BY GODDY FRANCIS
Ariel…” I heard dad’s voice this time. I know I’m good as dead. I quickly slip on my pajamas bottom with a t-shirt and race downstairs.
What’s this ? Chatting with your boyfriend ?” Mom asks glaring at me and showing me the screen of my phone. Even if I really can’t clearly see the writings on my phone , I know what she’s talking about.
What did we tell you about discipline ?” Dad roars.
I.. it’s not what you think..” I stutter.
It’s not what we think ? What do you want us to think ? That last night you went out to party , then you got drunk and you drove home with a total stranger and you slept with him . Ariel you had s£x again when your older sister is still a virgin , why can’t you be like her for once !” Mom yell.
Mom I..” I sob and meet eyes with Leslie who scoff and look away.
Mom what, Ariel ? We did our best to take you to school , the convent to be precise and you spoilt everything. I thought coming to New York will straighten your already broken life but yet you’re still being useless…” Dad yell as my heart aches. I needed my meds or I’m just gonna go insane.
Who the hell is Gray ?”
I don’t even know him. He took me out and we did nothing you have to believe me.”
Believe you ? Ariel , he’s texting you about wearing his sweatpants and he wants to take you out. What type of daughter are you ?”
I did nothing with him.” I yell on top of my voice and I didn’t even recognize what I did. My mom slapped me across the face .
How dare you ? How dare you raise your voice at my wife, you whore ?”
I’m rebooking your visit to therapy. You need help and you’ve finally decide to turn into one of those hopeless street girls like your cousin Alexa. What happened to that little you that have dignity and fear of God ? You dropped everything after meeting with that Freddie and now Gray. Aren’t you shameless ?” Mom yell.
My hand is still plastered on my face and I wished I could run away. My shirt is decorated with my tears and another word I’m gonna faint.
You’re grounded more. You’re not leaving this house and you’re not eating for the next five days.”
Mom , dad.”
Shut up , you…” My ringing phone stopped mother from talking. She looked at the dialer and glared at me. God let it not be him.
It’s her boyfriend , Gray.” Mom scowl. Dad snatch the phone away from mom as he picked up , putting my phone on loud speaker.
Ariel..” I heard his voice on the phone.
This isn’t Ariel but her father. Now listen to me mister Gray , leave my daughter Ariel alone. Stay away from her and let her be. You can’t just go about deceiving her and getting her in your bed. Leave her alone , you stupid useless American street rat.” Oh God.
Why are they making things hard for me. Gray might be a weird stranger to me but the worth of his house might even be my father’s entire income. That’s not even important , he has successfully humiliated me on the phone with Gray. I feel like a stupid teenager even if I’m not one.
Lemme make myself clear to you..” mom said on the phone.” She’s not your type of girl. Ariel’s supposed to be in nun school serving and not following less ambitionless men like you. Keep your d**k in your pants and leave her alone.
She’s a Christian and not meant to be used by hopeless hoodlums like you. Stop calling her.” Mom spit and smashed my phone on the wall.
Another word and I’m beating the hell out of you. Now to your room.” I sniffle and run back upstairs.
My life’s stupid. Most times I don’t expect all this from my parents. I felt like maybe I’m adopted. That crazy party caused almost half of this. How could Leslie show mom my phone ? Does she hate me ? I wipe my eyes with the back of my hand and sit up to swallow my pills. I really didn’t want Gray but apparently he’s gonna see me as a dweeb. A controlled freak.
You look down.” Leslie said at the side of my door.
You’ll be fine, sweetheart.” She smirks sarcastically .
You should leave. You’ve finally let mom insult me to Gray. Worst is i even got slapped because of you. Do you enjoy seeing me hurt ?” She shrugs and cross her arm.
So who’s this unfortunate Gray ? What’s so attractive about you that made him take you home ?” I blink my eyes at Leslie’s hate speech.
It’s not her fault.
I’m not classy. I don’t wear skimpy dresses and nice crop tops. My wardrobe is filled with jeans and hoodie’s and sweaters and t-shirts and some type of dresses that classy girls doesn’t wear. I can’t afford their expensive hair extensions like Alexa. I’m not like Leslie either , she’s almost like these models with super s£xy movement and always on social media. If my parents would ever allow a carefree life , then Leslie would be at a magazine shoot posing naked for the covers. She pretends too much.
I bet he’s ugly , hmm.” She tease and raise her brows in disgust. Yeah , I’m too low for Gray. I see the convoy he caused by just sitting across me on that club.
His cars are expensive compared to my truck. He smells wealthy including his house. I saw people’s eyes when I left the club with him even in my drunk state. What would he want from me ? I’m just this naive Christian , like he calls me.
It’s none of your business.” I state looking far away from her.
Yeah. Of course not.” She scoff and turn to leave.
I just can’t wait to start college , at least I’ll be far away from them. The only time they’re possibly gonna see me is after class. My parents made sure we don’t stay in campus or even around campus. So we’re stuck with them. Or maybe I’m stuck with them. I wish I can make my own decisions just like Leslie , but I’m stuck with being a naive and controlled person . Too scared.
