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Stones of Summer: Instinct (Part 2)
"Jannie, it's Fergie, I'm comin' in. You'd betta' be decent." I groaned and dropped my head into my book.
"I'm naked." The door opened anyway and Ferguson walked in. His hair had been pulled back out of his face with a leather tie, but the dark dread locks still swung freely over his shoulders.
"What's the point of tying it back if you let it hang over your shoulders and get in the way?" I turned back to my book. He sat on the edge of the bed, leaning back on my legs.
"Well, I do it to keep it out of my face, and so everybody stops thinkin' imma' caveman. Did they really have dreadlocks?" I shrugged. He patted my leg.
"Anyway, dinner's ready, wash up." I grunted and stayed put. I had no intention of moving. I wasn't going to willingly sit at the same table as them.
"You wouldn't happen to want to bring me a plate, would you?" His look gave me the answer.
"Right, I didn't think so." I buried my head in my arms. It was stifling in the house, why didn't we invest in air conditioners? Oh, yeah because a tiger would rip it out of the wall. Almost forgot.
"Don't make me carry you." Ferguson warned. I grunted, again. Before the noise was even over, I was being picked up and dumped over his shoulder. He dropped me at the foot of the bathroom and patted my head.
"You have two minutes." I glared at him but grudgingly got up and washed my hands and face. The cool water felt good.
"Thirty seconds." Came a call and I shuffled to my seat, across from Chris and Ferguson, next to dad. I looked to Chris, hoping that he could see the pleading in my eyes.
"Switch seats? Please?" He rolled his eyes and stood, motioning for me to move.
I scrambled to his chair, already feeling out of place. From here I had a perfect view of mom and dad. Dad, mom and Claudine moved around us, bringing hot dishes out on pot holders to set down. Mom and dad exchanged glances, obviously noting the rearranged seats.
Ferguson, Chris and Claudine chatted louder than necessary what with the my parents and me keeping our mouths shut, figuratively. Quiet descended on all of us with only the 'clink' of the cutlery to show we were all still alive.
"So, Jannie, any plans this summer?" Ferguson shot a conspiratorial look at me. I stabbed my noddles with more force than I needed, making the fork squeak on the plate.
"I would have, but my parents are completely unreasonable-" Dad slammed his fork down and stared at me, giving my the full force of his anger.
"Jancy, stop this. It's you who is being unreasonable." A terse silence fell over the table, everyone glancing at one another except dad and I who kept our eyes locked.
"I think it would be a good experience for her, let do some growing up." I jutted my chin out.
"Thank you Fergu- hey! I'm already-" I turned to argue with him.
"Enough! Your father and I have already said you are not going. We don't think you are ready to run off to another country alone."
"Mom! Why can't I go?! I'm old enough now, I don't need a baby sitter!" I slammed my hands down on the table and pushed out of my chair. She fixed me with a side-long glare.
"Jancy, enough. Now sit down and finish your dinner. I said no." Wanting to show her just how angry I was, I flipped my plate over in the middle of the table and stormed out the door.
"Jancy! Come back here right now!" I ignored her. If she wanted me to stay, I'd make her life a living hell. I was getting out as soon as I turned eighteen. I could go live with Aunt Julie for a while, go to college and get a job. Then I'd buy my own place and I'd never have to come back to this dump again. I moved into the shadows of the house as I heard the screen door open and shut.
"That was mature." I frowned harder and stepped out of the shadows. Chris was that last person I wanted to talk to.
"Oh, like I care what you think Ferdricks." He was frowning as well. We had a staring match. I wasn't going to lose.
"You should go apologize. You've really hurt your mom." He crossed his arms over his chest as if to scare me.
"I doubt she even knows I've left the house." He frowned harder, if that was even possible. I began to walk away. Nothing he said could bug me.
"One of these days, you're going to regret this." I kept walking, shoving my hands into the pockets of my shorts.
