READ PART I

READ PART II

The bus pulled onto a dark street at midnight, but Flower was NOWHERE to be seen.

The Greyhound station was closed.

I sat on a deserted street in downtown Providence.  No clue what to do.

I had nowhere to sleep, I had no direction, I knew no one, I had no plan… but I was free, and that was all that mattered.

I took out a note with Kiki’s number on it, it was the only thing other than my calling card and that 100 but I had in my pockets…

I walked over to the payphone and took out my calling card.

It was midnight, but I dialed her number anyway even though I had never met her.  I had to.

What choice was there?

Some thug-sounding dude picked up

hehLO?

uhh… hi, I’ma, I’m sorry for calling so late.  Is Kiki there please?

wHOOOo?

Uh… Kiki?

dude was mad aggressive. Then my eardrum nearly popped:

EYO CORINNE!  SOMEONE ON THE PHONE!

Then

Hello?

Kiki?

Yeah?

Oh shit I thought I dialed the wrong number cause someone screamed for Corinne and-

That was my half brother.  Corinne’s my real name, but I don’t go by it.  What’s up?

It’s me, Greg.

I know it is.

Right.

What do you need?

So sorry to call so late but Flower said she’d be here, I told her I was getting in at midnight and she promised she’d be here and she’s not and I really don’t know what to do or where to go or –I don’t know what the fuck to do and—

–Where are you?

The Greyhound station on… ummm… [looking for a street sign]

Okay stay there.

What?

Stay there.

Click.

That was that.

I had used my one phone call and all I got was a click.

I walked back over to the outside of the Greyhound station, staring inside the dark glass storefront but all the lights were off and I couldn’t make out anything other than the reflection of myself cast by a nearby streetlamp.

I sat on the ground and covered my hoodie over my head and sat on my backpack and closed my eyes.  At least I had that hundred bucks to buy food.

ZZZZzzzzzzZZZZZZZ

GREG!

I looked up.  It was a beautiful girl, maybe fifteen years old, with dreadlocks, each dreadlock dyed a different shade of red.

Kiki?

GET IN!

So I got in, she ran a red light and drove over the curb and waddled the steering wheel all over the place.

Sorry I just gotta get this car back before my Uncle realizes I’m gone, she tells me.

He doesn’t know you’re gone?

Well I don’t have a license so…

You stole his car?

Well you didn’t wanna stay there all night did ya?

I was in love. She stole a car for me. I played it cool.

Where you taking me?

Thayer street.  We’ll find her… and if not you can just come back with me but you gotta be out by 5AM, that’s when my Aunt goes to work.

Just as we started heading up the hill to East Providence, where apparently this street called Thayer was,

I SAW HER!  FLOWER!  SHE WAS FROLICKING DOWN THE STREET HILL!  She was frolicking with a chipper skip, letting her long flower dress drag on the street behind her bare feet, her sexy hair all knotty and dreaded, but not purposely dreaded, dreaded from lack of hygiene, and lastly, some skinny dude with a scraggly beard, emo-hair covering his eyes and doing his best to keep up with her gallop as he lagged behind about twenty feet.  He did NOT show the same enthusiasm as she.

Oh shit!

Told you we’d find her.

Kiki pulled over.

I got out and ran to Flower.

She ran to me.

Our hug lasted ten minutes.

Kiki rolled her window down

Hey Flower… [rolling her eyes] nice to see you too. And you’re welcome.  Again.

Flower ran to the driver’s side of the window.

Kiki!  How are you???

[as if she had had this convo a million times already] I’m fine Flower.

I looked in the passenger side window.

Thank you so much Kiki.

Yup.

When will I see you again?

I’m sure we’ll see each other soon.

And she pulled away.

Flower grabbed my hand, introduced me to the uncomfortable dude named Mike and started pulling me up the hill.

She told me we were going to Thayer Street.

What the FUCK is Thayer Street??

Mike laughed.

Flower smiled.

You’ll see!

It’s the greatest place on Earth!

Stay tuned for part IV!

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