I am so annoyed with the art teacher who didn’t appreciate my watercolor painting. I hop out of the car without thanking my driver.
Sprinting inside the house with my backpack tightly grasp, I stomp my feet to our expansive living room. I was practicing the same concept last night over and over again until it looked satisfactory.
I admit I’m so bad at art, but it hurts my ego because I’m excellent at every subject. I can play the piano, cello, violin, and guitar with my eyes closed. I can solve math in just one look at the problem, but art? Ugh! I grimace at the thought of it.
I stop to halt when I notice mom and one of her best friends are laughing together. Their voices are echoing in the living room.
They abruptly stop when they notice me.
I roll my eyes. Mom’s beautiful face lights up and smiles at me. Aunt Zoey, the redhead does the same. I smile timidly back at her.
I’m not in a mood to deal with them, especially mom. I’m already eleven years old, she still pecks me on my lips and pinches my face in front of everyone—it’s annoying. Who do girls like a mama’s boy?
“Hey, mom. Aunt Zoey.” I play cool because everyone knows that I’m a good boy of the King and Hughes.
I stride to the carpeted staircase, slinging my backpack over my shoulder. I almost bump into Kiara, whose standing in the middle of the stairs. Her right hand is gripping the rails, and the other is on her sketchpad, pressing against her chest.
“Bash!” she shrieks in surprise.
Her green eyes are big and grow even bigger. Her curly or more or like ringlet red lacks is like she has jammed her finger to the electrical outlet—so messy. She reminds me of Nerida. She has freckles all over her face, and she’s too skinny. She’s Aunt Zoey and Uncle Logan’s daughter—our family friends. Kiara’s parents both work in our company.
“What are you doing here, goldfish?” I narrow my eyes, asking her annoyingly.
Her lips quiver. She doesn’t like the nickname I give her, but I like to annoy Kiara.
“You’re a bully, Bash.” She murmurs and doesn’t meet my gaze as she grips her sketchpad to her chest. She didn’t meet my gaze.
“Well, you look like goldfish, Trinity,” I say mockingly.
“I’m not a fish, and my name is Kiara,” she says softly with a shaky voice. I know she’s going to cry.
“Whatever Kiara or Trinity! You still look like a goldfish. You have orange hair with big eyes,” I say, demonstrating how big her eyes are. “And what’s in that sketchpad of yours?” I quickly snatch from her grip. “As if you knew how to draw,” I grunt as I flip through pages.
She tries her best to snatch it back from me, but I’m way taller than her. In the end, she stops when she struggles to reach for my hand that I raise in the air.
“Give that to me, Bash, please?” Kiara starts crying, eyes filling with tears. She twists her fingers, sliding down herself at the railings of the stairs.
“Oh, sorry, Trinity, but this is now mine, and I know there’s nothing worth looking in here.” I continue flipping each page. My eyes widen of what I see. “You did all these, Trinity?” I can’t believe she can actually sketch like these. “Or your mom did these? Don’t lie to me. You don’t know how to draw, goldfish.” I laugh out loud, but deep inside, I feel something unfamiliar. She’s good at something I don’t, and I’m jealous of her.
“I did all that. Please, give that back to me,” Kiara says between sniffing and twisting fingers.
I almost chuckle as I see a drawing of a boy in Manga surrounded by hearts. I look at her for seconds. With a mischievous grin, I point to the sketch of a boy. “And who’s this?”
She looks at me, wiping her tears on her cheeks. “That’s you.”