Thanks for the input 8] I'll try not to fail at posting these! haha <3
Sleeping never came easy to me. I'd carefully monitor every last sound around me. It would get to the point that I could even hear spiders scuttling around the ground—and I'd never want to sleep for fear that anything could happen at anytime. I was use to sleeping out in the open—where anyone could come by and do anything.
In Mari's house, it was totally different. I wasn't sleeping on cold concrete, and the most distracting noises came from the fridge, furnace, and the rare car that'd pass by outside. None of those things held any potential danger to me. Mari had allowed me to sleep anywhere I wanted in the house, and for the most part, the couch was my favorite place to curl up. She gave me a thick blanket to wrap myself up in—and for the past two nights of my stay, I had never slept better in my life.
I stared at the ceiling, recapping for well over the fifteenth time—everything that had happened over the past two days. I felt like I was reborn into a world that had always been above me—one that I can finally see in every sense of the word. It was my thoughts on this that eventually lulled me into an easy sleep.
“Rise and shine Tututu!” Mari's voice jarred me awake and I squinted against the sun that leaked through the living room window into my face.
“I want to make some french toast,” She continued from the kitchen without actually checking to see if I had woken up, “Buuut I don't have enough bread—and I don't really feel like going out there right now.”
I sat up and rubbed my eyes, “I'll go!”
Mari peered back with a generous smile into the living room from behind a wall that separated it from the kitchen, “I knew you'd want to—get dressed then, take a quick shower, and what ever. I'll give you the money and you can run to the little strip mall that's just down a couple blocks for me.” I scampered off to do so and Mari continued to talk, “I've got work tonight, so you'll have the place to yourself. I hope you don't mind entertaining yourself this evening.”
Not at all—I had been 'entertaining myself' for the past nineteen years of my life. Without actually replying to her, I ran myself a hot shower. The warm water massaged my back and melted away my current thoughts. I loved being able to take showers.
I made my shower short, towel dried my hair, and threw on a pair of blue jeans and a warm, green hoodie. As I walked back into the kitchen, Mari handed me the morning news paper, “You are one lucky boy, read the front page—here!” She pointed to a headline and begun to read it out loud to me. My heart sunk.
"26 Muts Euthanized for Disobedience by Drug Lord
The owner of thirty muts put twenty six of them to death Sunday night after every last one of them escaped just the day before. Arman Harold, 46 told press, “They took off and I didn't know until the next morning. I had a party search for them. We caught most of them, but four are still out there. I'd like to have them back as well so I can deal with them properly.”
Police later took Harold into custody after 400 kilos of illegal opiates were found in his house.
Read the whole story on page 13A."
Twenty-six of them put to death? Twenty-six? A large lump had swelled up in my throat—and it became incredibly difficult to swallow. I hadn't even known that kind of thing was allowed—being put to death for—disobedience. It was so petty! They had just gotten a taste of freedom, only to have that and their lives ripped away from them. There was an extreme sense of injustice that washed over me—and I could only meet it with a saddened emotion. I tossed the paper onto the table—feeling sick that there was absolutely nothing I could do about the situation I had just read.
“Crazy, huh?” Mari didn't seem shaken at all, “You're one of four who wasn't caught! And now he's in jail for having drugs—so you'll never be caught! It's great, isn't it?”
I took a deep breath, “Yeah, it's awesome.” I don't think she understood—even if I had never seen any one of them, I felt I had some kind of connection to them—they offered a sense of security while I was there. Security in that I was never alone.
“Here Tu, this is ten dollars—it's more than enough for bread. You can pick something up for yourself as well!” She handed me the bill and I stuffed it in my pocket. As I headed out the door, she hollered after me, “Be quick!”
The sunny weather brought up my mood slightly, but I couldn't keep myself from mulling over what had happened to those twenty-six muts. Somehow, I felt like I had some responsibility over the outcome—and that only made me feel worse. It was a pang of guilt that was probably very uncalled for.
I had just made it to the strip mall—and was headed to the store, furrowing with my head stuck on that news article when someone called out to me, “Hey! Heey! You—with the ears!” The voice had humor—and when I turned to see where it was coming from, I saw him waving me over from the doorway of a small music store.
His hair was so blond, I thought it was white, and he has a bit of sparse stubble growing on his chin. But the first thing I actually noticed—were his ears. He was a mut. He was dressed about as well as me too.
The second thing I noticed were the flowers he had tucked behind those ears...I didn't know what to think of that...
