Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Oh Brother Episode 7-9

“Christian seems popular,” Dee commented, smiling.
I turned my head to my left and spotted Christian. He was leaning against a locker, talking to a couple of girls. A huge smile was plastered onto his face as the girls laughed at his words, causing my eyebrows to furrow. Just a weeks ago he had been a total loner.
“Where’s your comment about how he doesn’t deserve this and should burn in hell?” Dee asked, snapping me out of my thoughts.
My head flew to look at her. “Huh?”
“You don’t hate him anymore?”
Blush quickly filled my cheeks. I had to admit, I did talk s--t about him to Dee and Cheryl often. It wasn’t that I wanted to be so negative, but Christian just brought that side out of me. Well, he did until the bath incident. Now I felt like I could just ignore his presence for some reason.
“I still hate him,” I said honestly. “I just don’t care about him at this point. This is my new life and he’s a part of it. Whatever.”
Dee smiled. “Wow, aren’t you optimistic.”
I laughed. “Shut up.”
Dee laughed as well and I smiled. Things weren’t perfect, but now that it was October life seemed manageable. Mom and Stephen were never home, but I was fine with that. Christian and I just left each other alone, which I was also fine with. Life had changed, but what the hell could I do about it. Honestly, what could I?
“You know, those girls are flirting with him,” Dee suddenly said.
My eyes flew back to where Christian stood. Only then did I realize the girls were standing too close to him and were laughing at everything he said. I rolled my eyes, feeling disgusted.
“He’s not even attractive,” I said, looking back at Dee. “I don’t get those girls.”
“But he is attractive,” Dee said, eyes brightening as she glanced at Christian. “Honestly, the things I’d do to that boy.”
I made a gagging sound, feeling suddenly violated. Dee had made a huge deal about Christian’s looks, but this was unexpected. And, extremely disturbing to the point where I actually wanted to throw up.
Dee suddenly laughed. “Okay, that was too much information.”
“Way too much.”
Dee grinned. “Come on, you have to admit it eventually. He’s hot.”
I shook my head vigorously. “Stop. He’s not.”
Dee laughed again. “Okay, you’re his step-sister. It would be incest if you found him hot so that’s why you disagree.”
I frowned. “It wouldn’t be incest, we don’t have any of the same blood.”
“Then admit he’s hot.”
I groaned. “Dee!”
She laughed and I couldn’t help but laugh as well. This conversation was whack, but beauty was in the eyes of the beholder. To those girls he was hot, to me he wasn’t.
*****
“Well, Christian has gotten popular,” Cheryl commented.
I groaned as I found myself about to be thrown into another conversation about Christian. The exact person I didn’t want to talk about, or see.
“Perks of being hot,” Dee chirped in.
My eyes narrowed at her and she giggled. I shook my head at that and sighed as I looked at the table where Christian was sitting at. Once again, he was surrounded by girls. Gorgeous girls.
Rolling my eyes, I grabbed my can of coke and said, “Those girls are desperate. He’s the new guy and they think they can get him.”
“And you think they can’t?” Cheryl asked, raising an eyebrow.
I felt blush rush into my cheeks, knowing I had an answer to that question. An answer, I would never admit to anyone. Not even to myself.
Cheryl’s eyebrows rose higher. “Did something happen between the two of you? You haven’t been hating on him lately.”
“No.” I sighed. “I just don’t care about him or his life. This is my new life, so I have to deal with unwanted parts of it such as him.”
“She’s turning into an optimistic,” Dee chirped in again.
I nodded, forcing a smile as Cheryl studied me. She seemed to be calculating me with her hazel eyes. I shifted uncomfortably.
“Well, good for you.” Was all she ended up saying. “How’s your new step-dad?”
“He’s nice enough,” I said, taking a sip from my drink. “He hogs my mom though.”
“And how’s your mom?”
“Everyday she is less of as mom, but she’s happy. That’s good for her.”
“Very optimistic, I see,” Cheryl commented, frowning.
I smiled sadly, knowing I was lying to myself. Really lying to myself because I hadn’t accepted this new life I was given. In fact, I hated it. Despite being able to push through it, I despised it. But like I said, what could I do about it.
“Autumn, you know you can talk to us, right?” Dee said, frowning at me.
“I know, but there’s nothing to talk about.” I shrugged, lying. “This is my life.”
“And you’re not happy with it,” Cheryl said. “Why don’t you talk to your mom about everything. You did say Stephen is hogging her.”
I shrugged. “There’s nothing to talk about… With her. She doesn’t really seem to like me anymore.”
That was also true. Now that Christian was here, she had a new child. A child, she preferred over me – her actual child. My heart ached at the thought.
“Autumn.” Dee slid closer to me. “You’ll get used to the change. Trust me on this.”
