23 ~ JULIA

Julia listened carefully as Xavier was telling how Nerine and he were best friends when they were little kids. Julia smiled at her cousin’s story. She knew very well that Xavier was happy with Nerine’s arrival. Nerine kept filling the gaps of Xavier’s story. Julia can’t help but admire the cuteness of their friendship.

But at some point, Julia felt like it was just the two of them talking. Logan, Jacob and Dave started their own conversation on the European Football League. Hence, she talked to Gwen about handball/

“So,” Julia said, “you’re the captain, now.”

Gwen grimaced. “Yeah. Why did you concede? I thought you loved handball.”

Julia forced a smile. “Issues at home.”

Gwen nodded. Julia was glad that Gwen wasn’t pushy about the subject.

“Remember, Gwen. A leader shouldn’t just be talking and giving out orders,” said Julia.

“I know, I know. Did you think I would forget your speech at the Sports Seminar?” Gwen muttered.

Julia laughed. Right. Last term, there was a Sports Seminar for the freshmen. Logan Fabracante was being cocky that day. He was talking about how he was captain in a little league football club, and how he was the superior. Julia and
Xavier were sitting next to each other, then. She complained to him how he became friends with a proud guy like Logan. Xavier’s answer was just a smile. So then, Julia stood up and pushed Logan away from the podium. There, she talked about what a captain should be. Someone took a video of her speech and it became viral over FHS. Hence, Coach Halliday made Julia captain of the handball team.

“By the way,” Gwen said. “Can I ask for that clipboard you always had during our training sessions?”

Julia kept a clipboard that had everyone in the team’s profile. It also contained their game plans. There were about hundreds of them but only a few were used last season.

“Sure. I left it at home so I’ll just have Xavier hand it to you over tomorrow. I won’t have free periods, you see,” Julia replied.

Gwen glanced over Xavier and Nerine, both of whom are still enjoying each other’s company.

“They haven’t seen each other in six years. Can you believe that? No communication. No contacts at all,” Julia said.

Gwen smiled awkwardly. Julia knew what was going on. It was pretty obvious that Gwen liked Xavier. A little crush? A huge crush, maybe? She couldn’t blame her or any of the other hundreds or even thousands of girls who have met or at least seen Xavier. She’s heard a lot of girls call him the “Perfect Guy”, “A Real Gentleman”, and “The Epitome of Perfection”. Julia won’t argue with the second one. Xavier was really good guy. But she wasn’t sure of how other people saw her cousin. To her, he was just another goofball.

Xavier never paid attention to the girls who have crushes on him. Now, Julia knows why.

She and Gwen started to talk about Amber Corbitt’s scandalous dumping of Student Council President, Colton Canes, over the summer.

But then her phone rang. She excused herself from her peers as she answered the call.

“Hello? Hi, Dad.” She walked to the main door of the cafeteria which immediately faces the auditorium.

“Yes, dad. I know. I already have.” She was already at the door.

“I told Coach over the summer.” She walked towards the flower boxes.

“I won’t forget.” She stared at the beautiful flowers which she, unfortunately, don’t know the names.

“Yes, dad. I promise.” She played with the petals, and she looked about the place.

“We’ve already talked about this. I’m keeping my promise.” She was already feeling agitated.

“Do you really have to remind me all the time?” She sat down on the flower boxes.

“I know. Yes, dad.” She tapped her foot.

“Okay. Right.” She wanted to hung up but it was her dad. She can never do it.

“Yes, dad. Goodbye.” Finally. It was over.

She didn’t want to talk or even think about her “contract” with her parents. Sometimes, she thinks that she and Xavier were just the same when it came down to family.

She went back to the cafeteria, placing her phone inside her coat pocket. And when she was by the door, a brunette girl with hazel eyes was facing her. The girl probably didn’t notice Julia was entering.

She smiled at her, opening the door. The girl walks out.

“Thank you,” the girl said.

Julia just smiled and entered the cafeteria. Xavier was now talking to Gwen. Meanwhile, Logan and Jacob were talking to Nerine. And Dave was gone.

“Hey, where did Dave go?” asked Julia when she reached them.

“He said he has some unfinished business. Whatever that means,” Jacob replied.

Julia sat down, and Gwen smiled at her. But then the bell rang. It was time for the assembly. They got up from their seats.

“See you later, then,” Xavier said. But he wasn’t saying it to them. Just to Nerine.

“Come on, Logan. Jacob,” exclaimed Xavier. The captains, leaders, or presidents of each club in the school needed to hurry because they will have to set up their booths or whatever they need for the auditions of their respective clubs. Gwen also hurried off after the boys since they were all in the Athletics Department. Nerine smiled awkwardly at Julia when they realized they were alone.

“I still need to see the Student Council, so I better go,” she said.

Julia nodded. But she also walked out of the cafeteria. She thought of the things she needed to bring to her audition since she was signing up for new clubs. She was walking on the grass because the other students were already huddled on the covered walks. She finally remembered what she was going to bring. She hurried off to the school building, running on the grass. Then, Laura Westwick saw her.

“No running over there!” Laura exclaimed. “The grass there haven’t been cut yet.”

She was right. Julia didn’t see it. Quickly, she walked to the pavement. But since the pavement was narrow, she bumped into a tall, slender guy with dark messy hair. He also looked Asian.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“No, I’m sorry,” the guy said.

Julia nodded and continued to run to the school building to get her violin.


All Rights Reserved 2013


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