Side Story: A 2nd visit
Black looked down from where he was sitting on the stairs leading to Yaldar’s studio to see Inad going up towards him.
“Is your brother up there?”
Black shook his head with a soft smile. “He’s asleep back home”
“Oh! Why are you here then?” Inad said with a puzzled look.
“Hmm… I dunno. I was playing… Then…”
Inad sat down next to him.
“What about your new friend? Where is he now?”
Smiling, Inad answered; “yeah”
Black only sighed in response.
“What is it? Do I need to kill him? Did he hurt you?”
Black looked at his taller friend half surprised, half frowning as he took in all of Inad’s questions. The little white-haired explained;
“Something happened last time I was at his place, we got lost, and my mum, his dad we’re shouting, then, I dunno. My mum is still angry but in a sad way, maybe. His dad was too… I guess. Maybe White doesn’t want to see me anymore.”
“How come? Did he say that?”
“He didn’t show up since that day so I dunno”
“Lets go to his place. You can’t be sure why he didn’t talk to you since then. Maybe he’s sick, or lost your home number, or maybe-“
“You’ll take me there?!!” Standing up, Black exclaimed in excitement
Inad smiled and stood up as well.
After a good time spent finding White’s place based on Black’s memory and directions, Inad stopped by a phone booth and called Yaldar to ask for directions.
“You two dorks! Put Ritta on the phone then. She was with your mum last time right? She’s a genius.” Inad said in an irritated tone after Yaldar and Larissa failed to give proper information.
Ritta, on the other hand, gave him clear directions after some lazy comments about not needing to do this and that he owes her now.
Inad and the boy in large white pullover were at Jad’s apartment waiting for the door to open. Black was moving in his place fiddling with fingers while taking one step ahead then one back.
He looked at Inad and said after waiting what felt like eternity to him, but what was a few moments, in reality; “Maybe they moved”
“Yep. To the moon.” Inad commented seriously.
“We’ll follow them there”
“Well, we’ll have to-“
Cutting their information short, Jad opened the door with half closed eyes, and Black hopped backwards behind Inad.
“I’m sorry, I- ah! Black!”
Jad looked warmly at his son’s friend as he moved backwards with a gesture for them to enter, “Welcome! Come on in ple-“
Black dashed into the house and looked around. Jad chuckled and kneeled down to look at the energetic kid,
“see those two doors over there, go to the one to your right. White’s a little sick”
Inad smirks and adds to the already dashing boy “right is what your write with, ok?”
They watched Black, a few meters away, as he entered the kitchen; the door to the left first, then showing up after a few seconds to open the opposite, correct door; White’s bedroom door.
Inad then introduced himself and Jad offered him a seat asking what he’d like to drink.
Black opened the door to see a figure in bed, sniffing quietly.
“Why are you crying?!”, he questioned loudly.
White, eyes widened, got up on his elbows.
Black looked surprised at his friend with flushed cheeks and teary eyes as a wet towel fell from over his forehead. He ran inside the room taking off one sandal then hopped on bed and removed the other, throwing it on the floor.
White was speechless.
What is he doing here? Why is he here? How did he come?
“Why are you here?” he finally said with a broken voice.
“I gave you my cap so you’d bring it the following day when we meet but you didn’t show up!” Black snapped in one breath. “I’m not gonna let you steal my cap! I sunburn easily, you know!”
White kept staring at the frowning face, hardly processing what he just heard.
Black wasn’t his first friend only, but he also was the first person to ever visit him when sick.
“I-” was what he managed to say before Black grinned wide.
“Haha im kidding! I wanted to come see what you’re up to. Or, thats what Inad suggested… I didn’t think you’re sick, but Inad figured that out! He’s really smart! Inad is my cousin, or something”
White was only half-listening to his friend when he suddenly remembered that he’s sick in bed and probably looking like trash so he frowned and lied down, burying the back of his head into the pillow pulling the blanket up in an attempt to cover up to the tip of his chin, but failing coz Black is sitting over it.
