune to you? Answer me my dear friend.”
” I’m not sure of the point you’re trying to make here Betsy? I think you’re doubting him for no reason.”
” Is that so? Do you even know that he’s a student in…” She paused.
” Continue what you were saying Betsy.” I’m eager to hear her finish it.
“What’s the use? It’s not like you’ll believe me anyway. You’re still swimming in the spell he has casted on you. I’d just look like a villain if i say something.”
” You’re not being fair if it happens that you’re really hiding something too.”
She scoffed. She had long stopped eating and I also lost appetite when Novan left.
” You’re smart Mariana! Please don’t be fooled. Novan or Shane can’t be trusted.” With that she also stormed out.
I turned to go after her but my phone started ringing.
I looked around and saw it lying facedown beside my couch.
I locked my door before going to take it then straight to the bedroom. I sat on my bed and stared at my badly cracked screen.
I missed a call from Marion so I dialed his number. I’m sure he’s already got home.
“Hello Marion.”
“Hope I didn’t disturb your sleep, I just arrived.”
“Alright. Thank God you arrived. You should freshen up and get some rest. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
” Okay Goodnight.” He said.
” Goodnight.” I hanged up.
I decided to call Shane but he’s line was unreachable. He hasn’t called me since we parted yesterday.
I went to my gallery and saw the pictures Shane and I took. He must’ve sent it through WhatsApp. He only sent three. I went to Whatsapp and typed “Thanks”
It marked only one.
I kept thinking of the little argument Betsy and I had until I fell asleep.
My alarm woke me up the next day and I rushed to the kitchen to prepare some breakfast.
After eating, I packed the rest for Betsy. She couldn’t finish the pizza yesterday and I’m sure she’s probably starving now.
She normally comes before I make breakfast and we eat it together before leaving for school. But today was different. She didn’t come. Am sure she’s still mad at me.
I took a quick bath and wore one of my favorite outfits I haven’t worn before.
After a final look in the mirror, I got out with my bag and Betsy’s breakfast.
My hostel was like an apartment so I don’t have to deal with any nosy students.
.
I dropped my things at the back seat before climbing behind the wheel. I drove to Betsy’s hostel first but she wasn’t there. It looks like she left home early.
I began to call her as I drive to campus but she wasn’t picking my call.
I drove to places on the campus where I thought I’d find her but didn’t. I checked my time and there was one hour left before my first lecture.
There was only one place left I haven’t checked and I doubt if she’d be there but I also have to try first.
I drove to the eatery located on the outskirts of the campus where many students go to eat.
I got down and without taking my bag except my phone, I walked to the entrance. The man at the door smiled at me. I feel slightly awkward being here.
I’ve never been here before because I didn’t have to and now, the search for my stubborn friend landed me here.
After this I’d have to convince her to come stay with me. I want to see her after we fight not look for her like this.
I felt relieved when I spotted her with some group of people. The eatery was already parked with students.
Heads turn in my direction when I got in. I felt very uncomfortable. This is one of the reasons why i hate to be out. Everyone just keep looking at me and whispering.
“Everyone look who’s here.” Someone shouted from the middle. I licked my dry lips and tried to comport myself.
“Oh wow, it’s really her! Miss Billionaire ”
“Everyone look. It’s Mariana.”
Oh my God. What’s this?
” She’s so pretty.”
” We’ve heard that she comes to ANU but I never saw her!”
That was my mistake. Most people haven’t seen me before and my presence here was the least they expected. They sure are going react.
“Please can we take a selfie?” A student asked, bringing her phone out.
I nodded and once she took a shot i tried to leave but I couldn’t. There was so many people surrounding me, taking pictures in all directions. I got suffocated. I never had to deal with a crowd like this.
One of the reasons why I always stay indoors.
“Okay so what’s happening here now? Have y’all seen God!” A voice boomed and everywhere became a little quiet.
As usual, the voice was familiar but i would be tagged crazy if i were to voice who i think owns that voice.
I escaped from the crowd and walked closer to Betsy’s table which was very far from the crowd. Where they sat was isolated and her back was facing me. I’m not sure if she knows that I’m the one responsible for the commotion.
