© All rights reserved. LittleThingsInLife
I was sat in Karl Spencer's car, trying really hard to ignore the awkwardness that had been created. I wasn't a big talker and with men my skills went down to practically nothing. Not that I could be blamed; giving my previous experience it was perfectly acceptable if I was finding it difficult to get out a sentence or ... a word.
"We'll be there in about 20 minutes," Karl told me and I internally sighed, praying the time would speed up. Of course I should have known with my luck that something bad was bound to happen...
"Once we're out of this traffic it'll be 20 minutes." Karl added after we'd made a turn and ended up in a long line of beeping cars that had been brought to a standstill.
He began to tap his fingertips on his steering wheel. I kept my head turned, looking outside the window in case we made eye contact and the awkwardness increased tenth fold, but looking at the same bit of road was quickly turning tiresome and I moved my view to the inside of the car.
I looked at the radio, a machine that could have saved us so much silence if he had just turned it on; I wasn't going to touch somebody else's things so it had stayed off for the three hour drive.
My eyes inadvertently went to Karl and they widened upon seeing him already looking at me. I looked straight out to the unmoving cars and hoped he couldn't see my embarrassment.
"How about I tell you what's been going on with us? It's been a long time, 7 years, I'm sure you're curious as to how everyone is?" he asked, I shrugged slightly and he took this as confirmation.
"Well Aiden's 22 now, that makes me feel really old, knowing I have a 22 year old son," he laughed, I thought back to the 14 year old and couldn't imagine him as being a man now. Just someone else I would fear, whether it was reasonable to or not.
"He's studying to be a teacher. Actually he's going to be starting his works experience in a few days at your new school, so you might have him as a teacher as well as a house buddy," Karl joked, and I nodded half heartedly. I didn't want to be rude but I couldn't sit laughing in a car with him; I didn't know what reactions he wanted from me, and the guessing was taking its toll on my body. I was just glad I hadn't started to sweat or hyperventilate; I had been locked in a confined vehicle for over three hours with a man, alone.
I was actually quite proud of myself.
"Then there's the trouble makers Jamie and Lucas. Just had their 18th what a mess the house was, of course they had to clean it up but it's made me and Sandra think twice about leaving the house for when Sam turns 18, at least we've got another year before that,"
Sam would have turned 17 a month before I had my 17th. Of course I didn't celebrate birthdays; even if I wanted to, Derek would never have allowed it, not since it's the day before mom's death day.
"Carla and Nathan, or 'twin set two' are 13 now. Carla loves everything fashion so you'll have someone to talk to if the testosterone gets too much," Karl said trying to soothe me, but although I wasn't as bad talking to girls I still wasn't as articulate as a normal person.
"We've added to the collection and we now have a boy, 5 called Ben, obsessed with all things Spongebob and then there's baby Taylor who's 3 in a couple of months. I know, like we didn't already have enough but we always wanted a big family. So 8... Well 9 with you, is about as big as it's going to get."
The traffic started to move along and I watched as the cars ahead of us started to move. It seemed to only just hit me that I was moving in with so many people. I, who had to really psyche myself up just to talk to someone new, was going to have to live with 8, plus Sandra and Karl... 10 people who were practically strangers to me. This was not good.
Then something else entered my mind and I knew I had to speak up. I had to know the answer.
"Do they know, about why I'm coming?" I whispered out. Karl looked at me wide eyed I couldn't blame him. A few yes and no's was the only thing he'd heard out of me since he came to pick me up.
"No, we didn't mention the why's, we actually only told them last night so it probably didn't cross their minds, they were just excited you were coming. It's completely up to you what you tell them as it's not for us to say but I want you to know that if you feel like talking to them about anything they would never betray your trust." Karl answered and it did ease my worries a bit, at least they weren't aware of the why's yet.
"Thanks." I said while starting outside my window once again.
"You're very welcome."' Karl smiled before turning back to road.
For the rest of the journey we were back to our usual silence, but somehow it was slightly less awkward, even if I was the only one to notice.
The next turning brought us onto a wide deserted road and as we moved along further I could see the house in the distance. Jeez no wonder they moved out here; the house was huge. It was definitely perfect for the amount of people living here. There was a huge lake to the right of me and I could clearly see that it carried onto the Spencer's property. Their own lake, who were these people?
My heart started to strum faster and I took deep breaths trying to calm down. I was about to meet people I hadn't seen in 7 years.
