It was the same dream again. Danitza’s skirt flared while she spun to the tune of her father’s music. Her mother danced with her, dragging Tía Josefina into their impromptu dance with them. From the sidelines, Tío Santi watched with the ghost of a smile on his face, and Tío Tomás clapped along. Dani’s own smile grew as her cousins, Isobel and Luciana, joined in the dancing. Cesar purposely ran in the middle of them just to laugh when they yelled at him. Baby Andres clapped from his vantage point in Madicella’s arms, and they waved as Dani twirled past them. Music and laughter filled the air and Dani’s ears. She felt at peace among her family she loved so much. Her heart felt full.
Which was why it was a shame that she woke up to remember that she didn’t have that anymore.
Dani rolled over and checked her phone to make sure she hadn’t accidentally woken up hours before her alarm again—she hadn’t—before reaching over to pet the soft black fur of the cat curled up next to her. Chess had been a good girl to stay with her, as she always was. Sometimes it was just so much easier to sleep when there was someone or something beside her. Her time with the misfits had taught her that much. Dani leaned over and kissed the top of the cat’s head, smiling a little at the purr that ensued.
She still couldn’t believe that this was her last semester in university. It seemed like just yesterday she was signing off on being a Theatre Studies major. Really, it had been the only option, considering she was effectively mute. What fun was a performer that couldn’t talk to you or look you in the eye? But still, she’d loved her studies the past three and a half years, even if she was relegated to a background role when it came to her love of performing. And then, of course, there was her roommate.
The inadvertent smile came over her face as Dani thought of Oliver, the true owner of Chess. Although technically she was basically Dani’s cat now, too. Whatever the case, Dani slapped her cheeks to keep her smile muscles down. Just because Oliver had been really nice lately and she felt fluttery every time they were in the same room didn’t mean she should be getting all goofy about him! Besides, she had to make herself some breakfast or she would never get through the first day of her last semester.
Getting dressed wasn’t too hard, thankfully. Dani had picked out this particular dress the night before—it was a bit darker than some of the dresses she was used to wearing, but she had adored the skirt full of lilies from the moment she’d laid eyes on it. The long sleeves would also keep her relatively warm, even if this was California. Sometimes she just couldn’t stay warm when she was always filled with so much anxiety and fear.
Opening her door (and letting Chess wander out of her room), Dani moved to the kitchenette that was in the living area of their small dorm. This university was pretty swanky, allowing each person their own room in a two-person dorm as well as a living area. It certainly allowed for more privacy whenever she was having one of her more fitful nights. Though she was nowhere as good a cook as her aunt had been, Dani had picked up a few things from having to look after Cesar and later Cassie. She was particularly proud of her scrambled eggs, and well, she was going to need the protein to make it through the day.
Seeing as she was alone in the kitchen, Dani felt safe enough to hum under her breath while she worked. She poured a glass of lemonade for herself (better for her ill-used throat) and popped two pieces of bread in the toaster so she would have a full breakfast. Though she knew deep down why the song came to mind, she started humming a specific song she’d gotten stuck in her head over the past few days. “Cause I’m anti-everything but, everything but you,” she murmured in song. Her eyes darted to Oliver’s bedroom door, hoping he couldn’t hear her humming. Not that she didn’t trust him, of course—she just knew she would be majorly embarrassed if he found out she could sing. It wasn’t exactly a pleasant thought, that she could sing, but she just wouldn’t.
But seeing as the door was still closed, Dani let out a breath of relief and continued making breakfast and humming under her breath.
Cesar nearly fell out of bed when he woke up. This wasn’t new, he was kinda clumsy if he wasn’t careful, but man had that been close! He rolled to the inner part of his bed and stretched his arms over his head, yawning like the obnoxious lion he was. There wasn’t much of an attempt to wrangle his hair—it tended to fall perfectly around his head even if he didn’t try. That, and it was way too damn curly. How had his sister avoided such a curse?
Falling out of bed with grace this time, Cesar pulled on the first set of clothes he saw (they were clean!) and headed out of his room. It didn’t seem like his new roomie was awake yet, but that was fine. He was hellishly awkward in the mornings, especially since a certain someone always wanted to come knocking around this time. Checking the wall clock, Cesar grabbed a quick bite of breakfast before Noemi could even think to come over and interrupt him. He was a growing boy! Sustenance was key.
He'd had a different roommate last semester, but, uh. It hadn’t gone over well. Everything had been all well and good until the guy hadn’t cleaned up after himself and flirted shamelessly with a clearly uninterested Noemi. Oh, and he’d flirted with Dani. That was a big no-no in Cesar’s book. The idea of someone liking her like that is gross, he thought with an amused grin. She may have been two years older, but he had four inches on her, and he was determined to protect her. Even if it meant narrowing his eyes in playful disgust whenever she smiled about her own roommate. Ugh. He really should stop thinking about both of them at the same time. Three and a half years he'd had to witness their particular brand of bullshit. And while he liked Oliver and his role as the "Dani whisperer," he couldn't stomach the thought of his sister actually dating anyone. It was too gross. Yuck.
Oh, he definitely had a good reason for thinking it was gross, but there was no way Dani was ever going to find out about it, now, was there?
Taking his phone out of his pocket, Cesar checked his texts. Any second now, Noemi would be sending something. It was very classic her. But she’d have to hurry, because he had English Lit first thing. He’d felt bad that he couldn’t walk Dani to her classes this time around, but she’d assured him it was fine, she’d figure something else out. Not that this campus hadn’t been good to her so far, what with Blake and Noemi hanging around, but still. A lingering fear had settled in him every since the day she'd headed off to college for the first time, a fear that any second he wasn't around was a second she was in more danger. Mm, oh well. Hopefully the class would be interesting enough to take his mind off his sister for a little while. And why wouldn't it? He loved reading! Not as much as he loved his sister, but...
Damn, he really was exhausted worrying about her all the damn time. “When will I be free?” he muttered dramatically, taking a long pull from his coffee mug.
Another beautiful day waking up beside the most beautiful woman in all the world. As always, Felipe had a smile on his face when he awoke. He’d had that dream again, of him and Penelope dancing together at their wedding while his sister-in-law watched alongside her own newlywed husband. There had never been a happier day with Penelope than their wedding, except for maybe the birth of their daughter. Their precious Danitza. She’d been in the dream, too, running after her mother and dancing just as gracefully as his beloved wife.
The smile on Felipe’s face dimmed a little bit at the thought. He missed his daughter and sons every day. Cesar’s grin had been so much like his own, and Andres… his baby boy. Oh, his poor heart. But he had his Penelope, the love of his life. So long as he had her, he could endure it. Glancing over at her, he smiled and brushed a lock of hair off her cheek. “Wake up, mi vida, this apartment won’t decorate itself.” He brushed a kiss across her forehead and climbed out of bed to make them breakfast.
