* I've just realised I never explained the whole gorger and gypsy thing. A few people know already so please, if I'm wrong could you correct me? :) For those who don't know, gypsies are very set in their ways and have a lot of traditions. So in this fic, for Nicki to be associating with Drake is like she's going against her family's values/wishes/beliefs. I think someone asked if Drake was seen as a peasant, no he's not but typically speaking (this is not my opinion!) where I'm from Gypsies/travelers are often looked down on. So in a nutshell, Drake is actually the hotshot guy going after a less well-off person, being Nicki. I hope this is alright and thanku for all the previous comments :)*
Over the next few weeks Drake's visits were what she looked forward to the most, it was usually the same time everyday in the same place when she was taking the laundry back in. The last few times however had been notes left balancing in between the fence boards. She was growing increasingly frustrated because schooling wasn't one of her main priorities and reading was something she found difficult. Luckily for her she knew someone who could read well.
"What does it say, Taylor?"
"Would you please be patient?"
"I told you, I haven't got all day! Ma's waitin' in the trailer, they got some shit to discuss with me." She rolled her eyes as she spoke.
"Nic, how long you plannin' to keep this up? I'm not happy 'bout lyin' to Lani like this. It ain't right." Clutching tightly on to Drake's note Taylor waited for a verbal response from her.
"I know, I promise this'll be the last time. I just need to ask one more favor." Smiling widely she sat down at the table and pleaded with her eyes.
"One more and that's it!"
"Okay, so what is this favor?"
"I need for you to write a note back for me. To Drake."
"Whattya want it to say?" She asked inquisitively as she unfolded the little piece of paper.
"Firstly, I want him to stop leavin' notes and secondly tell him to meet me outside the fence late tonight."
"I know! I know this is wrong but I wanna taste of what the life outside this community is like. Haven't you ever wondered?"
"Wonderin' and doin' are two very different things, Nicki."
"Exactly. The only way for me to really see is to go out and do!" Her upbeat and excited behaviour was making Taylor feel anxious. Nicki should be happy with the way her life is now, not yearning for a glimpse of the non-traveler way of life.
"Y'know, your Father will have your head on a plate if he finds out?"
"I know, but he won't. I'm being careful."
"Good. 'Cause you're riskin' my life too in your mess." She shook her head angrily, not believing she was about to do this. "'Kay, your little note says pretty much the same as what you wanted to say to him."
"He wants to meet up tonight."
"Yeah." she paused and looked at the excited teen. "You're really sure about this?"
"I'm positive, write something back."
Although what they were doing was beyond wrong, Taylor couldn't actually remember the last time Nicki was this happy.
"I've said you'll meet him at 11, same place he stands to talk to you."
"Thank you." She smiled gratefully and took the paper from her. "You won't tell a soul, right? Not even Lani?"
"My lips are sealed but you promise me you'll be careful? Non-traveler folk are on another level of deceit, you know that right?" At this point Nicki had arisen from her seat but soon found herself planted firmly back on her chair. Worry filling her mind.
"What do you mean?"
"I'm not sayin' that your boy is up to no good....But, you gotta be careful, Nic."
"You mean...He'll take advantage?" The hurt look on her face was painful for Taylor to see but this was something she should have already considered.
"I don't know that for sure, I mean I'ont even know him but if he's assuming you're naive because you're a traveler then you gotta have your wits about you." She half smiled and stood up. "So, I'll do this favour for you if you promise me you'll be back by 1am? I gotta heap of papers to go through so I'mma be up late. Everyone else will be sleepin' and I can keep a watch out for you."
"I promise. 1am I'll be back here." She nodded violently as she stood. She'd never been so desperate to meet up with anyone before. Usually she'd be in a group. A group of girls for that matter but there was something about Drake. She felt like she'd known him forever and the connection they had was extraordinary to her.
"M'kay." She smirked sweetly and handed the note to her. "Go hang my laundry out and you can plant your lil' love letter inconspicuously."
"I owe you big time, Tay."
"Don't worry about it, I got a whole load of jobs lined up for you in the morning." She laughed at Nicki's wrinkled up face. "Now go, get outta here. I got shit to do." Nicki's innocent and fluttery heart felt as though it was doing summersaults as she left her brother's caravan. Heading straight for the fence.
The day seemed to go by so slow because she was counting down every minute to her little "date". She'd never been on a date before. Suddenly realising she hadn't thought about what she could wear she started mentally running through her wardrobe. What would a non-traveler girl wear? Her facial expression was visibly panicked before she was interrupted by her Mother.
