✍️✍️✍️✍️ The Kiss 💋💋💋💋 18+ Episode 101 -110 ✍️✍️✍️✍️

{Loving him with all his flaws.}
“No problem.” I smiled though I was feeling uncomfortable with this man whom I’ve heard to have done horrible things sitting beside me.
I paused sipping my juice and played with the straw as I waited for him to talk.
“If I may ask, did you perhaps tell your parents about me or my relationship with my son to them?”
“No? Why do you ask?”
“Nothing. So you don’t know anything?”
“Anything as in what? What am i supposed to know?” I faced him. He’s behaving weird and creepy. I didn’t expect this.
“Forget about it. I just wanted to know if my son told you what i did to them.”
I sighed. “He did.”
” Okay, I’ll just go straight to the point. I’ve noticed that my son is quite fond of you and I know he must’ve told you who I am and the mistakes I committed. I won’t defend myself because whatever he must’ve said to you is right. I just want my son back.”
I look up at him swiftly before focusing my gaze on the juice. He was neatly dressed in a three-piece expensive suit. I wonder how Novan will look in a suit one-day.
“I’m truly sorry for what I did to them including her mum and I’ve changed. I’m really not the same father he knew ten years ago. I’m really trying to make up for all the wrongs but he wouldn’t listen. I don’t know how to apologize to him anymore. I really tried to make peace. I know the past can’t be forgotten and it’s only his forgiveness I want. He keeps fighting me each time he sees me and I don’t know what to do anymore.” He sighed sadly and breathed into his palms.
I was a little touched and had to look at him again.
I wonder why he’s telling me this and what he wants me to do. I’ve decided not to call Novan first so I hope he’s not trying to say I should talk to him on his behalf.
“I came to you because I know only you can save this matter. He has a soft spot for you and you’re literally the only one he loves in this world apart from Nervisa. If you talk to him he might listen. It’s not going to be easy because he’s stubborn but you can try. I know I shouldn’t be doing this and I’ve probably asked too much of you but you’re my only hope of getting back together with my children. I have no other choice. Please put this in thought.”
I sighed and began to talk without a second thought.
“Mr. Anderson..”
He cuts me off by placing his hand over mine. I flinched before relaxing.
“I didn’t expect you to give me an answer now. Please think about this. I’m not rushing you.” He lifted his hands off of me.
As much as he needs his son’s forgiveness, Novan also need it. It is only after he has forgiven his parents that he’d be free and the burden will be lifted off his chest. It’s never good to bear grudges and though I don’t know how this is gonna be like, I’d like him to bury the hatchet.
“You hurt him,” I whispered.
“I know and I regret it very much.”
“You abused his mum in front of him. You abandoned them. He felt rejected. He suffered it for ten good years. Where were you when he was struggling with a toddler?”
“I provided their basic needs. I made sure they didn’t lack but..”
“He didn’t accept them” I finished for him and he nodded slowly.
“That was where you mistaken Mr. Anderson. Your son needed you in person. He wanted someone to lean on, someone to support him. He just wanted you to be there and you thought it was nice to keep throwing money at him like you’re at some damn party?! You treated them like a charity case instead of your children, Mr. Anderson.”
“I was heartbroken. I didn’t know what to do. I thought money would help. I thought it could provide everything. I’m really sorry. I was young and acted irrationally. I really regret this.” He sounded remorseful.
“Did you finally unite with your lover?” I asked and twirl the straw in the juice before cocking a brow.
“You heard me.”
He sighed and his hazel eyes stared at me intently.
“The same lover you abused your wife for and made her life a living hell. Did you finally find her?” I asked in all seriousness.
“No.” He stated simply.
“Why? What happened?”
“She got married. I couldn’t take it so I transferred my anger to the woman I later married. She liked me but I didn’t. I just needed to marry someone. I couldn’t get over the fact that the woman I loved got married to someone else and they had children. She never loved me, she hated me instead. I was devastated and turned to someone I don’t recognize myself to be. I got obsessed with her and did things I wasn’t supposed to. I was wrong. I shouldn’t have made Tricia pay for my rejection. I’m happy she finally got someone she loves after what I put her through.”
Damn them. She left her children to stay with someone far away. She left her children without looking back. She’s the worst mother of all. They’re all fucked up. Novan is the way he is because of them.
” Where have you been all this time? Where were you?”
“I was in America. I left Australia when the woman I’ve always loved returned with her husband. I couldn’t stand it.”
“So what brought you here? What made you realize that you wronged your children? Since when did you start to voice your ‘please forgive me.’ campaign?” I cocked a brow and he stared at me for a moment.
” I’ve been begging him for three years now. I realized my mistakes and I’m trying to be a better person. I’m no longer young and someone also needs to take care of the business so I want Everett to take over.”
“Everett? Who’s that?”
“What? Don’t you know?”
I shook my head.
“What name do you know for my son?”
He chuckled.
“He hates me so much that he changed his name. I didn’t name him Donovan. Donovan was a name I hated because I have a bad history attached to it. He took it on purpose just to show how much he despises me but I’ve moved past that. His real name is Everett Alec Anderson.”
“Excuse me to say this but I think you deserve all this. You were cruel and unfair.”
I know. “I just want to make peace. I don’t want him to fight me again. It’s only you that can help. I have my hope buried in you Mariana, please help.” He pleaded.
I puffed a breath and looked around the restaurant.
” I’d try. You already know how difficult your son is so you have to be patient as well. You really hurt him deeply. It will take time for him to heal.” I just hope I am doing the right thing.
.” Thank you so much, dear. This means a lot to me than you’d imagine.”
“It’s okay but you have to prove how sorry you really are to him in every way.” Novan still needs his dad and mum but he’s too hurt to accept that fact.
“I will. This means a lot to me.” He smiled for the first time.
He’s handsome and will be of the same age as my dad.
I still don’t know if he’s genuine or not. I hope he is.
I nodded with a smile.
“Thank you. I really don’t deserve this. I will take my leave and if you don’t mind, this is my card.” He stretched it to me.
“Please have it and call me if anything. Actually, his birthday is on Friday. I don’t know what plans you have but I wish to do something small for him. He’d reject it just like always but you’re here.”
Wow. I didn’t know Novan’s birthday is on Friday.
I took the card from him and placed it inside my bag. “I will contact you,” I said and he left.
He wasn’t as bad as I thought.
I got to know a few things about my boyfriend by talking to him and am also grateful.
I took my bag and left afterward. When I got home, I grabbed the teddy and hugged it to myself.
I took my shoes off and got into bed with it. I do miss him and I want to talk to Nervisa. I wish I had her number.
I sighed and closed my eyes.
A knock on the door got me up.
“Honey, are you in there?”
It’s mum.
“Yes, mum. Taking a nap.”
“Okay. Sorry.”
I didn’t hear more from her so I went back to sleep.
I woke up at ten and everyone was fast asleep. I was also hungry.
I was surprised to see Betsy snoring beside me. When did she arrive?
I got downstairs and walked to the kitchen. What could I possibly eat at this time of the night?
I decided to prepare cereal. After taking it I took the stairs upstairs and changed into my nightgowns.
I checked my phone but still, no missed calls from him. I slide my glass door and stepped on to the balcony.
Resting my arms on the railings, I stared into the starry sky. I should start work. I’m tired of being in the house and doing nothing. I’d resume school soon so I think I should use this time to help my parents. I can go to the office with mum tomorrow or dad. Both will do.
Novan still hasn’t called. I hope he’s fine. I hate that he always ignores me when he’s angry.
I walked back inside and lied beside Betsy.
The next day Betsy was with me so I didn’t feel bored. We did a lot of things and even shopped. Again I got something for Novan. I hope he likes this one genuinely. I made a mistake by giving him a chain earlier.
The rest of the day went by and mum announced my trip with her to Greece and told me to get ready. I was no longer interested in traveling with her though I didn’t say it.
I miss Novan and am losing each day that passes yet I don’t want to call him.
The following day my parents went out all day and when they arrived, they came to my room.
“You guys need something?”
“No dear. We came to talk.”
“It’s about your boyfriend.”
My heart skipped. “What about him? Did something happen to him?”
“Calm down. Nothing happened to him. We just want to tell you something relating to him.”
“Okay.” I sat on the bed while they too the couch inside my room.
“You said you know his dad?” My mum asked.
“Yeah. I know him.” I answered, looking at their worried faces.
“I told you about your granny Florencia didn’t I ?”
“You did. What is the problem? Why are we talking about it?”
“The problem is that her accomplice was Jude Anderson. They both planned together to hurt and kill your mother. The plane crash was not a coincidence, it was the handiwork of Jude..”
“Wait. What are you guys trying to say? You never told me this before so why now?”
“We didn’t feel the need to but somehow you got involved with his son. What if he tries something again? That’s why we needed to tell you ”
So this is it.
Novan and I aren’t talking and now there’s an obstacle.
“Is that the reason why you disliked him?” I directed the question to mum.
“No. I just didn’t like how he looked and that was before I even got to know his roots.”
“So what are you trying to tell me now? What do you want me to do?”
As far as I am concerned, I know all that is in the past. If Jude would do something he would’ve done it a long time. I just got to know he tried to kill my mum and my entire family. I suffered for ten years because of him. I never knew he went as far as that.
“That man is not a good human being Mariana. He won’t hesitate to use you to get to us. He still has that hatred burning inside him for us so please we want you to stay away from him. We love you so much and we can’t bear to see something happening to you again. We’ve had enough.”
“What if he’s changed? What if he’s not the same wicked man you knew before?”
“He’s Jude. He can’t ever change.”
“Why so sure? People change. Even Florencia changed.” After my encounter with Jude at the restaurant, a part of me believes that he has changed.
“It’s impossible for him to.” Dad muttered.
“Why do you say so?”
“He’s someone who doesn’t want me to be happy. He doesn’t want to see my family together and that was why he separated your dad and I. When we came back together after five years of being separated, he caused our plane crush and we separated for another ten years. I can’t take any more tragedy, Mariana.”
I went silent. That man is really badder than I imagined. Not only did he hurt his family but he also tried to destroy mine. He wanted us dead. He’s a monster. He knew what he did to me but turned around as if nothing happened then came to seek my help. What kind of a human is he? Why would he try to harm my family this way? Now I get why he asked if I don’t know anything.
He’s lucky that I didn’t know this earlier.
“Why did he do all this to us mum? What were his reasons?” I can’t ignore my own suffering as a result of his wickedness.
“He wanted me,” Mum said and facepalms.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
“He wanted me,” Mum said and facepalms.
“Wanted you?” I repeated.
“Yes, dear. He was Amy’s boyfriend but that was only to get close to me. He later tried to force himself on me and that led to their break-up. He revealed that it was me that he liked and not Amy so he just used her.”
Oh no!
I hope it’s not what I am thinking?
“So..so..what happened again?” I shifted on the edge of the bed.
“That was it, Mariana. Since he couldn’t have me, he made it his life mission to ruin me. Pablo’s mum was not so fond of me at that time, so they connived and plotted. I really suffered, honey”
Could it be that mum is the woman he told me he was in love with but didn’t get it back? Is mum the same woman that made him maltreat his wife and family?
No. It can’t be my mum.
“What again? Is there something else? Did you hear from him again?”
“When we returned back to Australia, I heard he traveled out and now he came back. He has been in Australia for three years now.” Dad answered
He said he’s been begging Novan for three years now. This all makes sense. I wish I asked him who the woman was but this is all clear.
Mum is that woman he claimed he loved.
“So you know he’s my boyfriend’s dad?
“Yes.” They chorused.
“Thanks for telling me all this but what do I do with it?”
“You need to stay away from that man and his family Mariana,” Dad Said sternly.
“My boyfriend is inclusive?”
“Everything related to him.”
“What! What do you guys mean? How can I stay away from him? I love him.”
“We can’t endanger you, princess. As your parents, it’s our duty to keep you safe. Stay away from that boy and it’s final!”
I stared at dad unbelievably. Where’s this coming from?
On the other hand, I am not even talking to Novan and now something major is in the midst to separate us.
I thought this only happens in movies. The point where your parents will forbid you from dating their enemy’s son.
“How can I stay away so easily? I love him too much. You guys shouldn’t do this to me. I’d be careful. I will stay as far as possible from Jude but not his son. It’s impossible.”
“It’s possible dear. You just have to try. You can’t be with him.” Mum added.
“This is not fair. Why would you try to loop me in your mess? In your past? I wasn’t even born then and so was Novan. You guys should leave us out of this. We know nothing about this.” I cried.
Novan already has a terrible attitude and I am trying to reform him so that he’d win my parent’s hearts. That was the only problem so far and now there’s something major, bigger than that. What to do?
My mum must be relieved now because he has something solid against my boyfriend. She doesn’t like him one bit. If I am not mistaken, she’s probably jubilating in his head that my dad is on her side now.
“Dad, you’re understanding. Please listen to me.” I crawled to him and settled between his legs.
“Just like you can’t live without mum, I also can’t. I’m so much into him. Dad, I’d be careful. I will stay far away from that man I promise. I even dislike him more now. But please, I can’t stay away from him. I love him that much. You can protect me. You can make macho men guard me all the time. You can do that to ensure my safety. It doesn’t necessarily mean I have to stay away from the love of my life. Please, dad.” I buried my face into his lap and wept.
I’m so scared.
Novan has his bad side but he makes me happy. Very happy.
“Come on princess. You’re a strong girl. You can do it. We ain’t going back on our word. That boy is not even worth your sacrifice if not I would’ve allowed you guys to be but he’s not someone I could trust you with. He hasn’t done anything to prove that so far. I really wanted to give him a chance. I didn’t have a problem with his looks either though it was disturbing but after this and knowing what that man can do, I can’t risk your life. We care about you princess, please don’t take it the wrong way. Stay away from him. It’s barely two months since you started dating. You won’t lose anything. Please, dear.”
I got up and wiped my face.
They’re both crazy.
Even Jude didn’t try to separate his son from me so why my parents. I’m already having personal problems with Novan and now this.
“I’ve always obeyed you guys and did as you tell me but this, I can’t. I won’t stay away from him and that is final. Now out! GET THE FUCK OUTTA MY ROOM NOW!” I yelled and they seemed shocked. They have to.
I can’t believe my dad. I thought he’d support me and knock sense into my paranoid mum but he’s supporting her instead.
I cut her off by raising my forefinger.
“Not another word. I’ve heard enough nonsense. Just get out of here.”
“We’d leave but please give this a critical thought. You know we love you.” Dad said and tried to touch me and though I needed it, I stepped back. I just want them to see how much their decision has hurt me.
Once they left, I closed my door and slumped onto my bed then began to think about everything.
Novan’s dad is really a monster. I never thought he was the one behind my suffering all along. His stupid ways deprived me of enjoying my parent’s love right from the onset. I was five years when I saw my dad for the first time. I thought that was it but after a year or two, we got into an accident. I stayed far from them for ten years and battled with memory loss. Aria almost took my place if not I wouldn’t be here. That man tried to rape my mum. He tried to kill her. As if that was not enough, he hurt his own family so much. Novan could be a nice sweet boy called Everett. He’s really not a nice man and I regret talking to him the other day. I wish I haven’t offered to help him because he doesn’t deserve it. After what he did to me he still came to ask me for help. What is his problem? What does he stand to gain?
I understand my parent’s fears, anybody in their position will act like them but the past is past.
This is my life now and I know nothing about their past beef.
I think they should let us be. I promise to be careful but leaving Novan is not an option. He was never an option for me, he’s my priority.
The past can’t be changed and I am sorry my parents have to suffer because of Jude. I can’t tell if he has another plan up his sleeves but I want to believe he doesn’t.
The bottom line is that I can’t leave Novan because of what his father did or who he is.
