“You’re doing it wrong,” Bianca said without trying to hide her smile. “How many times do I have to show you? Take your time.”
Eliza sighed and tried to keep her anger to herself. I know I asked for this, but does she have to look this happy teaching me? I should’ve known it would be like. “Where?”
“This should go here,” the redhead whispered in the girl’s ear, gently involving Eliza’s hand and moving how she wanted. “I told you before, don’t rush it.”
Keep calm Eliza, she said to herself. Don’t let her know how much this makes your heart pound faster. Despite her feelings, she didn’t pull the hand back. “Thanks for the clarification.”
“Your reactions are getting less and less fun.” Bianca clicked her tongue and release Eliza’s hand, jumping back to the bed.
“I’m here to study, not to entertain you.” Eliza turned her eyes back to the sheet. She’s right, the girl though, but never voiced it, erasing where she got it wrong. “And you should be studying too. The last test is Monday.”
Bianca got her game and restarted the match. “It may not look like it, but I study almost every day,” she said, focused on the game.
“Even with all the fights?”
“It’s not like I fight every day. And keep it down,” she lowered her voice and turned to the door, where her father and then her mother had entered without knocking moments ago. “I’d rather keep that hobby a secret from my parents.”
“So even you keep secrets…” Eliza tried to keep her smile under control, but the sight of Bianca nervous was too good.
“Of course.” Bianca put the game on down and rolled on the bed until she was next to Eliza. “I haven’t told anyone what you did to me that day,” she whispered, her mouth so close the girl felt the redhead’s breath.
Damn it… how can she make me shiver with only this? Eliza thought, trying her best to stop her body from trembling. “And I’m grateful for that. The last thing I need was to add lesbian to the list of rumors about me.”
“Tks,” Bianca clicked her tongue again. “No reaction equals no fun to me.”
“Too bad. But your parents are cool,” Eliza ignored the redhead. “I bet they’ll be more worried about you fighting than angry.”
“Of course you’d say that,” Bianca scoffed and turned her head dramatically. “You watched one game with them and already you three are pals.”
Eliza did nothing to hide her smile now. “You’re still mad about that day? Let it go.”
“Let it go? Sorry, but no. I had a great night planned for us. I spent the entire day choosing a good movie and snacks for us that Saturday, thinking to show you a good time and hoping maybe something more could happen…” Bianca mumbled the last part, her cheeks pink. “But then dad shows up and invite us for the game. And what you do? Ignoring my protests, plans and hard work, you accepted!”
Even if she tried, Eliza couldn’t stop laughing. “It’s not my fault your plans got ruined. But it was the cabin! The cabin! I’ve never been to one. I’m more a bleachers kind of girl, you know? Watching the game there was awesome.” Among other things, she thought, remembering the photos. “Besides, I never thought your dad would curse the referee like that. Even my dad doesn’t scream like that.”
“Fascinating.” Bianca rolled her eyes. “I thought I’d be happy to know another thing about you. But to think you’re that crazy about football…”
“Me? I’m not the one who used to go to every game and enter the field with the players. And to think you even got lost.”
“Dad told you that?” Bianca’s cheek reddened. “What else did he—”
“There’s nothing wrong in peeing in your pants,” Eliza interrupted her, nodding with an understandingly smile. “You were a kid after all. And it was the first time.”
“Shut up… I was a kid!” Bianca got redder and hit Eliza in the face with her pillow. But it didn’t stop the girl’s smile from turning into a laugh. “I don’t like that you and dad are getting too friendly. He’s never been like this with any of my… friends…”
Friends… Eliza finally stopped laughing. The idea seemed strange to her now. Ever since I saw that photo on the cabin… Even the euphoria of watching her team’s astonishing victory in the last second the game from the cabin, what stayed with her was one photo in particular on the walls. It was Bianca and her family and friends celebrating the team’s fifth championship in a row. But the redhead seemed happier about the girl she hugged than the victory.
Bianca’s first girlfriend… Eliza believed all the redhead did was just playing around. Given her personality, it could be true… Teasing all her friends… But she really likes girls that way… She thought back on all that happened between them under that new fact. Eliza had no idea how to feel, but she was aware the only difference was that her heart pounded faster and her cheeks flushed when she remembered.
