Leigh froze while she watched Regina walk towards them.
Then She looked at Rocky who was unfazed by the mention of Regina’s name. He still held her close, but not as tight as before.
There was total silence around, and like in a trance Leigh wasn’t able to move her feet away, her eyes fixed in horror at Regina Clark coming towards them.
Then, she was pulled abruptly out of Rocky’s arm, breaking her off from her catatonic state.
Leigh looked up and saw Sam looking annoyed.
“We’re going to be late for class!” Sam intoned and grabbed her by the hand. Together, they dashed out of the hallway.
Leigh took one last look at Rocky Bolton, surprised he did not move an inch from where she had left him. Their eyes met.
He was watching her!
She turned her head around, embarrassed while she let Sam drag her away.
“What are you doing with that girl?’ She heard Regina confronted Rocky. She wanted to stop to hear what Rocky would say, but Sam was dragging her. They were too far out to hear what Rocky’s response was. They got out and ran towards another building all the way to the second floor.
They barely made it. Thankfully, when they reached their class, their professor was just coming in from the front entrance. They used the back entrance and slid inside their chairs panting for air.
“Do you know Rocky Bolton?” Sam inquired just before Leigh’s butt landed on her seat. She froze, butt in mid-air, turning her head sideways to face Sam’s concerned ones.
“Let me warn you, Leigh. That guy may be every girl’s dream, but he’s a playboy and his occupation is to make a girl cry.”
Leigh almost laughed out loud. “You don’t have to warn me. I know what type of guy Rocky Bolton is. He is a heartbreaker.”
Sam looked at her quizzically, studying her reaction.
“What?” She asked before turning her book to the page where their professor instructed.
“Did he break your heart?” Confusion laced Sam’s voice. It was like she could not believe Leigh, who protects her privacy so much, would have anything to do with a guy like Rocky Bolton.
“Ha. Ha.” Leigh said sarcastically, dispelling any thoughts running around on Sam’s mind.
“Well, it would be unlikely for us girls to meet someone like him on a regular basis since he’s not among our crowd.” Sam mumbled to herself, but it was loud enough for Leigh to hear.
“We don’t have a crowd, Sam.” She reminded her friend and that ended their conversation about Rocky Bolton.
In truth, the likes of Leigh do not play any significant role in Baybridge University’s population. Her presence or lack thereof does not affect anyone. She is too ordinary for the student body to bother with which makes it impossible for her to run around Rocky Bolton’s circle and they were unlikely to meet in any given circumstance.
Leigh shook her head. Her run-in with Rocky Bolton today had her in a loop and she did not understand why.
She reached inside her bag to get a pen to answer their seatwork and as she did so, she felt her phone vibrate inside her bag. Without thinking, she took the phone and swiped the screen to check the notification for a new message.
It came from an unregistered number, but she knew the number like the back of her hand - memorized it from so many years ago.
It came from Rocky Bolton and it says, “Let’s meet after your class.”
She threw the phone back in her bag and pretended like it did not bother her.
But it did.
It was the first time he sent her a message and she wondered why.
“What’s wrong?” Sam asked when she saw Leigh fidget in her seat.
How will she come clean to Sam and tell her college best friend that she lied to her?
She shook her head and pretended to be concentrating on their activity as an excuse.
When the bell rang signaling the end of the class, Leigh casually slung her bag over her shoulder and faced Sam.
“I’ll go ahead.” Leigh said before Sam invited her to lunch.
“Where are you going?”
“The library.” She told her friend.
They usually have lunch together, but today, she would pass in favor of meeting Rocky.
Sam nodded and she was off.
While she walked the hallway, she tried to keep her head down, not wanting to catch any attention to herself. From time to time, she would look up to check where she’s going, stopping abruptly when she reached the library entrance to get her student ID to show to the guard.
Upon getting the clear-go, Leigh went to the third floor straight to the archives section. It was on the upper floor of the library building visited only by a few people. Rocky told her to go to the viewing room used for viewing microforms.
Immediately, her eyes became vigilant as she looked through her left, right and back to check if there was anyone around. Leigh heaved a relieved sigh when she found the place empty and quickly slid inside.
She strode to an empty chair, dumping her bag on the nearby table before dusting the chair off to sit down carefully.
Not long after, Rocky comes in. He was whistling, hands in pocket, appearing with a casual air like he does not have a care in the world.
“What is the problem?” Leigh demanded. She was too edgy to wait for him to tell her.
To her annoyance, Rocky brushed off her question. He plopped down on the seat beside her, put both arms on the table to rest his head.
Speechless, Leigh watched him, her patience quickly slipping.
When she could not take the suspense anymore, she marched up to him and nudged him by the shoulders.
