I'm not exactly sure why and hell I'll never know, but for some reason fate took me past his car that day. And after that night, hell you can't blame a girl can you, I'm never looking back.
Polar opposites don't push away
It's the same on the weekends as the rest of the days
And I know I should go but I will probably stay
And that's all you can do about some things
I'm trying, I'm trying to drink away the part of the day
That I cannot sleep away
Polar Opposites – Modest Mouse – The Lonesome Crowded West
At age 47 my Mom finally found the "man of her dreams" and then married him four months later. You could say Jack was the father I never had but when it happened, it really made no difference to me. Needless to say a year later my Mom was at no reasonable age to have a baby. But she did. And guess who gets to take care of little Jack Jr., yeah, me. This is only because Jack takes my Mom on all of his business trips. But even if he didn't I think the kid would still grow up thinking I'm his mother. Well you can't really blame my new step-Dad, if you want to call him that. His last wife did cheat on him whenever he went away.
That, ladies and gentlemen, brings me to my next complaint. Through my dear Mother's marriage I also inherited 3 brothers. The notorious Kyle, Luke and Julius.
Julius is the oldest out of all of us at 21. He is attending Harvard and of course, studying law. But I seriously think he needs to get a girlfriend fuck her once or twice so maybe he won't be so freakin' up-tight all the time. I'm not kidding that kid as dead hot as he is; don't think I'm gross for even saying that, has never even had a girlfriend. God forbid get drunk at a party and wake up the next morning sleeping next to a girl he never remembered meeting.
Anyway, then there is Luke. He is the black sheep of our family. Both he and Julius look exactly like their Dad, but only younger looking and have a little less chub around the middle. After failing the eighth grade, he was forever doomed to be an outcast. But my heart seriously goes out to the kid, sure sometimes I think he really needs to be psycho analyzed but hey he had been through alot. He goes to school with me now, his Mom finally gave up on him, and he is the only one who is ever around to help me with little Jack. He's 19, a year older than me, because remember he failed eighth grade.
Last there is Kyle. Being 12 he is in that really awkward stage of puberty, so I consider myself lucky that he still lives with his Mom for the most part. I barely ever see the kid but there is a room for him that he shares with little Jack whenever his Mom gets fed up with him. He normally stays there if my Mom and Jack aren't home so I really don't know much about. Besides the fact that Luke can't stand him.
Well, then there is me. Melinda Maria Conway. 17 years old and my Mom's dream come true, if I don't watch it I'm going to turn into a Julius. Which, I really don't want to happen. You see, while Luke has just barely been getting through his senior year mine is floating on by like it's nothing. I've been accepted to all the colleges I applied to and I couldn't be happier. My best friend is Korrine Collins and I'd have to admit I've held her hair back while she has thrown up in a toilet more times than I can count. Or have sat with her when her latest boyfriend broke up with her. But don't let that take away from your opinion of her she is a remarkable girl and I'm glad she is my friend.
That leaves me off right where I'm about to start my story. At my locker, which is right next to Korrine's, on a Friday afternoon listening to her fight with Michael.
"You just don't get it do you?"
"No I understand I just don't get why you are going to actually listen your mother for once."
"God Korrine, she threatened to kick me out of the house last time. Don't you fucking care about anything besides yourself?"
That was a low blow, I thought to myself. We all know how much time Korrine spends at the homeless shelter down in the city. If it wasn't for her the place wouldn't have half as much funding as it does now. As I shut my locker I looked over at Korrine who was just staring into her own locker. She looked over at me and breathed in deeply.
"Mel, I'll see you tonight. And please try and get Luke to come this time he needs to get out of the house." Slamming her locker she turned sharply on her heel and merged into the crowd of people.
"Kory, baby, I'm sorry! It just slipped out I didn't mean it!" Michael ran threw the crowd pushing people out of the way as he chased after her. Smiling I swung my backpack over my shoulder and headed in the opposite direction. In about 5 minutes they'd be making out and in about 20 minutes they'd be having make-up sex at Korrine's house, since it was closer.
