Jasmin fell onto the bed with a heavy sigh. She was bored and, though it was summer the time in which all kids run around having great fun, she had no way to cure her boredom as there was absolutely nothing to do at all. The best escape she found was surfing through the music on her ipod which lent little if any entertainment at all seeing as she was sick of the all the music on the damned thing. Frustrated that the ipod couldn't grant her escape she tossed it on the pillow and fell back to stair at the ceiling. Absentmindedly she began humming the tunes to a song introduced to her by a friend, one not in English but a foreign langue that made her tongue tingle every time she spoke it.
"What is that?" Jasmin glanced away from the midnight colored ceiling with white speckle on it at the tall blonde entering the room with a clear drink in her hand. She gracefully sank onto the bed beside Jasmin and crossed her mile long legs while sipping at her drink. Without thinking Jasmin poked the rim of the glass as it touched her lips, hindering her drinking process.
"What is that?"
" Invisible Kool-aid. This kind is the best." She took a swig of it, humming happily as it ran down her throat before offering Jasmin some.
"No thanks. And I don't know what its called I just know a few lines. Stef sent it to me a while back so I assume its Spanish. You never know though, she listens to everything like me so it could very well be Finnish."
Natalie raised one thin blonde eyebrow, "Finnish?" Jasmin chuckled at her own joke before falling back on the bed to stair at the ceiling. She remembered when she helped Summer paint it. That had ended in an all out paint war.
Beside her Natalie scooted back against the wall and stretched out her long legs that made up most of the 6'1 height she stood at without high heels on, "Who's Stef?"
"Hmm? Oh I told you about her already. Remember because Carson was there and she got all nationalistic about her homeland and said Stef was good people because she was Venezuelan?"
Natalie tapped the brim of her glass then giggled sweetly like a child even though she was coming up on being 19, "Oh yeah I remember. Car gets so indignant about her heritage. I don't even think she's even been to Venezuela."
"Yeah huh with Abuela when she was 12. They offered to take me but I had to say no," Jasmin grabbed for her ipod to put music on, the silence now becoming something of an assassin to her attention span but came up with nothing, "Stefanie gets even more that way than Car did though." Jasmin stopped to laugh softly to herself, remembering all the times the two girls had fought playfully about the attributes of her country vs. Jasmin's own only to loose each time, "Which reminds me, she's graduating here soon. Huff puff she's gonna be busy and we won't be able to talk much anymore."
Natalie paused in the action of licking Kool-Aid off her pink lips to give Jasmin a strange look, "Huff puff? What are you? The Big Bad Wolf?"
Jasmin shoved Natalie's shoulder lightly, "Shut your self right up woman. I need to get her a gift for her graduation."
Natalie again tapped the brim of her glass as she thought, "What about a car?"
It was Jasmin's turn to give the strange look, "A car! For one Natty, I'm not a millionaire like you and for two, she lives in Venezuela. I can't picture Fed-Ex shipping a car to South America."
"Good point. Well what then?" Jasmin sat up and hugged her knees to her chest while she thought. Yes what? What were things Stefanie liked? Well music of course, duh. But Jasmin was in no position to give her that unless she intended to sing her a ballet, record it, and ship it off via email. Which she did not intend at all. Poor Stefanie deserved a gift, not the hellish torture of having to hear Jasmin's horrid singing voice. She smirked at the thought. It would be funny for reaction purposes though. Still that idea was crossed off the list.
What else? Well she could always buy her something nice and unique to Oregon. But there wasn't the absolute that Stefanie would get what she sent her in the mail. Besides, what was unique to Oregon anyway? Oh well lots when she thought about it but perhaps not anything she would be interested in. So that was a nadda on the list of possibilities.
Well maybe some nice Abercrombie & Finch clothing like the kind Jasmin never wore and always sees Natalie in. Stefanie liked argyle or long sleeve shirts. Stuff like that. Nice jeans. Ha or Jasmin could try and get Stefanie to try out Jasmin's style. Something drastic. Like grey jeans ripped at the knees with layered shirts, a nice checkered belt with a buckle and a pair of blue converse. She chuckled at just the thought. No way Stefanie would wear that. Clothes was definitely out of the question. Besides, how lame, who likes clothes as a gift? Well except Jasmin of course, she was random like that.
What then? What was something she would be sure to love and something she could keep with her always and forever? Something that lasted forever…
"I've got it!" Jasmin beamed when she jumped from the bed to stand in the middle of the room looking for the things she'd need.
"What? What is it?" Natalie stood as well, towering over Jasmin by a good foot and a half. So tall Jasmin had to literally look up to see Natalie's gorgeous smile. Jasmin frowned.
"Sit back down." She barked.
"Why?" Natalie's confusion was obvious.
"Because you make me feel like a toy Michel." The blondes laugh tinkled like bells before she went back to lay on the bed.
"Basketball reference," She mused to herself while Jasmin looked around the room for what she needed, "how very original. Not like I haven't heard that one before."
"Yeah, yeah. Blah, blah. Good story-where's Summer's laptop!"
Natalie drunk the last drops of her Kool-Aid before speaking, "She took it with her to Teesha's but if you'd like you can use mine?"
"Please?" Natalie smiled and stood up belittling Jasmin in her model like glory once again.
"It's in my room. I'm gonna start dinner. Have fun and please don't break it? It's expensive."
Jasmin rolled her eyes as she left Summer's room, "What isn't in this house?"
"That." Natalie popped off pointing at the door handle on the door to Summer's room. This earned her another eye roll from Jasmin.
"Smart ass. What're you cooking?"
"Food." was all Natalie said before padding barefoot into the kitchen. For the third time Jasmin rolled her eyes and made her way into Natalie's room which was the grandmaster suite of the spacious apartment.
Having lived with OCD Makendra her entire life had rubbed off on Natalie because she always kept her room so tidy a military instructor would be impressed upon seeing it. There was a place for everything and everything was kept in it's place. Nothing had dust on it, no dirty clothes laid on the floor because all her clothes were kept clean and put away folded in her dresser drawers or hung up in the closet. Which was why Jasmin knew exactly where to go to find the Mac Airbook that belonged to Natalie.
She gripped the thing gently in her palms while she padded across the hardwood floor to climb onto Natalie's plush California king sized bed layered in satin sheets and a silk comforter. She loved Natalie's room. Mainly for the silk bedding but because it was a great thinking place when she was writing. The atmosphere the stained glass skylights provided welcomed her mind into a productive state in which she could better process words into brilliant sentences. Plus the stereo system by her desktop added that helpful little creative boost she needed. Having music playing in the background always helped Jasmin's creative writing process.
While the Airbook booted up Jasmin turned the stereo on and plugged Carson's old 16GB ipod in. Carson was a music lover herself, loving absolutely anything that had a beat so she knew she'd find something good on there. There was a subdivision of chunks in which Carson had choreographed her music. The different genres broken down into the different ways that genre could be portrayed in. Jasmin went through them for a while until she decided on classical. Soft piano music began to fill the room as Beethoven's 15th concerto began to play out with the upbeat of some discjocky laying down a techno baseline to accompany the piano. It was nice.
Satisfied with that Jasmin went back to the Airbook and opened up the writing program. Now she had no idea what she was going to write, as she never thought out her plot before she began to write something, but set her fingers down on the keys and began to click away. It was like her fingers knew what they were doing because she always managed to write regardless of zero preparation. All she typed out was the title.
