Getting ready for school on Monday morning is a struggle. Not for me or anything but for my siblings and for Diego. Apparently, my mother promised Diego's dad, Joseph, that she'd make sure Diego gets to school on time. When she wakes him up in the morning, I can tell that he isn't used to getting up at six. I can also tell that he isn't used to actually being woken up. Just as I leave the bathroom, he's exiting his quarters. He looks genuinely annoyed so I try to steer clear of his path.
My mom makes breakfast so you can tell that she's trying to make Diego feel at home. I give her until the end of this week before she starts handing out pop-tarts and breakfast bars. The food doesn't do much to make him feel more at home; he doesn't even eat it. I watch as he picks at the eggs on his plate, discreetly throws the food away, and heads towards the front door.
"It's raining outside," my mom notes from the sink, where she's washing dishes. He turns around, unsure if she's addressing him or not. "I was thinking you should ride with the boys...and Orion."
I can tell Diego doesn't want to ride with us because his shoulders slump slightly and he shoves his hands deep in his pockets. "Is there room?" he asks, probably secretly hoping we'd say no.
"Yeah, of course," Calum answers cheerfully, oblivious to Diego's urge to head to school alone.
After we all finish up breakfast, we head towards the door, preparing to pile into the car. My mom stops me before I can step out of the house by calling my name. "Orion!" she shouts and I turn around. "Can you do me a favor?"
"What is it?" I ask, furrowing my eyebrows. What does she want me to do literally two minutes before I'm supposed to leave? I swear if she asks me to run upstairs and grab something for her... As if on cue, my brother begins blaring the horn and I look to my mother, preparing to have to do something she's perfectly capable of doing just because she doesn't feel like it.
"Can you make sure Diego gets to his classes? And, you know, actually sits through them?" she asks, taking me by surprise. I think I'd rather run upstairs and grab her hairbrush.
"How am I supposed to do that? I have one class with him, mom," I inform her. I only have my first period class with him. Whether or not he shows up to the rest, I wouldn't know, nor would I really care.
"You have friends, right? See if they share any classes with them and ask if he bothers to show up," she presses. When I sigh loudly, she looks at me pleadingly. "You value education so much; doesn't it bother you that he doesn't take it seriously?"
"Mom, he doesn't care," I tell her. "Why should I? It's his future, not mine."
"Just do this for me, honey," she pleads. Before I can reply, she opens the door for me. "Now go on, get in the car before your brothers take off without you."
I leave the house, pulling up my hood and tugging on the strings as I approach the car. The door is shoved open before I reach it so I'm able to duck in immediately upon my arrival. I quickly close it behind me, noticing that I'm sitting beside Diego, who's tapping away on his phone. I can't help but acknowledge that he doesn't have a bag. I swear I saw one lying on the floor when I went into his room on Saturday. Breaking the silence, I look at him. "Did you leave your backpack?"
He turns to glance at me and I realize that this is the closest I've been to him yet, even closer than when I was staring at his chest on Saturday night. We're actually touching right now. I can't help but smell him and it's a pleasant scent. I suddenly realize it's weird to purposefully inhale his aroma so I try my best to ignore it. "No...well, yes."
"Do you want to run in and grab it before we go?" Calum asks just as he's preparing to back out of the driveway.
"No, it's fine," Diego responds calmly. If I left my backpack inside, I'd jump out of the moving car to grab it. I can't afford to go a day without my materials.
YOU ARE READING
The Perfect BalanceRomance
They say you can learn a lot from a book, but no book has taught me how to be a regular teenager. No book has taught me how to comfortably balance a social life and school, not to mention work. And no book has ever taught me how to successfully reel...