LAST CHAPTER LAST CHAPTER ZOMG!!!!!111!11!!!!1!1!one!!!1!1!111!!!!
BIG thanks to everybody who favorited, and reviewed, and alerted, and clicked on the same chapter five different times to make it look like my story was getting more hits so I'd feel better about myself...sniff. Haha, just kidding. Also, thank you of course to MzMinni3, MizzC, vikki, and Leka10 for the reviews! I feel all accomplished and shit. I'm usually so bad at completing stories and this is my third one. So yay!!! :D
Um yeah...I'll stop talking you to death and let you read now...but seriously! I hope everyone enjoyed it! :D
Disclaimer: The Boondocks still isn't mine. Nah.
"Jazzy!" Cindy burst into the room without knocking, stopping in her tracks and giving her best friend a look. "What the hell are you doing?"
Jazmine looked up from where she was sitting on the floor, a thick, ancient looking book open and her chin in her hand. She shrugged as Cindy crouched down beside her, staring at the page.
"To lock one's powers." Her eyebrow lifted. "Huh?"
"I don't know," Jazmine said quietly, shrugging again. "It's an old book my mom found in the attic. I was just looking through it."
"An old spell book? Cool." Cindy plopped down beside her. "This like new age shit. We should try to do something out of here!"
"Let's…not." Jazmine gently closed the book, stretching and glancing towards the clock. Cindy noticed.
"You weren't at school today."
"Thanks for telling me. I barely noticed."
Cindy gave Jazmine a light fresh. "Come on, girl! Something's up." She frowned. "What's wrong?"
Jazmine shrugged again.
"Don't give me that." Cindy shot her a dirty look. "It's your birthday. You can't be this miserable on your birthday!"
"I'm…sick," She lied, glancing towards Cindy and putting a weak expression on her face. That was all Cindy needed.
"Whoa! Okayyyy." She quickly rose to her feet, speeding to the door. "I'm gonna go crash in your guest room. Or should I say my vacation spot. Peace!"
"Bye." Jazmine shook her head as she slammed the door behind her before getting up and walking over, locking it. She leaned against it, rolling her eyes before crawling back to her spot on the floor and turning to the page again. Her eyes skimmed it, her lips moving as she tried to commit to memory what she'd need.
Candles. Incense. A bowl and some water. A pentacle in a triple moon.
Wow. This wouldn't be hard at all. Just as she got up to get everything there was a knock on her door.
"Jazmine?" The doorknob rattled. "Honey?"
She inwardly groaned, kicking the book shut with a socked foot and striding over to the door, unlocking it and pulling it open. Tom was standing in the doorway, giving her an odd look.
"What were you doing?"
She shrugged, making a face. "About…to change into my pajamas?" She lied. It did the trick since he cleared his throat suddenly, looking flustered.
"Well, is it alright if I talk to you for a moment?" He asked. Jazmine stepped aside, opening the door wider.
"Um…okay." Tom walked into the bedroom, sinking down onto the corner of her bed and resting his hands on his knees. His suit jacket was off, the sleeves on his white collared shirt rolled up to his elbows. "What's going on?"
Tom gave her a smile, patting the spot beside him. "Sit down."
She gave him a wary look before slowly shuffling over, plopping down beside him and tucking a foot underneath her. It wasn't like him to walk in her room and decide to have a chat for no reason. Sure enough…
"There's a gift that I wanted to give you," He said, going into the pocket of his pants and withdrawing a small wrapped box. "I figured you'd appreciate it more if I didn't embarrass you by making you open it at the restaurant."
She smiled up at him before focusing her attention of the pink and white paper, gently tearing at it. After the paper fell away she lifted the lid off the velvet red box, her eyes widening when she saw what was inside.
"It's…beautiful." She lifted a silver bracelet out the box, examining the four different charms that hung from it. "Thanks, daddy."
He nodded, examining her expression.
"I know your mother and I work a lot," He said, making her glance up at him. "And I know you feel we haven't always been there for you. That you can't come to us for things."
Jazmine shook her head. "Daddy, it's-"
"It's not okay." Tom gestured to her. "You are such a wonderful girl, and you're growing up to be a beautiful woman. For you to be so withdrawn all the time when you are so great to be around-"
"Don't worry about it." Jazmine shook her head. "Really."
Tom nodded, staring forward. For a moment neither one of them spoke. Then, he gently took the bracelet from her, holding it flat in his palm so that the charms gleamed in the light.
"You see this symbol?" He asked. When she nodded he smiled. "It's the Chinese symbol for peace." She blinked up at him. "Not enough people take enough time out of the day to realize that worrying so much over things that you can't or can control can take its toll on you. Too much worry, it can weigh you down." He smiled at her. "Don't sweat the small stuff. And it's all small stuff."
She didn't say anything; she let her eyes fall to the floor, clasping her hands in her lap. He went on, pointing to the charm beside it.
"This one," He continued. "It means happiness." He looked at her. "Do you know when the happiest moment of my life was?"
Jazmine shrugged, glancing up. "Um…when you got married?"
He laughed, shaking his head. "Well, if your mother asks you, then yes," He joked. "But no." He looked off, a bemused expression on his face, as if reminiscing. "I remember how on this day, sixteen years ago, I got a call telling me that my son who wasn't due until October seventeenth was already on the way. And when I got there, your mother was already begging the doctor to give her drugs or just kill her-"
"Alright, daddy." Jazmine shook her head, smirking.
