Authors: Wanitta Praks
Tags: #sliceoflife, #contemporaryromance, #teenromance, #teenfiction, #contemporaryfiction, #dramaromance, #romeojulietstoryline, #schoolromance, #starcrossedlovers, #teenfictioncontemporary, #tragedyromance
I have a hollow feeling inside me when I say
this. But I ignore it. I hobble back inside once Ivy’s out of my
“Hello, little brother,” Dillon says by way
of greeting. Then he crashes on my couch.
If he breaks my couch, he’s going to
“Heard you were stupid enough to run into a
tree and break your leg. Guess now you can practice on your damn
music for months.”
I don’t reply to him. Instead, I just buy
myself time, waiting for him to get the hell out of my apartment.
His cigarette smell really stinks up my whole place. My nose
twitches just being this close to him.
“Nice apartment you got here,” he says,
glancing around. “Did Dad decide to splash all that money on
“Zac, who is it?” Catalina calls out from
the kitchen when she hears Dillon’s voice.
“And who might that be?” Dillon’s eyes light
up with malicious delight, shooting straight towards the
I really dislike his eyes. They’re so red,
like he’s always hung over. I bet it’s due to his binge drinking
and pot smoking.
“My brother, Catalina,” I shout back, hoping
she won’t come in to investigate. Except she damn does.
Catalina comes into the lounge, takes one
look at Dillon, gives him a smile that doesn’t quite reach her
eyes, and then goes straight back to work.
Catalina knows of Dillon’s flirtatious
nature, so she’s not too fond of him. She’s always keeping a wary
eye on him, telling me not to follow in his footsteps.
“A good-for-nothing that boy is.” She often
expresses her opinion to me.
I hate to admit this of one’s sibling, but
I’m not too fond of him either. He hardly visits, and if he does,
he comes barging in uninvited.
I go to grab my stuff from the study and sit
in the lounge, ready to start on the homework Ivy gave me,
completely ignoring him.
“Did you hear what I said, dumb head?”
Dillon comes and takes my homework while I’m
busy writing my equation.
“Shit. You’re doing elementary math,” he
A fuse blows inside me.
One more word out of him and I swear I’ll
“What do you want anyway?” I ask when he
continues to hang around the room.
“Can’t I visit you?”
“Just do whatever you want. I’m busy.”
“Busy plotting a plan to shackle her?”
I can’t believe this. How can Mum tolerate
this kind of behavior? I’m so glad I’m not living with him.
“Okay, fine, fine. Don’t get all pissy with
me, lover boy. I’m famished. Get me a Coke or something.”
I’m about to snap my pencil in half. “Do it
“I’ll call on that old lady, then.”
“No, Dillon.” I stand up and tell him off.
“You want to drink it, you get it yourself.”
“Fine.” Dillon goes and raids the fridge.
The poor thing will be traumatized once Dillon has his hands on
“Fuck, Zac,” he shouts, his head still in
Catalina gives him an angry glare. Dillon
raises his hands in surrender. “Sorry, amigo.”
I can only shake my head at this idiotic man
that happens to be my half-brother. I want to tell him Catalina is
Italian, not Spanish, but the swear really got to me. I don’t abide
anyone swearing in my house. Shit is fine, but not fuck.
“Don’t swear in my house.”
“Ooooo. Since when has the little bad boy
Zachery turned into a saint?” He hits me on the head with the icy
can of Coke in his hand.
“Just leave, will you. If you have nothing
to do or say here, then just leave.”
. Just checking up
to see how much of a shithead you’ve grown up to be. And I’m right.
You really have turned into an asshole. See ya later, loser.”
“Same to you,” I sarcastically lash out.
I heave a sigh of relief when he disappears
through the exit door. Dropping my homework, I go into the kitchen
and apologize Catalina.
“You don’t follow his footsteps, Zac.”
Catalina hugs me.
“Yeah, Catalina. I know.”
That night, I practice on Elsa a bit more.
When tiredness almost robs me of my sleep, I decide to call it a
day and slip into bed.
