I’m back to irregular posting aren’t I?
I rolled my eyes to myself even though my teacher clearly couldn’t see my face as I left the classroom. I always have great grades, I’ve stopped falling asleep in his class (I’m too nervous with Tatiana in the same class. I try to get her to talk to me and maybe extract information about a certain bank, but she’s the good student type who doesn’t want to talk in class) and I’ve stopped throwing paper airplanes at Lucas! But my teacher felt the need to keep me after class to give me a talk about fighting. I haven’t gotten in a real fight since at least Halloween (dad and pa are officially off my back thanks to that!), but he felt the need to make sure I wasn’t going to…relapse? Or something?
Basically, a grand waste of my time.
I spotted Zac and his little gang further down the corridor. Venkat – the dude I almost got into a fight with twice (or was it thrice?) – spotted me as well and squinted his eyes at me.
Always with the attempt to give me a patronizing glare.
I stuck my tongue out at him.
His eyes widened in anger and his hands formed into tight little fists.
“OH YOU LITTLE-”
Zac, not even sparing me a glance, grabbed his friend’s hoodie to drag him away.
Venkat still felt the need to grace me with his middle finger.
“You’re a stuck up little bastard kid.” Venkat growled into my direction, before shaking Zac off.
I chuckled to myself. I gotta admit, this is more amusing than starting a fist fight with this guy.
I watched them round the corner, before heading off the opposite way. Zac is still ignoring me. Well whatever, I guess I can let him run away for a while. But not for too long, there are still a lot of things to discover in my basement.
Especially since my parents haven’t figured out how the monster disappeared yet. I really want to make the most of this opportunity.
I guess I do feel a little bad about going behind my parents’ backs again, but I’ve behaved like they asked me too! I even refused some of the amusing dares the twins shot at me during the holidays. And I haven’t hit a single person in months – and believe me there’ve been people who deserved it.
Some of the students around here have actually been whispering that the bombing of the other school was justified and couldn’t be helped.
Mind you they’re all naturals.
That easily warrants a “wakeup call”, but…well I’ve managed to not beat some sense into half of these people with the knowledge that they just didn’t understand. They’re all naturals from all natural families who’ve grown up surrounded by the media who continuously clearly sides with the naturals before the supernaturals.
Salandra said this at some point: “They’re all just afraid of what they don’t understand.”
And that made a lot of sense. People do dumb things when they’re afraid.
Still they’re lucky I’m trying not to get into trouble, let alone suspended, as the principal threatened, or else I still would’ve given them a wakeup call even with that reasoning.
“HA, yeah you’d make a fine lab rat.” Said Elaine’s voice as I walked past her, her friend and Salandra without realizing it. The two chuckled darkly to themselves in that we’re making fun of someone way.
“Oh buzz off Elaine.” I said, butting into the group chat without any warning. Apparently they hadn’t noticed me passing by either.
“Oh buzz off Niko,” She replied with an exaggerated whiny imitation of my voice. She and her friend decided to leave anyway.
She’d gone really quickly from trying to make out with me to dissing me off. Not that I’m complaining.
Salandra stood facing that phony poster that’s been hung up all over the school. The teachers keep tearing it down, but you can always find one somewhere. It seems kind of cool….until you read the fine print.
She didn’t say anything as Elaine and her friend rounded the corner. She just stood staring at the blue ad with her fists clenched.
“Playing video games helps increase your chances of lucid dreaming you know.” I ended up saying to clear the silence, sticking my hands in my pockets and staring at the poster as well.
“Why did you do that?” She spun to me, her icy glare digging into my face. That took me by surprise.
My heart did a weird jolt at how piercing those bright blues were right now.
I don’t think I’ve ever really seen them.
“You didn’t have to! I had it under control. I didn’t need rescuing.” Salandra snapped.
She was actually angry at me for telling Elaine to buzz off.
How many times have I seen Salandra angry?
“You’re saying I did? That’s why you told Elaine off at the Halloween party?” I automatically replied to her accusation, with almost the same harsh tone.
She straightened, surprised, and her cheeks flushed red.
And then her entire demeanor changed.
She went from attack to defensive in a second.
“I’m sorry that’s not…” She mumbed deflatedly, glancing as much away as she could. She even took a step back. “I didn’t meant to imply – I shouldn’t have shouted at you-” She stuttered taking another step back.
“Woah, hey,” I said, reaching out to lightly grab her arms so she’d stop backing off like a frightened animal. “Don’t apologize.”
Her mouth snapped shut, her gaze fixed downwards.
“I’m the one who should be sorry.” I said with a small shrug. “I’m sure you had it under the control. I didn’t mean to imply you can’t fight your own battles.”
With the kind of glare and threats you can make, I’m sure you can stand up for yourself.
Now to come up with a better reason to why I stepped in… “I only butted in because I didn’t want to talk to you with Elaine lurking around.” I said with a slight smirk.
“Ok.” She replied after a small pause.
I stared for a few seconds, thinking maybe she had more to say, before realizing I was still holding on to her arms. I let go.
