For the rest of that day, I avoided both Anthonio and Leandro. I didn’t want to avoid Anthonio but I had no choice because everywhere he was, his pal was. They were stuck together like they were trying to meet up for the lost time they didn’t spend together.
In the afternoon, most of the members sat in the living room with their masks on as usual. I wondered if they ever took them off. I was always afraid and even more insecure when they were around. Once they began entering the living room to sit, I left the kitchen and ran upstairs to my floor.
In the afternoon, I sat in my room reading a novel when I started to hear the sound of a bouncing ball. I got up and went to my window and looked down at the backyard.
There stood Anthonio and Leandro in a corner of the huge property, dressed in only sport shorts and shoes. Shirtless as the sun reflected on their perfectly tanned skin. They were playing basketball as I realised for the first time that there was actually a basketball net at that corner.
Having nothing else to do, I watched them play.
It still surprised me to see how normal Anthonio could be at times.
They chatted and had fun as they played. At a point, Anthonio scored against Leandro and then mocked him. It was such a cute scene to me. I wished he could laugh with me that way. But that was close to impossible.
I felt like I had to bring them refreshments and so I got up and left my room. Those members were still there. I hurried to the kitchen hoping that they would still ignore me like they normally did.
I got cold bottles of soda and water and put them on a tray before heading for the backyard.
Anthonio was backing me and talking to Leandro at the centre of their play spot.
Leandro spotted me from over Anthonio’s shoulder and motioned with his head for Anthonio to turn.
Anthonio did and that’s when he saw me. I couldn’t help it but smile at him. I always wanted to smile at him.
“What do you want?” Anthonio asked in his cold manner. To my surprise, Leandro hit his arm lightly.
“Amigo, is that anyway to talk to a lady?” he asked, walking up to me and taking the tray, “I’m sorry mi amor. Thank you.”
He then turned to Anthonio
“You can’t be cold with such a nice girl. Just look at her!” Leandro exclaimed and I swear I didn’t know if he was kidding or actually scolding Anthonio.
“Solo mira su cuerpo! (Just look at her body!).” Leandro added in either Spanish or Italian, I didn’t know which, and I stood there trying to guess what he’d just said.
“Oh, lo veo todos los días. (Oh, I see it everyday).” Anthonio replied.
Couldn’t they speak English?
Whatever Anthonio said made Leandro smile like a predator.
Anthonio then turned me and with a smile that caused confusion in my poor brain, he said:
“I’m sorry, Donnica. And thanks. For the drinks.”
I nodded and smiled back like a crackhead.
“N– no problem.”
“Well, I’m gonna go take a bath now. Please would you bring me dinner later tonight?” he asked politely!
“S– sure. Anything you want.”
“Okay.” he smiled a little and walked back into the house. I watched after him, unable to realise how polite he had just been to me.
On facing my front again, Leandro was staring at me, a knowing and amused smirk on. I flinched.
“What?” I managed to say.
“Nothing, honey. I just like to stare.”
“Don’t come and kill me at night.” I said with the bit of courage I had and he smiled.
“Why should I? For the moment I have no reason to.” was his reply before he winked at me and got into the house.
What the hell was I dealing with?
That night, Velma served dinner to everyone and I was asked to bring the boys’ food to their rooms.
First stop was Leandro’s room. I really did not like being around him or alone with him. I had those scary thoughts that he might try to sleep with me and then kill me. Like the hell?
I knocked at his door and he asked me to come in.
“Oh, it’s you, princess.” he said. He was laying back down on his bed while watching TV at the other end of his room. He’d freshened up and wore a black T-shirt and black sleeping trousers.
“Put the food on table.”
I did as I was told, feeling his eyes on me as I moved.
I dropped the tray and hurriedly turned to leave when he suddenly grabbed my wrist. I looked at him, lost and quite scared.
Slowly, he got off the bed and stood right in front of me.
“Leaving so fast. Why?” he asked, slowly. I got nervous.
“I– I have to bring Anthonio’s food to him. Let me go.”
“Don’t be so hard. You can trust me.” he smirked and it did nothing but make me doubt him even more. He smiled like evil. The sexy side of evil.
Trust him? No I wasn’t dumb enough.
“What do you want?” I dared to ask.
“Nothing. I just want you to know that you can ask me anything. Anytime. My room’s door is always open and I’m always very welcoming, sweetheart.”
“You can dream if you think I’m gonna sleep with you.” Yes, the courage in me was struggling to manifest.
“Oh, I know you won’t. Not with your weak point around. Anthonio.”
I stared at him.
“He’s– he’s not my weak point. He’s just the guy who destroyed my life.” I tried to sound angry.
“What makes you think you know anything about me. You know nothing.”
He chuckled and ran his fingers through his silk hair.
“Oh, darling, I can tell you things about yourself though I have never known you.”
“Well, go ahead.”
“We’ve all be trained to think the way profilers or psychologists do.” he began, “You are insecure. You’re courageous by nature though. yet right now you’re faking it. You’re clearly intimidated by me but you’re ready to argue to prove the contrary. When you love, you love deeply. To the point of killing another for the person you love. And I bet you’ve already done that.” he ended, staring straight into my eyes as if he could read me.
It freaked me out. All he’d said was true.
“You’re as crazy as we all are.” he continued, “But in a good way.”
I stepped back but he took a step closer instead.
“Tell me,” he began, “For whom did you kill, sweetheart. Who?”
I took steps back but he took steps ahead, staring at me like he was trying to hypnotise me.
“I– I have to go.” I stammered and without further ado, I ran out of his room.
I stood in the hallway, close to breathless. What had just happened?
Getting a hold of myself, I headed for Anthonio’s room. I knocked and was asked to come in.
“Hey.” I greeted Anthonio who sat on the couch in his room.
“Hey. What took you so long?”
“Um, I’m sorry .”
“It’s okay.” he sat up straight to eat.
“I’m starving. You cooked this?”
“N– no. Velma did.”
He stared at me.
“What’s wrong? You look nervous and a little bit shaken.”
“No, no it’s fine.”
“Tell me. Now.” he ordered in his once again rude tone.
“Uh, Leandro and his silly jokes.” I faked a little laugh and luckily, Anthonio’s expression softened once again.
“Oh. It doesn’t surprise me. He has the same effects on all girls. Turns their heads upside down.” he seemed to muse about it.
“You leave that effect on me without much effort.” the words left my mouth.
Anthonio looked up from his plate at me.
“What?” he muttered and I got nervous, realising now was the chance to take back what I’d said before he got angry or had a mood swing again.
“Uh, nothing. I’m just tired. Gotta go to bed now. Goodnight.”
He was silent for sometime and when I was about to leave, he answered.
I got out of his room immediately. I felt like my heart would break. I loved him so much it hurt. He was mentally unstable and probably would never love me back. What could I do?