“Can we please just order pizza?” Jason begs and Devin shoots him a nasty look.
“What’s wrong with my cooking?” He asks defensively.
“Are you cooking or burning?” I ask and he scowls at me.
“Well, how about you try cooking then,” He snaps at me and I raise my eyebrow.
“Nah, I’m good.”
“That’s what I thought.” I just stare at him. I actually can cook, and really well too, I just don’t like doing it all that often.
“Aren’t girls supposed to be able to cook?” Cody questions.
“That’s sexist.” I state, “And I never said I can’t cook.” I shrug, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be cooking meals every day for these guys though.
Chase walks into the kitchen area and stops dead in his tracks, looking in horror at whatever Devin was cooking-I’m sorry, burning for us.
“I’m ordering pizza.” He announces as he pulls out his phone, dialing the number. Cody and Jason snicker while Devin glares daggers at Chase’s head. Chase walks off into the bedroom he’s sharing with Devin to place the call, with Devin chasing after him protesting that his food is better than the pizza...it’s not.
I glance over at the food left burning on the stove, and stand from my seat at the counter, grabbing the pots and pans and dumping their contents into the trash can before beginning to wash them. Jason howls in laughter along with Cody.
“He is going to kill you.” Jason chokes out between his fit of laughter.
I shrug, “I personally thought I was doing everyone a favor.” I reply. “Unless of course you wanted to eat that charcoal he calls food.”
“No thank you.”
“I suggest hiding any weapon in this room,” Cody says with a smile on his face.
I raise my eyebrow, “And why would I do that?” I twirl a kitchen knife in my hand. He swallows loudly. “I don’t need to be scared of him...if anything he should be scared of me.”
Devin comes running back in a second later with Chase’s phone in his hand and Chase right up on his heels.
“Give me back my damn phone!” he yells as he pursues Devin.
“No way! I’m not having pizza over my delicious meal!”
“The only thing your meals are ever good for is successfully killing someone and making it look like an accident.” Chase retorts. Devin has yet to see that there’s no meal of his left.
I let out an exasperated sigh and pull my phone out my back pocket, punching in the number to the pizza place, I hold it up to my ear as it begins to ring.
“What do two want?” I ask Jason and Cody as the phone rings.
“Everything but olives.” Cody answers. I glance at Jason and he mouths ‘same.’ Someone finally answers.
“Hey can I get four extra large pizzas with everything on them but olives?”
“Sure thing, pick up or delivery?” I look over and Devin who’s holding Chase’s phone over the balcony ledge, I roll my eyes.
“Delivery.” I finally respond and name off our location before hanging up. I turn to the two boys who are actually listening to me. “It’ll be here within the next half hour,” I say.
“Why four extra large?” Cody questions.
I point to Devin, “Do you want him making lunch tomorrow?”
“This way there are leftovers,” I answer.
“You guys suck.”
“Thanks Devin.” I mutter, “Sorry I didn’t I feel like dying so young.” I add as I grab a second slice of pizza.
“Well I know a way you can make it up to me.” He smiles mischievously.
“No.” We all say in unison.
“Oh come on,” he throws his hands up dramatically, “I was only going to suggest we play a game.” He mutters.
“There is no way in hell I’m playing truth or dare with you again.” Jason interjects before Devin can explain his ‘game’.
“Actually I was going to suggest something like twenty questions-” he’s cut off again...by me.
“Not a chance.”
“Really?” he glares at me “As I was saying, someone starts and asks a question but everyone has to answer it including the person to ask it, and everyone gets three passes to not answer a question.” I give Devin a look. “Everyone but Thirteen, she can get as many passes as she wants.” He adds nervously.
“I’m in. for once this isn’t one of your stupid getting us into trouble games.” Jason says.
“I’ll play,” Chase says.
“Me too,” Cody adds. All eyes turn towards me.
I shrug, “Why not.”
“Ok, I’ll start first...”
Everyone’s laughs at Chase’s answer to ‘most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done’. He groans.
“Please I was like twelve.” He grumbles, “I should’ve just passed if I knew you guys would go off like this.”
“I didn’t go off,” I say.
“That’s cause you don’t laugh much less smile,” Devin mumbles quietly but I catch it anyways so does Cody.
“Jason your turn for a question.” He says, his eyes never leaving my face as if he’s waiting for me to show some sort of reaction to Devin’s comment. I don’t do anything.
“Ok, uh...how about the worst prank you ever pulled.” He finally says, after a bit of thinking.