Then she paused. Maybe some preparation was required. Jasmin knew Stefanie enjoyed just about any piece of literature as long as it was beautifully composed, for the most part anyway, but she wasn't entirely sure what to write about. She pondered over writing a story about Jasmin going over to visit Stefanie but that wasn't something to write about because Jasmin could never even guess as to what Stefanie's real reaction would be. Besides it was presumptuous to barge in on someone's life like that. Something else then, she told herself. But what? Jasmin smirked at most of the idea flashing through her mind, never really taking them into consideration, just enjoying the thought of them as they passed through. Spy action story-lame. Ye Old England with the knights and peasants-overused. Futurist setting-done that already. Mystical powers-really? Cliché. Then Jasmin stopped smirking when something did come to mind, something that could possibly work. What if she took the actual story but gave it a different beginning and a new ending? And perhaps she could combine a bit of those overused, lame, cliché, already wrote ideas with this one. The corners of Jasmin's mouth upturned into a small smile. Perfect.
For as long as she could remember Jasmin had never felt as though she were complete. Like there was something missing from the person she was. It wasn't that she was lonely, she did have friends, it was just that she wasn't completely compatible with the people she called friends. Yeah some of them were nice and okay, sure there were a few who were almost her exact same but she still felt broken. A uncompleted model who had yet to find her counterpart. She was only one that worked from two. To make it simple she felt like a Pez dispenser without the Pez candy to dispense. She was as pointless as pointless could possibly be.
She looked up from her typing to glance out the window and see the sun setting over Oregon. Shadows lay elongated on the yellowing grass that were emitted from the sun touching but one side of the tall Douglas Furs. Not for the first time Jasmin wondered what Stefanie's sunset looked like at the moment, as she usually did when Stefanie was on her mind.
Another part of Jasmin's brain was still toiling with the story. She was still thinking about what she wanted to do next. Faintly she recalled a story she had wrote before with Stefanie in it as a main character and remembered how Stefanie had praised it. The story had been the first of many she had wrote for her Creative Writing class for the Science Fiction part of the semester. It had been set in the future when clone humans had taken over and all that dramatic stuff. Jasmin's wandering mind explored that idea, attaching points of it to this story and seeing if they fit together. This story could have that same setup, wasteland future, without the clone stuff as it leaned to heavily on gory glory. To make the plot furthermore interesting. Sure she'd try it out. She just hoped Stefanie would like it.
Of course in times like these, how could she have time to waste on thoughts like that? She was working. And working required ones undivided attention. A while back the third World War had happened and thus ended in one massive country. Everyone was one. When Jasmin had been just a teenager she remembered when there were seven continents, each divided with their own way of ruling and their own leaders. Now there was no such thing; now it was all under the control of 7 men and woman connecting each continent with their superiority. After the conquer they had a week long debate over a name for the new massive country but in the end no one could come to a vote so they opted for calling it Earth. Adaptation at first was not a simple task but after living with the new rules, new ways of living, new jobs, new government for a while one became happy with their lot in life. Everyone was given the jobs best suited to their liking which ended for a happy living so long as they benefited Earth.
Jasmin's job was to oversee the new people and new barges that crossed between what was once two different America's. Since the conquer technology had advanced considerably allowing for the Walkway Jasmin sat in now. The Walkway, for that's what it was called, was a type of Plexiglas steel infused floatation device that spanned across the oceans gapping between each different continent therefore connecting each one. The Walkway was wide and reinforced with a new type of ore extracted from the moons of Jupiter that allowed for the metal to solidify the ocean water it touched therefore prohibiting the sea to consume the pathways or move them from their position. They were as wide as highway overpasses and some of them stretched for miles, each one connecting to one another creating a large commune for humans wanting to travel from place to place. Along these many Walkways were stop outs where one could stop to nourish themselves or, like the place Jasmin worked, check in to be allowed access onto the other continent. No one was ever denied but it was courtesy to check in. Merchants were under stick law to tell Jasmin what they were bringing with them so she could write it down in the books and be sure no firearms or blades were being brought into the Walkways. For safety reasons of course.
"Excuse me Sir? Take your coat off please." Jasmin addressed the particular merchant in a black leather duster checking in with her at that moment. The merchant sighed impatiently.
"Is this really necessary? I'm carrying food products and the longer you hold me up here, the more chance that food has of going bad." Jasmin stood from her chair behind her desk and smoothed the wrinkles out of her white kaki's. It really irritated her when people didn't corporate.
"Well Sir, if you let me do my job instead of fighting me at every step, we would have been done by now. So please," Jasmin forced a polite smile and pushed her blonde bangs out of her eyes for him to see her green eyed glare, "take your jacket off."
The Merchant growled as he slipped it off his shoulders and laid it across Jasmin's desk, "There? Happy?"
"Empty your pockets." Smartass, she added silently. As was her job when someone looked suspicious she opened the mans jacket and patted the insides. Cold metal touched her palm when she slipped her hand into one of the inside pockets. Just as she had suspected. The man was carrying an illegal firearm. She pulled the Glock from the pocket and expertly emptied the clip of bullets. From under her desk she pulled out a metal bin which she swiped the bullets, gun, and clip into with a broad sweep of her arm.
"This," Jasmin slammed the metal bin onto her desk for emphasis, "is an illegal possession of a concealed weapon. So Sir, you have been denied access into the upper state and you will be receiving a bill in the mail for bringing this thing into the Walkway within a few days. Have a nice day." This time Jasmin's smile was sincere.
After considerable amounts of curse words cast Jasmin's way the man finally turned, yanking his jacket out of the hands offering it to him, and stomped to his vehicle where he unhappily turned and drove home. Jasmin once again ran her hands over her thighs to straighten the fabric of her pants before sitting herself back down into her gel swivel chair.
Jasmin was startled from her writings when she heard the music being turned down so low it was nearly shut off. Natalie stood with a platter balanced expertly on one hand while she held the ipod in the other. Her face was puzzled as she stared down at the device.
"What?" Jasmin asked defensively. When Natalie had that face it usually meant she was about to be teased for something.
"No I just….forgot I had Carson's ipod…"A tight knot formed in Jasmin's stomach. The pain in Natalie's voice was so raw Jasmin felt the need to scold herself for being stupid enough to use the ipod in the first place. I should have known better, Jasmin growled at herself silently, than use her dead lovers things when she could see. Of course it would upset her. How selfish of Jasmin.
"Hey Natty I'm sorry, I didn't-" Natalie shook her head, silencing the seventeen year old.
"Don't worry about it," Natalie set it back down atop the stereo and came to join Jasmin on the bed, setting the platter down in between the two of them, "Hope your hungry." Before her were two dishes of pasta and mozzarella sticks on the side. Jasmin's stomach growled.
"I am now. Did you make this?"
"With help." As if on que a small girl ran into the room and hopped up on the bed, her once blonde hair now turning a reddish bronze to look more like her mothers, Carson's, original hair color.
"Look it's my little chef now," Natalie smiled at the toddler, opening her arms for the child to crawl into, "We were just admiring your cooking Chef."
Akya giggled, "Chef?"
"It's means cook sweetie." Jasmin mumbled around the food in her mouth.
"Oh. You like it? I helped Mommy!" Jasmin didn't waste time speaking, instead she just gave Akya a thumbs up. The small girl giggled again mirroring the gesture with two of her own thumbs.
