Chapter One.Better Than Nothing
If you want to watch a trailer for this book, simply search: 'Dredge Grayson Smith trailer' into YouTube and the thumbnail with Kendall Jenner with sunglasses on is the right trailer.
Also, if you want to listen to the full soundtrack for this book simply search up 'Grayson Smith - Soundtrack' into your Spotify search bar and it should come up!
Song for this chapter: One Republic: What you wanted.
I was woken up by the annoying buzzing sound of my cheap three dollar alarm. I put my cushion over my head trying to block out the repetitive sound of my alarm but it wouldn’t work, groaning in annoyance I hit the snooze button hard but it still wouldn’t stop buzzing. I hit it again and again until I couldn’t take the annoying sound any longer and threw the alarm at my wall making it smash into a few big pieces.
Stupid cheap alarm.
I wiped the sleep from my eyes and quietly made my way into the only bathroom in the house not wanting to wake anyone up and have to fight to use the bathroom first. I had to share it with my older brother Jackson and younger sister Gabriela. There used to be five of us sharing the one bathroom but that is if you include our alcoholic Mother and my Dad who passed away a few months before Gabriela was born.
I brushed my teeth with my black toothbrush I got in dollar tree, then splashed water on my face to help wake me up. In school they said using some herb oils in the morning would help refresh yourself and make you feel energised but I’m not going to spend over one dollar on something when I could just use something for free- Water
I took my hair out of the plaits I had in since last night making my hair look like I had beachy waves, I ran my fingers through it a few times so they looked more natural and flowy then I quickly did my makeup using makeup I may or may not have robbed in some fancy dancy shop called ‘Euphora’ or ‘Sephora’. I don’t know, I can’t quite remember, it was something like that anyways.
After putting on my eyeliner and mascara, I gave myself one last glance in the mirror before walking quietly back into my room which I also share with Gabriela. She gets up really early in the morning and goes downstairs to make cereal for herself, something I taught her to do since our so called mother is too busy getting drunk and sleeping with anyone and anything that walks. I quickly got dressed putting on my tight black skinny jeans, black vest top, red flannel and lastly my white converse.
When I walked out of my bedroom and was about to walk down the stairs my brother Jackson just opened his bedroom door, he walked out and brushed passed me making his way into the bathroom. Usually it would be the two of us arguing about who gets to use the bathroom first but that’s why I got that stupid alarm clock in the first place- So I could get up earlier and use that damn bathroom.
I sighed and walked down the stairs and low and behold there was Gabriela sitting down in the living room eating a bowl of fruit loops while watching some random Disney show I didn’t even recognise. What happened to you Disney?
She was already dressed and had her hair done, again something I taught her to do. I practically raised the girl, the moment my ‘mother’ came home from hospital with her seven years ago,I was handed her while my mother went to get drunk spending the money we needed for food on alcohol. What a great role model, right?
When I walked into the living room I sat down next to Gabriela, she smiled when she seen me and I smiled back. I was waiting for her to be done eating so I could walk her to the bus stop and wait for the bus to come. When she finished her bowl of fruit loops I switched off the television making her pout at me. ″Sorry Gabriela, we have to stick to the schedule″.
She nodded her head in response while she went to get her school bag. I already had her lunch made, something I do every night. When she got her school bag she walked back into the living room and I got up off of the couch and looked at the clock above the TV, it read 7.55 am perfect timing I thought to myself. I walked over to her and took her hand and opened the front door.
We walked down hand in hand to the end of the block, waiting at the bus stop. The bus driver Glen lets her on it for free since he was a friend’s of my Dads before he passed away so he knows what we’re going through and how we’re tight on money. I knelled down so I was eye to eye with Gabriela. ″Remember Gabriela, what do you do if no one’s home when you get home from school?″.
She sighed at my question, it’s something I ask her every morning. ″I lock the door and stay in my bedroom″ She murmured. I smiled at her answer and nodded my head.
Just then the bus pulled up just at the bus sign and she got on. I left after thanking Glen and waved goodbye to Gabriela.
