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Updated on March 19, 2017

Chapter 8

I get up, put on my slippers and look for my parents. The door was open, so, they have to be at the gate. When I go down, I pinch myself to see that I'm not dreaming. I make it too strong and it hurts me, so it's not a dream, it's a bike.

"It has taken your time to convince your mother, but in the end, here you have it. Lately we have noticed you very sad. This will help you get off to a good start. You will not have to catch the bus any more, "my father said as he watched my mother's expression of fear and joy.

I've had my motorcycle license since I was sixteen, but we've never been able to convince my mother. In theory, I could buy it myself because I am of age, but as I am studying, I have no money. Besides, I still live with my parents and my mother says that as long as I live under her roof, I will have to do what she says.

- Go ... Wow. Em ... I do not know what to say ... I can only thank you.

I give them a huge hug. They have decided to trust me. They know that I am responsible and that I will drive with my head. I will never drive when I drink. I will not even take my motorcycle. I'll only use it to go to high school or when I have to go somewhere. They have decided to trust me here in New York. I can only think "thank you dad, thank you mom."

"Maverick for God's sake, be careful," my mother says.
- Mom, do not worry, you can trust me. You will not regret it.
"I hope so," my father confides.
- Can I release it?
"Better not, Maverick.
"Helen, let me take a turn, nothing will happen," my father says, trying to convince my mother.
- Okay, but only five minutes.
- Thank you very much!

I give them a kiss and I prepare. Jacket, gloves and helmet. They were from my father, but he sold his motorcycle. He says he's too old to go on a motorcycle. I tell him it has nothing to do, but he does not listen to me. I get on the bike, I start and I accelerate. Circle on Fifth Avenue. I feel free, like when you take off a sliver of your finger. There is not much traffic, so I can go a little faster, but not much, just enough to feel the adrenaline running through my veins. I've never felt so good. I needed it. As I circle, I watch people as I picture their lives. I see a very stylish woman and I think "will be devoted to fashion". I also see a child of about five years and I think "I wish I were that age infinitely". I watch New Yorkers walk with their cafes. All so stressed. When I go to high school, I walk like that. Stressed, overwhelmed, lost in a maze with no exit, only with alleys that lead nowhere.

I turn around and go back to my gate. Along the way I find a McDonald's and decide that I'll prepare hamburgers to eat. Luckily today is Saturday and there is no institute. I do not want to stop driving. I want to continue feeling this freedom. For a moment I think of escaping, leaving everything behind. Fuck the institute. I'm going. I leave behind my parents and my family. I'll stop by Lena, she'll have to leave her boyfriend. We'll both go, wherever. I need to escape, I need to escape. I have to find the way out of this labyrinth, the alley that leads to freedom, to illusion, to life. Maverick wakes up. This will never happen. I park the bike and take the case.

- How are you? Did you like it? Asks my father.
- I loved it.
- So, is the bike going well?
- Perfectly. It's the best bike you could have bought me.
"I'm glad son," my father says.
- I'm going to the super to buy green hamburger meat. I've seen McDonald's and now I feel like it.
"But go," my mother says. It's a beautiful day and you will not miss it. Also, the super is five minutes away.
- Mom, I was thinking about walking.

He had twelve dollars in his pocket, enough to buy the caramelized meat and onions. I do not understand how there can not be caramelized onions on my floor, it's a basics that everyone should have. I go to the supermarket "Mel's". It's huge, sometimes I get lost in the hallways.

"Nine with fifty please," the clerk reports.

She was very handsome. He had vintage glasses and curly brown hair. I give him ten dollars and when he gives me the change I go back to my flat. I have to start making hamburgers if I do not want to throw myself until four o'clock.

I put the organic burgers in the pan. The smell gives me a great joy. To the breads I throw ketchup, mayonnaise and some mustard. I put the lettuce, two slices of tomato, caramelized onion, cheddar cheese and the meat. And now, the chef's trick. I saw in a YouTube video that if you put the burgers rolled up in kitchen paper for a minute in the microwave, they taste like McDonald's. And so it is. It is not exactly the same because it does not carry the same sauces, but it is very similar. My parents love it, and so do I. It can be said that I have already learned many things about cooking. Time is for the teacher.

In addition, I bought more tools that I saw necessary as I made more dishes. Every time I went to that store, the woman always asked me about the last dish I had made. He was very glad that the kit brought me into the kitchen.

When we finished the burgers, we picked up the table. I spent the rest of the day watching movies and reading. On Sunday I did homework and I studied, since next week we have exams.

It's Monday. I'll finally go to high school on my new bike. So, at least, I have the hope that someone will come and ask me "Is it new" or "Since when do you have the card?". It could also get some girl's attention. But as usual, nothing is as I imagine. When he arrives, everyone looks for a second and then, they return to their things. Of course Maverick, it is very normal to see teenagers on a motorcycle in New York, nobody is going to be surprised that you have one.