Out of the corner of her eye Jasmin noticed Natalie peeking at the story displayed on the screen of her Airbook. Intrigued she picked it up so she could inspect it closer.
"What is this?" Her eyes scanned over the words quickly.
"Its," Jasmin stopped to swallow the bit of mozzarella stick she was chewing on, "Stefanie's present."
"Your writing her a weird letter?"
"Not a letter, a story about us."
"Oh. It's weird."
"Yeah right now, but it's gonna get better. I was about to meet her for the first time when you interrupted me with distractions." Natalie laughed lightly.
"Distractions? Well you need to eat Jazzy, I can't have you starving yourself- oh Akya sweetie use a napkin to wipe off your face." Jasmin laughed because she knew she was the reason for Akya's habit of wiping her mouth on her sleeve. That was how Jasmin did it, and Akya always saw Jasmin doing it therefore figured she should too. Sorry Natty!
They finished their meal together and Natalie gathered up the plates on the platter, telling Jasmin not to strain her eyes staring at the screen, then left with Akya to go clean up. Before she left she turned Jasmin's music back up, it now playing a fast hip hop beat with a Mozart song. Jasmin sunk into the pillows of the bed and dived back into her story.
The day passed slowly for Jasmin seeing as she did the same thing for hours on end, never meeting anyone interesting, until finally the last person she was to check into the books that night came up to her desk.
The woman looked to be around Jasmin's age, in her late twenties, and was extraordinarily beautiful. Her chocolate brown hair reached a little ways past her chest in soft curls, caressing her slim figure gently. Her green eyes seemed to have a hint of a smile in them though she wasn't really smiling at Jasmin. Her clothes were nice and Jasmin caught herself wanting the shirt she was wearing.
"Hello." She started politely. Jasmin smiled back.
"Hello as well," Jasmin reached into her desk drawer for the book in which she had been instructed to document each and every person that came by, "Name and destination please?"
"Stefanie Scheafer-oh it's spelt wrong."
"I'm sorry?" Stefanie leaned over Jasmin's desk and pointed to where Jasmin had wrote her name down.
"You spelt my name wrong. It's S-T-E-F-A-N-I-E. You spelt it the other way. Wrong way." Jasmin glanced down at her own writing and saw that she had wrote Stephanie instead of Stefanie. Well okay. She crossed it out and rewrote it the correct way.
"Sorry I'm terrible at spelling."
Stefanie smiled, "I'm not sure. I just wanted to see snow. So put me down for anywhere there is snow." Jasmin tapped her pen against her chin while she thought about this.
"You know," Jasmin drawled out as she thought, "there is a lot of snow where I live at the moment, in Ashland, Oregon. There also happens to be a lot above me too in Washington. Or you could try Colorado but the snow is like dust there. You could try any one of those you wanted."
"That sounds nice. I think I will thank you."
"No problem." Jasmin scribbled down the locations in the book then closed it with her pen inside, "Well that does it. You don't look like you're the kind of person to be carrying around guns so I don't need to check you or your car. Your free to leave."
"Again, it's no problem. This is my job." Jasmin handed Stefanie a few road maps as well as a map of the Walkway so she could stop off along the way for sleep or food if she so wished.
"Goodbye." Jasmin called out to Stefanie as she started up her car and drove away. What a nice woman, Jasmin thought as she climbed into her own car so she could drive home.
The drive home was quiet for the most part aside form the soft music playing on the radio that for some reason she switched off. A day of loud men yelling at her and angry woman was all well but she needed silence. A time in which her exhausted brain could just relax without having to deal with a thing except driving her home.
Soon she reached her apartment in Ashland, very close to where they held the Shakespeare Festival every year, and pulled her little Skyline into the driveway. She killed the engine and gathered her coat in her arms so she could go inside.
Inside the apartment was spacious with wooden flooring and nice floor to ceiling windows that let in the moonlight nicely. She had little furniture since she was the only resident of the home with a flat screen in front of the couch. There was a bathroom, a bedroom, and a kitchen and that made up the whole house. It wasn't much but it was home.
Jasmin threw her keys in the bowl sitting on the kitchen counter beside the door and kicked her shoes off before collapsing wearily on her couch. Work had taken a lot out of her today, she didn't even have the energy to go take a shower yet. Instead she just laid there with her eyes closed until she felt something pounce on her stomach muscles, sucking a surprised breath out of her lungs.
Patrick, her new black kitten she had picked up from the pound a few weeks ago, purred happily as Jasmin ran her hand over its soft fur. The thing had become dependent on Jasmin almost immediately after she brought it home, always jumping into her lap or curling up on her stomach for attention. It was adorable half the time but could be annoying when she was in the shower washing her hair and she felt something brush her leg only to look down and see Patrick purring happily, begging for her to pick him up and coddle him.
"Hey little guy. You hungry?" The kitten meowed at her so she took that as a yes. After finding some weird motivation that maybe the cat would love her for it, she picked herself up off the couch with Patrick in her arms. She set him on the island in the kitchen while she poured him a bowl of cat food.
"Here you go buddy." Patrick purred while he munched on his food reminding Jasmin that she hadn't eaten anything all day. In fact her lunch, which had packed earlier this morning to take to work with her, was still sitting on the counter where she had forgotten it. With a happy sigh that she didn't have to do any cooking, she pulled the grilled turkey and swiss from the bag to eat. It wasn't warm but it still tasted delicious. She toasted Patrick with her grape soda before taking a deep swig of it. Ah, heaven.
Taking the last bite of her sandwich Jasmin heard the phone ring and rushed to answer it, still chewing, "Hewo?"
Jasmin swallowed, "Hey Ray what's up?"
"Hey Jazz, it's Friday right?" Jasmin couldn't help but laugh. This girl was so ditzy sometimes.
"Did you really call me just to ask what day it is? Yes it's Friday."
"Which means you have the weekend off. Great. A bunch of us are going boarding this weekend. Your coming."
"Hey, what if I have plans!"
"To do what? Play video games with your cat in your lap?" Jasmin glanced down at Patrick who had followed her into the living room when she answered the phone.
"Rude. Fine I'll go. Where?"
"Indoor In Ash."
"Wait you meant snow boarding?"
"Duh! It's summer season stupid! All the skate parks we like are closed except the outdoor ones and those suck. Your still going right?"
Jasmin thought about it, dragging her fingernails through Patrick's fur lightly, "Can Patrick come?"
"God your so lame Jazz. I remember when you were cool, once you left college you became such a buzz kill. Fine bring your cat. I don't care but you and me? We are hitting the slopes hardcore!" Jasmin laughed softly at Ray's snide comment.
"Kay I'll meet you there. Same lodge right?"
"Yup same ol' same ol'. I'll be a little late 'cause I gotta pick us up some food for the weekend but other than that, its right on!"
"What does that even mean? 'it's right on' what?"
"I dunno. See ya tomorrow!"
Jasmin chuckled, "Okay Ray. Night."
"Cha. Night." Immediately after hanging up Jasmin dialed up Sarah's number.
"Your interrupting my reading time Jasmin Marie." Jasmin smirked at the use of her middle name, knowing that Sarah only did that when she was really upset.
"Boo hoo. What'cha reading?"
"Nothing now. What do you want?"
"I'm picking you up tomorrow."
"Because I said so. See you in the morning."
