Me And My Shadow

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Chapter 18

Layla’s POV –

The next morning I got up and told Cecilia that I would see her tomorrow. It was only Saturday and I told my mom that I would come home for the day to have a little “family time”.

The family time might get a little awkward if I bombard Eric with questions about what happened between him and Cecilia yesterday.

I think I’ll just ask my mom for some advice first.

“Hey mom?”

I looked over at her as she was humming to the song that was quietly coming out of the speakers in the car.

“Yes?” She asked, quickly glancing in my direction and then back to the road.

“Is it normal for a boy to pull away before possible sex?”

Now, I know what you’re thinking... why on earth would I ask my mom such a question?

The truth was, my mom and I had a very open relationship. We could literally talk about anything and it wasn’t weird or strained. I felt safe whenever I talked to her.

She knew that I had already lost my virginity, but that’s a story for another time.

“Well Layla, that’s hard to say. It really depends on the situation.” She said, as if the answer was obvious.

“Are you being safe?” She suddenly asked.

No, my mom wasn’t necessarily okay with me being sexually active at sixteen. She was furious when I told her that I had lost my virginity. However, she accepted the fact that I was a teenager and teenagers in this day and age have sex, especially when they’re just in the moment and not thinking clearly. My mom was always cool like that. She knew that this was the twenty-first century and that being an overprotective mom who forbids anything, will only result in something bad happening, so she accepted the inevitable and talked through everything with me, rather than just ignoring it and pretending it wasn’t happening.

As a result, I’ve been on birth control for a little over eight months.

“This isn’t about me mom. I’m asking for a friend.”

Crap. Now she’ll probably know which friend I’m talking about.

“Well, there are only two possible answers.” She said calmly.

“What would those be?” I asked, curious as to what she would say.

“Well dear, it could mean that he’s gay, but that’s a long shot.”

I snorted at that one. Eric, gay? Well, he did have nice clothes and his hair has always been styled perfectly... Okay Layla, just stop.

“Or, it could be that he’s actually really in love and he’s scared to take it to the next level.”

Okay, that seemed a bit more realistic.

“Hm, I suppose one of those answers could be right.” I said in a joking manner.

My mom looked at me quickly, and I could tell that she knew who I was referring to. She let out a small laugh and shook her head, as we pulled into the driveway.

“Thanks, mom.” I smiled.

“Anytime sweetie. Oh, and stay safe!” She said with another laugh, causing me to roll my eyes.

Mom and I walked inside to the smell of breakfast, so I immediately made my way into the kitchen.

I saw that Larry was home and not in his normal suit attire. He wore basic blue jeans with a black T-shirt and sneakers.

I liked when Larry was home and not at the office. It made us feel like more of a family.

After my father passed away, I was sad that I wouldn’t have a full and happy family anymore.

When my mom first met Larry, I was skeptical. He seemed like a workaholic and that didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t want my mom to be one of those wives who sat at home all day waiting for their husband to get home, meanwhile, he’s at the “office” with his “assistant”. Cliché intended.

I was twelve at the time and I was afraid of the change to be honest. Before Larry and Eric, it was just me and my mom. I liked it to an extent, but I knew that she was really depressed on the inside and dying to meet someone new. I couldn’t let her continue to live like that.

She didn’t want me to feel like she was betraying my father, but she calmly explained to me how grown ups need companionship and how my dad would’ve wanted her to be happy no matter what.

Larry was the best thing to ever happen to my mom. He was fun, new and exciting. He would randomly send flowers to her job or to our home, making sure to leave little love notes on the cards. He would pick her up every Friday night and take her out into town, wooing her in the process. He still does a lot of that even today.

I even got a ridiculous, crazy, annoying, egotistical step-brother out of the whole deal, so that’s always a plus.

I wouldn’t change my mom’s happiness for anything and I’m glad to have Larry and Eric be apart of our lives.

I still haven’t worked up enough courage to call Larry dad, but he knows that it’s something that I have to ease myself into and he’s reassured me numerous times that I don’t need to call him dad if I’m not ready.

