"Mira!" James exclaimed. He happily embraced her into a tight hug then made room for Emily to give her a hug as well.
"You look so gorgeous! My goodness you look so different!" Emily gushed. Mira smiled appreciatively before greeting her parents each with a kiss and sitting down.
"Daddy mentioned you guys were coming but I didn't think you guys were already here…" Mira began.
"Oh yes! We got here around this time last week, but we've been so busy getting everything in order, making sure Jay-Jay's paperwork was properly assessed, and just settling in, you know?" Emily explained excitedly. Mira nodded in understanding and smiled. Again. It was all she could do at the moment; she was too much in shock. 'How stupid. I saw him in school, I should have expected to see his parents almost immediately.'
"Jason should be coming by soon. You didn't see him in school?" James asked.
Upon hearing the question, Mira slightly panicked. But she realized that Jason had not seen her at all today so there was no way Jason could counter her story. Racking her brain for a good excuse Mira quickly replied, "Actually many teachers had mentioned a new student and I assumed they meant Jason, but I didn't particularly see him around school." 'That wasn't so bad.'
Knock, Knock, Knock…
"Honey, you wouldn't mind getting that would you?" Charlie asked.
'Yes I would mind.' "Sure dad." Mira hesitantly stood up and walked to the door. She contemplated on whether or not she should just open the door and walk away without saying hello. But ever the polite child, she opened the door and braced herself for the one guy capable of making her look like a fool. Mira had resolved that after that past argument, she would never be the vulnerable victim. And up until this day she stayed ahead of the game. With him back in the picture, the game just got a little more challenging.
"Hey," he said. Mira opened the door wider for him to enter and quietly closed it after he was completely inside. She was hoping he would go right in and walk toward the living room, but he waited for her to shut and lock the door.
"You didn't have to wait," she said. She brushed past him and walked back into the living room only to sit back down next to her parents.
"Ah, Jason! It's so good to see you! You look so different from when we see you on TV!" Mira's mother pattered while he took a seat next to his parents. "It was so weird at first seeing our little Jay-Jay all grown up on magazines and TV shows! You sure have those little girls pining after you!" Lita teased. Jason chuckled in response but didn't say anything. An awkward silence fell amongst the six individuals and if there was one thing Mira didn't like, it was silence.
"I'll go make you guys coffee, how does that sound?" Mira offered.
"Oh, Belle, baby that's a great idea! Why don't you get the cheesecake I made, out of the fridge, too! I'm sure James, Emily and Jason would like some," Lita suggested. Mira nodded and headed off in the direction of the kitchen. Before she could get past the swinging door, the phone rang.
"I'll get it!" she yelled. She rushed to the cordless phone hanging on the wall and glanced at the caller ID before answering.
"Connelly residence, how may I help you?" Mira greeted sweetly.
"GIRL! Why'd you leave so quickly like that? I wanted to tell you what happened at lunch today! Oh my goodness, Jason Carlisle is in my third block so naturally we have the same lunch and you will not believe the amount of girls screeching after him! It's chaos, I tell you!" Leslie started excitedly.
"That's great and all, Leslie, but he and his parents are over for a visit so I'll have to call you back," Mira said. She counted to three before Leslie expectedly screeched into the phone. Mira chuckled before hanging up on her best friend and continued on her journey to the kitchen. Mira turned around, about to go back and ask if they wanted it decaf but Jason had been unexpectedly standing behind her.
"Thank you Jason, for making your presence known," Mira said sarcastically while composing herself and walking back toward the kitchen. Jason merely shrugged and walked passed her.
"My mom told me to help," he explained.
"Thank you, but I don't need your help," Mira retorted while getting the cheesecake out of the fridge.
"Quit being so stubborn."
"Quite acting like you really want to help," she easily countered.
Jason sighed and shook his head. He didn't know how to approach the situation. Everything was always so easy for him, but Mira had never been one to easily get along with. Even when they were younger, if Mira didn't like something she would always find a way to fix it. And when things didn't go her way, she wouldn't throw tantrums, she'd just somehow convince who ever was around her to make it go her way.
"You haven't changed at all," he finally said.
"You wouldn't know, you were never around," Mira quipped while slicing the cheesecake and placing them onto separate plates.
"You're not going to make this easy, are you?"
"It stopped being easy the moment you decided our friendship wasn't worth your time. Don't act like I'm making it difficult for you now," Mira said. She placed the individual plates onto a silver tray, grabbed the pitcher filled with coffee along with four coffee mugs, and placed it on the tray as well before walking back out to the living room.
Jason sighed before following her once again into the living room. She wasn't going to let up and it was going to take a hell of a lot of work to get back in her good graces. He didn't think that after almost three years she would still be bitter and unforgiving, but she seemed to be just as relentless as she was when she was 15.
