October 12, 201X
After school today I decided to embroider a bit. There isn’t really a holiday or something important coming up but I still want to finish this hat for mom. Like pretty much all of my clothes nowadays I bought it at the thrift store. When I bought it was a deep green but I want it to look like an evergreen forest. And I’m actually pretty close to completing it, I’m about halfway done now and it’s already looking pretty nice, I’ve even added in some little brown thread that look like squirrels, I think Mom’ll like it.
Satin was with me and we were just sitting in bed, embroidering. But not just that, I was actually listening to a new audio book. It’s supposed to be a dramatic, but historically accurate, story about pirates and actually it’s pretty good. But then again I haven’t gotten to any fight scenes yet, but after what happened in Juniper Place I think I’ll be more okay with blood than I was in the past.
I was just getting started on a new tree when Mom called me from downstairs. My original irrational thought was that she somehow knew I was making her hat and didn’t like it. But then I realized that there was no way she would know that and I was just weird. Since she called me I went downstairs, thinking that maybe she needed my help with dinner again.
When I got downstairs Mom, Derrick, and Nathan were hanging out in the living room. Well I think that Mom and Derrick were hanging out in the family room and Nathan had come down, because while they were sitting on the couch Nathan was leaning against the wall looking at his phone.
“What’s up, Mom?”
She smiled at me and for a second I let my guard down, “Naomi good news, Nathan just told us that he’s throwing a party tomorrow night. We’re going to be out so you’ll get to help your brother.”
She sounded so excited about it diary. And I know why, this isn’t surprising. Mom can’t imagine Nathan doing anything wrong, even a party. A highschool party with a bunch of teens whose brains haven’t finished developing doesn’t require supervision as long as it’s Nathan’s party.
“Well since you’re so excited why don’t you help him?” I asked her cheerfully, knowing that wasn’t the time to be perceived as rude.
“This’ll be a chance for more bonding with your brother. It’ll be fun, Naomi come on.”
I sighed but had to agree to it. Because everyone knows when a parent asks you something, it’s not a question it’s a command. Mom went on to explain that she and Derrick were going to get a motel that night, and I really didn’t want her to go into any more detail about where she and Derrick would be. All I needed to know was that I would be alone in the house with Nathan’s friend tomorrow night. And trust me diary, I’m not as excited as mom.
Once I knew what my fate would be on Friday I went back up to my room, though without the pep in my step that I came down with. I tried to convince myself that it would be fun, I haven’t been to a party since Charlie’s birthday last year, unless girl school barbecues count and I don’t think they do. And I guess Nathan’s pretty high up on the ladder, his party should be fun at least. By the time I reached my room I had come to terms with the party but Nathan ran after me and caught me just as I was about to go into my room to continue the forest hat.
He smiled at me for once so I was a bit suspicious. Normally he’s a level between indifferent and annoyed but he actually looked happy to see me for once. I wondered if he actually thought the party would be a chance for us to bond ,like Mom did, but then he started talking.
“Hey I know it’s Mom telling you to do it, but thanks a bunch for helping out for the party.”
Before I could say no problem, “Just help me set up the snacks and stuff and clean up the mess in the morning, but you know you don’t have to actually come down for the party right?”
He was acting so friendly I didn’t really get the subtext under what he was saying, “I think it’ll be fun actually.”
He smiled again, but this time it was more forced, “Yeah but you don’t really get along with my friends and I think you’ll be more comfortable in your room for the night.”
I must have looked shocked because he dropped the act and sighed, rubbing his fingers into his temples like he was trying to explain algebra to an infant, “Look I’m trying to be nice. Help me set up and clean up, but you’re not actually going to be at the party. You’ll lower the mood in the whole place and I don’t want you creeping anybody out. Okay?”
“Thanks Naomi,” he smiled again and walked past me into his own room while I walked back into mine.
For a few minutes I tried working on Mom’s hat but my heart really wasn’t into it. Instead I listened to music, but I wasn’t really paying attention to that either. After a while of just laying on my bed next to Satin even the house seemed like it was suffocating me. I thought about going to the library but the thought of sitting around reading didn’t excite me. Then I remembered.
Ten minutes late I was on my bike and heading to the woods. Even if it was cloudy, Charlie was always up for a hike.
Breathing in the fresh forest air really helped me clear my head. The quiet was amazing and since hiking is one of the only times that Charlie isn’t talking there was nothing to interrupt it. Every crunchy leaf and bird call really took my bad mood away, but it couldn’t last forever. I had told Charlie before we went into the forest and once we reached a fork in the trail she just had to ask.
“Why don’t you just not help,” Charlie said, “You said that your parents will be out so they can’t force you. You can hang out at my place that night.”
Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Nathan isn’t above calling Mom and making her yell at me so I can’t risk just not being there. And even though I haven’t had a sleepover at Charlie’s place in ages and it would be super fun, I have to help out. Like Mom says it’s family and even though Nathan isn’t my brother Mom did literally give birth to me and I can’t let her down.
“I wish I could but I can’t let my mom down,” then I laughed, “but do you want to know something funny?”
Charlie’s always down for jokes so of course she said yes but I had to stop laughing first before I told her, “I’m going to be setting up the snacks and drinks but Nathan says I’m not actually allowed to come down for the party so I’m going to be hanging out in my room all night.”
Instead of laughing Charlie kicked a rock, “Damn, I can see why you hate the guy. Can you still make the cult meeting though?”
I hadn’t even thought of that but when I did the timing didn’t seem too great, “I’ll probably be late or not come at all. Nathan may not let me leave the house and I’ll have to prep a lot of stuff.”
“Yeah, I hope I’ll be able to make it though.”
The mood sort of dropped a little in the middle there but overall it was a pretty fun hike and it was kind of exciting to explore the forest while there was still light in the sky. I had gotten so used to it at night that I had forgotten the way the sunlight flickered through the leaves and left brilight blotches on the dirt paths. The night is pretty too but it’s just not the same as in the day time.
We parted ways about an hour later. Charlie decided to stay in the forest, she really loves it there, but I had to be back in time for dinner. Which I wasn’t really happy with. Mom was mixing it up, there was painiies for dinner tonight so that was nice, but Nathan was there and of course he just couldn’t stand not being the center of attention.
I was talking to Mom about a cool fabric I had seen online (it color shifts from purple to blue and if I had the money for it I would buy some) and how I wondered if the made skirts with that pattern when my step-brother just had to chime in with something completely unrelated.
He was all, so many people are coming to my party! People I don’t even know are asking to come to the party! Derrick smiled of course, if his son was popular that stroked his ego and you know how Derrick loves to have his ego stroked. But of course his dad’s approval only made Nathan talk more and once he started talking over me Mom stopped even listening to me and instead turned all her focus to Nathan. He talked about how many people were coming and how it would be the place to be this Friday night. I don’t think they even noticed when I asked to be excused after finishing my sandwich, Mom just said sure.
That’s fine though I’m about to start embroidering some more, today’s been fine I guess. The hike gave me more inspiration for the trees and I think I can finish this within the week if I’m diligent. I think that Mom’ll like it, she used to go on girl scout hikes too. Well, wish me luck on the hat diary,
Naomi J. Morgan