written by Inês Costa
-Beer!!!! Hey, ladies!
And of course, began courting some girls that were at the bar. But Jacob wasn’t really interested on those girls. He was looking for that special girl, Mary, and he wanted to know why had she troubled him so. He started walking through the bar, between the loud crowd and so he became near the small dancing stage.
There she was, dancing happily with her friends. Jacob sat on the nearest available bench and was only able to stay there and look. She was wonderful and so pretty that no words could describe it.
The sound of the crowd faded to oblivion and suddenly it was only he and she in that room. Mary continued moving to the sound of that involving music, and he would only watch, in wonder, afraid that he would move and destroy that image.
How many time had he stayed there? He could tell, but the hours passed like minutes and suddenly Jeff was taping on his shoulder.
-Hey, earth to Jacob!
-I think you’ve drunk too much.
-Stop saying nonsense. I’m fine…Jacob stopped and smelled something….you by the other hand…
-Nothing that a good night sleep won’t cure.
-Yes, and the first class is tomorrow morning. Come on pal, let’s go.
Jeff turned around and shouted.
-Good evening ladies, it’s been a pleasure…hope that you might pose for me someday!
Everybody laughed and raised they’re glasses. The party carried on, but Jacob felt better to leave, due to Jeff’s condition. Nevertheless, he wanted to take a last peak at Mary, but she wasn’t there. He stood on his toes and looked around, but she wasn’t in sight. Cheerless, he retired with is friend.
They were walking in the direction of the dorm when Jeff stopped.
-Are you all right, Jeff?
Jeff had suddenly turned from pale to some sort of undefined green.
-I think I’m going to…
Jacob held his friends forehead while he vomit.
-Hey, it’s for the best, this way you won’t wake up with a headache.
Jacob remembered one story that grandfather used to tell about one time when Mouse had found a bottle of vodka and had drink some trusting that was water. He became so drunk, that afterwards he didn’t left his bed for three all days and even afterwards he was still a little shaky.
Jeff was resting, sitting on the sidewalk, when Jacob heard the first scream. It was coming from somewhere up ahead.
-What’s going on? , Said Jeff standing and stumbling a little bit.
But Jacob knew instinctively that something wasn’t right and was already running up the street, despite Jeff’s protests about him being crazy.
Everything else was unimportant.
He stopped by a side street and saw three men surrounding Mary and another girl. Despite the danger, Mary stood right, unafraid.
-Leave us alone! We don’t have any money!
The men laughed, and one of them held a knife. Mary froze when she saw the cold light of the blade.
-But it’s not your money we want.
-Yeah, we just want to fool around!
The other girl shouted for help, but in vain. One of the thugs was already reaching for her arm.
-Let them go!
The men turned around to find Jacob, and at the sight of him he started laughing.
-Get out of here kid; this is none of your business!
But since Jacob didn’t move, the leader signalled one of his companions to scare him off. Has he approached and tried to push him off, Jacob took the fight skills learned with Diana and taking advantage of the legacy of his father’s strength, he easily knocked the man out.
The second men approached and Jacob couldn’t help it, he released a large roar and his eyes seemed to glow in anger…his face almost changing in something…catlike. He jumped to his opponent and kicked him in the face in one strike. The men fell, dripping blood from his mouth, and looking very scared. Jacob then turned to the leader, head low, arms pendent along the body…he was looking at the thug in such anger. The man quickly turned to Mary and surrounded her with his arm while threatening her with his knife. Mary’s friend ran down the street, looking for help.
-So, how is it going to be? If you make one move, the girl gets it.
He began to walk slowly backwards, trying to reach a car that was parked, no doubt they’re getaway vehicle. But then, a strange thing happened. The man started hearing a strange sound coming from Mary, something like a low growl. Suddenly the girl impelled her elbow against his stomach, and her oppressor, not expecting her reaction, immediately dropped the knife and fell on his knees. Mary, unsatisfied with this, threw a kick on his face that made the man faint.
Jacob was stunned.
-Where have you learn to fight like this? -He said.
She shook the dust from her hands and replied.
-I’ve learnt some karate at school back in Montana.
