Author: MoreThanAPrettyFace PM
Eddie's been offered a promotion at work and he jumps at the opportunity. This means moving from California to NYC. He and his wife think this will be great for all 8 of his teenagers, but some of them disagree. When they're forced to move it causes more bickering than ever but they have to try to get along when a tragic bomb is dropped on them. Sexual references, strong language.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Romance - Chapters: 3 - Words: 11,433 - Reviews: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 11-03-12 - Published: 09-11-12 - id: 3057501
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It was ten o'clock on a sunny September morning. A Saturday morning, in fact. Nancy and Brenda were watching TV on the white furry couch in the living room in their pajamas. Rita was ironing a towering stack of clothes in the kitchen which was attached to the living room with no wall separating them.
"What show is this?" she asked.
"It's a documentary about endangered animals and why they are becoming extinct. It's heartbreaking, Mom." Nancy sighed, staring lovingly at the furry animals on the screen. "You know, if we donated just a few dollars a week, we could help save them -"
"Nancy, you've given the donation speech thousands of times. I know you mean well, but don't give it again. Where are your brothers and your sister?" Rita asked.
"Benjamin is on his laptop, Tyler is at his creepy friend's house, Alex is in his room blasting his stereo as you can hear, Dad in the car getting some quiet time and Justin, AJ and Amber are as usual, in bed." Nancy said rolling her eyes.
"I don't think Justin, AJ and Amber are in bed anymore..." Brenda chuckled. "Listen!"
"ALEX! Turn your stupid music OFF!" Amber screamed from upstairs. Nancy smirked.
"Dude, if you don't turn that shit off I'm gonna MESS YOU UP!" Justin bellowed furiously.
"FOR CHRIST'S SAKE...!" AJ yelled angrily.
"Typical." Rita commented st herself, shaking her head as she folded a shirt and began ironing a hoodie.
Suddenly, Alex ran through the living room, almost knocking the TV over. Amber, Justin and AJ were chasing him in their pajamas.
"We're gonna fucking kill you!" Amber growled, adjusting her pink tank top and shorts as she ran after the black-haired boy.
"Language!" Rita scolded. "And stop running in the house!"
Alex ran out the back door into the garden and was instantly followed by his three enraged siblings.
"Get back here!" Justin roared.
Seconds later Alex ran back inside with Justin, AJ and Amber gaining on him. Nancy and Brenda knew what was about to happen. Sure enough, as Alex was chased around the living room and Rita shouted above Justin, AJ and Amber's yells, Amber tripped over AJ's foot and fell over taking the TV down with her. The screen smashed and shattered into shards on the cream rug which lay on the dark wooden floorboards. Amber screamed as the machine missed her by mere inches.
The room grew silent.
"Oh shit..." Amber squeaked, making eye contact with her mother and then with each sibling in the room.
"You idiots! You broke the television! Dad is going to kill you...!" Nancy hissed.
"Shut up, Nancy." Justin snapped picking Amber up from the floor. Blood tricked from a cut in her knee where a shard of razor-sharp glass had sliced her skin. She grimaced in pain.
"Ouch..." Brenda said sympathetically.
"That is nasty." AJ commented nonchalantly, earning a fierce glare from his twin.
"Is the glass in there?" Rita asked as Justin placed Amber on the island in the joining kitchen. "Brenda, get me a the first aid kit under the stairs. Nancy, go get your father. AJ and Justin, go to your room before you cause another accident! And Alex, you stay here and help me out with your sister."
The teens quickly obeyed their mother, some more grudgingly than others.
"Alex, if you just learned to use your fucking headphones like normal people, this never would have happened!" Amber said frustrated.
"Watch your language, Amber! Alex, check for glass in the cut while I clean up the blood." Rita ordered.
"Yeah, watch your language, Am!" Alex smirked as he squatted down to inspect his little sister's blood soaked knee.
"Shut up, asshole." Amber growled.
"I can hear you Amber." Rita warned as she scrubbed the rug.
"Tyler shared a juicy piece of gossip with me last night." Alex whispered quietly to Amber standing up and using a wet towel to clean up the blood on her leg. "About a certain party tonight. A certain college party, I should say, which you, AJ and Justin intended to go to..."
Amber bit her tongue and chose her words carefully, knowing that when Tyler was involved, you had to watch out. "How did you find out?"
"I'm not going to say..."
Amber lost her temper as she always and snapped. "Alex, I am warning you right now - OW!"
She hissed in pain as Alex dug the corner of the towel into the cut. "If I were you I'd be nice." he warned smirking still.
Before Amber could reply, Eddie entered the room with Nancy and Brenda brought the first aid kit.
