December 5, 2023


🌺 Chapter 7🌺

School has just ended, and while I’m packing my books, I see Max walking out of our classroom, accompanied by some classmates — his new friends. He throws some jokes at the guys, while the girls follow him like puppies, laughing at everything he says.

Max blends in pretty well. Good for him .
I don’t need another drama in this school, and neither does he. My attempt to escape him after school was a success, and I guess that communicating through the phone to discuss our English assignment is the best idea.

I blow a sigh, slinging my backpack across my shoulders as I trudge out of the classroom. Once I’m in a hallway, I check my phone, wondering why my driver hasn’t texted me. He should have arrived half an hour earlier.

It’s no wonder that people think of me as a spoiled brat. I want to drive my own car, but I can’t drive… yet . It’s not that I’m not allowed to, but I’m just not mentally prepared.

Call me stupid or what, but if I did drive, I might be one of those people who drive really slowly that honks would echo everywhere around me.

I’m not worried about my safety — I’m worried about the safety of those around my car. I just can’t risk the possibility of ending someone’s life.

What if a cat passes by the road while I’m driving? I might just get out to pick it up, and the moment I return to the driver seat, I would be shaking all over.

Come on, Luna. That’s silly. When will you grow up?

While I’m pondering in my random thought, something catches my attention. My eyes widen as I see Rory chatting with Mikaela in the hallway.

Another girl with honey brown hair, who is none other than Mikaela’s best friend, Nadine, is with them. She’s a popular girl too, captain of the cheer team.

I watch as Mikaela squeals in delight before pulling Rory into a tight hug. Soon, their laughter echoes in the air. Mikaela blabbers like she just told them about the latest bag of her favorite designer, while both Rory and Nadine listen to her intently.

Before they can notice my existence, I turn to another route. My heart sinks so low, and a great pain strikes me so suddenly that I won’t be able to face them.
My legs shaking, I force myself to keep walking.

So now Rory and Mikaela are becoming good friends?

But that doesn’t even make sense. I know for sure how Rory feels toward Tyler, but judging by what I saw just now, she doesn’t have any problem with Mikaela.
Of course, Mikaela hasn’t done anything wrong to her.

But Mikaela is Tyler’s girlfriend, and if Rory is now close with Mikaela, it means that she doesn’t have any problem seeing Mikaela and Tyler making out once in a while in front of her, or practically shoved their tongue into each others’ throats like what I saw this morning.Is Rory’s feeling toward Tyler gone?

But why can’t she forgive me?

Why does she not want to have anything to do with me anymore, while she can be friends with Mikaela, brushing off her feelings toward Tyler?

We used to be best friends. At least, that’s what I thought.

My throat hurts so bad, and a tear threatens to fall from my eye. I don’t even realize that I almost arrive at the lobby of the school. I stop short in my track as I notice tens of students gather in the hallway near the lobby, whispering frantically.

“Oh, God, he’s so hot.”

“Hold on. He makes my knees go weak.”

“How can someone be so FΕ―Γ§Ζ™ing perfect? He’s every woman’s weakness.”

I frown. Who are they talking about?
Pushing through the crowd, I make my way toward the lobby, and there before my very eyes, I see my brother. My eyes widen in surprise.

Aiden is leaning against his car, his black Mustang. He’s still wearing his office suit, and he’s waiting for me to come out, because his face brightens the moment he spots me.

Wait. Isn’t he supposed to be in Miami for a business trip? Why is he already back here in New York? In my school, precisely.

A grin creeps on his lips as he stares at me — his shocked little sister, frozen on the spot. “Surprise.”

Guess what? I don’t FΕ―Γ§Ζ™ing care why he’s here, because what matters is that he is here. Now I know why my driver didn’t contact me.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Luna Klein has just cursed.

My big brother is here. Dammit, he’s really here to pick me up.

“Aiden!” Instead of walking toward him, I run, and he laughs as he catches me in his arms before lifting me and whirling me around.

God, he always makes me feel like I’m five years old.

When he puts me down, only then do I realize that I’m laughing too.

God, did I just laugh out loud in school? In front of all these people?

“Why are you here?” I ask, breathless.

He tsks. “Well, I finished my meeting in Miami earlier this morning, so I changed my flight schedule to fly here as soon as possible so that I could pick you up and take you out to eat ice cream.”

My mouth drops open, and it waters too.

“Ice cream?”

“Like that idea?” He raises his eyebrows.
A small burst of laughter escapes from my mouth again. “More like love it.”

