Life on the Fast Track – 2

Track 2: The Situation as it is, is not what you See

A white fluffy cat jumped up on the kitchen counter when Jasmine walked into the kitchen.  She purred loudly and Jasmine chuckled.

“I know you’re hungry, Min.  So am I.  What do you think we should eat?”

Jasmine went to the refrigerator, staring at the contents with a sigh.

“Looks like it’s milk and tuna for you, Min.”

Jasmine retrieved a can of cat food and opened it.  Emptying the contents into a bowl, she stuck the bowl into the microwave.  Her phone rang when the cycle ended and she placed the bowl on the floor for Min.

“Hello.”

“Jazz, do you want to tell me you forgot to come home for the family dinner?”

“Mum,” Jasmine sighed.  “I’m sorry, I couldn’t make it.  I forgot to call.”

“What happened?”

“Work,” Jasmine lied, not wanting to explain that her car broke down, and she needed to fix it.  That she wasn’t sure she had enough money to do it.

“They are working you too hard,” Wanja said in disapproval.  “Come home, Jasmine.  You’ve proven yourself.  I promise we won’t make you do anything you don’t want to.”

“Mum,” Jasmine said.  “I like work and how busy it keeps me.”

“Then, why do you sound so tired?  You’re not taking care of yourself.”

Jasmine sighed.  “I’m fine, Mum.  I’m sorry I didn’t come home.  I’ll try and make it before the weekend is over.  Say hello to Jenny and Daryl.”

“Fine, goodnight Jazz,” Wanja said.

“Goodnight, Mum.”

Hanging up the phone, Jasmine stood leaning on the kitchen counter thinking about her mother’s concern.

Jasmine wished she could throw the towel in and go home, but, how could she?  Her pride would not let her after the huge fight she staged with her father to gain her freedom.  She argued with her father long and hard.  In the end, the man only let her out of his house after she promised to return home if something went wrong.

If you come back home, Jasmine, you’ll stay without complaint.

Jasmine sighed and shook her head.  She would never give him the satisfaction of claiming she was in trouble.

Nope, never.

Her father was in the army, and for most of her early life, she’d lived the life of an army brat.  Her father traveled too much and those early years, he insisted on moving with his family.  Until Jasmine entered high school and got tired of not having close friends.  After a particular nasty row with her parents, her mother made the decision to settle them down in Nairobi.  Buying land in Dagoretti and building a house.  Thanks to this, Jasmine was able to meet Terry during their first year of high school.  Theirs was a fast friendship one that stuck for over ten years now.

Jasmine didn’t know what she would have done without Terry’s constant support.  Especially when she decided to live on her own after college.  Her father thought it a coup, and that’s how she ended up with the ultimatum.

Despite the arguments, Jasmine loved her family, and knew it was because they loved her that they acted the way they did.

So, she vowed never to tell them her problems, unless she murdered someone.  Shaking her head, Jasmine resumed her search for food, her thoughts straying to Danny.

How long had she had a crush on that man?  Ten years?

In high school, Danny acted like she didn’t exist.  No matter how many times she tried talking to him, it didn’t seem to make a difference with Danny Kihome.  The guy was tough to crack.  With time, her crush matured into something more.  Unfortunately, his ignorance of her had also increased to new heights.  She could never get close to him it seemed.  It didn’t help that Danny was Terry’s brother.

Jasmine cherished her friendship with Terry, so she never made any attempts to close the distance Danny created.  It wouldn’t do to have a fallout with Terry over her older brother.  But, it didn’t mean she couldn’t look.

Lord, but the man was hot, thanks to hours spent wrestling engines and wrenches, she imagined.  His gaze made her shiver, so intense, she sometimes felt like he was seeing everything about her.  He had a strong jaw, kissable lips, and she so wanted a taste.

Swallowing a strawberry, Jasmine closed her eyes and decided restraint was the best strategy.  Being around a guy like Danny could only mean trouble.  Speed junkies were married to their cars and engines.  She certainly didn’t need the heartache.

***

Lack of sleep kept her up all night typing up a new chapter in her book.  At around seven in the morning, Jasmine sat staring at her laptop screen and the blinking cursor.  Inspiration had ran off with the night, right as she reached chapter ten.  The characters refused to move forward.

Getting up, she stretched her arms above her head and went to the kitchen to make breakfast.  With Min rubbing against her socked feet, Jasmine started the coffee maker.  It was Saturday, and she was off work for two days.  Her only obligations today were grocery shopping and convincing Terry to go out later to a new club in Langata.

She was busy frying eggs when the doorbell rang.

“Come in, I’m in the kitchen,” she called.

She didn’t want to leave the cooker on.

Hoping her visitor had heard her, Jasmine turned the eggs and was about to plate them when Danny appeared at the kitchen entrance.  Her kitchen had two doorways, one that opened into the dining room, the other led to the hallway that led to the front door.

Jasmine stood at the counter along the hallway side in old pajama bottoms, a t-shirt and bugs bunny socks, her hair sticking up.  It wasn’t her best look.  She had always tried to look her best around Danny and it was mortifying to have him see her this way.

“You should be more careful who you let in,” Danny said in greeting, scowling at her.  “What if I was a serial killer?”

“You certainly aren’t, unless you’re hiding a big secret,” Jasmine said, placing the frying pan back on the cooker.  “Want breakfast?”

The question was unintended.  She asked it because she did the same for all her friends.  He’d probably refuse—

“Sure,” Danny said.

To her credit, she masked her surprise, instead, reached for the eggs and started to break them into the heating pan.

“I brought your car,” Danny said, taking pleasure in watching her move around her kitchen.  This was a new side of her he had never seen.

Jasmine looked relaxed and laid back.  Far from the mask, which he realized now for what it was, she gave to the world.

“How much do I owe you?” Jasmine asked, a frown playing on her forehead as she calculated the money in her account.

“Nothing,” Danny said, remembering Jimmy’s reaction when Danny decided to pay the cost with his own cash.

‘Marry her already.’

“I can’t let you do that,” Jasmine said, a bit shocked by Danny’s answer.  “I know it was a huge mess and all, tell me what was wrong with it and how much it cost.”

“Your car needed servicing.  You have ignored maintenance for a while,” Danny lied, thinking of the new engine the Chevy now boasted.

He had wanted to get it repainted and reupholstered but that was his need to upgrade any car.  Jasmine would have wanted to pay for the obvious changes.

“Maintenance?” Jasmine studied him.  “You’re not kidding me, are you?”

“I’m not,” Danny answered, his lips twitching a bit at how intently she watched him.

“I can’t believe it,” Jasmine sighed.

Maintenance, oh well, she was guilty of adding petrol and oil without much thought to anything else.  Turning off the gas cooker, she stopped before Danny, coming up on her tiptoes, she pressed a chaste kiss on his cheek.

“I owe you,” she said, pulling away.  “Thank you.”

To be continued….Thank you for Reading. ^_^

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