“So DeDe. I can call you that right?”
Jessica asked. I nodded my head and she grabbed my hand and took me over to the kitchen.
I looked behind me and saw Carlos with a smirk dancing on his lips. His eyes were twinkling with amusement. He caught my eye and winked at me before following behind us.I blushed a light pink and quickly ran to catch up with Jessica’s fast pace.
The kitchen was a large space and was decorated very modernly but ,like the rest of the house, it had little aspects of wood to it. The cabinets were a clean white that had absolute no stain on. A wide square island was in the middle with metal stools surrounding it. The back wall was made of bricks and had a rustic clock perched on it. Little lights hung from the ceiling and flooded the room with light. It looked as if they had no cooks in here at the moment.
Jessica released my hand from her tight grasp and went over to the fridge ,located on the left side, near a cabinet full of glass cups.
I just stood awkwardly in the doorway not really knowing where to go. A warm hand on my lower back made my body arise with heat. I jumped at the sudden contact and turned my head to see Carlos stood behind me with a soft smile on his face.
He started navigating me to the stools in the middle of the room. I approached them and saw that they were way to high for me to mount. I placed my hands on it and tried to push myself up but it didn’t work. I tried again but ,once again, failed. I let out a huff off frustration. It’s so hard being small sometimes. I can’t reach the top cabinets. I can’t get my own glass in my kitchen. I can’t even get on a chair. Bananas. This is ridiculous.
I felt hands grip my waist and lift me up. I squealed a bit in surprise. I was placed on the stool and pushed in closer to the counter. I looked to the side to see Carlos sitting down on his own stool. He turned to me and sent me another one of his signature winks.
Like every other time, I blushed and looked down at my hands on my lap that were playing with the strings of the jogger.
“DeDe how old are you?”
Jessica was stood ,leaning on the counter opposite me and Carlos. She had a glass of water in her hands and was taking sips of it once in a while.
I looked up at her.
“I-I’m 17. 18 o-on October 12th.”
She let out a sigh of relief.
“Oh thank the lord.”
I sent her a weird look. Why would she be thanking the lord? Did she think I was younger or older? Why would that be a problem?
“You look really young like 15 and I don’t really want my brother going to jail because he’s with a minor. I mean with the hickeys on your neck it’s clear you two are doing stuff together.”
She pointed a finger to my neck with the hand she was holding the glass with. I blushed and brought my hair to either side of my neck to try hide the hickeys.
I started biting my lip nervously but ,when I saw Carlos’ jaw clench, I turned to him in worry. His dark eyes were staring intently at the lip in between my teeth and he darted his tongue out to wet his. I released it and he finally brought his eyes up to mine. There were such intense and strong emotions swimming in them that I felt like lowering my head. But I didn’t. I continued to make eye contact with him.
“God damn. The sexual tension in here is suffocating. Is anyone else hot right now because I am?”
I unwillingly disconnected my eyes from Carlos’ and looked at Jessica. She was wafting her shirt up and down and blowing air out her cheeks. My cheeks turned even redder and I felt the urge to bite my lip again but reframed myself.
“Jessica shut the fu- flip up.”
I sent Carlos an appreciative smile and he sent me a soft one back. He didn’t swear.
Jessica placed her hands above her head.
“I just have one more question. Why do you have slap marks on your face? Who slapped you?”
She pointed to my cheeks before sipping her water again.
My throat clogged up and I had to cough to clear it. I didn’t expect her to ask that. I could feel Carlos’ eyes burning into the side of my head. I guess I could tell them.
“W-well I er I was j-just sat in the l-library when a g-girl name C-Candice came up t-to me and- and.”
I could feel the tears pooling in my eyes at this point. It still hurt me the things she said about me I looked down at my lap to hide them. Carlos placed his hands on mine and held them. I looked up and he had a small smile on his face.
“She a-asked me h-how much I-i-I was p-paying C-Carlos to sleep w-with me. I didn’t q-quite understand w-what she w-was asking so I didnt a-answer. S-she said I must h-have been because n-no one l-likes me b-because I-I’m a stuttering f-freak.”
A tear escaped my eye and I wiped it away. I didn’t want them to see me crying. I don’t want Jessica to think I’m some crybaby..
“She t-then called me a d-desperate a-slut for W-wearing s-skirts all the time. I asked I-if she was one too b-because her s-skirts are shorter t-than m-mine. I-I d-didn’t mean to I-insult her. S-she got a-angry and s-slapped me. S-she t-told me t-to stay a-away from C-Carlos or-or-or-or”
More tears had fallen. I didn’t want to say his name. I hurt too much. Carlos grabbed my face and wiped away my tears with his thumb.
“It’s alright baby. It’s alright. You don’t have to say anymore. I won’t let her hurt you anymore. It’s gonna be alright now.”
