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0:31 AMChapter 3[part 1]: What’s the deal with fairytales, anyway?
Chapter 3: What’s the deal with fairytales, anyway?
So, remember back when I said I was like Cinderella, as embarrassing as that sounds? It’s because of days like this, especially during the summer, when everyone-and I mean everyone- is off doing something, or just holed up in their room. I woke up later that week on Tuesday after all that weirdness- no worries, I’m getting to that in a minute- and it seemed like things were back to normal.
Typical waking up for me: didn’t see Steph next to me, checked my phone and saw that she had messaged me saying she was going to be doing park sketches for most of the day. Then I wandered out to the living room, where I saw the front door shut and a flash of shoulder-length black hair and a dark green t-shirt. Well, there goes Phil, and probably his brother Kaleb with him. So officially the Smiths are gone.
I sighed and trudged more out into the living room. I glanced around at the randomly striped couch that sat in the middle of the room, with a black coffee table to it complete with an antique lamp on top, wooden floors, white walls, and a small beige couch near to our "entertainment center”- AKA bookshelf turned sideways- with our broken old TV on top. I never realize how weird the room looks until there isn’t anyone sitting in it or arguing in the middle of it.
I continued around the couch and into the kitchen, walked around the table, and over to the fridge. I opened it, decided to have some waffles, and put them in the toaster. While they were being cooked, I turned to the sink to begin washing dishes. Then I flashed back to this last Saturday.
Steph stared at me for a moment, probably not comprehending what on Earth I just told her. I sighed. "Have time to spare? I’ll explain if you do. If not-”
She just took out her cellphone, rapidly typed out a message, probably telling her friends she couldn’t go, then looked up at me, her dark brown eyes being covered with her even darker, chest length hair. She seemed like she was lost in thought so I walked closer to her. I was about to reach out and touch her shoulder when her head snapped up and our identical eyes bore into each other. We both had something we had to say, and it had to happen now.
We walked back inside, surprising Phil, Kaleb, and Jake who were all sitting around in the living room playing poker- probably aggressively and betting everything they can so the victory feels even better. We quickly walked into our room that branched off directly from the living room and shut the door, practically jumping onto my bed because we felt like we had to burst everything out. Well, in Steph’s words later on anyway. I told her all about the incident at 1259 Hazel Lane, maybe sparing a few minor details here and there. She did the same, telling me about the strange dream she had not too long ago and what happened with her notebook.
It feels like it’s been a while since we shared anything, since she gained her own group of artistic friends back when we were around 13 years old. We talked and it explained a lot about what has happened to us lately. But then came the hard part.
"So what are we supposed to do now?” I glanced over at her while I was lying on my back on the bed. I stared back up at the ceiling, put my hands behind my head, thinking about it.
"Shouldn’t we do what we were told to do?” She sighed and flopped her head down over the edge of the bed, since she was lying on her stomach. When she looked up at me and folded her arms under her head to help support it, she seemed confused as to why I would do it. I shot her a questioning glance.
In response she shook her head and looked back at the floor while I looked back up at the white ceiling, looking at the shadows our light cast across it. Since I was so involved in my own thoughts, I’ll admit I jumped a little- just a little- when she decided to talk again.
"I’ll help,” she started, rolling onto her side so it was easier to talk. "But I want to only do what I have to do, understand? I don’t want to be too caught up in this craziness.” I nodded.
I was about to tell her what we had to do, but she decided to roll off the edge of the bed and jump up, starting to walk out the door, so instead I said, "Hey, where are you going!”
She had just placed her hand on the doorknob, and looked at me like that should be obvious. "I’m going to meet everyone over at the coffee shop. They should be there by now. Then we’re all going over to Sarah’s house and practice different styles. Why?” We stared at each other, me sitting half on-half off the bed, her with her hand still resting on the doorknob. I shook my head and muttered, "Nothing.” She shrugged it off, left, and closed the door, leaving me alone, once again, with figuring out what to do about this.
Oh yes, this is going to work wonderfully, I can tell.
During the flashback, I robotically washed 3 plates and a cup, grabbed another completely clean plate from the cupboard above the toaster, got my waffles, got a fork and knife, syrup from the fridge and sat at the table, staring at my somewhat-cold waffles.
I shrugged off the flashback, focused on the present, and poured syrup over the two waffles stacked on my plate. When I began cutting them, I began to do my new daily ritual of coming up with a list of things I love and hate. Steph, YOU NEED TO HELP, I thought, and began shoveling pancakes down my throat. I’ve only been able to think of trivial things lately to put on the list.
Like: Wow, I love pancakes. Great, I have to clean the house, I hate that. You know, the simple things that people say they love or hate.
