I sat at my dark brown wicket kitchen table with a glass of green tea; the scents in the room were light and relaxing. I gazed out the window and watched the sun slowly make its way into the sky. My house was silent as it always had been. My mom was at work as always by 5am every morning except for weekends. The summer has been lonely and long being I had graduated. In the beginning of the summer most of the people had already made arrangements for college and have left. Do I miss waking up early for school? Of course not what I missed was the resurgence of people being around me at all times. Knowing these kids my entire life, seeing them every day and complaining about them has turned into someone I used to know and reminiscing the annoying things they had done. Knowing that I won’t know them anymore gives me a different view point I never expected to have…… 6pm. “I’m home” a cheerful voice yells through the plain house that echoes off the emptiness. I had been passed out on the couch since 4pm, her voice instinctually drew me to, and I woke up instantly. “Mom” I mumbled while rubbing my tired eyes. “Hi honey how was your day?” she said even more cheerful than usual…. What did she do? “Good? How was yours?” She stops, faces the cabinet then takes a glance at me from the corner of her eye “I met someone” she says biting her lip. I felt frustrated because ever guy she has brought home since my father’s death has not been good enough for her they seem to be whatever drunk that are able to walk from the bar to her car. “What’s his name?” I mumbled almost uninterested “His name is Frank Callahan he owns the auto shop a few miles from the bar” “Oh” We both were silent for a good half our while she cooked chicken and rice. After a while she turned to me “get dressed Frank’s coming soon” I got up and wobbled to the bathroom and took a long hot shower; for a while I just had my head under the water and thought about what type of man he may be. Then I realized I didn’t care because he was just tomorrow’s mistake. Ding-dong, I heard the doorbell while I was drying my long brown hair; “hello, hi” heard muffled voices through the door. I stepped out and saw a little five year old girl with blonde wavy hair and dark blue eyes she was wearing a little blue sailor dress with dress up shoes and a crown; she was holing a dark brown bear that had a name tag that said Charlie. The man was a little wide around the stomach and he had gray hair with a gray beard and mustache his eyes where the same blue as hers. “Hi” I stepped out of the bathroom with my hand out the man shook it tightly and said “hi there young lady my name is Frank Callahan and this is my girl Suri Callahan, nice to meet you” when he finally released my hand I felt my body still shaking “nice to meet you I’m Hazel Taylor” I crouched over to reach the height of Suri, “hi sweaty, I like your bear what’s his name?” she hid her face in her father’s leg then peeked out and said “chulie” in a little voice. She was so cute I wanted this one to stay; being he had a daughter I knew he probably would be a little better than the other men my mom had met. Most of the others had been rude and ignored me or stared at me funny. One time my mom met a man named Buck Nussle he had lived with us for a month until one day he was home alone with me and he attacked me luckily are walls are thin and my neighbor Linda Goonie had called the police than came over with a bat and beat the man I give the sixty five year old credit. Her husband Ben was a cop she was fearless he now lives with her, he’s in wheel chair he was declared paralyzed when they were in their early fifties he was shot in the back on the job. Anyways they have always been grandparents to me; and they have always taken my side when my mom brought someone else home. My mom has always been a great wife to my dad and he was a great husband, He was her everything and when he died she died too. For a while I would stay at Ben and Linda’s, my mom was hospitalized in a mental institute for about two years after my father’s death. Once she had gotten better we were allowed to live together again and life became a new normal no smiling, dad coming through the door at the end of the day, but an overworked mom who crawled to the couch. For a while I did all the house work and Linda and Ben would come over and cook and eat with us; well they still do every now and again, but mom has changed. It has been ten years since my father had walked in that door picked me up and hugged me I miss his scent, his aura, the familiar him…. I have not seen my mom smile the same since before his death. Now a days she puts on the look I’m happy face that is more translucent than she knows. Frank and Suri found a seat at our tiny wicket table and my mom severed us dinner. I had noticed Suri not eating the chicken so I went into the freezer and microwaved some chicken nuggets her face lit up and Frank apologized and ate her chicken. The night was nicer than usual with one of mom’s dates it felt more family like more safe. When we finished eating Frank and Suri moved to the living room I finished the dishes while my mom looked for my old toys so she wouldn’t be bored. I took out a package of Oreos and brought them into the other room and handed one to Suri she seems to like me and she doesn’t even know me. I wish I could be innocent like she is, and love what is put in front of me. Simplicity. Around 7pm Suri was asleep in her father’s arms and then packed into her cold car seat in franks blue 86’ station wagon. Me and mom stood by the front door and waved until his car lights became too faint to see. Two days later was the same as the days before I was home alone and my mother was at work. To shake things up a bit I decided to go for a jog up the nearby highway. I put on blank sweats with my old high school gym shoes and a dark blue sweat shirt. I grabbed my iPod and turned to my War album by U2. I started to jog then found myself slumming into a fast walk “dam I’m out of shape”. 