"Yeah goodnight." Then Jasmin's calling was done. She set the landline on its receiver with a yawn. She was really getting tired.
"Ready for bed Patrick?" The cat yawned and snuggled in closer to Jasmin's neck, its soft little body tucked her chin. She had meant to get up, brush her teeth, take a shower, then crawl into bed. But as it were she fell asleep on the couch right there and didn't wake up until late in the morning.
Jasmin yawned. What time was it? She didn't realize how tired she was in real life. Maybe she should take a break for a while. Content with that idea Jasmin closed the lid shut and crawled under Natalie's blankets, hugging the silk against her body with a smile. She loved silk. It was so comforting. It didn't even take another minute before Jasmin fell fast asleep.
The sounds of soft breathing and a warmness on her neck woke Jasmin. She didn't have to open her eyes to know it was Natalie. The woman might have been nearly 19 and a mother but she was still afraid of the dark. Natalie had not once since she was only 5 years old been able to sleep unless someone else was in bed with her. Yawning softly, Jasmin detangled herself from Natalie where she made her way into the kitchen for some breakfast.
She spread some cream cheese on a bagel, poured a glass of grape juice, then opened the laptop on the island in the kitchen. It was early but she wanted to get at least a few paragraphs in on Stef's Story before going about her day. Come to think of it, she didn't have anything planned for her day. Wow she really needed to get a life outside of digital functioning. Or at least some friends-wait. Scratch that, she had those, it was just an incredibly lazy summer for her. Yeah that would be what she blames it on. Not the fact that she is socially awkward therefore has no desire to go mingle with crowds of obnoxious humans outside of the confinement of her home.
Eventually the computer was up and running, ready to go. Jasmin wasted no time in setting to work.
"Remind me again Jasmin, why are we going snow boarding in the middle of July?" Sarah complained from the shotgun seat of Jasmin's Jeep, lazing comfortably with her feet crossed on the rear view mirror, "There's not even snow. Look! I'm getting tan just sitting here!"
The heavy cooler Jasmin was carrying in her hands rested heavily on Jasmin's thigh for leverage until she hoist it up into the back of the jeep, dropping onto the floorboard with a soft thud. She used the condensation from the ice in the cooler to cool herself off, dragging her moistened palms across the back of her neck and cheeks. It was hot out already and it wasn't even 8 o'clock yet. Before answering Sarah's snide comments Jasmin did a mental checklist in her head to make sure she had everything. Cooler with food, check. Cooler with drinks, check. Clothes, check. Patrick, check. Snow gear, check. Everything was accounted for.
"We are going to Indoor," Jasmin mumbled stepping onto the fender of the back tire so she could reach the rack atop of the jeep to double check the belts holding their snowboards down, "Ray is going to be there-" Sarah's groan of annoyance drown out whatever else Jasmin was going to say.
"Ray? Seriously Jazz? She drives me crazy."
Sighing Jasmin climbed into the drivers seat, slipping on a pair of aviators and handing Sarah her sunglasses Jasmin kept in the consol, "I thought you and Ray were friends?"
The engine purred to life under the control of Jasmin turning the key in the ignition. Patrick, who was not in a cage but rather curled up happily in Sarah's lap, opened a single eye to give Jasmin a look like 'how dare you wake me'.
"We are friends. Good ones if you want to get down to it."
Jasmin cranked the wheel to the left, glanced over her shoulder for oncoming traffic, then pressed on the gas inching the Jeep into an accelerating pace down the road, "Your making no sense."
Sarah sighed and glanced down at Patrick purring happily in her lap, "Ray stole my Earl Grey. An unforgivable sin! For that reason, you are forbidden to hang with her until she buys me new tea." Of course. Jasmin should have known it would have been something ridiculously childish like the theft of ones tea. Sarah was so weird about those sort of things. Yet Jasmin couldn't deny the little smile creeping onto her lips nor could she fight the bubbling laughter crawling up her throat.
"Your ridiculous you know that?" Jasmin chuckled. Sarah simply gave a 'I know it' through a laugh and sank deeper into the vinyl seating of the WWII Jeep model.
It took nearly 20 minutes down the highway until they were parked outside Indoor, an indoor Ski Slope. The building, on the outside, didn't look all that large for the simple reason that it wasn't. The thing couldn't have been any larger than an average sized prairie house with no windows and one door. Though, upon entering, the space inside was so massive you could see snow covered mountain ranges in the distance until it became hazy. There was a lodge in the valley of the mountains where people would pay to stay for as long as desired while they had their fun in the snow. Jasmin smirked. Technology these days. It put the Himalayas inside an old thrift store.
"Alright lets get this over with as soon as possible." Sarah held a mewing Patrick close to her chest as she rose from the passenger seat, stretching her calves by standing on the tippy most tops of her toes.
Jasmin rolled her eyes, zipping up her Burton snow coat before leading a glowering Sarah towards the front doors where a group of familiar people were hanging around waiting for them.
Ray was the first to greet the two, much to Sarah's growing annoyance. Ray Augustine was very often compared to a vibrant leprechaun due to her flame red hair that lay in constant disheveled layers across her shoulder blades and five foot stature. Her sparkling green eyes always held the mischief of an evil little pixie eager to reek havoc on your peace. Displeased she pulled her light pink lips, bright against her pale skin, into a tight frown, kicking the tips of both Sarah's and Jasmin's shoes while pointing indignantly towards her feet. The two looked down to see a pair of purple and blue ski boots fit snuggly over Ray's tiny feet. They had to be new.
"Like them?" Ray's high pitched voice screeched at a nearly defining decibel, "I just got them about 10 minutes ago. They match my pants." Which, after close inspection on the girls part, did they notice was in fact true. Ray's ski pants were purple with lighter to darker shades of blue stripes running down along the legs until they met up with the new boots.
"Those are nice." Sarah barely managed to get it out without rolling her eyes at the clear sarcasm, knowing full well Ray wouldn't catch it. To prove that very point Ray squealed in delight and rushed to hug a growling Sarah.
Ray pulled back frowning at Sarah's distain, "Are you still mad at me?"
"Malevolent, I'm afraid, is the word your looking for in this circumstance Ray. Forgiveness isn't just candy you can hand out after all." Sarah 'hmmft'ed' the redhead before stomping off through the door of Indoor.
Jasmin stayed back a bit longer to say hi to a few of Ray's friends whom had come along with Ray but wouldn't actually be staying with them nor would they be boarding with them. Finally Jasmin decided it best to excuse herself so she could quickly locate Sarah and calm her angered nerves before she began ranting at innocent civilians.
Jasmin located Sarah near the reception desk, waiting for her to pay for their cabin so she could hurry to find a place to read in peace without a soul to bug. A soul being Ray.
"Hey," Jasmin offered in her most polite voice, "I'm sorry-"
"It followed you." Sarah narrowed her eyes at Jasmin shoulder, cutting her off before she could finish apologizing. Rather, she was glaring over her shoulder the bit of red she could see, knowing it was Ray cowering behind the taller Jasmin.
"I'm sorry Sarah! I didn't know it was yours!" Ray whimpered pathetically. That was the accelerant to Sarah's spark, now starting a flame not even Jasmin could put out.
"Didn't know! How could you not know! It had my name on it! Who else drinks Earl Grey except me in our group!" Jasmin gripped the bridge of her nose as the leprechaun walked around her to engage in a verbal conflict with the puffed up Sarah. They acted like children sometimes. Seriously.