"The point is," He said, rolling his eyes. "Was that when you finally came and you were a girl, a beautiful, tiny little girl, and I got to hold you for the first time…I've never felt so much happiness in my life. You know you're named after my mother, right?"
Jazmine gave him a look. "Grandma's name is Ella, and you hate her."
"I don't hate her." He shrugged. "She's…just not one of my favorite people." He shook his head. "When I was growing up she was my best friend. Every year for mother's day I would get her flowers. Jasmine. They were her favorite. She liked how they only opened at night, as if concealing their true beauty and showing it to those who were worthy of it." He wrapped an arm around her shoulders. "When you were born, you didn't cry. You just opened your big brown eyes and-"
"They were brown when you were born!" He poked out his lower lip. "You're interrupting daddy's story, Jazmine." She raised an eyebrow. "Anyways, you just looked up at me, and then you went to sleep. Of course that changed when you got home because you never stopped crying then, but-"
"Daddy." Jazmine snorted. "What are you talking about?"
He sighed, obviously put out that she wouldn't let him ramble on. "The point is that you reminded me of my mother's favorite flower. Even when you were growing up. You would never play much with the children your age, you were quiet and withdrawn around strangers and even your mother and I…and then I'd walk past your room to see you dancing to your little radio, or smiling at a book. Everyone else had to fight to get a smile out of you, and we practically had to sneak up on you just to see what you were doing. You were a private person, but then when no one was around, you opened up. Just like that flower."
"…So, I only expressed myself at night? Is that what you're saying?"
"No, smart mouth." He snorted. "My point is that you shouldn't just be happy alone. You should be happy no matter what you do in life. In everything you do, everything you see, and everything you hear, you should be able to find the happiness, and not worry about what doesn't make you happy."
Jazmine nodded. "It took you that long to tell me that?" When Tom poked her in the side she squirmed away, giggling. "Okay, sorry."
He shook his head and pointed to the next one. "This third one," He said. "It says love." When Jazmine made a face he nudged her. "Love makes the world go round. You have to be compassionate for people. You have to love others. You can't survive without it."
She snorted. "Yeah, right daddy."
He shook his head, pointing to the final one.
"This one," He said quietly, making her turn her head towards him again. "This one, it means strength. It's what you have a lot of, even when you think you don't. I know you feel sometimes that life isn't very fair-"
"-and things don't always work out the way you want them to, or how you expect." He shrugged. "But, at least they work out. That's all anyone can ever ask for." He pat her shoulder. "And I don't mean physical strength. I mean the strength to accept things for how they are and learn from it. To know that despite adversity, despite hardships and heartbreaks-" She visibly flinched. "-you keep living. That's all you have to do."
Jazmine swallowed, a lump rising in her throat. Before Tom could react she was throwing her arms around his neck, hugging him so tightly she made his shoulder pop.
"Thanks, daddy," She said again, this time with feeling. She sniffed, closing her eyes. He hugged her back, kissing her forehead. She let him go and handed her the bracelet, standing up and giving her a look.
"I want you to be all those things," He said seriously. "To be happy and peaceful. I want you to never be afraid to love people. And I want you to be strong, like I know you can be."
It was like one of those sappy Seventh Heaven episodes that Riley used to laugh at her for watching religiously. She nodded, sniffing again and blinking back tears. Maybe she was being a baby, but with all that had happened…his words were surprisingly helpful.
"Okay." He nodded, heading out the door. "Daddy?"
He glanced back.
"I love you."
He smiled. "I love you, too." He closed the door behind him and she regarded the bracelet with a contemplative expression. Would giving up her powers, something that had always made her her, make her weak? Would it, in the end, make her happy? Or would she regret it like her mother had told her she did? She thought back to what had happened and shook her head, her hand clenching around the bracelet.
She couldn't be a guardian. She just couldn't. She'd met one in her life, back in Boston. He was completely miserable, alone, and had much more power than she'd ever be comfortable with. He was always doubting people because so many people would go crazy wanting what he had. It was a blessing and curse all in one. That's what she'd always considered her powers to be; A curse.
If she gave them up, she could be a mortal. A perfectly normal, happy mortal. She wouldn't have to abide by rules telling her who she could love and who she could talk to. She wouldn't have to deal with dead people or see things in her mind. She could be normal.
But…was it really what she wanted? She sighed, closing her eyes. Truth be told she didn't know what she wanted. But with less than twelve hours before her decision had to be made. She couldn't stay the same, that much was known. Either she'd have to gain power she wasn't sure she'd be able to control or she'd have to give it all up. She opened her eyes, nearly jumping out of her skin.
"Holy-" She stopped, resting a hand over her heart and glaring ahead. "Who the hell are you guys?"
The four women standing there were glancing around, taking in their surroundings. One of them, a short girl with extremely short brown hair and blue eyes put a hand on her hip.
"Stopping you from making a mistake," She said, her eyes narrowing. Jazmine's eyebrows knotted together.
"Allow me to introduce myself." A tall woman with long, wavy red hair and green eyes stepped in front of the others, clasping her hands together. "I'm Lena James." Jazmine blinked. Lena turned and gestured to the others. "This-" She pointed to a woman with curly black hair and eyes just as green. "-is Emma, my mother."
