Foster Parent

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Chapter 1/Part three

Cooking was one of the few things Kristen considered herself good at and as a hobby. She enjoyed multitasking, so making multiple things at a time was fun for her and helped clear her mind.

Chauncey and Parker sat at the dining room table, on their phones and dipping fresh baked chocolate chip pecan cookies into warm caramel sauce as Kristen cleaned pots, bowls, and spoons.

A rhythmic knock came to the front door.

Kristen paused her scrubbing for a moment, but before she could dry her hands, Chauncey got to his feet. He threw the rest of his cookie into his mouth and said with full cheeks, “I’ll get it.”

“Finish chewing before you answer the door, boy!” Kristen told him as she picked her sponge back up. “And be nice.”

He nodded and swallowed on his way to the door. Outside on the porch stood his father and younger half brother.

The dark haired teen kept his head down and pushed up his glasses on his face as he avoided eye contact with whoever opened the door.

Their blond father smiled to Chauncey. “Hey! It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten to see you.”

Chauncey only eyed him over for awhile. “Yeah. Hey, Isidore.”

Isidore flinched some as his name left the boy’s mouth. Chauncey started referring to Isidore by his name some time last year. Isidore wasn’t particularly fond of his son calling him by his name, but Chauncey was getting bigger, stronger, and just waiting for Isidore to give him a reason, so he never mentioned it.

Isidore tried to keep his smile. “Right. So, where’s your mom?”

“Don’t worry about where the fuck my mom is, alright?”

Isidore jumped a bit and took a step back. “I-I’m sorry. I just—”

“Dad!” Anderson said as he shot a confused and embarrassed glance his way.

Isidore cleared his throat and coughed a few times. “I-I have some things I want to talk to her about before I leave.”

Kristen rolled her eyes as she dried her hands and made her way to the door. She smacked Chauncey. “What did I tell you?”

He flinched and grabbed the back of his head. “Ow! Finish chewing?”

She hit him again. “Be. Nice.”

“I was,” he mumbled.

She shook her head at him and looked to the visitors at her doorstep. Her eyes drifted towards Isidore, whom she hadn’t seen in over a year. A smile started to show on his face as his gray irises studied her features and figure.

Kristen pulled her attention from him to the boy beside him. Her eyes caught Anderson’s through his black metal framed glasses. They were the same silvery color as Isidore and her two boys. Anderson shifted his eyes away from her and let out a grunt under his breath as his hand clinched the handle to one of his suitcases.

Kristen had met Anderson on a few different occasions, but besides a polite smile and a “hey, Anderson,” she never really interacted with him. She wasn’t too sure if she had ever heard him talk. She couldn’t remember a time he spoke back to her. He just stared, always eying her over with a blank face.

“You got everything?” Chauncey asked the shorter teen at the door, but Anderson didn’t respond. It was silent for a few seconds before Lutz grabbed the free luggage perched on the other side of his brother and brought it in the house. Anderson stayed where he was for awhile, but huffed and followed Chauncey inside. Kristen’s eyes trailed after them as they headed for the living room.

“So, uhm, Krissy.” She turned her attention to Isidore as he called for her. “Thanks again.”

She took a step onto the porch and closed the door behind herself.

“I really appreciate you doing this for me,” he continued.

“Don’t mentioned it,” she said. “Seriously, don’t. The whole thing’s making my head throb.”

Kristen closed her eyes as she leaned her weight over to her right leg and held one of her hands out. “Pay me.”

“Right, sorry.” Isidore dug in his jacket pocket and pulled out an unmarked white envelope to hand to her.

She took it from him, careful not to have any accidental touch of the hands, and stuffed it into her baggy pants’ pocket.

“I already talked with the school, too,” Isidore added. “Everything should already be set for him, but if you could just check before you drop him off. I might have forgotten something.”

“Yeah, sure,” Kristen said. “Lord knows you’re a scatter brain.”

It went quiet for a moment.

Kristen let out a deep breath. “…If you fuck this up, Isidore, I swear to God, this will be the last thing I ever do for you.”

He nodded soon after her warning with his head down. “Of course. I understand.”

His meek behavior made her roll her eyes as her demeanor softened. “I really do hope you get better, though.”

He peeked up at her for a second and a small grin came back to him as he looked back to the ground. “Thanks, Krissy. I will. Promise.”

“As you’ve said before.”

His head shot up as he began to debate, “But I’m—!”

“Serious this time,” Kristen held up her hand as she cut him off and nodded. “Yeah, I know.” She sighed. “I’m going to believe you.”

She dropped her hands. “Well, I guess I’ll see you later then.”

He nodded some.

She stared at him for awhile before she stepped forward and wrapped one of her arms around him in a light hug for a quick second. Kristen turned her head to avoid any eye contact.

”…Kay. Get the fuck off my porch now,” she said, shooing him away.

“O-oh! Uhm, right. Sorry. Bye, Kristen.”

Kristen gave a half-hearted salute as he walked off the porch. He peeked back at her every few steps as he made his way to his car.

Kristen lowered her eyes and sighed as he started his car. “Why are you so god damn cute?” she mumbled to herself. “Fuck, I hate you.”

