All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Falling For Another One
LA. The perfect place to be for the summer. Shopping, beach and good restaurants. What more could a girl want? Especially a girl like me. The name's Nahla, half-Arab half-Canadian. 17 years old, going on to 18 just weeks from now. Too smart to be popular, too cool to be a nerd. I'm mostly in between.
I like to be alone, and my brother's place seem to be the right place to go. He'll be too busy to even notice I'm there. He's an actor for a TV show on CW. And apparently he and Steven R. McQueen were friends, like I believed him. That is until Steven actually showed up in his house one day. Should have trusted Nikolai more.
So Mom wanted to send me somewhere for the summer, cause apparently she wanted me out of the house for some reason. When Nikolai called she took the opportunity to asked him if he'd mind me staying with him for the summer. Being the good brother he was, he agreed. Of course, Mom being Mom, didn't tell me I was going anywhere til the night before when she suddenly came in my room and screamed at me for not packing yet. I was actually glad that I was leaving boring Memphis where nothing ever happen (to me, at least) to LA where a star is being born every day. Not that I wanted to be one, I just enjoyed watching people working hard for their dreams, though they know it's impossible.
I admit I'm a nice person, sometimes too nice. And that act of kindness usually leave me broken hearted. It's a gift and a curse. And so is my beauty, so I was told. I had the mysterious look, bold eyes that boys can't help but stare at. A figure that make the boys in the hallway turn their heads. The way I flipped my hair and suddenly every one's attention was on me. The way I walk that make people curious as to who just walked in. I got all that, what I don't got is a nice boy. I like boys, but none of them attract my attention as much as Nathan Landon. At first I was just curios, no one could resist me, except of course Nathan. I didn't give up trying to find the reason why he rejected me. Soon enough, that curiosity turned into my cursed act of kindness. I couldn't hep but feel sorry for the boy, even after everything that he had put me through. He was enjoying it, it wasn't that hard to tell.
But now that I'm out of school for the summer, and I'm spending time in LA, things should turn out better, right? Summer, LA, beach, shopping, new boys. No more Nathan Landon. Just Nahla Abdul trying to enjoy summer in LA with Nikolai Abdul.
"Nahla!" I heard my brother yelled. I turned around, camera still recording. I was in LAX and I was going to see my brother since two years ago when he last visit.
"Nikolai!" I ran toward him, stumbling with my bags. I gave him a quick hug and turned my camera to face me. "Say hi, Nikolai!"
We said hi and smiled to the camera. I shut off my camera, expecting another hug from my big brother that I have not seen for so long. He gave me another long hug before taking my suit case and leading me to his brand new Aston Martin Dbs.
"Nice car, Nik," I commented when he finally got in.
"You think so?" he replied. "I got it as a gift from a friend of a friend. You can drive it this summer if you want."
"Yeah, I'm not gonna risk anything. It's too nice."
"You want me to find you another car? Cause you know I won't be able to drive you around, and you're in LA and I figured you want to go somewhere."
"I'll just take a look at your collection." I said, remembering that Nikolai loved cars. Old cars, new cars, all kind of cars. He collect cars. And he had at least 12 in his garage. And that was just four years ago when Mom and I last visit him.
We pulled up to the drive way leading to his bachelor pad. Nikolai's really proud of what he did, and what he got. Especially this bachelor pad in Beverly Hills. It was the nicest home I have ever seen, he designed it himself. It looked nice from the outside and it's warm and welcoming on the inside. He managed to keep everything clean, even though he was a 23 years old guy living by himself. That's why mother dearest trusted him more than she trusted me, from the beginning he had always been the responsible, sweet guy that's so irresistible. And I was just me, being myself, being a normal teenager.
Soon after he dropped me off, Nikolai had to go to work. He gave me the address on where he was shooting that afternoon and showed me where the keys for the cars were arranged according to the year and model of the car.
After counting the number of cars and looking at the exterior, I decided to take his yellow Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet. I didn't question why he chose the color yellow, but I liked it. It's the color of summer. I packed my beach towel and sunscreen into a large purse. I wore my a cut off short and my bikini top on, on top of the top I decided to throw on a Portocruz Swim tunic Cover-Up.
I was just pulling out of the driveway when my phone vibrated. A text from my friend in Memphis, Layla. Since I was still on the driveway, I thought it would be save to look at the text. I was reading the text: Nathan was just looking for you, :): when I felt the back of the car hit something or someone. On instinct I stepped on the break and put the car on park.
I got out of the car with my aviator-style sunglasses and my phone. I walked to the back and saw a guy sitting on the hot asphalt clutching on to his knee.
"I am so sorry," I gushed out. "Are you okay? Do you need to go the hospital?"
"That would be nice," the guy said with a British accent. I helped him up and into the car, not much was being said. I didn't know if I were able to say anything else. I just felt so bad for hitting him.
"What were you doing?" he asked me finally when we were about halfway to the hospital.
"I was looking at a text. I am so sorry. Uhm, I'm Nahla, by the way."
"Well, Nahla, hasn't anyone ever tell you don't text while driving, especially when you're backing out of a driveway?" Sheesh, couldn't he just tell me his name at least.
"I am so sorry, really. i didn't mean to, it won't happen again." I caught a glance his way. He was leaning on the door, but at least he looked a little more relaxed. "Can I have your name? So I can tell my brother, he'll pay for the hospital, please?"
"It's Romeo," he said more calming. "Romeo De Luca. And I'm assuming you're Nikolai Abdul's sister?"
"Yes, I am. Do you know my brother?"
"Yeah, everyone that live in that part of the Hills know your brother, he throw a party every weekend."
"Oh." I pulled in to the parking lot of the hospital. "I am so sorry, Romeo." I apologized again. I got out of the car first with my cell phone and my wallet. Then I helped Romeo out.
I waited as the doctor checked to see if he had broken anything--excuse me, if I had broken anything. I waited in the waiting room, uncomfortably watching the stars walked in and out.
Finally roughly about 45 minutes later Romeo came out with the doctor. I stood up and walked toward them. As I got closer I saw that Romeo had a bandage around his knee. "Is he okay?" I asked.
"He sprained his knee," the doctor replied me with a smile, "but he'll survive. You need to be careful when you're driving, young lady. I wouldn't want to see you in my waiting room again."
I smiled at the friendly doctor. "Thank you. Do I need to fill out some papers?"
She gave me some papers to fill out. It was time for Romeo to wait. As I always do, when I fill something out, I started humming a random Jonas Brothers song. That day at the hospital, the song happened to be "Please Be Mine" and it seemed like Romeo was amused by my humming, he kept on smiling to himself.
