| One | New Family
Rolling around in bed not wanting to wake up and accept the fact that my slumber has to come to an end, I cuddle deeper into my bed. Wrapping my sheets tighter around me as I doze off again, thinking while cursing at the five-page English paper that made me stay up late last night. What I thought was and felt like only a five-minute snooze turned into a 45-minute nap as I looked at the clock at the side of my bed, 8:43 am. Daum, I was going to be late. I hopped out of bed and ran to take a shower. After the shower, I got dressed didn’t even have time to do anything with my hair, so I put it in a messy bun as I ran down the stairs to have breakfast.
“Zoe, breakfast is ready!” Mom yelled as I walked into the kitchen. “Morning Mom. How was your night?” I asked as I pulled out a chair and sat down. I looked at the plate of pancakes before me and smiled. “Morning baby. Mine was great, how was yours?” She kissed me on the forehead and I smiled.
“Good. No complaints.” I responded. “Just an English paper that took longer to finish than I thought.”
She smiled and smoothed down my hair. “That’s what I like to hear.” Just then my stepfather, George, entered the kitchen. “Hi, baby.” He walked over to my mom and gave her a chaste kiss on the lips. I rolled my eyes and looked down at my pancakes. He then came over and patted me on the shoulder.
“Good Morning Zoey.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against the guy. I just find it kind of weird for them to be smooching and whatever around the house. Especially in front of me, but they’re happy, my mom’s happy so I’m happy.
“Oh, Zo!” Mom whipped around and had a smile on her face. I looked up.
“Tyler is going to be living with us. In fact, he’ll be moved in by the time you get home from school.” I tried to smile. “That’s great Mom.”
“Yeah, I know! And his room will be right down the hall from you.” She smiled at me clearly excited. I smiled back.
Tyler was George’s son. I had met Tyler when Mom and George had begun dating. He was a year older than me and was really into sports which would explain his muscular build as well. Since I was 16, George thought we would have a lot in common so he would make us hang out. He was cool, well informed on life, I suppose and everything, and he had a lot of fun things for us to do.
His mind was always buzzing with some scheme.
My phone vibrated pulling me out of my thought and I answered it.
“Hey.” Cassie, my best friend chirped. “Are you ready? I’m outside.”
“Hey, Cass. Yeah, I am, I’ll be out in a sec.”
“KK." Cass hung up and I stuffed the last piece of pancake in my mouth.
“Ok, Mom. I’ll see you later.” I ran around to her and gave her a quick hug. George looked up from his paper and wave at me. “Bye George,” I said and gave him a smile as I dashed out the door.
Cassie was sitting in her silver Honda changing the station when I hopped into the passengers.
“Good Morning.” She smiled as I buckled my seat belt. “Hey. So, I have to tell you something.” I mention as I put on my seat belt and those my book bag to the back seat of the car. “What’s up?” Cassie put the car in drive and pulled out of my driveway. “Mom told me that Tyler is moving in with us.”
“What?” Cassie shook her head. “You know, to be honest, I really didn’t think your mom and George were going to get married. I thought it was either a pass time or for the sex.”
“Honestly Cassie. I thought the same thing. I mean come on? Mom getting married again? Seemed unreal but I guess it really wasn’t that unreal.”
“When is he moving in?” She asked as she pulled into the school parking lot. “Today. Mom said he’ll be in the process of moving when I get home.”
“Hmm. Ok. So I guess I can’t come over then.” She said and parked in her usual spot. “Yeah, I guess not.” Mom didn’t mind but I didn’t want Cassie there when Tyler arrives. It would be weird. Stepping out the car and grabbing my bag we make it across the parking lot. Greeting friendly familiar faces and continuing in small chatter about today’s classes.
After we had walked into the building Cassie pulled me to the side. “Guess what? I heard that Jason and Mayan are over. Officially.”
“Are you serious? What happened?”
“Apparently Jason was cheating. I really didn’t think that was gonna work, to be honest. He was too down to earth and everybody knew she was a whore.”
“Yeah, your right, but I guess love is blind,” I said as we walked to class. “Yeah,” Cassie chuckled, “Just like Your Mom and George.” We laughed and walked into Chemistry.
I opened the door of my locker and started to pack my bag. The school day had gone by pretty quickly which I was slightly dreading. It only meant it was now time to go home and deal with the drama that is my new life with new people. Shaking my head I grab all the textbook I was going to need for homework. At that same moment, Cassie came bounding down the hallway.
“Hey.” She grinned and leaned against the locker. She was tiny for her age but was fun to hang around. Her hair was straight and was in a cute little bob that fixed her face perfectly. Her style was off the chain. She wore a black mini skirt that only girls her height could get away with. Her blouse was an off-white tank top with stars and lightning bolts on the front. And she was wearing gladiator sandals. My style wasn’t as good but I managed to barely scrape through. I was wearing a white v-neck, black jeans, and regular black sandals. My jacket was beige and my hair was in a pony-tail.
