Kristal locked up Betsy and made her way up to the Scott’s front door. She hitched her bag up higher on her shoulder and climbed the porch steps. Greg was the one to open the door after she knocked. She watched his face go from surprise to joy to confusion.
“Kristal?” he asked after looking at tear-stained cheeks.
“Is Tay here?” she asked trying not to look him in the eyes.
“Yeah, come on in,” he nodded and let her inside. “I think she’s in her room.”
“Thanks,” she said with a tired smile. She hurried up to her best friend’s room, anxious to get out of Greg’s sight. She knocked on Taylor’s closed door and waited for an answer.
“Come in,” Taylor called; Kristal opened the door and waited for Taylor to look up.
“Kris! What’s wrong?” she jumped up and scurried over to her.
She sniffed and her eyes filled with tears once more. Taylor shut her door and led her over to her bed to sit down. “My dad,” she shook her head, her voice cracking.
“Kris, just calm down, okay?” Taylor said rubbing her friend’s back.
After a few minutes, Kristal was finally able to talk. “My dad came home and blew up at me, since we’re on break he didn’t know what to do with me. He had some random chick with him, so he kicked me out. Doesn’t sound too bad now,” she shrugged. “At least he doesn’t hit me.”
“Kristal, I’m so sorry. I’m glad you know always welcome here,” Taylor hugged her.
“Thanks, so I can hang out here?”
“Of course, now why don’t you go clean yourself up and then we can go downstairs and play a game with the boys,” Taylor grinned, trying to cheer Kristal up.
She laughed and wiped her cheeks, “Alright, Greg let me in, he’s probably worried.”
“I’ll go talk to him, you into the bathroom, come down when you’re ready,” she pushed her toward the bathroom. Kristal thanked her and gave her another hug. Taylor went downstairs in search of her twin, she found him in the family room flipping through a magazine. This was the room with the clearest view of the staircase. He glanced up nervously when he heard someone coming.
“Tay, what’s wrong with Kristal?” He asked worry creasing his forehead.
“She just had a fight with her dad, and needed somewhere to stay,” she told him carefully. “Now, I’m going to go inform Mom and Dad, can you find a game we can play?”
“What kind of game?” he asked, knowing not to press for details.
“Any, something fun we can all play,” she smiled at him. Fifteen minutes later Greg and Jake were playing against Taylor and Kristal in a game of euchre. They played best two out of three. The girls just barely won the last one, proudly claiming victory. Jake and Greg grumbled as they all stood up. They were stiff from sitting on the floor at the coffee table. They moved from the family room to the TV room. Before they started playing, they had agreed the winners would pick a movie to watch. Jake went to make popcorn for everyone, while Greg settled on the couch. The girls went over to the movie cupboard to find something good.
Kristal thought they should not be too mean, so they picked a good action movie that they had all watched multiple times, The Italian Job. Taylor heard a knock at the front door and went to see whom it was, leaving Greg and Kristal alone.
She opened the door to find Aaron standing there, looking incredibly nervous and cold. “Since when do you knock?” she asked after letting him in.
“Since there isn’t a game on,” he shrugged with a smile.
“Well we were just about to start The Italian Job,” she told him pointing over her shoulder. “You want to watch?”
He nodded and followed her, confessing that he had never seen that movie.
“Seriously?” she asked in disbelief. “We’ve all seen many times so if we start quoting I’m sorry.”
“That’s fine,” he laughed.
“Look who’s here,” Taylor said as they entered the room. Greg, Jake, and Kristal all greeted him, and then Taylor hit the lights and sat down next to Aaron. Jake mumbled something, but none of them caught it as the opening credits started.
In the dark, Taylor found it easier to sit closer to Aaron than any other time he had come over. She figured it had a lot to do with the ticket buying, but she still was not sure what was going on with them yet. In addition, she knew she did not want her brothers bugging her about it. That was why she had been careful since the weekend before her birthday. However, in the dark, things were different. She did not mind snuggling up against him, even with two of the three stooges less than five feet from her. She did not even care when she saw the look Kristal shot her. She sent the same look back since her best friend seemed extremely cozy next to her twin brother.