"Onika?" She huffed frustratedly. "Girl, I wish you would get your head outta the damn clouds sometimes! I asked you to lay the table!"
"Sorry, Ma." Moving over to the cutlery she started setting the eating area. Floating back into dreamland, where she felt as though she was constantly living these days.
"Who's got my baby smilin' so big?" Her Mother's voice softened considerably. Sometimes she felt she was overworking her daughter, after all she was still young herself and having her run around all day was pretty brutal. She needed to live a little as well.
"Who said it was a person?" She smiled and handed Carol the place-mats to lay down.
"I know that look all too well, Nika. I think you're forgetting I was young too once. That smile was put on your face by a boy." Carol's smile faded when she saw her daughter's frame stoop sadly whilst she sighed.
"Too bad it can never work out."
"Nika, I honestly have no idea where you get this lack of faith and confidence from. You and Jason get along just fine. In fact, I was speaking with his Mother yesterday. You didn't tell me you let him grab you?" As soon as those words left her Mother's mouth she shot her a look of pure anger.
"I didn't let him grab me! Is that what he's tellin' people?"
"Ma, he's lyin'!"
"Look, I don't know why you refuse to let things unravel between you both, who else are you going to meet? Just let it happen."
"How am I supposed to know?! In total I only know five boys, four of which are already married. Jason isn't a choice Ma, he's a last resort that I'm being forced to take!" Slamming the forks down she pushed past her Mother and headed for the door.
"Onika! Don't you dare walk away from me!" The last of her sentence was cut short by the door slamming. She hadn't realised Jelani was in the other room.
"Just leave her. She'll come 'round eventually." Picking up where Nicki left off he continued laying the table. Men weren't usually the ones to be doing house chores but he could see something was playing on Carol's mind.
"I don't know what's going on with her at the moment. We used to be so close."
"She's a sixteen year old girl, there's a lot going on with her." He smirked and sat down once he was finished with the cutlery. "This whole Jason thing though, maybe you should just lay off a little."
"Lani, I know you only mean well but time is ticking. You know? Soon enough somebody else could snap Jason up."
"Well Ma, maybe that's a good thing." He looked at her hopefully as she just gave him a confused look back.
"Why would it be good?"
"'Cause I honestly don't think she's the slightest bit interested in him. Let her get to know him first."
"You mean like the occasional date or something?"
"Yeah, just step back and let do it herself. She's not gon' end up lonely, she'll meet someone eventually." Walking over to her he kissed her cheek. "I gotta go talk to Tay, I'll see you later. Remember what I said." Giving her one last smile he left her to her thoughts. Some of the things he'd said made a lot of sense.
Back outside it was beginning to get dark, the street lights were starting to flick on one by one down the street and the distant sound of evening traffic filling the air. This is why Nicki lived for the summer months, but she had a feeling this summer was going to be miserable. Especially if her life started going the way her parents wanted it to. Slipping into deep thought she soon jumped as Jelani approached the swing set she was swaying on.
"Lemme guess, she sent you over here?"
"What, can't I come hang out with my baby sis no more?" He grinned and took the swing next to her. "She means well y'know?"
"Does she? 'Cause that ain't what it seems like Jay. It's like they're tryin' to be run every single aspect of my life. I'm being controlled."
"It's the way it is." He looked over at her miserable face in the ever-dimming light. "It's how they raised me and how they'll raise you and Cai."
"Well I've had enough."
"Don't be like that. If it's about this whole Jason thing, I've told her to lay off a little. Things'll happen with time. They just freakin' out 'cause you're sixteen and not even close to bein' wed."
"That's just it though! I'ont want things to happen between us, he's a complete dick." She pushed herself with her feet on the swing as he sighed.
"I'ont know what else to say, Nika. Just don't give them a reason to be disappointed in you." Moving off the swing he kissed her head and stepped back. "You deserve the respect of this community, you're bright and a good kid. Don't ever believe any different, 'kay?" Raising his brows he looked down at her, only just making out the tears threatening to fall. He knew she wouldn't let them go though.
"Don't mention it." He nodded. "I'll talk to later, don't stay out too long."
"I won't." She looked away as soon as he'd left, making sure her note was still in place before heading inside. The excitement was now turning into anxiety, she still had every intention to meet up with Drake. Even more so since the cage created by her parents seemed to decrease in size. She wanted to be free.
*It's not super long because this one isn't very popular but I hope it was alright and I'm gonna update Sweet Dreams hopefully tonight as well :) and I HATE asking but since I'm back at uni I'm gonna please ask for 8 comments before I post again, I won't leave it as long next time. Next chapter could be the last as well.*