Friday, March 16, 2012

Chapter 32: Formality

Chapter 32: Formality (Wattpad)

The good thing is I got out of the situation alive, right? Thoughts scurried through my brain as I watched the television – but not really taking anything in. It was almost 8:30 pm – almost time for sleep. After that godforsaken incident earlier in the day, we’ve been quiet as the grave. I have no intention whatsoever of sharing this to anyone. Especially Imah. Not her. 

As I sat on the couch, seeing the colours and the movements rather than the show itself, I pursed my lips for he hundredth time and both of my hands rubbed the sides of my neck – for the millionth time. 

Every time I do that, I get a flashback; which makes me shiver from goose bumps all the freaking time. I’m sure my face is as red as a tomato at the moment, so I dare not look at Sky, who was reading a book by the lamp, several meters to my left. When he just pursed or licked his lips, I almost drool and stare. Then rub my neck again. It’s ridiculous. I breathed in deeply.

Then I remembered something. I did the epic face palm. “Geez! Of all the days – ”

“What? What is it?” Sky turned to face me, an eyebrow raised. I took one look at him and blushed even further. I hate you, Ryne. You ruin everything. He blushed lightly himself, a tint of colour on his cheeks. I answered him. “I – it’s nothing. I just remembered that it’s training tomorrow so yeah…” He pursed his lips and I looked away before I do something stupid. I heard him say, “Right. Training.” he paused then continued. “I can ask Xav to come, you know. Or maybe even Imah.”

I recognize a miracle if I see one. God is good.

“That would be nice.”

So now, 10 minutes later, I’m brushing my teeth, barely knowing what time is it. When I changed clothes earlier, for the first time, I felt different about them. The clothes. They’re his for Christ’s sake – he wore them once and now I’m wearing it. 

I paused with what I’m doing and touched the hem of the shirt. I’m going insane. I really am. I rinsed my mouth afterwards and went to the bedroom, wanting to stop time and take off to another planet. I buried myself on the sheets immediately, momentarily forgetting about by glasses. Tomorrow would be a lifesaver. It would be.
I had no idea what I was doing. I was just staring at the blank wall by the side of my bed. The world could have been crumbling to pieces for all I care. Then I heard the opening of the door. Automatically, I turned to the doorway and instantly regretting it. Seriously. Who else would I expect? Dash? Sky took one glance at me and looked away. He started going to his side of the bed, shutting off the lights on his way. The room was dim, then I sat up slowly to put off my glasses and place them on the low table beside my head. 

I felt Sky settle in the sheets and I heard him take off his own glasses. I lay down on the bed, shutting my eyelids closed. It would’ve been easier if he wasn’t nice. I mean, I don’t like him – I love Carsh – but initially, there is an attraction. Certainly, there is. I just don’t want it to gout of hand. That wouldn’t help anyone or anything. I’ll just have to act as normal as possible, prevent anything serious to forge between the two of us. He seemed unable to sleep as well, thinking things like I was. Maybe the same things, too. He said, 

“It would be easier to live life without regrets, you know. Or restraints.”

I shut off his voice. He wasn’t helping matters at all.


I blinked my eyes open, waking from a horrible dream. It was so irrational and crazy. I was being chased by Mr. Mafia – I don’t remember his face anymore, but he was waving a chainsaw. Chainsaw. The guy was chasing me with a freaking chainsaw. In the dream, I turned to Sky for help, but then he snubbed me, saying he didn’t care about me.

Yes, the dream was irrational.

I turned to his side of the bed and found him sitting up, looking at me. Will anyone just stop staring at me? It’s still early in the morning. I grabbed my glasses then sat up, facing him. I don’t want to talk – I have nothing to say in the first place. He too, just looked at me. Just looked. It was like he was thinking something over. Then he looked down, straightening his glasses at the bridge of his nose. 

“They’ll be here in less than an hour.” he said, then he faced me, smiling. “We’d better get ready.” I nodded then smiled in return. I slipped off the bed. The problem with Xavia and Imah coming  is that they might – okay, they eventually will – find out something’s off. I rummaged inside the backpack, looking for something suitable to wear. I heard Sky go out. This will really be a problem. Imah is trained to know, while Xavia’s trained to see. I clicked my tongue. This plan will backfire. Just wait and see.


