Natalie Kabra stared at her reflection.
‘You can do this,’ she thought, ‘it’s just half an hour.’ She took a deep breath as she exited the bathroom. Only half an hour, that wasn’t so bad. Just then she heard a large crash from the living room. Natalie growled, except it was an hour with Dan Cahill.
“Daniel!” she yelled as she entered the room, which seemed to have been turned upside down. Dan stood in the center of the mess holding a set of nunchucks.
“What on earth are you doing?”
“Haven’t you heard? I’m a ninja.”
He smiled as he spoke; looking as though he had done nothing wrong. He was 13-years-old, but his immaturity said otherwise.
Natalie put her hands on her hips, “Well, you’re not a very good one.”
“Better than you,” he shot back.
Natalie laughed, “Is that supposed to be an insult? Because it seems like you’ve done a greater insult to the living room.”
“You insult a ninja master,” Dan raised his nunchucks, “now you must pay.”
Natalie rolled her eyes, “I’m going to get a drink, try not to destroy anything else while I’m gone.”
‘Daniel Cahill is going to be the death of me,’ she thought as she walked toward the kitchen, only to trip over a pile of clothes on the floor. A pile of Dan’s clothes.
Dan entered the room, leaning against the doorframe to steady himself as he laughed. Natalie on the other hand, was fuming.
“Daniel,” she said softly, “you should run.”
He stopped laughing and looked up, a sudden look of fear in his eyes. Then he took off sprinting. Natalie stood up and brushed herself off, smirking as she ran after him.
The chase had begun.
Dan thought about the current situation he was in; then decided to blame his sister.
After all, it was Amy who had gone all goo-goo eyed when Ian and his demon sister Natalie showed up at their doorstep. In her new love alien state, she jumped at the chance when Ian asked her out on a date. And she had a boyfriend for crying out loud; that super-geek, Evan. But of course, she and Ian were calling it a lunch “appointment.” Dan didn’t really care, as long as they got back before Natalie found him hiding in the air vent, which he had secretly always wanted to do.
As he watched out the grate, he could just make out Natalie’s small form entering the hallway.
“Come out Daniel,” she sang, “come out, come out wherever you are.”
Ok, he was getting sick and tired of her calling him ‘Daniel.’ As he looked into the hallway, he smirked as he saw Natalie open a closet and call out his name, and he formulated a plan for revenge in his mind. Silently, Dan pushed out the air vent cover, and slipped out his feet, resting them on a bookcase that was placed below the air vent. With a battle cry, he leapt at Natalie, who at the last second jumped back and slammed into the bookcase. Dan did a summersault and landed in the closet doorway. It wasn’t too small so he managed not to injure himself, but Natalie looked as though she were going to murder him.
“Daniel!” she yelled, “Are you insane?!”
Dan couldn’t contain his laughter, but as he looked up to reply, his smile disappeared. The force he used to jump off the bookcase and the force with which Natalie slammed into it; it threw the bookcase off balance. Now it was tilting forward; and was going to crush Natalie beneath it.
“NATALIE!” he grabbed her by the shoulders, and pulled her into the closet, landing on top of her. The bookcase hit the door, slamming it shut.
They were trapped.
Natalie could hear her heart pounding in her ears.
As she lay on the ground, she realized that she could hear Dan’s too. She felt his body pressing down on hers; she felt his heavy breath on her neck.
“Dan,” she said softly, “you can get off me now.”
“Oh right,” he pushed himself off, though it took a moment before surprise registered on his face, “Hey, you called me Dan.”
“Yes,” Natalie said, a little surprise in her voice, “I guess I did.” She was starting to blush now as she pushed herself into a seating position, and she looked down at her hands which she folded in her lap. “Can you get the door open?”
“Um,” Dan walked over to door and tried to push it open, but had no luck. He leaned back against it and sighed, “It looks like we’re stuck here.”
Natalie nodded, “At least until our dear siblings return. What should we do until then?”
