2. The Angel's Demons
I closed my locker when the final bell of the school year rang. I couldn’t contain my nerves of excitement as I glanced down the school corridor which was completely vacant. Nazanin, or Naz as I called her, would be here any minute.
Our class was the last to leave before graduation. I couldn’t believe it was in a couple of days. Luckily enough I’d gotten my mom’s type A personality and planned everything out for the day: the shoes, the dress and the way I’m gonna style my hair. I was gonna wear a wig but decided against it for a nice Brazilian weave.
Light footsteps reached my ears and I turned to the noise to find Nazanin approaching. She beamed at me, jumping sporadically and ran at me. She squealed and I had to catch her when she jumped on me. We embraced each other tightly and she pulled back with a gleam of relief in her eyes.
Four years of stress, insecurities and drama was going down the drain. We’ve been waiting for this day for a very long time. “Finally, we’re getting out of this shit-hole.”
I laughed, nodding in agreement. “Just graduation and that’s it!”
Senior year was hectic. It was nothing like I’d expected when I watched High School Musical as a kid. In fact, any portraying of high school in movies was a load of shit! Most of our classes were AP, meaning we had a hell of a lot of work, especially when coming to college applications. Our school was decent enough, encouraging all their students to be the best they could be – to reach our potential – but god, to them we were robots that could complete every task they threw our way.
And of course, I didn’t meet my Troy Bolton.
Nazanin fixed her headscarf which was loose around her shoulders. “You still haven’t told me what you’re gonna wear,”
“Smart-ass,” she grinned. “What type? What colour?”
“You’ll find out soon enough,” I said, as we walked towards the exit. I didn’t tell anyone what I was going to wear because… well… girls are just girls. I remembered once before gym I overheard one girl, Trisha, threatening to attack whoever decided to wear purple. Unsurprisingly, the others agreed. I went with my gut and bought something that was perfect for me. Yes, I was going red, deep burgundy red which was perfect for my dark skin.
“I’ve told you mine,” she grumbled.
“I asked you not to tell me,”
“Well, you know I’m not great at keeping secrets. Please, tell me you’re going to keep your natural hair?” When I didn’t respond, she sighed. Naz tilted her head to the side, a curious gleam shining through her chocolate brown eyes. “You heard of the party happening tomorrow night?”
I raised a brow. “What’s happening?”
“It’s taking place in Marcus Reyes’ place. It’s kind of strange he’s having an end of year party even though he’s not graduating.”
I widened my eyes. “What?”
“You heard me right,” she nodded, sighing again but this time it was out of pity. “He doesn’t have enough credits to graduate. I mean, it’s not a surprise since he was always skipping class and doing God knows what,”
“That sucks,” I muttered. One of the reasons why I did so well at school was because my auntie, Melanie, who was in tune to her African heritage would whoop my ass into next week. Secondly, who the hell wanted to be stuck in high school for another year? Also, watching all my friends and classmates graduate without me was a huge blow. That was my worst nightmare so I kept working hard to avoid that possibility. Naz would agree as her Iranian parents would have the same perspective as Mel.
“He’s probably doing it because he can’t go to graduation,” Naz said. She grabbed my arm and gave me a pleading look. “Please tell me I can stay over at your place?”
“Of course, but are your parents fine with you going to the party?”
She gave me an ‘are you serious look’. I didn’t know why I bothered asking because the answer was obvious. For Nazanin Imani, the answer was always no. However, since I knew her since middle school, her parents trusted me enough to have her stay for the night.
“I’m not missing out on this. Not anymore,” she shook her head with conviction.
I was about to respond but then a bang shot through the air, frightening us both. Glancing at my left, I recognised Marcus Reyes storming out of a classroom. He marched to his locker which was at the opposite end of mine. As if sensing us, his eyes landed on us. They were dark, almost resembling coal, and unwelcoming. They glanced at Naz for a split second before landing on me. They narrowed. He didn’t look away. Naz squeezed my hand and I winced. He glared at me.