"What happened? Who did it? Is it bad?!" Eddie interrogated.
"It's fine Daddy. I just tripped." Amber reassured Eddie sweetly.
"I got most of the blood out of the rug... Brenda, pick up the glass and be careful, okay? And Nancy please get your brothers to lift the TV off the rug." Rita instructed standing up on the rug where she had been kneeling, scrubbing at the blood stains. "How much does it hurt, Am?"
"A lot." Amber whimpered, throwing a quick glare at Alex, who gave her a smug, amused smile.
"I'm gonna go get dressed." he announced and walked slowly out of the room and up the stairs to his bedroom, the only bedroom of the five in the house that wasn't shared.
"I doubt you'll need stitches, honey." Rita decided as she examined the cut. Eddie was going insane behind her, running his hands through his hair
"Are you sure Rita?" Eddie asked, his breathing turning into panting. "How much blood is she losing? Am, do you feel like you're going to faint?!"
"Calm down, Daddy." Amber said cutely. Amber was the ultimate daddy's girl and had Eddie wrapped around her little finger and she knew how to charm him when she needed to.
There was a series of loud thudding sounds bounding down the stairs and AJ and Justin came in to lift the TV back up from the floor, with Nancy following them.
"Mom, I hope you realize that by making me get the boys to lift the TV, you're sexist. Women are just as strong as men. What happened to equality?" Nancy demanded crossing her arms.
"Honey, that TV is huge and your arms are weaker than a seven year old's. Now, when your father stops breathing in my ear," Rita said shooting a warning look at her husband who quickly backed off, "he has an announcement to make!"
"What is it Dad?" Justin asked anxiously. "Are you getting a new TV? If you are, get it now because the game is on in like, an hour."
"No, Justin, that isn't it. I want the whole family here for it, so we have to wait for Tyler. BEN!" Eddie called. "ALEX!"
"Are we going on a holiday?" Brenda guessed hopefully sitting between AJ and Nancy on the three seater couch. Alex and Ben walked in as she finished talking, sitting on stools at the island where Amber was sitting. Ben was fully dressed. He wore a navy blue button down shirt and blue jeans. He adjusted his glasses and surveyed the room knowing what had happened thanks to Alex, who had told him upstairs.
"Nope, darling. Maybe next year." Rita replied chuckling. The front door opened and shut and familiar footsteps could be heard before Tyler came into the room wearing his usual black sunglasses and his favorite green and black striped top and baggy jeans. For once his short, dark hair had no gel in it.
"What the fuck happened?" he laughed.
"Language!" Rita chastised.
"Alex woke me, AJ and Amber up with his freak music!" Justin explained angrily to Tyler, giving Alex dirty looks which were returned fiercely.
"So you decided to smash the TV? Nice one, dumbasses!" Tyler insulted, looking from Justin to AJ to Amber with disbelief at their stupidity. He noticed Amber's knee. "What happened to you? Did you decide to knee a pile of bricks?"
"No, the TV screen smashed and the glass cut me." Amber said politely enough, remembering what Alex had said to her earlier.
"Yeah, she fell over AJ and knocked the TV down!" Nancy mocked.
"Shut up Nancy!" Amber and AJ snapped simultaneously. Nancy rolled her eyes.
"Okay, let's stop arguing and insulting one another and sit down. This is pretty huge, so prepare yourselves." Eddie grinned gleefully. Rita was growing more and more excited in anticipation for her childrens' reactions as she stood beside her husband smiling widely.
Tyler sat on the island beside Amber and Justin remained standing, uninterested knowing the news wasn't related to a new TV.
"...I got a promotion!" Eddie cheered joyfully. Rita beamed with pride.
Nancy, Brenda and Ben were the only ones to applaud. The others simply looked bored.
"Nice, Dad!" Ben congratulated.
"Yeah, you deserve it." Brenda added.
"That's not the best part!" Rita giggled ecstatically.
"What is the best part?" Nancy asked not looking up from the remaining red splotches on the rug.
"I'm going to be working in an office instead of the factory...and my office is in New York City!" Eddie beamed with pride. Rita was looking at the kids expecting them to jump with joy.
It was the complete opposite. Like fire and water. Thick and thin. Dead and alive.
"Dad, my whole FUCKING life is based here! I'm the head FUCKING cheerleader at school. Do you know how FUCKING hard that is when you're a FUCKING freshman?!" Amber screamed, absolutely fuming.
"All of our family are here..." Brenda said desperately. "We can't leave..."
"Man, I'm not moving across the fucking country! No fucking way in fucking hell!" Justin roared infuriated.
