I hardly understood any of what Rosa was saying to Isha.
For that, I felt like the biggest piece of crap ever. Because clearly there was something dark and hurting in Rosa and Isha - even Julian - and that scared me. How could they keep that stuff in and not let anyone see it? I’d been staring at the two of them while she spoke and they seemed like strangers to me. Had those things been there all the while?
When she turned back to me again, speaking in her familiar voice, barely a trace of the darkness left and suddenly there was my friend again. But now that I knew some of what was hidden under there, was it the same? Could we still be the same?
She spoke though, and I knew we were still friends, we were the same as before but now I knew why her face sometimes fell a little when she thought no one was looking. A deep breath here or there.
Hannah gave us the key with a suspicious glance and slight smile.
I opened the passenger door of my truck for Rosa before jumping into my side and driving off. I pulled the code out of my visor and punched it into the pedestal outside of Isha’s community.
Even down the road I could tell which house was Isha’s without having to really look. There was stuff piled all over the lawn. Preveena was lounging on the front step, dark-colored clove cigarette in her fingers. Rosa’s face instantly fell into a guarded mode, but I felt my chest swelling with confusion and outrage.
"I was expecting the slutty white girl." Came the woman’s cold drawl.
"You know he’s in the hospital and you didn’t come?" The words stuck painfully in my throat.
"His own negative behavior put him there. Am I really supposed to feel pity for him?" She puffed out a fragrant cloud of smoke from her lungs.
I couldn’t speak. I didn’t know what to say. What could you say to that?
I couldn’t believe it when we got to Isha’s house - his shit was laying out there. His mom was beautiful but cold. While Miles confronted her, my instincts went into overdrive, and I started piling his stuff into the back of Miles’ truck. I lunged towards the expensive stuff first. His laptop was lying on the ground with some Beats and I put those in the passenger side. When Miles was stuck staring, in a low voice I tugged at his arm. “Lets just get Isha’s stuff and go.”
He didn’t have a ton - which worked well enough. Miles took care of the heavy stuff while I chucked off the heels I had on. We worked in silence under the stone gaze of his mother’s eyes until I passed by her. She reached out a hand, stoping me in my tracks without touching me. I don’t know why she terrified me so much.
"They will never see you as more than a dirty island girl," she said, smoke coming out of her mouth.
My mouth dropped. How did she know? I didn’t walk around screaming that I was an immigrant. Why did she care? I practically threw the rest of the stuff into the back of the pickup trying to get out of there, throwing myself in the passenger side. “Let’s go Miles,” I said. “I want to get out of here.” This night was going from nightmarish to actual hell. I kept running my hands through my hair and shifting restlessly. I needed to call Julian when he got off of work, he would understand.