SEVEN FACE OF A STRANGER The days, weeks and months flew by; Alicia and I were now inseparable. Our days revolved around one another. Aunt Lisa, she was my new best friend, and living next door to Alicia was comparable to all the good stuff I’d ever heard about Heaven. But there was still the nagging obsession in the back of my mind, with why I survived. No matter how hard I tried to shake it and move on with my life, I was not tuff enough. One thing became apparent, I needed answers if I was ever going to have a chance at a normal life ever again. Looking back, I wish I had clung onto every moment. Life as I knew it, was about to do a complete one-eighty. I couldn’t help but giggle to myself, as I watched Aunt Lisa; she was leaning against the kitchen counter, fixated on her cell phone. She typed furiously, her tongue peeking out from the side of her mouth. Her lips were curled in a partial smile, and her brow was furrowed as her slender fingers hit each button. I saw her texting coworkers and the few friends she kept in touch with every now and again. But, she had always been very casual about it and never looked so intent. I stared at her for several seconds, thinking she would notice me giggling. It was apparent she had no idea I was here. A few locks of her silky hair slid down around her face. Her fingers suddenly stopped as she hit one final button and looked up from her cell phone. “Oh!” She appeared startled.” I didn’t hear you, Davis.” She quickly tucked the cell phone into the pocket of her denim jeans. Aunt Lisa’s cat Caesar trundled into the kitchen, stopping to lean against my leg. I reached down and gently stroked his silky head. The cat nudged its head into my pant leg, narrowing his eyes and lowering his ears. Satisfied with the attention, he continued into the kitchen, scanning the backyard as he pressed his nose against the sliding glass door. A few dried smear marks indicated this was a favored spot for Caesar. “I didn’t mean to interrupt,” I said, trying to measure my Aunt’s reaction. “You weren’t interrupting anything.” She responded quickly. I walked over to the sliding door, parting it enough for Caesar to slip out. I couldn’t help but feel suspicious of my aunt, she was acting strangely. “Will you be going to see Alicia later?” Aunt Lisa asked. I could feel my cheeks getting warm. “I don’t know.” I grabbed a bright red apple from the bowl of fruit that Aunt Lisa always had on the kitchen table, I took a bite, and it was sweet and juicy. “You probably should, I bet she would love to see you!” I shrugged. Caesar returned to the sliding door, and I left him back inside. A moment later the cordless house phone rang, breaking the awkward silence. Aunt Lisa hurried to answer it. “Hello? How are you, Alicia? I’m good, thank you! Why yes of course he is. One second, I will go
get him.” She spoke into the receiver, covering it with her hand and holding it out for me. “It’s Alicia for you.” She whispered. I stood up, taking the phone. I knew something was up, so I kept giving my aunt an awkward stare. But for the life of me, I couldn’t figure it out. She was defiantly up to something that much I was sure of. “Hello, Alicia.” “Hi, Davis!” A cheerful voice exclaimed. “I was wondering if you were busy today?” Like seriously, every time I hear Alicia’s voice I get butterflies in my stomach, she has that kind of effect on me. “Me? No. I don’t do much on Saturdays.” “Great! Well, I was going to see if you would like to go to lunch, maybe? My mom was going to go shopping at the mall, and she said she could drop us off someplace and pick us up when she was done. She is even letting me drive!” “Cool! I didn’t know you had your permit?” “Yup just got it a few days ago, but don’t worry my dad has been teaching me for a while. I promise I won’t drive fast or anything.” Alicia giggled. I’d never tell Alicia, but I was secretly jealous that she was driving before me, but then again she was a few months older than me, so I guess it made sense. “Well—congratulations!” I said. “Thanks! So um, how about I pick you up in fifteen minutes or so?” “Sure, alright.” This was the first real date I’ve ever been invited to, and I already felt nervous. “Ok, see ya then!” “See ya!” I said. Walking back into the kitchen, I saw Aunt Lisa emptying the dishwasher. “Er…Aunt Lisa? Is it alright if I go to lunch with Alicia this afternoon?” “Of course.” Her voice sounded muffled because she crawled halfway into the cabinet under the counter. She was clanking the stoneware and ceramic dishes as she worked. After getting all of her mixing bowls properly stacked, she stood up again. “Did you know she was going to call?” I said. “Me? How would I know when your girlfriend is going to call and ask you to go out, I’m not a psychic?” she said, looking guilty. I tried to spell out that Alicia was only a friend, but Aunt Lisa refused to listen. “Here, take this.” She fished a wad of dollars out of her pocket, handing them to me. “That should cover it I think.” I looked down at the wrinkled bills in my hand and counted them. It was thirty dollars, I never expected my aunt to give me any money, especially this much. Like five or ten bucks, sure but thirty? “I can’t take your —.” Aunt Lisa interrupted, “No no—It’s not a gift. You earned it by helping me around the house. So consider it your paycheck. Maybe sometime soon we will discuss an allowance. For now, you have somewhere to be, so get going!” There was no point arguing with Aunt Lisa, once she sets her mind on something forget it—so I decided to go get dressed for my date. I picked out a clean pair of blue jeans and a green polo shirt to
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