“Austin.” I whimper against the door while cursing myself mentally.
I can’t believe that this loop is happening yet again. We were doing just fine but then I just had to use a fucking tone on him. I wish I could just slap myself with a damn brick right now.
“Baby, I didn’t mean that. You know that I love you.” I utter and slide down until my ass touches the floor. Then, I lean my head against the door. I sigh and try to control the feelings that are bubbling up in me. We were having so much fun but then I messed everything up.
This is what I do; I fuck things up.
I hear the door squeak open but I didn’t give much thought on it. I didn’t realise that tears were falling from my eyes until a tissue was in my face. What the hell? I look up and see William with a box of tissues in his hand and a sad smile on his face.
“Thanks.” I mumble and pull out a tissue, wiping my tears away with it. “You know my brother isn’t in there anymore, right?” He asks and sits next to me. “What?” I raise an eyebrow. He nods and then points at the door. I gasp in panic. “He left?”
William immediately shakes his head. “God, no. He wouldn’t do that to you, no matter how mad or sad he is.” I look down on my lap. “Well, is he mad or sad?” I ask while taking another tissue. He shrugs. “A little of both, I guess. Trust me, Paradice, he loves you too much to just leave you like that. He is sad about the joke though; paranoid, in fact.” I look up to glance at him.
“He told you about the joke?” I ask. But the question that is really on my mind was: ‘he knew that I was joking?’. “Oh yeah. He told me that right after he locked himself in the bathroom, he went out through my mum’s room and of course, he seek my help.” He explains.
I nod, hoping that he would explain further. “I asked him what was wrong and he told me about the joke. He told me that he knew that it should be taken as a joke but he just couldn’t help but be paranoid that it might be true.” I sigh. “So technically, he is having doubts.” William bobs his head.
“He shouldn’t have doubts because I love him more than my own life. He’ll never know how much I love him though; he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same. Don’t you see, William? I am Austin.” I couldn’t help but cry again.
“Par, you must really love him because you just quoted that from Wuthering Heights. He is just having all these thoughts in his mind because, I quoted: ‘she is too pretty, too smart and just too perfect for me. With the age difference, I couldn’t help but think that she will leave me for someone better’.” He states while putting a comforting hand on my shoulder.
I didn’t know that Austin are having these kinds of feelings too.
“Like I’ve said to my friend before, age, height, religion and what-so-ever doesn’t matter. Love is love. I love him, William; I really do.” I say as I hear the door open again.
“Paradice? William?” Austin calls out. I wipe the remaining tears away and then stand up. I mouth a ‘thank you’ to William before walking towards Austin. When he sees me, he instantly attacks me into a hug. “I’m so sorry, Par. I shouldn’t have just left you like that.” He apologises and lays his head on my shoulder.
I sigh and then rubs his back soothingly. “It’s okay, Austin. I understand now.” I smile softly as we let go. I notice that his eyes are watery but no tears come out. “I love you so much,” He says and holds my cheek with his hand. “I love you too. I’m sorry that I made the joke.” I mumble and then takes his hand away from my cheek.
“That’s what it is: a joke. It wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.” He affirms and we hug it out one more time. After a few seconds, William - whom I’ve forget was in the room - awes. “You two are so sweet. Trust me when I say you two are going to marry each other.”
I swear if one of these two brothers make another marriage hint, I will explode.
“We don’t know whether it’s going to happen or not, Will. Only time can tell.” Austin lays his hand around my shoulder as we stand next to each other. I look up to glance at Austin but he was already staring down at me.
“It better happen.” William says and chuckles. Then, a tone sounds; probably coming from Austin’s phone seeing that he snaps his head towards his phone when the gadget sounded. His brother takes his phone from his desk and opens it. “The Uber driver is here.” He announces.
Austin turns to look at me. “You ready?” He asks with a gleaming look in his eyes. After a few seconds of staring into his mesmerising eyes, I said, “Yes.”
“God dammit, it’s been years since I’ve come to this place.” I state in awe as I did a 360-degree turn. “Really? I come here every single week.” He states and slams the taxi door shut. I push him light-heartedly. “Your mum works here, you fag. Of course you are going to come here every week.”
He laughs and then takes my hand. I squeal in delight inside my mind. Austin takes a quick glance at his watch and then did a double-take. “We should go and fill our stomachs first. It’s going to be an action-packed day.” He grins and then pulls me inside the building.
