For Better Or Worse
My eyes opened to another day. Except, this day wasn’t like most days. Today was moving day. Yes, I, Sadie Mason, am moving to New Haven County. And why? Well, after years of being happily single, my Mom met Grayson Tate, a heartbreakingly gorgeous police man (so my Mom told me). Unfortunately for me, she fell madly in love with him and he decided to ask us to move in with him. I took one look out of the bay window of my room, and all my memories came back. It was my birthday, I was young and happy stood beside my parents. They had showered me with gifts. The best gift of all was the cute, sandy coloured puppy that was bouncing in the grass underneath us. I looked back and forth at them: my Mom’s young, radiant face almost shining in the sunlight. My Dad, always happy, was beaming from ear to ear. He picked me up and placed me on his shoulders, my world elevated slightly, and whirled me around the garden. I stopped dreaming, stopped reminiscing about the past, and swallowed the huge lump that formed in my throat. My Dad was gone. Forever. He died when I was twelve, and I haven’t quiet recovered. Especially now that my Mom was head over heels in love with Grayson, I’m not ready for a new family. And, I’m certainly not ready to move away from my home, friends and family. My thoughts slowly fade as I catch a glimpse of my Mom, leaning casually against the door frame- her head peeking inside. I looked around the room for one last time, before grabbing my packed bag and heading out the door. Getting to New Haven County, California, consisted of a three hour flight. I still hadn’t forgiven my Mom, after all she agreed to the move without my consent. Before any of us knew it, we were out of the warm, loud airport and into the busy breezy air craft. I rolled my eyes at the happy airhostesses and cabin crew, I wasn’t in the mood for their constant happiness and eager attitudes. I threw my bag into the over head locker and slumped back into the seat, placing a headphone in my ear and bracing myself for the journey ahead. The journey was quicker than I expected, and we were soon inside New Haven County Airport. I hated admitting it, but I was excited. I looked around the airport, which was really crowded, and sighed heavily. Mom grabbed my hand, ushering me quickly into the arrival lounge. “Now,” she said, squinting her eyes. “You stay here and I’ll go find Grayson.” I watched her walk away, shouting her name and sighed heavily. I wish my Mom wasn’t so embarrassing. Luckily, she eventually found Grayson, and I finally got to meet him. My Mom was right, at 6’5 with piercing green eyes, golden skin and luscious black hair Grayson Tate was attractive. Of course, he was my Mom’s age, nothing was going to happen between us. Besides, I didn’t want anything to happen. Though my Mom stole my happiness, why should I steal her’s. He strides towards me, elegantly, and stretches out his hand. “Your Mother has told me a lot about you.” He said, casually. I rolled my eyes and replied “She’s said a lot about you too.” He laughed coolly and turned to My Mom who was turning a delightful crimson colour. I ignore the urge to gag, regaining grip on my bag and make my way out of the airport, the love birds following behind. I looked around the crowded car park, scanning car to car, until one car lights up as Grayson presses his key. I ignore the urge to laugh as a huge black police car comes into view. I raised an eyebrow at his method of transport. We all get into the car, Mom and Grayson in the front and me stretched out in the back. The heat suddenly hit me and I gasped for air. Once again, Grayson laughed and flicked a switch that sent cool breeze through the car. I could sleep in this car, place my legs on the seat, lay back, and close my eyes. I guess I’m feeling that way because of the three hour flight. My ears suddenly open wider because Grayson and Mom are talking about the house. The house I was going to be living in for good. “The pool’s being cleaned,” Grayson began, the first good point about the house I imagined. “I hired Kevin to do it, that boy will do anything you ask.” He has a pool boy? Soon, all the talk on the house stopped. Stood before my eyes, as we pulled up through the huge driveway, was the house. It was huge, with a marble finish. There were flower beds, full of orchids, violets and roses. I looked around in astonishment, and soon we were inside. It was like those houses on TV, the one’s you’d pay thousands for. Grayson and Mom blinked at me, and Grayson said “Wait until you see your room.” I forced a smiled and followed them up the staircase. My room was beside one of the bathrooms, and was the second biggest room upstairs. I pushed the door open, and a horror show came into view.