Undoubtedly, it had been rough these six years without the excellent cooking skills of his sister-in-law, Josefina, but Felipe had managed. His skills were lackluster in comparison, of course, but what mattered was keeping their strength up, at least in the first few months. Now, it was simply his way of assuring his darling wife that he adored her. Not that she ever had reason to doubt, when he gave her updates throughout the day of how much he missed her when they were apart.
He was very thankful that they had survived together rather than alone. He wasn’t sure how either of them would have fared without the other.
Felipe hummed, as he always was every minute of the day, as he made what was sure to be slightly burnt pancakes for breakfast. Today was going to be simple—neither of them had work today, so they were finally going to find some furniture to spruce up this apartment of theirs. Penelope wanted it to feel more like home, and Felipe couldn’t agree more. After… it had been hard to call much of anything home, what with them not having the family that had made it home. But they had each other, and as long as they were together, Felipe knew he would always be home. It may have been a little emptier, but that didn’t change the fact that they had been very lucky, back when it was full.
“Mi amor! Breakfast is ready!” he called, slipping the last pancake onto the plate. He smiled at his handiwork—only a tad bit burned! And with the sun shining, this was looking to be a great day. Nothing like a date with his darling Penelope to lift his spirits about the day ahead.
Josefina had been up since very early in the morning, cooking as she always seemed to be doing. It was like she was making up for the lost year or so when she couldn’t even step foot in a kitchen without breaking down. The fire had burned away more than just their house and their family—it had burned away the glue that had been keeping Josefina together all those years. She had managed to stay strong when Santi was sent to jail, when Penelope struggled to get pregnant, and even when her own daughter’s happiness was being sacrificed for her mother’s outlandish ideals. But losing her family had broken all of that down. Cooking was just a reminder that she had failed her family one last time.
Even now, she had to blink away tears as she rolled her dough for fresh-baked bread. She should have been more upfront with Abuela, should have protested about pushing Isobel so much. Oh, her precious girls… Josefina paused in her cooking and looked to the ceiling, blinking the warmth out of her eyes. She inhaled sharply through her nose and looked back down to her bread. No. This had to stop. Blaming herself was going to get her nowhere, not when she had to feed herself and Tomás. Her rock.
He had been so lovely through all of this. Josefina could tell losing the girls had broken him just as much as it did her, and his own siblings had been wonderful in the first years afterward. How she wished she could have expressed her gratitude much better to them. Moving had been the right idea, though. Surely a breakdown every day couldn’t be healthy? Not that she was a doctor—she’d always relied on her arepas to tell her if someone was hurt before.
Putting the bread in the oven and setting a timer, Josefina set about cleaning up the kitchen. Their apartment was still very empty, but that couldn’t be helped—they hadn’t been left with much after the fire. She wiped her hands on her apron and entered the bedroom quietly, sitting on the edge of the bed and smiling down at her husband. “Do you plan on sleeping all day, mi amor?” she teased gently, leaning down to kiss his cheek. “The bread is baking, it’s time to get up.”
She waited for him to be a little more lucid, twirling her hair as she strained to hear the click-click-click of the timer. Somehow, it calmed her to hear that noise. “I was thinking… shall we go looking for some furniture today? Make this place seem more like a home?” She nervously awaited for Tomás’s opinion, not that he would ever outright say any of her ideas were bad. But she wasn’t sure how he would feel about her attempt to make this place seem more comfortable. Starting over was never truly part of the plan, but… she wanted to try.
Their daughters would have wanted that for them, wouldn’t they?
Alison really regretted setting her phone’s alarm to the most obnoxious noise possible, because of course it blared in her ear when it went off. A great start to the semester, clearly. Ally groaned and pressed the snooze button, even though she knew she would regret that action as soon as the five minute mark passed. But she wanted to stay asleep for just a little longer—she’d been having this wacky dream about a building-sized donut rolling through the city, and—
Well. That was it. She just thought it was really, really funny.
Luckily, thoughts of this donut made her subsequent alarm, and she sat up to stretch and yawn. She wondered what Elena would think of her dream. Oh, God, would she tell her she should paint it? The thought made her laugh. That would certainly be something. Just because the thought was so amusing, she shot off a text to her friend about her dream, complete with all the silly emojis that usually accompanied her texts to Elena. She was really glad she’d found someone artsy like her to spend time with. It calmed her down for when she inevitably needed to yell at someone for her other friend’s sake.
Speaking of her crush-who-was-so-clueless-like-seriously-how-many-times-do-I-need-to-hold-your-hand-to-get-my-point-across, Ally smirked as she remembered that she’d officially and successfully moved into the same dorm as Madicella, or Ria, as she often called her. A chuckle slipped out as she pulled on her clothes. Ria had been a little pissed at the development, but she’d warmed up to it eventually. And, really, how could she pass up the opportunity to make her pout as adorably as she had? Such a cutie pie.
“Ri-a! I hope you plan on gracing us with your presence this morning!” she singsonged, opening the fridge to grab the carton of milk. Oreos definitely weren’t a healthy breakfast, and her parents would probably had the decisions she was making right now, but since when did she give a shit about what they thought, honestly? Ally sat down at the small table in the kitchenette and put her feet up on the table, waiting for lovely Ria to emerge from her room. She kept one hand free in case her mouth was too full to respond to Ria’s signing. It had been a lot of work to learn ASL to communicate easier with Madi, but it had been worth it. And a lot of fun, too! Especially since it seemed her cousins knew ASL as well, so why wouldn’t she join in?
Damn, these Oreos were good. But when was Ria going to get out here? They had classes to go to!
Penelope could barely get some shut eye the previous nights. All she can remember was tossing and turning in their make-shift temporary bed. So many thoughts were flooding her mind at once. The move, the house, her family, her children, their new living situation, will they settle? All of these thoughts fighting each other in one brain was not going to help the poor woman sleep. All Penelope remembered was their beige-coloured ceiling together with the imaginative sound of her husband's singing voice to calm those thoughts down before closing her eyes and managed to get her couple hours of sleep before the sun started to shine once again. In fact, she had no shame in sleeping in for a little bit more.
Her worried less wonder sleep was slowly halted with Felipe's sing song voice gently waking her up. Despite her need to keep over-sleeping, he did not allow her to do so. He wanted his wife to keep her day-to-day routine and keep her on her toes and not let her sulk into the background. She could not imagine the state she would be in if it was not for his strength to carry both of them after that disaster. That tragedy. Her precious children, her family gone into dust with the flames. Penelope's eyes struggled to open, however, a small dimpled smile appeared as she felt the gentle touch brush against her skin. A soft moan left her lips as she slowly hummed in agreement, opening her eyes to welcome the light of a brand-new day. A brand-new beginning.
As the warmth of her beloved left the bed, Penelope slid out short while after so that she can get ready for the long day of shopping ahead. As Felipe stated, the apartment was not going to renovate and decorate itself magically. That was hundred percent correct. Opening the boxes with her unpacked clothing, whilst she loved to make a statement with her clothes more often than not, she was not in the mood to actually mix and match so she drew up the first presentable pair of clothing she owned and slid into the two piece. As she was powdering herself in the bathroom and getting her standard make-up look up to standards, she could smell the scent of pancakes coming from the kitchen. It smelt divine. She wore her jewellery especially her dangled earrings and made her way downstairs to her loving husband just as he summoned.
