He guided me out of the hospital and we went onto a big bus where he threw in some coins.
When we got off, we arrived at a small house. It looked cozy.
“It’s not much but, it’s home.” He said, almost ashamed.”
“No, no. It looks cozy and cute.” I told him.
“Really?” he asked, skeptically. I nodded to assure him.
We walked up the cobbled steps and entered a tiny living room. It had a couch, a plant and a clock. Oh, and a table with a newspaper on it.
There was an arc that led to the room on the left. It was a kitchen/ dining room. It too, was small. Then there was a hallway leading to a small bedroom with a queen-sized bed and to the right of that was a little bathroom the size of a closet.
Then if you continued it was another room. It had 2 beds. It was also the messiest. Paper and pens everywhere and a basketball.
“Is this your room?” I asked, amused.
“Yeah, and my older bros.” he said bro, with a hint of acid in his tone.
“You don’t like your brother?” I blurted out. He looked at me and said, “It’s just…”
“Yeah?” I encouraged.
“When we were little, we’d do everything together. He was my best friend.” I smiled. But then he continued and my smile faded into pity. “Then my dad passed away and his last wish was that his kids followed in his footsteps. But this time, they’d do it right.”
I was about to open my mouth to ask but he continued before I could.
“He used to be a football player but, when the scouts were there for the game, the opposing team player was flirting with his girlfriend, my mom, a cheerleader at the time.” He made a strange face, as if he couldn’t believe it. Then he continued on with the story. “He got distracted and a little jealous. He didn’t use it to his advantage. Instead it broke into a fight and he seemed like the bad guy. No college took him in after that.”
“I’m sorry,” I said.
He forced a strained smile. “My older brother Brad, ever since then, turned into the school’s football star. Quarterback.” He said it bitterly. “He only dates the hottest ditziest girls in school now. He is all tough and mighty. He bullies others. He ignores me like I wasn’t even born. Every time something messes up, he blames me for it. He hates me.”
“Oh,” was all I could say.”
“It’s not easy for me to make friends now either. Our family is really poor. My mom works as a waitress. I have a scholarship to the prep school we go to. Everyone’s all snooty. Once you’re unpopular, it’s really hard not to be. Especially when all the popular kids are against you.”
“That sounds awful.”
“It is. You’ll do fine though.” He offered.
“I will?” I asked, a little worried.
“I don’t know.” He admitted. “Well, good luck.”
I laughed. “Thanks,”
“You know? I work for money. Part-time job. It’s not easy. I have to keep my scholarship and Brad can’t do anything because of he ‘needs his rest, since he’s the quarterback. All the family money goes to Brad’s tuition so we barely have enough to get by.”
“From what I’m seeing, you’re doing an excellent job.” I told him sincerely, he blushed and changed the subject.
“We have a guest room, this way.” He led me to the other way. The guest room was microscopic too. All it could fit was one single bed against the wall. There was barely enough room to walk there. There was no other furniture in it. “Sorry it’s so small.”
“It’s fine. I’m lucky I even have a place to go,” I laughed. “Thank you.”
“It’s nothing.” He waved it away. “My mom and bro’s gonna be home in a few so, I already told them, so…” his face turned pained again.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Nothing. Its just brad wasn’t too happy to share the limited food we have.” He said unwillingly.
“Oh.” I felt bad for using up there things. “If this is inconvenient I can…” I can what? I can live on the street? Thankfully, he didn’t let me finish the sentence.
“No. It’s not. Just ignore him.” He cracked a smile. “I always do.”
“Are you sure?” I asked doubtfully. He nodded.
“Thanks, again.” I said.
“Okay, okay. You can stop thanking me now.” He laughed and I joined in.
We heard a door bang closed and something heavy drop to the floor. Then, “Loser. I’m home. Get me some coke.”
“Brad,” he explained. “I guess I better introduce you. Let’s go.”
I followed him out the door and into the living room. There sitting on the couch was a handsome guy. He had short spiky brown hair and chiseled features. He had brown eyes like Danny’s, except Danny’s had a warm feeling when you looked into them. He was buffed and had broad shoulders. He was wearing a lettered coat.
When I entered the room he jumped up, surprised.
“Brad, Ava. Ava, Brad.” Danny gestured toward Brad.
“Hi,” I smiled. Brad’s mouth dropped open a little.
He recovered himself in an instant. “Sup. And who is this fine creature standing before me?” He was hitting on me the first time we met?
“Ava, although I’m pretty sure Danny just said it.” I replied with my eyebrows raised.
“Ooh. Playing hard to get.” He walked up to me and shook my hand but let his linger there longer than it should have.
Danny, who was brushed aside by Brad, cleared his throat and then Brad dropped my hand.
“I thought you said you didn’t want some pest in our house, Brad?” Danny asked, one eyebrow rose.
“That was before I found out she was such a hot goddess” he replied without taking his eyes off of me.
I giggled and blushed. “Thanks.”
Danny glowered at his brother but his brother ignored him.
“You can stay here as long as you like,” Brad told me while trying to catch my eye. I stared right into them and smiled. “Thanks,” I simply said.
“I’m hooooooooome,” trilled a female voice at the door. In stepped in a pretty lady with an hourglass figure.
She had shoulder length brown hair that seemed to run in the family. She looked pretty but tired. She had big unhealthy-looking black bags under her familiar eyes. And don’t even get me started on the wrinkles.
“Sup ma,” said Brad, barely looking at her.
“Hi mom,” Danny greeted her with a hug.
“Hi.” I stepped into view. She looked startled then she realized who I was.
“Hello Ava. I’m Mrs. Martin but you can call me Susan.”
“Hi Susan.” She loped over and shook my hand.
“Welcome,” she said with a big smile. “Oh my. I’m gonna start cooking and then if we have time, we’ll go shopping for some of your necessities okay?”
“Sure. Thanks,” I responded with a bigger smile.
“In the meantime, Brad, do your homework. Danny did you finish yours?” she turned to them.
Danny nodded and Brad rolled his eyes.
“Danny, help Brad with his.” She ordered with authority.
“Fine,” Danny grumbled and they stalked off to their room.
“You should go see if you can help them too.” She said. “Go on.”