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A breeze from the west pierced through Aman’s sweatshirt, driving a chill up his spine. The woman standing across from him looked amused, like she was holding a really good joke just beyond her lips. Aman eyeballed her carefully noticing her shift her weight to her left hip, tapping her stiletto heeled boot once before catching herself and holding still. 

Auntie Vi. 

The word bounced around in his head for a moment before it clicked. Violet.

“Uhh,” he mumbled, trying to slow down his racing mind. She looks just like ma. 

The smile playing across her lips finally bloomed into a warm smile “Come sit,” she beckoned gracefully sitting while patting the seat next to her. 

He hesitated. It was 1am or close to it, he really needed to get home. Did he? A few minutes ago, he didn’t care how late he was. But now…

“Seems I’ve shocked you a bit hm?” she laughed, a wonderfully elegant sound.

“Ye-yeah,” he answered, his feet glued in place. Stuck between running home and sitting next to her. 

“You should pay more attention to your surroundings when you are out Aman. You never know who may be watching,” she winked and settled in her seat. A white plum of hot air escaping from her mouth into the brisk fall. 

She has a point. “Why are you following me?” he asked, not sure if he wanted to know the answer to the question. 

“I see it more as …keeping an eye on. Your very own guardian angel,” she smiled again like she was laughing at an inside joke. “Your boyfriend is cute by the way, do your parents know?”

Aman felt his face grow hot, “No.”

“I assume that’s why your attempting to sneak around then?” 

His face was on fire, “Sorta,” 

That smile crept across her face again, now it was making him angry. What the fuck was so funny? “You gonna tell me what your laughing at?” 

Violet burst out laughing heartily, “Oh? You can speak now? For a moment I thought you might just stand there gawking,”

“I’m outta here,” quickly he spun on his feet, ready to bolt.

“I’m sorry,” she called after him, a plea that sounded horribly desperate. “Humor me? Just for awhile,” she asked the desperation in her voice once again hidden under an unnerving calm. 

Aman paused looking back at her. As he took in her features a memory came back to him. One he had buried deep for as long as he could remember. The yelling, crying, being ripped from the warm arms of the woman who looked like ma. The air shifted and the scent of artificial strawberries drifted toward him. Syrupy sweet with an undercurrent of dark chocolate cocoa. Like the shea/coca butter lotion ma always wears. 

“Your my aunt? They never told me about you…. Then again they never tell me shit,” he mumbled.

“I wouldn’t have expected them too, with them on the run and what not,” she mused, settling in her seat. 

“On the run?” Aman’s interest piqued, maybe she had the answers he was looking for. Violet nodded, tilting her head as if she were studying him. Maybe I’ll sit for just a few minutes. 

“Why should I trust you?” his chin tilted in the air in a challenge. A snarl slightly rising on his lip.

“You shouldn’t. Trusting others makes you weak,” she leaned toward him as if sharing a secret, “You and I? Are not weak my love. Be careful who you give your trust,” her voice had an edge of warning, then lifted, “and you are old enough to know the truth and decide for yourself what to do with it.”

It felt like a dam released in his chest, his growing anger dissipating quickly.

“How long have you been stalking me?” he sat next to her, not too close, but close enough to feel heat radiating off her body in the cool air.

She laughed again, her jest growing overwhelmingly contagious.

“Guardian angel my love,” she paused and sighed, “For a very long time.”

“Why are you just showing up now?”

“I got tired of waiting,”

“For what?” her answers were driving him nuts. They seemed only to barely answer his questions, and he had so many questions.

Violet turned and looked at him, “Now,” she smiled.

“You know you talk in circles??”

A snort escaped her, “clever boy,” she looked at him with chocolate brown eyes, “what do you want to know?”

“Why I’ve never heard of you,”

Her gaze shifted past him, “That’s a story for another time my love,”

“Then tell me why I shouldn’t leave? Cause you doin that same shit ma and dad do and to be honest I’m fuckin over it. Either tell me or leave me the fuck alone,” anger exploded in his gut, a unfamiliar uncomfortable feeling that had been invading his body for weeks now. 

Her eyes softened, her hand raising slightly like she was going to stroke his cheek then she dropped it,

“Because ever since I held you that day I haven’t been able to forget you,” she took a breath, “If you haven’t guessed by now, then I will spill that Heather, your mother, and I are twins. By appearances only. We could not be more different from one another,” she shifted in her seat, “Before your mother met your father, Dimitri. He and I were, together. Almost two years,” she smiled softly before her eyes grew cold, “I hate children. Disgusting little shits, I hated the idea of bearing a child at all. And then I was late, only by a few days. But in that few days I really considered being a mother.” She stopped and laughed sourly,

“I came to my senses quickly. But when Heather had you… fell in love with you my sweet boy. The day I held you was the best day of my life. You ran up to me like you loved me and cried for me so hard when your father pulled you away. So I have always made sure that you were safe. Making sure of that may or may not have involved in some sort of surveillance but that is neither here nor there,” she waved her hand dismissively. 

Aman’s head was swimming with questions, making him feel dizzy. Violet and dad? 

“What do you want from me then?” 

“To know you. And,” she giggled, “I have a present for you.”

“My birthday isn’t until June– its November,”

“Ah. I’m impatient,”

“So where is this present?”

She laughed, “I think we need to get a little better acquainted with each other first,” 

Aman shrugged, “Fair enough. You tryin to do that now? Or.”

Violet shook her head grinning, “It’s rather late my love, let’s plan for another time. Here take this phone. Give your boyfriend back his,” she pulled a paper white box with the image of a rather high tech looking phone.

“Holy shit, a Pixel?” Aman turned the brand new phone over in his hand, ogling. 

“Only the best for you. My number is in here. If you ever need me, call me.” She checked the time on her own phone before sighing softly, “It’s probably time you head home. I will text you next time I am in town. We have a lot to catch up on.”

Aman held the phone in his hand, fondling its weight as his aunt spoke. If this was the present then he would go home happy but he had an idea there was something more grand coming his way.

“Yeah. Thanks,” he looked down at his hands again before sweeping his gaze toward her. 

“I assume you don’t want me tellin ma and pops about this?”

“I’d prefer you not. We aren’t on speaking terms.”

“Funny. I’m not talkin’ to em’ much these days either.”

“See already something we have in common,” Violet joked, drawing a bitter laugh from him.

“Yeah. I’m out. Text me? I guess. Thanks for the phone… Auntie,” he waved as he stood, headed in the direction of home.

“Anytime my love,” she replied. 

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