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Chapter 3 – Gregory

Surprisingly we got quite a lot done, so Taylor can be serious if he wants to. I was very suspicious about mom and dad; they didn’t make a big fuss like I expected them to. When we took a small break when dad called us down for a little snack, they were invited to stay for dinner, something that never happened since grandma and grandpa were coming over. Taylor smiled a little uncomfortable, but he accepted none the less. Mom snorted as he entered the kitchen with Lo and Sylvester in tow. “Papi! Papi! I want a burrito!” Lo shouted as he took his seat at the kitchen table.

Dad rolled his eyes “No hombrecito, not today. You will ruin your dinner; Grandma and grandpa are coming today.”

Lo pouted and turned to mom, “Mommy? Please?”

Mom flinched but put his foot down. “No Logan, remember last time you ate a burrito before dinner? You couldn’t finish your dinner and fell asleep and missed grandma and grandpa leaving.” Lo looked a little sad, “But,” mom said putting a hand on his head, “I am sure dad will give something else to nibble on.” Lo looked hopeful at dad, who sighed and rolled his eyes as he opened the pantry taking out ingredients for Grilled Chicken Quesadillas. Lo clapped his hands “Yay!” He turned to Sylvester “Do you want some too? Dad makes the best Chicken Quesadillas in the world!”

He looked unsure at Taylor who nodded his head. “Y-yes please.”

Mom lifted him and hugged him to his chest, making the poor boy squeak in fright “Aww, aren’t you the cutest!” Lo huffed, not happy at not being the cutest kid anymore.

“So Taylor,” Mom started not too unsuspicious and I groaned as he casually leaned against the kitchen counter. “What do you like to do in your free time?” Dad picked up on what mom was intending to do

“Querido” It sounded very ominous, as he put down the knife he used to chop the union.

“What? I can’t ask him a simple question like that?”

Lo narrowed his eyes “You sounded very suspicious mami.”

Mom’s eyes widened, before narrowing dangerously “Fine, whatever I am out.” and stormed out.

“I think mom was being a genuinely interested dad. You should go and talk to him, I will finish the Quesadillas.” I say as I leave my spot at the kitchen table and pick up the knife. Dad looks at me once before leaving the kitchen, walking to our own basketball court in the backyard.

“Is that normal behaviour for your parents?” Taylor asks as I heat the grill and wait for it to heat up.

“They were a little worried about you being my project partner.” He cocks an eyebrow “The reason being the fact your parents were with the mob.” I say and step back after putting the seasoned chicken on the sizzling grill. “I think it brought back dad’s unpleasant memories.” I could hear the murmurings of mom and dad’s voices outside.

“Why is that?” Taylor rightfully sounded angry.

“Dad grew up in a Blood gang until he was seventeen and grandpa took him in after his family was killed.”(I OWN “THE”JOCK for more info)

”Your dad was in a gang? And your grandpa took him in?” He sounded sceptical; I nodded my head never the less.

“Yeah, grandpa was his biological father and took him in.” I remove the chicken from the grill and started cutting it into smaller pieces. I dry my hands after cutting the chicken and place several tortillas on the grill, sprinkled them chicken pieces, cheese, onion, olives and chillies.

“Are you saying what I think you are?” Taylor sounded a little dubious. I topped the tortilla’s with another and grill until all are crispy on both sides.

“Lo, call Nance and say the Quesadilla’s are done.”

He grins and runs up the stairs “Nance! Snack time!” I hear her grumble.

“If you mean that grandpa is the biological parent of both Zach and Tiago then you’re right. Grandpa is the father of the both of them.” I deadpan as I cut the tortilla’s into smaller pieces and put them on several plates. Opening the fridge, I take out the sour cream dad made several days ago and put it on the table.

Mom was his joyful self once again, much to my relief. Nance was glaring at Taylor the whole time through the snack, which was until he caught her and grinned making her blush and look away. We finished and returned back to my room to just hang out until dinner was finished; we had completed a majority of our homework anyway. “Is this what you do when you complete your homework?”

I was surprised that Taylor wanted to make small talk. “No, not really. I usually play with Lo or read, watch TV or sleep.” I don’t know why I told him that, I frown as I hear dad call that dinner is ready. Arriving at the dinner table I notice that grandma and grandpa are missing. “Where are grandma and grandpa?” I ask mom as he walked by holding a huge pot in his hands. He huffs a little as he puts it on the table,

“Apparently grandma decided that they should try out that new place in town today and forgot to tell dad about it. So it’s all good I guess that Taylor and Sylvester are staying for dinner.” He turns to us, “Go wash your hands and bring out the rest.” He walks into the living room and I hear him speak to Lo and Sylvester. Turning on my heel I march into the kitchen to wash my hands. Closing the tap and drying my hands I lift another big pan from the stove and walk to the dinner table.

