Incandescence (Part I)

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The Interrogation

The following morning I woke up early, feeling grateful my friends were with me in my home. I had my morning shower and it was only then did I realize just how nasty my burn was. Not wanting the burn covered in clothing, I opted for a light dress and pulled my hair into a high ponytail.

Making my way downstairs I found Bradley seated in the corner of my living room, no different to the last time. Only this time I stopped to look at him when I wished him a good morning.

Not asking, I walked to the kitchen and made myself a Latte and Bradley an Espresso. Bringing the cups of coffee into the living room, Bradley happily accepted his cup and took a sip before putting his cup down and looking at my leg.

‘You should get that burn properly checked, you don’t want it getting infected’ Bradley stated. I preferred the Bradley from last night, the one that wasn’t so direct, the one that didn’t scold me like a child.

Looking down at me leg in the sunlight I couldn’t help but agree ‘It doesn’t look good, I’ll have it checked out later on today’.

Bradley walked over to my First Aid Kit that remained on my living room floor from the night before, picking it up he walked back over to me, sitting besides me on the couch. He gently raised my leg with his hands and place it across his lap, before tending to my burn.

I watched Bradley as he gently cleansed and started dressing my wound; but before he could finish, I was startled by the sound of keys jingling and my front door opened. After last nights events, my senses were on high alert and I had subconsciously gravitated closer to Bradley for protection.

My parents walked in and mums eyes were darting between Bradley and I.

‘I thought nothing was going on with you and your boss’ my mum accused as she marched towards us. I was mortified. Mum had never met Bradley but instantly recognized him. Extending her hand out to Bradley mum announced ‘I’m Kaitlin, Tori’s mothers, and this is her father Robert.’ Bradley gently removed my leg from his lap and stood up to greet my parents ‘Bradley’ he said while shaking their hands.

While they stood there exchanging pleasantries, the magnitude of mums opening comment sank in. She recognized Bradley from the images she’d googled on her phone; but Bradley wouldn’t have known this little fact. Would he think I’d been discussing him with my parents and sharing photos of him. I wanted the couch swallow me up whole so that I could disappear from the embarrassment my parents were unknowingly inflicting on me.

‘Mr and Mrs Taylor’ Amelia screeched as she ran down the stairs greeting them with a hug, which my parents happily reciprocated. Bradley made his way back to the couch beside me and continued dressing my wound.

‘What happened to your leg’? Dad asked.

‘You know what I’m like in the kitchen dad’ I said with a small giggle ‘I had a little mishap last night when cooking for everyone and ended up with a hot roast on my leg’.

‘So you stayed here the night?’ Mum asked looking directly at Bradley.

If my eyes could shoot lasers, mum would have been in serious trouble ‘Mum, I had a few friends over last night and everyone stayed the night’ just as I had finished my statement Leonard and Jacob made their way downstairs.

Jacob went up and greeted my parents and I introduced them to Leonard. Now it was dads turn to try and embarrass me. ‘One, two, three, four, five. Five of you and only 4 bedrooms’ Dad said looking at me while he and mum closely looked at Jacob and Bradley, waiting for one of them to break.

‘I know how this looks Mr and Mrs Taylor, but it’s not what you’re thinking’ Bradley began ‘we all came here for dinner last night and were having such a great night, so much so that nobody wanted to leave. Tori graciously allowed us all to stay the night in our OWN ROOMS’ he emphasized the last two words before continuing ‘My brother and I shared a room, which was the most logical scenario’.

‘Bradley, there’s no need for an explanation, we were only teasing’ mum said after she realized I was still staring at her.

‘Who’s hungry?’ I asked, changing the subject as I stood up to make my way to the kitchen. ‘Honey, you need to sit down and rest your leg. Your father and I will make breakfast’ mum said as she winked at me.

I knew she didn’t believe Bradley’s earlier explanation, but it was pointless having this argument with her when all my friends were in my home. So I sat back down on the couch besides Bradley and watched my parents make their way into the kitchen.

‘What exactly is going on?’ Leonard asked.

‘Mum and Dad walked in on Bradley bandaging my burn. Thinking it was just the two of us home alone, they jumped to conclusions’ I paused before continuing ‘then Jacob came down the stairs’ I laughed rolling my eyes and Leonard winked ‘Got it!’ We couldn’t help but laugh at my poor parents.

Amelia helped dad set the table before mum called her into the kitchen. I could hear them whispering but couldn’t make out what they were discussing. A few minutes passed before mum announced ‘Breakfast is served’.

We sat at the table and everyone was impressed with the spread my parents had put together. Bacon, Eggs, Omlettes, Pancakes, Fruit, Muffins, freshly squeezed juice, and toast. ‘This looks incredible’ we all said before digging in.

After breakfast, Bradley, Leonard and Jacob insisted on tidying up, so I made my way back into the living room with Amelia and my parents. ‘He’s so handsome’ mum started and I looked at Amelia for help ‘He is, isn’t he’ Amelia joined.

‘I’m lucky to have such great employers, but you both need to realise nothing is going on’ I said in a hushed tone, mum could tell I was starting to get frustrated, but continued nonetheless.

‘Do you really expect us to believe there’s nothing going on? We saw the way he was holding your leg and looking at you. But what we don’t understand is what Jacob is doing here. You told us that you moved on from him and seeing you with Bradley, I believe you have moved on from Jacob.’ mum spoke, all the while holding my gaze.

Before I could comment Amelia started ‘Mrs Taylor, I agree with you. Bradley is amazing but your daughter is silly and can’t see what’s right in front of her. Now regarding Jacob, Bradley did tell a little untruth. Tori knows I have feelings for Jacob and organized dinner last night to help bring us together. Bradley didn’t share a room with Leonard; Jacob and I were in the same room’.

Before anyone could say anything further, the boys returned to the room. Dad looked at his watch and made up an excuse so that he and mum could leave. I gave them a hug goodbye and they bid farewell to my friends.

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