Authors: Wanitta Praks
Tags: #sliceoflife, #contemporaryromance, #teenromance, #teenfiction, #contemporaryfiction, #dramaromance, #romeojulietstoryline, #schoolromance, #starcrossedlovers, #teenfictioncontemporary, #tragedyromance
Clare is starting to act like a teenager
instead of her thirty-two years. In fact, Clare and Mandy should
have been born siblings because they’re so alike in many ways. They
both like to pry in my personal affairs.
“There’s nothing to tell. I teach algebra.
He’s…” I close my mouth, having said too much already.
“Oh! Oh! Oh!” Clare laughs. “So your student
is a boy.”
“Don’t worry. I won’t tell Nancy.” Clare
reassures me. After grabbing another handful of cheese, she asks,
“So is he cute?”
Cute? Zac is beyond cute. He’s a handsome,
hot as the devil guy, with hair as black as the midnight sky and
eyes as green as emeralds, one that would definitely sear my heart
and scar my soul if I let him in. So it would be best if I didn’t
get involved with him at all.
I congratulated myself yesterday for
sneaking away quickly while he was busy reading his book in the
library. Of course, I didn’t exactly leave the library altogether.
I actually stayed behind and hid myself at the back of the library
where there was a big window with a nice view of Zac inside, his
head bent over his book, completely engrossed.
I stayed like that until Mrs. McKenzie asked
him to leave because they would be closing the library soon. Zac
looked so mad when he stormed away on his crutches, hobbling like
I felt a little sorry for him then. I don’t
understand why he had to go through all the trouble to come see me
in the library just to petition for his rights as a student. Surely
Mandy can do the same job.
Never mind. Everything is over now. I won’t
have to associate with Zac anymore. My life will return to normal
“Come on.” Clare is still going on about my
student. “Just tell me a little bit about him.”
Fine, I’ll just tell her about Sam
“His name is Sam. He’s a year below me.”
“What does he look like? Is he hot?”
Hot? I don’t think the word hot would
describe Sam. He’s an average guy. Nice and smart. Yes, he is
smart. So I don’t know why he needs my help in algebra when
everything I teach him he seems to know already.
“Well?” Clare prompts.
“Ummm.” What can I say?
Ring! Ring! Ring! Ring!
I’m saved. The phone rings, and I rush to
pick it up immediately. I have to thank whoever it is.
Clare gives me a look that implies we’re not
finished with our conversation yet.
I just smirk at her.
Picking up the phone, I say my usual line.
“Hello. This is the Hamilton residence. Ivy speaking. Who would you
like to speak to?”
“I would like to speak with you, Ivy,” comes
a low-timbered male voice.
I retract the phone from my ear, stare at it
blankly for a second, then put it back near my ear. I ask in a
questioning tone, “Who is this?”
“Forgotten me already? And only after
teaching me two lessons.”
“Zac,” I hiss into the phone. I hear him
chuckling on the other end.
I cover the mouthpiece and look for Clare.
She’s busy, her head down, reading a magazine she got from the
secondhand shop, her mouth filled with cheese. I turn my back, as
if by doing this, a barrier has been created to prevent her from
meddling in my affairs.
Sure that I’m now saved from Clare’s
interference, I put the mouthpiece back near my mouth and speak,
“Why are you calling my house. What do you want?”
“You know what I want, Ivy,” he says
smoothly. “I want you.”
Hearing him say that makes my heart rate
increase dramatically. And I think I have trouble breathing. I
inhale and exhale slowly.
Surely he’s referring to wanting me as his
tutor, not something else.
“No, Zac. I told you already I will not be
teaching you again. So don’t call this number anymore.” I slam the
phone down, my mood turning sour.
Suddenly, Jennifer Page’s “Crush,” my
ringtone, comes on. I extract my cell phone out of my pocket and
answer it. “Hello.”
“That wasn’t polite, Ivy. Slamming the phone
down when your student is busy talking.”
“Zac,” I hiss again, a bit too loud this
time. I look up and see Clare looking at me with a frown on her
face. I give her a weak smile and move to the hallway just in case
she hears my conversation with Zac. Once outside, I let my voice
“How did you get my phone number?” I shout
down the line.
