(Love in circles )
BY BLESSING SILVER
I got to class, tucked the hand that had meaningless scribbles from Nick in my jacket pocket then assisted my notes with my arm. Getting to my seat, I tossed a ‘hi’ to Martha who started jabbing about musical stuffs that I wasn’t interested in. I just had to pay half attention to it, for friendship sake. We had math for first period then physics followed and then it was time for sport. Packing my notes under my desk, Martha and I head to our lockers, I opened mine and grabbed my sporting clothes.. A long-sleeve shirt and a trouser and a pair of sneakers. I closed my locker with my free hand..
“What’s that?” I heard Martha’s voice and I faced her.
“What’s what?” I questioned, after realizing she was talking to me.
“The writings on your hand.. Some sort of tattoo or hand design?”
I frantically tried to hide it but knowing she had seen it and not wanting to get her more curious I opened my palm and showed it to her.
“It was a mistake. Just ignore it”
“It’s Korean” She said “You write Korea?”
“I don’t” I took my hand from her grip. “And I didn’t notice it’s Korea. Come-on let’s go” I grabbed her wrist and took her to the gym.
We settled on a bench and watched Mr Joe, our sport master signal to the basketball team. It was obvious not everyone will be participating in today’s sport, only the basketball players will while we act as the audience and cheer our favorite. I’m a tennis player while Martha belongs to the female football team.
It’s actually a good thing not to get sporty today because firstly I’m in no mood for any body movement that would definitely trigger my healing wounds and because Jason’s among the basketball players.. He’s actually a boss at it and here in Amity academy, a sport-god of any kind of sporting game becomes an eye catcher and a lady’s guy. That doesn’t apply to me, because Jason’s always my eye catcher.. Be he a sport-god or not.
I made sure I occupied a seat at the first front row, where I could get a clear view of everything. Mr Joe, dressed in a white Adidas shirt and trouser and a whistle around his neck, started engaging the teams and coordinating them. From his side I could see Jason, looking super hot in his sport wears, his colored viking hair matching that of his eyes and adding to his beauty. I admired him for a while, smiling when he smiled and chuckling softly when he looks at my direction.. But not at me.
“Can you listen to me and stop making lovey dovey eyes at Jason, you’re beginning to make people think you’re going senile cos there’s nothing hilarious here” Martha’s voice rang in my ear and I smiled, realizing I hadn’t heard her talking.
“How can I? when he’s looking directly at me?” I said, my gaze still on Jason.
“You’re really stupid, Jason isn’t looking at you” she said, jabbing me with an elbow and I turned to her.
“Sometimes you should try to be positive” I said and she jeered.
“Come-on Jackie what do you expect, I’m talking and my best friend isn’t listening rather she’s drooling over whoever”
“I wasn’t drooling. See why I said you should be positive? I don’t drool over guys Marth, I admire” I corrected and she gestured surrender. I turned back to the small field in the gym and my gaze met with Nicholas who’s gaze unexpectedly was on me.. He looked away and I frowned before strolling my eyes to search for Jason and when I did, a smile ignotantly tugged at the corner of my lips.
After about an hour of Jason playing, getting passes, me cheering him all through and Mr Joe whistling at intervals, the game ended with Jason’s team taking the lead. I cheered and watched as his team took him up on their shoulders, jubilating and him smiling all through, causing me to smile and earn Martha’s weird look after that. While we head to class Martha handed a cold can soda to me and thoughtfully, I excused myself. After all those running, throwing and jumping Jason must be tired and a cold soda can’t go wrong in such period. And just so you know I haven’t met Jason one on one, I’ve been a secret admirer.. Though we’ve crossed path once or twice, we haven’t talked nor gestured our words.
I walked to the upper floor and got to the hallway, fortunately enough I sighted Jason.. Behind the open door of his locker. I smiled, wrapped the can soda in my fist and walked up to him, he was typing the lock pin when I got to him. He turned his attention from the locker to me, his countenance changing.
“Hi” I said and without waiting for a response I continued “I’m Jacqueline, you might’ve not noticed but I’m a big fan of yours. I watch you play all the time and you’re really really good–
“I know that already and I’m not just really good, I’m the best and if you have really been my fan then you should have known that but since you don’t I can’t say you’ve been watching me except you have another motive” he said and even though his voice felt so mesmerizing, my brows furrowed at his confusing statement.
“Huh?” I muttered.
“Tell me, are you a pester or a diehard crush seeking for a nightstand” he said and my brows furrowed deeply. What?.. How can he say that.
“Um actually I’m none of those. Anyways I just wanted to give you this, I figured out you must be tired from all those running, a friend gave this to me and I thought you’d need it more” I said, stretching the coke to him. He looked at it then back at me, it was a total blank stare.