“I have to head to class soon.” She ended up saying with an expressionless tone and face, like she was in shock.
I guess break is almost over. “Alright…”
With a slight nod, she left me wondering if I’d said the wrong things in the end. I heaved a big long sigh.
“Nothing at all?” Pa asked again as I tried to set a new record on my video game.
“No warnings? No almosts?” Pa asked.
“Everything’s been fine at work pa.” I repeated.
“And you’d tell us if anything did happen right?” He asked.
“Why the sudden concern?”
Nikita decided to butt in our conversation from the kitchen. “Oh Niko, it’s only that you’ve had this job for 3 months and haven’t actually lost it yet due to you turning the place upside down that’s all.” She said.
“I wouldn’t do that for no-”
“No reason obviously, but there always seems to be a loophole reason with you.” Niki snorted.
“I do want to keep this job. It’s not like I’ll purposefully do anything to lose it. How else am I going to pay for my tae kwon do classes?” I rolled my eyes.
Pa patted my shoulder. “Well that’s a great mentality to have!” Yeah guess pa must be relieved that he doesn’t have to pay fines for me breaking into police stations anymore.
There just hasn’t been a good reason to break into police stations you know? Heh.
Wanting to behave and not complain and tell off stupid clients isn’t only because I want cash for my tae kwon do lessons. I could just get myself another job if this one doesn’t pan out.
No, it’s cause of something much more interesting. Who knew a certain person came to eat at my café on the same day of the week, every week?
Mr. Detective. Who I eventually learned was Mr. Sebastien. Or Detective Sebastien? Probably just Sebastien.
Anyway, the guy comes every week and it’s not for the coffee or the famous garlic bread. He always has visits over. And I say visits, but I mean interrogations.
First time he showed up, I tried to be subtle, but he caught sight of me pretty quickly and gave me a hello nod.
I remember my supervisor had to remind me to work, because I kept wanting to sit down at that table and ask him questions about Dexter’s case. Or about that flame kid who got shipped away.
My anxiety on that subject was cut short when I saw another customer come in and sit down in front of him.
Thing is, that customer was Evan, the twin’s dad.
MINDBLOWN. For a few seconds, because then I remembered the twins’ mentioning they’d overhead their parents saying their dad used to be a hitman sniper kind of guy.
Working got easier then, because I had an excuse to gravitate towards their table to try and hear what they were saying. My aunt’s fiancé hadn’t noticed me yet.
But it wasn’t that interesting. Sebastien was working on a case concerning the people Evan used to work for…and he was just looking for some advice or any information since he was one of the only ones who ever got out of there and lived to tell the tale.
I mean mafia type stuff could be interesting, but I’ve got too many things to solve to take in unrelated stray mysteries.
Sebastien mostly never saw the same people. Most were a little boring…like that crazy guy from Dealer’s Avenue. He came in once or twice, claiming to have info on random things, but I could see him stuffing ketchup packets and bread pieces in his pants.
Sometimes the people he’d meet looked really nervous, some looked overly confident, and they were all here to talk to him about cases he was working on. The bombing, threats on supernaturals, and the kidnappings, among other things.
I’m pretty sure he knows I eavesdrop, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t care.
The most interesting of his visitors though, and the most common, is a tall red-head much too fancy for a little café like this.
She has an odd kind of presence that has everyone turn their heads when she walks in. She doesn’t seem nervous, or too confident like the others, she just seems like she’s come for a business meeting.
Though she treats it like a business meeting, he often seems a lot more laidback, smiling a lot too, as if they’re old friends.
What she liked to talk about were the anti-supernaturals (who don’t refer to themselves that way anymore?). From what I’ve gathered, they’re causing most of the damage, directly or indirectly, against supernaturals. Pretty hypocritical if you ask me. It’s not like you see news of supernaturals bombing schools.
The conversation sometimes turns to the supernatural’s reaction as it happens…and that’s when they mention the kidnappings. Something about experimenting on giving magic to naturals, and something about it having a higher survival rate with children or teenagers.
The woman usually stops it there, mentioning something about that being Terrance’s area of expertise.
Terrance….Terrance….I’ve heard the name before. When I met Sebastien in Dealer’s avenue and followed him, he started mentioning that name to someone in relation with the kidnappings. Sebastien wasn’t the only who’d mentioned the kidnappings that day either.
She’s only come three times while I was working, but each time I hear something a little more interesting. Like the arrival of the Talent Troupe soon…and how much that’ll unbalance the town. How will the anti-supernaturals react with such a huge increase of supernaturals?
Pa got up to go answer the phone.
Both dad and Alistair are at work till after supper (yeah, my uncle got himself a job at some point….well he’s on his second right now), so it’s just Niki, Pa and I for now. And Nato of course.
Nikita finished making her early salad supper and plopped herself down at the table.
“You know…” She started as a silence settled between us. A silence only disrupted by pa talking to my aunt Erin and by my game fighting me for first place.
“Tyzel’s a good dancer. I can admit that at least. But in the end he’s nothing compared to him.”
“Him huh,” I said absent-mindedly. The information processed itself in my head. “Wait him? You’re dating again?”
