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3: Can I Keep You?

Nick woke up to the smell of bacon and eggs and the warmth of toasts wafting from the kitchen. He stretched and yawn before slumping himself down by the dining table. Kevin was pouring them 2 glasses of orange juice before joining him. “I have to be honest Nick, I was looking for Tutty Fruity and hopefully a good carton of milk for breakfast.” Kevin said as he took a sip of the juice. “I didn’t know you do groceries.” “I don’t.” Nick said. “Marlena bought them.” “You know, I don’t appreciate surprises. Should I start worrying about you again or is this girl safe?” Nick took a bite of the bacon and was surprised it was crispy but not burnt. “She’s my cleaning lady, nice woman, like my mother.” Kevin raised his eyebrow. “I mean, she’s about my mother’s age, not that she’s as nice as my mother.” Kevin looked relieved and Nick had to laugh at that. After about a few seconds of silence, Kevin said, “So, you’re into older woman now?” Nick almost choked on his toast. He aimed the remaining of the triangle toast at Kevin, which landed perfectly on Kevin’s plate. “You suck.” “I know.” Kevin smiled. Nick rolled his eyes and started taking a bite of his egg. It was then that Nick stopped eating and looked at Kevin, until the man felt uncomfortable under his stares. “What’s wrong?” Kevin frowned. “Can I keep you?” Kevin rolled his eyes and threw the piece of toast back to Nick. “Get yourself a wife Nick, or better still, learn to cook something.” “I know how to cook.” “Dumping stuff into that oven of yours is not cooking.” “I get by.” Nick said. “Need to start eating healthy Nicky…don’t wait till it’s too late.” Nick started stabbing at his egg. “You’re not gonna give me one of your lectures are you Kev? Please don’t start with the smoking thing too.” Kevin finished his juice and burped, which wasn’t something he’d be surprised about. “I’m not; we have to start cleaning up and get the hell out.” “So…” Nick lingered, now playing with the melted yolk of the egg. “You’re gonna do it right?” “I promised you I would, didn’t I? If you behave, I’ll even let you read my report.” Nick snickered. “Like I wanna sit there and read ten pages of your boring report! Please Kev, I’m not that bored.” “It won’t be ten pages you drama queen.” Kevin teased. “But it’ll still be boring I bet.” - Nick tried to be oblivious to the stares that the entire police department seemed to be giving them as they waited for an officer to serve them. He wondered if Kevin noticed that little smirk the officer at the front desk gave when Kevin had told him he wanted to report a theft. Someone robbed you? The officer had asked, sounding surprised. Yes, Kevin replied short, I’d like to make a report about it. It felt like forever, just waiting there doing nothing. Kevin looked calm, just staring ahead and observing the busy scene in front of him. Nick on the other hand, was getting claustrophobic. He ended up fishing out his cell phone and started playing a game of Bejeweled. Officer Randy greeted them soon after and they were brought into a room that was covered in blinds. “I figured you’d feel much comfortable here than out there.” Officer Randy said, smiling. Nick figured the man could be around his father’s age although Randy was shorter, with auburn colored hair and a hint of a pouch belly. “Thank you, we appreciate that.” Kevin smiled. Randy sat facing them from across the table. “Where were you robbed Mr. Richardson?” “Kevin, please.” Kevin said. “At the parking lot near the ATM machine just outside Dean’s Café. “Oh? And when was this?” “Last night…about 9.” “Why didn’t you make a report straight away?” Nick waited for an answer, he knew Kevin was pausing for a good reason. He was about to tell Kevin that he could wait outside if it’d make him feel better but Kevin had stopped pausing. “I was hesitant…I figured I’m still alive and well, he only got a hundred in cash and some small change.” “What changed then?” Kevin smiled. “This kid over here, he made me promise to make a report.” “I just don’t want the guy to attack someone else.” Nick explained. “I don’t really mind he got a black eye out of it, he can handle that.” “Isn’t he nice?” Kevin joked. Randy laughed and nodded his head. “Ok well Kevin, I’ll need your driver’s license for record purposes and while I’m gone, I need you to write a detailed report of what happened. As detailed as you can remember.” Kevin gave him his driver’s license and once Randy left the room, Kevin held the form in his hands and stared at it for the longest time. “What are you doing?” Nick asked. “Reading.” “You might want to read and fill it in at the same time. It’s faster that way.” “Can’t rush stuff like these.” Nick sank back into his seat. He watched as Kevin finally let out a soft sigh and proceeded to fill the form and starting his report. Everything that is Kevin looked calm and concentrated. He wasn’t even trembling as the memories came back and he translated them into words. Nick remembered the time he was told to fill such forms. Right after he was arrested and released, they requested him to come to the police station for an official report. They told him if he would go as a willing party, they’d let him off easy. Nothing was easy though, that he learnt as he entered the headquarters. He was charged for resisting arrest from a police officer and as he wrote his particulars down, he remembered trembling so much that some of the particulars doesn’t seem to make sense even to him. “This is getting interesting Nick, you sure you don’t wanna read it when I’m done?” “What?” Kevin turned to look at him, a smile playing on his lips. “You were really out, weren’t you? Didn’t even hear a word that I said.” “Sure I do.” “Yeah? So what did I say?” “I don’t know. You gotta speak out louder Kev, you always love to mumble stuff.” “I said, I can’t remember shit.” Nick laughed nervously. “But you have excellent memory.” “I know. I mean, I know what happened, but I can’t remember how he looked like.” “Well, at least you remember it’s a he, which is a good thing. Imagine if it’s a she and you got that black eye.” “She could be a black belt at Karate though, that’d be excusable for the black eye right?” Nick laughed and let Kevin continue his report. “Will it help though?” Nick asked. “Hmmm?” Kevin asked, this time not turning around to look at him. “Will it help if you remember how he looks.” “Nope.” Kevin said, still writing. “I don’t expect to get my money back, but this is the right thing to do. You’re right, he could hurt somebody else.” Officer Randy came back right at that moment, along with a plain clothed officer whom Nick thought looked like those typical FBI agents he saw on television. “Kevin, I’m Mr. Weiss, Chief Inspector.” Kevin shake his hand and introduced Nick to him. “This is my brother, Nick.” Nick was surprised at how firm his handshake was. “I heard you were robbed last night, at the carpark near Dean’s Café?” “Yes, that’s a jist of it.” “Randy thought it sound familiar and consulted in me and I’m glad he brought it to my attention because we might need your help.” “My help?” Kevin asked, confused. “You said you were robbed at about 9 last night?” “Yes.” “This morning we received a call that a young woman was killed at the exact same car park you were attacked. Our forensic report came back and stated time of death to be about 9pm. You understand now that you could prove to be very helpful in our investigation.” “I was alone when he robbed me, I know because I yelled for help.” Kevin said. Nick didn’t even dare to look at Kevin, to see fear in the one person he had always looked for when he needed someone strong to tell him that he’ll be okay. This isn’t happening he thought. Kevin don’t yell for help. Kevin comes to help. That’s just…Kevin.