“Wow … Tim went back to look for you? How nice of him!” said Abby. She had forgotten about the cup of coffee that she was holding close to her lips.
Abby and Jenkins were sitting around the small round table in the Retro Records break-room. Jenkins had black circles around his bloodshot eyes, as though he hadn’t slept at all. Aunt Drasilda had been devastated when she found out about the attack. She was even more upset when she discovered that he had no memories of that night’s events and insisted that he must see the doctor immediately. The doctor said there was nothing wrong with him, but Aunt Drasilda could not be reassured until he wrapped Jenkins’ head with bandages and prescribed some vitamins.
“I’m still not sure what happened,” he replied with uncertainty. “The last thing I remember is Tim talking to his sister on the phone …” Jenkins fiddled with the string for his Earl Grey tea bag. He had developed his preference for tea with a bit of milk over coffee due to his aunt’s influence.
“You were hit on the head … maybe it knocked out some of your memories?” Abby suggested.
“A lot of things seem to happen when Tim is involved …” muttered Jenkins, quietly rubbing the back of his head.
“Sorry, it’s nothing …” he said, taking a quick glance at the change-room door. He pushed up his glasses, feeling quite uneasy. His glasses had miraculously survived the onslaught.
“I wonder why the two of you were suddenly jumped,” Abby asked, finally noticing her coffee and taking a couple of sips. It was lukewarm now, but she didn’t mind.
“The policeman said it was most likely a random attack, given the initial evidence,” said Jenkins, shifting uneasily in his seat. “They probably saw us walking down an empty street and decided to mug us.”
The change-room door abruptly opened behind Jenkins and the young man yelped in shock. Tim limped out looking even worse than the day before. His lips looked a bit fuller than usual. His arms, visible as he was wearing his lime-green Retro Records t-shirt, were bruised and covered with healing cuts. Jenkins wondered why he wasn’t covered in bandages too, especially since he had suffered a far greater beating than him. He suddenly felt a bit like a wimp for bandaging his head because of a bump.
“You’re always so jumpy!” Tim burst out in laughter. He cringed slightly from the pain in his sides. The ruags weren’t particularly gentle with him, but they had definitely held back, not truly wishing to kill him. Apparently, a war was not on their mind … yet.
“Tim, are you alright?” Abby asked. “I’m surprised you came today!”
Tim had arrived early because he got a ride. Even Grandpa Markus thought it was a ridiculous idea for him to walk to work. Sarah decided against chewing him out when he arrived back home in his sorry state. He was out cold and didn’t wake up until his alarm rang in the morning. Terranis had taken the liberty to set it for him, knowing that Tim didn’t like missing work. When he got up, there was a large breakfast waiting for him, consisting of sausages, waffles, a huge orange, and milk. His mother had given him an extra-large portion saying that he needed it to recover. Sarah examined him and then gave a big hug before informing him that she had to go shopping for new plates and rushed out the door.
“I’m fine, Abby, thanks!” Tim reassured her, hobbling towards the door. “I’m getting used to the frequent injuries.”
“That’s not something you should be proud of!” gasped Jenkins, clutching his chest.
Tim chuckled before saying, “Anyways, I’m heading out. Rodney looked like he needed some help.” Tim dragged his feet as he made his way out of the break-room. His back was a little hunched.
Rodney’s voice could be heard from behind the door, “You look even worse than yesterday! Are you into this kind of thing?!”
“Oh, haha …” Tim laughed unenthusiastically outside.
Jenkins’ heart was still racing from the scare. He rubbed the bump on the back of his head and mumbled under his breath. Jenkins knew that Tim had helped save him, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that he was mysterious and maybe even dangerous.
“Did you say something, Jenkins?” Abby inquired, sipping the remainder of her coffee before it got too cold.
“Sorry, it’s nothing,” said Jenkins as he stared at the break-room door. He jumped slightly when it suddenly opened. Haley walked in briskly, carrying a small purple and black backpack. She wore a black sleeveless shirt, a leather choker, a decorative skull belt, wristbands with studs, cropped jeans with sheared black leggings, and studded, heeled boots. Her hair was slightly curled.
“Good morning, Haley!” Abby looked delighted to see her and bolted to the coffee machine to prepare a cup of coffee for her.
“Morning, Sweet Cheeks,” Haley replied. That was the name she had bestowed upon Abby. “Seems like Tim’s cousin is here toda—” She stared at Jenkins’ bandaged head and raised an eyebrow in surprise. “What’s this? Is Tim’s misfortune contagious?”