It was the frantic pounding on the front door that startled me back into reality. My eyes were glossed over and misty as I stared mindlessly at the tedious rerun of Wheel of Fortune that my father had taped over the video of my first steps.
They were out on one of their ‘romantic dates’, which consisted of my mom choosing the most expensive restaurant she can think of to eat at, then they’ll get super drunk, somehow make it back home and then giggle all the way to their bedroom where … the unthinkable happens.
God, my parents are so weird.
The spinning of the wheel with all those colorful, glittery numbers seemed to hypnotize me, and soon found myself in a dimly lit room, but I could see the outlines of two shadows very clearly.
One of the shadows had grabbed the other one and pulled it close, and they melted together, hand to hand, chest to chest, lips to lips. And I knew those figures anywhere, their silhouettes were unmistakable.
And before I could turn my eyes away from the sight that might haunt me for the rest of my life, the constant knockknockknock of the front door invaded my brain.
“C-Coming,” I licked my lips, my throat paper dry as I, like a ghost, rose from my spot on the couch that now held my imprint. Clad in my dingy Winnie the Pooh pajamas, I padded over to the door; the mysterious person on the other side was now relentlessly ringing the doorbell like their life depended on it.
“Who is it?” I pig-pressed my face to the door, my eye squinting into the darkness of the peephole, but I was only greeted by more darkness, and a wispy shadow.
“Viva, please open the door. It’s me, Marie.” The voice on the other side shook, and cracked in desperation.
Marie? The name bubbled in my brain, flashed in my eyelids and tickled the tip of my tongue. My stomach instantly erupted into a delicious warm feeling that left my cheeks flushed.
Before I knew it, my fingers, shaking with pure excitement, were wrapped around the cold metal of the door knob, and I was pulling the door open, and I was letting her in.
She was trembling when my eyes rested upon her face, her face was paled and her teeth were chattering. She resembled a lost puppy in the rain, her eyes big and blue and sparkly and amazing.
And like it was her natural instinct, she ran into me, burrowing her head into my neck, throwing her icy arms around my shoulders for support, her hair flying and falling like a curtain around us, shielding us from the bitter cold of the air that was pouring in. I gripped the doorknob tightly with one hand; the other was limp at my side.
And then another shadow appeared at the door, one I couldn’t recognize, but I knew it was trouble, I knew something was wrong.
“Get out,” My lungs were about to pop in my chest, but I couldn’t shy away now, not with Marie counting on me to take a stand. The stranger at the door was grinning broadly, like he was amused that he had scared Marie, but I had to be the rock, the brick wall that would not break. “Get off of my property before I call the police.”
The guy let out a small snort but then he receded back onto my lawn, back into his car with his other troublemaking friends, and they took off down the street, laughing riotously with the windows rolled down, leaving behind the putrid smell of alcohol and smoke.
I slammed the door in response to their enjoyment, and then my fingers trembled when I realized that Marie was still holding onto me, her breath was warm on my neck as she breathed.
“Are they gone?” She asked, her voice was small and weak as she raised her head and turned to peek out from behind her hair.
“Uh … yeah, they’re gone.” I assured her, wanting so desperately to wrap my arms around her waist and never let go, but I couldn’t make things weirder than they already were. “Who were those assholes?”
Marie turned back to me, and a playful blush rose into her cheeks, filling them with life. She jumped back like I burned her, and my skin tingled, longing to be touched once more.
“I-I don’t know, they were just some dumbasses who thought they were cool.” She rolled her beautiful eyes and crossed her arms over chest, her cheeks only grew redder. “I’m sorry to barge in like this; I just needed to get away from them …”