We’re here for Day 2 of Story a Day September. Today, I have a bit from In the Moonlight with Yasmin and Nola. Today’s prompt was to include the words on a fourth grade spelling list.
Once we were finished with lunch, I left Nola in the kitchen and returned to the library. I couldn’t really blame her for how quiet she’d been while we’d eaten. I’d made things awkward. Again. I seemed to have a talent for it.
I glanced at the books I’d been looking at before she’d come in to get me for lunch. But, it only reminded me of the state she’d gotten me into. This was ridiculous. I usually handled stuff like this a lot better. She wasn’t the first girl I’d kissed or made out with. So, how was she the one who got to me so bad?
I moved over to the window and braced my hands on the frame. I needed to get myself together before I lost it. I really thought the research would help. But, it only reminded me of how much I missed Aunt Adriane and all the summers we’d spent in here together. Now, there wouldn’t be another holiday spent trying to prove or disprove a story she’d heard about the house.
It had started raining while we were eating lunch. Now, I watched as raindrops slid down the window, as if they were running a relay race. Wrapping my arms around my waist, I rested my head against the cool glass. What was I even doing? I’d come here to make a decision about selling the house, not fall for the pretty housekeeper. I didn’t want to do that, though. Right now, I wanted to throw all my worries into a pail and just…do nothing. Not make any decisions about anything. That certainly wouldn’t gain me any of my father’s respect.
I let out a quick snort at that. Let’s be truthful here. Nothing would gain me that man’s respect. Not unless I stopped caring about anything but money. And that was just never going to happen.
The door opening behind me caused me to raise my head from the window. That couldn’t be Nola again, could it? Maybe I was just losing my mind. Then, her soft footsteps crossed the room. “The mayor called,” she said.
“The mayor?” I didn’t turn from the window. I could see her reflection in the glass and that was enough. It had to be. “I don’t think I know him.”
“She was good friends with Ms. Adrianne. She said she’d wanted to give you time to settle in but also wanted to offer you her condolences. I guess you didn’t see her at the funeral.”
“No.” I’d escaped that as soon as possible and had barely spoken to anyone. It had been too much. No one had told me how sick Aunt Adrianne had been. I’d been enjoying my final college party and graduation while she’d been dying. I wasn’t sure I’d ever forgive myself for that.
She came up behind me and set her hand on my back. My heart jetted off like an airplane, jolting me, lifting high, then finally leveling off. Maybe I could get used to her touching me.
That just meant I’d have to remain here.
A part of me wanted nothing more than to do just that.
I watched our reflections in the window. Her pale skin against my slightly darker complexion. Her red hair to my black. Her wide innocent eyes to my jaded ones. I was only two years older than her, there shouldn’t be such a difference in us, but it was evident in almost everything each of us did and said. This could never work.
“Yasmin?” she asked. “Are you okay?”
I should have just told her I was fine. The words were right there on the tip of my tongue. It was always such an easy lie to tell. But, I couldn’t this time. I felt so far from fine it wasn’t even funny.
“No,” I whispered, resting my head against the glass again.
“Did I…upset you?”
I turned to her then, finally. And saw things her reflection hadn’t shown me. Like the wariness in her eyes. As well as maybe some concern in the way her mouth tugged down.
“No,” I told her. “You didn’t do anything. I’m sorry for being such a mess.”
“You aren’t,” she told me, stepping even closer. “You’re not even close to a mess, Yasmin. I’m the one who can’t figure out what I want. Or shut up the voice that tells me it’s wrong to want what I do.”
There wasn’t any space between us now. So, I could see the way her pulse fluttered at her throat. And hear how her breath caught. “What do you want?” I asked and prayed the answer wouldn’t destroy me.
“You,” she whispered, and the one syllable did break me.