I tapped her shoulders lightly when I got to her. She wasn’t sitting alone but with her new friends.
“Hey Mariana. What are you doing here?” She got up and hugged me. The rest looked at me in surprise. I recognized them from the party on Friday.
“Stop acting as if you don’t know why am here. I came because of you. How dare you do this to me? You haven’t even taken anything yet.” I said quietly.
” Since you’re here why not sit.” She pointed to the only a empty chair.
“Hi Mariana.” Ronnie said. I remember my encounter with him at the party.
“Hi.” I moved to the empty seat and they all eyed the seat.
“Are you really gonna sit on that?” Nina pointed to the chair.
What’s the big deal in sitting on this chair anyway? And I didn’t come here to sit.
“Let’s go Betsy.” I gave up on sitting.
“Betsy isn’t going anywhere. She’s part of us.” Nina scowled at me.
What’s her problem? She didn’t like me when I was pretending to be Ria and now. Does she not like anyone outside her team?
The duo who didn’t bother to look at me at the party had their eyes locked on me now. They were wearing matching outfits and if not for the difference in their facial features, I would’ve said they’re twins.
The one with the short hair whose name I’ve forgotten waved me when my eyes met hers. I smiled at her.
“Chill Nina. Meet my friends Mariana.”
I almost said ” I know”
” Guys, hope you all know her right? She’s Mariana Del Dominguez.” She added.
Nina rolled her eyes and the rest just nodded.
Curious to know what will happen if I sit on the chair, I pulled it closer to Betsy’s chair. Before I could sit, someone pulled it back to its previous position and sat without looking at me.
I looked at Betsy and the rest then back to the person who just took the chair. He also looked up and our eyes met. He was surprised and so was I . Novan.
I looked at Betsy. She shook her head slowly from side to side as if to say ‘ is not what you think.’
“Mariana? What are you doing here?” He whispered.
Novan is here? But why? Does that mean he’s been around all this while? And if he’s with this group, then i guess he’s the guy i saw at the party who was dressed in a hoodie.
The question is why would Novan lie to me?
Instead of grabbing Betsy’s hand then walk out of here like I planned, I took Novan’s hand instead. He got up and followed me reluctantly.
“And what do you think you’re doing now Mariana?” He said once we were outside.
” We need to talk.”
“You sure don’t wanna talk here.” He said and motioned to our surrounding.
Why does he care if i make a scene here?
“I don’t give a shit Novan! Just tell me why you have to lie to me.” I yelled more than i wanted to.
His eyes stared daggers at me before he answered coolly. “I never lied to you.”
I hate that he’s acting so cool as if everything was not a big deal.
***…***

THE KISS
{That changed everything ✓}
By KELSAY (M.M.A.)
CHAPTER 40
MARIANA
“I don’t give a shit Novan! Just tell me why you have to lie to me.” I yelled more than i wanted to.
His eyes stared daggers at me before he answered coolly. “I never lied to you.”
I hate that he’s acting so cool as if everything was not a big deal.
“And please do not create unnecessary scene.” He whispered and looked around again before stepping close to me. “You should go to class. We’ll talk when you’re back.”
” No! We need to talk now!” I glowered at him.
“Stop being difficult. I promise to talk to you.” His hazel eyes dimmed in seriousness.” I promise.”
“You sure?”
“Yeah.” He nodded and his lips twitched to form an infectious smile.
It melted my anger a bit.
“Wait.” I said when he was leaving. I walked to my car and got Betsy’s breakfast out.
“Give it to Betsy for me.”
“What? Who?”
“Betsy. That was what I said.”
“No. I’m not doing that.” The expression on his face was inexplicable.
” Why? Why won’t you?”
” Because I don’t want to.” He stated flatly.
” What’s it? You got a problem with her or you guys are fighting?”
” None of the above.”
” Then?”
” You give it.” He stretched his hand.
” You’re strange.” I muttered under my breath as I gave it to him.
“What is this?” He chuckled. “Are you some chef of hers now?” He looked at the parcel in amusement. “Who would’ve thought.”
“Just go.” I nudge him.
“Yeah I’m going.” He turned and disappeared into the eatery.