We got back in the car in no time. I called Nikolai before we left the hospital, he was in a hurry so all he said was to "be careful, next time you back out of my driveway with one of my babies." We passed Rodeo Drive on our way back to the house, I was still new to LA so we pretty much drove in circle. I tried to pretend like I knew where I was going, I was a pretty good actress, but it didn't fool Romeo.
"Do you know where you're going, princesa?" he asked, that was when I first noticed that his accent hadn't been British, it was Italian. His name totally gave it away.
"Do you want to get something to eat?" I asked. "As an apology present?" He stared at me like he couldn't believe I just asked him if he wanted anything to eat.
"Fine," he finally said, "find a parking spot and we can go to Mulberry Street Pizza." I parked in the first space that I saw, it wasn't close to the pizza place, but it wasn't too far.
We actually had fun. We ate pizza and watched the lunch time parade. He drove us to a square where there were so many performers on the side of the street. He told me he used to be one of them. Then he asked one of the group to let me do something. I resisted, but he insisted that it would be fun. So the guy on the piano started to play the intro to "Critical" by the Jonas Brothers. I started to sing and Romeo watched me. It seemed like everyone was watching me. Some stopped to put dollars in front of me, but I didn't want the money. At the end of the song, I felt more confident of myself than ever before.I gave the money people left to the guy playing the piano and gave him more.
"You were really good," Romeo told me as we were walking away.
"Thanks," I said to him. "That was fun. I might consider doing it again in the future."
"You should be doing that again in Madison Square, you were amazing, Nahl."
"Thanks. Romeo, what do you do?"
"I'm singer, I just sign a record deal. My first single is coming out in two weeks."
"That's cool. Are you going solo?"
"I work better by myself." He shrugged. "Are you planning on getting a record deal?"
"No, I'm more into designing. It's just my brother that wants to make it to the big screen."
"Yeah, I heard about the movie he's starring on, Differences, right?"
"Yea." We were already in the car, driving on the drive way to Nikolai's. When we pulled up, I could see Nikolai's Aston Martin parked there. Romeo parked the Porsche next to it, we got out at the same time.
"I'll see you next time, then, Nahla." Romeo said.
"Yeah. Where do you live?"
"Right next door." he pointed to another bachelor pad next to Nikolai's. "Knock on the door if you need anything."
"Okay. Thanks for today, Romeo. And I'm so sorry about your knee."
"No problem," he gave me a quick smile before leaving.
I grabbed my purse and my phone before walking in. My phone vibrated again right after I walked in through the door. "Nikolai, I'm home!" I shouted. I sat on the couch and checked the text. It read: Hey, It's Nathan. Heard you're in LA. How's it there?
I wasn't sure I read that right. I called Layla right after.
"Hello," she responded after the second ring.
"Hey, did you give my number to Nathan?" I asked.
"Well, I'm fine too, thanks for caring," she responded sarcastically.
"Did you or did you not?"
"Okay, I might have. But it doesn't matter. What matter is, have you met California's hot surfer dudes?"
"I met California next hit singer when I backed up on him and sprained his knee."
"Ooh. Well, I gotta go, okay? Keep calling me and give me updates on the new hottie. Wait, what's his name by the way?"
"Romeo De Luca."
"Aww. Romeo, Romeo where for art thou, Romeo?" she did her best impression of Juliet.
"He's right next door."
"Ooh, you're crushing on the boy next door? Wow! Okay, well, I really have to go now, bye!" she hung up.
I put my phone on the table and flopped down on the couch. I had plan on going to the beach my first day in LA, but it looked like I wasn't able to. I really felt bad about Romeo's knee, but I wasn't sorry that I got to hung out with him. It really looked like I was falling for the boy next door. I just wished that he's not like Nathan.
I was swimming in Nikolai's pool around sunset. I floated a little watching the sun. I haven't seen Nikolai since I got home, but I guessed he was just asleep or something. I just never thought he was with a girl.
I got out of the pool to get something to drink from the fridge, maybe some cold iced tea. I was listening to my Ipod and looked in the fridge for something to drink, but all I saw were packs of beer and wine and champagne. I wondered if he drank anything but alcoholic beverages. I looked for something else, I saw some strawberry and banana, Nikolai loved strawberry banana smoothie. I got out his blender and got out two large cups for the smoothie.
She walked in when I was pouring the smoothie to Nikolai's cup.
"Excuse me," she said from behind me. "Who are you?"
I turned around to face her. "I'm Nikolai's sister, visiting for the summer. Who are you?"
She gave me an 'are-you-kidding-me-look', okay I didn't know who this lady was. I had some water in my eyes, I wiped my eyes and squinted to get a closer look at her. My mouth dropped when I finally realized who she was. "Lindsay Lohan?" I wondered.
Right on cue, Nikolai walked out of his room. He looked so innocent, maybe Mom really don't know everything about Nikolai.
"Nikolai," I said. "Is there something you want to tell me?"
Nikolai took a sip from his smoothie. "Yeah," he said, holding out his arms. I almost ran to him to hug him, but as it turned out he wasn't holding his arms out for me, rather for Megan. "I'm dating Lindsay Lohan," he said. He smiled at Lindsay as she smiled back at him.
"Okay," I reached for my smoothie. But Nikolai was closer and he thought that I had made them for him and his girl friend. it's not that I didn't like Lindsay Lohan, it's just that I felt like Nikolai won't ever had anytime for me anymore.
They started making out right in front of me. I was disgusted, really. I didn't think that Nikolai would ever turn to be such a Hollywood bad boy. I mean, Lindsay Lohan? Didn't she just got out of jail or something.
I dried my hair quickly in the guest house behind the main house. I changed into my skinny jeans and strapless shirt with a denim jacket over it. I grabbed my purse, threw my wallet and my phone in there. I grabbed my high heels ran outside to the car, ignoring Nikolai called after me.
I opened the car and saw a piece of paper there. It said: 323-555-7893, call me. ~Romeo
I smiled to myself. I dialed the number quickly. He answered after the first ring. "Hello," his Italian accent greeted me.
"Hey, Romeo, it's me, Nahla." I said. Just in time Nikolai came out and stood by the car.
"Hey, Nahla," he sounded almost excited to hear me. "How're you?"
"I'm good. Actually, I was wondering if you might want to go somewhere with me right now? Be my tour guide?" Nikolai stared at me with a disapproving expression.
"Eh? Yea. Sure. I'll go get ready. I'll pick you up in a couple of minutes."
"Okay, thanks. See you in a couple of minutes. Bye." I smiled and hung up. I fixed my hair through the rear view mirror. I finally looked at Nikolai, who was still standing by the car arms crossed. "May I help you?" I asked, batting my eyes.
"Who are you going with?" he asked me.
"Romeo De Luca, the boy next door. Do you have a problem with that, Nikolai?"
"Yeah, I do, actually. You're my sister. I don't approve of you going out with Romeo De Luca. He's nothing but trouble."
