I got home just in time because sooner than expected, Henry arrived. Imagine if he had found me “flirting” outside! He wasn’t his usual self, except from being tired from a daylong shift. He had something troubling his mind! It was Danny from what I could see! “Jun, I got the results from Danny’s autopsy and it turns out that he was poisoned in a very strange and peculiar way. Snake bites on his genitals; I can’t imagine him taking joy in having perverse games with reptiles. Something just isn’t making sense!” He sat down and looked at me! I didn’t feel the need to tell him my side of the story; it was so wild that even a man as educated as he was would not believe it. He put his feet on the table and disappeared into his thoughts. “Unless there are snakes in this building!” I laughed out loud and I immediately noticed it was rather inappropriate. “There are no snakes in the building Henry, your guess about Danny is as good as mine. I hate snakes and I can sense them a mile away. If one was here I would have been the first to leave!” His intrigue covered face lightened up a bit and he immediately frowned! “I heard you went to the police station, what about?” I was now in the queue for some explaining. “I wanted to see if I could help the police but they threw away anything I came up with so I left and came home. Don’t worry, no one could recognise me with what I was wearing. I thought I had remembered something about the noise but it turns out I couldn’t remember exactly what it was so the officer wouldn’t believe any contribution I had. From the looks of things, he for a minute thought I was a woman who could change into a snake!” Henry laughed and took on a serious face again, “Now no Halloween trips please. If you get caught out there I can’t protect you. Don’t leave this place unless it’s really necessary.” He turned to look at the kitchen with a huge grin on his face. “Well, I am hungry and you being a lovely lady, you can cook for the man of the house!” for a moment I felt the urge to cook something so vile he would need a doctor to patch him up but I guess I couldn’t do that. “I don’t remember being married to you Henry! After all, what are your endless girlfriends suppose to say if I start feeding you. It’s like leaving your house smelling like one brand of deodorant and coming back smelling like another. You will have a huge tribunal on your hands. Besides, I thought you were used to hospital food, seeing how you are a walking representation of every dietary disaster in that hospital of yours!” He smirked and wouldn’t budge on his request. I took the cue and came up with an idea. My dad loved Tabasco hot sauce. I went through the kitchen and looked for it and mysteriously found it along with several chillies and all sorts of hot stuff. I put them all into the pot and simmered them for 30 minutes and goodness was the smell tantalising. My only hope was that they would not leave the body as hot as they came in. I served the good doctor and declined to join him for the sake of my health. He quickly got into it and here comes the interesting part. He took one spoonful in and as soon as it touched his tongue he spit it out onto the table. It shimmered for a bit on the table and he looked stunned. “What is this Jun? Can you see its cooking the table! You want to kill me or something? Never mind, I am not hungry anymore, I would rather be empty than full of toilet fever!” I was now laughing so hard I started crying! He passed the plate to me and gave me a spoon. “Taste your creation!” I took the spoon and took a bit and put it on my tongue. My eyeballs almost fell out of their sockets. I rushed into the bathroom and drank some water but that made it worse. The hot disaster flowed into my belly and with the water I swallowed and soon enough my body hairs were standing to the point! Henry was having the time of his life and I was in toture-ville! I drank more water until my stomach stopped rumbling. I walked out of the bathroom, hand on my belly and sat next to Henry and I pushed the plate away! How did my father survive these things?! Henry stood up and waved at me. He was leaving and my; did he have a grin on his face. “If you have any more stomach problems, go to the police. Don’t call me, I might revenge this!” He was singing on his way out and down the stairs. I cleaned up and sat in front of the television afterwards. I had a quick uneventful nap but was woken up by the noise of a radio playing nearby. It sounded like there was a party in the hood. I looked around and found nothing to do, so I guessed it would be good to go out for a bit. I had always been a girl for the outings and stuff; it’s just that I hid it well. I rushed into my room and put on a pair of blue jeans, a black top and a jacket. Funny enough, I never forgot my gloves when I left the house. I put on Timberland boots with socks of course and a hat to cover my face. I rushed out of the house locking the door on my way out. I made my way onto the street and tried to hear the direction of the party. There was a lot of activity two streets down from where I was so I started walking in that direction. I got into the street “Baddington Avenue” and saw the party house. There were a lot of people around so it was definitely a hip joint. I walked slowly towards the house because I noticed that a lot of eyes wanted to know the new girl.
