(Previous post: The Unexpected)
“Is everything okay Nan? Are you feeling well?” Her mum asked. They were in the dinning room, having dinner just the two of them and like it had been lately Nan’s mind was elsewhere. She had never felt so unlike herself like she had the last couple of days. All of her thoughts were jumbled and unclear, her razor-sharp mind that always kept her grounded and in the present, assessing every situation as it happened had gone completely haywire. It made her feel as absent minded as her older sister Lena and she didn’t like it one bit.
It was especially important to play this right. Despite her father being the accomplished scientist Nan knew her mother was the smartest one in the house, she was where she got her mind, the one she was so fiercely proud of. If anyone would figure out that something was wrong it would be Rita Prentiss.
“I’m fine mum. A little tired maybe.” She replied taking a spoonfull of her mac and cheese.
“How is Branden?” Her mother proceeded. “Did you hear from him today?”
“Yes. We spoke.” Nan answered truthfully. “He is very busy, he really enjoys it out there with his sister. There is so much to do.”
“She is in the Conservatorium?” Her mother asked.
“They must have a family talent for music.” Her mother said with a smile referring to the fact that Brandon’s mum was Nina Caliente the famous composer.
“Oh, yes. They are all very talented.” Nan replied. “Bran is too, he sings very well.”
“Really?” Her mother replied amused. Nan almost bit her tongue. She had never shared Bran’s singing with anyone, it was their thing, their secret. She wanted to end this conversation as soon as possible so she filled her mouth with food not really answering her mother’s question with more then a curt nod. She knew she would suspect something was on, they hadn’t spoken this much about Nan’s love life since… Well ever.
Lately talking about Bran made her feel… It made her feel weird, it was something she never felt before, and it wasn’t a good feeling. And her razor-sharp mind had given her the name for that feeling but Nan refused to believe that was the case. Her mind had called it guilt. Guilt. Nan had never felt guilt before and she didn’t know why she would start feeling it now…
Oh but you do know Nandini… You know it very well… Her mind whispered as she lay in her bed that night, as it had many nights before. And of course Nan knew. It was the kiss. All of it was the kiss.
It replayed in her head every night as she closed her eyes. It shocked her, it truly did, and she wasn’t an easy person to shock. The soft lips of Aenys Targeryen touching hers. She should have pushed him away. He had no right do that, she had a boyfriend, he knew that, and even if somehow he didn’t, if he had been on Mars for the last few months she didn’t give him permission. But she didn’t push him away.
She closed her eyes just like he had closed his and for that one fleeting nothing existed but that kiss, it must have been the first time he had kissed a girl, it was clumsy and short but it was sweet, as sweet as any kiss Nan had ever had. And every time she closed her eyes she felt it again.
When they had pulled apart she looked in those pretty lilac eyes and said nothing. The fast brain that Nan had liked so much had done something it never did before, it stopped. The world no longer existed, not even words existed anymore, nothing but the lilac eyes of the boy in front of her. Unfortunately it seemed he was under the same spell because suddenly he panicked, she could see it right there in his eyes, the moment when he realized what happened, what he did and he turned and ran. Without a word. Nan should hate him, just for that, leaving her like that, but strangely she did not.
She did not head straight home that night. After just standing on the street for a few moments, feeling like a total idiot she decided to head down to that new place that opened on her street. She knew the place was pretty lax when it came to checking identifications so she could easily score a drink there, especially when she put on some make up and looked older. Tonight that wasn’t the case but the bartender still served her without a question.
She took the glass he handed to her and was just about to take a seat somewhere in the back and try to wrap her head around what just happened when she noticed the man on her left, it was Mikah’il Kerry. He was an older boy that went to her school and that had been her crush years ago, it was safe to say it was not a person she would want to see tonight. The worst part was that he knew her, and he knew she was a minor.
She bowed her head down, hoping he would not recognize her and was almost about to get away when the other guy, the one standing on the left wearing a firefighter helmet just had to but in… “Hey, I doubt this girl is eighteen, what the hell man?”
