The stars shine bright today as we lay in the middle of field behind Jason's house. Malcolm holds my hand while we talk about my soon-to-be new living situation.
"You know this makes me uncomfortable because of the past you share with him," Malcolm says.
"I can’t live with my in-laws anymore. They are racist, mean, manipulative, and just insane," I sigh, letting some pressure roll off my shoulders.
"Do you trust me? I’ll be living downstairs. I’ll have my own space. Plus, you and Jason are best friends. He would never try anything," I plead my case
He lets out a heavy breath, rolling over to look me in the eyes.
"Because I’m best friends with him is why I don’t trust him or his family," He pulls his hand from mine.
"It’s not like I can live in the dorms with you! Please, it’s just a place to sleep till I get on my feet," Still pleading with him.
"Okay, okay, but you have to promise we see each other as much as possible," he says, moving my hair out of my face.
The wind starts to pick up. I look back at the house which is a beautiful white with blue shutters. Jason's mother has decorated the deck with beautifully colored wind chimes. As the wind blows, we listen to them sing, letting our thoughts consume us for the moment. If only I had known moving into this house would be the worst mistake of my life.
Jason's head pops out over the ledge.
"Come up here and smoke before dinner losers," he hollers.
We make our way up to the back deck. I sit in between Jason and his dad. His dad passes me the ash tray. As I take the tray, his hand falls onto my lap.
The first red flag.
"So, are you ready to stop living with your shitty in-laws?" He laughs.
"It’s about time you came to your senses."
I smile and move my leg away from his hand. Laughing it off, I pass the ash tray to Jason.
"Yes, I’m ready to get out of there," I smile, "Jason, did you bring my drink out?" I ask looking across the table.
"Oh, crap no, I’ll grab it," He says, starting to get up.
I put my hand on his shoulder, pushing him down while pushing myself up. I squeal when I feel a hand grab my butt, nearly jumping into Jason’s lap.
Jason's dad, Tom, lets out a hearty laugh, “I see we have a squealer."
The second red flag.
Malcolm’s eyes meet mine almost as if saying, I warned you.
"I think I’m going to call it a night guys, I’m feeling exhausted," I lie as I walk around the group of men on the deck with me. Malcolm grabs my hand as I walk by, but I quickly pull away.
"Goodnight gentlemen," I say and then walk inside.
I shiver as I hear Tom’s hearty laugh again.
The third red flag. I know I’m making a mistake.