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Age Is Just a Number by Jeffery zedd Chapter 3

Chapter 3
“I’m not going to school today,” William says. His phone is connected to his automobile. He probably thinks I fell asleep.

“What? But you need to go to school today! I am introducing you to my friends for the first time as my boyfriend! I’ve already informed everyone we’re a couple.”

“Babe, I have other things to do,” he says in a calm manner.

Babe, I’ve seen that word on television before, something a person would call their beloved. Of course, he’d call her that. She is his girlfriend, after all.

“What other things are more important than us?”

“I need to take my neighbour’s child home. She simply fe-”

“Is it the same little kid again? Riley?” She said, cutting him off.

“It’s Zara,” he said with a slightly angry tone.

“Baby, I do not understand why you keep doing this to me! You ditched me twice to hang out with that little bratty girl!”

He lets out a deep breath, “Loo-”

“Me or her,” she stated.

“What?”

“I am saying, choose! Is it me or that brattish little child from next door? Remember, she can’t do what I can.

I bit my cheeks, understanding what she meant: k*ss.

I cannot k*ss William because I am too small.

I saw it on TV all the time: when two people genuinely liked each other, they kss. However, to kss, they must be the same height, and I am too short to k*ss William.

“Zara,” he said and my b*dy froze. I wonder whether he realizes I’m awake. “I pick Zara,” he murmured, and I let out the breath I was holding.

“What? You chose her?” She screamed.

“Yes, goodbye.”

“Wait, baby, I didn’t me-” he hang up the call before she could finish her sentence.

“Zara.”

I close my eyes tightly.

“Zara, I know you’re awake,” he said. I open one eye to see him raise an eyebrow at me. The blood rushes to my cheeks as I sit up straight and smile at him. He extends out a hand and messes with my hair.

He parked his car in front of his home and took a big breath. “Heard everything?”

“Sorry, because of me, you had to break up with your girlfriend, again,” I say with a sigh.

This isn’t the first time broke up with his girlfriend because of me. I had no idea why William did this, but he would occasionally leave his girlfriend to spend time with Nina and me, usually when I begged him to play with me. The previous time he broke up with his girlfriend, I was the one who was sulking, feeling like it was my fault, but there was a part of me that liked not seeing another girl around him.

He pats my damp hair, “I didn’t like her that much anyway, besides hanging out with you is a lot more fun,” he teases.

He came out of the car, approached my side, and grabbed me up. I lock my arms around his n*ck and rest against his chest. Hearing the hammering in his chest. The house is empty because his brother is at school and his parents are working. He leads me upstairs to his room and begins searching through his closet for old clothes. He grabs a towel, shirt, and pants and hands them to me.

“Because you are so against going home to change, here are these. Go take a warm shower before you get sick,” he said quietly.

I walk into the bathroom, turn on the warm water, and remove all of my wet clothes. Sitting in the bathtub, I exhale. When I noticed a bottle of shampoo, I grabbed a handful and went to wash my hair. Taking a whiff, I realize it smells like William, causing little knots to form inside my stomach.

When I finished, I put on the clothing he gave me, but the pants kept falling, despite the fact that they were his old pants. I grabbed the hair tie from my wrist and tied up the pants. Walking downstairs, I noticed William dressed in a new pair of clothes.

“Come on,” he urged, holding my hand. He took me to the couch, holding a first-aid kit in his hands.

He got down on the ground and began cleaning up my scraped knee while I sat there, staring at him.

“What’s wrong?” he asks.

Everything is wrong, I shake my head.

“You’re really quiet today, and the Zara I know is anything but quiet,” he said with a laugh.

“Just have a lot on my mind,” I explained.

He raises an eyebrow at me, “You’re ten, what problem can you possibly have?” He asked as he put everything away.

I hum while lying down on the couch. “Like what to have for breakfast,” I murmured, feeling my stomach and remembering how I had not eaten today. “Or what food I should have for lunch.” I continued.

“Or what cake type you should have for your tenth birthday today,” he went on to say.

I looked up to see him remove a box from the fridge.

He walks up to me and places it on the table in front of us. “I was going to surprise you after school, but now seems like the perfect time,” he remarked, taking the cake out of the box and presenting a chocolate cake with small purple blooms around it.

“Why does it say, Happy Birthday, Angel?” I ask.

He sits on the floor and smiles at me. “Because you’re my Angel,” he replied, pinching my flushed cheeks.

