Chapter 21: Do You Want to Go to My House? (3)
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Twenty-First Chapter: Do You Want to Go to My House? (3)

 

 

“Wait,” Kris sternly said, stopping me from entering through the door. 

 

It was perplexing, but since I was just a guest, I obediently followed and stopped before the door. Kris entered the house and left me alone for a moment. Tob was somewhere around parking Kris' bike on his own accord like an ideal servant.

 

Tob does things without being asked … I feel like he's too used to this …

 

I feel kinda bad, but Tob looks like he's having fun doing it, and their bond seems to go way back in time.

 

While I waited for Kris to come back, I, again, observed her house. My first thought was how clean it was and organized yet … it's kind of odd? 

 

I don't know how to describe it, it's just when I look around something just seems weird, as if I'm in some sort of augmented reality.

 

So I focused my eyes and tried to look for anything out of place. Yet, I was unsuccessful and left with a feeling as if something was hanging on the brink of my tongue.

 

Scanning around the place, Kris' place has a beautiful front yard adorned with different colorful flowers and a variety of plants useful for cooking. 

 

As for the terrace, where I'm currently at, it has a welcoming vibe with wooden flooring and two shoe racks placed on each side of the entrance. A rocking chair, probably for Kris' grandmother, on the far right side near the shade of the tree. Pots of plants were placed on the railings as decorations. 

 

It's definitely a simple house filled with a warm atmosphere, but I can't help but feel as if something was strangely amiss …

 

“Is it weird?”

 

“Kyah!” 

 

My heart jumped in surprise as I lightly screamed when a voice suddenly sounded out beside me. I checked who it was and saw that it was Tob! 

 

“Please don't scare me like that!” I complained while I tried to calm down my racing heart. 

 

Showing a cheeky grin, Tob said apologetically. “My bad, my bad.”

 

“Back to the topic, Whatcha think about the house? Is it weird?” he continued, asking me a strange question. 

 

“Hmmm, yes … though in a good way! It feels as if … the place looks too perfect?” I replied hesitantly, looking around the place. 

 

After my reply, Tob grinned and laughed. “Haha, yah, it's weird, isn't it! Lexie's just too much of a neat freak!”

 

When I heard him call Kris a neat freak, my curiosity was piqued, so I inquired about the topic further. “What do you mean by that? Kris' a neat freak?”

 

“You wanna know?” 

 

“Yes!”

 

“You really wanna know?”

 

“… Yes?”

 

“Okay, I'll tell ya since you wanna know!”

 

I nodded eagerly, aware that I was being teased, but my curiosity got the best of me, so I went along with his flow.

 

And well, I feel like this is one of the few times that Tob can feel in control … 

 

How would I know? 

 

Looking at him having that satisfied smile on his face, my gut feeling says I'm right on the target!

 

Tob cleared his throat as if preparing for a lengthy explanation. “Lexie, as ya can see earlier, have somethin' against filthy sh*ts …” 

 

“Ya can't, and when I said can't, as in never ever see her outside without her baby—alcohol!”

 

Yeah, I've noticed that …

 

“I dunno what they call those people, uhhh, ger, germ … germiphone?”

 

“Germaphobe?” 

 

“Yeah, that! Right, right!” Tob pointed at me in satisfaction. “So anyways, where was I? Uhh, ah! Okay, and my girl, Lexie, seems to be the hybrid type?” Tob had this confused expression as he said that while scratching his head. 

 

Me, too. ’Cause what do you mean by hybrid???

 

“Ankur told me about it, but can't really get it inside this thick skull of mine,” he mocked himself while poking the side of his head. “Just know that Lexie's case a bit diff' than usual.”

 

How different?

 

Then he looked as if he remembered something and stared straight at me. “Piece of advice—don’t grab Lexie like that from the back!”

 

Earlier? Why not?

 

Seeing my incredulity, Tob shook his head from side to side as if disappointed. “You aren't listening, aren't ya? I just told you, Lexie doesn't like dirty things.”

 

“But I'm not dirty, though?”

 

I'm kind of offended by his statement, as if he's insinuating I'm dirty? Just so you know, I take a bath every day! Hmph

 

If I weren't so used to it, I might actually have shown a frown right there … 

 

So although I'm quite displeased inside yet due to my excellent facial muscle control, my face only showed a harmless one as if what he said never phased me. 

 

“Doesn't matter if ya clean or not … You'd still be dirty in her eyes—that’s final.” 

 

I was silent for a moment. Unable to take what he said immediately. 

 

That's contradicting, though? Kris never shied away from me or my touch! She said to hold on tight, you know! Even yesterday, she held me in her arms! 

 

… Though, yes, it was just to help my dazed ass …

 

Remembering that made my face flush a bit as I recalled how comfy I was in Kris' arms back then … 

 

Huuu, so embarrassing … but exciting … 

 

I was already flustered by just remembering what happened yesterday and then as if to add to my already blushing state—my mind went into our hand holding earlier … It was so soft and rough at the same time …

I think I’m about to overheat …

 

While I was heating up and feeling as if steam was about to come off my head, Tob continued speaking, ignorant of my thoughts. “So yah, just wanna warn you if ya don't wanna get on Lexie's bad side.” 

 

He leaned near me, which I subconsciously evaded, and covered the side of his mouth, whispering, as if he was about to say something confidential. “Spoiler alert: ya don't wanna get on her bad side.”

 

“What bad side?”

 

“Holy mother of earth!” 

 

Kris suddenly appeared, making Tob jump in surprise. Meanwhile, my reaction wasn't as intense as Tob's since Kris has a soothing deep voice, unlike Tob's booming loud voice.

 

On the contrary, I felt somewhat satisfied. I gazed at Kris with a smile since she basically got back at Tob for surprising me earlier. 

 

Heh, serve you right.

 

“Are you done?” I asked Kris with a smile. 

 

“Yeah, sorry for the wait. Tried to find Ma and get these things.”

 

Tried? I questioned in my mind. But my attention was immediately caught by something else.

 

My eyes naturally went to Kris’ hands, and secretly admired them for a moment. 

 

So pretty …

 

Still, without missing a beat, I turned my attention to what Kris was holding …

 

 … It was a pair of slippers and another spray bottle?

 

“Rebecca, close your eyes for a moment. This will be quick and hope you don’t mind.”

 

I had my doubts but I closed my eyes promptly. However, when I heard the last sentence, I almost wanted to check in curiosity and open my eyes. 

 

Though, the next moment made me think: good thing, I didn’t open my eyes.

 

While my eyes were closed, a familiar scent of alcohol and a cold feeling of liquid enveloped my body as Kris thoroughly disinfected my whole being. 

 

This experience made me realize that Kris hates dirty things more than I thought, and … 

 

Maybe Tob was right? Am I dirty?

 

“You can open your eyes.”

 

I slowly opened them and came into my sight was Kris, standing there with an impassive expression. She was lightly gazing at me and then shifted her eyes to Tob and asked. “Are you gonna come in?” her spray bottle was pointed at Tob as she said that.

 

Her action made me feel relieved since it seemed it was not because I’m dirty—it was just her standard practice! Yay!

 

“Nah, I’m good. I’ll take the trike. Imma bounce now! Bye, Lexie, Beckie!” 

 

With those parting words, Tob left as chaotic as when he arrived while waving goodbye, soaked in the rain since he didn't bother borrowing Kris' umbrella. Kris, at the side, was waving back and thanked him for the ride. 

 

Meanwhile, while I was also absentmindedly waving, I was thinking about the sudden nickname I received but just sighed a huff of breath at this cheery friend of Kris.

 

After Tob was completely out of sight, Kris shifted her attention back to me, she asked me to put my muddy shoes (now dry) inside the basket and also my socks, which I immediately did. Same process, disinfect and then I put on the black slippers she was holding.

 

And then finally I can now enter Kris' home. 

 

***

 

 

“Ma,” I softly called around the house. 

 

“...”

 

However, the only response I received was silence. I tried going to the kitchen, backyard, her room, and upstairs but I did not see even a silhouette of Grandma.

 

“Where did Ma go?”

 

I took my phone and texted Ma, but the message was sent but not delivered. So I decided to go to my room first to get the things I needed. 

 

I grabbed the alcohol on the headboard and disinfected all my things: phone, bag, even myself. I placed the bag around the corner and rummaged through my closet, trying to find appropriate clothing for Rebecca. 

 

When I opened it, a sea of black clothes appeared in front of me—not a single color could be seen inside. I picked an old black sweatpants, a black plain tee, and a pair of new underwear, and put them on the bed for later. I grabbed the alcohol and a basket and walked back to the entrance.

 

Nearing the entrance, I placed the basket on the side and grabbed an indoor slipper for Rebecca. I heard voices talking so I went near them and inquired:

 

“What bad side?”

 

***

 

 

“Is it really okay …?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

I convinced Rebecca to take a bath, which she was initially reluctant to do but I insisted, so after a few back and forth she relented. 