Right on cue.
As she approached her husband from behind she gave him a slight squeeze to a hug and placed a gentle kiss on his cheek from behind,
"Buenos Días mi amor. Breakfast smells divine this fine morning."
Penelope grinned wildly at the food provided as she slid into a chair to get her share of pancake goodness.
"You are improving I see, your cooking skills are refining dear, they are as tasty as they smell,"
she commented at her husband's effort to make her day ever so delightful. It was not that Penelope did not cook but back home, she was more with her children and making sure they were all kept happy and content whereas Felipe always helped with some of the chores like cooking, cleaning and so on. It was a joint effort. That was part of the reason as to why Penelope felt hollow. The fact all her children ceased to exist just like that. Her motherly nature dimmed by time, especially since her window has long expired. No one can replace that emptiness that her three children left in both of them.
Nonetheless, they were alive at this moment in time, they must live on as their children lived within them. In fact, it was a good day to rekindle and actually try to make their apartment feel more like back home. All of their family heirlooms were destroyed but there was nothing against making new ones. In fact, she already had Felipe's heirloom ready, thanks to her new colleague. It was surely to surprise him. She cannot wait to show it to him.
"Mi corazon, I must ask a favour of you on our way back from the store. I need to pick up something from my work place in the afternoon."
she looked at him innocently as she continued munching on her pancakes alongside him.
"Thankfully it is not far away from that Mexican place we stumbled upon two days ago so we can have late lunch/early dinner there? Like old times,"
she suggested as she reminisced on the countless date the romantic couple have shared throughout all of these years together and never did that romance dim. He was definitely the light that keeps her going, no questions asked.
For all the times she has moved, Isobel was surely not short of the first day jitters. Her and her sister had just transferred to their probably fourth education establishment throughout their years in attempting to acquire some knowledge to manoeuvre their way into this harsh world. It was harsh when they were by themselves but God gave them a blessing by bumping into their uncle who was wrongfully imprisoned. Even though things did turn out for the world, things not always managed to smile for them. Especially since they always seem to end up into situations, they do not intend on being in. First the agency, then the horrid school, then Uncle Santiago's friend gets captured and everything kept going berserk. While Isobel was used to the constant changes being made to their lives, she was hoping that they had finally settled in their final destination.
Isobel and Luciana had both arrived three days earlier than their second semester start date. They had managed to acquire lost time by resuming their third year from their past university and proceed it in the new facility. Even though it is the start of the second semester, it was still their first day of school. It was also their first night in their new dorm room that they had decorated together. Isobel's own room was filled with various floral designs she had crafted by hand from her previous dorms as well as mannequins where her latest designs were, next to her textile desk. She had painted her walls in a lilac shade which was her favourite colour. It was mandatory that she had to have herself and her sister settled so that their first day ran without any hitches and hiccups.
With that, she was disrupted by the sound of her alarm ringing to wake up. As she shot up at the sound, she opened her phone and looked at the time.
she not got out but jolted out of bed. She had slept through four alarms, that was definitely not like her. Isobel had been going non-stop for these three days, she was exhausted trying to keep things at bay between here and helping their uncle settle in as well. It was not like Isobel to wake up late, she did not even pick out the outfit she needed to wear! Think Iso. Think. Schedule...
She inhaled and exhaled as she mind-mapped her day. It was theatre studies in the morning, followed by her major and lastly dance. She had managed to sign up into her clubs finally as well thanks to a new friend she had made coming here. It was a pretty proactive day so she decided to go very sporty. Rummaging through her boxes of old clothes, she found a nice pale lilac crop top and tight bell-bottomed joggers. Paired them up with white platform trainers and a matching white jacket to cover when not being active fit perfectly. As she was in the middle of getting dressed, she heard a knock and a familiar voice behind it that they had to go. It was Luci. It was no secret that Isobel took a lot longer to get ready but given she had to get changed in between shots, Isobel was a miracle worker.
"I'm coming hermanita! Just a couple minutes!"
she yelled as she struggled her way into her shoes. Isobel proceeded to tie her hair up in a messy bun and wrapped a lilac bandana that adorned her brown hair and complemented her caramel skin. Looking in the mirror, she took two strands of her hair out the front. She invested in a quick four-minute natural make up look to make her pop as per usual. With couple minutes to spare she sprayed her perfume and ran to the main landing of the dorm where and impatient Luciana was waiting for her,
"Good Morning to you too Luci,"
she remarked with a grin.
Isobel was not one for breakfast so that was a good thing when waking up late. She slid her sketchbook as she still has not yet invested in her own laptop. She only hijacked Luci's when she really needed. Hence, Isobel took her notes rather old school. It worked so far. Rushing past her she opened the door for them and gestured towards the exit, batting her eyelashes,
Despite having done her first semester in this new university, Elena was still yet trying to find her feet. Having transferred from San Diego to San Jose was already a change in itself. That being said, having her older brother with her in the same school like all times helped ease her nerves more than a lot. Given that she had entered mid-semester, she had been given a dorm room all to herself for the rest of that period as dorm assignments had been made at the start of each turn. As much as it would have been a blessing for most students, Elena was more of a people's person. Given she does love her space to make her own masterpieces, she also loves the feel and need to interact with people and also have the opportunity to meet new people. To her expectations, the university had emailed her to let her know that they have in fact found a spot in a shared dorm.
A couple days beforehand she went on Campus to settle her belongings for the start of the new year all into the room that was not yet lived in and assumed it was to be hers. First things that were moved were her easels and endless supply of different sized canvases. Together with that were two rolling carry on luggage that were filled with other mediums and art materials in various colours like oil pastels, acrylics, pencils, charcoal and much more. At this point is safe to say that she had more art supplies than her own clothing. In fact, she only had one luggage full of clothing which she dragged a day before after she decorated her own room. Elena was more than excited to start fresh once again and in a better health condition to say the least. In fact, she liked to think her time table allowed her enough time to take her 2-to-3-hour treatment in quiet and have her meals in a timely manner. The main reason she picked sports and fitness was due to the fact she had no time to fit in daily exercise anywhere so it worked out well.
By all means, despite being a ray of sunshine, Elena was nowhere near an early riser. She had a tendency to keep everything till the last second. In fact, her alarm rang only around 5 minutes late till her actual time she needed to wake up. Calm and collected, she turned it off and took herself out of bed giving herself a nice stretch before feeling the sun dance on her face,
"Good morning mother,"
she muttered as she gave a kiss towards the sun. She loved to think her departed mother's spirit embodied itself in the shining sun that Elena so loved. It always made the day ten times better. With that, the bright girl shot up and went to her small trunk to find the day's outfits as her phone started buzzing incoming messages notifications. She got dressed in her typical style which meant a tank top, dungarees and a scrawny set of converse shoes that were a bit ragged from her skateboarding fails. They were still too comfortable to actually change them.