It’s been a week since after that Gray incident. I haven’t heard from him , of course i don’t even have a phone anymore. I don’t go out and I’m always in my bedroom. Reading and sleeping, my life’s boring. I sat on the chair of the counter and stir my coffee endlessly.
Mom , I’m going out with a friend.”
You’ve gotten a new friend ?”
Mom , it’s hazel. She’s a good girl and doesn’t have a boyfriend.” Leslie told Mom walking to the kitchen.
Is she in college ?”
Yes mom.” Leslie smiles drinking from her cup of coffee.
She goes to church and a member of the Catholic parish. Her dad is also a respected elder in church…” Leslie continues.
I secretly roll my eyes and envy the way mom listens. I dare not say ‘I’m going out’.
Oh, there she is.” We dart our head to the kitchen door as I scan this pretty Blondie.
She smiled at us and greeted me and Mom . She looks too good to be true.
Mom , this is hazel. Hazel , meet my mom.”
A pleasure to meet you, ma.”
It’s nice to meet you too , dear. Leslie said a lot about you. So you’re hanging out with her this weekend ?” Mom’s voice beam with eagerness and her smile is so genuine.
Yes , and we’ll be back early. We promise to be good girls.”
Sure thing. Please don’t get drunk , I don’t want you to wake up in a man’s bed wearing his sweatpants.” Mom said. I bite the inside of my cheek and stare non-stop at my coffee. I can’t believe she had to use me as an example.
Thanks , mom.” Leslie kisses mom on her cheek and rush out with Hazel.
Mom scoffs and turn to look at me . I gulp the entire tea and stand up from the stool. I’m trying to avoid my mom’s ranting. She hiss and stir her spaghetti on the cooker.
Mom..” I call out.
What ! ” She turn to look at my figure standing beside the door.
I wanted to tell her about my new plan. I was tired of sitting at home all day so I need a job and i wanna go out to look for one.
I want to look for a job.” I spit out , almost not calculating.
A job ?”
Yes. I wanna be useful and not sitting at home all day..” I said and continue before she taunts me.” It’s gonna be a decent job and I’m not following or visiting any man. I’m sorry about that stranger Gray and I’ll never go close to him again..” now i feel like a stupid teenager again. Like I’m in highschool.
So I should believe you ?”
Please, mom. I promise to never bring trouble.” I pout rubbing my sweaty hand together.
Fine. And I wanna know the type of job once you find one. At least by 6pm you should be at home. Clear ?”
Clear.” I breathe out and rush out.
I rush upstairs and put on a black jeans and a t-shirt shirt before rushing down the stairs. At least I’ll be breathing normal air aside the air from my air conditioner.
After my daily search for job , i find one at Sandy’s , a restaurant and it’s really classy. I’m glad it’s a per time job with shifts. Since I really haven’t started college , I decide to resume work by noon and round up by 5:30 pm. It’s gonna be a long time for me to gather up myself before reaching home by six.
You’ll be fine..” Sandy whispered to me on my first day of resumption. I have changed my clothes to her work clothes and it’s a shirt with the name of her restaurant at the back on top of my trousers.
I tag alongside Vickie , arranging desserts and snacks on each tables. I return back to the counter to take orders of every other customers. A pair of blue eyes caught my attention , staring at me. I raise my head to look at his stranger as he smirk before looking back at his friend.
That was weird.” I mutter taking a cup of coffee to give to this blue eyes man.
Your coffee , sir.” I address him even if he’s in his early twenty , maybe Leslie’s age.
Thanks. Call me Ryan.” He answered sincerely.
Uh, Sure.” I reply about leaving but they stop me.
Can we get your name ?” His other friend asks. He’s a brunette with hazel eyes.
It’s Ariel. I need to get back to work.”
Sure.” Ryan said and he’s giving me creeps with his unending stares.
I nod politely and walk back to my stand.
Asking you out ?” Vickie asks and nudge me with a smile.
Yeah.” She giggle and smiled.
I arrange my hair properly to a tight bun and take out the used dish from the tables. I walk back to the counter and arrange the plates on the dishwasher for the supposed cleaners. I walk back to the counter and a sight made me stop on my track. What’s he doing here ? Vickie was standing beside him smiling endlessly as they talked. I didn’t even notice the dark haired girl opposite him in one of the booth.
” Great , I’m just gonna puke.” I mutter to myself.
His head raise up from the table and his eyes meet mine. I gulp and look away.
What’s he doing here ? Vickie walk back and sigh standing by me.
I’m still trying to catch my breath.” Vickie mumble beside me.
You’re okay ?”
I’m not. Look around , didn’t you see someone unusual ?” I look around and I could see some girls stealing glances at Gray Carter. I could barely tell his stand around new york.
Just Gray sitting with a girl.”
Just ? Gray is the hottest guy ever in New York and also one of the richest family around the country. Many women will obviously dump their husbands because of him.”
