Xavier's face lit up in pure delight and he pulled me in close for another tight, intimate hug. I was able to hug him back this time and felt my heart flutter just a little bit. I pulled back from him and looked at his face.
"What time are we going? Oh and where is the restaurant? I mean I just want to know so I can pick something appropriate to wear, you know?" I gushed. I was barely able to stop myself. Excitement and anxiety seemed to mix together into a storm of confusion inside of me. Xavier placed his hands on either side of my head and kissed my forehead.
"Well. We'll probably be going at around seven. And we're going to be eating at my house, actually. I hope you don't mind." Xavier sent me a smile that a young child would perhaps give to their mother; a smile filled with adoration and respect. I couldn't help but smile back. I began to process the thought of Xavier and I having dinner with his family that very night…at his house. In a way the thought terrified me. I had absolutely no idea what Xavier's family would be like. Based off of his personality, I could safely tell myself that they would be no ordinary bunch.
Sunlight seeped through the blinds and shone divinely on Xavier's boyish, youthful face, causing his eyes to glitter and become hypnotizing, almost magnetic. I felt my body begin to tremble. I couldn't quite explain what was happening to me. All I knew was that whatever was going on, I liked it and hoped it wouldn't stop anytime soon.
I glanced up at him shyly, something I wasn't accustomed to doing. When was I ever shy with anyone? I was always the in your face bitch chick never the shy, humble, timid, can't-look-you-in-the-eye-when-we-talk girl.
Xavier smirked at me and when my lips turned down into a dissatisfied frown, his smirk grew into a full blown grin. He leaned in close to my face and licked my cheek very, very slowly. My heart began to pound and I felt myself shiver.
"You know what, Andy? You're absolutely adorable." he whispered. His lips then connected with mine briefly and when he pulled back, an audible whimper escaped my lips. Xavier's grin turned into a cocky one and he chuckled, winking at me. I immediately frowned and punched him lightly on the chest.
"Stupid bastard…" I muttered and rolled towards the edge of the bed. As I was getting up I heard Xavier speaking from behind me.
"Sometimes you're just so touchy Andy… jeez. All I did was grin and wink at you.". My frown deepened as I glanced over my shoulder just quickly enough to see Xavier rolling his eyes, still grinning.
"Don't forget you laughed at me too.." I whispered under my breath.
I knew I was a very "touchy" person. Things upset me easily, especially when someone was saying or doing something that related to me. I also knew that I seemed very thick skinned and so when I snapped at people for doing things as small and insignificant as chuckling at me it seemed very strange to them. In my eyes…it just felt like he was laughing at me because I seemed silly, not chuckling at me for…for what ever reason he was chuckling.
I walked over to my desk and grabbed my pack of cigarettes and pulled one out. I lit up and stalked over to the window, pulled it up with one hand and sat on the ledge, looking towards the city. An uncomfortable silence slowly fell around us. I breathed in deeply then puffed out the smoke, watching the still, tall buildings in the distance. I closed my eyes and let the breeze caress my face gently. I leaned back against the side of the window and breathed in deeply again, exhaling slowly shortly after. A dissatisfied sigh cut the silence in two. I opened my eyes but refused to let myself look back at Xavier. I began glaring at the horizon and the birds flying across it. I wished so badly that I was one of them. I wished I could fly away to wherever I wanted and I would never ever have to come back to this place.
I closed my eyes again and the second that I did something skimmed my arm and flew right out the window towards the ground. My eyes shot open and I looked back into the room. Xavier stood about a foot from me with his arms crossed and one eyebrow raised. I narrowed my eyes at him.
"What did you just throw out the window?" I asked cautiously. Before he could answer I glanced over the edge and saw a small square or rectangular box on the street below. Things clicked in my brain and I turned my attention to Xavier again.
"You didn't." I growled. Xavier smiled smugly at me.
"I did." he replied. I shut my eyes tightly and bit my lip. I didn't want to snap at Xavier, I didn't want to get upset. But how could I not when he threw out my cigarettes? And not even in the garbage…he threw them out the window!
I looked down at the pack again and after five seconds of intense staring, a car came by and ran it over. I gasped loudly and dropped the cigarette I was holding onto the sidewalk under my window.
"Holy fuck. I can't believe you did that." I said as my voice cracked slightly. I looked at him and a pang of guilt seemed to show in his eyes but only for a moment.
"I'm sorry, Andy. Smoking is just so bad for you. I'm only trying to help.." He replied. He didn't sound sorry in the least. I breathed in deeply and glanced back out the window.
"Okay. Well, Xavier I really think I need some time alone. I have a lot to do before we go to dinner tonight with your family, okay?" I smiled sadly at him and a genuine hint of sadness was noticeable on his face. He shrugged then nodded and walked out of my room without a word. The sound of the front door closing let me know that Xavier had left. I sighed loudly and got up from the ledge. I felt incredibly stressed and I needed my cigarettes badly. It was pretty unfortunate that they were on the bottom of some fucking trucker's tires at this point.
