Saving Asteroth

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Chapter 5: Unknown and Uninvited

I search through the line, and through the tables but he’s nowhere to be found.

I hold myself, how could he have disappeared that fast?

My mind, I think some screws are truly loose. Without another look back, I march out of the restaurant.

Maybe he’s out here somewhere.

The cold slaps me right in the face and so does the sick fact that he isn’t out here either. I see people wearing all kinds of colors but no one in all black. This day is beginning to make me feel like I’m Alice in Wonderland.

Dreads...

They were so long, they hung out of his hoodie, but I could not get a clear view of his face.

Wooh, I’m going to kill Gia for spiking my Subway sandwich with her psychedelics!

. . .

“This..” mãe takes another bite into her wrap, “Is so good.” Her desk is filled with papers, and even with all of this hard work she still pulls off a killer look.

I seat myself in her burgundy chair usually reserved for clients. Across the room, Ava’s sleeping in her crib gifted to mom by one of her co workers, “You’ve clearly had a very long day.”

“Oh, filha,” She says in between a chew and a gulp, “You don’t know the half of it, and it’s about to get longer, I have to work late tonight, I heard that Trey has a game today.”

I take a huge bite into my food before nodding, “Yes and I was wondering if you would let me go to this one, I kinda promised Gia that I would take her.”

Mãe sighs lowering her food to the foil wrap, “If I let you go will you drop Theo off at his aunts?”

I groan silently, mãe has wanted me to get closer to Theo ever since he was on pacifiers, but this kid can be a real handful sometimes. A cute snugly, bowl-pooping handful. “Yes ma’am.”

She cheers beaming at her burrito and the rewarding herself another bite, “I can’t tell you how much of a help you have been to me today, filha, and your smile,” She reaches across to pinch my cheek, I bat her hand away playfully, “You look much happier than usual.”

I swallow my bite down, upset that in just a few more I’ll have nothing but an empty bowl, “Everyone’s been saying that today.”

“My guess is that it has something to do with that Xander boy-”

“Mãe!” I shout as if she just spilled my secret to the entire universe, which she kind of did!

She chuckles with full cheeks, “Everyone knows, baby girl, your mãe is no idiota,”

Instead of blushing I just shrug as if she didn’t just make a valid point, “Maybe having lunch with you makes me happy.”

“Don’t flatter yourself, baby.” We both laugh and finish off our food in silence. Content silence.

...

Theo swings the door of the car open and jumps into his seat. Looks like someone’s had a rough day.

“Are we almoth there-uhh?!” Theo whines, does this boy know he just got in the car a few seconds ago.

I look through my rear view mirror at him, “We haven’t even left the school parking lot.”

Theo groans adjusting his seat belt over his chunky belly, “I wanna play out there,” Theo points out the window with his thick winter gloves, “in the sh-now!”

Kids sure do say words in the weirdest way.

The road clears, so I make my way out of the lot. A part of me wanted to tell Gia that mãe said no about the game. Her office was very warm and I almost dozed off in her comfy chair. Ava didn’t even wake up but I would have stayed just to get a chance to hold her little body in my arms. But as soon as I left mãe had a client on the way to the office. It’s a good thing I thought about grabbing her lunch.

Mãe will starve herself in the name of priorities, and that is by far my worst pet-peeve. To watch her drain herself of all her energy at her own expense. I turn on some Schoolhouse Rock for Theo and of course he screams over the lyrics. Murmuring what he doesn’t remember and shouting what he does. That is one thing I love about him, he always loves to learn no matter where he is. He can point out a fact to you about grass that you would have never thought was necessary to know.

Children.

The purest souls until inevitably tainted.

I find myself singing along with him which makes him sing even louder, kicking the air in excitement. That boy has way too much energy for me to handle. I sure do hope his aunt is ready for him, because she’s not the type to play games. John’s sister, Emmaline, can be a very hard soul at times.

She lost all of the children she’s ever tried to have in her womb which in turn made her husband divorce her for a younger, more fertile women. I heard it was because the continuous loss of babies stressed him out. You’d think that that very reason would make him stick around for her sake. Selfish people don’t think on that scale though.