 

I grabbed the pieces of clothing I left on the bed earlier and gave them to her. I already instructed Rebecca on how to use the bathroom and where to get the new towels inside, so she'd be good inside, I think.

 

Still, her nervous expression didn't completely disappear. So I thought of what to say to ease her. 

 

“Don't worry, we're all alone right now. Ma’s not in the house.”

 

That should calm her down. I know how nerve-racking it is when someone’s parents are present … I guess Grandma's sudden disappearance is a good thing. I’m still worried, though. I guess I should chat Big Bro later.

 

However, contrary to what I expected, rather than ease her up, it instead made her react as if she was poked by a thousand needles.

 

“Eh?! W-w-w-w-w-we’re all alone here?! Just you and me in your house?!”

 

“Calm down …”

 

She reacted quite intensely—no, she looks like she’s about to blow a fuse right now. Was that the wrong thing to say? 

 

“How can I calm down!”

 

“Why not?”

 

“You just said we’re all alone here!”

 

“Why’s that a problem?”

 

“How can you not see a problem?!”

 

“Well … if I was a man, yes, it’d be a problem, but we’re both girls, though?”

 

“…”

 

That shut her down. She probably realized it after I said it. Did she forget I was a woman? I know I look too much like a guy but I still have boobs, you know? It’s right here, girl, look.

 

We were both silent as she slowly turned pink, starting from her neck. Sighing, I was about to excuse myself to escape this awkward atmosphere.

 

“I-it’s still a no-go! You can never be too sure these days, Kris!” she suddenly uttered, unable to meet my eyes.

 

“…” I stared at her with a bewildered face in silence.

 

Is she saying I would attack her? Do I look like a freaking sex offender?

 

I’m not sure, so I asked her: “What do you mean?”

 

“… I mean, y-you shouldn’t let strangers in your house, Kris. Especially alone! That includes friends, even if they’re girls!”

 

… Wait … am I the one at risk of being attacked?

 

That thought made me look at her weirdly. 

 

Staring at her, her serious yet still blushing, reprimanding face looked funny to me so I let out a soft chuckle as I palmed her head twice.

 

“Little miss, don’t worry, you’re not even capable of pushing me down, so go and take your bath in peace.”

 

And with that, I left her alone in the bathroom. Ignoring her embarrassed shout from behind:

 

“That’s not what I meant!”

 

Sigh … girls. 

 

***

 

 

“Juice,” I placed down a glass of juice on the table in front of the now-seated Rebecca.

 

She was wearing my clothes with slightly wet hair, sitting modestly on the sofa in the living room. I sat across from her while drinking a glass of milk.

 

“Thanks, Kris …” Rebecca softly muttered, looking more tense than usual.

 

“Yeah, I put your shoes and dirty clothes in plastic together. Just grab it later before you go.”

 

“Okay …”

 

“…”

 

Silence befell in the room as we both were busy sipping on our drinks. Even after a while, I didn’t do anything to break the silence ‘cause I know I don’t need to.

 

Shortly, my words were exactly right as Rebecca opened her mouth to speak. It caused me to almost spit my drink, though.

 

“You’re a neat freak,” Rebecca stated, not questioned.

 

Am I getting insulted?

 

Although her words seemed as if she was insulting me, her tone of voice said otherwise. Still tense but relatively relaxed now, she said those words, staring at me with curious eyes.

 

“Did Tob told you?”

 

She nodded.

 

I put down my glass and adjusted my position. “Yes, I like being clean,” but not a freak, FYI.

 

Hearing my confirmation, she lit up but then squinted in suspicion. “I doubt that, though.”

 

“Why?” I asked, amused at her doubtful look.

 

“You know why,” she sulkily said, then turned her head to the side.

 

Hmmm … ah.

 

“I discreetly disinfected my hands, you know.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“When you and Ember were not looking, I cleaned my hands then.”

 

She seemed surprised hearing my words but still said with pursed lips: “Sorry for being dirty then. I’ll avoid touching you in the future.”

 

… I only meant that for Ember, though. 

 

For some reason, that creeping feeling I feel whenever someone touches me doesn’t happen when it’s Rebecca. Unless they’re super close to me and I feel comfortable with them like with Lia, then it’s fine … but even the first time we met I never mind Rebecca’s touch. 

 

I wonder why?

 

“I don’t mind, though,” I responded. 

 

“…” she didn’t reply.

 

“I don’t mind your touch, Rebecca,” I repeated since she didn’t answer.

 

Glancing at her, Rebecca looked as if words were taken out of her mouth, breaking her sulking state. Then our gazes met, and her eyes shook as she rushed to cover her face.