She stuffed her backpack with a sketchpad and her pencil case for the time being. She knew she had her Art lesson and so she needed at least the basics to start of. As she grabbed her bag, she took her phone to see the notifications. She opened the first one from Ally, she couldn't help but laugh out loud as she read the dream she had, motioning towards the small kitchenette and took one of her juices that she had previously stashed. For one thing, she was blessed her new roomie was not one to take things which she appreciated. Not that Elena did not mind sharing because she did, but these were needed for her diet in particular. She sat down as if time was not against her before she spared a few minutes to reply to Ally about her dream,
'That is absolutely hilarious, your mind still astounds me! Though we should incorporate that in our next Art Project kinda like how small objects can be captured compared to typically large things. Contrast of sorts : P ; ) : D... Speaking of Art, I will see ya shortly gal. We can elaborate this xx'
before another notification from her brother shot up on her screen. Taking a sip, she completely forgot she had to meet him at his dorm.
She was too occupied in her mobile device that she did not even realise that her dorm occupant was sitting there, Elena couldn't help but gasp,
"My god, I am so sorry I did not see you sitting there! Good morning?"
she chuckled nervously, rubbing the back of her neck. Good job Elena, you completely nailed your first introduction with your roommate and now she had to leave due to her brother's constant notifications to get her behind there now. The frazzled Lena got up and got her skateboard which was by the door,
"I'm sorry but I have to jet, my brother is waiting for me cause I am late! I will talk to you later - cool finally meeting you though!"
She opened the door but half way through closing it, she bobbed her head back in,
"I'm Elena btw!"
and with that wave she proceeded out.
Dropping her skateboard down, she hopped on and dragged her leg to get her a nice smooth start as she was in a hurry. She was in quite the rush that she did not realise she was about to run over a brunette that seemed to be heading the direction she came from. Elena immediately swurved as she fought to keep her balance on the board, facing the girl as she passed by,
"I'm so sorry!!!"
With that she managed to make her way towards her brother's dorm and gave a long-repeated knock on the door till he eventually opened up. One thing she loved doing was annoying the fudge out of her brother's life in a loving younger sister manner.
It had been a pretty long, reminiscing night. Valentina felt quite comfortable against the comforts she was currently in, the nice scent of slept in sheets. She slowly started feeling herself slowly wake up to the comforts of a nice soft warm...bed?
With the slow realisation she slowly opened her eyes with a soft yawn as she took off the duvet off of her as she sat up. Looking at her surroundings, she knew she was in his bedroom, shooting at the glance on the other side of the bed which was completely unslept in and tidy. All Valentina could remember was that she must have dozed off on the couch and it all went blank from there. Looking at side she saw her boots neatly aligned under the chair together with her handbag sitting on the chair and her leather jacket hugging the back of the chair. A smile slowly danced on her lips at how well taken care of she felt for once in her life. She was definitely not used to this.
Having Santiago's twin nieces started their university, they had slept in their own dorms meaning that left some time for him and Valentina to catch up after their second unintentional separation. In fact, they had decided to throw an old-fashioned mix of game night and movie night like how they used to do it when they were younger. It was more or less like a fortnight tradition. The pair of friends were both comfortable in the confines of their own households so it was how they caught up in the daily life and gotten to know each other in the first place.
It was nice to re-kindle and have their own free time. Especially since Valentina's apartment was still empty. She had been going back and forth till she settled as well. However, she understood that his priorities were his nieces so she tried her best not to intrude when they were over. Especially since they seem to be a bit on guard whenever she was around. The eldest one was the one she worried about and thread carefully with. The youngest of them actually spoke to her and communicated with her if Valentina tried.
As Val found herself lost in solemn thoughts, she started hearing faint ringing in the background. Looking around she could hear it in this room but nowhere to be found. She searched in her purse, thinking it was her phone... wait no she didn't not have one,
"Where is it coming from?"
she muttered. Before she could look under the bed, the chest of drawers, the ringing just stopped. Valentina was just confused. The ringing was unsure but her instinct went by the window and slowly peeped and saw no one. A rush of relief flooded her body.
With a soft sigh, the female slid on her leather boots and carried her jacket and bag out of the room where she was greeted by a nice scent of freshly brewed coffee. Following the scent, she walked the corridor to the main area where she the kitchen/dining area was. Greeted by the sight of her friend and a cup of dark coffee for her was waiting for her on the table,
"Someone woke up early. You shouldn't have given up the bed, I was fine on the couch."
she commented with a smirk as she lowered her bag and jacket down by the table.
"That was a night well needed. Though you did not drink much..."
she remarked with a slight pout before sliding in a chair. Her eyes still darted around the apartment as the faint ringing started to be heard again. She tried not to seem as tense but it could be the medication wearing off. Attempting to shrug it off she wanted to try and get a subject going to distract the ringing in the background,
It was that time of the year where the little family she had starts to disperse as most of her siblings started their own years in school when she was usually left behind. Cassandra dreaded not seeing her adoptive mother and her precious Didi, Cece and Nono. It was always saddening when they had to leave for their semester. However, this was now her second year ever since she joined the family of Misfits and after expressing how alone she felt being away from everyone, Blake had agreed to take young Cassie together with her best friend Andres on campus so they can all still be together. At that news Cassie was excited.
That being said, Cassandra had experienced her first night without Cesar checking under her bed or Danitza's arms around her as she lulled her to sleep. It was very hard for the young girl to go to sleep when he minds was on constant imagination that she was going to get abducted by those nasty monsters. She spent most of the night curled up in the corner of her bed, laid down spooning Nelly, her stuffed animal,
"It's okay Nelly, we will be okay."
As the night passed, the young girl managed to get some minutes here and there of sleep if she was lucky. She knew her best friend was in the bed next door but Cass could not work up the courage to get down from the bed and run through the darkened corridor to reach him. She felt brave and tried to spend the night alone even though alert with minimal sleep.
She slowly started seeing some light from the outside peaking early in the morning and she figured now was the time to make a run to her prince.
With that the young one, slid off her bed, grabbed Nelly and as she opened the door, the early morning sun lit the corridor in the apartment. Cassandra literally dashed to the next-door room and opened the door to Andres' room. He was asleep, at least he had a better slumber than her. She slowly made her way to his bed and leaned against the mattress where his head rested. With a soft whisper she tried to wake him up,
"Andy... can me and Nelly sleep with you please? I cannot sleep without Didi and Cece..."
She hoped he answered her by waking up, she tried to sit on his bed's edge and lift her legs up so the monsters under the bed not to get her or Nelly.
Waking up on the old, small, uncomfortable couch, Santiago sighed at the slight crick in his neck. There wasn't anything to do about it though, seeing as he had made the decision to give up his bed to Valentina. Something of course, that he did not regret. His aging body however did have something to say about it.
