Dallas sat on the couch, drinking his hot chocolate. By the time he had come in from shovelling snow, Natalia had gone upstairs and left hot chocolate on the counter for him. Dallas was thinking about her as he sat on the couch facing the backyard glass doors.
She had willingly come to him. At least he thought so. It was the first time since he had gotten back that Natalia had kissed him…without him prompting her. It was like all the pieces of the puzzle were coming together. Not since his first week, could he remember her turning to him. A part of him wanted to know whether or not she felt anything for him, but a bigger part did not want to know…what if she still hates me, he thought. Why would she kiss me if she hates me…it was probably just a spur of the moment thing…Dallas tried to rationalize. He didn’t want his hopes to be dashed.
Dallas stared out to see the snow angel. She had been happy whipping snowballs at him. She had looked serene as she lay in the snow, flailing her arms making the angel. She was an angel. She looked beautiful, Dallas thought as he sipped his drink. She always looked gorgeous…regardless of what she was wearing. Dallas was lost in his own thoughts.
Dallas’ thoughts were startled as Derek came upstairs. “Are you ready?” Derek asked him. Dallas shook his head to clear his thoughts. “Yea.” Dallas replied. “Where’s Lia?” Derek asked. “No idea.” Dallas told him, finishing his drink. Dallas got up and put his cup in the sink. “Go get her.” Derek told him. “I’ll get the car started.”
Derek grabbed his jacket and put on his shoes before leaving. A blast of cold air met Dallas, as he headed up the stairs.
“Lia? Are you ready?” Dallas asked as he knocked on the door.
“Lia? Are you ready?” Natalia heard Dallas ask from the other side of the door. She had changed her pants. Her other pair had been completely soaked through from the snow.
She was wearing a blue tight knit sweater and pair of black bell bottom jeans. “Yea, I’m ready.” She called as she pulled on her socks. Dallas peered through the door. “Let’s go, Derek’s waiting in the car.” Dallas told her. “I’m coming. Do I look alright?” She asked as she tied her hair up loosely.
“You look gorgeous.” Dallas said to her. Natalia could feel the heat creeping up on to her cheeks. She had dressed simply, but the way he was looking at her…it was as though she had put on a gown. “Thanks.” She muttered as she walked past him.
They walked down the stairs in silence. Natalia grabbed one of her other jackets, one that wasn’t soaked right through. Dallas followed her out of the door.
As the three of them drove through the street, Derek spoke. “So where do you want to eat?” He asked. “Pickle Barrel.” Natalia called from the back seat. “No, I think we should go to Boston Pizza.” Dallas told them. “No, let’s go to the Pickle Barrel. I’m dying for some avocado spring rolls.” Natalia said slightly forcefully.
She could hear Dallas and Derek sigh. “How about I pick a number from one to ten, and both of you have one chance to guess the number.” Derek suggested. Natalia sighed. “Fine…” She said.
“Okay, Dallas guess the number.” Derek said, after a moment. “Hmm…three.” Dallas told him. “Natalia?” Derek asked her. “Seven.” Natalia called out from the back seat. “The answer was nine.” Derek laughed. “So I guess I win!” Cheered Natalia. Dallas groaned. “Don’t be a sore loser Dallas.” Natalia poked his shoulder from where she was sitting. Dallas kept quiet.
The hostess led them to their seats. Dallas noticed that Natalia chose the seat closest to the window. They all waited for the waitress.
Dallas looked through the menu. He had no idea what he would order. He peered over his menu to glance at Natalia. He smiled, she had flipped straight to the desserts.
“Good evening. I’m your waitress for tonight. Are you ready to order?” The voice had startled Dallas. He saw Derek, and Natalia look up; soon he too looked at who was going to be serving them.
“Derek? Dallas? Wow, it’s so nice to see you two!” The girl exclaimed. Dallas looked closely, and then grinned. It was Mollie, she had been in the same class as both Derek and Dallas in high school. They had graduated together. “How are you two?” Mollie gushed.
“We’re fine.” Derek told her with a smile. Dallas looked up to see Mollie staring intently at him. “Dallas you look great, I didn’t know you were coming home.” Mollie told him.
Natalia watched as the waitress flirted with Dallas. Derek had brushed off her advances, but Dallas was just sitting there…absorbing it all. Natalia watched as Dallas answered the waitress’ questions. He’s actually enjoying it…Natalia thought with annoyance.
Natalia noticed her jaw was clenched. Why should I care if she likes him? Natalia wondered. It’s not like I like him…right, she tried to convince herself. It wasn’t working. “So Dallas, what have you been up to?” Natalia heard the girl ask. Natalia didn’t bother to hear the answer.
