I am outside my boyfriend’s apartment.
I just took a 10-hour flight from East Coat to the West, transferred twice, switched subway, and then bus, just to get here in time to surprise him on his birthday.
And here I am.
Listening to him fucking another woman inside that door.
“Oh yes…oh Zack babe…fuck me! Fuck!”
I can clearly hear the bed rattling, sweaty flesh smashing against each other, husky morns of pleasure.
I clamp my hand over my mouth to stop myself from screaming.
All these times he’s been begging me to come and visit, and this is his welcome gift? Cheating on me with another woman?
I feel betrayed, furious, and disgusted. Before I know it, I’m banging on his apartment door.
“Zack! Open the fucking door! Zack!”
The sound suddenly stops. A moment later, the door flies open as Zack appears behind it. His chest is naked, hair all raffled, I can still see all the hickey on his neck.
“Nat!” His eyes widen in panic, “What are you doing here?”
I can’t stop my voice from trembling. “What the hell are you doing? Have you been cheating on me? Who is in there!”
I shove him aside and try to push myself into the door. But Zack grabs my arm and stops me, as he growls, “Calm down! Will you?”
He runs his fingers through his hair, obviously frustrated. “Look…Nat, I never meant for you to find out about this. But think about it, for the past one year we are almost never together. You never visit. What do you expect me to do?”
I can’t believe my ear.
He is the cheater. And somehow, I’m responsible.
“What to do? I expect you to keep your thing inside of your pants. Is that really so hard?”
His forehead twists into a frown.
“Come on, Nat.” Finally he said, “Don’t be a baby.”
My heart is bumping repeatedly against my chest. I glare at him and boom through my clenched teeth, “Never, ever, call me a BABY! You disgusting, cheating, PIG!”
I slap him, so hard across the face that his head almost knocks on the doorframe. Before he realizes what happened, I turn my heel and stride away.
I rush out of the building and suddenly realize it’s pouring outside. I want to head back, but the entrance door is already locked.
Great job, Natalia. You just locked yourself in the rain.
“Fuck…” I wipe the rain off my face and take out my phone.
I want to call someone. The top one and two person on my contact list are Jenna and my dad, none of whom supported my idea of coming here in the first place.
The last thing I need right now is another “you should have” lecture.
I scroll down my contact list while my body shivers in the rain. Suddenly my finger stops at someone’s name.
I’ve never thought about contacting this person…but I am exhausted and soaking wet and have no place to go to. What better idea do I have left?
One hour later, my cab pulls over in front a townhouse. This is the most prestigious area in the city. You gotta have both the money and the power to be part of this community. Now as I open the passenger door, someone rushes over and opens an umbrella for me.
“God what happened! You are drenched! Why can’t you give me a call and let me pick you up at the airport?”
I let her drag me into the house. “Mom I’m fine…I’m probably just here for one night.”
“What are you talking about?” her tone rises, “Aren’t you here to—”
“I’m not here to visit you, mom.” I tell her, matter-of-factly.
“Oh.” The smile on her face faints, as she tucks a lock of hair to the back of her ear, apparently embarrassed.
My mom is undeniably stunning, with her oval blue eyes and thick brown hair cascades down past her shoulder. She is well aware of her physical attractiveness, probably why she left my dad years ago and threw herself right into the arms of a billionaire.
I resemble her a lot, like looking into the mirror. Zack once said he fell for me instantly the first time he saw me and he compliments me all the time about how good I look. But I don’t care much about my appearance. And as it turns out, a pretty face is not enough to hold onto a cheating soul.
Seeing the sad look on mom’s face, I already regretted my earlier decision. “Are…Mr. Ramirez and Eason home? If this is not a good time, I can easily get room at the hotel.”
“No!” said my mom quickly, “Shawn is away for business trip and Eason is staying at his penthouse. You can stay in his old room tonight. Come, I’ll show you.”
So my stepbrother has a penthouse. Why am I not surprise?
Eason’s old room is on the second floor, first door to the left. When mom opens his bedroom door for me, suddenly it’s like clock has been turned back. Everything is the same as I remembered it. Posters on the wall, his skateboard at the corner, and a glass cabinet showcasing all his antique collections.
Eason loves to collect weird and funny stuffs when he travels abroad. All his collections are shockingly expensive. One time I wanted to use a teacup in his collection to drink water, and he told me this seemingly normal teacup is actually passed down from Victoria Era and worth thousands of dollars. It shocked the crap out of me. But he just laughed and tossed me the teacup like it’s no big deal, saying I can have anything that I like.
