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I kept my focus on the road ahead, or I guess I tried to at least because my mind was buzzing with both excitement and trepidation. I didn’t broach the subject about his living conditions, seeing that Evan probably didn’t want to talk about it, but that didn’t stop my brain from going all out.
Since stepping back into the car, the only thing that I could think about was what could be so bad that he was so reluctant for us to go to his house. Me being me of course, decided to cook up every possible scenario in my head, from the depressing to the downright insane.
I wondered that maybe Evan didn’t exactly live in a good neighborhood, overrun with crime and gang members. Then again, that wasn’t something to be ashamed of. I mean, not everyone can have the best environment growing up, but that didn’t make them any less than others. Heck, you could even say it was inspiring if that was the case, for someone like that to grow to be this insanely smart guy who was definitely going places. I’d say that’s an inspirational story, wouldn’t you?
I hoped that he didn’t come from an abusive family because that would have been absolutely horrible. It would explain the reclusive personality that Evan had. I mean, I’d pretty much avoid others too, if I couldn’t even trust my own parents. That being said, I had seen Evan almost completely naked, and there wasn’t even the slightest sign of any sort of bruising that would have resulted from being abused.
Maybe he was some sort of serial killer and he had captives in his basement, screaming for help through the floorboards. Okay, that one was kind of a stretch but you never know with people. Like I said, Evan was mysterious. However, while knowing that Evan was definitely keeping secrets about himself, I seriously doubted that it was homicidal tendencies.
Still, I was nervous about what I would find. Honestly, and I might sound like a bad person for saying this, but I kind of hoped that it was something bad. Not bad as in like him getting abused or anything, but bad like he’s a drug dealer or something. I figured that at least that way, I had a stepping stone to get over him. I mean, I can look past a lot of things, but to willingly do something like that was kind of a red flag.
Only after mulling over the many possible scenarios in my head, that I realized I had already painted a mental picture of the kind of area that he lived in, and all of it was only based on assumptions. I expected to enter a street with run-down and abandoned houses, overgrown lawns and graffiti painting every sidewalk and wall.
That wasn’t the case, though because turning down the street I realized it was anything but. In fact, the dilapidated houses I had imagined were nowhere to be seen, replaced instead by the familiar mansions I had seen on multiple occasions. Why familiar, you may ask? Because the twins lived in this exact neighborhood.
Just then, we passed their huge house, seeing the white walls that look every bit the postcard mansion. On their lawn, I saw one of the gardeners whom I have met a couple times while visiting. He too looked up, his attention caught by the noisy vehicle heading down the street, only to see me through the window. He seemed surprised for a moment before he gave a friendly wave. I barely had enough time to return one before he was out of view as Evan continued down the street.
“Did you know him?” Evan asked out of the blue.
“Huh?” I asked, taken aback by the sudden question.
“That guy you waved at. Did you know him?” he repeated.
“Oh, him,” I started, thinking about how to phrase this. “I wouldn’t say I know him on a deep personal level, but I’ve talked to him a few times.”
“Do you always talk to random people?” he asked.
“What?” I asked, eyebrows raising before I got what Evan meant. “Oh, no he’s not a random stranger. That was Mitch and Melissa’s house. He’s their gardener.”
“Oh,” Evan replied softly.
I was about to probe further before I felt the car turn down an adjacent street, this one lined with tall trees on both sides. The undergrowth was so thick that you couldn’t see past it, also giving the illusion that we had just been teleported to some midwestern forest. I looked ahead, only realizing that it wasn’t a street, but a driveway, the end of it leading up to a house that looked modernly rustic if that makes any sense.
The thick foliage surrounding the area gave the house a cabin in the woods kind of feel, even though we were in California. The house, in itself, looked like a work of art. Wood paneling took up most of the facade, the browns broken up by large panes of glass. The two levels of the home didn’t fit nicely together, looking like two different halves put haphazardly on top of one another, the corners of each level not coinciding with each other. Everything just exuded elegant simplicity.
“Whoa, you live here?” I muttered, slightly bewildered. I mean, I wasn’t a stranger to expensive houses, but seeing that I had thought deneme bonusu veren siteler Evan lived in some type of squalor, this definitely came as a surprise to me.