I picked my phone to call Novan at last but before I could dial his number, his call came in.
“Dollface.” He called once I picked. I missed his voice.
“Novan,” I whispered.
“So you didn’t want to call me? You got mad or what? You scolded me, Mariana. I expected you to come to me, to comfort me or even scold me more but you didn’t bother. You didn’t even give me a call.” He complained.
“Were you waiting for my call?”
“I was but I couldn’t take it anymore so I called. I miss you badly.”
I sighed. “Why do you always want me to call first? You were in the wrong Novan, but you chose to ignore me instead. What am I to do?”
“I’m sorry okay? You know me. No one has ever scolded me before in my entire life and I felt bad. I didn’t know how to deal with it.”
“I’m sorry too but you know the right thing must always be done,” I answered softly.
” I thought you’d call me or come to see me but you didn’t. I kept sulking all day and I couldn’t take it anymore.”
“I love you Novan.” I blurted and tears pulled into my eyes. Why can’t I have a smooth relationship with him? He came with his own problem and now his father’s action is going to affect us.
“Hey, what’s wrong? Are you okay? Did someone say something to you?”
“No. I just miss you.”
“I’m really sorry okay? I’m even coming right now.”
“No don’t. It’s late. I will come see you tomorrow instead.”
“You sure?”
“I love you a lot Riana.”
Thur 30th Dec. 10 :46am.
I stared at my phone screen. Tomorrow will be Novan’s birthday.
I actually woke up late and the bathroom was where I went first. I prepared a foamy bath then when it was ready I got in.
I spend more time in the bathroom than I usually do. I washed my hair and made sure to shave my legs.
I decided to go with a white hoodie crop, black trousers, and white sneakers. I held my hair in a pony and applied a little foundation and just a mascara then lipgloss.
I got my bag and stormed out of the room.
I was surprised to see my mum downstairs alone. Did she not go to work?
“Good morning mum.”
“Good morning. You didn’t come down for breakfast. Are you okay?”
“I am. Just going out.”
Since when did she start to inquire about where I am going?
“I’m going to see Novan,” I answered.
“You’re going nowhere, Mariana. We told you something yesterday didn’t we?”
“Yes, you did but did I agree? No right?”
“Still. You’re going nowhere. You won’t meet him again don’t you get it?”
“I’m eighteen mum! You guys shouldn’t oppress me if you don’t want the consequences.”
“Is that a threat? How can you threaten your own parents?”
“It’s not a threat. I am only informing you about what will happen if you guys are bent on making me stay away from my boyfriend. I’m older enough to make my own decisions don’t you get it?”
I know my daughter is right and we can’t force this on her but what are we to do?
“I don’t want you with him, Mariana!” I warned fiercely.
“But why mum?”
“Because he’s the son of our enemy from the past. We told you that.”
“What! Are you for real, mum? How can you involve me in your past life? I told you not to. I wasn’t even born when it all began! No mom, I will say this for the last time, leave us out of it especially if you don’t want what happened to you and Dad to occur again!” She said angrily and walked out.
“Come back here, Mariana. How dare you walk out on me?” I shouted but she was already gone.
This is really going to be difficult than I thought.
I paced about the living room in worry. Pablo has to handle this before things get out of hand.
“Hi, mum.” Marion greeted and removed his backpack. He just arrived from his swimming lessons.
“You know what mum?”
“What is it?” I almost snapped.
“A girl told me that I was cute today during the swimming lessons.” He said happily.
My eyes narrowed on him.
“And what’s so special about that? I’ve said that so many times to you before haven’t I ?”
“Yes, you’ve told me countless times but yours doesn’t give me the sparks and get butterflies to erupt in my stomach. So that makes it more special!” He grinned at me.
My jaw was almost dropping to the floor.
“What?” I blink so many times unable to believe my ears.
“What’s happening to my children? On the other hand, is Mariana and now this little boy too?”
What does he know?
And who the hell is that girl who thought it was nice to mess with my son’s head?
It’s Sunday.
I wanted to drop something so I woke up early.
By the way, I am getting better. Thanks to all who asked of me.
By now you know Novan is not your usual sweetheart male leads in novels. He has a lot of flaws. I like him that way. Not all Male leads have to be charming and down to earth. It’s more realistic that way.
A lot of people hate him for who he is and that’s good. A few love him despite his behavior and those people can pass for Mariana.
Not all ladies will like a man like him but some do. Personally, I like him. I know a lot of Ladies who are dating men like him and it’s always not easy but once the love is there, nothing can pull them apart. I hope by the end of this book, you’d learn something and if in case you’re dating someone almost close to his character, you’d learn how to handle them. It could be a he or she. Some girls too can be like that.
People like Novan need a lot of love and understanding. You have to be extremely patient but you must also remember not to take all their nonsense. Sometimes you have to stand up to them and show them their place if need be otherwise, they might take everything for granted.
Thumbs up to all who love him regardless and those who don’t. We all can’t like the same thing. It’s called preferences and it must be respected.

{Loving him with all his flaws.}
I don’t like this.
I don’t like the fact that I’m fighting with my parents.
I hate it.
I feel like a bad and stubborn child.
I know my parents love me and I also do. I should be able to do this for them as any daughter will do but I can’t.
My phone began to ring so I picked it up, picking it, I put it on speaker and tossed it on the dashboard.
“Quinn. Where are you?” Betsy’s cheery voice filled the space in my car as I drive.
“On my way to Novan’s place.”
“Okay. There’s a party at the frat house tomorrow and I’m going. Will you join?”
“I don’t know. Maybe I’d pass.”
“Give it another thought or you prefer Passover in a fucking church?”
I chuckled. It’s been a while since I’ve been to church. I should think about going to church instead.
“Okay. I get it. Pray for me when you go. I really need it.”
I chuckled. “I would like to tell you something, Betsy.”
I don’t want to keep this in again. I need another opinion on this whole issue.
“Is it something serious?”
“Yes, Betsy.” I breathed.
“Should I wait for you? When will you return?”
“I don’t know. I will call you when I come back.”
“Okay. Take care.”
“Sure.” She dropped the call and silence engulfed me.
I turned the radio on and maroon’s girl like you played.
I sang along until I got to Novan’s house and parked the car.
The door was opened so I just entered.
No one was in the living room so I decided to take the stairs to his room but heard the clinging of utensils so I turned towards the kitchen.
There he was.
I leaned on the kitchen door and stared at the man who stole my heart and refused to give it back.
His back was facing me and his hair looked messy.
He sniffed and raised his hand to his face then continued. He’s chopping onions and he’s crying. How sweet.
He paused and opened the pot on the fire and I admired how his eyes screw shut when the steam hit his face.
He resumed chopping the onions and muttered “fuck” before wiping under his eyes.
I wonder what he’s preparing that is making him go through all this trouble.
“Tell me when you’re done staring, doll face.”
How did he know?
“How did you know I am here?” I walked in and stood beside him.
“Two hearts beat as one making one soul. I felt your heartbeat and your presence too. Not only that, when I got the cover off I saw you in it before covering the pot.”
“I see.” I got my hankie out. “Let me,” I said and he paused.
“What do you wanna do?”
“Wiping the tears off.”
“What’s the point? I am not done so it will flow anyway.”
“I want to.”
“Okay.” He paused and I stepped closer to him.
“I know you only want to get close to me.” He smirked.
“What if I want to even though that was not my intention. I know you can’t resist me anyway.” I bragged as I wiped his face. I blinked my own eyes when I felt the onion entering. It’s so strong.
I stepped back and rested my hand on the counter.
“You should wait for me outside otherwise there’s gonna be a festival of tears right now.”
I blinked and my tears spilled freely. He’s right.
“What type of onions are these Novan. It’s so strong.”
“Locals. I should’ve gone for the foreign ones instead. I won’t make this mistake again. I feel like a bitch. See how I am giving out tears so freely.”
I chuckled and wiped my face.
“Now do I have to come console you? I think that’s what they do at funerals.”
“Yeah, but what are we mourning?”
“I will figure it out but first keep crying.”
I smiled.
“You haven’t stopped chopping that.” There’s no way the tears will go if he doesn’t stop or I don’t get out.
“I will be done soon. Hang on.”
He finished chopping it and packed them into a blender.
“Actually, I don’t think we should mourn. I haven’t seen you in a year and now you’re here so we’d celebrate instead.” He said and washed his hands with perfume soap.
He opened the pot and stirred the sauce. He raised the wooden spoon to his mouth to taste. I watched as his tongue snaked out to wipe the corners of his lips. That’s erotic and so appealing.
“I told you not to ignore me again. Why did you do that? It’s childish.”
“Don’t start. You can’t keep scolding me all the time. It’s fucked up.” He put the spoon down.
“What else do you want me to do? You’re like some unfinished good. You need a little straightening up from me.”
He eyed me and turned to the pot. “Seriously, am I crooked?”
“I think you are. You basically know nothing concerning manners.”
“What do you take me for? You think I lack manners?”
“Yes, Novan.”
“Is it because I told you about my parents? You think I wasn’t raised properly or taught nothing?”
“Don’t get me wrong?”
“Tell me the fuck you mean.” He turned the fire off and faced me.
“Listen I didn’t mean it the wrong way okay?” I panicked. I just ruined the good mood.
His eyes softened when he saw my panicked state.
He grabbed me by the waist to his chest and wrapped his arms around me.
“Why are you panicking? I thought you prepared yourself before bringing that crap up. You know me, I won’t let it slide.” He smiled and swiped his thumb on my cheeks.
“You’re not angry?”
“Of course I am. I don’t take bullshit and you’re trying to feed it to me. What’s your problem?”
“Because you think I disrespected your mum?” He scoffed and loosed his arms around me.
So up until now he still doesn’t realize that he was rude to my mum?
“You did Novan. You were rude to her. Something you shouldn’t ever do.”
He rolled his eyes and walked out of the kitchen with shoulders raised high. I followed behind.
“That woman was being bitc.. harsh on me.” He finished.
“Why didn’t you use the ‘B’ again?”
” Isn’t it obvious? You don’t like it.”
“I only didn’t like it because you used it for my mother.”
“Acting. That was the word. She was acting like a bitch.”
That’s it. He said it.
“Enough Novan! I won’t be able to take it anymore if you dare call her that…”
“Yes yes, am sorry.” He cuts me off.
“You’d watch how you speak about her henceforth!”
“Hey listen to me. Do you think I’m a mad man? That nobody will say anything to me and I will be a dick? Do you think someone will be nice to me and I will be evil? Is that how you view me? Evil? is that what you think I am? Now listen and listen good, I act nice to those who are actually nice to me as well. What you do for me is what you get from me in return. You do me good, I do you better, you do me bad, I give it back in ten folds. You throw in shit, I throw it right back. That’s who I am. I don’t just stand up and be an asshole. Your mum thinks the world is at her feet. She thinks it revolves around her alone therefore she doesn’t count me as part of a human being. Not like I cared…”
“Wait. You only spoke to my mum on two occasions Novan. The first one we both attacked her the second one he asked you out and though not nicely, it wasn’t enough for you to be rude.”
He’s speaking as if they spoke more than I am aware of.
“You don’t know.” He scoffed.
” Wait. Have you talked to my mum more than I knew?”
“Forget it.”
“Tell me Novan. Have you and my mum been talking? What did she say to you.”
“Just leave it okay. I just want you to know that she has been nothing but mean towards me and I don’t take shit. No matter who I am, letting someone look down on me is something I can never tolerate, not even in my next life. Never! ”
“Okay. So you mean you were only rude to my mother because she was also rude right?”
“So you gave her whatever she threw at you as in, garbage in garbage out?”
“What are you going on about?”
“I’m just trying to break this down so have patience. My mum was mean therefore you also acted mean. A draw and that makes it a fair match. Well played both of you.” I chuckled.
“It’s not funny. I really don’t like talking to her in that manner considering she’s your mum but I can’t handle it when someone is being mean to me. I’ve never allowed anyone to look down upon me before and I won’t start now. I wish I could overlook it but it’s hard. If she comes with that behavior now too will react just like I always do. She should try being nice and I’d be sweet. Don’t think I am mannerless okay, I raised my sister alone and I instilled little manners of the one I knew in her. She knows that she can’t be bad to those who are good to her. I always tell her not to let anyone take her for a ride and she should always fight and stand up for herself. She should never be intimidated by anyone at all even if she’s different from the rest.”
“I will talk to my mum to be nice next time but first I want to say something to you.” I strode to him, took his wrist, and made him sit.
I sat partly on the arm of the couch facing him and began to talk. I look like a teacher right now and he as a student.
“You see Novan, one thing we all need to learn in life is how to ignore certain things. You can repay evil with kindness, it doesn’t make you less of a human or means you’re an angel. What I am trying to say is that retaliation is not healthy. It only creates no difference between you and the person. Rather than reacting and giving it back, you can overlook it and move on. Doing that will earn you more respect, set a difference between you two and you’d feel at peace. Nothing can be better than that. My mum was mean yeah, if you had acted nice, she would’ve been shamed and that will make her think twice before opening her mouth to talk to you and next time, she won’t be rude but if you do the reverse, it only encourages that and it will always bring chaos. In your case, you’re the younger one. Everyone will think you’re at fault and not my mum.”
“You’re lecturing me.”
“That’s what I am doing.”
“Okay? Done yet?”
“No. I’m trying to tell you that it not good to repay evil with evil. You have to set a certain class for yourself and that brings us to self-control. You seriously need that Novan. I know you’re a good person but you always feel the need to react to every little thing and that’s bad. Just let it slide and move on but you can really stand up to people when it becomes too much but not all. You don’t have to tolerate any shit and it’s not every shit you have to react to. It’s up to you to differentiate between but there’s something you can also do. You can ignore them. Just don’t talk. Better still, you just be nice always.”
“So I should stand like a fool and take whatever idiots throw at me? Is that what you mean?”
“Not everyone Novan. Especially my mum, you should not react.”
“So what must I do? Take all her shit and insult like a good church boy? You’re lucky you’re my girl. If it were to be someone else telling me all this, I would’ve walked to the person and knocked him over.” He snapped his fingers.” long ago.”
I looked at his pissed face for a moment. He’s right. There’s no way he’d listen to whoever will like to give him this talk if not me. I’m glad that at least he tries to tolerate me in a way and I know he doesn’t like what I am doing.
“You can either keep quiet or you can reply with a simple ‘okay.’ ”
“For instance?”
“Ask me to go out now,” I told him.
“What for?”
“Just do it. Say it as my mum did”
“Okay. What are you doing in my daughter’s room? Out now!” He mimicked my mother’s voice and I glared at him before smiling.
“Okay, that’s not a problem. She’s using the bathroom now so once she comes I’d leave.” I grinned.
He scrunched his nose up.
“You see, she won’t say you’re rude. And there’s no way she’d say you disrespected her. She’d have been understanding.”
“Yes yes. You know I don’t know that.”
“Yeah. You lack politeness.”
“I never understood that language. I only bring out whatever that comes in my mind. I don’t think about it. It’s not my way.”
“I realized.”
“Good you know.”
“You’re rude too,” I added and caught him smile.
“We all know that I can’t help it.” He bites his lip and stares at me, running his eyes on my form.
I gulped and sighed.
So you’re trying to tell me that adults have the right to speak to younger ones anyhow it pleases them?”
“So what have you learned so far?”
“I shouldn’t react to foolish people because it will only make me foolish as well but if it gets out of hand and the person is clearly asking for it persistently, I should never pull back and instead, I should lunge forward with full force and give it back to back. I shouldn’t repay bad with bad all the time. Also, I should ignore and try to be polite. Something I still haven’t learned. I just heard it.”
He turned everything but it’s okay.
“You should also try to be nice to people.”
“Enough. I can only stand you and my sister. Not anyone else. That too not always. Sometimes I can’t stand that little lady and you too.”
