“He didn’t do that, Pika. He didn’t fight. Not for me,” I whisper and then look down at the bowl in my hands. “So if youre going to stay in here and try to convince me that what he did was okay, you might as well just go.”
“I’m here for you as your friend,” he says then tugs on my arm until I go to him.
My waist goes between his legs, my head leans on his chest, my arms wrap around him, and I feel his lips on the top of my head.
“One day, Myla, you will see he was right.”
I look out the window, down at the rain falling into the ocean, which makes it look as turbulent as my emotions. Kai came to my room an hour ago and knocked on the door, yelling through that his mom would be here at noon. I ignored him and the feeling I got when he didn’t say anything else or try to and kick down the door to get to me.
I hate that I am feeling so confused. I can’t figure out what I want him to do. Do I want him to fight for me, or do I want him to just leave me alone?
I shake my head at my own stupid thoughts and turn towards the mirror to look at myself. I want to look decent for Kai’s mom. I don’t think she would understand my showing up in a pair of sweats with dark bags under my eyes from not being able to sleep properly over the last month. Actually, I know that, if I showed up like that, she would have a million questions I’m just not ready to answer.
So, instead of sweats, I pull out my favorite jeans. They have seen better days, and those days were about ten years ago. They are a pair of medium-washed jeans with holes along the front. I bought them that way, but over the years, those holes have gotten bigger and bigger—some from normal wear and tear, and others from me and my constant picking at the material when I have them on.
I put on a plain, white tank top, and since it is raining, I put on my favorite orange sweater that has bell sleeves and little white polka dots on it. Then I put my hair in a bun on top of my head and dab on some concealer, a little blush, and some mascara. I sigh, slip on my flip-flops, and head for the door.
If you would have asked me a month ago to sit down with my real mom’s best friend and talk to her about the kind of person she was when she was alive, I would have jumped at the chance, but today, I don’t feel like doing that. I don’t want to talk about my past. I don’t want to talk about anything. I want to lie in bed and feel sorry for myself. Or maybe lie in bed, turn the air conditioner on high, bury myself under a million blankets, watch movies, and eat ice cream.
I open the door, and my eyebrows pull together when I come face-to-face with a man I have never seen before. He is large—at least three hundred pounds and six two. I would guess he’s in his early forties. His skin is the same color as Kai’s, and his hair is long and slicked back from his face. He is wearing a bright floral shirt with the top two buttons undone, showing off the mass of hair on his chest and a thick, Cuban-link, gold chain. My eyes travel farther down and take in his beige khaki pants and a pair of leather sandals on his feet, which have thick black soles and large straps that wrap across his feet then around his ankles.
“Who are you?” I ask, taking a step back.
“Frank.” He smiles, showing off a set of perfectly straight, white teeth with one of the front two outlined in gold.
“Um…” I look at him, confused, and his smile gets bigger.
“Uncle Frank,” he says like I should know exactly who he is. “Aww, come on!” He throws his hands up in the air, and I notice that every one of his fingers has a gold ring on it. “That damn boy never gives me any credit.” He shakes his head. “Kai’s my nephew. His mom is my sister.”
“Oh,” I mutter, still confused on why he is standing outside my bedroom door.
“He sent me to look after you.”
“What? Where’s Aye or Pika?” I question, and his face changes slightly.
“They were needed elsewhere.”
“Don’t know.” He shrugs then smiles again. “You ready to do this thing?”
“What thing would that be?”
“Go down to the library,” he explains like we are going to be doing something much more exciting than just going to the library.
“Sure,” I mumble, still confused.
He smiles bigger then pulls a gun out from behind his back. When I see it in his hand, I scream then back up into the room and quickly shut the door. My heart is pounding hard as I get down on the ground and crawl over to the window, not wanting to be shot if he decides to shoot through the door.
“Aw, geez. I’m not going to shoot you, girl! I’m here to protect you!” he yells through the closed door.
“Go away! I have a gun and I’m not afraid to use it!” I yell back, knowing damn well I don’t have a gun. I don’t even know how to shoot a gun, and God forbid I ever be given a gun. I would likely shoot myself by accident.
“Fucking great,” he mumbles, and then he lightly knocks on the door. “Please come out. I put the gun away.”
“Go away!” I yell then open the window and look down to the ground below, realizing I’m stuck. If I jump out the window, I would likely fall to my death, but if I go to the door, I might be shot by a crazy man.
“I’m going to get my sister,” he says, knocking on the door again. “Could you please not tell her or Kai about the whole gun thing?” he asks, and I begin to wonder if he is fricking crazy. “I’m going to take that as a yes,” he says, and then there is silence.
I look around the room. It’s huge, with a king-size bed, two nightstands, two dressers, a large closet, and its own bath. But what it doesn’t have is someplace to hide. I look at the door again and know that “Frank” could be trying to trick me and still be standing outside the door, waiting for me to be like all the dumb chicks in every scary movie ever made and walk out into the hall, right into his grasp.
“Myla,” the familiar voice of Kai’s mom, Leia, calls though the door, and my stomach pitches, because now, she’s in danger. “Myla, honey, please open the door. My brother is an idiot. He didn’t mean to scare you,” she says, and I swear I can hear the smile in her voice.
“I told you, girl. I’m here to protect you,” Frank says, and I hear a loud thwack!
“Can you please stop until I get her to come out here?”
“I just want her to know that I’m her bodyguard,” he whines.