“It already is.” I claim as I follow him through the crowd of people. A woman is pushing a child in a stroller and the child drops his toy in front us abruptly. Austin crouches down and helps the child to pick up his toy without any hesitation. After he gives the kid his toy, he ruffles the small child’s hair with a smile, telling the mother that the little boy in the stroller is cute.
He turns to look at me. “Isn’t he cute? I would want a son like him.” I nod and gives him a smile. I couldn’t help but awed at the sight in front of me. He looks like a father and it’s killing me - in a good way, of course. When the little child and the mother wander off, Austin stands up.
“Shall we?” He asks and puts out his hand like the true gentleman he is.
I link my elbow with his. “We shall.”
We walk arm-in-arm towards the restaurant that he describes as ‘simply divine’. The whole time walking is spent with us replanning our whole schedule because we didn’t really have much time.
“Here we are.” He declares and then points at a Chinese restaurant. The sign above it is showing the words ‘Chicken Delights’. “Wow, this was not what I was expecting when you describe it as ‘simply divine’.” I admit as we both go in.
He shrugs and then order for both of us, seeing that this is the first time I’m eating at this restaurant. “Notice your surroundings.” He demands. I raise an eyebrow but look around regardless. “All I see are red wall with paintings and posters on them and people eating their food.” I report.
As Austin was about to open his mouth, our food came. Fucking hell, that was quick; no wonder my pig of a boyfriend likes this place. “This, is what I call simple. Now, taste the food.” I look at my plate and to be honest, the food looks amazing. I take a bite out of the chicken and I couldn’t help but moan in glee.
“This food is delicious!” I judge right after I swallow my food. “This, is what I call divine. So if you put the words ‘simple’ and ‘divine’ together, we get ‘simply divine’. Kapish?”
I giggle. “Kapish.”
“We should get eating. I ordered the 2pm ticket for our movie.” He says and digs into his food. I look at my watch and it says twelve and a half. We both eat our food with a comfortable silence between us.
But then, it started to get intense.
“Do you feel it?” He asks, breaking the ice. “Feel what?” I question. “The unnecessary deepness of the silence .” He says and then put his hand over mine. I giggle. “Yes, I did but it’s okay; we’re okay, right?” I doubt, worrisome lacing in my voice.
He then raises my hand to his lips. Austin lays a soft peck on my hand which is a very gentleman-y gesture and made my stomach do flips. I couldn’t help but grin while my cheeks were painted with red.
“We are more than okay, Par.” He gives me a smile and puts my hand down. I smile back. “That’s good.” I nod and then push the plate away from me lightly. I was too full to eat everything so there are some food left on my plate.
Austin looks at my plate with wide eyes. “You’re not going to finish that?” He asks as he takes the pieces of chicken from my plate. I shrug and then shake my head. “I’m full. You can eat everything if you want to.” I say and push my plate towards him.
He grins like a Cheshire cat and digs into my food. “Why do I have a pig as a boyfriend?” I ask to myself but he hears it. “Well, you love this ‘pig’ so stop whining about it.” He flicks my nose and I yelp. “Hey, was that fucking necessary?” I hold my nose as the pain dies down.
“It was meant to be taken as playfully, not painfully.” He apologises and then continued to shove food down his throat. I turn my head around to see what kind of people are eating at the restaurant.
As if on cue, three girls who are probably 17 walked into the restaurant. They are all wearing glittery skirts and matching blouses which has the words ‘2 pretty 4 u’ on them. They are giggling - sounds like satan planning something evil to me - at something one of them said. They sort of remind me of Cara - all girly and whatnot.
Apparently, the whore squad eats at the restaurant.
“Why don’t you wear a skirt?” I turn to look at Austin disapprovingly. Then, I glance down at my outfit for the second time of the day. “What’s wrong with my attire?” I look up just in time to see him giving me a shrug and then calls the waiter for the bill. “I just thought that girls like wearing skirts when they go out or something.”
I furrow my eyebrows at his stereotyping. “Seriously? You didn’t mention this when you arrived at your bloody house. I’m sorry that you couldn’t accept the fact that I wasn’t in the mood for skirts today.” I snap.
Before he opens his mouth, the waiter comes with our bill. “Par, you know I didn’t mean it like that.” He sighs as the waiter thanks him and goes away. Austin stands up and then walks to my side. “C’mon honey.” He holds out his hand for me.
I huff. “Why don’t you ask those fucking whores to hold you hand.”
“Paradice, if you don’t stop with this snappy attitude of yours, so-God-help-me I will carry you over my shoulder out of this place.” He stares into my eyes and just like that, we are on with another staring contest.
