I never had a big family. My mom died when I was little, so it was always just my dad and me. I was happy with that. I never wanted a big family. Not that I don’t like Judy. She is lovely. She loves my dad and makes him happy, so I’m happy too. I actually really like her. It’s her sons that I don’t like. We’ve known each other for about a year now, and we don’t really get along. Nick and I get into a fight every single time we see each other. He hates my guts. Zack? Well, he just ignores me. Somehow three of us managed to avoid spending time together. Well, until now.
At the moment, I’m sitting on my front porch steps and reading my favorite book. My dad is carrying the rest of the boxes in the house. Judy and the twins are inside unpacking. Yep. They moved in. How nice of them. Note sarcasm. I mean we always knew this was going to happen. They will soon be married after all, but this sucks.
“Honey, why don’t you go help your brothers?“-asked my dad as he walked out of the house.
“Stepbrothers, dad. We are not related.“- I said, not looking up for the book. I hear him sigh.
“Alex, we had a deal. You have to play nice.”
“Yeah, yeah I know.”
“Go and help them.”
“They don’t need my help.”
“I thought you want those tickets, but I guess...“-he started. Dammit. He knows my soft spot. I close my eyes trying to contain my anger.
“Fine. I’m going. But this isn’t fair”- I said as I stood up and walked into the house.
“Life isn’t fair, honey.“- I could hear him say.
I had no choice. He found one thing that can work on me. Dammit. So what now? Nick’s out of the question. Helping him would probably end with the house upside down. How is this living thing going to work? I made my way to what used to be a guest room, but not is occupied by Zack. The door was open just enough for me to see the mess he made inside.
I knocked on the door and he turned to look at me.
“Hey. What’s up?“-he said raising his eyebrows, probably wondering why I was in his room. See, we had this silent agreement that we’d keep out of each other’s way.
“I was wondering if you needed any help.“- I said and he looked at me like I said the weirdest thing, so I explained:” My dear father blackmailed me into helping one of you. As you know Nick and I aren’t on speaking terms. You are my only option. So could you maybe do me a favor by letting me do you a favor?”
“You know that sounds really weird, right?“- he said as a small smile made a way to his face.
“Welcome to my life. So...”
“Come in.“- he said as he handed me one of the boxes with books.-“You can put these on that shelf.”
And I did as he told me. We were working quietly. I occasionally glanced around the room. I was actually surprised to see how many books he has.
“So... “- he said and I looked at him. He was packing something in his drawer. “Didn’t know your dad was a blackmailing type.”
I sighed and turned back to the books. He didn’t know half of it. “Well, he’s a lawyer, so go figure.”
Once I was done, I said: “Is this okay?“- pointing at the shelf.
„Yeah. It’s good.“-he said.
„Do you have anything else?”
„No. It’s okay. I’m almost done.“-he said
„Okay.“- I said and started walking out of the room when his voice stopped me.
“Thank you.“- he said with a smile.
“No, thank you.“- I walked out.
Huh. That was interesting. He could actually be a decent human being. We didn’t really talk much, mostly because of his jackass of a brother. I know they were popular in their old school. I also know Nick was quite a player. I just assumed Zack was the same. Maybe H was right when he said I need to stop assuming the worst. H... Oh shit! I forgot to text him back.
I went to my room and jumped on my bed. Oh, I’ve missed this. Who knew life could be this exhausting.
I pulled the phone out of my back pocket, typed in “I’m fine, don’t worry” and hit send.
I saw a bunch of notifications, but I ignored them all. I don’t feel like talking to the people right now. I know H and Maria will try to call me and interrogate me, so I just shut my phone off and throw it on the couch. I sign. Maybe if I concentrate enough I could actually travel back through time and undo all of this shit.
The doorbell brought me back to reality. Who the hell can that be? Curiosity got the best of me so I brought myself up from the bed and started walking towards the front door when I heard Nick’s voice. It looks like he got to the door first.
„Well, I’m Nick Parker.“-he said. I’m guessing there was more to that conversation but I came too late.
„Oh right. Alex’ new brother.“- said a male voice that sounded too familiar for my liking. What is he doing here?
„Stepbrother. And who are you?“- Nick said.
„I’m...“- he started but I cut him off.
„Dexter? What are you doing here?” –I said as I came up to them. Why is he here? He shouldn’t be here.
„Oh hi, Alex.“- he said and sent me a smile.
„Why are you here?“-I asked.
„Uhh I was in the neighborhood, soo...“-he started as he scratched the back of his neck.
„Your house is around the corner. You are always in this neighborhood.“-I said crossing my arms. I could hear Nick chuckle.
„Okay. I wanted to see how you’re doing.“-he said. He looked at Nick, then back at me- „We need to talk about what happened last night.”
