This chapter is dedicated to 7thGradeGenius and rubberduck2 and duncan-superfan because they always comment and they will ve really happy that it doesn't finish yet, actually another story continue thanks to monica-san
15.Twitter and Asthma
Courtney took a deep breath, breathing in and out. For about three minutes, she will be doing this, and then she will go back to work. She rubbed her temples and took another deep breath.
“Do you have asthma, babe?” Duncan whispered in her ear lowly. “If you do, I’d gladly give you mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I’m not complaining.”
Courtney swiftly elbowed him on the stomach and then turned around, hugging him.
“That can’t do anything for asthma, stupid.”
Duncan chuckled. “Hit me, then cuddle—I like it.” He was quiet for a moment. “Are you okay? You…look more stressed than usual.”
“‘More stress than usual’?” she repeated. “Do I look stressed a lot or what?”
“Well, school is starting now, and you’ve been looking super frazzled. What’s up, Princess?” He gently kissed her forehead. “Talk to Doctor Duncan.”
“You’d be a horrible doctor; you’d only molest young teenager girls.”
He snorted in disgust. “Ugh, don’t compare me to those molesters and pedophiles appearing on TV a lot, okay? That’s the worst insult ever—sort of.”
She sighed. “My…parents found out about you,” she muttered. “Apparently they heard it from my brother, who saw it on Geoff’s Twitter.”
“Damn your excessive twittering, Geoff.” He frowned. “And why did your brother rat you out? I thought he wasn’t like that.”
Courtney laughed nervously. “He’s not…but if you do something bad to him, he’ll get revenge on you. He holds grudges for a long period of time and it’s not pretty at all. He’s so freaking immature.”
“For some strange reason, that makes me like your brother.”
“Oh, great, I have a homosexual boyfriend.”
“Hardy, har-har, sweetheart.” He rolled his eyes at her. “And why are you so worried about your parents? Are you scared?” He smirked.
Courtney sighed again and groaned. “Yes,” she admitted. She looked up to see Duncan’s eyes widen. Of course, she thought. He would expect me to deny it and say some snarky remark back at him.
“Why are you scared of your freaking parents? It’s not like they’ll make them live with you again, installing surveillance cameras everywhere.” He shook his head, chuckling.
She scowled. “They would. They’re that extreme and domineering. I don’t know how the hell I spent my eighteen and a half years of living with them. My brother got emancipated when he was fifteen.”
“He’s my hero,” Duncan joked. “But how did he live, Court? I mean, sure it’s brave of him to do that so-called ‘irrational’ behavior, but he’s only fifteen. How did he cope?”
“My brother…was my all-time hero, as well.” Courtney had a soft smile on. “He followed my parents’ every whim without question and was best at everything—school, sports, socializing, et cetera, et cetera. He absolutely loved photography and took amazing photos—mostly about random things.
“Of course, my parents wanted him to take over the business like regular demanding, strict parents—except more brutal. That was when my brother lost his temper; it was shocking, because he was normally a calm person.”
“The opposite of you,” Duncan added, grinning.
“Shut up. Anyways, he yelled at them, ranting about how they controlled his life. I was there listening in, staying unobtrusive. It made me want to cry, but I didn’t.” She felt Duncan’s arms around her tighten. “Deep inside the pit of my stomach, my brother became my idol, my hero. I’ve always wanted to do what he did, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want them to hate me.”
“Who could hate you?” she heard Duncan mutter. “Or wait…”
“Duncan, just shut up. Anyways, I—wait, Duncan, did I ever tell you what my hopes and dreams were?” She stared at him curiously.
“You mean becoming a man-hating dictator of the world, forcing them to become slaves for you, with you cackling like a witch in the background? Well, no.”
Courtney pinched his lips together tightly, causing him to jump up a little.
“Damn it, woman, I won’t be able to kiss you properly!” he hissed. He winced when he smacked his lips together.
“I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer!” she exclaimed. “I wanted to be the one to help my brother get out of our parents’ clutches. I wanted to help him so badly. My parents approve of this, but they don’t know the true reason behind it. I…love my brother dearly.”
Duncan rubbed his hands up and down on her back affectionately. “Where is he now?” he inquired quietly.
“He’s married now in Ontario—‘twenty-six and loving it’ in his words. I spoke with him a week ago. He’s doing fine.”
They stayed quiet for a moment, staying locked in a soft embrace.
“So, I’m going to meet your parents?” Duncan asked. “Well, to ease your worries, all parents love me, babe.”
Courtney groaned, knowing he was lying.
Geoff patted Duncan’s head repeatedly, treating him like a little boy—which was annoying Duncan a lot.
“Stop that!” he shouted, slapping his hand away. “I don’t need any of your pity or any of your babying. This is your fault!” Ugh, I’m getting a headache, he thought, rubbing his forehead. Now I feel like Courtney.