“Fine. I’m glad you learned something. You’re a good student”
He grinned.
“But you must put what you learned into practice also.”
“You just made me seem like a child. You won’t tell me those things again. I like myself the way that I am. I hate to fake. I will only put into practice what you said when I’m with your parents but not on others. I literally don’t care about anyone and they should know better than mess with me.”
Thank God my family is out. With time he’d learn to be tolerant and nice to most people.
“So you were talking about some celebration”
“Yeah. Don’t stand there. ” He beckons me over.
I stride to him and sat on his lap. “You’ve been teaching me, how about I teach you something as well?”
“What’s that?”
“Get up.” He ordered.
I did and he lifted me off the ground in that moment and onto his shoulders.
“Yes.” He began to walk and I stared at his bottom through his skinny jeans.
“Where’s Nervisa and Sharon?”
“They went out. I think Sharon took her swimming lessons for the first time. Something she insisted on. I wonder why?”
Marion also went for swimming lessons today but he was home before I left. Nervisa should also be at home by now if it was the same place they both went.
“They said they would be going to the mall too.” He answered my thoughts.
He took the stairs and soon we were in his room.
He brought me down on my feet and grazed his fingers on my neck. I closed my eyes and leaned into his touch. His hands stroked my cheeks then he ran his thumb on my lips. His lips came on mine and he kissed me slowly and gently yet filled with want and emotions. I held his shirt and deepened the kiss. His hands found the zip in front of my crop hoodie and began to zip it down.
For some reason best known to me, I stopped him with my hands and he looked surprised. He stopped the kiss and peeked at me. He skimmed my face and dropped his hands from me.
This is the first time I’m stopping him from doing this.
“What?” He asked
I looked for an excuse before talking. “I’m hungry.”
“What? Are you serious?”
“Okay, take a seat. I will get you something.”
I released a breath once he was gone. I can’t let him take my clothes off no matter what. Not today.
He came back earlier than I presumed with chicken tacos and we ate it together.
I will think of a way to talk to him on his father’s behalf. I will tell him to listen to him next time when he comes and not try to fight him. Jude is a monster but that does not guarantee for Novan to hit him. He’s still his dad and it’s bad to raise your hand to your parents. It’s abominable and unacceptable.
We talked a little more and I expected him to tell me that tomorrow is his birthday but he didn’t so I kept quiet. We kissed a few times and I was glad he didn’t try to undress me again and his lesson was never taught.
Hmm. I wish I allowed him but…
Nervisa soon arrived and dragged me to her room where she showed me her toys and made me tell her a story and sang for her.
I bid them goodbye somewhere around 2 pm and went back home.
“Where have you been?” Marion asked.
“Where else can I be? Where’s the rest?’ I looked around.
“The grannies are taking their rest in their room of course except for Grandpa Nicholas. He went out a while ago. So tell me where you were.”
“I went to see someone.”
“I know. Your boyfriend.”
I rolled my eyes. ” I was wondering what you were discussing with Nervisa the other day.”
“Nothing. We met today where I am taking my swimming lessons and she said I am cute. I think I like her.”
“You like her?”
“Yeah. Don’t take it the wrong way. I just like her as a friend. I know she’s your boyfriend’s sister and it’s good to be close to his family that’s all.”
“I didn’t say anything.”
“Of course you didn’t.”
I chuckled.
“You know, we almost broke up during the party. That girl is hot-tempered and so full of herself. We ended up fighting and Mike and Betsy had to separate us. God, she’s annoying yet sweet.”
I gaped at him before bursting into laughter.
Everything makes sense now. I remember seeing Betsy with Nervisa and Marion with Mike that night.
“You shouldn’t ever fight with a lady Marion. It doesn’t make you a gentleman.”
“I didn’t hit her. I will never do that but she was pushing it and I had to push her aside to walk away but then she grabbed my leg and I had to fall down with her. She’s crazy. She created a scene and honestly, I was glad you dragged her brother inside else he would’ve blamed me for troubling his sister. Betsy and Mike came to separate us from the ground since she wouldn’t let me go.”
“Good. Hope you didn’t get any scratches on your face.”
“Luck was on my side so I didn’t.”
“So what happened? You guys made peace?”
“Kind of and she said I’m cute. I told mum but she just fumed. What happened between you two? ”
“Nothing. I’m going inside. If Betsy comes, tell her I’m inside and that she should come.”
I rushed up the stairs and into my room.
I came out again and walked to the kitchen and got some chocolate bars from the fridge. I walked to my dad’s study and sat in his seat.
I unwrapped the chocolate and took a bite. I switched dad’s computer on and went to his emails. There were thousands of them. I know their passwords so unlocking it was not a problem.
I dialed his office number on the telephone and waited on the line.
“Dad,” I called when he picked.
“Princess. How are you?”
“Fine Dad.”
“Do you need anything?”
“No. Just want to ask if I can send and reply to your emails.”
“Of course, if you’re not busy then you can. The files are on the shelves. Thank you.”
“Alright. Bye.”
I went to work and tried to finish as many as I could. Some were difficult because I have to send a long message and my fingers hurt from typing and my back ached.
I moved my hands to pick chocolate and realized that it was finished. I shut the computer down, parked the files, and got out. It was almost 5 pm. I need to take a bath.
I got in and began to take my clothes off one after the other.
My door creaked and I thought it was Betsy so I didn’t mind.
I finished taking my clothes off and was about to walk into the bathroom when I heard mum scream.
I turned and saw her shocked face.
God don’t tell me I have to teach a full-grown cockroach like my mum some manners too. Why in the world did she not knock?
“What is that on you Mariana?”
As if she didn’t see it. Maybe she didn’t believe her eyes but what’s the big deal?
“You got a tattoo?!” She screamed in shock again.
I said it.
She might end up in the hospital if she continues being this excessively dramatic.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
I got a tattoo.
I got our initials inked on the side of my lower back close to waist area, not far from my waistline and another close to my collarbone which was ‘D’ with three birds flying over.
I got the bandage off yesterday if not mum wouldn’t know I got a tattoo. She would’ve thought I got hurt.
I grabbed a towel to cover myself but mum yanked it away and stared curiously and worriedly in horror at the ink on me.
God knows I didn’t want her to see this. At least not now.
She ran her hand on it and asked calmly to my surprise. “Does it hurt?”
I stayed quiet because I thought I didn’t hear correctly until she asked the same question again.
“It doesn’t.”
She sighed. I sense she’s trying her best not to blow up on me. She’s really trying because I know she’s displeased.
“Hurry up with your bath.” She said, gave me the towel, and walked away from me calmly.
Why’s she being so cool? I thought she was going to scream at me but look.
I don’t like that she’s quiet. I want her to scream at me and tell me how she’s not happy about me getting a tattoo.
She was screaming so well earlier so why didn’t she continue?
I left her in the bedroom for the bathroom. My heart was not at peace because of my mother’s reaction so I hurried out of the bathroom once I was done.
She was seated on my bed when I came out so I went to my closet and pulled a shirt out. A shirt which happens to be one of Novan’s collections. Black T-shirt. I got my panties on and walked to her.
“Mum? Are you okay?”
She skimmed me right from my top to down wordlessly.
“Sit, Mariana.”
Okay. She didn’t call me ‘honey’ like always. It means she isn’t happy.
I sat and she turned to look at me. “Why did you do it? The tattoo. Why?”
To be frank, I don’t have any reasons. I just felt like doing it. The idea came and I thought of exploiting it. A little part of me also wanted to see Novan’s stunned face and that’s all. The tattoo turned out to be great and I love it.
“I don’t have a reason, mum. I just felt like getting it done.”
“Really? I didn’t teach you that and none of us inked our bodies. Something inspired you.”
“Nothing, mum. As I said, I thought of doing it and I did. I don’t regret it.”
“You didn’t do it when you were in Palau. You’ve been here a year and over but you didn’t. You started letting some rude tattooed prick mess with your mind and you thought of getting a tattoo. Even if he was not the one who told you to get it done, he inspired you. His presence and contagious aura got you to do it. His appearance influenced you, clouded your senses and now you can’t think straight. I’ve been telling you that he’s bad news and will have a negative influence on you but you didn’t take it seriously. You see what you have done? I fear what else you’d be doing and I don’t want to be alive to see it..”
“Mum?!” I screamed and tears pricked my eyes.
” I care about you Mariana. You know I do and the heavens can testify that. You’re slowly losing focus. You’re forgetting who you are and where you come from. I don’t know what that boy did to you that is changing you every day. Can’t you see? You’re going wayward. You and I know the type of people who go for tattoos and all that. And you know how I feel about it but you went ahead and got it done. You don’t care about me anymore Mariana. All that you think and care about is that boy and how to defend and cover up for him.”
“I will say this again mum. I did this for myself and he’s not even aware okay? ”
“Why do it now? You could have got a tattoo long ago but you did it when you met him.”
“Will you stop being judgemental and unreasonable? Novan didn’t make me do this. I did it willingly because I liked it and it has nothing to do with Novan.” I retaliated harshly.
“Me, unreasonable? You did this to clear the difference between you two. Tell me I am lying.”
“Yes, you are. No matter what, I’m gonna be with Novan. It doesn’t concern his looks. I didn’t do this to prove anything.”
“It looks like it.”
“Why talk about something that can not be undone? I love him, I am not turning back no matter what you guys do or say. Stop all this and accept reality.”
“We told you to stay away from that boy..”
“Wait. His name is Donovan if you don’t know, I’m telling you that so call him that.” I interjected.
“God! Who are you? What did you do to my Mariana?” She held her head and bent them on her lap.
I felt for her.
“Mum. What don’t you get? I love him, there’s nothing you or anyone can do about it. If it’s about Jude I promise to be extra careful. You of all people should know better than to come in between my love life. It’s fucked up. You didn’t like it when Florencia did it.”
“Your dad was worth fighting for. He was nice, loving, responsible, focused and well collected.”
“So it is my boyfriend that is not worth fighting for right? You had someone like dad so I should go for someone like that? Oh please. You know we weren’t born the same day and even if that was the case our fates and destiny differ. And who said my Novan is not all that you mentioned? If only you’re not being judgemental, you would’ve seen past what you’re allowing yourself to see in him. He’s nice, mum. Try to see that good in him.”
“I’ve seen enough. I tried to overlook his looks but his behavior sabotaged that. He’s rude can’t you see?”
“I’m sorry about that mum. I really am.” ”
“Why not just forget him? Edward is there and it’s not too late. Just let him go. You’d get a better well to do man who actually deserves you.”
“I don’t have any reason to let him go.”
“His dad pose a threat and he has done a lot of evil things to us. Is that not enough reason?”
“His dad is not him and all that is in the past.”
“A lion does not give birth to a cat.”
“Don’t attribute his dad to him. Novan is nothing like him.”
“You defend him with so much confidence. How much do you know him?”
“More than anyone had ever tried to know.”
“I’m telling you. Stop this madness before it’s too late. If you keep up with this, no man will want you after he’s through with you. You already have his name on your body, next will be his horror face. After he’s left you leaving only rubbles at your feet, what are you gonna do with those tattoos you got on your body? It will push the good men away from you. I’m saying this again, wake up from the slumber and stop this madness before it gets out of hand. I’m your mum, this the best I can do and that’s why I won’t permit that to happen. You’d have to stay away from him.”
I felt my face pale up as mum’s words sink into me. They invaded my senses and buried a kind of fear into me.
I didn’t know when she left the room but when I realized, I shakingly went for my leather backpack and packed a few things inside. Hanging it over my shoulders, I slipped my foot into my slippers and jogged down the stairs.
“Where are you off to and at this hour?”
I snubbed her, got into my car and off I went.
After Mariana left, which I didn’t want because I started missing her the second she turned her back.
It’s always like hell to me anytime we ain’t talking. It’s stupid. I think I suffer more.
I was acting unaffected the last time, expecting that she’d call but she didn’t. I decided not to call her also until I couldn’t take it anymore. So I did.
I got into my car and drove to meet Nina. My favorite car is still with her. I gave my key to Courtney to drive her back to her hostel the other day.
“Dude, up for the party tomorrow? It’s your birthday.” She asked once I joined her in the bar.
“Birthday?” God, I forgot. I don’t really fancy birthdays and I’ve never even celebrated it before.
“Yea. You fucker. Don’t tell me you forgot.”
” The fuck will you blame me?”
“But you’re coming to the party. You’ve never missed it.”
“Who’s throwing it?”
“We your friends. We are doing this for you dickhead.”
“Why? You know I don’t like it.”
“You’ve said that before but we’re not taking it this time. During my birthday you threw a party for me, let’s do this for you too.”
“Alright, but am not..”
“No. You’re coming.”
“Aria will be there.”
“Just bring your girlfriend. We want to see her and that will also keep that slut away.”
I will only bring her if she wants to.
” So you’re coming… with her. It’s about time we saw who the bad boy fell madly in love with.”
I chuckled.
“When did you get that?” I pointed at the cluster of birds on her belly.
“Three days today. It’s pretty isn’t it?”
“Yeah. It is.”
“Won’t you get one for yourself? It’s been long.”
“Yes, I’ve been thinking of getting one soon. My back is still bare and I’ve got a lot of ideas running through my mind.”
“Is your girlfriend having a tattoo?”
“Fuck no!” I replied quickly with pride.
“Whoa. Will you like it if she gets a tattoo?”
“I will kill her!”
She laughed.
I can’t imagine Mariana with tattoos. never. I don’t ever want her to have one. It’s foolish. I like her more the way she is. Pure and innocent.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
*Not edited*
“I will kill her!”
She laughed.
I can’t imagine Mariana with tattoos. never. I don’t ever want her to have one. It’s foolish. I like her more the way she is. Pure and innocent.
“Why did you even say that?” I was clearly irritated.
“The day I got my tattoo, just before I got there I saw a pretty rich girl in a Lamborghini drive out of the lot and when I asked, Jamir said she came for a tattoo.”
It can’t be my girl, is it? No never. Mariana can’t go for a tattoo. She’s not that type and she’s more reasonable than to do that.
“You don’t know the girl right?” I asked.
“Oh, everyone does. She’s quite popular. Her parents are the top richest here in Australia she attends our college and is Bets.”
“What? What’s her name?” I was feeling uncomfortable. I’m doubtful as if there’s any top rich family apart from hers.
“What’s up with you. Why do you wanna know?” She eyed me and sipped water.
“Just tell me.”
“Well, I think her name is Ma..”
“Hold on,” I said and pulled my ringing phone from my pocket.
It’s Mariana.
“I’m just gonna pick this call,” I said and got up.
“Novan.” She cried my name once I picked the call.
“Riana. What’s wrong? Are you crying?” I grew worried.
I heard her sniff and I clenched my hand. What happened? Why’s she crying?
“Where are you? I’m coming.” She said.
I waved Nina goodbye and jumped into my car.
Mum telling me Novan will leave me really scared me. I don’t wanna part with him ever. If he leaves me, I will be done for. I will shatter.
I parked my car beside his when I got to his house.
Once I got out, he came out of nowhere in front of me.
I hugged him that instant and my tears came rushing down uncontrollably. I was shaking.
What if Novan leaves me one day? Then my mum’s prophecy will come to pass. Amandla and Co are going to make fun of me.
“What’s the matter? Please talk to me.” He pulled back and wiped my tears.
“Are you going to leave me?”
“What? Why would you ask that?”
“Please answer me.”
“Tell me why first.”
“My mum said you’re going to leave me one day and am gonna be alone because nobody will want me AFTER YOU.”
His face changed to that of anger and I sense his mind reeling on all the venomous words he’d say to mum.
“She said that to you?”
“She did.” I nodded.
“Well, that is it. There will be no one except me and you’d be with no one except me. I love you, I’m not leaving anytime soon.”