I made my way over to my desk and grabbed my cell phone. I texted Angie and within minutes she replied. We agreed to meet up at the small café that was halfway between her apartment and mine. I changed into jeans and a loose tank top, brushed my teeth then slipped on my converse and made my way out of my apartment to the outside world, remembering to bring a sweatshirt incase the weather was bad.
After I exited our building, the scent of gasoline and pretzels from the venders on the street corners filled my nostrils.
Home. I thought. It may not be perfect and it may make me want to totally fucking die sometimes but it's my home.
I walked slowly, letting myself become a part of the noise and confusion that was all around me. I indulged in the chaos of the city, I embraced it. I picked up my pace soon found myself entering the quaint café. I glanced around and saw Angie sitting at a tiny, oval shaped table in the middle of the room with a coffee in front of her and a coffee straight across from her in front of an empty seat. I swerved between other tables and people and as I approached, Angie looked up and smiled at me. I smiled back then sat down in the empty seat on the other side of the table.
"Hey! What's going on, mamí?" Angie asked, flipping her hair over her shoulder and shooting me a breath taking smile. I always knew I was completely lacking compared to her. She was just so…flawless…so gorgeous. And next to her I was just so…plain and practically worthless.
"Well, remember that guy I was telling you about yesterday when I had to borrow your shower?" I said and laughed a bit internally. What a strange thing to say to someone; "when I had to borrow your shower". Saying it made me sound like some kind of creep, at least it did in my mind.
Angie nodded slowly and took a sip of her coffee.
"Yeah I remember." She spoke. I couldn't even imagine what she thought I was going to say to her. I glanced down at the coffee in front of me and lifted it to my lips, drinking some.
"Oh, actually, first; thank you very much for the coffee. I appreciate it." I grinned at her and she grinned back while making a waving gesture in the air with her hand as if to say "forget about it".
"Okay so to get back to the guy. He wants me to have dinner with him and his family tonight. I mean we only went on one date. Is that-" before I could finish, Angie squealed loudly and reached over and grabbed my hands, squeezing gently.
"Oh my God, Andy! If he's inviting you over to meet his family things must be going great! I'm so happy for you! I can't believe this!" She gushed as she finally settled back down in her seat and released my hands. I laughed. She could be so incredibly childish sometimes. I was lucky to have a best friend as amazing and genuine as her. I sighed happily and leaned back in my chair, taking another sip of coffee. Right after the coffee flowed down my throat, the corners of my mouth turned down slightly and indifference overtook my sudden happiness and excitement.
"But is that bad? I mean like, should I be worried that things are moving so quickly like this?" I asked, raising my hand to my mouth and chewing gently on my nail. Angie shrugged, smiling.
"I don't think so. I think you should be so much happier about all of this. I mean this is the kind of thing people do when they've been in a relationship for like three months. He must really like you!" She replied. I stopped chewing my nail and let both my hands rest on the table, palms down.
"That's the thing, though. I'm not his "girlfriend" and I don't really think we're in some sort of intimate "relationship". He hasn't really asked for either one, yet. I mean he did ask me to be his bride but yeah…" I whispered the last sentence quietly, hoping Angie wouldn't hear.
Angie's eyes narrowed and she leaned in, folding her hands on the table.
"Wait what? What did you just say?" she asked suspiciously. Panic shot through me like a lightning bolt and I sat up straighter in my seat. I shrugged and made a huffing sort of sound, trying to put the whole situation to rest. Angie began to glare at me and pushed a lock of hair behind her ear.
"No. I'm serious, Andy. What did you just say? And you never told me where you met this guy. Or even what his name is. Spit it out, honey. You know you can't hide shit like this from me." She hissed. I ran a hand through my hair slowly and sighed loudly.
Fuck. Was all I could think, over and over again.
"And besides," Angie said. "I'm your best friend. I basically have a right to know about the men in your life. I gotta make sure they're not douche bags who are gonna leave you crying and stuff.". For just a second she smiled at me and that smile made me feel safe and feel okay about Xavier and myself. I propped my arm up on the table and let my head rest against my hand.
"Well. His name is Xavier, he's sixteen, I think, just like us. And I um, I met him online in a chat room.". Angie's eyes widened and her mouth twisted into an ugly scowl that didn't seem to fit her well.
"Fuck, Andy. You didn't. Why would you do that? And you met him too! You actually met the fucker in person! He could've been some kind of psycho you know that? And wait. Wait, wait, wait. You actually agreed to go to his house and meet his family? He could be taking you to some abandoned house out in the country somewhere to kill or rape you! Oh God, Andy, please just cancel it! For the sake of your own well being, please just end it with him right now." Angie's eyes became shiny with tears and she sat up straight in her chair, crossing her arms over her chest. I sighed and bit the inside of my mouth.