“I am?” I ask and he nods and grabs some candlesticks, murmuring out the number until it reaches ten before lighting it up.

He moves the table up to face me and takes a seat. I can feel his warm b*dy alongside me as I put my head against his shoulder:

“Happy birthday to you,” he begins clapping his hands.

“Happy birthday to you,” he swayed back and forth.

“Happy birthday, dear An-gel,” he taps my nose with a big smile.

“Happy birthday to youuuuuuu.”

When he finished singing, tears streamed down my cheeks. “What’s wrong?” he asks, his eyes seeming as if he’s done something wrong.

I shake my head. “Nothing wrong, I’m so happy I get to eat cake,” I murmured, brushing away the water.

He offered me a sneaky smirk. “Come on, make your wish, Angel,” he said quietly. I close my eyes and join my fingers. I wish my parents would stop arguing and be as happy as they were back then.

After making the wish, I blew out the flame. After that, William would cut me a slice of cake, and we sat there on a Thursday, eating cake and skipping school.

I’d talk about various topics, and he’d sit there, listening and making comments once in awhile. When I thought he wasn’t listening, I’d ask him questions regarding what I’d just said, and he’d answer accurately.

Before I knew it, we had fallen asleep on the couch. When I woke up, William’s arms were snugly wrapped around me, and I couldn’t stop smiling. I lift my hand and jab his cheek. A giggle escaped my lips, which I hastily covered up. Looking at him, his eyes were asleep, a small snoring from his throat, and I could smell the chocolate cake. I bit my lips, hearing a thump-thump inside my chest. Slowly, I creep up, feeling my nose meet his.

It is my birthday. I deserve this much, don’t I?

I quickly pushed my lips to his before backing away. My eyes were wide open, fixed on him. When I heard a snort, I covered my lips and held back a scream.

I can’t believe this! I just kssed William. Me! I kssed William.

I slowly wiggled my way out of his arms, pulling the blanket over him. I walked to the washing room and removed my clothing from the dryer. I shook out William’s clothing and threw them in the filthy bin before putting mine back on. I grabbed my backpack and decided it was a good time to return home, feeling on top of the world.

I pause and glance back at William’s house. “I did it!” William and I k*ssed.”

I stopped skipping when I noticed a strange car parked in front of my house. When I notice a load of items in the back of the van, my smile fades. My stomach hurt as I approached the main door. I’m wondering if William was correct in saying that eating three slices of chocolate cake was a bad decision.

The door was not closed. I walk inside, clutching the straps of my backpack. “Mom? Dad?”

A strange man walked down the steps but paused when he noticed me.

“Who are you, mister?” I inquired, twirling the straps around my finger.

I immediately hear some heels clicking as Mom walks down. My gaze shifted to the luggage in her palm, “Mommy, where are you going?”

She bit her lips and knelt in front of me. “I’m leaving, sweetheart,” she explained. There were tears in her eyes.

“Where are we going?” I inquired, still unsure of the unusual man’s identity.

She shook her head. “Not we, just me.”

“B-But what about daddy and me?” I ask.

The man moved clumsily back and forth.

She sits there, staring at me.

“A-Are you l-leaving us?” I stutter, my hands gripping the strap of my backpack. When I pull it down, blood appears. “Is it because I didn’t eat my broccoli last night? I promise to eat it from now on!” I cry out, clutching her shirt.

She shakes her head and removes my trembling hands. “It’s not you, honey, it’s your father. L…L…I-”

She what?

My legs feel weak, and tears stream down my cheeks. She exhales deeply and pulls me into a close hug. “Good-bye, Zara. Mommy will always love you; please remember that,” she whispered into my ears as she walked out the front door.

The man walks out with her and adverted his eyes when our eyes met. When I hear the car engine start, my legs refuse to move, and the car quickly disappeared.

And that was it; on my tenth birthday, my mother left with another man, and I never saw her again.

Age Is Just a Number by Jeffery zedd

Age Is Just a Number by Jeffery zedd

Score 9.5
Status: Ongoing Author: Artist:
“You’re right; I can’t be a kid following a guy who will never notice me forever.” Zara Lee, a young smart girl, has always been in love with the Italian boy next door since he moved to America. Everything about his handsome figure set her soul on fire. But to her, the only problem is their eight year age gap. But little does she know, that isn’t the only problem keeping them from being together.

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