Soap Opera

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We spend a little while
walking around the park
and talking about
nothing in particular
until it gets too cold
to be outside any longer.
Seth takes me home
and smiles at me as I
step out of the car,
bidding me a good night
before driving away.
He's a nice guy,
I think as I
let myself into the house.
For once, maybe
Natalia is right about something.

My parents have already
gone to bed, but
Eunice is waiting up for me
when I reach our bedroom.
She's obviously eager
to hear the details of
our double date,
even in spite of the fact that
she looks much too tired
to keep her eyes open for long.
She's never been good
at staying awake late at night.
Neither have I, honestly,
but I think the cold air outside
helped a little with that tonight.

“So,”
she starts,
perking up instantly as I
kick off my shoes
in the doorway,
“how did it go?
Are you guys, like,
dating yet?”

“Shut up,”
I tell her with
a small grin,
rolling my eyes.
“You're gonna wake
Eddie up if you're too loud.”

“But are you?”
she whines in a whisper.
I swear, my sister
is just like a little kid.
Her relationships never work,
so she feeds off of those
of other people.
It's like she believes everything
to be a huge soap opera
made purely for her enjoyment.
It can be amusing at times,
but right now,
it's more than a little tiring.

“No,”
I tell her at last,
scooping up my pyjamas
from the foot of my bed.
“It was kind of
a stupid date, anyway.
Natalia got distracted about
halfway through, so
Seth and I left.”

“Then how
are you guys not dating?”
Euni wonders aloud.
“You're really bad at this,
Matty.
If you're alone with a boy,
things should happen.”

My face wastes no time
in turning cherry red.
I don't know exactly
what Euni had expected to happen,
but I think I might be
glad that it never did.
My sister's dreams of
grandiose romance
are too high to reach,
after all -
I don't think I could
ever live up to her expectations,
even if I were to
marry Seth or something.
That thought, once again,
sends shivers down my spine -
and not good ones, either.

“Leave it alone,”
I tell her at last, shrugging.
“I don't know
what you expect me to do,
but I've never dated before.
Give me a break.”

She mimics my shrug
with one of her own,
but I can tell that she still
thinks I'm insane for
not attempting to
seduce Seth, or
whatever it is she'd wanted.
“Right,”
she murmurs.
“Well, goodnight.”
And with that, she
rolls over in her bed,
dropping off to sleep in
no time at all.

Eunice isn't the only one
who seems to be upset
with me -
when we go back
to school on Monday,
I find that Natalia is
no longer speaking to me.
I don't really understand why,
considering she's the one
who had ditched the double date
in the first place.
Seth and I had just
taken our cue to leave.

We have another
cooking lab in home ec today,
though, so I know
she'll have to talk to me then
whether she likes it or not.
And sure enough,
almost as soon as we
enter Mrs. Harrows' room,
she turns to me with
a disgruntled expression.

“So, what's
your excuse for Friday?”
she blurts out.
“And don't try and
pin it on me like Seth did -
he's such a jerk, you know,
always doing things to
suit himself instead of
his friends.
It's ridiculous.”

I'm not quite sure if
Seth would consider himself
one of Natalia's friends,
but I still think that she's
being a little harsh.
“He was my ride,”
I shrug.
“He was leaving, and
I didn't want to bother Tyler
for a ride, so
I went with him.”

“You could have at least
told us that you
we're leaving,”
Natalia pouts.
“What did you guys
do, anyway?
Seth wouldn't tell me.”

Like you told us
that you would be talking
to those people all night?
I silently retort -
but aloud, I just say,
“We just
walked around and stuff.
Then he took me home -
no big deal.”

“Did he
kiss you?”
she demands -
and despite myself,
I cringe, just
the slightest bit.
“No,”
I frown.
“I barely even
know him, Natalia.
Why would he
do that?”

With a martyred sigh,
she throws her hands up
in the air, as if
all of her evil plans
had just been foiled.
Maybe they had -
I wouldn't know.
“I have failed you,”
Natalia groans.
“He was supposed to
ask you out for real,
but apparently the kid
can't even do that right.”

“Or maybe he just
doesn't like taking orders,”
I point out.
“That seems
pretty likely, too.”

“So you have to
try harder,”
she insists.
“Get him to
ask you out.
That's the only way
that this will work.”

Of course it is,
Natalia -
because heaven forbid
I should make my own decisions
about my love life.
Heaven forbid that I
screw up your plans
simply because I don't like them.
She's almost as bad
as Euni and her
soap opera views of life.
For all I know, I could
just be another pawn for her
to play with, just another
character in her romance film.

And that hurts
a little.
I had thought that she
was my friend because
she likes me,
not because she
feels sorry for me.
I guess that I
was wrong about that,
like with so many
other things.
A sick feeling
creeps into my stomach
at the realization.

“Whatever,”
is all I say to
her expectant face
before I turn to start
preparations for our lab,
leaving her topic
of conversation
far behind.

×

Woah, Matty standing up for herself? That's new, especially since it's Nat she's standing up to... But anyway, angst. You're welcome.

If you guys liked this chapter, I'd love if you would vote and leave me some feedback! It'd be very much appreciated <3

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