STEVEN JERAL HARRIS
Before I leave Olivia’s place, she gives me another warm hug. She peeps out the doorway, watching us walk down the hall and back towards the elevator. She waves at us from the end of the hallway.
We wave back as we step onto the elevator.
"She’s cool, right?" Maria asks while we descend.
"She really is." I respond. "I mean, how many people can say they met a phoenix?"
The elevator doors open and we walk through the lobby, and out of the main entrance. Suddenly that man and his daughter approaches Daniel.
"Excuse me, sir. Do you have any change?" The man asks.
"Not for you." He replies straightforwardly and continues walking.
"Please sir, anything would do." The man presses on desperately.
Daniel exhales, turns around, and steps close to the man. His daughter steps back, cowering behind her father's leg, as if she is intimated by Daniel’s sternness.
"Mane...?" Eric says, stepping behind Daniel and grabbing his shoulder.
"I just want to ask this guy a question." He says to Eric then shifts back at the poor man. "Why don’t you just get a job?‟
"Excuse me?" The man asks stupefied.
"You heard me. Why can’t you just get a job?"
Daniel asks again but slower.
“Listen, I’m just down on my luck right now.” The man explains. “We need to take three buses to get home.”
“I know, I know, just down on your luck, same old excuse with all you bums. Listen, for your daughter’s sake, raise your standards. Next time I see you, I’m calling social services.”
Daniel shakes his head with a frustrated look upon his face, turns around, and heads back to the SUV.
“Come on.” The poor man looks down into his daughter’s bright green eyes.
He takes her hand and then they walk off together down the street, and around the corner. I can't help but feel a little embarrassed for the man and his daughter. Daniel’s comments only made it worse.
We all take our seats in the SUV and begin our journey back to the house.
“Seriously. You should think twice about what you say to people.” Maria tells Daniel.
“It was the truth.” He offends himself.
“It’s how you say it.” Maria explains.
“But guess what? I didn’t ask for no one’s opinion.” Daniel tells her.
“That’s going to come back to you.” Jessica joins in.
“Okay.” Daniel replies carelessly.
The absentminded response from Daniel adds fuel to Jessica’s anger.
“You’re such an idiot.” Jessica shoots back.
“I know.” He says carelessly yet again.
The SUV gets quiet again until Eric decides to make a comment of his own…
“I think you had the right idea telling him what he needed to hear but …if it was me, I probably would’ve left out the bum part….…and the raise your standards part…………..and the social services part.”
“You’re not helping.” Jason tells Eric.
“Okay.” Eric replies modestly.
The SUV is silent for the rest of the way back.
When we step foot into the house Kenya comes down the steps to welcome us back.
"How did everything go?" She asks Daniel.
“Fine.” Daniel responds as he tosses the keys onto the coffee table.
Kenya shifts over to me.
"Did you meet Olivia?" She asks.
“Good. Now do you have a better knowledge of things?”
“Yes but I still don’t understand a lot of it.”
“Well, more answers will come in due time.” She assures me with a smirk.
She looks over at the others.
"I’m going to sleep early, try not to make too much noise, especially you two.” She peers at the twins.
They both roll their eyes.
“How can I get blamed for something I didn’t even do yet?” Eric whispers to himself.
“Go out for a walk, it’ll do you all some good."
Kenya tells us.
She walks away and marches up the steps.
"She’s right. It’s been a while since we went out together." Jason says to everyone.
"Where to…?" Jessica asks.
"I know where we can go..." Jason breaks to scan everyone. "…the peak."
Everyone looks at one another with a hidden smile, all except for Daniel.
"What’s the peak?" I ask feeling left out of a joke.
"It’s absolutely nothing.” Eric says with a huge smile on his face. “It’s just a nice walk in the woods. It’s nothing fun or awesome or spectacular or anything like that.”
"The woods, isn’t that dangerous?" I ask.
"No biggie, the Blaires are far across town.” Maria explains. “Plus my mom grows the herbs back there."
245 | P a g e
“What do you say Iva?” Jason asks with a charming smirk. “Are you in?”
I think about it for a second. But how can I say no to a face like that anyways? It’s like saying no to a precious little puppy or kitten.
"Okay, why not?" I say with mild excitement.
Soon they go upstairs to change into clothes
Jason calls, “more suitable outwear”. I wait for them to come down as the sunlight begins to dim outside.
Suddenly I hear footsteps coming down the steps. It’s Jason.
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