Day and Night
“I-I’m sorry,” her voice quivered. She shrank back like a shadow, hugging her knees against her chest.
“Just—“ Felix cupped his forehead with his hand, “forget it.” He let out a heavy sigh of frustration but held back from lashing out on Hera. Sitting down on a bean bag, he focused on her. I can’t fucking believe her…Going to my house like that? He shook his head and stood up abruptly, unlocking the door and swinging it open. Mrs. Archer stood dumbfounded on the other side, a phone in one hand.
“What are you waiting for? Go!” he barked. Like a distraught little puppy, Hera skittered out of the dark room. Mrs. Archer stood by the door frame for a few more moments until she left quietly without a word. Felix closed the door and let himself fall on top of his bed. He sighed very loudly, a bad habit of his. Rolling on his side, he couldn’t help but think of Hera. What was she doing here anyway? Couldn’t she just wait until Monday to finish that stupid project?
He repositioned himself and faced the ceiling that was embellished with small glow-in-the-dark stars. Was I too hard on her? No! It’s her fault she came to my house…But then again, she just wants to get a good grade on the project. Well I don’t want to be a part of it! She can try all she wants but I’m failing it. We’re going to fail it together!
“But that isn’t fair, Felix!” Hera’s voice responded.
“Well you know what? Life isn’t fair!” he yelled out angrily, breaking the silence in the house. He sighed once more as his thoughts continued to engage in a raging battle. Should I go apologize to her? Dad’s definitely going to scream his head off at me for this. But when doesn’t he ever?
He scowled, now facing the open window. What difference would it make if I go out and chase after her? I doubt that she’d even want to see the looks of me. Maybe Dad wouldn’t be as mad—forget it. I’m hopeless.
Felix shut his eyes and tried to ease his active mind. It didn’t work. He grunted, annoyed with himself. He grabbed a gray jacket and zipped it up as he traveled down the stairs. “I’ll be back before dinner.”
Stepping out into the sidewalk, Felix inhaled the energizing spring air. It was around four o’clock in the afternoon. During this time in the winter, the sky started to darken. By five, it was completely pitch black. He missed the winter. He missed the darkness. He was accustomed to living in the dark and being in the dark, not to the bright light. He decided to visit the park since that was his “special place.” He often visited the local park at night, where there was no one around so he can think peacefully.
Without thinking, he sat down on a bench, unaware of the other person that was there.
“I didn’t expect to find you here.”
Felix’s eyes dilated upon hearing the familiar voice. It sounded different though, it was lower than usual and hoarse. As if the person had just been crying. Slowly raising his head up, he turned slightly and was confronted by none other than….
“Hera,” he said softly, almost like a whisper. Her eyes were noticeably red and puffy. “Are you okay?”
Of course not, you dumbass! You’re the reason why she’s like this!
Hera gave Felix a weak smile and wiped a tear away. “Yeah, I’m fine.”
He knew she was clearly lying. Just then, a cool breeze swept by them, causing Hera to shake a little. She sniffled once while she rubbed both her arms.
The poor thing. Felix melted a little and took off his jacket, carefully wrapping it around Hera’s delicate frame.
Let me at least make this right…
She looked up from her lap and stared directly into his eyes.
“I’m…really…” the words caught in his throat, “sorry.” He took a hold of her hand, noticing that it was icy cold. “Please forgive me. I was such an asshole to you. Can you give me another chance please?”
She took a few seconds to answer, which worried Felix. He hasn’t felt this anxious in a long time. He hasn’t been a decent human being in a long time.
“I forgive you…but—“ his heart instantly sank, as if it hit an iceberg and sprung a leak,” you have to treat me out to ice cream.” Hera regained her natural glow and smiled, feeling satisfied with herself.
Felix sighed in relief. His heart was pounding like a drum against his chest and he didn’t even know why. He was smiling now too, but he didn’t know why either.
“Is that all you want? Ice cream?”
“Yup!” she grinned like a little kid and swung her legs under the bench.
“Alright, let’s go then, m’lady.” He playfully bowed and held out a hand for Hera. Where did this charm and suave come from? Felix himself didn’t know, but Hera barely noticed the change in his behavior. She was just in for ice cream.
A shiny bell jingled as a glass door slid open. It wasn’t too terribly cold inside but the bright fixtures bothered Felix. Hera was so giddy when they arrived at the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlor, that if she was just a few inches shorter, she could have been mistaken for a kid. “Now, now, Hera. You wouldn’t want to get lost now, do you?” He smirked and held Hera’s hand. She pouted in response.
“I just want my ice cream!” she whined. She burst into laughter a few seconds later as she realized how she was acting. “I’m sorry,” she panted, “I could get a bit hyper sometimes.”
Felix had a stoic expression on his face.
“Oh c’mon, smile a little!” Hera reached up to his face and tried to turn his lips up.
“Shoo, shoo, stop it!” He waved his hands at Hera’s crablike fingers that were pinching his cheeks. Their kerfuffle was interrupted when the lady at the counter cleared her throat awkwardly.
