Angelica rang Avi for the fifth time, tapping her foot anxiously as she waited for him to answer. None of the other boys had picked up after multiple rings, and she had saved him for last, knowing that he sleeps like the dead. Kirstie told her that. She had been a little alarmed when her daughter randomly blurted out over dinner that very fact, but once she questioned it, Kirstie told her that Avi had fallen asleep at lunch and didn’t wake up so he was late for math. She giggled as she told the story, and that’s how Angelica knew that she had forgiven the boys.
But Angelica hadn’t.
They had hurt her daughter for months, not realizing what they were doing, and treated her like a dumb baby when she was so much more, not seeing past the diagnosis. Not seeing the real person. Then they stalked her as they didn’t trust her and confronted her at a diner in her time off! She had been fuming when Layne and Eli told her the story, but Kirstie had convinced her to give them another shot.
But you see, Kirstie had never been the best judge of character. She is very good at seeing past a fake front most of the time, gifted with the ability to not understand most non verbal cues so she didn’t fall for the whole act, but she was still naive and with the lack of aforementioned skills, she could be easily tricked by words. And she didn’t understand lying, she always thought people were telling the truth. So they could lie an apology and hurt her again and she wouldn’t know what had hit her.
She was pulled out of her thoughts by a deep grumble over the phone. “Hello?” Avi answered.
“Hi Avi, it’s Angelica. I was wondering why none of you were in school today,” she said.
“We’re all sick. Some kind of head and stomach flu. We won’t be in for a week or so.” he said. She could hear it then, the congestion in his voice.
“Okay, that’s not nice. Sorry. But you could have at least replied to Kirstie’s messages or told her you wouldn’t be in. She had a severe panic attack at school and humiliated herself in front of everyone. She didn’t care about that bit though, she only cared about the fact that none of you replied to her. She thinks you all hate her.” Angelica continued.
Her foot tapping had been annoying Kirstie in the front room so she got up and heard that Avi was on the line. She held her hand out for the phone and Angelica passed it over.
“Hi Avi,” Kirstie whispered, her voice still shot to pieces from the panic attack. Avi could hear that, and he has heard her voice messed up from anxiety before, but never that bad. It made his guilt soar to the point where he had to pause before replying or he would be sick again.
“Hi Kirst. We’re sorry for ignoring you. We don’t hate you. We’re sick and won’t be in for a week or so.” he said. He was about to continue apologizing but Kirstie didn’t need that. She had already forgiven him. But when she heard that they were all sick, she simply had to help them.
“I cc-coming ovvver. Help y-you,” she said. She hung up as Avi began to protest and got her bag ready before leaving. Angelica knew that if she didn’t go and help them then she would work herself up so much more, so she gave her a lift to Avi and Esther’s place. She just hoped that her daughter’s weak immune system wouldn’t fail her.
And so, soon enough, she had arrived at the Kaplan family home.
"Hey, sugar!" Esther greeted the young girl, smiling at her. "You here to visit, Av?" She asked her. Kirstie nodded, her face neutral but her eyes begging to come in, with love for Avi, concern for Avi, and excitement to see Avi. Basically, she couldn’t live without her Avi, and Esther could tell this. She had always been an amazing judge of character.
Kirstie stepped inside and took off her shoes following the rules she has at home. Then she turned to face Esther. “W-Where Avi?” She asked nervously. After all, Esther was his Big Sister if someone was going to hate her it would be her.
“In bed. Up to the stairs second door on your right. Could you bring up this blanket for me? He is being stubborn and won’t let me in, the big baby. “ Esther said.
“Okay. “Kirstie said heading up the stairs with The blanket. She hoped that Avi was okay, That he would be back at school sooner than her mom had told her. But when she reached his door and the first thing she heard was him puking, She knew that she was out of luck. He had helped her before so now she would help him even if it made her sick, which it probably would.
“Avi. You kay?” She asked hurrying to his side. He groaned in response before heaving again. Kirstie rubbed his back until he finished and cleaned up after him before bringing back a clean bucket and the blanket. She tucked him in and kissed him, not caring about germs or anything. She was just glad to see Avi again.
He chuckled at her happiness before launching into a coughing fit. She helped with that and made the reluctant man drink some water and take the medicine that Esther had been unable to get him to take. After that, he lay back down and fell asleep for once Kirstie being the bigger spoon and as he slept she texted the other boys who all had the same symptoms but Scott had Mitch and Kevin had Matt so they were already paired up and fine. All Kirstie had to worry about was Avi So that was fine and she fell asleep cuddling him.
When Esther found them an hour later, she took a photo to show the other boys and Angelica. They were just too darn cute. Everyone else agreed. But Angelica was right. Kirstie didn’t stay strong for very long at all.
YOU ARE READING
Kirstin Maldanado moved into town to escape bullying. She was always different from other kids, because of her autism. Surprisingly to her, not only does she make three amazing friends, but also a boy that may be a little more.