"Not happening, Dad!" Nancy said angrily.
"Our lives are in San Diego, not fucking NYC!" AJ yelled enraged.
"This is a load of fucking bullshit!" Justin shouted.
AJ, Nancy, Justin and Amber continued to yell at their parents who were shocked by their reactions. Rita decided to put her foot down.
"ENOUGH!" Rita screeched over the shouts of her children. They grew quieter and eventually silent. "Thank you. Now I have a few things to say. Firstly, your father got a promotion for working hard for years, earning money to spend on running this home and to give to you! You should be happy for him. Secondly, Amber, AJ and Justin, mind your language. And thirdly, we are moving whether you like it or not. I know it will be a big change but you will have to deal with it. Also, on Sunday your father and I will be leaving for New York to look for houses and schools and we will be there until Wednesday. During that period of time you don't have to go to school because we want you to pack up all your belongings and all the nonessential items in the house, okay? Ben, you're going to be in charge."
"Cool." Ben said calmly, being one of the only teenagers who hadn't reacted with anger.
"We're going to your Aunt Adele's house, and we'll be back around four." Eddie said in his 'Dad' voice which was unusually high pitched and slow.
With that Rita and Eddie departed.
It was around noon and most of the Johnston kids were calling their friends and telling them the news.
Amber was lying on her bed which was the top bunk on a set of bunk beds she shared with AJ.
AJ was on the bottom bunk beneath her playing COD with Justin.
Ignoring their trash talk and cheers of victory Amber was talking to one of her minions named Melanie who was a junior.
"Yeah, so he's just making us move!...I know, right?...That's what I said!" she babbled as she stared at the posters of hot male celebrities, pictures herself cheering, at parties, her friends and her family. Her family were her favorites. There was a little family photo their mom had insisted they got done professionally when she was two. Her brothers and sisters were all posing as the photographer instructed them to and they all looked adorable. She was giving the camera an adorably cheeky with AJ, climbing on their father, AJ wearing denim dungarees and her a denim dress with little pink flowers embroidered at the hem. Each twin was dressed like the other twin. It was the perfect picture of a happy family.
There were other pictures of her family. Only her favorite family photos made it onto her little space on the wall. There was a picture of Alex's first piercing, Justin showing off his tribal tattoo, Tyler getting his first camera for Christmas when he was seven. There was one of her and Nancy together for once and actually smiling. It was at Nancy and Alex's thirteenth birthday party, when the two sisters got along much better. There was another black and white one of her mom when she was a baby which Amber had found in one of her grandmother's photo albums. There were more recent ones too - Amber asleep in the car on a road trip with whipped cream all over her face (courtesy of AJ and Tyler), Amber being given a piggyback ride by Justin, Brenda and Amber coated in batter from when Brenda was helping her with her Home Ec. homework...funny and sweet moments captured on camera. There were at least fifty little photographs of her family.
Amber wrapped up her conversation with Melanie and hung up as she gazed at one certain photo. It was her most secret photo, one only Justin and AJ knew about, and not because Amber wanted them to know. It was a photo of Shane Hudson.
Shane was Amber's...well, it was complicated. They weren't exactly boyfriend and girlfriend. They slept with different people all the time, went on dates with other people.
They hooked up at a party when Amber was fourteen. She wasn't a virgin and she lied and said she was sixteen like him. Something clicked though and they became friends with benefits, but after a while they went on dates together and that was when it started to become complicated. By then he knew how old she really was. In the photo Shane is hugging her from behind with one arm and using his other arms to take the photo. It was one of the sweetest photos in the entire collage.
Nobody knew what was going on between them apart from AJ and Justin, and not because Shane or Amber told them. One day when they were in Amber's room going at it and Justin walked in on them and he went crazy. Not only because they were doing it on his bed, but because Shane was known to be from a family who mixed with the wrong crowd.
Justin's reaction went insane. It was like he was Mount Vesuvius erupting all over Pompeii. He was mega pissed. He threatened to tell Rita and Eddie but after Amber reminded him of the hundreds of things she didn't tell their parents about him, he decided against telling on her. Instead, he told AJ.
Rita and Eddie knew Shane as 'that boy' who all the neighbors talked about with disgust, occasionally fear and always with condescension. They knew Shane smoked pot, owned a
Amber had no idea how to tell him she was moving so far away. Would he care? Would he be sad about it? These were the things you could never predict about Shane. Reactions, that is.
Amber decided to find out exactly what his reaction would be. She gracefully dismounted her bunk and selected extremely short dark blue denim shorts, a red strapless crop top which showed most of her flat stomach and red sandals.
