Troubled Waters, Idle Minds

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Callie

With a scoff, Abe stormed off the room and the pinch in my heart almost knocked the breath out of me. His knuckles looked like they needed stitches and how could he do that with one hand? He also hurt his right hand which means it’ll be difficult for him to move with his non-dominant one. I didn’t see much of the damage but… my eyes find the broken glass that he punched and pushed my glasses up my nose. Is that blood or is my poor eyesight just messing with me?

“…okay?” Harry murmurs in my hair, smoothing it down my back. The frown on my face deepens.

He can handle himself, sweetheart, he’d whispered in my ear. He doesn’t need you.

But he does. I might be the only one who realizes this but Abe does need… someone. And the whole time that everybody seem to just have fallen into their own place after helping aunt Denise with resetting the table again, the sour taste in my mouth just kept getting stronger. The food is bland against my tongue and my throat has closed up, making any food I chew difficult to swallow. I had to take a few sips of my drink to clear the pipes. There was soft chattering around me but I have muted them out. I was so alone in my thoughts and the unsettling feeling in my stomach that my mom’s hiss took me by surprise I jump from my chair.

“Eat your veggies, Callie.” She was leaning beside my dad so she could direct her admonishment at me. My response was to nod dumbly, pushing the green peas with my fork and failing purposely to poke it. I was just about to get another nagging from my mom when a spoonful of chopped zucchini in red thick sauce with minced meat appeared right before my eyes. I look up to see Harry holding it out for me.

“Open up, sweetheart.”

I would’ve blushed if I didn’t feel so taken cared of. Here I am, a teenager who still needs to be fed by her cousin. Like I couldn’t take care of myself good enough. Before a sigh leave my lips, I open it and allow the spoon entry in my mouth.

Harry smiled proudly and I momentarily felt good for being praised when Abe entered my thoughts once more. He’s completely alone right now, he must be struggling.

Did he even stay in the house or did he flee? It’s not past him to escape. He would naturally slip out of family gatherings and that’s without any issues. I don’t know what made him punch the table. Seriously, his temper is out of control but he was never aggressive unless he was provoked. Usually, he just broods over a corner before he decided he was bored and silently leaves. Minutes pass and I grew more and more concerned. I ate more bites of my food, not wanting my mom to take notice of me again. Harry was helping me cut through a piece of beef when Ane sat on her chair. Has she been gone this whole time? The chair next to her and aunt Denise is also empty. With Abe clouding my mind, I didn’t even realize both of them haven’t been here this whole time.

“I couldn’t find the garbage bag,” Ane explained in a soft voice, helping herself to a plate of garden salad and shrugging her shoulder in apology.

Nana pushed the casserole towards her direction. “It’s alright, sweetie. Your mom found one in one of the cupboards in the kitchen and Harry swiped the broken pieces that scattered on the floor. We cleaned everything up, so no worries. Here, hav some of this. It’s better eaten when warm.”

Ane grin wildly at her and scooped up some of the dish.

“Where’s your father?” Aunt Denise asked with a slight edge to her voice.

What’s the matter? Her smile was tight when she faced Ane, who let out a sigh and shrugged nonchalantly once more.

“Saw him went to the toilet. Bad stomach, probably.”

Harry snorted beside me and I pinched his hard, thick thigh. This is so not the time to be laughing. Can’t he read the room?

“He didn’t even had mashed potatoes yet,” he joked, sliding a knowing glance towards me. We all know that I always get an upset stomach from aunt Denise’s mashed potatoes. Nobody knew what is it about her dish that makes my stomach rumble and causes a diarrhea. Mom even took me to the doctor the second time it happened but nothing wrong was found out. I just avoid it altogether whenever she serves it.

I froze midway from reaching for the delectably presented board of charcuterie. My cheeks flare with embarrassment at the mention of my bowel problems, which Hary tried to apologize for with a kiss on my cheek.