"I'm going to go get something to drink," Jasmin mumbled as she began to walk away, "Not that either of you are listening."
Jasmin kicked at the gravel laden snow walkway as she trudged off to the food court. She was going to have to listen to them all weekend. The entire weekend. Spent listening to that instead of actually doing what they came here to do. This was going to be rough. If she was lucky she might get out alive. Given that she was lucky which she was absolutely not. Jasmin Shira was the unluckiest person on the face of Earth.
As if nature were trying to prove her point, just as Jasmin was climbing up the two-step steps that lead into the dinning pavilion Jasmin collided with another body who happened to be holding a steaming hot cup of something that, upon impact, flew from the owners hand onto Jasmin. The hot liquid took only a few seconds to burn a trail down Jasmin's shirt, completely ignoring the thick coat she had on, and tearing a rather gurgled whimper of pain from her mouth. Out of instinct Jasmin stripped off her jacket and began patting at her chest and stomach as if she were on fire. That didn't help at all. If anything it made it worst now that the cold was eagerly biting at Jasmin's exposed skin without the protection of her coat.
"Oh god! I am so, so, so incredibly sorry!" Came the voice of who Jasmin assumed to be the owner of the scolding drink. Tan hands flew into Jasmin's eye sight in an effort to help but did nothing really except pull at her soaking tank top to keep the now cooled drink off her now freezing torso.
"S'alright. H-h-have you s-seen my c-c-coat?" Jasmin stuttered now that cold was making her teeth chatter.
"Yeah um, you threw it…" The tan hands left her sight momentarily then returned with Jasmin's lime green Burton coat, "Here."
"Thanks." Jasmin slipped her arms through the holes, zipping it up as quickly as her cold fingers could, then picked her head up to see who the owner of the tan hands was. Oh.
"Hi. Nice to see you again." Stefanie smiled bashfully, glancing shyly at where her drink had splashed all over Jasmin, but picked her eyes up so quickly Jasmin wasn't sure it happened.
Jasmin laughed gently gesturing to her shirt, "It's cold but I have a nice fire place back at my cabin. Thanks though."
Stefanie blushed and shook her head apologetically, "I'm really sorry. I wasn't really looking where I was going. I was very distracted by all the snow. And my thoughts. And I-" Jasmin laughed again, stopping Stefanie mid-speech.
"Really it's alright. Don't bother yourself with it. It's okay. You probably just saved me from frostbite." Jasmin gave her a warm smile.
Stefanie laughed softly. The sound wiped the smile off Jasmin face, seriousness taking her by surprise. Familiarity rattled through her bones, echoing through her being until it settled into her brain. That was a laugh she knew. She knew that for certain. She had heard it before. Most certainly. It was something one never forgets. Ever. And what really made her hum like an overheated car was that the laugh Stefanie had just emitted, was the same laugh Jasmin possessed. They were one in the same.
"Um hello? Hey there? Jasmin?" Jasmin snapped to, seeing Stefanie's tan hand waving in front of her vision.
"Yeah," Jasmin slowly relaxed, the smile before now returning to her face, "Sorry. I zoned out. Hey so since I sort of kind of indirectly drank your drink, want me to get you a new one?" Stefanie glanced at her empty cup lying in the snow with a sigh.
"Sure why not."
Jasmin walked up the steps, Stefanie in pursuit as her shadow, up to the food stand selling the drinks they both desired. White chocolate coca in hand, Jasmin followed Stefanie to the table she had intended to sit at before she had collided with Jasmin.
"So um," Jasmin pondered, poking the Styrofoam cup just as Stefanie had raised it to her lips, "What is that?"
The tan woman sipped her drink slowly before answering, "It's delicious." This caused them both to laugh.
"No really. What is it?"
"It's hot chocolate."
"Is that so? Hmmm well cheers to that. Mine too." Jasmin smirked raising her own cup in salute before taking a swig of the warm drink. It burned pleasantly down her throat until it sloshed into her belly, warming her up from the inside out. Stefanie mimicked the salute as well as the drinking and added a smile at the end for Jasmin's sake.
"So you must be quite taken with me if your stalking me." Stefanie smirked into her drink as she spoke the words. Jasmin merely scoffed, rather loudly, at the accusation.
"Arrogant much?" Stefanie laughed lightly, sending yet another round of chills through Jasmin's spine. Not the scary creepy Grudge child chills but the premonition kind.
"You tell me, you're the one stalking me." Another scoff earned.
"I'll have you know," Jasmin thought back to her black leather book at work, "Miss Scheafer I came here with friends to snow board. Plus I live here! If anything, your stalking me!"
"Oh ho, touché!" There was a comfortable silence that followed as the two drank the rest of their drinks and disposed of the cups in the garbage nearby then returned to their seats.
"So how was the boarding?" It was easy to talk to Stefanie, Jasmin found which was saying a lot considering how socially awkward Jasmin was. She usually stuttered and said stupid, offending stuff without realizing it then became so embarrassed she ran away before she could apologize.
"Oh I haven't been yet, I just got here a little bit ago. I went to my room and unpacked," Stefanie laughed suddenly as if she had just told a joke, "Okay well really I just tossed my suitcase on the bed. Then I decided I was thirsty and came here. Bought a drink and burned a witch." Jasmin wrinkled her nose as Stefanie laughed, confused at first, then realized she was talking about spilling her drink on her and laughed along.
"Ha-ha took me a minute to get it. Surprise, surprise I haven't been yet either. I came with-oh! Shit!" Jasmin stood up when she realized how long she had been sitting here with Stefanie was just about as long as she had left Sarah alone with Ray. Dear lord, please don't let Ray be in the body bag. I'm not in the mood to clean up a crime scene.
Stefanie stood too, alarmed by Jasmin's nervous look, "What? What is it? Is something wrong?"
"No-well yes…maybe. I'm not sure yet." Jasmin took three steps away from Stefanie then stopped dead for some unknown reason to even herself. Still going on this strange instinct Jasmin turned her head to glance at the tan woman, seeing the same distraught look Jasmin was wearing on Stefanie's face as well. There was an unasked question of Stefanie coming with her so they wouldn't lose contact. Followed with an unsaid answer of Stefanie walking alongside Jasmin as she went to find Sarah and Ray.
As they were walking Jasmin just simply couldn't shake off that feeling of familiarity and ease she felt when in Stefanie's presence. It was like…okay this sounded insane even in her thoughts but Stefanie's overall composure and general disposition made Jasmin feel as though were siblings of the same womb. Twins. Jasmin cast a quick, hopefully tack, glance Stefanie's direction. She felt enormous guilt just thinking it. There was no way someone so genius and…tan…could be Jasmin's twin. She was being ridiculous. She had definitely been cooped up along in her house for far to long.
"Um…is that them?" Stefanie pointed to a group of people in front of them egging on what looked to be a fight, dismissing Jasmin's internal conflict. A soft sigh escaped Jasmin's lips.
"Sadly so." Jasmin sighed again and stepped between two chanting men to get a better look at the fight, if it could be called so. Thankfully it wasn't a physical match, neither girls were the kind of people who fought with brute. Rather they were screaming at one another and not in the typical I'm-an-inch-away-from-your-face-to-piss-you-off kind of screaming match. It was more of a one sided battle really. Ray had her back turned to Sarah with her slender arms crossed while having a pout set firmly on her face, shunning Sarah. The shunned one was screaming full force at Ray to pay attention to her so that she could forgive the annoying B-word for drinking her tea and quit acting like a bloody child.
