Chapter 1 part 4
Mei grudgingly gathered her stuff as she exited the school bus. Sometimes she wished she lived somewhere else, not that her house didn’t look inviting. What went on behind close doors no white picket fence could hide forever. “If people only knew what hell I was living in…well it makes no sense dreaming this world is cold.” Mei thought, as she entered into her home, or as her stepfather so proudly put it his home. She was just an unwelcome guest. Mei opened the front door and placed her purse on the hallway table by the door. She slowly pulled her backpack off her shoulder and dropped it down in the corner next to the front door.
“Honeybee, I have lunch waiting for you on the kitchen table.” Her mom Song Li Paulard exclaimed, as she walked into the kitchen.
Mei’s Father Jacob Gordon nicknamed her honeybee when she was born due to her Chinese and African American heritage. Her mom loved it and hasn’t stopped calling her honeybee since. Jacob was murdered ten years ago in Atlanta, Georgia where they once lived. After he died Mei was never the same, she had constant visions and dreams of her father visiting her and warning her of people who came into her life. Some times late at night she could feel someone gently pulling back her hair. A warm gentle hand gliding over her face, Mei secretly told her mother trusting that she would not think she is going crazy, but it backfired on her, causing Mei years of feeling like she was a freak.
Mei’s mother Song li Paulard remarried two years after Jacob’s death to his long time friend Thomas Paulard. Mei couldn’t get along very well with her stepfather. Thomas may have been able to get things past her mother, but not her. Thomas had also touched her in places no man should touch her, no matter how many times she told her mother, it would always came back on Mei. Making her look like a liar. The school counselors accused her of just wanting attention.
Thomas had taking so much away from Mei, The past few nights he had been trying to get into her room late at night when everyone was asleep. This was a new move and Mei feared he was attempting to steal the one thing that kept her pure, Mei bought new locks for her door and was all to happy when her mother wanted to install an emergency exit system in each upstairs room in case of a fire or break in.
Mei sat down at the kitchen table and began to eat her lunch her mind flashed back to her last period class when she heard that voice. It was strange because she knew it was Max Martinez’s voice. Mei felt like she was growing into an even bigger freak now she is hearing other people’s thoughts. Mei thought about what he said. “Come back to me… He was arguing with his girlfriend maybe she was trying to break up with him and he really wants to be with her” Mei speculated. “This doesn’t explain why he was looking at me.” Mei felt clueless.
“How your day? You have a good time?” Her mother asked, in broken English.
“It was fine mother” Mei replied, in Chinese knowing it would be easier for her to speak in her native language.
Song looked into her daughters beautiful green eyes she loved her dearly and wished she knew how to make her happy. Since her husband died Mei’s eyes lost their sparkle and marrying Thomas did not seem to make things better. They argued bitterly for years and it was only getting worse. Mei had so much animosity towards her stepfather. Song felt that her daughter was just angry because she missed her father and Thomas never accepted Mei as his daughter.
“What mom?” Mei stared back at her mother who for the past five minutes had been staring at her with a distant look on her face.
“Nothing.” Song replied she was lost in thought. She so desperately wanted a perfect home, but with Mei and Thomas constantly at each other’s necks it was an impossible dream.
Mei sat at the kitchen table and continued to eat her lunch. Just as her nine-year-old sister Araiha Paulard rushed through the front door with her two snobby friends Brittany and Jessica in tow.
“Food is on the table for you, Araiha!” Song yelled, in Chinese as she flew passed her.
“Not hungry mom” Araiha responded heading up the stairs.
“Girls” Song sighed as she headed to the living room to finish her chores.
Mei scrambled for her cell phone; she felt it vibrating in her front pocket.
“Hello?” She answered
“Mei, it’s Cora.”
“Hey Cora…what’s up?”
“What are you doing tonight?”
“Ah nothing, sitting home I guess.”
“No, No, No. There is a big party to night at Zack Gilman’s house; his parents are out of town for the weekend.”
“I don’t know about that…what if they come back or something I got enough problems.” Mei joked.
“Mei come on we’re teenagers were supposed to get in trouble.”
“I don’t know Cora but I guess I can think about it.” Mei sighed.
“Okay I will call you back in two hours to get your answer and it better be yes.” Cora demanded.
“Okay bye.” Mei said, as she hanging up
Mei finished her lunch then headed up stairs to her bedroom locking the door behind her. She flopped down on her full size bed and dosed off to sleep. A few hours later Mei was awakened by the sound of someone trying to unlock her bedroom door. She quickly glanced over at the nightstand alarm clock.
“No” Mei whispered, it was after nine her stepfather had been home for an hour now and mom must have taken Araiha to her gymnastics class, she hasn’t gotten back yet. Mei jumped to her feet grabbed her purse and cell phone. “Wait…I thought…how did this get up here.” Mei thought confused knowing she left them down stairs by the front door. She didn’t have much time to think she could hear something being shoved into the door trying to pry it open. She quickly grabbed her emergency ladder mom insisted everyone have in case of a fire. Mei lifted her bedroom window and threw the ladder over the windowsill, it was already secured to the inside wall. Mei looked back at the door he was still trying to get into her room. Mei could see he was beginning to have success and quickly made her way down the front lawn she over heard her mom and sister entering the front door. They just missed her, Mei pulled out her cell phone as she scurried away from her home being relieved to have escaped. Dark images of Thomas touching her flooded her mind. Mei could not stand another touch from her disgusting stepfather.
Mei quickly called her best friend Cora Pennington. “Cora, Hey girl come get me please?” Mei asked, impatiently.
“Sure girl so you’re coming to the party with me?” Cora questioned excitedly.
“Yea, what ever would keep me away from him?” Mei replied, fighting back tears.
“Oh okay, I’m coming now meet me by GASCO.” Cora responded seriously, realizing her best friend was in trouble.
Mei hung up the phone and started walking to the corner gas station at the end of the block.
Mei began to reflect back about all the pain she was dealing with at home. Her eyes began to tear up as she watched a father and daughter happily holding hands walking past her. She still remembered the walks she took with her father when they lived in Atlanta. Mei wished he could be here, she missed him so much and she felt so alone without him.
Mei made it to the corner store and headed straight to the restroom to wash her face. When she exited the restrooms she decided to buy a bottle of water while she waited for Cora. Mei couldn’t help but glance over at the beers and alcohol over in the fridge. It enticed her, for the first time Mei wanted to go to the party knowing she could get drunk and forget her problems.
Mei got her water and decided to stand outside and wait for Cora. It shouldn’t be much longer, but how long were these thoughts going to plague her. The tears started falling again and she couldn’t stop them. Mei felt like time was running out on her she needed to get away before her stepfather could get to her.
Mei let her long wavy hair out to try to hide her face and the tears. People were beginning to notice; she could see Max’s brand new truck pulling up to the gas station. Mei rolled her eyes the football team guys are so obnoxious and Mei didn’t want them harassing her “Thank God” Mei whispered, under her breath as she turned her head to see Cora pulling up in her Toyota Camry.