The next two weeks were exactly the same. I went to my room as soon as dinner was over and didn’t come out until Abby was downstairs. Then I’d take my own freezing shower (she used all the hot water, and Mom took her side when I complained), and grabbed a breakfast bar from the box I’d snuck into my room. Then I hid in my room until Chad went outside, at which point I’d join him until dinner.
He had to have noticed that something was wrong, but he didn’t pry into it, and I didn’t tell him anything. Then came the bomb. One day, when I was shivering back into my room after my shower, Abby was in there.
My immediate reaction, of course, was to cover my nose, but it didn’t help. Her too-strong perfume had already permeated everything in my room, probably, so the time I spent in my room today would be a major scrub down. I might even have to do a load of laundry, horror that it was. Then she turned around, and I snapped my hand away from my nose just in time. It it were just her, I wouldn’t have bothered, but she would go complain to mom and I’d get in trouble. Again, because my plan to avoid them hadn’t always worked, but that’s a long story.
“Hello, Jess!” she said, way too sweetly. “Nice room, but maybe you should get a fan or something. There isn’t a lot of circulation in here!”
“Yeah, well, don’t call me Jess.”
“Whatever. So anyway, Mom says that I haven’t been outside, and she wants me to.” Entirely unsuspectingly (give me a break, it was early in the afternoon), I motioned for her to go on. “So she wants you to introduce me to that friend of yours that you said I wasn’t going to meet,” she finished happily.
“Good for you,” I managed. “Now, since you can’t stay away from anything else belonging to me, at least do me the favor of getting out of my room immediately.”
She rolled her eyes. “It’s just a room, Jess. Get over it! Honestly, you should have learned to share when you were two. I’ll have to have a conversation with Nathan about that. I mean, between you and me, your dad wasn’t the person to teach anyone anything, although I gave him a few basic lessons, you know, say please and thank you and the like. Nathan should have stepped up, however.”
I would have retorted sharply, but no way was I going to tell her how close I was to Nathan so she could ruin that too. “Well, what you said about you dad was the first thing you’ve said that I agreed with,” I had to admit, “except for the part when you said he was my dad. He obviously chose you.”
“I don’t want him!” she retorted quickly. “That’s one thing I won’t take.”
“So you admit that you want to take everything else?” I asked.
“I don’t want to really take, take everything. I just want to know what it’s like, living a normal life. I mean, I lived with your dad all my life!”
“You think my life is normal? I’ve been living with your mom all my life,” I threw back. Then, “Since neither of us will claim him, what are we supposed to call your dad?”
She shrugged. “How should I know? Just call him Mark.”
“Whatever. Now let’s talk about business. You said you wanted to meet Chad?”
*NOTE: All characters and events portrayed in this story are purely fictitious. Any resemblance to actual people or events is entirely coincidental.*
Next part next Friday! Title suggestions, names for various characters, or other questions, comments, or concerns can be left below, or you can e-mail me at the address on my contact page.
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