I really can’t explain to you who Gray Carter is.” He’s just one annoying stalker that brought me nothing but trouble.
I don’t care.”
70% of New Yorkers cares , sweetie. He’s the envy of men and the gossip of every normal person.” So obviously I’m not normal.
Oh my gosh , he’s coming to the counter.” Vickie murmur besides me. God I hate her.
You care for something ?” Vickie ask Gray who’s already leaning on the counter.
He didn’t say a word but stare at me. His grey orbs glue to my figure in front of him.
Coffee , please.” He said still not breaking the intense eye contact.
Alright.” Vickie reply.
Not you , let her do it.” Gray said looking at Vickie before smirking at me.
Alright.” He’s so intimidating. I can’t believe I lost my voice because he’s standing few feets from me.
He nod politely and walk back to his table. What’s he up to ? I hopefully made two cup of coffees and made sure it’s perfect. That weird brunette he’s sitting with
stare at me. Her glares is worse than intimidating. I arrange the coffee on a platter and slowly walk back to his booth, making sure I don’t spill his coffee.
” Thank you.” He said but didn’t spare me a smile.
I nod politely and walk away. The rest of the day was terrible for me because he was always staring. That evening , I closed for the day and hurriedly shower in the bathroom before getting dressed. I walk out of the restaurant and halt to the presence in front of me. His grey eyes scan my figure with his hands in his pockets. I open my mouth to speak but nothing came out.
What are you doing here ?” I manage to ask. “Get in the car.” He said opening his car for me.
I’m sorry , I can’t.” I stutter and tried to walk past him but he pull me back to himself. My hands rest on his chest as his eyes pry all over me.
Get in.” I gulp and nod , scared of whatever thing this cute man is willing to do. I entered his car as he shut the door.
He turn around and enter his driver’s seat to ignite the car. This is so expensive with it’s tinted windows.
Where are we going ?” I ask him. He turn on the radio and drive into the road. He refuse to meet my eyes but continue driving.
I fiddle my fingers and look at my laps.
What did your parents say ? Where you beaten ?” He ask but didn’t stare.
But she smashed your phone ?” He ask and meet my eyes.
Yeah.” I nod. He scoffs and continue driving.
“Have you ever defend yourself ?”
“I can’t. They are my parents.”
“Fuck them. The last time I checked , parents have no f**kin right to hit their kids. They should be arrested for that.”
I sigh and look out of the window. I watch the city pass swiftly through his tinted windows. Who’s he ? Always showing up in my life and it’s weird.
“How did you know my name ?” I ask and turn to face him. His natural messy locks are everywhere as usual. He handles the wheel with one hand and turn to look at me. A smirk slowly tug on his lips and he looks away.
“I have my ways Tinkerbell.” Tinkerbell , Snow White and now Ariel. What else ?
“Yeah. Because it’s weird you’re always everywhere around me. It’s crazy the day i managed to find a job , you thought it’s best you eat out with your girlfriend.” I scoff and look out of the window. I feel his eyes burn holes through my skin. I could nearly tell he smirk. Such a jerk.
“Girlfriend ? Don’t tell me you’re jealous ?”
I chuckle silently and whip my head to look at his figure. I didn’t realize he took of his jacket and he’s just left with his grey colored t-shirt. I scan every ink on his skin and his pretty Arabic neck tattoo. It’s so tiny you could barely tell the words.
“Done eye raping me ?” He raise his brows and smirk.
I roll my eyes and look away from his intimidating self. How did we come to know each other ? Always barging back into my life.
. The rest of the ride was tense , cause I wasn’t breathing from my nostrils. I look up and meet his eyes but they look away instantly. He halt his car beside the road a little far from my house. He turn down the radio and unfastened his seatbelt.
Thank you.” He raise his brows and watch me carefully. I gulp and open his car to get out.
I shut his car only to find Gray in front of me.
Take this.” He stretch a new iPhone to me.
I can’t…” I stutter.
Take it.” He glares at me.
I can’t. You’re gonna get me in trouble.”
Are you a teenager ?” Of course not. I rub the back of my neck and sigh.
Ariel , take it.” I bite my lip and hold back my blush. It’s weird he called my name.
I can’t ..”
He takes a step closer to me and drop the phone on the roof of his car. I couldn’t move and he’s standing in front of me , inch apart. God he smell so good. I couldn’t look away from his grey eyes that were glued to mine. His hands brush on my cheek and push back my loose strands of hair behind my ear.
I couldn’t breathe , he’s making my tommy churn. I didn’t notice his hands around my waist and that sent shivers down my spine.
I need to go.” I stutter not looking away from his eyes.
Take the phone and call me.”
It’s fruitless , they are gonna destroy it.”
He chuckle.”They won’t. Tell them it’s Gray and call me. If you don’t call me, I’m gonna ring your doorbell and tell your parents I’m your boyfriend.” He lean against my ear as his breath heat my skin.
I dare you to call me…..” He smirks and hand the phone to me before entering his car and driving away.
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