A different walk home (:
Desirae’s body began to twist and turn, sweat covered her face, and a minute later she was sitting up hand over her chest as she struggled to catch her breath and her hair was matted to her face, from perspiration. She looked around the room, and exhaled as she laid back down on her bed and told herself it was just a dream.
Fires everywhere and the flames burning up her skin. The smoke inhaled her lungs and she was on the floor choking for breaths as people scattered around the area, and women screaming. Angry men holding down people, and out the corner of blurred eyes she could make out a figure that resembled Rosalina. Fear in her eyes and tears streamed down her shaped face…
Desirae kept her eyes open for the remainder of the night, and hour before sun would be up, too afraid to go back to sleep for the fear of the dream would reoccur and she would have to replay the angry faces of farmers who had sticks in their hands and the smell of gasoline blared in her nostrils, it was not a good thing to wake up to, and the unknown reason why Rosalina was in her dream.
Since sleep was out of the question, and the sun was starting creep up the horizon, she figured this was her chance to start her morning river ritual hopefully in peace and undisturbed. She tip toed her way down the hall and out the back door of the lonely house and her bare feet walked along the soft sand and into the flat soft grass. She blew her bangs out of her eyes and sat down, her nightgown flowing upwards with the comforting breeze. Instead of involuntarily reaching for her diary, she stood up and counted the steps to her safe haven, and dug up an old yellow box and brought it back to her original spot and sat back down again.
Her fingernails pried the lid open and shuffled through pictures and letters that had forever belonged to her mother, and grabbed one in particular which had her mother in a white dress with a flower in her hair standing against an umbrella tree while the sky was clear and the birds were in the distance. Desirae held the picture against her chest and sighed.
“I love you, I love you, I love you.” She whispered and kissed the picture before putting it back in the box. She grabbed a extra piece of paper and grabbed the black pen. She scribbled in her best handwriting and folded the paper into a boat, a thing she taught herself how to do after many encounters with Joey. She knew it wouldn’t work, but maybe, just maybe, she would somehow receive it. Even if she was above the blue skies and out of this earth, she would get it.
I love you and miss you mama was written in cursive and she dropped the boat into the stream and watched in awe as it twirled and slipped down the current, she watched it until it completely went down the hill in a fast motion, she smiled and looked up before putting the box back inside the dirt, where she knew it was safe. She had her reasons why she kept them here so far away from the house and in the dirt. She hissed as the memory burned into her brain.
“Give me that!” Her father’s voice roared as she was caught red handed looking through her father’s drawer in hopes to find her mother’s pictures. She shook her head and he fumed as he ripped the picture from her hands and a smack to her cheek sent her to the floor and she cried as he began to rip the pictures into tiny pieces, of all which would never be put together again.
“Don’t you dare ever go through my things.” His drunken voice had yelled and he walked out proceeding to knock down his belongings along the dresser. She still cried as she piled all the pieces together and cradled them into her hands where she walked out of his room and into hers and put the torn pieces into a yellow box she was given on her 4th birthday, that was only 5 years ago. She kissed the lid and put it under her pillow. When he had discovered her hidden place, she was forced to throw it out. Her mind had asked why her father wanted to her to forget her mother. Was it shame? Whatever is was she wouldn’t go through with it. Instead she dug a hole into the ground and buried there knowing he would find it, and she could still carry her mother’s memory even in her father’s dishonor…/]
She huffed and closed her eyes for one brief second and headed back in, saying a prayer to protect her today and walked to her room where she dressed bathed and dressed herself and slipped her shoes on and walked to the kitchen making breakfast her father like she was instructed to do, and when the sun was fully up and her father had long gone to work, Desirae walked herself to school, just like she’s was doing since she first started elementary school. She winced from the sudden tension in her feet, from warn out shoes and the material rubbing raw against the flesh of feet. Her legs began to break out in goose bumps as the morning breeze picked up and hit her ivory skin.
She settled into class and wrapped her arms around herself as the day began, but of course she only half listened to her teachers, and her mind had once again drifted back to the dream she had and the face of Rosalina standing there with tears streaming while the fires burned the building and the screams of children and women…
“God, I look terrible today!” Kimberlee whined at the lunch table, and Lisa rolled her eyes. Desirae stared at Kimberlee in confusion, as she looked decent, even pretty. There was no reason to say such a thing, but the look on Kimberlee’s face told Desirae the poor girl had really meant it.
“Kimberlee you look fine.” Desirae replied. Kimberlee turned to her and snarled.
“Fine? Fine?! I can’t be just fine. My hair is a mess, and I don’t have nice hair like you do. Although, you could use some curls.”
“Thanks?” Desirae responded wondering if that was a compliment or not. She just focused on picking the small bits of her muffin until Kimberlee had once again managed to whine about something. But Desirae had tuned her out only to notice a couple minutes later she was talking about Ray.