Beside Jasmin Stefanie giggled quietly at the sight, "Are they really doing this or is it just an act?"
"I wish. This is how they fight and this," Jasmin gestured at the two with a wave of her hand, "happens at least twice a week. Imagine if they actually hit one another. No-scratch that-don't because I don't want to myself."
Stefanie nodded as if this was something she herself had to deal with and before Jasmin could intervene herself, stepped up to the two. She laid a hand on Ray's shoulder drawing the leprechauns short attention and tapped Sarah's bicep, stopping her mid-insult. There was a short conversation that followed, not one Jasmin could hear but she paid close attention to the mannerisms with which Stefanie used throughout, until the two smiled at her and hugged one another. Well, that about does that then doesn't it? As the conversation continued on Jasmin approached the trio to join in.
"-settled then!" Ray finished whatever it was she was saying with an excited gusto. Sarah and Stefanie nodded and laughed in agreement with whatever it was Ray had said.
"We'll go get your stuff," Sarah linked arms with Ray, "where's your room?" Stefanie gave them step by step directions to the room she was staying at then they were off giggling like school girls as they went. Stefanie turned to Jasmin smiling and petting her kitten of whom had been given over to Stefanie's care once Sarah and Ray had left.
"What's going on?" Patrick mewed happily in Stefanie's arms causing the tan woman to laugh lightly. She liked animals. Patrick also seemed to like her. That was a pleasant thought.
"Well," Stefanie began, scratching the kitten under the chin, "It would appear I am staying in the cabin with you and your cohorts. Do you mind?"
It took a moment for Jasmin to process the information until slowly she smiled, "Just as long as you don't spill hot chocolate on me every morning you wake up."
Stefanie sucked in an sharp breath like one who had been offended would and lightly shoved Jasmin's shoulder with her free hand. Jasmin merely laughed in response.
The walk to the cabin Ray had purchased in college for the three of them to come up to and camp over break was pleasant. Stefanie was an extremely pleasant person to be around and Jasmin couldn't help the happiness the tan woman invoked in her. There wasn't much talk and that was what made it nice. It was like Stefanie already knew how socially awkward Jasmin was and not only excepted it but worked her way around it to make Jasmin comfortable talking with her. It was nice to say the least.
The cabin, which they had dubbed Ol' Samuel ages ago when they first stayed here, sat in the snow up ahead. It was a classic log cabin stock with a red clay chimney and a broad door for the lumber jack to fit through. Ha, like Paul Bunion, get it? Jasmin chuckled at her own joke. The gloss that coated the fur logs that made up the cabin was nearing the end of its life and sorely needed a new coating but Jasmin wasn't going to be the one to do it. She'd simply call one of the rangers and pay them to do it. An artist she may be but not a patient one.
Beside her Stefanie was smiling a 1000w smile staring at Ol' Samuel. Even if he was covered with snow up to his window panes and the snow was shoveled so that the door would be the only thing that could open, she seemed to love it. This pleased Jasmin for some unknown reason.
Inside the cabin was dusty but pretty much the way they had left it since the last time they had been here. The center of the room was the living room where it had a surplus of wicker furniture in a circle around the massive fireplace big enough to fit quarter inch rounds into if needed or wanted. A red and green Persian rug covered the entire wood flooring of the living room which was the reason Jasmin had to have Stefanie take her boots off at the door. Sarah would murder them both if they got snow stains in that extremely expensive rug. Looking up you would see a pretty stain glass chandelier that Sarah, Ray, and herself had built one winter they had gotten snowed in Ol' Samuel. Next to it though was a hardwood staircase that lead to the second floor. on the second floor were the rooms with which people slept in, the three bathrooms that were in the cabin, and an indoor hot tub on the very end. On the first floor to the right of the excessively large living room was the kitchen which was nearly as large as the living room. In it was an island which they ate their meals at, usually whatever Jasmin felt like cooking, but quite often the trio would just eat their meals in front of the fire.
"No TV?" Stefanie asked once she had seated herself on a wicker loveseat, setting her feet on the dusty hearth. Patrick mewed in protest of being held any longer and bolted from her arms to go play with the dust bunnies under the couches. Jasmin chuckled at her kittens behavior and joined Stefanie on the chair.
"Nope. We come here as sort of an escape from technology but," Jasmin looked back and forth like paranoid people do in movies before leaning in dramatically to whisper, "Sarah has wifi hidden in her room so she can read FanFiction. Shhh but she's hopelessly addicted to the stuff. Loves Harry Potter."
Stefanie laughed lightly which in turn made Jasmin smile, "Is that so? Well if I need to check my email I know who to talk to then don't I?"
"Very true. Very true. Thirsty? I'm not much of a drinker or anything but if you favor wine we have some..?" The tan woman waved that suggestion far away.
"I'm not a drinker myself. Perhaps later when they get back over dinner. Can you cook?" That made Jasmin smile. Could she? Ha.
"Can I? Certainly! I'm quite the chef you know." To make it convincing Jasmin pretended to pull out a notepad and held an invisible pen to take Stefanie's order, "What'll you have?"
Stefanie played right along with Jasmin's impromptu acting. She pretended to be snobby, holding a glass of champagne far to high and turned her nose up at Jasmin. It nearly made Jasmin break character.
"Well that depends, "Stefanie did something with her voice to make her sound snobbish, "What do you have?"
The chef tapped her invisible pen on her bottom lip, "Food." She concluded, returning the tip of her pen to her invisible notepad.
"Yuck! Far to greasy! Give me a salad." Stefanie scrunched her nose up in disgust and sipped at her champagne to ease away the stress of having to think of eating Jasmin's food. That did it for her. Jasmin broke character by bursting into a fit of laughter that Stefanie soon joined in on.
When their laughter subsided Jasmin decided to build a fire seeing as the temperature in the room was cold enough that they could see their breath. Unacceptable. It only took her a few moments, she was good at these sorts of things. She balled up paper in loose little balls and stuffed them between the few logs of cottonwood she had stacked in the place.
"Need this?" Jasmin turned to see Stefanie offering a little blue lighter Jasmin kept on the hearth for the fire. She didn't smoke so she never had a reason to carry one on her person.
"Thanks." Fire burst to life as she held the small tip of the flame to the balls of paper. There soon after the logs were alight and heat radiated from the place, heating the hearth like a built in heating rod. Stefanie sighed in content which made Jasmin laugh.
"What?" The tan woman was self defensive.
"You like fire do you?" Stefanie just shrugged and hunkered lower into the cushions of the love seat, watching the flame lick along the sides of the logs.
"It's cozy. Plus I'm freezing." As if to prove her point Stefanie's thin muscular body let out a little shudder. The maternal instinct in Jasmin lead her to pull the afghan off the back of the couch they sat on and lay it over Stefanie's lightly shuddering body.
"Better?" Stefanie nodded. This pleased Jasmin. For a couple minutes they just sat there quietly as the heat form the fire spread through the room in pleasant torrents. Jasmin didn't mind. She liked the silence; it wasn't awkward in any way and that was nice.