She then stopped and looked at Jacob, intrigued by him.
-You’re not bad yourself.
-I’ve also learned some moves with my aunt…
-That part of the roar was something completely unnecessary although…what were you trying to do? Scare them to death?
Both of them laughed, as they heard a police siren approach.
-Something came up. -Said Vincent, pushing the chair aside. He felt the rush of his son’s heartbeat and knew that the boy was in trouble.
-Some sort of fight?
-Yes, but he is all right now.
-I’ll go call him, said Diana rushing to the corridor.
-Wait, Diana! There’s no need. He’s fine… I think the worst has passed.
Diana returned to her seat and rested comfortably on the red sofa. She continued looking at Vincent, because his troubled look didn’t leave his face, although he was sure about his son’s security.
-But what’s the matter? You still have this look on your face.
Vincent wasn’t sure about his son’s emotions. In fact he was a little bit ashamed about peaking into his child’s feelings, and so he stopped “tuning”, as Jacob used to call his empathic abilities.
-Nothing, nothing…it’s just that for a moment…
-What? For a moment what? You’re leaving me curious!
-I think that Jacob met someone…special.
-So soon? Boy, I know that Jacob is a very interesting young man…but so soon? Well, he’ll never cease to surprise me!
And with that Diana resumed her reading, while Vincent sat again on his armchair. He turned around and faced the open pages of his book, unread. Nevertheless he couldn’t stop thinking about that strange emotion that his son was felling…it was something deeper…something that Vincent knew he also be affected from.
The days succeeded mild and filed with classes. Jacob had his hands full and no time for parties and other things, but he always had time to talk to his new friend, Mar, although he hoped that she would soon become something more. He had learned form Diana that Vincent was hurt about the absence of his son and in return Jacob wrote him letters saying that he had a lot of work and university wasn’t only easy work and so he excused himself from regular visits Bellow in order to stay at the dorm every weekend … so he could have more time for Mary, since she couldn’t go home so often.
The sparse visits that he had undergone Bellow were always on the run, never having a quiet conversation with his father, because he was afraid of what he might say to him. The thing was he wasn’t sure about his feelings towards Mary and before he could his father anything else, he had to be sure of something! At least that was what he felt best. So the weekends that he spent above were quiet and wonderful, with lots of talks with Mary about herself and her mother, a woman that Jacob could see was the most important thing to Mary. So, and it was expected, Jacob began to be more distant to his friends, like Jeff and focus only on Mary.
One Saturday late afternoon, Jacob took Mary to Central Park. Although Mary arrived at New York only a few months before, she still didn’t knew much about the city itself, so Jacob thought that it was time for her to know one of the most attractive things about that town.
-I grew up here mostly…er…my aunt used to bring me here a lot of times.
-She sounds like a great lady.
They found a quiet place by the lake and sat there. Jacob looked at the trees and at the grass and thought about his friends Bellow. It would be a shame if he didn’t visit them, being so close! But Mary was there and…well, her presence was something soothing and pacifying.
Unaware of his gesture, he reached for her hand and she, didn’t move a muscle. Felling encouraged by that act, Jacob reached for her face and kissed her on the lips.
Vincent turned his head in the direction of the lake and begun running down the corridor, despite Father’s protests of what was going on and “be careful with the books!” but it was to late, Vincent swept anything at his passage. He had to see what was going on with his son, although he was already in suspicious, and no better way and no better day to find out! So Vincent ran and ran until he could reach the soil of Central Park. The sun had already settled, and so night was the perfect cover up. There were a few people in the park, but no matter because Vincent found his refuge in the trees. There was a safe distance between him and his son so he could see who was troubling his son so.
As they parted, Jacob looked at Mary in another way. Mary smiled and took her hand off.
-Look Jacob, I was expecting this…in fact I wished to happen…but…
Jacob smiled, in understanding.
-We’re only friends.
-Yes, I didn’t felt anything bigger with that kiss. Did you?
No, he didn’t. In fact the kiss felt strange and Jacob knew in that second that he wasn’t in love with her, but only a deep friendship connected them in a way that he couldn’t explain.