45 minutes later I was lost “why do I never pay attention to the things around me?” I start to walk back the way I came in hope that I’ll find my way back eventually. From the corner of my eye I see a parked 94 ford pickup faded green. I see a man, a young man sitting in the driver’s seat tearing up but not crying he sat staring at the steering wheel with both hands on it... I knock on the window the young man wipes his eyes and rolls the window down “can I help you miss” he says sniffling. “Are you alright?” “Yeah, I’m fine, what is a youngster doing around this area?” he said rudely, he wanted me to leave. “Well this youngster was taking a jog when she say an old man crying” I said avoiding eye contact. He wiped his face well and leaned his left arm out of the car and sat his genital expression, but stressed eye. He set his left cheek on his shoulder “Well you lost saw you wondering before?” I turned to him face to face this time “No you’re the one who’s on the side of the road crying, geez, bye, glad your fine” I said sarcastically “that’s because I hit a deer up the road from here, it got back up and ran but” he paused “I don’t do very well with surprises” “Oh, sorry” I held my hands behind my back and looked down in shame for being so mean. “So, you lost?” he asked I stayed silent “So you are, here I’ll give you a ride back” he gave me a kind grin, the type you should trust. I stared at him for a moment then ran for my life. “Aw man, why am I so nosey, why am I so nosey, now I’m going to probably be kidnapped!” he turned his car around and followed me the same speed as I was running, which was pretty slow. “Hey what kind of reaction is that stupid?” he yelled out his window “NO” I yelled and pushed my lungs to go faster “No what?” he yelled once again. I was running to nowhere I had no idea where I was going and I was starting to get tired. I stopped awkwardly almost falling forward. The man pulled his car over and ran in front of me with both arms spread out blocking me “no more running! Why are you running, you’re the one that banged on my window?” he said utterly confused. I huffed for a few seconds with my head down and my hands on my knees “heh, heh, heeeeh…. Ok, ok, so I don’t know you” his expression changed from confused to smiling “did you not just knock on my window” I stopped talking and thought back to my idiotic reaction but something in me panicked after I found out he was fine and I felt the need to get away. As I was deep in thought, I studied his appearance in case I have to identify my attacker… if I’m able to get away that is. He was about 5’ 11” he had fluffy black hair that looked so soft and dark blue eyes. His skin was pale; his face was so handsome though I had not noticed before how detailed he was. “Hello anyone home” he waved his hand in front of my face. “Oh, uh, I just…. I am not allowed to follow strangers into cars” “Well I’d hope not, but I wasn’t trying to threaten you small fry, besides if I really wanted to I could have taken you no problem before” he chuckles “Hey I’m not short, I’m average… I don’t like surprises either, and why is a crazy old man looking to invite a kid like me in their car” “Ouch I’m only 24 years old, how old are you 14” “17” I said between my teeth “fine take me to the grocery store I don’t want you knowing where I live creep” he didn’t answer he looked me up and down and smiled “how many months until your legal than” he said with a flirtatious tone “I think I’ll walk” I pushed past him “My name is Felix Callahan, pleasure to meet you, I’m 24 years old and not a pedofile i just had not realized how- “I stopped him before he could finish his liitle introduction. “Did you say Callahan?” I turned back towards him. “Yeah that’s what I said” he looked at me confused again “why do you know the name?” “Your father’s name is frank is it not?” I stared at him intensely, why did frank lie to my mother and me and say that Suri was his only child. “Oh, so you must be Hazel than” he smiled “fate to meet up here” “So why did frank say that Suri was his only child?” I said confused. Felix looked sad then looked at me “look, let me drive you home” We drove for a short while and ended back to my little gray house. “uh thanks for the ride, sorry that you hit a deer and that I ran away from you” he smiled kindly “ don’t worry about it next time you someone asks you to get in their car run, because they probably will not bring you home” he starts to back out of the driveway “wait!” I jump towards the car “I didn’t introduce myself” He smiled “but I already know who you are” “My name Hazel Taylor and here is my number, next time your dad comes over it’d be nice if you joined us” I said handing him a scrap of paper from his car written with a piece of led I found on the floor of his truck. Trying to stay calm, any moment I could burst out with all of the questions I had about his mysterious family.
