Josh and Luna went out for a short drive for a late night snack and they were already heading home. Luna’s drumming her fingers along with the music.
“When’s Scarlett going home?”
“She said she’d be home this weekend. But no Scarlett yet. That girl needs a break.”
Her phone rings and Maru’s name appears on the screen. She swiped immediately.
“Please tell me you’re not drunk.”
Josh knot his eyebrows. This is a new type of conversation he encountered between Maru and Luna.
“I’m not home!”. She argued trying to tone down her voice but failing miserably. “Lucas’ out. His car’s gone.” She finally whispered. A few sighs after, she rolled her eyes and look at Josh before dropping her phone. “Can we do a side trip somewhere?”
After an approving smile, Luna entered the address on the GPS, then cursed silently at her breath. “I’m really sorry. That guy – ” then curse and sigh “- shouldn’t drink when he can’t even get himself home. Sorry. I usually drive Lucas’ but —- ”
“You know how to drive?” He gave her a side look.
“Well, I have a license. But please don’t tell Lucas I’m driving his car secretly. That guy’s impossible.”
“You like everything that’s secret, huh?” A joke but he looks too serious for it to be considered as one.
Before she can even argue back, she looks out of the window and saw a familiar crowd on the end of an alley. She tapped Josh’s arms and asked him to stop. Before she opened the door, she looked back at him. “Can you wait for me and -” She hesitated before finally saying: “Don’t get out. Just wait for us.”, because she knows that Josh can clearly see a group of odd-looking men, circling someone who was almost hugging the ground. It was Maru.
Josh throws a concerned look outside and when he was finally about to unbuckle himself, Luna continuously tried to get him settled on his seat. “I know them, okay?”, he retreats and gave her a nod before letting her out.
From Josh’s point of view, Luna just calmly approach the group as if she really did know them. And when she arrived, everybody looks at her from that dark isle and she managed to squeeze herself in. She hangs a dead-drunk Maru on her shoulders like an easy-pea mouthing some words to the group. Josh was anxiously drumming his fingers on the wheels, he’s waiting for something. If anyone of them starts touching Luna, he’s prepared to run out and latch on anyone of them. One of the guys, slowly started approaching Luna, they were almost one inch apart but Luna – no matter how far Josh was, looks like she was not taking a step back. And they’re even exchanging words or curses no matter what that was.
Josh can’t take it anymore. He was about to open the door when she saw Luna pushing the guy away. It was a hard push. And the guy didn’t even fight back. And he stayed that way. Luna finally make her way out of the crowd, with Maru on her shoulders, without looking back, without even an evidence of slight fear that the men behind her could stab her if they want to. It was when Luna was already a meter away from the car when he went out and help her get Maru settled on the back seat. Maru was almost passed out when they throw him inside and he even had a black eye.
Luna was still cursing at the drunk guy behind them when she finally get settled on her seat. “Sorry about that. This guy – ” she glared at Maru. She decided to just sigh.
Few minutes after, they were heading to Maru’s apartment. There were an arguable amount of silence. And for the first time, Josh wanted to ask questions. It was the first time, he felt like he finally caught a glimpse of what Luna and Maru are. Are they thugs? Secret drug dealers? Mafia? Who are those people? Are they on a gang? Luna did really know those people because if not, there’s no way Luna successfully went away without a fight. Maru might’ve been dead for all they know. And Luna never bat an eye when they were almost on the car. She never show fear or maybe there was none at all in the first place.
They arrived at Maru’s residence without waking him up. Luna knows the floor number, the room number and even the door password. She must’ve been here. A lot. She even tried to clean up the mess on Maru’s bed and drop herself on the living room sofa when they were done.
Josh settled himself beside her. He sighed. He must’ve been nervous and anxious and angry at coming up with no answers in his head. He must’ve been frustrated. He’s frustrated. It’s frustrating to have too many questions and never even had a way to ask those. It’s frustrating to be always curious. Especially, if you had been too curious for too long and there’s always too many things to get curious about every time you ignore it.
“Do you always do this?” He finally asked. He deserved at least this one.
“Not a lot. But mostly yes. He gets drunk from time and time and won’t be even alive to bring himself home. And yes, I usually sneak up to drive Lucas’ on an ungodly time of the night – or morning rather, just to pick him up. He’s just got a lot on his plate. That’s all.”
“I probably won’t mind if I wake up at an ungodly time just to drive you somewhere to pick him up.” He waited for a reaction but none came. She just lay her head on the sofa and closed her eyes. “I’m saying, I think it’s – ” not safe “not nice for you to drive all the way out there alone.”
She smiled, still eyes closed. She knew about the hesitation on the word he used.
“I didn’t go out when you said don’t, so I at least can testify how trusty I am in keeping secrets” Is this the right way to talk her into this? “Besides it’d be good to have some back up right? I can fight.”
She finally rose up and laugh. “We’re not fighting. Those are just some bunch of people we see every now and then. It’s not always like this.”