Dan shrugged and walked over to her, “Talk I guess.”
Natalie’s mind raced as she searched for something to say, “Claustrophobia,” she said.
Dan looked at her, “What?”
“Y-you know,” Natalie stuttered as she felt her cheeks grow hot, “I just thought your asthma would make you claustrophobic.”
“Oh,” Dan looked down at his feet, “there’s a space between the door and the frame, I can still breathe. And, this room is a good 8 by 8 feet, so no problem.”
Natalie scoffed, “8 by 8, barely a broom closet.”
“That’s kind of the point,” Dan said.
Natalie glared at him, “Well in a room so small I apologize if I get my cooties on you.”
“Cooties?” Dan stared at her, “You know, every time you open your mouth, I think you’re a little more nuts.”
Natalie shrugged, “I just thought you American boys believed the nonsense that girls were covered in germs.”
“Hey!” Dan yelled, “I don’t believe that! In fact I happen to like -” he stopped.
“What?” Natalie stood up, “You have a girlfriend?”
Dan opened his mouth, then closed it again as he turned away from her, “No, I don’t have a girlfriend. I-I haven’t even told her that I like her.”
Natalie tilted her head, “Why not? It’s not that hard, just talk to her!”
Dan looked down at his feet, “I don't know. She won’t ever like me.”
“Don't say that,” Natalie said, for some reason she couldn’t stand to see Dan doubt himself like this, “You’re amazing.”
Dan looked a little surprised at her statement, but decided to ignore it. “I just want her to know how I feel.”
“Then tell her,” Natalie said.
Dan seemed doubtful, “She won't like me...”
“How do you know that?” Natalie asked.
Dan put his hands in his head as he struggled for words, “I c-can’t just tell.”
“Just tell her!” Natalie yelled, frustrated with Dan’s stubbornness.
“What should I say?” Dan asked, though he refused to look at her.
Natalie searched her mind for a response, “Tell her how much you like her!”
Dan shrugged, “I tell her that daily.”
Natalie cocked an eyebrow, “What do you mean?”
“I'm always with her,” Dan said, “I love her.”
“I know how you feel. I have the same problem,” Natalie just kept talking, it was like her mouth was moving faster than her brain, “He'll never like someone like me...” her hands flew up to her mouth, she hadn’t meant to say that.
Dan’s head snapped up, and he turned it slightly toward her, “Wait. Who do you like?”
Natalie waved him off, “Oh, some boy.”
Dan nodded, “Oh... she won't like me either.”
“She does,” Natalie spoke before she could stop herself.
“How do you know..?” Dan asked forcefully.
“B-because,” Natalie stuttered as she tried to get the words out, “who wouldn't like you?”
That stung Natalie to the core, and she lowered her head, “You're right,” she whispered, “I don’t like you. I love you.”
Natalie’s head spun, she couldn’t believe what had just happened, what she just said. She felt she was going to faint…
Dan turned to look at her, “I love you too.”
Natalie stood, not able to move, her mind raced. Love was FLO, For Losers Only. That was the Kabra way, and besides, it was her brother who had problems with love not her. Her instincts were telling her to run, telling her to hide. But all she could do was change the subject; so she did, and brought up the girl Dan said he liked.
“So are you going to talk to her?”
“I just did.”
Natalie spun around, her eyes locking with Dan’s. And for one moment, one singular moment, everything just seemed right. He leaned in, and so did she, so their lips met in the middle. It was…unlike anything Natalie had ever felt, almost…magical. Dan pulled her close; Natalie put her arms around him. They finally broke away, both breathing a little harder. And when Natalie looked up, all she could see were Dan’s jade eyes dancing with joy. His eyes then met hers, and despite their many differences, they had a shared thought.
Natalie Kabra and Dan Cahill both smiled.
Maybe a half an hour wouldn’t be too bad after all.
The conversation towards the end is based off a quote I found. What do ya think?
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