“So, are you excited about having him living in your house?” she asked, ever the bubbly ray of sunshine.
“Not really. Actually, I don’t even have an immediate reaction to him moving in. He’s just another family member, well now.” Now that I think about it I never really paid it any mind. Having a ‘brother’. It sounds silly to say now, weird even. Especially at my age and not to mention that he’s around my age range so we’ll be around each other at school and home, interacting with each other and yet not really having a relationship of sorts. Well, that’s if I have anything to say about it. Cassie nodded and then grabbed her book bag from off of the floor. I smiled at her as we walked out to the parking lot.
As we got into the car I thought, What did I really feel about Tyler moving in?
“So what about you?” I asked as she put the car in reverse and pulled out of the parking lot. She chuckled and turned around, putting the car in drive. “I don’t have a feeling about it. I mean I don’t even know the guy. Is he cute?”
“Hey,” I said and folded my arms. “What happened to you and Ni? And yes he’s cute.”
“Ouuu! And I really don’t know. I haven’t even seen him lately. I feel like we’re pulling away from each other.” She bit her lip and accelerated down the street. I looked down at my sandals and Twitched my toe.
“Don’t worry Cassie. I’m pretty sure Ni doesn’t have anything like that on his mind. If you want I’ll talk to him for you.” I said placing my hand on her arm as comfort before bringing it back to my lap.
“No.” She shook her head and I saw tears slip down her cheeks. “I don’t want him to think that I’m pressuring him,” she says before pausing then glancing my way. “and we don’t know that. We both know that he’s unpredictable.” she says and I stay quiet for a second remembering how he blew a casket that time we went on a trip. Cassie and I had gone to get food while Ni went to the bathroom. I left Cas holding our booth so no one would take it as I went to order the food. When I start walking back with, food in hand, she’s smiling and giggling away with some guys. We then saw Ni walking towards the booth yelling her name. After that things got pretty nasty, but I personally got it. Cassie is known to be a flirt most of the time and Ni is has warned her about it, but at the same time, Ni has a slight anger problem. Neither one of them helps each other out which is why I always end up being the middle man with the two of them.
“I won’t make it obvious. Promise.” I said and reached over again to rest my hand over her own on the steering wheel.
She pulled up in front of my house. Cassie took a deep breath and then looked at me with a small smile. “Thanks, Zoe. I don’t know what I would do without you.”
I smiled back and hugged her before I got out of the car.
“That’s what friends are for.”
“See ya tomorrow. Same time.” I nod. “Bye Cass. Sleep well.”
She smiled again and then pulled off. I walked up the steps and opened the front door. Boxes were all in the kitchen with labels on them. Some were open and some weren’t. I frowned a little. Tyler is a boy and he has more stuff than I do.
“Zoe?” I heard George call my name as he came around the corner. “Yeah,” I replied and looked around some more.
“Good.” He smiled at me and clasped his hand. “You’re home. Your mother went out to get some food. I guess she didn’t want to cook today. Tyler’s boxes are all over the place. You should see his room.”
I raised an eyebrow as I walked further into the house. “Why does he have so much stuff? He has more things than I do.” George laughed as I kicked a box.
“He plays multiple sports and has a ton of posters. He’s the captain of the football team. He also plays basketball and also Soccer. So yeah, he does have a lot of stuff.”
“Hmm.” I nodded and then walked toward the stairs. I stopped on the fourth step and turned around. “Where is he now?”
George bent down to close an empty box. “If I am correct then he should be in his room. That’s the last place I saw him. He was putting up poster’s.”
“Mmm,” I said and continued to walk up the stairs. I didn’t have to pass his room to get to mine, so I went straight to my room.
Dropping my book bag down on the floor. I proceeded to take off my jacket. Taking my phone out of my pocket I flopped down on my bed and started texting Ni.
“Hey, Ni. I was wondering where you’ve been for the past two days. I haven’t seen you around school or anywhere else. And you haven’t texted me you bum! :P”
I pressed send and then sighed as I attempted to text Cassie. Downstairs I heard the door slam and Mom say hi to George. I jumped off my bed and head downstairs.
“Hi, Zoe.” Mom smiled as George let her go. He had a little lipstick on the side of his lips. I smiled and went to hug her.
“Hi, Mom.” She placed the bags down on the table. KFC.
“How was your day?” She asked as she went to wash her hands. “It was good. Same old same old. I’m just glad it’s over.”
“Oh, Zo.” Mom walked over to me and gave me a side hug. “Whatever it is, remember I’m here for you.” I chuckled and then tried to shake mom off of me.
“Believe me, Mom. It’s nothing to do with what I know your thinking about.”
“I know...well I would hope so.” She laughed and then raised an eyebrow.
“Tyler!” George called his son as he grabbed some plates and cups.
“Yeah?” came the reply. “Dinner’s ready!” George hollered and then sat down next to mom. “So Zo. Did you say hi to Tyler yet?”
“Nope,” I said and sat down. “He was in his room and sounded busy so I just went to mine.”
