3. P H O N E C A L L

The phone rang about 9am I was the one who answered. Norah went to the store to buy groceries and my sister is upstairs still asleep. I picked up the phone, “Hello?” I spoke the word softly. “Mariah? This is your aunt Lourdes How are you?” She said happily. I didn’t expect her to call at this moment but I was surprised. “Hi Aunt Lourdes um, I’m fine. Why’d you call?” is the
why’d-you-call-thing the right thing to say to someone ten times older than me?
She didn’t mind me saying that.
“I told your mom that you are welcome to stay here for the summer. And I’m hoping you could come next Saturday. Will you accept my invitation?” she said excitedly. My heart skipped a beat. I forgot what my mom wrote in the letter she gave me before she and my dad left. I was invited to her house, the one I once called a mansion. This may be a new experience for me this summer “Mariah, are you there?” she called. “Oh, sorry, yes! I would love to come.” I said cheerfully then grinned at myself. I managed to listen carefully on what she’s saying. Every word gets me excited.
Well yeah, I haven’t told you that I love trying new things and I’m always on the go. “Thank you, Mariah,” she hung up. I’m bored.
Outside the window by the mailbox, was the mail man. I opened the door and greeted him. “A package for you Mariah, quite heavy isn’t it?” the mailman Jeb smiled. “Yeah, wonder what’s in it,” I shook the box, nothing moved or a sound.
Jeb got out something from his mail carrier bag, “Sign here, please,”
I obeyed. “And, this is for Aeyla,” he handed me a letter. Hmm.
“Thanks, Jeb,” I said and went back inside. I went upstairs and observed my bookshelves. “Done, done reading that, done, that made me cry, done…” I said on every title of the book. I sat on my bed and played with my fingers. I want to go out, I told myself. Under the bed almost near the foot of the nightstand is where I hid my coin box. I got a few pesos and shoved it on my right pocket jeans.
“Keys,” I tapped my pockets. “Oh, there it is,” I said.
I went downstairs and shockingly saw Norah in the kitchen. “Oh you’re here,” my voice cold. She was unpacking groceries. “Hey Norah, do you mind, I’ll go out for a while?” I said. “Okay. Be back by lunch time, ‘kay?” she agreed.
“Got it, bye,” I went for the door.
If you’re wondering why I need keys, here are the two reasons: I need to lock the house. Well when I didn’t expect Norah came so early, I didn’t need them and the other reason because, I have a scooter, a red orange type one. This one’s a birthday gift from my parents and I was really surprised they weren’t kidding to buy me one. Then the scooter went to life.

The bookstore was quiet except the fact that an 18-year old girl was arguing with the store clerk. I didn’t much here their conversation; I was stuck with a Greenday song on my ear. “So, do you mean my card has been declined? Check it again, please.” was all I could hear. The clerk nodded. Augh! The girl was irritated and dialed her phone.
I went to the aisle of the non-fiction books. I got the title that I want and went to the other cashier. Then I went out of the place and entered at Starbucks.
The time I sat and sipped my coffee, my phone beeped.

From: 09178894567
To: 09163489920

Hey, Mariah
Who’s this? I thought.
Hi. Do I know you? I replied.
Of course, it’s me, Riley.
My heart pounded in surprised. Oh my god, its him texting…me.
Oh. It’s you. Hi.
How ya doing?
I sighed and smiled.
I’m good, excited. Going home in a few minutes, u?
Here at Sean’s house, goin’ to watch the game.
The Game TV show or the game as in sports? I was puzzled.
Cool. Lakers on?
Yeah. But it isn’t starting yet, still on commercials. Can’t wait for the finals. He added a smiley.
Thank goodness I didn’t texted The Game TV show.
Tell me if who’ve won, okay? I’ll treat you out if the Lakers win. Did I sound serious? I don’t think so.
Okay. You said it. Now he doubled his smiley.
Oh, w8, the game’s starting. L8er.
Sure. Enjoy the game. I managed to add my own smiley too.

Lying in bed with cold sheets made me sleepy. I shut my eyes, slowly and trying to forget everything for a while. In my dream, I dreamed I was in a white room, an empty one. I heard a voice, it sounded sad, a female cry. I turned around.
There was a door. It just appeared from nowhere. I heard a knock. The sound of the voice crying, still there, I turned the knob.
Beep! Beep! My dream cloud popped of the sound and I could hear my phone vibrating. I was awake.
The sender read: Riley. I sat down quickly as I could.
“‘Hey, I guess it’s my lucky day. The Lakers have won. So, where’re we going?’”
I mouthed his message.
I don’t know exactly where or what I’m going to treat him. Plus I don’t know much about him. I wondered, still thinking on what to reply.
I searched his Facebook profile. There it is.
Lakers, watching live concerts, hanging out with friends and anything Chris Brown.
I was thinking of going out tonight with him maybe buy him something he would like.

To: Riley Cruz (09178894567)

Really? Wow! That’s great. Tell you what; meet me at High Street at 9pm.

Then I hit the send button.
I checked the time; it passed 7:00 pm. I went to the shower.
I don’t know what to wear. I sighed, staring at my closet.
Picked out a few jeans, t-shirts, long sleeves, skirts and placed them all in my bed.
The closet is now, officially empty. I heaved a sigh. I looked at the time; I opened my mouth and closed it. I’m out of time.
I quickly scanned the bed. I pulled out black jeans and a white collared
printed t-shirt. I’d dress up. I’ll clean the mess after.
I jogged downstairs.
My hand reached the doorknob. But somebody’s voice stopped me from turning it. Sitting behind me by the lamp was Norah, holding a book and wearing glasses.
“Mariah, where’d you think you’re going?” she closed her book.
I didn’t want to say date because, it’s not a date. I’m just doing my promise.
“Um…at High Street, going to meet a friend.” I honestly explained.
She went up to me. I felt nervous. You don’t want to see her face when she gets really mad. “Hmm, okay. But, if that’s a boyfriend you’re meeting, you can’t go out,” She held her glasses.
“Norah, I don’t even have one and like I said just meeting a friend.”
“Okay,” she went back to her usual spot. “Be home by midnight,”
Before my parent’s leave she didn’t made rules on her babysit days with us.
Now she made her own. Maybe its part of Mom’s reminders to her.
“Got it, “I went for the door.