He brought me on his lap and started to hug me. I wrapped my arms around his waist and hugged him back. I liked his hugs. They brought me peace of mind and calmness to my whole body.
“She’s sounds like a fucking bitch. If I ever see this fake as hoe, I’m gonna bloody rip her eyeballs out. How dare she say that to you! You’re the most innocent and nicest person I’ve ever met and I’ve only known you for about 20 minutes. Don’t you dare listen to what she says. She’s just jealous.”
Jessica put her glass on the side, approached us and joined the hug. She was behind me and Carlos was in front of me. I was completely cocooned.
Suddenly, to the left of me, I could hear scratching coming from a door that looked like it led to the backyard. They were really loud and echoed in the hallow kitchen. Carlos groaned and threw his head back.
“Stop moaning Reid. He’s been out in the yard since you came in. I can’t leave him out there any longer or else he’ll wander off.”
Jessica left the hug, approached the door and turned the handle. It opened and a large white ball of fur darting in.
Omg it’s a dog. It’s a dog. It’s an actual dog. It’s fur looked so soft and comfy that I just wanted to run my hands through it. It’s blue eyes were so bright and piercing that I felt hypnotised by them. It looked like it could come up to my bellybutton.
Carlos lifted us off his seat and then placed me back on it. He walked towards the dog and began scratching behind its ear. It leaned into his touch and began to purr.
“Lavender this is Ronnie. Ronnie this is Lavender. Be a good boy.”
I was frozen to my seat. The tears from early soon forgotten. My mouth was wide open and eyes as wide as a watermelon. It’s a dog. He actually let me meet his dog.
Suddenly, the dog began to approach me cautiously. His nose was up and sniffing the air. He looked as skeptical as a dog can. He looked directly at me and we just stared at each other. It felt like I was in a trance. His crystal eyes drew me in and I was completely in love with him.
I got off my seat and lowered myself carefully on the ground. Ronnie’s eyes perked up and his eyes narrowed threateningly. After a while of glaring at me, they softened and his tongue stuck out his mouth. I giggled. He looked funny. Ronnie ran towards me and began rubbing himself against my lower body. I ran my hands in his fur with a ginormous smile on my face.
“Oh bananas. I-It’s a dog. I-it’s and actual dog. C-Charlie it’s a dog. You let m-me meet y-your dog.”
I looked at him with the biggest smile on my face. His had the same sized smile on his or even one bigger.
“Yes darling. It’s a dog.”
I giggled and wrapped my hands around Ronnie. He snuggled his head into my neck and began to lick me. I laughed and starting moving my head around.
“T-that tickles R-Ronnie.”
I brought my face back and looked at him. He licked my nose and that made me laugh more. I wiped it with the shirt and tapped his nose playfully. His tongue moved to lick his nose and I was just a ball of laughter now. I couldn’t stop giggling and laughing. He was soo cute. I couldn’t help myself.
“Helllo my children. How as your da-”
I looked up and saw Mrs Reid come through the door. She was dressed in a deep green dress the matched her eyes. Her hair was in a high ponytail and few wisps were flying free. She was looking directly at me with a surprised expression on her face. Ronnie left me and ran up to her.
“Miss Rose. Hello. May I ask what are you doing here?”
She dropped the bags she was holding on the counter and walked over counter and picked up the glass water Jessica left there and began drinking it.
“Y-you can call m-me Lavender. A-a-and i er i W-was j-just uh.”
I began stutters and shuffling on my feet. What was I suppose to say? Did I tell her the truth? Would she want the truth? Everyone wants the truth.
“We came back after school to do homework.”
I sent Carlos a smile of gratitude.
“I recommend you call your father.” She sent me a sharp look of concern. I’m sure she could she the tears on my cheeks and the slap marks.
I was confused. Why would I need to call my dad? Did something happen? Oh donuts. What time is it? I turned around to look at the clock on the wall. It showed nearly 6:20 pm. My eyes widened and I turned to Carlos as quick as ever.
“C-Charlie where’s m-my phone? I-I need m-my phone. He d-doesn’t know I-I’m here. He d-doesn’t know W-where I am. I-I need m-my phone.”
He walked up to me, pulled out his phone and unlocked it before handing it to me.
“Calm down angel. It’s alright I’m sure he’ll understand. Just take a deep breath and call him.”
I took a deep breath and took the phone out his hand. I opened the phone app and dialled my daddy’s number. It rang for a while before picking up on the 5th ring.
“Christopher Rose. What can I do for you?”
He sound on edge and a little tense.
“D-daddy. It’s L-Lavender.”
He let out a sigh of relief.
“Lavender sweetheart. Where are you? Oh lord I have been so worried. Are you alright? Are you hurt? Do you need help?”
