Obviously I knew Blaze didn’t have kids, he was 16, that would be really messed up. Not that it hadn’t happened before, kids having kids, but not Blaze.
As far as anyone knew, his life was perfect, well perfect in a strange kind of way. Perfect boyfriend, a perfect mother who doted on him, literally a perfect face and perfect-ish grades. Then again last lesson, when Blaze has revealed how he had been conceived, a part of that façade had shattered.
“Isabella didn’t tell me Phoenix was your brother.” I said after a few seconds of silence as Blaze sat across from me at the park table.
“She wouldn’t have known we were brothers. Phoenix calls me Dad always has.” Blaze said.
So that must have meant there was no father figure in their lives at all. But I was pretty sure Blaze’s mother had a boyfriend. I knew Blaze’s father wasn’t with him, he was in jail, but something was wrong when a four-year-old called his 16-year-old brother ‘Dad’. Although I guess it was better than calling your father by his first name which is what I did.
“Phoenix said Isabella likes baking.” Blaze said.
It was an out of the blue question. So out of the blue that I knew immediately he was going somewhere with this.
“Yeah, not very well, but she likes it.” I shrugged, with enough vagueness in my voice so Blaze knew to drop whatever investigation he was starting.
Why was it that we were perfectly capable of having a conversation at school but not here? But when I thought about it, we were yet to talk about anything that’s sole purpose wasn’t to annoy that other person.
“How’s your Mum?” I asked, desperate to get rid of the silence.
He gave me a tiresome look. I hadn’t meant it like that.
“I didn’t…” I started.
“She’s alright.” He replied.
Something was off, Blaze wouldn’t usually have given a sensible answer, he was hiding something. Or maybe I was just being crazy as per usual.
“Chase, Chase!” Isabella shouted linking her arm with Phoenix’s as they both ran towards us, “Phoenix and I are getting married.”
She was holding three wilted daisies and had tied her white/grey scarf around her head like a sort of veil. Phoenix was in deep concentration trying to tie a piece of long grass up presumably into a ring.
“Yes, and Storm will be a bridesmaid.” Phoenix said looking at his sister who was sitting on the table holding Blaze’s powered off phone and giggling at it.
“Where are you getting married?” Blaze asked with a hint of amusement.
“Under that really big tree in ten minutes.” Isabella said certainly.
Of course she had chosen that tree, she must have overheard Tori and I talking a few weeks ago at the park. Tori called that her romance tree, very original name. She had her first kiss, first boyfriend, first date, even first time under that same tree.
“We’ll call you when we’re ready.” Phoenix said still focusing on making his grass ring.
“Should we be concerned?” Blaze asked.
I didn’t realise he was being serious until after a few seconds.
“About them getting married?”
“Didn’t you ever do that?”
Surely everyone had done it, the whole getting married at the age of 4 and throwing around a doll calling it the baby. Then breaking up when you found a newer prettier wife, very similar to real life in fact. Although, usually in real like after divorce, people went for younger as well as prettier wives, but it was kind of hard to that when you were only 4. Next thing you know, you’d have proposals to foetuses.
How would that work? Do they get down on one knee in front of the pregnant women? Would the foetus say yes or would they kick inside to agree? Or would kicking being to disagree? So did the mother throw a baby shower/bachelorette party?
I only realised Blaze has asked me something when he rolled his eyes and looked away. Why was I offending him so much today? I didn’t mean it, I just got distracted easily.
Unless, subconsciously my hatred for Blaze was built in so far that now, no matter if I wanted to or not, I was mean to him.
“Sorry, what did you ask?”
“I asked,” Blaze said some of his usual spark returning, “if you’d done it before.”
“Of course I have. 7 times.” I said not sure if I was flexing or just saying it with confidence, or were those two the same thing?
“What did you even do?”
“Oh, hold hands, share the same paintbrush in art, if Mum was in a good mood she’d take us to get a happy meal together.”
Because that’s all you really could do at that age.
Then I remembered, on my sixth ‘marriage’, I hadn’t married a girl. I’d married Ryder, mostly because Ava Harrison had married her best friend too. We just did it for fun, it obviously didn’t mean anything.
Coming home that day, I was eagerly telling Tori all about it. Ryan had overheard it. It was the first time he’d hit me; it was with his belt. I was four.
The next day, he made sure that I was fake married to a girl even though I didn’t really like her. To this date, Ryan wasn’t overly keen on Ryder.
“Quite the player.” Blaze said.
It was on those words that I realised why he was so weird today. Blaze was distracted.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“Yeah, just tired.” He said swiftly.
What was wrong with the both of us? A couple lessons ago, I’d given that exact same reply when he’d asked me why I was wincing. I had been recovering from Ryan’s drunken rage and had no doubt that a lack of sleep was the true extent of Blaze’s problems.
“You want to talk about it?”
“The fact that this one likes to test her lung capacity at 3am?” Blaze sighed glancing at Storm who giggled and grabbed at his hair.
He was a nice boy. I think that was the first time I’d noticed, I had been too busy fighting with him to realise it before, but Blaze was nice, or tolerable to be more precise. But I guess that was mostly just the fact that he was good-looking.
All that black messy hair and his piercing blue/grey eyes, the way he bit his lip when he was concentrating… I shook my head, why was I even thinking about that?
“Hey, Blaze can we talk?” A man said racing up to us.
He was an inch or so taller than me I think, reddish brown hair, green eyes, handsome I guess, but arrogant looking. And by the way he had a leather jacket slung over one shoulder, arrogant seemed the perfect description.
“Taylor, I’m busy.” Blaze said adjusting Storm’s jacket even though it was perfectly fine.
“Baby, please.” Taylor said sitting next to him completely unaware of my presence, “I’m sorry about last night, I shouldn’t have done that, I know. I’m sorry.”
Done what? I knew something had happened. Also, Taylor just called Blaze ‘Baby’, I kind of figured Blaze had a boyfriend, he had always been open about being gay, much to the despair of most the girls at school. But Taylor must have been at least 20, something about that didn’t set right. Unless, he wasn't his boyfriend. Did Blaze have a sugardaddy?
“Chase, can you watch Storm for a second?” Blaze said standing up.
I nodded looking at the blonde baby girl, she looked up at me with bright blue eyes just like Blaze’s.
“Slide.” She said holding her hands out to me.
“We should wait till Daddy gets back.” I said.
“Slide.” She said again, this time more insistently.
Well, she had Blaze’s stubbornness that’s for sure. I picked her up making sure that I still had view of Phoenix and Isabella who were holding hands in the sandpit.
I never should have agreed to let Storm go on the slide, because after we had gone once, she became addicted.
She must have had about 53 turns up and down the slide before Blaze came back, a small white box in his hand, a new iPhone, the newest one. Taylor must have bought it for him. That set off alarms in my head.
That couldn’t be healthy, fighting and then buying stuff to make up for it. But Blaze didn’t seem to want to talk about it, so I didn’t say anything.
I should have said something.