It was still raining, but I had to get out of the house and do something, so it was time to find out why the car wasn't starting...
I knew the tires needed air, that much was obvious, but there was more going on than that. I had a feeling it was the battery, along with spiders in the engine.
Yeah, there had to be spiders in the engine, maybe even a squirrel and a few birds at this point.
I was mulling under the hood when my phone rang.
"Hello?" I answered without looking at the caller ID.
"How's it going, Chloe?" My dad's voice was such a good one to hear, but he wasn't about to feel the same about mine.
"Papa," I whined and stopped my foot, "The car sucks! The house sucks and my neighbor is a douche-rocket!"
"Douche-rocket?" Dad laughed as I looked up and saw said neighbor watching me with amusement as he smoked against the back of his building.
Had he heard me? Shit!
"You know," I lowered my voice and turned away from said neighbor, "His douchebaggery is too large for the planet, so the have to send him to space."
"Ah, I see you've met Church." My mother chimed in.
"Mom, the house is a disaster," I told her, my kitchen floor is warped from the rotting wood."
"We can have someone out to look at it." Dad said instantly.
"I am a big girl, Dad." I sighed, "I can handle it. It's the car I can't handle."
"What's wrong with your car?" Mom asked.
"Flat tires, dead battery, who the hell knows what else, I can't even start it to find out, and my mower is busted too."
"Rusted out." Church said low.
I turned to gape at him and he continued in a low voice.
"It's rusted out, probably along with the connection joints for your battery here and I know a guy who can help you with that kitchen floor."
"Is that Church?" Mom asked.
"Yes." I sighed and turned my back to him again.
"If you need anything, hun, he's your guy." She told me, "He knows people, it's what he does."
"Do you need us to come and halp, baby girl?" Dad asked and I grinned.
"No Papa," I sighed, "I've lived in New York by myself for years. I should be able to handle this mess. I don't want you to see it until everything is fully restored."
"Are you sure? Because we can be there-."
"She said no, Nick." Mom hissed.
We said our I love yous and our goodbyes and I turned to see his hands in my engine.
"What are you doing?!" I shouted.
"You ain't gonna get ta' work today." He sighed, "You need a few key pieces for the battery. Looks like the acid might have eaten a few things too. I can have one of my guys come by and pick it up, they'll bring it to the Ford shop and they'll fix it up for you there."
"But can't we jump it?"
"Nah," He chuckled, looking up at me, his eyes were such a strange shade of brown, almost a tawny color in the rain, "Not unless you want to get electrocuted."
"But I have no food!" I gaped at him, "I have to go grocery shopping and get a new mower!"
"Well, I'm sorry, Princess," He said calmly, "It ain't happening tonight."
"But I'm hungry and I want to get out of the house!" I wined.
He leaned against closed the hood and sat against the car as he texted someone, still smoking that cigarette.
"Smoking is bad for you." I told him.
"So is eating out all the fucking time." He scoffed, still typing on his phone as he spoke, "Jerry'll be over to pick it up in twenty. As far as the food goes, you can come out with Ali and me. We'll feed you, but we're going to the club bar after to meet up with the gang."
"The club bar?" I gaped at him, "You allow Ali in a place like that?"
"Ali can take care of herself." He scoffed, "Look, I was just asking, since you said you were hungry and she ain't cookin' tonight. It's our eatout night."
"I'll go." It was either that, or sit on the the steps to his place and wait for my food in the rain, "Wait! How are we getting there?"
"I do drive a pick-up." He snorted.
By pickup, he meant an old, rundown Ford that only fit three. When I saw the seating, I was about to turn around and run, but Ali was so excited there was no way I could let her down.
"Hop on in." She grinned and I looked in the truck to see Church stiffen as he looked out his driver's side window.
"You don't want to sit next to your dad?" I was hopeful, I knew.
"You're smaller, you'll fit better." I sighed and climbed in, buckling the seatbelt across my lap.
When she climbed in next to me and we took off, so did she, talking a mile a minute.
"We're goin to this diner across town, it's so good," She grinned, "Don't mind Daddy's truck, he's got the money to get a new one, but won't."
"This is a classic and she's in good condition, Ali." He spoke tightly.
"It was his Daddy's. So he's holdin' onto it." Ali told me.
"Welcome." She grinned wildly.
"You'll like the bar too," She told me, "They play music we can dance to. It isn't like what your cousins play, but it's good."
"I-uhm, don't dance, but I do drink." I smiled ruefully.
"Thatta' girl." Church put up a fist for a fist bump and I met him halfway.
"Daddy doesn't dance either." She snorted.
"You don't?" I asked.
"Hell no." He snorted, "I drink."
"Who drives if you drink?" I glared at him.
"I do, or if I'm too drunk, Ali does." He gave a nod.
"DD for the club right here." He gave me an annoyed look as she held her finger up.
"We have the younger kids, or the cops on duty bring us home." Church gave a nod, "We have a lot of cops on the force. Smokey, who you met, Blue, Cuffs, K-Nine and Jay, who doesn't have an official name yet, cause he's a prospect."
"Why is he still a prospect?" Ali snorted.
"'Cause I have my reasons, Ali." He told her sternly.