Chapter Thirty Three- About A Boy
Natalia had spent the week looking for the perfect gift. Dallas's birthday was the next day and luckily she had found him something that she hoped he would like.
All she had to do was go after school and pick it up. It was as simple as that, Natalia thought as she headed in to the library. There was just one more thing she needed to do...
“Owen! Happy Birthday!” The coach said before practice started.
Dallas groaned. Several guys gave him his birthday beats. He could feel his arms bruising. At this rate I'm going to be finished, He thought as everyone started to settle down.
“Alright men, start with warm ups. Then do your laps. I'll divide you and then we'll play on the field.” The coach told them.
Dallas couldn't help but groan once more. Today was going to be a long day. He wasn't going to be seeing Natalia anytime soon. For some reason she was going out with her friends to watch some movie. Why did she have to choose today? Dallas wondered.
It meant Dallas wouldn't be picking her up from school. Dallas put the thought to the back of his mind and got started on the task at hand.
“So where am I driving you?” Taylor asked. Natalia walked with him to his car.
“You're taking me to the mall. I have to pick some stuff up.” Natalia told him. “We'll catch a movie later.” She added. He unlocked the doors. They both sat inside.
“What stuff?” Taylor asked. “Dallas's gift.” Natalia told him, as he started the car.
“Oh...no wonder you wouldn't tell me in front of Clara and Dawn.” Taylor finally understood. Natalia had glared at him when he had asked her at lunch.
“You think?” Natalia said to him, sounding exasperated.
“So what did you get him?” Taylor asked, pulling out of the school parking lot.
Natalia shook her head. “You'll see.” She said, as they drove in the direction of the mall.
“Okay... so...which movie?” Taylor asked. Natalia sighed. “Take your pick.”
“Happy Birthday, Dallas!” Mrs. Williams said as Dallas entered and sat down at the dining table. Both she and her husband were seated already.
“Hey! It's the birthday boy. How is it being twenty one years old?” Derek had arrived. He was looking ready to give Dallas a round of birthday beats.
“Mercy!” Dallas said, holding up his hands, as Derek sat beside him. “What! You can't do that!” Derek complained. “You didn't have a whole team give you beats...so yea I can...and besides I didn't give you your birthday beats for the last three years.” Dallas said to him, darkly.
“You weren't here, genius.” Derek told him with a grin. “Alright...fine...this once I'll be nice. So what movie would you like to see?”
“Anything...you choose.” Dallas told him.
They ate dinner all the while chatting about different movies. When Dallas was about to get up, Mrs. Williams told him to stay seated.
“Hold on! Wait here.” She told him, getting out of her seat and heading to her kitchen.
She came back with a glowing birthday cake.
“You really didn't have to.” Dallas said, he felt touched that they had gone through the trouble of doing this for him..
“Nonsense. You've always been here. You're like family.” Mr. Williams told him, before they sang 'Happy Birthday' to him.
“So, bro. Make a wish and blow out the candles.” Derek told him, lightly punching his shoulder.
There was one person Dallas wished was there with them. He wished he could have shared this moment with her. Dallas blew out the candles, in one breath.
“That was an awesome movie!” Taylor raved, as they headed for his car. “I know! I loved it!” Natalia agreed. “You have to admit. I have good taste!” At this Natalia laughed. “Okay there...” She told him.
They were heading back to his car. Darkness had fallen. A large amount of the day had been spent going to the stores, waiting in line, and picking up the items she had asked for.
Natalia was ready to head home. Derek had called her on his cell when Natalia had been about to head in to the theatre. He had told her that Dallas was going with him to watch a movie, they were going to be leaving home soon.
She had asked her older brother to help her keep Dallas busy. Luckily Derek had agreed. It would give him a chance to take his best friend out, and allow Natalia to keep a low profile as she got things done.
Everything's going as planned...Natalia thought to herself. The guys would be heading home soon.
Taylor babbled on about the movie. He was going on in detail about the pyrotechnics.
