After dinner Jaco and I said our farewells and headed back to the city.
"Jaco why did you take me?"
"It doesn't matter." He replied still looking ahead.
"It does to me."
"I wanted to know what exactly happened to Jen. Since you were the one who found her I thought you could provide the details. I am finding it hard to believe that Jen took her own life. I also wanted to check on how you were doing. Clearly you don't want to talk about it so I decided not to bother you. But Jordan you know you're going to have to face it sooner or later?"
"Jordan from now on do not go anywhere without me."
"Excuse me?" Hold on, back up... I was not hearing what I was hearing... was I? One day of controlling me was enough.
"I'm sure you heard me."
"And I am sure you are aware that that is not happening." I spilt it all with all the sass I had in me.
"DAMN IT JORDAN! CAN'T YOU SEE I AM TRYING TO PROTECT YOU!"
His aura left me trembling in my seat but I couldn't let him notice.
"Ca...calm down Poseidon Th...there you go with your temper again." My stupid voice just had to expose me. "You need to control it."
"It comes with being a Beta," he said with a smirk on his face. He just sent shivers down my spine with his angry roars and now he is smiling? That was not a mood swing... that was a mood replacement. Swing means it goes high on one side the comes back down and goes high on the other side. Like the swings we played on as children.
"Your family is too nice to be like this."
"Am I not nice?" He said pretending to be hurt.
"You kidnapped me!" We both laughed and instantly afterwards the car was silent.
"Seriously Jordan, don't go anywhere without me. Send me a schedule of your classes so I can take you to and from them. Tell me when you need to get somewhere so I can take you. We still don't know what happened to Jennifer. "
"What do you mean?"
"I am just trying to keep you safe."
He dropped me of in front of my dorm building. I pulled the straps of my bag around my shoulder, took a deep breathe before entering the building, not ready to be by myself.
I dug through my bag and fished out my keys and unlocked the dorm. Once I was in I dropped the bag on the floor and found my way to the bed and threw myself on it.
"Mom, Dad?" My body had acted under its own will and called my parents, now I had to deal with it.
"Ngoana oaka ( that is 'My child' in Sesotho)," my mother said, she sounded concerned and relieved at the same time. "John, it's Rethabile," I heard her yell on the other end.
"Jordan? Princess how are you doing?" That was my dad.
"Jennifer is dead!" I cried out. I felt an ache and instantly started wailing. At that moment I wanted to be home with my parents, in their arms and I knew they felt the same.
"It is going to be alright baby, it is going to be alright," I heard my mom say with a quiver in her voice. She was about to cry herself.
I could no longer talk, just cry. I was still on the phone with my parents. I knew it was torture for them to hear me like this and not be near me so I tried to calm myself. I did. I really did.
"So how are aunt Sam and uncle Bobo?"
"They are hanging in there hun," my dad replied, " so should you. They say the NYPD will be keeping her body for a while, you know, to rule out foul play. They are doing an autopsy and all."
"Yes. Officer Harris told me." She did? "Mom, dad I have got to go. I will call you soon. Bye, love you."
I ended the call. How much of last night was I not processing? I remember officer Harris tell me about the autopsy but I also don't remember. I suddenly remembered about Alex and called him.
"Good evening Mr. Forrest." I said playfully with my horrible, horrible British accent
"Hello Jordan." He sounded disappointed. His tone injected guilt into my veins and I felt it flow around my body.
"Was the accent that bad?" I tried to joke.
"No but ghosting me was..." he dragged the sentence. This pierced my skin with another injection of guilt. One more needle and I will overdose and die.
"Sorry Alex," I sighed. "It just that... I..."
"If your not interested just say. I like you Jordan but I also don't like being tagged along."
"No, I am interested in you." I defended myself. "Alex... It's... It's." I could feel the tingling that comes before I start to cry. " It is Jennifer... Jennie..." I took a deep breathe. "Alex yesterday after lunch I found my friend dead in her bathtub." I let it out then held my breathe waiting for his response.
"Oh Jordan. I am sorry to hear that. Why didn't you tell me sooner?" The tables had turned. It was now him feeling guilty.
"I didn't want a petty party, I still don't. I was just calling to say sorry about dinner. I have just been a bit occupied." After that I dropped the call.
I felt sleep take over my body and I succumbed.
It is 05:30. It is 05:30. It is 05:30.
I reached for my phone somewhere under my bedding and dismissed the alarm. God knows I hated Tuesday. They made me feel like a high school student again. I had classes all day starting from 08:00.
My eyes felt heavy. I was sure it was not only because I was tired. My suspicions were confirmed when I caught my reflection in the bathroom mirror.
My eyes where puffy and red with salt on the skin around it. My habit of crying in my sleep had returned. Since I was young I never expressed negative emotions while conscious, it all came out during my sleep and my mom claims I talked in my sleep confessing what made me feel so bad. She says every time she saw me off she slept with me, expecting me to tell her what was wrong.
I took a quick shower, not just to apply enough make up to hide last night's dire event because it was cold. I dreaded going out of the shower but it needed to be done. I have been regretting taking a major and two minors since the first Tuesday after orientation week.
