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The day of my birthday came.

Mrs. Lockewood Baked a cake worthy of an Instagram post.
I came over early to bid them goodbye and they, in turn, gave me huge presents.

"Can I open them in Vienna?" I asked once her parents were gone.
"don't you want to do it at home?" She asked, hanging up birthday decorations amongst her other friends.

I shook my head.

"Fine, go ahead, but I would not advise it."

I set the gift box on the table and quickly ripped open the wrapper. I gasped as I saw the Apple logo.
"Oh my god. It's a MacBook Pro." I squealed, lifting it before seeing an envelope at the bottom of it.

I opened it up and saw a small note.
"You worked hard, even if no one else acknowledges it, We do. I hope this makes life a little easier."

Tears threatened to fall, but I held my head up to the ceiling.
My parents would never buy me something like this; the truth is I wouldn't even ask my parents for something like this. 

"Oh, by the way, the next ones a mini printer can we get back to what's going on here, please?" Vienna said, gesturing to the speakers that hadn't even been set up.

I bend down, connecting all the wires from the mixer table to the Speaker.

After I attempted to lift the speaker that was about the same size as me to prop up on a stand, I realize maybe a little too late that I wasn't going to make it to the position.
"I got it." A voice said from behind me, and I almost dropped the speaker, but the person's hands caught the speaker from behind me before setting it down gently.

I felt the strangely slow thumping of a heartbeat on my back. The person moves away, but not before the smell of their cologne exposes their identity.
"Why do you need a speaker like this at a small get together?"

"Nia is deaf in one ear," Vienna explained, tucking her hair behind her ear.

"You wanna blow her other eardrum out too?" Vincenzo said as he lifted the speaker and placed it on the stand.
Nia blushed and turned away.

Vienna rolled her eyes as he walked away.
"Your brother's so hot V. God he's like if a supermodel ate a supermodel. Supermodel x2," Nia said, watching his back as he walks away.

"Guys, don't be gross, none of you even attempt to hit on him tonight, it makes him uncomfortable, and he gets weird and quiet, and he's finally been opening up a lot more you know so just don't do it," Vienna said before walking over to the kitchen to make space in the fridge for my birthday cake.

I had never thought about the fact that maybe Vienna had been trying to protect her brother from her friends, it had never occurred to me that perhaps she was doing it for his sake and not because she didn't feel comfortable about her friends dating him.

Regardless I'm not like her other friends. I'm responsible, super smart, and compassionate, and sympathetic. I'd take the most exceptional care of her Hot ass socially awkward brother.

Vincenzo stuck around just staring into space and lifting heavy things and putting up decorations where we couldn't reach even with the step tool.

"Thanks for helping," Nia said, flashing a perfect smile at him.
He looked at her for a little while with a blank face as if he was deep in thought before walking away.
"Dude, did I say something wrong?" Nia asked, and Vienna shook her head.

"2 years ago, I realized that if you say a sentence that sounds even remotely close to a goodbye, he'll leave. He was only helping out, and now that the work is all done, he's going."

"Does he have like Aspergers? Or some other form of autism?"

"Seems like it, right? I don't know we went to a specialist, and they gave him tests and stuff, and they think he's awkward. Truth is he could be on the spectrum maybe. Nobody knows. I think he lives a double life. He wants to remain anti-social and reserve, so people don't question him and involve themselves with him."

"why do you say that?"

"Because it's better to think that my brother is just hiding a lot of shit than to think he's a boring guy who is probably just gonna die alone," Vienna explained.

Night came quickly, and so did my anxiety.

I opened the door to some of my debate club friends, they wrapped their hands around me, and we jumped around in each other's arms in excitement. Vienna's friends came in waving or giving me the awkward side hug, which was by far way more uncomfortable than the actual waving.

I sat down and laughed as my friends spoke about whatever thing they had seen online about whoever.

In the back of my mind, I wondered what Vincenzo was doing in his room. Asked if he was on the phone speaking to a friend if he was on a computer chair playing call of duty some other thing boys his age liked to do. Maybe he was reading, something super angst and college like or perhaps he was laying down looking up at the ceiling while he charged-

Vienna already swore he wasn't a robot, so get that idea out of your head. I told myself.

I was talking to my friends when I noticed that the backdoor was open. Everyone who was supposed to come early already came in and were spread out across the large living room area eating and talking while soft indie music played over the almost comedically large speakers.

I got up and walked over to the back door. I walked outside but saw no one, so I started walking to the front of the house.
Once on the perfect lawn, I saw Vincenzo's truck pull out of the driveway.

I started panicking. He couldn't leave now when I just found the courage to bare out all my feelings once and for all.
I ran inside before he even started driving. I stole Vienna's car keys from the critical hanger before dashing outside to find her parked car. I entered her car as I saw him drive up the street.
I followed behind him onto the highway, wondering where he was going at this time of the night at such a fast speed, especially when he was supposed to be chaperoning us.

After a while, his car turned into what looked like an abandoned neighborhood.
I followed suit, and I noticed that he hadn't yet seen that I was following, or maybe he did, and he didn't care enough to stop and wonder what was going on.

He stops in front of a house.

I saw him park his car and then pull a suitcase out of his trunk.
I stayed silent, wondering what was happening.
I saw him climb up a tree and then on to the top of someone's house. My eyes widen, and a feeling of fear waved through my entire being as I saw some rifle being pulled from a suitcase. He mounted the gun on top of a tripod, and then he cracked his knuckles and neck before squatting down.

My mind seemed to start blinding my vision at the pure horror of what was happening. The gunshots, though, weren't as blinding. The sound of a semi-automatic weapon hitting and passing through glass shook me to my core. It almost seemed like a nightmare. One of those nightmares that your crush just so happens to be a murder, and you find out on your 18th birthday because for no other reason than life is a shitty Lifetime movie.

He packed up his suitcase and got down from the tree.

As he started walking towards the direction of his car, I began to panic, unsure of what exactly to do at this point.
So I just decided to make a run for it. I backed off Vienna's car getting ready to abandon the crime scene.
When I saw him approaching me, I thought about just backing away and turning around while I had backed away a significant distance away from him, but then the thought hit me that he knew where I lived, where my family currently resided.

All the thoughts running through my mind rendered me entirely still until I heard the taps on the window of Vienna's car. I turned around, jumping in shock when I saw his face. His expression wasn't terrifying in the way it should've been after witnessing him shoot into a house with bright lights.

He motioned for me to roll down the windows, and I shook my head.

He took a key out of his pocket, jiggling it in my face before he pressed a button, unlocking the car. He opened the car door, and I stilled.

"I'm not going to hurt you if you keep quiet do you understand me?"

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