A brief third person introduction and then a first person conversation about an imminent visit from a relative.
This is Brandon Reginald Prenstin the Third. Twenty four years old, he’s still newly out of college and making a decent living as a computer programmer. Of course the term ‘decent’ is a relative one. To his parents, Brandon is living in nothing short of a cramped, squalid, hovel. To Brandon, life was decent. He made enough to keep a simple apartment; a modest one bedroom, one bath affair with a common room/kitchenette, all of which was well furnished with everything he felt he needed for a comfortable life. Besides the basic pieces of furniture, he had a well appointed entertainment system and a home computer from which he would occasionally work at home from. There were trade-offs though, and for Brandon the trade off was in his car. A sad, debilitated thing; spots of rust dotting its sky blue paint job, bumper on the verge of falling off, a random hubcap missing. But for Brandon, it drove, the radio and AC worked, and that was all that mattered. He didn’t need it to look pretty. All he wanted was to be able to get to where he needed to go, which at this point was work, four days a week, and dinner with his friends every so often. His life was simple. There were only so many variations in any given day. Wake up, work, eat, go out jogging, hang out with his small circle of friends, maybe go clubbing once in awhile. Today though, today Brandon’s simple life was about to take an unexpected turn, one that would throw his simple routine for a loop. His sister was coming.
“I can’t believe it.” I lowered my forehead to the top of the divider between my cubicle and my neighbor’s, resting it on my crossed hands.
“I still don’t see what the big deal is. I mean, it’s just your sister right?” Now normally Rene’s soft-spoken words make all kinds of logical sense to me and help me to get a grip on a situation - she’s marvelously clear headed for a woman. However, at this point, she just wasn't getting how ridiculous the situation was.
“No see…” I lifted my head and held out my hands as if holding a box. “You’ve been to my place right? I’ve got my room here,” I tapped one point on the divider with both hands then shifted them over slightly and tapped another point on the divider, “and the common area here. There just isn’t anywhere for her to stay!”
Rene shrugged as she continued to plug away at her computer, appearing to be fully engaged with her work. "Make her sleep on the couch, it's comfy enough.”
“You don’t get it! She’s not down for that! She’s gonna insist on taking my bed. Ugh!” Emptying my lungs in one protracted sigh, I pressed my hands to my cheeks and dragged them down to my chin. I was going to get grey hairs from this nonsense.
“Hmmm…” Rene nodded thoughtfully in that way she did when she thought I was being foolish. Not that I could really blame her for not understanding this time. She was, after all, an only child and got her way with her friends more often than not. “That reminds me though, are you still going to the club with us?”
I arched an eyebrow at the question. "On Friday? Wait-" I shook my head, realizing that I was being led off track. “How does that have anything to do with what we were just talking about?” Rene shrugged and added another string of code to her screen. “And bring her with me?” My voice cracked with disbelief.
“Why not? It’ll be a chance for her to see how big brother parties in the big city.” Rene turned her head slightly and graced me with a wry smirk and a decidedly evil gleam in her eye. She was gonna get me drunk again. She must enjoy watching me hit on women futilely. Her and Anon both.
I shook my head vehemently, “No, absolutely not. Out of the question.” I shoved myself back away from the divider separating our cubicles. No need to let her know that my sister had always been the wild child of the family and was probably cooler then I was. “My mother is sending her here as an abject lesson. Not to let her go wild doing more of the stuff that landed her in this mess to begin with.”
“I’m just saying…” Rene dragged the last syllable of the word out as she shrugged her shoulders and turned back to her work. “What’re you gonna do? Handcuff her to your bed?” She paused and pressed a figer to her lips gazing absently at he computer screen. “Kinky.”
“Ew. No. Stop it." Shivers ran down my body causing me to twitch convulsively. "This isn’t help-”
“Prenstine!” I cringed as my name was bellowed incorrectly across the room. “Is that Jemison project ready yet?!”
“Almost!” I shouted over my shoulder as I dove for my computer. With my hands poised over the keyboard I scanned the material that I had already completed, but the letters and symbols just wouldn’t stay focused in my mind, constantly being crowded out by one single line of thought. Planting my elbows on the desk, I dropped my head into my hands and sighed.
“Don’t worry.” Turning my head slightly I peeked through my fingers to find Rene poking her head over the divider. “I'm sure everything’ll be fine.” She flashed a smile, gave me a thumbs up and disappeared. Alone in my cubicle, I whimpered.