Chapter 5 - Brother
Jordan and I made plans to meet after my first class the next day to discuss his prank. Usually Keevah and I would grab coffee but I told her that I'd stay late to discuss an assignment so that she could leave without me. Jordan and I were going to meet at the park nearby, just in case Keevah still goes to get coffee on her own.
The wind blew gently across my skin, cooling it where the sun shone strongly. I could see Jordan sitting on the swings with his back facing me, I decided to take this rare opportunity to try scare him.
Creeping up behind him, I lunged at him. I'd never heard someone swear so loudly in a children's park. That got us a few ugly stares from parents. But that only made me laugh louder.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Jordan exclaimed.
After getting all of my cackling out of my system I replied, "So much."
"Yeah clearly, but I guess I had it coming."
"I'm surprised paranoia hasn't gotten the best of you, you've pranked so many people more times than you can keep track of and you're not worried about staying alive? Impressive."
He chuckled at the truth of my statement, "So do you want to help me with this prank and join the paranoia club with me or not?"
"Of course I do, but I want to know what I'm getting myself into first." The curiosity was slowly killing me.
"I want to prank Keevah for her birthday."
"As your gift from you to her?"
"More like from her to me." The devious look in his eyes told me he was going to enjoy this prank a little more than usual.
Keevah didn't suspect anything when I got home, especially since I got her coffee.
"Hey Ry, since we have some time before our next lesson, I was wondering if you could help me rearrange the living room?"
"Okay? Random... why the sudden urge to change the furniture?" I was slightly perplexed.
"I read an interesting article on feng shui and how the arrangement of your home affects your life and I have been kinda feeling out of balance. I figured this could help both of us."
"That's actually a pretty good idea." She never failed to put a smile on my face.
"Obviously it is, I'm a genius." She looked smug but I knew she'd only say something that bold around me and occasionally our friends who understood her. She was quite conserved in public settings, except when there's drinks involved of course.
"How could I ever doubt your intellect?"
I helped Keevah push the heavy coffee table to it's new position. After we had rearranged the room we took a step back to admire our work.
"Do you feel better?" I asked amused.
"Hmm, not sure let me check," she left the room abruptly, and just as quickly as she had left, she returned, "Oh yes, this is much better! Thanks Ry." I couldn't help but laugh at my best friend, she was something special.
"Now that you feel so great you could buy us pizza for dinner, right?" I grinned.
"Normally I'd scoff at such a terrible attempt at manipulation but I could really go for pizza."
Not long after we were at our favorite place to eat and socialize, Mario's Pizza. It wasn't the fanciest but it was perfect for a college budget and had great food. We sat outside under the summer stars, I drank in the feeling of safety beneath them.
"Nothing beats Mario's." Keevah said, staring adoringly at her food.
"You've never been afraid of your food but tonight you seem starved, did you skip lunch?"
"No, but maybe I'm hungry because I ate earlier than normal." She shrugged, picking up the last slice from her plate.
"Usually I wouldn't consider you competition but you've out done me, Keev." I teased.
Her face showed pride, "I'll leave you in the dust and you can watch my, soon to be, thicc booty race ahead." Laughing, I thought of how Keevah could make light of anything.
"We'll see about that tomorrow."
"You're so on, Ry." Her grin showed determination, "What's in it for the winner?"
"The grand title of Food Master?" I suggested.
"Nah, that's lame. How about not having to do the dishes for a week?"
"That's definitely more fun." We shook on it.
"Deal." We said in unison.
An unexpected visitor pulled up a chair and sat with Keevah and I at our table just then.
"What are you doing here, Kyle?" Keevah was visibly annoyed.
"Well just enjoying a meal, Keev."
"Okay but why are you here, at our table and not your own?" She raised her eyebrow, unamused.
"Can't I say hello to my little sister?"
"No, you lost that privilege when you told me that I wasn't a part of your life."
"I'm not having this arguement again, Keevah." His voice was stern. But Keevah wasn't giving up so soon.
