The 4 O' Clock Club
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1 Chapter 1 - Yuno
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The 4 O' Clock Club
Author :The_Canary
© Webnovel

1 Chapter 1 - Yuno

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Some people believe that moving to a new house means a start of new beginning also. But for someone like me who will be moving out to a province area where I was already getting used to living in a metropolitan city like Makati (I have to say it, sorry!), I have two words for it - dreadful beginning.

The reason we were moving out of Makati was my single mother got remarried, and her new husband (new father for me, ugh) asked her to move out to La Orden. James Ortega - the name of my new stepfather boasted that La Orden will give us new perspective in life which I doubt by the way. This was my first time hearing the name of their town. What did he mean that this town will give us new perspective in life? My mother - Helena del Luna, thought about it overnight, and surprise, surprise, she agreed to move out. She defended to me that we no longer have to rent a condominium unit since James has his own house. Plus this will give us the chance to bond as a new family together with James' son who was the same age as me - 16 years old.

Peeking my head outside the window of the car while my mother continued driving and notoriously blabbered about how our life were going to change for the better in La Orden and with James. I just pretended to curl my long brown hair with my fingers while also pretending to listen to her. No matter what she'd say, I can only forgive her if we return back to Makati and resume our lives again. I don't want to be the new girl in the middle of semester and figure my social standing in this new school hierarchy. I already miss my friends in school - Lara and Lloyd. They were my friends since seventh grade. 

We had been driving on the road surrounded by mountains and thick trunks of trees for an hour already. And to be fair, it was a nice pace for me to surround myself with nature again. Back in our old home, all I could see were buildings, malls, heavy flow of traffic, ongoing construction and other distracting things. 

But now, it had been stratling to listen to the sound of wind sweeping the branches of trees and listen to birds chirping to a hypnotic melody, creating a certain pleasant orchestra while I cursed everyone especially my mother because of moving out. 

I pulled out my phone from my pocket and checked it if either of my friends texted or called me. Unfortunately, none of them tried to reach me or even bothered to check on me. Maybe they are busy, I convinced myself. I sighed heavily which my mother noticed and halted her talk. 

When I looked back again to the road, I was surprised to find some small houses along the road now. I could see signs of civilization now (Yey!). 

In a few minutes, we could see from our car a large arc bearing the name of our new home - Welcome to La Orden!

*****

We'd arrived in front of a white and beige painted two-story house. I could peek out three large windows from above, indicating there were three available rooms upstairs. The brick roof covering the house was painted with dark blue colors, giving me the impression that this house was home for men (another ugh!).


My mom and I climbed out of  the car and pulled out the boxes inside. Then I heard a click and found a tall and scruffy faced man showering us with his dazzling smile. 

"Helena! Yuno! I'm glad you're here now!" James Ortega greeted us. He was wearing a checkered long sleeve despite the heat outside while tucking it with dark blue jeans, striding to help us pulling out our things from the car. 

My mother pulled him, startling James and gave her the most sickening sweet kiss. I let them hear my disgust which just made them giggle. 

Trying to block my vision from their sickening gesture to each other, I continued pulling out my things from the trunk of the car, and noticing from my peripheral vision, I found a figure standing by outside the door of the house. 

He was a tall and pale kid with messy black hair while looking bored as he observed James and my mother hugging and retrieving the boxes from the car at the same time (Yes I know they had been like this like lovesick high school students while we try to unpack our things outside of James' house. Can you believe it?)

I assume this tall kid is my new stepbrother - Rayven Ortega. 

*****

I was in my new room, sitting on my bed while listening to a lo-fi music on the background while I try to muster myself to start unpacking my things from the boxes. It was a nice and warm house, and surprisingly also a clean house despite the resident were guys.  Then James led me upstairs to offer me my new room. It was located in the middle of the two rooms. At the end corner, I assumed it was for James and my mother's while the one near the staircase was for Rayven, since there was signboard with his name on it. 

Grunting from leaving the comfort of my bed, I pulled myself up and started unpacking. First I pulled out my clothes and placed them on the closet. I only have few clothes since I don't usually go out. I prefered to stay at home and curled myself while reading my favorite books. 

Then I was about to grab my books when I heard my mother's voice downstairs calling my name and Rayven's ordering us to go down and have dinner. 

Oh boy, this will be a grueling and awkward first family dinner, I thought miserably. 

*****

Arriving at the dining room, I saw my mother preparing the plates while I could see James finishing the food that he'd prepared. I expected this set up since my mother was not really known for her cooking skills. She may be a good advertising specialist in a big firm, but cooking was not part of her resume. 

I pulled out a chair and sensed Rayven from behind. He pulled a chair also beside me and gave me an awkward smile. Getting this close to him, I noticed that he had piercing green eyes which I recalled from the story of my mother that James's late wife was a foreigner - Canadian to be exact. But she was taken away by cancer when Rayven was still nine years old. 

James whistled signaling that the food he'd prepared were now ready and ready for consumption of his new family. My mother sitted at the opposite side of my seat, while James placed his appetizing food at the table and sat at the head of the table. 

"Hope you'll like the food!" James started and my mother grabbed a serving spoon and poured the food that her husband prepared to her plate. After her, I followed since I haven't had the chance to eat something before going to La Orden.

We were so busy consuming and enjoying the food which I have to give credit James one day, but then my mother pretended to clear her throat, giving me the cue she would want to start the awkward talk with her new family. Oh God.

"So! How's La Orden? The last time I visited this place was James and I were still dating." She inquired to her husband while glancing also to Rayven, pointing he could answer also.

James tried to wipe his face with the napkin before answering her wife. "Aside from the occassional landslide near the mountain side, there's nothing new." He chuckled at himself which made my mother smiled warmly at him. "Oh! I learned a new skill! I know now how to bake a cake!"

My mother clapped at this which made me rolled my eyes. But I heard Rayven scoffed at his father. My mother caught this and was looking expectantly at him.

"Is there anything you want to say, Rayven?"

"He failed to mention to you that a student was missing two months ago."

This caught my attention and made me stop eating my food. My mother was startled by this sudden revelation and looked at her husband. James sighed heavily and looking disappointed at his son. 

"You know Rayven that is not something you usually talk while eating a meal."

"Do you know this missing kid, Rayven?" My mother insisted and ignoring the looks of James.

Rayven lowered his spoon and forks and nodded at my mother. "He was - is a student from our school."

Rising from his seat, James announced to us that he bought an ice cream, and behind those words, end of discussion for the missing boy. 

My mother looked worriedly at Rayven while he just shook his head at his father. 

Yeah so much for our first family dinner.


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