If all that was between Amanda and me, would I feel this? She had thought about for a long time, always coming up with the same answer. I’d probably feel weird, she thought, glancing at the redhead still pouting on the bed. Since it’s her fault I feel like this, it’s okay if I tease her, right? Payback for all she did and for all she’s making me feel.
“I thought you’d be happy that I’m getting along with your dad,” Eliza said, showing a sly smile. “I could swear it was all part of your plan.”
“Even if you’re a prude, you can tell I’m trying to seduce you. What kind of plan would involve my dad?
“Introducing me to your parents to make sure they like me.” Eliza looked at the redhead with the straightest face she could at the moment.
Bianca opened her mouth, getting as red as her hair as she struggled with words. But when she couldn’t come up with anything to say, she covered her face with the pillow.
“What’s wrong?” Eliza pulled the pillow and got too close to Bianca’s face.
The redhead covered her face with a hand but looked at Eliza through her fingers. For a fraction of seconds, her green eyes glanced down to Eliza’s lips. Her breathing became intense and she bit down her own lips.
Eliza only wanted to tease her a bit. But as she watched a drop of sweat on Bianca’s neck run down to her cleavage, she lost control of herself. Before she realized, the girl stopped the drop and retraced its path with her tongue, nibbling the redhead’s ear on the end.
When Eliza pulled back and looked the redhead in the eyes, Bianca seemed as if didn’t know if she should be happy or surprised. In the end, she pressed her lips and turned her head. “Stop teasing me… I won’t be able to hold back…” she said in a weak voice.
Eliza blinked and sat down on the floor next to the bed. Did I just… When she realized what she had done, she looked as red as Bianca’s hair. Damn it Red! Look what you’re making me do! At least take responsibility, she thought, glancing at the girl.
Bianca had her back to the girl and squeezed her pillow as if trying to choke it. The sight made Eliza feel both happy and guilty. Guess it’s mean of me to tease her like this… She’s been giving her all to keep that promise… that stupid promise…
Ever since that day in the classroom, Bianca had kept her distance. Though she still teased and tried to make Eliza embarrassed, always making it seem like her seduction was nothing but jokes, she never tried anything more. Instead of making her happy, Eliza felt strange. After that, it’s like she’s been restraining herself around me. Part of her wasn’t happy with that.
We don’t know each other for long, but… if it were anyone else, I’m almost certain Bianca wouldn’t care much about the promise… which means that… she really likes me… Eliza hugged her knees to hide her red face. She knew what it meant, but even in her head she couldn’t say without blushing. Damn it Red… You better take responsibility for making me fall for you!
Seeing the redhead still hugging the pillow put a small smile on Eliza. Guess I’m being too mean… “Hey Bianca, help me finish this and we can watch the movie.”
Bianca mumbled something, threw the pillow aside and sat up. With her face still red and her expression, as if she didn’t know if she should be happy or mad, it was too much for the girl.
Everyone says she’s hot and beautiful, but no one ever said anything about her being this cute, Eliza thought, her cheeks pink as she handed the notebook.
“You got this part wrong. You need to use the formula. It’s much easier with it. Don’t you remember this? They taught this almost at the beginning…” Bianca trailed off, biting her lips.
“You don’t to feel like you're treading on thin ice around that topic. I’m a big girl and know what I did,” Eliza said to cheer up Bianca, erasing the numbers after she got her notebook back from the redhead’s static hands. “But I don’t mind talking about it if is with you.”
As Eliza redid the problem, Bianca wrapped her arms around the girl. “You’re a more mature than you look,” the redhead said and there was no hidden meaning behind her words.
“That coming from you sounds almost like a compliment,” Eliza said, but she closed her eyes, enjoying the hug.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Bianca pretended to be hurt. “I’ll throw another one. Not only you’re sexy, you’re smart too. You got it right. Cheers!”
Eliza opened her eyes and stared at her own work. “It is?” she asked, looking at Bianca. The redhead nodded and the girl smile. “Then we should take a break. You know, quit while you’re ahead.”
Bianca broke the hug, closed her eyes and her mouth and moved her finger from side to side. “Only after you finish the entire list. You know you need to make up for your last grades.”