Making sure her brothers eyes were on the game, she quickly changed, curled her hair and did her makeup. Surveying herself in the mirror on the closet door, she seized her phone and left the room, making stopping in front of the TV screen a priority.
"Move your ass!" AJ shrieked as he leaned to the side, desperately trying to see the screen.
"Get out or the fucking way!" Justin growled using one hand to push his sister out of the way and the other to hold the controller.
She smirked as she left and slid down the banister of the stairs.
"Bye." she said quickly to Ben who was on the couch on his laptop.
"Be back before Mom and Dad get home!" he called back.
With that, she grabbed the keys to Ben's
I sat on my bed with a stack of homework laying beside me. I wasn't focused on the biology homework on my lap, though. My mind was fixated on Dad's promotion.
I thought about my brothers' and sisters' reactions too. Nancy, AJ, Justin and Amber were fuming. Alex, Tyler and Ben didn't even act as if they heard what had been said to them.
Me? I honestly didn't know what to think.
My family was here. Grandma, Auntie Fran, Uncle Trevor, Aunt Adele, Aunt Regina, Uncle Greg...not to mention all our cousins. Mom's family lived in Washington D.C., which was nowhere near New York either. I'd miss them all so much, especially my cousin Elise. She was my best friend in the entire world. Nancy was always there to stick up for me, but Elise has a good few extra pounds like me and she understands what I feel like when people make remarks about me.
Nancy would never understand that. She was really tall and skinny. To be fair she wasn't sexy skinny like Amber, but she was still thin, unlike me.
School was hell here. I was bullied a lot by popular kids, who were always careful to make sure Justin, Amber or AJ weren't around to protect me. They didn't care about my other siblings but Amber, AJ and Justin were mega popular and the majority of the popular kids worship them.
Even the normal students in Jefferson Davis made snide and rude comments behind my back. It was worse than the cheerleaders knocking my lunch onto the floor, putting pictures of fat people in my locker or scribbling mean pictures and messages on my books when I wasn't looking because they weren't bullies. They were saying it because it was their true opinion.
School? Yeah, that wouldn't be missed whatsoever.
Friends? I didn't have any apart from my family and Jenny and Fiona.
Jenny and Fiona were in my school.
Jenny was a bubbly, excitable girl with ginger hair, blue eyes and pale skin. She was tall with a small layer of fat on her stomach, but was never teased for being overweight. Copperhead, Fire Crotch and Carrot Top are just a small sample of the names she is called by assholes. Jenny never lets it affect her, though. She was always there for me when I was sad about the teasing or Amber being perfect.
Fiona Geller was a more sarcastic, stubborn girl with strong opinions on almost everything. She was extremely short at a mere 4'8, tiny next to Jenny and I who both neared six-foot in height. She dyed her originally light brunette hair the darkest shade of black. She was Asian. She had brown doe eyes and a heart-shaped face. She always wore heavy black makeup. Her whole style was rather dark. Most of her clothes were either black or purple and she had studs and tiny hoop earrings from the top of her ear to her earlobe, pierced eyebrows and a tongue piercing. Her adoptive parents disapproved strongly of this, not that Fiona let that bother her.
I'd miss them so much. So, so much. They were there for me when Nancy couldn't be. Nancy was so biased and set in her ways the she found it hard to understand anybody else's opinion.
On the positive side of moving across the country, it would be a whole new start. A second chance at social acceptance. Maybe I could create a whole new Brenda - Brenda 2.0. A new and improved version; one who could speak her mind and stand up for herself and didn't rely on her sister to do nearly all talking for her.
There are so many things I could change. I could express my opinions instead of watching from the sidelines in family discussions and arguments...I could lose weight before I started at the school...I could have more than two friends. Maybe I'd even have my first kiss.
My first kiss.
That was something almost everyone achieved before they turned fourteen. I remember Amber's. AJ was teasing her about it. They were ten. I am currently sixteen and my lips have not come close to contact with the lips of the opposite sex. Neither has Nancy's.
I love Nancy with all my heart, but when I'm compared to her I just want to explode with annoyance. Everybody expects me to agree with her, make the same decisions as her, to reach milestones at the same age as her...
I'm quiet around my family because I'm not bothered to argue and I don't want to stress my parents out more. All seven of the others have strong personalities and I'm considered the one who is quiet, neutral and easy to put up with.
Moving to New York City could be an opportunity to break that frustrating shell. I could be me, my own person. Not Nancy's minion.
New York, prepare to meet Brenda Johnston!
"Bye, be back in two hours." I babbled hastily to Ben as a sped through the front door and down the road to the bus stop.
