Six In Search: Part 1
By Anjali Bala
I’m sat on the pavement outside my dad’s with a tear-stained face. I look over at my suitcase and duffel bag. ‘Where can I go? I’m pretty much homeless…’ I think to myself. I realize my thought and more tears enter my eyes. I wipe them away, not wanting more stains on my face. An idea enters my head. I get up off of the pavement, grab my suitcase and duffel bag and walk to the nearest bus stop.
Once I get to the bus stop, I pull my phone out of my pocket and message my cousin, Will. “Hey, can I come over…?” I type and send. The bus pulls up and I get on, paying for a child’s single. I grab my headphones and plug them into my phone. I put on my playlist, put my phone back in my pocket and sit on the bus, staring out the window. A notification interrupts my music. I grab my phone and see that Will has replied. “Of course, hummingbird. Can’t wait to see you!” with a heart emoji at the end. I reply with a simple heart emoji before putting my phone back.
After twenty-five minutes on the bus and a ten-minute walk, I arrive at my cousin’s house. I stare at it admiration, the pristine-white walls shining in the sun. I walk up to the door and knock. My cousin comes to the door after a few seconds. “Hey, t-” is all I can say before he pulls me into a hug. I tear up in his arms and my body tenses up slightly. He lets me go after a few seconds. “Come on in, Novi.” He says, grabbing my suitcase. I follow him into the lounge, where my cousin’s boyfriend, Alex, is sitting, watching TV. He looks over at me and Will, as Will sets my suitcase down.
“******* hell Nova, what’s with all the extra baggage?” Alex jokes nervously. I frown at him. “Me and Nova are going to have a cup of tea. Do you want one, love?” my cousin asks kindly. “I’ll help.” Alex replies, getting up. I put my duffel bag down and follow them into the kitchen. Me and Will prepare all the cups of tea while Alex fills and brews the kettle.
We finish making the cups of tea. I sit on the kitchen counter while my cousin and Alex stand by the kettle. “What happened, Novi?” Alex asks. I hesitate before answering. “My dad kicked me out.” I state bluntly, unable to think of a better way to put it. My cousin’s grip tightens on his mug and Alex stares at me in shock. “For real?” he asks. I nod, taking a sip of my tea. “Why?” my cousin asks in an irritated tone. “I didn’t get good grades on my end of year assessments.” I reply, looking into my cup. Alex and Will put their mugs down on the counter.
They walk over and hug me. I tense up a little. I feel tears plaguing my eyes and I try hold them back. We stay there for a few minutes until Alex and Will let go of me. They both grab their mugs. I get off of the counter. “I best get going. I hope the streets aren’t too bad…” I say. Alex grabs hold of my hand. I flinch. “Stay.” he says. I look at him. He looks at me with a caring expression. I look over at Will, who has a worried smile on his face. He noticed.
I look back at Alex. “You’ll finally be living with us, since we’ve asked you so many times.” he teases. “And you’ll be safe with us.” my cousin adds, sipping from his mug. I hesitate. ‘I mean, it’s not like he’d find out…’ I say in my head. “So? Will you finally put us out of our misery and say yes?” Alex asks. “Yes.” I whisper. “I can’t hear you!” my cousin jokes. “Yes!” I shout louder. We all laugh.
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