Ebony & Frank: 11

Afternoon draped over the land like a lazy bugger pulling a duvet over their own legs at a snails pace. It was late, the grumble in her tummy had turned into a raging roar, and now had simmered down to nothing. She was hallow. The tears long since dried. Eb doubted she had much hydration left in her to produce any more tears. Defeated, she dragged herself out of the car and up the broken steps. The empty house embraced her – another broken soul meeting a likewise companion. She wondered once more what she was doing here, but then again, she had no where else to go and no one else to be with.

She dragged her feet over the wooden floors, forcing herself up the stairs to her room. At least it was for now. She walked in there, eyeing the space with dead eyes. Why hadn’t she bought a mattress while she was in town? She really could do with a good kip. Eb walked into the dusty, dank room and stared out the broken glass of the window. The land dipped significantly and she couldn’t really see the road, despite knowing that there was a road that had brought her to this point. 

‘What now?’ She heard the words spill in her mind. She shrugged. ‘I wouldn’t be here if I knew.’

Eb closed her eyes and slid to the floor, not caring about the little tornado of dust she’d unsettled. She sat there trying to imagine a life in that room. What would she like in there? What would make her feel like it was home? She closed her eyes and leaned her head back on the wall. An image briefly played in her mind. Of a room. A room that looked almost circular. A double bed sat in the middle of the room, two side tables of a slab of timber held up by tripod on either side. The curtain that hung over the window an odd length; just enough to cover the window and no more. If one pulled it even an inch, light would spill in from the outside. It was the colour of daffodils. Eb liked daffodils. The rest of the room was sparse. No decoration, no other funiture apart from an out of place bohemian carved wooden rocking chair with padded floral cushion. 

Eb’s eyes grew wide open. ‘I like daffodils!’ She marveled aloud, a slight echo ringing around her. ‘I like daffodils!’ The glee filling her was something she couldn’t contain. She jumped up, almost jumping with joy when she heard a car pulling up the gravel driveway. She turned and pushed the window open with all her might. The years of neglect hadn’t exactly helped the house nor Eb. 

‘I like daffodils!’ She screamed out the window as Niko jumped out of his car and eyed the sight of an old beat up half up on her porch. 

‘Daffodils!’ Niko called back, pointing at the yellow vehicle. ‘Explains the colour of your antique here.’

Eb smiled. Guess it did. ‘It’s new!’

Niko laughed, taking off his wide rimmed leather hat. ‘I wouldn’t exactly call it that.’ He strode towards the front door, jerking Eb into action, and she ran down the creaking stairs. ‘You trying to demolish this place already?’ He grinned. 

‘Teach me to drive, Niko.’

His grin widened. ‘Have you seen me drive?’ 
Eb sat on the passenger side of Niko’s car, her hands clutching at the seat belt as the car peeled off down the road. Every bump, every pebble seemed to jerk the car violently. At the end of the driveway, Niko took such a hard right turn that he almost had to keep the car from swerving into the ditch. ‘I drive like a lunatic Frank says!’ He screamed over both the screeching tyres and the blaring radio. ‘You still want me to teach?’
Eb swallowed. ‘What have I got to loose?’ Besides my life, my empty, empty life.
Niko laughed a raucous laugh. The car suddenly stopped shuddering and the drive down the road smoothed out. Niko leaned back into his chair, eased the window down half way, turned the radio low, and smiled. ‘You got guts, Ebby.’ When he turned to Eb, her jaw was slack from surprise. ‘I’ve driven since a kid. I know how to drive.’ Eb continued to stare at him in disbelief. Her heart still racing slightly. ‘Come on. Your face. Priceless!’ Niko laughed again and pulled over. ‘Your turn. Show me what you got.’
He walked around to her side and held the door open for her. It took her a while to realize he was waiting for her to step out and swap places with him. ‘You’re an ass! You know that.
Niko only winked and slid into her seat as soon as she left it. ‘Let’s see if you will kill us within minutes.’

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