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Age Is Just a Number

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"You're right; I can't be a kid following a guy who will never notice me forever." Zara Lee, a young smart girl, has always been in love with the Italian boy next door since he moved to America. Everything about his handsome figure set her soul on fire. But to her, the only problem is their eight year age gap. But little does she know, that isn't the only problem keeping them from being together.

Chapter 1

"Mister Unicorn! Stop in the name of rainbow skittles!" I pointed my glittery wand at him.

The white unicorn comes to a halt and flips his long braided, colorful hair to the side. "You shall never get me the prettiest princess of the Candy Land!"

"I shall ride you across the chocolate gummy worm ice cream river!" I circled my wand, and a blue bunny appeared.

He rolls his eyes: "A rabbit?! Oh no! I am so scared!"

"Be afraid, Mr. Unicorn! Attack Bunbun!" I yelled.

BunBun climbed onto Mister Unicorn's face.

"I give up, Princess Zara!" He bowed down.

I leaped onto his back with BunBun. We visited the Chocolate Gummy Worm Ice Cream River. "Ice cream for all!" I shouted. Lollipops and Tootsie Rolls fall from the sky.

"We love you, Princess Zara," they all exclaimed. They kiss my cheeks, and the clouds became hearts.

"Yummy ice cream," I mutter.

A pink kangaroo leaps in front of me, "Wake up!"

"What do you mean, Miss Jum? We have some creamy cream ice cream. I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream." I laugh.

"No, it's time to wake up!" she exclaims.

I shoved the ice cream in my mouth. My lips smacked, and I looked down. "This ice cream tastes funny." I thrust out my tongue and choked.

"Wake up!" Miss Jum shouts. "Wake up!"

I jump out of bed. "Extra chocolate and yummy sprinkles on my super icy ice cream, please!"

My gaze was met by a pair of dark brown eyes. "What are you doing in my room, Waffles?" I ask.

She rolls her eyes and pushes her spectacles up. "This is my room, Pancakes," she said.

I looked around and noticed bunk beds and a fish tank. "Oh, why are you in your ro-" She smacked me in the head before I could continue.

"Because it's my room, and you got drool all over my pillow!" She threw the pillow on the floor. It contained a wet spot. I fell asleep as she was practicing the violin.

I leap off her bed and slip into the kitchen. "Do you have food?" I open the refrigerator door.

Tyler, Nina's older brother, emerged with a toothbrush in his mouth. "Why are you eating our food?!"

"Because you are too fat! I'm eating it so you can have a girlfriend!" I put a dish of spaghetti in the microwave.

"I'm glad I am not your older brother. I might just roll into my grave." He went back into the restroom. I thrust my tongue out at him.

"Put it back in!"

My tongue slips inside my mouth, and I look away. I'm not sure how he does that. When the microwave beeped, I swung the door open and grabbed the bowl. "Hot hot hot," I flung the bowl of pasta on the counter. Nina poured a bowl of cereal and ignored me. She is used to it.

Nina was raised with four brothers, Tyler being the oldest, and two sisters. She told me that growing up with having many siblings is difficult and frustrating. She sometimes wishes she was the only kid, like me. However, Nina is unaware of her good fortune. I like her house since it's constantly noisy and cheery. Don't get me wrong, I love my parents, but it can be lonely at home when they are at work. When I grow up. I want a large, warm family like Nina's, with many children.

"Nina, I love your mom's cooking." I knead my huge stomach.

"Are we going to the park?" she inquired.

"What else are we going to do in this boring town?"

We put on our matching sparkly pink sneakers and head out the door. "Jackets!" Tyler yells. We gazed at each other and stuck out our tongues.

"Put them both back in!"

We quickly grab our coats.

"How does your brother always do that?"

"I do not know! It scares me!"

When we got outside, we noticed a large moving truck. "Oh! The cat lady finally died!"

The cat lady, also known as the Wicked Witch of the West, is a mean old lady. She would always yell at us to stay off her lawn, even while we were in ours.

"I'm going to miss her." I replied, feeling something trapped between my teeth.

"Yeah, remember how she used to throw cookies at us?"

"I will miss that the most and the brownies."

We let out a quiet sigh. "Want to see who is moving in?" she asked.

I nodded, "Yes!"

We dashed into the bushes and peered over the house next door. We can only see the enormous vehicle.

Nina adjusted her glasses. "I cannot see anything. Pancakes!"

"Why are we so short?" I whined. I wish I was taller like my father. He's a giant.

She rolls her eyes, "We are eight!"

"Oh yes. You know what? Forget it! Let's eat. I am hungry." I quickly rose up and rotated my body.

Now my body is on the ground.

My body curled inward, and I rubbed the pain on my forehead. I was upset with whoever decided to be in my path. I tilted my head up. "Hey, watch where you're -"

Hazel eyes.

At that point, a million butterflies exploded in my tummy. I couldn't see anyone other than him. Looking at him is like seeing a rainbow after a storm for the first time in my life, and it is breathtaking.

He wore brown shorts and a flowy white shirt with a random band on the front. He brushed his fingers through his untidy dark brown hair, revealing more of his beautiful eyes. His cheeks were tinted pink, and sweat ran down his forehead. He takes a few blinks before smiling.

"Are you okay, cutie?" He teases me, and a wave of knots forms in my stomach, making me feel full.

I sat there and stared at him, my mouth gaping open.

"Hey, man! Your mother is calling you!" A voice yells.

He glances up past me, towards the voice. "Coming!" he responds.

He returns his gaze to us and tilts his head. "See you later, cuties," he winks and begins to walk away.

My hands move on their own, grasping the hem of his shirt, and he looks back at me, "What's your name?" I whisper.

"I'm William, your new neighbour," he said, the corner of his mouth curving upward into an extraordinary smile.

"William! Mom's calling you!" The voice from earlier yelled again. I wish it will just keep quiet so I could keep drooling over the guy in front of me.

"Coming!"

I sat down, unable to remove my eyes. He soon turns his attention back to me.

"What's your name?" He asks.

"Zara," I replied, struggling to remember how to breathe properly.

"Zara," he called my name. My heart feels warm. He nods, "I like it."

He crouches down to my level, and I let go of his shirt. "Want some candy?" He whispers, and I nod my head. If I say something, I'll probably sound silly.

William puts his hands in his pocket and pulls out a lollipop. "For you." He handed it to me.

"It's strawberry," he explained. He took out another one, unwrapped it, and popped it into his mouth with a grin on his face. He transfers the lollipop from one cheek to the other. "I have got to go. I will see you later. Zara." He stands and goes away.

I sit there, staring at the strawberry lollipop in my palm.

"Are you okay?" Nina asks.

My head raises as I turn towards her. "I just found my future husband."

Chapter 2

Two Years Later

Zara-10

William-18

I strap my backpack, adjust my jacket, and put on my favorite pink cap. My hand reaches for the doorknob, which I open.

"I do not care! Do whatever you want!" I can hear Mom shouting from downstairs, followed by a loud door slam.

I slowly proceed down the creaky stairs to see some picture frames of my family on the floor, the glass shattered everywhere. I step cautiously past it and into the kitchen to see Dad. He sat at the table, face buried in his dry hands, tears streaming down. I open the closet, get a broom and dustpan, and begin cleaning up the glasses in the corridor.

I take a deep breath and pick up the photo of my parents and me from my seventh birthday.

We went to the zoo because I wanted to see wolves, but to my disappointment, there were no wolves. I cried for hours before my parents brought me the world's largest cotton candy. In the photo, I was sitting on top of my father'

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