“Now I am going to change in my room while you two figure out what you want to do,” I decided for all of us and then left the couple in Sean’s room.
Walking towards my designated room in the house, I let myself drown in thoughts of the mysterious man who had a magnetic attraction to me. Going straight to the bathroom intent on taking the grime off my body, I barely noticed my school bag on the bed. Smiling to myself I shed my clothes as I walked to the shower. Turning the water on to full blast I lost myself in the memories of one jade-eyed, blonde haired boy from my past.
“Joyce!” a small boy shouted to a little girl. “Will you promise me that you’ll never forget me?” he asked hesitantly. The little girl’s lips broke out into a dazzling smile.
“I promise I won’t ever forget you, Jake,” she replied. “And then when I find you we’ll marry and have lots of babies!” she exclaimed followed by her twinkling laugh.
“I love you Joyce!” the boy known as Jake hugged the little girl and planted a small kiss upon her lips.
“I love you too Jake!” she said in reply.
“Honey, we have to leave,” a woman’s voice called out to the girl.
“Bye Jake,” she told her friend. “I promise we’ll find each other again,” she whispered then ran to her mother who carried the three year old to the car.
Jake stared at the vehicle as it moved farther away from him, in it was the girl he knew he had fallen in love with. At three, he had a sense of maturity in him that had even the more experienced adults gaping. It was impossible for someone so young to be able to tell how they felt and yet there were two children who knew that they were meant for each other the moment their eyes met. He sighed deeply with an air of seriousness about his small face.
“Jake, come inside!” a gentle voice called out to him.
I opened my eyes to the now cold water, my mind a whirl of thoughts. ‘Jake…’ I thought as my hand automatically went to my neck in search of the plastic ring that I had turned into a necklace. Turning off the shower, I made a decision; I would find out who Antonio’s cousin was. After I dressed in a black tank top and a blue pair of shorts I sat on the bed thinking about the man in the other room.
‘Who is he?’ I asked myself. ‘I’d never reacted like that to any guy who came on to me. It was like an automatic reflex the way I moved when I was with him. Sure, I’ve flirted before but I really haven’t kissed a guy and to think that I responded like that to him. It was so embarrassing and now Tony will not let me live it down.’ My thoughts were thwarted by the grumbling of my stomach. ‘That’s right, I haven’t eaten anything since lunch. I wonder what Meg had prepared for dinner.’
I walked into the kitchen and stared at the young lady that Antonio’s parents’ had saved from abusive parents.
Meg was a petite girl at fourteen. She had long dark hair and even darker onyx eyes. She was a pretty girl and her parents had tried to use her as a bargaining chip for their debts. Fred and Marianne had gotten to them in time; being the children’s welfare officers they were. Mr. and Mrs. Alfredo Santiago had been working on the case for a little over two years when they finally caught up to the ring leader for children prostitution. Meg had been sold by her own parents. She had been beaten badly with broken bones and large bruises scattered all over her body when the crime-fighting couple had found her. They took her in and raised her as their own. The brothers had accepted her warmly into their home; they understood when she shied away from their touches or hid in her room just to avoid them. They soon grew a friendly relationship although it was still strained. That was almost three years ago.
“Good evening Meg,” I greeted her. She turned away from the stove to look at me.
“Good evening miss Analyn,” she replied curtly then turned back to her cooking.
“How have you been?” I asked by way of starting a conversation.
“I’ve been well, Miss,” I sighed at the title.
“So what’s for dinner?”
“Sir Tony had told me that he would pick you up today so I decided to make your favorite food,” Meg replied. “I made baked macaroni.” She said as she placed a plate in front of me. I dug in gratefully and my thoughts once again drifted back to my best friend’s mysterious cousin.
“Whatcha thinkin’ ‘bout?” Tracy’s teasing voice pierced through the whirl of my thoughts. I turned to look at her and found her smirking at me. Her eyes held a mischievous glint as she smiled teasingly at me.
“Oh, I was just thinking about how hot Tony looked when he…” I trailed off at the murderous expression on
her face. “I’m just kidding Tracy, although, he is hot.” I smirked at her.
“Yeah, I get it,” she muttered. “So, what were you thinking about?”
“Nothing you need to know,” I replied. “Or would want to know.”
“Oh come on, you do realize that I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t want to know, right?”
“Hmmmm,” was my non-committal answer.
“Please?” she turned pouty lips and puppy dog eyes at me.
“You do realize that I have a younger sister and a baby brother right?”
“Oh.” She answered smartly. “Just tell me what you were thinking about.”
“I was just remembering my ‘childhood sweetheart’, if you may,” I said.
“What about him?”
“I swear you are tactless,” I refused to answer her question knowing that my best friend had put her up to it.
“Never mind,” I muttered angrily. “Why did Antonio tell you to do this?” I snapped.
“No need to get angry,” another voice cut in.
“Sorry,” I muttered. “I’m just…” I trailed off, not really knowing what I wanted to say.
“Frustrated, I know,” it was Tony who answered. “What’s bothering you?”
“Your cousin,” I answered. “I feel like I know him as more than just your cousin but I don’t know how seeing as I’m quite sure I’ve never met him before.” I stared at my plate pushing my food around the porcelain.
“You’re wrong,” Tony whispered. “You do know him. Your relationship with him goes much deeper than what we have,” he said as he walked closer to me. I found myself in a familiar position; wrapped in his arms, his chin resting atop my head. I barely heard when Tracy got up from her seat to give us some time alone and I wondered how she’d taken the story of how Tony and I met. “Do you want to know his full name?” he asked. I merely nodded afraid of how my voice would sound. “Sean Jacob Ramirez.”