I looked down at my feet and began wiggling my toes to distract me.
“Daddy I-I’m not hurt and n-no I don’t n-need help. I-I’m perfectly f-fine. I-I’m at Mr R-Reid’s house. T-they have a dog.”
I saw Mrs Reid give Carlos a confused and intriguing glance. He just shrug his shoulders and looked back at me.
“Don’t try changing the subject sweetheart. You had me worried sick. I thought something happened to you again. I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself. When you didn’t come home at 4, I nearly had a heart attack. I thought something happened to you.”
“I-I’m alright Daddy. Nothing h-happened. P-please calm d-down. I d-don’t want you t-to h-have a h-heart attack like last time. I’m sorry I-I worried you. I didn’t mean t-to. It wasn’t y-you’re fault last time. It w-was mine. I-I was stupid. But I-I’m fine now. See don’t I s-sound fine? I-I’m alive.”
He started taking deep breaths along with me and then I heard a loud commotion on the other side of the phone. I lifted my head up in alert and started looking around. The others looked worried and confused as to what was going on.
“Daddy are y-you alright? W-what’s happening?”
There wasn’t a response and just as I was about to speak again someone spoke.
I had to move the phone away from my ear as he was still loud. Even then, I could still hear him and I’m sure so could everyone else in the room.
“WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? IT IS 6:20. YOU WERE SUPPOSE TO BE BACK ABOUT 2 HOURS AGO. YOU HAD ME WORRIED SICK. I THOUGHT SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAD HAPPENED TO YOU AGAIN. YOU CAN’T DO THAT TO ME. YOU JUST CAN’T. I don’t wanna lose you Rosie. I can’t lose my baby sister. Not again. Not after last time.”
His voice broke at the end and I could hear the pain and vulnerability lacing it. Tears started running down my cheeks. I didn’t like when he shouted at me and I didn’t like when Tony was sad. Especially when I was the cause.
“I’m s-sorry Tony. I-I didn’t mean t-to. I just f-fell asleep and l-lost track of time. I didn’t want t-to purposely W-worry you. I-I mean it. And Tony I-I’m fine. It’s alright. I’m safe. I-I’m not there a-anymore. I-I’m not going to get h-hurt anymore.”
I whispered the last bit so the others wouldn’t hear me. He breathed in and let out a deep breath.
“And p-plus Mr Reid h-has a fluffy d-dog. H-His names Ronnie. He’s a h-husky and has really w-white fur and really b-blue eyes. He’s feels s-soft as well.”
I giggled through the tears and he chuckled a bit.
“Only you would be able to laugh in this situation Rosie. And why are you at Mr Reid’s house?”
I could practically see him raising his eyebrows at me.
“W-well after school. I-I decided t-to come back h-here with Carlos t-to do some h-homework. You remember him r-right?”
I looked at Carlos and he had a big smirk on his face. He sent me a wink and I blushed. Mrs Reid smacked him on the back of the head.
“Stop teasing her before I use my shoe on you.”
That made me giggle.
“Why are you at his house Rosie? You’re not doing anything, right? Nothing inappropriate. I swear if he’s done anything I’ll do to him worse than I did to Braydon.”
I winced and sent Carlos a scared look. I was also blushing profusely. I can’t tell him what we did. He kill Carlos and lock me in my room for life. When I was 15, Braydon kissed me on the cheek and got me a Valentine because no one else would. Tony punched him right in the nose. It was bad. That’s why no man has an interest in me and also because their are better and prettier girls to chose from.
“No T-Tony. He d-don’t do anything. You didn’t need t-to do that to Braydon. H-he only kissed m-me on the cheek.”
Carlos’ eyes darkened and his fist and jaw tightened. He took a deep breath and then released them. Jessica and Mrs Reid sent him a suspicious glance and then smirk at each other knowingly.
I could hear another commotion on the other side of the phone and I guessed Daddy was trying to talk to me again. After a while of muffled sounds, it finally went quiet.
“Okay sweetheart. I’ve sent Smithy over to Mr Reid’s house. He’ll be there in 30 minutes. Please come straight home.”
“Yes Daddy. I love you,”
“I love you too sweetheart.”
I brought the phone away from my ear and hung up. Carlos, Mrs Reid and Jessica were all staring at me intently.
I walked up to Carlos and handed him his phone back. He took it with a soft smile and even that made me blush.
“My d-dad has sent S-Smithy over. He’ll be here in 30 m-minutes. Can we g-go back upstairs and c-change Charlie?”
He looked back down at me before talking my hand in his and leading me away.
“Of course darling.”
I looked behind me and waved to Mrs Reid and Jessica and said goodbye. They replied with a goodbye too. Me and Carlos began making our way to his room.