Every Saturday at twelve o'clock in the morning I got the bus to Ruby's house.
Ruby was my girlfriend. Yes, girlfriend.
She was in her second year of college now. I was planning on attending the community college she attended next autumn, but clearly I'm going to be on the other side of the country. We had been together for two years, since I was fifteen and she was seventeen.
We were both still in the closet. I didn't dream of coming out anytime soon, and neither did she. Our relationship was a secret, a secret that I would never blab to anyone anytime soon.
My family weren't homophobic at all. They were far from it. Uncle Trevor, Dad's younger brother, was gay.
I think everybody my age fears coming out to their parents. It's different when it's your child and not a friend or another family member.
The bus rounded the corner noisily and I boarded and paid my fare, deciding to sit beside an old, frail woman. I always sit beside old people on buses. Most people my age would avoid this at all costs but they simply aren't smart enough to see that when you sit beside an old person, nobody else can sit beside you or attempt to make conversation with you. It's the golden seat.
My phone vibrated in my jeans pocket and I whipped it out quickly and read the text.
Hey babe, where are you? Tyler just called and said you were moving to NEW YORK? No parents here. Come ASAP! xx
The text was from Ruby. She was a friend of Tyler's and when Tyler gets news about anyone, including his family or himself (as long as it doesn't make him look bad), he tells everybody at school and on his phone's contact list. This, as you would expect, causes many fights in our house.
I quickly text Ruby back the elderly woman sneezed onto the screen, leaving saliva and snot on it. I grimaced and wiped it with my sleeve.
I'm on the bus. Be there in two minutes and we'll talk, okay? I love you xx
I didn't know if this meant breaking up. God, I hoped it didn't. No way would I ever find another girl like her who would keep the relationship a secret and be so cool about it. She believed exactly what I believed: it didn't matter if it was a secret as long as we loved each other.
I wouldn't give a crap if the kids at school knew. Their opinions didn't matter to me in the slightest. I didn't care if they called me stupid names or played pranks on me. Brenda is stupidly conscious of their feelings about her weight and I've told her to ignore them but she just won't listen. She lets them get inside her head, and I tell her that by doing that she is giving them what they want.
The bus halted for the third time. This was my stop. I got off the bus and walked promptly around the corner of the road of houses and finally arrived at number forty seven.
Ruby opened the door before I was even halfway up the driveway. I rushed up to her and hugged her tightly, giving her a peck on the lips as the door slammed shut behind us.
"We really need to talk." she said seriously. I nodded in agreement as we talked through the hall and into the living room. We plonked down on the couch together. She was playing with a strand of her red hair and biting her upper lip nervously. Biting her upper lip was a habit of hers. I found it annoying at first because Amber had a habit of biting her lower lip a lot and it got on my nerves but with Ruby, it kind of grew on me, which was something nobody and nothing generally did. She sat beside me, baring her bottom teeth as they dug into her pale pink lip.
"So when did you plan on telling me?" she demanded suddenly breaking the silence.
"Today. I was only told this morning!" I answered annoyed at her sudden anger.
"Nance, your brother told me before you did! Do you know how bad that makes you look to me?"
"I was trying to think of a way to tell you." I sighed depressed.
She grew less mad and bit her upper lip again. "So; when are you leaving?"
"My parents weren't specific, but they're going house hunting this week and they want us to pack while they're gone, so probably soon; really soon." I realized. I could be gone by next month!
"What?!" Ruby gasped. "That soon?"
I nodded, my face emotionless as I stared into space lost in thought of just how soon I would be leaving her behind.
We remained silent for what felt like ten years, when in fact it was only ten minutes. Then out of the blue, she seized my hand and led me upstairs into her room and we lay down side by side and cuddled, holding each other tightly, never wanting to let go.
"Nance, you love me, right?"
"Yeah, of course. Do you not love me anymore?" I panicked.
"I love you, I'll always love you." she paused. "Nance, do you want to do it?"
"You mean, sex?" I said caught totally off guard. We were both virgins. The furthest we'd gone was second base...
"Yes, I do." she said back gazing into my eyes with excitement. "I might not love someone like this for the rest of my life. I want to lose my virginity to somebody who cares about me."
"You know I never wanted to have sex underage." I said slowly. I watched as her blue eyes lost some of their happy sparkle and then I thought, screw it. "But for you, I'll make an exception!"
The whole sex underage crap was a lie. I'd just said it because I never thought someone would want to do that with me.
With that we climbed under the covers and what happened next is censored. One thing I can say is that it was the best experience of my life and I realized just how much I cared about Ruby.
End of chapter one!