I forced the smile that was threatening to form on my lips away and got into my car.
I couldn’t hold it back.
I smiled and it baffled me; am actually smiling for no coherent reason.
I should be mad at him. Letting him go now is just like giving him an opportunity to plan what he’ll say when we meet. Probably a lie. Novan can’t be trusted. Betsy was actually right.
I feel like taking a U-turn back to the eatery.
But I don’t wanna miss my class. School is very important to me. It comes first then everything comes later.
I went home and changed my outfit before driving back to campus.
I stepped down from my car with my bag then put my black shade on.
I was a minute late. I hope the lecture hall is not already crowded. Normally, I always arrive before any student comes and that always earn me the front row. Not that alone, it avoids unnecessary attention from students.
In that way, none of them realizes that I’m in the same room with them except those who sits next to me. At the end of the day, I have to bribe them with a picture or an autograph.
I hope today won’t be different.
There was a few students already seated when I got in. I thanked my stars when none of them looked up to see who walked in.
My head was down until I got to my usual seat at the front row but someone was already sitting on it.
A brunette.
I sat on the next available seat next to her . Once I sat,they both turned to look but didn’t say anything.
My long wavy chestnut hair covered half my face. Covering almost my entire face of which am glad. Otherwise they would’ve seen me.
So on my right was a lady and on my left was a guy. He was having a cap on so I couldn’t see his face, the girl’s face was buried in a book so I didn’t see hers either. I wonder if they saw me but pretended.
The teacher was not in so I brought my note out and looked through. Not minding those who I sat next to. Just to avoid unnecessary drama.
“It seems you were never thought how to greet miss.” The lady said in a monotonous voice.
I stared straight ahead. “I’m sorry.”
“Is that all.”
“Good morning.” I said.
“Huh? You got to be kidding me right?”
I can feel her gaze on me.
” What were you expecting?” I asked, still determined not told look at her.
“I actually wasn’t expecting you to be calm after what I said.”
She was testing my temper then.
” Sorry for disappointing you.”
” Alright so tell me, who are you? I’m Lena.”
” I’m Del.”
” Nice name but would you please look at me?” She plead.
” Why would she? You might get jealous if she does.” The guy said and snorted.
” What exactly do you mean Dylan?” She raised he voice. I wish to see her face. Nevertheless, I’m also curious to know why Dylan said that.
“I mean she’s pretty. Knowing you, you might get jealous once you see her face.”
I was forced to look at him.
” Oh wow. Guess today is my lucky day.” He took his cap off and shake his brown curly hair. His golden gray eyes were locked on me as a wonderful smile crept onto his plump lips.
“Guess who is with us Lena.”
“Who?” Lenna asked eagerly, moving in her seat.
I shook my head. Telling him not to through my eyes.
“Who is it Dylan?” Lenna shouted curiously attracting the attention of those at our back.
“Well..” he began to say but the lecturer walked in.
The hall was now full and noisy but after the professor spoke, everywhere became quiet.
“Alright class, last week we discussed William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Which proved to be an interesting book. Before we begin our next book which I believe you’ve already read, I’ll like that we refresh our mind on what we discussed last week.” Professor Dean said.
His eyes met mine with a smile and I smiled back in acknowledgement.
I’ve read Romeo and Juliet like 20 times such that I have the whole plot in my mind. I could write the whole book without missing a scene. Despite that, I don’t answer any of the questions even though I wish too.
I wish I was a normal students from a normal family then I wouldn’t be hesitant to answer questions in my favorite class.
“Okay Evan.” Professor Dean said.
I didn’t look back but waited for whoever that was being called to answer.
“Sir, we all know that Mariana Dominguez comes to class everyday but we never saw her but we know you do so please will you kindly call her out?”
My heart drummed. I wasn’t expecting that.
I looked down and brushed my hands through my hair to straighten it.
“That’s not necessary and besides what you’re asking does not revolve around what we’re discussing.”
” You’ll have to answer us professor Dean.” The Evan boy was persistent.
” Okay fine. I know she’s in this class but I haven’t seen her yet. I will let her introduce herself on our next meeting.” Dean said. It looked like the only he has.
” That will be on Wednesday. We’ll be expecting.” Someone said.
