Chapter 4 - How about on my birthday?
It's another Saturday morning. The first Saturday of December, to be exact. Nina accompanied Brent to the mall for his early Christams shopping. As they wereabout to enter another store, they bumped into one of her classmate - Ashley. "Oh, hi Brent!" Ashley said ina flirty way. "Hey, Ashley!" Brent said as he planted a kiss on her cheek.
Ashley is a popular girl in their batch. She's one of the students who always makes fun of Nina. For Nina, shes the girl who's destined to ruin her high schhool memories. There was also a rumor in school that Ashley and Brent used to date.
"I see that you're doing your Christmas shopping, huh?" Ashley said when she noticed Brent holding some shopping bags. "Oh, yes. I want to make sure that everybody have a gift from me..."
"That's so sweet of you!" Ashley replied, as she pinched his cheek. Nina saw this, and she wanted to kill her for being to close to Brent. "I sure hope you didn't forget my gift..."
"Of course, I didn't sweety.
Then, Ashley noticed Nina standing behind Brent, holding twice as much shopping bags as what Brent was holding. "So..." Ashle began, raising her eyebrow on Nina. "I see you brought your slave with you..."
"Yep, she's helping me with my Christmas shopping."
Ashley gave Nina an insulting look. She stared at nina from head to toe, then smirked. "Well then, I'll see you in school... dork!: she said. After Ashley left, Nina mocked her. "See you in school!" she said to herself, as she imitated Ashley. When she turned to Brent, he was already inside the store. She immediately followed him.
That afternoon, Nina stayed at Brent's pad to study. He was kind enough to tutor her for her University entrance exam this coming Monday. "So what's the meaning of the word 'incognito'?" he asked, reading one of the reviewers he lent her. Instead of answering the question, Nina yawned. After he heard her loud yawn, he pinched her ears. "Awww..." she said, holding her ear. "How the hell are you gonna pass if you won't study?" he shouted at her. Nina lowered her head and pouted. She felt guilty because Brent volunteered to help her study, but instead she was slacking off. "I'm sorry, Master Brent. I'm really tired..." she said in a low voice.
Brent shook his head in diappointment, and went back to read the reviewer. "Pay attention this time..." he continued. He read the question out loud, and waited for Nina to answer. He got a little irritated, because it seems that Nina's not paying attention. "Nina, do you expect - "
He turned to see her asleep on the table,
For the first time, he saw Nina without her glasses on. He smiled and stared at her as she sleeps. "I knew she'd be this pretty..." he thought. He tucked into her ears the hair which fell on her face, and continued staring at her.
The first time he saw Nina, she reminded him of his old self - the nerdy, shy and weak Brent. They were alike in all things. His classmates in high school also made fun of him, they tortured him, and forced him to do their school works. It was after he graduated from high school that he decided to transform into what he is now, an he liked the new Brent.
When Leon told him that she's going to ask him to be her date, he took that opportunity to make her his protegee'. He wants her to learn tp be brave and stand up for her rights. That's the reason why he made her his slave - he wants her to learn it the hard way. He was hopong that someday, the fragile and weak Nina would turn out to be a brave girl.
It was lunch time, and Nina was reviewing for their test that afternoon when Ashley approached her. She took the empty seat in front of Nina and gave her a devilish smile. "I hear that you asked Brent to be your Grad Ball date..." she began. Nina put her book down and looked at her. "I don't think it's your business, Ashely." she snapped. Ashley just laughed at her. "Of course it is, silly! Sorry to burst your bubble, but even before you asked him, he already agreed to be my date."
Nina was surprised with what Ashley told her. "How could he? We have an agreement..." she thought. "Poor Nina, Brent made you believe he'll be your date... I'm sorry, loser!" Ashley said between laughs. After Ashley left, Lainey , CJ and Millie came up to her. They heard eveything that they talked about. Nina was disappointed, and they could see it in her face. "That stupid jerk!" CJ exclaimed, pertaining to Brent. "After all the things you've done for him..."
"I need to talk to him..." Nina answered.
That afternoon, nina met brent at the waiting area. As they were walking towards the parking lot, she decided to confront him about Ashley. "Ashley told me you already agreed to be her date at the Grad Ball... is that true?" she asked. Brent paused for a while and looked at her sad face. "No... you're my date at the Grad Ball..." he thought. He wanted to say that, but he decided to torture her again. "So what if she's gonna be my date at the Grad Ball?" he snapped boastfully. Nina could feel that his answer is the same as saying "Yes, dork. Ashley's my date and I just played around with you, loser!". She got disappointed by his answer, but she smiled when she realized another thing.
