Chapter Two – Caller ID
It was our second day in Verona, and I was squared away at the large oak desk typing out the first draft of my essay instead of sightseeing like any other normal person who had never been to Italy before would do. As my fingers made contact with the keyboard, my mind often made a point to drift off and remember the incidents from yesterday. However when that occurred, I shook my head, reminded myself that he was nothing but a perverted devil sent down to make my life a living hell, and simply moved on.
The playing ring tone of my cell phone snapped me out of my thoughts. Sighing, I flipped my phone open and balanced it between my ear and shoulder as I continued to type down my draft.
"Where do you think you are?" screeched the familiar voice. "Did you think you could just prance away from your obligations?"
Sighing, I looked up at the time. It was only 10:30 a.m. If I said anything that might be considered 'offensive' there was a slightly large possibility that I could receive an unwanted lecture. Then again we were in different time zones. For all I know, it could be night or perhaps the middle of the afternoon for New York at the moment. But, there was a chance that she knew all about the time difference and would likely use it against me.
"Look Edna," I started, referring to my aging landlady by her first name as she so commonly hated. "I didn't prance away. I told you a week before I left that I was leaving for Italy."
"Don't talk back to me missy, especially in the morning."
From over the phone a cackle erupted.
"That's right, I know all about this time zone nonsense. How many times have I told you not to talk back to me in the morning hmm? Back in my day, young girls were to be seen not heard. And how many times did I tell you not to call me by my first name?"
I pulled the phone away from my ear, lowered the volume, and then slipped the device back in the crevice between my ear and shoulder.
"Yes, I'm sorry Edna. Now what can I help you with?"
"You failed to give me your rent money for this month!"
I sighed warily.
"I already gave it to you, Edna. Look, open your file cabinet on the left, second drawer down. Pull out my file and the money is all there - two hundred and seventy dollars to be exact."
The sound of opening cabinets and papers flying echoed through the speaker. For a moment I contemplated on just hanging up on her. I knew the money was there, she'd find out soon enough, so if I just pressed the red button I would not only save myself an ear load of lectures and she would save her breath. In the end, I kept the phone by my ear and her voice came back on shortly.
"You conniving little child! When did you get your grubby hands on my file cabinet?"
"I handed it to you," I muttered knowing it was pointless to defend myself.
She mumbled some incoherent nonsense from over the phone.
"I guess I may have forgotten."
My eyes widened. Did she really just give up? I scarily wasn't even glad. The fact that she had given up the argument in just seven minutes scared me immensely. In our arguments, I was the one who would be forced to give up. Either because she threatened to kick me out or call my damn parents or some other method of punishment that she, with much enjoyment, would come up with.
"Edna," I began in a worried tone. "Are you alright?"
"I'm eighty-six years old; I don't need your worry. Oh and Amu, when you get back, I'll deal with your foolishness myself. So be careful, would you?"
I was greeted with a small click and then the dial tone. Smiling to myself, I placed the phone down and stared at the glowing screen. The old bat drove me insane, I thought to myself, but she was more of a mother to me than my own mother. My heart clenched and my eyes went dark at this realization.
She hadn't even called me, even after I had left her a message on her voicemail telling her I was heading to Italy.
Maybe she didn't get it…
I shook my head. I was no longer going to make excuses for her actions. I'd done that before in the past and was only welcomed with open arms by disappointment. Frowning, I erased all thoughts of the woman who had given life to me and resumed typing my draft.
With my arms folded over my chest, I watched Utau inspect the table cloths in front of her.
"Amu, why won't you help me decide?" she growled narrowing her violet eyes at me.
"I tried, but then you barked at me when I told you the periwinkle was better than the plum."
"Oh. Well, what about these two?" she asked gesturing to the pale pink fabric and a deeper shade of the plum colored fabric she had shown me earlier.
Frowning, I took a step closer to the table and gazed at each color carefully.
"To be honest, I think the pale pink is more appropriate but that's just m-
"AMU!" she shouted attracting the attention of several shoppers. "I just asked you to help me! Why can't you even do something as simple as that?"
I threw a desperate look to Kukai who had been goofing around with Ikuto. Sighing, he nodded his head and placed his hand on Utau's shoulder.
"Honey, what about the blue one?"
"It's too depressing," she muttered placing the periwinkle next to the plum again.
"Why not just choose the darker purple instead?" suggested Ikuto.
"It's plum," she corrected.
"Whatever, why not just choose plum?"
"Because then the venue we choose will look too dark."
I studied the tablecloths she had lined side by side again. Then the idea came to me.
"Utau, why not get the periwinkle and the plum and layer them? That way you can buy the color you want but keep it balanced with the contrast of the lighter shade."
