I sat through school all day in anxious anticipation. The thought of going to Jeremy’s house filled me with exitement. He must have really trusted me in order to tell me where he lived. When the bell rang, I grabbed my things and ran out of the school building. I hurried home to drop off my things. After that, I set out for Jeremy’s house.
Even though I had never been to his house before, I had made deliveries in that area and knew it pretty well. It wasn’t long before I was standing in front of a small two story house that was covered in white siding. There was a small porch on the front of the house. The door was blood red and, oddly enough, the shutters were navy blue. It looked like a giant tribute to the Fourth of July or something.
In my time, I have walked up to strange houses that were inhabited by dangerous drug addicts, with no problem. Walking up to the house of Jeremy Marlais was something completely different.
Each step felt like it took me nowhere. That red door semed to stay permanently out of reach. Then suddenly, it was right there. The small brass doorbell stared at me ominously, yet dared me to press it. Eventually, I got up enough courage to press the little button. I almost laughed at myself for my foolishness. What did I expect? For the doorbell to make an deep gonging sound and the door to open of its own accord, as lightning flashes illuminated the dark inside of the house? A normal doorbell, a normal door, a normal house, that’s all there was. My nervousness was irrational, nothing was going to happen.
When the door did open, I nearly had a heart attack. I had heard no one come up behind the door to open it and the inside of the house was dark. Whoever had opened the door was lurking behind it and carefully staying out of the sunlight from outside. When I went inside, the door closed behind me and it took my eyes a few moments to adjust to the darkness. A minute later I became aware of the person standing two feet from me. They stood there, perfectly still, and watched me as my pupils dilated.
The person took my hand and led me to the kitchen. They gestured for me to have a seat at the table, which I did, and then went over to the refrigerator and opened it. The light from the inside of the refrigerator fell on their face. It was Jeremy except he looked like...a girl. His long brown hair fell around his shoulders, instead of being tied back or stuffed under a hat as usual. He was wearing heavy purple eyeliner, which wasn’t unusual seeing as he always wore eye makeup, it just wasn’t usually purple. To be honest, he didn’t look all that different. He was wearing skinny jeans and a black shirt that was cut to show off a little bit of his more female assets. I was stunned. I had never considered what he had to do to hide his breasts.
“If you’re wondering how I hide them, I find duct tape works rather well.”
“Yeah, I was kind of wondering, actually. I hope you’re not offended.”
“Nope, I’m not. It’s just one of those things I could understand you wondering about.”
We each became lost in our own thoughts, and neither of us said anything for a while. Then sudenly, Jeremy asked me, “Do you want something to eat?” I smiled and said that I would, I really like food. He proceeded to pull a frying pan out from one of the cabinets, put oil in it, and turn on the stove. I looked at him in shock and said, “Well you don’t need to get fancy. I would have been happy just eating crackers.” Jeremy turned from what he was doing and laughed. “Oh, I’m not doing this for you. I haven’t eaten lunch yet and the cafeteria food at my school could kill you. I figured if I was going to make something for myself, I should be polite and offer you some too.” As usual, his calm logic was infallible. I watched as he peeled and cut up potatoes and began to fry them. When they were done, he took some leftover chicken from the refrigerator and stuck it in the microwave, then served up the potatoes. The microwave beeped and Jeremy took out the chicken and placed it in the middle of the kitchen table and handed me a plate.
“Hey, do you have ketchup?”
“Mmhmm. It’s in the fridge.”
I got up and went on a quest for ketchup, which was easily found. When I returned to the table, I got a piece of chicken and covered it with ketchup. The look on Jeremy’s face bespoke awe at what I was doing. He looked at me funny for a little while before saying, “I thought you were getting it for the potatoes, I’ve never seen anyone put ketchup on chicken before.” Before I could come up with a reply, the front door opened, and a woman came in. She was middle-aged, with mousy brown hair and was carrying a large tote bag. The woman looked at me, then at Jeremy, and said “Aimi, why don’t you introduce me to your friend? I’ve never met her before...and is she putting ketchup on her chicken?”