My eyebrows rose, intrigued—and I couldn't help but to just walk over and say hi back, “Were you—calling at me?”
He had a cheeky grin, “I don't see anyone else with with ears worth mentioning. Except me—of course! But really, why would I be calling at myself?” He gave a chuckle and extended his hand, “It's not often I see brothers or sisters dressed like you—my name is Cougen.” His voice was a lot deeper than mine—but the accent caused by his speech impediment seemed slightly stronger.
I took his hand, “Turu.”
He cocked an eyebrow, “We always get the weird-ass names don't we?”
“No worries! Come inside the store, I want to know your story!” He disappeared into the shop.
I fidgeted, “I kinda need to go get--” I paused and sighed before following him.
There were instruments all over the place. Guitars and violins hung on the walls, and sat on the floor in stands, and two drum kits and one piano sat on their own pedestals. I was rather fascinated, “Who owns this place?”
Cougen pulled up two chairs, “I do! Sit down, lets chat! I'm interested here—I don't see many free muts around!”
With slight hesitation, I sat down, “I don't really have time though—I need to get something for someone at home.”
“Someone at home? Family?”
“Not really...” I shifted uncomfortably in my chair.
Cougen leaned forward, “You're not owned by anyone, are you?”
I furrowed my eyebrows—I felt like I was in a pressing interview or something. It was very uncomfortable, “No—we just kind of found each other recently.”
He grinned at me, “Oh, how nice! Partnership is always great.” He stared at me for a few seconds before sitting back, “Did you read the news this morning? About the twenty-six muts?”
The corners of my mouth twitched, “Yeah.” Cougen continued to stare at me—with his eyebrows slowly creeping upwards as if he were expecting me to say more. I did, “I was one of the four who--”
Cougen gave a sudden, loud clap in conclusive enthusiasm, “Ha! I knew it! I had a sense that you had some part in that! Cool! Well—not cool—kind of sucks, actually.”
I shuffled my feet, “It's been the biggest damper of my day. I feel awful about it.”
“You shouldn't.” He shook his head with a serious frown, “It's not your fault in the least. I mean, it blows that you must have known all those guys forever—and probably would have wished them the best...But feeling bad about these things doesn't get anything done about it. Chin up—and start thinking about how you can rectify the situation. The only people who can start working towards any kind of justice towards this type of thing—is us. No one else is going to come along and do it for us.” He stopped to think for a second before asking me, “Do you like music?”
“Of course you do! Who doesn't?” He stood up, “Hold on a second--” He walked into the back room and came back out with a four stringed guitar, “Thiiiis--” He set it down on my lap, “is a bass guitar. It's a nice one, too.” I nodded slowly with a slight cynicism towards the notion that he was probably trying to sell me something—but he continued, “I have a very good feeling about you, Turu—I think you need an instrument. You can think of it as your weapon—your mighty sword if you want. Maybe you can bring justice with it!”
My expression dropped—and my sudden lack of enthusiasm was so hard to hide, I didn't even bother to, “I have no cash for this.”
Cougen looked put off, “Did I ask for cash? No—I don't think so. If you ever want to pay me back for this, you can—when you have the money to spare. Right now, I'm just trusting you to do something great with this. If you don't want to, you never have to come by this store ever again—but honestly, I'd like it if you did. Not as a customer or anything—just as a friend...Some one like me to talk to.”
I took a deep breath and furrowed my eyebrows in confusion—but as my fingers wrapped around the neck of the guitar, I exhaled with a sudden sense of comfort. I looked up at him, “Okay—Maybe I will come back. I need someone to teach me how to play this thing anyways.”
Cougen's face lit up, “Awesome! Come by when ever—maybe we can set up a schedule for lessons and stuff! This could be great!” He ran into the back again, “Here--” he bounded back with a bag case for the bass, “You'll want to carry it in this when ever you go somewhere with it.” He took the guitar from me and slipped it into the case, “I won't hold you any longer.” He took my hand to shake again, “Can't wait to hear from you again, Turu!”
I grabbed the guitar and wore the strap of the case over my shoulder, “What time is this place open until?”
Cougen shifted his weight from one foot to the other, “Ten p.m.”
I opened the door out of the store, “Maybe I'll come by later this evening.” I waved at him, “Thanks for the instrument!” He just grinned after me as I left the store.
Omg... XD I just had to edit the most awful plot inconsistency.
Anyways, enter Cougen. I love him <3