When I opened the front door to the empty house I ran straight to my bedroom. I body dived to my bed. I pulled my phone from the front inner pocket in my sweat jacket, I stared at the screen waiting for a text, call or even a butt dial from the guy named Felix, Felix Callahan, son of Frank Callahan and older brother of Suri Callahan. What a nice name and his sister’s name are a bit unusual as well Suri and Felix their mother must have been an interesting woman….. Is frank divorced or a widower? An hour and a half pass still no ring or buzz. I decide to take a shower, maybe he was turned off by my sweaty self. I undress slowly, this happens when im in deep thought I do everything five paces slower. I let the shower heat up for a minute until I see steam amerce from the top of the glass doors. Maybe I came off as weird, yeah that’s it; I step into the shower with a rush of pain down the first part of me that reaches the water. “Ah” I scream in surprise, guess I really wasn’t paying attention to the waters heat level…oops deep in thought. I wrap my wet self in a fluffy blue towel and wobble back to my room huffing and puffing from the cold air that had rushed in once I opened the bathroom door. When I reach my room I find stripped boxers and a big shirt with a sports bra, lazy time. I open a bad jokes book and flip through the pages. Maybe I’ll smile, probably not they were not kidding about bad jokes. I drop the book down to the floor and the spine intersect with my foot “owww” I moan. I pick up my phone on the night table and see a text from my friend Stevie Lagounov my best friend since the third grade in Ms. Madison’s class. When the two of us first met we didn’t talk to one another we just followed one another. Weird you may be thinking, well we were not very social kids we were the two awkward buddies of the school year. It was not until January that year my father had died and I was so alone. Stevie had called me every day I was not in school; sometimes we wouldn’t talk to one another we would just keep the line running. It made it feel more normal like at school, being we didn’t talk at school. Finally in April I had come back to school and things changed me and Stevie began to talk about anything and everything, little by little we learned more and more about one another. For example Stevie hates asparagus and likes to swing on the swings set for hours even now; out of elementary school into college soon. She says it makes her feel like she can fly, free like a bird opportunities limitless. I suppose she has always felt trapped living with strict parents whom were born and raised in Russia during hard times. They were fortunate enough to make it to America, a safe place to raise their little girls, Della the oldest and Stevie the youngest. Stevie has to have the warmest heart I’ve ever known, she always is he first to get all mushy I usually brush her off jokingly, she always talks about the wind on her skin and the scent in the air and how the time of day and weather changes it. She loves to talk about the butterflies in her stomach when she reaches a certain height on the swings and how many times she has fallen off and broken something. And in case you were wondering I was there for three of four swing accidents. The text reads call me. I dialed her number and waited for her answer. “heyyy” she answered in a sassy voice “hi what’s up?” she pauses and I hear giggles, great what now? “So I was like at the grocery store today with my Mama” she said with her heavy Russian accent. “And I saw this girl that looked a lot like you getting out of a car with a very hot no sexy young man. But that couldn’t have been you so I was just letting you know” when she stopped talking I did not even answer. For a good three minutes we stayed silent “that wasn’t you right” she said breaking the silence “well you see I was jogging and I got lost and-“Stevie cuts me off “What! What kind of joke is that you’ve lived here for how long? And you always know your way” “That’s not true today I don’t know why but I couldn’t find my way, the roads seemed further away and weird” I couldn’t explain what had happened the more I thought about it. Now that I think of it I have never gotten lost like that before… “Whatever” she responds in complete disbelieve to what I had just said. “Anyways what are you doing later?” “It’s Sunday I have dinner at the Goonies, your welcome to come if you want” she waited and thought about it a few minutes “perfect, I’m going to go out with that kid Jake from chemistry last year, remember when he gave me his number, we are going to see a movie than chill at his place” “What are you talking about your going to ditch me for Jake Daniels?” “Hell yeah!” she said giggling “but you guys don’t even talk and who said your fathers going to aloud that” “What Papa doesn’t know won’t kill him right” “Naughty, he will have to know eventually like if you guys end up dating” “Hey can you be my alibi for tonight” “What your partner in crime, or what a good friend would do even though your ditching her” I said jokingly “Come on think of it as a favor that will be repaid like I don’t know later on when you gop out with mystery man” she said while cracking up. “Ha ha very funny, how bout I’ll do it because I love you…and nothing bad, it’s only the first date make sure it’s a rated G movie night if you know what I mean” “What?” “NO SEXUAL ACTIVITY!” I yelled through the phone “Shut up I have this thing on speaker what if someone heard you” “Sorry, nothing naughty” I whispered Knowing the way Stevie is, I had already have known that her virginity had escaped her many years ago. And being the motherly type wouldn’t change that, telling her made it a bit easier to digest her going with a stranger for the night. What am I saying nothing about her going with a stranger is going to ease my mind?