Had My Mom not told him I hated pink? Obviously not, as the walls were plastered with the prettiest pink colour they could find. “Sade, do you like it?” They both said in unison. I couldn’t look at their happy faces, without feeling the urge to gag. “Like it?” I said my voice breaking as I spoke. “I absolutely love it, thank you Grayson.” I added, sincerely. He smiled, a little smug for my liking, and then said “We’ll leave you to unpack; dinner will be ready in 10.” I smiled, laughing at their smiling faces. When the door finally closed, I sighed with relief. I unpacked my stuff, and this horrible nightmare room seemed more homely and comfortable. “Dinner’s ready!” Mom yelled loudly. I sighed once again, it felt just like home. Mom and Grayson were downstairs, making salad and small talk, and they hushed when I emerged. They laid out bowls of fresh salad, potatoes and bread and we all sat down to eat. I hated this, the feeling where we were a family. We were not a family. My Mom barely knew him. “Sade, could you pass the salt?” Grayson said, instantly distracting me from my thoughts. I rolled my eyes, passing over the red salt shaker. We only just met and he was calling me Sade. There was only one man I let call me Sade, my Dad. I felt a lump surfacing in my throat and pulled my plate away, “Can- Can I be excused?” I asked them. They nodded, and I rushed quickly out of the room, assuring them I was alright. I didn’t want to cry, but I felt the tears coming down my cheeks and I couldn’t stop it. Was I jealous that my Mom was happy and I wasn’t? Maybe. I made my way towards the room, and fell straight into my sheets.
I ignored my alarm clock, slamming my hand against it, and fell back asleep. “Sade, honey?” My Mom asked, peeking her head through the door. “Uh huh.” I grumbled. “We were going to head to the beach, if you want to come.” She announced. “I’m-I’m not feeling too well.” I lied. My Mom walked in now, her hand on my forehead, checking for a temperature. “Oh.” She said. “You’re hot.” I smiled weakly as she tucked me back in and wandered out of the room. I dressed as soon as they left, feeling comfortable in a pair of black shorts and tight fitted blue top, and made breakfast. I looked inside the fridge and cupboard, surprised by how much food Grayson had in his house. I settled for something less exotic and retreated to the garden. It was a hot day today, the sun blazing brightly in the sky, and I regretted not joining them at the beach. My attention focused to the door, which was occupied by a shadow. I rushed towards it, expecting Grayson and Mom, and gasped. He was 6’5, about my age, with green eyes and short blonde hair. “I- I came to clean the pool.” He said, a net in his hand. I smiled, ushering him inside. I racked my brain, trying to remember his name. When I remembered, I squeaked loudly and said “You’re Kevin, right?” he laughed, nodding. “You’re the pool boy that jerk Grayson hired?” I asked him, in utter disbelief. I assumed, after Grayson commented that he’d ‘do anything you ask’, that’d he be a lonely, boring boy. After all, you’d have to be lonely and boring to work for someone as rich and obnoxious as Grayson. Kevin, of course, wasn’t lonely or boring. I bet, with those looks, he was New Haven County’s most popular guy. “So,” he began, turning his full attention towards me. I placed a clammy hand to my forehead, giving him the impression I was hot because of the weather and not because of him. “Grayson took a liking to your Mom and now you’re here?” I nodded, slipping my carefree hands into my pockets. “He took me away from quite a good life.” I said with a sigh. Kevin slipped his hands through his hair, messing it up even more and commented “That sucks.” Now, we stood before the wonderful pool. Kevin scooped at the mess inside the pool, and then deposited his net at the end of the yard. “So,” he asked, slipping off his black t-shirt to unveil a wonderful amount of muscle and toned chest. “What shall we do?” I jumped up, hastily, retreating inside the kitchen. I didn’t want to stand there, gazing at him. I grabbed the huge beaker of fresh lemonade, two cups and made my way back outside. Kevin was in the pool when I emerged, and I set the lemonade aside to join him at the edge. His hair was now a wet mess at the top of his head, but even that looked great. I refused to get in, not wanting to soak my clothes, and dangled my feet at the edge. I looked down, embarrassed by the fact I had forgotten to paint my toenails, and sighed heavily. Kevin blinked up at me, a menacing smile on his face, and he grabbed my ankles. I kicked and screamed until I finally felt the water on my clothes. My eyes narrowed on his and I yelled “That’s it!” and I splashed him. He splashed back, and we were laughing like children. And then, suddenly, he stopped. He jumped out of the pool, and turned his attention to an angry Grayson. Grayson turned to my Mom, asked her to go inside, and then looked back at Kevin. “I thought I told you this job was your second chance to prove to me you’re not a trouble maker. And then, I return to see you’re playing in the pool with my girlfriend’s daughter.” I blinked. I’ve never heard him call my Mom his girlfriend. I watched Kevin shove past him, and quickly make his way out of the house. “What was that about?” I demanded, furious. Grayson narrowed his eyes disapprovingly at me. “Go to your room.” He said, flatly. I opened my mouth. He wasn’t the boss, he didn’t even have the right to say that. I felt like a child, stomping my feet angrily at him, but I hated this. I took one look at Grayson and made my way inside. “And I don’t want to see you and Kevin anywhere near each other.” He warned. I ignored his order, and retreated to my bedroom. I had only been here for one day, and I already hated it. Hated Grayson, hated my Mom, and hated New Haven County. I just wanted to go back home. Right now.