I sigh after a few seconds of staring, deciding to let my ego down and realising that I may have went a little over-board. “Fine.” I mutter and take his hand. He seems pleased that I’ve cooled down as his grip on my hand becomes more secure.
“I love you, only you, Par. You know that, right?” He assures while we walk out of the restaurant and towards the nearest escalator. I give him a faint smile and lay my head on his shoulder. “I try to believe it.” I say as we both step onto the same step on the escalator.
He then side-hugs me. “I don’t know what made you feel this way to yourself but one thing’s for sure is that I love you. Your looks, outfit, grades, sassiness and whatsoever doesn’t really matter to me because I love your,” He places his palm on my chest. “Heart.” He finishes his sentence.
We both step off the escalator when we reach the end of it. “I know, Austin.” I say and lace our fingers together. “I love you too.” I was expecting him to say something cocky right after but I am taken aback by what he did next.
He shakes his head vigorously. “Love yourself more. I can’t bare to see you trying to live up to your own expectations, Par. You always have this mental image of yourself that you think you need to achieve but you don’t.” He says and stops in the middle of the shopping mall. We are blocking people’s way but he didn’t seem to mind at all.
“I know that you aren’t as perfect as everyone thinks you might be but maybe that’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good thing because that’s what makes you special. In my eyes, you are the most amazing girl that I’ve ever met. That’s one of the reasons why I fell in love with you. Sometimes, you aren’t afraid to show people the real side of you and yet you still think about what other people think about you.
They can go suck their own dicks, for all I care. What matters the most in this world is what you think about yourself. The opinions of the other seven billion human beings walking on this Earth - hell, including me - doesn’t matter because you control your own life and no one can stop you from getting the happiness that you deserve.” He tucks a loose strain of my hair behind my ear.
“Sometimes, I feel like you are too good for me.” I confess as we continue walking. “And I with you, Par.” He smiled wearily. We then stop at the front of the cinema.
We both wait in line to get our tickets while making small conversations among ourselves. There’s still thirty five minutes left until our movie starts so we are probably going to go somewhere afterwards. Austin tells the person that we want to watch ‘London Has Fallen’ and chooses the middle seats for us. After he got a hold of the tickets, he gives them to me.
“Keep them in your bag.” He instructs and right after I’ve kept them safely, we went down using the elevator. “Where are we going next?” I ask when we are in the elevator. It has a side where it is all glass so you can see the other side of it; the biggest indoor amusement park ever - Cosmo’s Park.
It’s been so long I’ve been on the rides here. I unconsciously smile when I see all the rides that I’ve been on before when I was younger. It’s been years since I came to this shopping mall because the amusement park was closed down due to an accident and my parents think it’s dangerous for me to come here. However, it’s been reopen for six years now but my parents still don’t trust the amusement park.
Long story short, they are going to kill me if they know that I’m here.
“We are going to the place where you are currently staring.” He smiles and I couldn’t help but squeal. “Cosmo’s Park? Get out.” I smile back at him. He nods, motioning that he is being serious.
Correction: they are going to kill me if they know that I am going to play in the amusement park.
When the elevator made a ’ding’ sound, the doors opens. We both walk out and towards the ticket booth. “Why are you jumping like a little kid?” I didn’t even realise the action that I’m doing until he mentions it. “I’m just so hyped somehow.” I claim and then hug him.
It took him by surprise because he immediately froze under my hug. But then, he melts and hugs me back. “I love you, Austin.” I smile into his chest as the line moves. “I love you too, honey.” He murmurs into my hair and placing a small kiss on top of my head.
“Two tickets, Tina.” He says and then the lady behind the counter glances my way. “Thank God that you’ve finally got a girlfriend, Austin.” I didn’t know who is the lady but I smile at her just to look polite. His grip on my hand tightens a little.
“Let’s keep this news under a minimum level, yeah?” He grits through his teeth. “Why?” She asks, ticking him off as she tears the tickets off and hands it to him. “If my mum knows about this, you are going to be dead first.” He warns.
The woman shrugs and I decided that it was time for me to pull Austin away from the booth or World War 3 is going to happen then and there.
“What was that? Are you alright?” I question as the person-in-charge helps me to tape the ticket around my wrist. He sighs and then shakes his head. “I’m okay. It’s just that the woman likes to stuck her nose up people’s business and she has a very big mouth. I don’t like her that much but for the sake of ticket discounts, I put on a fake smile for her.” He explains.
