At twenty past two in the morning I was surprised to find that the room we were staying in was still fairly lit. I could still make out the mess that we had to manoeuver, courtesy of the previous tenants, in order to get to the beds. Jack, as I was by now inclined to call him, stood watching warily at the door as I crashed onto one of the bed. “Don’t just stand there get your ass in there and shut the door.” Silver was still hanging around in the hall messing around with the key we received from reception. Her push must have been unexpected as Jack stumbled, landing in the middle of the floor before my bed. His pleading eyes looked up at my bored ones. I was getting used to her behaviour and although it still intrigued me how she veered between caring and hating I wasn’t going to waste my energy on this useless life form. Nope it was far easier to get on her nerves by not helping him. His movements were slow as he got to his feet again, at her request, keeping his eyes lowered submissively to the ground. “What are you too good to look at us now?”
“Leave him alone Sam.” Her look communicated boredom as she forced him to look up at her. “What’s your name?”
“Whatever you want it to be mam.” I couldn’t resist, the moment seemed perfect.
“Why not just call him Jack?” What can I say sleep deprivation brings out the worst in me. The tension tightened in the room as I lay smirking at her. From the corner of my eye I could see him shacking slightly.
“I didn’t ask what you want to call him. I want his name.” Before I could counter again he seemed to gather up his courage as she stood staring at him, waiting for his hesitant answer. “Jake is nice.” I couldn’t resist the smile that slipped across my face at her agitation. And yet again he spoiled my fun by asking if it would please her to call him Jake. She was frustrated, that much was sure as she ran her hand through her slightly tangled hair for the umpteenth time that night, sighing deeply. “Fine, just because I can’t recall your real name.” Looking back at him I could see the fear that he tried to hide and a thought struck me. Was there ever a moment when she felt fear, like Jake, like me… like Anora? She reached out to comfort him as he instinctively flinched at her touch. Must be hard to know you scare him to death even when you’re trying to be nice. “Try to get some sleep.” Her smile was soft as he hesitantly looked over at the empty bed across the room. Her laughter was sweet for once not mocking or sarcastic just free as if she didn’t have a care in the world. “I’d sleep if I were you. Don’t know when next you might get the privilege of sleep.”
Lying awake only to watch Silver typing away on her computer for half the night while Jake slept wasn’t exactly the most fun I’ve had but it was worth it. The constant fidgeting of Jake of to my left finally demanded my attention at about quarter to four that morning. It seemed her typing kept him awake as he self-consciously sat fidgeting looking nervously at his new surroundings. “You’re not confined to that three-by-two block you know.” The mocking under tone of her words didn’t escape me as my heart rate slowly returned to normal. My attention was divided now, how on earth did she known that he was squirming around? I didn’t even hear him. Hesitating a little he seemed to be debating whether or not to get up and walk about the room. She was tense for some reason her smile, which I was watching in the reflection of her computer screen, faltered to a scowl. His hands resting sympathetically on her shoulders as his fingers danced around her stiffening muscles. Her hands hovered above her keyboard as she stared blankly ahead of her before she forced herself to face him. “You should get some sleep. I’m going to be busy for a while yet.” His eyes seemed unsure of what he did wrong yet I knew. I instinctively knew. The way she looked at him when he wasn’t looking at her… it was a look filled with pure, unmistakable sorrow and pain. He was far too close to the truth for her to handle. “May I sit here with you? You may need something later on.” It was her turn to hesitate before she consented only to later help him back to bed.