Shaking his head at the thoughts, he stood, stretching his arms as wide as they could go. Groaning at the relief he felt, he closed his eyes, marveling at the amount of ease he felt. He hadn't felt this calm in...a very long time. While he would have preferred his nieces to be with him, he understood why they weren't, but just the fact that he knew where they were and had spoken to them last night did wonders to put his mind at ease. Plus with Valentina right next door, or in his room, currently, everything just felt like it was all starting to calm down.
He'd forgotten what it felt like to be calm and at peace.
With a quick glance at the clock on his wall he shuffled his way towards the kitchen, planning to get the coffee started for when his guest eventually woke up. He took down the bag of her favorite dark roast and let it brew as he began to look through his fridge for something to eat. He winced, knowing that he didn't have much.
Managing to find some milk and a couple pieces of toast, Santiago pulled back as Val came into the room, humming at the sight of the coffee. He grinned, going to sit at the table himself. He shrugged at her words. "I don't ahh..." he paused, trying to think of how he wanted to describe what he felt like when drinking.
"Makes me feel like I do when the ghosts are there." he settled on eventually. It was vague, but he knew that the woman in front of him would understand what he was trying to say.
"Ah, furniture?" he asked, glancing at his cup of coffee before looking back up at Val. "I uh...we mentioned furniture yesterday so...shopping?" he asked.
Having woken from a strange dream that he couldn't even remember, Oliver pulled himself upright in his bed. Running a hand through his hair, he yawned, trying to make out the numbers on the clock by his bedside. While he didn't have any classes first thing in the morning, he did try to get up before a certain point so as not to waste the day away.
"Chess...?" he mumbled, turning to try and see if he could spot his wayward feline companion.
Nothing, not a meow, not a stretch, not even a purr. He sighed, rubbing at his eyes. Either he forgot to bring Chess to bed with him the night before or Dani snuck in and took her. Although, knowing his mischievous cat, Chess may very well have cried at his door until his roommate came and let her out. Any option is a viable one, seeing as they've all happened before.
It was the quiet sound of singing that brought him out of his thoughts. Frowning in conclusion he made his way off his bed and towards his door. Silently twisting the knob and turning it so he could open it just a crack, he smiled when the sound became slightly clearer.
It was Dani. She was singing again, even if just a little bit.
Not wanting to be caught, because then she would stop, he closed the door again and got dressed. He could smell food and never one to turn down a meal, he was ready to eat and let the day begin. He was already awake, might as well make the most of it.
Not too long after Dani stopped singing, he was finished, once more running a hand through his ruffled hair as he left his room.
"Morning," he greeted his roommate around a yawn. "You been up long?" he asked, catching sight of Chess from where she was perched on one of their kitchen chairs. Moving before the cat could see him, he scooped her up and held her like an infant, scratching her belly despite her weak struggles and meow of complaint. Little traitor deserved some punishment after ditching him for Dani.
Waking up and getting ready for the first day at another new school, wasn't anything new to Luciana. The only thing different was that it was university and not high school. Not to mention her and Iso were living on their own in a dorm on campus compared to staying with Uncle Santiago like they had recently.
With her alarm having gone off, it didn't take much for her to get up and get dressed. While she wasn't nervous per say, Luci still did want to get an early start on if only so she can make the lay of the land and become used to the school's layout as soon as possible.
As she left her room and headed towards the small kitchen in their dorm, she knocked on her sister's door in a small attempt to help wake her.
Opening the fridge she pulled out what they had, which wasn't much when confronted with it. She made a mental note to tell her sister that they'd need to run to the grocery store soon. It didn't take her long to get something made for herself. Knowing Iso didn't care for breakfast most mornings, she felt safe leaving nothing for the other girl. Especially since, having glanced at the clock, if her sister didn't wake soon then they'd risk running late.
She went to knock on Iso's door once again, louder this time, only to laugh at her sister's harried response. "Okay!" she called back.
Heading back towards her room she grabbed her bag, making sure her laptop was safely packed away before slinging it over one shoulder and sliding into her shoes. Hearing the shower cut off, she sighed shaking her head. Oh Iso...
Thankfully she knew her sister had skill with hurriedly getting ready, so it didn't take long for her twin to be ready and rushing out to meet her by the door. "We shall, hermana." she grinned.
"We're looking for the student center right? Then we can head for our own departments. See how everything turns out for today."
Waking up at what was basically the ass crack of dawn was never Gabe's idea of a good time. He cursed himself continuously for it, not that it did him any good. He was awake and he clearly wasn't going back to sleep. He hated life.
It didn't take long to shower and just get dressed for the day, because what else did he have to do? His sister, Elena, was going to come by at some point in the morning so he could start to show her around, but otherwise he had no plans. Wow, he felt pretty boring right about now.
He sighed, taking a sip of the coffee he'd made. Maybe if his roommate, Noemi, woke up, she'd want some. It wasn't even light outside and here he was wide awake. Letting his head drop onto his small kitchen table with a thud, he groaned. Guess there was nothing else to do. He would rehearse.
"Now...where did I leave that script..." he mumbled.
It would definitely help if he lifted his head and looked around his living space, but he hadn't reached the needed amount of energy to put forth the effort. It only took a few moments more before he found it with a heavy sigh and trudged back to his room. Rifling through the many stacks of papers on his desk he frowned, trying to find the right script. Why did he have so many old ones still? He really needed to clean up a bit...
Oh well, a thought for tomorrow. Having eventually found the one he was looking for, he dropped onto his bed, face up, using both hands to hold the stacks of paper above his face so he could read.
It was easy to let the time pass this way, and before he knew it, it was past time for his sister to have arrived. "Lena, what the hell..." he mumbled. If anyone was going to be late, he would've thought it to be him. Shooting her a quick text he got up and gathered his things, shoving his script into his bag. By the time he shoved everything he needed inside and grabbed a handful of old scripts to throw out, a small effort at beginning his cleaning spree, there was a continuous banging on his door.
"I'm coming, I'm coming!" he called. Dropping the paper in the bin, he was quick to wrench open his door, a small frown on his face. "You do realize I have a roommate who could still be sleeping right?" he asked, reaching out to ruffle her hair. "You ready to go?"
Noemi was up bright and early. Unlike her other siblings, she knew how to get up on time. Or really sorta on time. She was late to see Cesar, she meant to get up early enough so they could have breakfast but she overslept more as the alarm clock got thrown in the wall. She had difficulty falling asleep last night due to her issues with overthinking. This start of the semester had been hard due to some bullying, normally she would just shake it off but it was growing worse. It started last semester when she flirted with the wrong type of person. A person who didn't know how to take no for an answer. Now he had gotten his group of friends to 'teach' her a lesson about 'teasing'. They would call her names, destroy her stuff when they saw it out, and even text her insults. She had tried her best to ignore it but it just got worse and worse.
