The Mullers

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“I’m sorry,” he says with a frown. “Do I know you?”

“Err – ” I stammer, uncertain of what to say. How am I going to explain that he knew me?

Mr. Muller’s eyes land on my sling bag and my Xuihcoatl tattoo. He then leans forward and whispers, “Are you the Protector Athena sent?”

I nod mutely, unable to comprehend what is happening.

“Is she here?” Mr. Muller asks, glancing at the elevator I took to get up here.

“No, she left me at the airport,” I reply after clearing my throat. I should tell him about my true identity, now that I know him. “Mr. Muller, it’s me, Melanie Raquella.”

Timothy Muller stares at me for a moment, trying to recognize me. His eyes widen immediately, remembering me from the past many, many years ago. “Melanie – you – ”

“Dad? Who is at the door?” the female voice asks again. Now I know whose voice it is!

It is the voice of my best friend, Lisbeth Muller. Or should I say, ex-best friend.

Mr. Muller glances at me with a questioning look in his eyes. I shake my head slightly. It’s best if she doesn’t know me or she would get a heart attack here and now.

“It’s the exchange student that I told you. Come on in.”

As he said, I enter the little apartment that’s going to be my temporary home. The apartment is covered with light blue wallpaper with photographs of Lisbeth and her father. Some of the photo also includes Athena. There is a small TV and a couch in the middle of the living room. I also notice a guitar laying against the couch, as if someone was playing it until I came.

I cannot believe how fate decides to do its thing. Who knew Athena picked me because I knew her daughter.

“Hello! Sorry about the mess, but it was only yesterday when my dad decided to tell me about you. I’m Lisbeth, what about you?” the girl with a cheery grin rambles. I notice how much she has changed. She no longer has braided brown hair, but long wavy brown hair. She still has the nice personality on her, even after what I’ve done to her years ago.

“I’m – ” Melanie “- Laney MacKenzie.”

Lisbeth offers a bright grin. I notice she has the smile from her mother. “I have a feeling we’re going to be great friends, Laney. Come on, I’ll get you to your room.”

“Yeah, while you two talk, I’ll make some dinner,” Mr. Muller says, appearing out of nowhere.

“Thanks, dad,” Lisbeth tells her father.

“Thanks, Mr. Muller,” I say politely.

Lisbeth instantly grab hold of my hand and drag me away from her father and towards my new room.

“So where do you come from, Laney?” Lisbeth starts a conversation.

“Gurney City.”

She whistles. “That’s far away from home. I was living in Little Creek all my life before my dad accepts a job here and move us here.”

Huh, interesting. After all, Little Creek is where I met Lisbeth. When we were five, she offered me her colour pencils on my first day of kindergarten. She was my best friend who knew of all my secrets at that time. The reason we lost contact is because of my stubbornness.

Until now, I regret doing it so.

“What does your dad work as?” I ask in real curiosity. When I knew Lisbeth at the time, Mr. Muller was doing odd jobs like food testing and babysitting children. That’s how I knew Mr. Muller. My parents sent Nate and I to Mr. Muller whenever they’re too busy to be at home. I didn’t mind, of course, because I got to hang out with Lisbeth.

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