Here is the fifth instalment, guys. Hope you enjoy it! And remember, comment.... or else 0.o
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, knowing with every fibre of your being that something was very wrong? That's what happened to me two days before Christmas. I was woken by a sound downstairs. Isn't it strange how loud sounds like sirens, another person's (Kevin!!) snoring and the refrigerator turning on and off won't wake you because you are used to them, but foreign sounds, no matter how soft can wake you up in a flash?
It sounded almost like somebody bumped into something. Sally was home that night but I didn't think it was her. I had a distinct feeling that it was something or someone that shouldn't be there. Call me psychic, but I just had this sense that something bad was going to happen.
I heard it again and started to wake Kevin up, but before I could reach to shake his shoulder the knob on my door turned and Sally slipped into my room. I let out a small yelp of surprise, but Sally immediately put a finger in front of her lips, signalling me to be silent. She tip-toed across the room to my bed, not even noticing a totally naked Kevin lying on his back. He was fast asleep in the bright moonlight with nothing covering him.
`Did you hear it too?' She whispered as soon as she reached me. I nodded.
`Do you think it's a burglar?' I asked. I was beginning to get very nervous. In South Africa, burglars most definitely knew how to use guns.
`I don't know. Should we go check?' I contemplated this for a while before nodding, and gestured to Kevin, asking the silent question. She just shook her head and we left him there sleeping. I got up and grabbed the old cricket bat that had been uselessly sitting under my table for years. At that moment I was very glad that I had been too lazy to throw it out in the past.
We walked slowly down the slate stairs with Sally at my back. I held the cricket bat in such a way that I could respond quickly and swing it without any trouble if the need should arise. We got down the stairs pretty quickly and just stood there in silence for a small while. It sounded like the noise was coming from the studio. This just served to make me even more determined to take a swing at whoever was in there.
My musical instruments came second in my life only to my family and Kevin. I would be lost without them and I would be damned if some burglar was going to steal them and sell them off cheaply. It's not just the fact that they are quite expensive, though. Most of them also carry huge sentimental value. And that can never be replaced.
We quickly made our way to the studio door, where we stopped and listened. There was definitely someone in there. We could hear the person moving around in the room, almost as if they were stumbling. I got even more nervous as the smell of alcohol hit me. All I needed was some drunken thug in there.
I looked at my mom. She was holding up pretty well. Sometimes the nerves of steel that one acquired from being an investigative journalist came in handy I suppose. I caught her eye and lifted my free hand, counting silently to three on my fingers. On three she slipped into the studio and switched the light on. I followed right behind her, bat at the ready.
What we saw was, well, quite unexpected. Gloria was sitting on the floor with a deer-in-the-headlights look on her face, dumbly staring at my mother. I immediately dropped the bat and both of us rushed to her.
`Gloria?' My mom said. `You okay honey? Talk to me.' Gloria was obviously pretty smashed. The distinct smell of gin lay heavily on her breath. Her pupils were dilated and her eyes were bloodshot.
`Ssally?' She slurred. `Oh, Sal.' My mom was looking pretty worried.
`What happened, Ree?' She asked, taking Gloria's hand in her own. Gloria bowed her head hand I could see she was trying to hide the fact that she was crying.
`It's Marc, Sal. Marc came to visit me.' I will never, for as long as I live, forget the look of profound horror on my mother's face. I had no idea who Marc was but, judging from Gloria's reaction, it was pretty obvious that he wasn't the type of person one would want a visit from.
`Are you okay honey? Did he do anything to hurt you? Talk to me Ree!' Gloria shook her head.
`No, Sal. Marc was looking for... He's looking for Kevin.' Now I may not know who Marc is or what he did to make Gloria look so scared and defeated, but as soon as Kevin's name was mentioned I jumped up and ran to our room. Yeah, at this point I was thinking of it as our room. Kevin almost never slept over at his house anymore and most of his stuff had been moved over to my place for convenience.
I dashed up the stairs and threw the door open as soon as I got to my room.
Standing right next to the bed on Kevin's side was a man who looked to be maybe in his late forties. He was hunched over and looked to be more than two meters (almost 7 foot) tall. He looked up as I entered the room and his eyes narrowed as I screamed. He quickly made a dash for window and for the first time I could see it was open wide. In the moonlight the burglar bars looked to be cut off with a bolt cutter or something similar.
Before Sally could make it upstairs, he was gone. I rushed over to the window as he disappeared and could see him running across the lawn before jumping the fence. Why the electric fencing didn't shock him in to oblivion I did not know. It happened so fast, and I was in such a daze as it happened that it was a full five minutes later before Kevin finally got my attention by shaking me roughly.
`Shane! Shaney what the hell?' He asked. I noticed that Sally and Gloria were also in the room. Gloria seemed to be sobered up a little bit, but it was probably only because of the adrenaline.
`Shane,' My mom said. `Was Marc here?' I just nodded dumbly. There was no other logical conclusion. I suppose it could have been a burglar, but I doubt it. It could only have been this Marc person our moms are going on about.
`Who is Marc? And what's he doing in our room?' Kevin asked. Sally looked into Kevin's eyes, and I could see Gloria doing the exact opposite – looking away from him. It was almost like she didn't want to see his reaction to Sally's answer. Sally sighed deeply.
`He's your father, Kevin.' Kevin turned white as a sheet, and started to sway heavily. I was just in time to catch him as he toppled over into me waiting arms.
I do not think, dear reader, that you would be surprised when I tell you that we didn't really get any sleep that night after everything that had happened. Although Kevin had been unsteady on his feet all night, he never actually full-out fainted. I was surprised.