The woman gave a slight nod, smiling slightly. She pointed to the fourth woman, a blond with her arms folded over her chest and piercing dark eyes. "This right here is my grandmother, Fira. And this-" She pointed back to the short girl, rolling her eyes. "Is my miserable great-great grandmother, Eimile."
"I ammiserable?" The woman snorted, rolling her eyes. "That is not what your father said last night! That is what the young people say now, right?"
"Grandmother." Emma closed her eyes, shaking her head. "That is not a very flattering thing to say about my husband."
"He was your ex-husband, dearie!" She shook her head. "You know marriages never last in our family!"
"Actually," Jazmine couldn't help but point out, wincing as all four heads whipped towards her. "My parents are still married."
"Right." Eimile snorted again, glancing at Lena. "Your great-granddaughter who locked her powers to appease some man, right?"
Jazmine blinked, shrugging. "Maybe she thought it was the right thing to do," She said, jumping to her mom's defense. "I don't blame her."
"Of course you don't." Emma gave her a dark look. "You don't see anything wrong with giving up, obviously."
"I'm not giving up." Jazmine glared back. "I'm not happy this way. I don't want my powers."
Emma shook her head, sighing. Eimile bit her lip. Fira, who hadn't spoken, cleared her throat.
"It is hard," She said, causing everyone to look at her. "To be so young and burdened down with so much responsibility. I understand." She clasped her hands together and gave Jazmine a knowing look. "I really do." She shot dirty looks towards the others. "You hypocrites." She seemed to have the most influence out of the four since everyone else stopped talking. "Lena, you fell in love with a mortal who was killed. Emma, you ran away with a man who ended up leaving you once he discovered your secret, at least that is how I remember it."
"As for you, Eimile, you old bat." Fira shook her head. "You murdered father after he threatened to expose you-"
"It was not murder!" Emile cleared her throat. "It was self defense."
Jazmine tilted her head to the side, giving them a funny look. Her family was so dysfunctional. Fira turned towards her.
"None of us got our powers until we were sixteen," She explained calmly. The others nodded in agreement. "The only other person in our family who has was Lena's daughter, Anya. She also had wanted to lock her powers, but decided against it. It was a good thing as well, since that crazy son of her lover came looking for her-"
"We all have such a way with men," Lena said sarcastically, rolling her eyes. Fira shook her head.
"What I am trying to say," She continued to a befuddled Jazmine. "Is that when we all received our powers, we saw it as a gift. As something we could appreciate, something that made us special." She gestured towards her. "You had it for as long as you can remember with no guidance, no confidant. It isolated you. It ostracized you. And I can completely understand if you do not want it any longer."
"However," She went on, her expression kind. "You are forgetting all the good that you have done with it. You have saved lives, you have given others peace of mind, you have helped those pass on who were too afraid to do it on their own."
She swallowed. She hadn't really thought of it that way.
"And that boy?" Fira waved her hand. "That boy would not even be alive without your powers. Am I correct?"
She was, but she didn't feel like pointing it out. "I had overslept that morning," Jazmine said, holding up her hand. "Getting a ride with him, it was a complete mistake-"
"There are," She replied calmly, yet firmly. "No mistakes."
"You never reading Anya's letter was no mistake." Her eyes narrowed. "Neither was you failing to save that man, you making that deal to rewind time. You were born with what you have, and there is absolutely no mistake about that." She let her hands clasp in front of her. "To give it up would be a shame all in itself. You have no idea how powerful you really are, how powerful you can be if you just give it a chance."
She rested her palms on the bedspread, obviously considering her words. "But-" She lifted her head, blinking in surprise.
They had all disappeared.
She rubbed her eyes, shaking her head. She glanced down to the book in the floor. She swallowed before pocketing the bracelet and sliding off the bed to pick it up. She lifted it, examining the thick cover. Then, she walked over to her closet, opened the door, and threw it inside.
There are no mistakes.
She had been right. If she didn't have her powers then she never would have stopped Huey from getting in that car accident. Riley would have gotten hit by that truck, and Maya would probably die from her aneurysm. It could be hard to deal with sometimes, but…well, she'd get over it. At least, she hoped so. There was a sudden, loud knock on her door and she sighed.
"Who is it now?"
"It's me, foo!" Cindy's voice whined through the door. "Open up! There's a spider in my room and I'm scared."
"What makes you think I want to kill it?" Jazmine shouted back tugging the door open. Cindy ran in, closing the door and leaning against it, shaking her head. Jazmine rolled her eyes at her best friend as she pouted.
"Can I sleep with you?" She practically begged. Jazmine snorted, shrugging.
"Thank you thank you thank you!" Cindy flopped on Jazmine's bed as she cut off the light, sprawling out on one side and letting out a mock snore. Jazmine snickered, lying down on the other side and rolling onto her side, pulling the covers up to her chin. She glanced at the clock. It was after midnight.
In about eight hours from then, she'd be starting a new chapter of her life all over again. Somehow, she didn't feel so bad about it. She felt Cindy nudge her shin with her foot.
"So, did you have a good birthday?" She asked sleepily. Jazmine yawned.
They got quiet again.
There was a pause. "Don't ever change." Jazmine blinked. "Okay?"
She smiled softly to herself, closing her eyes. "Okay."