The morning passes very slowly, or directly, it does not pass. We've had four more exams for next week and we already had two. I do not think I can approve them all. I do not have time for it. History, physics, chemistry, mathematics, technology and physical education. I hope you do not put anatomy too. To make matters worse, I've heard the stupid Tessa say that I'm an outcast and that she does not want to go with me in class anymore. I'm sick of this life, if you can call it that.

In the dining room we have prepared a vegetable puree. Today the world is against me. The only thing that gets me out of so much stress, is the trip back on my bike. I needed fresh air. But it's not enough. I'm still overwhelmed. I continue with exams. I still have no one to talk to. I'm still without any friends. I'm alone. I can not take anymore. I try to reassure myself and I can make a vegetable risotto for dinner.

I always prepare all the ingredients before starting. I do not like to be cooking while I prepare things. It overwhelms me. I heat the chicken broth and put the butter, garlic and onion in a pan. Meanwhile I cut the vegetables.

- Shit! I groan as blood starts to flow from my thumb. Fuck! What the fuck is happening today? What do you want from me, world? Do you want me to end up shooting myself? Because as long as you keep insisting I will - I speak alone, but that calms me down.

Echo the vegetables to the pan and while, I go to the toilet to cure the cut of the finger. The first thing I do is pour water, and it's what hurts the most. The contrast of the cold water and the hot blood causes a tremendous chill pain filled by the nerves of my finger. Afterwards, I use hydrogen peroxide to prevent infections. I made a good cut. The knives in the starter kit are sharp. For a moment I think I should not have bought that kit, but I realize that I am exaggerating. As I put a bandage on the cut, I get a slight smell of burning. Nerves take over me, I keep the bandages in my pocket without realizing the hurry and run to the kitchen.

- Shit, shit, shit! Fucking disgusting. "I swear, but I can not help it when I'm angry. To take the risotto for ass!

I throw the burnt vegetables into the trash can and throw the pan into the scrubber. It makes a tremendous noise, but I do not care. I leave everything without picking up and leave my flat to take a walk on Fifth Avenue. Five exams, solitude, a burnt risotto and a kitchen without picking up. Of course, life smiles at me. It's seven o'clock, but it seems at night. My parents come back at nine to play the paddle, so I have an hour and a half to walk and half an hour to pick up.

As I walk, I look at the shops. I feel like I'm in a movie. Fifth Avenue is the most famous avenue in New York where the best brands are found. During this month that I have lived here, I had never noticed them. I think it's time. I see stores like Chanel, Dolce & Gabanna, Prada, Victoria's Secret ... I do not like them, but seeing them and recognizing the brand makes me feel good. And then, I see her. As beautiful as she had imagined. The famous Apple store with cube-shaped glass. It gives me a micro heart attack and I decide to go, although I will not buy anything. It is so beautiful ... Inside, it impresses how big it is. I watch all iPhones, iPads, Macbooks, iMacs, etc. They are ordered by colors and models. I'm going crazy. There is a floor dedicated only to accessories and some glass stairs that look like the future. I spend half an hour stuck in the store and when I unlock an iPhone from exposure, I realize it's ten to nine, but I'm not going to bother to run because the Apple store is half an hour from my house. My parents have already arrived and I will be angry anyway, so, why rush.

I leave the Apple store and sit on a bench. I'm tired. I've taken a long walk, and I still have the turn. I examine the people who pass by. Today seems to be all quieter. I'm about to get up, but then, someone sits next to me. I turn my head and feel like one of my dreams. It is impossible. Can not be.

"Damn shoes," he heard her complain.

I am so dumbfounded looking at his bushy eyebrows, his brown hair with the blond tips and his greenish blue eyes that I do not get the words I want to express. It's her. It's not a dream. It is real. And I'm dying to know his name.

"It's the bad thing about wearing heels," I say, trembling more than at any other time in my life.
- What? He looks confused. But I do not wear heels. It's these damn new Vans, which rub my ankle because I'm not wearing socks.

Shit. You must think I'm an asshole. How could I say that if I have not even looked at his shoes. I'm an imbecile. I'm going to miss the only chance to meet the girl of my dreams. I grab my pants to make me understand that I am angry and I notice something square. Bingo! The box of plasters. Maverick, do not be silly, offer him a band aid. But do not get your voice down, do something right for once in your life.

- Em ... I have bandages.
- That you have bandages? She says, laughing.
- Yes - I also laugh because I got his laugh.
- And what do you do with bandages?
- It is a long story.
- Well, considering that you have offered me one, I am ready to listen to it. By the way, my name is Cristina.

Cristina. A name as precious as she.

