Chapter 3: When It All Falls Apart
Lucius bowed his head. He was at a loss for words. Suddenly his cell started to ring. He quickly flipped it open without bothering to see the caller; the ring tone gave it away.
“Yes, Ziya?” he stated calmly as he placed the phone to his ear. He listened for a moment before speaking again. “Calm down, Ziya. We’ll figure out what to do, don’t worry. I’ll call you, just get make sure Maor is okay. I’ll be there soon.”
Once he’d shut his phone, Rani stood up. “What happened?”
“Our house caught on fire. Maor was the only one in it, but he jumped out a window. It knocked him unconscious so we’re not sure how bad he is, but they think he’s ok. I need to go, I’m sorry,” he explained before he turned and headed for the door.
“Wait!” Malka jumped up. Lucius stopped but didn’t turn around, so she continued. “Do you think they may need some more cars?”
Lucius turned slightly. “That’d be nice, seeing as I have one of the only two cars and the other is a two seater.”
“Then, we’ll drive, too. Rani is the only one without a car,” Malika told him as all of the other girls stood as well.
“Um, I have to make a detour to Daniel’s first, if you don’t mind,” Sarah said in quiet voice. They all looked at her oddly at the submissive tone in her voice.
“We’ll all follow you, then you can follow me to my house,” Lucius told her.
“No! I-I mean, I’ll go alone. If I take Talulla’s car, it has a GPS in it, so you can tell me where it is and I’ll use that,” she explained nervously.
“Are you sure?” Lucius took an unconscious step in her direction.
“Yes, please, I need to go see him alone,” she told him.
“Ok,” he nodded before grabbing a tissue and scribbling on it using a pen he pulled from his pocket. “This is my address. Underneath is my cell number if you need it, kay?”
“Kay, thanks,” she took it from him when he held it out to her.
“Here are the keys, screw up my car and I’ll kick your sorry ass,” Talulla held out her key chain in the palm of her hand.
Sarah switched Talulla’s keys for her own. “Thanks.”
“No prob, now let’s get going. Who’s taking Rani?” Talulla asked as she shoved her sister’s keys into her pocket.
“I’ll take her,” Lucius offered. “I think it would be good to get to know each of you a little better.”
“Alright,” Malka nodded before turning to Sarah. “Don’t take too long and if you need anything, call.”
At that, they all separated. Each girl went to the separate cars. Rani paused to admire Lucius’s old Subaru WRX before sliding in.
“Nice car,” she admired as she put on her seat belt.
“Thanks,” he laughed. He put on his seat belt and started the car. Sarah pulled out and went left while the others all followed him to the right.
“So, do you know what happened? I mean, weren’t you just there?” Rani asked him as they drove.
“Yeah, Ziya didn’t specify what started the fire. I’m not sure what happened, all he said was that the six of them were outside and suddenly the house was in flames. They saw Maor jump from the second story. When they got to him, he was unconscious. He only had a scrape on his head, but…” Lucius trailed off. “So, tell me about yourself, Rani.”
“Your friends, boyfriend, hobbies: stuff like that,” he threw a glance at her.
“Um, I don’t really have many friends of my own. They all came with the boyfriend. However, we broke up the night of the accident, so I’m not really gonna have anyone to talk to at school besides my sisters. Unfortunately, they’re all seniors and I’m just a sophomore and the school year’s coming to an end quickly. Stupid Talulla had to skip seventh grade,” Rani scowled, causing Lucius to let out a hearty laugh.
Sarah took a deep breath before ringing the doorbell. She secretly hoped no one was home. To her dismay, Daniel answered the door.
“What the fuck do you want?” he snarled at her.
“I just thought I’d give you back your ring,” she explained as she slid the gaudy class ring off her left ring finger where he had placed it two weeks prior. She held it out for him to grab as she tried to force down the tears.
“About time,” he growled as he snatched it from her.
“Who is it?” a light, annoying voice asked. A small yet beautiful blonde turned the corner in her black lace bra and underwear. “Sarah, what are you doing here?”
“I’m just leaving, Caitlin,” Sarah shook her head in disgust.
“Hey, wait, is it true about your parents?” Caitlin called after Sarah as she started to walk away.
“Yeah, what about it?”
“I’m sorry,” the girl’s voice was full of sympathy.
“Don’t be. It’s not your problem. And when it was Daniel’s problem, he left me cause he didn’t want to deal with it. So be careful of him. The second you have a problem, he’ll leave you,” Sarah warned her. “He won’t be there for you when life falls apart at the seams. That’s when he’ll run away.”
“Oh,” was all Caitlin was able to reply as Daniel stood behind her with a look of shock plastered on his face.