As I neared the house, I saw my secret admirer, well the one I purposefully humiliated earlier! He had gained his composure now and seemed to be mindful of how he acted around me. He didn’t do anything stupid or say anything at all, he simply just signalled his boys as to my presence and they in turn started laughing at him. I walked closer to the house and stopped close to a group of girls who were standing outside. They were talking a lot of stuff I didn’t even know about and for a moment I doubted the authenticity of their conversations. One of them saw me and came close to where I was. “Hi, you must be the new girl everyone is talking about! I am Lee, Lee for Ashlee. I stay down the street, who are you?” I paused for a bit and debated if I should reveal my name. She looked like she wasn’t going to give up so I decided to give her my third name which no one except my parents and I knew. “My name is Rose, Rose for Rose! Yah I am new here. So what’s this all about? Good times or what?” Ashlee laughed for a bit and then looked around for someone who she found after much searching. “Look, you see that guy, in the black baggy jeans and white shirt. He is called Joe, Joe for Joey and he stays here and he is the host today so yah! Bring and share thing.” Well to my surprise, Joe was the guy I had the fun filled altercation with a few hours earlier. I laughed for a bit and that only helped in elevating Ashlee’s level of keenness. “Why you laughing Rose?” I turned to face her trying to get my act together, well if at all I could do that! “Well, I already met Joe! Funny guy, he said something to me and I kicked him in the nuts. I doubt we will get along now!” Ashlee was all tears in laughter and all the girls now wanted to know what she was on about. “She is the one who kicked Joe in the penalty box?” All the girls came closer, laughing, cheering and having a good time with the story. I guess the party had finally begun and me, your hostess, had come on with a fiery appetite for organised chaos! The girls were loud, funny and all about the current boy-girl issues. The music was nice, even though I didn’t recognise most of the tracks. Funny enough, boys started coming to where we were standing and getting girls who they normally chilled with. That left me in a precarious situation, I didn’t chill with anyone! Well, the only person left was my little admirer with a knack for getting on the wrong side of my foot. I guess next time I will just realign his posterior with my foot. Its better you know! He was standing there and he looked to be debating whether to approach me or not. I was doing the same because honestly I didn’t want to endanger his life. Well moments later he walked towards me and everyone cheered and laughed as he walked. Damn, news moved fast in that section of town, I had to keep a watchful eye! He stood in front of me without words and I hid behind my hat. I looked him top to bottom and found that he was quite an interesting character. A bit of muscle and cute!
“Ahhm, about earlier I didn’t mean to get off on the wrong foot. I am sorry ‘bout violating your space, that just wasn’t playing the game right. Peace and be done with it?” His voice was a bit shaky and a lot descent, not the ‘hey shawty’ talk earlier that got him on the grid. I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t want to give him any impression or anything but I didn’t want to seem rude as well. “Thanks Joe for Joey, Peace and be done with it for sure. I am Rose, Rose for Rose! Sorry, I am talking like Ashlee, funny ha! I am new here so I just wanted to check what the commotion is about.” Joe was a bit intrigued but didn’t show it. Whoever told guys that chewing a toothpick or a matchstick makes them sexier must go back to mental rehabilitation, it’s so annoying! “I think you should lose the toothpick before you have a throat problem. You have had a problem earlier I think you want to forget!” He took the cue and spit it out immediately. For such a guy I was shocked he was so quick to respond. It was as if he was afraid of me or something. I looked around and everyone was gawking awkwardly in our direction. People at times are weird you know! “Well, come inside and I can get you a drink!” The offer sounded good and I followed him into the house. At least I would be far away from the crazy crowd. We went into the kitchen and he offered me a cider. Truth be told, I had never tasted alcohol my entire life not because I couldn’t but because I had never been exposed to it. I was keen on the experience and I accepted it from him. I opened it and tasted it and strangely, it tasted nice and sharp to my taste buds. He was drinking one as well and he couldn’t keep his eyes from trying to get under my hat. I was feeling all sorts of things inside: warm cuddly emotions, fear for his sake, a bit of lust for him and all sorts of craziness that go down with the first cider of the day. “Why don’t you take your hat off?” I looked at him for a bit and laughed inside. “You won’t like what you see; I was given a nasty haircut today.” He smirked thinking I was joking but seemed to acknowledge the intensity of the statement. I was bald for crying out loud, I didn’t even like the way my scalp looked. Gees, like a runway on the top of a walking hill, Boeing pilots won’t have a hard time performing a crash landing on my head during their test flights. He was so keen I felt I would let him down in a sense. “Where is your room so that I can show you?” He stood up and signalled me to follow him. Soon enough we were in his little humble paradise. Everything was in a sense of commotion in his room so I guess he had order problems