Life on the Fast Track – 20

I Accept you…and all your flaws, but we must understand each other

Jasmine drove up to her house, slowing down when she saw Danny’s car parked next to her mother’s jeep.  She had known he would come.  She had not anticipated that he would find her mother.  She sighed and parked behind his car.

Getting her shopping from the backseat, she hurried to the front door, a little panicked.  Her mother was an interrogator.  She could make the worst criminal squirm under her gaze.  Jasmine was sure she had learned it from being a military wife.  Their dad was no walk in the park.

Danny was in double trouble today.

Unlocking the door, Jasmine walked into her house and stopped when the scent of cooking hit her fast.  Her family was in the kitchen, she stopped at the kitchen entrance to stare at the scene.  Danny wore an apron, and was hard at work chopping carrots into thin strips.  He was an expert at it too.

“Jazz, I thought the supermarket swallowed you up.  I hope you bought nyanya?” Wanja said, looking at her from her position at the kitchen counter. (Tomatoes)

Jasmine lifted up the bag with vegetables, placing it on the counter.  Jenny took the rest from her, and they got to work putting them away.

“Too many people in the kitchen,” Wanja said, when Jenny bumped into her.  “If you’re my kid, get out of here, go entertain yourself.”

Jenny and Daryl hurried out.  Jasmine hesitated, her gaze on Danny.  He sent a smile her way and continued chopping, whistling a happy tune.

Wanja placed gentle hands on her shoulders and led her out of the kitchen.

In the living room, her brother sprawled on the couch and turned on television.  He tuned to Netflix and got comfortable.  Jasmine mentally thanked her landlord for hooking her up with cheap Wi-Fi from Jamii.

Jenny grabbed Jasmine’s hand and led her to her bedroom, closing the door.

“Talk,” Jenny said, perching on her bed, folding her legs under her in anticipation.

Before Jasmine could start, Jenny broke into a tirade.

“You and Danny…when did you get together?  Why didn’t you tell me?  You have been holding out on me.  How is that fair when I’m your sister?  Terry knows, doesn’t she?  You treat her more like a sister, than you do me.  That is so not fair.  Gosh, he’s so hot.  Why is he so hot?”

“Are you done?” Jasmine asked, sitting on the bed beside Jenny.

She let out a sigh, unable to stop thinking about last night.  The sight of Danny’s car spinning out of a high speed race ran in a loop in her head.  Round and round, when she closed her eyes to sleep, all she saw was him spinning out, and not making it.

“Jazz?” Jenny squeezed her right hand, pulling her away from her thoughts.

Jasmine met Jenny’s gaze and smiled.

“You’re my favorite little sister.  I didn’t tell you because we haven’t seen each other.  Plus, I wasn’t sure about him.”

“And now you’re sure?”

Jasmine sighed.

“We have a few things to work out, but yes.”

“Oh yes!” Jenny jumped off the bed and stood watching her.  “This is so awesome.  Danny is those guys you wanna brag about.  Can I call him when I need a ride?  Coz, you know that happens sometimes.”

“Jenny.”

“Come on, Jazz, please.”

“I’ll run it by him first,” Jasmine said, shaking her head.

“It’s so cool to have an older brother now,” Jenny clapped.  “You have done well, sister.  The elders will be happy.”

“What are you the village seer?” Jasmine laughed.  “Gosh, Dad will have a conniption when they meet.  He is so not open minded.”

Jenny seemed to deflate.

“I suppose I should celebrate after they meet.  Danny might want to run.”

“Way to support,” Jasmine scowled at her little sister.

“It’s the truth.”  Jenny sat on the bed.  “You know Dad talked to Daryl a few days ago, about the future.  Daryl was given three options: military, doctoring or business courses.”

Ngai,” Jasmine shook her head.  “He doesn’t change the choices.  You’re the only one who did the right thing and did accounting.  He knows Daryl loves mechanics, even engineering would make sense.  Military?”

“Daryl walked out.  He went to stay over at Aunt Monica’s,” Jenny said.  “He came home this morning.”

“And Mom?”

Jenny shrugged, smoothing her hand over the bed spread.

“Since you, she hasn’t tried to fight for the rest of us.”

“That’s not true,” Jazz said, shocked.  “Jenny, you said you wanted to do accounting.”

“It was the easiest choice that didn’t involve gory detail,” Jenny shrugged.  “You know Mimo, she’s a nurse.  She hates it, but it’s the only thing her parents wanted to pay for.  So—, at least I had two more choices.  I’m not sad about it, Jazz.”

“Gosh, Jenny.”

“Daryl will need your help,” Jenny said, meeting her gaze.  “You’re strong.  You can stand up to Daddy.  Help Daryl do what he wants.”

Jasmine took in a deep breath, and gave her sister a nod.  She pulled Jenny into a tight hug, and held her.

