In Love With My Business Partner

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Chapter 9

Terrence was silent as we got on the bus and I had nothing to say, so we just sat in silence, listening to the quiet chatters of the other passengers. As I looked out the window I watched as the houses flew by one by one. Terrence lived not far from school, usually jogging or riding his bicycle to school. A few blocks down from school, till where Terrence lived was a neighbourhood that was the poster child of poverty.

My eyes widened as I watched silently from the windows, as the scenery turned to run down houses, homeless people at every corner and graffiti on every wall. A rundown bus stop came into view. Terrence pressed the ‘STOP’ bell on the bus, motioning that that was our stop. We got off the bus and walked a few meters to a rundown home near a street corner. It was unlike the other houses I had seen on the way, but it was quite old. The once white colour of the exterior has been degraded to a slight yellowish shade, while the dark brown door has become faded. Terrence motioned me to follow him as he pushed open a small creaky grey gate into the lawn. He climbed up the stairs to the door and took out his keys.

Suddenly, the doorknob turned. A flash of pink jumped onto Terrence.

“Terry! You are home!” a little voice squealed in delight. I was so shocked I almost dropped my phone. Quickly I composed my shocked self and focused my eyes on a little girl with twin pigtails and a pink princess dress straddling Terrence.

“Hey, Kiddo!” Terrence said as he ruffled her head. She giggled as Terrence spun her around. I started to feel a little awkward as I watched on. As the little girl realises I was there, she hugged Terrence tighter, burying her head into his chest and pointed towards me.

“Terry, who is she?” she asked muffling into his chest. He smiled sweetly at her as he placed her down and squatted in front of her.

“She.” he said as he pointed to me, “Is Lauren and she is my friend.” The little girl glared at me as she opened her arms and hugged Terrence grumpily.

“Hey! What did I do?” I thought, feeling pretty annoyed.

“No. She is not Terry’s friend. I am Terry’s friend. Terry doesn’t need her.”

Terrence unravelled her arms from his neck and said in a serious tone, “No, you are being rude right now. Say hello to our guest.”

Tears welled up in her eyes as she started to bawl. I stood there unable to do anything with my eyes wide open and my legs ready to sprint away from that crying child. Terrence tried to console her as she pushed him away and ran into the house.

“Hey… Are you alright?” I asked as Terrence sighed and frustratingly scratched his head.

“The first time I bring company home and this is what happens?” he grumbled.

“Hey, no worries! Come let’s go get this project done!” I said trying to cheer him up as I patted his back and walked a step into the house before realising how lost I am. Terrence cracked a smile as he realised my mistake and the fact that it has caused me to be so embarrassed my face turned a couple of shades red.

“Right… First, you would need me to guide you around… No?” Terrence chuckled out. I made way for him and bowed my head dramatically, smiling at him.

“You first, good sir. Lead the way.”

Terrence nodded his head replying, “Thank you lady… Lauren?” and giving me a sly smirk. He motioned for me to follow him as he walked into the home.

“Hey, sit there on the couch. I’ll be right back with some drinks. Iced lemon tea alright for you?” I walked towards the brown velvet couch and plopped my ass onto it.

“Yea sure. That sounds great!”

I looked around as Terrence disappeared to go get my drink. The house was relatively small, with a pretty average look to it. The floor in front of the couch was strewn with papers, crayons, and toys - Most probably Terrence’s little sister. The wall was framed with many photos of the family at many events but there was one common thing in all the photos and that was Terrence’s dad. He was not in a single photo. Curious as I was, I knew it was not my place to pry into.

Shaking off the thought, Terrence came back with my drink. I sipped on my cup of iced lemon tea sliently, when a loud bang sounded from upstairs.

“Oh shit. Amy!” Terrence flipped, dashing up the stairs and almost spilling his drink in the process. I quickly placed my cup down and followed suit. When I finally reached the room Terrence dashed into, I saw him cradling his sobbing sister, trying to calm her down. Judging by the fallen chair and the cape wrapping her body, I can safely say that she had a little accident. I walked up to Terrence and patted little Amy’s head, smiling at her.

“Everything’s going to be ok.” She stared up at me with slightly shocked eyes as I then proceeded to take a look at the damage. She had got a nasty scrape and a bump forming.

“Wait here.” Turning to Terrence I asked, “Where is the bathroom and the first aid kit?”

He pointed towards the door and said, “The bathroom is a room down and the first aid is under the sink.”

I quickly made my way to the bathroom and opened the door. Rummaging through the cabinets, I found the first aid kit and a towel. Picking up the first aid kit, I placed it beside me as I soaked the towel with water and making sure it’s not too wet, I brought it back to the room.

Crouching down, I patted her scrape, cleaning it. She winced from the pain and tears started to form.

I stopped patting and blew softly on it, singing subconsciously, “Pain, pain, go away.” Picking up the antibiotic cream, I spread a thin layer across her wound and covered it with a pink princess themed bandage I found in the first aid kit. Making sure I was done, I looked up to see both Amy and Terrence staring at me.

“What?” My eyebrows raised.

Terrence shook his head. “Nothing.”

I stood up and dusted myself.

“Let’s go back downstairs. You got an egg?”

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