Two solid knocks sound on my door before creeping open. The blinding bright light shines in causing me to groan. “Breakfast.”
Now that single word has me flying up from bed and shooting my eyes open. Which I immediately regret because I swear I just lost my eyesight. My eyelids snap shut as I grunt as if I’m in physical pain and my hands immediately shield my face .
Waiting a couple seconds I slowly this time and cautiously peel my eyes open peeking through my fingers...much better.
I peer over at the door. I love food but who dares to wake me from my beauty sleep...I will mess them up.
Rex. Haha just kidding there will be no messing anyone up today. Giggling to myself I watch Rex swing the rest of the door open with an eyebrow arched. If only he knew what I was thinking, he probably thinks I’m high or something. Laughter bubbles from my chest, if Rex thought I was high or even doing drugs he would kill me. Just imagining his face would be hilarious.
Realizing I’m laughing at my own internal jokes like some crazy person I stop. Who knows what Rex is thinking right now.
“Are you feeling alright Elizabeth?” His chocolate orbs do a once over of me before landing on my face.
A grin covers my lips as an idea pops in my head. He hates when I mess with him but oh well. “Yeah, you just look funny.” I shrug.
His eyes narrow in on me as his lips become a straight horizontal line. “Elizabeth Wren Rose I’m not in the mood for you to be a smart ass.”
My grin grows, “Too bad, you woke me up so deal with it.” It slips right past my lips before I can catch it. He hates when I quote on quote “get mouthy”, like I said he takes parenting to a whole new level. I don’t even know why he feels the need to either.
“And you’ll have to deal with being grounded.” He retorts.
My mouth drops open. I didn’t even do anything wrong. “Your kidding. I was messing with you.” I exclaim.
This time it’s him who shrugs unaffected. “Your attitude isn’t appreciated.”
I practically gape at him. He’s completely serious. Who peed in his Cheerios this morning. He’s obviously not in the greatest moods. What is he even doing here?
“You’re wrong because I definitely appreciate it.” I decide to mouth back. I wasn’t being mouthy before but I sure as hell am going to be now. He can’t just waltz in here and act like my father.
He takes two steps into my room. His face is not the least bit happy but I don’t care. Two can play at this game. “I’m not grounded, I did nothing wrong.”
He looks at me like I’m stupid before a hint of a smile creeps up. “So you didn’t sneak out last night with your friends even after Layten told you not to.”
My cheeks flush. Caught.
Rex chuckles finding this amusing. How did he know, scratch that how did Layten know.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I mutter but even I can tell how unconvincing it sounds.
Rex shakes his head his dirty blonde hair unkempt. “Real sly Lizzie, I was going to discuss it with you over breakfast but seeing as you already lied about it and mouthed back no need to.” He says turning around walking towards the door.
He glances back with a pointed look. “You’re grounded.” And with that he’s out the door.
What the actual fuck. I legit just woke up and am already grounded and lets not forget now I have to deal with Rex and his ratchet attitude. He knows I snuck out but how? Now I’m not going to hear the end of it.
Before he’s totally out of ear shot I yell, “I have a father Rex and last time I checked you weren’t him.” My hands are fisted in my blanket. He doesn’t respond but I know for a fact he heard me. Well this day is already shit.
After tidying up my room, getting dressed, brushing my teeth, and brushing my hair I had to face the fact that I was hungry and would have to leave the safety of my room and encounter a grumpy Rex. A grumpy Rex was not a good Rex. But I wasn’t going to let myself starve.
Taking a deep breath I muster up the courage to leave my room and think positive thoughts as I go down the stairs and to the kitchen. Okay I’m being a little over dramatic but seriously I hate when Rex is disappointed in me. It sounds stupid but it’s true. I already feel bad about sneaking out and even worse about that stupid party.
Before entering the kitchen I take a quick glimpse around. Empty. Feeling relieved I walk in and see a plate on the kitchen island. I walk over to it and smile. On the plate was one big pancake two pieces of a banana with a blueberry on top of each of them as eyes, a strawberry for a nose, a long piece of bacon for the mouth, and lastly whipped cream as the hair. To top it off there was a glass of orange juice.
He did this for me? Appreciation swirls in my gut, but this doesn’t change anything I’m still mad at him.
While eating my phone beside me begins to vibrate. Setting down my fork I pick up my phone, I have a missed call from my dad and a text message.
Clicking the text message first it reads.
Jay: What’s your address?
Me: No, Hey?
Jay: I’m waiting.
I scuff, does he really think I’m just going to give him my address? If so he’s sadly mistaken.
Me: Give me one good reason why I should give you it.
Jay: Because I’m hot as hell, now address.
Arrogant much? Laughter bubbles from my throat.
Me: Fine. I text back and send him my address.
“What are you laughing about?” I jump up from the stool startled. My phone drops from my hands and falls on the island counter causing a clattering noise. What the heck, what is it with guys sneaking up on me?
I turn my head to see Rex leaning up against the archway that combines the kitchen and the dining room with his arms crossed.
I send him the death glare, “None of your beeswax.”
