Natalia went through the next week ignoring Dallas, snubbing him at every turn. “Good morning Natalia!” Dallas would say to her. “It would have been a good morning had you not decided to live here.” She would tell him, before grabbing her lunch and leaving for school. There was no way she was going to let him interfere in her life. She had a plan and he wasn’t going to wreck it.
Natalia had her heart set on going to the University of Western Ontario. It was her first and only choice. She was not going to settle for any less. She had even decided which program she would take. Her heart was set on studying film; she loved videography and enoyed the filming and editing aspect of it. Just in case she didn't get in to that program, Natalia had made sure to study science.
Natalia was in her room studying on a Monday night. She had a math test the next afternoon. Calculus may not have been one of her favourite subjects, but it was necessary. She hadn’t gotten much done during her lunch period. Instead of doing the homework problems, she had been listening to her friends, who had spent the time chatting. Apparently the whole school had witnessed one of the ‘Mean Girls’ dumping their boyfriends. Natalia’s friends hadn’t stopped talking about it. Both Clara and Dawn had spent the hour and fifteen minutes boring Natalia, Andre, Taylor, and Steven to death.
Natalia lay on her stomach as she read her text book. Her mind wandered to what she and her friends would be doing tomorrow at lunch. She just hoped she wouldn’t have to hear any more babble about who dumped who and for what reason. Lately some of her girl friends had gotten a little obsessive about getting dates for the winter dance. Which is kind of stupid considering it’s in December, which is months away, she thought to herself.
Although Natalia never said it, she wanted to go to the winter dance with a date. She just wasn’t as obsessed about it as her friends were. Apparently her lack of interest in guys had given her the nick name of ‘Ice Queen’ among some of the students in her year. Or maybe it was the fact she had turned down a few boys who had asked her out.
The actual reason for her lack of interest was that the particular guy she would have liked to go out with…was dating one of the ‘Mean Girls’…in particular one of the main girls that had something against her.
Marissa Lockhead…Natalia had always had at least one class with her every year. Marissa was a blond girl with big blue eyes. Natalia didn’t have anything against her at the beginning. It was when the two of them were in the same Communication Technology class last year, that Natalia couldn’t stand her. The class had been given an assignment which required each student to form a group, and film a public service announcement, Natalia and her group had gotten the topic of Teenage Depression. The part that irked Natalia was that Marissa didn’t even film her own announcement. Her group had paid off a professional videographer to do the work. In the end Natalia’s group had gotten the award for the best announcement. After that whenever Natalia had class with Marissa, she could feel ice radiating towards her from the other girl.
Natalia put the thoughts out of her mind. She needed to concentrate on these questions so that she could ace the test tomorrow. Distractions were going to ruin her marks…and her plan.
At last she had settled her mind back into studying, when Natalia was interrupted once more. There was a knock on her door. Natalia looked over at the clock on her bedside table. It was almost one in the morning. Who would be knocking on her room door at this hour? She wondered with irritation.
Natalia walked to her door and opened it. Much to her distaste; Dallas stood in front of her looking sheepish. His blue flannel night shirt was open and she could see his tight black t-shirt showing off his muscular features. She tried not to notice. “What do you want?” She asked, annoyed. “I noticed your light on…I wanted to get some water…and I was wondering which cupboard the glasses are in…I couldn’t seem to find any.” He told her. Natalia sighed; she tried to mask her irritation.
“I’ll get you a glass.” She told him. Natalia walked down the stairs and saw that Dallas had followed her. “I could have just brought you the glass.” She told him. “It’s okay…I just want to know where the glasses are…so that next time I don’t bother you.” He told her. He was standing on the rug in the television area across from the kitchen counter. He leaned against the wall.
Natalia shook her head in disbelief. Did he really expect her to believe that he wasn’t trying to get on her nerves? She looked around the cupboards and couldn’t find the glasses. She turned to see that the dish washer was running. Go figure, she thought. Instead she went into the pantry and got a large plastic cup, which she then filled with cold water.
As Natalia headed towards Dallas, her foot got caught on the rug and she tripped. The plastic cup lay askew. The water had spilled on to the rug, darkening the green colour where it had spilled. Yet Dallas had been quick and had caught Natalia.