“Perfect.” Aiden smiles before opening the car door for me and bows, making me giggle.I huff for the third time since we’ve arrived at the ice cream parlor. “I can’t choose,” is all I can say. I drop the menu and bury my face in my hands.

Aiden chuckles in front of me, across the table. “Make up your mind.”

I open my eyes again and stare at him in defeat. “I really can’t.”

A smirk touches his lips as he rests his chin on his fist. “OK. Best two.”

My eyes scan the menu again, and I lick my lips. “It’s between this Banana Split.” I point to the picture. “Or this Brownie Explosion.”

Oh, no. Both of them look equally good.

“So, which one is it?” Aiden asks, and I tap my fingers on the table impatiently. He chuckles again. “OK. Time’s up.”

Just as he says that, the waiter arrives at our table. Aiden teases me with a look that says, ‘ Go ahead,’ and I squeeze my eyes shut, debating between those two choices. I know that I won’t be able to finish them all if I order both of them, so I have to make up my mind.

After letting out the longest sigh, I tell the waiter, “Banana Split, please.”

The waiter nods, jotting down my order before turning to Aiden.

“Brownie Explosion,” Aiden says, making my eyebrows shoot up.

The meaningful smile he gives me makes me smile too as I shake my head in disbelief, knowing exactly what he’s doing.

When the waiter leaves our booth, Aiden starts, “How’s school so far? Anything good?”

The smile on my face vanishes instantly.
I almost forgot about that. It’s amazing how Aiden could make me forget what happened with Rory and Mikaela for a while.

My brother is really the sunshine in my family, because his presence can brighten our day in an instant and make us forget our problems, even just for a while.

Since I don’t want him worried, I force a small smile. “Everything’s good, but I’m just a bit tired with all the assignments.”

Aiden sighs. “Your grades are perfect, Luna. You should lay back a bit more. Don’t push yourself too hard. Have some fun.”

If only he knew what’s happening.

I just give him a small nod before resting my chin on my palms, sighing as I look out the window. My eyes follow two small girls heading to this ice cream parlor with their Mom.

“You know that Mom and Dad wouldn’t mind you hanging out after school, right?” he says. “Leave those shitty assignments for a while.”

I return my gaze on him and find a smirk plastered on his face.

Yes, I know about that. That’s why I like to play the piano in the school music room or go to my favorite bookstore after school, just so I don’t get home too early and raise the suspicion that I don’t have any more friends to hang out with.

Before I can respond to Aiden’s words, the waiter comes back with our ice cream, and I gasp in delight. My Banana Split looks mouth-watering — the three scoops of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream are my favorite.

I inspect Aiden’s plate, and the Brownie Explosion looks just as awesome, topped with hot fudge, whipped cream, peanuts and a cherry.


I take a spoon of my ice cream and close my eyes, enjoying the taste. It’s silly how I can be this giddy just because of eating simple ice cream.

“You know that I wasn’t wrong when I tried to persuade Mom to have you on TV for a food commercial,” Aiden’s voice snaps me out of my trance.

“I object that.” I pout, and his eyes glint with amusement before they fall on his plate.

He tries a small amount of his ice cream, eating it slowly, and that justifies my assumption that he only ordered it so that I can eat it too.

Without warning, I take a spoon of his ice cream and grin sheepishly. Aiden smiles, watching as I eat both of our ice creams.
I’m just so absorbed in devouring this heavenly taste that I don’t realize blurting out the question, “Have you ever been bullied?”

My spoon stops in mid-air as I hear my own words. Bracing myself, I look up, only to find Aiden staring at me with a frown on his lips.

Before he can respond, I abruptly continue, “I’ve read this biography for my English assignment, and it turned out that the person used to get bullied before he became famous. I just…” I falter. “I just want to know what you think about that.”

He sighs, relief crossing his expression.

“You scared me for a second there.”
My heart thuds, my hands suddenly sweaty.

“Some unfortunate people had to go through that, and we shouldn’t tolerate that kind of treatment,” Aiden says. “I can’t imagine if the same thing happened to you.” The irritation is evident in his voice.

I laugh, praying to God that it doesn’t sound like a desperate laugh. “Don’t worry.” I wave my spoon in the air, acting like his sentence was silly. “That would never happen to me. Ever.”

Aiden leans back on his chair, crossing his arms over his chest, completely abandoning his plate now. “Good. You don’t want to know what I would do if someone bullied you. Like, I might do something horrible.”

I swallow, and my voice is a whisper when I ask, “Like what?”

Aiden cracks his knuckles and scoffs.

“Like breaking their neck.”


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