Disclaimer: I do NOT own anything especially the pot. That belongs to someone I know.
It was two years ago... I was in America on a scholarship to study abroad... I had found it exciting and different... never expecting to like it as much as I did even though I had been the main one to push going. I'd left with a big party behind me... my family smiling as I boarded the plane that would take me to the States… nervous but excited as well.
I did well in the States... made friends... had fun... partied like I had never been allowed to at home and had my first serious boyfriend. All in all it was a growing up experience and it was grand. I found I wasn't just the little girl my family that always treated me like... I was becoming a woman... even if I was acting like a crazy teen.
When it was time to go back home… I didn't really want to... didn't want to leave my boyfriend of four months, Josh, and didn't want to go back to the restrictions that had been placed on me by a strict family with two 'perfect' daughters. My sister, who was older than me by two years, is named Britney. She's the pretty one in the family... I'm the one with the brains. At least that's what we've been told all our lives. It makes for just a bit of competition between us... or for lack of self confidence in the areas that our parents perceived as our weaknesses.
Britney and I were close growing up... but years of teenaged battles separated us slightly. Only when I found that I was ready to go to America did we start to try again as sisters and I felt good about seeing her again as I walked from my plane onto Austrialian soil once more.
I knew that she would be picking me up... so I looked around for her as I walked into the lounging area. My eyes found her before she found me and I grinned. Pretty Britney... dressed in jeans and an army green sweater... long dark hair floating down her back. Even 'dressed down' she was dressed up! I cleared my throat and walked over to her... watching as she turned my way. "Peyton!?", she squealed as she hugged me and then pulled me back quickly. "What? what is it?", I said as I watched her critical eye move over me. I was dressed much the same as she... in khaki combat trousers and a navy blue turtle neck, my bag slung over my shoulder. "What are you looking at me like that for?", I said as her eyes narrowed and studied me up and down. "You look different!", she said… "turn around", she commanded and with a loud sigh I resigned myself to turn around for her. I was sure she was going to find something wrong with me... either my hair or my outfit… something... she always did. Holding my arms out, I turned around and then back to her… sticking my tongue out playfully... she was so annoying at times... appearance being everything to her… but I had grown up with her... I knew it and was used to and endured it all.
"Peyton...", she grinned slyly. "WHAT?", I asked her, finally exasperated with her. "You look very nice... you've got the requisite tan... your hair… it's pretty… streaked thru with golden color against your own dark brown... I like it...", she was saying as she walked around and around me... her finger against her lips. "Jeez, Sis... I feel like a mannequin on display… cut it out!", I said and slung my bag up higher on my shoulder. "Have you been working out, too?", she asked as she came to stand directly back in front of me. "Yes, Britney... it's called passing time at school... ever heard of it?", I said and then I had to laugh. "C'mon Britney… all I wanna do is go HOME... it was a long flight... I wanna sleep in my own bed and eat at our table... simple things…", I said.
"I'm sorry, Peyton... how thoughtless of me... of course... let's go and claim your baggage... then we're off!", she sang and took my arm, hooking hers through it. We walked to the baggage claim and picked up my bags stuffed full of my clothes and my memories... and out to her car. "Nice...", I said appreciatively as I looked at the sleek red sports car in front of me. "You like? I bought it after my first major modeling assignment...", she smiled and I nodded and waited for her to unlock it so we could sling my bags in. She continued to babble on about her modeling... and the Unbalanced Mind video she had been in... I gave her not a lot of notice… just the appropriate 'yes's' and "uh-huhs" that would let her know I was paying attention to her... it really made no difference to her if I was listening at all, I don't think... my sister loved to talk about herself.
"Unbalanced Mind video, huh?", I said and yawned. "Yes… it was grand!", she sang as we sank into the plush seats of her new car and spun out of the parking area. If I had paid any attention to her at all, I would have noticed her look of glee as she mentioned the popular rock band in our country. As it was… my thoughts had already started to drift... drift to Josh and I felt a pang of sadness in the pit of my stomach. I was really going to miss him… we'd grown close in the four months we'd been a couple.
"Peyton!!!!", rang into my daydream and a thump on my shoulder as well. "Sorry... you were saying?", I smiled at her. "I was telling you something important!", she frowned and I smiled back at her. "Sorry, sis… I'm just so very tired... what was it?", I asked. "Oh… nothing… just forget it!", she said and looked back at the road. I noticed at once that we were NOT anywhere near our home and sat up in the seat straighter. "Where are we going, Britney...?", I asked lowly. "Nowhere special... I just have someone I need to see and that I want you to meet!", she giggled. "Shit!", I said under my breath and sank down on my tailbone... my hand covering my eyes. "You won't regret it, baby sister... just wait and see!", she smiled and kept driving... oblivious as ever to my discomfort.
We pulled up outside a small restaurant and she reached over and pinched my cheek. "Stop that shit!", I frowned and climbed out of the car. I felt tired and hungry and only wanted a bath, some food and my bed... at least one of my needs would be met here... food!
I followed her into the place... one I knew well... and we went to the back of it... to where the room was less crowded, tho it was not so crowded at this time of day even now. From my place behind her… I could tell she must be approaching whomever she had wanted to see, for her walk slowed and her hips swayed seductively from side to side. "Oh good god!", I said under my breath and rolled my eyes… some things never changed… I should have known it was a man she was wanting to see and me to meet. I resigned myself to a long lunch and slowed my pace behind her.
We came to a booth against a wall and I heard her sweet purr of a voice as it poured out of her to whoever was sitting down. I saw him stand... but couldn't make him out... the black hair visible... and then his arms were around Britney, pulling her close and his face became very visible to me then. I stepped back a little... used to her antics with men... but not always comfortable at being the one she liked to put a show on for.
She stepped back a bit, holding his hand and turning to me. "Devon... this is my little sister... come home to Austrialia after a visit to the States....", she said and smiled at me. If she had wanted to shock me, she had done it... for in front of me was Devon Parker of Unbalanced Mind fame.
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