The next day, I woke up stretching my body out and seeing I had overslept, I jumped up from my bed, throwing the covers back and rushing to my bathroom to get dressed.
Stumbling down the stairs seeing mama in the kitchen eating a slice of toast, I quickly asked her hurriedly “Mama, where’s Michael didn’t he come to wake me up today?”
Mama shook her head in confusion before smirking lightly “so you finally admit Michael is your alarm clock now Hun?” ignoring her question I shrugged my shoulders not overthinking it, he did this once in awhile when he didn’t have time which was perfectly acceptable.
Grabbing a few pieces of bread from mama’s pile, stuffing them into my mouth, I waved and ran out the door hoping to catch the school bus on time.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to catch the bus on time which made me twenty minutes late for class and luckily it wasn’t history but geography which was my favourite class but I was Miss. Martin’s favourite student which she secretly never said but in her words and actions shined though.
Sitting down for lunch after the hectic half-day so far and being given homework as well Michael’s homework as well at the same time. I sat down to eat my meal in silence mulling over what could have possibly got Michael be absent today. Biting into my beef burger, I pushed my thoughts of Michael away as I ate.
Twenty minutes after finishing my meal, I packed my food on my tray and threw the uneaten food away. Grabbing my bag, I walked to my next set of classes to finish the day.
The next few days I began to grow worried about not seeing Michael waking me up early or coming to school at all in general. It was getting pretty suspicious at this point he never misses this much school even if he was sick or visiting a relative or for other some other reason. Until on the second day out of the blue Marlon kept me company making my worry vanish with his quirky humour.
I sat down on my own for second day in a row worrying over Michael in my mind trying to find out the reason that could make him stay away so long. My food left untouched until a pair of hands fell on my shoulders startling me out of my thoughts.
I heard a throaty laugh continue to laugh until he sat in front of me, grinning broadly. I narrowed my eyes at the pair of light brown eyes staring into mine, amusement shining in his eyes.
Marlon stretching his hand out swiped a French fry from my plate. “hey!” I exclaimed annoyed seeing him steal a fry. He ignored me and continued to eat more fries. I smacked his hand away from my plate, he playfully groaned rubbing his hand gently and said “sugar, you got some strong hands, I’ll stay away from your food from now on”
Rolling my eyes at his silliness, I decided to get straight to the point crossing my arms and staring into his eyes I asked bluntly “where is he Marlon?”
Marlon in that moment looked confused his eyebrows scrunched together, he asked, “where is who?”
I wanted to smack my forehead in annoyance, does the dense genetic run in the Jackson family or something?
Sighing in irritation throwing my hands in the air “Michael who else would I ask about?”
Marlon confusion turned to astonishment at who I was talking about, his mouth forming a perfect “O”.
In that moment I just face palmed and sighed in defeat. Lifting my head from my hands to see Marlon answer my question by shrugging his shoulders and said, “Don’t worry about him, he’s fine sugar”
The tone he implied when he spoke felt the discussion was already over and I couldn’t ask any more questions. It made me worry even more about Michael, it’s like his own brother didn’t care about him.
Instead Marlon changed the topic quickly saying, “I’m not a great substitute for my lil bro eh sugar?” he pouted and sulked looking like a little kid whose toy was snatched away.
I giggled covering my mouth with my hand at his declaration; I said sweetly “sorry Marlon but no one can replace your big headed brother”
Marlon then held his hand over his eyes in a true dramatic performance worth of an Oscar said, “Sugar, you hurt my heart I don’t think I can recover over your hurtful words”
My giggling turned into a full-blown laughter, letting my head falls onto the table.
My laughter slowly died down and I felt my worry for Michael subsided for a while with Marlon keeping me company it felt wonderful.
End of Flashback.
After that day, Marlon always came to spend lunch with me, stealing food as usual away from my plate and my usual smacking his hand away from my food, it was a nice distraction from thinking about Michael but when he left my mind still lingered on him, I didn’t know
Until the fifth day when I and Marlon were sitting in our usual spot joking and bickering about a funny story about him and his brothers until Michael came to the table, his expression wary and annoyed.
Marlon smirked at him; seeing that it was his time to leave, bent down to my side, giving me a warm hug and a soft kiss on my cheek. I grinned bashfully in embarrassment; he pulled away from the hug a little too fast for my liking.
He waved at us in farewell and as he walked away Michael glared at his back.
I said “Michael” to bring his attention on me, hearing his name; Michael turned his head back to me, his eyes full of pain and sorrow.
I leaned my body forward, my face close to his face I asked him angrily,
“Where have you been?”