Authors: Wanitta Praks
Tags: #sliceoflife, #contemporaryromance, #teenromance, #teenfiction, #contemporaryfiction, #dramaromance, #romeojulietstoryline, #schoolromance, #starcrossedlovers, #teenfictioncontemporary, #tragedyromance
“Hey, don’t start accusing people like that.
What evidence do you have that I took your grandma’s money.”
“You held on to her.”
“I saw you waving good-bye. Grandma said you
held on to her when she almost blacked out. The last time I saw her
was when she was in the consultation room with me. The money was
there when she was with me. So you must be the one that took her
money. Now give it back.”
“You can’t accuse people with only
speculative evidence. Do you have any other witnesses to testify
that I took her money?”
“Then you’ve lost your case,” he says,
smiling mischievously, and then starts walking away.
“Wait! I’m not done talking yet,” I call
I block his path and even take one of his
crutches to stop him from moving farther, but he only grins when he
faces me. His eyes even sparkle brighter than before.
Is he trying to play with me? I’m not in the
mood to be teased right now.
“Have you found another witness to testify
that I did it already?”
“No, but we’re not through with this,” I
tell him sternly. “I’m taking you to the police station. We can
sort this problem out over there.
“Police station?” he asks in surprise, his
eyes losing their shine a little. For a minute, I think I’ve won
the battle, but then he only smirks again. “You know what? Let’s
settle it right now.”
And to make matters worse, he
starts calling out for the security guards.
“Guards! Guards! Hey, are you a security
guard?” he starts asking random people who happen to walk past
All they see are two teenagers, one with a
broken leg in a cast and another holding a crutch, busy having a
verbal fight, so they take no notice of us.
I don’t know what to do in this situation.
I’m prepared to take him to the police station, but I don’t want to
make a big ruckus out of this in public. Without thinking, I clamp
his mouth shut. He mumbles a bit more and then, when he realizes
his mouth is clamped shut by my hand, he turns towards me. Right
now, his face is so close to mine that I can feel his warm breath
on me. Feeling like my body is being electrocuted, I let my hand
drop and move back, trying to make sense of what just happened. He
gives me a smirk, as if enjoying my moment of indecision, when I
just stand back, unable to move.
“Vivi! Vivi!” Moon’s voice drifts to my
He seems to recover first, looking straight
past me to Moon, who’s running towards me.
“Vivi! Vivi!” Moon shakes me out of my
“Moon! Didn’t I tell you to stay with
“I came to tell Vivi that Gigi found her
Not a second later, Gigi comes rushing along
“Dear, I found our money. It was in the
other pocket. I sewed a new pocket inside my jacket this morning. I
thought to keep the money safe there but forgot it was there.”
I can feel my face flushing hot in
embarrassment. He, on the other hand, has a smug look on his face,
like he’s having so much fun living off my embarrassment.
“Zacky.” Moon goes to hold his hand. He
smiles down at her and ruffles her hair.
I refrain from speaking and try to look
confident and strong, like I’m unaffected by this whole ordeal, but
the warmth in my cheeks won’t stop. I look down, unable to meet his
gaze anymore. I hear him talking to Gigi. I take a sneak peek at
him while they’re busy talking.
To say he’s handsome is an understatement.
This guy is simply gorgeous and captivating. If Mandy saw him, she
would stamp him as her future boyfriend immediately, like that Zac
Elliot she keeps going on about.
I think back to my mysterious Phantom guy,
the one who kissed me that night of the festival. I wouldn’t mind
if this guy is him. I would even let him steal another kiss.
Wait! What am I thinking?
“I’m sorry, young man. My granddaughter can
be a little discriminating sometimes. Forgive her.” I hear Gigi
apologize to him.
“It’s fine, Nancy.” He smiles. Then his
attention turns to me.
Somehow I feel quite exposed with him
staring intensely at me like that, making me feel uncomfortable in
my own skin. I subconsciously pull on my sleeve to cover up my
wrist and let my hair cover my forehead a bit more, an action I
always do when I’m uncomfortable.