I walked back to the house and walked into the kitchen, time to make my lunch. I looked in the cupboards for something and found a granola bar and a green apple, this may do. I also got my beaker and filled it up with tap water, it’s not like we pay the water bill anyways. The only reason there’s no food left is because last time we went food shopping was two weeks ago so shopping day is today and me and Jackson made an agreement Gabriela comes first. So all the food and drinks we have goes to Gabriela. I obviously don’t mind since she’s my little sister and I would do anything for her.
After putting my ‘lunch’ into my bag, I walked into the living room and switched through the channels, there were only like twelve channels to choose from so I stuck to watching some random TV show about solving murders. Since now it’s only quarter past eight I have fifteen minutes before I get collected by Hunter, we aren’t official or anything just...everything without the labels. I don’t know it’s complicated.
When Jackson was finally ready and out of the shower, he came downstairs and went to the kitchen to look for something to eat at lunch. A few minutes later I wasn’t surprised to hear him call my name, I rolled my eyes and sighed. ″What?″ I shouted over at him.
″Come here″ he scoffed. Well good morning to you too.
Once again I rolled my eyes and made my way into the kitchen. When I walked in and looked at his face I could tell he was angry by the look in his eyes. ″Where’s all the food?″.
I looked down at the ground not wanting to answer him, i’m not someone who get’s easily intimated by other people, but Jackson isn’t a person you want to mess with.
″It’s all gone″ I murmured quietly but he heard me and sighed.
″She can’t keep doing this″. He didn’t have to say her name, I knew he was talking about our mother. I would never call her mother to her face or around Jackson and Gabriela, just to friends so they don’t ask questions. I call her by her name which is the same as mine- Elizabeth. I guess that’s why I get everyone to call me ‘Libby’.
He went over to the one cupboard we are never allowed to open only Elizabeth is, it’s the cupboard where she keeps all the money for her alcohol. You need a key to open it which she keeps with her at all times, some mother eh?
″You need the key″ I muttered, he looked at me at rolled his eyes then searched threw all of the cupboards and drawers looking for something until he finally found a bobby pin. I could have opened the cupboard a long time ago using a bobby pin, it’s not like I don’t know how to pick a lock, I just never wanted to risk it. Elizabeth gets angry over nothing, so I wouldn’t like to see how she reacts when she founds out her precious alcohol money has been robbed by her own kids.
He walked back over to the cupboard and attempted to try pick the lock, I was biting my nails in nervousness knowing that Elizabeth will soon find out and more than likely I’ll have to take the blame once again.
″You shouldn’t be doing that″ I muttered making him drop the bobby pin on the counter frustrated with me.
″Libby what else is there to do?″ He scoffed. ″We all can’t starve to death, Gabriela needs food, we need food. We can’t live like this″.
I sighed and nodded my head knowing that he was only trying to do what was best for us.
After a few more failed attempts at him trying to pick the lock, I pushed him aside making him gave me a glare, I rolled my eyes and took the bobby pin from him and within a few seconds I had the cupboard unlocked with ease.
″Where did you learn to do that?″ He asked quite confused that his ‘angel’ sister knows how to pick a lock.
I shrugged at him, ″I have my ways″.
At the top shelf of the cupboard I could see the corner of an envelope peeking through, I jumped up trying to get it but I couldn’t since I’m too short, well when I say short I mean 5"8. I heard Jackson chuckle from beside me and push me over a bit while he just barely reached his arm up and was able to get the envelope. Benefits of having a tall brother.
He opened the already opened white envelope and when he looked inside his mouth was gaping open a bit. That doesn’t look good.
All different thoughts started to rush inside my mind, is there no money left? is there only five dollars?
″Please don’t tell me there’s no money left″ I whispered not wanting to hear his answer. He dropped the envelope on the counter and ran his hand over his face, something he does when he’s nervous, angry or frustrated and right now I would probably say it was a mixture of all three.
I nervously picked up the envelope and let out an anxious breath. I peeked inside and found a fifty dollar bill. How is this going to do three people for two weeks? but I shouldn’t be complaining.
As after all, it is better than nothing.