Eric calls my mom, mom. He never really had much of a mother before, due to his leaving them both for a young, hot bachelor.

She deserted them and didn’t even care. The only mother Eric knew of, the mother he loved unconditionally and had a bond with, suddenly just left. I suppose he and Cecilia had a lot more in common than I thought.

When I first got introduced to Eric at the age of twelve, I knew he was broken. Eric was thirteen and he didn’t acknowledge me, nor did he never speak to my mom. He usually just kept himself locked in his room, blaring whatever music he felt like that day.

Slowly but surely, my mom and I showed him love and what a family can really be like. I didn’t mind having an older brother, and I still don’t.

Once my mom and Larry made things official, Eric started coming around. Only a year after our parents got married, he started calling my mom, mom. He then started introducing me as his younger sister and after that, we all just became one big happy family.

Every once in awhile I will catch a glimpse of my mom’s longing for my father, or Eric’s longing for his mother, but at the end of the day we’re all happy to have each other and that’s all that really matters.

“Mom, don’t hog the popcorn!” I heard Eric say from the living room.

I was in the kitchen with Larry fixing more treats to go with our movie marathon.

It was Eric’s turn to pick the movies and of course, he picked the Back to the Future trilogy.

I loved these movies too, but after the millionth time of watching them, you get kind of bored.

“Great Scott!” We all said in unison laughing.

I loved days like these.

I still haven’t managed to talk to Eric about Cecilia, but I’ll be sure to do that tomorrow.

Today, I just wanted to enjoy our family time. We don’t do it as often as we used to when Eric and I were younger. I missed the trips to Disney Land and Universal Studios.

I felt a piece of popcorn hit the back of my head, and I immediately turned around to see Eric grinning as he whistled and looked anywhere but at me.

I glared in his direction and threw a pillow at his face.

“Bad move, sis.” He said, and my eyes immediately widened.

For the next hour, all four of us were in a heated pillow fight. It even got to the point of everyone hiding in a room with pillow forts, just waiting to strike.

Sounded lame, but that was my family. Lame and amazing all at the same time.

I proudly won that pillow fight despite what Eric says.

“Guys, what do we want for dinner?” Larry yelled from the kitchen.

“I don’t know.” My mom yelled back.

“Don’t ask me, I never know!” Eric said after that.

I rolled my eyes and left the two of them in the living room, as I went into the kitchen to help Larry.

“They are useless.” I mumbled.

“You’re tellin’ me. We go through this every night just about.” Larry laughed.

“How about we order Chinese take-out?” I suggested.

Larry pondered the thought and then yelled towards the living room, “Chinese take-out?”

We got a muffled, “Oh my God, yes!“, from the living room and I chuckled.

“Chinese it is.” Larry said with a smile.

I handed him the menu so he could call and place the order. All of us had our orders permanently circled on the take-out menu, so deciding what to get wasn’t a hassle.

I always got the orange chicken with pork-fried rice and an egg-roll. Eric normally shoots for the General Tso chicken with lo-mein or white rice smothered in soy sauce. My mom loves sweet and sour chicken with beef lo-mein and spring rolls. Larry always gets the poo-poo platter.

When we were younger, Larry used to joke around with us about the poo-poo platter.

I was busy getting drinks together when Larry finished placing the order.

“Hey Layla, I noticed that you’re finally sixteen and I made an appointment for Tuesday morning.” He said with a grin.

I furrowed my eyes and gave him a confused look.

“An appointment for what?” I asked.

“An appointment to get you your driver’s license, of course!” He exclaimed.

My eyes widened as I realized that I had forgotten all about my driver’s license.

“Holy crap! Does that mean I get a beautiful car like Eric’s?” I squealed.

“It’s a firm possibility.” He smirked with a nod.

I playfully rolled my eyes and jumped into his arms for a hug, but then all of a sudden, I thought about my father and how much I knew he would’ve wanted to experience this milestone with me.

“I have to go call Cecilia.” I said while quickly pulling away, and running upstairs to my bedroom.

“Well make it quick, dinner will be here shortly!” Larry yelled after me.

I am definitely taking Cecilia car shopping with me... and then some.

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