“I set Cody’s clothes on fire,” Devin speaks up and Cody glares, obviously recalling the memory.
Jason starts busting up, “I forgot about that.”
“I didn’t,” Cody grumbles.
“Once I ‘kidnapped’ my friend to take her to her surprise birthday party...she didn’t appreciate all that much,” Chase says.
“Who would appreciate that?” Devin questions.
“I shaved my brother’s head while he was asleep once.” Cody chimes in and sends them into another round of laughter. I shake my head slightly. “How about you Thirteen.”
“Flooded the agency.” I’m greeted with complete and utter silence.
“Did you really?” Chase asks in shock. I nod slightly.
“Man Zero must have gone off his rocker.” Jason comments.
“Well, Thirteen’s a troublemaker...never saw that one coming.” Devin mumbles.
“Not anymore,” I respond quietly. “Jason I believe it’s your turn.”
“I’ll pass on this one thanks.”
“Oh come on.”
“You came up with the question.”
“Yes really.” He cuts them all off. “Chase it’s your turn for a question.”
“Alright....family in the agency.”
“That’s so boring.” Devin states.
“Well my dad and brother were in the agency, till they retired,” Cody interjects before Devin keeps going.
“My grandparents,” Devin says.
“No one,” Jason adds.
“My parents.” Chase declares. Everyone seems to look at me cautiously as if they think I’m not going to answer.
“My dad, my uncle, my cousin, my grandparents were, my aunt, my sister, brother...pretty much everyone in my family except my mom’s side,” I answer and everyone stares.
“Your brother and sister?” Cody questions.
I feel my fists clench on their own accord. “My sister disappeared six years ago, and my brother...well, he was on my team.”
“Was?” Devin presses.
“He’s now six feet under with a bullet in between his eyes.” You could hear a pin drop, it’s that quiet now. “Anyway, I believe it’s my turn to ask a question.” I break the silence and change the subject back to the game. “So...worst date ever.” They all let out groans.
“Triple thousand skips.”
“I’ll skip too.”
“Really, are you guys that chicken?” I ask in a challenging sort of way.
“Yes,” Devin answers causing Cody to laugh.
“My turn now.” Cody declares. “Worst dare you’ve ever done.”
“Damn it I’m out of skips,” Jason comments, causing everyone to laugh. “Well I guess it was when Cody dared me to jump in the neighbor’s pool” he pauses “naked.” And cue the laughter. Jason’s face turns red.
“Alright settle down,” Chase commands. “Mine would have to be the time again Cody, dared me to try Devin’s lasagna.” Devin glares and Jason laughs along with Cody.
“My little sister dared me to go to about six different house and sing, ‘I’m a Barbie girl’ to whoever answered,” Devin complains.
“I got dared by Chase to post an embarrassing video on YouTube for a week.”
“What happened to the video?” I ask sweetly.
“I deleted it.” They all turn to look at me waiting for my answer to the question.
“Oh no, I’m skipping,” I say innocently ignoring their protests.
It goes on for a while more before everyone decides it’s time to get some sleep...well everyone but me of course. I go and sit on the couch turning on the T.V. to some random channel.
“Mind if I join you?” Cody asks quietly.
“It’s a free country.”
“Now who told you that?” he teases. “What even is this?” he gestures with his head to the show playing on the T.V.
“I don’t know,” I answer, I have no idea what I turned on.
“Well mind if I change the channel?”
“Nope.” I hand him the remote and he begins to flick through channels before finally settling on the one playing X-men Origins Wolverine. We stay silent as he watches the movie and I replay the night events over and over in my head. I get on my feet and head towards the bathroom.
“What are you doing?” Cody questions.
I point to my side. “Changing the bandages,” I answer before walking into the bathroom and shutting the door as well as locking it. I place my hands on either side of the sink and stare at my reflection in the mirror.
For once in the past three years I don’t look so...well, dead anymore. So lifeless. For once I barely recognize the girl in the mirror. Why? Because I haven’t seen her in three years. Because I’ve been dead for three years.
These boys are bringing life back into me. They’re giving me hope, and happiness. Two things I’ve become unfamiliar with. They make me feel like my old self. But I killed her when the rest of my team went down. At least I thought I did...I’m starting to believe I only buried her, not killed her.
I’ve never been so sure about anything in my life as I am about this one thing now....this team will not end up like my last one.
They will not learn what it’s like to lose, even just one member. Even if it kills me in the process.
Let’s face it I’m not a part of this team, and I never will be...that is the promise I made several years ago.
I will never be a part of a team again.