Disclaimer: This is my imagination...No one takes it away from me. You do, you die. Easy, eh?
AN- Anything that you find as a trademark to..a big corporation, is not owned by me. (ex. Pepsi or Coke...) Btw, if you find this story unbelievable that people in Alabama actually have sense and can speak well, then believe it...Cause I'm not acquainted with anyone without a college education. Including myself. Also, REVIEWS ARE LOVELY! So, please, send them my way!
Chapter 1: The Predicament
I drug my bare toes against the dirt as I saw a familiar girl barrelling down the street side at full speed. The old bicycle beneath her wobbled and creaked as she sped toward our gate. I paid her no attention as I pushed off from the ground and swung higher. "SA-A-AM!" She screamed, turning into our pathway that stretched between two sections of a white picket fence that desperately needed a re-painting years ago.
"Wha-a-a-at?" I shouted back, leaned back in my tree swing so I could see the sky above me.
"You called me! Why'd you call me? Is Jess here? Did he say anything about me?" I heard, more than saw, her jump off of her bike, slamming it to the ground as she raced the rest of the way toward me on her feet. Her sandles flopped as she leaned against the black bark of the tree as I swung higher in the air. "Can I not have my best friend over because of me?" She smiled and pulled a long piece of grass from the dirt to twist around her fingers. "Of course you can. It's just that I thought you had chores to do."
"Did...Got 'em done."
"What? It's like only noon." Ann said incredulously. Her eyes were wide, following me up, then down, then back up as I continued to swing. My fingers were squeezing the rope of the swing as I went higher, pushing so hard off the ground with my feet that it ached.
I couldn't stop swinging. I was in such an ill mood. I mean, I probably wouldn't be, if I had at least a few weeks notice...but no. My parents sprang this on me so fast that it left my head spinning.
"I know. Mamma said I could stop so I could clean my room." I said through clenched teeth. From beside me, Anna narrowed her eyes. "But, why? It's not christmas time...Surely your family can't be visiting in the middle of May."
"Oh, sure they can...and they ARE!"
"Oh gosh! Is it your grandmother? Cause I know that must suck for you...She's never really gotten along with your dad and all and there's been arguements I've heard all the way to my house." I cut her off before she could ramble on and on about the same things I hear on a weekly basis.
My feet skidded myself to a stop and I jumped from the swing. "It's not Gran. It's not anyone even important." I kicked at the dirt, spun on my heels, and collapsed against the tree with my best friend.
"Well, who is it?"
"Jacob Wilson. My dad's brother, whom I've never met before...Though Dad says I was like two when he visited last." Anna turned to me, her blue eyes narrowed in confusion. And before she could ask her next question, I answered it. "He went bankrupt. And, so he can get some money back up...Dad's letting him help with the farm." The girl nodded beside me and we were both silent for a moment.
"Well, why's that a problem?"
"Because! He's bringing his family! Not even his REAL family...His wife's family from her first husband. That means, a woman who's only seen the inside of fancy resteraunts, shopping malls, and mansions! Not to mention, her bratty son is coming along because he's only 17...In conclusion: I have to share a house now with two seventeen year old boys. Oh, and I'm sure Jess just loves this so he can have a guy around the house who's main priority isn't a farm." I felt like tears were threatening my eyes. This was absolutely terrible.
A family from upstate to live with a family from the back roads of Northeast Alabama. This just screams disaster!
That night, I forced Ann to spend the night. She was all for it, on account of she's in love with my older brother. Of course, she didn't like the fact that she had to help me clean my room, which wasn't messy by my standards...Anna's standards were completely different than mine. "Look at this mess! It's completely un-liveable up here." I raised my self up from peering under my bed and looked at her. "Is un-liveable a word?"
"It is now! You've given it meaning! I swear...Hey! Those are my pants!" She reached across my pink bedspread to grab a pair of flannel pajama pants that were stuck to a giant teddy bear. I narrowed my eyes as she caused the toy to slump over. As I straightened him up, I looked back at the girl to see her now attired in those pants she'd lost. "OH! There's something in the pocket!" She shouted as if she had found burried treasure. She pulled out whatever it was and frowned. "Bubble gum wrapper."
