Jaime led August to a police car that pulled up shortly after. August got inside the car while Jaime had his wound dressed. Luckily enough, it was just a scratch and the bullet wasn’t lodged in his leg. More police patrol cars trooped into the farm and the whole area was cordoned off.
It was 1am by the time they started working on the farm. Body counts was made, corpses Parked into ambulance. August watched from within the car as his brothers and sister were lifted into ambulances, he fell deeper into his seat and closed his eyes. He felt nothing and showed no emotions.
Every body was accounted for except Jaycee. The water had washed him away before anyone could get to him. The police rounded up around 5am and Jaime drove home with August.
Back home, Kate waited patiently for her husband. He had gotten an emergency call around 12:30 am about certain shoot outs in the far outskirts of the town. Being whom he was, he would rather go there himself than send his men out. She had argued that he should relax and let the others handle it than going out there and risking his life.
He reassured her that nothing would happen and had left her with a peck on the forehead. She waited for hours unable to fall asleep, not even a blink passed her eye. She walked up and down the house, a rosary dangling in her right hand and muttering inaudible prayers as she counted the beads.
At exactly 5:45am, she had prayed all she could and sat on a couch in the parlor, her head nodding from sleep. She heard the sound of a car park outside their house. Pushing the curtains aside and looking through the windows, she saw the siren to a police car rotating colorfully around in the dark early morning. She adjusted her nightgown and walked briskly outside, unlocking the doors quietly to avoid waking Janet.
She moved out into the corridor in front of the house and climbed down the stairs made of wood. The whole of the house was painted white and like every house in the neighborhood, it had no fence. She walked towards the car as Jaime limped out of it. She gasped on seeing the bandage around his leg. Jaime saw her fears and gave her a reassuring smile.
“Don’t worry dear, its just a scratch” he said and hugged her, kissing her on the forehead. She hugged him and held onto him for 7 seconds before releasing him.
From the other side of the car, August approached slowly like the ground beneath his feet was filled with spikes.
Kate saw him for the first time and paused in her display of affection to her husband. She looked down from August to Jaime with eyes that demanded answers.
“His family members just got killed, all of them” Jamie said looking down at his wife. Her expression changed from apprehension to that of compassion.
“That’s sad” she said and shook her head.
“Yea” Jaime replied and took her hands. He led them inside the house and shut the door behind them. He flicked the light switch on and the white fluorescent light came up, the light hit hard on theirs eyes as they blinked hard trying to get their eyes accustomed to the bright lights.
“Janet?” he asked
“Sleeping” she replied.
“What’s your name son?” he asked for the first time, surprised that he hadn’t asked earlier.
The reply was bold and portrayed no emotion.
“Okay August, I think you should take a bath and change into something better”
August nodded and took a look at the house. It was different from where he had lived or been to. At the far end of the parlor was the entertainment center comprising of a 42 inches plasma Television hanging on the wall, below it on a fancy table was a DVD flanked on either side by two tall speakers belonging to a sound system under the table. The walls were painted cream yellow and on the left side hung an air conditioning unit.
The walls facing the balcony had two large windows while the wall where the TV hung had one window all covered with thick orange curtains with yellow flower patterns. A white flower vase with a bunch of roses stood at the center of the glass Centre table sitting on white tiles mixed with black tiles in a beautiful pattern.
Kate motioned August to follow her while Jaime sat on the black cushion to remove his shoes. They climbed 3 steps and went into a corridor that was flanked on either side by two doors. One led into the master bedroom while the other was Janet’s. At the end of the corridor were two doors that led into the toilet and bathroom.
“There, go and take your shower, I’ll get you a towel”
She pointed at the bathroom door. August whispered his thanks and walked into the bathroom. He stood staring at the shower for sometime before a knock at the door jostled him.
Kate handed him over the towel and walked away. He watched her disappear from the corridor and he stepped out of the bathroom. He switched off the light to the bathroom and walked back in into the darkness, leaning on the wall for sometime before pulling his clothes off and hanging them on a nail that was on the door alongside the towel.
He climbed into the bath tub and turned on the shower, the cold water rushed at him, bringing him back to reality, it was like he had been away for a long time and the rush of cold water against his skin had brought him back to reality.
The water brought a kind of peace and calm to his body, he sat down on the cold floor of the bath tub, bringing his legs together and holding them with his hands and dropping his head on his knees. The tears came to his face as the memory of all he had lost came back to him, for a moment, he was oblivious of the water rushing against his body and mixing with the tears that rolled down his cheek.
“Maria, I’m cold” he whispered and his body shook from sobs and the reality that she would never hug him again or pet him like she had always done. He bit hard at his lips, the thought of Jaycee and their exploits together made him shudder, the boyish smile he had always loved appeared before the eye of his young mind. He remembered Joseph, his fearlessness and the times he was always there to protect them from danger.
“I’m going to be strong like you Joe, I won’t cry no more, I will be strong!” he whispered subconsciously, but then, he only cried more. He whispered his parents name softly and sucked on his right thumb. Now he was all alone, none of his family around to treat him like the last child that he was.
“I won’t cry no more” he whispered softly and cleaned the tears along with the water from his eyes. He got up and scrubbed his body with the soapy water.
The shower lasted 15 minutes in which he made up his young mind to be stronger, to be a man, to be a Donati.
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He walked out of the bathroom with the towel round his waist and clutching his clothes on his right hand. He met Kate outside the bathroom waiting with a pajamas in her hands.
“Here, change into these, they are Janet’s, you will fit into them alright”.
He took the cloth from her hands and murmured a thank you. She led him into Janet’s room, where Janet was sleeping in the bed at a corner of the wall.
“Hope you don’t kick in your sleep?” Kate asked and he shook his head.
“Good, you will do alright, just join her and catch some sleep”
She didn’t wait to know if he went to bed or not, she walked out of the room stealthily to avoid waking Janet up.
August took glance around the room, it was very much like a little girls room, large teddy laying around on the pink rug, little art clips gummed all over the pink wall. The bed was about 25 inches high and a little wide to accommodate about 2 grown up adult.
He dropped the towel on the ground and slid into the pajamas. It fitted him perfect. He picked the towel and threw it into a laundry basket he saw at a corner of the wall and moved to the bed, sitting on it with a little apprehension.
He ran his fingers through the soft woolen sheets and watched Janet’s body heave up and down with every breath she took. He couldn’t see her face clearly in the darkness. He lay gently down on the bed beside her, shifting to the edge to avoid their body colluding, closing his eyes, he sulked to sleep.
Kate came out to the parlor to meet his husband busy trying to pull his wounded leg out of his trouser, which was obviously a lofty task.
“You have to get to the hospital first thing in the morning for that” Kate said, sitting on the table to face him.
“Yes, Arrrgh” he moaned from pain and pulled the trouser from his leg and threw it to the nearest chair “I’ll get to the hospital first thing tomorrow morning”
He sat back on the chair and threw his head back, closing his eyes to relieve the pain.
“So what do you intend doing with him?” she asked and he lifted his head to look at her.
“The boy, August”
“Oh, I don’t know really, I was hoping maybe we could adopt him and take care of him, he has no family now and is as messed up as he could be”
“Adopt him? Don’t you think he may turn out a bad influence on our daughter,Janet, you know all these kids from the streets?”
“Janet? No, I don’t think so. Janet is more likely to influence him, you know how stubborn she can be”
“I don’t know, I just want what’s best for us” she said with a tone that suggested she had given in to the idea.
“Well, don’t worry, he’s just a kid, with time and the right people, he will change into something acceptable” Jaime reassured her.
“Let’s see if we can catch some sleep before the sun comes up ” he said, pulling himself up from the seat and limping to the direction of the room with Kate behind him.
To be continued
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