I admit he takes my breath away, what with
his blackish disheveled hair in his eyes and his tall, lean body
that looks like he’s just jumped out of a Calvin Klein poster,
despite the crutches and white cast on his leg and all. I can’t
help but keep stealing quick peeks at him underneath my lashes.
Then I realize I’m simply behaving in an odd way. This guy, despite
his superior genes, is still a total stranger, and strangers should
never be trusted. So I harden my heart a bit more, willing it not
to beat too loudly just because this hot guy is standing here.
“What’s your name?” he asks.
I don’t respond because I think he’s still
talking to Gigi, but then he repeats his question. I look up and
“Umm. Ivy,” he says, like he’s caressing my
name with his tongue.
Despite trying to look unaffected, I can
still feel my cheeks growing warmer.
“Tell your Aunt Vivi to make sure she finds
all her evidence and has witnesses available for testifying
accusing people of a crime. Could you do that for
Even though he’s talking to Moon, that last
sentence is directed at me.
“Mmm.” Moon bobs her head up and down,
drawing his attention back to her.
He straightens, gives Moon another ruffle on
her head, thanks Gigi again, then turns to me, giving me another of
his mysterious looks before hobbling away and exiting the hospital.
My heart doesn’t stop racing until I get home.
When I arrive, I get a call from the PHST
program at the hospital, which Mandy advised me to enroll in, a
great distraction that I welcome with open arms. At least I won’t
be thinking about that guy, Zacky, and his intense and
The call informs me I’ve been accepted. I’m
very happy. Now I can earn more money. This means I can put more
into my savings account to go towards university for my law degree
and save another portion aside for Gigi’s and Moon’s medical
My new student is a recently released
patient in need of extra help in algebra.
Perfect. Just my field of expertise.
The next day, I arrive in front of my
student’s residence with feelings of trepidation and nervousness.
My student lives on the eighth floor of a very posh building in the
grand location of St. Clair, a very well-established area,
overlooking the pristine St. Clair Beach.
Hopping into the elevator, it’s only a short
trip before the door dings open again. I step out, look for
apartment number eight, and then freeze. My limbs won’t move, even
when I demand them to. No matter how many times I tell my heart to
stop the thrashing sound against my ribcage, it won’t.
No. I can do this. My first home tutoring
job. I’m stepping towards the future, towards a life without
My heartbeat gradually slows. Taking another
deep breath, I knock on the door. A second later, the door opens to
reveal a Mediterranean middle-age-looking lady. She smiles at
“Hi. My name is Ivy. I’m here to tutor
someone named Zachary,” I tell her.
“Hm. Master is inside,” she says politely,
letting me in. “I will go get him. You are welcome to wait in the
She leads me into the study, then goes out
again to look for Zachary.
Having nothing to do but wait for my student
to appear, I wander around the room, looking at all the ornaments
I conclude that whoever owns this apartment
must be wealthy. Firstly, there are lots of trophies in the shape
of golf balls. It’s like a shrine. I’ve never played golf before,
but from what I’ve heard, anyone who plays golf could be considered
Moving along, I find another shrine, this
time of sheet music. Many lie scattered around on the table. I pick
one up, looking at all the swirly lines and weird symbols.
Suddenly, my eyes catch sight of a guitar case, partially opened to
reveal the instrument inside.
It is a beautiful guitar made of golden
wood. I feel the grain underneath my fingers. It feels very smooth,
like soft silk, but cool, like an ice block.
Something else suddenly catches my eyes,
tucked between the guitar strings. I pull it out. It’s a picture of
a guy in a Phantom mask and black attire.
I move the picture closer to my eyes. My
heart beats faster and faster as I remember that mask and that
black attire. It’s him, the guy who stole my first kiss, the guy I
wanted to identify.
Before I can think of anything else, the
door suddenly bursts open, freezing me in my spot. I can’t move. I
can’t even turn around to look at the person entering. My feet just
won’t obey me.
Because I don’t turn around, that person
starts moving towards me. I hear clicks, like sticks hitting the
“Sorry, I was busy in the loo. I’m Zac. Nice
to meet you.”