“Yes. Don’t let what she said get into your head.”
“Don’t ever leave me Novan. Please promise me.” I don’t care how pathetic I sound.
“I promise. Why would I even leave you? I can barely breathe when you’re not around. I will be damned if I leave you or you leave me.”
I hugged him again and he wrapped his arms around me.
“Should I drive you back?”
I shake my head against his chest. “Can I spend the night?”
“Won’t your parents be worried? You should go home. I will drive you.”
“Please no. Let me stay the night.”
“Okay, I’m sure you didn’t say where you’re going to them so do so.”
“Yeah.” Dad has been calling non-stop.
“And what’s this? You carried a backpack?” He chuckled and peeled it off my shoulders.
“My runaway girlfriend.” He teased and I elbowed him. He laughed and put his arms around me.
“You know, your parents will think you really left the house to live somewhere else and since they’re not hearing from you, they would also think you got kidnapped. I’m sure by now they’ve lodged a complaint. Hurry up and call them. Jail is the last place I wanna visit.”
My parents will be worried.
I was not really running away from home. I can never do that no matter what. I planned to spend the night with Novan and the things I got in my bag is just my card, his gift, and phone.
“Where’s Nervisa?”
“She’s up in her room. Eaten yet?” He asked when we were walking past the kitchen.
I shook my head and we branched to the kitchen. “What do you have?”
“I made ramen. Do you like it?”
“I will like to try.”
“Meaning you haven’t taken it before?”
“I have but just once. It didn’t taste nice for me but I will like to try yours.”
I jumped on the island and watch him warm the food then he serve it to me with a chopstick beside it.
“Thanks” I crossed my legs and placed the tray in between. He leaned on the counter and watched me.
After the first taste, my eyes widened and I gave him a thumbs up. He chuckled and looked away.
How I wished he didn’t drop the competition.
His dishes always have a unique taste and I don’t know how he does it.
“You’re a genius you know that right?” I asked after the meal and we were walking up to his room.
“You’re telling me.”
“Don’t tell me no one has told you that before.”
“People appreciate it but I didn’t feel it was honest until you said it and encouraged me to go into that competition.”
“That means you trust me?”
“Enough for you not to go and do something stupid in the future.”
“Why are you saying that?”
“I’m just saying.” He said and placed my bag on his nightstand. I took it and fetched my phone out.
I picked mum’s incoming call and pressed the phone to my ears.
“Hello, dear where are you? Are you alright? Please I’m sorry. Come back home.”
“Calm down mum. I’m fine. I might pass home tomorrow just don’t worry about me. I’m absolutely fine.”
“Alright, but where are you and why won’t you come now? Everyone is worried.”
“Is that my daughter? You finally got hold of her?” Dad asked.
The next minute I heard his voice. “Princess, I hope you are okay.”
“I’m fine Dad.”
“Okay. ” He sighed in relief. “When are you coming home?”
“Alright. Take care.”
“I will.”
“What did you just do Pablo?..” my mum began to scold dad when the line went dead.
My eyes moved around the room and I saw Novan on the bed. I jumped on him, straddling him.
” I can’t believe you ran out of your house in just my t-shirts.” He rubbed his hands on my bare thigh and raised the hem of the shirt up.
Heat rushed through me. I leaned down on him that my chest touched his. I embraced his warmth and listened to his heartbeat.
His hands ran on my ass slowly. Then he snapped my panty against my skin, creating a sound out of it. I tensed slightly when his hands approached my tattoo. His hands returned to my relief and stayed on my ass.
He squeezed my backside and kissed the corners of my lips.
“Take this off?”
I shook my head and wrestled out of his arms.
“Why? You don’t want me to look at you anymore?”
“No. I just don’t want to ”
“I won’t purchase that shit. What are you hiding from me?” He barked.
I shook my head again but slowly this time like a child caught stealing.
“Did you get a tattoo?” He asked straight away.
Oh no!
I wanted to show him tomorrow. I lost all my enthusiasm to do that when mum said those things to me. I’m nervous. I don’t know if he’d be happy with it.
I looked into his angry eyes and I knew it. He doesn’t like it.
“I didn’t do anything.” I lied. I don’t know how long I will keep lying to him but I know it will be soon.
“You better don’t.” He muttered coldly and I coiled under the comforter.
The possibilities of Novan not liking the tattoo was high and it terrifies me.
He got the comforter off and pulled me onto his chest. “Let’s sleep this way.” His arms wrapped me tightly and he inhaled me.
I relaxed on his chest and closed my eyes feeling apprehensive as ever.
I didn’t know when I slept but when I woke up, the broad daylight was streaming on my face. Novan was sleeping in between my legs with his head on my stomach, his hands at my side.
I wanted to reach over and kiss him then tell him ‘happy birthday’ but our position won’t permit.
I still haven’t talked to him about his dad and neither did I call him.
I realized the shirt I was wearing pull up so I reached to straighten it before he wakes and sees the tattoo.
Unfortunately, that action made him stir then he raised his head to look up at me with hooded eyes and sleepy face.
“Good morning and.. happy birthday, Everett”
He looked stunned and taken aback for a moment as if trying to process what he just heard, his eyes moved to my exposed panties which he was just lying on.
“Say that again.” He said in a deep voice, his eyes back on me.
I wish I didn’t.
“Happy birthday Everett.” I smiled.
He looked down again and tried to raise himself from me but stopped midway. He stiffened and his features turned hard. A deep scowl was on his face. I followed his eyes and they landed on the tattoo close to my waist.
He gaped and blinked as he lifted the shirt up completely to take a look with raised eyebrows. My heart was thumping and I felt my palm go wet.
“What in the world have you gone and done!” He seethed through his teeth.
He raised himself from me that instant. “What the fuck have you done?!” He screeched.
He’s shirtless and only in his boxers.
“Novan I..”
“You got a fucking tattoo? What the hell has gotten into you? Who told you to go get a tattoo?”
“Breathe Novan. Nobody…”
“Of course, your silly mind told you too. You think it’s everything that you can have? You saw me with tattoos and your ninny mind told you to also do that. Look at what you’ve done to yourself.” He waved his hands at me.
“It was just a tattoo Novan.”
“Oh yes, you got a tattoo close to your pussy! I’m sure you placed your nakedness in front of those horny bags to feast on and they touched you anyhow with those filthy hands. How could you? I’m disgusted and utterly disappointed in you. Out of all the things, I didn’t expect you to do this fuck up shit! I thought you’re more reasonable.”
I’m offended.
His words are rigorous and it hurt me. I didn’t know this would be his reaction. If I knew then I wouldn’t have attempted it.
She looked hurt after what I said but the fuck I cared. I don’t understand why she’d go for a fucking tattoo.
If I had known she was the same girl Nina was telling me about then I wouldn’t have picked her call to talk of her coming to my house and sleeping over.
I mean what is wrong with her?
“Don’t say those things to me Novan.” She said quietly and I saw her lips quiver.
That’s it. She’s about to start waterworks. Something I can’t withstand.
I’m sure her mum or dad saw this and that was the fight about. I will be glad if her parents give her the needed scolding for doing this. For that alone, I will support them.
Spoiled rich brat, she thought by running to me she has blocked scoldings from her parents. If she knew.
I ran my eyes down my sexy girlfriend who’s looking extra sexy in only my shirt and my blood boiled. I just want to storm out now to Jamir and his crew and smack their faces on the floor or draw an ugly smiley face with their tattoo gun on their faces for looking at my girl.
Out of all the places she could’ve taken a tattoo, she chose a place authorized for only me to see. He made those pricks feast their eyes on something that is mine.
My anger boils over, my adrenaline is on full effect and I looked around for things I could release my anger on. I could visualize my hands strangling the hell out of those pricks already.
They could have told her to go knowing who she was but no. They wanted to have a feel of her body. Fuck, I will slay them.
“Novan.” She cried. She must’ve seen how worked up I am and the violence spelled boldly all over me.
“Stop that!” I snapped. I’ve not yet started anything and she’s about to cry.
She jumped up in fright and I cursed.
“Is that all or there’s more?” I prayed silently that it should only be the one I saw. God, please.
She stepped back and looked away.
That’s it.
The fuck. She did more than one. Oh, God?
Where did she get it? Under her breast? Ass? Beside her pussy? On her stomach like Nina did or worse on her fucking breast.
God, have mercy. I need to breathe.
“Where did you get it done Mariana.” I waddled towards her and she moved back again. I filled the space between us and pulled her over.
My eyes ran over her for any sign of ink again.
His eyes wandered on me, making me uncomfortable. He looks like someone who could murder anyone right now and am scared.
I wish I didn’t do this.
I looked down at my toes and refused to meet his blazing eyes.
I felt his cold hands on my neck then by the neck of his thin fabric of a shirt, he ripped it apart.
I pushed him with my might from me and covered myself with my hands.
“Have you gone crazy? What is wrong with you?”
“If you didn’t feel shame in showing it to those crackheads then why hid it from me?”
“Nobody saw my nude Novan! Stop assuming that.”
I was wearing a pair of trousers, I just pulled my singlet top up and they drew our initials. The one on my collarbone was also done without me having to show my breast.
He stared at my second tattoo and he looked like someone who would past out any moment before he recovered. He moved my hands from my chest and ran his fingers on his initial and the birds.
“I’m going to wipe this off now. I can’t even look at you.” He breathed and left for the bathroom.
He came a minute later with olive oil and rubbing alcohol with a washcloth in hand.
“Sit.” He stated. I did and covered my boobs with the bedsheets.
I got a bit relieved when I noticed that the second one was a fleeting tattoo. How I wished the first one too was temporary.
I stared at the first letter of my name on her chest and thought of all the possible things her grumpy mum will say after seeing it. She’ll think I’m at fault for her daughter’s bad conduct. Not like I care. This is about me not liking her to have a tattoo.
I’m glad it’s just one but I’m still pissed.
I applied the olive oil on the tattoo and waited for some minutes before using the washcloth to scrub gently and in a circular motion.
The tattoo was quite stubborn so I had to use the rubbing alcohol. It did wipe it off but leaving a red taint. But that’s okay, it will vanish in a few days. How I just wish I could wipe the other one too.
This explains why she didn’t want me to take her clothes off the other day. I knew something was off but I just brushed it off, thinking she was going through her monthly natural flow.
I gave her another shirt of mine to wear and she took it readily.
She really shocked me. It was stupid.
“Why did you even have to do it? Was it to impress me or to end the false inferiority complex bullshit that your fucked up mind is telling you that I’m facing”
“It’s nothing like that. I did this because I wanted to. It had nothing to do with you and I don’t really regret it. I’m just sad that it was something you never wanted me to have.”
So she doesn’t even regret it. I wanted her too.
“Also, I have no idea of the inferiority complex bullshit you’re jabbering. The last time I checked, you didn’t give a shit to what someone says or think about you. You’re proud of yourself.”
Good she knows about that.
“There was no need for you to get a tattoo. The fact that you have a right to do any shit doesn’t mean you can do anything. Some things are not for you and a tattoo is one of them. You just stained your skin for no apparent reason.”
“Why are you making a big of a deal out of me getting a tattoo? You also have one, not two not three but a lot of them.”
“We’re different. The fact that I have a tattoo doesn’t mean I will wish for you to also have one. This isn’t for you. Don’t you get it, it doesn’t even fit you.”
The tattoo actually looked nice on her but there’s no way in hell I would tell her that.
amir did a good job but I still think she shouldn’t have done it.
Folks will say I influenced her or she did it because her boyfriend is a tattoo freak. I care less about all that. The bottom line is that I don’t want her to have it. I like her the way she is, simple, clean, and sweet.
“I’m sorry.” She muttered and I scoffed. What’s the point? She has already done it and it pains that I couldn’t do anything to stop it.
“You’ve really been unreasonable and so far, this silly decision of yours comes down as the worst mistake you ever committed. You should be ashamed and be regretting, seriously. I’m appalled and disappointed in you because of the way I see you. I thought you were more sensible and there could be nothing wrong with your decisions but you did a good job in proving me wrong. I really didn’t expect this Mariana. This girl sitting before me with a tattoo close to her sex region is not my Riana, the girl I fell in love with since I was a kid. Rather, I see a girl who is gradually turning wild. Tell me if I’m the reason and I will let you go…”
She covered my lips. She’s crying now and shaking her head.
I kissed her palm and removed it from my lip.
I want to change for her in my dispositions, and how I live my life onwards but not physically because there’s nothing I could do about it. Unfortunately, I love how I look regardless.
“To be honest, I’m really not happy about it. You’re changing my view towards you with what you did and I don’t like it one little bit. If I’m the one giving you bad vibes then I promise I will let you go. I prefer to see you as you were before from afar than come close to you and turn you into one of those wild wayward girls on the street. I expect better from you and this isn’t one of it..”
“That’s not it Novan.”
Then what is it? I know I have a lot of bad qualities but must you take any of them? You love me but shouldn’t copy me blindly. Don’t let this love blind you. I like that you’re strong and you stood up to your parents for me, for us, something you haven’t probably done before until me. I will take it as am the cause of it because being with me brought that strong and fierce part of you out. I won’t take it as best, but you can’t deny that I brought who you truly are out. This is actually you except for the tattoo part. Please do not copy this.” I pointed to myself. “You might get addicted and soon your body will be filled with more ink than mine.”
“I won’t think about getting any again.”
“Alright, so tell me what else you’re copying from me. Are you being rude? Do you just say anything? Do you hate your parents now because they don’t want me for you? Tell me, what bad thing are you copying?”
“Nothing. I’m sorry about the tattoo but I didn’t get it done because you have it. I told you, it’s just some idea I thought of exploiting. And you don’t have to worry because I won’t get any again. ”
“Okay.” I was already squatting in front of her so I moved in between her legs and took her perfect face between my hands, rubbing her red cheeks soothingly. Her little hand moved to mine and I saw the contrast. The contrast of her smoothly clear skin and the black ink covering almost every inch of mine. It’s like dark meets light and it’s perfect. This is what I wanted.
“You make me want to be a better man, Mariana. I never wanted to be another until you accepted this fucked up man that I am and loved me. I know I do not deserve you but I can’t help it. If how I look and my behavior is going to impart something negative into you then we shouldn’t do this. Yes. Even I don’t want you, my childhood sweetheart to change. I will fight for you but I will rather give up on you instead if this is what it is. I can’t change how I look but I can try to be good and nice than before..”
“Don’t say more.” She cuts me off and I dropped my hands from her face.
” You don’t have to give me up. I won’t let your nastiness get to me and I won’t give you any reasons to think of leaving me just for my good. I’m glad you said you’d like to or already making alterations on yourself. That is enough and you’re not influencing me in any way..”
“Maybe unconsciously. We might not be taking notice but it’s happening. We have to put a stop to it..”
“Soonest and at the early stage.” She finished it for me.
“Yeah yeah.” I nodded.
“So am I forgiven? Is this behind us now?”
“I haven’t forgiven you for this mistake you made and I’m still upset.”
“What can I do? Anything?”
And now that brings us to the most important part of all this saga.
I got up and pulled my shirt on. This girl really gave me a doze of shocks this early morning and on my birthday. First was when she wished me a happy birthday then topped it off with my real name which no one except my mum and dad is aware of. Who told her?
Then there’s the tattoo.
This got to be the worst birthday of my life even though I celebrated any.
“Do you mind telling me how you managed to know that today’s my birthday dear girlfriend?”
She kept quiet and stared at her toes.
“Forget about that, maybe Betsy told you but how did you know my real name?”
She looked away and fiddled with her fingers. What has this nosy girl been up to?
I hope it’s not what I’m thinking. If it is then I don’t know what am gonna do to her.
I’m technically in between a tight spot now. My heart is thrumming with how he was looking at me.
