Chapter 4 - Gifts
When we pulled into our usual parking spot, I thought of a few ways to get Keevah to our dorm without breaking my back, or dropping her like last time.
I glanced over at a car pulling up beside mine. Jace stepped out, surprising me.
"Need any help Ry?" I peered into his car, there was no one in the passenger seat.
"Uh, sure. Where's Luna?"
"I dropped her off at her place already." He opened the back door of my car and started dragging the unconscious Keevah out carefully.
"Why did you come here, Jace?" I inquired as I made my way to help him with Keevah.
"I figured that getting this party animal to bed would be tough, even as short as she is." We both laughed at that truth. Keevah stirred slightly as we moved her but didn't make an effort to move.
"Thanks Jay, that's really thoughtful." I wanted to tell him so much more but I kept my mouth shut.
"Anything for a friend." Ouch, that stung. I forced myself to smile, I was very glad I didn't allow the bit of alcohol in my system to say anymore. I felt embarrassed, I knew that he was in a relationship yet I still wanted him to like me, as more than just a friend. Stupid right?
We got inside with a bit of difficulty, but luckily we all got there in one piece so I'd count that as a win. I was ready to toss myself into bed but I had to walk Jace outside to his car.
"Thank you, Jace."
"Sure thing. You know Ry, you can call me if you need anything right?" Jace said sincerely.
"Right. Same goes for you." I smiled, "Drive safe."
"Always," He winked, he never turned his charm off.
He drove away into the silent night. I stood there a while, breathing in the fresh summer air and staring at the stars. The constellations never failed to remind me how precious life is. How lucky we are to be able to see those stars at all. It grounds me, the night sky helps me focus on the here and now because in an instant it can all be taken away. Life is fragile and wonderful. In moments like those I told myself to never forget how precious it is to breathe, to never let the stars go.
I had to learn quickly when my powers arose. I had to learn how to control them without understanding them. I still didn't grasp their concept but keeping a hold on the squirming darkness was manageable. Reeling myself into the moment helped. The stars helped. I called it my darkness for a reason, it strengthened in the dark. When clouds overhung and light was dim, that's when they spiraled out of control. At night when I was alone with my thoughts and fears of what the thing inside of me was, my mind was shaken until there was total chaos. I couldn't let anyone know about my curse. I found my centre and detangled the mess in my mind to slow down the rushing winds of fear. The darkness wasn't limited to the sky. The darkness crept when things were bleak or my life was already falling apart and my mind was in shambles. My darkness was opportunistic. The stars were the only light at the end of the tunnel, the stars and my reminder that life is short and no breath is ever wasted.
Before I walked into our dorm I noticed something on the ground. A pure white feather. Strange... I bent down to pick it up. It was almost too perfect to be real. I looked down the hall, no windows to bring the feather in with the wind. I brought it inside, it was probably just on one of our clothes. I placed it in my top drawer of my dresser for safe keeping, it was beautiful after all.
The morning brought cloudy skies and a grumpy Keevah. I made her coffee in hopes of soothing her hangover.
"Good morning Keev." I smiled brightly at her, handing her the coffee.
Her scowl told me what she was thinking, "Hmph, thanks." She took a long sip from her coffee.
"I have a few errands to run but I'll be back before one. You need anything?"
"Nope. I'm good thanks Ry." She sat back in her bed.
"Oh! And I'll bring lunch." I called as I was leaving, she only groaned in reply. That girl has got to stop drinking.
It's easy to remember Keevah and Jordan's birthdays because they were born on the same day. Last year we discovered this information in a very awkward situation. We threw a surprise party for Keevah but since Jordan was still new to our group of lunatics we didn't know it was his too. When we told him that we were planning Keevah's surprise party he didn't tell us that it was his birthday as well. He wanted to see us cringe in embarrassment. He took joy seeing us in pain and suffering. He admitted it. The birthday bomb was dropped when Keevah opened her presents, after all the gifts were torn open he asked where his were. We thought it was just an attention seeking joke and when he told us it was his birthday it took a while for us to believe him because come on, why would he keep it a secret? Jordan loved the limelight so the news was hard to absorb. He asked us when his birthday was and since we couldn't answer he claimed it proved his statement. We demanded to see his ID and then had to accept his news when it proved true. Not without rushes of happy birthdays and guilty faces of course. He laughed endlessly, he said the best gift was our reactions and that's all that he had wanted. I felt terrible, that asshole.
Their birthdays were next week so I was out to look for gifts that they would love. Jordan was turning twenty one but Keevah was the oldest of us, turning twenty three. She took time off before starting college.
I already knew what to get Keevah but I had to look around for Jordan's gift. I was going to get Keev a coffee machine, she'd been talking about getting it for months so I was glad I could be the one to get it for her. Jordan was an aspiring musician with a wicked sense of humour, as we all knew a little too well. I'd have to think about what to get for him, I decided to scan the isles for something that I thought he might've liked.
As I turned into the corner my heart thumped a little harder when I realized Jordan was standing in the isle I was about to turn into. Shit. I immediately felt as if I'd been caught committing a crime and hurried away.
I walked into an isle I thought would be safe, but as I reached the end my eyes met the redhead's smug face. My heart dropped so suddenly, I almost squeaked.
"Hey Rylan." Jordan smiled, his surprise faker than Luna's breas- laugh.
"Hey Jordan." I may have been a little too enthusiastic to be casual.
"Are you okay?" His face showed a mild concern and amusement.
"Yeah! Of course, why wouldn't I be?" Real natural.
"I don't know, you looked kinda scared when you saw me."
"No, no I was just surprised." I felt a bit stupid. Nothing new there.
"You could have fooled me." He grinned slyly as he noticed the coffee machine in the cart, "hey, is that the coffee maker Keevah has been talking about for forever?"
"Yes it is." I tried to answer confidently but I was worried he would catch on that I was shopping for him as well.
"Oh, interesting," he was playing games, "I'm sure she'll be happy you got it, let me know what she says tonight. "
"I'm not giving it to her tonight," sudden panic rose in me, "but that means you can't tell her that I've got it!" He found this very amusing I could tell.
"What's it for?" Him keeping quiet would come at a price.
I sighed, "I think you know very well what it's for Jordan."
"I do indeed." He smoothly leaned on the end of the cart.
"Okay, what do you want?" He smiled wider.
"Nothing at all dear Rylan, simply your assistance."
I was intrigued, "With what?"
"A prank." Oh... I will admit I was a little surprised, although his pranks were always good. Well, as long as they didn't involve covering me in glitter. Not only did I have to wash my hair two days in a row just to try get the glitter out, but even the toilet paper had glitter on after using it once. Being in on his prank meant immunity, I didn't even need to think this one over.
I smiled, "What's the plan?"
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