The Hollow Men – Part Two

Previously

…“Fair warning though,” she looked over her shoulder, “she doesn’t much get along with living people.” She added with a smirk that made me hesitant to trust her…

~~~~~

“You’re not going anywhere alone with that harlot!” My mother from across the table at breakfast the next morning.

“I could go with her – ” my eldest brother offered.

My mother scoffed. “As if! You’re not allowed anywhere near that girl.”

“It’s not like I’m going to start being her next partner in crime, ma,” I chimed in, “we’re just going to visit the crematory she’s studying at.”

My father returned to the table with a steaming cup in hand, “what for, Nic?”

I stammered, “…curiosity – ”

“Nic’s been going on about hearing voices and spirits in the courtyard.”

Both my parents and the rest of my siblings turned curious and weary glances on me. I shot Khaleef a snarling glare.

My mother started again, “well you can forget it, we’re not going to let you go off and fill your head with more nonsense like that.”

“She doesn’t even believe…ugh whatever.” I had no sooner resigned to finishing breakfast in silence before a knock came to the side-door.

“Got it!” My younger sister shot up and rushed to the door. We all turned our heads and her voice came back, “oh, hello; speak of the devil – ”

“Jun!”

Both my mom and I snapped at the same time and I shot up out of my seat to meet my sister and our guest at the door. Olivia stood there with a curious look across her dark brows. The scent of smoke wafted in with her. I nudged my sister out of the way, “thank you, Jun,” to which she wrinkled her nose and returned to the breakfast room just around the corner.

“Uh, come on in. We’re just finishing breakfast.” And I stepped to the side to allow her in.

Olivia seemed hesitant and she shook her head gently with a nervous chuckle, “I’ll pass.” She then thumbed over her shoulder and kept her voice low as she spoke, “I’ll keep the ol’ croon company while she waits.”

I followed her signal, leaning slightly out of the door frame to peer down into the courtyard where there sat a figure bundled up in a huge shawl cross-legged on the bench underneath the tree where I usually studied.

“I reached out last night to give her a heads up. She kinda just showed up this morning. So, yeah, we’ll just wait out here…I think she’s enjoying the fresh air…”

At that point, Khaleef eased his way around the corner carrying his dirty plate and heading to the kitchen. “Olivia…hey.”

She flashed a grin in a somewhat dismissive wave as she turned and made her way back out to the courtyard. He twisted his mouth and hung his shoulders continuing onto the kitchen, though, at the moment, I could not bring myself to much care considering his jealous betrayal of late. I shut the door.

“What was that about?” My mother as I reentered the breakfast room.

“Turns out the plans for the crematory are off anyway.” I shrugged and took my seat again. My mother perked her brow and questioned: is that so? I nodded, simply, and finished my breakfast in silence.

It was my day to clean up after breakfast. I was slowly working my way through the plates and casserole dish, listening to the sound of my family bickering in the living room, when another knock came at the side-door.

“Got it!” I chimed out over the voice of Jun from the other room claiming the same. and dried my hands on a spare rag as I quickly made over to the door. I expected Olivia again. She was not alone.

~~~~~

Daily Prompt: Simmer

Word of the Day: hypogeal

 

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