🌺 Chapter 5🌺
We’re finally here at the bookstore, and I watch as Luna travels her eyes around the shelves, looking for the perfect book for our assignment.
Since she said that this is her favorite bookstore, I rely on her to find the book — she doesn’t even need to ask the store assistant. She strolls around the place like she owns it.
The bookstore isn’t that big and crowded because there’s another one down the street which is so much bigger — in analogy, the other one looks like headquarter while this one a branch office.
I think that’s why Luna likes it here — she doesn’t like people.
She taps her finger on her chin, looking up at the titles of the biography books on the upper shelf. My mind wanders to what happened on the football field after my tryout ended, how those guys treated her like she’s a pain in the @$$.
Well, it’s not like she’s the nicest person ever — she has turned down my offer to be friends — but it doesn’t mean that they can make fun of her like that.
Lunatic . Such an inappropriate insult for such a beautiful name. Judging from Tyler’s angry expression and his friend’s warning to keep Luna out of Tyler’s sight, maybe they used to be a thing.
I scoff. Like I care.
Still, I somehow feel guilty, because that little incident wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t waited for me at the bleacher.
Luna lets out a desperate sigh.
“I’m running out of an idea.” She shrugs before leaning her back against the shelf, looking at me. “I mean, I’ve got some, but I’m not sure if you would be interested. It’s better to choose a book that you’re interested to read.”
“What do you have in mind?” I tilt my head as I watch her.
Luna bites her lower lip, and I hate that sight when we’re standing close like this in the small corridor between the shelves, because it draws my attention to her lips more.
“I’m thinking of a musician or an artist,” she says, and I roll my eyes. “See? You’re not interested. Do you have a better idea?”
I smirk. “If I had to choose, I would pick the biography of the best football player in history.”
“I knew it.” Luna shuts her eyes, throwing her head back against the shelf. When she opens her eyes again, she sighs. “I know nothing about football.”
“You don’t have to,” I say. “We’re going to read the journey, not how to play football.
She squints. “But that would be boring.”
I scoff. “For you.” That makes her lips purse.
But you know what? At least we’re having a conversation. That’s progress.
“Fine, then. How about a politician?” I ask.
She looks at me in horror. “That’s even worse.”
I scan the biography books inside the shelf next to me, and one book catches my attention. A smirk curves on my lips as I take it out and show the cover to Luna.
“I change my mind. I don’t mind writing about a musician if we choose this book.”Cassandra Castillo: The Biography, Offstage.
Now Luna stares at me as if I’m crazy, her eyes wide. “No. No way.”
I chuckle. “Why? It’s your mother. You know everything about her. We can get an A, for sure.”
She shakes her head wildly, and that sight amuses me, making me want to tease her even more.
“Or maybe we should pick one about your father.” I raise my eyebrow, shoving my hands into my jeans pockets. “I’m sure it’s somewhere inside the shelf too.”
I scan the books again, expecting to find one with the title ‘ Lucas Klein – Business at the Speed of Thought’ or ‘Lucas Klein – Think Like A Champion’.
“Max,” Luna hisses, definitely not liking the idea. She looks like she will kill me if we choose her parents’ biographies.
I shrug, another smirk creeping on my lips. “You know that an A or A+ sounds so Fůçƙing good, don’t you?”
“It’s not gonna happen,” she says, sounding annoyed. “There’s no way that I’m going to pick those books.”
I laugh. “Why? Enlighten me.”
“Because I’m not going to write about my parents’ life journey,” she speaks through gritted teeth, and it amuses me even more that she thinks I’m being serious.
I don’t think that Mr. Grint, our English teacher, would allow that either. That’s called…cheating. Yeah. Cheating.
“Besides, it would be impossible for me to read those books without crying,” she blurts out in a small voice.
That makes me stop talking. Is there something sad behind their stories? I never follow entertainment news or gossip channel, so I have no clue about the story behind Klein Enterprise or the fame of Cassandra Castillo, now Cassandra Klein. My little sister, Sienna, would mock me for my obliviousness.
“This is not getting anywhere,” Luna says firmly, straightening her body up, taking a step closer to me. “We have to do this the traditional way. The one who wins will pick the book.”
My brows furrow. “Traditional way?”
“Rock paper scissors.”
“We’re not in Fůçƙing kindergarten.”
Luna glares at me. If she thinks that it can scare me, she’s wrong, because it looks cute in my eyes.
Did I just say that she’s cute?
No Fůçƙing way.
“Max,” Luna reminds me, waiting for me to do it. “Come on. We’re not going to waste more time debating which book to choose.”
Well, I hate losing. Judging from her trance, she would give me rock.
“One, two, three–”
I stretch my hand, shaping paper. Luna, on the other hand, has scissors.
I feel just like the paper, being cut into shreds.
Fůçƙ .Harry Styles.
Harry Fůçƙing Styles.
Of all the other biography books inside that damn store, she just had to pick the one about Harry Styles.
I don’t think that I will write anything. Luna, who has a big smile on her face now as we sit at a table inside a coffee shop near the bookstore, can write as much as she wants for our assignment.
