Two . . .
When I woke, I woke with a headache. It made me grouchy and want to rip off anyone’s head who crossed me today. I was glad that I didn’t have to go to school today. But I had to work. And maybe that was worse. I was going to have to deal with assholes all day. I would have liked to have stayed home and had a sickie. But having sickies don’t get you anywhere. Especially when you have dreams. Especially if you want to go to places. Be something. So, I grudgingly three the blankets off me and hopped out of bed.
Why did I have to be someone, who has dreams? I thought.
Why couldn’t I be someone who was stupid and didn’t have dreams? I thought also.
But because I was someone who had dreams, I had to get a move on. So, the first thing I did was make my bed. I always made the bed first. Next, I went for a shower, hoping that the steaming water would help my headache. It didn’t though and that just left me pissed now. I was going to need to have to have an aspirin. I lived on those things. I swear. At least two days a week, I was having to have aspirin.
Once I was dressed, I hurried downstairs, so I could get my aspirin and my coffee. I couldn’t have my coffee. I was addicted to my coffees. Though when I stepped into the kitchen, I stopped short. Because standing in the kitchen cooking was Efrem. I didn’t expect that at all. What nearly stopped my heart, was when he turned around and smiled at me.
'Good morning, Emori.' He says.
'Morning.' I say and then continued to walk over to the coffee machine.
'Is everything ok?' He asks. But I ignored him.
'Looks like Em's has one of her headaches.' I heard Storm says.
I didn’t even know that she was there. But I shot her a look as if to say, shut the fuck up. Because I didn’t want Efrem to know about my headaches. That was my business to keep. And even though I had a crush on him and he was Storm’s cousin, we were still strangers. I think Efrem saw the look and didn’t ask about it. Which I was glad.
'Come and sit. My lovely cousin was kind enough to make us pancakes this morning.' Storm grins at me.
I hesitated for like a second and then thought I could have some. Because I wasn’t going to refuse pancakes. Even as nervous as I was. I know I said last night I felt comfortable talking with him. But that was last night. Today is a different day. And I still can’t believe that we could talk like that.
But the first thing I did was raid the medicine cupboard and grabbed four extra strength aspirin. I placed two of them in my pocket and the other two in a glass of water. And once it was dissolved, I pretty much gulped it down. And then, I sat down next to Storm and waited for my pancakes.
I was desperate to get rid of this headache. I hated these headaches. Something I didn’t know why I got them. But, it was something that sometimes stops me from doing things. Sometimes, it made me wish that I could just die. Those were the times when it was that bad and I was stuck in bed and weren’t able to do things. Get things done.
But the only sanity I have was my girl Storm. She always brought me up when I was down. We were practically twins. We miles well be. Because, and this may sound unreal, but we were born in the same hospital at the same time. How crazy was that? It was insane. But always, we have been inseparable. We couldn’t do without the other. I definitely didn’t know what I would do without Storm.
'Got plans today?' Efrem asked, bringing me out of my thoughts.
'Do you have plans today?' He asked me. I had no idea why he would ask me for.
'I have to work.' I say frowning, only because I thought I had told him that last night.
'Oh right, you did tell me that.' He says grinning at me. And then I realized. He only asked because he wanted to start a conversation with me.
'I have to leave any moment now.' I tell him.
'You have a headache. I thought you would call in a sickie.' He says, sliding some pancakes on my plate.
'Not my girl. I think even on her deathbed, Em will still go to work. ' Storm says. And for some reason it made him frown.
'Having sick days don’t get you anywhere. It only keeps you grounded.' I say. But now I was annoyed about talking about me, so I thought I would change it to Storm. 'I bet you have an awesome day, soaking up the sun in your bikini.' I tell her and the look she gave me, she knew exactly what I was doing.
'Actually, that sounds like a good idea.' She says, grinning at me. 'But it won’t be any fun without my twin.' She says. And I couldn’t help smiling. It was known in school not to mess with us. We were package deals and everyone knows it. I swear most of the teachers know that too.
'Well, make sure you show yourself for lunch.' I say, standing up and then I moved over to the dishwasher and placed my plate in it and then walk over to the door. 'Oh and Efrem, thanks for breakfast.' I say over my shoulder and then I walked out.
I felt terrible and the aspirin hasn’t worked yet. Usually, it would have by now. But it hasn’t even nicked it a little. My head still felt like it was going to explode. I probably shouldn’t go to work. But now that I have left Storm’s place, I didn’t want to go home and have that sickie. Because it would give my parents something to talk about.
By lunch, I couldn’t make it any longer, so I had decided to go home. I was glad that Storm was going to be coming for lunch. It was our ritual for Sunday’s. Because I was always working. Though, I text her making sure she did come because I needed her to drive me home. I didn’t get a reply, but I thought she was already driving here. So, I sat in the staff room and waited for her.
Ten minutes had past and Storm still wasn’t here. I left the staff room and decided to make us both a coffee. Though, as I finished making our coffee, Storm wasn’t the one who walked into the Dina. Instead, it was Efrem. And I wondered if it was a coincidence. Because he didn’t know that I worked here. But, I know it made me nervous. And embarrassed. Because I was working at a lame ass, Dina. And he was a teacher who, if he was anything like Storm’s family, and had money. I bet he did because he always dressed so nice.
'Hello Emori,' He says walking up to me.
'Hi,' I say back, not knowing what else to say.
'I thought we were past this. You don’t need to be embarrassed in front of me.' He says.
I know he didn’t mean anything by it. But it made me mad. What did he know? Did he know something that I didn’t? I wanted to give him my, Emori smartass response. But when I looked up to him, all those smartass responses went out the window when I saw how sincere he looked. The look on his face showed me that he wanted to be my friend. Why? I wondered.