Overall, it was a fun day. But why I can’t
seem to stop thinking about Ivy and how upset and angry she was
really surprises me. And with that thought plaguing my mind, I fall
The Faceless Truth
He really is a handsome guy.
face, it’s so flawless. Shouldn’t we teenagers have acne?
I can’t help but keep praising him as I
stare into his eyes and assess his face. At the moment, he’s
holding on to me tight because the door suddenly opened, startling
me so much that I ended up falling into his arms.
His eyes are still grazing my every feature,
touching me, caressing me, giving me the feeling I’m the most
important object in the room.
I flush and bite on my lip again, feeling
shy at the close contact between us. Seeing my cheeks redden, he
starts his teasing game again.
Zac has been constantly teasing me, throwing
his witty phrases at me from left and right. I can’t dodge
I’ve now come to realize I actually look
forward to our tutoring sessions. Today, I have on a nice purple
cardigan with long sleeves, the one I only wear on special
occasions. I’m not sure why I decided to wear it today, but now
that I think about it, I thought I would look pretty in his
And I hope right now he’s thinking the
“Oh, she’s a hot one,” someone speaks. Like
a bucket of icy cold water being dumped over me, my senses come
back and I turn to that voice.
I freeze and my body starts shaking. I feel
sick to my stomach.
He’s back. My nightmare, my horrifying
nightmare is back.
Staring right back at me are those bloodshot
weed-green eyes, so similar to Zac’s yet so ugly. This is the face
of the man that crashed into my parents’ car, causing their and my
I go pale and grip Zac’s shirt. Zac,
noticing I’m scared, pulls me to hide behind him. The next few
words exchanged between the two fire me up and make me go
“Get off it, Dillon. Just go inside. I’ll
talk to you later.”
“Okay, little brother. And good job by the
way,” the man says, and then he gives me another lecherous stare
and goes inside.
Zac turns to me then. “Sorry about that. My
brother can sometimes be like that.”
I stare at him fiercely. Inside, I’m boiling
with rage and pain. Zac’s brother is that killer. The one that
makes me want to seek justice by studying law.
I tear myself from his protective embrace
and state firmly, “I’m going home now.”
Zac’s still his usual jovial self. How can
he be affected like me anyway? He’s not the one who just came face
to face with a killer who didn’t even get punished. If it comes
down to it, he would probably side with his brother.
I don’t listen to him when he waves at me
and says, “Okay. Thanks for today. I’ll see you in two days time,
I’m too consumed with my anger and pain that
I go to hide behind a wall instead. Once he’s out of my sight, I
grip my chest.
It hurts. It really hurts. My heart simply
The memories, they’re all coming back to me
now. The rain. The blaring bright lights. The sounds of screeching
tires. The crash. My parents and my brother all aligned in their
caskets. All dead. All gone. Just me, Clare, Moon, and Gigi.
Subconsciously, I touch my forehead. There’s
a scar running into my hairline. I pull up the sleeve of my purple
cardigan next to reveal the many scars aligning the length of my
left arm where the bones on my forearm broke. They are ugly-looking
scars. Seeing them only reminds me of the nightmare I’m trying to
forget. That’s why I always wear long-sleeved tops and have a
fringe so it covers my forehead. If people were to see the scars on
my forehead or my arms, it would only invite them to pry into my
affairs, asking me countless questions about how I got my scars. To
answer would only bring me pain, and I don’t want to experience
that pain ever again. I want to forget it all.
My thoughts return to Zac. I thought I had a
crush on him and might have liked him a bit since he’s the one who
stole my first kiss. He was even kind enough to show me Elsa, his
guitar. I know he must have felt embarrassed naming his guitar
Elsa, but he showed it to me anyway. At least I mean something to
Who am I joking? I’m simply dreaming. Zac is
the brother of Dillon Elliot, the guy who took away my parents and
Dillon Elliot. Zac Elliot. Why didn’t I
notice the resemblance in the color of their eyes or their last
name? Weed-green eyes, emerald-green eyes. What’s the difference?
They’re both green.
I shake myself, tears of pain streaming down
my face. After some painful crying and reliving that nightmare
again, I wander back home. It’s getting dark. Gigi and Clare must
be worried sick.
