Author’s note: so here’s the most anticipated chapter :))) I’m sorry for bursting some people’s bubbles (?!)
“Mistress Knight, the new neighbors have come to visit,” Shelly announced as she led the guests into the living room.
My heart was beating so hard against my chest and my brain felt so fuzzy, I didn’t even know what I was looking at. I felt my mother tug at my arm.
“Oh hello there Camille! Thank you so much for stopping by!” My mother and Camille kissed each other on the cheeks.
“We just moved in a few days ago, it would be rude not to pay a visit to my next door neighbor!” Camille laughed lightly.
“Come inside, sit, sit,” my mother ushered them further into the living room.
I saw the small shadow behind Camille, and my heart felt like it was going to explode. Blood rushed to my face as I saw the person I had wanted to see so much for 12 years. It was Jin! It was really him! My heart couldn’t stop singing.
“And this is my daughter Sarielle,” Camille introduced, pushing the small person in front of her.
“And this is my son, Bobby!” Mother nudged me forward. “Say hello Bobby!”
My mouth opened, but I couldn’t seem to form words. I was too dumbstruck.
Jin was a girl?! It took me many seconds to collect myself.
I hadn’t noticed it, but Sarielle’s expression from the beginning was one of complete anger. Her eyebrows were furrowed and her cheeks were flushed, as if we had a long overdue enmity. Why was she mad? Jin drank the soup of oblivion and this was the first time we met. How could she be mad at a complete stranger?
My mother and Camille left us alone while they strode off to the kitchen. They started chattering about new cooking recipes, and I could not help but think, Mother, you don’t have to try so hard…
Sarielle sat on a couch and continued to glare at me.
What was this girl’s problem??
“How could you leave my like that! Do you know how long it took me to find you when I had no leads at all?!” She was fuming now, and her whole face turned red. I could almost see steam coming out of her ears.
“Huh?” I was so glad to see Jin again that I couldn’t think or comprehend anything else. My head was full of fluff instead.
“You’re an idiot!” She stood up then walked to where I stood. I looked down to see the top of her head. I was actually a head taller than her, and I was suddenly highly amused. The tables have indeed turned! I suddenly felt an urge to squish and hug her.
“What are you doing!” She yelled as I clasped her to me, her face against my shoulder. Ah, this felt really good. I missed Jin so much. No matter how much this Jin was still angry for unknown reasons, I still wanted to cry. This reunion was Heaven sent! Should I thank Siming for that? But wait, then that would mean I had to punish her for making Jin and I not see each other for 12 years in the first place!
“Stop…stop!” She continued yelling, albeit a bit feebly now.
I didn’t stop hugging her. Minutes later, her outbursts suddenly dwindled, as if she was a toy that had run out of battery. It was the cutest thing in the world.
I didn’t know how long I just stood there holding her. It was only when I heard a camera snap and my mother squeal her usually high pitched squeals that I was brought back to the present. I quickly pushed Sarielle away from me as I felt my cheeks heat up.
“My goodness, Camille! I’m so sorry about my son being sooo forward!” My mother didn’t look apologetic at all, as she continued snapping photos of Sarielle and I. I glowered at her.
Camille giggled. “Weren’t we like that during highschool? Reeve was especially forward towards you, it must be in the genes!” Yes, pin the blame on father!
As they continued to reminisce about their old highschool days, I turned to Sarielle.
“Will I see you again?” I asked timidly.
“I’m just next door,” she replied. “How could you not see me?”
“How about highschool?” She seemed to be the same age as me, so I hoped we would be going together.
“Avalon Academy?” She grinned her pearly whites at me.
“Yes?” I hopped in excitement.
“I’ll see you there as well.”
“Yes!” I hugged her again and she stiffened up in embarrassment.
During the whole summer, Sarielle and I saw each other everyday, as if this made up for the 12 years we had not seen each other. I was completely ecstatic. We went to watch movies together in our theatre room, went to the pool, went fishing in the river, played basketball, and basically did everything we could think of as the time seemed to fly too fast.
We also talked a lot during the time, and although she kept mum about most of her past, she told me she had been in an another country for primary school. She came back to this country with her mother because both our mothers turned out to be close acquaintances from the past, and they sorely missed each other. It was so much of a coincidence that until now I couldn’t repress the delight of experiencing something akin to a miracle.
It was now the first day of highschool.
With the change of school buildings came with it the change of school uniforms. We now wore long sleeves with a collar and a necktie emblazoned with our Academy’s logo. We could choose whatever pants to wear, and blazers were optional. I think we looked quite dapper, and my parents thought so as well. Now that Sarielle and I had become the best of friends, we were told to go to and from school together. And on the first day, Sarielle became another inclusion to my parents’ photo shoot.
“Ah, darling, don’t they look like the cutest couple?” Mother giggled as she lowered her camera. “Kina and our baby weren’t a couple, which disappointed me, but little Sari is perfect!”
“Honey, are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Father grinned roguishly as he whispered something into her ears. Mother suddenly laughed.
“Mom! Dad! Stop flirting! We’re leaving now,” I whined as I grasped Sarielle’s hand.
“Goodbye Bobby! Have fun on your first day of highschool!”
“Bye Ryle! See ya later!”
In the backseat of my chauffeur driven car, Sarielle turned to me.
“Is it Bobby or Ryle?” She looked confused.
“Ryle, no doubt about it,” I answered back with a bit of a panic in my eyes.
Sarielle chuckled, then turned her head towards the window to look at the passing landscape. Sometimes I didn’t know how to treat this girl. For her, I was but a stranger who became her close friend, so I couldn’t ask for more than that. For now. I was going to wait until we were older to personally make my moves!
I was also glad Jin became a girl as well, as stealing her heart would be a cinch. Although Sarielle sometimes spoke roughly as if she were a man, I found it rather cute. And she was rather a gentleman about most things, such as opening the doors for me or basically just looking out for me like a natural born sentry. It was amusing, and as a man now, it kinda hurt my pride to see a lady act so manly, so I made sure I was the one opening doors for her instead. However, I was met with unanticipated ire, and I never tried to dissuade her again.
Ah, it seemed I fell in love with such a tomboy.