My sister was still sleeping. And as I groggily walked downstairs, I found her purse on the couch. I opened it to see if there was any proof of her drinking... or more. I scoured through it and felt something cold and squared. I took it out. A pack of cigarettes. She was smoking too? I couldn't jump to conclusions. What if she was holding it for that ass of a guy that she bumped into at Shop Rite? Please hope that was true. I put the pack back into her purse.
It was 9:30. Bruno, Nick, and Summer would be back at 3:00. Mickey came in with the key I gave him. I looked horrible. My hair was up in a messy ponytail, my tank top clung to me with a bit of sweat even the AC was on full last night. I was scared... for my sister. My shorts stuck to my thighs. I brushed, luckily, but I didn't feel fresh.
"Hey, baby," I said yawning, "you're up early."
"Yeah, I needed to see you. With Jordan and Heather there, I couldn't spend time with you."
He kissed me on the forehead.
"You look tired, sweetheart. What time did you go to sleep?"
My sister and I had a long talk after she came out of the shower. We were up till 3. Mickey looked at me with his innocent gray eyes, waiting for an answer.
"Why did you sleep so late?"
Could I tell him? I wanted to, but I couldn't. I promised my sister and I didn't want to risk our relationship I had to lie. It hurt, but I had to.
"I got a new book and I couldn't stop reading it," I blurted out.
He stared at me. He could tell something was bothering me, but he didn't ask. He wrapped his arms around me.
"Whatever it is," he said, "you don't have to tell me. Because I know you're doing it for a good reason."
"Did you eat breakfast?"
I shook my head, yawning again.
"Are you sure you don't want to go back to sleep?"
"I'm sure. But I'm starving. You wanna eat with me?"
"Sure, but I'm gonna make something for you."
I raised my eyebrows.
"I know how to cook."
"Well, just watch me."
He opened the fridge and took out the eggs, milk, and cheese. He also took out some fruit and bread.
"Go sit in the living room," he said with pleading eyes.
"Okay, baby," I said taking a water of bottle. I kissed him and walked out into the living room. I saw Mickey breaking eggs in the open kitchen and laughed.
"Nothing." I smiled, for a second, until I remembered my sister. I remembered pack of cigarettes in her purse. The hideous smell of alcohol. Mickey came out into the living room after a while with two plates in his hands. A grilled cheese sandwich, eggs, fruit, and a cold glass of chocolate milk.
"Thanks soooooo much," I said kissing him. "The food is great!"
He smiled digging in, flipping on the T.V.
We ate and laughed and kissed. Until my sister came down.
"Hey, Sam," Mickey said.
She waved walking into the kitchen.
"Hold on," I said to Mickey taking her purse from the other couch. My sister was standing by the fridge with brush in her mouth.
"What is this?" I whispered holding the pack of cigarettes.
"A pack of cigarettes," she said.
"Shut up! I know what it is. Why do you have it?"
She shrugged, spitting in the sink.
"Sam, I'm gonna have to tell Bruno or Nick or Mom or Dad. You can't do this."
I opened the trash can and threw out the pack.
"That cost money you idiot!"
"Don't call me an idiot. You're the idiot. You're the one doing all this. Why Sam? Why?"
"I'm tired of you being perfect. Or Bruno getting whatever he wants. Or Nick getting most of the attention."
I looked at her.
"I'm not perfect," I said to her.
"Yes you are. You're pretty, you have a nice body, you're sweet and considerate. Plus, you have the perfect boyfriend. The perfect life."
"You have all those qualities."
"No. I don't have someone who cares for me like Mickey does for you. I don't have someone who loves me, kisses me. Mom and Dad don't listen to me."
"Well, you can make them. You can find the right guy. But there's no need to smoke or drink."
"These cigarettes and drinks replaced everything. They make me feel better."
"No. They kill you."
I looked at her face. She was staring at her feet. I looked at her one more time before I left the kitchen.