Authors: Wanitta Praks
Tags: #sliceoflife, #contemporaryromance, #teenromance, #teenfiction, #contemporaryfiction, #dramaromance, #romeojulietstoryline, #schoolromance, #starcrossedlovers, #teenfictioncontemporary, #tragedyromance
Once again, I’m reminded of why it is so
dangerous to hang around Zac. If Gigi were to know, she would
suffer even more than right now.
That night I lay the dresses and scarf that
Zac bought for me on my bed and stare at them. I look at the blue
dress with the blue mini jacket that comes with it.
precious item from Zac.
Then I look at the scarf.
precious item from Zac
. I look at the third dress next, the
green one that Zac bought for me anyway, despite me wanting to
I want to cry again, but no tears will come
out. So I sit on the floor and hug my knees, rocking myself back
and forth, trying to comfort myself.
I’m in a dilemma. I need to decide on
whether I should continue to see Zac as a friend or end our
friendship altogether. If I continue to see Zac and Gigi and Clare
find out, then the consequences would be disastrous. I don’t even
know what would happen to Gigi. If I let Zac go, my heart would cry
and feel pain because I will lose the one guy I think I’m starting
to fall for.
I sit like this for a long, long time until
I can feel my legs going numb. I get up, finally making my
decision. I put all the dresses and scarf back inside the wardrobe,
hiding them all behind my other clothes in the farthest corner.
I stand back, looking at the items again,
staring at them all for one last time, wanting to ingrain them all
into my memory. Then I finally close the door, for those items
never to be seen by my eyes ever again.
The End of the Beginning
I don’t feel the cold night air blowing onto
my face as I drive the car back home with the window open, nor do I
feel the raindrops that are starting to spit onto my face from the
sky above. My teeth are chattering like a sewing machine from the
outward wind gusting into the car, but I don’t care. My hands are
numbed from the base of my palm all the way to the ends of my
fingertips, but I still don’t care. That’s because…
I’m in love. I’m in love and it feels so
damn good. Especially when the person you love likes you back.
Inside, I feel so warm and fuzzy, like I’m
in a cocoon, those silken strands wrapped tightly around me, giving
me the comfort and love I need.
I feel exhilarated. It’s like I can’t
contain this happiness bursting through me. It’s like I’ve found
this happiness and now I can’t stop smiling like a fool. I’m right.
I am a sick fool who’s in love with Ivy.
Today I’ve accomplished what I set out to
do. I had planned all along to take her out and buy her that prom
dress. Everything is going according to plan. Up next is the
confession. But I need Ivy to see my good qualities first before I
I turn the music up high, drum my hands on
the steering wheel, and move my body to the beat of the music,
humming along the lyrics like a dork. But I can’t help myself. I
can’t stop myself from grinning.
Everything, everything is just perfect. If I
could, I would repeat today again, live through it again. But then
again, I can’t wait for tomorrow. Tomorrow I will see Ivy at
school. We will have lunch together. And if Mandy wants to join us,
she can. I’ll just shove her onto Kai and the guys while I take Ivy
for a walk in the park. God, I can’t wait for tomorrow.
Unfortunately, though, my newfound happiness
is quickly taken away from me. When I arrive home, my smile drops
and forms into a thin line as soon as I open the door.
Dillon is sitting on the couch, talking to
Dad. When he sees me, a smirk appears on his face. I ignore his
remark and walk past them. Dad glances at me.
Just as I’m about to reach the door to the
hallway to escape Dillon’s nasty stare, Dad asks, “Where have you
been, Zac? It’s pretty late tonight. School tomorrow, you
“Yeah, Dad. I know,” I tell him, trying my
best not to be aggravated with Dillon’s behavior. “Just hanging out
with some friends.”
Dad shakes his head, letting me off as if
I’m the typical teenage boy who doesn’t like to talk about my
Of course, this is my private life. I don’t
want Dillon or Dad to know about Ivy. Since I know now that it’s
all because of him, I want to keep away from him as far as
Ivy has suffered enough already by Dillon’s
hands, and I don’t want to cause her any more trouble. If I were to
date Ivy, I have to make sure Dillon stays far away from us.