"Maverick," I say as I give her the bandage.
- Maverick ... I like that name.

The bandage is placed in the friction and rises. I still do not know how to react and I remain seated.

- Are you coming or what?

His voice is beautiful. It's a relaxing voice. I could listen to it for hours without getting tired for a second. I react and get up. I stand at his side. I feel like shaking her hand, stroking her face, kissing her, but I'm content to be with her.

- Well, tell me your story.
- The one with the bandages?
- What other story would it be? He asks with a laugh.

Fuck Maverick, do not shit it anymore. Although ... at least I make her laugh.

- You're right ... I have several stories.
- Well, tell me about the bandages at the moment.
"Okay ... Let's see," I say, not knowing how to begin. I moved to New York a little over a month ago. I thought I was going to become the happiest guy in the world because it's always been the city of my dreams - "You're the girl on my floor" I meant. But I controlled myself. But I do not know why New Yorkers drop me off at high school. It is as if it did not exist for them. And I'm no weirdo or anything like that ... It's like when you walk into a supermarket and you do not know anyone. Everyone looks at you and your basket, but nobody talks to you. Well ... one day I decided to go to Manhattan to take a walk instead of going to high school and saw in a showcase kitchen knives. I caught the attention and the woman who attended me recommended a starter kit to the kitchen. I bought it and started cooking to get rid of stress. The truth is that it works. But today, I have accumulated everything and that stress has passed from me to the knife and the knife to my finger. I left the vegetables in the pan to make a risotto and while I have healed. But when I put the bandage on I started to smell burned and I put them in my pocket quickly to run to remove the vegetables from the fire. Everything was a mess and it is still because I left everything thrown to give me a walk and clear. When my parents see it, it's not going to be funny ... But, you know? I'm glad that I cut myself and saved my bandages, because if I had not, I would not be talking to the most beautiful girl I've ever seen.

I feel her blush and she laughs silently. He is silent for a few seconds and says:

- I understand ... - He seems to have difficulty speaking. When I got here, I did not have anyone either. But my parents became friends with a marriage that has a daughter my age. She's always with me. He understands and supports me. I am a girl with a strong character, but she is capable of supporting me. The friends I have now owe them to her. In truth, I owe everything to her.
- My best friend was like that too. Well, she still is, but she lives in Galena.
"I did not think a story of why you had strips in your pocket could be like that."

We both started to laugh. His teeth were perfect. All of it was perfect.

- By the way, what institute are you going to? -Question.
- Saint Barbara High School - I answer.
- Do not.
- No what? "I ask, trying not to be an edge."
- Well, I'm going to that institute too.

Can not be. How could I have been so close to the girl of my dreams without realizing it?

- Seriously?
- Yes. How come I have not seen you before?
- No idea. What year are you in?

"In the last," he says.
- I also. In the baccalaureate of health sciences.
- I in the performing arts.
- That's why we had not met. The subjects are different.
"Still, I find it rather strange."

And he's right. It is very rare that we have not seen each other even though we go to different high school graduates.

- Where do you put yourself in the breaks? "She's as curious as I am.
- On the grass.
- Well, I'm always on the stairs to the main entrance.
"I'll come and say hello," I say, winking at him.
- I would be delighted to receive your visit.

I feel so comfortable with her ... It's like I've known her for life. He had never been confident with anyone so fast. She is lovely. Is beautiful. She's the girl of my dreams. I love her. I do not care if I only met her for half an hour. I do not want to be separated from her, I want to lie all night talking about our things. He told me that he plays volleyball and that I happen to see some game. I do not know if she likes me, but she's comfortable with me too, I can tell. I do not want this to end, but unfortunately, it happens.

- Well, this is my gate - it's number eleven and it's next to Central Park.
"I'll have to come and get you if I still do not see you in high school."

She laughs again and I like it even more.

- Good night Maverick. I was delighted to have met you. Ah! And thanks for the bandage.
- You're welcome.

The door closes and a tingling runs through my throat. I still do not believe what just happened. But then, I remember the risotto and the disaster that I have mounted in my house. I run to my apartment, open the door and:

- Maverick Thompson! Make it the last time you make a mess like this. What happened to your head? As I come back one day and find this disaster I punish you without films, without books and without kitchen, is it clear to you? "She's less angry than I expected."
- Yes, Mom, I'm so sorry.
- Maverick, are you smiling?
- Yes, I've made a new friend.
- Oh, what joy! As it is called? Lives near? She is pretty? Has….
- Mama, calm down. We will speak now that I am very tired.

I give him a kiss and go to bed. I left my mother with the intrigue. But I'm euphoric. I've never felt this way before. I can only think of her. In Cristina. In her poppy-scented hair, her perfect teeth and her eyes the color of the aurora borealis. It's just perfect.


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