When Kristen went back inside, the boys were gathered in the living room. They paused what conversation they had, and the new youngest of your household looked to the hardwood floors.

Kristen let out a deep but quiet breath as she walked over and put on a soft, kind smile. “Hey, Anderson.”

He didn’t say anything back.

“I’m sure your dad probably told you all about this, right?”

“Only that I’ll have to be staying at this shitty little house for the next three months,” he said under his breath but just loud enough for you to catch every word.

Your two boys tensed up as your expression dropped and eyes sharpened on the teen in front of you.

“M-mom, he—”

Kristen rose her index into the air. “Quiet.” That one word sent the whole house into silence.

She took a small step closer to the brunette teen. He glared in her general direction, but didn’t lift his head.

“Look,” she began, “You don’t like me.” Kristen shrugged as she continued, “I don’t care. But as long as you’re living in my house, you’re going to fucking respect me, little boy. Understand?”

He narrowed his eyes at her more, testing her patience.

She slowed her words as she said in a low voice. “Are we understood?”

After a few seconds, he sucked his teeth and turned his head away from her.

Kristen straightened up. “Good…I’ll be registering you for school in the morning, so be up and ready,” she said as she headed for the hall.

“Where am I supposed to sleep at?” Anderson called after you as he crossed his arms.

“Parker,” she said before shutting her bedroom door.

Chauncey turned his attention to Anderson soon after. “Aye, watch how you talk to my mom.”

Anderson rolled his eyes. “Whatever. She was patronizing me with that fake smile and friendly attitude.”

Chauncey shook his head and waved off his brother’s words. “I don’t give a fuck if she was cussing your ass out. Watch how you talk to my mom, alright?”

“Alright. Fine. Geez, keep your panties out of your ass.”

Parker touched Anderson’s shoulder. “Y-you can stay in my room. I’ve set it up, if you want to take your things back there.”

Anderson tugged on the shoulder strap to his guitar case and looked over to Parker. “Well? Where is it?” he snapped at him.

”R-right! Sorry, here. Let me help you.” Parker picked up two of Anderson’s suitcases and headed for his room. His younger brother followed behind him.

Parker’s room was all the way down at the end of the hall, the last door on the left. The room was plain and empty feeling. There was a bed, a dresser, a night stand, and a TV. They were all a simple black. A wide 3-self bookcase— black— lined the left wall. It was neatly packed with paperback books. A small square table, also black, sat in the corner of the room. It was barely knee high and had a paperback novel and black journal on top of it. Beside the table sat some sheets and blankets.

Once Parker got into the room, he sat Anderson’s things near the twin sized bed. After that, he sat at the little black table and wrapped a blanket over his shoulders.

“I’m going to be over here,” Parker said.

Anderson scrunched up his face as he stared at his brother. “What are you talking about? I’m not going to make you sleep on the floor in your own room.” He swatted his hand as he walked across the room to put the rest of his things where Parker had put the other bags. “I’ll just get one of those blow up mattresses the next time I go to the store.”

“I-it’s fine. Really. I like sleeping on the floor. I usually sleep down here anyway. You don’t have to do all of that.”

Anderson stopped what he was doing to look at Parker. “Why are you so weird?”

Parker clinched the blanket around him as he looked down. “I-I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to be weird. I’d just feel better if you got to sleep on a bed. I just thought—”

Anderson shook his head as he pulled his laptop from one of his bags, along with a pair of headphones. “Whatever, Parker. Whatever. I’m not going to argue with you to sleep in your own bed, alright?” He sat on the bed and kicked off his shoes. “Sleep on the floor if you want to sleep on the floor.” He slid back and tossed his legs up on the bed to sit his laptop on them. “Fucking weirdo,” he mumbled to himself as he opened the device.

After entering his password and connecting to his cell phone’s hotspot, he glanced over to Parker. The boy sat with his back against the clean white wall, wrapped up with a blanket in the corner of the room. He read from the paperback book on the black table as he bit his nails.

“…God, he’s weird,” Anderson said to himself.

Anderson went back to his laptop and plugged in his studio headphones. He searched around and double clicked an audio file he was working on. A few days ago, his dad started to show him how to use some new music production software. Anderson wanted to make at least twenty really good beats before his dad came back. Right now, though, Anderson just wanted to get as familiar as he could with the software and play around with it. The audio file he clicked just needed a little more mixing. He did a majority of it with his dad.

He mostly just wanted to listen to himself, though. He grinned as he watched the faint gray vertical line scroll over the audio. There were a few notes he felt iffy about through his singing, but his guitar sounded bad ass. It was his favorite instrument out of the three he played.

Musician, singer, songwriter, and soon he’ll get to add producer to his ever growing list of credits. All he needed were a couple of singles, an album, and he’ll be the next biggest thing in music. Who his parents were would be rendered irrelevant once all of his talents got a chance to shine.

For now, though, he had to practice, write, and practice some more. This little stay would be unpleasant to say the least, but as long as Kristen left him alone, he’d make it. He couldn’t even stand the thought of having to live with her and his brothers. He was used to only seeing his brothers for a week or so every other month, and that was more than enough time, in his opinion. As long as he had his music, though, he could survive.

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