“How is it my fault? I don’t even talk to Courtney’s parents!”
“I blame your addiction to Twitter, Geoff.” He spoke with clenched teeth. “Twitter is overrated, dude. It’s not the most popular website or whatever crap, all right?”
Geoff looked confused. “Courtney’s parents have a Twitter? Well, maybe they aren’t that lame at all,” he murmured to himself. “It’s probably the dad since a lot of female celebrities use that site. Or maybe it’s the mom—”
“Geoff,” Trent interrupted, sighing, “just…shush.” He looked over at Duncan. “Are you scared?”
“Why the hell are you asking that?” he inquired incredulously. “No way am I scared…even though it’s my second time meeting another girl’s parents. It went well, ‘cause Trisha’s parents were laidback and stuff. But now…I’m going to meet the kind of parents who are judgmental and wouldn’t approve of me right away.”
Trent put a hand on Duncan’s broad shoulder. “Duncan, just don’t back down. Stay tough—don’t let them get to you, all right? This is where you’ll see where Courtney gets her toughness and uptightness. Don’t tell her I said that, about the uptightness part,” he added.
Duncan laughed. “She’ll just get mad at me for talking about her with you guys. Man, I love her…”
“Then show it to them,” Geoff said suddenly, sounding mature. “Show Courtney’s stiff parents that you love her. Even if they’re the most cold-hearted freaks, they have a heart, right? I mean, it’s not like they had an arranged marriage and Courtney’s mom had to give birth to two kids, one boy, one girl. That’s stupid.”
“No, Geoff. What you said was stupid. Who does arrange marriages nowadays?” Trent asked. “That’s so…long time ago.”
“But Courtney’s parents are old, so they must’ve done that kind of thing. They might’ve been in an old-fashioned family. You never know, Trent.” Geoff crossed his arms over his chest.
Duncan stared at the two, knowing that the subject was no longer on his problem.
“Well, you’re screwed, Court,” Gwen said bluntly. “That’s all I gotta say.”
Bridgette looked at her, glaring at her. “That’s not helping, Gwen!” she hissed. She turned and smiled reassuringly at the panicking Courtney. “Just calm down and think on the positive side.”
Courtney punched the wall beside her. “‘Think on the positive side’?! What positive side?! My freaking parents like to think on the negative side, Bridge! You should know that! You met them!” she screamed. “My parents are the embodiment of the ‘Devil’s Couple’ probably!”
Gwen rolled her eyes. “Courtney, just sit down and stop being so overly dramatic, all right?” she ordered, irritated. “It’s not the end of the world, and don’t say it is. We both know your parents are freaking psycho, but that doesn’t mean you can go that far.”
“But it’s true!”
“Do you think acting like a complete baby would give you a solution to your ‘problem’?! No, it wouldn’t!”
“Guys, just freaking shut up!” Bridgette shouted. “Okay, Courtney, Gwen is right—stop being such a puerile whiner! You’re nineteen—a freaking adult! You’re living on your own; you have a good job, although you don’t like it much; and you’re going to a good college soon!”
“Court,” Gwen sighed, looking calm now. “Do what your brother did.”
Courtney’s eyes widened and she looked away, clenching her fists. She dreadfully wanted to do what her amazing brother did. She couldn’t, though. As much as she hated to admit it, she wasn’t strong enough—she wasn’t courageous enough.
Gwen walked over to Courtney and put a hand on her shoulder tenderly. “Being a lawyer wasn’t your only dream, right?” she said softly. “Show your parents you’re an adult now; show them you’re doing fine on your own; show them you are away from their freaking, ugly clutches.”
Courtney smiled determinedly and laughed. She hugged her Goth friend. “Thank you, Gwen,” she whispered sincerely. “For a ‘I-don’t-like-to-help-people-with-their-stupid-pain-in-the-ass-problems’ kind of person, you’re innumerably helpful and wise.”
She then walked over to Bridgette and hugged her as well. “And thanks, Bridgette. I’m proud that you can blow your temper just like me.” Bridgette giggled. They released each other. “You guys are manically awesome.”
“Same goes for you except ten times more,” Gwen and Bridgette said in synchronization.
Duncan tried not to wince as Courtney’s grip on his hand got tighter and tighter. They were in Courtney’s car, and they were heading to Courtney’s parent’s house. Each time they got closer and closer, Courtney’s grip got tighter and tighter.
Duncan hated to admit it, but he was quite nervous about meeting his girlfriend’s parents. He was never good at being polite or not saying whatever he likes to say. He didn’t want to ruin it for Courtney, but it’s not his fault he’s not like those girlie men Courtney’s parents must like.
“So…,” he started conversationally, “what are your parents’ names? I’m getting tired of saying ‘your parents’ and ‘Courtney’s parents.’”