I looked at the time confused when I heard the car door outside it was only 3:00pm. In came my drained mother with a single shopping bag that had milk and a bottle of wine. “Oh you shouldn’t have I always wanted to taste some good old wine” I said sarcastically reaching for the bag. She snagged it away and shot me a disapproving look. “Whoa! Calm down, it was a joke, I’ll just take the milk” she placed the bag on the counter carefully then wobbled to the cup cabinet with her tired legs. She reached in and pulled out an old faded plastic cup with Mickey Mouse around the side. She opened the milk and poured it in,
“Here I’m going to take a nap.”
“Thanks, sorry I would have done it by myself, you’re tired go laydown”
“That’s what I’m doing” she grumbled. She took one step at a time up the stairs, she then pushed her door opened to the mess she had left and plopped to the top of the pile on her bed. We are just the exact opposite of one another. I am very neat, and she on the other hand has to be the messiest person, that has walked the earth. If I wasn’t here there wouldn’t be a house to walk into. My phone begins to buzz in my pocket, I don’t recognize the number maybe its Mr. Pedo. “Hello” I hear multiple voices chuckling.
“Oh she answered, she answered Finn come here” shuffling noises and low giggles, they seem to be male voices. Could this be a prank call…? Did that jerk give my number out!?
I cleared my throat and took a deep breath in “can I help, uh any of you?” more shuffling and laughter went on in the background “HELLO?” I yell into the phone
“Sorry dear” a flamboyant voice spoke “my name is Fineas with a F not a PH” he continued “I’m a friend of Felix’s along with Johnny and Devin, we were just calling, well because we found your cute little handwritten number in his adorable butt pocket of his jeans” I hear the phone shuffle once more and another voice appears.
“Ok ignore that pervert he gets a little possessive over Felix, he expresses that in a form of odd comments, oh by the way I’m Johnny single, tanned and hot if you ever wanna” the phone is shuffled again, “I’m guessing this is Devin now” I said.
“Hello sorry about those two idiots Finny’s out for Felix’s body and Johnny’s out for anything that breathes” Devin said with his smooth voice. “He He that’s alright I’m just a bit surprised, uh where is Felix”
“Showering” Johnny yelled in the background “showering!?” Finny shrieked “Devin you told me he was in the backyard”
“Well if I told you he was in the shower you would have offered to join him” Devin said in a loud soothing voice not yelling but not low at all.
“Come on Finn we all know it’s not to save the environment eh, if ya know what I mean” Johnny laughed at himself. I hear a door open and the rooms go silent.
“Hey!” a familiar voice growls “why is everything I own surrounding all of you?”
“Oh Felix honey, we knew something was up you came home smelling of perfume, YOU WERE CHEATING ON ME!” Finny yelled in agony.
“I can’t cheat on you if we have never gone out for the hundredth time and I didn’t smell of perfume I smelt like Jail bates” he chucked darkly. “I found the girl and dam she was a lot more attractive than I expected Suri always exaggerates ya know but not this time, this one has such a nice-“
“SHE CAN HEAR YOU!” Finny whimpered “listen baby I’ll forgive you if you cuddle with me right now”
“What are you talking abou-“silence “my back pocket”…. “Where’s my phone” shuffling, I’m handed to Felix, the man of the hour. “Hello” he says sheepishly
“Hi, so I have a nice what?” I tease
“you know me and Suri are very alike we tend to exaggerate” he says fighting back “Well I thought you had very nice eyes”
“Oh?” I said in a questioning tone “ok or rump”, “rump? What are you 50 if you’re going to say that I have a nice ass then say it”.
He chucked sweetly this time his tone had changed when he spoke to me he seemed more gentle. “alright scram you morons are gonna get it later” he yelled at the three of them “for the record this was your jealous boyfriends idea” Devin had said as his voice faded, leaving the room “shut up” Finny said upset “Yo baby call me not this loser 462-01” cuts off “get lost Johnny” Felix grumbled.
“You still there” Felix said in a low voice, embarrassed and trying to hide it.
“Yeah, you have very cute friends; I hope that I could meet them one day”
“Not Johnny he’s the type I warned about , run from him if he ever offers you a ride or anything. By the end of that night you won’t even know what had hit you” he said defensively “Finny is a sweet heart you’ll like him and Devin is well Devin a calm nerd” his voice sounded content speaking about the people he cared about even though he had only bashed poor flirtatious Johnny.