Eliza sighed loudly and rested her head on the bed. “It’s too hard. And long. And tiresome. Why did the teachers leave math for last?” she complained, rubbing her eyes. “They should’ve made it the first one.”
“Math is like the last boss,” Bianca said, nodding as if she understood. “Would you fight the last boss first or after preparing yourself?”
“That makes no sense. Putting a hard test for last is more like fighting a strong enemy when you got no energy left.”
“Why are you stalling?” Bianca asked, looking at her with those green eyes. “If you stopped complaining, you could’ve finished by now.”
This time it was Eliza who clicked her tongue. “So you realized… and even said the same thing my mom says…”
“You’re a hundred years too early if you think you can trick me.” Bianca laughed. “First learn how to hide your true intentions.”
“I never hid my true intentions…” The redhead showed a shocked expression. Then she showed a sly smile. “I’ve been perfectly clear what I want to do with you.”
“Yeah, yeah. You want to be my friend and all,” Eliza said as a matter-of-fact, hiding her own smile.
“You’re still saying I wanna just be your friend? I take it back. You’re not smart! You’re slow!” Bianca pouted and hit Eliza with the pillow. “And putting me in the friend zone… I thought that only happened to ugly people.”
“You really have a high opinion of yourself.” Eliza took the pillow from Bianca and hit her back. “At least you should learn how to keep it to yourself.”
“Yeah, there’s no way I’d… wait a minute! You’re stalling!”
“Damn. You found out.” Eliza clicked her tongue again, but there was a smile forcing itself on her. “Well, took you long enough.”
“Not bad, not bad,” Bianca said, nodding her head in approval. “You’re learning from the best after all. But for real, finish the list so we can watch the movie. Today is my turn chose. And I already checked. There’s no game for dad invite you again.”
“I already told you to let it go. Just a heads up, I don’t fall for people who keeps dwelling on the past.” Eliza rolled her eyes. When she realized what she had said, she blushed. Damn… me and my big mouth. Making sure to not glance at Bianca, the girl quickly tried thinking of something. “What are we gonna watch this time? It’s not another one of those too long fantasy movies, is it?”
Last time on their movie night, it was Eliza’s turn to choose. Before that, it was Bianca’s turn and the redhead’s choice was a movie about a bunch of guys on a journey to destroy some really important jewelry on a volcano. Eliza kept falling asleep, making Bianca mad.
“You should be saying, ‘yes, another one!’” Bianca stood up, raced to the corner of the bookshelf full of movies and came back with a Blu-ray box. “It’s the second movie of the trilogy. And it’s not long, it’s detailed. And I’m still mad at you for falling asleep!”
“You’re mad at me? You’re the one who chose a damn long movie. Look, it’s written right here. ‘Extended Edition’!” Eliza pointed. “How can you say it’s not long?”
Bianca shook her head in disappointment. “The extended edition is a gift of the director. This way we have more movie to enjoy it!”
Eliza rolled her eyes exaggeratedly and turned back to her notebook, trying to suppress her smile.
“Ah! I saw that.” Bianca leaned too close to Eliza. “I saw that smile! You liked it and I knew it.”
Eliza pushed the redhead’s face fill with a triumph away. “I at least hope it has more action than the first.”
“It has. Come on, hurry up and finish this so we can watch it right away.”
“You make it sound easy.”
“Then help me.”
“With pleasure!” Bianca beamed.
As the redhead helped her, Eliza noticed she wasn’t trying to come up with an excuse to stop studying. Guess this is the first time I don’t hate math, she thought, glancing at Bianca, smiling as if just helping Eliza was enough to make her happy. Then she noticed she too had a smile. Just hanging out with her is fun… I don’t mind taking things slow if I can enjoy Bianca like this…
“Finally,” Eliza said, letting out a tired sighed and throwing her head back on the bed. “It took way longer than it should.”
“Yeah,” Bianca said, lying on the table. “Thanks to that, we can’t see the movie anymore.”
“What?” Eliza stared the redhead, trying to see if she was joking or not. In the end, she couldn’t decide, and pulled her phone to check the time. “We still got like three hours until I’ve gotta get home… is the movie longer than that?”
