Part 4 - Girlfriends

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Lila

"Thanks for coming over." My Mother said at the door, hugging Mr.Tuan's grandmother. She looked to be pushing her mid-eighties.

"Of course," The older woman smiled at me. "Thanks for letting me visit. Maybe next time I'll get to see your husband." Almost immediately my mother tensed, but smiled in response.

"Yeah, hopefully." My mother said, still smiling. Mr.Tuan's grandmother turned to leave, to go catch up to my grandmother. As my mother watched her go I heard voices coming from the living room. Mr.Tuan and Jako were walking towards us.

"Thanks for having us over." Mr.Tuan said, flashing my mother a smile that made my heart melt, even if he wasn't even looking at me. Just as Jako approached me Mr.Tuan's gazed turned towards me.

"Of course." My mother gushed, and Jako stopped a couple feet in front of me.

"Sorry," he said, bowing his head like a five year old. That 13 year old grin was back. "I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable or anything. Accept my apology?" He asked putting out his hand. I paused, giving him nothing but a blank look in response. He really expected me to accept that? Was I an idiot?

Just as I was about to tell him off Brandon came out of no where and slipped an arm over my shoulder, and covered my mouth with his other hand.

"Bye, Jako. See you at school." Jako smirked slightly, a little mischevious gleam in his eyes.

"See you." He said casually, and turned to go. Once he was gone Brandon turned towards me, his eyebrow twitching, which it always did when he was annoyed.

"I told you that he could ruin you right? Why do you insist on sabotaging yourself?"
He asked, but before I could even respond he was gone, storming up the steps to his room. I looked after him feeling slightly worried. Maybe, all this stuff with Dad really was getting to him.

"-Lila?" I jumped and turned around to find Mr.Tuan peering into my face, his brown eyes narrowed and a tan hand outstretched towards me. I blushed realizing that was the same hand he touched my chest with. Panicked, I took a step back, not expecting to trip over something.

"Ah!" I screamed and then hit the ground, back first.

"Are you ok?" Mr.Tuan asked immediately, as I just laid there on the ground, way too embarassed to even move.

"Me? Yeah, no, I'm fine. Thanks." He crouched down then, grinning at me.

"You know, most people try not to trip right in front of their Doctors." And their crushes. I looked down, my face burning.

"It's fine!" He said, patting my back softly, and chuckling. "Just no more falling. Even when I'm not around."

"I'm pretty sure I always fall when you're around." I said, more to myself but when I looked up to see his smile falter and confusion sink into his eyes I knew he'd heard me. "You're bad luck." I whispered, leaning towards him slightly, trying to cover. He chuckled and rose, outstretching a hand, which I took thankful.

"What's going on?" My Mother asked, returning to the front of the house with a container with food in it. I hadn't even noticed she'd left. I shrugged, patting my skirt to get anything off of it.

"Nothing, I just...took a tumble." Mr.Tuan, laughing turned to face my mother.

"Yeah, she did. And I'm sorry Michelle couldn't make it. She was busy tonight."

"Michelle?" I asked before I could even stop myself. My heart beat seemed louder all of a sudden as I stared into his eyes, thinking something I would never say.

"She's his girlfriend, Lila. Don't be rude."

I stood there for a moment, my eyes stuck on him, until I realized that I wasn't moving. I cleared my throat and rubbed the back of my neck, suddenly feeling as though I were moving through jelly.

"Oh, sorry, I just never thought he'd have a girlfriend."

Lie.

I was just hoping I'd never have to hear the word associated with him. 

"Ouch, Lila." He said, chuckling and then turning back to my mother again. "But she said next time she will certainly make it."

"Of course. I'd be happy to meet her. You two looked really happy in the photo you sent me."

He blushed instantly, glancing at his feet.

"Thank you. I really like being with her."

"Oh, are you thinking of proposing?"

"Mother!" I shouted suddenly, making them both jump and turn towards me. Under their gazes I shrank back, feeling like a child for getting so angry and so upset in just a few seconds.

"What?"

"I-you-nothing...I'm sorry. I'll go now." I said quickly and then turned to go. My heart froze as a hand grabbed my wrist, stopping me. I turned back to find Mr.Tuan frowning at me.

"Are you sure you're ok?" He asked, his voice deep and tender. I'd had multiple visions of him asking me that question but none in this context. I blinked at him, suddenly wishing he were a lot closer to me. Uncomfortable by how much he was affecting me by just looking at me I cleared my throat and looked down.

"I'm fine. I hope I get to meet your girlfriend soon." I said, lifting my head to meet his gaze. A moment passed and the way he was looking at me was as if he could see right through the white lie. As if he could read me like the back of a book. As if I were someone he'd known his whole life. I smiled weakly at him and turned away, heading to the kitchen.

It still seemed as though I were moving through jelly as I walked to the back of the house, head lowered.

I hated how upset I was.

I knew why I cared, but why did I care so much?

Again, as I tried to leave someone grabbed my wrist and spun me around. I blinked and then scowled when it was Jako.

"What do you want?" I asked and he laughed, leaning forwards, that annoying smirk on his face.

"Left overs...duh? What else could I want from you besides some cookies?" I stood there, trying my best not to hurt him, and then turned after stomping my foot and pursing my lips. Again, probably acting like a 5 year old. I turned and headed to the kitchen again, this time Jako on my tail. 

As I scooped up the food into a container for him he plopped down at the table and dropped his chin into his palm, watching me. He looked so amused I was tempted to bite him. I sighed and then looked away from him, looking down at the food. At some point Jako was saying something, but since I wasn't paying attention I had to ask him to repeat it.

"I said...you should date me." I froze and then turned towards him, feeling my eyebrows rise.

"Really funny joke."

"Why're you so skeptical?" He asked, a weird look in his eye.

"...Here's your food." I said, thrusting the food to his chest. He paused, glancing at me then the food, but eventually took it.

"Fine, but..." The grin was back. "I'll see you tomorrow."

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