Chapter Twenty: Memory Of You
March break had been going slowly. Slower than Natalia had expected. She had been at her cousin, Matthew's, house for four days. Vacation was almost over but it seemed to be taking longer than usual to finish. Not only that, but Natalia hadn't been able to get her mind off of Dallas.
It infuriated her that everytime she was alone, not doing anything, or just laying in her bed waiting for sleep to come to her; all she could think of was Dallas. I hate him, Natalia thought angrily.
Natalia was waiting for Matthew, on the porch, they were going to go to the mall. Everything reminded her of Dallas, all the more upsetting her. When ever she thought of him, there was always one after thought that followed. Mollie, Natalia thought, she was not enjoying her day at all.
He can have her, she thought with more pent up anger. She hadn't thought that Dallas would do that to her. He had helped her out, she had even given in to his goodbye kiss routine. How was it that he would tell her to come to the party, and end up making out with some other girl. Typical, Natalia thought. A sigh escaped from her. I should give up liking him, Natalia told herself. Stupid, stupid me...she berated herself.
“Ready, Lia?” Matthew asked. Natalia shoved the thoughts away from her mind. She looked up at her cousin. “Yea, so how are we going to get there?” Natalia asked with a little curiousity. She saw the grin grow on her cousin's face.
Matthew Williams was the same age as Natalia. He was the second oldest child of her uncle's. His father and Natalia's father were brothers. His father was older. Like Natalia, Matthew had blue eyes. Unlike her, he had blond hair. Natalia was only a few days younger than him.
Since they were little, Natalia and Matthew had been close. They had always gotten in to trouble as children.
“I managed to convince my mom to let me take her car.” Matthew grinned. Natalia laughed. “She willingly gave it to you?” Natalia asked. “No, it took a little convincing.” He told her. “Yea, a little?” Natalia scoffed. “I promised her I would bring you and the car back in one peice.” He told her. Natalia shook her head in disbelief. They walked over to the Dodge Magnum, and got in. Soon they were off to the mall.
Dallas sulked about the house. Nothing could take his mind of Natalia. I should have just asked her out, I wouldn't be in this mess had I just said yes it was a date, Dallas thought sullenly.
He was sitting on the couch with the television on. He had no idea what was being said on the program he had tuned the televison to. The whole time Natalia had been gone, Dallas had been trying to call her.
It had happened by accident, actually, Dallas had called Derek on his cell phone. No one had picked up. Dallas had found that to be weird. Derek had never ignored his calls. When Derek had come home, Dallas had asked him why he hadn't picked up. “Natalia has my phone, genius.” Derek had told him, with a knowing glance. “No wonder she didn't pick up...” Dallas had muttered.
Since that day, Dallas had lost count. He didn't know how many times he had called her. Each time no one answered. It was frustrating. He had even left a message. He was running out of ideas, he didn't know how to get her attention. At this point he would have done anything to please her.
The front door opened, it was Derek coming home from work. Dallas waited for his friend to wash up and come to the living room.
“Hey, what are you watching?” Derek asked as he sat down on one of the couches. “To tell you the truth, I have no idea.” Dallas told him.
They both stared at the program. Night had fallen, Dallas noticed, as he glanced out of the windows.
“So what did you do today?” Derek asked. “Nothing.” Dallas told him, dolefully. “Nothing?” Derek asked, seeming surprised. “Not a thing.” Dallas emphasized.
“Want to watch a movie?” His best friend asked. Dallas sighed, audibly. “Sure.” He agreed. Not like there's much else I can do, he thought to himself.
Derek grabbed some food and led the way to the basement. Dallas followed suit.
Once seated, Dallas stared blankly at the screen. Derek had put in 'The International' for them to watch. Dallas wasn't interested. He couldn't even feign interest. Derek ate as they quietly watched the movie.
It was forty five minutes later that Derek stopped the movie. Dallas looked at him. “What's wrong?” He asked in confusion. “You're not even paying attention.” Derek told him. “I am!” Dallas protested. “Okay, what's happened so far?” Dallas was stumped. “I told you.” Derek said to him. “You've been staring at the carpet for the longest time. What's going on?” Derek asked.
“It's nothing.” Dallas said, evasively. “Really? Then why did Natalia leave the club so suddenly? Why has she been sniping at you?” Derek asked.
Dallas closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them, he turned to his best friend. “I really screwed up.” He told Derek. “Yea? How so?” Derek asked.
“I asked Natalia to come to the party. I didn't think she would come...and the next thing I know; Mollie kisses me and Natalia is right there and she storms away. She didn't even let me explain. It's not like I planned for Mollie to come on to me.” Dallas told him, venting out his frustration.
“You asked Natalia to come? Like as in a date?” Derek asked. Dallas shook his head. “I said, it was kind of like one...but not really...I don't know. I told her I wanted her to come. I really didn't expect her to show up.” Dallas mumbled. “You idiot.” Derek told him. “Dallas, you should have told her it was a date, and you should have figured Natalia out by now.” Derek told him.
“How? She so freaking complicated.” Dallas said trying to defend himself. Derek looked at him with one eyebrow raised. “Are you kidding me?” He told Dallas. “I'm not her brother, I wouldn't know how the gears in her mind turned.” Dallas snapped.