“Jason, Mr Joe needs you.. Like right now” a guy got to us and told Jason and without sparing me a glance, he walked with him.
“.. You played with so much enthusiasm today”
“I always play with enthusiasm”
“Today’s seems different, it was like you were trying to get something away from your mind”
“Just needed to blow off some steam”
“I felt the heat”
Those were the words that I heard, while watching them move away. I need no soothsayer to tell me I got.. Rejected. And jeez how can he say that about me.. Do I look like a pest or the school bitchy fling?.
School ended for the day after lunch break and going to different classes. After grabbing my bag and moving out of the school compound with Martha, I bade her goodbye and went my way. Jog-walking home had been a big habit of mine that I don’t think will be ending anytime soon.. That’s what happens when you get to walk alone on a long journey because you can’t use the bus.
Normally, my dad was the one who drove me to school while my mom brought me back, those days were actually one of the ones I cherished so much because once I start my journey home or to school, they flock in. The last ride I had with them before their death was still very fresh in my head.. The smiles, dad’s caution and mom’s word. She always wanted to know every wrong thing going on in my life, every guy I met, friends I have, things I did in school; both the good and the bad. Those time, she called mother-daughter talks were the days I disliked most because somehow she had a way of making me pour out my feelings to her. She wasn’t the type to scold or punish, None of my parent were.. They’d listen and talk to me about how dangerous the bad path is and encourage you to keep moving on the good path. They loved me, both Allan and I and they never stopped showing us and that only stayed until their death. One of my dreaded nightmare that turned to reality and upturned my life. If they were to be alive, they’d never let me work and study and my fees wouldn’t have to be paid by me. Allan sometimes does the payment and all and when he doesn’t, I do it.. If you didn’t know about the cause of my troubles you’d call Allan a really good guy.
Well he is, he once was until my parent’s death.. It didn’t only leave us in shock it also gave him rapid and dreadful mood swings. Those negative sides were always pointed at me and secretly I bore it and let it stay in the dark… It has been the change in my life after the tragic death, though there had been lots of changes.. This one seems the hardest to live with and rather than try to get used to it.. I keep hoping for a change and for the other Allan to return.. The sweet protective Allan.
I got home and used the stairs, I dressed up in casuals, grabbed my work bag, locked my room door and dashed out of the house to work. I got to Foods and fries and after exchanging greetings, I dropped my bag, went behind the counter and started the day’s work.. Serving, frying, smiling politely, that’s one of the rules of sherlock, a no nonsense man..
“Customers are right and should not be frowned at” he would say and we in response gave our best smiles. I, alongside Noel were the youngest in food and fries and that’s why we don’t get to talk much with anyone, except ourselves…
No side talks, just do your bit of work and leave. Mr Sherlock’s order.
I had my shift by 5:30 and I left after getting an assurance on my payment.
I got to the coffee shop and there I worked until it hit 8:00, I collected my daily payment and after grabbing a quick bite since I felt my stomach churning from hunger, I journeyed to my next work for deliveries.. Dropping my bag, I grabbed the box of fried chicken, already packed up for me.. Got the address and used the delivery bicycle to get there on time. After two more ride since today’s call for chicken order wasn’t much, I parked the bicycle and went into the shop to assist a coworker to grill the rest of the chicken. We were allowed to get shares from it and when it was 10:00pm I waved goodbye to them, got a peck from Margaret and hit the road home. Getting to the bus station I saw the writings on my hand and I sighed.. I haven’t even had time to take it off. I took a taxi and dropped at Freddie’s workshop, he works in a store where appliances are being sold and he’s pretty good at fixing stuffs too.. Who knows he might be able to fix phones too, I touched my bag and felt the phone. I got down and walked into the glass door, scanning my eyes around for him.
“Jacqueline” I turned to the direction where I heard my name and saw Freddie waving at me. I smiled a response and walked to him.
“Hey, what are you doing here?”
“To see you. I actually brought something along, was wondering if you could fix it”
“Okay. What’s that?”
I zipped open my bag and took out the phone before stretching it to him and he took it.
“A smartphone?, Yours?”
“No, a friend’s. it mistakenly got broken and I told him I have someone that could fix it so he gave it to me. Can you do it?” I asked.
“I’m not a mobile engineer and besides this looks ruined beyond repair but I’ll try to turn it on first” he said and I sighed. Is that a brink of hope?. I prayed hopefully that it was.
“Where’s your boss?”
“Out of town to get more goods and how’s Allan?”
“He’s good” I answered. He tried turning to phone on, taking things off and putting them back then adjusting the power button but there was no response. After five other trials he looked at me, sighed and shook his head. “Sorry but I don’t think I can do this. It looks likes it was pressed on and damaged from the inside, I don’t think it’s something that can be fixed easily though but I’ve tried my best” he said and I smiled.
