By Grey Wolf
It has been five minutes as we walked who knows how many aisles to gather the ingredients for a taco that Luna’s mom will make for William’s mom.
William was behind us, dictating every bit of ingredients, from meat to vegetables to garnish and to a lot more. Whilst both Luna and I looked for the designated aisle of the ingredients, William blurted out as I pushed the shopping cart.
“.. And that would be all.” William whistled as Luna dropped the last ingredient on the list, which was the cheese.
We were about to cruise our way to the cashier when the cousins decided they would buy some chips.
I followed them behind to the designated aisle as I untangled my hair. Ever since I highlighted it, though, I loved it. I never liked how it was dry and tangling whenever I forgot to put on the conditioner or just too lazy to do it.
Luna noticed me struggling with my hair and promptly pulled me to the aisle where the hair dyes are.
“Ellie, honey, I assume you require some redoing in your hair. How long was your hair highlighted?” She asked me, scanning through several hair dyes on the rack.
“One year. Not long ago.” I said behind her.
“One year is way too long. You should dye your entire hair. What color do you think might fit in you?” she asked, getting and putting back hair dyes on the rack.
“I don’t know.” I shrugged and faced a mirror I saw along the aisles, untangling my hair.
“Well, how do you feel mostly?” she questioned me casually.
“Blue, I guess.”
“Then blue it is.” Luna threw the blue hair dye on the cart and rushed to the cashier.
William’s reflection appeared beside me in the mirror. “You are going to trust her with your hair?” A questioning look reflects on his face.
“Your hair might get damaged terribly. She had hers damaged last year, and it cost her a lot to treat it.” he answered as he helped me a little with my hair.
“Everything’s damaged to me for a long time, William,” I said, untangling the last hair strand.
“It’s costly too, but got used to it.” I continued and tapped his shoulders.
Luna dyed my hair at their house. Hence, after waiting for a minute, sitting on a bench outside Target, a black Toyota Century parked in front of us.
A man stepped out from the driver’s seat and took the stuff we bought at Target to the car’s trunk whilst the cousins stood at their feet and walked to the car.
“Wait. How about my bike?” I asked Luna who was now sitting at the car’s back seat buckling her seatbelt meanwhile William does the same thing at the passenger seat.
“Don’t worry about that. James here will make sure your bike will be safe when we dropped you off here again when you get home. Come on now.” Luna said to me, and I hesitated.
“No need to worry, miss. I will assure you your bike will be safe and sound. Now, may I?” someone spoke behind me.
I looked at my back and saw a man – James; I supposed- who was wearing a coat and tie gesturing for me to hop inside the car. And so, with a hesitant heart, I still hopped inside the car.
Seven Oaks is one of the best neighborhoods in Bakersfield and also one of the costly neighborhoods. Of course, these two lives here. I mean, they own the most popular trading company in Mexico.
I have imagined enormous houses in this neighborhood. Our house in Oleander is big. Ranch style, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, backyard. It was nice, pretty big for a household with two family members that were barely home. But I never imagined Seven Oaks to have a ******* villa or a house big as a castle for two cousins and their moms since their dads are on a business trip.
The structure set in front awed me as soon as I hopped off the car. Man, their house might be bigger than Hogwarts.
The entrance, by which I mean entrance to almost all sides of the square shape pavement where a fountain was planted, has an archway stressed by several crawling plants to who knows how many doors are surrounded by this fountain. Maybe one of these doors leads to Mexico.
“This is your house?” I catch my breath, eyeing the scenery in front of me.
“It’s hacienda,” William uttered as he passed by me.
“I know. It’s too much. It’s an ancestral home.”I looked at my left to see Luna already walking with us.
There is a big two-door entrance at the end of the archway in the middle part of the square pavement. Luna opened the two doors at the same time and to my surprise, my eyes widened at how enormous the stairs were. Big chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and basically everything here is enormous. I slapped myself.
Am I dreaming?
William must have read my mind. “You’re not dreaming, Ellie Blythe. Make yourself at home.” He spread his arms that were hooked from his pocket as he walked backwards, smiling.
Luna dyed my hair in her room, by means of her room, meaning a room big as our first floor. I have also met their moms. Beautiful as heck.
“Now we wait for like… 30 minutes to an hour it says in here,” she said, slamming the box of the hair dye at her bedside table.
William entered the room with a plate of tacos. He placed it at the coffee table. We all sat on the carpet eating tacos and talked about ourselves while we waited for my hair. I came upon what Luna wants to be in the future. A fashion designer. I remembered my mom.
My mom’s a fashion consultant. A talented one. I even modeled her styles before as a child. That is the reason we move places a lot.
Around America people admire my mom for her job, people from different places call her for an appointment. After dad has worked his ass very hard that he had gathered enough money for him to retire early because of his heart, with his pension and mom’s salary, they stayed here in California for good since we can not move places a lot anymore because of dad’s condition.