Awkward as it is between me and my mom, I do miss Eason.
“I always keep his room tidy and clean, in case he wants to stay the night.” Mom holds the door for me, “but if you’re not comfortable with staying in his room, just give me half-an-hour, I’ll get the guest room ready for you.”
I cut her off. “No that’s fine.”
“Alright, then.” She seems to have something else to say but eventually swallows it back. “Love you baby, sleep tight.”
She brings my backpack inside and close the door for me.
Once I’m alone by myself, I immediately sink to the floor. Closing my eyes, I can still hear Zack banging her and both of them growls in pleasure. That makes my stomach swirl with disgust.
I slip into Eason’s bed, pulling up the bed sheet to cover my head. His beddings smell like mint and oak wood, a smell that quickly soothes me. I crawl deeper into the bed, immerse myself into the warmth. It almost feels like someone is holding me.
Too bad Eason isn’t here. Although we haven’t spoken to each other for 3 years, I can really use some company right now…
I cry myself into sleep. When the morning sunshine falls in through the window, the headache is like a chainsaw slicing my scalp apart.
“Ugh…” I moan. I’m desperately in need of a cold shower.
Eason’s bathroom is spotless, doesn’t even have a bottle of shampoo or conditioner. I wonder how long he hasn’t been home. I turn on the shower and flinch at the ice-cold water running down my skin, but this is just what I need to clear up my head.
But then it occurs to me, I left my backpack and clean clothes outside. And there’s not even a towel for me to cover my body.
Of course, I don’t feel comfortable walking around naked in my stepbrother’s bedroom. But he’s not around and I should be fine.
I crack the door open, making sure no one is outside, and quickly sneak out. Mom stored my backpack in the closet last night. Now as I yank the closet door open and pull out the backpack strap, a box is knocked off and falls to the floor.
“What the—” I look down and gasp.
It’s a box of condoms.
Funny how his room doesn’t even own a towel but has a full box of condoms in storage.
And the next second, the bedroom door flies open. I jerk around and scream at the sight of a strange young man standing beside the door.
I leap at the bed sheet and cover my body with it.The man is apparently shocked as well. His hand still rests on the doorknob, taking in the sight that he’s seeing.“Who the hell are you!” I snap, “Don’t you know how to knock??”The man is tall and shockingly good-looking. His brown hair is in natural curls, which suits his pretty face. His eyes widen with surprise and then gradually squints. His lip suddenly curls into a smile and holds up his arm as he leans against the door.I can’t believe he just stares. How rude!“Can you not look??”The smile on his lip deepens into a sarcastic angel. “Can you get out of my room?”His room?I look at him blankly for two seconds and suddenly take in a sharp inhale.“Oh my god…Eason?”He sure has changed a lot. Taller, prettier, looking more like a man. I even catch a glimpse of a tattoo on the side of his neck.We spent one summer three years ago when my parents got divorced. It was such a great time. I was so sad when I had to leave for Miami
Holy f—I clamp my hands over my mouth to stop the screaming. Gasp and sharp inhales coming from every corner of the restaurant.Zack is beyond shock. He freezes, as water dripping down his hair and forehead. He slowly looks up and seems still can’t believe what has just happened.Eason is probably the only person not freaking out. He calmly places the glass back and smiles at Zack. “It suits you.”“Are you FUCKING insane?” Zack shouts. He points at Eason and then directs at me, “Who the fuck is this guy, Natalia? What’s the matter with—”Eason grips his wrist before he can finish. Eason’s expression darkens, almost scary to look at. Inch by inch, he pushes down Zack’s hand.“Don’t point at her, ever again.” He states, word by word.I’m still in trance. Everything happened too fast. How did Eason know I’m here? And why is he standing up for me? He was such a jerk this morning. What changed?Zack cringes. He’s about the same size as Eason, but apparently he is afraid to fight him.“Wai
I don’t believe this. He didn’t want me to come down to Boston earlier. What happened? What changed?Dad mumbles over the phone, “Of course you are welcome to come back. It’s just—I think you should spend more time with your mom. When was the last time you visit her? Maybe this is a great chance for you to bond.”I don’t buy that. “How long do you want me to stay here?”He falls into silence.My mouth goes dry. And my heart is falling into a bottomless pit. After a long wait, I decide to make this easier for him. “Dad. What is the real reason?”Another painful silence. He finally speaks up.“…Hallie wants to move in with me.” His voice so low. Almost hard to catch up, “I thought it might be awkward if you two are both here at the beginning.”My mind went completely blank.I don’t know what to think, nor what to say. But I guess my reaction doesn’t really matter to these people anyway.“So, this is it?” I grip the phone till my knuckles turn white, “You are kicking me out because you w
