Authors: Wanitta Praks
Tags: #sliceoflife, #contemporaryromance, #teenromance, #teenfiction, #contemporaryfiction, #dramaromance, #romeojulietstoryline, #schoolromance, #starcrossedlovers, #teenfictioncontemporary, #tragedyromance
That night I have the same dream of my
parents and brother dying in the car crash. But this time, instead
of seeing the face of the man who killed them, I see the masked
guy, the one who stole my first kiss. His faceless shadow leans
closer to me, stealing another kiss in my sleep.
A Chance Encounter
“Kai, pick me up at the hospital after you
finish school, capisce?” I growl, leaving the message on his cell
I’m feeling frustrated at my current
situation. In fact, I’m mad. I look down at the white cast
plastered around my left leg and the pair of crutches the nurse
gave me. Shit! This pisses me off big time.
I guess I can’t blame anything other than my
own reckless behavior. After that girl bit me on the lip, it was
like I got turned into a wolf bitten by his mate. I went a bit
crazy while driving my car home in the dark. Thinking about that
girl too much, I literally slammed into a tree. Now I’m blessed
with one broken leg. Luckily, Kai didn’t travel with me that night;
otherwise, his leg would probably be in a cast too… or worse.
I’ve been in hospital for two days now while
everyone else started school. I guess it’s good in a way since it
took that long for my lip to heal properly.
I bite my lip again, just to make sure.
Ow, it still hurts.
Damn, now that girl is in my head again.
Whenever I bite or touch my lips, she miraculously appears inside
Shoving thoughts of the girl to the back of
my mind, I think of Dad instead. He’s at one of his conferences
again, so he doesn’t know I’m in hospital yet. I’m sure he’ll be a
worrywart when he knows. I’m not looking forward to when he comes
back, though. He won’t take too well to a surprise surgery bill
landing on his front doorstep.
Talking about surgery, I wanted to sign the
consent form myself, but since I’m not yet eighteen, Catalina
signed on my behalf.
Catalina is our housekeeper, or part
guardian when Dad’s away. She’s Italian. That’s why I like to use
the word capisce. She taught me that word when I was a little
Catalina keeps the house in perfect
condition and makes great food. I know since being in hospital,
I’ve lost a good kilo. When I get home, I might need to boost my
food intake with her homemade pizzas. But sadly, she’s not working
today since it’s her day off. I guess it’ll be McDonald’s for tea,
Talking about food, my stomach starts
When is Kai going to arrive?
I check the time on
my cell phone. It’s already past three o’clock. School should be
out by now, so there’s no reason for him to be this late.
Having nothing to do, I fidget a bit on the
wheelchair, not used to the cast on my leg. It feels heavy. I move
my leg a bit more, testing its weight. I smirk. I have a sudden
urge to test out the new crutches.
I slip both my arms into the allotted holes
and hobble about. It’s hard to walk. After three minutes of gangly
walking around the room, I slump back on the wheelchair.
Damn, this is boring. I can’t do anything.
I’ll just stare at the white walls and wait for the doctor to come
back with my discharge papers.
The doctor appears just as my eyelids droop
closed. I sit straighter, looking at her with beaming bright eyes,
awaiting my verdict.
“Mr. Elliot, I suppose you won’t be able to
attend school until your leg gets better.”
“Excellent,” I snarl sarcastically. Dad will
definitely go mental now. In fact, he might even kill me. Not only
did I miss a couple days of school, but now my absence from school
will be extended until my leg is fully recovered.
“And when can I go to school?” I ask.
“Another month or so,” the doctor tells
I almost stop breathing.
Another month? How am I supposed to learn
algebra when I’ll miss school for that length of time?
“But I can’t,” I tell her. “I need to go to
school. I have to pass the algebra test. And I have band
“I’m sure your band can come to your house
for practice sessions,” she suggests calmly.
“Well, what about algebra?” I fire back in
alarm. “How am I supposed to learn that if I don’t go to
I’m not impressed with my behavior right
now. I’m just like Kai going into his hysterical mode. But I really
can’t lose Elsa. Not because of one lame broken leg.
Why can’t I
go to school in a wheelchair?