“Let me tell you something.” Derek started. “Natalia only gives you the cold shoulder and the insults because she's scared.” “Of what? That I'll forget to pick her up from school?” Dallas scoffed. “Liking you too much. You dolt.” Derek told him, shaking his head. Dallas was stunned upon hearing this.
“She gave you the cold shoulder in the winter, becuase she thought you liked Mollie.” Derek told him. “She insults you, and doesn't answer your calls; becuase she thinks that you have Mollie.” Derek continued. “Each time she sees her feelings about to be walked on, she becomes cold and distant becuase she doesn't want to get hurt. Don't you see that?” Derek asked.
Dallas couldn't believe what he was hearing. “I don't like Mollie, in fact I never liked her.” He said. “That's not what it looks like to her.” Derek informed him. “The party only confirmed her fears, that you were with Mollie.” He said knowingly. Dallas mulled this over. “Each time she finds you with some one else, it gives her an excuse. She likes you so much, that it scares her. I think she's frightened that you'd never stay with her becuase she's not like the girls you've been known to date.”
“I want Natalia, I don't care for any one else except her.” Dallas admitted quietly. “She's all I want, I don't want anything or anyone else. Just her.” He told his friend.
“Don't tell me that...believe me...I don't know how much more I can handle...” Derek said, trying to lighten the mood. Dallas saw the grin fade from Derek's face. He looked a little serious. “The thing is, Dallas, you can sit here and tell me how much you like her and it won't make a difference. You need to prove it to Natalia.”
Natalia was still mad at Dallas for kissing Mollie. She was standing at the mall waiting outside of Ardene, Clara and Dawn were taking their sweet time. Natalia watched as Dallas walked in with Mollie.
All the hurt she had been trying to push away, bubbled up. She looked away hoping that Dallas wouldn't notice her. It was too late, he had seen Natalia. As Dallas and Mollie came over, it was that very moment that Clara and Dawn had stepped out of the store with their purchases. Natalia cursed their timing, had they come out earlier she wouldn't have to face him.
Clara and Dawn both greeted Dallas with cheery voices. “Hey Dallas!” They chirped. Dallas hugged both of her friends, returning the greeting. As he pulled away, Natalia saw him look over to her. There was no emotion in his eyes. Natalia didn't say anything. When Dallas walked away with Mollie, Natalia could feel the hurt peircing her heart. He hadn't said one word to her.
“Come on, Natalia!” Clara and Dawn called her from where they stood. They had already started walking to the next store. Natalia walked quickly to join them. The other two girls walked in to Second Cup for a coffee. Natalia waited outside, she had never like the taste of that stuff.
She stood outside waiting for them, mulling over what had just happened. It was all of a sudden that Natalia found somebody's arms wrapped around her. They were holding her close to a warm body. Natalia turned her face, to see Dallas staring down at her. “You didn't think I would leave without giving you a hug, did you?” He said, smiling down at her. Her turned her to face him.
Natalia could feel confusion rising in her. “You're with Mollie. Why are you here, Dallas?” She asked him. Natalia couldn't make up her mind whether or not to pull away from him. Dallas didn't give her any answer. Natalia put her hadn firmly on his chest, getting ready to push him away from her. It was then she heard him mumble. “I miss you.” He said to her softly. Natalia was caught off gaurd, he had rendered her helpless.
Her hand rested on his chest, she looked away. Why is he doing this to me? She wondered miserably. Dallas put a hand under her chin, making her face him. Each time he turned her to him, Natalia faced the other way. When he had finally gotten her to face him, Natalia could feel tears streaming down her face. Where had they come from? She had wanted to ask.
The hurt and confusion was rising up, she wanted to run. Dallas holding her, wasn't helping her at all. All he was doing was making those feelings stronger. There was another feeling that was adding to the confusion.
Attraction. Natalia couldn't help but feel drawn to him. Like a bee to flower, she couldn't stay away.
Natalia could feel his eyes on her, and soon as she looked up into his eyes, she lost all of her thoughts. He bent down to bring his face closer to hers. “I'm sorry.” He whispered, into her ear. Natalia couldn't string together a proper response.
He drew her closer, their noses touching. Soon enough, Natalia could feel his warm breath on her face, as Dallas pulled her in. His lips brushed against hers, as he slowly kissed her. She knew right then and there she had lost the battle.
“Natalia!” Natalia heard her name being called. She was unable to pull away. “Natalia!” Natalia blinked. “Wake up!”
Natalia opened her eyes. The familliar voice had been Matthew's. She groaned, pulling a pillow over her face. “Come on sleepy head, let's go have some fun!” Her cousin said, peering at her from over the top bunk. “Okay, fine.” She muttered, throwing the pillow at him. “That hurt!” He complained.
Natalia gave him a sour look. He had woken her up from a very interesting dream.
“So who's Dallas?” Matthew piped up. Natalia was more than just shocked, she was horrified. “Wow, Lia. You got it bad!” He sang with delight. “Shut up!” She said, throwing another pillow at him. “You like him!” Matthew carried on, the pillow missing him. “I will punch you...right in the face.” Natalia told him vicously. “Oh...I'm so scared!” Matthew laughed. Natalia sighed, there was no point in denying it now.
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