(C) Leesha McCoy 2013
“Are you ready, son?”
“I think so, dad. How do I explain the reason why I wasn’t there when Hattie passed?”
My dad sits down on the edge of my bed. “Just tell her that you’re sorry, Clarence. She doesn’t need to know the reason you weren’t there right now.”
I finish packing my suitcase and set it down over by the door. “Hmmm. Maybe not, but she’s on her own. I should’ve been there. She already thinks that everyone’s gonna leave her.”
“Well, make sure she knows that you aren’t going anywhere.”
“I’m not. I'm never leaving her again.”
“I know son.”
I check my wound in the mirror. I need this cut to disappear, fast. I wish it wasn’t so deep, it would've healed by now. That fucking ware nearly took my eye out. I’ll need to put a bandage over it before I leave.
I turn around to look at my father. “Yes, dad?”
“Abriya is in a different league to us. She's powerful-“
“I know dad, you've already told me this.”
“No, son. She is so powerful that she could wipe us all out easily, on her own.”
I stare at my father. We’re the strongest wares alive. For him to be saying that one person alone, could wipe out the James' is massive. I walk across the room and sit down next to him, hoping he will elaborate on his previous comment.
“The more I see her in my visions, the more amazing she appears. She has a faithful heart and her feelings are easily hurt but make no mistake about her power, her strength. When you train her don’t push her too far with your attempt to make her angry. She can kill you before she even knows what she's doing.” He sighs heavily. “I believe you and Abriya will change our future forever. Not just the James’ future but the whole of our kind.”
“Why are you telling me this now?”
“Because I don’t want you to underestimate her. You haven’t seen what I have seen, I can only tell you. Abriya will love you with all her heart. She will put you above anyone or anything. I used to think that there wasn’t a stronger love than your mothers and mine but you and Abriya...” He smiles warmly and rests his hand on mine, shaking it reassuringly.
“I feel like I don’t deserve her. She’s so innocent. I listen to her thoughts a lot when I feel lonely and I just can’t believe that she’s meant to be mine.”
“Clarence, don’t talk nonsense. I’m so proud of you, the way you looked after her for all those years. Making sure no harm came to her but also standing back and allowing some pretty nasty people to treat her badly along the way. Your mother and I used to feel so hopeless watching you spend your time alone. You are a credit to us and you will be to Abriya. She needs you more than you know.”
I need her more than anyone knows. “Thanks dad. That means a lot.”
“No problem, son. Come on let’s get you on your way. Your woman will be changing soon. You want to get there in plenty of time.” My father releases my hand and stands.
“Yeah. I better be goin.”
“One last thing, son.”
“When she changes, make sure you change too. You won’t survive her pain otherwise.”
Damn. “Is it going to be that bad?”
“It's going to be worse.”
After check in I head straight to the bar, I feel nervous and excited about seeing Abriya. After I left her in the park I promised my father that I would leave her be. I didn’t want to draw any attention to her from my enemies and that meant steering well clear of her. What my dad doesn’t know is that I had a few wares looking after her. He must have been crazy to think I woulda left her completely alone. JJ did a good job of teaching her self-defence, even though I’m sure he secretly has a crush on her, the dick. I wanted to kill him every time he called with his report on how she was getting on. I ain’t ashamed to admit that I was jealous of him spending time with her. I think the last four years killed me more than the first two hundred and four.
I listened to her sometimes but apart from that I tried to ignore it. The thing that hurt most is when she cried and I couldn’t comfort her, knowing I was the main culprit. She’s been loyal to me even though she had no guarantee that I’d be back and that alone makes me love her more, I don’t know what I would have done if I had felt her having sex or getting close to someone else.
The drinks go down easily and when I board the plane into first class I order another.
“Here is your Jack Daniels, Sir. Can I get you anything else?” asks a short and skinny brunette.
“No, I’m good, thanks.”
She nods and smiles before delivering drinks to the seats behind me. I sip my Jack and relax in my chair. I can’t believe this day has finally come. When my father told me about Abriya I thought I’d never last to this day.
I make a mental note of things I need to do as soon as I land. I need a four by four ASAP, I need it to get to the cabin where Abriya will be. I need supplies too, food and drinks, I know Hattie sorted the meat so I don’t need to worry about that. If we run out I’ll just go and hunt.
I wake unsettled, I’m sure I heard Abriya in pain. I rub my eyes and look at the time. We’ll soon be landing and then I’ll have to wait for my connecting flight to London.
