“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me!”
I was awakened to Cari and Andi screeching at each other in the hallway outside my bedroom. I could just picture them arguing – Andi assuming a defensive stance and Cari throwing about her arms offensively.
“Well, it’s none of your business. You only know because Kass told you!” Andi grunted.
“But I’m your big sister too. I should’ve known. Geez, Andromeda, I kicked him in the nuts two weeks ago in gym class because he dropped me when we were practicing lifts.”
“Don’t Andromeda me! And it’s your fault for being so lousy at dancing lifts. You kicked him? No wonder you end up in the dean’s office so often!”
“Well if you would’ve told me llama-brain, I’d have tried to be nicer to him.”
“Why do you have to be such a drama queen, Cari? You should just be nice to everyone and then maybe people would actually like you. Maybe you’d actually have a boyfriend then!”
I heard Mamma open her bedroom door and sleepily tell the girls to pipe down but it was too late. I was already wide awake. I didn’t particularly want to stick around for the aftermath of my sisters’ morning madness so I dressed quickly and slipped out for Nonna’s.
“Che piacere vederti, Kassiopeia,” Nonna said as she kissed both my cheeks.
“It’s nice to see you too, Nonna,” I smiled and leaned into her embrace.
She smelled like roses.
“What brings you by, bambina?” Nonna asked.
“I just needed to get out of the house. Can I crash here today?”
“Yes, please do. You can even stay the night. I can have the housekeeper make up your room. We can have cappuccino and cornetto for breakfast tomorrow morning.”
A day at my grandmother’s sounded heavenly.
“I’d like that.”
I would be in for a treat tomorrow morning – Italian croissants and coffee was always a favorite meal of mine as a little girl.
Nonna invited me into the living room where she had been watching a gardening show.
We watched as the master gardener explained how to make the most of your summer fruits and vegetables and what flowers were the heartiest in the hot weather.
A television program called Simple Minds came on next. It seemed like a weird cross between a sci-fi show and a soap opera. The lady was attacked by her houseplant. We laughed and changed the channel.
We watched Similarities instead. Nonna and I got pretty good at answering the game show trivia questions.
After lunch, Nonna and I decided to jump in the swimming pool. I always loved their gargantuan pool. It was rectangular with an island in the middle. I always felt like I was staying at a hotel or something.
Around 1:30, Nonna went in for an afternoon nap. I swam around for a few more laps before settling onto one of the pool deck chairs.
Ah! This is the life, I thought. No worries. Soaking up the sun. Relaxing poolside. I wished the peace would last.
I must’ve dozed off because the next thing I knew it was around 4. Mmm, I stretched before standing up. I walked across the grassy pathway to the main sidewalk and followed it over to the kitchen door. I tried the handle. It was locked. I peered through the windows. I couldn’t see anyone. Nonna must’ve still been napping and when I walked around front, Nonno’s car wasn’t in the driveway.
He must not be home from lectures yet, I figured. Drr! Locked out! I desperately needed to use the restroom. I hoped the poolhouse was unlocked.
It was. I let myself in and walked across the tiny kitchen area to be greeted by the strangest sight. There was a strangely familiar man bent over the toilet, grunting in frustration. At first I thought I’d walked in on him, but then I realized he was cleaning.
“Oh, you startled me!” he exclaimed as he turned suddenly.
“I…uh… what… you’re here? What are you doing here?” I fumbled for words, shocked.
“Don’t worry! I’m not some weirdo who breaks into people’s homes and fixes toilets,” Davis reassured with a laugh. “I live here.”
“You live here?” my eyes widened.
“I’m the new live-in help,” he explained. “How do you know the Riverias?”
“They’re my grandparents,” I said, putting my hand on my hip and eyeing him suspiciously. “Wait, you’re like their butler or housekeeper or something?”
“Well kinda, home health aide. I am interning with Sunnyside Senior Assisted Living, and one of the services we offer is in-home care. I want to be a doctor someday so this is how I’ll earn my stripes,” he explained.
“Wow! Well aren’t you a jack of all trades!”
“So the Riverias are your grandparents? That’s cool. I take it you went for a swim.”
“Yeah… do you mind? Can I use your bathroom?”
“Oh sure, no problem.”
I took an extra minute in the bathroom to wrap my head around Davis living with my grandparents. So perhaps Fate has him in my sights after all. I felt a little awkward just walking out in my bikini, but there wasn’t much I could do about it.
“I’m so sorry. I wanted to call you last night,” Davis apologized. “But I didn’t have your number. You showed up at the Jolt anyway and Jazz Night was canceled.”
“It’s okay. I met Davide.”
“Ah yes the Simtalian chef Granny took in. He seems nice and he’s a whiz at pizza.”
“Yeah, so I was told. I tried the chumcha.”
“Abe said something about complications with your living arrangements?”
“Oh nothing really. Your grandparents just wanted me to move in yesterday instead of this upcoming Saturday. They’re having a party this weekend and wanted me in early.”
“Oh, so now that I know where you live, Davis, maybe I’ll get that date after all,” I flirted a little.
“Date?” Dave repeated. “Is that what you thought last night would be?”
He sounded serious.
“Oh llamas! I mean… I don’t… I didn’t think… I wasn’t sure… but I… uh…” I stammered, waving my hands like an idiot. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry. It was,” Davis smiled teasingly. “I didn’t want to freak you out when I first invited you, but I was hoping it could be a kind-of pre-date date. But it’s still kinda a date.”
“Oh,” I flushed, feeling silly. “I just didn’t know for sure. I mean I kinda hoped… I mean…” Why did I say that aloud?
“Kass, relax, I like you,” Dave admitted. “If the whole I’m-living-with-your-grandparents thing weirds you out then we don’t have to go out. I’d understand. But I’d love to get to know you better.”
“I’d like that too,” I smiled shyly, tucking a stray hair over my ear.
“So will you go out with me?” Dave asked.
“Yeah, Davis,” I grinned like a fool. “I’ll go out with you.”
“Good. Actually, I need to finish up some things in here, but would you want to come back over for dinner?” he inquired. “Nothing fancy. Probably just boxed mac and cheese, but it’s kinda like a breaking-in-the-new-place celebration and I’d love for you to join me.”
Before I could answer, he quickly added, “And I promise to take you on a real date soon.”
“Davis, I would love to join you for mac and cheese. It’s one of my favorites,” I smiled genuinely, excited about his offer.
“Alright, it’s a date then,” he grinned.
Chapter Ten Coming Soon!
- How will the rest of Kass’ stay at her grandparents turn out?
- What will her “first date” with Davis be like?
Author’s Changes: What’s different?
- Picture size was edited.