Chapter 28~ Christmas Spirit With The Ex-Gang Members
You know when you have that feeling in the pit of your stomach that just does more flips than the scariest rollercoaster in the world?
Or maybe when your body freezes more than an ice sculpture?
Yeah, well that’s exactly what I was feeling at this exact moment when I was told that the guy I thought was a bad ass with a kind heart, was actually a mega bad ass, who used to be in a gang but still has a heart- I hope.
I blinked at him once.
But nothing could shake off what he had just told me.
Ryan freaking Einstein used to be a gang member.
“Uh, Muffin? You ok?”
I snapped back into reality with Ryan’s words. “Oh um, yeah ok...wow”.
I took a sharp breath in to try and clear my mind. I even tried thinking about my next cup of coffee but nothing was working. This news was too much.
“Look I know it’s a lot to take in but I had to tell you I-”
He looked down straight away, ashamed of himself. But I wouldn’t let that happen, I was in love with the guy for goodness sake. This was his past. Not the present or future. This doesn’t affect anyone so I placed my hand on his chin lifted his head and said, “Oh shut up. Don’t look like a wuss. You’re an ex-gang member for god’s sake” I say in a playful tone.
We both laughed, it’s good to see the mood lightened up a little.
“But really Ryan...thank you for telling me”
“Well...” he says in a weary tone.
I looked at him with wide eyes.
“Well, what Ryan?”
“I’m kind of in a little trouble with my ex-gang. That’s why I have the other guys with me”
I felt a massive lump in my throat. Oh geez.
You know that time when I said this was Ryan’s past and wouldn’t affect anyone? Yeah well, I think that’s all going to change...like right now.
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU’RE IN TROUBLE?” I exploded, but Ryan had already parked in front of a wide building and hopped out of the car.
I quickly got out of the car and jogged behind Ryan to try and catch up to him.
He turned around to me looking really stressed out, “OK MUFFIN!” He shouts which shuts me up quickly.
“I’m sorry, ok? I’m sorry that I brought you and put you in this mess but please muffin...please just let me explain. Let me tell you my side of the story” he begs.
I’m such an idiot. I did it again.
“No, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’ve been acting like a complete...bitch lately. We’ll talk about this at my house later. For now, show me this mysterious warehouse of yours”. I give him a wink and a cheeky smile.
He bit his lip and nodded, “Well, if you say so”
So together, hand in hand we walked into a massive warehouse that had a steel staircase, a massive table, a small kitchen on the side, a t.v, couches and even a sound system.
Who were these kids?
“WELCOME ALEXIS HARRINGTON TO OUR ULTIMATE HANGOUT” Ashton shouts from the top of the steal staircase.
Chris lay down on the couch, “Oi shut up man. It’s more like a hideout”
We all burst into laughter. Well, that wasn’t expected.
“Why a hideout?” I asked.
“Well, muffin we kind of hide from...uh...people” Ryan hesitated. Why he hesitated I don’t know.
“What kind of people?”
No one answered me until I finally caught on.
I lean into Ryan to whisper, “Were you all involved?”
He just nodded ‘Yes’ in reply.
Wow. So this means...they are all in trouble.
“I thought Alexis could learn a little about us” Ryan announced.
Everyone nodded in agreement.
“Ok, Ashton you first”
What I learned about Ashton was that he was a hacker to their old gang. Pretty cool right? He grew up in a caravan with his single mum. That must be so hard. Ashton is a very loud and outgoing guy but he is also wise when he needs to be, oh and you can’t forget he’s pretty smart too.
Leni is two years older than all of us. So he’s finished school and is practically the ‘big brother’ to the rest of them. He is a biker, so he wears pretty cool clothes. Hey, I may not like the guy but I can like his clothes.
Llorona is Leni’s younger sister. Yeah pretty trippy, I know. Not to mention she is gorgeous so she was a baiter to their old gang. Meaning she would lure in every target needed. Sheesh, now that takes skill and confidence. Lots and lots of confidence.
Chris was a...well I was pretty shocked when I heard about it too and a little scared. Chris was the killer for their old gang. He told me not worry and that he hasn’t used a gun in over a year...which is great progress. Why he’s so quiet most of the time? We’ll never know.
These guys had no family. Well, their old gang was their family but since they ‘left’, they only have each other. Meaning they don’t celebrate the holiday season the right way.
Of course, I needed Ryan’s side of his story but don’t ask me why I did what I did next. I guess I just felt kind of obliged to do it.
“Well now that I know you a little about you guys and that you are all good friend’s of Ryan then...how would guys like to come over to my house on Christmas Eve for dinner? You know, like a proper Christmas celebration?”
They all looked stunned for a moment, so I had to persuade them a little more.
“There’ll be cookies?”
“I’m in” Ashton shouts and fists pumps the air.
“I guess I could go, I don’t have anything else better do with my time” Chris shrugs.
“We’ll also eat turkey and watch Christmas movies?”
“Alright! I can’t take it anymore! I’m in!” Llorona jumps.
“That leaves one more...Leni?”
He just stares at us blankly.
I can see a twitch...
A roll of the eyes...
And a sigh...“Oh alright! But only because my sister is there and I have to make sure she doesn’t get drunk and end up doing something stupid...or someone”
We all chuckled and Llorona admitted to her party behaviour.
“Ok, this is going to be great!” I smiled.
“Hey! What about me?”
I turned to look at a pouting Ryan.
I just tilted my head in confusion. “Well Einstein I don’t have to ask because I already you’ll be there”
He just smiled and kissed the top of my head.
“Oh hey, Ryan?” Ashton spoke up from his phone.
“Josh and Carter can’t make it but I told them about Alexis’s dinner and they said they are in” he winked.
Was what I just heard correct? Are Josh and Carter coming to my Christmas dinner? Meaning Kayla is as well. Oh shit, this isn’t going to end well.
No one had answered Ashton back so Ryan just nodded his head awkwardly and said “Oh ok, yeah cool man” and just turned around to me with wide eyes.
Back to the present where there is flour and gift wrapping paper all over my house. When I told Ariella and Mum about my ‘friends’ coming over for the Christmas dinner, she was surprisingly good with it. Ariella on the hand had a massive fit about how this is a “family dinner” I just told her to shut it and tell someone who cares.
I have only three hours until everyone comes and I don’t even know what I’m wearing.
This is truly stressful.
I need a Christmas Miracle.
Oh no, I need something better.
I need a coffee.