“Yeah,” Evan replied, but his tone seemed almost shy. I turned to look at him, seeing a blush which only confirmed his embarrassment. I found it a little weird, because, from my experiences in Cornway High School, I knew that kids with money usually flaunted it in one way or another. They may not brag about it, although some do, but you could tell they came from wealth just based on the clothes the wore or the car they drove. They sure as hell weren’t embarrassed about it.
I turned to look at Evan, noting the hoodie he wore and the worn-out jeans. Hell, even his car didn’t give any indication of his wealth. People, me included, really didn’t know Evan Trevorrow at all. He was mysterious, sure, but I was beginning to find out that he was really a man of secrets.
The car lurched downwards, seeing as sunlight was replaced by overhead fluorescent bulbs. I looked back, only then noticing the ramp that led down underneath the house. The dude literally had an underground garage. It was like something you’d see on reality TV shows about the life of the rich and famous and their extravagant houses. But, all these paled in comparison to what stocked the garage, nothing screaming money more than the impressive lineup of cars that occupied the space.
My eyes went wide as I looked from one expensive car to the next, each one rising in the price tag as if someone had sorted them based on increasing price. I didn’t know the exact model of each car, but I was more than familiar with the various brands, knowing that they were anything but cheap. A big black Lexus started the show, moving to a dark blue BMW SUV, white sports Audi, and a red Maserati. But the cherry on top was definitely the car at the far end. A bright yellow Lamborghini.
“Holy shit,” I muttered, jaw as good as on the floor. The twins were rich too, but the Finch’s vehicular catalog was just two cars, one of them the twins’ Mercedes. This was way, WAY more extravagant.
“My dad,” Evan replied simply.
“He likes his cars?” I asked, even though my eyes were still admiring the sweet rides.
“I guess. I think it’s just some mid-life crisis thing though,” he said as he parked next to the Lexus.
“A pretty expensive mid-life crisis, I can imagine.”
“That’s an understatement.” I turned to face Evan, only to see him already stepping out of the car. I proceeded to follow, fiddling with my seatbelt, trying to release it from the catch which was not letting go.
“Uh…Evan?” I asked, tugging at the restraint which still refused to budge. Evan bent down, looking back into the car, before blushing and reaching over for the latch.
“It’s a little finicky,” he chuckled, wiggling the button before I heard the latch finally clicking, releasing me from the seat. “Sorry about that.”
“It’s no problem,” I laughed, climbing out of the car. As I did, I looked from the line of pristine cars, back to the rust bucket I had just exited. “If you don’t mind me asking, why are you driving this when you have those.”
“As I said, sentimental value. This was my mom’s first car, one that she bought with her own money,” he replied.
Before I could even reply, a woman appeared through the door, jumping slightly when she noticed our presence. “Oh Evan, you’re home,” she said with a smile. Her gaze fell onto me as her eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Oh, you have company.”
“Yeah,” Evan replied.
“I’ll leave you two then,” she said, walking towards the Lexus. “Nice to meet you…” she said, holding out a hand to me.
“Brad,” I finished, returning a firm handshake.
“Claire,” she said before she smiled and unlocked the door to her car. “Oh, and Evan, your father will be home for dinner today.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“I was supposed to join you guys, but something has come up so please apologize to your father for me,” she said, giving a small smile and disappearing into the car. We both watched as she reversed, giving us a final friendly wave before exiting the garage.
“Your mom seems nice,” I said, giving a warm smile to Evan.
“She’s not my mom,” Evan growled, his face showing nothing but disdain for the little woman.
“Oh, I just thought—”
“Well you thought wrong,” he spat, turning and heading out the door that Claire had come through, his bag already slung over his shoulder. When exactly he had retrieved his stuff, I didn’t know, but I guessed he had gotten his stuff while I was busy with Claire. That wasn’t what I was concerned about, though, because Evan was obviously unhappy with her, whoever she was.
I quickly grabbed my stuff and followed after Evan. “Hey, I’m sorry if I struck a raw nerve,” I apologized.
He sighed but shook his head. “I’m sorry about snapping at you. You couldn’t have known anyway,” he said. I didn’t say anything, just looking at him, hoping he would elaborate without me having to ask. He turned to look at me, clearly knowing what was on my mind. “My mom’s dead. Passed away five years ago. That was my dad’s new girlfriend.”
“Oh, my god, I’m so sorry,” I quickly apologized, to which Evan shrugged his shoulders in reply. Okay, stay clear of the mom topic, I told myself.
