Turning into the entry hallway, Bou Bou yelled, “Found ‘im! Found ‘im!”
The dull overhanging lights from the outer hallway illuminated her petite figure and pumpkin orange hair. Despite making her pale skin look sallow, it didn’t detract from her otherwise pleasant appearance. Pleasant for Bou Bou. Bou Bou owned about thirty velour tracksuits, all of them different colored, all of them somehow flashing her midriff. Today she wore her “lucky” periwinkle bedazzled tracksuit. Lucky meaning that whenever she went to the grocery store in the thing, bread was on sale.
Nestor momentarily scrunched up his face. It was too early for noise like this. Noticing Nestor, Bou Bou shut her mouth and cocked a hip to one side.
“What’re ya still doing here?”
Nestor shrugged and began to leave. Bou Bou stood in front of the door, elbows out trying to prevent his exit. Snorting, Nestor gave her exposed belly a tickle, and she fell down, into a shrieking heap of sparkling periwinkle.
“Bye,” He called behind himself and the door slammed shut. The Monet paintings on the beige hallway walls shook precariously.
Martha stared at the whole scene unamused. Her feet made a dull “pufft pufft” as she walked forward on the maroon wall to wall carpeting that spanned the entire apartment. She stopped at a particularly large mystery stain on the ground.
Her voice low and impatient said, “Where was he?”
Bou Bou still giggling to herself, pulled herself from the floor. She squeezed past Martha and a small side table holding Martha’s long blonde wig into the common room.
“He was at the 7-Eleven, in the Luguang District. New job. You know, I need to go down there more often. They had the biggest variety of ice cream I’d ever seen. Not that I could afford it, but a girl can dream”
Martha let out a very long and unimpressed sigh and said, “That’s very fascinating, dear, but how in the world did you find him?”
Martha trailed behind Bou Bou as she entered her room. She stopped in the doorway of Bou Bou’s room, and leaned to the left to avoid a very lethal piece of metal art that was hung up. Bou Bou gave Martha a slight smile and flung herself onto a stained futon in the corner of the powder blue room. Above the futon was a pink and purple canopy with peonies scattered across the netting.
Twirling a peony in between her fingers, Bou Bou said, “At work. I asked a couple of my customers. Very persuasively and stealthily, of course! They said they knew a lil something something, then I went and saw. Now I am here! End of story.”
Martha said, “Honey, there is nothing stealthy about you. Crap, I need to make sure he hasn’t left by now.”
Bou Bou threw a hand up and laughed.
“Don’t worry about it. I got it covered.”
Martha threw her a look of incredulity. Pressing her hands to her heart, Bou Bou pouted.
“I am very offended by your disbelief. Seriously, don’t worry! He’s still in the trunk.”
Martha lurched forward and yowled, “You left him in the car! Do you want him to die?”
Exasperated, Bou Bou threw both hands in the air.
“He had a slightly smaller chance of dying with me, then without me. The mitties were everywhere looking for him. I was more than surprised to see that Bozo hadn’t been found, brought to the shed, and shot up yet!” Bou Bou had to fight the urge to curl into a fetal position, when she saw the Martha’s head vein, Smitty, throbbing.
Bou Bou remembered the day she named Smitty. She was sixteen, a new arrival at the complex. She was walking around the maze of corridors trying to find the door labeled 823. Bou Bou saw two familiar looking men down the hallway from her, but she urged herself to remain undeterred. They couldn’t recognize her. Head ducked and eyes lowered to the ground, she let out a silent cheer as she passed by them. Suddenly, the mens’ arms looped around her own and they tried to pull her backwards. A knobby hand clamped over her mouth trying to muffle her cries. Kicking her legs wildly, she clamped her leg around the back of one man’s leg and pulled forwards as far as possible. There was a loud pop, a wail, and a loud thump as they fell. Bou Bou tried to scramble up, but one of the men had an iron grip around her ankle. So she did the first thing she thought of: screamed. Suddenly the hand on her ankle slackened. She turned and saw a vision, a woman with drawn on eyebrows and a fur coat and a very, very prominent pulsating vein, smote the men with shopping bags. Smote. Smite. Like a god or goddess, or like a Grecian hero. Bou Bou chuckled to herself.
Just like she chuckled to herself now. Martha was no goddess. She was more like a ghoul that haunted the toilet. However, she could give someone a hell of a whooping.
“Can you stop dreaming for one second, and pay attention!” Bou Bou’s eyes snap to Martha who had gone on a tangent for the past seven minutes.
“Do you realize how careless you’ve been? You’ve brought him here, in the middle of daytime! You have asked those unsavory people at your work suspicious questions that they can throw to the mitties! If the mitties find you out, you’ll be executed. No prison!”
Bou Bou rolled her eyes and muttered, “Just like everyone else. Tell me something I don’t know. I was careful. I disguised myself. You know, I do have several brain cells to rub together. My talents aren’t just dancing and day dreaming.”
Bou Bou got up and stomped to the bright yellow kitchen, diagonal to her room. Meanwhile Martha stayed in the doorway to her room. Above the sound of the opening and closing of cabinets, she hears Bou Bou.
“Plus don’t call my customers unsavory. They come everyday and pay, which feeds me and feeds you. Some of them were nice!”
Martha let out a laugh.
“Are they nice before or after you dance half naked?”
Bou Bou made a face in Martha’s direction. While picking intently at the orange rind, she yelled, “You better get your son from the trunk, before he suffocates.”