The Blog of Dabido (the Baka one). Everything in this blog is copyrighted. Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006 by D. Stevenson.

13 November, 2005

Chapter Seven

The police dropped Akane off at home. Mai was still at the police station being charged. The item she stole wasn't the problem, Mai had a suspended sentence for previously receiving stolen property. The incident had happened three years before, but the suspended sentence could still come into affect. If she was found guilty of this minor shoplifting charge, the suspended sentence would land her in prison for six months. She had bought a large television from someone knowing full well it had been stolen. In fact, she even knew who the television had belonged to. She had been helpful enough with the prosecution to work out a deal. She had somehow kept it a secret from Akane and Naoki, but now, it might all come out. Akane let herself in the front door. She dried her crocodile tears and smiled to herself. She leaned against the door to shut it, and stood for a minute. Wait till Naoki hears about this, she thought. Though he had adopted her, she never thought of him as a father. She always thought of him as Naoki. Yet somewhere, there was a competition between her and her mother for his attention. Not his affection though. Akane had other fish to fry. There were other boys in the neighbourhood she wanted. One of them had been Slim. She was surprised that she was not more upset at his death. She was shocked, even saddened a little, but not upset. There were many boys from school she also liked. Then there was one of the male teachers. Aaron Martin-Boyle, the physical education teacher. He was less than ten years older than her, and what she considered her perfect man, at least within her fantasies that is. He was actually very popular amongst the young girls at the school. Akane and a lot of her friends would often talk and imagine what it would be like to be married to him. The fact that he was married didn't seem to phase them at all. Then, there were some other feelings she was trying to repress. First were the feelings she had for another girl at school. The feelings confused her, as she had never thought of herself and being either a lesbian nor bi-sexual. Second, there were the feelings she had for Bob. Bob was two years younger than her, and she really only got to know him through Slim. Somewhere in her head though, she would always think of him as just a boy. Yet, there was another part of her which liked the fact the fifteen year old had begun to fill out a little. She had seen him at the school swimming carnival and he was already developing a six pack stomach and his chest was getting bigger. She knew from talking to Slim that Bob had received a weight bench when he was about thirteen. At first, he did not use it, but after a while he realised that a good body would equal popularity with the girls. Bob often had girls from his own year chasing him. The fact that he never dated any of them had lead to the belief that he and Slim were somehow involved. Akane knew Slim was definitely straight. However, she was not going to let people know how she knew that. She never figured out how much Bob knew about it all. She stood in the lounge room for a while looking out at the street. Normally, at this time of day it would be full of teenagers skateboarding down the street. The steep slope made the street very popular. There were still one or two boarders, but since the accident a week ago, parents had either banned their children from Dead Man's Hill, or the kids just didn't go there any more. She hadn't seen Bob for that entire week. Rumour had it that he was just lying on his bed looking at the ceiling. He wasn't seeing anyone, wasn't eating much and wasn't talking much. Nothing could cheer him up. She had seen Jim a few times walking up and down the street with both his arms in plaster. For some reason he was visiting Mister Fisher almost everyday. Mark Fisher worked as a producer in the film industry, even at his ripe old age of seventy two. His position allowed him to have a constant flow of younger girlfriends, but it had not always been that way. Fourteen years earlier he had divorced his wife Rhonda. About twice a year he would be visited by his son Kenneth, and Kenneth's family. Rumour had it, his daughter Vicki was living in London. It did not mean much to Akane. All those people were old. Older than her parents by at least twenty years. As she was watching out the window, she noticed Jim walking up the street. He was obviously on the way home. Akane decided she wanted to talk to him. Maybe he could tell her something she could use at school. Some information that made it seem like she was in the loop of all the information. Something which made her seem important to her peers. She raced out the front door onto the front lawn of her house. 'Jimmy! Jimmy!' she called after him. Jim was a little confused. Though he knew Akane by sight, she had never talked to him before. Eddie and Jim had sat at the top of the street talking about her at times. So had a lot of admirers amongst the other skater guys. She was seventeen, and had a great body. She also liked to dress with short skirts and low tops. The thing which drives most normal males wild. Jim stopped and let her catch up. He had a plastic grocery bag of things in one of his hands. His arms were plastered and he had limited mobility. He was not even sure he was supposed to be carrying the things Mister Fisher had given him. 'Little Jimmy, let me help carry that home for you.' 