Now she had to resort to skipping classes, dodging public places, and staying in her dorm. Noemi knew that it was worrying her teachers, and most of all Blake who kept a close eye on her this past break but...she couldn't tell her. It was just something she could handle herself...or so she thought. Now she wasn't so sure. She almost told Cesar but he had enough on his plate with his worrying about his sister. He wouldn't be able to handle this. She checks herself out in the mirror in her room before heading out. She quietly escapes her dorm, it was still pretty early and she didn't happen to see her roommate until she saw him in the kitchen. She nodded to him as she grabbed her keys. "I'm heading out. Gotta go meet someone." She said quietly as she headed out. Noemi left quickly, normally she would have stayed and had a cup of coffee but she didn't want to miss Cesar. She really needed one of his hugs. Noemi started to jog to her best friend's dorm or in her mind, her boyfriend's dorm. She was so focused on trying to get to him, that she didn't see the person riding a skateboard toward her. She quickly tried to move out of the way, as the other person did as well.
Noemi hears the girl call out apologies and she just waved her off as she ran to get to Cesar's dorm. She opened her phone and quickly texted Dani before reaching the dorm.
DanDan: I'm at Cesar's dorm. Are you up for cuddles later if cutie doesn't want to?
She knocked on the door, and puts her hand on the doorknob only to find out that it wasn't locked so she walked right in. "Cutie, I need a hug." She said as she sees him in the kitchen. She drops her bag, and goes right up to her and hugs him without caring if he was busy. "Can you skip English Lit, please? I just want cuddles." Noemi says buried in his chest, knowing that he wouldn't..he loves that class way too much to do so.
Tomas was waking from a dream. A dream was one that he didn't want to wake up from. All his children were there and were older. They were together yet again. He saw his brother-in-law, Felipe playing a song. Santi, playing with Madi and the others in the corner. His wife was in the kitchen with her sister while she was holding Andres, talking and laughing. Even Alma was there and was trying to be better. He never wanted to wake up from this dream but he slowly came out of it, as he heard his heart call out his name and kiss his cheek.
"Mi corazón." He murmurs as he opens his eyes to an angel above him. His wife, mi corazón, the one he would fight a million wars for. He just looked at her for a second as she looks at him. The fact that he got to call this woman his, was amazing for him. He never thought he would be so lucky. To have her heart, to have her love. Did he truly deserve this woman, who loved him for who he was. Who took care of him, and never got tired of his clumsy self. "I'm up. What a beautiful sight, to wake up to." He says as he moves to get more up on the bed. Tomas listens to her as she tells him, her idea for them for today. He smiled and nodded.
"Mi corazón, that sounds like a brilliant plan." He takes her hand softly and kisses it. "It's time to make this place more like home. But as I always tell you, my home is where ever you are." Tomas says softly as he kisses her softly before pulling away "With you, I'm already home." He tells her softly sensing her worries. He knows this was never the plan. To start over, to lose their family but they had each other. That was enough for him to keep going. To keep his heart pumping, and his hope full. He would have never gotten this far without her. His siblings either, how they pulled together to help them morn, and support them as they did. He was so grateful for them. For her. Tomas gets out of bed and gets dressed.
"What about after shopping, we go for lunch?" He said as he pulled up his pants. "I saw this really good cafe on the way to work the other day baby, and we could make it a date day." He had found work easily, and after the fire, he had decided to go back to school for teaching. His children were always supporting him on the idea for him to go back to college, after losing them. He thought this was a way for him to make them proud of him. Tomas had gotten a job here pretty quickly, teaching English to middle school-aged children. He loved every second of it, and knew going back to college was a good choice. He needed something to keep his focus on during those years after the fire. Jo was..so out of it, and he was trying to be strong for her. Tomas needed something to keep him focused on being the husband she needed.
He hears the beep of the timer and smiles softly at his world, taking her hand. "Sounds like the bread is done, ready for the day?"
Madi was already up, she had been woken up by a nightmare earlier in the night. Luckily she had woken up before the screaming happened, so she didn't wake up her best friend-turned-roommate Bear or otherwise known as Alison. To have found out, that she had placed a request to room with her, without telling her that she had was enough to make Madi mad at her. She didn't want her to get burdened by her. She was lucky that she was rooming alone, so she didn't have to bother others but here comes her best friend asking to room with her. It wasn't like she was against it, it was just..hard to imagine someone would want to stay by her side but honestly nothing that girl did surprise Madi anymore.
The fact that she took time out of her life, to study ASL so she could communicate with Madi without having a phone or notebook. That she defended herself with the other students when she couldn't. Bear was her voice, and she loved her for her...as a friend. Yes, maybe there had been not-so-friend feelings involved for the past couple of months. The butterflies, the sparks when they touched, the warmth she felt in her arms when she cuddles her after a hard nightmare. She just knew in her mind that her bear didn't feel the same as she did. So she held her hand whenever they were in public or show random affection. That's what best friends do? Right. She heard bear's alarm going off, and she knew it was time to get up. So she quickly got dressed. When she was putting on the hoodie, she heard Bear and grinned.
Madi quickly walked out the door. I'm here! See, I graced you with my presence She signed as she walked into the kitchen. She saw what her best friend had gotten out for breakfast and rolled her eyes. She grabs the package, taking a cookie out for herself before putting them up That is not food for breakfast Bear. Let me cook you something. She signed as she grabs out pots and pans. Since she was sometimes the only person taking care of Andres, she learned how to cook pretty quickly. Remembering what her mother made for them for breakfast, was a way for her to keep memories she had of the mother she loved dearly. Her father tried to help her but ended up getting burned or even sometimes tripping over the air. She quickly makes eggs, bacon, and waffles as she makes Bear a plate. Placing in front of her.
I'll start waking up to make you food since you think oreos is healthy for breakfast She signed to her as she places the plate in front of her. Go ahead and start eating, I'm gonna start cleaning up. She signed as she begins clean.
Andres was happy, he was too happy. Thanks for some strings that Blake pulled, he was able to stay with Madi and Cassie during college. He even got his own room! He was so afraid that he would be separated from Madi for a long time like last year. It was good because he had met his older siblings who he thought were in the sky with his Mami and Papi but instead was just lost. It took some time for him to trust them like he did his cousin. His past had taught him that the only person he could trust was Madi but then he met Blake, Cassie, and all the other misfits and he knew that he could trust them too. Especially Cassie.
Cassie was his princess, and his best friend. When they had met, all he knew was that he wanted to stay by her side for as long as he could. She was his best friend, and he knew that she needed him. All princesses need a prince. It just so happens that Andres was Cassie's. And he never wanted it any other way. That's why when he heard her calling his name, even when he was asleep, he was awake instantly. He felt her sit on the edge of his bed. And he moves over to give her more room to lie down. "Of course Cassie." He said softly as he pulls her down close to him "Maybe we could sleep over big sister and brother's room tonight?" He sleepily mumbles to her as he wraps his tiny arms around her body.
"We could ask Blakey." He says to as he closes his eyes as he falls back to sleep. "I'm here now princess, you safe. promise. " He softly tells her before he falls back to sleep.