” Alright, can the class go on now?”
“Yesss!” They chorused. This shows that almost my entire course mates wants to see me.
“And you’re in trouble now.” Dylan whispered
” Looks like that.” I replied and he smiled adorably showing his dimpled cheeks. He’s indeed adorable.
Class went on and anytime they ask a question, he’ll look at me. The first time he did, i raised an eyebrow at him and he shrugged, indicating that he has no idea.
I smiled and passed the answer to him which I’d written down. When he received it, he smiled more widely and gave me a thumb up. I chuckled and thought he’s sweet.
I think I like him.
“Okay, I must say your answers have been quite impressive. Now let’s proceed to Jane Austen’s EMMA.”
I grinned widely and brought my notes out. I love the novel so much and it’s one of my favorite from Jane apart from pride and prejudice.
“I guess you’re Emma and you’re going to fall in love with someone like Mr Knightley. Someone very below your standards.” Dylan whispered teasingly.
” It won’t be a problem once there’s love. Love defies all odds.” I answered with a smile.
” But Emma failed to notice that because of her high ego. Who does she think she is to matchmake for people anyway?” He argued.
I love that he love book just like me. We can banter about characters all day.
” But in the end she finally realized her love for poor Knightley hence breaking that social boundary and it changed Emma’s mindset.” I replied while staring at him.
” That’s how foolish she is.” He rolled his eyes and looked front.
I glared at him. ” I think she’s intelligent, smart, sophisticated and high-spirited. She’s my favorite character. I like her.”
” Sure you would .” He chuckled.
When I also looked forward, I saw the Professor staring at us and the hall was quiet.
“Okay class, there you have it. One thing that happens when you read good books. Now let’s move on to our first question.”
It’s seems they didn’t recognize my voice.
Lenna tapped me on the shoulder.
“Want to tell me something?” I asked.
“Just look at me. You sound and look like Mariana. You even have a bracelet on with the name inscribed on it.”
Has she been studying me all this time?
I moved my hand from under my chin and stared at the bracelet. I’ve been putting it on since i was a kid. Mum has one too.
“But you’re already looking at me.” I replied.
“How can I? Your hair is hiding your face.”
I wanted to say something but professor Dean asked his next question.
“Why does Mr. Knightley believe that a friendship between Harriet and Emma is bad for both of them?”
The room went quite before someone raised a hand. It was Lenna.
” I think Mr. Knightley has known Emma since she was a child. He is like a big brother to Emma and looks out for her interests. He is concerned that Harriet is not a fit companion for Emma because Harriet is neither her intellectual nor social equal. Mr. Knightley also believes that Harriet may be harmed by the friendship. He is concerned that Emma will give Harriet a false sense of superiority, which will cause Harriet to have trouble associating with members of her own class.” Lenna answered, staring at me all through.
Anytime I read this novel, i always try not to picture myself as Emma and Harriet as Betsy.
And Lenna’s answer was right.
“Excellent! Okay. That’s all for today. See you next.” The professor said and left.
The hall became noisy with the screeching sound of chairs and students chattering.
I removed my shade from my bag to wear but before that, it was snatched from my hand from my left. Only Lenna can do that. She just want me to look at her.
I sighed and turned to look at her finally.
Her eyes widened and she began to squeal. “Oh mi God!
I thought of ways to shut her up but none came. I was glad when Dylan stepped in and managed to calm her down.
“I finally met you. Oh my God am so happy. Tell me, will you be my friend?” She said almost out of breath.
” I’m available.” I stated and took my glasses from her.
“Then can we exchange numbers? I promise I won’t disturb too much.”
I nodded and we exchanged numbers. She didn’t believe it until she called and it rang in my bag.
She ran out excitedly and didn’t mind when Dylan called her back. I hope she isn’t going to spread my number to all the students.
“You just made her rich.” Dylan laughed. “She’s quite blessed with high entrepreneur skills.”
” What?”
***…***
What Dylan said takes me back to when Aria and Betsy tried to make money out of Megan.
Remember?
I Hope Lena is not going to do same thing.? Find out in the next EPISODES BY 馃憠 CLICKING HERE 

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