He took his time to reply. After what I presumed to be a minute of scanning my face with those deep eyes, he finally gave an answer. Opening the door wider, he stepped back and gave way for me to enter the threshold. Calm as I could, I walked pass by him and unconsciously held my breath for an unknown reason.
I immediately found Danica at the kitchen as it was the only place where I heard her familiar shriek. She appeared from the thick smoke that filled the entire interior while coughing and gasping for air. Her face was barely recognizable that it's hard to distinguish her from the girl I used to hang out with.
"Oh, hey there. Could you just hold this for a minute?" she requested but never really cared for my reply as she immediately shove the pan she was holding directly to my hands.
I knitted my brows as I tried to make sense of the sorry state that the pan was in. There was some sticky coal-black noodle glued around the pan, and whatever liquid she poured in there makes it really unrecognizable as a noodle without giving it a closer look.
"Uh...Danica? What are you trying to do exactly?" I asked in full curiosity.
"I tried baking in the oven after giving up on spaghetti, but for some reason it exploded. And now I'm wondering which is harder," she answered with a hint of frustration in her voice as she removed the oven mitt in a grudging manner.
I didn't have to ask why she was trying to cook when it wasn't even her forte. When a woman makes an effort by doing something out of their field of expertise, it's usually for someone special. I guess I was right with one of my assumptions.
"Cooking is not for everyone, is it?" she asked and went for the windows and opened them. She removed her dirty apron and placed it on the messy table.
I went for the sink and soaked the pan with water. I faced her with my back leaning on the sink.
"I beg to disagree. Anything can be learned if one is determined enough. Cooking is no exception," I argued, but her eyes were already fixed on her phone.
She looked at me. "My lovely dove is calling. Wait here for a while, okay? I'll be quick," she hurriedly spoke while flashing a big smile and answered the call. Before she completely left the place, she gave me a meaningful look, gestured her hand around the messy table and left by kissing the air. I leaked a deep sigh as I watched her disappear from my sight. Left with no choice, I took a brand new apron and wore it.
"Save me from this mess," was what she was trying to say.
Although I'm way nowhere near the level of my sister, I can still cook an edible spaghetti. It was one of my favorites, so I eagerly learned to cook it from my sister.
I freely used the kitchen like I was in my home. Though, I find it really odd that I didn't see any of their servants today. I just shrugged it off and ask her later. When Danica returned from what turned out to be a long phone call, the stove was off and a hot steam rose from the large plate filled with spaghetti. When her eyes landed on the plate, her eyes grew wide in astonishment. Quickly, she took a fork and dug in.
"Wow, this is unexpected!" she exclaimed.
I smiled in relief. "I'll take that as a compliment," I said.
She stood up and took another plate, filling it with spaghetti. All the while, I was looking at her with confusion.
"Here," she said, pushing the plate towards me. "Can you give this to my dear brother in the garden? While I pack some for my gorgeous man," she said while smiling weirdly at me.
The request was against my will, but I obliged out of respect for our friendship. I used the backdoor and when I stepped out; the sky was already dark. Time quickly flies these days. The garden was just right ahead, so I immediately spot the back of the man to whom I was asked to deliver this to. He was sitting beneath the illuminated garden. As I silently walked closer, I found out he was talking to someone on the phone. There was a closed laptop on the glass table just before him, so I placed the plate just behind it in a hushed manner.
He quickly shifted his gaze towards me, surprised by my sudden appearance. I forced a smile and as I turned around; I heard him politely ending his call. I came to a stop when he spoke.
I inhaled deeply before I turned around and faced him. "It's nothing. Though, you didn't have to end that call," I said, forging a smile.
"Oh, don't worry about that," he said.
Silence ensued as I made no reply to his words. It was without a doubt a very awkward moment, but what perplexed me was the kind of stare he's throwing at me. He looked like he wanted to say something but couldn't find the right way to express it.
I glanced at his phone that vibrated against the table at a very perfect timing.
"It seems you're busy. I'll leave you to it then," I bid and left.
As I walked back inside, questions filled my mind. I tried to understand the reason my heart was this restless since I walked inside their house; I never thought I'd be caught off-guard like this. Danica never mentioned to me at all that her brother has come back from England.
I planned to ask her about it, so I rushed back to the kitchen but was utterly dumbfounded when I found no Danica at the table. The spaghetti has disappeared and there were only empty plates on the table. Just as I was about to look for her, my phone rang. It was her.
"Where are you?" I quickly asked.
"Raffy, sorry! I'm on my way to my cute cupcake right now. I just couldn't wait to bring—"I cut her off.
"You could've at least notify me, you sly woman. If you're thinking anything will change by leaving me here with your damn brother, you are absolutely mistaken. I'll try my best to forget this day ever happened. Bye," I exploded and hanged up.
I slammed my phone on the table and sharply stared at it while picturing Danica's caller name. I do not know where that assumption came from, but as soon as I assessed the situation it immediately came out of my mouth before my head could even process nor filter it. I've been edgy since I came across with that man at the front door, and I think it leads me to feel this way right now.
I composed myself and left the kitchen when all the lights inside the house suddenly turned off. Darkness shrouded the entire house. I quickly turned on my phone's flashlight and was beyond frightened when the light suddenly hit a man's face.
"Sorry. I didn't mean to frighten you," he apologized as I was clutching my chest.
"It's funny you say that," I mumbled under my breath. You did frighten me on 'that' day.
"Sorry, did you say something?" he quickly asked.
I composed myself once again. "Nothing. So could you please move away, I need to leave," I said and walked past him.
"Wait," he called. "I left my phone in the garden. Can I borrow yours just until I find the candles?"
I scoffed at the back of my mind. I hid my disbelief with this despicable situation that I am involved. It's not even impossible that this 'black out' was her doing, and this man was in on it, too.
"Look," I said as I spun around, ready to decline him when he suddenly grabbed me. Everything happened so fast. When I opened my eyes, his hand was already on my mouth and he was pinning me to the far side of the island counter as if he was hiding us from something. I tried to force my way out of his grip, but he hurriedly hushed me.
I quickly stopped my attempt to protest when I heard a loud shattering of what seemed to be a vase from the living room. More and more glasses hitting the tiled floor followed soon after. Then we heard a hateful voice that ordered someone, possibly its accomplice, to ruin everything they could ruin. It was then that I understood the reason behind the sudden, unannounced action of Von and the kind of situation I am stuck in.
The shattering sound continued, which resonated the vengeful hearts of these unidentified people. Their loud, careless, undisguised actions spoke much of their intention in the house—which I'm pretty much sure is not to steal. They must've hated the Mayor and held a grudge against him or anyone living in this house to be this fearless, or they could also be bored people who have nothing to do with their lives. I suspect they were also the ones responsible for this power outage.
Now that I think about it, I highly doubt I could still blame Danica for the situation that I am in right now. At this moment, my heart was undeniably racing, not for the reason that I am uncomfortably sharing a small space with this man, but with the prospect that I might not get out of this house alive. Danica, you really did such a good job of inviting me over today. Great timing, babe.