Put It To The Test
That morning during a breakfast of scrambled eggs and hashbrowns, with thick buttery biscuits covered in a sausage gravy; Yakusoku and Ai whisper feverishly to each other so that their mother doesn't overhear the conversation; she's in her store putting some finishing touches on dresses. She planned on opening today and wanted everything to be perfect. Their father had eaten and said his goodbyes before going off to work, leaving the two boys to chat amongst themselves though not unheard by one pair of ears that should not.
"I read another entry in the diary," Yakusoku started the conversation. "I think Maria- and this idea might be really far out, but- I think that Maria has psychic abilities."
"No way!" Ai hissed loudly.
"I know it's weird to even consider it this hard but, she mentioned that her mother hated her because she's deaf. And it embarrasses her, that much was clear; she thought all the kids at school would hate her because she's different."
Nodding, the 10-year-old replied. "I could see feeling that way. Being different isn't easy, that's for sure. I mean, I've got friends and just about everyone likes me... but they never consider my feelings when they start calling me 'island'. I shouldn't care, I'm not embarrassed, but I think it's disrespectful."
Yakusoku had to agree with that. Kids get really disrespectful when it comes to the pronouncing of his name. Instead of asking, they go off making any old thing up laughing away like he should join in. He doesn't blame Reeve or Quinn. They love their children and to them these little quirks are cute but to other kids, it's just a means of relieving a need to be a dick.
"But that doesn't explain why you think she's psychic; was it written down anywhere in the diary?" Ai asked.
Shaking his head, Yakusoku chewed his eggs then swallowed before answering. "No. It was a pile of events that had me thinking it. She always seems to know things that I, or anyone else, haven't even told her about. She'll just casually say it like she's trying to get me to know that she knows... And three days ago, I was over at her house and she said something to me,"
"What?" Ai's black eyes were wide with wonder.
"I told her to stop spying on me, that I wanted to keep some things to myself... Maria said that I should stop telling her, but I never did. Not once."
"I don't understand."
Thinking quietly for a moment, Yakusoku held his hands up as a thought came to him. "You know how I like foreign music?"
"Maria would come over and say something about it like: so-and-so has a new video out, or their a really good singer."
"Yeah but, anyone could guess you like foreign music when you get a phone call. It's not exactly discrete, and you keep the volume up."
"Okay. Then how 'bout this... Tuesday I found a quarter on the floor of the twins house, I kept it- it's a quarter what's the harm- and the next day at school Maria said: don't feel bad about the money, the Santos family should sweep a little more carefully and they wouldn't lose money."
"Creepy." Ai took a drink setting down the glass when done. "But you said it yourself she's stalking you- that she admitted to hiding out when we went rock climbing- maybe she went as far as to peek into the window of their home, and she saw you do it."
"I hope so. But there are other things..." He trailed off. "Forget. Today I'm going to relax and enjoy myself with my new girlfriend."
"Good for you."
"No more Maria."
"What Maria," The boy shrugged casually, playing along.
"Do you think the twins would let me play with Grapadora today?" Ai asked standing from his seat. "I wanna take him to my friend Charlie's. He has a german shepherd mix, and we wanna race 'em. His dog enters shows with his sister, but he helps her train him."
"Sure. Give them a call, use my phone."
"Thanks." Washing his dish, Ai places the plate into the dishwasher then grabs his glass repeating the task of cleaning it and putting it away. "Don't forget to clear your stuff." He points an authoritative finger before walking out of the kitchen. "I'll be home until I get an answer, see ya Yaku'."
"Bye mother." Replied his brother, smiling at the groan he'd received from Ai.
"Where am I going?" The woman who snuck up on the teen tilts his head back and leaves a kiss on his forehead.
"Nowhere. I was talking to Ai."
"Oh." Stealing a piece of bacon from her son's plate; Quinn walks to the kitchen sink looking out the window. Her brow raises in curious thought when seeing a patch of blonde suddenly disappear from view. "Hmm. I think one of your friends is outside waiting for you."
"Doubt it." He chugged his drink then dropped his dishes off in the sink. "I'm going out today, bye mom."
The woman waved a hand over her shoulder keeping her gaze, all the while, out the window.
Yakusoku raised the garage door and retrieved his bike from within. He got halfway down the driveway before being forced to come to a screeching halt. Maybe he was seeing things but... it looked like Maria just ducked around the side of the neighbor's house.