After a few minutes, I realise I can’t hear Abriya. I shut my eyes and concentrate hard, she’s not dreaming or thinking, or talking, What the fuck? I start to panic, so much so that the stewardess from earlier comes over to check if I’m okay. I get rid of her quickly and draw the curtain across my booth. Something has happened to her, since she was born I have felt her, heard her and now there is nothing but silence. What if one of my enemies has found her? Motherfucker!
I clench my fists together and try to hold my temper, I feel like changing and ripping this whole fucking plane to shreds.
“Please fasten you’re seatbelts, we will be landing shortly.”
Thank fuck, I need to get off this fucking plane and go somewhere and change.
I don’t bother waiting for my connecting flight once we land, I call in a favour and get a private jet to fly me to London instead. I call my dad and tell him that something’s happened to Abriya. He does the parent thing and tells me not to think the worst and to calm the hell down. I do neither, I’m fuckin dying here.
Before I reach Heathrow I call one of my cousins and tell him to buy me a range and some supplies. I don’t tell him what it’s for, I just tell him it better be waiting there for when I land. I change about a thousand times on the flight, I’m going insane, all I can think about is getting to her. This is all that fucking ware’s fault. I would have already been with Abriya if we hadn’t been attacked in the middle of the night by some ware thinking he was gonna overthrow us. Twenty fucking years and the week before she changes, I fuck up.
I speed down the dirt track towards the cabin, her scent is stronger now and my stomach twists as I think about what I’m gonna find inside. Is she lying dead in there? I swear I will kill them and their entire fucking bloodline if anyone has touched her.
I slam on the brakes and park next to Hattie’s range. I call Abriya’s name as I jump the stairs and kick open the door. As soon as I get inside I see Abriya lying lifeless on the sofa .She looks so, different.
I quickly go and kneel beside her. "Abriya! Please wake up." I shake her. I check her for wounds but I can’t see any blood or bruising. I notice her glasses on the floor and put them in my pocket. I move her hair out of her face and notice she’s still warm… "Oh God, Abriya. Please, don’t do this to me," I beg desperately. I pick her up and carry her upstairs, taking her in the room where her scent is strongest. I lay her down on the bed and check for a pulse. Relief washes through me, she’s alive.
Damn, she looks so different, definitely slimmer, JJ must have been working her too hard. I’ll kick his ass. Her mascara has run down her face which means she must have been crying. I clench my fists and go in search of a wash cloth in the bathroom to clean her face. I wanna see her without her makeup. I sit back on the bed beside her and wipe her face, I’ll be God damned, I can hardly find the words to describe how beautiful she is.
"You’re so… beautiful," I whisper, touching her cheek and tucking her soft curly hair behind her ear. What’s wrong with her?
I get off the bed and go get my things out the car. I find my phone and call my dad, maybe he’ll know what’s wrong.
“Dad, I’m with her, she’s alive but I can’t hear or feel her,” I tell him as I make my way back upstairs.
“It’s her change, Son.”
"It’s not time yet though."
“No, it’s not her actual change, it’s the build-up. She probably hasn’t eaten enough meat so her body is in shock. When she wakes up you need to make sure she eats plenty.”
“Okay, as soon as she does, I will.
“Try not to worry, Clarence. She’ll be fine. You’re there now.”
“Okay, dad, I’ll talk to you later.”
I check the fridge and see that there is a lot of beef already in there defrosting. I help myself to a few steaks and cut up the beef joint into chunks, ready for when Abriya wakes up. I go back upstairs and get into bed with her. I smell her hair and hold her close to me. I notice her butt is still big and then chaste myself for thinking like that at a time like this. I can’t believe how much she’s changed. She’s morphed from a girl into a woman. She’s perfect.
It’s Sunday evening and Abriya is still unconscious. I’ve called my dad about a hundred times. I just don’t know what to do. I've tried waking her so many times but she doesn’t as much as flinch. I can tell she isn’t well, she’s gone pale and dark circles have formed around her eyes. Guilt consumes me, if only I’d come sooner, none of this would be happening. If she never wakes up it will be my fault. I just don’t think I could deal with that, and I could no way in hell live without her, my parents would no doubt lose another son.
“Ahh!” Abriya screams, ‘Oh thank God, I can move.’ “Clarence!” she sobs.
‘Oh thank you, Jesus.’ I race upstairs and see Abriya writhing on the bed in the foetal position, clutching the sheets. “Abriya!” I shout before racing to her side.