"And your girl friend is supposed to be an angel?" I snapped. "She was sentenced to jail, Nik! What's happening to you?"
"I'm in love, Na! Is that so wrong?" he snapped back. "You have no right to tell me I can't date her."
"And you have no right to tell me I can't go out with Romeo. I'm going to be 18 in just a couple of weeks. Then you won't have to worry about me." I heard Romeo pulling up. I got out of the Porsche and gave the key to Nikolai. "Have fun with Lindsay," I said.
He took the keys and looked down at his feet. "you have fun with Romeo, have him get you home by mid-night," he said. I nodded and walked away to Romeo's Ferrari 458.
CHAPTER FOUR: Friends at Tiffany & Co.
That first night was a blur. I was so mad at Nikolai, I ignored his curfew. I dragged Romeo around LA, not sure where I really wanted to go. All the way there we didn't say a word to each other. Every once in a while he would ask me if everything was alright, I would tell him that it was.
"You know, Nahla, if you don't really want to go out why did you called me?" Romeo asked. We were walking through the park, I was still pouting.
"No, I want to," I lied. "I mean, I need to be out. God! I don't know what I need." I groaned.
"Maybe we should sit down and you tell me what happened with you and Nikolai." He pointed to a bench. I sat down on one side and Romeo sat on the other side. "Now, breath. and tell me what happen calmly."
I took a deep breath. "I got here this morning, my brother was really nice. Then, he went to work and I sprained your knee. I came home and he was in his room, so I went swimming, he didn't come out til about thirty minutes before I called you. So anyway, I made some smoothie, his favorite, and Lindsay Lohan came out. And then, he came out and he was like 'I'm dating Lindsay Lohan' and he held out his arms. I thought it was for me so I started to move, but Lindsay got there first. Then he took my smoothie. MINE! And gave it to her! It hurt! And I was going to go somewhere, he told me I can't go out with you. He was so mean. It feels like I'm losing him."
"I understand why you're angry, but," he struggles. "I can't really defend him in the Lindsay Lohan stuff, and considering you made the smoothie, I would say I know why you're mad.” He got up, shoving his hand deep inside his pocket as he had for the whole night.
I followed him around the park, talking about the good time Nikolai and I had before he took of. He listened, just listened. I was sure that I had said Nikolai didn't approve of him, but it seemed like he could care less. Or he was just avoiding the subject. That night, Romeo seemed like the kind of guy that every girls in the country would be throwing themselves at, not just because how amazingly handsome he looked with his brown hair, but for how he listened. It almost seemed like he was the perfect guy. And that night he was my perfect guy. Just that night, I thought.
“So do you still like the Jonas Brothers or something?” he asked, we were walking back to his car after he bought me a cone of ice cream. When he asked the question, I almost choked on my ice cream. Nobody ever asked me that question for a long time, they knew better.
“Why do you ask that?” I asked looking around for any distraction.
“Cause you sing their songs. A lot. When we were in the hospital. At the street with the guy. When we were walking in the park. It's like you bring them wherever you go. Wherever there's Nahla, there's the Jonas Brothers.”
“Only the middle brother, Joe.” I smiled at the name, it brought back memories of when Layla and I were obsessed with them and all day long we would only listen to their songs and nothing else. “Their songs brings me happy memories and, when I hear Joe sings, I don't know, it just makes me smile for no reason.” I looked at Romeo, waiting for his response.
“You like the middle brother because when he sings he makes you smile.” He breathed in and turned to face me. “Anyone ever told you you're obsessed?”
“Yes, they have. But they stopped, because they don't dare ask me that again. I can be very defensive about the guys I like.”
“Are you?” he asked. “Will you ever be defensive about me?”
“I don't know. Why don't you show me if I should?”
“I think you already did, Princesa.”
“What do you mean?”
“You got defensive about me with Nikolai. He told you he didn't approved of you going out with me. Even though it's only for a walk in the park, yet here you are walking next to me.”
“So you caught that, huh?” I could feel my cheek started to turn red. “I was just mad at him. Don't get your hopes up.”
“I don't know about that. I might already have.” He gave me a smile before walking to the driver side. I opened the door and got in, soon after he did the same and we were driving around Hollywood trying to find something to do.
“Hey, can we go to the Hollywood sign?” I asked Romeo after around thirty minutes driving around looking for nothing in particular.
“Really?” He parked the car for a second to look at his text, subtlety noted. “ I was thinking I could take you shopping in Rodeo Drive.” He started to drive in that direction.
“Since it seems like you're not giving me a choice, I guess you could.” It certainly looked like he was up to something, but I didn't question him.
Romeo parked the car where I had parked earlier that day. We walked the rest of the way.
“Where are you talking me?” I asked struggling to keep up with him, since it was Fashion Night Out and the place was packed with celebrities.
“The place closes at 7, so we have to hurry.” He pulled me into the crowd. I lost track of everything. Strong scents of cologne and perfumes of all different brand mixed, making want to barf. Women in heels stepped in my open-toed flat shamelessly. Finally he pulled me out of the crowd to a doorway that led to Tiffany & Co. “I told a friend of mine to meet us here. He should be here any minute now.”
“Hi, welcome to Tiffany & Co. I'm Andrea, do you know what you're looking for?” a woman that could pass for a model asked us as we walked in.
“No, she's just looking around for—handbags, but nothing in particular,” Romeo responded. The lady, then, showed us where the handbags were. We thanked her, and she gave us another warm smile before leaving us alone. “Okay, I'll buy you handbags and jackets.” When I just looked at him with a raised eyebrow, he said, “As a welcome to LA gift and you're my new friend now.”
I looked through their designer collection of leather purses. “ O Romeo, do thee not see they carry not jackets.” I laughed quietly at myself. I settled with a Tiffany Reversible Tote in suede and metallic leather. “Here,” I hand the bag to him, “I like this. A lot. That's all I want.”
Romeo took the purse in his hand. “Are you sure that's enough? Look at other thing, come one. All on me.” I shook my head.
“The bag is enough for me, really. We just started to become friends, and I'm already wiping your money clean? That just doesn't seem so friendly.”
“You're different, Nahla.” He continued walking around. After awhile he settled with a silver ballpoint pen with Tiffany & Co.'s known locations scribbled around the pen. We started to make our way to the cashier, Romeo's friend still hadn't show up.
“Romeo!” a too familiar voice called as Romeo put the purse and the pen down. We turned together, but I was the only one to stand there, not sure of what I should do. It was Joe Jonas. Right in front of me. And I chickened out. I froze. That was a good first impression.
“Joe!” Romeo and Joe did the whole boy hand shake thing. “This is my new friend, Nahla,” Romeo introduced me. “She's Nikolai Abdul's sister, my new neighbor, and your huge fan.”