“Hey, Im – ”

“I’m so glad to see you!”

Imah hugged me tightly, blonde hair touching my cheeks. Meanwhile Xavia hugged Sky, putting her arms around his neck and Sky doing the same around her waist. My brows creased without my noticing. What are they playing at? Someone tugged at my hand hard. Imah faced me. 
“I saw that.”

Her eyes were sparkling and wide. I scowled deeper. “Saw what?” She scrutinized me. “I’m gonna find out what happened, Ryne.” Then she grinned. “I told you this would happen!” I sighed. I knew it. “It was nothing. And there’s nothing to find out.”

“Did someone ever tell you how bad you lie?”

I glared at her half-heartedly. She just chuckled and held my hand. Xavia turned to me, while Imah moved to her place in front of Sky, a knowing look in her eyes. He looked bewildered.


I gritted my teeth at the scene. Why does this have to happen to me – of all people! I turned my gaze to the glorious face of Xavia and she was smiling slightly.

“Something happened, right?”

I groaned. “You people – ”

“Sky didn’t say anything.” she said, smiling further, showing her perfect set of teeth. “And I don’t think he ever will. I’m kind of hoping for a different reaction from you.” I gave her a pleading look. “Imah is enough for one person, please – ”

She shook her head, lips pursed. “This must be really good.” I sighed. This is hopeless. Imah came over to us, Sky in tow. “Let’s get started! I’m excited to see Ryne on her first day.” By the look on her face, it seems obvious that she’s excited about definitely something else. They have no idea what they’re talking about. Xavia said,

“Let’s go sit on the couch. And Sky,” she turned to him, “Why don’t you prepare us some drinks?” he nodded absently, exiting from the room. She and Imah held my shoulders and steered me to the couch. Imah faced me once we were seated.

“Now, my dear. What the hell happened?”

I turned to Xavia, somehow hoping that she’s going to help me get out of my dilemma.

No such luck.

I leaned back, resting my head against the support of the couch. “Things are complicated enough – ” 

“I still want to know.” said Xavia.

“I need to know.” Imah, this time. 

“You two knowing won’t help at all – ”

They seemed unfazed by any of my protests. Well, what else could I expect? They’ve been with Sky for a long time, by the looks of it. When Imah finds out, she’ll undoubtedly dance the Irish jig in joy and encourage us and with Xavia – I have no idea. That’s what kills me. Her relationship with Sky seems to be blurry for me. This entire situation is damned blurry. 

“Stop that, Ryne. And spill everything.” Imah interrupted. Xavia piped up next. “We won’t judge you for it.” She looked at me sincerely. “I promise.”

I bit my lip. It’s not even serious! And I have absolutely no intention for it to be. Nothing. That event, situation, or whatever the hell it is yesterday had been a slip. An accident. He wasn’t on his right mind. A bark interrupted my thoughts and Dash bouded up to me. Then instantly, he turned to Imah.

“Aww! He remembered me!” she continued to cuddle my dog. Xavia reverted her attention to Dash as well. “So this is, err, Zombie?” I stared at her. I thought that issue was over. “His name is Dash.” I explained. “Sky has a weird sense of – ”

They both laughed. Imah said, “You don’t have to be so grumpy. Lighten up!” I scowled. “Can’t. How can I? When – ” 

“Is it that serious?” she said and Xavia leaned forward eagerly. 

“No! There’s nothing serious about this at all!” God, help me. Nothing serious, I almost scoffed. Nothing serious with being kidnapped by someone who apparently wants to ‘live his life without regrets.’

Or restraints.

This restraint is fucking necessary. 

Xavia craned her neck to see me better. “Well then, if it isn’t serious, why are you afraid to tell us?”

“I’m not afraid. You’re twisting my words – ”

“No, we’re not.” they replied in unison. I sighed in frustration. “I would be mad if I told – ”

“Then we’ll ask Sky.” Imah said. Xavia turned to her. “Maybe we can do both?” Imah shrugged. “Later. Let’s break Ryne first – ”

“Break? Isn’t that an overstatement?”