Kukai and Ikuto immediately gave me a high-five, and Utau hugged me. From there, she ran up to the man who had been assisting us earlier. Utau had practically beaten the man down after he suggested that white was a more practical and elegant choice for an engagement party. The three of us waited outside while she ordered. When she finally did come out, she had a bright smile on her face.
"Let's go for ice cream, okay?"
Not wanting to ruin her mood, I didn't bother to mention that it was called 'gelato' here. It didn't take too long to find a vendor. I was busy pulling my wallet out while Kukai and Utau ordered. They had stubbornly insisted to pay for mine, but I was way more stubborn that the two of them combined.
"What do you want? I'll order for you."
Looking up, I was greeted by the devil's azure eyes.
"I can order myself."
"She was probably just going to order chocolate anyways," called out Utau.
I slowly snapped my neck around and gave Utau the most convincing death glare I could come up with. But she ignored me and resumed sharing her gelato with Kukai. When I turned back around, he was holding out a chocolate gelato with a smirk on his face. Frowning, I grabbed the cone.
"Do you expect me to thank you?" I asked.
He shrugged in return.
"You don't have to."
Grumbling, I walked over to a different bench and sat down. He plopped down next to me. Refusing to acknowledge his presence, I remained silent and slowly licked my gelato.
"Where are you from?" he asked all of a sudden.
"Why do you care?"
"I thought since we were going to see each other everyday for a month, we might as well get to know each other. Plus the fact that you hate me."
"I don't hate you…I just dislike you immensely."
"So you won't answer?"
"I don't see a need to. After a month, we'll just go our separate ways until the day Utau and Kukai decide to get married. Then we'll just go our separate way again. And it's better for you if you don't know anything about me."
He leaned in closer.
"I know your name – Amu Hinamori. I know you hate love-
"I don't believe in love," I corrected.
"Same thing. I also happen to know that you hate when people compliment your legs. And you like chocolate."
"I was in a towel!" I screeched.
"Which did happen to be pink."
Sighing, I took an enormous bite out of my frozen treat.
"New York," I answered bluntly. "I'm from New York."
"I'm from Los Angeles."
For the first time since talking to him, I smiled.
"Wonderful, we're on completely opposite sides on the map."
"How old are you?" he asked with a frown.
"What's your sign?"
"Sagittarius," he grumbled.
"This is pointless," I muttered getting up to throw my cone away.
"You threw your cone away?"
"Yeah…I don't like eating the cone. It's disgusting."
"Really, I happen to like it."
I was already walking away by the time he finished his cone and jumped up to catch up to me.
"So tell me why you think this is pointless."
Stopping completely, I gripped my bag and looked up to face him. He was tall, I noted with discomfort. Much taller than my petite 5'4 frame.
"I don't know what game you're trying to play here, but it's obvious that we have nothing in common – if that's what you were searching for. So why don't I just save both of ourselves some time. I'm not interested in becoming friends."
Smirking, he bent down a little so I didn't have to look and cupped my chin with his fingers. I shot him a murderous look but he ignored it.
"That a shame, because I'm interested in becoming friends."
And with that he strode away, leaving me on the cobble stone path cursing behind him.
I dropped onto my bed and hugged a pillow. After coming home, I'd worked on my draft all day and managed to finish it. Shifting slightly, I looked at the time – 11:06 p.m. I pulled my phone out from under my pillow and with much surprise noticed I had two unread messages and a horoscope update. I pressed on the horoscope button and the familiar blue screen popped up.
Daily Libra Horoscope
Thursday June 8
You are trying to avoid what you potentially know will happen by working yourself down to the core. Relax and let the cards do what they are destined to do.
I groaned. The last thing I needed to hear today, let alone from a computer, was about destiny. Rolling over so I was on my stomach, I opened my first message.
Hey Amu…I heard you're in Italy. That's pretty far from New York. Well, I hope you're having fun. Can't wait to see you!
Staring blankly at the message, I decided to delete it. He obviously didn't get the message that I had no intention of becoming friends. For a moment, I was oddly reminded of Ikuto, but I shrugged it off. I clicked on the last message.
From: Unknown Number
To: Amu Hinamori
With wide eyes, I glared at the phone as if it was playing a trick on me. How the hell did he get my number?
Hi, you guys! Here's another update just for you (: At first, I was having some trouble finding where I wanted to go with this, but now the chapters are just rolling out. And thank you guys so much for the support. I honestly didn't expect to have 15 reviews and 56 favorites in just two chapters. I really do love you guys (:
Enough of my rambling…Thank You TO: