The room was silent save for the sound of the ticking clock which had announced the time as 12am some minutes ago. In the pitch darkness, Janet tossed and turned, unable to sleep. She had gotten so used to August sleeping with her that she can’t shut her eyes without him by her side.
She closed her eyes and did her normal ritual of counting 1 to 300 each time she was waiting for something or someone. She counted and still Augusta wasn’t there. She hissed and started over again. On getting to the count of 150, she heard a rap on the window. She jerked up and took a look and she saw his face there, she quickly opened the door as stealthily as she could and he climbed in along with cold breeze that hit her in the face.
“What took you so long?” she asked as he fell on the bed beside her, shutting back the window.
“Nothing, Just felt like staying longer”
“You stayed too longer, I was already getting scared”
“Did anybody look for me?” he asked
“No, no one”
Janet had always known about his weekly visits to the grave yard and had asked one time to accompany him, he had refused blatantly, he told her she needed to stay at home and watch out for him. August was like a new addiction to her and she couldn’t stay for long without him.
“When will I go with you to the graveyard?” she asked after some seconds of silence.
“No time, a graveyard is no place for a 7 year old girl” he replied coldly.
“But you are 7 too?” she protested.
“Yes, I am 7 and a boy too”
“I will go with you, if you are there, nothing will happen to me ”
“Why do you want to go?”
“I want to see Joseph’s grave”
“You can’t go please and stop asking”
Another minute of silence followed and together on the bed, they listened to the noises around, the periodic sound of passing cars, the ticking of the clock and the noise of the night creatures.
“We will go in the afternoon, so the night won’t scare us” she muttered.
“No Janet, no and no, we ain’t going nowhere”
“I thought dad told you not to use 2 negatives in a sentence, it’s not correct”
“Fuck that” he muttered under his breath and inside him, he yelled, “Fuck your dad”.
“You shouldn’t swear too” she said
“Fine, can we sleep now?”
“No, until you promise”
“Fine, I promise, we will go together, one afternoon”
“Tomorrow?” she asked with a winning smile on her face.
“No, one afternoon, just not tomorrow”
“Okay, one afternoon, I won’t forget August”
“Okay, fine” he gasped out of frustration.
She gave a nod, a nod she liked to give whenever she wins an argument, she always wins and she always nods. She snuggled closer to him and placed her head on his shoulder and he let her.
“I love you” she whispered
“I don’t know, maybe because you are my brother”
“I am not your brother”
“I know, but we live together, so you are my brother”
“Cool, whatever you say”
“- – – – ”
“Do you love me?” she asked all of a sudden
“I don’t know”
And he really didn’t know what or how he felt, all he knew was that he felt better each time he was around her, maybe he was too young to know what he felt.
She kept mute for a long time as they lay awake in the dark, obvious of the fact that each other was awake. He was just there, reminiscing what happened at the graveyard when he felt her wet face.
“Are you crying?”
“- – – – ” sniffs
“Why are you crying” he asked again and touched her blond hair.
“You don’t love me” she replied with a teary voice
“Did I say that?”
“You said you don’t know”
“Please stop, I love you, Just don’t cry”
He too was trying not to cry.
“Will you leave? Go back to your family?” she asked wiping the tears from her eyes.
“I have no family”
“But will you ever leave?” she asked, her heart pounding at the perspective answer.
“No, I will always stay”
He just wanted her to be happy, despite the grudges he bore against her father. She smiled and pecked him on the cheek.
“Goodnight” she whispered.
“Goodnight” he replied.
She slept off in a couple of minutes on his chest. He lay awake all through, thinking of his new family and the old one that was taken away from him, he so much wanted revenge but he didn’t know where to start From, he only knew Jaime killed two of his brothers and each time he thought of killing him for that, Janet comes into his mind, he loved and adored her in a way he couldn’t figure out and wouldn’t want to to see her hurt.
The more he thought of his brothers, the angrier he became, he was lost on how to avenge them when the only enemy he knew was being his friend and foster father.
“When the time comes, I will know what to do” he muttered and closed his eyes. His conversation with Carter replaying in his mind and he whispering “I am a Donatti” each time.
To be continued