It had never been so easy to hate family before, unless I had a particularly good reason to do it. But with Damian, the anger and frustration that I held inside for everything that was happening seemed to flow out uncontrollably. It was hard to control my emotions around him when he was the one individual that seemed to trigger them the most, causing me to explode. Though explosions had never been so literal.
Running my hands through my hair, I kicked my room door shut hard with my foot knowing that my new stepbrother would not tell me what exactly was going on no matter how much I pleaded him to. Even though he acted as if nothing was up, I could sense it. Something is changing inside me and I don't know what. But the only thing I do know is that Damian seems to have at least the slightest clue of everything that's been happening. But he wouldn't tell me.
I fell down on the bed, my body making contact against the soft mattress. Curling up on one side, I closed my eyes but sleep didn't meet me like it usually did. This night, I knew, would be one of those filled with silent thoughts and mumblings, trying to untie things and force them to fall into place. And Damian was the cause of my being awake tonight.
There's something about my stepbrother that just doesn't seem natural. His guarded expression that crossed his face for the split second that I'd jumped on him with a question and when he soothed me back in his house after the chandelier had come crashing down on us. I feel so bare in front of him, his dark eyes intimidating me as if he could see through my every move and read my thoughts. And now, with him living here, it would only get worse.
I slid off the bed softly, slipping my feet into my night-time flip-flops before slowly creaking my door open and heading out. I wanted to have some fresh air, just some peaceful time for myself. But things never work out for me.
The light in the kitchen was my first warning. And the person inside had already heard me, as I could hear footsteps making their way towards the staircase. I let go of the breath I'd been holding when I recognized it to be only my mother, and not whom I'd been dreading.
"Arianna? What are you doing awake?" She asked in a stern voice, her eyes flickering to the clock pinned on the wall.
"It's what people are when they're not asleep," I muttered to myself under my breath but she'd heard it, her eyes narrowing at me.
"That's not a proper attitude," she said, following me as I walked to the kitchen.
That's the least of my concerns.
Suddenly, putting up with my mother appeared to be the easiest thing to do. She didn't scare me as much anymore, place me in that position of worrying that I'd disobeyed her. For once, I was completely ignoring her as I made myself some tea, her words flying past my ears unattended to. And for the first time, I gave her a piece of my mind on what had been happening in my life.
"Mother, I don't like this one bit."
She stopped mid-word, looking down at me with shock spreading on her face. "Ex-excuse me?"
"Your marriage. It's a mistake. You'll regret it."
She pursed her lips, her eyes flashing. "I don't think you have the right to say that Arianna."
"Incase you've forgotten, I'm your daughter. I have every right to speak up if you're making a decision that could screw my life over."
I'd never spoken to her like that. The anger that leeked into her expression made it clear that she was quite displeased with the Arianna I'd become in this moment. But this is who I am. And if she couldn't deal with knowing a little bit of the truth, how could she deal with being my mother?
"Is this about the boy?"
I shook my head too quickly, not even waiting for her to finish the question and she smiled wryly. I'd given it away.
"New families can be a little hard to adjust to. But with time, things will get better. And if they don't, you'll learn to live with it. That's what I did."
Without another word, my mother walked out the kitchen, leaving me alone clutching my mug and staring at the empty space in front of me. She would never understand. And if she really had learned to live with the life my father had given her, she would never have run away from it. She shouldn't have had to.