The bartender started do fumble with his words, trying to explain something, whether to her or to the firefighter Nan didn’t care. She just angrily lifted the glass and pured all of its contents down her throat feeling it sting as it went down but she didn’t care. She slammed the glass on the bar and gave the firefighter a dirty look as she headed to the door. The night couldn’t possibly be any worse….
Nan wasn’t really big on sharing her problems with others, she never saw the point in doing that, what solution might anyone else come up that Nan hadn’t already come up by herself? But this was a strange situation and several times she tried to talk to Della… If there was anyone who would know what to do or say it would be her twin sister, Della was as smart as Nan after all… But somehow she never went trough with it. She knew Della would echo that voice in her head, the one that went on about guilt and stuff… And then she finally realized what that voice was, something she didn’t believe she had until now, a conscience…
And then one afternoon it just came to her, the solution of her problem. She knew who she had to talk to. It surprised her that she had not thought of that before. She was really disappointed in herself but now that she had the answer she wasted no time in dialing.
She asked Aenys to meet her in front of the theater in fifteen minutes. She figured it was a nice, neutral location, good for a simple conversation. This time it was her who arrived first and as she looked around annoyed she saw Aenys running towards her. In that moment she remembered exactly why he was Maja’s dorky best friend in all those years. He was a mess. His platinum blond hair was all over the place and his clothes were signed, he looked exactly like Maja did after she had one of her potion accidents.
“What the hell?” She blurted out at him arching her eyebrow and ignoring any unnecessary greetings. She could tell he was blushing under the black layer of filth that clung to his usually pale face.
“I was doing an experiment when you called… It really caught me by surprise, seeing your name…I…I dropped the vial I was holding which was absolutely the last thing I should have done at that moment and the whole thing kind of… Well exploded in my face.” He laughed nervously but Nan didn’t reciprocate. She just eyed him seriously. Maybe this whole thing was a mistake…Maybe I should have just ignored all of this? Why didn’t i? Why couldn’t I? She thought to herself. “I’m sorry.” Aenys continued rather pathetically. “You said fifteen minutes, I was afraid you would change your mind or something… I didn’t want waste time on showering and changing… I’m so stupid aren’t I?”
I should tell him he is stupid. Nan thought. No, better yet I should just turn and leave, like he did… But she didn’t do that. She needed to resolve this situation once and for all.
“Are you sorry for what happened the other night?” She asked as harshly and coldly as she possibly could.
“Yes.” He replied. “I’m sorry it was so sudden. I’m sorry I ran away like that… That was stupid and cowardly, I had not planned it that way. But I’m not sorry it happened… The things is I love you.” The last part he said so fast Nan was sure she had misheard. So she just stood there looking at him, all dirty and messy as he was and she just had to admit he had one big thing going for him, he knew how to completely throw her off guard. He however continued, trying to sound more confident this time. “It is something I knew for a long time now… And I know you are…” He stopped to take a deep breath. “With someone else… And that… Just the thought of it…It’s killing me.” He concluded sadly.
Nan just watched him. She wished she could feel something, anything, maybe even pity would be good but her mind was misbehaving again, she could only listen to her own heart beating. No boy had ever said anything like that to her, not even Bran and they had been dating for months! Did she deserve it? The love and admiration that came with it, absolutely. She had barely ever payed attention to Aenys and he said he loved her for a long time. The wheels in her head were turning. He was not bad looking, when he got cleaned up and ‘dorked’ down that is… He had that unique something, for Bran that was his hair, for Aenys it was those eyes… She was threading on dangerous ground here… Her conscience, Della’s voice inside her head pleaded with her to stop, it was saying something about hurting people, braking hearts and what not but finally Nan was strong enough to push it out.
“I think you should go to the spring dance with me.” She finally said carefully. His lilac eyes widened as they met hers.
“Are you sure?” He asked quickly. “What about Branden?” She cut him off decisively.
“Let me worry about all that.”
“Okay…Fine… Great!” He said smiling. “I am really glad you gave me a chance.” Nan smiled back. This might be really fun… She thought to herself feeling herself going back to normal.