“Hi,” I said shyly, extending my hand to him. I was surprised when he took my hand in his own and pulled me in for a hug. “It's nice to meet you, Joe,” I said after we pulled away. I smiled and told myself to act like he was just another human being. Nothing special. But who was I kidding? I was smiling ear to ear. “I'm Nahla.”
“I'm Joe,” he said, Romeo turned around to pay. “But I'm sure you already knew that. How did you meet Romeo?”
“It's a funny story actually,” I started.
“She backed up on me, and sprained my knee,” Romeo replied, joining us. Joe laughed at that, which I take as a sign that they had been friends for awhile. A long while, or so it seemed after spending three hours around them.
We were sitting around in Urasawa Restaurant eating California Rolls, Romeo and Joe were in a conversation about hats, when suddenly my phone started to play its ring tone, “See No More” by the person that was sitting in front of me. Romeo looked at me with an amused smile. I looked at the caller ID, a 901 number that I did not recognize, must be Nathan. I ignored his call and put my phone on mute and shoved it to the bottom of my purse.
“Sorry about that,” I apologized to the guys who were staring at me. Both of them had an almost exact amused smile. “What?”
“Your ring tone is 'See No More' and you hum 'Please Be Mine' and you sang 'Critical', you are clearly a true Jonas Brothers fan.” Romeo replied , holding up a finger for each song. “Excuse me—a true Joe Jonas fan.” I choked on my sushi. I took a long sip of my water before I hit him hard on his shoulder.
Joe took out is phone and started to look like he was going through something important, but I could tell he was trying to hide his laugh.
“Uhm, Rome,” Joe said after he read something, “someone's brother wants you to bring his sister back. ASAP.”
“Uh-huh,” Romeo said. “Let's go, Princesa. Wouldn't want your brother to hate me even more would we?” He got up and put on his jacket. We already paid our waitress, so we were good to go. Joe walked us to our car, he really wasn't that bad.
“Bye, Joe,” I said, hugging him before I get in.
“It won't be the last time you'll see me.” He said. He took my hand and out something there, he closed it tightly, whispering, “This is private.”
I nodded and took my hand back. We said good bye again before Romeo and I drive off. It was just passed nine, when we left Rodeo. I wondered what was going on, I still had three hours before I broke curfew.
“So, you have a curfew or something?” Romeo asked when he pulled up in Nikolai's driveway.
“Seemed like it. But he said twelve. I don't know.” I started to get out when Romeo pulled me in. I turned around expecting him less than an inch from me, but he was just a little further than an inch, maybe three inches. I closed the door behind me again.
We sat there, looking at each other. Then I felt a cold metal touch the palm of my hand where Joe's number written on a sheet of paper was just a moment ago before I put it safely in my pocket.
“A gift,” he whispered, “from me to you. And I chose it myself.”
“Thank you, Romeo,” I whispered back. “Not just for the pen, but for tonight and for today.”
“Your welcome, princesa.” He leaned closer to me. I closed my eyes and I felt his warm lips brushed on mine for about five seconds, but who's counting. “Good night, Nahla,” he said, he was still so close to me, that I actually felt his mouth moved against mine. I could feel him smiled, then he touched his lips on mine, again.
I pulled away. I smiled slowly, suddenly feeling shy around him. “Good night, Romeo.” I took my purse and the bag from Tiffany and got out. I looked back at him when I got to the door. He was leaning out of the passenger window.
“Good Night, Good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.” He yelled-whispered the line from Romeo and Juliet.
“Good night, Romeo,” I giggled. I walked inside right to Nikolai, arms crossed against his toned chest.
“Where have you been?” he asked sounding worried.
“The park, Tiffany's and Urasawa,” I responded showing him the bag from Tiffany. “Look, Nikolai, I'm here because I missed you, because I haven't seen you in two years. Then I thought we could talk about old times and just have fun, but we can't do that now, because Lindsay is in the picture and you spend most of your time with her. So now, Romeo's the one that's nice to me, you can't tell me that I can't hang out with him. He's the only one that's nice to me right now.”
I could see anger in his eyes while he said, “You're saying that cause he bought you expansive stuff from Tiffany!”
“God! Nikolai! Do you really think that I'm that materialistic?” I could feel myself get angrier as I stomped out to the guest house.
I may have made my first two friends at Tiffany, but I did not become friends with them because of the stuff they bought me. I couldn't believe Nikolai thought I was that materialistic. I felt tears rolled down my cheek. I texted Romeo and Layla before I drift off to sleep.
Thank you, thank you, Romeo. Sweet dreams. :)
Nikolai said I'm materialistic. Romeo kissed me. 911
I woke up earlier than I expect it. It was still dark when I went outside, Nikolai was still sound asleep. I was actually glad that he was still asleep, I intended to leave before he wakes up. Leave where exactly? I had no idea. It was starting to get really hot by the pool, I took off my clothes and jumped in the pool with the bikini I wore just a few hours before. I guessed I was swimming for a while. I did a couple of laps before I heard the voice. It was calling my name. I emerge from the water, to hear the voice clearer.
“Princesa,” he whispered. I smiled and got out of the pool. I walked closer to the gate to see Romeo better.
“Romeo?” I asked. “What are you doing up so early?”
“What are you doing swimming so early?” he returned.
I opened the gate that leads our backyards together. I guess, I could say that it was my backyard too, since I was living there for the whole summer. Romeo was lounging on a sunbed when I crossed the gate. I had a towel around me, but I was still aware of Romeo's stare roaming up and down my body.
“You're looking beautiful this morning,” he commented, pointing to the sunbed next to his.
“Thanks, you don't look so bad yourself.” I looked at him in his black swim trunk, revealing his eight pack, and aviator sunglasses, though it was still dark. “What are you up to, today?”
“I dunno,” he sat up and looked at me. “I thought that maybe I could take a certain someone shopping and have lunch with her, that is if she's interested.”
“Well, does this someone like you?”
“When we kissed last night, it seemed like she was enjoying it. Or at least I hope she did. Well, you're the someone, did you enjoy our kiss last night?” He was getting closer to me, it was hard to focus on the sun slowly rising.
“As a matter of fact, I did enjoy it.” I smiled at the memory. I could still remember clearly what his lips felt against mine.
He paused for a moment. “Would you—maybe,” he swallowed hard. “Uhm, would you like to go out with me?” I looked at him. “I mean, that is if you want to. Do—do you want to?”
“Yes,” I whispered. I moved in closer to him. We were only inches away, I could feel his warm breath on my face.
“NAHLA!” I heard Nikolai screamed from our yard.
“I think I should go,” I whispered.
“I thing you should, but I don't want you to,” Romeo whispered back.
I got up to leave, like the night before, Romeo took hold of my wrist and pulled me back. “Promise me one thing?” he asked.
