Authors: Wanitta Praks
Tags: #sliceoflife, #contemporaryromance, #teenromance, #teenfiction, #contemporaryfiction, #dramaromance, #romeojulietstoryline, #schoolromance, #starcrossedlovers, #teenfictioncontemporary, #tragedyromance
“I was serious, though, when I said I would
like a girlfriend who’s not too skinny,” I say matter-of-factly
when she starts huffing again. Then I drop in another hint.
“Someone like you would be nice.”
Ivy only stays quiet for a little while
longer, then turns to look at me. She asks in her quiet voice, a
soft tone now, no longer holding that fiery dragon from before,
“Are you taking me home?”
“Nope,” I answer immediately, shaking my
head. “I’m taking you to Laces, the boutique.”
“Why?” She moans in irritation.
God, Ivy sounds so cute when she moans like
I don’t usually see this side of her. I’m
glad she sees me as her friend now, because I get the privilege of
seeing her act like this. I know if I weren’t her friend, she would
never show this cute side of herself.
“Yes, to the boutique. And as for why, you
have to wait and see.”
Ivy folds her arms across her chest again
and mumbles quietly to herself. “I can’t believe you lied to me
again. I thought you were going to take me home. I don’t trust you
anymore. I don’t want to be your friend anymore. You’re so mean,
I can’t help but laugh. That earns a glare
“What’s so funny?” she asks angrily, her
cheeks going red again.
It’s only when my laughter dies down that I
manage to let out, “You were mumbling to yourself. You sounded so
funny, like a little kid whining. You sounded even worse than
“Zac, I am not whining. I’m only complaining
because you lied to me. You didn’t keep your promise.”
And then Ivy does something that is so out
of character. She starts drumming on my arm. I’m so startled by her
reaction that I only laugh even louder.
“Ow! Ow! Stop it, Ivy,” I tell her when the
drumming increases in speed and force.
Before, when she declared she didn’t want me
as a friend, she would be cautious around me, not allowing me to
touch her anywhere, and now of her own free will, she has decided
to touch my arm. Even if it’s in her little fit of rage, that still
makes me happy. In fact, I’m way over the moon.
“Ivy, stop it.” I chuckle again, acting like
a worm, trying to overthrow her maneuvers.
Out of the blue, my common sense strikes
back. This is dangerous. Having Ivy lash out her anger at me isn’t
a problem, but I’m currently on the road, so I’m afraid if Ivy
carries on, I might have a serious accident, what with me hitting a
I manage to somehow park my car in an
awkward angle and hold her fists, stopping her before she causes me
to have an accident on the road.
She stops hitting me and starts taking deep
breaths. I find my own breath going shallow and have to heave more
oxygen into my lungs too.
The air around us turns heavy. My eyes glaze
over, taking in her flushed cheeks and wide-open eyes. I stare at
her chestnut irises that are dilated and my stare drops down to her
pink lips. She pokes out her tongue and licks her lips and then her
front teeth bite into her lower lip.
Oh God. I think I’m falling deeper and
deeper in love with this girl. Lord help me. Stop me before I
commit a crime that goes beyond the boundary of our friendship.
Please help me, because I want to touch those lips right now.
I swallow and grit my teeth, willing my hand
to let her go. Ivy retreats like a cat who’s just escaped from the
clutches of a dog.
“Ivy. Okay, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I laughed
at you. I’m sorry I lied to you. But just this once, just trust me.
I’ll take you to Laces and then I’ll drop you off home.” When she
stares at me with that look of distrust again, her teeth biting her
lip, I reassure her. “Seriously, Ivy. Just to Laces and then home.
“You’re not lying this time?” she asks me,
her eyes wavering.
“Cross my heart.” I smile at her, lifting
the heavy atmosphere as I pretend to write a cross on my chest.
Ivy smiles back, and I want to bang my head
against the steering wheel then.
God, she’s so cute. I want to kiss her right
now. I want to be able to stop time and kiss her to my content.
But time doesn’t stand still for me. A few
minutes later, we arrive at Laces. I hold on to Ivy’s hand and take
her to the women’s section.
Despite it being called a boutique, there’s
nothing small about Laces. Stretching from one end of the block, it
covers an entire floor of the Grand Building. One can get lost in
this store if one doesn’t know where they’re going.