“Grumpy are we?”
Huffing I retort, “Nosey are we.”
My phone vibrates but I keep my eyes on Rex. He doesn’t need to know everything, I’m not a child anymore. Just then Layten walks in aimlessly whistling going straight for the refrigerator.
Rex and I stare at each other. During this Layten takes out the gallon of milk, unscrews the top and gulps down a sip before putting it back. Eww gross nobody likes backwash. After he looks between me and Rex questionably.
“What’s with you too, the tension is hecka high.”
Immediately I point my finger at Rex, “Him he’s cranky, I think he needs a nap.”
Layten smirks while Rex looks unfazed. “Grow up Lizzie you got grounded get over it.” That’s when I feel my face heat up in both embarrassment and anger. Rex is such a prick, and now he’s edging me on.
“You’re not my dad.” I grit feeling my hands form fists.
Still his face goes unchanged. “No but I’m the one who takes care of you.”
Of course he would say that. “I can take care of myself.”
“Can you?” Red, burning red. Is he trying to get me worked up, does he find this amusing?
I feel my eyes moisten and quickly stand up grabbing my phone. I hate when I get like this, when I become angry or upset I get emotional. Not looking at Rex or Layten I bump purposely into Rex’s shoulder before storming out of the kitchen.
My feet carry me to the front door, not looking I take a pair of keys and slam the door shut on my way out. Grounded? No I don’t think so.
Turning the key the car starts and I hit the gas just wanting to get out of the range of my brother. I don’t know what his problem is today but I’m not sticking around to find out.
Once I’m a safe distance away I pull to the side of the road and take a breather. After I check my phone.
Jay: I’m picking you up at six be ready.
My fingers hover over the keyboard willing me to say no. But instead I click out of messages and go to the phone icon. Pressing it I dial the phone number of the man I never see.
Four rings in he finally answers. “Lizzie girl, how are you?”
I swear I feel a pang in my chest, the name he’s always calls me, the one that makes me think of my childhood. I miss him, I miss him so much but now he feels like a stranger.
“Good, but I miss you.” I say quietly.
“I miss you too sweetheart.”
My chest tightens, I haven’t seen him in a couple of months. “When are you coming home dad?”
“Soon baby, I promise.” A smile spreads on my lips. As a child I was always a daddy’s girl, a dad is a daughter’s first love. So hearing this has brightened my day a little. He has never broken a promise to me.
A second later, “Enough with the sad talk, anything new with you Lizzie.”
My smile turns shy, I’ve never talked to my dad about boys, only Alex. I haven’t even told Alex about Jay yet but for some reason it just spills out.
“I met a boy, his name is Jay.”
I hear my dad breathing on the other end of the phone, he seems to be thinking. After about ten seconds he says, “A boy? You’re too young to be talking to boys.”
“Dad I’m almost seventeen.”
He scuffs, “Doesn’t matter.” I should be disappointed but for some reason my smile grows. He cares.
“Mhm.” I hum.
Then the question comes, I’ve been waiting for it he always asks me. “How’s your mother?” He asks so casually but I can sense the worry, he loves her.
“She misses you.” I whisper not to hurt him but because it’s true, she does and she needs him.
His end of the line goes silent for a second before I hear some shuffling. “I have to go Lizzie, take care of your mother for me, I love you.”
The annoying buzzing sound signaling the end of the calls sounds in my ears. I love you too...
Five thirty came quicker than I thought. Rex left he went to go see his girlfriend, Layten went to some party, and I’m home. Before each of them left they reminded me not to leave the house.
My moms in the living room watching tv and I’m sitting on the couch next to her. She giggles every once in a while at the tv. Layten made sure she took her medication before he left. Seeing her happy and smiling makes me happy, everything seems so normal.
“Are you alright Elizabeth?”
I turn my head towards my mama. “Yeah I’m just thinking.” I say sending her a reassuring smile.
Her hand falls on top of mine, “About a boy?”
My face heats up, how does she know? When she takes her medication she’s just my normal mama, and she has killer mother instincts.
I nod my head, “He’s supposed to be picking me up soon.”
Her beautiful face lights up, “My baby likes a boy.” She coos, “Now who is this special boy?”
Just as she asks three knocks are heard from the door. “Please don’t tell Layten and Rex.”
She pretends to zip her lips and turns her hand as if locking the key. Her warm smile reassures me, “Your secret is safe with me.”
I stand up from the couch and glance back at her, she gently pushes me towards the door. “Go, you don’t want to keep him waiting.”
Walking towards the door I take a deep breath before opening it. Jay stands there looking so relaxed. He’s wearing jeans, a sweatshirt, and Nike’s. He makes casual look so good.
“Rosa.” He draws out.
That name. Shaking my head I mutter, “uhh hi.”
I glance down at my outfit. Do I look okay? I’m wearing Leggings and a sweatshirt. If he’s dressed casual, what I’m wearing is fine right?
Jay steps aside silently telling me to come out of my house. I do and close the door behind me.
“Let’s go.” And just like that I follow him to his truck.