If only Cindy really knew how much her words meant to her.
November 3, 2010
"Seventeen, tight jeans, and she bout it
Wife beater T, pretty teeth, yeah she got em
Her body commands your attention-"
"Caesar, what the hell is your ass talking about?" Cindy asked, walking up to where he was leaning against the wall at school that Wednesday, strumming away on his guitar. He grinned at her, setting the guitar aside.
"Baby!" He gave her a hug. "Feeling better, I see."
"Much better." Cindy stepped back and did a tiny twirl, showing off the skirt and matching top she was wearing, shrugging. "I've never been so glad to be out of hospital clothes in my life. Stupid appendicitis." She pointed to his guitar. "But seriously, what are you doing?"
He sighed, shaking his head. "I lost a bet to Hiro so I'm supposed to sing this ugly, stupid old Chris Brown song in our Music Theory class. I also have to wear a sombrero."
Cindy laughed. "Chris Brown?"
"Man, Chris Brown wack ass!" Riley suddenly said, coming up to both of them. "I gets down way betta than that punk ass nigga! Shit, if you gon beat yo broad, you gotta make sure you gets away with it!"
"That was so wrong on so many levels," Cindy said, shaking her head. "I am beginning to see why you don't have a girl." Caesar nodded in agreement. Riley pointed to the guitar, sucking his teeth.
"Whateva. Man, lemme show you how it's done." He snapped his fingers towards Caesar. "Nigga, play tha damn song!"
Caesar was so surprised that he didn't even protest; instead, he picked up the guitar and leaned against the wall, restarting the song. Riley grinned. Cindy could already tell this was going to end badly.
"Uh huh," Riley said. "Yeah-"
"Thirteen, tight jeans and she bout it
Stealin cream, got tha green, yea she got it
Her body's so good you'll end up goin ta jail-"
"Uh, Riley," Cindy said, blinking. "Something tells me that's not how the song goes…" Caesar was messing up the chords severely from laughing so hard. Riley kept going.
"Ima take you out, you pay for it
Got sum shit ta say, I'll ignore it
I wish yo mama would mind
Cuz bitch, I'll knock her out, dat's fine-"
Caesar dropped the guitar, exploding into laughter. Cindy shook her head, sighing and starting past the younger Freeman brother. "Don't quit your day job, kid."
"Shut up!" He folded his arms over his chest, poking out his lower lip. "Just like a nigga. Hatin on talent an shit."
"Uh huh." Cindy shook her head, her eyes lighting up as she spotted her best friend walking up to them. "Hey, Jazzy F. Baby!"
Jazmine rolled her eyes, stopping beside her. "I thought I asked you not to call me that?"
"I thought we established a long ass time ago that I ignore most things you say." Cindy laughed at her dejected face, throwing an arm around her shoulders and whistling. "You look good. Are those skinny jeans I see you wearing? And heels?" She inspected her eyes closer, her eyes narrowing. "And makeup?!"
"Whoa!" Riley started laughing. "Lemme find out dis broad decided ta finally be a girl!"
"Riley." Caesar shook his head, not even bothering to finish. He grinned at her. "Nice layers."
Jazmine smiled, running a hand through her hair. "Thanks."
"See you at lunch, baby! So!" Cindy turned on her heel, dragging her best friend along with her. Caesar shook his head, resuming his guitar strumming and ignoring Riley, who was making fun of him (or at least attempting to). "Tell me why Huey and Maya finally started going out?"
Jazmine snorted, shaking her head. "It was only a matter of time." They sidestepped some boy who had attempted to skateboard in the hallway and had fallen in front of them. She linked arms with Cindy, who snorted.
"Maybe he can help her learn how to function without needing a parole officer."
"That's mean." Jazmine stopped in front of her locker, twisting the combination and opening it. She paused. "Cindy, you might want to duck."
Cindy gave her a look but obediently did just as Jazmine crouched down. No sooner had they done so did a milk carton soar over their heads, smacking another girl in the back of the neck and causing white milk to spray her. People laughed as she whirled around, screaming. Cindy shot back up, blinking at Jazmine, who had gone back to digging inside of her locker.
"I will never understand how you notice those types of things," She said, shaking her head. Jazmine shrugged, not even glancing her way.
"Whatever." Cindy straightened, gesturing towards Jazmine's bare neck. "What is this I hear about you and Hiro getting in trouble on Monday in anatomy class for dropping your locket in sodium cyanide?"
"We wanted to see if it would dissolve," Jazmine replied innocently, smirking. "Which, it did."
"Wasn't it your great-grandmother's or something?"
Jazmine shrugged. "She's dead so I'm pretty sure she doesn't need it anymore." She smiled, as if laughing over an inside joke. Which, unbeknownst to Cindy, she was. "And neither did I. Plus, Hiro and I didn't get in trouble. The teacher just talked us to death about playing around with dangerous substances." Before she could continued the warning bell rang and Cindy snapped her fingers. She spun around. "Can't be late on my first day back." She ran off, waving. "See you in Spanish! Bring the homework!"
"No, cheater!" Jazmine yelled back, laughing. She turned back to her locker as the late bell rang, not caring either way. It wasn't like Mr. Hall could care less. She began humming to herself, reaching up to the top shelf and trying to tug her anatomy book out. It wouldn't budge. She frowned, trying again.