Oh boy, I was about to hate Tuesdays more. I packed my books and laptop for the day and left my dorm for class. I stepped outside the building and there it was, a Black-Mercedes-Benz-AMG-GTR. He was here... He was here. I could feel people staring at the car and I did what any body else would have, walked to class hoping he did not notice me.
But alas. This is my life therefore this is my luck, meaning he saw me. I felt his hand grab my arm like yesterday. "I think this is a horrible habit you are developing Jaco."
"Funny. I was just about to say the same thing." He growled.
"And what habit is that if I may ask?"
"Enraging me." He growled again, opening the car door. He went around the car and slipped in on the driver's side.
"Well, I have to end that habit." he just scoofed at me and started the car. The sound started cheers outside, college boys. " I have a splendid idea. Maybe if you let me be then I won't be a bother?"
"And maybe you will be dead." He mumbled. I think he thought it was to himself but I heard him.
"Nothing. Where are you going?"
"5 Washington Place. You did not answer my question."
"What do you mean I would be dead without you?"
"I never said that."
I decided to let it go because I knew it was not going to go anywhere. " So how did you know I had morning classes?"
"Because Tuesday mornings where the only ones Jen didn't run off to meet you. She was all mine from Monday night till Wednesday morning when she goes to meet with you, if you know what I mean" he said licking his lips then cracked a smirk.
"Oh my freaking goodness. You two deserve each other."
"Thank you lord. Thank you too Jaco," before I could finish the sentence dude locked the door. Heard the thumping sound mid 'too'. "Ah, Jaco?"
"When does you class end?"
"I will be fine, thank you Jaco."
"When does your class end." His voice sounded darker and more authoritative.
"I am going to be late for my class Jaco."
"You were going to walk here. Beside I hear you are never on time for classes. Now when does it END?"
"09:45 but I have another class afterwards. I have classes all day!" Damn it! I can't believe he managed to marginalise me again. I can't stand how intimidating he can be.
"Where is your next class?"
"Here. They are all here. Can I go now?"
"What about lunch?"
"I will be in the library." That was not true. But I wasn't plan
planning on being guarded.
"Don't lie to me!" He growled, grabbing my wrist.
"Jaco you are hurting me," I said under my breath. Even through the unshaded tears in my eyes I could see caribbean blue eyes darken. "Jaco, let me go please," I whispered. He let my wrist go and I let my tears drop. I quickly wiped them, hoping my foundation did not move. I didn't need him to see I was crying last night too.
I heard another thump sound, he had unlocked the car. I looked at his eyes and noticed the darkness had faded but that intimidating aura still radiated from him.
"What time should I pick you up for lunch."
I let out a breath which I was holding apparently and said, "The matters of my stomach do not concern you." When I said this my bag was already in one hand and the door handle in another. I quickly opened the door and peeled out, closed it and walked to class.
After the lecture I met with Jimmy. He is the one that helps me with philosophy after hibernation. He handed me a note book then we went our separate ways.
I still had 20 more minutes before my next class. On my way there I decided to call Alex.
"Good day Mr. Forrest."
"Hi Jordan. About last night."
"Can we talk about it during lunch?"
"I am feeling like tacos today. There is a Mexican place in Portland I like. What do you say?" I was proud of myself. I have never taken initiatives like that before.
"Send me the location."
I headed to my next class and I was on time. Let me clear this up. I am not always late for my lectures. I am only late when it is the first one of the day. I know it is not an excuse but it is better than 'she is always late for all her classes.'
"Jordan! Jordan!" Oh god. My heart was racing. That voice calling sounded a lot like Jaco's or maybe I was just paranoid because that was not Jaco. It was Mason. Mason is in my Classics class and he takes notes for me when I am in hibernation. Guess I was so excited about lunch I forgot about them.
I took a cab to the restaurant and met with Alex. Again the man was early.
"You need to tell me your trick to always being early. "
"You've got to be excited about where you are going. I already order for us."
"How did you know about my preference."
"Our last date. You told me all your favourite tacos."
"Which are?" I asked squinting my eyes at him.
"All the ones they offer at this place."
"I mentioned this place?" I was totally unaware.
"You said you and your friend Jennifer come here every Friday." We kept quiet for a moment when the waiter placed drinks on our table. " So how are you holding up?"
"I am doing goooood."
"So what happened?"
I told Alex everything, including details I didn't know myself. I'm glad I did. Telling made me remember I had a meeting with Detective Coleman today at 16:00. He was one of the men in the bathroom, the one who was taking notes if I remember correctly.
He said he wanted to make sure officer Harris and her partner officer Dunken (who I suddenly remembered) did not miss anything and I did not answer most of the questions they were asking.
"What about you?"
"No. They didn't ask me anything." We both stared at each other for a moment before bursting in laughter. The waiter came and left our food and we were still laughing. To be honest I laughed at this way harder than it was funny.
But that made me feel better. Alex made me feel better. I managed to talk about Sunday night in detail without shading a single tear. He wasn't some caramel lump of muscle that belittled me with his temper.