“You look stressed out.” She laughs.
This is no laughing matter. I seriously need
to pass algebra.
“Don’t worry. We’ll enroll you in our PHST
program,” she tells me, which doesn’t do an ounce of good to ease
my worry. What’s she talking about, PHST program? What kind of
acronym is that?
“That stands for Patient Home School
Tutoring program,” she answers in reply to my silent question.
“Young students like yourself who require rehabilitation and
healing time would miss school. So we created this program to help
them recover at their own rate but still benefit from not missing
any of their classes. Since you keep on mentioning algebra, you
must struggle in that area. Am I correct?”
I don’t want to admit my weakness, but
there’s no way around it.
“Yes.” I nod.
“That’s good. In our PHST program, we have
advanced students from all different subjects. We will be sure to
pair you up with an expert in algebra.”
I heave a sigh of relief. “That’s good,
Now that the subject of algebra and my
broken leg have been sorted out, we turn to more immediate
“Have you got anyone to pick you up? Shall I
call your dad?” the doctor asks.
“No. My friend is coming over soon. I just
“Okay. I’ll wheel you into the waiting room,
“No, I’m fine.” I stop her before she has
the chance to touch the wheelchair.
It’s embarrassing already to have my leg in
a cast and holding crutches, but to be wheeled around like a sick
child too… No, I can’t take that. I’m a big man now.
I know before I said I’m willing to even go
to school in a wheelchair, but that’s because I’m desperate. Now
everything’s resolved. There’s no way I’m letting anyone see me in
I wear my backpack and stand up, all the
while trying to balance on the damn crutches. Once I’m stable
enough, I thank her and head out. I don’t stop until I reach the
main waiting area.
My stomach growls again. I’m tired and my
grumpy mood resurfaces. There’s not much I can do but sit and play
the waiting game again.
Where is Kai, that damn bastard? I’ll box
his ears until they ring when I see him.
I’m too busy thinking of ways to punish Kai
when a little girl of about five or six appears out of nowhere and
sits next to me. She grins at me and then slides off her seat
I’m curious. Who’s this girl? Where’s she
come from? And what the hell is she doing poking at my cast?
“Allo.” She looks up at me from her
inspection. “What’s wrong with your leg? Why is it in that white
“Ugh… I broke my leg,” I tell her. How does
one talk to a little kid? I don’t have a little brother or sister.
The same goes for Kai. So to have one this close to me makes me
She grins at me again, then asks in her
little chirpy voice, “Does it hurt?”
“Yeah,” I reply, grinning back. That smile
on her lips is really contagious. Somehow, I find I’m no longer in
my bad mood, although she looks sad with my response. It doesn’t
sit right with me to see her having a sad face. She’s mighty cute
when she smiles. Even a little dimple appears.
I want to see that dimple again, so I say,
“Only for a bit, though. Now it doesn’t hurt at all.”
Her dimple reappears and my mood brightens
“Can I write something on it?” she asks
cheerfully, poking at my cast again.
“Oh, yeah, sure.” I pull out my favorite
black ballpoint pen from my backpack. “Will this do?”
She looks up at me with her big glaring
eyes. “Do you have a pink color?”
“No.” I hold out my black pen again. “Only
this black one.”
She grins at me and takes the pen from my
I wish I could bend my back. I haven’t a
clue what she’s writing on my cast. I hope it’s not anything
“What’s your name?” she asks randomly.
“Zac,” I tell her.
She lifts her head and grins again. “Then
I’ll call you Zacky. Okay? After Zacky ducky, my little toy duck I
have at home for when I bathe.”
I don’t know if I’m pleased to be nicknamed
after her honorable bath duck, but her smile really lights up my
dull day, so I agree.
She gives me her signature grin again, then
crouches down and proceeds with her doodle. After another minute,
she stands up and gives me the biggest and flashiest grin that
shows all her teeth.
“All done.” She moves aside for me to view
her artistic work.
On my cast is written in a child’s writing,
Get well soon, Zacky. Love, Moon,
with lots of curlicues and
My vision is a bit watery after this. I know
I’m not crying, but what the hell? When she turns away, I take the
opportunity to wipe my eyes clean.
