“Hey, which one of you is going to attend the Showdown Event?” Lucas scanned across the teenagers on the beach, his plain button-up shirt blowing with the window as he stood at a side of the magic circle created by their seating arrangement. “I would be attending and it would be nice to know those of us who would also be there.” He included looking all smug.
Several eyes turned to look in his direction. Everyone from Ana's class was present, the gathering was supposed to be their reunion before they went to college but somehow, everyone was only bothered by the Showdown Event. “Ana's dad got invited so…I’m guessing she's going to be there too.” Carson, a boy with corn wheat hair that falls below his chin said, his voice creating a wave in the hearts of many girls around while he casually winked at them, causing their hearts to race but unlike these girls, some seemed unmoved.
“Of course, she'd be there. Everyone was invited, just that a few parents are quite strict.” Nova sighed as she kicked back, sipping from a plastic cup. A girl with golden and wine hair turned to look in her direction, her eyes contained a mix of unknown emotions, somewhat like a sigh heaved when one has no choice left.
“What do you intend to say?” The golden-haired girl turned to look at who spoke, it was Elias, a close friend of Nova. He seemed to be the other person who understood the meaning behind Nova's statement. On realizing he was being watched, he turned a calm look at the golden-haired girl with an eyebrow raised, making her shrug her shoulder as if unaffected, before looking away to face Nova with all seriousness.
The golden-haired girl nearly chuckled, not everyone understood Nova Liam the way she does except Elias. Since she has been best friends with Nova, she had known that Nova had a strange personality coupled with a weirdly functioning mindset. Nova sees things differently from everyone else and she has been unable to comprehend the use of jokes to create humour, one could say she was slow-witted.
“I wish I could be there too, Ana.” Nova stared ahead, looking lost. “But my mum would want me anywhere but a place stuffed with older adults, talking about things grown-ups do. I mean, who hasn’t heard of adult stuff before?” She retracted her eyes as she stared amusingly at the rest of the lads seated.
“Even still, knowing much adult stuff doesn't seem to be the issue. She might just not want you there.” Elias took his time to explain to her, he knew she wouldn't be able to comprehend what her mum had meant and since he had the chance to explain, he would gladly do so. In his eyes, a glimmer of light flashed, barely escaping Ana's sight. She couldn't help but want to smack his face.
“Either way, I still won't be attending.” Nova dropped the cup in her hands to the ground, appearing rather amused than sad even when she was certain that she wouldn’t be attending that event but so long as her best friend would be there, she would get to hear all the juicy details. “So Ana, what do you think?” Nova rested her chin in between her palms.
“The Showdown event…” Ana, the golden-haired girl began, “It doesn't sound all that bit interesting. Just a bunch of randomly unknown adults walking around in a hall at the Silver House, it’s more of a seminar than a banquet they proposed since they would be mainly discussing the root cause of leverage and I think I heard my dad say there would be a group of Leverage Extirpation Committee present to admit more members. There you have it, nothing interesting about that except you know you've got friends there to chat with.” She raised her lowered eyes only to find Lucas staring intensely at her with a half grin on his face. She scoffed, Lucas knew nothing but to chase anything in a skirt but now that she thinks about it, she was not wearing a skirt nor had she ever worn one before, yet he always has that foolish grin on his face whenever he looks at her. Later, she was planning on asking him why.
“Well Ana, you've got friends attending just like yourself so getting bored won't ever happen as long as you have got us to chat and have a little fun with.” Lucas walked closer to where Ana sat, found a space near her and instantly dropped on his behind, sitting rather close to her which Ana felt was rather irritating. “Oh, how come I never really noticed?” Ana said, nearly agitated. “Because…, you've been so far away, you know.” He reached for her left arm and she used her other paw to slap him away.
“Don’t you dare?” Ana spat while glaring hard at him, she wasn’t sure she could control herself if he crossed the limit. “I…I just wanted—”
“You both should just stop already, okay?!” Hadley said, her brown hair fell over her eyes which she flicked back to its original spot in a single wave.
“Now back to the discussion, how many of us will attend the Showdown Event?” Elias questioned, clearly speaking to everyone but his gaze lingered on Nova's face the entire time. Ana noticed Nova's lips twitch. Nova has always been the kind of girl who detests gaining a male's attention, one which Elias seemed to give, Ana could still remember what she'd said at the school homecoming. She'd said, “I wonder what these girls think, dressed in skimpy and glamorous gowns, their faces covered in thick shades of makeup while batting their eyelashes just to make one damn guy like them. Isn't it sickening to watch?” Nova at that time was wearing a long tight gown with an exposing necklace and a split from the thigh to the hem of the gown, which made Ana look at her more closely while feeling bewildered.
Without thinking twice, Nova had simply put into words, insults that clearly described herself. If only she didn't have such a weird mindset, she would have been aware of the number of stares she'd gotten from so many boys that fateful day, including Elias'.
“We all know that Ana, Lucas and Hadley would be attending but we're not so sure about the rest.” Ben, Ana’s closest friend replied.
“Elias, why aren't you attending?” Natalie, Hadley's best friend, said. She was staring at Elias calmly. She has always been close with the Rook family yet, one could not deny that within that stare, laid a huge current of affection towards Elias. “Isn't it obvious?” Hadley said, “A special someone won't be attending, so why would he be there? Right, Elias?” Hadley was very much aware of the fact that her elder brother was in love with Nova but too bad the dumb girl never took notice of it.
“Someone special?” Nova who has been casually sipping on her cup suddenly opened her eyeballs wide, staring in disbelief at Elias. “How come I never knew you had someone special? I was supposed to be your closest friend, Elias, yet I was not made to know when you got yourself a special someone.” Nova flared and Ana almost face-palmed herself. She was the special someone but for a person with a twisted mindset, some simple details were often crossed out in their reasoning. Details like Elias always following behind her to protect her from the numerous stares she got from other boys, Elias always paying much attention to her every detail just to make her comfortable and happy.
Suddenly, Ana felt bad for poor Elias who had been mistaken. True enough, not only Ana but Elias himself was feeling bad for himself. Was it his fault, for falling in love with someone with a twisted mindset? He sure did set a death wish for himself.
“There is no special someone.” Elias gritted his teeth as he muttered those words. He felt rather aggrieved like he lost someone, ‘I guess I did.' He thought.
“Nova, of course, there is a special person,” Natalie started, “Except that he might be too shy to tell you.”
“Really, Who is she?” Nova questioned, Natalie knew that Elias wouldn’t want to tell her that the special person was herself so she was rather confident as her chin was raised arrogantly.
“Someone who's far away.” Elias sighed, he felt depressed knowing that he would only continue to be a coward without being able to confess his feelings. Ana also felt bad for him, if only Nova was able to detect the fluctuations in his voice.
“Elias, why would you say that?” Natalie intentionally provoked, “Didn’t you say you like someone, no I mean… love someone?”
Elias frowned, he had never told anyone he liked Nova so how could she know? Still, he could not find himself cutting Natalie off her words. Nova was even more frantic, Elias once promised her that he would only tell her or Ana whenever he had someone he liked but now, Natalie seemed to know who he likes before herself and probably Ana.
Without being aware, a gloomy cloud has been cast as soon as Natalie decided to challenge Elias. Though everyone kept quiet and refused to say anything about it, it didn't mean that Ana would just keep mute about it.
“Natalie, stop it already.” She rose to her feet with her eyes glaring with anger. The appearance of the sunset behind her, cast a beautiful shadow of a tall and fierce youth.
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