“Looks like we’ve made it.” I announce to him lowering the volume of the music before pulling into his aunt’s driveway.

She also enjoys silence, so I’m not one to get under her skin when it comes to that. Her house is a yellow townhouse, a tranquil choice for a lady of her stature. She moved on the count of being frightened by the spacious house her and her now ex-husband used to share. Yes, I used to eavesdrop on all of the adult conversations growing up. Then over the years it got way too dramatic for me to handle. Now I just press headphones into my ear and watch the world and only listen when necessary.

Theo leaps out of his seatbelt, “Yay,” He gathers his backpack and lunch pail from the floor, “Auntie Emma is taking me to the movieth today!”

This is new, “Oh, what are you two going to watch?”

“Gaurdianth of the Galaxthy, it took a lot of work to convinthe her to thay yeth, but she did!” Theo opens the car door and I step out with him, taking his hand to ensure he doesn’t slip. His boots are much more durable than mine but I have to be the considerate older sister mãe has been stressing me to be. “You wanna come with uth, Thaphyre?”

My fingers ruffle through his hair, “Maybe next time, little man but my friend convinced me to go to a game today.”

Theo chuckles, “Like I did Auntie Emma?”

I nod and knock on the white door of her house. She must be home, it smells like sugar cookies out here. Her chimney is blowing pretty nicely for her not to be-

The door swings open and Theo’s body is hoisted off of the ground, “Theodore, my sweet little nephew!” She plants a thousand kisses on every part of his face, “You ready to have a good time with your favorite person?”

“Auntie EMMA!” Theo yells releasing his excitement in what looks like a death grip of a hug. Her Doberman Pinscher moves between her leg and the door brushing his narrow head against my leg.

I reach down to pet him, what’s funny is I still don’t know his name.

“Thank you for dropping him off, Saphyre.” Emmaline and Theo smile down at me.

“Oh,” I straighten myself off, “No problem, Theo was pretty excited to get here, now I see why, have you been staying warm?”

Emmaline releases Theo into the house, “There’s some fresh cookies and hot cocoa on the coffee table Theo, help yourself!”

She peeks her head back to me, “That boy, he’s like a son to me,” She sniffles and pauses for a second, “Oh-sorry dear, yes I have been quite alright, how’s my brother John, he hasn’t paid a visit in a few weeks now.”

I shrug, “He’s John.” I can’t even fake like I like him and Emma chuckles knowing how I’ve always felt about John will never change.

She sighs and removes a strand of hair from her face, “Well I’ll let him know I’m keeping Theo for the weekend, you know, giving him and his beautiful wife a break.” Emma snickers.

Yeah, totally to just give them a break, “Alright, you enjoy yourself, and don’t let the boy wear you out, his battery is never ending.”

Emma laughs as I leave her alone at her doorstep, “He lengthens my youth!” She shouts toward me, her dog gets the hint and prances into the house, “You be safe on these roads, dear, and thanks again!” Her hand raises to wave.

I wave back, “I will and no problem!”

...

The house is dead quiet and I finally got the chance to get my Pilates out of the way. It’s one thing to go a morning without them but I cannot go a single day without being able to say I did it. Mãe does yoga in her own office if she doesn’t get to do them at home with me. So since there’s no one home I decided what better time than now? Once I finished I opened my Calculus books and got straight to work.

I hate having homework on the weekends. There isn’t a single peaceful area in the house where I can get it accomplished without being bothered, needed or annoyed by the excitement going on. Trey always has his friends over on the weekends and when they visit, they take up the silence in the house like a virus.

The basement stands defeated against blocking out their charismatic gaming energy. I end up moving out of there as well, afraid that one of those idiots may fall through the floor. I don’t know how little Ava manages to sleep through half of the day with all the commotion. I get up to clothes the drapes in the sunroom, I have 2 hours to myself and then hell to p-.

Wait...

What the heck?

I must be sleeping....

That same guy that saved me from falling on my ass in Chipotle...?

Is In front of my house?

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