So that's exactly what I did for a while. I stayed in my hospital like room, trying to fill it with my possessions, but it still felt dead and empty. It was like something or someone was missing.
I kept to myself as Clodagh, Lacey and Hugo were finishing their exams. Mum was usually looking for a job, and I never really knew where James was. At work, I presume.
Naturally, I had already faded into the background. Mum just seemed to fit into the alien family. They warmed to her, except Hugo. It's not like he was rude or anything. He just got away with saying as little as possible to her, and seemed to be eager to leave her presence as soon as possible.
Should I be holding a grudge that he was being cold to my mum?
I sat on my bed and on and off again diary. I sighed. It was the last day of the exams. It was the last few hours of freedom before I'd have to mix with people in the family.
I flicked over the last few pages. One word repeated itself over and over again.
I groaned, and wrote,
"You're pathetic. Stop it."
I fell back and sighed.
"Hello!" I heard my mum say. I quickly shoved the diary under my pillow.
"Hey" I said quietly, sitting up.
"Um, nothing... Doodles.."
"Are you ok? You're very quiet."
"Yeah, I'm fine" I smiled, but felt plagued by guilt. My own selfishness had already caused my mum worry.
"Great!" she grinned. "Come help me bake some stuff for when Hugo and the girls get home!"
And that is how short of an attention span my mother has.
One of the reasons that I never chose to study Home Economics was that I really can't cook. Mum had to fix the batter for me, as I had made a mess of it. So, in the end, I just put out plates instead.
James soon arrived and I awkwardly gravitated towards mum.
"Good work, kiddo" he smiled at me.
Oh God. My skin crawled.
We sat at the table, waiting for Clodagh, Lacey and Hugo to come back.
"You'll have to get Lacey to show you about the place" James told me. "She's delighted to have another girl her age around the place. I'm sure she'll help you fit in quickly."
I smiled half-heartedly.
"I'm sure." What I didn't say was that I'd much rather Hugo help me settle in.
"Clodagh is happy to have another girl here too" he waffled on. "She's so shy, but she's taken a liking to you."
I felt my eyebrows raise. The kid hadn't talked to me once yet.
"And Hugo" he sighed. "He's difficult. It'll take you a while for you to get to know him."
"I'm sure I'll find a way" I beamed. James' head recoiled slightly in confusion.
"Just.. Don't let him make you feel any less welcome."
Just then, Hugo walked in. I've only lived here for a week, but I've never seen him so happy.
"Hello, dad" he said cheerfully, but I noticed that he didn't look at him. "Sarah" he politely nodded, looking at her. His head turned to me, and his smile grew a fraction.
I think I died inside. His eyes were dazzling when they glittered. His voice sounded a little different when he spoke to me... And then I kicked myself.
Step brother, I told myself. He probably has a girlfriend. Come back to reality.
"Hey" I shyly smiled.
I wish I didn't have to. I wish I could stay in my dream world.