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Idiosyncrasy

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She looks out of the car and imagines green, luscious trees back in her hometown instead of the skyscrapers she's seeing now in the city.

They've been driving for five hours and she's starting to be homesick. She turns to look at her mother and bites her inner cheek. She can't ask her anymore since she'd done that with a ten minute interval. But she opens her mouth nevertheless.

"Why do we have to leave?"

Her mother turns to her as they swiveled right. "Because we need to earn money and the school I'm assigned to be going to will give me two times my paycheck back home."

"Okay." She crosses her arms and decided that it would be much better if she'd just shut her mouth.

-

i.

.alexandra greene

Her mother calls her Sandra

Her father used to call her Allie

She prefers to be called as Lexy.

-

Their home wasn't in a house. It was in an apartment somewhere in Manhattan, New York. The room looked like it wasn't cleaned for a month, the wallpaper had been run-down and the corner of the floor had dust bunnies. It occurs to Lexy that dust bunnies as big as the size of her rolled up hand were not only from movies. She looks at the room with and appalled look before turning to her mother.

"Well, Sandra," she says in an awfully cheerful voice. "I guess we have lots of work to do today."

Sometimes, Lexy thought to herself, her mother's optimism get to people a lot.

-

ii.

.alexandra greene

Dark wavy tresses

Green pale eyes

Lean as a beanpole

And all nerd.

-

The next day, her mother enrolls her to a high school. She had no problems with Lexy since she had her nose under books even as a kid. She gets in as a scholar.

Three days after, she has to go to school. People didn't like her that much, girls were too intimidated by her and boys were just preoccupied with their lives as it is to take notice of her. The only group of people who talked to her on her first day in school was the school's scholastic team. Lexy thinks it was because of her crooked smile, and her abnormally large eyes. She didn't care anyways. Her only concern was to get straight As, graduate as a valedictorian and make her mother proud.

That was her thoughts just before she met Alexander Matthews.

-

iii.

.alexandra greene

Her father died in a car crash

Had never seen her mother in love with anyone but her father

Had never been in love with anyone but Alexander

Believes in happily ever afters

-

She's on scholarship because she hits the books; he's in school because he's rich and has the looks. Alexander Matthew's forte was memorization (girl's numbers) and going to parties. Alexandra Greene's only forte was memorization (names, dates and places) and mathematical solutions. The day they met wasn't match-made in heaven. They were buddy cleaners for the week just because they both have an Alex in their names. They were both scheduled on Fridays.

"I can't believe you," she says in exasperation. "I'm supposed to be baking cake with my mother." But she sweeps the floor diligently nevertheless.

He laughs at her, a low monotonous laugh, she noted inwardly. "You're close with your mother?"

"Yeah," she answers back, stopping to look at him. "Why?"

"Nothing," he replies.

A week later, she realizes that the origin of his question came from the fact that he wasn't close with his mother. Or his father. At all.

It was because they left him as a child.

-

iv.

.alexandra greene

Never got to bake cake with her mother that day

Alexander asked her out instead

He told her about his past and how he got adopted when he was four

She listened to him as he cried his whole story out

He told her how ridiculous he looked to her

She shook her head and asked him to continue

It was the day she fell in love with him.

-

Alexander and Alexandra.

They seemed like a perfect match; it was what everyone told them when they heard they started dating. Some girls were against their supposedly relationship, but majority were the girls who wanted Alexander to stop his flirtatious ways and rooted for them all the way.

"It's nice to know that you're dating now."

"I wouldn't say that," Lexy says. "It's more like we're hanging out."

Her friend argues with her. "I know that's not what you're thinking. C'mon Lex. I know you like him."

"No, I don't." She knows she's just being too stubborn. But what can she do, it's not like he likes her too, right? It's been three weeks and they've been going out. Nothing out of the ordinary happens between them and Lexy isn't the type to do the first move. "Why would I like someone like him anyways?"

This crosses the line because the moment she turns around, Alexander was crossing his arms with an expression that only she could read.

It was pain-stricken, heartbreaking and his eyes were full of betrayal.

-

v.

.alexandra greene

She forgot to tell him that her birthday was tomorrow

Didn't mean what she said

Felt bad that she hurt Alexander that way

She secretly wanted to hug him, whispering in his ear how much she loves him.

-

Lexy cries in her pillow with her mom rubbing a hand over her shoulder in an attempt to soothe her down. "I know you didn't mean it, baby."

"But… he didn't know. I wanted to tell him, mom. I… I… missed my chance."

"It's not too late," she smiles, pulling her head down gently and kisses her hair. "It's not too late, honey."