I sighed, realizing this wasn’t going anywhere, and proceeded to wash the dishes I just used, as well as the other dishes stacked in the sink from dinner last night and breakfast this morning. Dang it, Phil, it was your turn! Once I had them all (hand) washed and dry, I placed them back in the fading wood cabinet just above the sink. When that was all done with, I closed the door, closed my eyes, and leaned my forehead against the door. What if I don’t want to clean the house today? I internally grumbled.
I turned around and looked at the place. Now, I’m not generally a neat freak (the fact shown through the current state of my room), but I have a limit. I’m not the best at describing things, but there is actually random papers strewn all over all the rooms, thanks to Michael and his online schooling, maybe books and cards here and there, but the floor looked gross, to me at least, but the worst part of all of it: their rooms. I have to clean them up, since they always complain about not being able find anything, and so they have clean clothes or whatever else they need. Here we go… I thought, going over to the closet in my room to get dressed in a pair or worn out jeans and a ragged t-shirt, and grabbing the cleaning supplies everyone agreed I should keep.
I grabbed out the vacuum and duster first, deciding to work in the living room first, and then moving down the hallway. Oh God, it’s going to suck cleaning Jake’s room. I started picking up all of Michael’s papers, stacking them on top of a few school books he left lying around, placing the pile on top of the couch for now. I grabbed all the plates on the coffee table over to the sink and picked up all the cards, probably from some late night poker, placing them inside of their original package and back on our "entertainment stand”. We really should get an actual one someday…
Anyway, to spare you the tale of me cleaning the living room, I’ll skip to when I started down the hallway with Jake’s room. First off, let me start by saying that I didn’t wanna know what was on half of the dishes lying around and how long it’s been since the somewhat-hidden pile of clothes under the bed had been washed. I almost got a garbage bag and threw it all in there. I did, however, get some gloves from under the kitchen sink, grabbed up the dishes and put them in the sink. Took me four trips to grab everything and not fear having it drop all over the place. After everything was in the sink, I threw the gloves in the garbage and filled the sink with soap and water.
I stood in the doorway for a minute, and then decided I would clean up all of his clothes first. Ugh. I grabbed the basket I used to gather all the dirty clothes and walked into the room, throwing all the clothes I could find around in there first. The basket was already starting to over flow with his "epic band merch”, as he sometimes calls it, but then I remembered the clothes under his bed. I shrugged mentally and figured I would grab them.
I set the basket down next to his bed full of black sheets and blankets that really needed to be washed, and started gathering the clothes, emptying the jeans’ pockets to make sure nothing got washed and unfolding everything to be sure nothing was trapped inside. I reached a striped shirt of his and unfolded it and a plastic bag full of white powder dropped out.
Oh no…. I thought, picking up the bag. Apparently most of the contents had been used. I didn’t know what to do. Call him, confront him, throw it out, put it where everyone could see it? We never got along that well either, so it may not be the best. I went on gathering laundry, throwing large amounts in the washer, dusting, and vacuuming but I was still stuck on that bag I decided to place in his desk drawer, and wrote a note saying I did.
But what to do now?
When I was busy starting to mop the kitchen, I heard Jake open and slam the door closed, before suddenly stopping and I’m guessing looking around. I decided to walk out into the living room and waited for him to say something, considering he was busy looking around at everything.
"Wow bro, got a lot done in, what, four, five hours?” Jake commented, finally turning to face me, his dark green eyes communicating a compliment Jake can’t seem to say, seeing as the rest of his face was impassive. I fidgeted under his gaze, looking towards my room, which I’m cleaning later. I could still feel his gaze penetrating me, now trying to figure out why I was acting so weird.
"Uhm, yeah, thanks,” I ended up saying. God damn it, Steven, stop acting so weird! I was still looking down and mentally berating myself for being so awkward, that I didn’t notice when he had walked up to me and punched me- as lightly as he could- in the arm. My head snapped up when I began falling over, and I caught myself, locking eyes with my brother.
"Hey. What’s up?” The equivilant of saying ‘tell me why the fuck your acting stupid’, which, come to think of it, is probably what he would have said to anyone else who WASN’T related to him.
I fidgeted a bit, but finally my logical sense came in, and I hope his did to. I sighed and said simply, "I cleaned your room.” He didn’t get it because I always did that, so he leaned back from me, glanced down the hallway to his room, switching his gaze from me to it, and walked quickly down the hall.
I trailed after him, not knowing what to do. He seemed okay with it, until he saw the pile of clothes. And the note resting in my scrawled handwriting on it. Sadly, my handwriting isn’t as nice as my sister’s. He read it over, about to sit on his bed till he froze. Wow, wonder how much muscle one has to have in order to stay still like that? I thought idly.
