Lion's Den

April 19, 2010
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I dropped the book to the ground. Not again. Trying to hide the fact the book had dropped; I hurriedly picked it up again and slid it back into its place in the shelves. Tears spoiled the façade of the neatly rowed books before me. Not again. His footsteps had gone unheard. Nearly, I fell down. His hand caught mines and he steadied me. His eyes were darker than his hair. A deep mysterious darkness that captivated its looker and pulled them in. I drew my hand quickly away. Mr. Lee smiled kindly down on me. I tried-and failed- to smile back.
“Careful there, Ms. Morgan.” Mr. Lee also let my hand go. His dark eyes strayed to the exact book that I had dropped moments ago. I felt sure that a corner of his lips twitched. “You were looking at a book?”
“I guess-“Hesitantly.
I tried not to roll my eyes to the obvious question. Meanwhile, my hands were entering my coat pockets and I was taking out my mittens. One dropped to the floor. I stared down at it then bent to pick it up. Mr. Lee’s hand touched mine own. We had kneeled at the same time. I froze. It was a squeeze but the eyes failed him. I grabbed the mitten as calmly as I could from him and got up. Without looking at him, I walked quickly and a bit purposefully towards the door of the library. I heard him though.
“Have a nice day, Ms. Morgan.” Cheerfully.
As if nothing had happened.
The burst of cold air bit my face viciously. Angrily, I almost cursed, remembered the book, and was silent. I kept my silence as I walked the sidewalks of my city, eyes diverting from anyone that looked my way and face pointed the direction of my home. I stopped the latter though. Didn’t want anyone to know where I was really facing. That thought almost brought a smile to my face. Esther Morgan, I thought. You are funny. Sometimes. The smile was gone.

At least it was a bit warmer on the porch, was my thought as I reluctantly took my hand out of the warmer mitten. The house keys were in my jeans’ pockets. I took them out and quickly unlock the front door. Closing the door behind me, I put the keys into my coat’s pocket as I dumped my shoes near the doormat unceremoniously. Turning around, I needed air. The bear hug was intense but he hadn’t seen me in two years so I forgave him. Daniel Morgan laughed as I punched him in the guts.
“Do you have to hug so hard, you laylo?” I demanded, using the old mockery term I used to use on him.
Daniel laughed harder punching me in the guts before I could run away. His was lighter but I growled and tried to reach for my wet shoes.
“Enough.” Dad was leaning in the living room doorway. I quickly tried to kick my shoes behind me innocently. He snorted. “Get that coat off of you, Esther, you look like a bat.”
I gasped indignantly. Daniel blew me a raspberry and strutted to slap our father a high-five. Smugly, they entered the living room together. I growled after them. Sure, I thought, mimicking their struts dramatically to myself. Turning, I saw they had returned. This time, I really picked up my shoes. Laughing their heads off mockingly at me, my father and brother returned back into the living room. Sniffing with annoyance, I dropped my shoes again and left for upstairs.
The house was pretty modern enough in my opinion. I mean, the staircase was pretty good looking. It stretched up starting from the main hallway to each landing. There are two landings in the house. The one I entered, which was the second landing, was actually the first. I don’t know why the builders of our house would name the first landing they built the second landing, but they did. The stairs stretched still to my side up into the ceiling. If you followed it you would enter what the architectures of the house would call the first landing at last. That was where our guests, or mainly our relations, slept whenever they would come to visit. I stopped in my room, which was to my right, as I enter the second landing, to hang up my coat near the window. I like my room, I guess. It’s not like the rich kids’ who lived in mansions at the corners of the city but it was snug enough. Christ did well, I guess, with our family. I can’t really complain.
Dad, last year, bought each of the rooms a drying rack. You could put your clothes up to your coats on it and it would dry up the materials in no time. I emptied the pockets of my coat then draped it on the rack then I made sure my window was snugly close. Someone had put on the heater and it was warmer inside the house then in my mittens. I hated the cold, I thought, as I undress into simple home wear. Though I was born in December, whenever I felt the chilly wind I hoped to deny it three times over like Peter did to Jesus. I smiled again. In my home wear with my clothes drying, I hurried to wash my hands in the bathroom then ran downstairs into the living room. They had left it. I checked the kitchen. Mom was inside, cooking. It was her off day and good thing, too. She worked too much, I thought. Picking up some cookies from the cookie jar, ignoring my Mom’s knowing look, I left in search of Daniel.
I found Cecil first. Or she bumped into me. And she would do it in such a melodramatic way. Giving me an icy look, my little sister picked up her notebook hurriedly from the floor and made her way up the stairs. I rolled my eyes.
“I wasn’t going to touch your stuff anyway, dum-dum!” I called up at her. She ignored me. I gave her retreating back a look. “Do you know where Daniel and Dad are?”
“I know Daniel is home!” She told me before slamming her door.
I could have slap her bottom. Snorting, I opened the basement door and walked down its steps. Already, I knew where Daniel and Dad would be. And they were silly for it. The basement was probably my favorite part of the house. It was roomy and cozy; so different from a room but definitely not a living room. It was a sort of storage room because most of the used stuff was down here. Also, it was a recreation room. Ping-pong tables and board games to play-stations took up a side of the room. I was interested in the lounge area. That was where the shelves were. I stopped at one shelf and took out the Bible. Mom didn’t need help in the kitchen yet. She would ring the phone right next to the sofa I was lying on if she did. Funny, I thought cozily as I snuggled with the Bible, how in the world did we get a normal looking house filled with rich kid stuff? The basement was one thing but the stuff in it? The game stations, etc, reeked of money. Sure Mom was head of the Department of Charities, whose staff and its cause is richly funded by the mayor himself and the federal government. Dad was a teacher of a musical school for prodigies. Yet, I didn’t believe the salaries could really add up…..?

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