"So," Stefanie let the afghan fall across her lap as she turned in her seat, pulling her feet up onto the cushions to sit criss-cross, facing the blonde, "tell me, are those crazy people you came with your family?"
Jasmin just smirked at the question-what else could she do?-but thought for the answer in which Stefanie sat patiently waiting for, "In sorts."
The tan woman quirked her thin eyebrow in response; a silent prompt for Jasmin to explain. Jasmin sighed, leaning back until the whole lower part of her back was rested snug against the armrest.
"See I grew up in an orphanage-yeah that whole boo hoo sob story and all that jazz-so I never really had a family. No madre, no padre, no siblings, no cousins, no no one. I've always been incredibly socially awkward, not knowing what to say or when to say it. Very often when ever I built up the courage to say anything I stuttered making everyone laugh at me. You can guess as the amount of insecurities this gave me growing up. Needless to say I had no friends growing up either.
"That is, until I started middle school. That's where I met Sarah. I guess I was sort of an enigma up until this point but I never really minded. I had always been a loner but I never got in anyone's way so no one bothered me. Sarah-poor Sarah-was forced to sit next to me in our English class and in Woodshop. Herself being rather socially awkward as well didn't say much and was probably confused as to why I kept telling her stupid and rather annoying jokes but she always smirked when I told them. We developed a friendship and since then she has been the closest thing I've had to a sister. We didn't meet Ray until our Freshmen year in college but Ray being Ray, she wasn't awkward at all and befriended us the first day. Ray has been the glue that keeps our little family together. She's sort of like the super excitable younger sibling and Sarah is our mamma. If that makes sense. So, like I said, in sorts." Jasmin finished with a shy smile. There it was, her entire melodramatic and slightly sad life story. How would she react?
Stefanie's brows were furrowed heavily as she watched Jasmin with a steady gaze. Though she didn't seem to be watching her so much as looking past her. Through her even. Deep, deep thinking going on that tan head of hers, Jasmin mused with herself, cracking a half smile at the thoughtless joke.
"I grew up in an orphanage too." Stefanie finally spoke in a quiet voice. The smirk on Jasmin's face melted away.
"Oh god I'm sorry. I had no idea."
Stefanie smiled sadly, "Why are you apologizing? You didn't do anything wrong. Just a fact. But isn't it strange…"
Jasmin scooted a bit closer to Stefanie because the woman had not only dropped her eyes to look at the hearth but also dropped her voice to just a whisper.
"Isn't what strange?"
"Isn't it strange that we both grew up in an orphanage and you just seem so familiar to me?"
"What'cha writing Jazzy?" Peeved that Jasmin had been interrupted in the middle of the climax of her story, Jasmin looked up to glare at the owner of the voice who had committed the sin.
The innocent eyes of Summer Dawson smiled right back at Jasmin's glare. The younger girl at only an age of 15 sat on a bar stool opposite of Jasmin at the island, spinning semi-turns on it like an amused child would do. Her raven hair was tied back into a tight pony tail on the back of her head, leaving only her long bangs free to rest lightly on her brow above her blazing cobalt eyes. That and the short boxer shorts and spaghetti strap shirt she was wearing lead Jasmin to assume that the younger sibling of Natalie's had just woken up.
None of that mattered though, Jasmin was still pissed that Summer had interrupted her, "Why are you here? I thought you were at Teesha's."
A flash of movement behind Jasmin alerted her to the presence of another being in the kitchen with them and sure enough Teesha walked around the island and Jasmin's stool to hand Summer a bowl of cold cereal before taking the seat beside her.
Teesha was equal in age and thinness to Summer though their visible appearance varied greatly. Teesha, for one, was a creamy tan girl with honey blonde hair that reached clear to her navel whereas Summer was as pale as a ghost and shorter than Teesha by a good 4 inches. The honey blonde hair Teesha wore was styled in that teased emo sort of fashion with the long bangs and thinned layers like Summer's but less extreme compared to the raven haired girl. Not just that but Teesha dressed in that sensible young girl kind of way in nicely fitting jeans with no holes in them, a tank top with a long sleeve sweater that hung loosely over one shoulder and a pair of nice tennis shoes. Summer was the opposite wearing whatever happened to match her mood that day. Once Jasmin had seen Summer wear a purple mini skirt with tie dye stockings underneath coupled with knee high boots and a ripped up long sleeve shirt. She had even teased her hair with glitter gel to match the insanity of the wardrobe. Jasmin wondered on many, many different occasions how the two were best friends when it looked like they had absolutely nothing in common. Whatever the reason they got along famously and had since they were toddlers.
"Sorry Jazzy," Teesha was the one with manors, "but Summer wanted to come home early. I didn't mind but we had to bug Mom for a ride and she was on her way to work so it worked out you know?"
Jasmin huffed, glancing back at the computer screen were the words hung in anticipation for the discovery to come, "It's fine. Does Natalie know you're here yet?"
"Is she awake?" Summer mouthed around her mouthful of Cheerios. Jasmin couldn't help the laugh that bubbled in her stomach. It had sounded more like 'Ez shfe yake?'.
"Dunno. I've been in here writing all morning. When I got up, I was the only one up. What time is it anyhow?"
The blonde pulled out her cell phone to check, "It's 11:12."
This twisted Jasmin's stomach a bit in worry, "Huh. Natalie never usually sleeps in that late…" For some unspoken reason the three of them of them turned and looked into the living room in unison, glancing past that towards the hall that lead to her room.
"Is she sick?" The worry was dripping in Summer's voice as she spoke so softly it almost wasn't heard. Jasmin shook her head. This got her an anxious sigh. They had all been rather stressed lately but worried even more so since the recent death toll in the family. It had hit Natalie real hard. First her wife had died then her oldest sister and mentor had died not even three months after. Natalie had been the one to sink the lowest into depression but, because of Akya, she refrained from showing any hint that she was sad so that it wouldn't affect that child. Natalie didn't grieve until the toddler was sound asleep in bed then, and only then, would hear the broken sobs of a troubled young woman.
"I'm gonna go check on her. Summer? Could you um…come with me?" That was Teesha. Bold up until the last second then she remembered what she was doing and shied behind the person next to her. Summer nodded and grabbed Teesha's hand, pulling her in the direction of Natalie's master bedroom.
Jasmin watched them until they were out of sight then, not knowing what else to do in that moment, delved back into the story.
Jasmin almost forgot to breath. So then Stefanie had felt it too? That weird connection that made it seem like Jasmin had known the girl her entire life. It wasn't just her. Shouldn't that mean something?
"I know that sounds crazy," Stefanie went on when she realized what she had said, "but I mean…don't you feel it? It's weird. It's almost like…I don't know…"
"It feels like your…." Jasmin picked up, getting Stefanie's attention, "my sister."
Stefanie nodded, "Yeah. Like that. Weird right?" Jasmin made no notion to answer her but instead just stared at the flames, hoping to slow the spinning in her head. This was crazy. Before when Jasmin had been thinking it she saw it only as her desperate need to be wanted and welcomed by the woman but now that she knew Stefanie had felt it too changed things. For sure. Like…god…what if it was true? What if…Jasmin glanced at Stefanie who was staring at the fire as well with her brows furrowed deeply in thought.
"But your from Venezuela." This made Stefanie nod vehemently.
"And your American."
"And your tan!" Stefanie glanced at Jasmin, smirking a bit.
"And your very much not."
"And….and your older than me aren't you?"