I pushed open the front doors and started to the student parking lot. Where, I found Luke leaning up against my car, his ipod in his pocket and his ear phonse jammed into place. He looked up when he saw me and gave me a half smile. Today had obliviously been a good day. Most days he didn't even look up when he noticed I was around, let alone look happy.
We both got into the car and I started it up. As I waited for the traffic behind me to clear up so I could pull out, Luke actually turned off his ipod and stuck it in his backpack. I must have given him a funny look because he hit in me in shoulder.
"Don't look so surprised, I just want to talk." I was in critical shock; I could hardly ever get a word out of him let alone him want to talk to me. Something must have happened and I wasn't sure if I should worry. "Are you going to Korrine's party tonight?"
"I was thinking about going, she invited me in modified geometry the other day."
"You think you can behave yourself?"
"I'll try." Then I saw a sight that almost put me the grave. Luke smiled. A big bright smile and he looked more like Julius than ever.
When I saw no cars behind me I pulled out of my parking spot as Luke flipped threw the radio stations. I don't think the kid could go 10 minutes without music or he would go insane. "So are we going to pick Jack up from daycare?" Luke sat back in his seat as his favorite band came on the radio.
"Yeah, and god Luke how can you like these people?"
"Who Modest Mouse?"
"Don't they have like one song? Float On or something, and they have sheep in their music video for it, it's weird."
"You watch too much MTV, you have to hear their old stuff it's so much better."
"Whatever." By now we were on the main road heading into town. The daycare was only about 8 minutes away from my school. Most of the girls who got themselves pregnant and go to my school use the same daycare. But I have learned to ignore the suspicious looks.
As I pulled up to the daycare I saw a few girls my age talking out front. I looked over at Luke but he seemed not to notice. Ok, so I could ignore the looks but it still made me feel like shit when they silenced as I walked past them. But now that Luke was with me what would they think? I tried to tell myself I didn't care as I unbuckled my seat belt, but I knew deep down I did. Luke walked a little in front of me and I became a bit less anxious. The girls, there was only three of them today, had been laughing at something as we walked towards the doors. They all had their kids, ranging in ages, in their arms. Luke opened the door for me and I silently nodded at him. The girls gave us this death look. That's right I though viciously. Your babies Daddies never come to pick the kids up do they?
"Hello, Melinda. And Luke what a surprise!" Kellie the plump middle-aged daycare woman greeted us with a smile. How she remembered who Luke was surprised me, normally he sat in the car and waited for me to get Jack. But then I remembered how every one in the family who might come pick Jack up had to get their picture taken for security reasons. "I'll go grab Jacky." As the woman headed into the play room I cringed at the nickname. If any of Jack's girlfriends ever call him that, I'll shoot them. I don't know why but it just bothers me.
"What's up the asses of those girls out there? It's obviously not the Dad's of their kids. "
"They think Jack is my son." The look on Luke's face was priceless, he smiled too but there was no laugh. I don't think I have ever heard him laugh. But with the progress I was making today it should happen in no time.
"So that means they think I'm…"
"Damn, you know what they need to get laid just as much at J does. God, women I swear."
"Hey! I take offense to that." I hit him playfully on the shoulder and he pretended to be hurt. Just then Kellie came back into the room with Jack in her arms. He obviously didn't have the highest opinion of her because he looked about ready to throw a fit. When he saw Luke and I standing there his face lit up and he held his arms out to me.
"Hey Jack!" Kellie passed Jack to me his hands instantly wrapped around my neck. While Luke signed the paper releasing Jack, the one and a half year old played with my hair. I tickled his stomach and he let out a little laugh.
"Alright kids. Your parents are still coming home on Sunday am I right?"
"Yeah but they are leaving again next Saturday." I tired to say as Jack stuck his hands in my mouth. But Kellie, obviously a pro in speaking both baby and sister to a one year old, understood.
"See you in a week then Jacky!" She waved goofily to Jack who just stared at her with distaste. Luke quickly looked out the window before opening the door for me.
