Today, everything was backwards. My brother was nice to me, his friends didn't pick on me, and my school obsessed tutor didn't show. It was a nice day, so I walked home. As soon as I walked through the door, I knew something was up. The house was clean, as usual, but when I say clean I mean spotless. Even the furniture had been rearranged!
There was a smell, like fresh flowers, cinnamon candles, and various deserts. Just on my walk from the main hall to the stairs, I saw at least eight vases of rainbow daisies and roses of both white and red. And there was music coming from the kitchen, smooth jazz and humming!
"Why hello, my dear Ali! How was school?" she appears in the doorway to the kitchen, leaning against the smooth marble wall, a bowl and whisk moving swiftly in her grasp. This was so unlike her, cooking, cleaning, humming, smiling, asking me questions.....
"Fine," I replied slowly, hesitantly, "and yourself? Why so happy? Is everything alright!"
She chuckles, "fine, dear, fine. Fantastic, even! We're going to Reggie's Veggies tonight, as a family!"
"But...that's my favorite restaurant. You guys all hate it there!"
"But you love it and we love you! Now go get ready, something nice. We're planning to leave in about two hours."
I turn swiftly on my heels, making my way back toward the stairs. This is all too weird. I shake my head to clear it out. In my bedroom, I lock myself in my bathroom and step out of my clothes. I hit play on the CD player on the counter top, starting up whatever disk is in there and hop into the shower. My brother's band starts playing.
Remind me to yell at him later
You know, they really aren't that bad. You could almost say I liked them. That is, of you could all together ignore that it is in fact them. To even believe I liked them would take a lot of deep spiritual digging. They're a punk rock boy band. I'm a bookworm, a poet, a secret magician, but let's not bring that up. I live life as I want to, as long as it meets my parents' expectations. They don't make me be anything, I just know how they'd live and what they secretly prefer, and I be that.
All clean, I dry my dripping skin and wrap the towel around my body, sitting at my vanity to blow dry my hair and heat up my hair straightener. My hair is naturally curly, and I prefer to not have it frizzed. I apply make-up, light, because I know my parents hate me wearing it, feel that's it's unneeded. I dig through my closet until I find the perfect thing to wear and match it with a full set of accessories. I paint my nails, fingers and toes, a glossy gold and sit waiting for them to dry. It's then I realize that I was, not only playing my brother's CD and actually listening to it, but caught myself singing along, too. To every single one of their songs. Well, damn...
"Alisha, you ready?" I check myself out in the mirror one last time, smoothing my fingers over my silky, flowing black dress, before rushing across the room to my bed.
"Yeah, Mum, coming!" I slip on my gold heels, grab my handbag, and race down the stairs.
The car ride was pretty awkward. It was silent and I was aware of the absence of both my father and brother. Dinner as a family. Why would we be meeting them there?
We park the car between my father's and a nice, expensive car. We enter the restaurant and mum grabs my hand, soaring to the back. A private room. Big, round party table. Full of people who I recognize and make my heart drop stories below the floor. The Hemmings. They are my parents friends, with a son my age. But he is my brother's friend. Also my enemy. Luke, he's sadistic, snarky, rude, judgmental, hypocritical, annoying, sick, suffocating...
...but you gotta admit, he looks so hot tonight, all dressed up...
When doesn't Luke Hemmings look hot? When he stops being Luke Hemmings, I guess... Hey, there's an idea! How can you get a person to altogether stop being themselves? Maybe then he could be at least a little tolerable...
"Have a seat, Ali."
"Why are they here?" I couldn't keep the venom from the words.
"We have things to discuss. Please, sit."
So I do, in the only open chair, directly across from Luke.
"Aren't you going to say hello?"
"Good evening, Lucas," I smirk.
He nodes, "Irwin." Beside him. my brother nudges him. "No Ashton, it's fine. I am an Irwin, and proud of it."
Our father claps, drawing everyone's attention. "Why don't we order," he suggests, signalling the waiter over. "Hey hey, Ali! Usual?" Reggie smiles.
I nod, "You know me so well."
The others order, my disgust and scows toward Luke actually growing deeper. "What?" he shrugs innocently. I roll my eyes. He ordered meat. I know what you're thinking, I thought you were at a vegetarian place? Correction, they serve the best vegetarian foods here, but they also serve meat. And Luke ordered it, being the asshole that he is. Then desert comes around, and after everyone's, excluding me, gets their deserts to enjoy, my father clears his throat.
"Alisha, your mother and I have some news." I exchange a glance with my brother. He knows something I don't, as I had already expected. But what? This seems kind of serious.... "We're going away for awhile. On a six month cruise. With Mr. and Mrs. Hemmings."
"You'll be staying at home, doing your duties as always." Mum adds.
"We're really trusting the three of you." Father places a stern gaze, on me, it seems.
"Wait...the three of us?" Then it hits me, an immediate feeling of dread. "No..."
"Oh, yes," Luke smirks at me from across the table. "But don't worry, Lover Girl, Michael will be staying with us, too."
"Seriously? How am I going to survive, sharing my house with two extra boys?"
"Three, actually." Now Luke and I exchange a glance. "Calum will be joining us for the six months, as well."
"No..." Luke groans.
"Yay," I smile to myself. At leave he'll make it a little less unbearable...wait, six months?
...Six months...Four boys, One girl, One house...
...My brother, my tutor, my bully, and my rock...
...All in one house...
...Oh. My. God. Please!...Just kill me now...!
"We need to be heading out, our flight leaves tonight." Luke's mother kisses his check, "be good, Lucas. I mean it."
And mum does the same to me, even calling me Alisha, of course. Luke smirks at me as we walk into the night. "What are you smirking at? Lucas. Oh, and one more thing."
I smile, running ahead of him, "Shotgun!"
He shoves me, "not gonna happen." So I sit in the back, listening to the singers blaring their music and wailing at the top of their lungs. I lean my head against the window, oh brother...