I hope he hasn’t figured already that I met his dad.
God. I’m done for.
I wished I stayed home.
As if my tattoo repercussions are not enough, I have to be at the end of Novan’s anger yet again.
This is not how I planned my morning or his birthday to be but this largemouth of mine managed to drive me into trouble.
What was the need to mention his real name? Oh, Lord.
“I know your journalism skills couldn’t have fetched you this. Even Nervisa doesn’t know that name for me, none of my friends know it either so how did you? How’s it possible? You don’t do black magic so how?”
I couldn’t talk. I don’t know what else I can say apart from the truth.
Talking about his father now is really not going to end well. Where’s Nervisa or Sharon? Have they not woken up yet? I need a distraction, something to save me from this terror burning in Novan’s eyes at me.
“Have you been meeting and talking to that fucked up man in the name of my dad secretly?” He asked slowly and dangerously.
If only I knew, I would’ve tread carefully.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
“Have you been meeting and talking to that fucked up man in the name of my dad secretly?” He asked slowly and dangerously.
If only I knew, I would’ve tread carefully.
I moved back and sat on the bed. It’s the best thing I could do now to avoid my limbs giving way. The intensity of rage in his eyes is able to throw me away anyway so I better sit.
I inhaled and exhaled. I even feel dehydrated and suffocated.
“Answer me, Mariana! Don’t just sit there.”
“What do you want me to say?”
“Everything that you’ve been up to behind my back.”
I looked up to meet his eyes but he looked away immediately.
“I didn’t do anything.” I burst out.
He glared at me and raised his hand to his waist, the other running through his hair.
“Did you meet my dad or not?” He bellowed.
“No.” I exhaled. I can’t handle him looking and shouting at me like that. I will be out of here once this is over.
“You didn’t? Then how did you know my name?”
“He mentioned it. He called you with it the last time when we came and met him. You were angry so you couldn’t hear it.”
“Are you sure? You didn’t meet him?”
“I didn’t.”
He sighed in relief. “Don’t ever meet him, not under any circumstances. He’s ruthless and a monster.”
I agreed with him with a nod.
I will tell him the truth later but for now, I can’t ruin his birthday further. I know this wouldn’t end well if I should tell him now.
“So how are you celebrating your day?” I got up and pad to him.
“I don’t celebrate birthdays, I never did.”
“Then what plans do you have for today? I locked my hands behind his neck and stared sweetly at him.
He tried to smile but it didn’t reach his eyes. He rather stared at me warily. God, he’s still doubtful. I hope he’s not trying to recollect his father’s words that day.
“Are you sure you didn’t meet my dad? You never spoke to him one on one?” He cocked his brows with a serious look.
“I won’t lie to you.”
Damnit, Mariana. You just did.
“Hmm.” He murmured with a nod.
“I don’t really have much to do. It’s new year’s Eve and people are planning for the countdown. I wanna storm the club but then there’s a party at the frat.”
“Will you be going?”
“Nina asked me to so I guess I will.”
“Mind if I come along?”
I got on my toes to kiss him but Nervisa barged in.
See. When I needed her she wasn’t here but she’s here to ruin this moment. Such a bad timing.
“Wait wait wait. Don’t do it yet.” She walked to us with her little hands covering her face.
She peeked in between her fingers to check if it was safe before dropping her hands on her side.
She winked at me and raised her brows at Novan.
“What a way to celebrate your day dear brother!”
“What do you want?” Novan stepped away and looked for something to wear in his wardrobe. He dragged sweatpants out and got his long legs into them.
“A little nicer on your day won’t be bad Mr always grumpy.”
“Oh really?” He turned with a laugh.
“Come on, out of my room.”
“Going already, just thought I could check on my old man but he isn’t being any nice” she turned to leave but stopped to look at me with a grin. “Why not come down when you’re done with the oldie?”
“Sure.” I gave her a smile and she hopped all the way out, singing a Disney song.
“Hey young lady” Novan called after her and she turned.
“You know it’s my day today. Tread cautiously if you don’t want my shit! I call the shots, you obey. Got it?”
She pouted and tapped her finger on her forehead for some seconds.
“Still thinking. Until further notice…” She made it a point to catwalk then turned again. “By the way, I’m still the alpha here..”
She didn’t finish before Novan grabbed something to throw at her and she ran out, giggling.
“You two are adorable together.”
“Was that adorable? She’s always fighting me.” He grumbled.
“Do you shout at her often?”
“A lot. She’s used to it and does not hesitate to shout back at me even louder. She’s that crazy.” He smiled.
“Was it difficult raising her right from infant?”
“She annoys the hell outta me so yeah. I hated her when she was a baby. I still hate babies. She was like a burden on me and she cries and messes around. I have to do all those shit. Sometimes I feel like strangling her but her beautiful big eyes will stare back at me innocently, streaming with tears and that really cools me off and make me realize that it’s not her fault. We both were suffering. But that didn’t stop me from yelling. When she’s not cooperating, I shout all my frustrations on her and she takes all of it since she couldn’t talk. When she started talking, before I could mutter a word, she would say a hundred. She challenges me and attempts to shout louder than me. I end up laughing while she would be fuming and planning mischiefs in her head. I minimize the raising of my voice when she made it a point to mess everything in the kitchen each time. I didn’t care but she started making things difficult for me and I get angry each day. There was a time I had to lock her in her room all day and she wouldn’t stop yelling. Our neighbors came to ask what was wrong and I had to chase them out. Fuck!” He laughed loudly.
I couldn’t help but laugh along with him though there was really nothing to laugh about.
“They thought I was mad and truly she got me mad. She messed the whole house and I have to clean it up. She’s so stubborn. I had to sedate her at a time. I still can’t stand her guts. When I got to know of her illness, it was then I got to know how much she meant to me. I mean she was my sister but I hated her. I was mean and harsh. All that stopped when I held her lifeless body in my arms when she passed out at a time. After that, she became weak and unusually quiet all the damn time. She sleeps a lot and doesn’t shout at me anymore. Anytime we go for our morning walks she gets tired easily. I got scared. And then the doctors said she was a blue baby. The fuck I didn’t know what that even means…” He paused and didn’t say anything for some seconds.
I was speechless for a moment. This really got me.
” Anyway, that’s enough walking down on memory lane. She’s all fine now and back to her best and stubborn behavior. I will knock her if she dares those shit on me again. She knows me.”
“You were wonderfully incredible. No one will survive what you passed through yet you did. Hats off to you, Donovan. I feel like I love you more now.”
“Oh don’t flatter me. You should see how we lived.”
I shrugged.
“You did a good job though I still can’t get over the fact that you locked her and have to sedate her. Really Novan?”
“Oh shut up and go get your teeth cleaned.” He walked into the bathroom and I followed him.
I smacked the side of his head when I got closer and walked past him. He pulled me back and walked ahead.
“Donovan,” I whined
“Mariana.” He said playfully.
I stood by him, facing the mirror as we brush our teeth. We looked like couples.
“If anything we look like brothers and sisters, not the other way around.” He said and rinsed his mouth.
I finished brushing and grinned at our reflection.
“That is lame. We actually look like couples if anything.”
He placed his arm on my shoulder and bent slightly to my level.
“We could be but the girlfriend thought it was nice to go for a tattoo.”
“I already offered my apologies.”
” The deed has been done already.” He turned around and left.
When I got out, he wasn’t in the room and I couldn’t go out in just his shirt so I took one of his jeans and ended up tying his shoelace on it then folding it over. I looked ridiculous in the jeans though it fitted me and just the waist was too wide. I tied my hair and got down. I walked to the kitchen and saw Nervisa.
“Good you’re here.”
“Is there any problem?” I walked to her.
“Help me bake a cake for him. I have no idea and Sharon is not here.”
“Do you have the ingredients available?”
“Yes, I got them this morning. He likes butter cake with chocolate frosting.”
“Alright.” I washed my hands and faced the ingredients.
“Tell me if you need anything.”
I nodded and pulled a pan out. “Nervisa?” I called as I whisked the eggs.
She glanced at me, waiting for me to talk.
I raised my eyes to the pretty blonde and smiled. I don’t know if I should ask this but I’ve been itching to hear the answer for long.
“Months back, do you know who kidnapped you? Do you remember?”
“Oh, Aria? I can never forget that bitch. She made my brother hate you didn’t she?”
“So she was the one?” I decided to ignore her speech. Aria is a bitch anyway.
“Yes. I was trying to tell Nova at the hospital but couldn’t finish. After my surgery and recovery, I told Nova but I don’t know how he handled it. He was pissed and regretted yelling at you. If he couldn’t get the courage to apologize then I’m doing it now. I’m sorry for his impulsive behavior.”
“No, it’s okay. It’s all in the past.” I told her and went back to mixing the floor. My heart was burning with jealousy.
Novan still fuck with her after knowing what she did to his sister. What is wrong with him? I thought he didn’t know but he knew and overlooked it.
“What are the two of you doing in my kitchen”
I looked at Nervisa then back to the door where Novan stood. I glared at him hard. I feel like throwing the floor over his head.
How could he?
“I’m not part.” Nervisa got down from the counter. “She volunteered to bake a cake.” She pointed at me and raised her arms up, demonstrating that she’s out.
See this cunning traitor.
When she got to the door where Novan stood, she said, “I know the rules, she doesn’t.”
She made to pass but Novan hauled her on to his shoulders.
“Don’t try to act smart with me, young lady. You think I don’t know? I told you not to come close to my kitchen but you did. Is that how good you know the rules?” I told you something Nervy, tread carefully.” He began to tickle her. Her laughter filled the kitchen and I smiled.
Why the hell did I smile?
“Sorry, Mari. This was what I was avoiding but it happened anyway. I’m not really a traitor.”
I decided to keep his relationship with Aria at the back of my mind for the meantime. I will ask him after this.
“Then what are you?” Novan asked and they disappeared out of the kitchen with Nervisa giggling all the way.
Novan can be sweet if he wants to. He did it when he was Shane.
Minutes later and I was done with the mixing. After half an hour I was done baking.
I was frosting it when Novan entered and placed a coffee pot on the fire.
“Hope there are no eggshells in that.”
“You doubt my culinary skills that much?”
“Not at all.” He said.
“Then shush!”
He chuckled. He made a cup of coffee for me then took a knife.
“It’s mine, right? So I can eat.”
“Sure thing.”
“Where are the candles and I need to make a wish. Quick” He added, rubbing his palms together.
“It’s okay.” He cut the cake and examined it before taking a bite. He made a disgusted face and spat it out.
Oh no!
“Eww. What is this?”
“A cake. You can’t tell me this cake is bad Novan. My granny taught me well.”
He laughed and took a bigger bite into his mouth. “Because I love you, I can’t deny your food no matter how horrible it tastes.”
“Lemme have a taste.” I requested.
“You still don’t believe that this is as horrible as anything?”
“Until I have a bite.”
I picked the knife and he snatched it. ” Don’t you understand this language? It’s nice I just don’t wanna share it with you.” He smirked and carried it away.
“Novan.” I rushed after him. I can’t go through all this trouble and not have a single bite.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
After practically running around the entire house with Novan for the cake, he gave me a tiny bit. Well, it was the only thing that was left.
“Don’t frown. I only gave you because you had faith in your cake. Always have confidence in whatever you do. Sometimes people’s comments are just there to discourage you meanwhile whatever you did was even better than theirs.”
That was what he said. Nice huh?
I was back in his room to take my bag so I’d leave.
“I’ll drive you.”
“I brought my car.”
“It’s not a problem. I can still take you.” He opened his palm and I dropped my key.
“You should take that jeans off.”
“Why? It’s not nice?”
“It looks stupid on you. I don’t like it.”
I took it off that instant and he stared at me all through with lustful eyes. His shirt hit my mid-thigh always. I tried to pull it down.
I took my bag and slipped my feet into my slippers.
“Can we go now?”
He blinked and tore his gaze from where they were fixed on my legs.
“What are you thinking of?” I asked and filled the gap between us.
“Thinking of how I won’t spare you the day I will finally have you.”
My cheeks heated up and I looked away.
He turned me to him and began to kiss me slowly and passionately with so much hunger, want, and needs. I kissed him back, encircling my hands on his waist. I crave for him as well.
We pulled apart and he took my hand and led us out of the room.
“Going already? When are you going to come?” Nervisa asked sadly.
“I’m always here,” I told her then hugged her.
We disengaged from the hug and I looked at her face. Novan and his dad are not blonde, am sure Nervisa resembles her mum but she also has that hazel eyes.
I hugged Sharon quickly before leaving with Novan.
“I will pick you up tonight. Just call me when you’re done.” He said when we got into the car.
I nodded and he drove out of the house.
“Can I ask a question?”
“When do you ask before throwing a question?”
I smiled. I’m nervous and shy about the question I was about to ask him. How do I even start?
“Em… I wanted..to know when was your last..well.” I stammered.
I want to ask when the last time was he had sex.
“Huh? I don’t get it. What do you mean?”
“I mean when was your last time?”
“Last time what?” He looked at me and back to the road.
“Don’t you know?” My cheeks were burning uncontrollably.
He looked at me again and laughed silently. “You want to know the last time I fucked?”
I nodded shyly, biting my lips through and through.
“Just yesterday.” He said.
My heart sank. Novan is cheating on me? He’s not committed as I thought. He’s being unfaithful but why? My eyes swelled with tears and I looked away.
What did I think anyway? I’m just some inexperienced girl and can’t even give him what he wants so he gets it somewhere, come back and treat me like a baby. His little virgin baby.
“Are you crying?” He asked calmly.
I shook my head.
“Come on, you’re crying.” He placed his hand on my thigh and I closed my eyes, making the tears trek on my face.
” No. Don’t cry. I was only joking. I never fucked anyone since we started dating. I can’t do that.”
“Are you sure?” I opened my eyes.
I wiped my tears. Why did I even cry over this?
“Then why are you stopping yourself from making us do it.”
“It’s because I don’t feel like I deserve that, at least not yet. I swear I want to but.. you’re too good. I’m okay being with you this way, it means more to me than fucking you. Just be here for me okay?”
I nodded as relief washed over me. He wants me, not what he’d get from me or what I’d give him but just want me to be there and he’s okay. He makes it better like it’s not always sex, I mean more. This is genuine but I still have to ask why he entertained Aria after knowing what she did.
“You knew Aria was behind Nervisa’s kidnap?”
He looked at me for a moment and didn’t say anything. He also got his hand from my lap and focused on the road.
“I knew.” He stated.
“You still continued sleeping with her after what she did without doing anything? Who are you?”
“Don’t draw conclusions yet. I got her arrested but some high profile got her released just the day after. She apologized and I stopped whatever we used to do since then. If you see us around again, then it’s just her trying to gain my attention to making us come back together. Nothing else.”
“You slept with her before?” Imagining Aria’s hand on my Novan is making me uncomfortable.
“What is your shit? Why are you asking me that?”
“You had sex with her then?”
“That was in the past, stop bringing it up.”
Yes. It’s in the past but how can I forget that?
A moment of silence passed between us and he was looking at me from time to time.
“Are you upset?” He finally asked.
“Then you’re jealous.”
“Kind of,” I admitted.
“You don’t have to. I love you alone.” He placed his hand on my thigh again and gave it a squeeze then smiled affectionately at me.
“I’m your childhood sweetheart huh?”
He laughed.
“Mind telling me the story about it?”
“What else do you want to hear? We lived in California back then and I happen to get enrolled in your grandfather’s school where you also schooled. We were just kids and I liked you. I don’t normally talk or socialize with the other kids so you couldn’t have noticed me. I was always alone. You were the popular Queen-bitch at that time, everyone wanted to talk to you and you stir attention wherever you went. You were mischievous also and always keep fresh juice in your bag all the time.”
