My moms tried to do their best to make up for my birthday celebration getting cut short. A few hours ago, they told me to stay out of the kitchen while they got some things ready for my birthday and still haven’t told me I could come back, so I haven’t, not like I really care all too much about going in the kitchen. I have a few snacks in my room, so I’ll be fine. I’ve been trying out new styles and stuff with my makeup since they told me to go somewhere other than the kitchen. Now… where’s the green? I sighed, going through my drawers with no luck. Where did I leave that palette? Oh, right – I have a bag with a few of my makeup palettes in the drawer of that room with the small tv. I don’t even know why we still have that tv from like the 1900s, but we do anyway. I wiped off the eyeshadow I’d already put on and walked out of my room to go get it. As I got closer to Sera’s room I swear that I could hear someone talking so I slowed down but I didn’t hear it again – until I passed her door.
“I don’t know…”
Okay, she’s definitely in there talking to someone. But who? My brothers are all busy playing an (intense, according to them) game of voidcritters in the playroom and my moms are downstairs in the kitchen. And we can’t call or anything right now cause the internet is cut off… so who is she talking to? Herself? Maybe I’ve been stuck here for too long and I’m just hearing things.
“I don’t know, I just – “
Okay, I’m not hearing things. I crouched down next to her door to see if I could hear anything else, but she didn’t say anything for the next few minutes and then the door started to open, at which I bolted up and started walking towards the tv area so it didn’t look like I was spying on her.
“Vali?” I heard her say and I turned around, leaning against the left wall. She looked a little apprehensive, probably cause she thought I’d heard a bunch of her ‘conversation’ which I still don’t know who it was with.
“Yeah, what?” I replied, pretending to have nothing to do with it – cause I didn’t, really! All I heard was a bunch of random stuff that didn’t make much sense especially since there’s nobody she could be talking to!
She closed her door, shutting her eyes. “How much did you hear?”
Hmm, should I play dumb…? I mean, who knows how much longer we’re going to be stuck here? I don’t want her to like hate me or anything like that for hearing a few words. “Nothing.” Hey, it was partly true, all I heard was her saying I don’t know a few times. It was nothing important.
She stood there for a couple seconds, trying to figure out if I was telling the truth. “Ok.”
Lol, did she actually buy that? She’s not stupid, so I doubt she really did, but alright.
“What? Do you want to talk?”
I shrugged, turning back around. I think my blues are in this bag, too, they’ve been missing for a little while. Oh, and that one pearl-y one I got a few years back is with them, I think…
I took another step before stopping, but I didn’t turn around. Chances were that she’d say never mind and I could just get back to working on my different eyeshadow styles. After standing there without moving for way too long, I gave up and kept walking forward. If you’re going to say something, just say it, will ya?
I sighed, turning around.
“What, Sera? If you have something to say, say it!”
She sucked in her breath, twirling a piece of hair around her finger. “Well… can we talk? I know you must have heard more than you say you did…”
I stared at her in surprise. I actually hadn’t heard more than I said I did, come on! But I am curious… “Sure, Sera.”
It’s not like I really have anything better to do, anyway. There’s only so much you can do without an internet connection. I almost never go into my sister’s room. In fact… I haven’t been in here in like forever. I don’t really have any reason to. I went to her room more often when we were kids but it looks a lot different than it did then – my room does too.
“So, what?” I asked, sitting down on her bed next to her.
“You heard some of that, right?”
No point in pretending not to have heard something now… “Uh, yea. Just heard like, I don’t know, though.”
She raised her eyebrows, obviously not convinced, but whatever. “Well… that was my boyfriend – or maybe ex-boyfriend, I dunno. I just – ”
“Whoa, hold on,” I exclaimed, holding up my hands, “how did you get a call through?”
“Oh, that… well, uhm, I may have hacked, it’s not that hard…” Sera replied cautiously, threading her fingers together.
I raised my eyebrows, staring at my sister in surprise. I mean, I knew she was smart enough to hack, but I never thought she would! “You what now?!”
“Vali!” Sera groaned, “that’s not what we were – ”
“Well, it is now! I need to talk to Emi and Aya!”
“I dunno…” Sera trailed off, looking around her room anxiously. Well yeah, I bet she never expected for anyone else to find out that she could get through to the outside world, but I did, soooo…
“Come on, you can rant about your ex to me, alright?”
Sera pursed her lips, finally letting out a long sigh. “Fine. And he’s not my ex! Or is he? I don’t know, I just told him he might be better off as friends, to which he asked me if I ever had feelings for him, to which I replied that I didn’t know. Because, how do you know? Like really know?”