Not wanting my good mood to be ruined just
because of Dillon, I force a smile and jump on my bed, thinking
only happy thoughts. I close my eyes and replay today’s events, all
those scenes that I know will put a smile back on my face.
Me zipping Ivy’s dress. That would have to
be the best scene ever. I can see it in my mind’s eye now. Ivy’s
soft porcelain back. Ivy closing her eyes. Ivy assuming the zipper
I smile and get up. I want to hear Ivy’s
voice. I want to talk to her.
I go to my back pocket and raid for my
Looking at the cellphone in my hand, I
debate with myself. Should I text her? Should I ask her whether
she’s asleep yet? I glance at my cell again and see the time is
already approaching midnight.
Ivy might be asleep by now, so not wanting
to disturb her, I go to bed instead, taking out the picture of Ivy,
the one that Loki had taken of her when she was in Little Café.
I lie on the bed with a stupid grin on my
face, Ivy’s photo in front of my eyes.
Ivy looks surprised and unprepared for this
shot. It shows her true nature, the sweet and sensitive person Ivy
is. But it also shows a hardworking person.
That night I lie asleep, dreaming of Ivy
wearing that blue dress and scarf I bought for her. I’m her partner
at prom night. We are dancing a waltz together, as many people
surround and admire us. I’m her Romeo and she’s my Juliet.
The next day, I get up feeling happy, but
just like last night, it soon turns into a dump when I don’t see
Ivy at school. I get so worried that I start texting her. One
minute later, she still doesn’t reply back. I text her again and
then wait for her reply. After another five minutes, she still
doesn’t text back. This time I call her. Ivy doesn’t pick up her
Something must be wrong. This gets me all
worked up again. Now I can’t concentrate in class. Ashley, who’s
sitting beside me, keeps on wedging her seat next to mine, and it’s
starting to annoy me too.
I ignore her and check my phone again, just
in case Ivy decides to text me. But there’s still nothing.
“Zac,” Ashley whispers.
I glance at Mr. Smith who’s at the front of
the class, explaining the chemical equation to water and oxygen,
then turn my attention to Ashley. “Yeah?”
“Why are you looking at your phone? Who are
you waiting for?”
“Nothing,” I tell her, then put my phone
back in my backpack.
If Ashley knew anything about this, there
would definitely be rumors. And with the situation all up in the
air like this, I don’t want any rumors circulating around Ivy. She
already has enough trouble in her family to worry about besides
rumors and bullies at school too.
At lunch, I text Ivy again, but there’s
still no reply. By this stage, I’m imagining all sorts of things.
Was she in an accident, or has Moon been admitted into hospital
This time I can’t contain myself, so I text
Ivy, txt bck. I’m worried. Please txt
By the time class ends that day, I’m feeling
so nervous and anxious that when Kai slaps me on the back to alert
my attention to his presence, my soul almost flies to heaven.
I turn to Kai, a scolding look on my face,
and slam my fist into his shoulder.
“Don’t ever do that again,” I growl at
“Yo, bro. Why the hard fist?” Kai complains
on the side. “That hurts, bro.”
I ignore Kai’s complaint and instead check
my cell phone again. There’s a text from Ivy.
Finally! I breathe a sigh of relief. I
scroll down to check her text.
Can we meet after school?
I think my heart can’t pump any faster than
this. I think my smile can’t stretch any farther across my face
than this. I am so happy. I just want to jump up and do a jiggy
dance. Instead, I wind my arm around Kai’s neck and apologize to
Kai looks at me like I’ve gone bipolar. I
don’t care. I just smile at him and turn back to the text
I can’t believe Ivy texted back. Here I
thought she was in trouble.
At this moment, I am so overjoyed. In fact,
I am so overjoyed that I almost forget to read the ending message.
I scroll down and read.
at the hospital.
My heart sinks down like lead to the ocean
floor. It drums so fast that I think I’m going to black out.
Shit, the hospital. Has something happened
“Shit. I got to go,” I tell Kai before
“Zac, what’s going on?” Kai shouts to me as
I run to my car and speed to the hospital.