I used the silence to take in the house as I followed behind Evan. Like the outside, the inside was also fashioned with modern simplicity in mind. Almost everything was made of dark wood, with metallic highlights here and there. Almost all the fabric that decorated the space was a shade of white, from the couch and curtains to the carpet and table cloth that ran across the middle of the dining table that we passed.
Past the living room, I found ourselves walking through a hallway, floor to ceiling windows to my right, the almost spotless glass letting in the light from outside. I looked out as we walked, seeing that it wasn’t the backyard like I had first thought, but a little garden right in the middle of the house, forming a square of green. A small pond sat amongst the plants, and everything resembled one of those Japanese Zen gardens, sunlight shining down on the area, making everything look so serene.
“Hello sweetie,” A feminine voice called out, making me turn my attention in the direction of said voice. Ahead, a thin Hispanic woman walked up to Evan, giving him a peck on the cheek, a basket of laundry in her arms. “How’s your day been,” she asked, a slight accent almost imperceptible in her voice.
“I’ve had better, not gonna lie,” Evan smiled.
“Don’t we all, mijo,” she laughed before finally noticing my presence. “Oh, and who is this?”
“Hi, I’m Brad ma’am,” I said, stepping forward and giving her a warm smile.
“Ma’am?” she asked, turning to Evan. “Don’t think anyone has ever called me ma’am before, isn’t that right, mijo.” This caused Evan to chuckle as he shook his head. Meanwhile, the lady turned back to me. “Please, call me Carla.”
“She’s our housekeeper but don’t let that fool you, she’s practically family,” Evan added, throwing an arm around the bubbly woman.
“Oh stop,” she said, lightly slapping Evan’s arm. “Aren’t you a handsome one.”
I blushed when I realized that her statement was directed at me. Before I could even deflect the compliment, Evan cut in. “Carla, don’t embarrass him.”
“Okay, okay, I’ll leave you two. You know your father’s home for dinner tonight?” she asked, to which Evan nodded his head.
“Yeah, and thankfully Claire decided to cancel,” he added.
“Oh, you need to give that lady a chance. She’s not the worst person in the world.” Evan scoffed at this, which only made Carla roll her eyes. “What about your friend?”
“Would he be staying for dinner too?” she voiced, before turning to me, realizing that this was something I would be answering and not Evan.
“Oh, I wouldn’t want to impose,” I cried out.
“Nonsense. This is the first time my little Evan has brought home a friend. You have to stay.”
Yeah well, he didn’t even want me here in the first place, so maybe staying longer than necessary was not a good idea. Of course, I didn’t say this to Carla. Instead, I turned to Evan, hoping he would help me out by refusing, or accepting, on my behalf.
“Hey, don’t look at me. It’s your decision. Word of advice though, don’t deny this woman. She may be small, but she’s feisty,” Evan said, Carla nodding in agreement.
“Oh…Well, I guess I am then.”
“Excellent. Now, I’ve got to go do this laundry. Have fun,” she said, disappearing down an adjacent hallway.
“Well, since you’re staying for dinner, I guess we have more time to finish this report,” Evan said.
“Are you sure it’s okay, though?” I asked. I mean, maybe he didn’t want to refuse me just out of respect for Carla or something. “If you’re not cool with me staying for dinner, I can make up some excuse and tell Carla. I’m sure she’d understand.”
“Stay. I mean it,” he said, chuckling a little. “Like she said, it’s not every day I have someone over.”
“From the way everyone’s been talking, it seems it’s not every day your dad’s home too,” I said, immediately regretting that it had left my mouth. I didn’t know if it was a touchy subject and I only realized how insensitive it was after it had left my mouth.
Thankfully, Evan chuckled, allaying my worry just a tiny bit. “Yeah, tell me about it. He’s every bit the typical career-centric father.”
“So, what does he do? I mean, judging by this house and the toys in your garage, it has to be something big, right?” I asked, following Evan up the stairs heading up to, I assumed, his bedroom.
“He owns a company that deals with properties and land development. Owns a few of the malls here,” Evan said. Before I could even acknowledge that impressive information, Evan stopped in front of a door. “Well, this is my bedroom.”