"I wish we never have to move. I'm different than him, mom. He's rich, good-looking and sociable and I'm… I'm…"

"You're amazing," her mother says. It's because you're my mother, Alexandra says. She thinks that her mother is just being pitiful towards her, which leads her into crying into her pillow again.

"I'll always love you nevertheless, Sandra." Her mother tells her and pulls her into a hug.

Alexandra smells a strong stench of her perfume, her moisturizer and a faint scent of warm, motherly love.

-

vi.

.alexandra greene

Went out to go to Alexander that night

Her mother didn't know that she took off with her Volkswagen

It was then when she saw a truck driving towards her when she remembered

It was that she didn't know how to drive.

-

She swivels to the right, trying to avoid the truck. No, she screams to herself, her mind blanks off and the next thing that happens is very unrealistic to her.

She saw, if it was possible enough, herself and the car. She saw herself, as if she was another person, drive the car shamelessly and at that exact moment, she saw the truck rushing towards her with the speed of 120, more or less, she didn't know.

Everything went in slow motion. It was like watching a cheap-made movie in Technicolor. She sees herself swiveling to the right but the truck is fast enough to hit her nevertheless. The truck sends her flying and the car, as it goes to a complete stop, drives to a sign that says "Drive Safely."

Alexandra never did like ironies.

-

vii.

.alexandra greene

The hospital notifies her mother immediately

Her mother notifies Alexander immediately

They went to the hospital together

Lexy is in a white bed, white room and white mattress

Everything's in white

Even the color of her skin

And then it strikes her

It's little Sandra's birthday today, isn't it?

-

Alexander doesn't speak much, her mother notes, but he has this pair of watchful, dark eyes that seemed to pierce through people.

Her mother places a hand on his shoulder and smiles at him. "She really likes you, you know."

"I do too," he admits. "I was afraid to tell her about it. And then I heard her say that she didn't like me. I didn't understand it at first."

Her mother takes a deep breath and strokes Alexander's hair. "You're young," she states. "It's okay to be naïve, but you have to know the consequences."

Alexander stares at her and smiles. "Have you learned it from experience? Because I did too. Although my parents and Lexy are a different case, I think it's the same as well. I learn from experience. I grow up from being independent. I guess that's how life works."

Her mother smiles to herself. She should've thought of that sooner, especially after meeting Lexy's father. But she didn't regret anything, she muses to herself. She's glad for having Lexy and she's glad for having to have met her father.

She strokes his hair again and in the midst of the lonely silence, she says, "Can I call you Sander?"

-

viii.

.alexandra greene

Turned seventeen in an unconscious state

Has brain tumor due to the loud impact from the accident

Woke up five days later

Alexander made sure he was there when she was awake

And the first thing she hears from him was, "I love you."

-

She's beginning to take treatments and the signs were getting obvious by the second. Her classmates visited her on one bright, happy Saturday. One of them made her differentiate all of them, just to make sure she still remembers.

She does, but as Alexander's turn comes, she couldn't bring the name out of her mouth.

"He's… He's…" is all she can say.

"Alexander Matthews, does that ring the bell, darling?" A classmate of hers got too impatient and told her straight to the point.

Alexander didn't want to hear her answer so he goes out of the room, a hand over his chest, just to make sure his heart doesn't go breaking all over the floor.

-

ix.

.alexandra greene

The moment Alexander goes out of the room, she looks at her classmates

She claims that maybe she knows of him somewhere

Her classmates ask her where

She mumbles something in reply

"He's the last person who appeared in my mind before I hit the truck."

-

Time passes. Graduation comes and he's already out of high school. She's still in the hospital and Alexander Matthews is attending a business college. He's going to inherit his family's chain business.

They've changed. People change. But he still loved her, even if she doesn't remember him that much anymore.

He always made sure to visit her on weekends. He'd enter the room, place the basket of fruits for both Lexy and her mother by the bed and kiss her forehead.

And he'll tell her, just before he leaves the room, that he'll "love her everyday."

-

x.

.alexandra greene

Her mother takes on a leave as a teacher

She's thinking of bringing Lexy back to her hometown

She calls Alexander to say good-bye to her

Alexander, for the first time in two years, leans in to kiss her lips to bid farewell.

-

Alexandra Greene didn't make it to her hometown.

The doctors say that the cancer had spread in her body. There were too many complicated medical terms that her mother didn't quite catch.

Alexander fought with the doctors.

But he knew it was no use.

He looks at Alexandra for one last time and in his mind, he tells her, that he'll "love her everyday."

-

.the end

.alexandra greene

She really did love Alexander.

She loved him too much words couldn't explain it.

Maybe someday she would.

In the next life, maybe.

For now, she'll just wait for him in heaven.



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