Dragging Ivy until we’re in the formal
section, I pull a few different dresses off the rack. I even make
sure to pick out all the beautiful designer ones. Some have laced
sleeves and others are sleeveless. I go to another row, pulling on
to Ivy’s hand, and select a few smaller mini jackets to go with the
sleeveless dresses. Then I dump the whole lot into Ivy’s hands. Ivy
looks at me and then at the many beautiful dresses in her
“What are they for?” she asks me.
I chuckle again. “Ivy.” I stress her name
softly. “They’re for you. Go try them on.”
“No. I don’t want them. I don’t need
“I’m not asking if you want them or need
them. I asked you to go try them all.”
“Are you demanding me, Zac?” She turns her
face up to look at me, her own face determined as well. I can tell
she doesn’t like to be bossed around.
“Am I?” I ask back.
“Yes, you are.” She drums her feet. “You’re
always demanding. That’s one of your traits, Zac. Remember that
time you asked me to pick up your crutches off the floor in the
hospital. You demanded me to do it. Wouldn’t it be nice if you
inserted some polite manners into your speech?”
Really? Am I always this demanding? And I
don’t use polite speech? Gee, my behavior does sound appalling.
“I’m sorry if it came out that way,” I
apologize. “Please, try them on.” When she hesitates, I tell her,
“It’s a gift, for the start of our friendship.”
I know she’s going to refuse me again, so I
interrupt her and say instead, “No buts. Go try them on.
It sounds like I’m a dog whining at its
owner. But anything to make this girl happy; I’m happy to go along
Ivy nods her head and smiles, then goes into
the women’s changing room.
A sales assistant sees me and makes her way
“Hello. Are you looking for formal dresses
for your girlfriend?”
Girlfriend? Wow, she’s smart. I like her
“Yes. But I already found some. I’ve given
them to her already.”
“Well, do you need anything else? Like a
scarf or a belt to go with the dress.”
A scarf. Mmmm. I never thought of a
The lady assistant takes me to the accessory
I fumble around, looking for a beautiful
scarf that would match Ivy’s dress. I pick a few and smile at her.
“I’ll let my girlfriend try these on.”
She smiles and leads me to the changing
room. “Would you like me to pass them to her?”
I shake my head. “It’s okay. My girlfriend
likes me to take care of her. I’ll bring these over myself. You can
go help someone else. Thanks for these.”
“Oh!” She looks slightly surprised with my
comment, but then a smile appears on her face. “What a sweet
boyfriend you are. I’m sure she loves you lots.” Then she leaves me
to my own devices.
I smile and go to knock on Ivy’s door.
“Ivy. Are you done yet? Can I see?”
“No. I’m still changing,” she shouts back
through the door.
Seriously? She’s still changing. I left her
for quite some time now and she’s still changing. Does she not want
me to see her in these dresses? No way will I allow that. That’s
the whole reason I asked her to get changed, so I can see her in
After waiting for another five minutes, my
patience runs dry.
“Ivy, if you don’t come out by the time I
count to five, I’m coming in.”
There’s silence. I start mentally counting
down and when number five comes up, I push the door open with all
my force and—
It takes me a full five seconds before I can
register anything. Yet it takes Ivy another five seconds for her to
come out of shock. And that’s when the banshee starts.
“Close your eyes, Zac. Close your eyes.
Don’t look at me.”
I’m still partially stunned to see Ivy half
dressed like this. She’s just in her bra with her dress at her
waist. I’ve never seen a girl half naked before, but goddamn, Ivy
“Zac, close your eyes. I said close your
With Ivy’s further prompting, I wake from my
trance. I immediately turn to face the door and shut my eyes. “I’m
sorry. I didn’t see anything.” I can hear Ivy shuffling the dress
on. After some time, I ask her “Are you done? Can I open my eyes
“Um…” Comes her reply.
“Is that a yes?” I ask her, still with my
“Um…” Comes her reply again. “I don’t
“What do you mean you don’t know? Are you
fully dressed yet or not? So I can open my eyes.”
“I… um… I need help.”