To his immense pleasure, his beloved Penelope greeted him with a hug. The smile that always graced his face whenever he received a hug from his darling spread across his face, and he leaned into the kiss she gave him. “Not as divine as you always do, mi vida,” he said, kissing her temple as she stepped away. “They might be slightly burnt, but they’re better than that batch a couple months back.” He set a plate beside in front of her and sat beside his wife, daring to take a bite of the fluffy pancake. Thankfully, it wasn’t as burnt as he’d feared. Penelope’s encouragement really was all the blessing he ever needed.
The couple enjoyed their pancakes in companionable silence. Felipe didn’t need to fill every moment with sound, though he often did when in the presence of his wife. He’d been more likely to do so when they’d lived in the full house of family members—it was so easy to fill the halls with laughter and talk. But he was starting to think this silence thing wasn’t too bad. Even Penelope was starting to get a bit of a sparkle in her eye as they ate.
As she looked at him and asked for a favor, his lips turned up once more. He placed his hand over hers and squeezed. “You know I will do anything for you. No favor involved.” Still, it was adorable how she would blink those beautiful brown eyes at him as if he could ever resist her. It made him fall in love with her all over again.
“It sounds like a wonderful plan, mi amor,” he said after realizing he hadn’t responded at first. Sometimes he was so caught up in his love for her he forgot to speak. “Just like old times. A perfect date with my perfect wife.” He leaned over and kissed her lightly on the forehead, lacing his fingers through hers. Felipe could certainly make it through anything, so long as Penelope was there.
Having finished his pancakes, Felipe wiped his mouth with a napkin and smiled. “Well. Shall we clean up and get going then, my darling Penelope?”
Cesar checked his phone again. Still no messages from Noemi. That made him frown. This wasn’t like her at all. He’d been wondering if something was up with her, but she was stubborn and wouldn’t tell him if something was bothering her. Gah, why were all the women in his life so difficult? Only Cassie seemed to make any sense, but she was still a child. Maybe he could ask Blake what to do…? No, that would be going too far. He needed some more guy friends. Ones that weren’t rooming with his sister.
His mysterious roommate finally appeared, but she didn’t seem to notice him. Cesar raised his eyebrows, but he didn’t try to say anything and surprise her too badly. Maybe it was all the years with Dani, but he tried not to be overly obnoxious with girls. Well. The ones he lived with. At least at first. Provided he and this new roommate got along, she would probably be on the receiving end of his teasing eventually, but not right now. The thought made him grin, and he went back to scrolling through his phone.
Eventually, his roomie looked up and noticed him. Now he was the one jumping. “Uh…” he said eloquently. “Good morning to you, too.” Which was definitely very smooth. Wow, he was really bad with new people now. When had that happened? Probably when it happened. Sigh.
Just as quickly as she’d greeted him, his roommate leaped up and was running out the door, saying something about meeting her brother. Now that was something he understood. With a grin, he waved, and as she introduced herself, he called after her, “I’m Cesar!”
Now if only the other nice girl in his life would text him. Cesar finished off his coffee and washed his mug in the time it took for her to finally appear. Elena had left the door unlocked, so she was able to walk right in. “About time—” he started to say, before turning right into her arms. She was hugging him. Furrowing his eyebrows, he wrapped his arms around her, gently stroking her hair. “What’s wrong, Noe?” The hugs he was used to—that was a Noemi staple. But something in her tone was off, and he was going to get it out of her sooner or later. “Please tell me.”
He grimaced at her request for him to skip class. “If it wasn’t the first one of the semester, of course, but Noe… you know it’s my favorite.” Cesar sighed, caught between his best friend and the subject he’d devoted his life to. If it hadn’t been for his uncle, he might never have discovered how much he loved reading. It wasn’t right for him to abandon the subject now, especially since he wasn’t likely to ever see Uncle Santi again.
“Can you wait until after my class? I’ll come straight back here. Dani’s also got class, but you can wait in my room or go find Andres and Cassie. I’m sure they would love a cuddle from you.” He ran his fingers through Noemi’s hair, wishing he could do better for her. His studies were important, but she was, too. Why was taking care of the women he cared about so damn hard sometimes?
Dani’s song tapered off after a few minutes, and right on time, too, because Oliver stepped out of his room to join her in the kitchen. There had been a time when his presence had made her heart leap into her throat out of fear, back when things hadn’t been so easy between them. That was no longer the case, and it hadn’t been for a couple years now, thank goodness. Well, that wasn’t quite true. Her heart still leaped when he stepped into a room, but it calmed down much faster. The reason was much different. Nicer, even. Not that she was ever going to let him know that. She hoped she wasn’t blushing.
“Morning,” she said quietly with a kind smile. It had taken her at least a year to start speaking to Oliver, and she still found it a bit awkward to do at times. That had more to do with the fact she didn’t use her voice a lot at school. He had sweetly started to learn a bit of ASL so she didn’t have to carry around such a big notebook to talk to him, but she wanted to compromise, so she’d started speaking more often to him. Still, most of their words were exchanged via text, but it seemed like that might be changing, too. Only good change seemed to come about with Oliver.
She shook her head. “Not too long,” she said. The eggs finished cooking, and she turned off the stove and divided them evenly among two plates. Although she’d originally meant to eat alone, her subconscious had told her Oliver would be lured by the smell of food, much like her brother usually was. The toaster dinged, and she reached over to grab the now-toasted bread and place a slice on each plate. It wasn’t exactly a breakfast of champions, but it would have to do for now.
Setting the plates on the table, she smiled and tried not to laugh at poor Chess being punished by Oliver. Though the kitty meowed in protest, she wasn’t trying very hard to escape his arms. She lightly scratched behind the cat’s ears and gave Oliver an apologetic smile. “She was meowing again, and I was having trouble sleeping, so I borrowed her for the night.” It was more like stealing, but she wouldn’t admit that to his face. “Sorry?” Dani hoped her pout would cement her apology—it certainly worked well enough on Cesar and Blake.
With that settled, Dani sat down to eat her eggs and toast. The lemonade certainly made for a strange combination, but she was used to that by now. She ate relatively quickly, as she didn’t want to be late for her class. Checking her phone, she realized she’d nearly missed a text from Noemi. I have a class first thing like he does, but I’m up for it after, if that’s okay! I hope everything is alright :c
Speaking of her class… “Um, Ollie… is it still okay if you walk me to my class? If not, that’s okay! I’ll be fine!” she babbled nervously. Looking away, she took a shaky sip of her lemonade. She didn’t necessarily need someone to walk her to class—she had managed two years without it before Cesar showed up—but she felt much better when she had someone she trusted nearby. At the same time, she didn’t want to burden Oliver with her fears; he already dealt with enough of her thanks to her catnapping.
But was it so wrong that she really, really wanted to walk with him?
There was something about Tomás that made her blush like a young woman again. But with all the endless compliments he showered upon her, how could she not? All the nervousness seeped out of her body as he agreed to her plan. She allowed herself a relieved smile as he kissed her hand and then leaned into his kiss. Once again, she thought how lucky she was to have him. Josefina couldn’t have asked for a better husband to share her life with. He was everything she needed and could ever want, all rolled into one.