"Angie, I can't. I don't know. I just feel drawn to him. Like I can't stop seeing him and talking to him. I don't know what's wrong with me. Maybe he's controlling me with his vampire powers." I laughed at the last bit. I had thought that maybe that was why I couldn't stop seeing with him and craved his company but saying it out loud made me feel silly, ridiculous. Angie began to laugh. Her laugh wasn't an amused laugh nor an entertained one. It was a bitter laugh. The kind of laugh that made me cringe and feel uncomfortable.
" 'Vampire powers'? Andy, sweetheart, what are you kidding me? Come on now. You can't tell me that you don't see that there's something wrong with this." Angie shook her head fiercely and stood up before I could come up with something to combat her statement. She walked stiffly over to my side of the table, put both hands on either side of my head and leaned down, kissing my forehead roughly.
"I love you but sometimes you are so fucking stupid. Call me when you got this shit together, alright?" she hissed. Her hands retracted from my face then she turned abruptly and stormed out of the café leaving me dumbstruck and hurt. I breathed in deeply and tried as hard as I could to dismiss all of the eyes that were now on me. I rose and walked over to the exit, leaving my coffee cup on the table. As I pushed the door open a tear rolled down my cheek slowly.
After my one sided argument with Angie, I walked a few blocks up to a gas station. I walked into the "general" store that was right beside it, grabbed the bathroom key then walked into the cramped and smelly bathroom near the back.
I grabbed a paper towel from the dispenser and began to dry my hair with it. I had washed my hair in the dirty sink that was slightly uprooted from the floor in the bathroom. It was absolutely disgusting and sickening. I threw the now used paper towel into the garbage and then grabbed another one from the dispenser, slightly soaking it in the running water from the sink.
The stink of dirt and shit began to suffocate me as I rubbed the paper towel on my arms, neck, cheeks, any visible part of my body that Xavier and his family may happen to look at during dinner. Once I finally felt semi clean I threw the paper towel in the garbage, walked out and returned the key to the cashier inside.
I walked home slowly and allowed myself to be sucked into the scenery around me. Nearly a block from home, I reached in my pocket and checked my phone for the time. I was anxious about being late for Xavier. I wanted to make a great first impression on his family. I glanced at the time and my heart practically stopped. It was six fifteen. Xavier would be at my apartment at seven; forty five minutes.
Panic manifested itself as a tingling sensation all over my body and I began to sprint towards home, completely ignoring that fact that I had just "showered". I made it to the front of my building, panting and sweating lightly. I shoved open the doors and jogged up the stairs. My heart was racing by the time I made it to my door. I unlocked the lock and burst into my apartment, just barely remembering to shut the door behind me. I shuffled into my room and felt my eyes brimming with tears; the anxiety was getting to me.
I pulled off my clothes and looked through my closet for something at least half decent to wear. I found an old but still wearable res strapless dress. It was made out of the softest cotton and I believe it was meant to be a cover up. Like the type of dress you would wear over a bathing suit to the beach or something. I hurried into it and was thankful there was no zipper. It was just a simple, pull on dress. It happened to be very flattering. It accentuated my best features and hid my worst ones. I was pretty relieved to say the least that it didn't make me look like a total ho. It ended right above my knees so in my eyes, I was in good shape. Not too fancy, not incredibly plain, just right.
I shuffled into the bathroom and picked up an almost finished stick of eyeliner. I stared at it for a mere two seconds before beginning to apply it to my eyes.
Makeup; a girl's fucking best friend. I thought and sighed as I set down the eyeliner on the counter and reached for my mascara. I applied coat after coat of mascara to my eyelashes until they were long and luscious looking with only a few clumps. None were too noticeable or horrible looking, thankfully. A few dabs of cover up, a squirt of cheap perfume from the drug store and my mother's locket from when she was my age were the final touches to my appearance. I looked myself over twice in the mirror and finally was able to force a small smile at my reflection.
Not gorgeous but not ugly as hell. Guess this'll do. I thought and quickly walked out of the bathroom back into my room to grab a thin clutch purse and to put on a pair of peep toe black kitten heels. I breathed in deeply and walked stiffly into the family room. I sat up straight on the couch and fiddled with the hem of my dress, becoming more nervous about Xavier's arrival by the minute. I watched the digital numbers on the clock under the TV intensely until a knock on the door pulled me out of my trance. I jumped and held my breath before rising and walking quickly over to the door. I looked through the peephole and smiled. I unlocked the door and flung it open. Xavier's eyes shot up to mine and he smiled cutely. It was then I noticed he was holding a bouquet of roses.
