Daniel and Zachary Part 2
“Look, Zach! Flower buds are starting to break open,” I nudge my boyfriend, and he scowls.
“That means hay fever,” Right on cue, he sneezes. I laugh and take his hand as we walk down the boulevard. The trees provide shade as we stroll aimlessly without a particular destination.
“I see the bakery, let’s go!” Zach announces and being the athlete he is, races down the street and into the bakery. When I arrive, I’m greeted by the sweet scent of fresh bread and melted chocolate.
“Hello there, what can I get you?” The baker asks me, but I’m staring at Zach, whose face is practically pressed against the glass in awe at the Parisian pastries. I nudge my boyfriend,
“Dude, what do you want?” His cheerful face morphs into one of distress.
“I can’t choose!” He whispers dramatically, and I chuckle.
“He’ll have a strawberry tart, and I’ll have a chocolate scroll,”
“Is that all?”
“Yes, thank you,” The baker nods, and goes off to wrap our pastries.
“Ah, you’re a lifesaver, Danny Boy,” Zach sighs contently. “Can you imagine how awkward it would be if I had been standing there for an hour, trying to choose?”
“I can, when it comes to you, Zach. That’s why I chose something random,” I laugh as the baker hands me our food. I pay him, and we walk out of the bakery, Zach practically inhaling his tart.
“Do you not eat anything before a basketball game?” I ask him, and he shakes his head vigorously, mouth too full to say anything. I take a bite of my scroll, looking at the scenery before us. Spring is here, which means having more adventures with Zach.
This is supposed to be a time to relax. Except, I’m not relaxing at all. Not when basketball camp is coming up, and applications for universities will be coming in. A man can only take so much stress. Daniel pokes my arm,
“If you could go anywhere in the world, right now, where would you go?” He asks, taking another bite of his scroll. I think for a moment.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Barcelona,” I pause, “As long as you come with me, or I’m with you, then I suppose it doesn’t matter,” Daniel chokes on his scroll, and I thump his back.
“Why-” He coughs, “Are you so wholesome?” He swallows and then sighs. “That’s so cute. My God, Zach,”
“It’s part of the Zachary Package,”
“I guess I got very lucky,” He muses, throwing the paper bag into a nearby recycling bin. “Where do you want to go now?” He asks, and I shrug.
“We can chill at my place if you want?” I suggest, and he nods.
“I think Asa invited her gang over, so your place sounds good,”
“Your sister always has people over,” I remark and Daniel nods.
“That’s what I tell her. Not that it stops her, but that’s okay. I like your house,”
“Really? I like your house. Your bannister is cool, not that I would slide down the handrail or anything like that,” I say, flustered. Daniel laughs, shaking his head.
“Sure, sure, Zach.”
It’s 11 am, and Zach has sneezed thirteen times already. Yes, I’ve been counting. Asa’s habits must be catching onto me.
“Bet. You’re going to sneeze more than thirty times today,” I challenge, and Zach smirks.
“Bet. I say less,” We shake hands in confirmation.
“Do you know what I hate the most about hay-fever?” Zach asks, lounging comfortably on his bed.
“You go in to hug someone, or you’re in an important conversation, and you sneeze right in their face,” He complains, and I pretend to cringe away.
“You wouldn’t do that to me, would you?”
“Of course not. Well, I’ll try not to. You would never forgive me if I straight up sneezed on you,” He admits,
“Hah, straight!” I joke and collapse onto the bed next to him. Zach laughs.
“Wow, you’re funny, Daniel,” He shakes his head, and I move closer to him.
“Isn’t that why you’re ‘so gay for me’?” I ask slyly,
“I said it once, and now you’re never going to let that go,” He sighs,
“I don’t think I could ever forget,” I smile, cuddling into him, kissing his neck. He shudders slightly, leaning closer to me.
“Is this why we’re at my place all the time?” He whispers, “I don’t have any siblings to walk in on me,”
“Honestly, knowing Asa, she would walk in by accident, and then start fangirling. We would have to ask her to leave.” I roll my eyes and Zach smiles, pressing his lips onto mine. I savour the sensation as the sugary taste of strawberries attacks my tastebuds. When he pulls away slightly, I can hear his breathing in my ear, and he kisses me, over and over again, and there has been nothing more perfect.
Sometimes I wonder what goes on inside Daniel’s head. The handsome boy and that big brain of his continues to steal my heart, every time we kiss. And maybe I shouldn’t be delighted every time we do, because how would I be able to let him go?
