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Age Is Just a Number by Jeffery zedd Chapter 5

Chapter 5
I sat with my legs hanging over the bench. William sprinted back and forth on the court. The sweat was streaming down his cheeks. When he shot the basket with the basketball, he gave his team mates high fives.

Carmen soon makes her way back and resumes her cheering. As everyone gave him a hearty shout, all I could do was sit there and stare at him. With each shot and each passing, he beams with pride. William turned to face us and waved.

“See! I assured you that all was well! William is waving at you.” Carmen’s friend exclaimed with joy.

With his final shot, William’s team won when the final buzzer sounded. His teammates encircle him and yell with excitement. He turns to face us, and I hear Carmen running towards him and her shoes scuffing the bench.

I am aware of what will happen next. I see it in movies all the time. She will leap into his arms, and he will k*ss her after spinning her around in the air.

He waved at me, and my eyes widen. He saw Carmen and her pals standing before him. His lovely, sweaty face is plastered with a smile as he pats her shoulder and dashes up the bench. “Angel, did you see me? I won the game with my shot!”

He pauses and furrows his brows. “You don’t look happy.”

My ch*st hurts. “N-No. I’m happy.

“Then, where is my congratulatory hug?” Bending over, he opened his arms.

I dive into it right away, and he whips me around. I burst out laughing. “Thank you,” he whispered in my ear, and I hug him even closer. He smells like sweat, sweat, and more sweat, but I like it.

William holds me while we all walk out of the auditorium. There’s a painful glare hitting the back of my head, and I know exactly who it is. William’s teammates start to jog in his direction. I see a few curious looks in my direction, but I cover my face by wrapping my arms around his n*ck.

“Who is this cutie?” One of William’s friend bowed his head and grinned at me.

“Desperate for a girl that much?” he asked when another one struck his arm. They all burst out laughing.

I listened to eleven of them chat while resting my head on William’s n*ck, but I couldn’t make out a word. Carmen is standing next to William, and she occasionally gives me a nasty glance, but I ignore it. That’s how William’s girlfriend looks at me all the time.

Eventually, we went to the parking lot to go back to William’s house for a celebratory dinner. William sat me down inside his parent’s car and glanced to the side when he heard his name being called: “William! Come on, babe!” Carmen waves him over.

He glances at me, and I feel my ch*st tighten as I grin back at him. “It’s okay, you can go.” He toys with my hair before heading over to his pals.

I take a big breath and rest my head against the chair. I leaned back when I noticed a brand-new, unopened chocolate bar right in front of my face. “For you,” the boy from earlier said, his cheeks still pink.

“Why?” I ask, setting down the chocolate bar gently.

“It’s because you look sad,” he said, dropping the candy onto my lap and throwing his hands behind him. “Do you not like chocolate?” He ask.

I give a headshake. “I love chocolate,” I told him and he grinned back. I cocked my head to see William standing behind him. His gaze darkened, then swiftly brightened, lips slicing into a straight line. The boy slowly spins around, his n*ck bending far back to view William, eyes bulging.

“Who are you?” William ask with a smile on his face, putting his hands on his knees and bending down towards the boy, but it doesn’t feel nice.

The boy begins to shake, I noticed he is only a third of William’s size. William is a giant! “Umm, uh.” The boy picks up his fingers and begins to play with it. “S-She looks s-s-sad, so I gave her s-some ch-chocolate to make her feel b-better.”

William chuckles and shakes his head, “I see.” He returns the chocolate bar to the boy after taking it from me. “It’s kind of you, but I have a good feeling you had to work hard to get this candy. So, you should enjoy it.”

But I want that chocolate bar.

With a deep breath, the boy straightens his back and puffs out his chest. More clearly, though still trembling, he replied, “I would like to give it to her.”

We both flinch at the sound of William’s n*ck snapping, and he lets out a chuckle. “No, I wouldn’t want you to-”

“I like her!” He exclaimed.

William clenches his jaw, takes a long breath, and leans in to whisper something in the boy’s ear. I tried to listen, but William went between us, pushing my face back, and I could taste his salty hand, ew.

He takes his hand off soon after, and I spring up. “William! Why-” I stopped talking when I saw the boy running back to his parents, then I gasped, mouth wide open when I saw him crying.

William gives me a sly smile as I turn to face him. He shrugs, glancing at me and shoving me aside. “I thought you were sitting with your friends,” I said.

“They ran out of room.” He fastens my seatbelt. then him, as his brother and parents jump in.