"They are still there, just go along with me OK?" He muttered quickly as I walked threw the door before him. I could feel the girls looking at us as we passed them. When I stepped off of the curb I felt an unfamiliar presence on my right hip. I quickly realized it was Luke's hand. I knew he meant nothing by it and it was totally unphysical but I doubted the girls would make out the difference. As we walked towards to car Luke whistled a familiar tune, which I knew was some song by Modest Mouse. When we reached the car Luke jumped in front of me and opened the back door. He stood there protectively as I put Jack in his car seat. After I handed Jack a bottle of milk Luke closed the door for me and quickly ran to the other side of the car to open my door. I thought he was going a little over the top, but I wasn't complaining. As I pulled my seat belt across myself I watched the girls gaze follow Luke as he walked in front of the car. As soon as he was in the car I wanted to get out of there. But Luke had other plans.
"Now look back and check on Jack." I did as I was told and leaned back and smoothed Jack's hair and smiled at him which caused him to giggle with delight.
"Luke is making me get those nasty girls pissed off at me Jack. Isn't that fun?" Jack was just looking out the window now so I turned back around. I was just in time to see Luke wave to the girls who were still staring right at us. When I followed his lead and waved too they all turned away and began talking again. I pulled out of the parking lot and as soon as we reached a stoplight smacked Luke upside the head.
"You idiot, now they are really going to think Jack is mine!"
"Yes but you have an adoring husband."
"Oh shut it!"
"Besides what do you care what they think?"
"Well then, home James!"
"Luke let's get a move on!" I leaned up against the wall right outside of the bathroom. "God, you have been in there longer than I was. Come on!" There was still no reply from the other side of the door. It was strange seeing this side of Luke, it almost made me scared.
We had gone to the grocery store and grabbed a couple of things we needed around the house before we came home. The cashier had given us a disapproving look as Jack and I fought over who was going to pay for everything. I had Jack in my arms the whole time and he kept calling up to me to get my attention. I guess the guy thought Jack's 'Mmm" stood for Mom instead of Melinda. But after what had happened back at the daycare it didn't bother me at all. Luke had that effect on people I guess.
While waiting for him to finally come out of the bathroom I slid down to the floor and hugged me knees. I had taken Jack over to our neighbor Ms. Applegate's house about an hour ago. She was a very nice older woman and Jack seemed to like her. I almost feel bad when I go to pick Jack up from her house. All her own children were grown up and had moved away, I never saw any pictures of grandchildren. Then 3 years ago her husband who, had been quite a grumpy old man, died so she had lots of time on her hands.
I looked up when I heard the door swing open then I finally saw Luke I was left speechless. My Luke, my head case step-brother looked as if he had just stepped out of an American Eagle add, but to my relief much less preppy. He had on a tight black long sleeved shirt with a pair of dark, slightly baggy jeans. I almost had to do a double take, where in the hell did those muscles come from?! After he finally noticed me sitting on the floor with my jaw dropped he ran his hand threw his shaggy dark blond hair nervously.
"How do I look?"
Then it hit me. I got up off the floor and circled around him pretending to critique the way he looked. "Mmm hmm, I know what this is about." I stood in front of him and placed my hands on my hips.
"What the hell are you talking about Mel?"
"You know what I'm talking about."
"No I don't!"
"It's a girl isn't it?"
Even in the dim hallway I could see Luke's face burn red. "Aw come on Mel, let's go." He marched over towards the stairs before I could catch him.
"Luke tell me! I want to know!"
"No!" Luke pulled his arm out of my grasp and made his way down the stairs. I just stood there and leaned against the banister at the top of the stairs. "Come on Mel!"
"No, not until you tell me who this girl is that has seemed to pull you out of the darkness."
Luke let out a very long aggravated sigh. "Her name is Alex OK? Can we go now?"
"Alex who? I don't know any Alex's."
"That's because she is a junior."
"Ooo, Luke is hitting on girls 2 years younger than he is."
"Actually she is 16, but shut it and let's go!"
When we reached the party I decided that Korrine was a very lucky girl to live so far out in the country. There were cars parked everywhere in her front yard and all the way down the road. After being cut off by 3 people I finally slammed on the gas and rode down the road for a while. When I was far away from anyone else I pulled over to the side of the road and parked.