but then again, he’s a boy so that explains it! He closed the door and locked it! He had a mirror on his closet door and I walked to it. He came next to me and looked into the mirror. I slowly took of my hat and showed him what I was all about. He was shocked and his face spelt the nature of intrigue. “What happened to your hair, did you cut it off when it said good morning to you?” I felt the urge to laugh because he was smiling at me. “Someone threw raw eggs at me and one of them decorated my hair. So being terribly allergic to eggs, the doctor had to cut it off to keep me from getting sick.” He smiled and I guess he was feeling a bit good about me also having my beat down moment. He took the hat from my hands and put it back onto my head. “Our little secret”, he gestured and I nodded in agreement. “So you mean someone kicked your butt, damn, I need to get that dude’s number! He needs to do some damage control right here!” I looked at him and he stepped back a bit but I wasn’t going to do anything to him. He was sweet and funny! Well that’s the impression he gave so I had to believe in something. He unlocked the door and waved for me to follow him. I guess he didn’t want to be beaten up in his own room so he had to go where people would save him. There were people everywhere in the house now. The DJ, quite a short dude played my favourite track “Request Line” by Macy Gray and I felt the urge to dance. I grabbed Joe by the hand and pulled him to the lounge where a lot of people were dancing and having a good time. “Come-on this is my favourite track. Let’s Dance!” Truth be told, I just wanted to be held. So much had come crushing down that I missed the effect of being held warmly. Well, Request Line is not a slow song so for the most I was doing my silly dances and he was trying to catch up. For a moment I felt free but I knew I had tears to cry, memories to live, a father to bury, people to kill, a city to evade and a life to live. Not a very cosy cup of tea and for at least a sudden moment, not a comforting thought since I was looking for affection. We got quite close to each other and for a guy I had beaten earlier, he knew how to hold me! We danced song after song, bottle after bottle until time started moving backwards and the songs were playing in rewind.
People around us were either dancing, or making out or on the verge of talking to the president and the first lady! Joe liked me, I could tell that and I felt something for him, I just didn’t know how to deal with me. He held me so nicely and I looked into his eyes. A man never looks ugly if you have had a few so I won’t speculate on how he looked but there are others who remain unchanged no matter how many ‘few’ you have though! He kissed me and I felt a huge burning desire inside me erupting like a fuming volcano coming from an induced period of silence. I am sure he felt it too because he led me to his room. Things could have gotten wild there but I am glad they never! We were doing all sorts of things behind enemy lines and we came short of walking the walk of death. I wanted him so badly but when I opened my eyes in the moment I saw Danny instead of him. I didn’t panic but I stopped him and pushed him aside. He quickly became sober as if I had robbed him again of his manhood. “It’s not worth it, what you want to do with me! You will die if you do so. Maybe another day, I can’t kill you. I just don’t have it in me!” he smiled and nodded and I hoped he understood. He took a sheet off his bed and wrapped me in it and kissed me on the forehead. At least he didn’t do anything that would require another beating! He led me out of his room and he took me to the back of the house. There was a swing there and the most beautiful night sky I ever had seen. It must have been just after 1am now and I saw no point in going home! I looked at the stars and he held me as we just observed silence. My life had been like starts once, so free but now it felt like an asteroid had passed through me and the once tranquil existence of the interstellar forces that gave me peace was disrupted. I began crying, I could hold the tears no more, for the first time my heart ached for my dead father. I cried and he held me close as if he knew what was making me cry. There was no holding back any pain, I cried tears of many rivers and asked unanswered questions. “Daddy was gone, mommy was gone and all that was left was me. Little young, stupid me!” He held me from the back and after a time he turned me around to face him. He wiped my tears and smiled a bit! “I am sorry if I forced myself on you, I just got so attracted to you from the first time I saw you! I know who you are Rose, or should I say Juniper Miles! I recognised you from the news and the hospital. I was visiting my aunt who was on the same floor you were. I saw your room and I came in to see you but you were asleep. You looked so beautiful even though you were wrapped in a facial bandage! I later saw you on the news when you were attacked as they discharged you. But I never figured you would end up so close to me. I am the only who knows who you are and I won’t tell anyone! I will protect you Rose; I will be there for you!” I looked at him, so amazed and perplexed but I felt no need to not trust him. In a split second, I chose to trust a person who seemed to hold warm sentiments and a notion of care towards my life. He held me for a time and then told me to sit on the swing so that he could push me. Like a child I sat and he pushed me. I liked the wind rushing past my face. I felt so free for a moment but like any other day, the sun was about to rise and soon enough, a day would come into seeing!