Judging by how happy she looks, I think that she doesn’t mind finishing the assignment all by herself.
I finish my iced coffee with an unnecessarily loud and annoying slurping sound before placing the drink back onto the table with a loud thud.
She peeks a glance at me while still writing on her book and lets out a small chuckle as she notices me being all grumpy.
And that’s when I realize that I just saw Luna Klein smile for the first time.
I’m surprised that it looks refreshing.
She looks cute when she glares, but when she smiles, it’s just…different.
Refreshing. Yeah . That’s the word.
Since I have absolutely no interest in our assignment anymore, I decide to make small talks.
“What about your parents’ biographies? Why did you say that they would make you cry?”
Right. Small talk like getting to know better about your new friend, asking about her family.
Wait. I forgot. Luna Klein doesn’t even Fůçƙing consider me as her friend.
Luna doesn’t answer right away, and I watch how she keeps focusing on our assignment. Her eyelashes are so thick and long — they cast a shadow over her cheeks as my gaze stays on her face.
She sighs. “I just couldn’t read them. The biographies basically explain everything about their struggles, and they must have included how they met each other as well.” Luna finally drops her pen and leans back on her chair, but she still doesn’t look at me.
“And what about that?”
“It’s tragic,” she says in a small voice, closing her eyes. “Their love story is tragic.”
But then she snaps her eyes open and looks at me, as if she just realized blurting those words. As if she can’t believe that she just told me about something personal regarding her parents.
I, on the other hand, don’t mind her rambling in front of me. It’s so much more appreciated than the silent treatment she used to give me.
“It couldn’t be more tragic than what my parents had.” A scoff leaves my lips.
Luna looks at me in disbelief, and I give her a look that says that I know what I was talking about. I won’t accept any objection.
I was just stating the fact.
“My Dad didn’t stop loving my Mom for seven years even when she forgot him,” Luna says, sounding offended. “And you don’t want to hear about my brother. He was the one who was hurt the most by the people who wanted to tear our family apart.”
I’m lying if I say that I don’t feel anything from hearing her words. No family deserves to be torn apart.
But I know that the next words coming out of my mouth will shock her. “My Dad took three bullets to save my Mom’s life.”
A gasp escapes from Luna’s lips, her eyes wide as she stares at me in disbelief.
“That’s…” she falters. “That’s crazy.” The last words are barely a whisper.
I smile. My Dad is indeed crazy but a good kind of crazy. “You know one said that if a man is in love and truly cares, he wouldn’t give up.”
Luna gazes at me as if I speak something holly, but then when she looks down again, I catch sight of sadness crossing her expression.
“Is that true?” she asks, but her voice is so small that I almost can’t hear it. “My Mom told me the same thing, though.” A small smile touches her lips, but it’s kind of forced.
This is surely a huge turn of the topic we’re discussing. This is Fůçƙing weird. Who the Fůçƙ lead the conversation into this lovey-dovey thing?
OK. That’s stupid me.
I decide to talk about something else, anything. Something that has been on my mind for a while pops up. “Luna,” I say, making her shift attention to me again.
“Your name. Why did your parents give you the name?”
As to why I’ve been wondering why, I have no idea. I guess that I’m just curious about everything.
Lune rests her chin on her hands. “My Mom is kinda obsessed with the galaxy.”
She lets out a small sigh, and I can see that her mind is drifting to somewhere else again.
“She said that my Dad is Neptune. As in mythology, it’s associated with dreams and illusions.” She chuckles. “I know that’s random, but what can I say? My Mom is an artist, and she’s just being her. Poetic.”
Now as I watch her smile again, I wonder if this is the same Luna that I saw in our school. Because right here, right now, she seems free, unbothered, approachable.
She’s different when she’s not at school.
“My brother, Aiden, means the fiery one,” she continues. “Like fire. Like the sun. Everybody knows that he’s the sun in my Mom’s galaxy. He’s the center of her universe.”
I listen to her intently, wondering what she would say about herself.
“And then there’s me, the moon,” she says.
“I don’t know why they named me that. My Mom said that she and Dad love the moon.” Another small smile is plastered on her lips, but it’s more like a sad one.
“Still, the moon will never be like the sun, right?”
I don’t know how to respond to that. She can’t possibly think that she’s insignificant.
Then the funny name the guys threw at her in school, ‘ Lunatic ‘, pisses me off even more.
“I like the moon,” I blurt out, making her look at me.
I’m not trying to make her feel better — I’m just speaking the truth.
“I like watching the moon.” I seriously do — at some nights, I just have this weird habit of staring at the moon from my bedroom’s balcony.
Luna still stares at me without blinking, her jaw slightly dropping. I can’t really explain the expression on her face, like she’s thinking about something else in her mind.
Then I realize how wrong it might have sounded to her.
She was just talking about herself, the moon. I said I like the moon. I said–
I like her. I like watching her.
That sounds wrong. I hope those thoughts didn’t cross her mind.
But the moment her cheeks blush crimson, I curse at myself.
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