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I Knew Chapter 16

by KaiaJersaga

Warning: This work has been rated 16+.

Grove Road ended in a gravel lane bordered on either side by driveways leading up to expensive-looking homes. Jed’s eyes wandered across the houses as he drove slowly over the untarnished gravel. His attention moved to the mailboxes marked with house numbers. Ahead, he saw the number 128 printed in bold white letters on a mailbox painted with bluebirds.

Jed flicked on the right blinker and entered the driveway leading up to the house with the bluebird mailbox. His eyes automatically moved ahead to where a closed garage stood connected to the rest of the house. He parked on the far left side of the driveway and pulled his keys out of the ignition. Blankly, he stared out at the large rose bushes trimmed to just below the spotless windows in front of the house.

Jed sighed and glanced down at his keys. Blindly, he opened the driver’s door and slid out onto the gravel driveway. He quietly shut the pickup’s door and locked the vehicle. His gaze returned to the home. Glancing down at the gravel, he crossed it and started down the walkway leading up to the front porch.

The flowers scented the air with their fragrance, but the foreign smell increased the tension of the moment as Jed took the neat brick steps up to the porch. His gaze dropped to the polished wood forming the length of the floor as he lifted a hand and lightly knocked on the frame of the neatly carved door in front of him.

His gaze moved to two chairs facing the road on either side of a glass table upon which a vase full of freshly picked roses stood. He bit his lip and glanced back at the road just as a black pickup passed. His gaze abruptly moved back to the front door when he heard a latch move on the opposite side of the door. He stepped back, glancing nervously in front of him.

A faint aroma swept out into the porch as the door opened, and Lakisha stepped out onto the porch. Her eyes moved questioningly across Jed’s face as she shut the door behind her. Tossing her artistically curled mohawk off her shoulder, she stepped closer, eyeing Jed questioningly from beneath her fake eyelashes. “Jed, am I right?” she asked in her deep tone.

Jed nodded.

Lakisha’s eyebrows lifted slightly. “I’ve been wanting to have a talk with you. Well, come in. Let’s talk where it’s a little cooler.” She pulled open the door beside her and held it open for Jed. “Excuse the mess. I wasn’t expecting company.”

Jed nodded and stepped through the doorway. A refreshing coolness descended on him as his eyes moved curiously across the spacious living room. Three spotlessly white sofas were arranged in a semicircle around a wide television screen. A table of expensive carved wood stood in the middle of it with a remote control placed perfectly parallel to its left side. Magazines lay perfectly stacked on the other side of the table. A fuzzy white rug covered the floor around the sofas while the outer edges were carpeted thickly.

Lakisha turned around swiftly to face Jed. “I have to get Cheryl. I will be right back. Make yourself at home while I’m gone.” She turned around and started toward a hallway at the left side of the room. She suddenly turned and passed an elegant nail against her lower lip. “Oh, and excuse the way I’m dressed this evening. As I said, I didn’t expect company.”

Jed shrugged, glancing over the woman’s slightly paint-streaked jeans as she turned around. He shook his head as he glanced down at the floor, wondering if she considered his slightly wrinkled work shirt to be an embarrassment. His eyes moved over the stainless furniture again. Fearing that he would somehow ruin it, he selected a plain wall beside a realistically painted image of a potted ivy and stood against it.

Lakisha returned, carefully smoothing over her mohawk as she reentered the living room. “She’s put herself to sleep on the floor of her room. I suppose that will take care of her,” she muttered as she set a glass with water in it on the table between the sofas. Her eyes moved to Jed as she slipped her phone out of the back pocket of her jeans and set it on the table. “Well, sit down. I won’t have company standing. Sit, sit. Anywhere you’d like.”

Jed cast Lakisha a glance and slid into the sofa closest to him. Lakisha selected the one across from him. Crossing a leg over her knee, she leaned forward. “So, what brings you here?” she questioned as she stroked her chin with the tip of a white fingernail.

Jed sighed and glanced down at the floor. “Your brother is…” Jed’s voice trailed off, and he glanced up at Lakisha, taking a calm sip from the glass. “in trouble,” he finished uncertainly.

