“Oh, my God! It can’t be! Holly shit!” My brother looked at me, shocked. His body has frozen except for his mouth, that always had been living its own life separate from his brain. He had never known how to shut up.
“Well, it’s me. But not for long if you don’t let me in. If you haven’t noticed, it’s kind of freezing outside.” I pushed past him with my bags. ”Oh, be so kind and pay for the taxi.” I smirked, hearing him curse.
“What’s all the racket.” My dad came out of the living room and froze before he crushed me into his arms.
“My baby girl,” he cries out. “God, I’ve missed you so much.”
I just melted into his hug and breathed in his scent, that reminded me of all the good memories from my childhood.
“I missed you too, dad. I missed you so much.” Hot tears fell over my cheeks on his flannel shirt.
“Oh, no, no, no. Baby, don’t cry. You are home now. Everything is going to be alright.” He pushed me back by my shoulders to look into my eyes.
“Sorry dad. I’m just so happy to be home.” I smiled at him, drying my eyes with my sleeve.
“Yeah, yeah. Now come on and hug your favorite person in the world.” My brother came back inside the house and I obliged, bringing my hands around his waist.
“I’m glad you are here," he mumbled into my hair.
“You must be hungry. We just made dinner. Come. I’ll get you a plate. Then you can take a shower and call the night. You must be tired,” dad said and disappeared into the kitchen.
“Give me that.” Alex took the bag from my hand and carried it to my old room. Meanwhile, I took off my coat and boots. I went into the living room. Nothing much has changes. There was still the same old gray couch, same old dining table in the corner. The TV was new. It was bigger than the one I remembered. I looked at the pictures on the fireplace’s edge and smiled. All of them showed the three of us. We were a happy family despite the rough life we had.
I grew up with my twin brother and dad, no mom. She left us when I was barely two years old. As I don’t remember her at all, I didn’t really miss her. Sometimes I just missed having a mother figure in the house, but that’s it. And then there was the fact that my dad was a criminal. He was in a gang. So I had to grow up with constant interruptions from police and around a bunch of scary looking men that would kill you without as much as blinking their eyes. But that only made me smile because I knew that all those men were like big teddy bears to me. They loved their little devil’s princess, as they used to call me.
Though they loved me and all, it didn’t help with boyfriends. They usually tried to warn me about wrong guys, but as I was never a good listener and ended up with a broken heart and those guys with some broken bones. After maybe fifth guy, they stopped asking me out, afraid that they would end up like the rest.
“I made a simple meatball soup. But I know you love it so...” Dad placed a bowl and a spoon on the table. I went and sat down.
“It’s perfect. I haven’t eaten a homemade meal in quite some time.” I smiled at him.
“I can see that. I bet you ate only at the fast-food restaurants. I mean, look at all the weight you’ve put on.” Alex sat down in a seat across from me.
“Yeah, they are called boobs, you asshole. Plus, I can see that all the hours spent in the gym didn’t help you. You are as skinny as ever.” I stuck my tongue out at him.
“Tell that to all the girls that fall to my feat every time I take off my shirt.” He playfully glared at me.
“Ok, enough. I would like to enjoy my meal without puking.” Dad chuckled.
“Sorry dad,” Alex and I said at the same time and grinned.
“Mmm, this is good dad.” I moaned as my taste buds exploded from the simple dish. My dad was an exceptionally good cook. Everything he made was to die for.
“I guess I haven’t lost a touch in the last five years, huh.” He smirked.
“No, you have not.” I put another spoon in my mouth.
We small talked during the dinner. About what has happened during the last time we talked which was about 4 month ago. Turned out that dad left the active work at the gang and was now like the second-in-command right after Grim, who was the leader. His real name was Norman Walsh. Ha. Didn’t really sound scary. He has been this gang’s leader for the past 15 years since his father died in the shooting. Yeah. No one really took a good end if you were in the gang. Unfortunately, my brother was in the gang as well. And he was one of the best. Along with someone called Animus. He was supposedly be this crazy psycho. Everyone feared the guy, and apparently, he didn’t really smile. My brother said, and I quote, “He has soulless eyes and sinister aura.” Nice, huh?
After we finished dinner, I picked up dishes and washed them.
“You know how happy I am that you are here, but why did you come back home?” Alex asked. I turned around to face him.
He was leaning against the doorway with his hands in the pockets. He really had grown. I hadn’t seen him for 3 years. Alex had grown taller and had put on some muscles. His blond hair had grown darker. Now they were dirty blond. We really weren’t similar, like twins were supposed to be. He was tall, I was average at 5.4 ft. He had dark blond hair, I had really light grayish blond. He was more similar to my dad. I took looks from my mom.
“I don’t...” I sighed. How was I supposed to tell my brother that Greg was abusive? That my supposedly loving boyfriend hit me? That I lost my job, then I was excluded from school because of nonattendance. Yeah. I missed a lot of school because of the often bruises on my face. I felt tears sliding down my face.
“What happened?” He came towards me and put his hands on my cheeks.
“I don’t want to talk about it. All I can say is that everything went to shit, and I just had to get away. Don’t worry about me. I just want to enjoy being with you two babies. I wonder how you survived without my awesome self.” I smirked.
“Do not change the subject, Amabel,” Alex warned me.
“I’m not. I told you, I just don’t feel like talking about it. Please, let it go, Alex.” I tried to make puppy dog eyes.
“I hate when you do that,” he groaned and let me go. I smirked.
“Works every time.” I chuckled.
“You are evil, you know that?” He shook his head but smiled.
“I know,” I said proudly. “Alright, dear brother. I am off to bed, otherwise I might pass out any moment.” I yawned with a wide mouth. Not lady like at all, but who cares.
“Sure. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He kissed my cheek, and I went to my old bedroom.
Nothing has changed here as well. Walls were white and gray. My furniture was black. Some colorful decorations here and there. The only thing that’s changed was that now it was clean. I was terrible at keeping my room clean. Still was.
“Hey baby girl?” My dad came into my room as I did left doors wide open.
“Yeah?” I sat down on my bed.
“I just wanted to see if everything was alright. Alex told me you don’t want to talk about what happened, and I understand, but if something happened to you, that I, your loving father, need to know, you would tell me, right?” He asked. He clearly was concerned about my well being.
“Do I have to kill someone?” He asked when I failed to talk.
I laughed, even though I knew he meant that. He really would kill for me.
“No dad. Everything is fine. So no need to go on a killing spree.” I smiled playfully.
“Alright. As I won’t be able to get anything out of you now, I’ll leave you alone. But you will have to talk to me soon,” he warned me. He and Alex wouldn’t leave me alone until they squeeze the last drop of information out of me.
“Good night, dad.” I smiled at him.
“Good night baby.” He smiled back and closed my doors on the way out.
I packed out my stuff, went to take a shower, and changed into my shorts and t-shirt. When I got under my covers and was ready to fall asleep, my phone beeped. I looked at the message from the unknown number.
“You better call me back, love, or else you’re going to regret.” It read. Fucking Greg. He had left me at least 100 messages from different numbers as I kept blocking him. I didn’t tell Greg that I left, and there was no way I was going to answer him. I was sick and tired of the bullshit he gave me. I blocked his number once again. Damn.
Finally, I fell back onto my bed.
“I missed this.” I wrapped myself in my puffy blanket, inhaled familiar scent of lavender and soon sleep took over me.