Natalia listened, contently. She ran through the check list in her mind, hoping she hand't forgotten anything.
Derek and Dallas entered the dark house. Everything was quiet.
“I guess everyone went to sleep.” Derek muttered, turning on the hall light.
“Happy birthday, buddy. I'm going to turn in for the night.” Derek told him, heading down in to the basement.
“Thanks.” Dallas said, to the retreating back of his best friend.
Natalia heard voices down below. She grabbed the things she had brought home and rushed out of her room. Making sure to close the lights and her door.
She carefully walked into Dallas's room. Hoping that no one would hear any sound of movement. She put the boxes on his desk.
Finding a large enough space by his night table and the wall, she crouched into it.
Natalia heard footsteps as Dallas walked upstairs.
Dallas headed up the stairs as quietly as possible. As he walked to his room, he turned to see if Natalia was still up.
Her door was closed, the lights were off. No point in waking her up, Dallas thought, he was starting to feel disappointed.
He opened the door to his room and walked to the desk, turning on the study lamp. It was surprising to find two neatly wrapped boxes on his desk.
Dallas touched the ribbon of the smaller box. It looked delicate. He took the box in his hand and unwrapped it carefully. He could feel himself smiling.
He opened the box only to find a sandy brown teddy bear. He lifted it up. It was wearing a replica jersey of the one Dallas had gotten from TFC. Dallas chuckled. The disappointment was turning in to amusement.
Dallas turned the bear over to see his name. The letters and his number had been stitched on. On the top of the bear's jersey was Dallas, in the middle was 17, and at the bottom was Owen. It was something that only Natalia could have thought of.
Dallas turned his attention to the slightly bigger box. He was curious to see what it was.
He unwrapped it carefully. When he opened the box, a small gasp escaped his lips.
Lifting out the red shirt, Dallas looked over it. It was a Manchester United jersey. He turned it over. 'D. Owen' had been stitched to the back. The number seven stared at him. The letters were all in a silver material.
Dallas felt arms wrap around him.
“One day...you're going to play with the greats...and someday you'll be one of them.” The voice told him. “TFC is just a stop on your way.” Natalia nuzzeled against his back.
Dallas couldn't help but smile.
He was about to put the jersey back into the box, when something caught his attention. Dallas lifted out a minature replica of the Manchester United jersey.
“Oh and that's for the bear.” Natalia said, she laughed lightly.
Dallas turned to face her.
“Thank you!” He told her, he couldn't believe she had done all that for him. She smiled up at him. “Happy Birthday!” Natalia said, giving him a hug.
Natalia wrapped her arms around his neck to give him a kiss.
“I brought one more thing.” She told him, rather mysteriously.
“What? There's more?” Dallas asked, as Natalia went to a corner of his room to bring something out. He had not been expecting any of this...let alone more.
“Yea! Who heard of a birthday without a cake?” She told him. Natalia held a lighter in her hand, which she used to light the candle on a delicious looking chocolate cake.
“You did all of this for me?” Dallas asked in wonder. “It wasn't that much.” Natalia told him, shrugging her shoulders.
What she had done for him, spoke volumes about the way she felt about him.
“I already ate...” Dallas told her, feeling guilty. “I know...but you didn't eat with me.” She grinned. Dallas smiled. She was right about that.
“Make a wish and blow out the candle!” Natalia told him.
Dallas couldn't have wished for anything more. He had gotten exactly who he had wanted.
He blew out the candle in one swift blow. Natalia put the cake on his desk to cut it. Before she could do anything else. Dallas turned her to face him. His hands holding hers.
“Thank you.” He told her, she didn't know how much this meant to him. “Your welcome.” Natalia replied. Dallas pulled her in, closer, and kissed her gently.
“I love you, Dallas. Happy birthday.” Natalia said to him, looking at him. Her blue eyes shining with intensity.
“I love you too, Natalia.” Dallas replied, completely content.
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