Mary suddenly turned around, looking into the trees…in fact, looking straight at Vincent’s direction. Vincent felt something tightening in his heart when he saw the golden hair beauty and her eyes were so…familiar!
Jacob knew that something was wrong, and the minute he saw Mary looking at the trees he started diverting her attention.
-So, were does it leaves us?
-What? Jacob, there’s someone in those trees.
-Let’s go then.
-Yes…I think that’s probably the best thing to do.
They went to the bus stop, were Jacob told Mary that he was going to spend the night at his aunt’s house, so that it was best for her to go to the dorm.
-Do you want me to go with you?
-No! You haven’t seen your aunt in some time…it’s best for you to go, before she starts thinking to disinherit you!
Jacob laughed and looked at her, and she looked at him right back. Suddenly she embraced him.
-Oh Jacob! I’m so sorry…
He gently pushed her back and looked straight at her.
-Don’t be. I was confused, and now I’m not! It’s as simple as that. And you are a dearest friend to me, so I hope that this won’t keep us apart, ok?
Mary nodded and hugged him once more, before taking the bus. Jacob waved at her until the bust took a turn. Then he tightened his jacket and started walking to Diana’s apartment.
Diana had just returned form Bellow, and was cooking something to eat when she heard the buzz on the door.
-Who is it?
She opened up the door and waited for him to come up. When he opened the elevator door she knew by the look on his face that he wasn’t very happy.
-What the hell was he trying to do?
-Calm down Jacob. He is your father and he’s only concerned about you.
-Concerned? Concerned!? Come on Diana! Mary almost saw him! What is he doing in Central Park at sundown? Anyone could have seen him!
-I’m sure that your father knows to take care of himself. The worst is your own attitude towards your father. You don’t talk to him, you don’t go Bellow more often and you’re not really that far away! Jacob, you’re neglecting your own family you should at least admit that!
-That’s my problem and I can take care of my self! He has no right of “tuning” me!
-He can’t help not to! It’s part of who he is!
-That’s a lie! He can control it! He did with my mother!
A gust of wind came by the window and both of them saw Vincent’s shadow on the rooftop.
Jacob rushed to the roof and Diana immediately followed him. His father was waiting, with his cape covering him all over, and his hood pushed forward so that he almost couldn’t see his face. In the matter of fact, Jacob never had seen his father like this.
-What were you doing? Risking your self like that for what?
-Father, you have no right of “tuning” me! I want some privacy don’t you get it? I’m not a child any more! I can take care of myself.
-I was worried, that’s all.
Jacob knew that his father’s concern was true and had all sense of being. But the thought of his feelings being watched, that was something that he took very personally.
-Worried about what? That I should fall in love and get hurt? Afraid that I might tell something?
-Do you love that girl?
The question came out dry and unexpected. Vincent stood calm and there was nothing that Jacob could read in his face that might give him a hint.
-She is just a friend…a dear friend.
Vincent walked towards him and rested his hands on his son’s broad shoulders.
-I’m sure she is. I’m not pointing any finger at you Jacob. Can you accept that I was just concerned about you?
Jacob felled to his senses and nodded in agreement. After all, he was making a fuss over something that would lead him nowhere, but Vincent was afraid of something and the only thing he knew that there was something to do with that girl.
-Why don’t you go Bellow, visit your grandfather, and calm yourself, hum? I’ll follow you later; I have to talk with Diana.
Jacob knew that they were going to talk about him and said nothing. He quietly went downstairs and proceeded to the Central Park entrance.
Vincent watched every move and waited until Diana said something.
-What’s going on Vincent? You can fool your son…well probably not, but you sure can’t fool me.
Vincent breaded deep.
-That girl, Jacob’s friend.
-What’s wrong with her?
-There is something in her that troubles me, but I can’t tell what it is.
Diana was used to know that when Vincent had something troubling him, it was usually something valid and not to be regarded in a simple way.
-Well, will you rest if I check her?
Vincent smiled and looked at her. Diana knew what the answer was.
"REUNITED" belongs to Inês Costa Any distribution, copy, shoul be made under her consent. Thanks