(Author by Jonn P)
There was a chill in the apartment Tarriq shared with Ciena and Nicholas. Nicholas was out, Tarriq was searching through the fridge for something to eat, and Ciena poured the last of the cereal into a bowl. She gave him a judgemental eye as he remembered it was his turn to shop for groceries.
Tarriq was distracted by something other than groceries though. He’d put off the conversation he intended to have with his sister last night. Even after Riotous Fink’s advice despite the fact he had to record himself running from the cops to get it. He figured he needed to wait until the right time to talk to Ciena. He had no idea as to WHEN the right time was for going up to someone and asking Hey, your shadow is all jacked up, what’s the deal?
Ciena asked him to grab the milk while he was Up. He set the milk down on the table in front of Ciena, and mostly by accident Tarriq blurted out. “You know I love you, Fam.”
Ciena took the milk, giving him a quizzical look. “T-thank you for the milk?”
“No… I mean, you’re welcome. But, no… not about the milk.” Tarriq floundered for words he wasn’t prepared to say. “I’ve been worried about you Ce. A few things happened. At work, recently. That’s made me think about something that I’ve been worried about for a while now. ”
Ciena looked more perplexed. “You’ve got me in suspense here, are you going to tell me what this is about?”
“I mean like it’s… Fuckit, did you do something to your shadow?”
Ciena only showed a moment of surprise that Tarriq would have missed if it were anyone else but his sister, however, she recovered smoothly. “Yeah, I changed my shadow’s hair, thanks for noticing. Do you like it?”
Tarriq started to lose his temper. “Ciena, I know somethings up! I ain’t acting like nothing’s wrong anymore.”
Ciena replied with a calm flat tone. “Tarriq, nothing is WRONG with my shadow. You need to chill with the extracurriculars at your little drum circles cause they’re making you paranoid.”
Tarriq sat down in the chair across from his sister. "Yo! I’m being serious right now! Are you in danger?”
“There is nothing you need to worry about.”
“Did I do something, is that why you won’t talk about what’s wrong. Shit. Is it my fault?"
Ciena’s calm demeanor broke. “I told you nothing is fucking wrong with it, you don’t know how hard I worked to come ba-”
The heat in Tarriq’s voice faded when she didn’t finish. “Come back?”
“It’s…it’s not your fault. You didn’t do this. I did. I did what I had to do.”
Her tears were far too beautiful, but there was genuine pain. “I don’t want to remember. Please, I don’t want to talk about it right now. I’ll leave, if it’s too unnerving to be around me. I’ll move out. I just…I missed you, Tarriq. I did what I had to do”.
Tarriq was stunned. "I get that. Sorry, I pressed you about it. I just… I felt like you were here but I am still losing you. You know? And, I had to say something. Sounds childish, right?”
Ciena smiled for the first time. “Maybe a little childish.” With a more serious expression, she went on. “We’ll talk about it,” she added. When I’m ready.”
Tarriq nodded. “I don’t want you to go. I just want you to know I got you. For whatever."
Tarriq stood back up. "You look like you need a hug?”
Ciena feigned weariness. “Awe! This was a setup the whole time?”
“You want this hug before it goes back on the shelf or what fam!”
Ciena smiled as she stood up from the table, and they hugged each other.