“Rocky!” Leigh hissed.
She did not come here just so she could watch him sleep.
Rocky did not respond. She tried nudging him again. This time, she added more pressure to inflict pain.
The trick worked. Rocky lifted his head, a look of irritation crossing his face before he went back to sleeping.
Frustrated that she was being ignored when he was the one who called this meeting, Leigh snapped.
“Don’t you dare sleep on me. Why did you want to see me?” She demanded.
Again, she got no response.
So before she could pull his hair in frustration, Liegh decided to just up and leave.
She pulled her chair back, ready to march out of there. But before she could lift her butt from her seat, Rocky clamped on her wrist, stopping her. She plopped back down on the seat with a thud.
Rocky ignored her. He abandoned his cozy position to face her. Then, he told her.
“Our moms are here.”
When the implication of his message sank in, Leigh started to panic.
“Why didn’t somebody tell me?” She demanded, her face growing pale at the news.
She directed her attention back to Rocky who did not seem to look flustered like she was.
“Your mom sent a message to your inbox, didn’t you read it?” Sarcasm laced Rocky’s voice, causing Leigh to look at him sharply.
“So now you’re blaming me?” She accused.
Rocky ignored her barb. He threw his hands in the air as if to surrender before he dropped another bomb.
“They were in the house, waiting for us. You need to pack up.”
The news was enough to put Leigh in a frenzy. She could feel her head throb as she tried to assess the situation.
“How am I going to haul off all my things from my dormitory and back to your house without alerting anyone, especially my roommate?” Leigh was presented with a dilemma.
How will she explain this to her roommate and best friend Sam?
More importantly, how could she tell their moms that she left the home she was supposed to share with Rocky?
“Did you tell them where I live?” She asked in a panicked state.
Rocky shook his head, a bored look on his face.
“Why would I? That is your problem, Leigh. It was your choice. You tell them.” He commanded arrogantly, making Leigh bite her lip to stop herself from spewing an angry retort.
She could not understand him. Rocky seemed to insinuate by his words that this was all her fault when she knew for a fact that he also did not want her around.
Why can’t he be grateful that she took the initiative to stay away since he would be reaping the benefits in the end?
Leigh thought that if she was around, she would only cramp his lifestyle and prevent him from pursuing any girl he liked.
Leigh’s nose could not help scrunching up when she remembered his current choice of girl. She was curious what it is about Regina that attracted him, but she kept her mouth shut.
Silence is bliss. Less words they say to each other, less chance of annoying each other.
For a long time, Leigh stared morosely off into space. How could she tell their parents that she lied to them? All this time, they thought that she had been staying in the house they bought for her and Rocky.
How would they react if they knew that she had never stepped foot on it?
“Did you tell them we broke up?’ She asked him.
In exasperation, Leigh unconsciously put her fingers to massage her temples.“Rocky!’ She cried outraged.A mischievous smile crossed over Rocky’s face. It appeared like he was enjoying her discomfort so much, like he always does. She and Rocky had a complicated relationship. They were born on the same day to parents who were best friends since college. Since they were children, it was already drummed into their heads that they would marry one day. But she and Rocky do not share their parents’ sentiments. They do not want to be married to each other for the simple reason that they hated each other. Yes, they hated each other. The hate relationship started when they were five. But before that, Leigh remembered how they fought like mad cats and dogs. There was never peace with both of them around. They bicker with each other and annoy each other so much that when they reached their fifth birthday, the war between them had become so severe it wedged a gap that was never broken dow
There was stunned silence for a full minute, both moms looked at her in stupefaction.“You did what?’ Aunt Evelyn finally asked. She was the first one to recover. “But why?” Her mom piped in. She looked at Leigh trying to take it all in before her gaze narrowed and zeroed in on Rocky. Leigh knew what’s going through her mother’s head. “I want to live close to school.” She said, exonerating Rocky from her mom’s accusing eyes. She wanted to come clean, but not at the expense of Rocky. “This is more convenient. It is also closer to the University.” Clearly her mom would not understand.“I wanted to live like a normal college girl would.” Leigh finally replied in a meek voice. It was not often she blatantly disobeyed her parents. She knew that like any other parents, hers only wanted the best for her. “Don’t tell me you’re working?” A scandalized look appeared on her mother’s forehead. She looked so horrified that Leigh had to look at the floor before mumbling her reply. “I