Jazmine let out a frustrated groan, giving it a big, sharp tug. It flew out, alright…along with all her other textbooks. All of them that seemed to want to hit her, her statistics book bonking her in the eye before falling to the floor, sliding a few feet down the hallway. She cupped her eyes, grimacing. "Shit."
Really, with everything she was capable of doing…she still couldn't see this type of thing happening to her? She dropped her hand, blinking rapidly. Deeming her eye to be in good enough condition she bent down, retrieving her books. When she reached for her Spanish book, however, another hand came out of nowhere, grabbing it and holding it out to her. She glanced up, blinking in surprise.
"Oh." She dropped the other books beside her, taking the textbook that Huey was holding out to her from him and giving him a smile. "Thanks."
"Sure." He looked amused. "It never ceases to amaze me how not graceful you are. Considering you used to be a gymnast and all."
"Am a gymnast," She corrected, lifting the stack of books off the floor. She dropped the bottom two and Huey rolled his eyes, picking them up for her. He handed them to her one by one as she shoved them back into her messy locker. "I got back on the team."
"Thanks." She shrugged, offering him a smile. "Same to you." His eyebrow rose. "Well, you getting a girlfriend and all." When he gave her a wary look she rolled her eyes. "Like the entire school doesn't spread everyone's business."
He nodded, stuffing his hands in his pockets. "Good point."
"So." It was much easier to not make this awkward than she thought it would be. She glanced towards him. "Are you realizing how much you're going to miss this place yet?"
He snorted, rolling his eyes. "I'm realizing that I probably should have just tested out of high school years ago and saved myself some time."
"Such optimism." Jazmine tugged at her backpack; it was taking up too much room. She could feel him watching her, probably trying not to laugh as she waged war on her too cluttered locker. "I'm sure…that attitude…will get you far…ahhh!"
She'd yanked it out, alright, but would up tumbling over on the process. He reached out, catching her with relative ease before she could hit the ground. She looked up at him, her face coloring.
"Um…" She regained her balance, rubbing the back of her neck. "Thanks." When he raised an eyebrow she gestured to the heels. "It's…the shoes."
He snorted. "Yes. Blame inanimate objects for your clumsiness. That sure is smart."
"Whatever." She finally got her bookbag straight, shaking her bangs out of her eyes. "Aren't you supposed to be in homeroom?"
"Um, that question could definitely go both ways."
"Well." Jazmine finally took out her Spanish and anatomy book before smirking at him. "Since we never talk in the first place, I don't think it's any of your concern."
"And whose fault is that?" To her delight he fell in step beside her as she started down the hallway, her heels clacking loudly on the floor. She shrugged.
He rolled his eyes. "Whatever." After a few seconds of silent walking he glanced over at her.
"Why is that, by the way?"
She looked up, giving him a confused stare. "Huh?"
"I don't know." He shrugged. "We seem to do this thing where we walk around each other in circles to avoid having to acknowledge the other's existence."
"What?" Jazmine scoffed, waving her hand. "Nooooo." When he gave her one of his trademark skeptical eyebrow raises she shrugged. "It wasn't intentional. Just…I had some issues to get over."
He looked surprisingly unfazed by her words. "And are you over them?"
She looked confused all over again. He rolled his eyes.
"Are you over the issues?" He clarified, giving her a "duh" look. She nodded, smiling.
"Yeah, actually." She looked forward again. "I am."
"Good." Her eyebrows lifted. "Because that means I can ask you for help without feeling bad about it now."
She laughed. "Huey Freeman asking for help? That's not normal." Her jaw dropped. "Wait a minute! You're only talking to me to advance yourself?"
He snorted. "Basically." When she stuck out her tongue he shrugged. "Actually…I'm doing really…not well in statistics."
She gave him a curious look. "What exactly is "not well"?"
He visibly grimaced. "Our last exam brought me down to a seventy six."
Jazmine let out a low whistle, stopping abruptly as he shot her a dirty look. "Well…at least it's not quite a D?"
"And at least you're not quite annoying me," He shot back, glaring. She rolled her eyes.
"Calm down. I wasn't serious." She shook her head. "it's still a strong C. And the last time I checked a C is not the end of the world-" She caught his withering look and flinched. "Alright, alright! A C is horrible! Damn."
"Well, I know you've been tutoring Riley," Huey said as they paused at the end of the hallway. "And it's the first time he's had an A in any form of math in his life. Grandad was so excited had copies of his report card photocopied and mailed to everyone back in Chicago and down south." He shrugged. "So, I figured if you could work that kind of miracle that I could get help out of you, too."
She made a face. "I don't know…"
He sighed. "What, do you want me to pay you?"
"If I don't charge your brother then why would I charge you?"
"Because I'm black."
Jazmine blinked at him. He stared back. Finally, realizing he was kidding, she snorted.
"Fine." She rolled her eyes. "We'll start in class today. Okay?"
He nodded, looking genuinely grateful. "Thanks." He snapped his fingers. "Maybe you could come over after school and help me with the homework? Because we're doing that probability bullshit today still and I don't have any idea what-"
"Wait." Jazmine gave him a look. "You want me to come over your house?"
He shrugged. "Um…duh." He blinked. "Is that a problem?"
"No." She ran a hand through her hair. "I just haven't been to your house since we were twelve, I think."
