May 31st 2015
Given the recent turn of events with Darrian, I chose to make it a point to sleep in the day after he moved in. I didn’t have to work, I had nothing to do, I just wanted to sleep. For once, on that sunday, Darrian slept in as well. This was unusual because Darrian was an avid christian, though he was never pushy about it, he always went to church on sundays and spent about five minutes in the morning praying.
It was almost three o’clock in the afternoon, and I still hadn’t bothered getting out of bed. Every time my consciousness would try to surface and make my feet move, I would roll back over with a groan and drown it out under the black of the covers. My sleep was dreamless, lacking the forest and all encompassing darkness of my earlier dreams.
I heard the downstairs door click open and then close shortly after and my brothers were already making a ruckus. I sighed loudly and finally decided that at some point I was going to have to stop wallowing under the covers and face the world like everyone else. I grabbed the nearest t-shirt and threw it on, then opting for the more comfortable option, threw on baggy sweatpants and opened my door with a loud yawn.
“Last night wasn’t that bad,” Zach murmured from down the stairs, “I mean, we got free food out of it, and a free baseball game.”
“Yeah,” Sean retorted bitterly, “We also got to listen to his babbling and asking questions he would know had he been here to be a father to us.”
“He’s trying at least,” Zach said, “I’m not excusing what he did, I’m just saying, he wouldn’t have shown up for no reason whatsoever.”
“Well I wish he wouldn’t have shown up,” Sean growled, “Then I wouldn’t have to listen to his preaching on my wanting to be an actor. I swear, I know all of the god damn statistics, believe me, I did my research, if I have to listen to one more person spouting all this shit I already know, I’m gonna break someone’s damn jaw!”
“Calm down there tiger,” I said, padding down the stairs, “Don’t burst a blood vessel.”
His face was red when I got down there, and he looked very thoroughly unimpressed. He shook his head and moved past me, not saying a word, but making sure that he bumped his shoulder into mine as he walked up the stairs to his room. I stared at him, taken aback, Sean didn’t usually get so aggressive, even if he was pissed off about something. I shook it off and took a seat next to Zach at the counter, picking an orange out of the bowl and began peeling it.
“I take it Sean isn’t happy?” I asked, knowing the answer already.
“Nope,” Zach said, a look of resignation on his face, “Honestly, I think dad coming back has made him even more irritable and dickish.”
“Our little brother?” I asked sarcastically, “Being a dick? Oh now where would you get THAT idea from?”
Zach chuckled a little and sat his arms in his hands on the counter with a loud sigh. I threw my orange peels away and then popped one of the citrus pieces into my mouth as I watched him. Out of all of us, he was adapting to my father’s return the best, while there was no pure forgiveness, there was the sense that it could be obtained.
My phone went crazy while I was staring at my baby brother. My ringtone screeched through the kitchen, and ricocheted off of the walls and into my ear drums with delight. I picked it up off of the counter and answered it, not bothering to pay attention to who it was.
“Hello?” I asked.
“Hey baby,” Michael’s voice was a soft purr, “How’s my man doing?”
“Eh,” I said a little surprised, “I’ve been better… Darrian had to move in because his parents are all fucked up again.”
There was a deep inhale as he searched for words, which took him a good thirty seconds. When he finally exhaled his sentence, his voice had a hint of concern mixed with exasperation.“Oh shit,” he said, “I’m really sorry Austin. I know you and Darrian are really close, hell, he’s my friend too.”
“Yeah.” I said, my voice hollow.
“Well,” his voice gained it’s original excitement, “How about I help make you feel better babe? I want you to go to a party with me tonight, and meet some of my friends. They really wanna meet you.”
“Oh,” I said, concern mounting as I turned away from Zach, “You told them about us?”
“Only my really close friends Aus,” He said, glee in his voice, “They won’t out you or anything. They just wanna meet you is all.”
“Okay,” I said, not completely believing him, “Yeah, I’ll go with you.”
“Great,” his voice crackled as he spoke, “I’ll come get you around Seven, dress up cute for me, okay?”
I gave a half hearted chuckle and hung up. Zach had caught on that something was wrong, I tried to avoid his eyes, but I could feel them burning a hole into my side, the flames growing hotter and hotter until I finally turned to face him.