„Excuse us for a second.“- I said as I pushed Dexter outside and closed the door behind us before he could say anything else. Nick doesn’t have to know everything.
I was packing the rest of my stuff in the dresser when Nick came into my room.
“You’re almost done!?“- Nick asked with a shocked expression.
“Let me guess. You haven’t even started?”
“Who gives a shit? This is just for a year anyway.“- he said as he looked around. He stopped in front of the shelf Alex organized earlier. He looked at me and asked: “Since when do you put them in alphabetical order?”
“I don’t. Alex put those.”
“She helped you? You’re joking right?“- he said with a shocked expression. My brother doesn’t get that people are not nice to him because he’s not nice.
“Yeah. She’s not that bad, you know?”
“Whatever. Be all buddy, buddy, just keep her away from me. “- he said and I sighed. Well living with the two of them under the same roof will be challenging for mom and Bill. “But since you are so close to Mini, I need info from you. Is she still dating that dude you were talking to at the engagement party?”
“Aaron? Yeah, why?“- I asked raising my eyebrow. Nick smirks and just like that the alarm goes off in my head. My eyes widen. “You can not be serious. Dude, she’s our stepsister, you can’t...“- I started but he cut me off.
“Ugh... No, Zack, calm your horses, I’m not asking for me. Gross.“- he says and I relax.
“Why are you asking then?”
“Does name Dexter ring a bell?“- he asked ignoring my question.
“He’s Aaron’s best friend. Nick, what’s going on?“- I asked getting annoyed by my twin brother.
“Ou well that is dirty on a whole new level.“- he said laughing to himself like a mad man. What is this guy talking about? I don’t understand anything.
“Nick, I know we are twins, but I can’s actually read your mind! “- I snapped after a minute of silence.
“That guy Dexter just dropped by to see Mini. The moment he mentioned something that happened last night she pushed him out. They are there talking now. I can’t hear what they are saying but I’m pretty sure they slept together last night.“-he said
“Oh please. There are so many things that could have happened other than that.“-I said going back to unpacking. I don’t think she would do that. But then again I don’t really know her that well. One thought hits me.
“Why do you even care? You hate her.“-I asked.
“I don’t care. It’s just funny. I mean I knew she was mean to me, but I didn’t see her like a bitch.“-he said
“Okay, hold on. First of all, she is mean to you ’cause you are a jerk to her. And that nickname? She’s not even that short. You just want to annoy her. Second of all, you don’t know what happened. There could be so many explanations.“- I said.
“Why are you so protective all of a sudden?“- he asked. Hm. Really, why am I so protective? I feel this weird duty to protect her. What the hell, Zack? She’s not really family. No need to defend her.
“I’m not. Just saying.”
“You’ll see I’m right.“-he said smirking.
“And how are you going to find out?“-I asked. He isn’t talking to her and even if he was, she would never tell him.
“Oh, you’ll see.“- he said and with that, he walked out.
We are sitting at the table, eating lunch. Alex is sitting next to me, while Nick and mom are sitting across the table. Bill is at the head of the table. We just found out Alex is vegetarian. How can she do that? When she told us, Nick looked at her like she said something crazy.
Even more fun than his expression was the fact that Bill and mom have no idea Nick and Alex don’t talk to each other. It is so entertaining watching two of them. You can practically see the tension between them.
“So Dexter seems like the cool guy”-Nick said. I looked at him. I know where he’s going with this. And so does Alex. I know ’cause she put the fork back down even though it was midway between the plate and her mouth. She was watching him carefully.
“He is.“- Alex said. She was trying to end this conversation before it went the wrong way.
“Where did you meet him?“- Bill asked. O, boy.
“He was here today. He said he wanted to talk about whatever happened last night.“- Nick said with a smirk on his face taking a bite of his food.
“Really? Well what happened last night, Alex?“-Bill asked with a concerned expression on his face as he turned to Alex.
“Can we talk about this later, dad?“- she said. I guess she doesn’t want to talk about that with us here. Or maybe it’s because of mom and Bill.
“Alex, we are family now. You can tell us what happened.“-he said
“Bill, it’s okay...“- my mom tried.
“No. I want to know what happened. Alex?“- he said. She was quiet for a moment and then I heard her sigh.
“Aaron and I broke up. Dexter was here to see how I was doing.“- she said with a monotone voice and went back to eating.
“Oh, honey. I didn’t know. Are you o...“-he started, but she cut him off: “I’m fine. Can we now get back to lunch?“- she said as she looked around the table.
Everyone did as she asked. It was very awkward. But of course, Nick had to be a jerk and say: ” Well you sure got over him pretty fast... Ouch”- he said as mom elbowed him.
He deserved that one. Alex just ignored his comment. The rest of the lunch was awkward. Oh boy, this is going to be one long year.
So that is the first chapter. Hope you liked it. Leave comments.
Thanks for reading. :D