"Sorry, do you need directions?" She swatted him, laughing. He glanced down the hallway, his eyes narrowing.
"I think you left your locker open," He said, staring down the hallway in the direction they'd just come from. Jazmine glanced down it as well. Sure enough, the dark blue locker door was hanging halfway open. "You should probably go close that."
"Yeah." She gave him a wave. "I'll see you in class, then?"
"Yeah." He nodded towards her, giving her a look that was hard to decipher. "See you in class." He turned the corner as she slowly walked down the hallway, clutching her books to her chest. A slow smile spread across her face.
Alright, so it wasn't love. And it wasn't anything like it had been before. But it was better than nothing, and being friends was definitely something she'd be willing to settle for. She'd get over him soon enough. At least, she hoped so.
She stopped, glancing over her shoulder and letting her eyes travel around the rest of the hallway as well. Nobody else was out. She knew for a fact that the two security cameras on this hall didn't work because of a short circuit that the school was too lazy to get fixed. There were no classroom windows for anyone to see out of. And she was feeling pretty lazy, so…
She stopped, glancing towards the locker. It seemed like it was forever away. Did she really feel like walking that far?
Not really. Nope.
She spun around on her heel, starting back down the hallway. She took a deep breath and snapped her fingers, feeling a bit of satisfaction surge through her when she heard a locker door slam shut from behind her.
Hey. Her ancestors weren't kidding when they said she'd be surprised what she could do if she gave it a chance.
Things hadn't worked out like they were supposed to. But at least they were working out.
So, I know there's quite a few people who probably want to Chris Brown me for that ending, but whatever. Shoot. :P
SPEAKING of Chris Brown, the little song that Caesar was playing (and that Riley destroyed) was that old ass song "Is This Love" by him. That song makes me laugh because in ninth grade a boy in my class made up a pedophilia version and was singing about 14-year-old girls. Teehee.
Um, a few notes before I go to a few certain people (ahem):
FAQ's (which, were ironically messaged to me from people who were reading yet never reviewed. Hmm...)
1) You stole this from Charmed, didn't you?
Ah, yes. I got an idea for a plot that has been around for centuries and twisted it around, but I totally stole it. Ugh, I am such a terrible, horrible person.
2) You know in all your stories it's Huey/Jazmine?
...You don't say. Word?! :O
3) Did Matthew and Anya get together? Cause wouldn't that make Huey and Jazmine related?
I thought I clarified it but maybe I didn't. Yes, they wound up together, but then homeboy kicked the bucket. They didn't have any children together. Jazmine's great-grandmother ended up marrying someone else. Huey and Jazmine are not related. Heavens no.
4) You thought about doing a prequel?
There's not a point. I mean, I could do one for say, Matthew and Anya and their family history and whatnot, but I'm 99.9% sure no one's going to give a shit so what's the point? lol.
5) You didn't say what song you used in chapter 13!
Holy shit I didn't! AAAAIHHHH!!!!!- Yeah, it was Acapella (Something's Missing) by Brandy. My b. DON'T SUE ME. I AM POOR.
6) That was messed. Up.
Huh. About that...
April 25, 2016
Mondays were probably the worst thing invented. Especially this Monday.
"Here." Twenty-two year old Huey Freeman looked up from his report and his coffee as a thick manila folder crashed down on his desk, making a heavy thump. He gave his secretary, Denise, a bored look.
"Hello to you, too," He muttered sarcastically, taking a long gulp of coffee and sighing, trying to wake up. He was usually a morning person but he hadn't gone to bed until practically an hour before he had to wake up again, a completely fun experience.
Denise rolled her eyes. She was a twenty-six year old black girl with a short, layered hair cut and hazel eyes he liked to refer to as the color of mold whenever he was arguing with her to stop screening his calls from his ex-wife, not to put so much damn milk in his coffee since it was bad enough he was drinking it in the first place, and getting defensive over his decision not to dress like a complete tool and instead wear normal clothes unlike everyone else in the FBI building did.
"What's so good about it?" One of the few reasons Huey hadn't given her the boot like he had the other four secretaries he'd gotten before was because for one, she was impressively smart contraire to what people liked to believe. For another, she was sharp enough to keep up with him whenever they got into it (which was all the damn time). She leaned over his desk, taking it upon herself to pour a cup of coffee for herself. She was lucky he was too tired to yell at her, which was how the other mornings always went. Instead he nodded, holding up his cup.
"Huh. Good point."
"Yeah. Thought so." Smartass. She reached behind her to grab a manila folder off of her desk, tapping it with a perfectly sculpted fingernail before handing it to her. "Congratulations. Your first kidnapping case."
He rolled his eyes, sitting forward and setting down his coffee. "Excellent." He took it from her, dropping it on his desk and leaning back in his chair, resting his socked feet on the edge of his desk. "Thanks." He took another long sip of coffee and, realizing that she wasn't making any effort to bust a move, gave her a look. "You can leave now.
She sat in the chair in front of him, the exact opposite of leaving, folding her hands neatly in her lap and smirking. "My ass. That case?" She pointed to it, smirking and running her hands over her pencil skirt. "It's bad. Bad bad. You're going to wish you'd picked another department, or just gotten a part-time job working at the burger shack down the street instead of here." She leaned forward. "That's the case Shelley was on. He broke down. They found another body earlier this morning? He couldn't handle it."
