Star-crossed - Episode 2

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Comfort:

"Joyce is that you?! Are you back from your shift at the supermarket?!" I hear Mrs Gloria call from the kitchen as soon as Joyce and I pass through the sitting room's door. Joyce looks back to me and grins before placing her fingers against her lips to tell me to be quiet.
"Yes, mom! I was sent home early because it's New year's Eve." Joyce yells to her mom before giggling. The supermarket didn't open today but Mrs Gloria wouldn't know that.
"Okay, dear
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. I'm putting finishing touch to tonight's dinner. Then we start dicing vegetables for tomorrow's celebration." Her mother peeks her head out from the kitchen and waves at me.
"Hope Joyce didn't get you into any trouble today?" She asks and I shake my head.
"Mom, you know I'm a great cousin. I wouldn't do that." Joyce's lips forms a pout that has her mother rolling her eyes at her before going back to finish dinner.
"She totally bought that." Joyce grins at me but I just shake my head at her and move past her to get to our cramped bedroom. Usually, I'll at least give her a smile but I don't think I can manage that today. My hands are still shaking from my encounter with her boyfriend's cousin earlier.
I can't believe he touched me

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. Held me so close to his body. And actually looked into my eyes. I'm usually the invincible one in a crowd. People around here think I'm crazy because I don't speak. At least that's what they think. But this guy wanted my attention. He'd wanted to really see through me. I couldn't let that happen. That's why I ran. I'm sure he now thinks that I'm crazy like everyone else does.
That's actually a good thing. I don't do people. It's better he classifies me a crazy freak and leave me alone. I don't care anyways. I shouldn't care. Especially today.
I kick my flat shoes off my feet and crawl into the bed I share with Joyce. The same way I'd shared a bed with mother till exactly a year ago. When she took a knife to her wrist and bled to death on our bed, soaking me in all her blood.
"Because of me." I whisper as a stray tear drops down my cheek. I angrily brush it away. I don't deserve to shed a tear for her. I killed her. I drove her to commit suicide. I pull my legs up to my chest and hug them to my chest as my body shakes with the intensity of my sobs. My fingers absently caress mother's ring hooked to the chain around my neck. It was the ring she was clutching in her hand when I found her dead. I've never seen the ring on my mother before that night but it's probably something my father gave her when they were younger. The diamond sitting on the Platinum band tells me the ring is expensive, probably why mom never wore it.
"Hey, Comfort. What's wrong?" Cold hands touching my bare wrist has me startling and my head snaps up to find Joyce's face so close to mine. I see the pity in her eyes. I don't deserve that. I quickly make quick work of wiping my face dry before scooting away from her touch. Her hand on my wrist drops and I see her face fall in obvious hurt. I try to ignore that.
"I'm sorry I left you with Raymond earlier. Did he hurt you? The way you ran off....Tell me and I'll go over to Stanley's house to give him a piece of my mind." She actually sounds angry on my behalf. I touch her arm and shake my head. I don't want her going anywhere for me.
"You're fine?" She asks because she knows I won't say anything. I just nod. Her hand comes up and covers my hand on her arm. I struggle not to pull it away.
"I don't know why you choose not to speak to me or mom but you know we are here for you right? That we love you." She says seriously and I sniff back tears that threaten to assault me. They can't love me. I only bring pain. My mother can testify to that. If she were alive.
"Hell, I know you want out of this town so badly. It's too bad your admission didn't come through this year but you should know that my parents and I will support you till you decide to leave this place." She continues speaking and my mind goes back to the fact that I'm going to be stuck here for one more year because my name wasn't on the admission list released by the University of Lagos a month ago.
" I know what today is Comfort. That was why I took you out with me. It's her death anniversary isn't it?" I'm pushed out of my thoughts at her question and my head snaps up. That look. I can't take it. I just can't  hear more. I peel her hand off me and jump off the bed.
"Comfort? Where are...." I just grab my mom's guitar from the side of the bed and run out of the room and out of the house. As soon as I get out of the house, I pull my phone out of my pocket and text Joyce that I'm just going to clear my head and that I'll meet her and her parents at the church for the cross over service tonight.
  Strapping the guitar across my chest, I unchain my bicycle and ride it down the street.

****

Raymond:

"Can't believe he made me come back here to get my ATM card alone." I grumble as I race into the room I'm sharing with Stanley to grab the pair of jeans I wore last night. I hope this is where I left my ATM card. I can't start looking for it in all this mess of clothes. Plus I can't let Stanley have all the fun with the hot woman we were talking to at the bar before I realized that I didn't bring my card. I'm sure Stanley is just about happy that he has a better shot at scoring with me here searching for my card in my pile of dirty clothes.
"Not here." I throw the trouser on the bed in frustration and growl out loud when I bump my shin into the bedframe.
"Sh*t!" I bite out.
"Having fun killing yourself amongst all those dirty clothes?" I lift my head to find my younger sister grinning at my pain.
"I don't have time for you right now okay? I'm looking for my card. I'm sure I had it on me before Stanley's parents left this morning." I say as I pull up clothes from the pile.
"Oh, about that...." I know that tone. I drop the Jean in my hand and turn menacing eyes to my sister.
"I kind of swiped it off your pocket this morning after breakfast." She says sheepishly.
"What?!" I bellow even though it's not the first time she's done it.
"Paige and I wanted to go out to the next town for some minor hopping since this town basically has nothing good to buy and our monthly allowance is mostly gone." She says like that explains anything.
"Give it to me." I put my palm up to her.
"You don't have to be a jerk about it. I was just borrowing it. We're done anyways." She pulls my card out of her back pocket and lays it on my palm.
"Ask me when you need it next time okay, Breanna?" I feel myself softening to her whims, as usual if I must say. She smiles wide and nods. I start to nod too when an idea hits me.
"So you said you and Paige are done shopping. Does that mean I can take the car?" I ask her.
"Yeah, sure. The keys are on the table in the sitting room. I need to sleep anyways." She shrugs before leaving me. I do a quick fist bump into the air. This will get me back to the bar quicker. Then I can see about finding me a woman of my own for tonight's party. For some insane reason, Comfort's face comes to mind in a flash.
"Get your thoughts in order. She's hot but crazy. We don't do crazy. Crazy and woman are two bad combos."

****
Comfort:

The wind blowing my hair gives me a bit of relief as I navigate the bicycle down the slightly bumping road. My mind is elsewhere as I cycle hard to increase my speed. I want to scream out loud into the darkening day but I don't. I just let the bicycle take me further out of town. My mind is only set on my destination.

Read " Mirage " by the same author ( Ameh juliet )

. It's just the next town. I look up at the cloudy sky. I'm going to make it before it starts to rain. I have to be there for her today. I owe her that much.
"Hey!!!!" I scream. A black flashy car just zooms out of nowhere and speeds up straight towards me. My first thought is that this might be my mother calling me to join her in death and I feel the urge to let the car crash into me. That's until I hear his voice from inside the car.
"What are you doing?! Get out of the way!" My head snaps up and the danger becomes real. I take my hands off the bicycle and leap off the seat. With the speed I was going, I get flung to the dusty ground before my bicycle rolls under the black car which has come to a halt.
My heart is racing thousands of beats per second as I blink back tears. Just then, the car's front door pushes open and he comes out looking too good to be real.
"Oh my God, tell me I didn't kill you."

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