“Whatever I want, Ivy, I make sure I chase
it until I get it. And right now, I want you—as my tutor. So start
acting like one and take full responsibility.”
For a moment, I think he’s referring to
wanting me again, but I shake by head to rid myself of this silly
notion. I harden my heart and tell him off.
“Stop calling me,” I yell into the phone and
push the end button, glaring at it, willing it to ring again. And
if it does, I’m going to put a curse on him.
“Who’s calling, Ivy?” Clare pokes her head
into the hallway.
“Just someone calling the wrong number,” I
say, still glaring at my phone.
Suddenly, our home phone rings again. Clare
pops her head back inside the lounge, ready to pick up the phone,
when I rush past her and pick it up myself.
“That isn’t how I expect a tutor to behave.
Such a bad example.” I hear him chuckling over the phone.
“What do you want? Stop calling me.” I can’t
restrain my voice this time. I have too much anger and annoyance
inside me to remember how to keep my voice down.
“How many times do I have to tell you? I
to come and tutor
. Come on, be a
responsible person. Finish what you’ve started.”
“No. I’ve already given you a replacement.
It’s your own fault you didn’t want Mandy to teach you.
“If you put the phone down this time, I’ll
take drastic action. And believe me, you won’t like the
“Stop threatening me. Go to hell,” I swear
and slam the phone down, feeling my heart pumping very hard.
“Ivy?” Clare asks in concern. “Who is it? Is
someone trying to harass you?”
“No, Clare, just some random person who got
the wrong num—” I glance at the home phone when it begins to ring
This stupid guy. Why won’t he leave me
“I told you to stop calling me. I’m no
longer your tutor,” I immediately yell into the phone.
“Ivy!” comes an old lady’s voice.
Oh no. It’s Mrs. Dale, one of the head
organizers of the PHST program.
“Mrs. Dale,” I say weakly.
“It really is irresponsible of you to
neglect Zac.” Mrs. Dale starts her lecture and reprimands me for
dropping Zac after giving him only two lessons. “His father donates
huge funds to our school and the hospital every year. The least we
can do is provide him with the tutor he wants. Zac needs to pass
his algebra test before he graduates next year. So please don’t let
me down. I know you’re a good tutor. That’s why I’ve assigned you
“Yes, Mrs. Dale.” I slump my shoulders in
“That’s great, Ivy. I’m counting on you from
Is there no way to escape Zac? Right now I
want to hit my head against the floor so badly. I really want to do
that, but “Crush” stops me in time.
I pick it up and answer. “Hello.”
“I will see you at 4:30 tomorrow with
chamomile tea and chocolate cake waiting. Have sweet dreams
tonight.” And then the call ends.
I drown in anger, throwing my phone onto the
couch and storming straight up to my bedroom to fume, forgetting
about dinner. I stay there until the sun disappears and huddle up
in a corner with my baby blanket around me.
Oh God, why can’t I get rid of him?
close my eyes and try to calm myself down.
What can I do? I’m trying to forget
everything from the past. I know Zac is innocent, but seeing him
would only be a cruel reminder of my nightmare. Because the solid
reason is Zac is Dillon’s brother. They have the same eye color.
They’re siblings. That’s enough reason already to not associate
with him. So why must he make it hard for me to let him go?
It’s only when the moon starts streaming its
light into my room that Clare comes in and delivers my dinner.
I apologize to her for my previous behavior.
She ruffles my hair and smiles.
“You’re still a kid, so I don’t mind you
acting like one. I get worried when you’re too serious sometimes,”
she says, sitting down on my bed. “I know I’m not your real sister,
but if you need someone to listen to, I’m here for you.”
“Clare…” I go to hug her, touched by her
words. “Don’t say that. We’re family. Of course I think of you as
After our sisterly embrace, Clare asks, “So
you want to talk about it?”
I hesitate. I don’t want to tell them about
Zac or the fact that I’ve seen that man again after five years,
laughing and living freely in this town. To tell Clare this, she
would return to her vengeful state.
“There’s nothing at all, Clare.”