“Just kidding,” he said out loud. And to my ear, he whispered hotly, “I’ll make it up to you later, sweetheart.”

There was darkness in his deep voice that I don’t dare to overthink for fear that I might combust right there and then on the spot, but then he licked the shell of my ear and I can’t help my reaction. Jumping from my chair, I bumped my father’s wine glass with my elbow and it toppled over, staining the beautiful embroidered table cloth aunt Denise had lain. I looked up at her nervously. She’s not as strict as my mom but it’s still embarrassing. Dad and Harry took the glass off the table, with mom an aunt Louise spotting them, making the eggshell white runner vulnerable to food splatters if not for the placemats aunt Denise hurriedly laid out, the same ones which rendered useless against the smooth, dark wine which spilled, soaking through the cloth itself into the dark hardwood of the furniture. The heat bursting out of my cheeks is unmistakable.

“Ah, shit,” Harry exclaimed.

“Harrison,” Nana admonished.

Harry winced, rubbing the back of his neck. “Sorry.”

I almost laughed at him being scolded for saying a bad word but I knew what was coming. Yet I still flinched at the words thrown at me.

“Oh, no. Callie. Look what you’ve done now.” The disappointment in my mom’s voice was enough to burn my eyes with tears, my throat slowly closing up and darn it, I could feel the snot run dow my nose. I lean forward to take some tissue but Harry beat me to it. He folded it in half and pinched my nose with it. He did a a customary rub at my nostrils to ensure that he’d caught most of my snot before withdrawing his hand.

“Apologize now,” mom told me, her tone, hard.

“Mich.” Dad. He didn’t say anything other than that, however. Mom must have given him “the look”.

But I was frozen in place, unsure of what to do next. Clean up the mess? Apologize? To whom? My mom? Aunt Denise?

“It’s my fault, really,” Harry said beside me, putting a hand on my back.

Aunt Louise sighed. “Still bullying your cousin, I see. Until now.” She shook her head, wiping the end of her pink painted lips with her napkin.

Harry took more tissues and pressed it on the table so the wine will get absorbed in it but it’s useless, I know. Red wine is like a tattoo that stains and remains. I followed his lead with a frown. How can I mess things up so grandly like this?

“Don’t worry about it, Callie.” Ane swallowed a small bite from her turkey. “Mom’s got like, two more identical ones,” she said with a snort, as if stopping herself short of laughing. “In case one gets destroyed, right mom?”

She turned to aunt Denise and this time, I took the courage to look up at her. I swallowed. There’s a tight smile on her face but her eyes are huge and it seems like she’s struggling not to scowl if the twitching between her eyebrows and the slight tick on her left eye are anything to go by.

“It’s always good to have back ups in case of emergencies,” Ane continued smoothly, going back to cutting her food. Funny, she doesn’t appear to sound like she believes it. If I didn’t know any better, I’d assume she’s being sarcastic.

Aunt Denise pulled her hands under the table. I could already imagine her clenching her fists. I caught the whimper from escaping my throat.

“I’m sorry, auntie,” I said in a small voice.

She shook her head. “No. It’s fine. Ane is right,” she tried to assure me, “I’ve got the exact same runner. Two more, actually.” She released a short and somewhat uncomfortable laugh. “So… it’s fine.”

“Silly girl,” Nana commented. She’s oblivious to my sorrow and mortification. I’m not quite sure if she meant me or aunt Denise. My aunt is not a girl anymore but Nana could may as well referred to her nonetheless. She was unfazed, sipping on her tea and enjoying her pie.


***


Author's note:

Hi, everybody! 🤗 Here's this week's update 😆 Well, this scene obviously doesn't end here but I just think it's too long to upload only as a single chapter here on Inkitt, so... I'll upload the rest of the scene in another chapter 🥰 Just a head's up 😅 I'm just not sure if I should upload it now or tomorrow 🤔 Please let me know what you think 😆

I hope you like this update 🙈

Stay safe 🌹


Yours,

Ama ❤️

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