His eyebrows lifted. "Broke down?" He shook his head. "He's a thirty-two year old man who's almost seven feet tall and could probably bench press this building!" He looked back down to the folder. "So, this is the big one that everyone's been talking-"
"So why the hell are they giving it to me?" He snorted.
"I don't know." She shrugged lightly. "I guess Mr. Boss Man thinks you can handle it."
He wasn't so sure about that one. Of all his co-workers he was probably the youngest one to be hired with the least experience. Call him ambitious or crazy, but somehow the higher ups had decided that he'd be the perfect candidate for the FBI. He'd only applied for a part time position in linguistics to help get him through grad school after completing his undergrad a year early and wound up becoming an agent after walking in on a meeting looking for the bathroom and being able to tell a panel of fifty people who their killer was after hearing a fraction of the conversation in a good three seconds. While it was a good thing for him, there were a lot of people pissed about it being that he didn't have the required three years' work experience, he was possibly the only part-time agent they had (along with some Swedish girl no one liked, coincidentally named Denise), and his boss, Skyler Thompson, seemed to particularly like him.
Then again, it may have had something to do with the fact that he was fluent in Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, and Kiswahili.
Oh, and had two degrees in Physics and African American studies as well as a concentration in Sociology.
Not to mention his physical had been off the charts…
Whatever. Regardless, a kidnapping case? He hadn't even been there a year! Damn…
"Well…" He eyed the folder suspiciously, as if it were a time bomb. "At least there's a lot of evidence."
"Um, no." Denise made a face. "That's photos of the victims so far. The ones that were found, anyways." She took a deep breath as he drank some more coffee. "So far there's been six of them, each of them being taken and found dead a month exactly from their day of disappearance. I'd recommend you look at those on an empty stomach," She added, the corners of her mouth turning upwards.
He snorted, opening the folder and glancing at the first photo. "I think I'll be…holy shit!"
"Told you." She shrugged as he flipped through each photo, his disgusted face getting worse and worse. "Should I get you a bucket?"
"No…but goddamn! What's this person's problem?"
"I don't know." Denise was doing her best not to look at the pictures, pointedly staring out the window behind him. "But they're pretty sure whoever this person is has some serious obsession with the occult. Anyways, whoever is responsible for the deaths of these women kidnapped another one last night. Her information's at the bottom of the pile along with the others…are you sure you don't want a trashcan? You're looking kind of green."
"Shut up, Denise. That's what I want." His voice was filled with sarcasm. "Thanks." He sighed, taking a deep breath and skipped the photos altogether, jumping to the back. "Alright. So, the first girl was Katie Saunders, 28. Disappeared October 24, 2015, found November 24, 2015."
Denise nodded, reaching into her purse and pulling out a nail file.
"Then Angela Ragland, 34, disappeared on November 24, 2015 and was found December 24, 2015, Christmas Eve. That has to have sucked for her family."
"Mmhmm." Denise began filing her nails, her gaze flickering towards a photo on the corner of his desk. "So, when exactly do you plan on taking that old ass picture of you and your ex-wife out that frame?"
"When I feel like it," He muttered, only half listening as he read through the paperwork. "You know, the same answer I give you when you ask me every other day of the week."
"All I'm saying," Denise said with a shrug, examining a hangnail. "Is that when my first husband and I got a divorce I had gotten rid of his shit in a second. I mean, didn't this girl move to Tokyo over a year ago?"
"Didn't your mother, or father, or the monkeys who raised you tell you it's impolite to stick your nose into other people's business?" He asked snidely. She rolled her eyes.
"So, you're mad."
"Denise, get out." As usual she completely ignored his request, giving the photo a look of disdain. "Robyn Murphy, 23. Disappeared on December 24, 2015, found January 24, 2016. Micah Bruschelli, 40. Disappeared January 24, found February 24."
"Seeing a pattern?"
"What, the fact that he has an obsession with the number twenty-four? Sure." He breezed through the other names. "Alicia True, 29, found March 24, Raven Waters, 31, April 24-" He stopped, his eyes narrowing. Denise looked up.
"She's the one that just disappeared last night," She supplied, as if he didn't already know that. He shook his head, giving the page a look of disbelief. He looked up at Denise, then back down, as if convinced he may be reading it wrong. She sat up, her eyebrow arching.
"Jazmine DuBois. 21." He looked back up. "I know her."
Denise's jaw dropped. "Nuh uh." She smirked. "Another ex-wife?"
He rolled his eyes. "Not everyone has four ex-spouses like you do who are coincidentally found dead every year, you goddamn psycho." He sucked his teeth. Denise, as usual, didn't look the slightest bit offended. "We grew up together. She goes to school in Miami. We talk sometimes." He closed the file, pushing it away. "Well, we did." He shook his head. "Wow."
Denise gave him a rare, sympathetic look and reached across his desk, grabbing the phone. "I can get you taken off," She said, pressing a few numbers on the phone and holding it up to her ear. "Knowing one of the victims is enough to get you removed and boss likes you. Just let me call-"
"No." Huey shook his head. "I want to stay on it. It's fine."
Denise gave him a look. "Are you sure?" She held the phone away from her ear. "I mean, this is a big case. One of the biggest ones we have right now. And you're only a part-timer with not even a year experience on him. This is a full-time job. Screw that, an over-time job."