Natalia looked up at him, only to find his eyes mesmerising. His face was close to hers. “Thanks.” She muttered. “Anytime.” He told her quietly. Before she knew it, before she could stop herself, she had leaned in. Dallas’ warm lips met hers. She felt Dallas’s arms wrap around her waist. Her own arms made their way around his neck. It was like her arms had wrapped themselves around him of their own accord.
Natalia couldn’t comprehend the rush of energy inside her. The sensations that were going through her mind were making it hard to think. He was like a magnetic drawing her to him. She just couldn’t seem to pull away. She wouldn’t have even if she wanted to.
Suddenly her mind snapped back to reality. What if Derek or her parents had heard the commotion and were coming to see what had happened? They would both be in trouble. Everything clicked in her mind. It was like an alarm went off. Natalia’s eyes widened with fear. She pushed Dallas roughly against a wall, away from her.
“What?” Dallas asked in confusion. “You know what!” Natalia told him. She blew out an explosive breath, and ran a hand through her hair. Thinking quickly, she spoke. “You can’t just go around kissing people. You’re lucky no one woke up.” Natalia told him rather harshly, her arms crossed in front of her. Dallas’ puzzled expression left, as he understood what she meant. It gave Natalia the chance to bolt up the stairs. She had no idea how to deal with the mixture of feelings that had started to whirl in her head.
Dallas stood on the rug, leaning against the wall. He was breathing deeply. That had been intense. He had never had such a surge of electricity pass through him, as he had when he and Natalia had kissed just a few moments ago. Nothing in the world could have prepared him for that.
She had to have felt something; why else would she have panicked and run away. Of course, they could have been in trouble…luckily neither Derek nor her parents had walked in on them.
He looked around to see where the plastic cup had landed. It was near his feet, so he picked it up. The rug had soaked up the water. It would dry by morning. Now all he had to think was how to get Natalia to come around.
Natalia reached her room and closed the door quietly. She leaned against the door and breathed in deeply. That moment had been and explosion of energy for her. That can’t be good, she thought to herself. It frightened her that she hadn’t stopped herself. She couldn’t, she wouldn’t deal with these feelings. There was no way she could risk liking him. He was a player, he was not her type…He’s just given me my first kiss…she thought.
Snap out of it, the more I like him, the worse it is for me, Natalia berated herself. I will not like him, she silently steeled herself. From now on Dallas doesn’t exist in my world, she promised herself. She now knew if there was one person who could bring about her downfall. It would be Dallas.
Dallas woke up early the next morning. He was hoping to catch Natalia before she left for school. He wanted to straighten things out so that there wouldn’t be any awkwardness between them. If Dallas was honest with himself, he just wanted to see Natalia. That was all.
Dallas ate his breakfast waiting for Natalia. In the mean time Derek came up from the basement. “Good morning.” Derek said to his best friend. “Good morning.” Dallas replied. “Going to school?” Derek asked. He seemed surprised to see Dallas up early. “Yea I have class at nine.” Dallas told him. “So why are you up at seven?” Derek asked. “Did Natalia mess with your alarm clock?” Derek asked; without giving Dallas a chance to answer the first question. “No, she doesn’t come near me. It’s like I have the plague.” He told Derek.
At this Derek laughed. “Okay so why are you up? Knowing you, you would rather sleep till 8:59 and get to class in the minute you had left.” Derek said to his friend. “I needed a new routine?” Dallas said a little nervously. “Uh huh? I don’t believe any of it. Anyway I have to run, we’ll catch up later. If you want, we can watch a movie or do something.” Derek said as he quickly left. “Yea, sure.” Dallas called after him.
Dallas breathed a sigh of relief once the front door slammed shut. That had been close. Dallas didn’t want to find out what would happen if Derek found out about the night before. Dallas was sure of one thing; he did not want to be one the receiving end of Derek’s punch.
Dallas sat a while longer. Still there was no sign of Natalia. When Mrs. Williams came downstairs, Dallas decided to speak up. “Isn’t Natalia late?” He asked after greeting the older woman. Derek’s mother laughed. “She has a math test this afternoon. She asked her father to drop her off early. She was out the door before seven.” Mrs. Williams told a stunned Dallas. “Wow…I wish I studied like that in high school.” Dallas said in amazement. The older woman chuckled upon hearing this. He decided to leave for school shortly after. There was no point in lingering around if Natalia was long gone.