“Spend the day with me again like yesterday, without the whole backing up on me, of course.”
“I promise.” I got up again as I heard the impatience in Nikolai's voice. “I'll call you later, kay?”
“Okay.” I leaned down to kiss is cheek, but he turned his head so instead I kissed his lips. “That was beautiful.” I smiled again. I walked to the gate, pretty sure I was still blushing.
“What were you doing with him?” Nikolai asked after I closed the gate.
“He's my friend, we were just hanging out. Why? I can't do that anymore?” I walked past him to jump into the swimming pool, trying my hardest not to get in an argument with my only brother.
But before I could, I heard him said, “You're right. About me dating Lindsay and you dating Romeo.” I turned around. “I can see that you blush after you see him. You really like the guy. I get that. And I like Lindsay.”
“Do you really mean that, Nikolai? Can you ever like anyone like you loved Paige?” Paige was Nikolai's girl friend in college, they could've been married but she got on a car accident the night he decided to propose. I knew, both my parents knew, and,even, Paige's parents knew that he could never get over her death. Even if he didn't visit his own family, he made sure to visit Paige's grave at least once every season. It was his way of showing her, that when the season changes, his heart doesn't. I was the only he told about the reason, no one else knew but me.
“You know I can never stop loving Paige,” he sighed. “I'm not looking for anything too serious right now. And Lindsay like the type for the not so serious kind of relationship. Just like I hope you're not serious about your relationship with Romeo. You're 17, Nahl, there's still time.”
“I know. But if it last, what am I going to do?”
“If it last, then you guys have my permission to marry. But he's going to be a huge singer, you know what that does to people. Popularity will get in his head, somehow or another. And I just don't want my sister to get hurt.”
“I can take care of myself, Nikolai. It's you that I worry about.”
“What are you talking about? I'm six years older than you. I'm the one that should be worried.”
Just like that my Nikolai was back.
“Technically you're four years older than me.” I stuck my tongue out at him and quickly jumped in the pool. Not long after Nikolai jumped in.
Hours later Nikolai and I were sitting in the kitchen looking at the suspicious looking cookies that Nikolai had made all by himself.
“Is that edible?” I asked him while I poked one of the cookies with a fork.
“Don't hate,” he took one bite and quickly spit it back out on the table. “They're not edible. Just throw it away.”
“You wanta go to lunch with me and Romeo? It'll be fun.”
“Nah, you two go ahead. I don't want to bother you. Plus, it's your first real date, so I don't want to be there when everything gets awkward.” He got up and walked away.
“Nothing's gonna be awkward!” I shouted after him. After I threw away the inedible cookies, I went out to the guest house to get ready for my first date. I quickly got myself ready, then I realized that I was still early, so I decided to take a nap. But when I put my head down on the pillow, I noticed a formal invitation card.
From: Romeo De Luca
To: Nahla Abdul
You have been invited to Romeo's 21st Birthday Bash on June 10th
Starts at Sundown. No gifts requested, just bring your appetite and get
yourself in a party mood.
Underneath that, Romeo attached a hand written note that read: Princesa, party starts at sundown, but I was thinking you could come earlier than that? Can't wait to see you again. ~Your Romeo
According to the invitation, Romeo's party was the next day, a Friday. And I knew that I would have to be the first to tell him happy birthday, somehow. I still hadn't bought him anything, not that anyone ever told me anything about him or what he'd like.
I decided to call him and cancel our date for the day. “Hello?” he answered after the first ring.
“Hey, Rome,” I said cheerfully. “Uhm, can we do something else today? Like maybe dinner?”
“Why? What happened?” he sounded worried.
“well, I figured out something that I have to do just now, and apparently, I don't have that much time to do it.”
“N, if it's about my birthday, don't worry about it. You already gave me the best present anyone could give, you. And I that your parents for that too.” I couldn't help but laugh.
“But, it just doesn't feel right to show up at my boyfriend's party without buying him something.”
“I'm your boyfriend now, huh?” he said with a laugh. “I'm glad you said that. Now, I can call you my girl friend.”
“So, Boyfriend, is there anything you want for your birthday?”
“Please, Romeo, don't make me call Joe.”
“Call him. He's as confuse as you are.”
“Ugh!” I slapped my hand against my forehead. “I'll make dinner tonight, okay? So I will see you for dinner,” I said, sounding as cheerful as I could.
“Fine. See you for dinner. Best of luck for you and Joe, you both need it.” He hung up with a laugh. I put my phone down on my bed before I dialed Joe's number. I asked him what he was getting for Romeo, and he said that he didn't know. When I told him I couldn't find anything, he asked if maybe I'd want to meet up and get something for Romeo together.
Joe and I met up at Gucci to get him something, only I had better luck at finding my gift. For his 21st birthday, I got Romeo a black lace-up boot from Gucci. I had to wait til Joe find him something, we went from stores to stores, only in the end, he decided to buy him a pair of sunglasses and a hat back in Gucci.
I was thankful that I got home early enough to make some chicken Parmesan and bruschetta for him. Once I got everything ready and got Nikolai out of the house for one night, I called Romeo and told him that dinner was served.
I was sitting down on the table by the pool where we were having dinner, when the door rang. I ran to get the door quickly, making sure that my hair and my dress were perfect for the occasion. “Hey,” I said as I swung the door open, letting Romeo in.
“Hello, beautiful,” he replied, that Italian accent of his pulled me closer to him.
“Dinner's ready.” I led him to the pool. I was nervous. I had never invited a boy over for dinner before. This was my first, and it felt—right.
“This is beautiful,” he said, looking at the table.
“It's an early birthday late dinner, since I'm not sure that you'll like my present.”
“Whatever you give me, I'll love.”
I blushed again in front of him. He had a way of making that happen every time he says something to me. After we were done eating and we put away the dishes. We laid down on the grass by the pool looking at California's perfect summer night.
“I wish I could keep this moment like this forever,” Romeo said, kissing my hand.
“You can.” I took a deep breath before saying, “Lo sono il vostro da mantenere, Romeo.” (I'm yours to keep, Romeo).
He looked at me, studied me. “Sei molto bella. Vorrei tenerti accanto a me per sempre.” (You are very beautiful. I would like to keep you next to me forever). I snuggled closer to him, understanding the meaning of his Italian.
We were quite until he began to recite something. “ Ahimè, che l'amore, la cui vista è ancora smorzato,
Dovrebbe, senza occhi, vedere i percorsi alla sua volontà! Dove possiamo mangiare? O me! Che mischia era qui? Ma non mi dica, perché ho sentito tutto. Qui c'è molto da fare con l'odio, ma più con l'amore.Perché, allora, o risse amore! O amore odio! O qualsiasi cosa, niente di creare prima! O leggerezza pesante! vanità seria! Mis-forgiata caos di forme ben apparente! Piuma di piombo, fumo luminoso, fuoco freddo, la salute malata! Ancora sonno-veglia, che non è quello che è! Questo amore che provo, che non sentono l'amore in questo.” He paused for a while, looking at me closely. “Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still, Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will! Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here? Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all. Here's much to do with hate, but more with love. Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate! O any thing, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness! serious vanity! Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms! Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health! Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is! This love feel I, that feel no love in this.”