"These are for you." He said kindly and handed me the roses. My heart leapt and I hugged the bouquet close to me, taking in it's sweet aroma. I looked at Xavier and he was grinning from ear to ear.
"Thank you so much. These are so beautiful, Xavier." I said. Xavier suddenly looked bashful and reached over to brush my bangs away from my face.
"Not as beautiful as you." he whispered then leaned in and kissed my cheek, letting his hand rest on my forearm affectionately as he did so. I blushed then looked him up and down.
"You don't look too bad yourself." I teased playfully. Xavier laughed and my heart began to pound just a little bit faster. I bit my lip and allowed my eyes to wander over him. He was wearing a white dress shirt with dark fitted jeans that made him look slim and very attractive. I felt butterflies begin to fly in my stomach as I stared at him. His brilliant laugh caused my eyes to divert to his. I smiled at him and spoke;
"I just want to put these in water and then we can leave. Oh, please come in." I stepped to the side, leaving the doorway empty. Xavier thanked me and walked inside, closing the door behind him. I glanced at him one more time before walking into the kitchen and grabbing a vase from under the sink. I filled it with water then unwrapped the roses and put them in. I was glad to see that they had already had the thorns removed. I turned back to Xavier and he held out his hand for me. I grasped it gently.
"Ready to go, Andy?" he asked and squeezed my hand. I nodded and smiled. Xavier led us to the elevator and ushered me in when it arrived. I stood close to him as we rode down, smiling to myself.
Jeez what a gentleman… I thought. I wasn't used to that kind of treatment from anyone but especially not from men. The guys I lived around were not the nicest of people and most felt like they "owned" many of the girls my age and older. A vivid memory of Shaun slapping me during the early stages of our relationship played over and over in my mind. I shuddered and took a deep breath.
Andy. You're okay. You are OKAY. I told myself as I kept breathing deeply. I felt Xavier intertwine our fingers and he moved closer to me.
"Are you alright? You seem sort of tense all of a sudden." I turned to Xavier. He looked concerned. His eyebrows were furrowed and he seemed to be frowning slightly. I opened my mouth to speak but the creak of the elevator doors spreading cut me off. I began to walk out, pulling Xavier with me.
"I'm fine," I mumbled. We were soon walking at the same pace and neither one of us said another word. We walked out of the building and to the left to the parking spaces. We came up to a silver Lexus and Xavier released my hand, walked to the passenger side and held open the door for me. I smiled at him and gingerly slid into the seat, waiting as he closed the door for me and walked around to the other side, getting into the driver's seat. Xavier started up the engine and as he pulled out of the driveway I closed my eyes and leaned back against the seat.
"Tell me when we get there, alright…?" I whispered as the motion of the car began to slowly lull me off to sleep.
My eyes cracked open and the first thing they saw was something that surprised me. We drove right passed a sign and it read; "Welcome to Westchester County". I started processing this.
Westchester County? Holy fuck. Isn't that like where all the rich people live? I thought and sat up straighter in my seat, becoming much more aware of myself and my surroundings. I held my bag tightly on my lap and glanced over at Xavier. I could see Xavier looking back at me from the corner of his eye.
"Oh good you're awake." He smiled and I smiled weakly back.
"We're almost there. Sorry I forgot to mention that my parents live outside of the city. I hope you don't mind that I brought you all the way out here." I turned to look at the road ahead of us.
"No I don't mind. I'm just a little surprised. I didn't think we'd be even going outside of Manhattan." I laughed awkwardly. My laughing stopped after a few seconds and we drove in silence for another fifteen minutes before Xavier pulled into a long driveway that led up to a large, white house. It wouldn't exactly be wrong to say that the "large house" was really a big ass mansion. I swallowed the lump in my throat while Xavier parked the car. He turned off the engine and climbed out. I sat and stared at the house while he walked around to my side and opened my door for me. I grabbed his hand and lifted myself out.
"Thank you," I whispered, not taking my eyes off of the house. It was just too beautiful. It looked magnificent, like something right out of someone's fantasy. I heard Xavier's soft laugh as we walked up the path to the door. He held my hand and rang the doorbell with the other. I breathed in slowly, trying my best to collect myself so I wouldn't seem as nervous as I actually was. Within seconds the door opened and the wind was completely knocked out of me because of the tremendous beauty I was suddenly confronted with.
To be continued…
A/N: Alright, I'm so sorry this took a while to get out. I made sure to make it super long just so that would make up for the amount of time it took :D The next chapter will be all about Andy's dinner with Xavier's family. I promise you it'll be a pretty awesome chapter. I'm also going to try and post this small picture collage I put together of what I thought Andy's outfit for the night would look like. Thank you very much to all of you for your continued support of TVR! :D