Lakisha’s stern expression slowly melted from her face. “Trouble?” she repeated as she carefully set the glass on the table and looked up with interest. “What kind of trouble?”

“I…I don’t know exactly,” Jed replied, casting the floor another glance. Awkwardly, he reached up to his forehead and twisted a loose strand of his hair in his fingers.

“Mikel Denneda?” Lakisha prodded, flicking the name from her lips with disgust. Her eyes rose from her elegant nails to Jed’s face.

Jed’s eyes lifted to the woman’s disgusted glance. “Yes.”

Lakisha sighed and adjusted the pillow beside her. “If there was one thing I could do and never regret it, it would be to shake Zybryn so hard he would never forget it.”

She sighed and leaned back against the cozy backrest behind her. “Oh, that boy,” she began, glancing up at the dustless lightshade above her. “First, he makes friends with a man literally composed of red flags. Then, he trusts a pure stranger to take him home from some rough-house party he didn’t like only to get in a car accident and land himself in a hospital half an hour from Mikel’s apartment. Whatever could be next, Zybryn?” she muttered, rolling her eyes and taking another sip. “No point in guessing I suppose.”

Her eyes moved back to Jed as she set the glass back down on the table in front of her. “Anyway. I’m sure you didn’t come here to hear me vent about Zybryn. What I want to know from you is why you visited my brother again. Your last words to me seemed to have been a polite way of saying that you were disgusted with Zybryn.”

“Sheriff Edwards wanted me to see him. He said you were busy and didn’t have time to check on him,” Jed replied softly.

Lakisha’s eyebrows lifted slightly. “So, it was the sheriff, was it?” she murmured, leaning back against the pillows at the back of the sofa. “Always prying into affairs that are not his own.”

Jed glanced down at the floor and nodded.

Lakisha smiled faintly. She watched Jed’s face for a moment and calmly ran her fingers over a white blanket lying neatly folded beside her. “It was more than that, though, wasn’t it?” she guessed as she pulled a loose thread off her shirt and laid it on the table. Her eyes rose to Jed’s face. “You took Zybryn home from the hospital. That was uncalled for. I had already made arrangements for his departure.”

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Thu May 25, 2023 4:54 am
cookiesandcream123 wrote a review...

Hi Kaia!

I am back to leave a review. Firstly, I'm glad that Jed is trying to do something to help Zybryn! I feel like Lakisha isn't gonna be much help, though... *Cough* She's pretty sus I'm not gonna lie- I wonder if she's really his sister??

You've nailed the descriptions and dialogue in this chapter. I really enjoyed these lines; they're clear and vivid, while tackling multiple details:

Blankly, he stared out at the large rose bushes trimmed to just below the spotless windows in front of the house.

The flowers scented the air with their fragrance, but the foreign smell increased the tension of the moment as Jed took the neat brick steps up to the porch.

(The latter sentence might be a *little* lengthy, but it's alright!)

I have one suggestion, but it's more of a nit-picky thing. Towards the end, I think you could elaborate more on what Jed and Lakisha were feeling/thinking. The dialogue and the gestures woven in are awesome, but I often wasn't sure what emotion was behind them. (Ex: At the end, I couldn't tell if Lakisha sounded angry or not. I imagine that she did, but her pulling a loose thread & looking up at Jed wasn't enough evidence.)

You could add something like, "Jed heard her tone become sharp", or smthg that shows her irritation if you want. It might add more suspense to the ending, too. Or in the 2nd to last para., you could mention what Jed thought about her comment on the sheriff. (I'm not sure, but I feel like he would've disagreed maybe? Or felt guilty?) It's hard to tell since he only nodded. Unless this was on purpose to keep his opinions a mystery!

That's all, though. I just wish there was more about Jed's thoughts to balance out the setting/action descriptions. But ultimately it's up to you. Nice work on this chapter! :D

KaiaJersaga says...

Thanks for the thoughts. I'll have to look into that. :) You're awesome!!

Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl: it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling.
— Henry David Thoreau