'Why?' His brain went through a range of emotions. First was the fact he was flattered. The 'hot chick', as she was known at the top of Dead Man's Hill, had come and spoken to him. Then, he was suspicious. Why would the 'hot chick' speak to him? He was a virtual nobody in her world. He was not even sure how she knew his name, not that she got it right. Only his Grandmother called him 'Jimmy'. Why was she being nice? She had a reputation for being an egocentric bitch who never thought of anyone but herself. 'Just let me carry it for you,' she said. Akane could not think of one reason to explain her sudden wish to help. 'Look, I'm allowed to be nice aren't I?' This statement made Jim extremely suspicious. He had never heard of her being nice to anyone before. It did not take a second for the synapses to fire in Jim's brain and come to the correct conclusion. She was after information. Jim was caught between two emotions. One was the fact that this girl was somehow using him for her own gain. The other emotion told him to run with it. This was the sort of thing that made a guy look cooler than cool. Not only was he now friends with 'the hot chick', but he was friends with an older 'hot chick'. He came to the conclusion that there was some sort of trade off happening. She was using him for information, and he was using her to look cool. He made the mistake of thinking that he would look even cooler if he shared this information with her. 'Your just using me to find out about Eddie,' he said. It didn't come out the way he meant, and as soon as the words were out, he realised he virtually spat them at her, as if disgusted. 'Oh, My god!' she feigned her best shocked and hurt act that she could muster. 'I can't believe that you think I am that shallow.' Jim was taken back a little. He suddenly felt as though he had done the girl a great wrong. Not only had she misunderstood what he was meaning, but he had deeply hurt her. 'Um, it's not that,' Jim started. 'I mean, like. What I meant ...' 'Yes? What did you mean? I'm offering to help carry your bag home,and you're accusing me of ... well, accusing me of using you!' 'Um, no! No! I didn't mean it like that. I mean ... I'm sorry. I just meant that we can both get something.' 'What?' Akane had no idea what he was talking about now. She had feigned the hurt and shock to throw him off guard as he had obviously seen right through her. It did not really matter much that he was no longer making sense to her. 'Well,' continued Jim. 'You know, I tell you what you want to know about Eddie, and the other guys think I am cool because they see me with you.' 'I can see why they would think that. Sounds like you are the one using me!' She smiled as she said that. She had managed to reverse the actual situation. Now Jim would think that he was getting something, and she was just an innocent party trying to be a good Samaritan. It did not actually fool Jim. He knew that she was using him. He was more perplexed that somehow she had made it seem like it was the other way around. He decided to let it rest. If he pushed the envelope, she might walk off in a huff. Then everyone would think he was an idiot. After all, if the 'hot chick' decides to spend time with you, you do not brush her off. That would be stupid. You do not look a gift horse in the mouth. Akane took the bag and they walked up the hill. Jim didn't live on Forester Avenue. He lived around the corner on Pike Street. It wasn't too far to walk. They walked past a few of the skaters who were still using Dead Man's Hill. Jim noticed them noticing him, and it made him feel better. 'So, how are you feeling?' Akane asked, trying some small talk to loosen him up. 'Well, I'm really itchy. And the arms hurt still.' 'How did you manage to break both of them?' 'Old Man Fisher said it was because of the way I landed. I was sort of looking at Eddie and Slim and didn't see where I was going to hit.' 'Wow, that must have been nasty.' As the words came out, Akane grimaced slightly. It was more because the way she had said it sounded patronising. Jim missed it, and assumed the grimace was more empathy on her behalf. He began to loosen up to her charms, and as the walked on, he filled her in on Eddie's condition, and Bob. In return, Jim learned about Slim's funeral. Jim's parents had decided he could not go. They felt he was too young to understand what was happening. It left a void in Jim's life. Though he had seen the accident, he still had trouble reconciling that Slim was really gone. There had been no closer for him. He would have liked to have said, 'good bye' and heard others remember Slim. Slim was one of the few older kids that Jim thought was truly cool. He was both open to everyone, and yet at the same time could somehow remain a level above everyone. It was an accessible eliteness. They got to Jim's front lawn. 'I guess you'll be needing your bag,' Akane said, as she placed it back in one of his hands. 'Yeah! I guess so,' said Jim with a slight blush. Akane kissed him on the head and patted his hair where she'd kissed him, turned and started to walk away. Jim went to touch his head where she had kissed him, then realised his arm was still in plaster. He almost hit himself in the head. Akane turned as she walked, and seeing his hand in the air, thought he was waving. She smiled and waved back. 'Bye, Jimmy,' she called behind her. She had the information she needed, and she had little jimmy wrapped around her finger. As Jim turned to go inside, his heart sank a little. He felt a sudden guilt about feeling so good. Slim was dead, Eddie was, as far as he knew, still unconscious in hospital and here he was feeling good about a girl. He disliked himself for feeling so good, but a part of him couldn't help it. As he walked, he went to feel the top of his head again where she had kissed him. This time, he did hit himself in the head. He laughed at his own forgetfulness.