Tyler came down the stairs. He was wearing a black t-shirt and khaki pants. His sneakers were black and looked fairly new. He had a golden skin and his eyes were blueish greenish. I didn’t notice I was staring at him till he smiled at me. I cleared my throat slightly and looked else were.
“Hey, Zoe.” He walked around me to hug Mom. “Mom.” He said and then smiled at her as well. I noticed his teeth were drop dead white. Mom chuckled at his comment before giving him a chaste kiss on the cheek. We sat down and Mom shared out the food.
“George? Would you say grace please?” Mom asked and stared George down as he tried to shove a piece of chicken into his mouth. He turned red and then dropped the thigh. I tried hard to hold my chuckle in but let my small smile show.
“Of course. Bow your heads and close your eyes.” We joined hands and then he continued.
“Dear Jesus, thank you for everything and for this food. I ask that you will please bless it and bless this family. Thank you for allowing us to live together. In Jesus name, Amen.”
I looked up after he finished and my eyes flickered to Tyler’s hand. He was still holding it and his warmth seeped into my hand. I didn’t realize how cold I had been until now. He looked at me and I gasped as I pulled my hand out of his. I looked down and thought, Tyler always looked good. Why is it that right now he looks even better?
“Here you go, Zoe. I know you must be hungry.” Mom passed me the plate and I smiled as I took it. I felt Tyler look at me as I dug into my mashed potatoes.
“So how do you like BlueSteet so far Tyler?” Mom asked as he took a drink of his soda.
“Good. It has a nice soccer court and the gym has a pretty good basketball court. The school has a football field right?” I nodded. “Yeah, it does. It’s in the back of the school.”
Tyler looked at me and smiled a little. I smiled back and then turned my attention back to my food. We finished eating and talked about the rest of Tyler’s sports hobbies. Mom got up and then began to clear the table.
“Oh, No Mom,” I said and got up. “I’ll do the dishes. You don’t have to.” I smiled as she raised her eyebrow. “Uh..” She took a quick look at George who looked at me. “Thank you, Zo.” I smiled.“No problem.”
George and Mom left the table and went upstairs to their room. I grabbed the dishes and brought them to the sink. I knew that Tyler was still there because I felt his gaze on my back. Soon I heard his chair push back and he appeared next to me.
“You need some help?” he asked, his voice soft like velvet. I struggled to not drop the plate back into the sink.
“No. But thanks.” I smiled at him a little and then continued washing them. He stayed there, watching me. “What is it, Tyler?” I asked as I rinsed the third plate and placed it on the drying board.
"I want you." He said.
My eyes widened and I dropped the plate. It slipped out of my fingers and Tyler moved from his spot by the fridge to behind me. His arms wrapped around mine and he caught the plate before it could hit the floor. It was so fast that it couldn’t have taken more than a second.
I gasped and looked at the plate resting on his hands.
“How did you do that?” I whispered, my voice so small. He didn’t answer me. We stayed there a little while, My mind still wheeling. Suddenly I realized that Tyler was still behind me, still holding me. I had leaned into him and didn’t even know it. “Tyler.” I tried to pull away, but his grip was monstrously strong.
“No Zoe. Relax. Let me hold you.”
My body immediately relaxed and I sighed back into him, inhaling his scent. It was like I didn’t have a say in anything. My body was at his complete control just by the sound of his voice.
“Mmm.” He murmured and I felt his lips on the side of my head. He ran his fingertips over my arm, upward and then pulled the ponytail holder out of my hair. It fell down around my shoulders and tickled my skin.
“It’s like silk. Soft and smooth. Just like you, my sweet.”
Shivers ran through my body as he embraced me again. I shook and held on to the countertop. Tyler chuckled and drew me closer to his body. I felt his hips buck against my butt and I started to breathe harder. Sweat began to trickle down from my forehead and my heartbeat started to quicken.
We heard footsteps coming from downstairs and Tyler quickly let me go and moved to back to where the fridge was. I held on to the sink, trying to get my breathing back to normal. Mom walked into the kitchen with George by her side.
“Ok Guys.“I shook my head and turned around, trying to look regular. George and she were dressed up and looked like they were heading outside for a good time. I smiled at her as she beamed at me. “George and I are going to go catch a movie. So well be gone for 6 hours max. maybe more. Who knows.”
Tyler put his soda down and then nodded at Mom. “Ok. Have fun. We’ll be fine. Won’t we Zo?”
I looked at him and gazed into his eyes. “Yeah. We will. We’re grown enough.” I stared at him, my eyes full of anger and longing.
“Great!” Mom and George said together and then smiled.“See you both later. If you get hungry, there’s the Dominos number on the fridge door.”
Tyler looked at it and nodded.
“Cool.” He smiled at them and they couldn’t help but smile back. They stayed there for a moment smiling at us like fools. “Ok,” Tyler said and his voice sounded compelling. “Go now. Have fun.”
Just like robots, mom and George filed out of the door and soon we heard the latch lock.