“You got something to say?” he bellowed and like startled kittens, Naz and I spun on our heels and ran for the exit.
The school’s parking lot was quite empty and I could easily navigate my way to Melanie’s car. Nazanin rushed to the passenger’s side while I hopped in behind the wheel and passed my books for her to hold as I drove. She flung them to the back seat.
“Wow… just wow!”
“What are you ‘wowing’ about?”
She shrugged, folding her arms. “He’s kinda cute, don’t you think?”
“From the look he was giving us, you’d think he wanted to start a fight,”
“Well, it’s no secret that he isn’t graduating. It went around the school like wildfire, you know? His dad wasn’t around. You do know he’s a part of The Angel’s Demons MC?”
My eyes widened. “Shit, since when?”
“Since the beginning of time,” the sarcasm was thick in her voice. “Some people say he’s not in school because he’s off with his dad,”
“Where are you hearing these from?” I laughed and stopped at a red light.
“Rumours, Nessa, where have you been?”
“I don’t listen to rumours,” I murmured more to myself than to Naz. Soon, the red light turned green and I drove to my place.
“That’s why you’re clueless with everything that goes on,” she said and I glared at her.
My phone dinged but I ignored it until I reached my front lawn and parked into the dirt road directly in front of the mahogany brown door. I switched off the engine and together, we both got out the car. Naz grabbed her things and whistled, wiggling fingers and I flung my house keys to her. While she walked ahead I stared at my cell to see a text from Melanie.
Got a few things I need to settle over in New York. Thanks for collecting my car – Melanie.
I would be lying to myself if I said I wasn’t nervous. Melanie’s ex-husband lived in New York. I hoped it wasn’t too serious. She hadn’t seen him in two years, hadn’t been to New York in that same amount of time.
“Is that Yemi?”
“I scoffed. “Nah, I deleted his number and blocked his ass on every social media known to man.”
She huffed. “Hated him, anyways.”
I rolled my eyes. She didn’t but understood she was rooting for me. That was why we were best friends.
I had a good few hours of work before attending the party Nazanin was convinced was the ‘biggest party of the year’. At least for the kids at Carter’s High. It’d gotten to the point when she called my co-worker, Elliot, and invited him which meant he’d be pushing me to go as well. Ugh, everything was so complicated between them two. Place them together in one room, with their energies, a full atomic combustion would happen within seconds.
Elliot grinned at me boyishly when I walked over to him with an order in one hand. He straightened his posture to his full height of 5’11. He glanced at the ticketed order and stuck it above the stove.
“You leaving early today,”
Blue eyes watched me warily. “You’re going to be tired after your shift,”
“I will not because I’m not going,”
He paused and arched a brow. “Does Nazanin know this?”
I bit my bottom lip. “No, well, she assumed we were going and I forgot to tell her.”
Elliot sighed, reducing the heat on the stove and turned to me. Leaning on the counter, he tilted his head to the side. “Why do you keep doing this to yourself?”
“You hide too much from life. I never see you going out to parties or having any fun,”
Blowing out a low breath, I drummed my fingers on the counter. “I’m not the partying type of girl.”
“No, shit,” he chuckled and straightened his posture. “You think Naz and I are dragging you for our benefit?”
I blinked and gave him an ‘well, duh’ look. Shaking his head, he smiled. “I promise you, you’ll have the time of your life.”
The rumbling sounds of motorcycles filled the air and it grew louder and louder until I caught a glimpse of six bikes parked right outside. The first guy parked directly in front of the door swung leg off the bike and the other five followed.
Fear trickled down my spine when the sound of their heavy boots filled the air. The chatter in the room quietened and all their attention was on them.
The Angel’s Demons.