Moon comes running to me the minute I walk
inside the house in my zombie-like state.
“Vivi? What’s wrong? Why are you sad?” she
instantly asks me with just one look at my face.
Children seem to have an instinctual
“I’m not sad,” I say to her weakly, dropping
her a kiss on the forehead and grabbing myself a glass of water
from the kitchen. “Just tired, that’s all.”
Moon follows me into the kitchen. Clare and
Gigi are cooking. I force a smile at them. Gigi is the first to
speak. “How’s your new job? Did your student behave?”
“It was okay. My student behaved,” I tell
“Just remember if you don’t like the job,
quit anytime. I’m here to support you.” That comes from Clare.
It’s very touching that Clare cares for me,
but I want to earn my own money for university. I don’t want to
rely on her forever.
“I know, but I want to save up to go to
university,” I tell her.
“I have that fund all sorted for you, Ivy,”
she says, her hand still cutting up vegetables.
Gigi’s over her pot of stew. From the aroma
that hangs in the kitchen, I guess it must be pasta tonight.
“I know. But I want to earn my own money.
Thanks for your support, though.”
“If only Brian were here, you wouldn’t have
to take that tutoring job.”
There she goes again, bringing up the past.
I don’t mind her saying it, but not in front of Moon like this. So
instead of answering like I usually do, I gesture to Moon, telling
her to follow me.
She holds out her little hand and together
we go back into the lounge. I slump on the couch and close my eyes.
I can feel a little depression in the cushion next to me. I turn to
Moon, open my eyes, and ask, “Have you taken your insulin shot
“Not yet. Mommy said we won’t be eating for
another half hour since you weren’t here yet.”
“We should be eating soon,” I say tiredly,
then lift her and carry her on my waist to her room. “Come on. I’ll
help you today.”
“Yes, please, Vivi. Thank you,” Moon says,
giving me a peck on my cheek.
In her bedroom, I take out her insulin
injection kit and, lifting her shirt, I give her a shot in her
She closes her eyes and holds her fist
“Did it hurt?” I ask her once I’ve
“No,” she says with her eyes still
I have tears in my eyes. How brave my little
niece is. I hug her and she hugs me back. Together we stay like
this until Moon starts speaking again.
“Don’t cry, Vivi.”
Her statement surprises me. I’m not aware
Moon wipes the tears from my eyes and says,
“It hurts a little when you push the needle in, but not all that
much. I’m used to it now. It’s all in the past, so stop crying.
Talking about it will only make me think about the pain. And it
hurts when I think about the pain.”
I cry even harder, my shoulders trembling as
I hug her small frame.
Moon, my innocent little niece, is right.
Everything is all in the past now. I should try to forget about
everything that happened. To think about it would only cause me
pain. And I want to protect her from this pain. I want to start a
new life. I don’t want to be bound by my past anymore. I want to
look toward the future and start on a fresh path. Moon will not be
affected by the event that took place five years ago. I must think
of her. I have to make sure of that.
Moon lifts my spirits after that. Eating
dinner that night, my mood improves, and I go to bed thinking about
Zac until I fall asleep.
I have a strange dream of Zac and me in the
school park filled with yellow daisies. I’m lying on his lap with
my eyes closed, listening to the soft gentle whispers of the wind,
singing in tune with the golden bells of our school not too far in
the distance. The bell dings and dings, like a melody of a wedding
song. The cool spring breeze blows softly against my skin. A soft
petal-like object gently brushes against my cheek.
I open my eyes and see Zac holding a red
rose, smiling radiantly at me. The afternoon light creates a
majestic halo around his head. At that moment, he looks like an
angel descended from heaven. He gazes down at me from above, his
emerald-green eyes so soft and intense that it tugs at my
heartstrings. He leans in towards me and kisses me gently on my
lips, slowly at first, taking his time to meld the soft texture of
our lips together before sealing them completely.
Our lips are still sealed when the dream
becomes fuzzy and I find myself on the balcony, kissing him. This
is a forbidden kiss, I know, just like the story of Romeo and
Juliet, because I can sense the pain and sorrow in that second
kiss, a type of urgency and fiery passion, like that of dynamite
firing off into the sky.