“Excuse me ma’am.” Hera dropped her hands quickly while her face flushed a bright red.
“I’m sorry..” Felix smirked again but stopped when he felt his cheek hurt. She pinches hard!
“What would you like sir?” the employee behind the counter asked.
“Huh? She already picked what she wanted?” He was surprised at the short time she needed to pick what she liked.
“Yes sir, now what would you like?” the employee replied with a bit of an attitude. Someone’s on her period.
He chuckled internally, “I’ll get whatever she got.” He then moved along the lighted row of colorful tubs of ice cream.
“That would be $8.98, sir.” Pulling out his wallet, he pulled out a ten dollar bill and handed it to the employee.
“Keep the change,” It might just make you less grumpy, he wanted to add. He grabbed his cup containing the unknown ice cream flavor and left the store. Hera trailed after him, too busy enjoying her ice cream.
“What was that lady’s problem?” Felix took a seat on the picnic table across from Hera. He still hadn’t touched his ice cream and it was starting to melt and puddle together.
“Your ice cream!” Hera shouted, completely ignoring what he had said. He rolled his eyes but he wasn’t that irritated. “Your ice cream is melting Felix! You have to eat it fast or else you’ll have to drink it! It’ll be a waste if that happens because this is Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!”
A dab of red ice cream stained the corner of Hera’s mouth. Felix impulsively wiped the stain of off her face with a napkin. He had been doing a lot of things without thinking around her. It was dangerous.
The action made Hera freeze into place and blush crazily. He didn’t think much of it and once again got annoyed at her. “Aren’t you going to thank me?”
They didn’t talk for a while after that, for different reasons though. Hera was overthinking the whole incident. Oh my god, why did he do that? Does he like me? Come to think of it, he was acting nicer to me. OH MY GOD! I’m so embarrassing! I had an ice cream stain on my face?! Hera Kalim, I can’t believe you!
Oh my god, this is so boring. What should I say? I only really planned on apologizing to her. Felix nonchalantly swirled his spoon in the melted mess of red ice cream. He still hasn’t tried it yet, but even Hera seemed disinterested in her ice cream now. What is this stuff anyway? Why are there chunks?
“Hey, what flavor did you get?”
“Red Velvet Cake.” Her eyes flickered towards his cup to find that it had already melted away. “Felix! Are you kidding me?”
“What?” he said indifferently. “I bought it with my own money. It’s okay if I chose not to eat it.”
A gasp left her lips and she widened her eyes. “Thank you,” she whispered.
“It’s no problem. We’re cool now right?” He scooped up the liquid ice cream and brought it up to his mouth to taste. He bobbed his head to the left and right. Not bad, not bad at all. He slurped up another spoonful.
“Yes,” Hera smiled. “I’m really sorry though for invading your space. I just don’t think sometimes.”
Felix chuckled, the smile on his face reaching his eyes. “You sure don’t think a lot then!”
“Hey!” She smacked his arm. “That’s not nice!”
“That’s because I’m not.” He had a look of mock superiority as he crossed his arms over his chest. She just sat there, stunned. A second passed and she finally recovered from his remark.
“So what’d you think of the ice cream?” she cocked her head to the right, letting the plastic spoon stick out of her mouth.
“I think it’s okay.”
“Okay? OKAY? Are you for real? Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is a taste of heaven I tell you! Everyone else would agree with me. Were you not born with taste buds or are you just deliberately trying to piss me off?” She was now standing over him while he calmly stayed seated.
“I’m just voicing out my opinion, is there anything wrong with that?” Felix dared to say.
“Yes!” Hera snapped. “Yes there is because you’re the only maniac who doesn’t enjoy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!”
He lifted a finger up close to her lips. “Shh, you shouldn’t be screaming so loud, we’re in public.” He then smiled a stupid smile. It made Hera want to smack him.
“I can yell all I want okay? I’m just voicing out my opinion,” her volume then decreased, “I still can’t believe you. Are you sure you’re human?”
He smiled mysteriously. “Maybe I am…..Maybe I’m not.” Hera swore with her life that she saw his eyes twinkle a little like he was some kind of monster.
“Stop! You’re freaking me out now!” She lurched back and stood up to leave.
“Wait, wait Hera,” he let out breathless laughs. “I was just messing with you. No need to run away. I won’t suck the life out of you or anything so no worries.”
She uneasily made her way back to her seat, still unsure whether or not to run for it. He sensed her uneasiness and laughed. A genuine laugh.
“You’re ridiculous Hera.” Ruffling her hair slightly, he chugged down the rest of the ice cream in the cup. He glanced down at his phone. Shit I’m gonna be late.
“Well thanks for the fun time. I have to go now though. Mum’s going to be worried if I don’t get back in time for dinner. See ya around.” Felix saluted Hera and then turned to leave. She was still in her seat, left frozen on the spot for the umpteenth time.
Was that Felix Archer?
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