My Brother's Best Friend

Jasmin Smith is no one special to the eyes of the public. A normal pretty barmaid at a pub, a talent for singing and a flat in London. But not too long ago, Jasmin received some horrible news. Her twin brother, her other half, James has passed on, and she is now alone.
Jasmin and James are originally from Holmes Chapel, and James's best friend was no other than Harry Styles. The two boys lost touch when Harry started getting whirled around in the famous life, but even after all the time that has passed, Harry is devastated at the news of James passing away. When he and Jasmin meet by chance, he makes it his mission to help her recover after the great loss she has suffered, and perhaps recover himself with her help. He feels it is his duty towards James to protect and shelter her, but never did he expect that those feelings should grow much stronger than that.

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34. Chapter 31

It was Friday when I woke up, and my shift was a late one, a singing shift. That meant that my calendar was clear until 8, leaving me with plenty of time to get things done.

Kristian gathered a few friends, and even I was almost scared of them when they showed up. We left Maria at the flat with a note since she was still sleeping on the couch. I tucked her blanket around her a little tighter and kissed her forehead. I’d missed her so much. Her eyebrows were pulled down into a frown, like she was puzzled over something in her dream. My gaze was full of affection, and I realized that though entering a kind of motherhood would mean a lot of sacrifices, it would also mean waking up every day to take care of this little girl that I loved so dearly. Explaining to her what her period is, helping her with homework, making sure she ate properly and sorting out her school problems. That life held a sudden appeal, and my smile broadened. I left the room, still grinning, to go do my first chore as a guardian, even if it wasn’t official yet.

 

The address was easy to find, in Brixton, a shabby looking building, in a subdivision that looked like every single building, swing set and bench was ready to get torn down. On every corner, hooded figures loomed, with cigarettes sticking out of the shadows that lay over their faces. Walking past one of these groups, I noticed how the smoke did not smell like normal cigarette smoke at all, but rather like the sickly heavy and sweetish smoke of hash. I wondered how many of them were just consumers, and how many earned a living from these euphoria-inducing leaves.

I stood in front of the four burly looking guys, all of which had crossed their arms across their chests and flexed their muscles, as I brought up my hand and knocked, loudly, five times. When there was no immediate reply, I knocked harder, and faster, seven times.

There was a grumbled reply from behind the door of “Alright alright! Don’t knock the place down now!” in the thickest cockney accent I’ve ever had the misfortune of hearing.

A bald man with wrinkles on his face and bags under his eyes opened the door in an ill-fitting white tanktop with mysterious stains on it, and his dirty, blue checked boxers. An angry look passed over his face when he recognized me form court.

“You. Is that li’ell sneak with you?” He growled and stepped forward into the hallway. He stopped when he saw the guys behind me and gave me another infuriated glare.

“Hello,” I said sweetly. “I believe you have a few things that Maria needs. We’re here to collect them. I suggest you keep out of the way.” At that, I heard one of the guys crack his knuckles, and my grin grew as I realized I might as well be in a bad action movie.

I saw Denny’s mouth open, as if he was about to protest, but he was silenced by the second glance he dared take at the threatening figures of the three men behind me. He stepped aside with a few mumbled insults, curses and complaints. We hurriedly stepped inside, carrying any and all bags, duffels and suitcases we’d been able to find in Kristian’s flat.

As we went about the flat filling the bags with all things girly, I began to notice just how poorly Maria must’ve lived. Her room was separated from the living room, only by big, dirty pieces of cardboard, her bed was too small, her clothes were in a pitiful state, and her bear, her beloved bear, was missing an eye.

After thirty minutes, we were done. While the guys began to pick up bags, I closed the distance between Denny and I in five big strides and pointed my finger at his face.

“If you even as much as think about working against me in court, so help me God I will come back and I will ruin you. I will make sure that you never walk again, and I will not hesitate to burn this place down.” I hissed through clenched teeth. I turned around and bent down to pick a duffel bag of clothes up, but I was stopped by the click of the safety on a gun being removed.

“Did you really think I was going to let you do this?” He said slowly, his voice suddenly completely ridden of cockney. “Did you really believe it would be that easy?”

I slowly turned around and saw him holding up a pistol, glistening in the sparse light that had managed to creep through the drawn curtains. It was pointed straight at my head, and not a quiver, not a tremor, not the slightest shake was present in his hand as he held out the gun. I wondered, in my moment of panic, if he had done it before. Killed someone. I wouldn’t be surprised. It was a wonder how he had managed to get custody in the first place.

“Look, you obviously don’t want the girl any-“ I heard Kristian begin.

“Kristian don’t.” I barked. Taunting him wasn’t helping me. My mind was churning to an almost painful degree as I tried to figure out a way to get out of this situation.

“Would it really make any difference?” I heard myself ask, feeling oddly detached from my own body. “She’s not coming back either way. Do you even want her to come back? Is it really worth getting my blood on your hands for?”

“I can’t go to court again.” He chuckled, a maniac’s chuckle, the sound of someone who should have gotten help years ago, and in a strange split of a second, I pitied him. But then my gaze fixed on the gun again, and any feeling that was not fear vanished.

“They’ll never let me out. I’ll go back inside, and they’ll never let me out again.” He said, and waved the gun a little.

“There are other ways. You can just remove the restraining order and pass her on to me. That way you won’t get in trouble.” I said, desperately trying to reason with him.

“You’re clever.” He said and stepped closer. “But so am I. If I let you go now, your first stop on the way home is going to be the police station.”

“I give you my word.” I lied fluently, coming to the conclusion that it was adrenaline that was making me keep talking.

“Your word is worth nothing to me.” He sneered, so close now that he was pressing the mouth of the gun into the side of my head.

“What can I do to persuade you?”

“There’s nothing you can do.” He hissed in my ear.

There was a loud bang, and a bullet lodged itself in the wall beside the door.

One of Kristian’s friends, Andy, had tackled Denny, sending them both to the floor. The gun fell out of Denny’s hand, and one of the other guys took it and kicked it under the sofa. Meanwhile, Andy had gotten Denny under control, and one of the guys sent a powerful kick to his stomach before we they all ran like mad. I stood frozen for another few seconds before someone grabbed my hand and pulled me out.

 

Already on the ride home, I’d made a decision not to tell Maria. Guilt trips were not going to get us anywhere, and I was 100% sure that she would feel guilty about this. It was better if she didn’t know.

She was watching the telly when we walked in the door and threw her bags onto the ground. A grin spread over her little face, and I slowly pulled the bear out of one of the bags.

She ran to it and clutched it for dear life.

Worth it, I thought.

 

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