“Do you want to stay for dinner?” I ask him, “I think my mum is going to plan some Graduation dinner with your parents,”
“I can’t tonight. Asa made lasagne, and I’m being forced to try some. If you don’t see me tomorrow, it’s because I have food poisoning,”
“Got it. You better come back to me, Childerstone!” I say as I walk him out the front door.
“I will, promise!”
Daniel broke his promise. The next day, when I arrive at school, low and behold, he’s not there.
“Yo, where’s Danny Boy?” Jakob asks, and I shrug.
“Shouldn’t you know where he is, he’s your boyfriend,” Dylan points out, and I whack his arm.
“He said he might get food poisoning because he had Asa’s cooking last night,”
“Damn, that’s rough, buddy,” Jakob mutters as a flying force crashes right into me.
“My cooking is superb, thank you very much, Zachary!” Asa pummels her fists into my back.
“Then where’s my boyfriend, Asa?” I turn around to face her, as my two best friends tell me they’ll save me a seat.
“Uh, he’s sick, but it has nothing to do with my cooking!”
“Hmm, okay. So, if I go to your house after school, and ask him why he wasn’t here, he won’t say it’s because of food poisoning?”
“Correct. I have to go now, toodles!” She winks, racing off her to her classroom.
“Do people normally buy their boyfriends things when they’re sick?” I mutter to myself as I walk to the Childerstone’s house. Asa is up in front and is holding the door open for me, so I hurriedly walk in.
“Hi, Mrs Childerstone,”
“How many times must I tell you, Zach? Rachel, call me Rachel,”
“Sorry. Is it okay if I go upstairs to see Daniel?”
“Of course. He should be doing better now, last time I checked on him, he was just lying around in bed. If you knock and ask him to come in politely, he’ll let you in.” She smiles, and I thank her, racing up the stairs.
I’m not even mad that I got sick. I’m mad that Asa, who cooked the dish, didn’t try any of it, and therefore, didn’t get sick. How unfair is that? I’m supposed to be outside, watching Zach play basketball, preferably shirtless, out in the nice Spring weather-
“Hey, Daniel? It’s me, can I come in?” I freeze, grinning as I race over to open my door.
“Hey,” I breathe, “You came and visited me,”
“I feel like I might have separation anxiety. Is that bad?”
“Not to me, it is,”
“So, it is bad?”
“Ok then,” He huffs and sits in my desk chair. “Was dinner that horrible?” “I should’ve asked you if I could’ve stayed at your place. It was disgusting,” I gag at the thought.
“Damn, okay,” He gestures for me to come over, and I sit in his lap. Perks of having a ripped boyfriend.
“You missed the start of the Science prac, and the last revision lesson for Maths. I can catch you up later,” Zach reminds me, and I nod thankfully, leaning the back of my head on his shoulder.
“I heard applications from Stanford have come through,” I tell him, and he grins.
“Did you get in? The basketball scholarship results came out a few days ago,”
“I was going to tell you two things. One, I got in!” I announce excitedly, and he cheers, ruffling my hair.
“Congrats! Oh man, that means we’re going together! What was the other thing?”
“Two, you’re so cute when you’re excited,”
“I- Well, yeah!” He picks me up and drops me on my bed. “My boyfriend and I are going to Stanford!” He yells, and Asa comes thundering down the hallway.
“Oh my God! You got into Stanford?!” She screams, jumping up and down. “Mum, Dad, Daniel got into Stanford!” There’s more excited screaming downstairs.
“Did you get in, Asa?” I ask my twin, and she beams.
‘Yup, you’re looking at a Princeton student now!” Zach nods, impressed.
“Go, Asa!” He exclaims, and she hugs us both.
“This is great you guys, Spring is here, college applications are out, and we’re going to go to university soon! How exciting!”
“Well, we did it, Daniel. We graduated from tortur- high school!”
“You like school, what are you talking about?” Daniel scoffs, kissing me. We throw our hats up in the air, along with the rest of our cohort, everyone is smiling and cheering, and it’s one of the best feelings in the world. The party is even better; Daniel knows how to kill me, by wearing a tux.
“I almost don’t want it to end,” Daniel murmurs sadly as we waltz to the music.
“I get it. I won’t see a lot of my basketball team at Stanford, it’s okay though, you know? New opportunities,” Daniel nods, swaying along with me.
“Here’s to Spring, and new beginnings,” He tells me, holding his hand out. I shake it and then kiss him.
“Here’s to Daniel and Zachary.” I whisper, and the music washes over us as the party goes on.