You think you know me?
I woke up the next day with a splitting headache. What does a splitting headache mean anyway? Is it having a headache split into two headaches or something? Maybe even multiple headaches? Because this definitely seemed more than just one headache.
"Ugh," I said, putting my hand to my pounding forehead. Where was I? I looked around and was yet again, relieved to find myself in my own bedroom. Funny, I had this strange dream last night. A nice dream actually. I dreamt I puked into Daniel Scotts lap. I laughed when I remembered that vague dream, just to groan again when my head started to pound harder.
Suddenly my phone rang, adding fuel to the agonizing headache.
I picked up the phone, rubbed my eyes and said, "Hello?"
"What took you so long to pick up the phone?" she asked, sounding really concerned over the phone.
I glanced at the alarm clock on my bed side table and saw that it was already 10.00 am.
"Sorry, I was sleeping and didn't hear your call. And can you keep it down a little bit. I've got this awful headache and…."
"Do you have any idea how worried I was?" she asked, cutting me off and ignoring my plea to keep it down.
"Worried? Worried about what?"
"Well, when I couldn't find you anywhere at Ian's yesterday, I thought something might have happened to you. Then I thought maybe you hitched a ride from someone so I called your house. And when Daniel picked up the phone, I didn't know what to think. Seriously Angela, the least you could do was tell me…..."
What was she talking about? Why would I be at Ian's house? Wait, this seemed vaguely familiar. That's right, my dream. I dreamt that Maria and I went to Ian's party and the dancing and puking into Daniel's lap…wait a minute. That was a dream right?
"Did you say Daniel picked up my phone?" I asked, cutting off her amazingly long lecture to me.
"Yeah. He said he gave you a ride home but I didn't know if I could believe him and all…"
Crap. My dream was real. I really did go to Ian's party. But the last thing I remember was having that one drink, or was it two? And puking on Daniel. Well, that part wasn't so bad.
"Hey Maria, I gotta go. I'll call you later okay?" I said.
"Fine, but you better give me all the details later," she said before I hung up the phone.
I got up and walked slowly over to my mirror, making sure to be careful not to enrage my headache any further. What I saw almost made me scream. My sexy loose ringlets were now tangled and frizzy. And I guess that long lasting mascara wasn't so long lasting after all. I changed out of my pyjamas and proceeded to have a nice long bath. After throwing on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt, I went downstairs to get something to eat.
Just as I walked into the kitchen, I saw someone raiding through the refrigerator. The butt that was pointing at me didn't look like either Lisa's or mum's. It was definitely a guy's. He was wearing a blue bath robe and a pair of bunny slippers. This whole scene would have been funny if the guy wasn't a thief.
Because of my quick reflexes, I picked up a nearby frying pan to arm myself. Maybe if I bonked him in the head, he'll pass out and I can call the police.
I silently walked over to the refrigerator. When I was close enough to the guy, I lifted the frying pan but before I had a chance to hit the guy in the head, he stood up and turned around. It looked like he was about to say something but I quickly cut him off and swiftly brought the frying pan down. But my aim was off so instead of hearing the satisfying clang of metal connecting with skull, I heard metal connecting with shoulder blade. Well, good enough.
He screamed and fell to the ground with an awfully loud but satisfying thump.
"Angela? What did you just do?"
I turned around and saw my mum running over to the groaning burglar.
"Don't worry mum, I've got everything under control. He was a burglar and I was just…"
"You thought he was a burglar? What did you think he was doing, stealing our food?" she asked, kneeling down and lifting the man in question's head onto her lap. Wait, what?
"Mum, get away from him!" I said, still gripping the frying pan tightly.
"Angee, relax. He's not a burglar," she said.
"You mean you know this guy?" I asked pointing at the man who apparently is not a burglar and who was groaning and rubbing his shoulder on the floor.
"Yes," she said, helping the man off the floor, "Angela, this is Steve. Steve, my daughter Angela,"
"Nice arm you got there," he said to me, when he was standing up steadily.