“I’m going to a party with Michael,” I said, then hesitated, “He apparently told some of his friends about us.”
“Really?” Zach’s eyes grew wide with surprise, “Austin, I know a couple people may have figured it out and stuff, but I don’t think him going and telling a bunch of people without asking you is good.”
“No,” I said quietly, “No, he wouldn’t put me in a bad situation or anything. That’s not like him. He’s just excited, that’s all. It just means he wants to be with me.”
Zach peered over at me, frowning a little and shaking his head. I tried to avoid his gaze again, but I knew it wouldn’t work.
“Austin,” Zach said, “I know you like him, and I know he must like you. But you seem like you’re going into this really, really fast. I really don’t think it’s good he’s telling everyone without letting you know first, especially when Mom and Sean don’t even know yet.”
“They wouldn’t sell me out,” I snapped, “He said that they wouldn’t, and besides, mom or Sean would have to know one of them to hear it from them.”
“Austin, that’s not the point,” Zach said irritably, “They might just mention it to someone else, and then you’ve got a game of telephone going on. It’s only a matter of time before Sean and Mom find out, and it WON’T be from you. They’ll both be pissed.”
“No,” I said, “No, I’ll tell them before that happens.”
Zach scowled and shook his head, leaving his seat and padding up the stairs without another word. Apparently he decided he had better things to do than sit and argue about with me about my relationship.I ignored this and turned my mind towards what I would wear tonight, seeing as Michael wanted me to wear something cute. Well, fashion wasn’t really my thing, but for him, I’d give it a shot.
When it came to be about seven, I sat on the front porch swing waiting for him in my outfit. I had chosen tight black skinny jeans that clung to every angle of my body and gave my figure a bit more shape. I had picked out a nice looking band T-shirt, and a red and black plaid jacket to cover it with a red and black striped beanie to complete the outfit.
I waited, swinging back and forth to the silent rhythm of the wind. When I heard an engine rumbling, I shot up expecting to see Michael, and instead was greeted to Lily helping a little boy, about the age of five out of her car. I was a bit puzzled, then I remembered who the small creature was.
Lily’s parents had adopted her younger cousin, Ivan, when his father had passed away and his mother went to prison. He had been living with them since he was almost six months old, and he was as happy as a child could be in his situation. He was tall for his age, and slender, you could tell he was related to Lily due to his dark hair and pale complexion, his eyes were what startled most people, being a very bright grey that was almost eerie.
Lily plodded up the stairs, holding his hand. Unlike most children, who were overly hyper and energetic, who would’ve dragged Lily upstairs like she was tied to a wild horse. Ivan, however, was calm and kept pace with Lily without either lurking too far behind or going too far forward.
“Hi Austin.” His voice was a small chirp and his smile was bright and cheery. I got up from the swing and gave him a hug, which he accepted graciously, his tiny arms felt strange around my back.
“I wanted to check on Darrian,” Lily said calmly, “Mom and dad were out, and Ivan always did love Darrian, so I figured he might want to come along.”
“Are you and Darrian having a sleepover?” Ivan asked whimsically.
“Yeah,” I said awkwardly, “Yeah, Darrian is going to be having a sleepover with me for a while.”
“That’s cool,” Ivan said, “I hope you all have a lot of fun. I’ve been having a sleepover with Lily for a long time.”
“So,” Lily said, changing the subject, “What’re you up to? You look more dressed up than you usually do.”
“Michael’s taking me to a party,” I said, tight lipped, “He said a whole bunch of his friends want to meet me.”
“Meaning he told them,” Lily said, raising an eyebrow, “Even though Sean and your mother don’t know yet?”
“Are you and Michael boyfriends?” Ivan chimed in. Lily groaned as I looked in surprise at him.
“Yeah,” I said, looking at my feet, “Yeah, but I’m scared because I don’t know how to tell some people, but he told some of his friends.”
“If I had a boyfriend,” Ivan said, concern in his little voice, “I wouldn’t want him to do stuff without asking me if he can first.”
“Exactly.” Lily muttered irritably, “He shouldn’t be telling people like that…”
She was going to say more, but was cut short by the sound of Michael’s car pulling in front of my driveway and honking. I looked at Lily helplessly, She just shook her head and took Ivan’s hand, moving towards the door while I headed into Michael’s car. Unsure on what to feel or expect.