Belonging to Lust

Chapter 8: Restless

Heath returned home later that evening, expecting to see Yovela standing at the door waiting for him when he pulled into the driveway. She wasn’t there, the porch was empty. Heath’s brow furrowed in concern as his hands tighten on the steering wheel.

Don’t worry, she probably inside making dinner, Heath began to assure himself. All day at work he’d been waiting for a call, or an email from Yovela that would inform that she was safely back at home waiting for him. As the clock above his desk began to tick away and he never got either one, he began to worry even more. What if Yovela wasn’t going to return home like he said before? What if she just left them for good without a second thought, or worse, got kidnapped!?

“NO! I can’t think that way. We’re overreacting over nothing. Yovela is probably in the kitchen making dinner, that’s it, end of story.” Heath shouted to himself, hoping to banish any more ludicrous thoughts from his focus. The only thing he cared about was heading inside and giving Yovela a stern talking to for scaring both him and Zaiyia the way she did right before giving her the biggest hug of her life.

Heath got out of the car and slammed the door shut. Fiddling with his keys as he walked along the pathway to the front poor, Heath pressed the lock button on his car controller. The car horn beeped once to assure him that it had just been locked. Heath unlocked the front door and stepped into his house that smelled like delicious dinner was being cooked in the kitchen. The scent calmed his anxiety and made his stomach growl at the same time. Yovela was obviously in the kitchen making dinner, just like he predicted before. In that case, Heath hurried to the kitchen, expecting to see his girlfriend slaving over a bountiful dinner. But when he turned his head, he didn’t see Yovela standing over the stove. Instead, he saw Zaiyia stirring the heated pots and pans while listening to her iPod, bobbing her head to the music and too occupied to notice him. Heath placed his lunch pail on the counter before stepping out of the kitchen to check the rest of the house for Yovela. When he couldn’t find her, he returned back to the kitchen to walk across the room and poke his head out the back door. Zaiyia looked up from her stirring to see Heath searching for something in the backyard. She placed a hand over her scared heart before pulling her ear buds out of her ears.

“Yovela!” Heath called outside, expecting her to answer him from somewhere in the backyard, but she didn’t. Zaiyia answered him instead.

“She’s not here.” She informed him as she placed her ipod on the counter. She expected him to have a lot of questions about what was going on, and unfortunately, Zaiyia was the only one here to answer them. Even though her mother was gone, Zaiyia decided to keep up with the act solo to successfully ensure a place in his home. If she came clan with the truth about her mother and herself, what would he do then? Most likely feel betrayed and kick her little ass out of his house for good. Zaiyia didn’t want to lie to him, but she also had to look out for herself until her selfish mother returned for her so until then, she would have to lie.

Heath turned around with a raised eyebrow as he asked with alarm in his voice. “What do you mean she’s not here? Was she not here when you got off the bus?”

Zaiyia merely shook her head as she fixed them both a plate of dinner.

Heath ran a hand through his hair as he slid closed the back door. He was worried, extremely worried. For a moment he wasn’t sure what he should do, until it came to him. “You go ahead and eat dinner, and when you’re finished go to your room and start on your homework. I’m going to call the police.”

Zaiyia’s eye widen as her head snapped in his direction. “WHAT!? NO!”

Heath stopped on his way to the living room and gave her a puzzled look. “What do you mean, no? Your mother is missing, Zaiyia. Trust me, this isn’t like her to disappear like this. She always makes sure that somebody knows where she is, and right now neither of us know what the hell happen to her. Of course, I’m going to call the police. She could be in serious danger, don’t you understand that?”

Zaiyia closed her eyes and let out a sigh. She had to be careful now of what she says to him. He can’t know the truth, and the cops can’t come running to the rescue. She would have to explain herself to him, and be both cautious and focused at what comes out of her mouth. “Yov-Mother isn’t in any danger. She just…left.”