Turning so she could fold her legs up onto the bed, Josefina smiled at Tomás’s suggestion. “That sounds wonderful, mi corazón,” she said lightly. Although they were alone compared to before, they hadn’t found many moments to just be themselves. Tomás had found work after going back to school, and even Josefina was managing to find work thanks to her cooking. It would do her some good to be able to have a proper date with the husband she loved so much.
The oven timer went off, and he took her hand. Smiling up at him and kissing his cheek, she said, “Always ready when it’s with you, mi amor.” She led the way into the kitchen, turning off the obnoxious timer and removing the bread from the oven. It wasn’t like her arepas, but it had been hard to make those ever since she’d lost her power. Josefina cut a few slices for her and Tomás, taking out what little butter and honey they had to add some flavor to the meal. With orange juice, it wasn’t quite a whole meal, but fresh-baked bread had plenty of energy for what they were planning to do. Besides, she had to save room in her stomach for their date!
“Don’t go rushing out the door without eating first,” she teased her husband, taking a bit of her buttered bread. Nice and warm, just as she liked it. Freshly cooked food was much better than not—it was something she had tried to instill in the whole family. And while she, too, was impatient to start the day, she knew it wouldn’t do to go without food. Maybe she would have done so back when she was attending college, but that wasn’t the case now. Not when she was getting older. At least she had that to share with her husband, too. She was indeed very lucky to have not been left alone for all these years.
While Ally waited for Madi to join her, her phone buzzed with a text from Elena. As always, her best friend perfectly understood her wild artistic vision. Their art class was definitely going to be one of her favorites this semester, not that she ever had any doubts about that. She tucked her phone into her pocket and grinned, plotting how she and Lena could wow the world with their brilliance.
Finally! Madi stepped out of her room, already signing in response to her previous call. Ally watched her hands and face so she could mentally translate. She still wasn’t really an expert when it came to ASL, but she definitely got it 99% of the time. Thank God Madi never tried to use big words with her unless they were texting. “About time there, Ria. I was starting to get worried you’d never join the land of the awake.” A lie, of course. She knew that Madi didn’t always sleep well. Being away from her cousin, Andres (or Andy, as Ally took to calling him), probably didn’t help things either.
But that was certainly no excuse to take away her Oreos! “Hey! Ria!” She pouted in her friend’s direction before smiling despite herself. How could one person be filled with so much kindness and not have been in Ally’s life before last semester? “You know you don’t have to do that, I’ll be fine—” But it was no use arguing with Madi. Andres was definitely lucky to have had her looking after him all those years. Ally shook her head and sat back, watching Madi work.
When she set the food in front of her, Ally kiss the tips of her fingers with an obnoxious mwah!“My compliments to the chef!” She dug into the food, glancing up in time to catch Madi’s signing. “Oreos can be breakfast! They go great with milk!” But she wasn’t about to pass up delicious food like this every morning for breakfast, and there was no way she would convince Madi otherwise. She might as well just take the gift. Besides, this food was amazing. Her mother could never.
Ally may have scarfed her food down, but hey, it was delicious! Clearly, it was a compliment. “At least let me wash my own dishes,” she said, turning on the sink and grabbing the sponge. “And thank you for the meal.”
As she washed her plate, she glanced over at Madi so she could catch the signed response. “Do you have any classes first thing, or are you going to go see Andres? He’s staying on campus, right?” She felt a little bad that she had a class so early—there was some nervous twinge in her chest whenever she thought about leaving Madi alone. Ally just wanted her Ria to be safe. It was the first step to getting her to smile.
The compliments that left her husband's lips were ones that she never fails to hear every single day. They were her source of motivation.
"You never make me feel anything less than perfect, mi esposo,"
she hummed happily as he laid a kiss on her temple before she proceeded to her place and indulge the plate that was set in front of her.
"One of the many reasons why you stole my heart..."
she concluded with a smile on her face and a loving look led to her husband's eyes.
Penelope took a bite of the pancakes despite his attempt, the taste still prevailed and she made sure he knew. It was not about the taste, but the time, effort and dedication he put into them,
"My comment stands, amor. They taste as perfect as you can ever be."
. She always enthused his skills and would never dream of doing any less any time soon. If his light was to burn out, she would be done for. He was her light, her beacon, her heart.
As her plate was cleared clean and finished, Penelope's could be easily passed as clean by how she finished it.
True, the couple were not really accustomed themselves to a quiet ambience. Especially one with only two people in a small apartment. The absence of her sister's cooking, her mother and some of her nieces arguing... or even her children pulling each other's legs. Andres' cry for hunger. She missed every second of it. The dwelling was not going to bring them back and so they took another approach... commemorating them. Nothing did that better than filling their newly bought apartment like their old home. Something that linked them to their beloved Encanto.
Her eyes did not part with his as she saw the smile curl in his lip, turning her hand to welcome his, running a thumb over his fingers in return.
"I know mi amor but it does not feel right to take advantage of your kind heart just because you will do anything for me. It is only fair to repay you. Even with some good old bachata,"
she giggled as she blew him an air kiss, as her lips kissed the air.
The married couple was all about working and earning themselves the daily bread and they both became consumed and over-tired with constant stress which was not really healthy. If their bond had not been this strong, there was no way anyone would have salvaged it. Penelope and Felipe did. They swore an oath and they owned it. Their endless love proved it. No matter how many cries, how many arguments occurred. It always passed because Penelope's love and care for this wonderful man could never falter. He praised her at any given moment, showered her with songs and love at any given second and supported her through the thickest and thinnest of situations. She loved her corazon.
Her light chocolate brown eyes lit up as he accepted her proposal for the Mexican,
The thought of them rekindling like their old-time dates made Penelope jump on the inside if not on the outside. She missed her husband's company when they were both so solemn and in harmony. The fact they finally had the chance to recuperate was something that she felt both needed and she knew he would say the same thing... or have the same thought.
A soft sigh escaped her lips as she felt his own lips on her forehead as she was brought back by his voice, yet again.
"Yes, yes let's,"
she agreed with a nod as she slowly took her hand back to wipe her own mouth and got up. Picking up her plate and his, she headed towards the sink and removed her rings not to tarnish,
"What do you think would be ideal? Pine or Walnut? We need a matching set of furniture rather than ones that are going to fall off..."
As she started washing the dirty dishes, she proceeded to place them in the drying rack one after the other to let them drain as he proceeded with cleaning the table, she would assume.
Looking over for the dry dish towel, she wiped her hands into it and wore her three pairs of rings which excluded her wedding ring. She refused to ever take that one off. Looking and heading Felipe's way she smiled,
"I think I can see my reflection there, mi corazon. Shall we start our journey for operation renovate the apartment, phase 1?"
she remarked with a joke as she picked up her scarf in case it got chilly which was unlikely.