You see, something you might not know about Kevin is that he is epileptic. Luckily he only has a case of light epilepsy, so he doesn't get the full out grande-mal epileptic fits where people thrash around on the floor and lose control of the bladder and bowels. Instead, he blacks out.
There's no fanfare, no sense of impending doom and no Jaws-like music playing in the background before it happens. It just does. Like one time, we were lying on my bed watching NCIS (you gotta love that show). He was quite close to the edge of the bed on the one side, and me on the other. Remember, this was before we confessed our eternal undying love for each other.
Anyways, so I was still busy watching Gibbs perform an exquisite bust one moment, and the next I just heard a loud thud. Turns out, Kevin had had a blackout and, with all of his muscles relaxing all at once, he fell off the bed. It would have been funny had it been because he fell asleep or something, but as it was I just fussed over him for the rest of the night.
He never stays out for long either - maybe a couple of seconds. The longest I think was around half a minute, but that was purely because he hadn't taken his pills that morning like he was supposed to. At first, I used to be a bit wary of his condition, but having lived with it for most of my life it became a non-issue.
We were sitting on the front porch watching the sun rise. I was still only in boxers, and Kevin had briefs and a very long t-shirt on. Guess who the girl in this relationship was! We weren't cold or anything, though. Like I already explained, hell would be a breeze in this bloody temperature.
Kevin asked Sally for one of her smokes, and she ended up giving him a whole packet. Under the circumstances, I don't think anybody minded him smoking. I wouldn't even be surprised to see him reaching for alcohol. He didn't, though, and that was one fact that I was truly grateful for.
This might be a good time to explain why I think Kevin was acting like this. I was just as surprised as he was up in my room when my mother announced who this Mark character was, because according to Gloria Kevin's dad had died shortly after his birth. Why she had spun this story, I did not know. But what I did know is that Sally knew far more about this than either Kevin or I.
I wanted to comfort him. I wanted to hold him in my arms, kiss the top of his head and repeat over and over again that things would be okay, but I didn't. I just put my hand on his shoulder, letting him know that I was there for him.
I knew that Kevin's main problem was not that his father had broken into our room to look for him. It wasn't even the fact that there was a distinct chance he wanted to hurt Kevin. His main problem was the fact that his father had been alive all along, and his mother had him believe otherwise. His mother broke his trust so fully and completely that trying to build it back up again would probably take a long time.
As we watched the sun rise higher and higher, other thoughts entered my head. Where had Marc been all these years? Why did he return now? How come my mother was so horrified to hear from Gloria that Marc had been there and why did Gloria seem so afraid of him? Had he hurt her in the past? A thought crossed my mind that made my blood boil. Had he hurt Kevin in the past?
I didn't know a single answer to all of these questions, but I fully intended to get them. Sally and Gloria had driven over to the police station at first light and should be back soon. I did not care that Gloria was an ultra-successful hot-shot lawyer: shit was definitely going to strike the fan if my questions were not given satisfying answers.
It turned out to be way after three in the afternoon before the moms turned up again. Without even saying a word, Sally went to the kitchen to put the water on for tea and Gloria disappeared upstairs, presumably to the bathroom. Kevin was also upstairs in our room. He wanted some alone time and I gladly provided it. Anything that would make him happy I would gladly provide.
Naturally, I took it upon myself to slip into the kitchen behind Sally to get some facts straight. She noticed me as soon as she finished fussing with the kettle and gave me a wan smile.
`You wanna know where we've been, right?' I frowned and nodded. It didn't take a genius to figure that out. She just stood and looked at me without saying a single word, but the smile did grow a bit bigger.
`Well?' I asked. I was beginning to get majorly irritated.
`Well, what?' She asked. The smile was even bigger now.
`Sally! This is no fucking time for jokes.' She looked shocked at the way I spoke to her. I didn't normally swear all that much in front of her, much less directly at her.
`Sorry,' she said. `I feel a bit like I'm gonna explode. I just need something to smile about. You know, let up the pressure.' Great, now I felt like an ass.
`No Sal, I'm sorry. But Kevin and I are so frustrated. We don't have a cooking clue about what the hell is going on here. You and Gloria have been acting all cloak and dagger since this whole thing happened, and Kevin is so angry at his own mother that I don't know if he will be able to forgive her. What the hell was she thinking, keeping the fact that his father had been alive and well secret? As a matter of fact, what the hell was she thinking when she told him is father was dead. Kevin is in such a fucking daze at the moment that not even I can get through to him.'
`Shane--' she started.
`NO!' I cut her short. `Do you have any clue what Kevin is doing at this moment? He is lying on our bed, wanting to be alone.' I pronounced the word as if it were a curse. `He hasn't ever, ever, wanted to be alone. He always let me in. Do you know how shitty it feels to be shut out all of a sudden when I had always been let in, in the past?' Tears were streaming down my face. I was actually fucking crying. Me! I was doing the one thing that I hated seeing people do, and it was in front of my mother.
Sally came over to me and wrapped me in her arms. She softly stroked my back, not saying anything as I sobbed into her neck.
`Gloria has got so fucking much to answer for,' I managed to choke out between the tears. `SO fucking much!'
`I know I do.' A voice said from the door. It was Gloria. Great, now I felt even more ashamed, having her see me crying as well. `I know I have got a lot to answer for, and I plan to do so now. Please, Shane, go fetch Kevin. He, more than anybody needs to hear this. I'll be waiting in the lounge.'
`No.' I said as she turned to leave. `Go wait in the studio. He'll be more comfortable there.' She gave a curt nod, and disappeared off to the studio.