“You should have told me what you wanted,” Jasmine murmured into her sister’s hair.  “I would have fought for you.”

“I didn’t know what I wanted,” Jenny said into her shoulder.  “Not like Daryl does.”

Jasmine rubbed Jenny’s back and brushed her sister’s cheek when Jenny pulled back.

“I love you, kiddo,” Jasmine said, smoothing Jenny’s hair.  “Terry and I will induct you into the sister group on your next day off.  Come sleep over, sawa?” (okay)

Jenny giggled.

“Will Danny be there?”

“Sisters first, then we can have Danny take us out later,” Jasmine said, falling back on the bed.

Besides, she needed to work things out with Danny first.  They had a boat load of things to talk about.  One of them being, not racing off into danger when she begged him not to.

***

“What kind of work do you do?” Wanja asked.

Danny finished cutting carrots and put them in a bowl.  Taking a piece, he popped it into his mouth and faced Jasmine’s mother.

“I’m a mechanic,” Danny said.  “I work on cars, fixing them, restoring them, servicing.”

Wanja chuckled.  She lit the gas cooker and placed a frying pan on the fire, adding oil in one elegant move.

“You’re trying to shock me.”  Wanja flashed a smile at him.  “It won’t work, Danny boy.”

Danny grinned and leaned on the counter watching Wanja stir-fry the vegetables they cut up.

“Mum, I love Jasmine.” Danny stated.  “She means the world to me.”

Wanja chuckled and adjusted the fire on the stove.  She opened the cupboard above the gas cooker to get spices.  Danny watched her put black pepper, ginger and a mix of spices Danny couldn’t name.  The extent of his cooking skills included chopping, peeling, and grinding.  Came from working at his father’s restaurant when the place was short staffed.

Wanja mixed the vegetables, covering them with a lid to simmer.  She wiped her hands on a clean cloth and turned to face him.

“You’re Teresa’s big brother,” Wanja said, leaning on the counter across him.  “I know your father.  My husband and I love his restaurant.  We go there for celebrations.  It’s a great place.”

Danny held Wanja’s gaze.

“You have some steel in you, meeting me in my daughter’s house.”  Wanja narrowed her gaze.  “You’ve pissed her off.  I found her upset.  You want to fix it?”

Danny nodded.

“What did you do?”

“Disappointed her,” Danny said.

“Yes, men disappoint women,” Wanja said, pushing off the counter to check the vegetables she was cooking.  She took a spoon from a plate next to Danny and scooped some soup to taste.  Shaking her head, she added salt and winked at him.

“Women disappoint men too,” she said.

Danny smiled.

“Mama Jazz, are you going to say no to me dating your daughter?”

Wanja covered the food and lowered the heat.

“Jasmine is the most head strong woman I’ve ever met,” Wanja said.  “When she wanted to move out of the house, she simply packed her stuff, found this house and moved.  She is her father’s daughter.  I can’t stop her from doing anything.  However, the kitchen knife you used to chop vegetables is also a weapon, Danny boy.  You hurt her and I’ll show you how that works.”

Danny shifted, straightening up.  Wanja’s gaze scared him more than Anderson ever could.  He could not look away.  For a full minute, they stood staring at each other, until he folded and lowered his gaze.

Wanja laughed and stepped up to pat his shoulder.

“We have time, Danny, to get to know each other.  Meanwhile, Jazz is hiding in her room, avoiding you.  We came to visit her.  She won’t come out as long as you stay.  If you can talk to her, and get her out here, I’ll be happy.”

“Really?”

“I’ll give you ten minutes to solve it,” Wanja said, glancing at her watch.  “Fix it as fast as you can.”

Danny grinned, and left the kitchen quickly.  He hurried to Jasmine’s room.

***

Jasmine sat up when a soft knock came on the door.  Jenny opened it, and smiled wide when she saw Danny.

Sasa,” Jenny grinned.  “Mathe amekupatia time?” (Hi, Mum gave you time?)

Danny nodded and lifted his hands indicating ten minutes.

“Don’t go over,” Jenny advised, stepping past Danny into the hallway.  “She’ll come get you and it won’t be pretty.”

Danny shuddered and entered the bedroom, watching Jenny close the door.

Jasmine remained sitting at the foot of the bed.  Refusing to move, even when Danny came to stand in front of her.

“You won’t look at me?”

“You should have gone home to sleep,” Jasmine said.  “I imagine almost crashing and dying would exhaust a man.  You don’t look like you’ve slept.  Go home, Danny.”

Danny crouched before her, so that she had no choice but to meet his dark gaze.

“There you are,” Danny said, holding her gaze, placing his hands on the bed on each side of her.  “I’m sorry, Jasmine.”

“Danny.”

“I’m sorry I left you alone last night.”

***

 Thank you for reading…To be Continued ^_^!

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