I dreamt about that day, my birthday. It was almost eight ‘o’ clock, and I was cuddled up with my Mom, Dad and my new dog. The TV was blazing, but nobody was watching it. We were all sleeping, soundly. Only the sound of my Dad’s harsh breath could be heard. The whole house was silent. The whole house was normal. I opened my eyes and looked around the room, still unable to believe that Grayson had agreed to paint it a dreadful pink. That wasn’t the only thing I was thinking about. Tomorrow was Monday, the first day I was going to be attending New Haven County Academy. I woke up to butterflies, flapping anxiously inside my stomach, and I sighed. I had woken early than planned, and the house was silent. I dashed quickly into the shower, and then I went back into my room. I looked through my assortment of clothes from home and picked out the nicest outfit I could find. A simple pair of jeans, a green shirt and Converse. I had already packed a bag, which I placed around my neck and finally I was ready. A thought dawned on me. How was I going to get to school? I didn’t know where it was, but I didn’t feel like waking up a moody Grayson. I looked down the street, until I caught a glimpse of Kevin. I waved, “Kevin!” I called loudly, waving frantically. I watched him glide down the street to greet me, and I sighed. “I’m sorry about Grayson, I don’t know what came over him.” I said. Kevin shrugged, his gaze shifting away from me. “Grayson and I- we’ve had our troubles. I did things, things that got me and others in trouble. He said the pool boy thing would help get me back in his good books you know.” He explained. I sighed heavily. “Looks like that’s two people trying to do that. We haven’t talked since yesterday.” I declared. He raised an eyebrow. “I guess you could say we have mutual hate for each other,” I added. “Mom has no idea though, she thinks we’re playing happy family again.” Kevin looked at me “Again?” I nodded. “What happened?” I hated that question, so frequently used in my life. “My Dad got sick, when I was twelve and he just died one night.” I announced, swallowing hard. He looked shocked and sad, truly sad. “I’m so sorry.” He said. I smiled. Stood before us was the huge building, my new school, I stepped inside.
It was the beginning of a new term, which is why it was so easy to enrol, and everybody was chatting excitedly amongst friends. I sunk down lower, keeping close to Kevin as we weaved through people. The huge blue door stood before me, Homeroom plastered on it in big black writing. “Welcome to New Haven County Academy.” Kevin said as we slipped through the door. Instantly, all eyes were on me, and I felt a pang of nerves. I shook my head, refusing to believe that I got nervous. The teacher, Ms Laidlaw, entered and everyone stopped talking. She was a broad woman, who looked more like a wrestler than a teacher. She sat at her desk and typed aggressively at the computer, and everybody chattered around me. I looked around, feeling uncomfortable. Kevin’s eyes were on mine. He was content on something. Me. He wanted me. I panicked, my face going red. And then, as though to my advantage, the bell surfaced. I jumped from my seat, bruising my knees in the process, and clambered out of the classroom. Kevin caught up with me eventually, so I gave up and stopped running. I sighed heavily as he smiled at me. “Grayson doesn’t want us together.” I said, a little too harshly. Kevin’s leant against the lockers now, his eyes on mine. “Who cares about Grayson?” he asked me. I shrugged. He placed his hand in mine. I shoved it away. “I’m sorry, I’m not ready for any romance. I can barely get used to my Mom being all over Grayson.” I stammered. He stepped back, hurt and said “Alright. I respect that. Grayson has you under his control now.” I wanted to speak, but no words formed. I was hurt that he’d think that. The whole day passed uncomfortably and I was glad to get out on the bell. Even though I hated it, I wanted to be home. I wanted to sink straight into my Mom’s arms and never leave them. Unfortunately, when I arrived, Mom’s arms were occupied. They were on the couch, wrapped in each other’s arms, looking as giddy as children. “How was school?” Mom grumbled. “I don’t want to talk about it.” I insist, dashing to my room. I looked around the horrid pink room, sinking into the armchair and thought to myself. I was going to be spending my time in this room I knew, it was a lot better than being with Mom and Grayson.
Weeks passed and I still wanted home. I hated it, school was boring, home was boring. I made countless excuses to stay away from the house, and I was perfectly happy being as far away as possible from them. The one day I did stay in the house, was the day I hoped would never come. Today, Grayson proposed. It was like a movie proposal, soppy, dramatic and perfect. Well, perfect in my Mom’s eyes. And then, much to my astonishment, Mom said those words. Those two words she’d said to my Dad all those years ago, the words I assumed would keep them together forever. Mom said the three words most women want to say at some point in their lives. She said.