It's going to be her birthday that Friday, and if he can't be her date at the Grad Ball, maybe he can agree to go out with her on her birthday. She turned to Brent and smiled. This got Brent confused. "Why is she smiling? She should be mad at me!" he thought. "I understand that you promised Ashley to be her date at the Grad Ball... and I understand that..." she started. "If you can't be my Grad Ball date, can you go out with me on my birthday this Friday?"
Brent was surprised to know that's it's her birthday this Friday. It's a good thing that they don't have classes that day, and he didn't plan anything with her friends. "Why didn't you tell me it's gonna be your birthday?" he asked. 'I really have no plans of celebrating it since my parents are not here..." she said. Nina's parents went to the province due to an emergency, and won't be back until the start of the Christmas break. "All I'm asking you is to be with me on my birthday. Pretend that you enjoy my company... that's all..." she pleaded.
With all the things he did to Nina this past few weeks, he realized that he should make Nina feel special on her special day and he have to be more kind to her. She deserves it. Brent smiled at her, and nodded his head. "OK... you got yourself a deal" he said. Nina was so happy, she hugged him tight. "Thanks, Master Brent!" she said.
Nina wanted to look pretty on her special day, so she wore her favorite dress, took off her eyeglasses and put some make up on her face. "You're the prettiest girl..." she said to her reflection on the mirror.
Just then, her phone rang. It was Brent. She was a little hesitant to answer his call, because he might tell her that their date's cancelled. "Please don't cancel our date..." she thought as she answered the call. She took a deep breath before speaking. "Hey Brent!"
"Happy Birthday, kiddo!" Brent said on the other line.
"Hey, I know I'm supposed to pick you up, but I needed to do some errands. Can I meet you at the mall instead? By the fountain?"
"Sure, no problem. I'll see you there."
After they hang up the phone, Brent immediately got inside his car and drove to the mall. He was going through the gifts that he bought for Christmas, and realized that he didn't get Nina anything. "How could I forget her?" he thought.
He's out of time, and he still have no idea what to get her. He went into every store he could pass by, but no items ever seem to fit Nina's personality. He decided to just give her a book, and when he was walking towards the bookstore, he passed by a jewelry store. On the display rack, he saw a necklace with a snowflake pendant. He remembered that the last time they were here, Nina was looking at this necklace. He decided to get the necklace, so he went inside to buy it.
He was about to go to their meeting place when he saw a couple of girls from their school. They asked Brent to join them, but he refused, saying he'll be meeting a friend. The girls didn't listen to his excuse, so they grabbed him, and sort of abducted him. They spent almost an hour at the restaurant. It's a good thing that the girls went to the powder room to do their thing, so he was able to escape.
Or so he thought. He was almost at the mall's fountain area, when Ashley saw him. "Hey Brent!" Ashley shouted. He looked back and saw Ashley walking towards him. He sighed out of dismay. "Oh, great! Another distraction..." he thought. Ashley gave him a kiss and grabbed his arm. "Hey, what are you doing?" he asked Ashley. "Please go with me to the movies..." Ashley said, giving him puppy eyes. Before he could say no, Ashley's already pulling him towards the cinema.
Three hours has passed, and Nina still patiently waited for Brent. She tried calling him, but it seems that he turned his phone off. She was a little bit worried about him."I hope nothing bad happened to him..." she thought. She also think that the reason he's late is because he can't find a perfect gift for her. "Brent, just give me anything... you're all I want for my birthday..." she thought.
When she turned around, she saw Brent walking towards the fountain. She was about call him, when a girl grabbed his arm - it was Ashley. They looked happy, for they were smiling at each other. Nina got hurt with what she saw. "I need to do some errands..." she remembered him say on the phone. The errand turned out to be a date with Ashley, she thought. Maybe Brent planned this with Ashley to ruin everything for her, and they succeeded.
She felt her legs weakened,ans she call fall from where she's standing at any time. She tried her best to walk away from that place, and away from Brent and his broken promises.
No Parents. No friends. No one to be with her to celebrate her birthday. What should've been a special day turned out to be a gloomy one.
Nina managed to get home, trying to keep her tears from falling, Once she's inside the house, she didn't turned out the lights. Instead, she took three long candles and lit it on the table. She stared at it for a while and began to sing.
"Happy Birthday, Nina.... Happy Birthday, Nina..." tears began to cascade from her eyes, not hiding all the pain she felt. "Happy Birthday... Happy Birthday..." Nina sang between sobs. "Happy Birthday, Nina..." she heard familiar voices said. She looked at the door, and she saw Lainey, CJ and Millie holding her birthday cake.
"We knew what happened... we were watching you a while ago..." Lainey said as they approached her. "We know he'll break his promise again... I'm sorry, Nina..." As soon as they reached her, they hugged her tight and just let her cry to ease the pain.