As he opened the door, I had thought that I would come face to face with some luxurious, high-ceilinged room with a four-poster bed and expensive Persian rug, if the rest of the house was anything to go by. Instead, the room was very…normal. Just a regular queen bed sat in the middle, plain white sheets lining the covers. In the corner of the room sat a small desk, an iMac sitting on top of it. A wooden dresser stood next to it, on it lay a disorganized mess of old ticket stubs, cologne bottles and random knick knacks. Video game and movie posters hung from the walls, held there by tape, some of them peeling off at the sides. All in all, a very typical teenager room.
Throwing his bag onto the bed, Evan motioned to the seat by his desk. “Get comfortable, I’ll be just a minute,” he said, heading to the connected bathroom. I set my bag down on the chair, facing the room as I continued taking in everything. I don’t know, I just wanted to know more about Evan. I wasn’t going to snoop or anything, but I had just started learning a lot about him, and it only made me more intrigued to find out who the real Evan Trevorrow was.
Sadly, I found nothing. No trophy on his bedside dresser, no proud award pinned to the wall, all except the picture taped to the side of his iMac. I looked at it, tilting my head as I examined the worn-out photo hanging lopsided off the side of his computer.
In it, I could see a much younger Evan, a huge grin on his face, his braces still showing. I smiled, remembering how he looked like all those years ago. Cute, nerdy and bespectacled Evan. Next to him stood a pretty brunette, smiling happily at the camera. I could see the resemblance right away and knew that this was none other than his mother. This couldn’t have been long before he had moved to Bakersfield, which meant that it couldn’t have been too long before his mother died.
Returning my gaze to Evan’s beaming face, I realized how much his mother’s death had changed Evan. I mean, a mother dying could possibly be one of the worst things to ever happen to a young child, but the Evan in the picture and the one I’ve known for the past four years wasn’t the same person. I knew for a fact that I had never seen Evan as happy as he looked in that photo.
“Hey, sorry for the wait,” Evan said, pulling me from my thoughts. I turned quickly, not wanting him to see that I had just been looking at his picture. Sure, it was there for everyone to see, but I couldn’t help but feel like I was invading his privacy. The worry immediately left me once I saw Evan, a pair of black spectacles sitting on the bridge of his nose.
“Nice glasses,” I said, smiling slightly. Memories of a 14-year-old Evan filled my mind, only now seeing how handsome a man he has grown into. Evan blushed at my comment, looking down to avoid my gaze. With the glasses on, Evan became way cuter, while still having his hotness showing through. Can you say, hot nerd?
“I don’t like wearing contacts at home,” he said, still avoiding my eyes.
“It’s nice. You look good with glasses,” I said. Evan gave a small nod as thanks before clearing his throat.
“Um…so shall we?”
And with that, we began work. The whole time, I kept glancing over at Evan from the corner of my eye, fighting the smile on my face seeing him with his specs on. I like this Evan, even more so than the heartthrob he was at school. He was definitely comfortable at home, almost feeling an aura of calmness surrounding him as he chewed on his pen while staring at his laptop. I knew I should’ve tried to stop thinking about Evan, seeing that he was straight, but he was making it damn hard for me, to be honest.
He sat on his bed, legs crossed underneath him as he typed away at the keyboard. It was during this time that I noticed Evan had actually changed out of his jeans into a more comfy pair of shorts, something I could only assume he did when he had gone to the bathroom. Me being me however, was too preoccupied with staring at his face that I had completely neglected the fact that he had changed clothes. Well, at least having my focus on his face and not the rest of his body was better…right?
Somehow, even with all the covert glances I sent his way, Evan never noticed, his attention fully focused on the task at hand. I kinda wished he would, though, knowing that it would give me an incentive to stop perving on him because all his lack of attention did was embolden me to continue staring at him. Luckily, I finally caught some form of a break two hours in when there was a knock at the door, pulling me from all the unnecessary staring I was doing.
Looking up, I saw Carla poking her head into the room. “Hey mijo, I’m about to head off. Dinner’s already prepared and in the oven. Just pop it in the microwave or something later.”
“Yeah, I know the protocol,” Evan smiled. “Thanks, Carla.”
“Do either of you boys want me to prepare you anything before I go?”
Evan turned to me, wordlessly asking if I wanted anything, to which I responded with a shake of the head. “Thanks, Carla, but we’re good,” he said, turning back to his housekeeper.
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