Courtney’s grip loosened and Duncan sighed quietly in relief. “Well…my dad’s name is Cameron and my mom’s name is Darlene. It’s pretty ironic, right?” she laughed.
“Eh? How is it ironic?”
He saw Courtney roll her eyes at him. “Gosh, you’re so freaking stupid sometimes, Duncan,” she muttered. “I don’t know what goes on in your brain—if you have one.” She whispered the last words.
Duncan glared at her. “Hey, I’m not that dumb, nor am I deaf, sweetheart. I just don’t like to think all the time, all right? It hurts my brain.”
Courtney didn’t answer this time—instead she gave him a sad look. Duncan raised an eyebrow at her.
“What? Why do you look so sad, Princess?”
“I’ve never…asked about your parents. Hell, I never even asked about who you are. I feel…selfish.” She frowned. “Tell me about yourself.”
Duncan laughed. “That was random. Hmm…okay, my name is Duncan. I’m a hot male specimen—the number one case, actually—and I’m a great kiss—”
“Ah, forget it—just tell me about your parents.”
“Harsh, man.” Duncan pursed his lips. “Well…my parents are both cops—practically everybody in my freaking family is a cop.”
“Now that’s ironic. You’re a criminal with a family full of cops? Doesn’t that…make them furious or disappointed?”
Duncan snorted. “Hell yeah, babe. They think that I’m supposed to be a cop, as well. But I don’t want to be—I hate abiding by the rules. It sucks, and I just want to be who I want to be. I don’t want anyone telling me I have to be this, I have to be that. That just annoys me. It’s my life and I can do whatever I want with it.”
Courtney smiled. “I’ve always wanted to say that to my parents,” she said quietly. “You’re doing what I’ve always dreamed of doing. I guess that makes you my hero.”
As soon as she said that, Duncan blushed a bit. Duncan Evans does not blush, but here was his insane girlfriend, making him blush by a simple compliment.
Duncan cleared his throat. “Um, my dad hates me,” he blurted out. “He hates that I always get in trouble. Apparently he likes to protect his reputation. He doesn’t want anyone to think of him as ‘the man with a troubled son.’ My mom thinks that I’m a good person. She doesn’t hate me.” He chuckled. “I’m really close with my grandma, though.”
“She…taught—or forced to make me learn—Italian since I have Italian blood in me. So I guess that makes me bilingual. She’s a retired cop now and she taught me everything—how to stay strong, fighting techniques, being independent, and all those other stuff to prepare me for the future. She just knew that I would be someone who liked to fly solo, no babying crap.
“I ran away, but I told my grandma about it. I remember the exact words we both had together.
“‘I’m getting away from this hell-like piece of crap, Old Gran. Don’t worry, I’ll come back,’ I said.
“Then she said this, and it really surprised me. ‘Duncan…I don’t approve of what you’re doing, but I know your true reason behind it. I’ll pretend I don’t know where you went. But I want you to come back as soon as possible… I love you, my little boy.’” Duncan felt tears coming out.
Courtney rested her forehead on his shoulder. “Oh, Duncan,” she whispered. “I’m… I don’t know what to say.”
Thankfully, the tears didn’t come pouring down. He hated crying and hasn’t cried since…like, forever. He turned to Courtney, smiling.
“Do you have a picture of your parents?” he asked suddenly. “I just want to know how they look like so I can act easily around them.”
Courtney snorted at the thought, though she did have one in her wallet. “Why would I have a picture of my parents?” she asked, stalling. “That’s a strange piece of paper to put in your wallet.”
Duncan rolled his eyes. “Whatever, Princess. I know you have a picture of them. I just want to know how they look like—if they’re ugly, I might yell out loud when I see them, so…just spare your life by showing me it.”
She did not want to show Duncan how her parents look like. She didn’t know why, but it seemed…dangerous for her to show the picture of her parents to Duncan. But she pushed away the bad feeling.
Courtney turned her head away from him. “Well…fine.” She pulled out her wallet from her bag—she didn’t know why she was carrying a bag—and opened the wallet. “Here’s how they look like.” She held the wallet out.
The car halted to a stop slowly at the red light. Duncan looked away from the road and looked at the picture. He gasped loudly.
“They’re not ugly!” Courtney snapped. “I mean, they look intimidating and all, but they are in no way unattractive!”
Duncan gulped. “That’s—that’s not what made me gasp, babe,” he sputtered out. “They’re—they’re—they’re—”
“Just spit it out already! You’re like Harold when he supposedly saw a monster behind me! Ugh, we do not need another coward nerd here!”
Duncan looked at Courtney with wide eyes. She doesn’t understand why Duncan was acting like he has seen a ghost. They may seem scary, but to Courtney they seem all right, she guessed. Then Duncan said something that made her look shocked like him.
“They’re…the ones who put me in the prison I escaped.”