First Appearance

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"Matty?"
My dad's voice
rings out from behind.
I turn around to see
him as he
struggles with his shoes,
then hurries down the
front walk towards me.
"Your hand -
let me see
your hand."

Eunice and Matthias
must have already told
our parents
about my 'accident'.
I catch sight
of Euni hanging back
in the doorway, watching
our father fuss over me.
As Dad stoops
to examine my bandage,
I stick my tongue out
at her
over his shoulder.
She coughs out a laugh
before disappearing back
into the house.

"It's fine,"
I tell my
worried father.
"The nurse wrapped
it up real good.
It doesn't even hurt
any more."

"You have to be
more careful, Matty,"
he sighs at last,
ruffling my hair
affectionately
as he straightens.
"What if you had
cut your finger
clean off
or something?"

"Don't be gross,
Dad,"
I mutter at him,
wrinkling my nose.
The thought of
any more blood than
there had been
just makes me sick.
"It's no use worrying
when it's already done with,
right?
So stop worrying."

He just nods,
looking back towards the house.
I can see
the silhouette of my mother
talking to one of
my siblings
near the doorway.
Eddie's clinging to her leg
in that adorable way that
little children do.

"Who was that?"
Dad continues after
a few seconds,
startling me from
my thoughts.
"The girl who
brought you home.
She looked a little
familiar..."

"Her name's Natalia,"
I tell him.
"You might have seen her
around before.
She was Euni's friend first,
and then she introduced us,
and now she's
my friend, too."
It feels a little
strange
to call Natalia my friend -
strange, but good.
I focus on the
happy little glow
that's lit in my stomach as
my father shoots
a frown my way.

"Natalia..."
he mutters
thoughtfully.
"As in
Natalia Davis?
The daughter of the
U.S diplomat?"

"The what?"
But my father has already
gone off on his
train of thought,
leaving me far behind
"I don't think,"
he says after a few moments,
"that she's the type of person
you want to be friends with."

"What do you mean?"
It's a bit of a
surprise to me that I
start getting defensive
over my newly titled friend.
It's an even bigger surprise that
my own father would
have such an opinion
when he's never even
met her before.
"She's a perfectly
ordinary person -
and she's really nice besides.
Just ask Euni."

"Things are not always
what they seem,"
my father quotes at me -
English professor Dad
is making an entry
into the conversation.
"The first appearance
deceives many-"

"Phaedrus,"
I interrupt him,
"I know.
I've heard that
plenty of times before -
but Dad, you don't
even know her.
How can you say
anything bad about her
if you haven't met her?"
Before he can
say anything,
I continue with:
"And anyway, you know
that I don't make
friends very easily.
Isn't this a good thing
for me?"

He pauses for a moment,
as if he's weighing his options -
something that is
very like him to do.
My dad is a cautious man,
one who will sit and think
and ponder his options
before he takes so much
as a single step
in any one direction.
This is normal for him;
normal, but infuriating.
I'll never know why
he doesn't trust my decisions -
or those of any of his kids,
for that matter.
We learn by our mistakes
more than by his and
my mother's teachings.

Even so, I can guarantee
that this new friendship
with Natalia Davis
is anything but
a mistake.

"I suppose you're right,"
he says at last, sighing.
"Just be careful, alright?
I've heard some rumors
about this Natalia girl,
and she might not-"

"Not you, too,"
I groan.
"Thias said
the same thing.
How many times do I
have to tell you guys
that you can't judge her
before you know her?
You know how inaccurate
rumors at our school can be."

Dad only gives
a slight grunt
in acknowledgement.
"Just be careful,"
he reiterates.
"I don't want a repeat
of today
any time soon."

I'm confused
until he taps my wrist
right above the bandage
and gives me a
rueful smile,
which I hesitantly return.
"Now, come on,"
he says.
"Let's get inside
before your mother
decides that you're
bleeding to death out here
and blames me."

×

I love Aaron, tbh. This was so much fun to write because even though I haven't finished writing Misleading, I can just imagine all the character development he goes through as a result of bring married to Marianne ;3; I just love it, oml.

Anyway, if you guys liked this chapter, I'd love if you would vote and leave me some feedback! It would be much appreciated c:

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