He then sneezed.
“Ah! Sorry!” Black hopped down and walked to reach the head of the bed where White is resting his head. He placed his hand over White’s forehead then sheepishly smiled,
“Hehe… Mum does this to me but I dont know why or what she gets from it hehe”
“I saw it on tv. It’s to see if a person has fever” the black headed boy explained .
“You’re so smart! I cant believe you got sick!”
Black gave a tissue to White from the box on the floor.
“Can you-” White held the towel to Black.
Black stared at him.
” just put it in water, squeeze it then give it to me”
But instead of taking it, Black kept staring at his red-nosed sick friend.
White didn’t understand what’s wrong. He was feeling really hot so he tried to raise himself up to do the task, but Black took the towel and moved to the nearby table;
“Do you… Take care of yourself? Alone?”
White was taken aback by the question.
“Wh- what do you mean?”
Putting the towel on its place, Black looked troubled and looking up at him with half closed eyes, White wasn’t sure if he should trust his vision.
Are Black’s eyes… teary?
“Hey, what’s wrong?”
Black said nothing and crouched down on the floor next to the bed.
White thought about it. He sure was lonely and it really hurts to be sick in bed but he couldn’t tell what bothered Black so strongly. He got up and slid his feet out the bed which resulted a shiver going down his spine.
“Sheesh” and then he sniffed.
Black looked up at him; “are you cold?!”
“Heh, i dunno. My face feels hot but my chest and back feels cold.”
Black noticed a small heater nearby, so he dragged it as close as the wire allowed then helped White down to sit on the floor.
“If you put your feet in front of it you’ll feel warm, and the towel will cool your head. Mum does that for me sometimes.”
White unconsciously smiled and said something quietly about Black’s mother being really kind.
Black looked down in silence.
They sat side by side silently for sometime looking at the glowing orange pipes in the heater.
“Hey, dad is really kind too. He was napping just now here on the chair before you rang the bell. he really does all his best.”
“Did he make you soup?”
“Yeah. Twice already today.”
The conversation ended with a firm nod from the silver eyed, and small smile on both faces.
White started feeling lightheaded and felt the pain in every fibre of his being. Even his eyelids were hard to keep open.
He closed his eyes with a smile on his face, still.
It’s nice to have some company.
He felt that he was still embarrassed about his looks, and even worse, his bare socks-less feet.
That’s totally uncool.
Cool was far from what he was feeling or wanted to feel, though.
He felt warmth.
Books and TV shows talk about the warmth of the mother.
He never experienced that.
But he was happy just then, feeling the care of these people in his life.
Jad had been around all day and night. It was even showing up on his face. He didn’t even work, and White knows that work is Jad’s top priority.
Maybe he thought wrong.
And then Black.
His new friend.
He was touched -the first time they met- at the lengths such a small boy would go to, to protect his brother.
His mean brother.
He never thought such stupid kindness existed in real life. He envied Yaldar a bit because Yaldar doesn’t deserve it.
Even after all that Black told him about Yaldar’s childhood, White still thought it’s wrong of Black to give so much for such a person.
But Black gives everything he’s got to everybody he loves.
Just the same.
He feels for them.
Like he did now.
like he did with me.
He almost cried because I was sick without a mother.
And even that new person. Inad? He helped clear Black’s confusion, and brought him here to see why I hadn’t shown up.
White thought he’s not gonna see Black at his house again.
He thought Black’s mother forbid him from coming over.
This Inad seems nice.
Black’s mother looked beautiful and sounded kind too.
He visited me.
White sank into sleep with more thoughts about kindness and all the new people entering his life.
Soon after, Black was dazed by the warmth of the electric heater and he started dozing off into sleep, happy that White isn’t angry, nor is Jad about what happened last time.
Black was happy too that White has Jad to take care of him. He was happy he got to visit his sick friend, too.
That’s a new thing.
A new normal thing that he gladly experienced.