“Awww. You could’ve come to talk to me.”
“I enjoyed watching you from afar. That was enough for me. I didn’t see the need to come talk to you at that time.”
“So what happened next?”
“Nothing happened. After your glamorous birthday, it wasn’t long and you vanished. My dad got us the house I’m living in now and I didn’t want to come to Australia but after some months and I don’t see you in school, I was unhappy. I asked my mum since she was part of the planners of your birthday and she said your family had an accident while traveling to Australia. She didn’t tell me the full story so I forced her and we came to Australia. It wasn’t long and my parents separated. I had to move out with my sister to the house we both live now. You were also not around. I never saw you until my last year in high school and you got enrolled. God! After so many years. I couldn’t believe my eyes and I was so happy. You should see that. This time, I didn’t stay quiet like our elementary days. I was a dick to you and we constantly fought. I enjoyed giving you trouble and pestering you. You always got angry. I enjoyed every bit of it. We moved past that stage and we’re together now, I didn’t quit being a jerk though. That’s the story, you know the rest.”
I only picked one thing… FATE.
It brought us together and it looks like we were meant to be. We truly are if not we won’t be together now, fighting against all odds.
“Nice story. I didn’t know the annoying rude badboy who used to pester me was in love with me all this time. Wow!” I gushed out.
“I just told you everything. I can’t remember anything else I haven’t told you. I feel so open. You literally know everything.”
“It’s a good thing.”
“I will take it as one.”
He stopped the car in front of my gate. “I won’t be able to get in. If I do it means I would have to walk out. I’m not doing that.”
“This is fine,” I said to him
“I’ll see you.” He leaned over and claimed my lips, nibbling and sucking before releasing it and kissing me all over again. His hand got entangled in my hair as he brought me closer to him. He stopped and pecked my lips. Staring at me, he smiled and opened the door.
I waved him as he got out then I got behind the wheel.
I parked the car in the garage and got out with my bag hanging on my shoulders. I hope I won’t have to face my parents.
Lack wasn’t on my side because when I got in, the entire house was in the living room bonding over glasses of wine.
“You’re back!” Marion shouted from among them. Looking at my appearance, I looked like the prodigal son.
Their attention fell on me and I smiled, making sure I do not meet anyone’s eyes. “I will just go and change,” I said and rushed upstairs.
I got out of my clothing and went under the shower.
Minutes later I was out. I decided on a decent and straightened my hair. I got out and I’m surprised my mum didn’t say anything to me and neither did my dad. It was as if nothing happened and I’m glad. Confrontation is the last thing I need now. I love my family and I can’t wait to meet all of them next year which is just tomorrow.
The clicking of heels drew our attention to the door and I gasped. Florencia.
“Gammy.” I got up and rushed to her. She’s looking pretty and strong even at her age.
“Mariana.” She smiled and hugged me.
“Look at you, you’re all grown and gorgeous as ever.” She said with a bright smile.
“Mum.” My dad called and walked to her, hugging his mum.
“What took you so long to come?” Dad asked.
“I got a date. A handsome man at that. I couldn’t leave him.” She joked and everyone laughed.
The bonding went on and the family spent the whole day together.
After dinner, I went upstairs to get ready. I called Betsy and she said Morgan took her out the whole day so he’d be dropping her at the party.
I told her I was coming and she squealed over the phone. Her voice was loud so I dropped the call. I realized I didn’t give what I got for Novan so I packed them in my bag. I will give it to him today.
I wore a sparkling white dress that hung on my skin like a second skin. I put on more mascara and eyeliner then curled my hair before brushing it in waves. I smiled at my desirable new look and got up. I looked wild like I belonged in a club. The white dress made it look like a devil in an angel’s clothing.
* I’m ready. Where are you?” I texted Novan.
*Outside, driving in.” He replied immediately.
I picked my bag and sauntered out.
“I’m out!” I announced to the few people in the living room.
“Have fun!” That was Florencia.
I saw Novan’s car once I got out. I felt his eyes on me as I got closer. He opened the door for me and I hopped in.
“Holy shit!” He took in my appearance with his jaw dropped slightly.
“What? It’s bad?” I looked at myself. Maybe the make-up is too much.
” No. You look so..so yeah.. good and different” he stuttered.
“Can we get going?” I asked when his eyes were still on me.
He looked flawless in a white t-shirt to my surprise.
“Step down. Wanna take another look.”
“I’ll be with you the entire time. That’s a lot of time to look. I won’t get down.”
“Oh please. I want to.”
I pouted and got down. He got out as well and motioned for me to walk to him. He’s impossible.
“Christ!” He swallowed and raked his eyes on me.
I chuckled and went back into the car. Even that, he made it a point to follow me, checking me out all the way. I rushed inside, I’m not comfortable with him staring at my behind.
“You’re so damn beautiful and incredibly sexy.” He breathed and began to drive.
It was a two hours drive so we listened to a series of songs. It wasn’t boring. Times with Novan are never boring.
He walked close by me as we got into the smoke-filled living room. This is my first time going to a party with Novan and it feels amazing.
I didn’t care about the eyes of students focused on us as we walked. I grabbed a red cup and he snatched it from me.
“No drinking.”
I frowned. What is a party without a drink?
“At least a cup.” I pouted and he grabbed another cup for me.
I’m only taking this because he’s here with me, he’d look out for me. He will.
“Oh look! He came!” Nina shouts from among the group and heads turn at us.
“And who is… wait, is she the one?” She asked, looking at me with a smirk.
What did she mean?
“Shut up!” Novan snapped at her and she looked on in amusement.
She laughed so hard. I looked around for Betsy. Novan’s friends are all weird. While Ronnie was gawking, Courtney was giving me a cheeky grin and the couples were just staring.
“She did it!” Nina yelled again.
“Yeah but didn’t die,” Novan replied and made me sit beside him.
I have no clue what they were talking about.
Who did it and didn’t die?
“Holla, the birthday boy is here!”
I heard Aria’s annoying voice and turned to the girl who’s clothing line is a collection of skanks. As usual, she didn’t hesitate to select the skank(iest.) She’s barely covering herself as her crop top was ripped and her blue shorts had a lot of tears. She’s obviously getting laid tonight. Not with my boo though. Not anymore.
“And look who decided to show today! The majesty herself.” She smiled.
Hello Mariana. Long time no see.” She said, sarcasm thick in her words.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
“Hello, Mariana. Long time no see.” She said, sarcasm thick in her words.
I avoided her and raised the cup to my lips. My cheeks simmered instantly as the alcohol burned my throat and warmed my system.
“Sit your ass down or you carry it out of here Aria.”
That was Nina. She didn’t just attempt to defend me right? I don’t know her much.
“Taking the first one. I’m sitting.” She moved to sit on the armchair and blinked her eyes at us when Novan’s arm came around my shoulders.
“Come to me, my angel. With me is the safest place you can be while you wait for Betsy. Come on, come. That guy is risky.” Ronnie motioned me over.
“Dude, take your arms off, she’s coming to me.”
Novan glared at him. “She’s with me?”
“Unbelievable. You’re not yet done with Aria. And look, she’s idle, go keep her company.”
“Will you shut up? She’s my girl!” Novan hissed.
Silence reigned as only the loud music was heard.
“Your girl?!” Everyone around said in unison except Aria and Nina who wouldn’t stop smirking. Those passing by stopped to look.
It wasn’t long before Nina came to hold Novan’s wrist and pulled him up. “I’m coming, don’t move an inch.” He whispered and they disappeared through the crowd.
“You’re his girl? As in his girlfriend? Your boyfriend? Novan? Impossible. Tell me the truth.” Ronnie moved to sit beside me.
I looked at my cup and raised it to my lips then nodded.
“Fuck me, how did it happen? I’ve been crushing for a long damn time.”
I looked at his face to check his sanity. “I’m sorry.”
“Aww, look at that? This really pains me. If I knew you had a thing for guys like us then I wouldn’t have hesitated. I must say, Novan pulled a fast one on me. I will go get him now!” He stood up and also disappeared into the crowd.
This is awkward. Novan should come early and where’s Betsy?
“Are you not bored? I told you this place doesn’t suit you but you wouldn’t listen. He left you.” Aria pulled a sad face.
I shook my head and gulped the rest of the drink. She’s a psycho. I hate that Novan had something to do with her in the past. Why didn’t he go for any other girl? I dislike Aria to the core. First, she tried to take my place and enjoy my rights. He attempted murder on my granny then betrayed our friendship. I loved her like my sister. I was willing to do anything for her but she stabbed me right at the back and acted fake straight up to my face.
“He only left one person that I know. You could be sitting on his lap now.” I mocked.
“He never left me, it’s impossible.”
“We’ll see,” I smirked.
“Don’t be proud. It’s only a matter of time before he dumps your ass.”
I ignored her and looked around for another drink. She’s not worth it.
“And your parents will soon marry you to a pot-bellied politician’s son just to keep the business going after he leaves you. I’m telling you.”
I chuckled. What is her problem? I need to get out of here before I punch someone’s face for the first time in my life.
Who’s the high profile who saved her from the police? I would pay twice just to see her back in.
“Oh. You think I don’t know that your parents don’t like Novan one tiny bit but you’re sticking around him while going against your own parents for him?”
“Mind your business.” I glared and looked away. She’s really asking for it.
“Why should I? I don’t see why you want to share him with me. You didn’t do that with your properties.”
“Aria!” I warned.
I’m not sharing him with anyone. Novan is for me alone. I hate bitchy fights and Aria is below my standards. I won’t dirty my hand in the cause of hitting her, it won’t be worth it. It will just make me one of her.
“It’s a fact. You couldn’t get over the fact that I got something you like so you decided to snatch.”
She got to be doing this on purpose.
I tossed the cup away. ” He loves me since. Before you even came into my life, he has loved me when I didn’t even know…”
“Can’t you see? He has always been mine.”
“Let me tell you something, fool. I can see you’re still naive and stupid. He’s only around because he hasn’t gotten into your pants yet. He keeps pouring words like, ‘you’re worth more than sex. I’m okay without it. I just want you to be here for me Riana. Please don’t ever leave me’. ” She laughed hysterically. “And you fucking believed. Wake up girl! He won’t stay once he’s done attacking your panties. He has done it before and I have seen it before..”
Before I knew it, I was up on my feet about to attack her but then I stepped back as the words she said sank in.
Novan has actually said those things to me before. Exact words. God. Could it be that she’s telling the truth?
“As stupid as you are, you never speak anything sensible. Could you not get anything better to do? I wonder why you keep coming around us. You don’t belong with us but instead the streets or a brothel”
The guy who has tattoos as Novan and can only be seen together with a lady spoke, bringing me out of my shocked state.
“Stay out of this Evan. You don’t know anything.”
“I know Novan doesn’t like you and there’s no point in you being here, among us. I only tolerated you because I thought you were a thing.”
I tune my attention to the exchange going on. So the guy is Evan. He never spoke to me before and neither did his girl or twin.
“He liked me. If this bitch hadn’t come between us and stole him from me, then he would’ve been here.”
“That’s it. He’s not with you but her. You’re no better so he dumped your stupid ass…”
I didn’t hear more.
I walked away towards the kitchen. Where the hell is Betsy? And Novan? He really left me. Where the fuck did he go?
“Since you’re leaving, why not go check the room upstairs to see what he’s doing, her Majesty?” Aria shouted behind me.
What is he doing? Should I listen to her and go upstairs?
“Wait, Mariana.” The short-haired girl runs to my side.
“Are you going to go upstairs? You don’t have to listen to her. She’s just messing with your mind.”
I shook my head. “Have you seen Betsy?”
“Yeah, she was playing beer pong earlier. You can check if she’s still there. I’m going to get some drinks.” She branched towards the kitchen and I’m left alone again.
The fuck where are you taking me?” I groaned as we took the stairs up.
She stopped and burst into laughter when we got to the top.
“Seriously? I didn’t know you had eyes for someone like her? Your guts!”
“What is your shit? I’ve known her for long. Before I even knew you.”
“I see. She was the crush you talked about then.” She smiled.
“What’s your problem? I’m going.”
“No, come back. She was the girl who did the tattoo.”
“I don’t wanna talk about that.”
“Yeah yeah, you didn’t like it. I’m just surprised she didn’t die.”
I scowled at her and she burst into another laughter.
“I really regret this. I was mean the first time I saw her and I supported Betsy the last time when she was on your lap. I didn’t know you guys had something brewing but the hurt in her eyes gave it away. I was a bitch to her because I saw her as the likes of Aria who throw themselves at you. I guess I’m just gonna offer my apologies.”
“Do that quickly!”
“Seriously? How did you even get her to like you? I thought you were gonna date someone like me so I imagined your girl with red hair, lots of tattoos and piercings.”
“I see your kind every day. She’s different and everything I’ve ever wanted. She’s my Riana.” Her beautiful smile played in my mind and it reflected on my lips.
“Aww, I can’t believe this. You’re whipped.” She sighed dramatically.
“I’m yet to whip him.” Ronnie jumped between us.
“How did you do it, man? She was supposed to be mine. I wanted her.”
“Quiet. She’s mine okay? She has been..always”
“Unbelievable! Since when did you fall over the heel?” He gaped foolishly at me.
“Just stay away from her, I’m warning you.” I turned to go but Nina grabbed my arm again.
“Let’s do something before you go. It’s been a while.” She smirked and motioned towards the room.
Ronnie, who saw it rushed inside.
“You’re mad. I don’t wanna get high. My girlfriend is around and I really wanna be with her before Aria tries shit! Fuck, I miss her even.”
“Just for today. If you leave now I won’t see you again. I hate that you have a real girlfriend now. I’m jealous even.”
“Suck it up.” I laughed and allowed her to lead me toward the room.
“Just for today,” I tell her.
The hall is crowded than usual. I walked through them and spoty a table surrounded by students.
I spoyt Betsy and went to stand behind her, craning my neck, I stared at the table and studied what was going on.
“Fucking bullshit!” Betsy yelled and the person she said it to laughed and shook his head.
“Take that back, Betsy. You’re losing again. Thankfully there are gallons of vodka left.” He chuckled and showed Betsy his cards.
I didn’t understand a thing.
Betsy raised the vodka bottle to her lips and finished half of it. My eyes go wide.
She raised her cards and selected one ace, a joker and another then slammed it on the table, face down. “Three aces!”
That is a lie.
Her opponent eyed her suspiciously. “Fuck you, there’s no ace!”
Betsy jumped up. “Damn you, I got an ace, she flipped the card up.
“Yeah yeah, so what do I do?”
“You’re gonna kiss the dude behind me.”
No way. I guess she didn’t know I’m the one.
As she said that everyone turned to me.
“Betsy,” I called.
She turned. “Oh, dear friend. You’re here!” She clapped her hands and laughed. How much of a drink did she have?
“Oh shit, I get to kiss our very Dominguez. How lucky. I will be a fool to step back.”
“Fool, step back. She’s Anderson girl. You don’t wanna mess with him.” Betsy slurred.
The guy stepped back. “Then she’d have to play with me.”
Whoa! Novan has made quite a name.
“I don’t know how to.”
“You just gonna try. It’s about lies and truths. You just gotta guess.”
I nodded and Betsy made way for me to take her place. I was giving a number of cards and I stared at them.
“Who will start first?” The dealer asked.
No one said anything after a minute so I did.
” I will,” I said boldly and the guy smirked. This should help me to forget about Aria’s words.
I selected four aces and slapped it on the table facedown. “Four aces!”
“That’s BULLSHIT!” He yelled.
I flipped the card over and pulled my tongue out.
“He’s drinking” the others laughed and Betsy hugged me.
He took Betsy’s vodka and chucked it down then took my four cards. I was left with six cards.
I smiled at my first victory.