Upon hearing the word help, I jerk my body
around to see Ivy holding up the blue dress, covering only her
“I… I…” She looks up at me through the
mirror and then turns around to face me, her cheeks blushing pink.
“I can’t zip the back. Can you help me?”
I smile at her with so much love in my eyes.
“Of course. Turn around. I’ll zip it up for you.”
She does as I tell her.
I place the many scarves onto the hook of
the changing room and then turn to face Ivy’s back, and that’s when
my hands decide to freeze up.
Oh my God. I’m so nervous. My palms feel all
I wipe them on my pants and look at her back
again. I slowly part her hair. The zip runs all the way down to the
small of her back. I swallow nervously and hold out the long
tresses of hair that hang down like a waterfall over her back.
“Can… can you hold your hair for me,” I
stutter out. “I can’t see with your hair in the way.”
“Mmm,” Ivy replies and takes it to rest over
My heart is pumping with adrenaline. My eyes
become sharp and clear as I stare fixatedly at her back. Creamy
pale flesh. Right before my eyes. Is God testing me here, tempting
a little lamb right in front of a lion’s eyes?
Oh God, I want to run my hands down that
back. I really want to, but I don’t. Instead, I feast my eyes on
her, embedding every curve on her slender back into my brain so I
can replay them later when I’m alone.
I take a deep breath and take the task in
hand. Slowly, ever so slowly, I pull the zipper. Up and up, slower
and slower, until about a minute has gone past and I’m still not
even halfway done yet. I cough and stare at Ivy. She has her eyes
closed, waiting so patiently for me to finish zipping her up.
God, Ivy. Why are you so innocent? I’m a man
here. A boy of healthy appetite whose sexual needs are being
repressed, who hasn’t had his first taste of a woman. Yet here you
are, tempting me, trusting me to zip you up, exposing your slender
back to me. Why? Why? Why do you trust me that much?
I shake my head as I’m prepared to attempt
the second half of the task. Once again, I find myself stopping
every so often to stare at her creamy flesh, wanting so very much
to touch her but unable to because of the trust Ivy places in me.
To touch her back would be an act of betrayal.
I swallow and pick up the little zipper in
my hand again. I’m about to continue on my journey of moving the
zipper up when Ivy prompts me out of my task.
“Zac. Is the zipper broken?”
“Huh? Oh, just the zip is quite small and my
fingers… they’re quite big, so I can’t get a good grip of it.”
Liar. Liar. I’m so going to burn in hell for
“Oh, would you go and get the sales
assistant, then. She’ll be able to help me.”’
“What? No. No. I’ll do it. I’ll do it.”
There’s no way I’m letting anyone see Ivy’s
back. No one but me. Male or female. Period.
When it’s done, I step back and look at her
in the mirror.
God, Ivy is so beautiful. She looks like an
angel descended from heaven. But with the blue scarf around her
neck, I bet she would look even more celestial.
Then suddenly, as if noticing for the first
time the lion is in the same changing room as the lamb, Ivy turns
to me with a look of fright on her face. I knew she’d catch on
“Oh, Zac! I forgot to ask you. What are you
doing in my changing room? What if someone sees you?”
unexpected. She’s more concerned about me than her chastity.
“You better get out now before someone sees you.”
Oh, Ivy, my Juliet. It’s a bit too late now.
You’ve should’ve sent me away before I had a bite of the apple, but
now it’s too late. I’ve tasted it so I’m not going anywhere.
“Get out now. Someone might prosecute you
for being in a female changing room,” she tells me while her hands
push me to get out.
“You don’t have to worry for my wellbeing,”
I tell her. No one is in any of the changing rooms. There’s not
even an assistant to help us.”
Okay, that one’s a lie.
I’m helping you instead.”
“It doesn’t matter,” she suddenly lowers her
voice and whispers up to me. “Someone might come in soon. And then
they’ll see you.”
“Mmmm.” I ignore her panicked look to pick
up the blue scarf from the hook. I start winding it around her
neck. As if knowing she will not win her argument with me, she
stands still and allows me to continue my job.
Around and around, on and on, around her
soft delicate neck, covering it up until only a little portion of
the scarf lies lose over her shoulder.
I look up at her reflection in the mirror
when I finish the job. “You look nice with this scarf on too. I’ll
buy you this scarf.”