I lay on my bed, hands behind my head and stare up at the ceiling. Wondering why on earth I told him all that stuff about me and dad. I turn on my side, deciding not to think about it anymore when I hear the door creak “Greg?” Mom’s soft voice sounds from the threshold, “Honey are you okay?” Mom sits down on my bed, brushing his hand through my hair. “You know you can tell us right?” I mumble something incoherently about life being complicated, making mom chuckle. “Don’t I know it?” He kisses the top of my head, stands and tugs my quilt up to my chin. “Sweet dreams honey.” A whisper and one last pet on the head.

Too bad my dreams weren’t sweet, they were abhorrent and filled with pain and screaming. Mostly mine, for I was reliving most of the things my biological parents did to me. “Greg! Greg! Wake up! It’s just a bad dream! We’re here!” two strong arms wrap themselves around me, making me trash even harder. “Shhh…..It’s okay Greg. They can’t get to you.” Blinking my dad’s worried face come in view, along with mom, a sleepy Lo and a terrified Nance. “Dad? Wha---?” I swallow, winching slightly as my throat hurts. He pushed some hair of my sweaty forehead, “You’re staying home today. I don’t want you going to school today. You’re too pale to go anywhere, and the fact you slept so badly is only part of the reason.” He glanced sternly at me before he got up. My hand shot out, gripping his wrist. Mom gently pushed Lo and Nance out of the room, ready to get them back to bed. Saying that he would drop them off at school, I could hear Nance mumble about being too early at school.

“What’s wrong querida?” I bit my lip, not knowing why I stopped him from leaving. Dad slowly and carefully lay down on my bed with me. “You can tell me Greg, I won’t be angry. I am just worried about you.” His dark eyes shone with so much emotion and love for me, it made tears stain my face. “Shhh…It is okay Greg, you’re okay. They can’t get to you, you’re save now.” He shushed me as he wrapped his arms around me and rocked me from side to side. If there was anybody who understood what I went through it would be dad. “H-how d-do y-you d-do i-it?” I hiccupped a few times since my crying stopped. “How do you live through those hard times?” I sniffle as I dry my tears. Dad just gently smiled at me as he pushed my hair out of my face “I have you, Lo, Nance and your mom for whenever I have one of those days.” I snuggle deeper under my quilt “How did you deal with it before you met mom?” I was genuine curious to dad’s background, I knew there was more to him than he had told me. The only one who knew the full story was mom and he wasn’t sharing.

Dad just sighed, turned and looked at the ceiling. “Before that I didn’t have the time to think of anything else but my and my younger brother’s safety.” I was surprised; I thought that he might have used drugs or something. “You’re surprised aren’t you?” Dad grinned “I only have used drugs once and it was a bad trip. After that I promised myself to never use it again. No matter how bad things got I wouldn’t use drugs or alcohol to dull my senses. For I knew if I did that I might never wake up again. I rather have nightmares every night for the rest of my life than being six feet under at seventeen.” Dad got up off my bed “Now get some more sleep querida, you need your rest.” Surprisingly I fell asleep soon after my door closed.

The next time I woke up, I was greeted with my grandmother’s worried face. “Hello sweetie, how are you feeling? Tiago told me you weren’t well.” She brushed my hair away from my face. What is it with people feeling the need to brush my hair aside now I am sick? “Here honey, your daddy’s famous chicken soup.” She placed a tray with a steaming bowl in my lap, and looked at me sternly “You better eat everything mister, you need to get better soon.” She wiggled her finger in my face, making me smile at her. “Yes grandma, I will.” She huffed and left my room. My phone buzzed, I paused as I was about to put the spoon full of hot liquid in my mouth. Several texts and a few calls from Taylor. Hey, where are you? I thought we were going to work on the project during study hall? Your sister told me you were sick, how are you feeling? I snorted, there is no way he asked Nance about me, it would be more like he bullied her into telling him.

I am fine, I should return to school in a few days. I have the flu. Don’t bully my sister!

That was the instigator for our text battle; it somehow turned from a normal conversation to an absurd conversation about the weirdest topics like the weirdest places for a piercing or tattoos. Needless to say I was laughing so hard at the latest thing Taylor had said when dad walked into my room. “Glad to see you’re doing better querida.” I was wiping away my tears as I turned to face him. “Yeah, I have been feeling a lot better since this morning.” This was the third day I was home, I was done being cooped up in this house. He put a hand on my forehead “Your fever is gone. That’s good; you can go back to school tomorrow.”

I don’t know what I expected when I walked into school the next day, did the texting we did when I was sick make us friends, or are we just people who just text? Will Taylor speak to me or will he just ignore me? I groaned and shook my head on my way to my locker; these useless thoughts were driving me crazy. There is no way Taylor would acknowledge my existence just because we were project partners and we texted a lot.

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