Stranger and strange coincidences
"Stranger, if you passing me meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" Walt Whitman
"Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent." Arthur Conan Doyle, The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
I am in a party on the beach my brother brought me from people from his school, but the bastard right after we got here left me alone and went to find his mates. Really? Who leaves their little sister alone in a party where she knows no one? I might be raped. But does he care? NOOO! To the hell Marjorie and her safety.
I didn't care though, my brother was a pain in my ass and I had no problem with making friends. Even so… ok. I'll admit it. I fuck had a problem with this. And I was sooo telling dad when we got home. He would be…
I wasn't able to finish the trail of my thoughts because somebody decided this was the time to make an appearance. "Interesting choice of clothes for a beach party." The voice commented and I turned around to see who it was. A fair guy is standing in front of me with a smile in his face and a cup in his hand.
I was wearing a cotton pants and blouse. Ok, I'll say it. I was wearing pajamas, but I can explain that. My brother was already leaving when she reminded my existence and asked if I wanted to come along. I, of course, said yes (I love parties), but then I was already getting ready to sleep and he said he wouldn't wait for me so I decided I'd just come this way. It was not like somebody would notice, right? Apparently, wrong. I shrug. "There wasn't an invitation saying 'only allowed beachwear'. So I decided to make it 'mywear'." I ain't going to tell him I was dressed like this because I didn't wanted to lose my ride, or my invitation for that matter.
"Fair enough." He says raising his cup in a cheers way. "But then you can't enjoy things a beach party offers you. Like diving, for instance."
"I could do it." I said matter-of-factly. "But then I don't think my brother would let me get in his car. Cretino!"
He raised an eyebrow. "You're here with your brother?" He asks seeming truly interested. And only because I like truthful people I decide he was worth my attention. No, I'm not an arrogant bastard who thinks run the world and people aren't worth their time, but I was also careful with my friends. Who's not?
"Sim, or were till he decided looking for his friends and leaving me alone. Filho de uma mãe." Son of the bitch. "Painho não vai gostar nada quando descobrir e eu vou contar." He looks at me confused and I realize I had just blurted everything in Portuguese. "Sorry, whenever I get angry I speak Portuguese. Old habit, hard to lose." I apologize. I really need to police myself around people.
"You speak Portuguese?" He seems surprised. Well, I guess it isn't often you meet somebody who does so. It's not a very common tongue.
"Yes, I do. I'm Brazilian, actually, so I kind of had to or else I'd be doomed in society. I say thoughtfully. "No friends, no degrees, cursed to live alone in my not so wonderful world. It would be sad, although there's always sign language. A pity only a few people knows it. I myself only know the alphabet. I'd be doomed. We really should learn it in school. I think I should send an application to the government requiring sign language classes." I blurt it very quickly and Strange Guy resumes to stare at me stunned. Maybe I scared the guy. Poor one.
"Brazilian?" I think he's decided to erase the other things I mumbled. "Where from? I've been that once." He says taking a sip of his drink. "Rio de Janeiro. Very beautiful."
"Yes, they say so. Also shows the televisions dramas, but I've never been there. I'm from Salvador, a little more to north and much hotter than NYC I must say." He chuckles at my last statement.
"So you're new here. Are you liking the city?" He asks looking down at me.
"Sim. It's amazing." I say smiling brightly. "Only people are a little rude, but I guess there's these types in everywhere."
He chuckles at that. It seems I make him chuckle a lot. I like that. Today him, tomorrow the world. I think I'm gonna do Stand Up. "It's our fame, but I guarantee you we're not all like that." The way he looks at me made me feel antsy. "So, what brings you here? Tourism?"
"No, I'm moving to my dad's. I lived with my mom but she died so…" I trailed off. Remember my mom makes me I little melancholy. I missed her, but it was almost one year I was moving with my life.
He seems a little taken aback with my answer. I think it's not nice to speak to somebody about your dead mother in the very first time you see each other. "Um… I'm sorry." Never understood why people apologize as if it was their fault.
"Yeah, it sucks." I say to dill the silence. Awkward silences make me uncomfortable. If you haven't realized I'm a talkative person. He looks at me a little surprise with my apparent nonchalance. Maybe it had sound as if I'm a cold-heartedly girl. What I'm not. "It's been a year now, but I waited till school ends. I didn't wanted to lose a year." His expression softens so I think he doesn't think I'm a cold-heartedly bitch anymore. I don't know why but this makes me happy. Have you ever met somebody and it seems you've known them your whole life. If you haven't I pity you, but don't depress you will.
I'm so philosophical today. I think I'll be a philosopher. This thought make me grin what, by the way, you shouldn't do after talking about your mom whom died. Bad impression.
"I see you swing mood quickly." He remarks. See? Soul mate. I'll put him in my GM list (Good mates list). What I shall say in the first encounter is a very good mark.
"Yes. My brother says it creeps him out. Speaking of the devil I gotta go find him. I'm very tired and I need to sleep as you can see I was going to do before I was dragged here." Ok, maybe I wasn't dragged, but you must agree that this way it sounds much more dramatic. "See you." I said turning around to leave. "See ya." I hear him say at my back, but failed to hear the last part. "Wait, I didn't get your name.