Ever since, mom already got enormous opportunities at her job because some celebrities asked for her. Everything seems okay at the moment until I felt homesick and the supposed to be the greatest road trip of my life ended up my dad dead at a convenience store’s floor.
I took a mouthful of tacos in my mouth, making some meat fall onto the coffee table. “My mom’s a fashion consultant,” I said, picking the bits of meat at the coffee table and throwing it inside my mouth. “And this… is heavenly,” I said, licking my fingers.
“No doubt with that,” William said, handing me a bottle of water and also to Luna. Luna took a big gulp of water and looked at me.
“Really? Your mom’s a fashion consultant? Maybe I could meet her sometime?” I finished my bottle of water before answering back to Luna.
Luna is a great person I would like her to meet my mom especially if it will help her with her future and my mom as what I said is good at her job, but these times are not the best for that, bet I couldn’t even take a single step inside our house without me and my mom arguing.
“I would love to. But we have a big problem there. That guy I threw milk at, he’s my mom’s client.” I said, clicking my teeth.
It was already four in the afternoon and my hair had two more hours left, so the three of us watched some movies at their theater room.
By six pm, Luna is already rinsing my hair. I expected the color would be more like dark or midnight blue because that was what illustrated in the box. Turned out it was much lighter and I liked it.
By six-thirty, the driver William called arrived to drop me off at Target to get my bike and go home. I thanked the cousins and their moms and drove away to Target.
It was past eight in the evening when I arrived at Oleander. The lights in the kitchen are still on, meaning mom is still awake. I tiptoed as quietly as possible as I entered our front door when the neighbor’s dog barked and my mom called out to me.
Nervous, I hesitated to take one step to enter the kitchen. I know tonight would be another argument for both of us because of what I did to one of her clients. And I am not running away from what I did. I just don’t want to deal with it right now. I’m tired. But then I took the last step to the kitchen.
“What the hell did you do?” My mom, with a furious face, welcomed my presence in the kitchen.
I know I’m in a lot of trouble right now. So as I ready myself with an explanation, she suddenly blurted out another question unrelated to what happened earlier at the front porch.
“Why would you do that to your hair again?” she asked with an irate tone.
You know, my mom is unbelievable. Being in a fashion industry field, I don’t get why she hates people dyeing their hair.
That’s fashion, right? And what is more unbelievable is that there are many more things I’ve done today, and all she cares about is my freaking hair?
“What? So, this is not about the milk thing? Or have I gone out the entire day?” I questioned her.
“What milk? I don’t care about freaking milk or you outside! You’ve been always outside your entire life and you always come back alive!” Her scream sent the most angst I felt my entire teenage years.
“You’re unbelievable, you know that? Your daughter is out of nowhere and you aren’t even worried even a bit? Yes, I’ve always come back alive, but what if I didn’t? You still wouldn’t care, won’t you? Mom, I was out the entire day and all you care about right now is my ******* hair!” I never wanted to raise my voice or put curse words at anything I have to say to my mom, but this was just too much.
The words came out of my mouth, shocked her, but before she could say anything back, I cut her off.
“You know, mom. I’m tired. I don’t want to continue this conversation anymore.” With that, I walked out of the kitchen and slammed my body into my bed.
Sunday came and ended with me not seeing my mom’s face.
As the sunrise appeared outside my room, I met up with Naomi, Brian, Charlotte, and her sister to pick up Chesca at the airport from the family reunion she had in Australia.
After that, we all went for some drive-in and had a picnic at a local park in Bakersfield. In the afternoon, we went to church, and I prayed to God to save me from what I am in right now.
I stayed out all night strolling downtown, buying time so that when I got home, my mom would be asleep and I will not have to deal with last night or with her.
So, I got home, and she’s asleep.
By Monday, my mom and I still haven’t uttered a single word to each other ever since the argument last Saturday night.
I let out a breath of relief when mom was not yet downstairs. I made myself some toast and sat at the dining table facing the French doors that lead to the backyard and again stared at the outdoor camping flyer.
“Honey, stop staring. If you want to go there, I’ll take you.” My mom’s voice sent back the anger in me from that Saturday night.
She walked around me to sit opposite to where I was sitting and quickly; I picked up my backpack, getting ready to leave the house even though I still haven’t had a single bite on my toast.
“Yeah, bet you can’t wait to not see me for three days,” I uttered to her, stood up, and left the kitchen.
“Oh, come on. Are we still not over Saturday night?” I overheard her as I slammed shut the front door.
Nothing much happened in school today aside from Ace eyeing me full of threats at lunch and Luna simultaneously flipping him off from our table.
When the last bell for the day rang, I rushed to my locker and stuffed my things in. I bid a goodbye to Luna and William when I passed by them in the hall.
I swam into the pools of students in the hall until I got to Mrs. Vaughn’s front door office. I took a deep breath and crushed into her office.
Surprised, Mrs. Vaughn looked at me as I entered dramatically in her office. She looked at me with wide eyes. I walked towards her and slammed the outdoor camping flyer at her desk.
“I want in.”
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