 

“… You’re a pervert, Kris …” she then said muffled, under her hands. “You say those things easily … without knowing its effect. Perv,” she added.

 

Hey, stop calling me that. I just said what I truly felt.

 

I mean I really don’t have to say it but I felt like I needed to since Rebecca might feel offended. 

 

No one wanted to feel avoided, you know?

 

Letting out a huff of breath, I stood up and crouched in front of her. 

 

“Excuse me,” I politely said, then proceeded to take off her hand on her face and held it in my hand. “This is what I meant when I said that. Don’t distort my words on your own.”

 

“Ah …” 

 

Rebecca was absentmindedly staring at her hands being covered by mine. She seemed as if she didn’t hear anything I said, which made my eyebrow twitch a little.

 

I’m saving my reputation here and you’re ignoring me, miss?

 

“Anyway—” 

 

I was about to stand up after proving my point, yet suddenly Rebecca tightened her hand, lifted my hand at eye level, and finally spoke:

 

“You got really pretty hands, Kris.”

 

She was looking at it so intently as if she was witnessing a piece of art. I was a bit taken aback and a little troubled since I don’t take compliments that well …

 

“Thanks?” I replied wryly.

 

“I’m not kidding. You got one of the prettiest hands I’ve seen! You can even rival those thirst trappers on TT!” she replied intensely after hearing my dry thanks.

 

TT? And what are thirst trappers?

 

Maybe it was so obvious on my face, but Rebecca looked surprised at my confusion.

 

“You don’t know Tea & Teas?”

 

“I’ve heard about it.”

 

But I don’t really know what people do with it. 

 

“Heard? Have you never used it?”

 

I shook my head to indicate I never used it my whole life.

 

“MEmer? Chirps? DisWatch?”

 

I, once again, shook my head.

 

Wide-eyed, Rebecca remarked. “Woah … Have you been living under the rock, Kris?”

 

When she said that, I side-eyed her while slightly squinting my eyes. 

 

Seeing that, Rebecca cutely chuckled as she softly said. “These days even kids use it, you know? Really, you’re so weird, Kris. Soo weird!”

 

Urk … Is it really that weird? 

 

Ever since then, social media has never been my cup of tea; I only used one for communication, and other than that I never used any one of them. I’d rather sleep or clean. 

 

Well, not completely … I’ve tried some since Lia made me but I deleted it immediately within a minute—since it confused the hell out of me!

 

“It’s a hassle. And I have no use for it, anyway,” I reasoned flatly.

 

“You sound old, Kris,” Rebecca replied, her giggling continued as she seemed to find my ignorance amusing.

 

I smirked softly at her laughing figure, not taking offense to her words. Also, I noticed that we were actually holding hands the whole time.

 

And consequently, since my eyes moved towards it, Rebecca also finally realized it. 

 

“Oh, hehe,” she grinned sloppily. “It was so comfy, I forgot about it.”

 

She rubbed my hands with both hands and played with them like a child who got a new toy. I just watched her do that while wearing a happy smile on her face.

 

Cute …

 

However, it will remain short-lived. It seemed this sickness of mine finally worked properly on Rebecca, as I felt that familiar throbbing feeling on my hand.

 

“Okay, that’s enough,” I stopped her and retracted my hand. 

 

I grabbed the alcohol on the table and generously sprayed my hands, rubbing it thoroughly.

 

Witnessing that, Rebecca tilted her head to the side. “I thought you didn’t mind it?”

 

“I also thought so, but it seems there’s a limit,” I answered, mirroring her confused state.

 

My answer made her ponder deeply as she murmured something quietly. “Hmmm, so five minutes is the limit …” 

 

You’re keeping count?

 

I shook my head exasperatedly as I stood up to check the weather. Peeking from the screen door, I saw that the rain was starting to let up. 

 

“Rebecca, the rain is almost gone,” I said, trying to catch her attention.

 

She lifted her head and seemed to be thinking. “Okay, can you send me off to the bus stop, please?” she requested, showing off her deep dimples.

 

“Sure.”

 

I was planning to do so, anyway. 

 

She lit up and excitedly said. “Can we ride your bike? I wanna try riding it!”

 

“…” I did not reply.

 

Well … no, you can't. Sorry.

 

 

Hmm ... I wonder why Kris doesn't want Rebecca to use her bike?

Btw, thank you, matheus faria teixeira, for becoming the first member of my Patreon! Might post a bonus chapter later on when I stock up! For now, I'll give y'all this long chappy!

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