“I know I will,” I lied. “I already have.”
Deep down, in the depths of my heart I knew I would never accept the way things were. Not when only four months ago it was just my mom and I. The two of us against the world, both loving each other in the way a mom and daughter should. In a way, that was the complete opposite of the way my mom was now.
Stephen was nice, I had to admit. And I didn’t know why I hated Christian, but I could at least ignore him as of now. When it came down to it, it was my mom who was hurting me. She was hurting me without even knowing it, and that was the worst part. The person I was would never talk to her about my feelings. That was just too girly and depressing to me.
“Change sucks,” I suddenly admitted out loud.
Cheryl and Dee’s eyes softened as they stared at me. I was too tired to get angry at them for pitying me, so I closed my eyes. I closed my eyes and tried to remember the good old days. The ones that didn’t consist of Christian or Stephen.

I sat on the couch, watching The Vampire Diaries. From where I sat I could hear the roars of laughter coming from my mom, Stephen, and Christian. Laughter from the kitchen where they were cooking as a family. They asked me to join, but I had refused.
It wasn’t that I was trying to be a brat, but I just didn’t want to join them. Not when I would have to spend time with two strangers who lived in my house. And not when my mom was a changed woman who only saw flaws in me. Being alone was preferable now.
“Autumn!” I heard Stephen call. “The food is ready!”
Sighing, I got up and walked to the kitchen. A wave of spices hit me as I stepped into the kitchen, causing my mouth to water. It seemed like they made Alfredo pasta – my favourite.
Spotting them already sitting at the kitchen table, I joined them. To my disappointment I was stuck sitting beside Christian who sat in front of them. He wouldn’t look at me when I sat next to him, which was both confusing and satisfying. After the whole bath incident, he also chose to ignore me for some reason, and I was fine with that.
“Doesn’t the food look great,” my mom gushed, looking at me with bright eyes.
I forced a smile, not wanting to make the others happy but knowing I had to. “Yeah, it looks delicious.”
“It’s all thanks to Stephen and Christian. You should ask Christian to teach you to cook one day,” my mom said, grinning.
I rolled my eyes. “I’d rather not.”
My mom gave me a disapproving look and Stephen frowned at me. By now everyone knew how I clearly felt about Christian, and only my mom hated it. Surprisingly, Stephen seemed to understand.
“Autumn, I told you to stop badmouthing Christian,” she scolded. “He’s a good boy. You should be lucky to have him as a brother.”
I scowled, but I didn’t say anything. No matter what I said, I knew my mom would support Christian. She always did.
We then all began digging into the Alfredo pasta. It was piled onto all of out plates and I quickly dug in. I gasped lightly as the delicious taste of it exploded inside my mouth.
Feeling like someone was staring at me, I glanced to my right. Christian was in fact, staring at me. He was smirking, looking completely amused by the sight of me. It annoyed me.
“What?” I snapped.
“Autumn, what did I say,” my mom said, tone rising.
My eyes flew to her. “He was staring at me!”
My mom rolled her eyes. “Grow up, Autumn.”
Heat filed my cheeks as Stephen shot me a sympathetic look. I looked down and continued eating my pasta, suddenly feeling mortified. Mortified because Christian had watched my mom call me a child. An immature one, to be specific.
Eating quickly, I decided to grab some more pasta before I would leave. Leave this hell hole of a situation I was in with three people I wasn’t very fond of. The idea sounded good to me, so I quickly reached for the spoon in the large bowl of pasta.
To my surprise, a larger, warmer hand ended up on top of mine. Before I could react, the pasta bowl was falling towards the ground as Christian threw his hand back, knocking it off of the table. I gasped and his eyes widened as we both jumped as the bowl clashed against the ground.
“What the hell!” I exclaimed, looking directly at him.
Hisblue eyes were still widened with shock and confusion. From his lost look, I could tell he wasn’t processing what was going on. It didn’t even seem like he was awake as he just looked away quickly, staring off at a wall blankly.
“Autumn!” My mom suddenly yelled. “What have you done!”
My eyes widened as I looked at her accusing face. “Me?”
“How dare you ruin the food we worked hard on out of spite!” she exclaimed.
My jaw dropped as I took in the fact that she was blaming me. Me, when clearly Christian had knocked over the pot when he threw his hand back. I couldn’t believe it.
“I didn’t do anything!” I exclaimed. “Christian knocked over the pot!”
“Stop lying,” she hissed. “I’m so sick and tired of you Autumn.”
“Alice,” Stephen said hesitantly.
She stood up suddenly, surprising all of us as she glared at me. Glared at me as if she wanted me to disappear forever. I gulped, feeling my throat constrict as my own mother was looking at me like that.
“I’m leaving,” she hissed. “You better clean up the mess.”