I nod, digesting the information. “So technically, you are just being kind to her for benefits.” I sum it up as I go through the counter. “Yeah, I guess you can call it that.” He states and follows me suit.
“We should go and put our stuff in the locker first before going on the rides.” He suggests, then pointing to a ride which looks like a death ride where someone’s going to fall and snap their necks any time now. The ride is spinning 360 degrees all around and I think I’m going to puke soon.
“We are definitely going on that ride because I wanna hear you scream.” He laughs - somewhat cackling - and then puts his arms around me. My eyes widen as I try to pry his hands off me. “Fucking hell, are you insane? We’d die if we go on that ride.” I exclaim and then eye the ride again, mentally puking while I’m at it.
He waves my words off with his hands. “Look at me. I’ve been on that ride more times than I can count on my fingers and yet I’m still alive.” He puts his hands on my shoulder. “We’ll be fine, Par.” My boyfriend assures me but the uneasy feeling is still there.
When I didn’t give out a reply, he sighs and opens one of the lockers. He shoves both of our bags into the small locker and then, “No, wait don’t!” I shake my head frantically but it was too late; he had already slammed the locker shut. I frown and touch my hair.
“What’s wrong?” Austin asks with furrowed eyebrows, genuinely concern. “I need my scrunchy to tie my hair up or it’s going to be all over the place.” I explain and he lets out a chuckle. “You are such a girl. Your hair will be fine.” He guarantees and leads me to a spinny ride but this one seems less scary than the other.
We both queue up and wait for our turn, which wasn’t long after. “I can’t believe I’m doing this now.” I mumble to myself as we both climb into the seats of the ride. “Well, there’s no backtracking now. Stop worrying, Par. You aren’t going to fly out of the ride or anything.” Due to my nervousness, I yelp and clutch onto his side. He immediately laughs his lungs out.
“I’m just joking, Par. God, you are such a pussy.” His voice lacing with humour. “That’s because I have a pussy!” I affirm, stating the obvious. When I thought it wasn’t possible, he laughs louder. Everyone around us is watching me like I’ve grown five heads and some of them give us a disproving look because of the vulgar language that we’re using around the children.
His laughter dies down after a few seconds. “Ah, that was some good shit right there.” He wipes away a fake tear and chuckles. I huff and cross my arms in front of my chest. “It’s not funny. What if it really happens?” I ask, starting to think about my mom’s advice about this place.
“Nothing will happen as long as I am here.” He smiles but after awhile, he hisses in pain. I raise an eyebrow. “What’s wrong?” Austin then uses his right hand to point at his left forearm which I am currently gripping. I instantly let go and notice crescents on his forearm, showing how hard I was holding on to him.
I apologise as the ride starts to raise. He holds my hand and rubs soothing circles on it with his thumb. I start to calm down a little and lay my head on his shoulder. The ride starts to turn slowly and I have to admit; it was kind of relaxing. My hair begins to get frizzy and fly around.
Austin laughs at my look as I clutch onto him. The ride gets faster and faster and it goes up and down, making me feel somewhat relaxed yet paranoid. “Isn’t this fun?” My lovely boyfriend says and I punch his forearm. “Sort of, I guess.” I admit.
“Don’t worry. After this, we’ll go on the other spinny ride.”
Oh, you mean the death ride? Or do you prefer to call it the I-have-no-hopes-and-dreams-and-I-wanna-die-so-I’ll-die-by-doing-what-I-love ride?
When I didn’t give any response, he wraps his arms around me and I sigh. “I love you, you know that, right?” He murmurs. I nod as the ride starts to slow down, signalling the end of it. “I know, baby. I know.” I say.
We both got out of the ride and walk hand-in-hand towards the ride that I dread. “Do we really have to do this?” I whine as the instructor asks us to take off our shoes and instructs me to take of my glasses.
“There’s a first time for everything, Par. You can’t live your life without testing anything once. Besides, if you hate it, we won’t go on it again and if under some circumstances you like it, then we can go on it again next time. Alright?” He advises.
I eye him a few seconds before sighing. “You are so mature sometimes that I forget you are younger than me.” I say as I take a seat on the ride. He gives me a grin. “I rather you forget the age difference.” He states and takes a seat next to me.
He grabs my hand and squeezes it as the ride starts to secure us in place.
“I love you, Paradice!” He screams out as the rides turns 360 degrees all-over, making the blood from my legs flow into my brain.
I glare at him. “I hate you, Austin!”