“Thanks for trying” I took it from him. “I should get going now” I said and he nodded. i dropped the phone in my bag and took out the box of chicken and gave it to him, he took it glanced at it then at me. “Got it from work but now I’m in no mood to have fries. You can have it”
“Wow thanks. Now I feel really bad for not being able to fix your friend’s phone”
“You tried, I’m sure you would’ve done it if you could” I smiled “Make sure you eat up while it’s still warm. I’ll head home now”
“Thanks, say ‘hi’ to Allan for me and take care” he said and I nodded with a smile before moving out.
I guess I’ll just have to get another. My pay will be complete by tomorrow and with my savings, I could get an exact one like this.. It can’t be that expensive.
I walked home and used the stairs to our floor, getting to the house, I opened the door and moved in. My gaze caught the interior light and I sighed before walking briskly to the sitting room.. I met Jason on a couch, the TV remote in his hand and his gaze on me. I gulped and moved further into the sitting room before shutting the door.
“Good.. Evening” I stuttered and when I saw no gestures nor response, I walked to my room and took out my pay from my bag, I slipped it into my piggy bank and watched it.. Sooner than expected I’ll be breaking it and using all the money for something that’s not profitable to me.
I stood up and undressed before walking to the bathroom with a towel cladding me.. I used a water resistant cloth to wrap up my healing wounds and put on my shower cap. I’m too tired to start drying my hair and besides Allan complains that the noise from my electric dryer disturbs him. I stayed under the shower and washed my body. After minutes of washing up, I rinsed myself, grabbed my towel and got out of the en suite, I took off my shower cap, left it in the cabinet and slipped my feet in my slippers. I opened the bathroom door and moved out, I shuddered unexpectedly when I saw Allan sitting comfortable on my bed with Nick’s damaged mobile in his hands. He looked up from it and his gaze rested on me. He always has a way of igniting my timid and frightful self. I got myself and took two step toward him.
“How did you get this?” He asked and I gulped, feeling my fragile self giving way to his authoritative voice.
“Or should I ask whose pants you pulled off to get this” he cut me off and I tried to breathe in slowly. I opened my mouth to say something but his hysterical chuckle beat me to it. “How many were they? Five.. Ten? Young or old? Or is it both?” He said then chuckled again before rising up, the phone still in his palm “They must be super rich to be able to get you this” he said.
“I didn’t buy that Allan,” I said, his presence making me talk slowly.. “It’s not mine”. He chuckled before switching his expression to seriousness.
“You think I’m stupid?!” He yelled and I shuddered, taking a step backwards to prevent whatever I thought would come next “Just because it’s broken and damaged doesn’t mean I won’t know it’s new. Look, the tag’s still on it and that means it was gotten recently, probably a day or two days back. Do you think you can lie to me”he asked and I gulped “Answer me!”
“No, no I.. I mean I’m not lying. It’s really not mine” I said, feeling the lump surging at my throat and breaking my words.
Allan chuckled then kept quiet for a while. “I should’ve known you’ve been up to some dirty games. That explains all the late nights that you claim you’ve been working”
“No Allan I—
“Don’t even try to lie at my face!” He seethed and I felt the tears burning my eyes. Allan threw the phone to the bed and walked to me.. I glued myself to my spot, refusing to look at him nor at any where else.. His touch on my bare shoulder gave me a slight roughy jerk and I gulped. His palm slid from my shoulder, where the burns which were already turning to scar were, to the other side of my chest. My body stiffened as his gestures discomforted me. I felt a hand loosening my towel and I held it then shook my head. “I’m not on anything under”
he smirked at me.
“Trying to get me feisty. Well I already am.. Let’s go on”
“No!” I pulled back.. My breathing pacing up. His brows furrowed and I could sense his anger surfacing, he chuckled.
“You give it to strangers but not to your brother? That’s unfair” he said teasingly and I sniffed.
“Let’s get on gently with this Jackie.. You’ve turned me on and there’s nothing we can do except you turn it down” he said, taking step to me but I shifted.
“Please don’t” I sobbed.
“You won’t like it rash.. Come here”
“No, please no. Mom won’t want this?” He chuckled.
“Mom has always been a geek. And this wouldn’t be happening if she had been here” he said, darkness circling the corner of his eyes. I just made him more pissed “And that would have happened if you hadn’t killed her! If you hadn’t been so demanding and babyish!” He raged and I shrieked before shutting my eyes and letting the tears fall out.
He got to me and I started retreating backwards, he grabbed my wrist, and with the striking pains that followed.. I let his drag my towel off forcefully.. Using my free hand to frantically cover my naked breast, he yanked it off and smirked.. I sobbed shamefully as his flirty gaze surveyed me.
“That’s it” he smirked and before I could blink he pushed me to the bed and covered me..
T. B. C
⬅️ PREVIOUS episode