“Are you sure?”
“Mm-hmm.” I nod.
“Okay,” she says, knowing I won’t be giving
her any further answer. “Well, sleep tight, then. I brought your
cell phone back. I think Mandy texted you a few times. The phone
kept on beeping while we were eating dinner. ”
I take the phone from her hand and thank
her. Saying good night to Clare, I shut the door and check the
There are a total of four texts. Wow. I
can’t believe Mandy would text me that much in the span of a few
hours. Usually she would just call and we’d chat.
I open the first one. It’s Mandy reminding
me to meet her in the morning so we can discuss why I’ve decided to
ditch my job as an algebra tutor to her future boyfriend Zac.
I move to the next text. This one is from an
Do you like chamomile tea? I could make you
something else if you don’t.
Huh? I don’t even drink tea.
I check the third one.
How about chocolate cake? Do you like
What cake? Who’s texting me?
Don’t worry about replying. I’ll see you
tomorrow. Have a good night’s sleep. Sweet dreams, my dear
“Zac,” I conclude as all three texts merge
I check the first text he sent me and delete
it, my fingers doing their magic so fast I have to make sure I
deleted the right one. I’m all pumped up, getting my revenge by
deleting all his messages, when the last one comes up and my eyes
catch those words.
Sweet dreams, my dear tutor.
wavers over the delete icon, unable to push it. On second thought,
I leave the last text in my cell and start banging my head on the
table. I groan.
Oh, Ivy, what is wrong with you? You have a
crush on Zac? You do, don’t you? Ugh…
I think I hit my head too hard. I rub my
forehead and groan again.
You know it’s wrong to have a crush on him.
You know he’s related to that man. It’s your punishment for liking
I shake my head to deny this reasoning.
Trying to forget about Zac, I log on Facebook. On the top
right-hand corner is a private message for a friend request. I open
it up and groan again.
Zac Elliot requests you as a friend. Do you
I groan and start banging my head on the
Will I ever get away from him?
Seeing Ivy is like seeing a ray of sunshine
on this dull, gloomy day. Even the dullest cloud can’t wipe the
grin off my face as I open the door to let her in. She drops her
bag and starts on our lesson right away without even saying hello,
which is weird.
At least accept the chocolate cake and tea I
brewed for you.
I’m a little taken aback. I didn’t expect
Ivy to be this badly tempered. She didn’t even ask if I understand
any of the stuff. I can’t even get a word in as she drones on and
on. I want to cut in a bit, but she won’t give me the chance.
Finally, our lesson comes to a close. She turns to me.
“Where’s the homework I asked you to do?”
she asks in her frosty voice.
Is she still mad with me from last time?
“How about we have our tea and chocolate
cake first?” I ask instead, trying to perk her up.
I know the tea must be cold by now, but I
really want her to try the chocolate cake Catalina and I worked so
hard to bake.
I begged Catalina last night to help me bake
the cake, even though she isn’t all that good with baking herself.
But Catalina said because I behaved like a boy whose girlfriend
would be visiting tomorrow, she would help me.
I told her Ivy wasn’t my girlfriend. She
only laughed and asked, “But you like her, don’t you?”
I only gave her a grunt and a snort, then
hobbled away, blushing, thinking maybe if Ivy did like my cake, she
might consider me as her potential boyfriend. I heard her laughing
behind my back.
When we finished the cake, I had a taste of
it and was on cloud nine. It was sensational on my tongue. I
imagined Ivy taking a bite of the cake too, and then we would both
fly to cloud nine together.
Wanting to make sure everything was perfect,
I even texted Ivy just to make sure she likes chocolate cake, but
when she didn’t reply in time, I assumed she must.
Well, all the girls at school seemed to like
chocolate cake. But from the frosty situation right now, maybe Ivy
doesn’t like chocolate cake.
I curse myself. Maybe I should have waited
for her reply before going ahead with the baking. Now it’s too
“Homework,” she says again, her tone cold as
Fine. Homework. We’ll leave the cake for
I go to the pile of algebra sheets I printed
out. Somewhere among this junk is my homework.
I turn to Ivy. She still has on her sour