"Take this to Jesse will you? I'm sick of his stuff getting thrown over here." I tossed a CD case toward the girl who barely caught it. Her eyes had gone wide as she looked out of my open door to the hallway then to the closed door of my brothers. In a matter of .13743 seconds, she was across the hallway and back before I could blink.
"Oh my GOD! He was totally shirtless." I raised an eyebrow, looked up at her and smiled. "And his door is totally open." The color in her face changed from slightly tan, to vibrant pink, then almost paper white as she took in what I had said.
Anna shut the door in a matter of seconds and glared at me. "You could have told me sooner!"
"I didn't know you'd suddenly turn valley girl on me and gush about my brother's sudden hottness."
"Sudden? No, no, no. I've noticed this hottness since I moved in next door!" I stared at her, unamused.
"Ann, you've been next door since you were three. I doubt you could have known Jess was hot then."
"GIRLS! JESS! Dinner!" A female voice called up from the stairs. I looked around my room, realizing we had not cleaned a thing in the past hour. Before I stood, I shoved a few dirty clothes under my bed and followed Ann out my bedroom door and down the stairs of our nearly 100 year old farm house.
It was a historical house, though we couldn't get the state to see that. My great- grandfather built this house for his wife, and it's been in our name ever since.
I raced Ann through the family room and into the dining area as my mother was placing the last platter of food on the table. It was fried chicken, something we had when guests were in the house. I rubbed my hands and reached over to grab a piece of chicken, while I reached in the opposite direction toward the bread. Both of my hands were slapped by my dad and mother as if they read each others minds and went in for the attack. "Wait for your brother and the blessing." Mamma said, looking at me with her piercing green eyes.
I stuck my bottom lip out and crossed my arms over my chest as we waited. Anna snickered as she looked at me out of the corner of he eye. Her head was positioned toward the dining room door, not wanting to miss Jesse's grand entrance. I had no idea how I could be related to such an over-egotistical prick such as him. Plus, he had blonde hair, and I had dark brown. That could be due to the fact that my father is blonde as blonde could be, but I don't like to remind myself of that. It's better if Jesse wasn't kin to me at all..
Speaking of the devil, the brat waltzed in, shirtless, a bored expression on his face, while my best friend drooled over him. I looked at Mamma and she nodded, lowering her head for the blessing. My father said it, like always in the house, and I did the same as I always did. Snuck food!
It was the perfect oppurtunity while both parents had their eyes closed. I elbowed Anna and we reached over stealthily for the chicken. Our hands hovering over it, I looked to my father just as he said, "Amen." We snatched two pieces and sped for the rest of our meal.
Mamma scowled and waited 'till everyone else got their food. She was always like that. I didn't see the point in taking care of others more than yourself. Who's gonna come back around to take care of them in the end? Well...I will, but I know Jesse wouldn't think twice. Over the year, he's taken it upon himself to remind us everyday of how he's out of here when he hits 18.
I say good riddance. Mamma says for him to wait. Which then causes me to get in trouble because I usually come up with about 10 splendid reasons as to why he should leave now! Why wait?!
As all the food got distributed, my parents took the time to discuss plans for the sleeping arrangements, and it hit me like a freight train.
I had forgot all about our snooty relatives coming to live with us. Anna leaned forward, casually getting a scoop full of mashed potatos, while she snuck a glance at my oblivious brother. This would have worked...if her plate hadn't already accumulated a mountain of mashed potatos. "Nice goin' air head." I grinned as she glared icily at me.
"Shut it, Wilson."
"Oh, shut up butt-face!" I snapped while my best friend giggled at my brothers antics. Jesse grinned as Dad dropped his fork and glared at me. I backed down almost immediately, not wanting to get in trouble in front of my best friend, though it's happened about a billion times. "I hope you won't act this hostile to your cousins." He said, bringing his glass of tea to his mouth before sipping.