On that warm night, I started being Romeo's girl. I was Romeo's to keep.
We stayed lying down on the grass for the rest of the night. Romeo was telling me about his hometown in Italy, a little town called Albori. It was his home, he had never left the torn until about six years ago when he decided to chase after his dream of being a professional singer in America. The land of opportunity, they said. He said so himself, it was the same reason that my mother moved from Saudi Arabia to New York City where she met my father, a Canadian hiker and drummer.
I loved listening to Romeo talk about his childhood and the friends that he left behind. He was talking about his brother and we were starting to fall asleep. Last thing I heard was him saying something in Italian and then complete silent. A minute later I heard his steady breathing. I snuggled closer to him and closed my eyes, enjoying the peace and quiet.
About an hour later my phone rang on the table. I got up carefully as to not wake Romeo up. I looked at the flashing screen, Romeo's Birthday Today, it read. I smiled to myself and ran to the guest house to get his present. I found a gift bag next to the present on the bed; it must've been from Nikolai. I put the box in the bag and glean back outside to find Romeo sitting by the pool stretching.
"Happy birthday!" I cheered running toward him throwing my arms around his neck.
"Thank you," he said as he pulled me closer toward him so he could kiss my cheek.
I gave him the bag silently. I was smiling on the inside and outside, partly because I was nervous. I was nervous that he wouldn't like it, but mostly I was nervous that he had already have the shoes. But his reaction after he opened the bag caught ms of guard. He was smiling widely. He pulled me in to another hug.
"Thanks," he replied, his lips against my cheek. "You're the best."
"You like it?"
"No. I love it." He lips moved from my cheek to my lips. "Thanks, baby." He kissed me slowly after that for what seems like the best moment of my life. I know how cliché that sounded, but it was the truth, that was how I felt every time he kisses me.
We both turned our head toward the door when we heard someone cough from behind us. Nikolai.
"Sorry, kids," he said. "But it's late now, so I guess it's best if you get going, Romeo. Nahla will meet you later today after she gets some sleep. Then you can spend as much time together as you want, I won't mind."
"I guess Nikolai's right," Romeo said collecting his things from the table. "I best be going. I'll see you later today, Nahla." He gave me a quick hug and a kiss on my cheek before heading out the door.
"Good night, Nahla." Nikolai said after Romeo was out the door.
"Good night, Nikolai." I responded, smiling to myself as I walk to the guest house.
I didn't wake up till sometime after noon when Layla called.
“Hello,” I said half-asleep to the phone.
“Hi!” Layla’s cheerful voice chirped. “How was your night, sleeping beauty?”
“It was great.” I said, sitting up against the head board. “He liked my cooking. And he told me all kind of things from his childhood. It was great. I loved it. I lo—like him.”
“Uh-huh, sure you do. What you want to say is that you LOVE him, is it not? Well, whatever. So what are you wearing for the party tonight?”
I was about to answer when I heard someone in the back ground said, “What are you doing, Layl? You’re not supposed to encourage her to go.”
“Uhm, Layla. Who was that?” I asked.
“Oh. That. That was—my brother. Yeah. You know how he has, like, the biggest crush on you.” I knew better. I knew the voice to well, unfortunately. It was Nathan’s; it was not her annoying brother.
“Oh.” I said ignoring what she had said. “He kinda sound like someone else. Someone I knew too well. But you’re the one that’s there, so obviously you know who it is. And it’s NOT Nathan, or so you say. But whatever, I moved on. I have Romeo now. And he’s much better.”
“Good for you Nahla.” I could hear her smile. “So you’re not into Nathan anymore? And you’re sure that Romeo is not like Nathan?”
“Yeah. I am over him, and I like Romeo. I’m sure that Romeo’s better than him. Romeo would never hurt me like that.” I looked out the window. “Hey, I gotta go. I have to get ready for the party.”
“Oh. Ok. Just remember that Romeo de Luca is like the next Bruno Mars, or in our case the next Joe Jonas, so there will be paparazzi everywhere. So what I’m saying is, look your best don’t embarrass Romeo. Or me.”
“Layla, I don’t have anything to worry about. If there are too much paparazzi I could use my backdoor. Oh and Joe Jonas will be there. I have his phone number. I’ll get you Nick’s autograph.” I smiled and hung up. I looked at the clock on my bedside table; 1:14 it said.
I jumped in the shower after putting my dress out and heat the curler. After I was done with my hour long shower, I put my dark brown hair in a bunch of old fashioned curlers. I put on my make-up quickly, saving the lip gloss for last. After that, I let my hair to partly hair dry.
I walked to the kitchen to make myself some omelet, and Nikolai was there with his dearest Lindsay. When I saw her, I knew that something was about to happen, and it was not the good kind of nothing. I just knew. I dreaded going in there, but Nikolai already saw me. It was too late.
“Hey, nice look, sis,” Nikolai said, getting up to give me a hug.
“Thanks.” I smiled slowly. “So are you guys going to Rome’s party?”
“Romeo?” Lindsay said. “Romeo de Luca? What are you thinking going to his party? He would never invite someone like you. You’re a nobody. There is no way that he invited you. Don’t bother crashing his party, he’ll have security guards around the house. His party is exclusive.”
“I happen to be his girlfriend, Lindsay.” I said, biting my tongue so I wouldn’t say anything stupid. “Nikolai,” I said finally looking at him. “Are you just going to sit there and let her say something like that to me?”
“What am I supposed to do, Nahla?” He said looking up from the floor. “She’s my girlfriend, for God’s sake.”
“Yeah, I know. And I’m just your sister. The one that you trusted with your deepest, darkest secret. The one that know every detail of your dream and your wishes. The one that you know your whole life. The one that used to be your favorite girl. The one that you protected from those jerks in middle school. The one that trusted you with all her heart. But of course, that’s not as important as your girlfriend who you just met by the way.” I walked out without saying anything else to either one of them.
Once I was inside the guest house, I put two pairs of clothes in a duffel bag, together with a pair of bathing suit and my toiletries. I bow dried my hair and put them in a bun, leaving one strand of hair on the side to frame my face. I put on my black dress then my three-inch high heels before running to Romeo’s.
It was precisely 4:45 when I finally knocked on his door. I waited a minute before Romeo answered the door. He gave me a hug and a kiss, before pulling me inside to his room. I put my bag down on his bed and pulled him closer to me.