“I’m not discussing that again,” she said, pouting and turning her face. Eliza still saw her smile though.
“Then how about if we switch turns?” Eliza suggested. Bianca had a blank expression. It was only for a second, as her face light up.
“That’s a great idea! That way we can watch the rest of the trilogy in a row. It’s much better if we don’t put a movie between the second and third movie.” Bianca nodded in approval, is if it was her idea. “Then go ahead and pick a movie.”
Eliza stood up and went to the bookshelves corner fill with movies, moving her eyes languidly over the rows. She has a lot of 70’s and 80’s kung fu movies, but most are nerdy looking ones… I already knew, but I can’t believe I fell for such nerdy person.
“How about a romantic one to set up the mood?” Bianca said.
Eliza ignored her. Like you could take it. You’re all talk. If you hadn’t chickened out before and kissed me before, I wouldn’t have stopped you… Right now, we’d probably be having… What Eliza imagined made her face go a wild shade of red.
“You still haven’t chosen yet? Come on… hurry up or we won’t have time even for your movie,” the redhead rambled on as a spoiled kid.
Eliza turned her head just enough to see Bianca lying with her pillow on her arms and her legs slightly bent. The girl turned back right away. Damn… it’s just like in the picture in my head… She looked at the movies again to make her heart stop pounding so fast and something crossed her head. “Hey, Bianca…”
The girl stopped rambling. “What?”
“You…” Eliza lost the words and turned to the redhead again. “Why do you like fighting? Actually, where did you learn to fight like that?” It had been bothering the girl for a while, but she never had any real interest in it. Bianca was interesting enough without it anyway.
She sat on the bed and stared Eliza, a sly smile on her lips. “Are you sure you wanna know? It’s ‘going down the rabbit hole’.”
The redhead’s words made Eliza smile. Bianca had used the phrase she liked the most from the first movie they watched together. Thinking about it, it was a trilogy too…how much into those is she?
“Yeah, I do wanna know. Think about it. We started hanging out just because I saw you fighting. Isn’t weird that I don’t know anything about it other than you can kick ass?”
“Then you’re interested in me. It makes me so happy,” she said, her smile turned into a gentle one. Eliza blushed and looked away. “I’ll tell you, but I’m afraid you might be disappointed with the reason.”
“Because even though it does involve me, it’s nothing amazing or incredible worthy of rumors.”
Eliza stared her with a blank expression and then laughed. “Don’t worry, I wasn’t expecting anything like that. I thought I had told you you’re not as special as you think.”
Bianca threw a pillow in her face before Eliza could react. The girl straightened the pillow, walked to the redhead and smacked her in the head. They both tried to get the pillow again, but when they gave up, they laughed.
“It’s as I said, there’s nothing special. My father loves karate and because of that, I’ve been involved with it ever since I was a kid. Do you see those old martial arts movies? We used to watch together.”
Eliza waited, but the redhead said no more. “But that doesn’t explain your fights.”
“You picked up on that… Well, if you must know. How can I say this? Without bragging,” Eliza laughed, “without bragging, I was good at karate. Too good. After some tournaments, I wanted to test myself with the boys. I even cross-dressed and won a tournament. The guy I defeated at the final got mad after he found out he lost to a girl and wanted a revenge.”
“Nothing especial about it? I think they make movies with that plot,” Eliza interrupted, smiling. “Then what? You beat the crap out of him?”
“Yeah…” Bianca had no regrets about it. “That was when I realized I’d rather fight without rules.”
“I can totally see going down that path.” They both laughed again.
“Now that you know, I hope you don’t be disappointed with me. I told you there was nothing special or surprising about it,” Bianca said, looking at the ceiling. “I just like fighting, that’s all.”
“There’s no way I’d be disappointed with you for that. I’m glad to know,” Eliza said. “Actually, I’m surprised to know people would fight you with your dad and all.”
Bianca opened her mouth and then closed it. “I’ve never thought about it.”
“Scratch that. Knowing how annoying you can be when you want, it’s a surprise you don’t fight every day.”
Bianca got the pillow and swung on Eliza’s face. “Shut up.”
“Come on, I’ll choose the movie.” Eliza stood up. Bianca did the same but with a smile.
“Then I’ll make the popcorn.”