"I won't...because they're not my cousins."
"Sam." Mom interjected, making me look down at the plate of food in front of me. The rest of the dinner was casual, no more brother, sister rivalries...No more me getting in trouble. The only thing that happened was more staring from Anna.
Which was usual...It happened almost everyday.
"Well, Jess, ready to help me and Jacob with the crops tomorrow?"
"Oh, boy..." Jesse said unenthusiastically.
"Well, Jess, are you ready to be a real cowboy? You can show them city folk how it's done out here in the south." I asked, usuing my thickest southern drawl. Jess just glared at me before smiling to dad. "Of course I'm ready. Unlike some," He looked at me here, "I can be responsible." And as if 'responsible' was the key word, Mamma looked up and smiled to me.
"Have you cleaned your room?" I flinched and turned to Anna, hoping she'd back me up on this.
"No, but we got started on it a bit ago."
"Translation: I was goofing off while making my friend do my chore." Jesse said, making me elbow him angrily in the side. Thankfully, both parents were wrapped up in something interesting and didn't notice me. I looked at Anna's plate, seeing it almost empty..
"May we be excused?" I asked, barely seeing my parents nod before I pulled my best friend by her elbow. She stumbled along the rug before she regained her composure and ran with me. We ran up the first flight of stairs, not even stopping before we reached the third floor, our floor and collapsed on my bed.
"I totally hate this!" I shouted, bringing a white fluffy pillow over my face.
I felt the bed shift as Anna stood up, probably to start cleaning again. I didn't care about cleaning.
It wasn't like they were ever going to see my room. Well, maybe the stupid boy would have to come in here to borrow like a CD or something, but other than that, my private bedroom is completely off-limits! I brought my face out from behind my pillow and sniffed, watching Anna empty the trash bin into a garbage bag that had been brought up a while ago. Ignoring her cleaning, since she tended to tidy up my room whenever she was here, I sat up and cross my legs in an indian style. "I bet he's fat." I mumbled, knowing she wasn't listening.
I was wrong. "Are you still going on about that?"
I nodded as if she had just asked if my name was Sam. "Obviously. I bet he's fat and has zits and he decides to pop them all over my mirror in MY bathroom." Just the disgusting mental image made me shiver. I'd hate to see it in actuality. Anna sighed and tied the garbage bag before setting it in the hall. In the morning, Jess would come by and get it, and then blame it on Mom or Dad...He hates to admit he can actually be a human being.
As my best friend pulled her blonde hair from her clip, she gave me a look that said 'You're being ridiculous and you know it!'. At this, I had to pout. She had a point, but I had a better one, although I didn't exactly know how to make it. If she were in my shoes and I were in hers, I would SO not sit there and give her that look. I told her this, making her sigh again.
"If I were in your shoes, I'd be hoping for a very, very hot cousin...er- step cousin. Whatever he is! What if...What if he looks like Josh Hartnett, or Brad Pitt?"
I snarled my upper lip and looked around my room for any posters of those two actors. There were none. So why did she think I was like every other girl who decided to 'pick an actor for a pretty face'? "Brad Pitt? C'mon...Don't make me barf. If he's anything like those two...imbeciles, I'll just direct him and Jess over to your house."
"OO! I knew you were my best friend for a reason!" Flouncing on my bed, the strange, and sporadic girl threw her arms around my neck and hugged me to her. And though I was feeling like a total troll, I couldn't help but smile back. "Since you're feeling icky, I know what can make you better." A slow grin spread over my lips as we both looked at each other.
And as if we read each other's minds, we both declared: "Swimming!"
Though swimming was my favorite release from the everyday stresses of life, I was pretty sure that it wouldn't stop me from worrying about this predicament...It would help...but not stop it...
AN- Well, there it is. Tell me what you think! And be gentle! Pleeeeeeeease!