August stared across the table at Mary and smiled, she returned his smile with a wide grin.
“Make a wish boy,” Harry echoed.
He shut his eyes and opened them again. He wished for nothing. He never liked to wish for things to happen. If he wanted them to happen, he would just go ahead and make them happen.
He blew out the candle and everyone clapped. This was his family, they weren’t strangers to him anymore unlike the first time he came.
“Happy birthday boy,” harry said and the others followed him. Mary started the happy birthday song with her appealing voice and it was hard for others not to follow. Even Jeane sang along, she was only angry that it wasn’t her who started it. She would often wonder how Mary kept doing the little things she never would think of to impress him.
She grabbed a plate of strawberry and dashed into his room. She had once seen Mary walk into his room with a plate of strawberry once and had come out with an empty plate. She knocked lightly on the door and walked in. He sat on the bed, watching her as she walked in.
“Hello,” she called out and shut the door behind her.
“Happy birthday,” she said and dropped the plate on the bed. He looked at her and then at her offering. He never particularly like strawberry, he just loved its taste on Mary’s lips.
For a while they sat there not talking to each other. She took occasional glances at him as he fiddled with his phone.
“Are you happy?” she asked all of a sudden. He took a look at her and nodded.
“Yes, why do you ask?”
“I just care, I want you to be happy.”
She rubbed her palms as she spoke uneasily. He picked a fruit from the plate and sucked it slowly.
“Jeane I am okay, you don’t have to worry about me.”
She thought of the things she could say to him to make him open up to her more than he was already doing. She wanted him to see what her feelings for him was doing to her but he seemed blind to it all.
“August? She called softly and he jerked his head up to look at her.”I want to tell you something.”
He felt he already knew what she wanted to say and was hoping he could avoid it.
“Tell me,” he whispered, looking her straight in the eye. She kept her eyes on his for a while and took them off when his eyes pierced hers like a burning spear. She intertwined her fingers and thought of how to begin.
“It’s really hard for me to say,” she started and broke off when she thought she heard footsteps outside the room, they waited and no one came in. “Well, I’ll just say it.” August nodded in anticipation of what she was about to say. “Well, August. The first day you came in here, into this family, I had loved you more than I could possibly tell you and I was hoping, actually praying that it was something mutual.”
She said it and she couldn’t go any farther than she had already gone. She raised her eyes, shooting her brown eyeballs through her bushy eyelashes at him. He stared back at her in return, his face blank of any emotion.
“I was just 7 Jeane.”
“I know but I felt you then,” she said, dropping her hands on his laps and trying not to cry.
“It would be very silly of you if you said you didn’t notice that I have something with your cousin, Mary. I love her and we stay in the same house, It will be so fucked up if we two were to start anything.”
“I know August but I love you more than anyone could ever do, more than Mary will ever do,” she professed frantically, tears rolling down her smooth face. He grabbed her hands on his laps and squeezed them lightly before pushing them off his body.
“Even if you do, it’s of no use,” he murmured and shifted further from her.
Mary walked into the room with a smile on her face. She gazed from Jeane to August.
“Am I disturbing?” she asked and August shook his head. “Nice, wanted to know if that Park thing is still possible?” she asked.
“Yea, let’s move,” he replied and stood up from the bed.
“Jeane are you coming with us?” Mary asked her cousin and she shook her head.
“We will talk when I come back Jeane,” August said and dragged Mary out of the room.
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They walked across the field, hand in hand and with laughter in both their eyes and voice. He squeezed her hand from time to time and she would giggle at his actions. She had loved him from the very first time her father came back from the airport with him. August was one sober 7 year old kid and she did her best to work her way into his heart. Maria was not ready to give him up to anyone.
“Did you open my gift yet?” she asked him and he shook his head.
“What’s inside it?” he asked, squeezing her hand for the umpteenth time.
“I can’t tell you, It’s a surprise.”
“Well,I guess I’ll have to wait till I get home.”
He turned to face her all of a sudden, staring deeply into her blue eyes.
“You are beautiful Mary,” he said, holding both her hands. “But I am afraid.”
“What are you afraid of?” she asked, looking him straight in the eye, uncovering the fear behind his gaze.
“I love you and I am afraid something bad is going to happen, it always does and I won’t know what to do if I ever wake one day to find you gone from me.”
She hushed him midway with a tight hung and he clung to her.
“I am not going to leave you August, I will always be here.”
He pulled away from her embrace and held her hand again.
“You remind me of my sister and I can’t look at you each time without thinking of her. I loved her and she died. I loved my brothers and they all died. I loved Janet and now I am not even with her. And now, I love you Mary.”
He stopped and drew her closer, he put his hand on her cheek and kissed her.
“I love you too and we will be fine,” she muttered to him and he smiled. He wished that would be the case but within him, he felt something was going to happen, something so grave he may not live to make a mockery of it in the later future. He snapped out of thought to hear Mary seeking permission to go and meet a friend across the field.
“Don’t waste time on it,” he said. She nodded and skidded off towards the other part of the makeshift football field. He felt a light tap on his shoulder and turned slowly. His face met with that of Genevieve. She had a broad smile on her face that revealed her nice dentistry. He noticed immediately that she was on her usual mini skirt that often revealed a great deal of her meaty laps, ones that always made the guys look at her with all the lust in ones eyes.
“Hi August,” she shouted excitedly with a bounce, her inflated breasts bouncing along.
“I’m okay, what are you doing here?” she asked. He turned in the direction Mary had ran to and wished she would come back faster.
“I’m here with Mary, gotta meet her over there,” he replied, pointing across the field.
“Uh oh, must you go?” she asked with a screw to her face.
“Yea, maybe some other time.”
She didn’t wait for him to finish, she elevated herself with her toes and planted a kiss on his cheek, missing his lips by an inch. He moved back in surprise and scoffed.
“Happy birthday handsome,” she whispered and ran off in the direction she had come from. He watched her sway her hips out of his presence and caught Matt’s eyes on him. He shook his head and left in search of Mary.