Steve looked like he was in his early fifties. He had dark hair with streaks of grey and was slightly balding at the front. He looked like a corporate kind of guy. So seeing him in a bath robe with bunny slippers was a very funny sight indeed.
"Um, thanks," I said, pretty much speechless.
"Listen, honey," said mum to this absolute stranger, "Can you make me a cup of coffee while I talk to Angela?"
"Sure," he said.
Honey? And how could he make a her cup of coffee when he didn't know where everything was anyway?
But I could just stand there and gape when I saw him expertly opening the cabinet and making the coffee, as if he did know where everything was.
"Come on sweetheart," said my mum, pulling me away.
But before we could leave, Lisa walked into the kitchen.
"Hey," she said, to me and mum.
When she saw Steve, she just nodded to him and said, "Hey Steve,"
"Wait, you know him?" I asked her as she grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl.
She looked at me and raised an eyebrow, "Duh,"
Then she opened the back door and left.
My mum then proceeded to pull me out into the hallway.
"Who is that?" I asked her when we were safely out of earshot.
"Didn't I tell you who he was already?"
"I know, Steve. What I mean is how is he associated to you and what is he doing here? In our house?"
She put her fingers to her forehead and sighed.
"Listen, honey, there's something I have to tell you,"
Then it all dawned on me. Of course. My mum was dating that Steve guy. I realized that somehow I knew this already when the word honey came out of mum's mouth just a minute ago. Maybe I was just too ignorantly freaking out to let it sink in. Why else had she seemed so happy lately? She had practically been skipping around the house and as I looked around, I noticed that the house looked considerably cleaner. Like squeaky clean. But wait, I saw her reading one of her self help books just the other day. If she was supposedly happily dating this guy, why would she still be reading those books?
"Steve and I, we're dating," she said.
"But just the other day I saw you reading one of your self help books. Why would you do that if you were already dating someone?" I asked defiantly.
"Well, I'm not sure what you saw, but this entire week I've been reading cook books. Not self help books," she said laughing, "Actually if you didn't notice, I've thrown out all of those self help books about a month ago,"
"U-huh," I said. I really didn't know what else to say. I looked at my mum and noticed that she looked positively glowing. Her eyes had a certain shine to it like it did before. She looked happy.
"Look, Angee," she said, taking both of my hands, "Steve's a really nice guy. I think you'll really like him,"
"Where did you meet him? And how long has this been going on?"
"We just well, bumped into each other at work. And, you know, just over a month. Or two. Who keeps count anyway?"
"Why is it that I didn't know any of this and Lisa apparently did?"
"Really, I was planning on telling you. And Lisa, well, she met him here. Unlike you, she actually hit Steve on the head. With a book,"
"Why didn't you tell me?" I asked, ignoring her attempt to be funny.
"I was going to. But I was afraid you'd react like this,"
"Like what?" I asked, raising my voice.
"Like this! I mean Lisa took it incredibly well. Why can't you?"
"Oh I don't know. I don't usually just find a total stranger, going through our fridge, just to be told that he's your boyfriend," I said angrily, "So I'm sorry if I didn't react the way you hoped I would,"
"Angee, there's no reason to raise your voice. Let's just talk about this …"
"I don't wanna talk. I gotta go," I said, turning away from her and walking to the front door.
"Angela!" I heard her shout, just before I slammed the door behind me.
I didn't have to go anywhere. But I just couldn't handle it. This was too much. Especially for my headache. I tried to think of a place I could go to clear my head. And I thought of the perfect place.
After having breakfast the following Sunday morning, I quickly slipped out of the house, away from Baxter's radar. At first when he was assigned to me, it was difficult to slip away from him. But with the tabs I kept on his daily activities and his nature of being very predictable, it became much easier.
I was peacefully sitting on top of one of the branches in this oak tree I found in the park, my head resting against the trunk. It was hard to find the perfect comfortable position but when I finally did, I was proud of myself. The tree seemed to be the biggest and oldest tree compared to the others, so I thought it fit for me. I thought back to when I was 8 years old, and I used to climb up the apple trees in the 5 acre fruit orchard that belonged to my father in Standania. He used to get so mad. Especially when I broke my arm after falling from one of those trees.