Heath stepped closer to her and crossed his arms over his chest as he stared down at her suspiciously. Zaiyia knew something, he could see it in her eyes. “What the hell are you on about, Zaiyia?”

Zaiyia bit her lip before looking between their dinner and the set kitchen table. She was starving, and so was he. “Please, can you have a seat, Heath? We’re both hungry and can talk about this over dinner. I’ll tell you as much as I know, I promise.”

Heath’s eyes narrowed as he towered over her small stature, but he listened and took a seat in his usual spot. Zaiyia exhaled a breath she was holding back and set both of their plates on the table before also taking a seat. She sat at the end of the table while he sat on the side with only a chair between them.

Zaiyia got started as she cut a piece of chicken. “When I was…living with my aunt, she told me that when life got too normal or boring for my mother, that she tends to…get up…and leave.”

Heath was lost, and his expression clearly showed it. He watched Zaiyia eat her food and sip her drink while trying to register what she was saying. “Get up and leave? As in…she would just willingly disappear without a trace?”

Zaiyia nodded, putting down her glass.

Heath shook his head and forked up some cooked vegetables mixed with a light sauce. “No, no that doesn’t sound like Yovela. Why would she just up and leave without a word to anyone? Why would she put the people that care about her through something as scary as disappearing without so much as a word?”

Zaiyia lightly shrugged. “My aunt would say all the time that my mother was the most restless person that anyone could ever meet. She has to…change the surroundings and people around her every once in a while. This is how she does it, by leaving.”

Heath sighed as he stuck the fork in his mouth and pulled the vegetables off. The flavor was out of this world and almost had him groaning. He never had delicious cooked vegetables like these before, even from her mother. Oh wow, is she a better cook than her mother, Heath wondered to himself before brushing it off to get back to more important things. “Okay…so where does she usually go.”

“Nobody knows. The closest person to her wouldn’t even know. She just does what she pleases. Whenever she returns she never really explains where she was or any of the towns she passed along the way. Sure, she had stories but she never used any real names or places. She’s very secretive and private in that way.”

“So what you’re telling is that she’s done this before?”

Zaiyai nodded, halfway done with her plate. Heath had already gobbled it down.

“Okay…what’s the longest she’s been gone?”

Zaiyia’s shoulders slumped. “Eight months…from what I’ve been told, of course.”

Heath exhaled sharply as he leaned back in his chair and stared at his empty plate. He couldn’t hide the hurt on his face, not even from Zaiyia who came right over to sit beside him and place her hand over his. She hated her mother for hurting Heath in this way. He didn’t deserve the pain caused by her irresponsible mother.

He shook his head in denial. “I don’t understand. What did I do wrong, Zaiyia?”

Zaiyia leaned closer to him for comfort. “Don’t, Heath. Don’t do that to yourself. It wouldn’t have mattered if you were poor, or rich, evil or good. Either way, she would have left you. In the end, she always leave.”

Heath shook his head again and looked her in the eye. “But why would she leave you? She hasn’t seen you since you were five years old! She’s used to go on and on about how much she missed you and wished she had you back. You’re finally here now, and she just up and leaves!?”

Zaiyia had to look away from him when he said that. “I-I don’t know. I can’t tell you why myself.”

Heath let out a groan and beneath his breath mumbled. “What the hell am I supposed to do with you?”

Zaiyia heard him loud and clear and couldn’t lie that his comment hurt her. In the many times she found herself in this similar situation, she was always seen as some burden on her daddy’s shoulders and that made perfect sense to her as she got older. But now, hearing that from Heath…she’s never felt more of a burden until now. A nuisance, if you will. Zaiyia didn’t say anything else as she got up from the table and left out the back door without looking back. Once outside, she ran for the guest house, and up the stairs into her room. She threw herself onto her bed and allowed only a few tears to drip from her eyes, before holding them back completely.

Only one question kept repeating itself in her mind. Whats goings to happen to me, now?
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Zaiyia