Room number 006 was pasted on the door of the last room on the corner to the right, on the long dormitory corridor. He knocked on the door three times just as the girl had instructed him to do when they spoke on the phone. After a couple of seconds, he heard the door being unlocked from inside, but no one came forward. He looked to his right; there were girls going back and forth and all had strange stares on their faces. He was thinking of turning around and quietly walking away, but his phone really meant a lot to him. The girl was sitting on a neatly made bed, typing on her laptop as he walked into the room. She didn’t look up at him, so he just stood there in the middle of the room, wondering if he had walked into a trap. She finally looked up to him, “relax; take a seat.” she said and patted a portion of the bed. She had an Aiwa sound system opposite the bed, playing jazz music at a low volume. He looked at it as he sat on the bed as it reminded him of the one that had been in his Dad’s room when he was a teenager; it was an exact replica. He remembered always sneaking into his Dad’s room to play his favorite Hip Hop music on the player back in the day.
From the corner of his eyes, he noticed the girl had been staring at him, so he nervously sat upright. The strange thing was that she didn’t avert her eyes when he caught her staring, such that it made Mark uncomfortable.
“Can I just have my phone and be on my way.” Mark said. He had heard crazy stories of horny University girls ganging up to rape boys, and he wondered if this was her plan. ‘She can’t rape me here’, he thought to himself. When looked at her again, he saw something in her eyes he couldn’t describe. It wasn’t desire; it was more like joy, and it left Mark confused. “Angela, I would really appreciate it if you would just hand over my phone, please.”
A frown appeared on the girl’s face, which was quickly replaced by a smile. She reached under her pillow and pulled out Mark’s Xperia X10.
“My name is Helen, not Angela.” She said as she handed Mark his phone.
“So sorry” he said.
“Those guys earlier were going to give you a real beating.” she said. Mark froze, and his attention shifted from the screen of his phone back to her.
“What are you talking about?” He asked looking all puzzled.
“I’m sure you’ve heard of the Dalmatians.”
“Well…I have heard a little about them” he replied.
“Those were their pimps.” she said in a most confident manner. “You must have offended one of the Dalmatians.”
“I don’t understand all you are talking about. I’ll be on my way if you don’t mind.” Mark said and started heading towards the door.
“Mark, wait.” She said in the softest pitch of her husky voice, and rushed to block him from leaving the room. Mark stood there stunned.
“How do you know my name? I don’t remember telling you.” Mark said, looking straight at her for answers.
“Mark; who knew you would be passing through that road path earlier today?” she asked, ignoring his question.
“No one; I was going to meet my girlfriend.”
“Okay then, your girlfriend knew. What’s her name?”
“You are kidding, right?” Mark said with a little laugh. “Are you trying to tell me my girlfriend set me up? That she’s in some sort of cult?” Mark stood there, shaking his head. “Why should I believe any of this bull crap?”
“Because...” she stopped mid sentence and headed over to the Aiwa. She bent down, and turned up the volume a few notches. She removed the scarf on her head as she walked to where he was standing. He stood there, staring at her lovely black hair, which fell down to her waist. “Mark, I’m the head of the Black Amazon cult. I know everything that happens on this campus before it does. Mark got weak in his knees and held on to the door handle for support. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing yet.
“So…what’s your girlfriend’s name?”
“Susan Jones.” Mark said, reluctantly.
Helen smiled before talking. “Mark, your girlfriend is one of the Dalmatians.”
“That’s impossible. Susan?’’ Mark said and laughed. “Your story is ludicrous.”
“Why? Because you think you know her?” Helen said, looking into Mark’s eyes. “Why do you think she wears all those white Polka dot dresses? You think she’s a big Disney fan?”
Mark was confused now. “How did you know that? How do you know…?”
on’t be naïve.” She said, cutting him off. “That’s how they identify themselves.”
Mark was lost in thought now. He was thinking of any incidence in the past that would give him a reason to believe that Susan was really a member of that cult, but he couldn’t find any. He looked up at the mystery girl again, and asides from the weird way she always looked at him, there was something else about her he couldn't place. He had a feeling he had met the girl before, or seen her at a party recently. He went back to the thought of Susan being an actual cult member, and he just couldn’t come to terms with it. Even if she was in a cult, he couldn’t think of any reason why Susan would get guys to beat him up.
“They believe in Earthly punishment to ill-treatment of the vulnerable. You must have done something to offend Susan.”
Mark thought about the party he went to last Saturday, and he remembered getting drunk and having sex with Alicia Johnson in his car. But he didn’t think Susan would have found out about that. Besides, everyone lies about having slept with Alicia Johnson, because of how loose she was, so it would be hard for Susan to believe any rumors of him sleeping with her, he thought to himself. “But Susan would never do that to me.” Mark said out loud.
“She would be going against their laws, and there are consequences for that.”
Mark’s face was screwed up as he looked up at her. “Why did you help me?” It got Helen off guard, and she became speechless. After a couple of seconds of silence, Mark walked out of the room.
He saw his dad driving the Jaguar out as he drove into their street. He waved at Mark, and Mark bowed his head in greeting. He had been looking at his Dad differently lately, ever since he caught him at a park close to his school with another woman. He wasn’t mad at the fact that his dad was seeing another woman; he was just double pissed because she was a very much younger woman. He had watched them from afar for about half an hour, and they hadn’t spoken much, but as they held hands, he could see there was a lot of passion in their eyes.
He was parked in the garage now, but was too lazy to come out of his car. He slouched in the car seat, and got lost in thoughts again. Somewhere in his subconscious, a thought popped up, and made its way to his conscious mind. He processed the data, and with every second that passed, he was sure he was right on his conclusion. He had come to the realization that the girl he had seen with his Dad at the park was none other than Helen, the mystery girl. He got out of the car, and as he walked into the house, he wondered how his Dad had ended up dating a cult member. He also wondered why on Earth his Dad’s mistress would be on the lookout for him, and put herself in danger just to protect him.
He exchanged greetings with his Mom as he walked into the living room. She had been using her iPad, and she looked at him funny when he came to sit beside her on the couch. He was shocked when he saw that his Mom was actually going through Helen's pictures on Facebook. He felt bad for how she would be feeling at this very moment. “Umm! Mark, I have to tell you something.” his mom said and tapped his knee. Mark prepared to act as surprised as possible to what his Mom was going to tell him. “Mark, you…” she was saying and paused to hand him the iPad. He squeezed up his face as he collected the device from her. “She actually goes to your school. Mark, that's your half-sister.”
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