I was rudely interrupted from my reminiscing when I heard something rustling in the branches of the tree beside mine. I didn't think there were any monkey's around. And squirrels don't make such rustling noises. Neither do they make trees sway.
I turned towards the sound of the rustling branches and saw a red thing climbing up the tree. Oh wait, that was just hair. Then I saw Angela Caine's head pop up from among the leaves. She stopped climbing when she found a spot on a branch. She had a frown on her face and seemed to be concentrating on something as she took a seat on the branch and sighed. I guess she didn't see me yet and I thought of this as a perfect opportunity to scare her a little.
"And what are you doing in these here parts?" I asked.
I was clearly the one who was caught off guard though from the force of her scream. I lost my position on the tree and fell sideways. I thought back to the time when I fell of that tree in Standania. I braced myself for the pain.
Thank God the branch I was on was only a few meters of the ground. I fell on my back on top of the not so soft grass. It hurt. But just a little.
"Oh my God, are you okay?" asked Angela climbing down the tree and rushing to my side. She lifted my head onto her lap and checked for injuries.
"I'm fine. It's just my ego that got slightly bruised," I replied, laughing. She had this cute crease in her forehead whenever she frowned. And I would know. Since I always seemed to be around her when she frowned. But her frown turned to a raised eyebrow as she dropped my head back onto the grass and stood up.
"Well, I'm glad to know your big head hasn't gotten any smaller from the fall," she said, wiping dirt of her hands
Then she walked over to the foot of the tree I had fallen off and sat down. I rubbed the back of my head, and stood up. I quickly checked myself for any injuries, finding none.
"I didn't know you cared so much for my well being," I said, walking over and sitting down on a soft patch of grass beside her.
"Well apparently, you were supposed to be my knight in shining armor last night,"
"You know me, I couldn't just leave a damsel in distress,"
"Hah! Sorry to disappoint you, but I don't do damsel and I don't distress," she said snorting.
"I can see that," I said, under my breath.
"What was that?" she asked with another raised eyebrow.
"Oh nothing," I said.
"What are you doing here anyway?" she asked, annoyed, "Are you stalking me or something?"
"Or something. And I was about to ask you the same question," I said, annoyed at her for even thinking such a thing.
"Well you know me, I just couldn't resist your dashing good looks," she said, somehow unbelievingly.
"I don't blame you," I said.
"Anyway," she said, giving me an eye roll, "what exactly happened last night?
"Don't you know what happened?" I asked just to irritate her.
"I do remember puking on you," she said, smiling up at the sky. She was probably replaying that scene in her mind over and over again.
"Do you have any idea how long it took me to get the smell out?" I asked.
It had taken about two hours worth of a hot shower and a vast amount of soap.
"Then my job here is done," she said. I do believe she was mocking me.
"Ow," she said suddenly, clutching her forehead.
"Please, don't talk. You voice is giving me a migraine," she said, putting her hands down.
"Very funny. My mother always said my voice could beat the sound of a thousand singing nightingales,"
"More like a thousand squawking sea gulls,"
"You're very irritating, you know that?" I said, thoroughly annoyed.
"Fine, fine. The truth is I've got this massive headache,"
"After last night, I do believe you're suffering from a hangover,"
"Or maybe it really is just you talking to me," she said, smirking, "And again, what happened last night?"
"Well, if you must know, I rode to your side in my trusty steed and carried your fragile body into my arms. Then we rode into the sun. The End,"
"Daniel. The truth,"
"Just displaying some sense of humor. The truth is, you were passed out and literally fell into my arms, might I say. Then I drove you back to your house,"
"Really? So that's all that happened last night?"
"Well aside from the fact that you puked on me, I would say yes," I said, wondering why she asked so many questions.
"Why? Were you hoping for more?" I asked, now raising my eyebrow and giving her my trademark smirk. A smirk that I have finally perfected after sixteen years and which have gotten every girl in my path utterly pining for me.