"Yeah, yeah. Past regret and what not, I'll check that off my to-do list. In the mean time, think you could convince my parents to let me go to London?" I was suddenly spun around. I glared at him and yanked my arm away.
"How dare you! You're parents don't want you to go because they are concerned for your safety and they know they will miss you. And all you can think of is going off to some fanciful vacation that will fulfill all your hopes and dreams?" He spat in the dirt beside me and I sneered.
"What ever happened to parents sacrificing for their children?" His grip tightened on my arm.
"You...you... you little brat! Your parents have sacrificed more than you will ever know. With this kind of attitude, no wonder they won't let you go. You are still so immature and childish-" My other hand shot out and hit him across the face. My palm was left stinging and red. His grip tightened once more and I thought my wrist would break. His eyes flashed to mine.
"Don't. Hit. People." He gritted out between his teeth before pushing me away.
"Get. Inside." I glared at him and planted my feet. He didn't bother fighting me. He knew I'd be in minutes later. Just the chance that Myali came through here had me jumpy.
He stalked back to the house, his fists clenched.
I pressed my own fist to my chest.
What he had said had hurt more than it should have. I waited a few minutes after the screen door slammed closed before sneaking around the back of the house. I pulled my window and screen up then clambered to get in. My sneakers couldn't get any purchase on the side of the house. I must have looked entirely foolish with my back-end hanging out the window as I scrambled to get in. As I fell to my bed, I heard mom whispering.
It was too low for me to understand, but I didn't really care. She brought this on herself. I changed into shorts and a tank top while kicking my shoes off and pulling my hair out of the braided pig tails it had been in.
I yanked the cord to my light and lay in bed. I shoved the covers off my bed and reached up to yank the cord for my fan. It was hot as hell in here.
Morning came slowly and I had little initiative to actually get up. I lie in bed for what seemed like forever, too quick for me. A banging that rattled my door made me jump.
"What!?" I yelled, throwing myself out on the bed to have as much of my body under the fan's cool breeze.
"Don't 'what' me. Get the hell up, you've got chores!" What the hell was Chris doing here this early? I groaned and rolled over. "Yeah, yeah. I've got all day to do them." A bit more sleep couldn't hurt. Hi fist connected with the door again making me jump."
Now!" My eyes blinked open.
"Alright! I heard you the first time! I'm up! Now do us all a favor and go jump off a bridge or something!" There was another bang on my door and I smiled. I was so happy he wasn't allowed in my room.
"Jancy, get up. There are things we could use help on. We need to finish up before we go to the market for supplies." Dad's calm voice penetrated my near sleep. I groaned again. "Chris, put that bucket down- no you can't not dump that on her..." My eyes shot open when I heard dad tell Chris he couldn't dump, something, on me.
I jumped up and threw my door open.
"Ah God! My eyes! They burn!" Chris nearly dropped the bucket of water as he lurched away with an arm thrown over his face.
My cheeks burned red. I clenched and unclenched my hands repeatedly. Dad stepped between us, giving me a stern look.
"The both of you, not today." I glared at him, almost forgetting that I was angry at him.
"Straighten up your room and take food out to Sasha. Then get ready to leave, we've got to go to the market today, so think of any last minute things you need." He left, leaving me, standing in my night clothes, and Chris, staring after him.
"He's upset with you. You really hurt your mom." I grunted and shut my door.
I pulled on fresh under clothes, cotton shorts and a yellow short sleeved t-shirt. I brought a pair of socks and my Converse out with me, placing them on the table. I trotted to the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth. Moving back toward the kitchen, I yanked the orange juice from the fridge as I passed it, drinking from the bottle. I gagged.
"Why do I always do that?!" Orange juice and toothpaste did NOT work together. No one answered me.
I yanked my socks and shoes on, pulling my hair out of my face and into braids.
"Jancy! Let's go!" I grumbled, but stood and moved toward the door. Dad was waiting there with his hand on one of the she-tiger's collar. I rolled my eyes and moved past him. He swatted my back-end and gave me a stern look.
"Get the load out of your pants, move it."