I leave Kai with his mouth gaping open as he
stares at me like I’m fast on someone’s trail, although at that
time, I don’t really care what he thinks. All my thoughts are
consumed with Ivy.
Oh God, did something happen to Ivy? Is
she sick in hospital? Or was it Moon? Is she not well again?
million scenarios run through my head. I feel sick just thinking
I speed so fast, wanting to get to the
hospital. But luckily enough, I don’t go over the speed limit.
Otherwise, it would waste more of my precious time, precious time
that should be spent talking to Ivy.
Arriving at the hospital, I park my car in
the one available care park.
I put some coins in
the meter and don’t even give a hoot if I added too many. I dash
out again and run out to the hospital entrance, my mouth going dry.
When I see Ivy standing in front of the hospital entrance, I almost
weep with joy.
Thank God, she’s fine.
I race up to her, stopping only when I stand
in front of her. I grab hold of her hand and bring her body in for
“Ivy.” My word comes out breathless. “I
thought you were sick. I thought something must have happened to
you. I was so worried.”
Ivy only stands very still. She doesn’t
move, nor does she speak. She just allows me to hug her like
I smile. Feeling her warm body close to mine
like this, it makes my head melt with love.
After a moment of our close contact, I pull
“So what do you want to talk about? Why did
you ask me to meet you at the hospital? Is someone sick?”
“Grandma,” Ivy speaks, her eyes and face
holding an impassive look.
“What’s wrong with Nancy?” I ask, not liking
her expressionless face. Any look at all would be fine on Ivy’s
face. Mad, a frown between her brows, anything at all, but not an
impassive one. It looks like she stops caring when she holds that
“She’s not well,” Ivy says quietly. “We took
her to see the doctor. She’s been given more medication now.”
“Will she get better?” I ask, concerned for
“Yes. I hope so,” Ivy says, not looking at
“That’s good.” I nod my head, waiting for
her to elaborate, but she doesn’t. After a while of idle silence, I
find myself asking, “So since I’m here, you want to grab a coffee
or something? I haven’t eaten anything today.”
“Zac, I want to talk to you.” Ivy turns to
face me now.
“Yeah, sure,” I say, not noticing the tense
look on her face. “We can talk in the coffee shop. Let’s go.”
I go to grab Ivy’s hand, but she stops me
before I have the chance. I turn my attention to her, confused
about her abnormal behavior.
“No, Zac,” she says. “This will only take a
minute. Then you can have your coffee.”
“Oh, well, okay.” I’m not sure why we can’t
talk in the coffee shop when she would be having drinks with me
Ivy takes a deep breath and then looks up at
me again. “We should stop being friends.”
I blink. Did I hear something wrong? Did Ivy
just say for us not to be friends anymore?
“Ivy, you’re joking, right? What are you
talking about? Come on, let’s go have a coffee and something to
eat. I’m hungry.” I brush her comment aside and take her hand
again, but Ivy tugs out of my grasp.
“No, Zac. I’m not joking.” Her tone is very
strained and serious. “I really mean it. Let’s stop being
“Ivy.” I turn back to her, getting quite
serious as well. “What are you on about? Why are you saying things
like that all of a sudden? Didn’t we agree that you’re my
“I’m sorry, but I’ve realized now that I
can’t be your friend. It’s not possible to be your friend.”
“How is it not possible when we just hung
out yesterday? We mesh well. Tell me how that’s not possible?” I
ask her, my voice slightly rising. “I want to be your friend. I’m
not asking for anything more apart from friendship for now. So
what’s your problem?”
Ivy stays quiet again. She looks down at the
floor and stays that way.
“Ivy,” I stress her name out. “Tell me, what
is the problem? Why are you suddenly acting like this?”
Ivy turns her face up to meet mine. This
time a glint of determination appears in her eyes. She says,
clearly and without faltering, “Dillon’s the problem.”
I open my eyes wide, startled at her
I know Dillon is the one who caused that
accident. Ivy has been in so much pain, physically and emotionally,
that she wants to forget it. But when she accepted me as her
friend, I thought she had forgotten about the fact that I’m related
to him. So what’s the problem now? Why did she change her mind?