I watched as Karl tapped in a pass-code when we reached the gates and they slowly opened giving us room to move through, I tilted my head up to see the top of the house and my eyes widened, letting me forget my worries I just sat and admired the beauty of the house.
The sun was slowly retreating and it gave the house a warm glow making it look homely and peaceful. I looked over at Karl as he ran a hand through his dirty blonde hair; he was an attractive man and looked younger than his 42 years. I figured he probably got a lot of faux patients at the hospital just using an excuse to see him.
"You ready?" he asked and I slowly nodded. I wasn't ready, but I had no one else to turn to.
I followed him up the gravelled path and onto the steps, as he reached for the door I reached for the zipper on my jacket, pulling it up and down was a habit of mine that I couldn't shake. The sound of the zip moving along the teeth just helped me focus on something other than the panic slowly building up inside me.
The door opened before Karl could turn it and there stood Sandra Spencer, she was cradling a mini version of her who was scrunching her fist around a chunk of Sandra's t-shirt completely entranced by the material as she dropped it and then picked it back up.
"Alex!" Sandra cried out smiling widely."I hope the ride here was ok, I would have come along but Margery was sick today so I had to pick Taylor up from play group." She explained, nodding to the child in her arms who looked up upon hearing her name.
Sandra and Karl had visited me just the week previous and I had been surprised when they had walked into the hospital room with my social worker, neither of their faces held pity or sorrow which is what I had come to expect after they had been told my situation.
It was the same now, Karl hadn't looked at me in sympathy, not once throughout the entire drive and now I saw actual excitement in Sandra's eyes. She was happy I was here... at least for now.
For a 40 year old, Sandra looked quite amazing for her age, her bright blonde hair was thrown into a messy bun and she had definitely looked after her figure, she looked better than some women that hadn't even had children yet and she'd had 8. Her vest top and cut off's clung to her body in a respectable way and I envied her, especially in this weather. My hooded jacket was uncomfortable and it would only get worse; summer was upon us. But I would choose to be covered over baring my body any day no matter the weather.
"I'm so glad you're here Alex. I've been running around for the past week getting everything sorted for you. I'll show you your room soon but first you can say hi to everyone. They're very excited to see you. They're just outside."
Karl walked a head of me, kissing Sandra in greeting as he passed her and grabbing Taylor out of her arms. Baby giggles erupted as he started to tickle her and he chuckled along with Sandra at their baby girl. I watched as the three of them moved forwards towards another door, and felt a gush of unwanted air surround me. They looked like they had the perfect set up and I felt like I was ruining it.
"Are you coming honey?" Sandra asked turning her head around and smiling at me warmly. I nodded again and started to follow them. We went through a modern kitchen that looked equipped with every gadget you could think of. It was futuristic but homely at the same time; the tools were all in matching chrome and made it look professional, but the kids paintings that were on the fridge door counteracted it and made it look like a family kitchen.
We went out back and could see a group of people trying to catch the last of the sun before night fell. Some were taking turns jumping off the pier and into the lake while the others scored them and one commentated. As we got closer I watched one guy jump in backwards and it caused a great cheer to go through the audience;
"And what an impressive backwards dive we just witnessed from the well known Lucky Lucas, let's see what the judges have to say," a slim built boy shouted out before looking over at the two people judging; a girl with long blonde hair pulled up into a neat pony tail and a cute little boy. I took these three to be Nathan, Carla and Ben.
"A well deserved Eight." Carla shouted getting a fist pump from lucky Lucas.
"TWO!" Ben shouted and Lucas faked a look of outrage before running over and turning a now giggling Ben upside down.
"Re-vote! This one needs to re-vote. He's biased, he prefers Jamie. It's a fix. This competition is fixed," Lucas tried to keep it serious but a laugh escaped him after he looked at his siblings.
"Whatever you little runt, let Jamie win. I just won't watch SpongeBob with you later." he bargained and quicker than I thought possible Ben was shouting "TEN" over and over causing them all to laugh and for Sandra and Karl to join in.
This got everyone's attention and they looked from their parents to me before grinning brightly. Lucas put Ben on the ground.
"Alex!" two identical guys shouted together. Lucas reached me first and I took a step backwards out of habitual instinct. Jamie was a little slower catching up to his brother but they both pulled the same scrunched up face at my action.
They had grown up to become gorgeous 18 year olds and if I had been any normal girl I would have swooned at their bare toned chests. I could appreciate the golden abs that they must have worked hard to achieve but I still retreated as they moved closer.