Natalia sat in the library reading the comics section of the newspaper. She had just written her calculus test. She only had one more class left before going home. As she tried to read, her mind kept wandering to the events of last night. It was going to be hard avoiding someone who lived in the same house. A sigh of exasperation escaped from Natalia’s lips.
“What’s wrong?” Dawn asked. Natalia had forgotten who she was sitting with. Dawn was the most inquisitive from all of Natalia’s friends, there was no getting by her. Natalia quickly thought of an excuse.
“Tired, I stayed up late studying for the calculus test.” She told Dawn. “Really? I didn’t even finish reading the notes on limits. I was out like a light way before that topic came up. I’m glad the test didn’t focus on those.” Dawn told her chirpily. “Yea? I was just a little distracted. Every time I tried studying, something would come up, and of course stupid Dallas came to ask where the glasses were. Urgh!” Natalia had forgotten not to mention Dallas.
She glanced at Dawn and Clara. Their eyes looked ready to pop out. “What? Dallas wanted water and he had no idea where the glasses were…and of course I got stuck helping him.” Natalia told them quickly. Now even the guys were listening.
“Wait, you never told us that Dallas Owen was staying with you.” Clara said. “The Dallas Owen? You mean the soccer player that graduated from our school?” Dawn shrieked. One of the guys was about to say something when Natalia spoke up. “It’s not such a big deal. He and Derek have been best friends since they were little.” Natalia tried to explain. “Calm down. It’s not exciting having to live with him.” She told them both. “Calm down! Natalia? Do you know that you have two of the neighbourhood’s hottest guys living with you?” Clara said in a factual tone. “Are you kidding me? If Dallas is one, who’s the other?” Natalia asked before it dawned on her what Clara had meant. “Oh! Eww…are you talking about my brother? Yuck…are you guys kidding me? Dallas is not hot. Okay? And secondly stop drooling over my brother. ” Natalia said in disgust. “Seriously, you two need to chill out. It’s not at all like you two to be going boy crazy. I’m tired of hearing you both go on and on about them.” She told them both.
It was as though Dawn and Clara had completely ignored her. “You must be oblivious, Natalia. I mean Dallas is pretty good looking. His light brown eyes...that smile...Maybe one of us should ask him to the winter semi-formal?” Dawn wondered, out loud. Natalia had had enough. “No one is asking Dallas. And none of you better go after my brother. Got it?” Natalia told her friends with finality.
“Why? Are you planning on asking Dallas?” Clara asked. Natalia almost choked. “No, I’m not. You both are really creeping me out. So I’m going to leave now.” Natalia told them. “And no guys, I’m not getting you an autograph! He’s not even famous.” She added, glancing towards the guys. “Not yet…” Andre muttered. “Not ever…” Natalia shot back. “As in never.” She told the guys. They looked guilty. She got up and grabbed her back pack and books and hurried out of the library. This discussion wasn’t helping her get rid of the thoughts and ideas her mind was producing.
Natalia quickly shot down her thoughts. There is no way I am going to the winter semi with Dallas, she thought. She was walking hurriedly to her next class, when she bumped into someone. All of her books fell from her hands.
“Sorry.” She muttered. She bent down to pick up her books. She saw the person she had walked into was picking up the last of her books. “Here you go.” He told her. Natalia looked up. It was Raine Adams. “Thanks Raine.” She told him, she could feel the heat rising to her face.
Raine Adams, was the school track star. He was currently dating one of the ‘Mean Girls’...Marissa Lockhead. He was also the guy Natalia had had a crush on. She had no idea why she even liked him. He had jet black hair, which he spiked at the front, and ice blue eyes. He was always wearing clean cut pants and shirts; she had never seen his clothes wrinkled.
Natalia took the book from his outstretched hand. Raine stood up, but before he left he said one last thing. “See you biology?” Natalia looked up. “Yea.” She told him. He left with one last smile.
Natalia gathered her stuff and walked happily towards her class. Dallas was now the last thing on her mind.
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