He almost jumped all the way over to his desk in his hurry, and he literally tossed a book across the room until he found it. Then he narrowed his eyes at me, the ones that gave me an unsaid compliment earlier far gone, now swirling with rage. "Why?” he asked.
That stunned me. I stepped back into the hallway a bit. I probably looked really confused, because his rage changed to irritation. He stepped up to me, making me stand straighter, too afraid to go back or forward. "Why is this still here? Why isn’t it gone?” He asked, clenching the bag tighter and practically shoving the white powder in my face.
"I, uhm, well, I-” I began.
"Out with it!”
"I didn’t know whether you still wanted – er – needed it, so I kept it because I didn’t want this to happen when you got home…” I trailed off, not knowing what to say. I looked off towards the kitchen. Looks like no mopping today. He sighed and I heard him lean against the doorframe. I looked at him. He was pinching the bridge of his nose, dark hair covering most of his face. He threw the bag towards me after a while, and I fumbled for a second before I caught it completely since I didn’t expect it.
I looked between the bag and him. He was still leaning against the doorframe, looking like he wanted to have some, but glaring at me. Did he…?
I threw the bag in his face. He looked up, about to yell something, until I made more room for him to pass by me and said, "You wanna prove you’ve kicked out this habit?” I gestured to the mostly used bag. "Then you do it yourself.” I tried to make myself look hard and unmoving, as I can be sometimes. My dark eyes met his own, and we stared.
Then the door opened, and revealed an excited Michael. I could only tell from the voice since I was still staring at Jake.
"HEY GUYS! YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE--!” he started yelling, throwing his bag and shoes off in the process, until he actually began paying attention. Then he saw what was in Jake’s hand. "Jake, what the f-” he started his never ending lecture.
That was when Jake had stormed over to where Michael stood, gave a small shove and a glare, went into the kitchen, and threw the bag in the trash. I’m still guessing here, since he came back with nothing and glanced at me. Michael looked like a proud parent: wanting to attack them with hugs because they did the right thing, but just basking in the moment.
"Happy now?” he asked me, face still impassive, but his eyes had a bit of teasing in them, especially if I had heard his slight sarcasm correctly. I nodded and smiled, and he nodded and went back into his room, hopefully putting stuff away after he shut the door and began turning on his radio.
Michael really wanted to ask me, but I just smiled at him, went down the hallway to a washer-dryer unit, switching out the loads. "Can you fold? I’ll start dinner and finish cleaning if you do,” I persuaded. He just nodded, staring at me oddly, and went over to the mound of clothes that were sitting in what I have deemed the "clean-basket”. Dear God, I am OCD.
I decided to just make something really easy: pasta. Usually Michael cooks, but I figured that by making him do something he doesn’t usually do, it would distract him. I must say it worked efficiently, but I probably can’t, and shouldn’t, mop until AFTER dinner was over. I sighed as I set out dishes, utensils, and food out on the table. Then I remember that Michael was flipping out about something. Damn it…
I went down the hallway, and started dying of laughter because Michael looked so confused as to who’s was who’s clothing, and he stared at the mounds of laundry he had just folded, and right when he was about to grab a shirt and attempt to sort it, the dryer went off. He groaned and fell back on the floor, throwing his arms over his face. Or what I call the universal sign for ‘I give!’. Or immense irritation. Depends on the situation.
He looked over at me and, for possibly the first time, he truly appreciated what I did around the house. "How the hell-” he began. I interrupted, saying "I just learned, and I’m just great like that. You’re welcome.” I added, "So what was it that had you entering into the house screaming today?”
He gained the excited face of a child, making me chuckle while I began sorted the clothes that were piled in huge stacks on the floor. "Oh yeah! Well, you see, there was this really pretty girl–” he started. And where I tuned him out. See, this actually happens every once and a while. I guess it was about time. I had just about finished sorting everything when he said, "So I got asked out for a date! Isn’t that awesome?!”
Woulda been a spit-take of epic proportions if I had been drinking something. I turned around and stared at him. Was he serious, or was he just messing with me? A girl… asked HIM… out on a date… AND HE JUST MET HER?? This never happened, for reasons unknown to me, but pretty sure he did, considering how happy he was.
"Uhm…” I began, trying to find a good response for this, but then Phil and his brother Kaleb walked through the day, and they tended to follow the smell of food, so they walked into the kitchen/dining area where there was still food. So I decided to distribute the clothes to the right room’s while Michael ran off to go eat. After I was done, Steph came racing through the door and went straight into our room, slamming it shut. Huh.
When I went out to the dining room, everyone, even Jake, was digging in. Tonight everything was fairly clam and we all sat around eating for a while. But I still wanted to know what was going on with Steph. Hm, I’ll ask her when I’m done eating. I glanced off to the side and mentally groaned. And when I’m done mopping up the kitchen.
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