I sidestepped the large decorative pot plant at the bottom of the stairs and made my way to the kitchen. Glancing around, I opened the fridge and grabbed the huge jar of Nutella. Kicking the fridge door to a violent close, I swivelled around to take the loaf of bread off the bench and seated myself down. Slicing myself a generous hunk, I proceeded to drown the piece of white bread in the hazelnut spread. I leant back on the meticulously upholstered chair and put my feet up on the edge of the mahogany table.
“Hello everyone, I’m back!” said the ever so joyful voice of Tori Austins, Julian’s twin sister.
I hastily pulled my feet off the table and shoved the rest of the bread into my mouth. Whatever happened, I did NOT want to have to talk to this pathetic version of a girl. Dumping my plate and knife into the dishwasher, I got ready to sprint out of the kitchen and up the stairs when Tori would get out of the hallway to put away her jacket. Three... two... one... run!
“Jacksie! How nice to see you!” said the voice of Tori Austins as I was halfway up the stairs. Damn.
“Tori. Uh... nice to see you too,” I mumbled, backing myself slowly up the stairs, “Umm, I need to go up now to umm, take a shower.”
“Ok Jacksie! Don’t forget to hang the towels up neatly and put your clothes in the right basket!” she said as I rounded the corner on the landing.
I may seem quite cruel for wanting to run away from this girl, and let’s face it, to the average person who didn’t know her she could seem pretty nice. But having lived in the Austins twins’ house for the past two months, she had driven me insane from her neat freak habit. Not to mention her overly enthusiastic attitude and the annoying way she shortened my name to Jacksie. No one had called me that since I was six for God’s sake!
There had been a million rules given to me and Riley when we first entered this place. Stupid things such as:
- Don’t move Tori’s favourite pillow from her chair.
- Hang up the towel in a particular way that required ten minutes of me fumbling around with the bloody piece of fabric.
- Do not slouch under any circumstances
- Put dirty clothes neatly folded into separate baskets. This may not seem bad at first, but there are a gazillion baskets for every kind of clothes imaginable!
- Do not ever complain about having to live in a peach and pink room with matching duvets.
- So on and so forth...
As I kicked opened the door to my room, I silently swore at Tori and her ridiculous neat freak habits. And at her stupid obsession with keeping the house as though it’s a Disney princess’s castle. Plunking down on my bed, I plugged my headphones into my ears and cranked the volume of my iPod on maximum. Closing my eyes, I tried to lose myself in the hard beats of rock music. Suddenly someone yanked the headphones out of my ears. I sat up in surprise.
“Geez Jackson, why do you have to listen to it so loudly!” complained Riley as she sat down on my bed, her fingers twining the cord of my headphones, “But I must admit you have good taste.”
“What are you doing here?” I asked, my voice slightly annoyed. I hadn’t had the best day and right then I didn’t want to see anyone, “Why aren’t you downstairs fawning after Tori like how you fawn over her brother every time he walks by?”
“Oh shut up Jackson. You know perfectly well how much I hate this girly-girly situation,” said Riley, “Now, Julian had told me that we’re going out for dinner tonight. You better get dressed than, Mr Scruffy.”
“Are you sure he extended the invitation to me?” I asked, my eyes mocking, “Last time I checked he hated my guts.”
“Oh come on, he’s just not great at showing affection,” she defended that little bastard.
“So tell me how he has no problem putting his arm around your waist?” I retorted.
She looked away from me, and the silence between us stretched for so long that I thought she had given up on answering me.
“We used to be best friends, you know,” she said, he voice quiet, “Am I not allowed to be close to my best friend either, Jackson Barker? Why are you so possessive?”
“Possessive? Riley Jones, you and me, we’re nothing to each other. Why would I be jealous and possessive?” I told her.
“Nothing? What happened to you confessing your love to me?” she snapped at me, her blue eyes fierce.
“Can you please leave? I need to get changed for the restaurant,” I changed the conversation topic, not wanting to continue on an argument that I would surely lose.
“Fine, I’ll see you in the car,” she said as she walked out of my room.
As the door slammed behind her back, I swore out loud. Bloody Julian Austins. He was the one who did this. HE was the one who had separated me and Riley.