That voice again!
Is this my
Surely everyone doesn’t sound the same in this
part of the island.
I eventually turn around and—
I’m in shock. My cheeks grow warm and my
heart jumps so fast I’m thinking I’m having a heart attack. I can’t
speak. The only thing I can do is to stare at him and blink,
because standing there right before my eyes is the one guy who I
accused of stealing Gigi’s money at the hospital.
But how can this be? The guy who kissed me,
he was so sweet. He helped me out of the crowd. But this guy, he
embarrassed me in front of my family.
There’s a twinkle in his emerald-green eyes,
and because I’m in so much shock that no words can pass my lips, he
speaks instead. “Aha. So Romeo finally meets Juliet again.”
There’s no denying it this time. This guy is
definitely the one that kissed me that night.
My Tutor Juliet
“Zac, your algebra tutor is here.”
“Jesus!” I startle, almost flipping over my
seat from Catalina’s sudden intrusion.
“Sorry, Zac. Away with the music fairies
“Yeah.” I lie. I don’t want to tell her I’m
freaked out right now about this new tutor of mine.
Will my tutor kill me if she knows how bad I
am at algebra?
“I put her in the study,” Catalina says,
then closes the door behind her.
I heave a sigh, feeling tired all of a
sudden. I’m not looking forward to this.
What the hell?
shake my head to dispel this negative thought.
It’s either pass
algebra or lose Elsa.
I hobble myself out of my room. Just when
I’m almost to the study, I have a sudden urge to pee.
hope my new tutor doesn’t mind waiting for a bit longer.
All that thinking about my new tutor brings
about a sudden ache in my heart. I’m not sure why, though, but it
leads me to think about that girl named Ivy that bumped into me the
other day. She was the Juliet I’ve been thinking about nonstop.
I cursed myself at the time because, despite
getting her name, I still don’t know anything else about her. She
looks to be about my age, so I hope I’ll get to see her again at
school. That is if she does go to Woodville High.
Hobbling back out of the bathroom, I head
straight to the study. I’m not prepared to meet my new tutor.
Really, she must be some lousy old university student from
somewhere. I mean, who else would excel in algebra but the ones
who’ve already graduated from high school. And the name Miss
Hamilton, that just sounds so ancient.
Yanking open the door, I think I put too
much force into it and the loud squeaky sound startles my tutor.
Her back stiffens.
I take back my thoughts. There’s nothing old
about Miss Hamilton. She looks small and delicate, with soft brown
curls pulled into a ponytail atop her head.
I smile and hobble over to her. She still
has her back to me. I clear my throat, then explain my lateness.
“Sorry, I was busy in the loo. I’m Zac. Nice to meet you.”
She turns around then and, my God, but I
suck in my breath again. The power of the universe is one amazing
entity. When one thinks of something, it comes to you. What are the
odds of me seeing this girl again? Absolutely none, yet we defy the
odds and meet each other for the third time in the span of a few
When I see her holding the photo Loki took
of me in that Phantom mask on the night of the music festival, I
know for sure she must’ve guessed my identity. So I hint at her
with my brilliant dashing grin and say, “Aha. So Romeo finally
meets Juliet again.” That’s the line I whispered to her after I
kissed her on that night.
Her eyes are staring straight at me, and
subconsciously, she bites her lower lip, and I know then she must
remember me, but she doesn’t seem to react any further. I decide to
play along, feigning ignorance of the fact that we’ve kissed.
“You’re my new algebra tutor?” I ask with my
She seems to lose her wit a bit. But with
the clearing of her throat, she says, “My name is Ivy Hamilton. I’m
here as your algebra tutor. Nice to meet you, Zachery.
“Just call me Zac,” I say, grinning back at
her, leading the way with my crutches. “The name is Zac Elliot,
lead singer of Apollo, the rock band that’s very famous at
Woodville High. Have you heard of me?”
I can’t help but want to boast of my famous
status, which comes as a surprise to me because I don’t like to
show off my talent, especially to girls. But somehow with this
girl, Ivy, she makes me want to show off my good qualities.