“Uh, yeah, I’m pretty sure you’re no longer a thing. And, well, you just know. You want to be around them all the time, you want to kiss them…” I paused, thinking, “or, well, I want to kiss my crushes, and very often wouldn’t mind sleeping with them either, but I dunno about everyone else…”
She nodded slowly, turning her phone over in her hands. “Right… well, I can get you through to your friends now.”
“Aya’s number is 34982231 and Emi’s is 27418256,” I told her, and she simply went on her computer, pulling up some page that definitely looked like you shouldn’t be on it.
So… my sister broke the rules for a boy, huh? Who would’ve thought?
“Here,” Sera said, stepping away from the computer.
“AHH, Vali!” Amaya screamed, while Emily just stood there, relieved.
I put my hand over the computer’s speakers instinctively. “Shh, Amaya, I’m not supposed to be connected to the outside world.”
“Are you all okay?” Emily asked.
“Yea, we’re good.”
We talked for a few more minutes before Sera insisted we stop the call since she didn’t want to be caught, which left me back with trying new eyeshadow styles. That is – until I heard a loud bang come from what sounded to be the loft. My immediate thought was bomb, but part of me knew that would be crazy and as I got into the loft, I could tell nothing had blown up… besides my twin brothers’ conversation. They were screaming at each other for god-knows-what and the chess table was laying sideways on the floor with the pieces all scattered around. So that was what the loud noise had been – the table falling over. Or getting pushed over…
“Our mom is a good person!” Grayson screamed.
“Yeah, well my friends say – ” Jackson shot back, only to be cut off.
Grayson stomped his foot, glaring at his twin. “I don’t care what your stupid friends say!”
“Oh yeah? Cause they might be right?”
“They aren’t right!”
They hadn’t even noticed me, and so I stepped back, about to simply go back to my room, when my moms came around the corner, looking at me and then at my brothers.
“This is not my fault,” I immediately insisted, staring at my moms.
“We know,” mum replied, and motioned for me to step away. Thank god this is not getting pinned on me, because I actually had nothing to do with it. I started to walk away when I felt one of my moms tap me on the shoulder. I turned back around to see my mom in front of me and mama trying to get the twins to calm down back near the chess table.
She sighed, pulling me into a hug out of the blue. I tried to shake out of it at first in surprise but stopped as she began to whisper.
“Valentina, I’m sorry… for all of this. You shouldn’t have to grow up in a world that’s seemingly changing so fast.”
I blinked. I didn’t know what to say, for once.
3 days later…
“I can’t believe that happened,” Amaya exclaimed, rushing over to me. “It seemed like something out of a movie.”
“I know, right?” I replied, laughing. Sure… I was laughing about it now, but being stuck in a house with my siblings for 3 days straight had sucked. “I’m so glad to be back at school.”
Emily snickered, coming up behind the two of us. “Words I never thought would come out of Valentina Clemonte’s mouth.”
“Very funny,” I retorted as the bell rung, signaling it was time for first period.
“Vali!” I heard from behind me and I instantly recognized the voice.
I turned around, smiling. “Hey, Jaden.”
“I – uh – just wanted to say I’m really glad you’re okay. Really.”
I shrugged. “No big deal.”
“Nobody could reach you, Vali! We didn’t know what was going on – ”
I had no idea why he was freaking out over something that was over. I was the one that had been on house arrest but you didn’t see me acting like it had been the end of the world!
“I’m fine, Jaden, and I’ve got to get to first period.”
“Right… uhm, yeah, so do I.” He turned and quickly rushed off in the direction of the math classrooms as I looked back at Amaya. Emily’s class was basically on the other side of the school, so she’d started running once the bell rung, but Aya’s was really close.
“Okay, what the hell was that?” I asked her as we walked through the tall doors of the school.
Her eyes widened. “Wait, you don’t know? It’s so obvious.”
I threw up my hands, staring at her. “What?”
“He obviously likes you.”
I blinked silently, then scoffed. “No, he doesn’t. No way. We’re like brother and sister.”
Amaya laughed, nudging me. “He totally likes you. Emi and I thought you knew.”
I gaped. “Emily knew too?!”
“Yeah, like I said, it’s obvious,” Amaya replied, walking into her classroom with a grin on her face. “We’re talking about this after school.”
I just stood there for a few seconds before running to my class. No way in hell does my best friend of sixteen – no, seventeen – years like me.