I sighed and violently dried my hair with a towel. After the incident with Robert, I had bounded up the stairs and tucked Tim into his crib. I had then proceeded to lock every window in our house before indulging myself in a nice long shower. At this point, I was beyond tired. I was exhausted. I quickly got dressed and descended the stairs to the living room and turning on the television. Breaking News was reporting a panda that had just given birth at the local zoo, its cub having been born disfigured. Despite its additional leg, the cub still managed to be incredibly cute. Shamelessly, I started cooing at the screen, and it was at this sight that my step-father, Louis, walked in.
“Bear-Bear, how was school?”
I shrugged my shoulders and wrinkled my nose. My step-father had this weird habit of calling everyone with pet names. They were constantly changing and I never knew what he was going to call me next. One time, he had even affectionately called me his “own special pot of poo”. Seriously, I don’t know what my mother sees in him.
Louis didn’t even bother sticking around for my reply; he walked straight into the kitchen to pour himself a cup of coffee. He then settled himself on the sofa, propped his feet up on the ottoman and turned up the volume of the TV.
“I saw you on your way home. How many times have I told you to take the route through the forest? One of our cruisers almost hit you!” Louis shook his head and continued on, “Your mother would have killed me if you got hurt. Next time, you’ll be grounded.”
So Louis had been part of the police chase I had witnessed earlier! Instead of talking back like I normally would, I decided to turn the conversation around to my advantage. I was curious to know why they had been chasing that car. It had seemed pretty intense. After all, I had nearly been run over.
“Sorry. But why were there police cruisers, anyways?”
Louis grunted. “Oh, that idiot was trying to high-tail out of town.” he waved his arms around, “Nothing big.”
Aww, the story wasn’t as interesting as I thought it would be. Well, it probably was, but Louis was never one to tell me anything. There was nothing else to talk about and I was tired, so I started heading upstairs to my room. Suddenly, Louis called me.
“Please don’t tell your mother.”
Although it seemed suspicious and I didn’t really want to hide anything from mother, I nodded before leaving to my room.
I blinked blearily, I hadn’t gotten any sleep. For most of the night, I had stared at my window, making sure that nothing or no one was peeking in. Paranoia was settling in and I really had no way of getting rid of it. I had read a book, listened to music, watched TV and taken another bath, but still, nothing had taken away my anxiety. It didn’t help that I couldn’t calm down in my mother’s embrace — she was gone for several days, due to some sort of journalism conference. Finally, at 5 a.m., I decided to go out for a run to let off some steam.
Half an hour later found me drenched in sweat and dead tired. I guess it really hadn’t been smart of me to go for an exhausting run when I had barely gotten any sleep. I stopped at the park and listened to the birds chirping. I loved the park. Last year, some developers had wanted to use the land to build a new complex. Luckily, I had rallied enough people to stop the construction for good. We had even managed to put in place a conservation plan for the park. The park had also been renamed after one of my elementary teachers, Mr. Mande, who had helped me organize the rally. He had passed away the night before the conservation contract had been signed.
I trudged along to the forest, my sneakers crunching leaves and disrupting the peacefulness. It wasn’t long until I reached a clearing. It was beautiful. A tiny pond was located near the middle, surrounded by tall grass. There was so much biodiversity in Mande Park and it had been one of the reasons why I had fought so valiantly to preserve it.
My thoughts were interrupted when I heard a sound, an interesting and unique sound that I couldn’t place. I approached the bush from which the sounds were coming from and spotted something moving. I peered closer to get a better look. It was… a parrot?
A/N. Dedicated to Eillac15 for giving me motivation! Thanks a bunch! And sorry for the delayed update! Exams finished and I was attempting to teach myself math...