Their parents continued on with their conversation after indulging themselves with the coffee and cheesecake leaving Jason and Mirabelle to awkwardly glance at each other from time to time. Mirabelle was anxious to leave the living room and she was scheming up different excuses to leave without seeming rude. She racked her brain for anything that she needed to do today that could not possibly include Jason. In the end she came up with nothing. 'I need to find a job, volunteer, or something to occupy my time. I need a life.' She thought.
"Honey, why don't you rest a while before dinner? You look exhausted," Charlie said, discreetly motioning that she leave due to lack of comfortableness. Mira smiled gratefully at her father before slowly getting up and grabbing the dirty dishes.
"I'll just wash the dishes before hand so they don't pile up tonight. I expect we'll be having company?" she asked kindly while looking at James and Emily.
"Yes dear, that would be very much appreciated. Thank you," Lita said. Mira walked to the kitchen one last time and started washing the dishes. 'There needs to be some serious improvements in my attitude if I plan on surviving the school year with him around. Stop acting so childish and move on. He cannot get to you, Mira. If anything, act as if he doesn't exist. Don't pay any mind to him. Be who you have been the past three years and you'll be just fine.' She thought, prepping herself for the upcoming year. She continued to wash the dishes deep in thought. When she finished, she dried her hands and walked directly to her room. She knew they wouldn't leave anytime soon. Most likely, they would stay until they actually had to leave; which meant they probably wouldn't leave until around ten. Seeing as no homework was assigned, she carelessly fell on her bed and allowed herself to fall into a well needed sleep.
"Belle, baby, wake up. It's almost time for dinner. Why don't you freshen up a bit then come downstairs?" Lita said. She didn't bother to reassure that Mira was up. She left without another word. Mira grudgingly sat up in her bed and rubbed the sleep off her face. She turned to her night stand and noted the time. 6:30. Thirty minutes to get ready for dinner. Wait. Since when did she get ready for dinner? Oh yeah, that's right, since Jason came back into her life to ruin it. She wouldn't let him get the better of her. She was going to fight back and make sure he understood what he missed out on. She threw back the covers and walked to her bathroom. She washed her face of any make up and then reapplied new mascara as well as eyeliner. She walked to her closet afterward and pulled out a pair of jeans, and a simple black t-shirt. No need to overdress for dinner. He'd be able to see more of her during the school year. Reassuring perfection, she walked down stairs only to be greeted by the smell of freshly cooked roast beef and mashed potatoes.
"That smells delicious, mom." Mira complemented as she walked into the kitchen. James and Emily were seated at the island chatting away with Charlie, apparently talking about the upcoming movie Emily was starring in.
"Thanks honey. James is in the den I think, watching TV. I know this is a lot to ask, but please be civil and entertain him?" she pleaded. Mira nodded and kissed her on the cheek before walking off. As she entered the den, she noticed he had taken his usual spot. He was settled in the large leather recliner situated in the corner perfectly angled to see the TV and the entrance. He had placed it there himself when he was thirteen so that he would be able to see when she would walk into the room. She never thought to change it.
"I see you've made yourself comfortable," she said at the doorway. Jason glanced in her direction briefly before returning to the TV.
"I didn't have a choice, the hostess wasn't very hospitable," he chided.
"Maybe the hostess would have been hospitable if the guest wasn't such an asshole," Mira easily replied while taking a seat on the couch. Arguing was new to their relationship but it sure as hell wasn't new to Mira. As she continued her years at Melbourne High, girls constantly sneered in her direction due to her natural beauty. Arguing and disagreements came easily.
Jason sneered at her before visibly tensing in the chair. He wanted everything to be ok again. He didn't seem to understand why she was so upset and why she was taking their past argument so gravely.
"Why won't you just forget about the past, Belle? I've moved on and I know that I shouldn't have yelled at you like that, but come on. Be serious. We were fifteen. It was and still is stupid," Jason said attempting to make peace. Mira became even more furious at the fact that he just didn't understand. But he wouldn't though, would he? He didn't know that she thought more of him than as just a friend. He would never know that her love for him only grew the moment he stepped out of the house and out of her life. He didn't realize that his lack of presence in her life caused her to slip into an isolated world where she learned to care for no one else but herself.
"No, it wasn't and isn't stupid. You won't and will never understand. But that's ok, Jay-Jay. You don't need to understand. As long as you have your fame and fortune and beautiful people surrounding you, it won't matter. It won't ever matter," she took in a deep breath before continuing, "I understand life for you is grueling and complicated so I won't make it any harder by dumping any more complex friendship problems on you. You do your business and I'll stay out of your way." she had hoped she made her point. If she feigned indifference now the bigger the impact of seeing her play her game would be.
Jason looked at her in bewilderment. What was she trying to say? Was she calling a truce? And what did he not understand? Mira's little speech confused him even more, but before he could delve deeper into the subject, she stood up and stretched her limbs.
"It's time for dinner, come on," she said signaling the end of their conversation. As she walked out she let out a light breath. 'One day down, nine more months to go.'