My sister laughed. “No, no nothing like that, but, hmm…” She trailed off with a daydreaming look on her face.
“I met someone….though met is a very loose term considering it was in a dark club and we both had masks on.” She began, biting lightly on her fork. “We didn’t really need to exchange names or faces though, it was clear we’d both gone there to dance so…we danced and ahhhh, I’ll spare you the details-”
“But it really makes me regret my knee curfew.” She sighed.
“Be careful, who knows who could be hiding behind that mask.” I said, finishing my level.
“That’s funny, coming from you!”
“I’m just saying! You’ve got weak knees, you wouldn’t be able to run off.” I said with a smirk.
“I could run for a bit if the situation asked for it.” Nikita said, slightly insulted.
“Yeah, adrenaline can do amazing things.”
“You underestimate me.” She said, shaking her head with a smile.
“Speaking of running…” I’d barely finished my thought process that Nato barked in response. “I think I’ll go take a quick jog with Nato.”
“What do you say buddy?” I asked him, playfully petting his head and stomach. “Maybe we should go see if Salandra wants to tag along too.”
“Salandra?” Nikita almost dropped her fork.
I shrugged. “She’s walked with us once or twice already.”
“But you’re willingly going to ask her to go?” Nikita asked very slowly.
“Well Nato likes her, I don’t see why not.” I said, still petting the excited puppy. And I guess…we haven’t really gotten a chance to hang out since she got angry at me. I’m really unsure if she’s still unhappy with me right now.
“I need to catch up on your social life. When did this happen?”
“Don’t start with that again.” I said, not taking my eyes off my puppy. Can’t a guy and a girl be friends without everyone expecting them to end up together? Looking at you too Elvis.
“No don’t worry I won’t! I said I’d back out and apparently that worked wonders. Say hi to her for me will you?”
“Wear a coat at least!”
“Come on, it’s still warm out.”
“With snow.” She pointed out.
“It’s a warm winter.” I said with a half-laugh.
“It’s not like I hang around you close enough to catch your inevitable cold anyway.” Nikita said, going back to her salad.
“Says the girl who used to walk with only socks in the school corridors in the middle of winter.” I snorted.
“Ok bye now!”
My uncle and I don’t get along well when it comes to my mother. It’s no secret, and there’s no surprise there. He’s always been rather emotionally cold. But when we put that issue aside, he and I cohabit well together. Especially in moments like these.
I’m sure at this point in his life, he plays the piano so often he doesn’t even need to practice anymore. However he still makes a point of it to practice once or twice a week at home, and that always seems to coincide with when I’m there.
For all I know, he practices at other times as well, but I’m just glad he does so in my presence. He also doesn’t seem to mind that I listen!
I’ve always loved hearing someone play a musical instrument. You can appreciate it so much more live then through a recording. There are vibrations in the air that your other senses can feel I suppose. I’m sure Nikolas would know.
When I used to be very little, when my father was still around, my uncle would come visit us and he would bring this little portable piano with him. My mother, on the other hand, would take out her guitar, and together they’d improvise a few songs while my father and I listened. I loved it! I’d twirl around and make song requests, and after two or three songs I’d collapse on the sofa and fall asleep. After my dad left, it’s how my mother put me to sleep. She’d bring her guitar into my room and sing me a lullaby and after a song and a half I’d be off dreaming.
I haven’t heard them play together since my dad left. Mom says my uncle nearly gave up the piano for a while. She’s the one who convinced him to pursue it, while she had to sell her guitar at some point when we were low on cash. Young Chase Grace promised her he’d buy a new top notch guitar then, when he was going to become a famous pianist. But now she’s in the hospital and he’s probably forgotten all about it.
My fingers attempted to follow my uncle’s piano as my eyes began to droop to the relaxing music.
I jolted awake as someone knocked on the door and the music abruptly stopped.
I heard the soft scrapping of my uncle’s stool on the carpet as he got up to go answer.
I peered curiously from my spot on the couch.
“Who are you?” My uncle ‘politely’ asked as he opened the door. A waft of cold air drifted to me and I tried to make out who it was.
And then I heard a yip. I got up and ran over, my uncle probably seeing from my face that I knew who it was.
I took my uncle’s spot with a huge grin.
“Niko!?” I exclaimed. “What are you doing here?”
He’s never come to my door, let alone knock on it. Let alone walk on this porch. It was unprecedented.
Usually I waited for him outside my house if I felt like accompanying him on his morning jog (when there was no snow…). There’s never been a reason for him to come knock at my door.
“Hey Sal! Wanna come help me walk Nato?” He asked, and Nato yipped from his spot between his master’s legs. “Nato insists that you do.”
My grin grew larger. “Yes! Let me just get my coat!” I replied as relief flashed across his face.
“Did you hear about the school’s journal club dissing that one kid from-”
“Yeah I did! The article was pretty funny haha,”
“I heard the club was looking for you…something about a job?”
“Oh yeah, I used to do small errands for them last semester.”
“Huh, that’s why you weren’t there most of the time. What kind of stuff did they make you do?”