‘What are you doing here?’ I asked him.
‘Storm asked me to pick you up.’ He tells me.
‘I could have driven if she wasn’t coming.’ I said. ‘I am sure you have better things to do.’
I was feeling mixed emotions about what he just said. I was upset and pissed that Storm would do that to me. I mean what was she thinking? First, she leaves me asleep on his chest last night. And now, she was getting him to pick me up. We weren’t even friends. It was only last night that we had talked. I was also nervous to be in the same car as him.
‘I wasn’t doing anything... special.' And the way he said special, it made me suspicious. But I didn’t say anything. My head was pounding too much, to even bother. Because I probably would have received a vague answer. 'And the way Storm describes it, you were in no state to drive. Do you have a problem with me taking you home?’ He says.
I wanted to say there was. But, I was beginning to think that I wasn’t going to get anywhere with saying anything.
‘Aren’t you worried that someone might see?’ I asked. I decided to use that as my argue point instead.
‘No. Are you?’ He says, raising his eyebrow and I could only describe it as sexy as hell.
‘No.’ I say, quietly sighing.
‘Are you right to go then?’
‘Yes. I hope you like cappuccino with a hint of caramel. It was supposed to be for Storm.’ I tell him, handing over the spare coffee.
‘It’s my favourite.’ He says smiling.
I bet he was just saying that. I didn’t say anything and walk around the counter and then when I was beside him, we walked out of the Dina. And when I saw his car, I was speechless. Because he had an F-Pace Jaguar. Him having that, I was so out of his league. Though, I always knew that. But him with that car, just made it how obvious it was. I was so stupid. I was just a student teenager.
When I hoped in, which I prayed that I wouldn’t spew in the car, I told Efrem to take me to Storm’s place. Because I did not want to go home and explain why I had come home early. Which, I know I was going to get Shit tomorrow for it when I don’t go home at all tonight. But that was tomorrow. I should be better then and I could take them on.
'Is everything, ok? You’ve been quiet.' Efrem asked, a few minutes into the drive.
'My head, it feels like it’s going to explode. And aspirin hasn’t helped.' I tell him. That was the truth. But that wasn’t the reason for, why I was quiet. And there was no way I was going to tell him the truth. No way!
'Has it been this bad before?' He asked. And I was sure he was just trying to have small talk with me.
'No. Usually, the first lot of aspirin kicks it a bit. And by the second lot, it’s gone. Sometimes I sleep them off. Sometimes, I am literally sick. Ok, most of the time.' I say. I think I was rambling a bit.
'So they are frequent?' He asked. I looked over to him, but he was facing the road. But he sounded like he was really interested to know.
'Efrem, why would you want to know?' I asked him. Because I wasn’t going to tell him something personal if we weren’t friends.
I could feel that he glanced my way. But it was quick because he was driving. So, I was glad that he was looking back to the road.
'Emori, I want to be your friend.' He says.
But why, would he want to be my friend. I found myself asking. Because he was considerably older than me. I’m sure he would want someone more mature to be friends with. I bet he has been to places. He has done things, that I can only imagine doing when I leave this place. So, why would an experienced guy want to be my friend?
'It’s not that hard to believe, Emori, that I want to be your friend.' He says. 'So, are you going to tell your friend, why you have headaches?' He asked, after a long pause.
'Last year I had an accident. My older sister and I were coming home from the library when we crashed. My sister died and I had been seriously hurt. That’s why I get headaches.' I say. I could feel it in my throat that I was going to cry, but I forced myself not to. I didn’t want to look vulnerable in front of him.
'I’m sorry, to hear that.' He says, genuinely.
Most of the rest of the trip was on silence. Which I didn’t mind because the more I talked the more my head began to pound. So, I put my head back and tried to relax.
I had Efrem drive me to Storm’s place because I didn’t want to be judged by my parents. They judged me enough and I didn’t need them to judge me about going home early from work. They probably wouldn’t believe me anyway, if I tried explaining why I had come home five hours earlier than usual.
So, when we pulled up at Storm’s place, I thanked Efrem. He said that’s what friends are for. I still couldn’t believe that he wanted to be my friend. Because I really didn’t see anything special in me. I was just an ordinary person who happens to be good at school. I know Storm would argue with me and tell me that I was a beautiful girl who could have any guy I wanted. But then she would go on and say, I just didn’t know if a guy was flirting with me even if it whacked me in the face. Or something like that.
'Would you like me to get you some aspirin?' Efrem asked, as soon as we stepped into the house. It took me back a bit that he wanted to help me. Yeah, I know he wants to be my friend, but I had a hard time believing it.
'Um, I’ve actually got some in my pocket.' I answered him. 'Thanks anyway.'
'Not a problem. But if you need anything, I’m happy to get you what you need.' He says, looking me straight in the eyes.
'Thanks. Right now, all I need is to sleep. So, I’ll see you around.' I say.
I then left. I had to or else I probably would have fallen down. I nearly didn’t make it up the stairs to my room. In my head, I cursed all the stairs and why they had to have so many of them. Because my house had no stairs at all.
I made it to my room and went straight into the bathroom so I could make up some aspirin. I grabbed the cup off the sink and filled it up with water and then dropped the two aspirin in. I then took the cup and placed it on my bedside table while I waited for it to dissolve and while I hopped in bed.
A few moments later, I picked the cup up and with the aspirin dissolved I gulped it down. And now all there was left to do was lay down and sleep.
charity mtisi from Johannesburg on March 04, 2019:
Interesting, part two, enjoying the story so far.