My house – as I always so arrogantly thought as a teenager. I lived there, therefore it was mine. It was home. Me and my siblings fought often enough, and my parents weren’t always around to tell us to buck up and knuckle down with our studies, and money was always an issue that would cause a row more often than not, regardless of the fact that we always seemed to be able to afford the latest gadgets and a decent house. It wasn’t perfect, but it was always home. Comfort and warmth and a roof over my head.
“Alex, if you don’t give me back my motherfucking Iron Maiden tape back right this second, I will gouge out your eyes,” my brother threatened in his Nevada drawl. He was only a half brother; my dad had a fling in America before settling down and having me and Annie in our London house. He has... anger issues, to say the least. That’s why he was here with us in England, his mum couldn’t cope with him anymore but figured he would be better off with family.
I threw the tape at his head, the case following it a moment later. I heard him roar in anger at me, a wordless, slightly terrifying noise echoing throughout the first floor. I slammed my bedroom door shut, shoving a chair up under the door handle like they do in films. I chuckled as he punched my door, trying to get in to make good on his threat.
“Go home, Yankee boy,” I shouted, just to piss him off.
“Dickhead!” he growled.
“Suck on it,” I taunted. I think I had a death wish or something.
“Lucas, stop fighting with your brother,” dad’s calm voice tried to cut through our yelling. “Alex, open your door and apologise for whatever it was you did this time.” I laughed.
“You’re kidding, right? He’ll kill me if I open my door.”
“Alex!” he snapped. I rolled my eyes and reluctantly pulled away the chair, opening the door a crack to look into Lucas’ angry face and dad stood behind him, looking a little bored. Did I mention I piss Lucas off a lot?
“Are they done yelling yet?” Annie sidled into view, glancing between me and Lucas doubtfully.
“I don’t think those two will ever be done yelling at each other,” dad smiled a little, waiting for us to apologise. “Go do your homework downstairs. It’ll be quieter down there.” I only just registered her dark hair swinging out of sight and the derisive tut she directed at us. Me and Lucas were both older than her, but at fourteen, that girl was probably already more mature than either of us would ever be.
Our eyes were locked, both of us trying to stare the other down. I would not apologise first. Dad was just gonna stand there and wait, a sort of attempt at discipline. We would apologise and be quiet, or the both of us would be grounded and stuck in the house together for a week. I don’t think either of us were stubborn enough to bring that sort of punishment down upon us.
“Alex,” dad sighed, “just apologise. I know you started this one.”
“Nuh uh,” I shook my head. And then dad started counting down like I was a little kid. But he wasn’t joking around when he did it. I waited til he got to one before grumbling a half assed apology, which Lucas was forced to accept.
“Now settle down, the both of you. We’ll end up getting complaints from the neighbours again,” and with that dad was heading off downstairs again.
Like I said, it wasn’t perfect. But it was home.