To find my brother was easy, but make him leave the two girls he was with not so much. Seriously, two girls? Didn't these girls had the least self-respect? Apparently not. Anyway, it took all my power of convincement to drag him to the car and drive home. What I end up doing because he had no condition to do so.
Now, I am currently walking around and looking for a job. Never thought it would be so difficult. TV shows make it look so easy, but the truth is 'not always the establishment across the street want new employers. It's a sad reality I'm coming to discover and I've got to say it's not good. It's awful and my feet hurts. Not that I've been walking around the city (for God's sake New York is big), but I'm not going from store to store driving too. Petrol is bad to the environment, so we gotta decrease the use. And this has nothing to do with saving money. It's pure ecological awareness.
As I'm walking I feel pretty morose. I've wasted my whole day looking for a job and I couldn't find none. My feet hurts, my leg hurts, my head hurts, and my whole body hurts. I think I'm gonna get paralytic. Ok, maybe that was a little exaggerated. My eyes are automatically flicking into all the shop windows as I pass, checking out the displays – and suddenly I stop in my tracks.
This must be a sign from God.
I'm standing outside Patrick Cox and there's a handwriting sign in the glass pane of the door. 'Wanted. Sales assistants. Inquire within.'
I almost feel faint as I stare at the sign. My head's spinning. God must have felt guilt for making me walk all day and put this job right in front of me. Finally after looking the entire day I found someplace who's wanting. Not that this job is mine already, but now I just have to put my charm on, right? And on this I'm good. And don't worry, now I'm wearing decent clothes not pajamas.
This is fucking fantastic, I think striding in the shop with a friendly smile on my face. I knew something good was going to happen today. I just had a feeling about it.
Half an hour later I come out with an even bigger smile on my face. I got a job! I'm going to work from three-thirty to seven-thirty and get $4, 80 an hour and 10% of all the clothes! And after three months it goes up to 20 percent!
As I arrive at home I am faced with a horrifying scene: my brother lying on the couch with a dark-skinned girl on top of him and they were sucking each other's tongue. You wouldn't want to see it. It's like something you can never forget and you want never see. If you have a brother you know what I mean. So you understand why I scream when I turn on the lights and see that.
The dark-skinned girl jumps and sit down straight with a horrified look on her face. She at least had the decency to look embarrassed, my brother however has an amused look on his face like there was a joke only he knew about. That bastard has no decency in his bone. I give him a disbelieving look. "Get a room. It could have been dad."
He shrugs. "There was anybody home. Why to bother?"
"Because somebody could arrive and see what I've just seen and I gotta say I DIDN'T LIKED IT A BIT." I yell the last part. Boys. Can't believe now I'll have to live with two. Ok, my dad was no boy, but he was still from the male genre and they were all pigs. "So could you just go with your girlfriend to your room?"
"She's not my girlfriend." He answers immediately, as wanting to make sure not to happen a misunderstanding. "Now, Gilda I think it time for you to go." He adds acidly. The girl, Gilda, looks a little hurt, but does as she was told. She grabs her stuff and goes toward the door giving a glance to my brother before close the door behind her.
"Uau, couldn't you have been nicer?" I ask sitting on the armchair and turning on the TV.
"I could." At least he admits he was rude. "But I didn't want to." He says nonchalantly. Seriously, how did dad raise this kid? Mom would never let him act like this.
"So, you basically treat girls like shit?"
"I don't see they complaining so why are you?" He snaps harshly. "And what is it?" He demands.
"It's a soap opera." I answer in the same tone.
"I can't believe you watch to this bullshit." He says shooting me a disgusted look.
"Você assiste a um monte de besteiras e nem por isso eu falo nada." I retort angrily. I hate when people question my likes, principally when their own are based on sitcoms and games. Not that I don't like that, but to watch this 24/7 is too much.
"I don't watch bullshit and you complains all the time since you got here." He says matter-of-factly.
"That's because you an uncultured being who spend the entire day on the couch laughing at bad jokes." I spat glaring at him.
"Where's the culture in a TV show where the girl's seek for revenge?"
"It shows real life." I defended. "People are vindictive."
"It shows crap." He states.
"You're on crack." I say for no other reason than it rhymes and I love to rhyme things. And also because I had nothing else to add. Not because I agree with him, which I don't. Brazilian soaps do show social problems and it's definitely not crap (or else I wouldn't be watching), but to argue with my brother is like arguing with a rock: useless and disappointing.
He furrows his eyebrows. "Where did that come from?" He asks.
"From my mind, idiot." I answer smirking at him. His dark blue eyes glares at my dark brown ones and I glare back. I don't know how long we spend like this 'till my father arrives and interrupt our little glare war. This happens because my brother can't keep an argument for long. Don't you dare say I was the one who couldn't.
"Hey guys, guess what I bro…" He says lively till he sees our faces. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing is wrong, dad." I say getting up from the couch and going to see what there was in the bags he had in his hands. "Albert said he had something in his eyes and I was seeing what it was. And as you can see there was nothing wrong but Albert bullshit." Albert opens his mouth to say something, but I am faster. "But you're were saying you brought something. What is it?"
