“Leo? Leo! Where is that kid…” Raiza called out. Leo took a deep breath.
“I’m right here!” Raiza smiled as Leo walked outside, clutching something behind his back. It was a rose, and he was holding it so tight, he was sure the thorns were probably cutting his skin open. But he was too numb to feel anything. “What ya got there?” She smiled, her hazel eyes catching in the light. Leo had to remind himself to breathe as his heart fluttered nearly out of his chest.
“You’ll have to wait and see,” he said, playfully smirking. Raiza rolled her eyes, still smiling.
“Aw, come on. Show me.”
“Close your eyes then.” She rolled her eyes again before obliging. Leo neared her and tucked the bud behind her ear, his skin tingling where it touched hers. “You can open them again.” Her eyes fluttered open. Her face flushed slightly, as Leo was still very close to her. For some reason though, she didn’t really mind.
“What is it?”
“Oh, a rose, it’s behind your ear now.” A smirk made its way onto his face.
“Is it no-”
“Leo! There you are, sweetheart!” Raiza stumbled at the sudden interruption, nearly falling facefirst onto the ground. Luckily, Leo was there, and he caught her midway. He flashed her a quick smirk before she stood upright, and his own cheeks turned dark red as he turned to see his mom standing at the doorway.
“Honey. Raiz, so nice to see you. You’re heads clearing up a bit I hope?”
“Oh! It’s nice to see you to Ms. Thornton. Yes, thank you.” She stole a quick glance at Leo for courage as she spoke.
“Well, I was just wondering if you two wanted a snack? Some berries or something?”
Leo clenched his teeth. “No, mom, we’re fine, thanks though.”
“Alright, then.” His mom looked from Leo to Raiza and Leo to Raiza before she smiled and shut the backyard door behind her, leaving them alone once again.
They looked into each other’s eyes and burst out laughing, so much that they were doubled over and clutching their stomachs within two seconds.
They finally calmed down and Leo pointed to Raiza’s hand, in which she held a small brown paper bag.
“What’s in there?”
“Oh, it’s the whole reason I came,” she elbowed him, “While your company is, of course, valuable, I wasn’t just going to come and sit. He blushed but quickly concealed it with his trademark smirk as Raiza handed him the bag.
“It’s just some stuff I thought we could burry in your backyard and look back on when we’re older.”
Leo furrowed his brows jokingly. “Assuming we even still know each other you mean?”
Raiza rolled her eyes. “Yes. And if we don’t, you can keep this stuff I guess.” Leo stuffed his hand into the bag and pulled out a miniature drum set, smaller than the palm of his hand. His mouth dropped open as he traced his fingers over the details in the model.
“It’s to represent your love for drums or whatever…” Raiza looked down shyly. Leo set the model back in the bag and pulled out one of those foam food things they put in displays. Naturally, it was a blueberry. He smirked and dropped it back in the bag. There were a few other things, but he felt he wanted to keep it a surprise for when they opened it in the future.
Because they would still know each other, he was sure of it.
“Why my backyard? Yours is so much bigger.”
“Well I thought here we’d get less interruptions considering you have no siblings, but obviously I was wrong. Turns out your mother equals my siblings.”
“Ya know, I still haven’t met the famous siblings.” She rolled her eyes.
“Ya don’t want to, trust me.”
“Aw come on, with you as a sister, they can’t be all that bad.” Raiza bit her lip and turned away from Leo, trying and failing to hide her blush from him.
“The only thing more fun than watching you roll your eyes is watching you blush.”
“Ha-ha” Raiza rolled her eyes again. “Anyway, you got, like, gardening supplies or something?”
“Do I ever? You came to the right place Raiz. My mom has a major green thumb.”
“Wonderful. Let’s begin then!”
“Follow me!” Leo led Raiza to a small shed in the corner.
“Oh my gosh, this is-”
“Crazy? Yeah, I know. Tell that to my mom every time we go to Ikea. I guess having only one child makes you lonely enough to get obsessed with a hobby or something.”
“Nah, if that was the case you’d be like that too. Wait- Is that how it is between you and drums?” His eyes clouded over and Raiza immediately regretted her words. “I’m so-”
“It’s fine. Really. I’m fine. Besides, I’m not lonely anymore, I have you.” He bumped her shoulder and she smiled, grateful the clouds had lifted from his eyes.
“Well, all we need is a simple shovel I think.” Raiza dusted off her shorts. Leo grabbed a couple of shovels from beside the door of the shed and closed it back.
“Pick a spot.” He said, gesturing widely with his arms. Raiza walked to a spot where there was slightly shorter grass and pointed to the ground.
“Here should be good. Hand me a shovel.” He did, his hand slightly lingering by hers for a couple of seconds before he let go. If Raiza noticed, she made no comment. She started digging, dirt staining her skin and socks until she had a hole about 2 inches deep. She wiped the sweat from her brow and looked over to where Leo stood, smirking as usual.
“Come on you know what, why're you smirking at me?”
“There’s no reason,” he shrugged, his smirk unwavering.
“There’s always a reason.” He walked closer to her.
“You’ve got dirt on your cheek.” She rolled her eyes and rubbed her hand across her right cheek.
“Nope. Other side.”
“Oh my-” She wiped her other cheek. Leo laughed.
“Here, lemme…” He rubbed his thumb delicately across her cheek, the dirt falling away. He let his hand stay, let his eyes stare into her widened hazel ones, seeing from the corner of his eye her light pink cheeks. He smiled, a genuine smile, it wasn’t a smirk for once. She walked closer to him, stepping on his shoes because of their height difference. He cupped her cheek in his hand and bent his head closer to hers and-
“Leo! Are you out here?” Raiza scrambled to get off his shoes and Leo ran a hand through his windswept hair and his face heated up. He cleared his throat.
“Would you come give me a hand with this please?”
“Yeah mom. Just a sec!”
Raiza smiled sheepishly and placed her hands in the back pockets in her jeans shorts. She bumped Leo with her elbow.
“You better go.” He put his hands on his hips.
“Yeah, I better. Don’t miss me too much!” She rolled her eyes as Leo backwardly walked inside. As soon as he was out of side she covered her face with her hands and groaned at the awkwardness.
She had actually stepped on his shoes.
She dropped her hands to her sides as she heard Leo coming back out and had to smile at how flustered Leo looked, even if she probably looked the same.
“What’d she need help with?”
“Oh, just opening a pickle jar.” Raiza giggled. Leo cracked a smile
“It’s getting kinda windy, wanna do this later and spend the afternoon in my room?”
“Hmmm, only if you play the drums for me.”
“You got it!” And they walked inside, side by side...