"Maria, I know that's you over there. Come out."
And someone did emerge from beside the home but it was not Maria, but the neighbor's son holding a full trashcan. Yakusoku wasn't sure when he'd held his breath or why, but when that breath was released he definitely felt it expel.
"Hi, Promise." The ten-year-old boy called out. "Who's Maria?" The boy's little nose scrunched.
Waving a hand to dismiss the question, he replied. "Just some nutty girl I'm trying to get rid of." Starting across the street again, not bothering to ask the boy- who just stumbled a bit- if he were all right, he had to pause when he heard Dustin speak again.
"You going over to Enid's this early?"
"Yup, we're gonna hang out." On the sidewalk, the bike turned so that he's sideways to see the boy, Yakusoku wondered what this conversation was building up to.
He actually wouldn't have given the younger boy a minute if he hadn't called him, Promise. He's known Dustin just as long as he's known his little brother- being they're the same age and all- and never once has the freckled blond given him a 'Promise' though he does know the translation because when he was younger he couldn't say his name at all. He'd just make funny faces before tugging on his shirt to ask him something.
Quinn babysat the boy often enough, and sometimes she'd step out to get a meal for them leaving the older boy in charge of the two younger kids, or just Dustin because Ai would go to retrieve the food with their mother.
"Do you want something?" He figured asking would be quicker than waiting out the awkward pauses.
"Can I spend the night over? My parents are gonna be out tonight, and I don't wanna stay with my usual babysitter- she's got breast."
Yakusoku laughed at that. Patricia Lennox does have some monster-sized breast. That girl really filled out last summer. He could see how it would freak the boy out a bit, to have someone he's used to coming over looking almost different could mess you up. She even dyed her orange hair black!
"If my mom doesn't care, then I don't. See ya." Distractions over, he crossed the street dropping his bike carelessly on its side in the grass, before entering the Aaronstrup home.
The house is filled with the smell of syrup but no one is in the kitchen; they must have already had breakfast. Enid's dad: balding on the top but still hairy on the sides, smiled at the boy from over his newspaper. Her mother: pretty and plumpish, was nowhere in view but could be heard softly- and poorly- singing something playing on the radio in the kitchen where she's hidden.
"Hey, sport, Enid's upstairs."
The families are very comfortable with each other. There was never a time when a parent would look at someone else's kid and ask what they were doing over. The adults treated one another's children like they are their own.
"Be sure to knock, she just showered."
He trotted up the stairs, being sure to knock- if only to appease Enid's dad- because now that the two are dating he actually wouldn't mind popping in on her unannounced. See a little something special, if you know what he means.
"It's open," Enid called from beyond the door.
Opening the door, Yakusoku eyes scanned the room looking for a toweled beauty but instead found the girl over by her tv with a rag in hand. "What are you doing?"
"Cleaning, what does it look like?" Enid wipes the television screen after waiting for the windex to drizzle down the length of it. "Wanna help?"
"Not really." He looked around the girl's room, taking in the fact that his mind believes it to be already 'clean'. "What do you want me to do?" He closed the bedroom door.
"Ummm, make the bed."
"How 'bout we tousle the sheets first?" He wriggled his brows suggestively.
Laughing, Enid made a fist at him. "Focus, Yakusoku Land, or do you just not wanna hang out today?"
"Hanging out would be cool." He glanced at his lap.
"Oh my god... if I knew that going out with you would have turned you into a perve like Chester, I never would have bothered."
Snickering, he shakes his head. "You scared me straight." Getting off the bed, he goes into the task of making it look presentable, all the while wondering who cleans a bedroom this early.
He should have stayed downstairs with Michael and read the paper, or watched television until Enid brought herself downstairs. The two worked away cleaning the girl's bedroom. Dusting this, polishing that, his new girlfriend had the nerve to use his muscle to help her move her bed to a new spot in the bedroom. It took them a good 40 minutes but eventually they were done and, finally, on their way out of the home.
"Mom went to hang signs to tell people she's open, I'm going to the twins house to get their dog. Bye Yaku, bye Enid." He waved before mounting his bike and heading up the street.
The two watched the boy for a moment then, Yakusoku turned to Enid with a sly look in his blue-green gaze.