Behind their cut was a picture of an angel with black wings and a darkened halo. Surrounding the angel was a mist of darkness and blood-red eyes peering at me. The demons. The sight caused the hairs on my my arms to rise and I gulped. Growing up in a Christian household, I’d been told all the stories of demons, right from possession to when judgement day would be bestowed upon mankind. Those stories kept me awake at night and those feelings of dread were the exact same feelings I felt staring at their cuts.
Worst of all, those six men sat at my section.
“Nessa,” Elliot’s voice was a distant echo. “You okay, babe?”
I nodded slowly. “Y-yeah, can’t judge a book by it’s cover right?”
I was so judging the book by it’s cover hard. Grabbing the menu along with my notepad and pen, I walked to them cautiously, my eyes darting to each and every single one of them as if they’d pounce at any second. All their eyes turned to me and I couldn’t help but feel like a prey under their scrutiny.
“I’ll be back to take your orders,” I said timidly and they all nodded. One guy who wore a red bandanna covering the edges of his white hair leered at me. Feeling discomfort settle in me, I scurried away.
They didn’t take long to make their decision as I was called back. I jotted down most of their orders, some of them the same but with different types of drinks.
“That black bitch has one fine ass,” another said and I stiffened. It was loud enough for me to hear as were the chuckles that went around the room. Another voice surprised me, slightly putting me at ease.
“She’s a kid, you asshole. Be fucking respectful!”
The snickers stopped and I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to control my breathing as I handed Elliot their orders. He watched me attentively, his brows furrowed but after looking at my face, he didn’t say a word. I stood by him on the other side of the counter. I was comfortable being by his side, at that moment, than walking around the diner. Luckily, the new customers weren’t in my section so the other waitresses were able to tend to them. To my dismay, Elliot was quick to making their meals. One by one, I handed over their meals and power-walked back to the counter. Once in a while, I’d go over, asking if they needed anything else and if they enjoyed their meal. They all nodded with their smiles and the one that looked like the leader – and I was correct by the president badge sowed into his cut – voiced his thank you. I recognised him as the one defending me earlier.
They all took their time with their meals and finally, when they all stood to leave, I rushed over to their table, gather the places and cups with skill that I’d developed for two years working in the diner. I stiffed when a hand touched my shoulder and I lifted my gaze to the president – Muerte.
Straightening my posture, I was about to ask if he needed me but he beat me to it.
“You’re Melanie Davies daughter, right?”
He knew Melanie. How the hell did the president of The Angel’s Demons know my aunt? The fear lumped at the centre of my chest grew heavier right on top of my heart as it sunk slowly to the pit of my stomach.
“Um... no, I’m her niece,” I replied. Muerte pursed his lips and nodded.
“You a friend of Marcus?”
“Marcus Reyes?” I asked and he nodded again. “Um, no. I don’t know him like that but he is… uh... he was in my Biology class.”
I frowned, why was he asking?
“How good is he?”
It felt like he was giving me the third degree. My face warmed with embarrassment and it took a while for me to gather my thoughts. I spent too long searching for my answer because he breathed a sigh of frustration.
“C’mon, girl, is he good?”
I’m talking to you, girl.
Girl… why did I think of Arrogant Asshole all of a sudden? The way they pronounced it sounded so similar I couldn’t help but didn’t think of him. To be honest, this wasn’t the first time I thought of him.
“I don’t know, this past year, I hadn’t seen him in class much,”
He smiled but it seemed strained. It might’ve been his way to reassure me but it didn’t ease my nerve. “Thank you,”
Reaching for his back pocket, he pulled out his wallet and pulled out a large amount of cash, handing it my way. “Keep the change,”
I watched as he nodded at the other guys while he sauntered towards the door. They followed loudly, hot on his heels before reaching their Harley’s lined perfectly in one row. One by one, they all rode off into the distance and like that, the tension in the air lifted and the chatter increased.
“What did he say?” Elliot asked, touching my elbow.
Shaking my head, I shrugged. “Honestly, I don’t know,”