I wake up in the morning and don't hear my alarm clock ringing. I look the timer and it's saying is 6:25. I close my eyes smiling thinking I still has minutes left and then it hits me. It's 6:25 not 5:25. My goodness I'm late. I'm late for my first day in school. And I had planned everything to go right today. Albert that bastard! Why didn't he wake me? Somebody's going down.
I get up quickly and go running to the bathroom. Twenty minutes later I brought my teeth, combed my hair and took a shower. I go to my closet and grab the first thing I see: a black dress and a flat. I put my hair in a high ponytail and grab my things, putting my flats while stepping out of the room. As a result, I unbalance and fall. Thank goodness on the couch, but I end up dropping somebody's cell phone. My dad step out of his room a little startled, then he sees me.
"Marjorie, what are you doing up so early?" He asks confused.
"Going to school." I answer but it sounds more like a question.
"Sweetheart, you a very aware school starts at 8:30 and it's just five minutes from here, right?" No, I wasn't. You see, school in my country starts at seven so I need to wake up early and I completely forgot here was different. That's why Albert hadn't wake me up. Although I have my doubts if he would've waken me up. I think he would enjoy to laugh at me. Choosing this time to appear, Albert comes in the living room with a sleepy face. "Why are you making so much noise?"
Dad and I look at each other and blurt out laughing. Albert looks at us confused for a minute and decides to brush it off, leaving the room while mumble something like "crazy". Dad stop laughing finally and goes to the kitchen. "What about pancakes?"
"I think it'd be great." I go behind the counter help dad to cook. Something I always do when spending time with him. Usually on vocations. Dad and mom split up when I was thirteen so I didn't cook back there.
We had breakfast and I still had to wait twenty minutes 'till Albert was ready to go. I don't know why I waited so much because as soon we arrive at school he leaves me alone. Idiota! Jerk. He knows very well I know nobody here. Couldn't he introduce me to his friends? Noo. As if I would embarrass him. Asshole. He embarrasses me.
I enter the school feeling very happy with myself. I know the most of you don't like school, but I always watched those movies and TV shows and now it was like I was in one. I grin to myself and receive some weird looks from other people in response, but I don't care. I am so happy today nothing can rip the grin out of my face.
I get my schedule and look at it. Biology is my first class. Perfect. I love biology. Actually I love most of subjects. Except P.E. because I suck. Back to my school I always found a way to skip it. I go to my locker and look at it. NÃO DÁ PRA ACREDITAR. I can't believe it. I have a locker. I have a locker. I have a locker. This is so amazing. In Brazil we don't have lockers and we don't change classrooms. The teachers do. This I think is better, though. Annoying I think it. I prefer to stay in my chair waiting for the teacher entry the room.
I wander with no specific direction looking everything. Who knows I find my brother and give him a piece of my mind. The boy left before I could say 'cool'. Not that we have a bad relationship, but he say I embarrass him with my way of being. Unbelievable. Everybody loves me. Silly boy.
I'm minding my own business when I feel a touch on my shoulder. "Jesus Cristo Maria José." Then I turn around and see Stranger Boy looking at me. "Ah, é você! Você me assustou." He stares at me confusing written all over his face. I realize I had spoken Portuguese again. Bad habit that seems always to happen when Stranger Boys around. "You scared me." I say lifting a hand to my heart. "Wait! What are you doing here?" I ask smiling nonetheless.
"I would ask you the same thing." He says smiling down at me. I observe now that he's tall. More or less 6'1". His hair looks even more blonde in the sunlight and his eyes are gray (what I had never seen before) and I caught myself staring at it. Why people have beautiful colored eyes and I have dead brown ones? So unfair. Why couldn't I have inherited dad's beautiful blue eyes? "I study here." He says and I snap out of it.
"Me too." I tell excitedly. "How crazy is that? We meet in a random party and then we meet again in school." I grin. After people say New York is a big city.
"It wasn't such a random party. Everybody that interest from this school was there." I notice the way he said 'everybody that interest' and I don't like it. What make someone be interesting or not? "But what were you doing there?"
"My brother invited me." I say.
"Your brother? He asks, but I have the impression that is a rhetorical question so I don't answer. "If he comes to here I must know him. Who's him?"
I open my mind to answer but the ring choose this moment to bell. "Class. I better get going." I say. Think of somebody who hates to get late to class. Marjorie.
"What class do you have now?" He asks.
"So do I." He says smiling. I raise my eyebrows. Odds are on my side. I didn't even need to make friends. Not that I intend to have only one friend during the year, but for the first class it was fine.
"Really?" I ask surprised. "What the chances?"
"Not so little since we study in the same school." He answers still smiling.
"Ok, so you lead the way, master, because I know nothing at all around here." I say starting to walk, but Stranger Guy's voice stops me. I really need to ask his name. I open my mind to do exactly that but he speaks first. "You going the wrong way." My mouth opens in an 'o' and I come back to his side. "Shall we?" He asks showing me the way with his hands. I nod and follow him.