I woke up the next morning and sat in my room, waiting for Janet to come and tell me that Joseph had cooled down. I sat there for about an hour before I concluded that Janet probably forgot about it. I pulled on some sweat pants and a loose fitting t-shirt. I wasn’t really in the mood to dress professionally today. I walked out of the room and headed downstairs and into the kitchen. My entire family was down there. Joseph glared at me and pointed a dirty finger at me.
“There he is! The little liar!” Joseph yelled. Janet gave me a what-the-hell-are-you-doing-down-here look.
“I didn’t come up to tell you Mike!” she said.
“Sorry! I thought you forgot!” I told her honestly.
“Geez Mike, I’m not that forgetful,” Janet told me. My mother walked up to me.
“Is everything alright Michael?” asked my mother. I nodded.
“Everything’s fine,” I replied.
“If everything was fine then where the hell were you last night?!” Joseph asked angrily.
“I already told you Joseph, you don’t need to know where I am every second of the day! I’m not a little kid anymore!” I yelled.
“You’re my son!”
“We had this conversation last night, I’d prefer if we didn’t revive it,” I told him as I pulled out some orange juice from the fridge and poured myself a glass.
“Mike... we just care about you bro,” Jermaine told me as he put a hand on my shoulder. I pulled it off. I finished chugging my glass of orange juice and put the glass in the sink.
“Well I’ll tell you guys when I’m ready,” I replied. I started to walk off but Joseph grabbed me.
“Tell me now,” he thundered. I escaped his grip.
“No!” I screamed. I walked out of the kitchen and there was a knock on the door.
“Everybody! Act friendly!” I heard one of my brothers call out to everyone else. I took a deep breath to allow my anger flow out of me, and then I opened the door.
“Hello,” I said. I was staring at the floor. I wasn’t really in the mood to talk to anyone right now.
“Look at my face, not my feet Michael,” I heard a familiar voice. I looked up and saw Nikki smiling lovingly at me. I smiled back. Man, was I glad to see her. She practically brightened up my entire day! Although, now wasn’t the best time.
“Hey Nikki,” I greeted. She waved a small wave.
“Hi,” she said awkwardly. There was a brief silence. “Can I come in?” she asked me. Oh man! It hasn’t even been a minute and I’ve already screwed up! I opened the door wider and she stepped into the house. She was wearing a flowing blue dress that stopped just below her knees and she wore black heels. For a ghost, she looked pretty good.
“Who’s that?” asked Randy when he saw Nikki.
“This is my friend,” I replied.
“Aha! That was who you were with last night!” Joseph said as he stood up and pointed directly at Nikki. Nikki and I exchanged glances.
“You didn’t tell your parents that you were with me?” she whispered to me.
“Um... not exactly,” I whispered back. I looked back at Joseph.
“No Joseph, it wasn’t her,” I lied. I wasn’t sure why I was lying to him. I guess I just wanted the satisfaction on knowing that I was totally aggravating him and plus, he deserved this. He’s always in my business! Well, not this time! Joseph turned to face Nikki.
“Is this true?” he asked her. I looked at Nikki. Hopefully she’d go along with it.
“Yes, what he’s telling you is true,” Nikki replied. I let out a sigh of relief. Thank God!
“Well than where were you last night?” Joseph asked. Nikki didn’t even flinch. Man, she was good under pressure.
“I was at home. Like I usually am,” she replied. Joseph then turned to face me.
“See, she was at home lie she should be. How about you Michael? Why weren’t you at home like you should be?” Joseph interrogated. I rolled my eyes.
“Knock it off Joseph,” I told him.
“I am your father! I can do whatever I want!”
“Joseph! Please! I have a friend over!” I shouted. I grabbed Nikki by the arm. “C’mon, let’s go upstairs,” I told her as I led her up the stairs and into my room. I shut the door and locked it behind us.
“Nice dad you’ve got there,” Nikki said trying to be as polite as possible.
“Please, don’t refer to him as my dad. I don’t even call him dad!” I told her. She nodded.
“Alright, I won’t mention it again,” she told me. I smiled at her.
“Thanks,” I replied.
“Look, why haven’t you told them about you and I?” she asked me curiously. I sighed and shrugged my shoulders.
“I don’t know, I guess it was just because when you gave me that number they were all kind of mad at you because they think you played me. I just don’t think they’ll be impressed to hear that I’m still with you. I did tell my youngest sister though. She understands me,” I explained, “Did you tell your parents?” I asked. As soon as the words slipped through my mouth I knew that I had said the wrong thing. “Sorry! I forgot!” I quickly added. She smiled at me.
“It’s okay,” she replied.
“So, can you even see your parents and interact with them?” I asked her. She shook her head.
“Why can’t you interact with them but you can interact with me?” I asked her.
“Well, I can interact with them, I just don’t. First of all, they know I was murdered so if I just popped up that would bring lots of suspicion and stuff, so I just stay away from them. Besides, my mission was to find love,” she said as she gazed lovingly into my eyes. I smiled.
“Well you’ve found it darling,” I replied. She giggled. God, I wish I could kiss her right now. I really wish I could. She looked so real it just felt wrong to not lean in and attempt!
“So why did you come here?” I asked her. She sighed.
“I’ve uh... I’ve got some news for you. But I want to discuss it over dinner,” she replied. News? That could be good and bad.
“What kind of news?” I asked her.
“You’ll find out over dinner,” she told me.
“Alright, where should I meet you?” I asked her. She handed me a slip of paper.
“Follow these directions and meet me there at 7 alright?” she told me. I examined the piece of paper and nodded my head.
“Alright, I understand,” I replied. She smiled.
“Thanks,” she said as she stood up.
“My pleasure,” I said as I opened up the door for her and we walked out of my room. We both headed downstairs and Jermaine, Tito and Jackie were playing a little indoor football.
“Go long Tito!” shouted Jermaine. Tito smiled and started running backwards. He didn’t even realize that Nikki was behind him as he ran.
“Tito look out!” I shouted. Tito looked at me and then he saw Nikki and tried to get to a stop, but he was too late and he ran into Nikki. Or rather, ran through Nikki! Tito looked around and saw that instead of falling into her, he fell right through her and was on the ground. Everyone’s mouths dropped. All eyes were on Nikki. Nikki held her hands over her mouth, looked around and ran out of the house as fast as her feet could carry her. Once my family had gotten out of their state of shock, they all turned to look at me.
Looks like I had some explaining to do.