Yep, I’m definitely a crybaby. I’m reduced
to a crying toddler just because a little girl writes little love
doodles on my cast.
“Your name is Moon?” I ask, finding my voice
a bit choked up.
“No.” She shakes her head and perches
herself next to me again. “It’s Monica. But my aunt said I was born
on the night of the full moon, so she calls me Moon. Plus, I like
that name better. Don’t you think so, Zacky?”
“Yeah. I like that name too. Easy to
“Mmmm.” She agrees and starts swinging her
legs back and forth, hiding her little pink shoes from my eyes like
they’re playing peek-a-boo beneath her long skirt. Actually, that
reminds me… What’s a little kid doing in hospital all by
“Where are your parents?” I ask in
She shakes her head. “Mummy’s not here.
She’s at work.”
“Then who are you with?”
“I’m here with Gigi and Vivi. They’re busy
talking to the doctor. I got bored so I came out here to play.”
“Well, then you better stay here with me and
play. We’ll wait until Gigi or Vivi come to pick you up. Okay?”
I’m not sure who Gigi or Vivi is, but they
better come and collect Moon fast. It’s not safe for a guardian to
leave a little child by herself. I know I won’t be leaving until
someone comes and gets her.
“What shall we play?” she asks.
“How about I Spy?” I suggest.
What? It’s not like I’m into spying people
or things. It’s just that’s the first game that entered my mind.
Plus, it requires no pens and paper. Well, I have the pen, but no
paper. Unless we use my discharge papers, which will not be the
“Ooooh, I like that game. I’ll start first,
“Go for it,” I say.
Moon starts looking around the waiting room
and then she turns to me and grins. “I got it. I’ll start now,
“Sure, go ahead.”
“I spy with my little tiny eyes something
beginning with the letter Z.”
Z, now what can that be?
I look around the room. There’s nothing that
begins with the letter Z. There’s no zebra toy in the kid’s
section. For the life of me, I can’t think of what it is.
Oh, this little girl is smart. She has me
trapped in her paws.
Moon is busy sniggering on the side. I flip
a look at her. She bursts out laughing. Wait, I got it. I’m wearing
jeans. And they have zippers.
I’m winning round one this time,
“Zipper,” I proudly say.
“Ha-ha. No. It’s Zacky, silly. You’re the
letter Z.” She giggles, her whole body shaking with her laughter. I
end up laughing too. And that’s when my stomach decides to join in
the fun and growls.
Moon glances at me and starts giggling even
louder until she’s holding on to her tummy. I’m a little
embarrassed that my stomach is misbehaving, so I just sit there
smiling awkwardly at her. After a little while, her laughter dies
“Do you have to give a shot to yourself too
before your stomach growls?” she asks.
“Huh? A shot?”
I’m really confused.
What’s she talking about?
“You know, a little pen. You stick it into
your skin before your tummy growls. I have to give myself three
shots a day. Otherwise, I feel sick and go to sleep.”
I’m a lazy-ass boy when it comes to subjects
not relating to music, but maybe going to science class is really
useful after all. I remember last year we did a project on medical
conditions. Everyone went for the asthma and heart diseases. I
decided to do something different and researched diabetes with Kai.
Hearing the procedure Moon described to me, it sounds like she has
I want to confirm my suspicion, but I’m
scared I might offend her. Moon, though, explains everything of her
own free will, like she’s talking about the sunny weather
“Mummy told me I’ve had it since I was a
baby. And I’ll properly have to give myself shots for the rest of
my life too. I just gave one to myself before. You want to
“Sure.” I nod numbly, stunned at the sudden
She lifts her shirt to reveal her round
tummy. On the side just about two inches from her belly button are
a series of injection marks.
“Does it hurt?” I ask, my voice shaking.
Theory-wise, it’s all fun and games when you
learn about this condition in the classroom, but when you meet
someone face to face, especially one who happens to be a kid too,
you know it’s no laughing matter.
“At first it does. But now it doesn’t hurt
at all. I’m used to it. Mommy, Gigi, and Vivi help me with the
shots. Now I’m an expert. I even do my own blood test too.”