"What does that have to do with anything?"
Jasmin began rubbing her wrist out of sheer nerves, "Well…I get the feeling we are…." Her voice died off.
"Twins?" Stefanie finished for her. Okay super creepy.
"I'm getting creeped out here." Jasmin nodded in agreement to the statement. Suddenly Stefanie pulled out her phone and began going through her contacts.
"What are you doing!"
"Calling the orphanage I grew up in and asking if I had a sister they never told me about!" There was a pause in which there was no sound except a ringing coming from Stefanie phone until, "Hola?"
Jasmin watched in interest as a conversation, in full Spanish, played out. Now Jasmin had never learned fluent Spanish but she did know a few words here and there and from what Jasmin knew, she gathered that Stefanie wasn't wording things in the most gentle way so to speak. In fact as the conversation went on Stefanie seemed to be getting more and more angry, using curse words more frequently. Guess it wasn't very good that the few and only words Jasmin knew were cuss words. Still it was something right? Finally Stefanie had reached her limit and hung up, tossing her phone onto the couch opposite of where she sat.
"Well?" Jasmin braved to ask after five long minutes of silence. Stefanie crossed her arms and kicked at a brick in the hearth with the tip of her foot.
"They lied to me."
"I'm sorry." This was the sort of thing Jasmin was awkward about. Comforting people. Yes, granted it went against every fiber of her being not to sit there with them and try to help, but she just never knew what to say that could help unless she herself had been through the same exact thing once before. It was just rough.
Stefanie shook her head, for no obvious reason, before turning her eyes to meet Jasmin's, "They told me I have never had another family member out there. They lied."
The air in suddenly became sour, burning as Jasmin tried breathing it in, "So your saying…?"
Stefanie sighed then shook her head, smiling, "You're my sister Jasmin Shira."
"Jasmin!" Jasmin snapped her head up from the computer screen when she heard her name being yelled by Natalie. That knot in her stomach from before tightened considerably as she jumped from her stool so fast it knocked over onto the kitchen tile and she ran into Natalie's room, expecting the worst.
What she saw once she was there confused her greatly. Natalie, still wearing her pajamas and lying in bed, was being straddled around the waist by her younger sister Summer and being tickled. Natalie was laughing her quiet musical laugh while reaching out towards Jasmin, gasping out the words help when she could find the air in her lungs to do so between her fits of laughter. Summer, the menace behind the tickling, was laughing right along with her sister in that same quiet sweetness that was trademark to the Dawson's while smiling an evil (yet somehow still adorably innocent) smile at the same time.
"What the hell?" Jasmin voiced her confusion.
"Watch out!" Natalie gasped quite clearly just as Jasmin was tackled from behind onto the bed beside the laughing 19 year old. From there she was crudely, still gently, flipped onto her back to see Teesha straddle her hips. It wasn't until that moment that Jasmin realized she had walked into a trap. Teesha's feather light touch raking Jasmin's sensitive rib case causing that scratchy annoying feeling to begin and laughter to erupt from her mouth in a boisterous manor. Oh these evil masterminds would pay later! Stupid 15 year olds! She hated being tickled! Hated it! And they knew this!
"Stop! I'm begging you!" Jasmin cried between her laughter, "I swear I'll kill-Hahaha-kill you Teesha!"
"Now that's not very nice." The blonde above her smiled, tightened her knees holding Jasmin's hips in place, before doubling her pressure against Jasmin ribs releasing a louder laugh from Jasmin's mouth. Teesha giggled at Jasmin's effort to pull away. She should have known better. No matter how angel looking the blonde was, Teesha had been in Judo classes since she was a toddler and now had 3 black belts. The skinny bitch was of the strong skinny bitch variety.
"I-Hahaha-Teesha stop! I need to finish Stef's-Hahaha!"
"Who?" Summer questioned from where she was at. Jasmin chanced a glance at her at just the right moment. Natalie swung her long leg up and around Summer's middle, pushing her off her waist with it and flipping the girl over to sit on her. Just as quickly as she had done that Natalie reached over to shove Teesha off of Jasmin, allowing her to finally get a good breath into her lungs. This gave Jasmin just enough time to recover long enough for her to reach over and catch the retreating blonde around the legs and pick her up, carrying her over to the bed where she tossed her. Jasmin laughed as Teesha bounced on the bed a bit looking confused that Jasmin even had the strength to do that.
"Teaches you!" Teesha giggled lightly at Jasmin's comment.
"They bombarded me while I was brushing my teeth!" Natalie pouted while letting Summer up. The two youngsters smiled at each other, air high fiving one another as well.
"So you decided to drag me into it! I hate being tickled!" Natalie pointed a long finger in Summer's direction who had climbed over to sit beside her accomplice.
"We made her cry wolf so we could lure you into the cave and get cha!" Was it just Jasmin or did Summer sound way to cheery saying that?
"Well then." Swiftly as Jasmin spoke it she turned and stomped into the kitchen leaving two laughing 15 teen year olds behind her. They thought Jasmin was just stomping off. Silly, silly children. They shouldn't play the game if they don't know who they are fighting with. Smiling to herself, Jasmin reached into the freezer, pulling out two semi-frozen water balloons, and walking back into the room.
"What's the matter Jasmin? Come back for more?" Summer challenged, causing Teesha to giggle beside her. Jasmin smiled politely at the two.
"Just giving you my thanks." With that Jasmin hurled the water balloons at the two. The rubber being so cold spilt instantly upon impact and soaked the girls in freezing water. They squealed in sheer surprise and at the freezing temperature of the water. Ah, how lovely revenge was. Once the teens recovered they shot blazing anger filled looks at Jasmin. Ha! She didn't need to think before she turned on her heels to sprint into the kitchen, scooping up the laptop and running into Akya's room where she locked the door behind her.
"Ja'min?" Akya never could pronounce the S in Jasmin's name. It was one of the most adorable things ever. The toddler, who seemed to have been awake for the last hour or so, was sitting on her bed building a tiny house out of legos. Jasmin walked over to join her on the bed.
"Morning Kitten. Can I hang out with you?" The toddler smiled brilliantly and climbed into Jasmin's lap, reclining against her stomach while she continued to play with her legos. Jasmin set her chin on the top of Akya's forehead and set the laptop on the bed to type with one hand.
"We're back!" Sarah and Ray walked through the door at just the moment Jasmin fell off the couch in shock.
"Oh! What happened to her? Didja kill her Stefy?" Ray happily skipped alongside Sarah over to the couch and took a seat where Jasmin had been.
"Haha Jasmin looks like she's hyperventilating." Sarah sat between the two woman and leaned against Stefanie, laying her legs across Ray's thigh watching in amusement as Jasmin clutched her chest staring wide-eyed openmouthed at Stefanie.
"But…but I suck at Spanish…and I'm not even tan!" Was all Jasmin could utter after far to long a silence. Stefanie laughed a sweet gentle laugh, slipping off the couch onto the floor with the blond toe envelop her in a warm hug.
"I think I'm going to like having a sister like you." She mumbled in Jasmin's hair. Warmth spread from her words down to Jasmin's toes
"Really?" Another laugh.
"Si. Which reminds me-Happy birthday." Stefanie smiled knowingly. Oh yeah…Jasmin had forgot. It was her-their-birthday today. Of course she would know.
Jasmin smiled back, "Happy birthday mi hermana."