"Well I am, and you never even had the decency to tell me why!" She raised her voice, she was letting her emotions get the better of her.
"Keev," I said softly, "maybe go talk to Kyle by he car. I'll get the bill." I sighed, she's definitely paying next time.
She looked like she was about to start screaming, but luckily she got up and stomped out the restaurant.
Kyle turned to me, "Thanks Rylan." He followed his sister to the parking lot.
Once I finished up and managed to join them, I could see Keevah's face was red and tears were streaming down her cheeks.
"Why only tell me now?"
"It's not that big of a deal anymore, Keev."
"I know but it still upsets me knowing that you wanted to go through that alone," she paused, wiping her tears away, "I thought that we were close, Kyle."
Kyle pulled his sister into a hug, "We are Keevs," he rubbed her back soothingly, "I was just upset, and I didn't mean it. This changes nothing."
"Pinky." That brought a slight smile to both their faces.
After a pleasant silence Keevah replied, "I'm sorry for acting out, I don't know why I reacted that way." He shook his head.
"Enough now, you two should get home."
"Who are you here with anyway?" I inquired.
"I was just here with some mates." He shrugged, "they will probably need a designated driver by now." He smiled warmly.
"Drive safe then." I instructed. He saluted.
"Ma'am yes, Ma'am." He was just as playful as Keevah.
We said our goodbyes and headed home.
"What happened with Kyle anyway?" I asked wearily. We were lounging on the sofa with coffee in hand. I'd never seen Keevah loose it so quickly.
"You remember that huge fight Kyle and I had a while back?"
"After new years? About him shutting you out?"
"That's the one," she inhaled deeply, "turns out the reason he did all that was because my mom told him that our dad wasn't his father."
My eyes widened and my jaw dropped, "What? No way!"
"I felt the same way but it makes a lot of sense, his eyes and hair are dark and he is considerably more tanned than me so it's not all that hard to believe, we look nothing alike. People have always said that."
I stayed in a stunned silence. "He felt betrayed that she hadn't told him sooner and maybe he felt like I wasn't really his sister." Her eyes grew glossy. "That's why he lashed out at me. But now that I understand. I'm only upset he didn't bother telling me when it happened."
"A sibling doesn't necessarily mean blood Keev, you two grew up together and bonded in a way only siblings can." That brought a smile to her face.
Keevah leaned across the couch to hug me, "It's not even a big deal anymore, he realised exactly what you said but I still feel emotional."
"It's been months since it all happened and the hurt builds up, don't worry about it, Keev."
"Thanks Ry. I'm exhausted so I think I'll get ready for bed."
"It's only 9:30?" I was surprised to say the least, "You don't even go to sleep before 11."
"Its probably emotional drainage I guess." She said before closing the bathroom door.
I was just about to put our cups into the sink when I felt an icy wind blow across my skin. I shivered. I looked around to see which window was open so that I could shut it. All the windows were closed. I walked up to my bedroom window to check it out when I noticed it. The pure white feather sitting on the windowsill. I wondered if Keevah took it out of my drawer. I stroked the delicate feather and turned to put it back.
I felt perplexed and my darkness bubbled when I saw the white feather sitting neatly in the same place, untouched. Another one? I placed the new one with the old. This was getting weird. The same chill breezed across my skin. A shadow caught my attention in the corner of my eye. I spun around to face the window once more. Nothing. My heart beat rapidly. Why was I feeling so paranoid? Logically I knew it was just my eyes playing tricks on me, but my darkness was on alert. It terrified me. Then the door creaked.
I nearly jumped out of my skin, "Shit, Keevah!" I breathed a sigh of relief but my heart still raced, "You nearly gave me a heart attack." I felt lucky my powers didn't act out.
She laughed a little while standing in the doorway, "Sorry, I just wanted to remind you that we are going out tomorrow night so you better clear up your schedule."
"Right, thanks Keev."
She smiled and left. Surely my uneasiness wasn't detecting Keevah approaching me, was it? Maybe it sensed her standing by the door. But I had a feeling it was something else altogether.
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