“And then he asked me if I liked frogs! Why would I like those slimy webbed feet creatures?” She called out. Lisa shook her head and Desirae noticed something wasn’t right with the picture. Usually when one sister complains, the other sister starts. But this time Lisa was quiet, and Desirae just couldn’t help herself.
“What about you Lisa? I haven’t heard too many complaints about Frank.” She asked and Lisa tensed.
“Well I haven’t had a thing to complain about.” She muttered. Kimberlee scoffed.
“I dunno.” Lisa scoffed back and looked away from the crowd.
“Are you starting to like him?” Desirae asked. Lisa gasped.
“What? How dare you ask a question like that.” She whispered softly, but it wasn’t exactly convincing.
“Well let’s go, we’ll be late for class.” Lisa snapped and Desirae bit her lip to contain a smile on her face as Lisa’s body language was slightly amusing.
She sat in her usual seat and class started like it usually did, but this time she frowned as he wasn’t here. His desk was empty, and she stayed at her seat silently wishing he was here, because she felt alone and all she could was stare out the window wondering if this meant Shanna wasn’t there as well. Mr. Angell had long passed back the folders and she occasionally looked over at Lisa and Frank who were actually talking, and of course Kimberlee and Ray…weren’t. In a way she had felt bad for Ray, he seemed like a nice person, of course Kimberlee was to high in the clouds to had taken notice. She pondered if the pair would ever get along. She also couldn’t help at looking at the door expecting him to walk in, but when class was officially over and there was no sign of him coming, she frowned and got up from her seat waving to Lisa and Kimberlee and walked out the gates only to trip on the cement, sending her and her books to crash onto the floor and she cursed herself as her knees had slightly scratched. She growled and turned back to the uplifted cement that seemed to raise more and more each day, hurting her in the process. She reached for her books and stood back up, but felt a finger at her shoulder and she turned around only to be faced with blue eyes and blonde hair. She stepped back surprised and he half smiled as he handed her the last book she had forgotten.
“Thank you.” She spoke and he shrugged.
“Not a problem.”
“How come you weren’t in class?”
“I had things to take care of.”
“Just…stuff.” He retorted and she let it go.
“Okay.” She gave up and rebalanced her books.
“I’m taking Shanna isn’t here either.” Desirae stated. He nodded.
“She went home early.”
“Guess I won’t have my walking-home-buddy today.” She frowned.
“I could walk you home.” He muttered and she looked up.
“Unless…you don’t want me to?” He added.
“What about your friends?”
“What about them?”
“Don’t usually walk with them?”
“Yeah, but one day isn’t going to make a difference, its just my way of thanking you for walking Shanna home.”
“You don’t have to do that.” She offered. He just shrugged. Her heart was racing in her head, as they began walking. This was sudden and she had to keep looking over at him to convince herself she wasn’t imagining things. Was this actually real?
“So why did Shanna leave early?” She muttered, trying to find courage to say something, as this was unfamiliar to her. They were only a couple inches apart, and this wasn’t the classroom, nor his house. It was open road, and only the two of them.
“She got sick, but she’s better now.”
“Good.” Desirae nodded.
“She also told me tell you she was sorry for not being there, today.” He looked at her and she smiled looking to her right.
“Well tell her I said to not worry about it.” She replied and he nodded. They kept to themselves for the most part, but what he said next made her scoff.
“So can I ask why you’re friend likes to be mean to my friend?”
“Ray.” He said simply and she shrugged trying to find words.
“Kimberlee is just high maintenance.” She replied.
“Too high maintenance.” He retorted and Desirae giggled.
“I don’t where she gets it from, her sister is completely opposite.”
“Sister?” He asked confused.
“Lisa? She’s Frank’s partner.”
“Oh yeah.” He nodded remembering now. The silence had continued.
“Shanna told me about your mom.” She admitted and he looked away.
“What did she tell you?”
“That’s she sick. I’m really sorry.”
“Don’t be.” He retorted uneasily.
“I know, I just…” She trailed off, figuring it was best to just drop it.
“Nevermind.” She replied softly and looked down at her books. How badly she wanted to say that she knew what he was going through, but she couldn’t find the will to. He didn’t the know the half of it, and part of her didn’t want him to.
They began walking up Desirae’s street when she silently gasped at her father’s truck in the driveway. She stopped a good couple inches from her house before turning to him. Careful to turn herself away from the windows of her house, incase her father was somehow looking out of it.
“Well thank you for walking me home.” She told him.
“It was no problem.” He gave a nod.
“Will you be in class tomorrow?”
“Yes.” He answered and she smiled.
And they stood for a good second before she remembered to go inside. She blushed from embarrassment.
“Well I should get inside, I’ll see you at school.” She smiled and he nodded.
“See you.” He waved as he turned his heels and walked back down the street to turn to his. She walked inside her door and closed it with her back, leaning on it and curling her lips. Despite the stare she received from her father, for the first time she didn’t care…