“Is everything okay?” Romeo asked pulling away. “You look like you’ve been dissed.”
“I have.” I said. Then I started to tell him about Lindsay and Nikolai and the feeling that kept on coming back when I see her with him. I told him everything, except about Nathan and Layla. I didn’t want to risk making his upset because of that. No, not just yet. When the time comes, I’ll have to tell him.
Romeo listened through everything. He nodded at the right time and he didn’t interrupt.
“So, Lindsay’s back, huh?” he asked after I was done. “Look, she’s probably saying that because I didn’t invite her to the party and I invited you and Nikolai. She’s probably just jealous.”
“Then what about what Nikolai said?”
“He’s probably just confuse, Nah. Give him time. I’m sure he’ll come back and realize that Lindsay i9s not the right girl for him and that you’re right. Trust, me that time will come. The time when he regrets that he dated Lindsay.”
“I’m sorry,” I said, wiping my eyes, thankful that I wore waterproof make-up. “It’s your birthday and I’m bringing my drama to you, I should never have.”
“Hey, it’s okay,” he said pulling me for another hug. “Anytime you want to talk just come over or call me, I don’t care if it’s in the middle of a concert or in the middle of a family dinner. I want to be there for you, I want you to talk to me. To trust me with your secrets. Talking to you would never ruin my day.”
“Thank you, Romeo.” I kissed his clean-shaven cheek.
We stayed sitting there on his bed, talking about nothing in particular, and everybody else were downstairs, making the house party-ready. Even as people started to come, we didn’t go downstairs. Then finally Joe walked in the room.
“Come on, Romeo,” he said, “time for you to speak.” Then at me, he said, “Nahla, it’s a party, come on, have fun!”
We came downstairs and greeted everybody. The house was packed with people that I have only seen on TV and magazines. Romeo introduced me to his friends; Joe pulled me to his brothers. Everything was great, I was enjoying the party. I hardly thought about Lindsay with my brother or Nathan’s voice. It was great, I was having a good time and so was Romeo.
“Thanks for coming everyone,” Romeo announced after he cut his cake. I was standing close next to him and he had his arm around my waist the other holding up a glass. “Thank you all for being here to celebrate my birthday with me. And, wow, I’m 21 now, I feel so old.” Everyone laughed. “But that doesn’t matter. I want to thanks my parents who are in Italia right now, for giving birth to me and for raising me to be the person I am now. Thanks to Hollywood Records for making my birthday gift in the form of a record deal. My friends for supporting me and helping me adjust. Last but not least, thanks to my girlfriend, Nahla, for being here with me and for being the first person to say happy birthday this morning. You’re the best gift I have ever received.” He gave me a quick kiss as the cameras flashed.
He may not have said that he loved me, but that was enough. Plus, I thought that it was too soon to drop the L-word. I smiled for the rest of the night. I didn’t want to think about Nikolai and Lindsay, and Layla and Nathan; and that night, Romeo made that all go away. By the time everyone was leaving, I was fast asleep in Romeo’s bed with the blanket pulled up to my chin. I heard Romeo came in later that night.
“Good night, Princesa,” he whispered to my ear before kissing my forehead. He held my shoulder while he kissed me for a while. Then he finally let go and lay down on the couch on the other side of the room.
I woke up alone when the bright light finally hit me. I looked around wondering where Romeo had gone only to find his sleeping area neatly put away. I stayed in bed for a little more while, taking in Romeo's scent. My Romeo's scent.
Finally after about thrity minutes of laying still on my side, I decided to start cleaning up and find Romeo. My bag had been moved to near his suitcases by the bathroom. It took everything in me not to act like a crazy girlfriend and look through his suitcases. But then again, Romeo is not someone who's suspicious. I trust him one hundred percent-ish (he's still a guy).
After I got cleaned up, I went to the kitchen and found some kind of pastry and chocolate milk on the counter with a card that has my name on it. I ate my pastry quickly and drink my milk slowly. I looked around the big house wondering how many girls have been in here and who they were. I decided to give up trying to figure that out and took a tour.
I found Romeo sitting in front of a whole bunch of computer in his studio listening to a song. I knocked on the window, smiling sweetly.
"Morning," I said as he turned around.
"Morning, beautiful," he replied, removing his headphones.
"What are you listening to?" I walked next to him.
"It's not done yet. It's for you."
"Yup!" He rolled his chair back and motioned for me to sit on his lap.
I sat down on his lap, chocolate milk still in one hand. "Can I listen?"
He pressed the rewind button on the computer and pressed play on a folder entitled "My Beautiful." He put his arms aroubd my waist and rest his chin on my shoulder. "I haven't put the lyrics yet," he wishpered.
"It's beautiful," I wishpered, relaxing my head on his shoulder.
"You're beautiful." He kissed my forehead.
Romeo, I thought, is too good to be true. He is. He kisses my forehead instead of my lips. And unlike other guys who would take advantage of my sleeping on his bed that night before, he slept on a couch. Why anyone think he's a troublemaker; I don't know.
"Kiss me?" I asked, turning my head to face him.
He pulled back a bit, looking at me, a question mark in his eyes. "Did you just ask me to kiss you?" he asked.
"I believe I did."
He leaned in, a smile forming. He pecked my lips then turn his attention back to the music he was working on.
"What was that?" I asked.
"A kiss. You ask for a kiss, right?"
"I know you can kiss better than that."
He leaned in again. This time he didn't pulled away. Our lips locked and I enjoyed it. My very first kiss, my brain screamed, is with Romeo de Luca! I relaxed my body more, holding onto his shoulder; while he held on to my waist tightly. Then...... Joe Jonas' "See No More" blasted through my phone.
Romeo pulled away and looked at my phone. "To be continued, beautiful," he said, giving me another peck.
I picked up my phone and rested my face on Romeo's shoulder, trying to hide my flushed face. "Hello," I said to the phone.
"Hey!" Layla said cheerfully on the other side of the line. "We're in Phoenix right now, and we'll get to LA in about one and a half hours!"
"What are you talking about? Who's 'we'?"
"Oh, didn't I tell you I'm going to LA today?"
"No, you didn't tell me."
"Oh, well then, I'm going. And can you pick us up?"
"Who's 'us'? You're not alone?"
"I'm with my brother, Charles, and Nathan."
"Who?? You know what, I don't even want to know. So you're gonna be here in one and a half hours right?" I looked at the clock.
"Yep, in one and a half hours. Is that okay?"
"Sure, let me get ready then I'll go."
"Okay, cool. Hey, are you with Romeo right now?"
"Nothing! See you in one and a half hours! Bye!"
"Bye," I hung up. Nathan? She's coming with Nathan? And Charles? (Charles is one of my crushes, BTW). "Romeo, can you drive me to the airport to pick up my friend?" I asked him.
