As it trickled down from between my legs it felt warm. Kind of soothing. Considering how the rest of my body felt numb by now. It was harshly cold. And dark. It had just snowed today so there was this white blanket wrapped around the whole neighborhood. Only if it were a warm one.
At least eight minutes had passed since I had been standing here. I knew that because Mrs.Greenspan taught us that sixty seconds make up a minute and I had counted till sixty, eight times by now. Just how much longer till I went back inside and snuggled in my warm bed?, no idea. You never know what’s going through Baba’s mind.
Eight minutes earlier,
She came down sliding from the bannister. All washed up, nice and clean and ready for dinner with Baba. An occasion which occurred twice in a year, or if she was lucky even thrice.
“Baba! I’m back, what are we having today?”, she curiously asked while peeking through all the rooms looking for him.
The door to the basement was open which meant he was probably down there.
“Baba? Are you down there?”, she yelled out while still at the first step. She could not get herself to go all the way down as it was too dark and cold, two of her biggest fears.
“Yes, come down. We’ll be having dinner down here. Uncle Mosby’s here too.”, he answered.
Uncle Mosby, this man never meant well. He was her Baba’s best friend but she disliked him.
“Can’t you come upstairs? It’s dark and cold down there and I’m afraid. Please?”, she willingly asked hoping that he would.
But who was she kidding. After a few minutes of no response she finally heard footsteps. As they came near she had guessed as always, something wasn’t t quite right.
Grabbing her arm Baba pulled her aside. He smelled of that green glass bottle he once made her fetch for him, down the alley in Harlem.
“Afraid of what you said!? The dark and cold? Rubbish! What are you three? Is that how I raised you, to be a wimp!” he yelled while shaking her thoroughly. She just stood there expressionless, wide-eyed ready for what was about to happen next.
He led her to the kitchen and dragged her out the door into the backyard.
“Afraid of the dark and cold you said? Well you’ll be spending the rest of the night out here missy until you learn how to be a man. Hear me?” he dictated as they scurried out onto the pathway.
A total of twenty minutes had gone by now. It was getting chillier and darker as time went by and I had praised myself a million times till now for keeping my socks on or else god knows how I’d be standing out here! My appetite had vanished completely. All I wanted was to go back inside and apologize to Baba, hoping he would let me go back to my room. Must be warm and cosy there, I thought while staring at the window. I looked down and saw my pee had frozen onto the pavement. It actually made me laugh a little. I could not wait to tell my friend Nicholas about this for when me meet. Only if I made it out of here alive, that is.