“What? No!” Leigh cried in protest. What surprised her was the knowledge that she was not alone. Another voice, a male one cried the same with her, surprising both their mothers. Not used to Rocky’s hard voice when speaking with her, Aunt Evelyn looked affronted. Leigh could feel where this would go, so she decided to retreat to the second floor of the house to rest. But before she leaves, she sees Rocky quietly grab Auntie Evelyn into a hug in silent remorse. Auntie Evelyn, like Leigh and her mom standing at five foot two, only comes up to Rocky’s shoulder when they stand together. They looked cute especially when Auntie Evelyn opened her arms wide to receive Rocky’s embrace. She was on the stairs when she witnessed the sweet moment between mother and son causing Leigh and her mother to exchange a look of happiness and indulgence. Leigh shook her head, sighing to herself. For all his bad-boy image, Rocky is a sweet boy to his mother. “Mom, aunt Leslie, can you let Leig
Leigh's trip down memory lane left her tired. She did not realize that she had gone off to sleep. By the time she came through, it was nighttime. She slowly opened her eyes, feeling a weight on her waist. She was laying on her side, facing the window. She realized it was already nighttime when she saw darkness spread through the skies, mottled with splotches of orange and red. She checked her watch and noted that she had slept for hours!She tried to get up from the bed, but the weight on her waist stopped her. She groped around her waist to check what was keeping her down and almost cried in horror seeing a man’s large hands.Alarmed, she threw the hand that was nestling comfortably on her waist and bolted from the bed. Then she twisted her body around to glare at the man sleeping beside her. “What the h*ll, Rocky!” She lashed out.The noise she created did not bother Rocky, who was still sleeping soundly on his side of the bed. A chagrined look crossed her face when she reme
A moment passed by without anyone moving. It was like being caught in a tableau for a few tense moments. It was Auntie Evelyn who recovered first.“What is happening here? Are you finally making up or making out?" Aunt Evelyn asked in her no-nonsense, straightforward way, breaking the silence around them. Then, before Leigh could deny anything, her mom added, "Are we intruding?" Looking quite horrified in the process. Leigh could feel heat rush up to her cheeks all the way to her hairline at the suggestion. She thought she already made herself clear earlier, but it appears both mothers are not buying her explanation. They still think about what they believe. She opens her mouth to correct the misassumption, but right about the same time, Rocky moves, bolting up from his lying position on the floor like he just got out of a trance. The sudden movement caught Leigh off-guard and caused her to lose her balance. Without anything to hold on to break her fall, she prepared herself
The sound of Rocky’s laugh grated in her ears. Leigh walked faster. She did not want to hear any more sound coming from him. The more she walked away, the better her mood became.Leigh stopped at the first door she passed by and tried on the lock. It was closed. She continued walking and tried opening the next door she saw. It was also locked. She walked further into the hall and found another one which turned out to be locked, too. When she reached the end of the hall, she pulled her suitcase up and let the handle go in resignation. All the rooms on this floor were all locked. It was like the owner did not want her here. No room was prepared for her.She turned her head around to shoot a piercing glare at Rocky’s room before angrily grabbing back the handle of her suitcase. Then, she made a three-hundred-sixty-degree turn and stomped back angrily to where she started - back in Rocky’s room. ‘Rocky planned all of this!’ Her mind seethed. When she reached Rocky’s room, she re
Leigh propped her hands on the bed and leaned back so as not to give too much pressure on her injured foot. Then, she scooted near the headrest. She wanted to lie down for a while. It was this time that the door to Rocky’s room opened, disrupting her from the motion of laying down. She watched Rocky run toward his bathroom. When he emerged he was holding a clear zip-lock pouch full of ice and a towel. He sat on the bed near her feet and very gently raised the injured one, wrapping a towel underneath before putting the ziplock pouch on the reddened sole. “It’s for the swelling.” Leigh nodded and let him apply the iced package to her foot. She felt instant relief and sighed. “You have to put on the ice every two to three hours to alleviate the pain.” He told her when he saw her nodding her head off. She could not help it. His tender ministrations and the silence around them make her sleepy. It was a relief from their usual bickering. After almost fifteen minutes, Rock
“Please stop the car,” Leigh asked Rocky, but to her annoyance, he ignored her and continued driving towards school. “Rocky, please I need to get out of the car.” “Why? The school is still far away.” Rocky turned his head sideways to glance at her briefly before returning his gaze back to the road. Annoyed, Leigh crossed her arms over her chest and mumbled. “I can’t be seen in your car.” She admitted. She did not want to say it, but knowing Rocky, he would ignore her unless he knew the hows and the whys.“Why” Are you afraid to be seen with me?” Rocky looked shocked. Leigh smirked. Of course, everybody wanted to be seen with him. Being with Rocky meant instant celebrity status in school. But she was not just anybody. She was Leigh Michaels who wanted to keep a low profile in school, not like Rocky. Maybe, it is also the attitude. Rocky has a don’t care vibe attached to his face that makes people especially girls do anything for him.Rocky shook his head no. “It’s cold.