"No problem," he smiled. "Just promise me one thing."
"What's that?" I asked.
"We'll finish what we started." He kissed me again, slowly.
This time, I pulled away. "We have time," I smiled. I walked out, carrying my chocolate milk back to the counter in the kitchen.
I quicly rinse all of the dishes in the sink and put them all in the dish washer before I left to change my clothes. While I was changing, I noticed Romeo's schedule for that day. I smiled to myself.
I put on a short and a loose fitted one-shoulder shirt. I put my hair up in a ponytail, then I started opening Romeo's drawers and closets, which, to my disappointment, didn't have what I was looking for.
I opened one of his suitcases and there it was. I got out a long black jeans and a white button-up shirt. I opened another suitcase and found his accessories; a black tie, a pair of aviator sunglasses, and a watch. In other suitcase, I found his shoes; I got out a black biker boot and put it by the bed.
I smiled to myself, proud of the work that I have done. I was finishing perfecting my make-up and hair when Romeo knocked on the door.
"Can I come in?" he asked.
"Yeah!" I hollered. Romeo walked in and saw his clothes on the bed.
"What's this for?" he asked.
"For you to wear to your photoshoot today."
"Photoshoot?" He looked at his board and said, "Oh, that photoshoot." He took his clothes and went in the bathroom and changed.
"You look so handsome!" I beamed when he came out.
He put on his watch and picked up his tie. "Will you help me?" he asked.
I got up and started to tie the tie around his shirt collar, making it loose in the middle. I smiled the whole time, couldn't help my reddened cheek.
"You're so pretty," he said. He kissed ny cheek and we stayed embracing each other, his lips pressed against my collar bone.
-----------(At the Airport)-----------------
We got at the airport earlier than I thought. Romeo went to get some smoothie while I was waiting for Layla to come out. I was sitting down on the bench, looking around when they came towards me. Layla's brother, Jeremiah, approached me first, giving me a surprise hug from behind.
Then it was Charles' turn. Charles has an average Asian height. He was born in the Philipenes and was raised there until he started school. He's roughly four years older than me, but for some reason we managed to become friends and stayed friends; even after I started to have a crush on him. Most people think he's gay because he's "pretty" but, according to him, he's just down with whatever.
Layla gave me a hug and squeeled about being in LA and everything. And she kept going on about how crazy and annoying the people on the plane were, and how she was ALMOST willing to jump off the plane to get away from those people.
Then when it came to Nathan, it was awkward hi's and how are you's. Thank goodness, Romeo came at just the right time, his fan girls following close by taking pictures to post on their blogs.
"Hi," Romeo greeted. "You guys must be my Nahla's friends. I'm Romeo, Romeo de Luca."
"Nice to meet you, Romeo," Charles and Layla said together.
"Uh-hum," I interrupted. "Umm, should we go?" I asked, smiling. "Romeo has something to do later, so we won't be able to hang out much."
"Oh, no problem," Charles said quickly. "As long as we get to hang out SOME time."
We started walking towards the parking lot together, Romeo and me on the lead. Romeo took my hand in his almost automatically. I flashed my friends a quick smile, trying my hardest not to make eye contact with Nathan.
We went to a restaurant by their hotel. I kept close to Romeo and Charles, not knowing what to think of Layla and Nathan being together in LA. I smiled, still not wanting Romeo to know about my feelings about Nathan.
"So," Romeo started, "are you guys together? I thought Nahla said that her friends were single."
Charles looked at me and gave my hand a squeeze from under the table. I looked at panicked Layla, keeping the smile plated on my face.
"I guess they got together while I was gone," I said with a smile. "And they wanted it to be a surprise. If I had thought of that, I would have kept you a secret from them."
"i guess you moved on from Asian guys while you were in LA, Nahl," Nathan said. "You were never interested in Europeans before just recently."
"Well, you can't judge a person from their appearance or background, Nathan. Obviously, I made that mistake once and i'm not making it again."
Romeo looked at me, looking somewhat confused by what I had said.
I looked at my watch. Thank God, time was on my side. "Romeo, it's time to go," I said, getting up. "Charles, you're coming with us, right?"
"Yeah," Charles said, getting up next to me.
"It was nice to meet you guys," Romeo said, getting up at the same time as Charles.
Layla smiled and said bye while Nathan stayed still, looking at me with nothing less than hatred.
When we got to the studio, Romeo went to the photoshoot alone, letting me look around with Charles. We promised to meet at the lobby after two hours.
"Your boyfriend is too sweet," Charles said, linking our arms together. "Maybe if he was bi---."
"Charlsie!" I yelled a little too loud.
"Sorry, sorry. I was just saying." He sighed. "You know, about Layla and Nathan..."
"I really don't care, Charlesie," I said. "They can do what they want. And I'll do what I want."
"Yeah, but, Nathan was your everything."
"Key word is 'was', Charlesie."
"You know I'm proud of you, right, baby? But what you and Nathan had--- it's not something that can easily be thrown away. I'm not saying that you don't love Romeo, I'm just saying that you can't completely erase Nathan like you wanted."
"Charlsie, did you get dump by your boyfriend again?"
"No. We just can't be together. I think I'm sticking with girls. But I am serious, don't change the subject. Seryoso. Do you still have feelings for Nathan---- even just a tiny bit?"
"You're right. I can't erase Nathan completely. But, if he wants to start dating Layla, let him. That's what he wants and I guess that's what makes him happy."
"But you love Romeo?"
"I like Romeo. And I'm not letting him go. But, I can't let Nathan go completely either."
"Pag-ibig Masakit." (Love hurts)
"I love you Charles. Ako mahal ikaw." I gave Charles the biggest hug.
"Why can't it be me?" he asked, resting his chin on my shoulder. "I mean, you liked me four years ago. So, why can't it be me?"
"What are you talking about, Charles?"
"You liked me, but I had to go to college. I came back, and you were with Nathan. I waited after you two broke up, then after a year you're Romeo's girl. Are you not going to give me a chance?"
"You had girlfriends, too. And boyfriends. I got tired of waiting. You know how much I hate waiting. I waited for a long time for you, but then when I heard about your girlfriends and boyfriends, I thought it was time to give up and Nathan was there for me at that time. And then we became friends, and I don't want to ruin that."
Charles was my bestfriend and I didn't want to ruin our friendship. I used to want to be his girlfriend, but I gave up that thought after he started dating in college, and decided to be just his friend. We rely on each other too much, and I love him, I really do. But friendship is not something that I take lightly, I don't want to lose Charles to a type of relationship that I can't guarantee can last. I lost him once, and I don't want that to happen again.
Just as things were starting to work with Romeo, my ex and my first love showed up. Life is not easy, love life is obviously not easy.