Imah grinned. “We’re willing to do anything and everything – ”

“It’s not important. We – ”

“Fell in love?”


Xavia entered the fray. “What’s wrong with telling us, then?”

“It’s just… uncomfortable.”

Imah spoke. “How come?” I recalled the events of last day. I rubbed my neck violently and pursed my lips shut.

“Err, are you okay, Ryne?” she asked. 

“I’m fine.” I replied, clearing my throat. 

Xavia raised an eyebrow. “You’re blushing.” 

I turned to her. “People blush. There’s nothing – ” she laughed aloud, her laughter and beautiful face lighting up the living room. “I think I know!” she exclaimed triumphantly, carefully looking at my neck and pursed lips. She laughed again and I blushed deeper. I knew it. I bloody knew it. 

Imah reached beyond me and grasped Xavia’s wrist. “What did you see?”

“Didn’t you see what she did?”

Imah paused for about three seconds then, “That one?! Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” I interrupted before either of them gets any ideas. The plan just backfired.

“That was a slip. That was nothing – ”

“No, it’s not.” Imah replied. “We know him.”

I scrutinized her expression. “So will you please elaborate and enlighten me with – ”
“It’s really simple! It’s obvious that there is an attraction – ”

“A delicious attraction, apparently.” Xavia injected. I stared at her, mouth agape. “You’re not helping!” She chuckled, satisfied. “Sorry. Go on, Imah.”

“As I said – attraction. All you have to do is stoke the fires a bit, so to say, and voila!” she was almost bouncing with joy. 
“Stoke the fires?” She’s kidding. They don’t understand at all! She responded,

“Yes. Stoke the fires.” 

“I’m not intending this to go out of hand – ”
“Why? What’s with Sky that you don’t want?”

“Nothing! I – ”

“See?!” They both said.

“I have a boyfriend!”

They both paused. Dash barked. 


I looked at them. “Yes, that.” Imah’s eyebrows crunched together and her eyes seemed troubled. “But – but – ”


Xavia suddenly sat up straighter, her ears pricked. “He’s coming.” I let Dash climb up to my lap as Sky came in, a tray of juice carried. He set each one in front of us, and looked for a place to sit. Imah immediately grabbed my arm and pulled my sideways and Xavia moved to the other side.

Damn them. I glared at Imah. Sky just rolled his eyes, sighed, and sat down. The couch was only meant for three people, so we were all jam-packed like sardines. I shifted uncomfortably, his thigh rubbing against mine and as well as his shoulder. Imah suddenly squealed.

“Oh my gosh! Where did you get your anklet?” 

My muscles tensed and my face flushed. I saw Sky scowling and I faced Imah, forcing a smile on my face. “It’s a – ”

“Is that your initial?” she asked. Xavia looked about in interest, after taking a sip of juice. Sky exhaled and he got a glass of juice. I did as well and drank the damned juice, then I turned back to Imah.

She gave in to the chuckle which she smothered with a smug grin. I asked her, “So, where were we?”

“I have no idea – ”

“Is that an emerald?” Xavia asked, with an eyebrow raised. “Right there on your initial?” I sighed. “Well,” I said, frustrated. “it’s – ” 

Sky interrupted. “Yes, Xav. It’s an emerald.” He raised an eyebrow, as if to say Happy? She just nodded. “It’s nice.” then she shrugged, as though the accessory didn’t interest her in the least.

I asked the three of them, “Where do we go?”

Xavia answered. “The firing range.”

“The what?”

Imah chuckled again. “The firing range, Ryne.” We’re going there immediately? That’s just so… scary. It’s like they expect too much from me! I never shot a single bullet in my existence. I knew my face was drained of blood when I faced them.

“But – but I don’t – ”

Xavia said, “It’s gonna be fine. We’ll teach you.”

“Yeah, and we’ll take Dashy here with us.” Imah added, her tone reassuring. Sky said nothing but he out an arm around me, patting my shoulder comfortingly. He whispered, pulling me towards him. “No need to be so worried. We got you.” Then I saw his lips turn up in a smile.

             Oh, God. Help me.

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