You could still tell the difference; Lucas always had the darker shade of blue eyes whereas Jamie's were a bright crystal blue reminding me of the clearness of a perfect beach sea. Both had dark blonde hair that was wet from their dives but you could see Lucas chose to cut his shorter than Jamie's; something else that would help differentiate them.
Another beautiful boy stood beside them now and although he was wearing a white t-shirt, his equally built body could be seen from underneath. Sam had definitely grown up and he was for lack of a better word, hot.
He hadn't been in the water so his dry light brown hair hung in his eyes slightly and was messily chopped across his head, he had the bed hair style down to a tee and it made him look all the better.
"What, you don't want to give your old best friends some hello hugs?" Lucas asked teasingly but he still looked confused.
I bit my bottom lip hoping I didn't have to speak up yet but no one said anything and I took in a deep breath before stuttering a few words out.
"You're wet" I kept my eyes diverted to the grass.
"That's what she said," Lucas chuckled under his breath so his parents couldn't hear, then louder stated "Well just don't forget you owe me one later."' he smiled and I nodded hoping that it would be forgotten.
"Well I'm not wet so you have no excuse," Sam grinned and before I could move I had his arms wrapped around me. My heart hammered against my chest and I counted in my head until he took his arms off me. It wasn't long before my lack of response caused him to move backwards to look at me.
"Okaayyy," He dragged out before shrugging my weirdness off.
Twin set two moved over, they were identically cute and would both grow up to be heartbreakers, if they weren't already. Their blonde hair was the shame shade as Sandra's. Nathan had his just past his chin and sweeping over his right eye, he was petite and was probably going to stay shorter than the rest of his brothers who all reached 6 feet and above.
"We don't really remember you but heard some funny stories off the guys so it's nice to meet you." Nathan smiled sweetly moving his hand in front of him for me to grab. I slowly put my hand in his and removed it after a quick shake.
"I'm Carla," the blonde waved "and I'm very glad there's another girl in this house now." She smiled at me and I forced one out in return.
A hand on my leg had my heart leaping and I quickly looked down, sighing when I realised it was the little boy. He was latched onto my leg; I didn't have any experience with children so I looked at him with a raised eyebrow. What did he want..? ...A pat on his head?
"I'm Benny." He shouted grinning at me. I smiled back down at him. He was very cute and his missing teeth were adorable, who couldn't smile at him.
"Hi," I greeted shyly.
"Are you my new sister?" he asked curiously "were you in my mommy's belly too?"
Everybody laughed and even I let out a small chuckle.
"Alex is here to live with us now Benny, so I guess you could call her a sister... if that's ok?" Karl answered for me. I nodded unsure. Did he want me to say yes?
"Where's Aiden?" Sandra asked and I lifted my head up to look around; sure enough everyone here had been introduced and Aiden wasn't one of them.
"He's upstairs," Jamie answered still looking at me. "Said he had stuff to sign before his works experience and we were being too loud." He shrugged like it was something unheard of.
"I'll go get him, guys go inside now and get dry." She ordered before walking inside. Karl went to go with her and a part of me wanted to shout out for him to stay. I didn't want to be alone with all these people, but when did I start to trust Karl?
"I'm betting mom will want to show you your new room, she's been in it all week decorating," Sam explained.
"Okay." I said. Well this isn't awkward.
"Alex. Will you watch SpongeBob with me?" Ben asked tugging on my jeans again.
"Sure." I nodded and he dragged me inside. I was actually glad for the excuse to go in.
"He's found a new victim, awesome!" Lucas hollered "Thanks Alex, I owe you." He added to my retreating form.
I had just sat down next to Ben when a man walked in...
If I'd thought the others were fortunate looking I didn't know what to call this one. Aiden was beyond words, his dark blonde hair chopped around his ears and curled ever so slightly around the back of his neck. He had a good chunk and it looked soft to touch.
His blue-green eyes widened and a big grin broke out onto his face. His teeth were perfect and white; I actually couldn't find a fault to his features. Like Sam you could make out the outline of his body underneath his top and boy was it something to look at. Not that I lingered, I looked up at him before standing and dropping my head down so my eyes met his shoes. He was bigger and taller than I expected and he intimidated me... more than the others, something I didn't think was possible.
"Wow Ally, it's good to see you! You look great." I heard the smile in his voice and then his feet moved closer to me. I was brought into his arms just like with Sam and I couldn't do anything but freeze up and use my counting technique until he released me.
How was I going to survive staying here..?