She turned around and stormed off, leaving all of us wide-eyed. After shooting me a sympathetic look, Stephen ran after her. I stood up to watch them leave the house, feeling as if someone had shoved a dagger in my heart.
Once they were gone, I found myself shaking. My eyes began to tear up as I realized my mom did hate me. She wanted nothing to do with me anymore. It was clear after today and I knew the reason why.
I felt a hand on my shoulder and Christian said, “I’m so sorry Autumn. I honestly am.”
I bit my lip to fight back tears as I looked at him. Looked at his innocent face that was staring down at me with pitying eyes. The sight made my stomach churn and suddenly my blood was boiling. I shoved his hand off of me.
“This is why I hate you!” I yelled. “This is why we can never be a family!”
“Autumn, this wasn’t my fault,” he said, calmly but almost sad.
“But it was!” I exclaimed, ignoring the tears slipping down my cheeks. “It’s always your fault!”
By now tears were streaming down my face and I was shaking. I felt horrible. Sickened by everything. I wanted to run, leave, but not until Christian understood.
Christian reached out to touch me, but thought better of it and stopped himself. I felt a pang of anger at that, wondering why he dared try to comfort me. He didn’t have the right to.
“See, everything is handed to you on a silver platter,” I whispered, finding it hard to talk with my constricted throat. “How dare you ruin my life like this.”
“I didn’t ask for this,” he suddenly said exasperatedly. “I never wanted to hurt you.”
“Good for you,” I snapped. “But you have. You have and always will. Now that you live here, this is the way things are.”
“But I didn’t ask for your mom to like me!” he exclaimed. “Autumn, I did nothing!”
“I don’t care,” I whispered. “Just, let’s never be in the same room again. Let’s pretend the other doesn’t exist.”
“Autumn-”
“Shut up.”
I turned around quickly and rushed upstairs. A part of me felt embarrassed that Christian had seen me looking so vulnerable, but I didn’t care. I couldn’t care because my life was not manageable at all. It was horrible. The second Christian entered my life, it had turned horrible. I couldn’t help but detest Christian.

“Autumn!”
I pushed my legs to move faster. Faster, so that I wouldn’t have to talk to Christian. Or even see him.
“Autumn, just talk to me,” Christian pleaded.
I stopped in front of the school’s front doors and closed my eyes briefly. Taking in a deep breath, I decided to face him. Just to tell him to screw off, I would fight my anger away.
Turning around, I smiled sweetly at Christian’s frowning face and said, “Look, Christian. There’s nothing to talk about. Our lives are better off without each other, so let’s leave it like this. Us two hating each other is for the best.”
“But I don’t hate you,” he said, sounding sincere.
I couldn’t help but look away, feeling sick. The thing I hated about Christian, ever since we met, was that he didn’t hate me. He never did and it hurt in a strange way. Probably because he had every right to, yet he didn’t.
“You should,” I said honestly. “I don’t think I’ll ever like you.”
Christian winced and I turned around quickly, knowing I didn’t want to talk to him. Didn’t want to pity him, especially. We were destined to hate each other, I knew that. It was Christian who needed to realize the truth.
*****
I exited the school with my mind racing with thoughts. For the entire day I tried to forget about my main problem, but I couldn’t. Not when it actually mattered that my mom now hated me. All of the sudden she did and I had no idea why.
I looked up at the clear, blue sky as the sun shone down on me and smiled sadly. When it came to the outside world, everything was the same. Everything was perfectly in order, which was the complete opposite of my life.
Taking in a deep breath, I decided to get going. My throat was constricted and I suddenly felt like a girl. Those typical girls that cared too much about everything in life, which had never been me. Well, until Stephen married my mom. Now I seemed to care about everything too much. Even insignificant factors such as Christian.
As I walked down the sidewalk to the bus stop, I decided to finally think about Christian. The thought of him was already making my blood boil, so I knew I did hate him. I knew I never wanted to see him again. But for some reason, I suddenly felt bad about it. Almost sick. It didn’t make sense.
“Hey sweet cheeks,” I suddenly heard a voice say.
I stopped in my place and turned around, frowning from the unfamiliar voice. My eyes soon met almost black eyes of a boy who was staring at me, wearing a sly smile as he did. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes, knowing these types of guys.
Turning around, I continued walking as I chose to ignore him. I knew these guys only wanted attention. They were lonely and idiotic, so they chose to target girls that walked alone.
“Hey, girl, I’m talking to you,” he said, sounding close.
I realized he was following me, so I rolled my eyes. I continued to ignore him though, knowing he would eventually get bored of me. Hopefully it happened soon.
A minute later, I suddenly felt a hand clasp around my wrist, forcing me to turn around to face the guy. He was still wearing a sly grin, his eyes twinkling as if the situation was funny. I scowled at him, feeling completely annoyed.
