“That’s why I’ll protect all of you.”
Enteng’s voice rang. Nobody said anything. Enang bit her lower lip until it bled.
She didn’t deserve this.
Enang stepped out of the bathroom and covered her face. It’s dry, so it should be fine. No one should see her like this. She should not be bothered by this. They have nothing compared to her. That old man was insane. The other was borderline retarded, and the last one was a scummy piece of shit that screamed the plot of a movie in his little evil speech. She shouldn’t be bothered by this at all.
As long as they’re alive... She should be happy as long as they’re alive. There’s nothing more and nothing less than she should think about.
She should’ve at least practiced what she should say in the bathroom. She wasn’t even sure they could see that she’d been crying. There were no mirrors in the bathroom. Why were there no mirrors in the bathroom? Ghosts weren’t even real, and there’s nothing they could do to a young man. She shouldn’t even think about this.
But this was easy.
She could do this.
There’s nothing that could stop her.
She took her steps carefully. She ran the words in her brain, in her mental image, to say congratulations in the most uninterested manner ever. She’s prepared to do so. It’s the best part because no one had to get hurt. She would just congratulate them. No hard feelings. No confessions. No more speaking of things that should be left unsaid, like Enteng being a retarded bastard, Uncle being a creepy motherfucker, or Joey being a piece of shit. George was cute though. She thought about the cactus. Why was she talking about the cactus?
But she calmed herself down.
Nothing could stop her.
That’s right. Nothing could stop her, except for the leg of the table that rammed her little toe so hard everyone collectively said oof.
Enang screamed some unholy curse words that could even make most heavy metal vocalists shy away. Even the gates of hell trembled to the pitch that rang at her throat.
She fell to her knees and touched her toe, and when she looked up, she found everyone looking at her. The side characters could go to hell. But Enteng was there with his concerned glare. Joey was not too far, raising his brows as he looked at her, still a bit worried. It was that painful and he could understand that. George was still on the table, a bit hurt but was trying to comfort her with this green glow of care. And Uncle looked like a sad saggy amalgamation of used balloons that caused flood during this storm of emotions. She froze. There was no way she could control it. Her tears overflowed once more.
They were fine.
They were alive.
It might be a stretch but they were happy to see her.
None of them were laughing.
Enteng’s brows softened. Joey faced her directly. Uncle patted her head once again. And George was giving her a flying kiss to kill the pain burning her toe, as she imagined. That’s what cute prickly plants do. They kiss your boo-boos.
“You all look ridiculous.”
She pulled up a smile, but it wavered. Her breaths trembled. She narrowed her brows, sniffed, and stiffened her face. Tears lined her cheeks, so she forced herself to grin.
“You all look so terrible…”
She wiped her face.
She didn’t deserve this.
“My toe fucking hurts. The toilet smells so shitty. They even have a ghost in there.”
“Right?” Uncle smiled at everyone and they started raising brows at him.
Enang grimaced. “Let’s get the hell out of here and find a better place to stay.”
That’s why she would protect them too.
In her very own way.