13.) Three Words

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13.) Three Words

I am now beginning to understand why Simon called Chris "Casper."

With my sandals, beach bag, strapless dress and brown bikini beneath, I grabbed a towel from the hall closet. My parents' bedroom door opened and my bald dad, with his hairy belly hanging out as usual, walked toward me. "Good morning, Mama." He opened his arms and I stepped into his warm, all-encompassing embrace.

"You going to the beach?" he asked as I pulled away.

"Yeah, with Marilyn and a few others."

"You look like a California hipster."

I tugged on my dress with my right hand, where earthy leather bracelets adorned my wrist. Yeah, Chris hadn't just inspired my Asian bedroom theme, but now I even dressed like the female version of him.

"You weren't planning on taking my car were you?" Dad asked.

"No, I'm getting picked up."

"Good." His hazel eyes slanted. "You keep eating up my gas and not re-filling it. I'm gonna have to start charging you, especially if you're going all the way to Surf Side."

I lowered my gaze—and my voice. "Don't worry. I don't know if I'll be going there anymore."

Dad frowned. "You and mini James Franco broke up?"

"Not officially. But if things don't change soon, we probably will." I hugged my towel tightly, as if it were Chris himself.

Dad pulled me in and kissed my forehead. "I'm sure it'll be all right, Tash. And if not, there will be someone else who comes along."

I held onto my Papa Bear, tears blurring my vision. Though he was probably right, I didn't want there to be anyone else. In all of my dating life—basically since Kindergarten—I'd never felt this way for another guy, despite having fifty-two boyfriends since then. And apart from still not hearing from Chris since my impromptu visit at his condo three days ago, my feelings for him kept growing relentlessly like damn weeds.

Beep beep.

"That's my ride." I released Dad.

"All right. Try and get a tan. You're as pale as a vampire."

I slapped his gut. "Look who's talkin', gringo.'"

He unleashed a trumpeting fart. "That's how I feel about that."

I managed a small chuckle before heading downstairs and outside into the blazing sun. Ha, in this heat I wouldn't get tanned, I'd turn into a tomato. Ah, the downside of pale skin. If I wanted a real tan I'd have to get a fake one. But tanning booths freak me out. Thank God for bronzer.

A silver Infinity G37 occupied the driveway. I got into the passenger.

"Hey, Tash!" Always chipper Sivan beamed. With authentic tanned skin, red bathing suit, and wavy dark hair, Sivan looked totally Israeli model status.