I slant my head to look at the boy but William’s massive b*dy blocks my vision. What does Mrs. Yi’s feed her children?

“What did you say to him?” I asked.

He shrug, ” just guys stuff.”

I help Mrs. Yi with the party preparations. “Sweetheart, can you carry that punch out for me?” she ask.

“Of course!”

I carefully carry the large bowl outside and listen to the many conversations going on in the backyard, all the while keeping my attention focused on the bowl so I don’t drop it. I suddenly feel like I’m being pushed to my side, and the bowl falls. “Oh my God!” exclaims someone. When I look up, I saw Carmen and her stained clothe.

I knew one of her friend deliberately tripped me when I turned to see them smiling at each other. William comes briskly toward us.

“Are you okay?” He ask.

Carmen waves her hands in front of her face, eye tearing causing her mascara to drip down a little. “I’m okay ba-”

“Not you,” he murmured.

He dropped on his knees. “Are you okay?”

I nodded, biting my bottom lip.

“Babe! She ruined my clothes.” Carmen complains.

William checked my b*dy to make sure I wasn’t wounded as he helped me stand. I noticed how his gaze shifted to the scraps at my knees.

“Baby! My clothe!” Carmen weaved her hand up and down.

Not a sound can be heard. William cradles me in his arms before getting to his feet and glaring at Carmen. “God, it’s just clothes, calm down.”

With a sneer, Carmen puts her hands on her waist. Pointing at me, she yelled; “You! You are solely to blame! Why are you still clinging to William? You little brat, he’s my lover!”

Putting his fingers on my ear, William tries to block out what she said, but seriously William? “Don’t say those things about her.”

She folds her arms. “I understand that you’re spending time with her because you feel sorry for her since her parents are divorced, but-”

“Stop!” He yelled.

Is William only spending time with me due to the divorce of my parents?

She flings her hands aside. “Can’t you see? She is destroying our bond! When you postpone our dates for her, it annoys me! Although it’s nice that you don’t want her to be alone, don’t you think you’ve done enough kindness or ch-charity?”

Does William consider me to be in need of charity?

“Shut up!” His voice yelled louder.

Don’t cry, I told myself as I bit my cheek. Keep your tears to yourself. Keep your tears to yourself.

She trembles and leans back as he steps towards her. “Zara is the number one girl in my life-” he paused. “But momma will always be the number one mother,” he exclaims to which Mrs. Yi responds by sitting down and shutting her mouth. He turns back toward Carmen’s direction. “If you’re going to yell at my number one girl, you can leave.” He point toward the door.

She bit her lip and strode out the side gate, with her pals trailing behind. The celebration eventually continued, and everyone made an effort to brush off the uneasy atmosphere. William returned to his friends as Mrs. Yi attended to my scratches.

I excused myself to use the restroom because I wasn’t feeling well in the stomach. I sat with my arms encircling my legs. “I made him break up with his girlfriend once more. Perhaps that’s why Mommy went away. I’m to blame. I’m always to blame.”

I just sat there, not sure how long I stayed. At last, I wash my face, remove all the water, and came out. I stopped moving when I noticed William was resting against the hallway with his hands stuffed inside his jeans pocket. He smiles as he looks at me. He approaches me and bows down to my level. “You were gone for a long time, so I got worried,” he murmurs.

I begin to play with my fingers. “I’m sorry you broke up with your girlfriend again because of me.”

William let out a puff of breath, picked me up, and walked inside his bedroom. I hear guests laughing a little outside the window. He tucks me into his lap and wipes my tears away. “You okay?” He murmurs.

“A-Am I a b-burden to y-you? Am I a ch-charity case?” I stutter.

Then he shakes his head, “Never Angel.”

I sniff again. “B-But you broke up with that girl b-because of m-me then she left. What if mommy left because of me too?”

“Zara look at me,” he stated firmly. Then I obeyed and glanced up at him, all I could see was a blurry image. “Never again think that way. You are not to blame. Your mother doesn’t deserve to be your mother if she doesn’t recognize your value.”

I cried out, “Don’t say that about my mommy!” and struck him on the chest. I yell and keep hitting him. My hits soon become less intense, and I can feel his arms encircle me as I cling to him.

We didn’t go back to the party. I gripped to William’s shirt tightly while he held me the entire day, caressing my back till I felt better.

“Don’t worry, your big brother will always be here to protect you,” he murmurs.

Yes, William, that really did cheer me up.

That is sarcasm at it finest.

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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