"Then I guess I'll have to put in some overtime. So, you can put down the damn phone now." He rolled his eyes. "Damn."
She slowly put the phone back down on the hook, narrowing her eyes towards him.
"You're not going to be impartial with this, you know." She shook her head, crossing her hands over her chest. "You may be good at impersonating a robot, but I've seen cases like this. They always bring out emotion. Always."
"Thanks for the warning."
"I'm serious, Freeman." She snorted, pointing towards the photo frame. "You might think being that you didn't even bat an eyelash when she asked you for a divorce makes you strong, but in reality you'll probably be the first one to crack. This stuff is heavy."
"Okay, then." Huey leaned forward, giving her a sarcastic look. "Thank you so much for the upmost confidence you are showing in me. You are the best. Secretary. Ever." He waved his hand towards her, picking up the file and his coffee again. "You can show yourself out now."
Denise shot him a dirty look, pushing herself out of her chair and slowly walking towards the door, her heels muffled on the carpet. She shot him a look over her shoulder, a playful look in her eyes.
"Get a new damn photo."
He didn't even look up; this was so routine to him. "Get a goddamn life."
She shook her head, smirking as she closed the door behind him. He glanced up, sighing and shaking his head as he took another sip of coffee. This killer, this…sadist, had some serious issues. What she had said about him being into occult shit was no lie either; not only had he carved unrecognizable symbols into these women's chest (their very naked chests), but they were all found with pagan rosaries around their necks. Maybe their connections were that all the victims were pagan?
No. Jazmine was a catholic. In his eyes one was as bad as the other, but whatever.
The ironic part about this was that he'd always warned her when they were younger, probably over ten years ago, that she was too naïve and trusting with other people. That if she didn't watch her back or learn how to question the motives of others that this sort of thing could happen. After all, she'd walk up to strangers she'd never even met before and strike up a conversation. She'd let said strangers cry on her shoulder over someone's death or go with them to drink hot tea and talk about their past. They'd become good enough friends his senior year of high school that he could call her in Florida to ask her a question about calculus and she'd be genuinely happy to help.
She was a sweet person, sure, but this was what happened when you were too sweet.
There was a sudden beeping on the phone and he pressed the intercom button, rolling his eyes. "What, Denise?"
"Don't "what, Denise" me," Her loud, irritated voice argued. "You're the one who didn't want me to screen your ex-wife's calls. She's on line two."
Great. This Monday just couldn't get any better.
To tell the truth, Huey had never wanted to get married. Ever. However, after one too many bottles of Hennessey on both of their parts and a night in Vegas courtesy of his best friend, Michael Caesar, he and his girlfriend, Maya Johansen, had awakened on the floor in one of those wedding chapels with Caesar passed out not too far away, the "priest" smoking weed in the corner and Riley laughing his ass off and taking pictures on his iPhone. It hadn't been too bad of an experience. Ha. Instead of filing for divorce as soon as the ninety required days were up they'd simply decided to stick with it and not contribute to the high divorce rates by making it work.
The only problem was that where he was too ambitious, too cold, and too disconnected, she was even more ambitious, cold, and disconnected. When she'd gotten a job in Tokyo, Japan, he'd refused to move just to appease her. And when she accused him of wanting to hold her back he told her that if she felt that way she could pack her bags and carry her ass. Which, being the woman she was, promptly did…
..after punching him in the face.
She had come really close to making him break his no-hitting-women policy; otherwise the only place she would have been moving to would have been a cemetery.
Denise, the women who got married every other year and divorced the year in between had taken an interest to his divorce, which had been much less painful than the black eye Maya had given him as a parting gift. While she had been interested before and he'd explained on many occasions that he wasn't interested, she just didn't seem to understand that he didn't want to be her next husband who would be found dead in a year's time. Not only was she an expert on narcotics, but she was way too sneaky for his liking. He enjoyed breathing, thank-you-very-much.
"Freeman!" She screeched, breaking his thoughts. "Do you want me to transfer it or what?"
Huey rolled his eyes. "Tell her I'm not here this time," He said, drumming his fingers on the tabletop. "Tell her I'm having an allergic reaction from all her damn phone calls."
He heard a snort. "Fine by me." The intercom died again and he sat back, resting his hands behind his head and closing his eyes.
Denise didn't know him well enough to know that he was always impassive. Always. He didn't do bias. He definitely didn't do feelings or emotions or empathy. He did logic. He did facts. And as sorry as he was for Jazmine, as sorry as he was for her family who was no doubt in full panic mode right now, he wasn't going to suddenly change his ways for her. He sighed, spinning around in his chair and staring out into the city.
April twenty-fifth. That meant that if the killer stuck to their pattern, Jazmine would be dead by May twenty-fourth. Well, unless he could stop the guy by then.
Man. What had he gotten himself into?
I started the story telling myself I wouldn't do one, but I've always been a lying ho, so whatever. Besides, when I was finishing it I was like "There is no way I can just let it end like that." The possibilities of this storyline, for me at least, are endless. Therefore, a sequel was born.
Oh, god no. The only way you're getting one out of me is if I'm drunk.
Riley: Aye! I thought yo ass was telling me how you wuz gon think bout doing one in the seq-
SHUT THE FUCK UP!
Er...the end? :P