“Two aces!” He yelled…
It could either be he’s lying or telling the truth. I will go for both.
“Bullshit! it’s one ace, one king!”
He groaned and flipped it up. All drunks cheered. I laughed to myself as I watched him take another drink.
The game continued until I gave out all my cards. After the first round which I won, I attempted the second round and had to drink five times. I moved away from the table as I couldn’t feel my feet properly. I’m so damned.
I stumbled away through the crowds. Fuck me, I should’ve left after the first game.
Where the fuck is Novan?
Courtney’s voice resounded in my ears and I began to take the stairs up. My heart drummed along.
“Hey?” Evan smiled at me and I saw holes in his cheeks.
“Wait? Who dug your cheeks?” Did I laugh? I could see more holes now.
“The fuck you’re drunk.” He laughed. He’s so handsome.
“Aww, you’re so cute.” I smiled. “I’m not drunk.”
“Alright. I heard how you called my dimples holes”
I laughed.
“Will you tell me something Evan, why don’t you ever talk to me? And is that your girlfriend or your twin?”
He shoved his hands into his jacket. “I just don’t like to talk to new people and the girl you always see me with is actually my girlfriend, not my twin.”
“Oh, I see? Have you seen my boyfriend?”
He looked at me dor a moment and back to a door in front of us. “He’s your boyfriend right?”
“So you know him? Everything?”
“I do. Why do you ask?”
“He’s in that room?” He pointed to a door.
“Ahh, thanks.”
“Don’t mention it.” He got down the stairs. I walked steadily towards the door and pushed it opened.
I stumbled back at what hit me. I coughed and closed my eyes.
I stumbled inside, still coughing, and gradually opened my eyes.
I didn’t know what I expected to see Novan doing but this is not one of it. The fuck.
He looked at me and his cheeks paled.
He’s just as fucked up as my mum thought.
What doesn’t he do? Anything.

{Loving him with all his flaws.}
I didn’t know what I expected to see Novan doing but this is not one of it. The fuck.
He looked at me and his cheeks paled.
He’s just as fucked up as my mum thought.
What doesn’t he do? Anything.
He shifted uncomfortably on the couch and dropped the stick.
The fuck he’s smoking pot.
Novan smokes?
I walked slowly towards him. Nina sat beside him, her head on his shoulder as she puffs smoke luxuriously and relentlessly with no effort. She seems to be lost and including the others. Damn. They’re smoking cannabis. Even Ronnie. It is what they do. God.
Why must Novan do this? So Aria was right. He was up here smoking while I was downstairs looking for him and feeling lonely. He’d get high and come and be shouting at me, the fuck I will slap the hell outta him. Perhaps this is the cause of his constant shouts and mood swings.
“Mariana I..”
I hold my hand up to silence him.
“Don’t call my name!” I said quietly but I meant it.
“I want to explain. I swear this isn’t what I do. I wasn’t..”
“I saw you getting high Novan, with my two very eyes. What else do you wanna tell me? That you were paying homage to it? That what? How more will you fuck up?”
“I’m sorry babe.”
I see. He’s calling me babe. Is it cannabis speaking or my Novan?
“Chill out lover girl. He didn’t take much before you came, right guys?”
They nodded and blew smoke from every direction. I choked and coughed. My throat hurt. I need water.
“Let’s get out of here. This isn’t good for you.” He reached for my wrist but I glared at him and he let go.
I bent and picked the stick he dropped. It was still burning. I had no idea how it’s done but I’ve seen people smoke in movies.
I tipped the butt and raised it to my lips.
“No. Don’t.” He snatched it away.
“What is your problem? If you can do it then why can’t I ?”
“You don’t get it. How can you smoke? This is bad. Please. I’m sorry.”
“Why can’t I? If you can smoke then why can’t I? I can also smoke so allow me.”
I looked at his friends and others I don’t know.
“Can I get a stick?” I sat and put my legs over the other. The vodka was still very much working inside me.
“Sure!” A guy passed me a long one.
I looked at Novan and smirked. He looked like he’d pass out.
“Please don’t.” He begged as I lighted it.
“Because it’s not good. Very bad. You want to copy me again.”
“Yes, I want to,” I admitted this time. ” If you don’t want me to copy you then why don’t you set good examples? Why do you keep doing all the bad things? And now? Why Novan?”
“This is bad Mariana.” He muttered.
“If you knew that then why do it? Why did you come here to smoke?’
“Occasionally. I don’t do it all the time. Please listen to me.” He looked around.
“Let’s get out of here before the smoke fills you up.” He dragged me out, swatting the stick from my hand.
I snatched my hand again. “So it is only you that can smoke?”
“Please. I’m begging you. It’s been a long time since I did this. The one I was holding was the first. I’m so sorry.”
“Promise not to do this again.”
“I promise. Please.” He begged.
“Why are you so fucked up Novan. Why? You’re a total mess and I won’t be able to handle you if things get going like this. I don’t know what else you’re into. Do you do drugs?” I met his eyes and he looked away. God. I swallowed. I feel like I will pass out.
“You..you do drugs?” Tears pulled in my eyes.
“No. I don’t.”
“But you did before?” I asked slowly.
He looked down and bit his lips.
God no!
“Please let’s not talk about this. I told you I’m sorry.”
“Answer me, Donovan.” I held his face in my hands.
“I..I ..fuck.” he breathed heavily.
“Tell me.” I rubbed his cheeks. His eyes were a bit dull, his eyes were lighter and his lips were dry and had a deep shade of pink. I can’t believe I got involved with someone like him. I feel sorry for myself and for him.
“Before. Once. I had some friends but I ceased to move with them again so it stopped. I’m not addicted. It was something I tried. Believe me. I did smoke pot a lot at a time but I stopped also and just do it occasionally. I didn’t plan to do it today.”
“If you knew it was bad then why do you do it? I don’t care about your ‘occasionally’ bullshit.”
“I don’t know. Maybe Nina made me.”
“Nobody did anything. You’re addicted. So fucking addicted to pot.” I poked my fingers against his chest.
“I control it, that’s not addiction.” He defended.”
“But you can’t resist it. They’re the same. I can’t believe you!” I rushed past him.
I didn’t know where I was going on I’m glad he’s running after me.
He grabbed my arm and pinned me against a door. I struggled to break free but then he took my lips and kissed me slowly. I melted and relaxed.
“I’m sorry.” He murmured against my lips and went back to kissing me. He nibbled and sucked deeply on my bottom lips. “I won’t do it again.” He whispered. “I love you.”
I opened up and welcomed him. He tastes like hell. My favorite mint on his tongue was gone and replaced with something foreign. He still tastes good anyway.
His fingers ran on my thigh and I gasped.
“Go away.” I pushed him.
“Whatever we did, you did with Aria. She told me everything.”
“She told you what?”
“How you said nice things to her to make her open her legs for you. After doing that you left her for me and now..”
“And now I will say it to you and fuck you? Oh come on, if I wanted to fuck you I would’ve done it long before we started this.” He pointed between us.
“It wouldn’t have been hard. And even now I can fuck you without trying or any other girl. What is your problem? Why must you always make her get to you? You mean more to me and if you want to know I never really slept with her. We did shits yeah..close.”
I covered my face and wept into my palms.
“Look, don’t cry.” He brought me into his chest and wrapped his arms around me. I held his waist tightly…
“Whatever we have, I never had with anyone and what we’re having, I don’t want with anyone else except you. I really love you, I swear I do.” He said against my ears.
I held him tighter. His words calmed me somehow. Not entirely though. I still can’t decipher why Aria said the same thing Novan has been saying to me.
“Please don’t ever smoke. My parents are going to separate us for real. I don’t want that.” I pleaded and pulled back to look at him.
“Yes, I won’t again.”
“I want to take your word, to believe you. Please don’t go back on it.” I hate that I can’t even leave him if he’s an addict. A real crackhead. God, I forbid this.
“I won’t.”
“I will end you and me if you go back to this I promise. Taking drugs and smoking is the last thing I can deal with. I rather leave my life alone than with an addict so bear this in mind next time you feel like smoking pot or taking a sniff.”
“I..” he tried to say and looked away. He licked his lips and ran his hand through his hair.
“You can’t leave me no matter what, got it? I will die.” He looks like someone who’s about to cry.
“What? You can’t compromise for us? You can’t choose us over your smoke?”
“Not that. I need the smoke sometimes. What do I do? I can’t lose you.” He squatted beside where I stood and facepalms.
“You promised me that you won’t, have you forgotten?”
“Yes yes but now you said you’d leave me if I did. What if one day I mistakenly…”
“Seriously?” He didn’t even mean his promise. He wanted to be doing it behind me but when I threatened he’s scared.
“I’m scared.” He confirmed my thoughts.
“Tell me when you’re done deciding. Me or pot?.” I walked away towards the hall.
Novan is a fuckin addict. Why me? What other thing is he keeping and doing secretly?
What else is he hiding? I shivered in fear. Mum said he’d leave me, Aria also did. Amandla did. Who else?
I got to the kitchen and rested my head on the counter. I closed my eyes and felt myself drifting to sleep. What?
I opened the fridge and got a bottle of water. My head fell back on the counter and I yawned. My eyes seemed to be dancing in their sockets.
What have I gotten myself into? But I love him. So foolish of me.
I sighed. I might as well sleep here today. I ignored every single eye on me.
‘My boyfriend is a crackhead. He’s a smoker’. I chanted in my head and suddenly burst into laughter. Okay, why am I laughing? I raised my head and laughed more. Sudden energy surged through me
I need to dance. I feel like it.
I heard Novan’s voice behind my ear and I jumped up. Has he finished deciding?
“What? Are you done?” I asked with a smile. I still don’t know why.
He smiled back gently at me.
“Yeah. I love you more. I told you that I’m not addicted.”
“Come with me.” He took my hand.
“What’s the time?” I asked.
“Three minutes until midnight.”
“Then let’s hurry?”
“I don’t wanna miss the countdown.” I pouted.
” Two minutes more.” He said and we doubled our steps.
I pulled him back and stared into his eyes. “Happy birthday for the last time, handsome.”
“Thank you, beautiful.”
I laughed and he gave me a quick passionate kiss.
Just after we made it to the staircase, everyone began chanting.
We walked to where all of his friends were gathered. Nina was just sitting calmly and smiling to herself while Ronnie was making the loudest noise. Evan and his girl are still quiet. I don’t know why. Aria was nowhere to be seen. Thank goodness because I see the world beneath me now. A glimpse of her and I will rush at her and crush her.
I nudge Novan. “Let’s do it.”
“It’s silly.”
“Still. Hurry. Let’s go.”
He pouted. “Okay.”
“5, 4, 3,” we said it together as I smiled.
And it’s a new year.
Happy New year. Everyone screamed and the fireworks could be heard. I screamed along and jumped up.
Novan laughed and pulled me to himself then pressed his lips on mine. “I love you ” he whispered again.
“I love you too. I pray we don’t fight this year.”
He laughed. “I hope so.”
I looked to my side and saw Betsy and Morgan to my surprise. I didn’t know he came or he just did.
I walked to her and hugged her. “Happy New year sis”
“Yeah ” she beamed.
“Are you like.. still drunk?” I asked.
“I don’t know but I feel good as hell.” She giggled.
“Hey.” I poked Morgan on the chest.
“Hope you’re also not drunk?”
“No-no-no. I’m not.”
He studied my face.
“You look like someone who’s high. Are you okay? What have you been doing?”
“Nothing. I just happened to enter a room filled with smokes.”
“Shit. Reasons why I hate these frat parties. It’s fucked up. Students end up getting high on different drugs and do shitty things. Let’s go home. This place isn’t safe and I’m bored already…”
I stopped listening to him when I saw the blonde slim girl. Fucking Aria.
When I left Morgan’s side, he didn’t notice, neither did my drunk friend.
“Hi, Aria.”
She turned to me with surprise.”
“Are you drunk or something? Why would you talk to me?”
True. Why would I talk to you if I don’t wanna beat your ass now.
“I just wanna hear those words you uttered earlier. Mind repeating? I had a problem listening earlier.”
“Have you gone to see how fucked up your so-called boyfriend is?”
I crossed my arms.
“I’m still there. I can handle him.”
“Are you not a fool?”
She’s started.
“Where’s your decency? You’re still with his ass after that?”
“You wanted me to leave him for you? I’m sorry. It’s not gonna happen.”
“I’m still gonna have him anyway. Trust me” . she smirked and that infuriated me.
“He’s so good. God! You should see how good he is in bed. Fuck. That tongue…places where they have been, things they did. Man. How can you even know? He had only kissed you. Poor thing…”
Before I know it, my hand has connected with her cheeks. With the back of my hand, I gave him another on his other cheek. She winced and stumbled back.
Until now, all the shits she did to me only Betsy gave it to her. It’s my turn now.
I grabbed her shirt and pulled her close to me. I held her by the chin harshly and made her stare into the rage in my eyes.
“Bitch, you thought since I overlooked I can’t beat your ass and do it well? What did you think? That you’d get away with everything? I will kill you.” I tackled her to the floor and came on top. She struggled but I’m not letting her go so easily.
I feared a little when I heard how hard her head hit the floor. The fear vanished when she tried to fight back.
“Go near my boyfriend again and you’re dead!” I slammed her head to the floor.
“Talk shit about him and you’d get more of this.” I slammed it back. The bitch was wailing now while the drunk students cheered me on.
“Don’t ever cross my paths again Aria. Don’t ever mess with me and don’t you ever, I repeat. Never in your miserable life should you try what you did tonight to me again? I swear I will ruin you.” I slammed her head back and I saw her eyes begin to shut.
Someone began to pull me away.
I was feeling as good as fuck after what I took. Seeing Mariana beside me as we chant gave me more happiness. I couldn’t help kissing her in front of everyone.
She soon left for her friend and I sat. Nina was too quiet. How much did she take? I hope she didn’t add anything to other things.
“Hey!” I nudged her and sat beside her instead.
She smiled at me and got onto my lap then wrapped his hands on my neck. “Mind if we go bike riding?” She asked.
“I told you. My girlfriend is here. You got me into trouble today.”
“Good, she saw you. Don’t worry, she’d take your shit since she loves you.”
“I can’t take advantage of that and also, not all shits will be taken. For my girlfriend to see me taking that is a whole lot. I don’t know what she thinks of me now.”
“It’s okay. You don’t do it all the time. Even me. There’s nothing wrong in taking it once in a while ”
“Still. You’re fucked up. Don’t try to convince me to do anything again.”
“Okay lover boy.” She laughed.
She moved her hands on my torso seductively and kissed my jaw.
“Go get a fuck mate if you’re horny Nina.”
“Nothing is stopping you from being my mate.” She giggled.
“You’re crazy.”
“Yeah yeah.” She laughed.
A sudden cheering from the crowd got my attention. There’s a fight.
“Let’s go and check who’s kicking whose ass.”
We moved into the crowd and to my utmost horror and shock, there is, my girl on top of Aria, slamming her head mercilessly on the floor.
That celebrity boy was trying his best but to no avail. I bet village living made my girl strong.
I moved into the crowd and grabbed her by the waist.
Her body crushed into mine and I hugged her. I hope this doesn’t get on the internet. Her parents will be disappointed.
“Let me go Novan.”
“No babe. Let her be. You’ve beaten her enough. Let’s continue some other time.”
“Yeah. Else she’d pass out.” She chuckled.
Thank goodness.
I know the smoke she inhaled is taking its effect on her else my Mariana will never think of hurting anyone regardless. She’s angelic with an indeed pure heart. Not violence at all.
I checked on Aria before taking Mariana away from the scene.
“Big ups bestie.”
Crazy drunk Betsy jumped in our front.
Mariana chuckled.