"No," she said, snorting and clearly, not pining for me, "It's just that when I woke up today, I was, well, wearing my pajamas. And I don't remember changing into them last night,"
I really felt like bursting into laughter right then.
"I'm sorry to disappoint you but no, we didn't do anything that would be labeled as "canoodling"," I said, thinking back to when my father said that word to me, "Nothing happened,"
"That's very gallant of you. Not taking advantage of the situation I mean. Most guys usually take advantage of a girl in her gullible times," she said.
"Well, even if I did want to take advantage of a girl, what makes you think it'd be you?"
"Point taken," she said, "Even if I wanted to be taken advantage of, I wouldn't want it to be by you,"
This girl was really getting on my nerves. She had a comeback for everything I said. We sat in silence for awhile and I couldn't help but look at her in the corner of my eye. She was looking ahead at something in the distance, clearly thinking of something. I suddenly noticed that there was something different about her. She looked, sad. My have I been surprised this weekend. Seeing her happy yesterday and sad today. So the ice queen has a heart after all.
"What's wrong?" I asked, careful not to sound too caring.
"Nothing," she said, still looking away at the distance.
How old does she think I am? Three?
"I know how you girls are. Whenever you say there's nothing wrong or that you're fine, it's the absolute opposite. And I know you might not think I care, and well, you'd be right because I don't. But sometimes I find myself feeling better after telling someone about my problems, whether or not they give a damn,"
She continued to stare at the distance, but I saw a glimpse of a smile past over her lips. Then she closed her eyes, opened them, and looked at me in the eye.
"I can't believe I'm going to tell you this, but hey, maybe you're twisted mind will help make it funny,"
Then she told me everything she was going through. About her dad who left a few years ago and about her mum's new boyfriend. It was quite overwhelming and it seemed like she really did have a lot to say. At one point she looked almost teary, but like I said almost. Did Angela Caine ever cry?
At the end of her revelation, she took a deep breath and sighed.
"So that's it," she said, fiddling at a piece of grass with her fingers.
"I see? Is that really all you can say? No overly witty phrases? Not even a "hang in there, kiddo"?"
"Nope. No witty phrases. But if you want my opinion then I'll give it to you," I said.
"Okaay," she said biting her lip, "What is it?"
"Well, if you ask me, I don't understand why you're making such a big deal about your mum dating someone,"
"Really? And why is that?"
I was definitely treading on delicate ground.
"It seems to me that after you dad left, your mother finally has a chance to be happy. I'd think you'd be happy for her too,"
When she didn't say anything, I decided to tread on. Delicate ground or not.
"And about your dad not divorcing your mum, I think it would be better if you just talk to him. Call him up or invite him for a movie,"
"He's three thousand miles away,"
"Then call him up. You get the point. Just talk to him. I think he'll really appreciate that. And I think if you just asked him to divorce your mum, he'll do it,"
"After three years of my mum begging him to do that, you really think he'll do it? How would you know that?" she asked, looking at me rather angrily.
"He's your father, Angela,"
"Yeah? Well men who call themselves fathers don't just cheat on their wife with other women. Nor do they leave they're family behind," she said, no, stated angrily.
"You're right. But maybe he might have a reason for doing that,"
"You're kidding me right?"
"Okay, fine. Even if he did do it because of his greediness, it doesn't mean he doesn't still love you and your sister,"
She didn't say anything after that. Just looked away again, towards the distance. I looked at my watch and saw that it was almost one o'clock. Baxter has probably noticed that I'm missing by now. I better go home and reassure him that I'm okay before he does call the S. . Team.
"Listen," I said, standing up and shaking the loose grass of my jeans, "Whether you want to believe me or not, whatever. It was just my opinion,"
At that, I left her, still looking away at the distance.
Hey, you guys.
To YoungInside: Thanks for being so patient with me. And thanks for the review!
So what do you guys think of this chapter? Read on to see how Angela and Daniel find out just how different their lives become after meeting one another. I'm thinking of having a twist at the end. I've thought of some ideas so read on, yeah? Again, thanks for reading and do review!