Yanking my hand away, I hissed, “Don’t touch me. In fact, get away from me.”
His smile grew into a sloppy grin. “I just want to get to know you. You’re a cute little thing.”
I narrowed my eyes at him and turned around again, making sure to pick up my pace. The bus stop was only a street away and I knew I could finally get away from the creep. I needed to, because if I saw his sly smile again I knew I’d wipe it off in an aggressive way.
Suddenly, I felt a hand smack my butt. I gasped as I instantly felt violated when the feeling of the smack remained there, causing me to know that he had touched me. The creep had dared to touch me.
Turning around quickly, I was shocked to hear someone shout, “What the f--k did you just do!”
Both the guy and I were now staring at the boy storming up to where we stood. My heartbeat suddenly accelerated as I realized it was Christian. Christian, who looked livid as he clenched his jaw and closed up on the creep.
“I said, what the f--k did you do,” Christian hissed, glaring right at the boy as he stood in front of him.
The creep rolled his eyes, but he grinned. “Is she your girlfriend? She’s cute.”
Christian suddenly grabbed the front of the guy’s black shirt, pulling him even closer so their faces were only an inch apart. My eyes widened as I never really saw Christian angry. Never, even though I had yelled at him plenty of times before.
“Shut the f--k up,” Christian hissed, pushing the guy away. “Don’t you dare touch her again.”
“Or what?” The guy crossed his arms over his chest.
Before I could do anything, Christian swung at the guy. His fist collided with the guy’s face, causing him to land on the ground hard. I winced, but my eyes widened even more. The whole situation was hard to process.
Seeing that the creep looked ready to fight, I decided to put an end to things. Rushing up to Christian, I grabbed his arm and dragged him away. He was reluctant, but he seemed to be obeying. Although, he didn’t stop glaring at the creep.
“He’s not worth it,” I said, dragging Christian meters away.
Christian looked down at me, rage leaving his eyes. “You shouldn’t walk alone. Things would have been much worse if I didn’t show up.”
I couldn’t help but scowl. “Christian, I could have handled myself just fine. I was going to tell him off, but then you came.”
By now we had crossed the street to the bus stop, and only now did I realize I was still holding Christian’s arm. Feeling disgusted with myself, I quickly let go and jammed my hands into my jeans pockets.
Christian frowned at me. “He touched you. It didn’t seem like you were handling it.”
Suddenly, I felt angry. Annoyed with Christian. I just hated how he thought I was some delicate thing, when clearly I wasn’t. Right now I was all alone – literally – and I was fine. Despite everything going on in my life, I was okay. I wasn’t some weak girl.
Christian seemed to realize I was annoyed because he sighed. He ran his fingers through his dark hair and looked off into the distance, seeming suddenly tired. And just like me, of life.
I couldn’t help but watch him, wondering just who exactly he was. Knowing him for three months hadn’t taught me anything about him, except that he was a nuisance. But from his reaction to the guy, it seemed like he wasn’t so innocent.
Eventually looking back at me, he asked, “Are you okay?”
“I am,” I said honestly. “I’m fine.”
He nodded and looked away again, seeming suddenly awkward. I felt awkward myself, knowing there was just one thing I had to say to him. Despite my feelings towards him, I had to say it.
“Thank you,” I said, looking back at him. “For helping me.”
He looked back at me, eyes twinkling with slight happiness. “You’re welcome… Does this mean we’re okay?”
I sighed. “Christian, I mean it. We’re destined to hate each other.”
“Why in the world do you think that?”
“Because of how messed up my life is. Because you stole my mom,” I said, heart clenching at the truth.
Christian’s eyes expressed pity and I looked away. I bit my lip and stared at the ground, wondering why I was even talking to him. We were supposed to act like the other doesn’t exist.
“I did nothing, Autumn,” he said. “You know that right?”
“I know that,” I said. “I just… Can’t.”
“Can’t you try to get to know me at least?” he suddenly pleaded. “Just spend one day with me.”
My eyes flew back to him, shocked by his request. From the way his eyes were wide with desperation, I knew he meant what he said. He honestly wanted this.
“Why do you care if I like you?” I asked, wanting an answer to that single question that had been bothering me.
I just didn’t understand. We were basically strangers, yet he kept trying. Trying to know and befriend a horrible person such as myself.
“I don’t know,” he replied, sounding honest. “I guess… because I don’t have much of a family so it would be nice to have a sibling.”
I looked away, feeling my heart suddenly ache at the thought. To be completely honestly, I felt like it would be nice too. Nice to have someone there for me after everyone had left me.
But despite that, my only reply to everything he said was, “I honestly don’t know. I’m sorry.”

To be continued

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