“Now I can rest in peace. This is what I’ve been waiting all my life to see. At last, it finally happened. Aria deserves it and I’m so happy. Oh my God.” She wiped under her eyes and hugged Mariana.
The fuck is she like crying?
Alcohol is a bastard.
I pulled my girl from her before she decides to puke.
“She’s high. Do you know that? What did you give to my sister?” Mariana’s defensive celebrity brother asked quietly. He was standing close to me. The pretty little thing.
He looked furious.
“I don’t know.” I lied.
“Jerk, don’t lie to me. Even you are.” He eyed me, taking in my appearance carefully.
Fuck. I forgot his dad was a detective before becoming a lawyer.
“Take care of her or you’d be in trouble if something should happen to her.”
The fuck. He won’t tell me what to do. I already know.
“I saw how well you took care of your girl too,” I smirked.
“Dick!” He muttered and walked Betsy away.
“I’m sorry,” I shouted after him. I really don’t have a problem with him. I like him if anything. He’s cool and composed than I am.
I took Mariana outside and the fresh air hit us and filled our lungs.
“God.” She moaned.
The cool air calmed me and slowly I was coming close to my senses.
Novan hugged me from behind and rested his face in the nook of my neck.
“Did I really beat Aria?”
“You did a good job.” He answered.
Oh no.
“Were cameras on me?” My parents. They won’t like this.
“I didn’t see any. Don’t worry. Your hair covered your face and nobody expected to see you at a frat party so they won’t try knowing who you were.”
“But some will still know me. I went to play a game earlier and people recognized me.”
“What game?” He asked.
“I don’t know but it involves cards. You get to say bullshit when someone draws a card.”
“Bullshit.” He muttered.
“It’s called bullshit. The game.”
” A silly game. Did you drink?”
“Yeah, I drank vodka before leaving to find you.”
He didn’t say anything afterward. We stayed in silence and I leaned back into him.
” Is Aria fine? Hope she isn’t hurt?”
“You care too much. She’d be fine.”
I nodded.
“Why do you smoke Novan? What influenced that decision?” I asked and he sighed deeply.
I turned to look at his face.
“You won’t leave me if I tell you?”
He’s now scaring me.
“Will leave if you don’t tell me everything.”
He sighed again and took a deep breath.
“Okay. I had anger issues, you know my temper. I also feel sad all the time. I was this depressed little boy. I was never really happy since I was a child. My unhappy home and everything just kept eating me inside. You were my happiness back then when we were kids and I have to look at you from afar. I get happy just by doing that. You still make me happy as at now. When you vanished and my parents left, I told you how I get pissed with my sister. I couldn’t handle her and I was always angry. I met some friends when I was fourteen and they introduced me to…you know..” he looked at me and I shook my head.
“Drugs. It helped me at some point and it made me calm. I knew it was bad so I fought it somehow. I stopped being with them to quit it. I returned to my sad moods and angry state. I get angry at everything for no reason and I didn’t know how to handle it. I met Nina, Ronnie, and Evan one day taking that at a party and that was how it started, everything and our friendship. I smoked with them and it helped me a lot. It calms and relaxes me. It makes me happy for no apparent reason. I enjoyed it and I took care of my sister with no stress. I kept on taking it until you returned and I stopped. Your presence did all that the cannabis used to give me. But then, I had to see you every day. If you’re not there, I return back to my sad and angry state. It’s the reason why I always disturb you each day in school. When we fought because of my sister’s health and I had left, I got back to it. Then I returned again. I wanted to catch your attention and everything and be in your good books at any cost so I pretended to be Shane. I also wanted to stop that’s why I did that. You liked Shane so I stayed off smoking. After you found out about me and later forgave me where we became friends, I got to know you and how annoying you can be. I realized I can’t stand anyone. You make me happy and mad at the same time. I started taking it occasionally just to be in my best behavior around you and to tolerate you. That stopped completely when we became a thing. When you became my girl. I didn’t see any need for it but… anytime I have to be in a crowd, among people, I take a drag to stay composed. I took it during the competition too if not I won’t be able to handle the people around me. I told you how I can’t stand anybody except you of course. Today, I didn’t want to take it because you were here, I was happy but Nina had to propose it. I’m sorry okay, I know how fucked up I am but I will be doomed if you leave me. You’re my drug Mariana, I can’t do without you.”
This is all so much to take in.
“I depend on you Mariana. Please don’t ever leave me.”
Here we go again.
This is madness. No matter how this is, he must get past it and learn to be happy on his own.
As much as I’m glad that I am the only one that could make him happy, it terrifies me.
I looked into his shiny eyes and he looked vulnerable. It dawned on me that whatever his parents did really affected him deeply to this point where he has to depend on something to be happy. God. What won’t I witness?
Forget about that.
Why didn’t I ever notice before?
Okay, i remember asking him back in Seattle if he smokes after he left the stage and the question he asked was,
“Are you just asking?”
Was I supposed to know?
He meant the question back then.
Oh no.
I was really supposed to know.
{Loving him with all his flaws.}
“Can you take me away from here?”
He nodded slowly.
We walked silently to his car, he opened it for me and waited till I sat before closing the door and rounding the car to sit.
I fastened my seatbelt and rested my head back on the head restraint.
I picked my back from the back and fetched my phone. My eyes met what I got him before closing the bag back.
My parents called. Probably to just if I am alright.
I switched the phone off. I’m not the social media type if not I should be on Facebook or Instagram. It’s good, I don’t have to share my personal life with unknown people.
Novan was not looking at me either. He was just driving.
“Where are we going?”
“My apartment or you want us to go home now?”
“I got a new house. I think we should go there since it’s closer than yours.”
“Oh really? I didn’t know. Address?”
I mentioned the address and it wasn’t long before he pulled beside my penthouse.
He doesn’t look surprised. “Nice penthouse.” He commented when we got out.
“When did you get it?”
“On 26th. We weren’t talking then.”
“Oh.” He said.
The elevator ride was awkward. I just stood there, staring at myself in the glass doors with my bag hanging on me.
He didn’t take it today. My eyes moved to him and his hands were stuffed in his pocket. His lip ring was in between his teeth. The set I got him.
Looking at his neck, I saw the chain. Wow, he wore it. I didn’t see it before.
I fought my smile and looked at my pumps. I’m defeated as a huge grin plastered on my face. I’m glad he wore the chain. I want to hug him but I don’t know how it will look like.
The elevator dinged and we stepped out. I walked to my door and punched in the passcode. The door slides and we got in.
“Do you mind if I stay? I can go?”
Is he serious?
“How can you think of leaving me alone here? You’re behaving as if we’re fighting.” I rambled as I crossed the large living room to the bedroom.
I placed the bag on the bed and stepped out of the shoes.
“Thought you were mad at me.” He said from behind me.
“I’m thinking Novan.” I don’t know what to do with this new information. Novan has a lot of flaws. It’s like, perfect meet wrong.
I’m not really perfect but my life isn’t fucked up like his and I’m yet to see anyone who’s life is as fucked up as Novan’s.
“Thinking about what?”
“You and everything. I think you should see a therapist. Your case is serious. I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”
“I don’t need that. You’re here. You’re more than some fucking therapy. Please listen to me.”
“I’m listening.”
“I don’t need any therapy. It’s you that I need.”
“I don’t know if I can keep up.”
“So you’ll leave me?”
“What did you expect, that I should make you enslave me with ‘please don’t leave me’ when you’re not ready to change? You must be mad. You’re mad Donovan”
“I’m changing. I swear, I will never take that again I promise.”
I turned slowly to him.
“What if I’m gone? Or I traveled? What if anything and I’m no longer there? How will you cope? You’d go back to taking that?”
“It never worked.”
“I registered for a year. I tried. But it didn’t go away. Please listen to me. I’m helpless.” His voice breaks, he bit his lips and his glossy eyes fell below.
He’s on the verge of tears.
“You tried?”
He nodded and turned around. His shoulders slackened and his hands were on his face and he sniffed.
“Do you know how old I am? I should be in my second year in college but I had to go for a year. I placed a lot of effort into it. I went every day and adhered to all the advice. I took the therapy seriously but it yielded nothing. I quit. I can’t waste time on it. I get well when I’m with you. I’m saying it and I mean it. I will never do that again. Please believe me.”
I’m dumbfounded. I just want to cry until all the tears are dried from my eyes.
For once I pity him. I’m so sorry.
“We can try another one. I will get you a better therapist.”
“What don’t you get? You think I didn’t get a professional?”
“No. Don’t get me wrong. I just said we could still try somewhere else. Seriously, you need it.”
“If I’m going for it then seriously, you need not be here. I will manage on my own.”
“How are you gonna manage? Sniffing, smoking, or vaping.”
“That shouldn’t be your concern.”
“This is not the time for you to be aggressive on me, Novan. I’m really trying to be understanding and supportive. You think I’d leave you on the way? If that’s what you’re thinking then you’re wrong. I will stand by you through it. I can even accompany you to the venue if you allow me to. I’m gonna hold your hand and never leave you Novan.” I touched his shoulders, squeezing them, and turned him to look at me.
I swear, I saw a totally broken man. Shattered to pieces.
“Let’s do this before it gets past amendment level Novan. I’m here. I will play my part but you still need it. Please.”
He clenched his jaw and didn’t meet my eyes.
“You’ll never go away?” He met my eyes and instantly, I want to wipe the fear and sadness from his eyes.
I don’t know how many times he wants me to keep telling him that I can’t leave him. Is he not aware that I can’t do without him too? I didn’t want to say it but the desperation in his eyes made it known that he really needs to hear it.
“I’m here, never leaving. You’re like home, my home. I can never leave, will always be back at home, with you.”
He stared deeply into my eyes for a long time.

“Thank you.” He muttered at last. It was genuine. A radiant smile sprint to his lips and I saw his pieces form back together.
“It’s nothing.” I smiled.
I know there’s still a lot to be fixed. Novan’s dad did not only hurt him but me too. I don’t know how he’s going to take this. Is it going to aggravate and intensify his hatred for his dad? If anything, I don’t want him to hate his dad any more than he already has.
“So what do you say? We’re going for it?”
He rubbed his neck. “Can we not discuss this later?”
“When is later? I don’t entertain that. It’s now or never. That’s my term.”
“Alright, miss principled.”
“I’m going for it.”
“And now that’s my Donovan.” I smiled happily and proudly.
“Don’t get too excited. Let’s talk about it first.”
“What matters is that you’ve accepted.”
“I can only go through it on college breaks or after completion. I won’t be able to balance it with school, work and all. You know I have responsibilities.”
“Yes, I understand. So next vacation you’re gonna start. I will also start searching for the best therapist for your situation.”
“I’m going to pay.”
“Yeah. I know you won’t allow me to so I decided that we should share it.”
“Not happening. I have enough money and you’ve done a lot for me already. Really.”
“If you say so.” I really wanted to give a hand.
“Thanks.” He said again.
“What are you thanking me for now after you’ve refused my help, Mr. Anderson?”
“I didn’t. You’ve done too much for me and financial help is the last I want you to give. I can’t take that no matter what, not when I have hands that I can use to work. It’s the last thing I can do since my entire life is fucked up. I can’t be useless as well. However, I appreciate your genuine philanthropic attempt”
He didn’t steal my heart, he won it. He keeps winning it with the little things and it is these little things that make me love him more. It patches our misunderstandings and supersedes it with something greater. What he said is really nothing but it means a whole lot to me.
“Philanthropic huh?” I turned and walked to the closet. I can’t thank mum less for filling my new wardrobe with Louis Vuitton collections, my favorite clothing brand which is also the world’s most expensive brand ever. I will have to thank mum personally for this.
I selected a nightie set which looked quite conservative not a bit provocative at all.
“I wanna take a bath,” I informed him.
“Okay…can I join?”
I looked over my shoulders at him. He can’t come. I’m not feeling fine.
“Next time.”
“Okay, don’t keep long.” His voice was low as he began to get his shoes off. This is the first time I’m seeing him in sneakers. He used to wear boots all the time.
“Wait. I want to do something.” His long-form padded over to me.
“I want to take this sexy piece off of you. Allowed?” He rasped and traced his long fingers on the neckline.
I shuddered.
“Please. It’s all I’ve been thinking of doing the entire evening.” He stood at my back and as he spoke, his breath fanned my neck. The next thing I felt was his lips at my bare back then he opened the zip slowly.
He stepped back suddenly. “I’ve got a new idea. I wanna watch you take it off.”
“Yes please.” He went to sit back on the bed, eyes on me.
My hands went to the back and slowly, I pulled the zip down. I let the thin fabric slide slowly and smoothly from me, revealing my red lace thongs.
“Shit… shit!.”
I looked at him and his eyes seems to be falling out as he shifted on the edge of the bed.
“You’re in a thong? A fucking thong. Holy fuck.” He got up and began to walk to me but returned and sat.
“You..can go.” He swallowed and looked away but it didn’t take a second before his eyes returned back on me.
“No. Come..come to me first.”
I stepped out of the dress and walked towards him. I like how his eyes are on me and the way he’s so affected by my nearly naked body.
When I got to him, he took one long drag on my body then pulled me to take a seat on him. His lips attacked mine that instant as his hands roamed on every part of my body. The fire that lit inside me was inexplicable. His hands took a seductive move on my spine slowly as they traced every curve.
“Oh, Novan..” I moaned into his mouth and began to grind on him. He fell back on the bed with me and flipped us so he was on top. His lips moved on my skin, biting and nibbling me everywhere.
“I’m sorry Mariana.” He whispered as he took out my thongs, part my legs, and got in between. His godly lips worshipped me as if I was a god.
My legs hooked on his waist as he came down on me and took my lips again.
I stood under the water and let the cold water cleansed me and replaced the hotness in me.
What just happened?
Nothing. I smiled cheekily and moved from the shower.
I walked into the big bathroom which consisted of everything I will ever need. God, mum is an angel. I feel bad for making her sad sometimes. If only she’d understand me and give me her support, things will be much better.
I didn’t waste much time so as not to keep Novan waiting.
I came out already dressed. His eyes swept me and he smirked crudely.
“You look like a nun.” He chuckled.
“Is that so?”
“It’s big on you. It’s okay and it nice. I mean this is from Louis” he glanced at me mockingly.
It was cotton shorts and top set but doesn’t hang on me like a second skin. It’s comfortable and I don’t really see anything wrong with it.
My mind was still reeling from what happened. Novan is so good and naughty. I still feel hot despite the cold shower.
“I need to piss.” He bumped his shoulders into me playfully on his way to the bathroom.
I got onto the bed and waited for him.
He came out and stood back.
“What are you waiting for? Come to bed.”
“I’m coming.” He whined and I heard his belt unbuckled.
” I’m just trying to undress. You didn’t expect me to sleep in my skinny jeans.” He laughed and stumbled out of them.
As he was coming, his foot hit something.
“What’s that?”
“It’s your bag. Everything is poured out. ” He said and bent to pick them. I guess it happened when we were on it.
“What is this?” He threw a box on the bed. That’s what I got him.
“Didn’t you see?”
“What’s in there?” He got up and picked it to take a look.
“A nook.”
“A nook? For yourself?”
“No, you. I got it for you.”
“I don’t do literature. What will I read on it?”
“I got all the recipes of every dish packed in it. I thought you’d love it since you won’t have to look into books.”
“That’s thoughtful. I didn’t think of this. I will pay you.” He smiled.
“No. Don’t. I got this from my heart and after so much thought. It’s also a way of supporting what you do. Please don’t pay me, I want to play part in your success.”
“Alright, but you won’t stop me from getting something better than this for you next time.”
“I’m not stopping you.”
“Thanks anyway. You’re sweet. I couldn’t be any luckier.” He placed it on the nightstand and got down to pick my bag. He stayed there for some time.
“Why do you have my dad’s card?” He raised the card to show me.