Natalia managed to keep away from Dallas for almost all of two weeks. Every morning she would be out before he could catch her, and in the evenings she would lock herself in her room, only coming out for dinner or the bathroom.
Natalia came home Wednesday after noon. It had been almost a week since the incident, and she had not seen any sign of Dallas. He was far from her mind, since she had been talking to Raine in biology class, he had been asking her about the homework questions on homeostasis. Natalia had been surprised that he had asked her, since his girlfriend, Marissa, was in the same class. It had been an awkward conversation, since every time Natalia looked over Raine’s shoulder, Marissa was glaring at her. If looks could kill, that may have knocked me out, Natalia thought as she walked downstairs with her mp3 player in hand.
The house was silent. Natalia thought she was home alone since she hadn’t seen any cars in the driveway, so she went to the kitchen to prepare something to eat. Natalia set her mp3 player to the song she wanted to listen to and began looking through the kitchen in hopes of finding something she would have liked to eat.
Dallas sat upstairs in his room, the door was closed. He had been catching up on some reading when he heard it. There was noise downstairs. I must have dozed off, he thought. He couldn’t recall hearing the door open or shut. He decided to go see what was going on downstairs.
Dallas walked down the stairs slowly and quietly. As he peered over the railing he saw her. Natalia was singing along to a song. Dallas stood there and watched as an unaware Natalia sung along to The Veronicas. “Come on baby we ain’t gonna live forever. Let me show you all the things that we could do. You know you want to be together, and I wanna spend the night with you. Yea, yea. With you. Yea, yea. Come with me tonight; we can make the night last forever.” She sang the chorus as the song apparently ended.
Dallas was captivated to say the least. He stood frozen on the stairs watching her as she sang to the next song. She was singing in such an animated fashion, it fascinated Dallas. He just couldn’t look away. She was completely unguarded, like she had no care in the world. Watching Natalia, Dallas remembered the child she used to be. When he would come over to play with Derek, she would always sit on a couch and watch them in interest. How odd it was, with the roles reversed.
She was now singing another song. Dallas walked quietly down the remaining stairs so he could hear her voice more clearly. She was singing some Girls Aloud song. “And only love can save us now, I need here you here again to show me how, oh oh…I know that love shouldn’t be so hard and sometimes we’re standing in the dark. But you light up, everywhere I go…” He watched Natalia finish singing the chorus before turning off her mp3 player. She left it on the counter as she took her plate to the living room and sat down to eat.
The devilish side of Dallas wanted to go and see her, just to see the expression on her face when she found out that he had heard her. The other part wanted to wait quietly to see if she would sing again. After having to put up with her snide comments, it was obvious what Dallas was about to do. He ran a hand through his hair, and silently walked into the hall. Checking his reflection in the coat closet mirror, he walked in to the living room chuckling.
Natalia had just settled on her favourite couch, and taken a bite out of her chicken salad sandwich when she heard it. Someone was chuckling. The source walked in much to Natalia’s horror.
Dallas walked into the living room, as Natalia scrambled to wipe the look of shock from her face. “You have a pleasant singing voice.” He said to her, as he sat down. This time, there was no masking the look on Natalia’s face. She was terrified. How much had he heard? Redness crept up into her cheeks. She felt completely embarrassed.
“I didn’t know you were home.” She stuttered, trying to change the subject. “I came home early because Derek needed the car. His went to the shop… something about sludge in the engine.” Dallas told her. Natalia fought the urge to run, but soon she lost.
“I think I’m going to go study upstairs.” She told Dallas and she bolted up to her room, the plate of food in her hand.
After that encounter, Natalia made sure not to give Dallas any reason to speak to her. Even Derek had seen very little of his sister.
“Is Lia home?” Derek asked Dallas, one evening. “Yea, I think so.” Dallas replied. “I haven’t seen her around.” Derek complained. “Neither have I.” Dallas told him. “That’s strange…you know…she’s probably avoiding you.” Derek told him.
The two of them had been sitting in the basement; they both were going to go out to play a game of soccer. Dallas was a little stunned when Derek told him this.
“Why would she be avoiding me?” Dallas asked carefully. “You don’t want to know.” Derek taunted him. “Well you can’t just say something like that and not expect me to be curious. Tell me why she’s avoiding me.” Dallas demanded. “She’s going to kill me if she finds out I told you.” Derek told him. “I’m going to kill you, if you don’t tell me.” Dallas told him. They were silent for a minute.
“Derek, you can’t do this to me. Leave me dangling by a thread. I want to know why she’s avoiding me. Tell me.” Dallas demanded rather impatiently. “Remember that soccer ball you gave her?” Derek asked him. “Yea, what about it?” Dallas asked, he didn’t understand why Derek was asking him. “She still has it.” Derek told him. “So?” Dallas asked, what did any of this have to do with why Natalia was avoiding him?
Derek sighed. “She used to have a crush on you.” He told his friend bluntly. “What!” Dallas was stunned. “Hold on what do you mean used to?” Dallas asked. “I mean as in she doesn’t anymore. She was hurt when you stopped playing…she used to go on to the UOC website to see replays of your games. She was really upset when you quit. Nowadays she has some foolish crush on Raine Adams.” Derek told him, he sounded a little disappointed. “You don’t sound too happy.” Dallas noted. “The guy is an arrogant jerk. He thinks he can buy his way into playing for the local soccer team.” Derek complained. “Wait, I thought he was a runner?” Dallas asked in confusion. “He is, he just wants to prove he can own everything. He’s not right for Natalia…he’s too slick and she wouldn’t know how to deal with him.” Derek voiced his concerns.
It became silent in the room again. “Why don’t you tell her?” Dallas asked, carefully. “I have…she’s just too stubborn to listen. Anyway now you know why she avoids you.” Derek told Dallas. “Thanks.” Dallas told him. “Yea, yea.” They both left to play.
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