It takes me a long time to quiet down. Then it suddenly occurs to me that my eyes are all red and puffed. Feeling embarrassed, I slightly push him away.“Can you not look?” I said in a whisper.“Your eyes are what you are worried about?” Great, the sarcastic version of him is back.I heave a long sign and groan, “Please let me know if you are going to begin the judging. So I can be prepared.”He glares at me. But I’m not afraid. Somehow his angry face makes me want to laugh.“Glad to entertain you.” He taunts.“…Sorry.” I manage to push my lips down, “How did you find me?”He signs. “Your mom called me. I don’t think you would take the taxi. And there’s only one bus stop near the house. So I followed the route, searched every bus stop.”My heart twitches with guilt. What I did was childish. And he’s right, if he didn’t get here in time, something horrible could have happened.“Maybe I should call mom.” I stutter.I know I should call her and put her mind at ease. But my head is still
I slightly open my mouth, but no words come out of it. I completely lost track of what I’m going to say.A moment later, I stutter, “isn’t it obvious? You chase me out of your room. You shout at me at the restaurant. And you—”“And I drove around crazy trying to find you, I fought for you, and I risked getting a ticket just to cheer you up.” He shrugs, “yeah, I must have hated your guts.”I flush. That’s why he confuses me. “Thanks.”He grins, “as long as you feel better.”I truly do. The way I feel around him…it’s so new and exciting and thrill. Being with him is such an adventure that it blows my head off. I know that’s partially because he comes from a different world than I do. But I don’t hate it when he gets his rich on, not the way I hated Zack.And that’s why he’s so different.We talk for a while and finish the beer. And he leads me to the guest room.“Bathroom is inside. You’ll find anything you need…towels included.”I giggle. “Anything in particular that I should keep my h
When I finally clean myself up and step out of the room, the party has already started. Loud music is on, and a couple guys have laid out the bar section with bottles of vodka and beers. They are heavy drinkers given by their age. I’m not against party. Back in Miami, I often have small and intimate gathering with my friends. We would grab couples of cold beers and head to the beach, enjoy the evening sea air. We talk, we drink, and we dance. We always have a blast. I sign at my sudden nostalgic feeling. I miss Miami, and it’s easy and relaxing vibe. Boston is a busy and bustling city. It suits people like Eason, not me. We are indeed from two totally different worlds. I push through the crowd and try to find Eason. I want to talk to him about me staying here, which seems like a terrible idea now. Judging by the speed people pour alcohol down their throats, I better find him soon. I walk pass by two girls smoking joints and try not judge them. Then I finally spot Eason, sitting
My whole body freezes in shock. What the hell is going on?!Millions of questions whizz past my mind, as he presses my neck and keep kissing me. I know I should feel shocked or mad or even disgusted, he’s my brother for God’s sake!But I still lost myself momentarily in this kiss.His lips are cold. I can even taste vodka and fresh lemon in his breathe. His eyes closed, long eyelashes touching mine, causing my heart to flutter. I’ve never felt anything like this with anyone before.But before I get to react, he pushes me away again. Without looking at me, he returns to the couch and sits down, like nothing has happened.I gulp. And suddenly realize I’ve been holding my breath for so long that my lungs are exploding. Everyone else is clearly in shock as well. Especially Val. Her face distorts with anger.“What the hell are you doing!” she voices out my question.Eason is surprisingly calm. Still not looking at me, he takes a sip of his drink, “You wanted to see her kiss. Now you have i
Katherine lets out an audible gasp. Signed, I look up and meet Eason’s eyes in the air. He’s looking at me coldly, expression undetectable.Valerie lets go of him and walks towards me, as people hurry clear out a pass for her. She stands a few inches above me with her high heels. She looks down at me, lips curved into a sarcastic angle.“This is no place for people like you. Drop out now and leave Eason alone,” she mouths a threat.I look straight into her eyes and reply, “I earned my place in here. Fair and square. You can’t force me. And it’s none of your business anyway.”She sneers, “how? By that pathetic transcript of yours? You got in because Eason’s father pulled some strings and wrote huge check to the board. Do you have no self-esteem? Using his family like this?”My face flashes red under her question. On some level, I know she’s right. But I’m already too far deep into the war to back out right now. So I stare her back, while remain in silence.She squints at me, and sudden