"Luke, what on earth are you doing?" I ask as I walk into the living room. "He's two not five." I laugh at my nephew putting the controller in his mouth and then handing it to Luke.
"You are never too yorung to learn how to play video games, Eve." He rolls his eyes and as if on cue, Jake walks in with Calum following behind him. I thought his parents would be coming with. Guess not.
"Daddy home!" Matt jumps up and runs to his father. "Who that?" He points his tiny index finger at Calum.
"That's Aunt Mali's brother. Eve, why is there saliva all over his hands and face." He gives me a stern look and I point at Luke, who is now playing FIFA with Michael.
"Michwal and Uncle Wuke is here, Daddy." The small boy grins and runs away from us leaving us standing there to laugh at him.
"Let me guess, Brandyn is helping Mum in the kitchen and Luke was attempting to teach him how to play FIFA again. And they're crashing the dinner?"
This isn't exactly the first time this has ever happened. When Michael moved here, we had a dinner for his family at our house. Luke had crashed because we thought it would be awkward. When Luke wanted to tell his parents he was gay, Mum had a dinner for all of us and Brandyn and Michael crashed it. When Mum told us she had news for us and she would tell us at dinner, Michael and Luke crashed. When Mum found out that Penelope was pregnant and Jake didn't know, Luke and Michael and Mali and Brandyn crashed. When Jake decided to move out and share a home with Penelope, Mum threw a dinner that was crashed by Mali, Brandyn, Michael and Luke. That was five months after Matt was born. Then when Matt turned one, Luke started his many failed attempts to teach our nephew how to play FIFA.
"Nothing new." I shrug my shoulders and head back into the living room and take the controller from Luke. I play against Michael and completely forget about Calum being here. That was until Brandyn came in and Michael decided to not play.
Luke was now helping Mum with dinner so Brandyn could have some time with Michael. Jake was playing in the backyard with Matt, and it was rare for them to have good moments like that. So either I hang with Calum until dinner or be lonely and I don't like being a lonely wheel. I find Calum in the family room reading Wuthering Heights.
"You like Emily Brontë or just Wuthering Heights?" I ask as I take a seat across from him.
"Honestly, I don't exactly understand it." He closes the book and laughs. "So did you finally decide to talk to me or were you lonely?" He takes me by surprise because he doesn't sound hurt or angry, he sounds interested and curious.
"You're not reading it in the correct context then. And both. Have you ever wondered why becoming friends is hard for us?" The question just finds it's way out of my mouth without me thinking.
He opens his mouth to speak, but he gets interrupted by Mum calling us all to dinner. We make our way to the dining room and take our seats. I am sat between Michael and Brandyn. Luke is between Matt and Calum. Mum and Jake are on the ends, Jake being the closest to Matt.
Everyone is silent for the first part of dinner. No one know what to say or what's going on. It's just an awkward dinner. The only thing that's not awkward, because I'm used to it, is the couple holding hands and placing them on my lap. There's a reason why I'm between the couple. Mum has this no PDA at the table rule. She thinks affection should only be displayed anywhere but the table. It's because a table is a place for us to sit and eat our food. She doesn't trust Luke between them because, well I don't know why. Well, I have my suspicions. So I am the one who sits between them.
"So, Calum, I thought it would be nice for you to become like family. Mali already is, so I thought you could too. It's only if you want to, though. So what do you say?" Mum says suddenly. Her words cause every single one of us to stop eating and start coughing. Well, everyone except Matt.
That's why she wanted him to come over for dinner? She wanted him to become like family? Was Mali, Michael, Brandyn, and Luke not enough? Oh, I guess Penelope technically counts. My point is she has four fake children and two real ones and she already takes care of us all. Now she has a grandchild to take care of and she is planning on adding Calum to that. Has my mother gone crazy?
"Hold on, Mum, you realize you're taking care of seven people right now? That's eight counting you. You take care of everybody at this table, except Calum, and even with Mali away for uni you still take care of her. I'm pretty sure Eve is thinking the same thing." Jake says as nicely as possible. He turns and looks at me with his 'agree with me whether you do or don't' face.
"He's right, Mum."
"Not to mention you can barely afford to take care of all eight of us. That's including the little bit of child support George pays and the help from Jake," Brandyn joins in on the siding.
"And you only make us dinner and give us birthday Christmas presents," Michael joins.
"And you have to pay for Eve's cheerleading and tumbling uniforms and cheer camp," Luke joins.
"Oh and we can't forget the trips she has to go on because of cheer," Brandyn adds to Luke's statement.
Mum silences us all and places her head in her hands. We all know we ruined the dinner for her. We all apologize and eat the rest of our food in silence. That is until Calum answers Mum's question.
"Thanks for the offer, Rita, but I just can't except it. Thanks for dinner. The food was amazing. I actually have to go home and work on a project." My mum smiles at him and we all politely say goodbye to him.
Once he shuts the door behind him, mum angrily sighs and stands up. She doesn't say a single word to us. She just walks to her room and shuts the door. You can hear her attempting to muffle her scream. We all clean up the kitchen and dining room before everyone leaves. Jake and I take this as our opportunity to make red velvet cupcakes for our mother.