Natalia looked over to Derek and got his attention. “I’m going to go wash my hands.” Natalia told him quietly. She had gotten up and was standing next to her brother. “Oh, is that your girlfriend Derek?” the girl asked, noticing Natalia rather late. Natalia couldn’t help but look disgusted. “Nope, that’s my sister.” Derek told the girl. Derek’s expression mirrored that of Natalia’s. Dallas was sniggering quietly. “Oh…sorry…” The girl muttered she looked embarrassed.
“Shut up.” Derek said to Dallas, Natalia watched as he lightly punched Dallas. Natalia couldn’t stand the presence of the waitress any longer. She was boldly touching Dallas on the shoulder, saying something, as Natalia left.
Once in the bathroom, Natalia noticed that it was empty. Walking over to one of the sinks, Natalia opened the faucet. The cold water splashed onto her hands. It was soothing. She washed her hands. Natalia looked into the mirror. Her face looked a little pink, probably flushed from embarrassment. She bent lower, and splashed the cold water over her face.
Natalia looked in to the mirror after drying her face. The pink had faded from her cheeks. She took a few deep breaths to calm herself, before walking back to the table.
“So Dallas, we should hang out sometime.” Mollie told Dallas. Dallas nodded, not saying anything. He looked up and saw Natalia returning to the table. Where did she go? He wondered.
“So are you guys ready to order?” Mollie asked the three of them. Dallas saw Natalia glaring at Mollie. What’s that about? He thought to himself. Derek gave Mollie their order for appetizers and dinner.
When the food arrived, Dallas noticed that Natalia was quiet. Derek and Dallas were the only ones talking. “What’s up Lia?” Derek asked. “Nothing.” She said avoiding Dallas’ stare. Dallas watched Natalia pick through her food.
The girl’s name was Mollie. Derek had been chatting to Dallas about high school, and how Mollie had liked one of their other friends. I don’t care what her name is, Natalia thought callously.
Mollie had brought their desserts a few minutes ago. Natalia was making headway on her chocolate cake. It was luscious. Natalia hadn’t paid very much attention to the conversation between Derek and Dallas. She had been monitoring her feelings when Mollie would make her appearance and hit on Dallas.
There is no way I’m jealous…I don’t like Dallas…at least I don’t think I do…Natalia thought to herself. It was all too confusing for her. She would try to put it to the back of her mind…but of course the kiss would come up. It was hard not to think about it. The way Dallas had looked with the snow falling on and around them.
I don’t like him…I won’t like him…Natalia argued with herself. He was there for me…when Raine…still this is too hard to deal with…Natalia thought as she ate another bit of the chocolate cake.
Soon enough they had finished their desserts. The three of them waited for the cheque. Mollie came to them with the folder containing the cheque. Derek took it as she placed it on the table, he paid the amount. She left with the folder.
As they got up to put on their jackets, Natalia saw Mollie coming back. Dallas was looking at her with wonder. Natalia couldn’t help but feel annoyed. She muffled a sigh. Guys, they always go for every girl that pays them any attention…she thought darkly.
Dallas noticed Natalia watching Mollie come back towards them. Natalia didn’t seem thrilled. Then again, if someone thought I was my sister’s boyfriend, I wouldn’t be fond of them either, he thought.
“Dallas, before you go…” Mollie started to say. She pulled a small piece of paper from her shirt pocket. “Call me when you’re free. I’d love to hang out with you.” She said walking close to him. Dallas didn’t know what to say. She placed the paper in his hand; her hand closed his over the paper. “Umm…sure.” He mumbled. Mollie leaned in to give him a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll be waiting for your call.” She told him in a whisper, with that she left Dallas in shock.
“Call me when you’re free. I’d love to hang out with you.” Mollie said walking close to Dallas, much to Natalia’s distaste. “Umm…sure.” Dallas told Mollie, Natalia could feel her blood boiling. Mollie gave him a kiss on the cheek. “I’ll be waiting for your call.” Mollie said quietly to Dallas. Natalia could feel herself seething.
Natalia was glad to see Mollie go. Urgh…which planet did she come from…Natalia thought with irritation. “Ready to go Lia?” she heard Derek’s voice call her. Natalia wiped all expression from her face, turning to face Derek and Dallas. ‘Yea. I’m ready.” She told her older brother.
They left the restaurant together. The drive home was a silent one. No one spoke. Natalia watched as the streetlights passed by her window. She felt stupid for letting Dallas get close to her. She was going to rectify her mistake. She was going to make sure of it…no longer does he exist in my world, she thought. Her mind was made up.
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