I remained staring at the door. She’d just been with me for less than an hour and we had already talked about our whole lives. That’s one of the things about Ro that proved to me that we’re really meant to be together because there was no one else who I could relate to like that. Everything poured out so easily when it came to her, even the hard stuff like secrets.
Speaking of secrets, they are the one thing that I’m a pro at keeping. Want to know why? It’s because I literally forget just after being told. Important or not, as long as the words ‘can you keep a secret?’ or ‘it’s a secret don’t tell anyone’, my brain immediately shuts down so that I don’t have to process what you are saying. Just like that I’ll know and the next minute it’s gone. Ronnie’s secret was different though. I noticed how depressed she was after her mother’s death and father’s neglect. She stopped eating and tortured herself day and night. It was like she died as well. I hated those dark days. Especially when mom took her to the mental hospital. That secret stayed with her the whole time in form of guilt and pain. Enough with these thoughts.
That was the least of my concerns right now. I could still feel the heat of Ronnie’s fingers on my face. The warmth and comfort they brought as they raked through the mop on my head. I kept on replaying how her eyes shimmered as they kept telling me something that I still couldn’t decipher. What was that feeling I felt when I felt her stare at me? I tried to keep it cool but if it wasn’t for me interrupting her I don’t think I’d have managed to handle what would have come next. My heart beat quickened and my breath hitched. What is this feeling?
I quickly got to the shower and did my manly business. Got ready and rushed down stairs. This was the first time in a long time my best friend is home, it’s my duty to make it worth her while. Before I knew it, I was in the Livingroom which was surprisingly empty. Where is everyone? I checked the kitchen and the tv room but they where both empty. I heard laughter coming from the patio. I decided to follow the laughter and found them all talking and laughing.
“Finally, sleeping beauty has decided to join us.” Danny one chimed. Making me gain everyone’s attention.
“Danny.” I acknowledged.
“Hi sweetie.” Mom greeted and I responded and smiled. Then I heard Daniel call my name from the street. He ran towards me with his arms wide open. This sight was so funny to watch because he looked like a needy kid begging for attention. When he finally got to the patio he pulled me into a breath-taking hug. He literally squeezed out all the air out of my lungs.
“I missed you little brother.” He breathed.
“I can’t breathe.” I choked.
“Right. Sorry for that.” He apologized. “I guess I’m too excited. It’s just that I haven’t seen you in such a long-time bro.” he continued and scratched the back of his head.
“I know.” I sassed.
“Wow, I guess you still haven’t changed. No wait, your head just doesn’t stop growing does it.” Daniel stated causing Ronnie to muffle her chuckles.
“Okay boys sit down. You’ll continue your dumb word exchange later.” Interrupted Danny. “Foxy and I have some news to share. We have thought long and hard about this and I think it’s time we face our fears. I know we just met and are all happy but I believe the earlier we deal with this the better.”
Did you hear that? That’s the sound of a bomb being dropped. Of course, Danny had to be the one to kill everyone’s joy. I agree that we need to face our fears but now wasn’t the time to drop such news. Its Ronnie’s first day out and we all haven’t seen each other in years. I looked at Ronnie to see how she took the news. Just as I thought, her hands were shaking, eyes focused on the floor and she looked so uncomfortable sitting there. Looking back, everyone was already looking at Ronnie just as concerned. I guess it was not a secret that Ronnie had more fears than anyone else here.
“Mom maybe you should have saved that for after supper.” Daniel advised. Danny looked around at all of us and read our faces before agreeing with her son and apologizing. Awkward silence presented itself and immediately does what it does best. It wasn’t until hazel talked that we all sighed with relief.
“Danny, I’m hungry.” Hazel whined.
“Coming right up.” Danny announced as she caught up to Hazel who was already making it to the kitchen.
“Daniel sweetie, come here so I can take a better look at you.” Mom called. Daniel walked over and sat with my mom who began to tease and ask him lots of motherly questions. Seeing as they were occupied I decided to see how Ronnie was doing.
“You okay?” I asked despite already knowing the answer.
“Do you really want me to answer that?” She shot back making me flinch. She immediately apologized and gave mom and Daniel a reassuring smile since they were also taken back by her outburst. “So much is already happening Andy. Yet even more things are coming.” She muttered.
“I understand. You don’t have to worry Ro.” I tried to cheer.
“Why shouldn’t I? I’m going to face her again and-”
“You won’t need to worry because we’ll all be here for you and your dad.” I promised. “Now cheer up because we have a lot of things to do before supper.”
“Really?” she asked with confusion.
“Yup! I believe I promised you a whole lot of fun when you are let out of that prison.” I recalled causing Ronnie to squeal with excitement. This gained the attention of my mom and Daniel again. This time they seemed pleased with Ronnie’s reaction and encouraged it with laughs and questions.
“Of course, you can go but make sure you leave room for dinner. Danny is in the kitchen today so you know what will happen if you don’t.” Mom warned.
“Oh, we know.” Ronnie and I groaned in response while Daniel laughed.