"Great parking spot Mel." I didn't answer Luke because I knew that if I did I would end up getting pissed off even before I reached the party. I was known to have a very short temper. We walked for a couple of minutes before the music was practically blowing our ears out. That's what I hated about high school parties, the loud music. It just got to me. And it had probably been Michael's idea.
Only until we reached the front door, which was already open, did I realize it wasn't just music it was a band! OK, so maybe it wasn't so bad. Luke tapped me on the shoulder before going off in another direction as I stood almost memorized by the band. The lead singer was cute I'd have to say. OK, so he wasn't cute he was hot! But by the crowd of girls already fawning over him I knew it was a No Go. I diverted my attention and headed off in the direction where I knew Korrine would be. If she wasn't there I would just have to listen in on what was probably already going on in the rooms upstairs. But sure enough as I walked out onto the deck there she was, beer in one hand and a cigarette in another. She raised her glass to me as she pushed threw a couple of people to get to me. Grabbing my hand she led me down the stairs and onto the grass below the deck. There was a couple making out but no one else. As close as Korrine and I were she knew this is where I'd rather talk to her, not surrounding by people and blaring speakers.
"You made it! Did Luke come?"
"Yeah, and hey do you know an Alex?"
"Um, I don't know half the people here. Must be one of Michael friends, why?"
"I think she is the only Luke came!"
"Really?! Wow, now that's a side of Luke I've never seen before." Korrine took a long drag on her cigarette before throwing in on the ground and stomping on it. "I really gotta quit them. Anyway, listen Michael is friends with the guys in the band, have you seen the lead yet?"
I knew exactly where this was going. "Yes I did but Korrine please, you promised me no more hookups with Michael's friends. All they want is to get into my pants."
"And you are saving yourself for Mr. Right. I remember, I was only suggesting. He's not taken."
"Well by the hoard of girls swooning over him back in the house I don't think that will be for long. So, anyway, I'm guessing you and Michael made up?"
"Fuck yes! And I mean that quite literally."
I couldn't help but laugh. Korrine and I finished up our conversation and went into the house where the band was still playing. I watched the lead singer again for a while and smiled to myself when they started playing my favorite Maroon 5 song only it was so much better. It looked as if he was so into what he was playing on his guitar. When he started to sing it was one of the most beautiful sounding voices I had ever heard.
Pulling myself away from the hot lead I looked around for Luke in the basement when Korrine ran off with Michael somewhere but I couldn't find him. Deciding to sit down on couch next to some people who were having a very in depth conversation about the side effects of Marijuana while smoking cigarettes. I don't know why I even bothered coming to these parties, I hate coming to them. Because normally I end up sitting off the side by myself exactly like I was doing right now. But the band playing right above me was nice.
When the music abruptly stopped I became very curious. As I climbed up the stairs leading back upstairs a familiar figure appeared at the top. It was Luke. He walked past me on the stairs pulling a girl behind him. He was all smiles, and I'd have to add he had done very well for himself. I turned around when I reached the top and smiled myself when the two hadn't even reached the bottom of the stairs before starting to suck each others face.
I looked around the crowded living room to see the band still standing around their instruments but they all now had beers in their hands grumbling about something. Michael was behind them fumbling with the stereo system. It looked like he was trying to turn some music on. Only then did I notice that the lead singer was gone. Probably off with some girl. And for some reason that bothered me but I shook that from my head.
When blaring music shot threw the room I decided this just wasn't the party for me and I pushed threw the crowd of people to get out the front door. I also knew that if I stayed I would most likely get enlisted by Korrine to help clean the mess that used to be her house up and I hated doing that.
I pulled my keys out of my pocket and headed back down the road towards my car. I wasn't worried about Luke at all, I had a feeling he wouldn't be leaving the party for a while. When I was half way to my car I almost ran into an open car door. I looked into the car and noticed someone laying there, their legs still hanging out of the door.
"Hey, you OK?" There was no answer. But I got a huge whiff of that stale smell vomit that I knew all too well from experience with Korrine. If I didn't do something this guy was going to drown in his own barf. Leaning into the car and tried pulling him out so maybe I could lean him up against the outside of his car for someone else to take care of but I couldn't. Actually getting into the car with him I finally got him to sit up after slapping him in the face, a little harder than I had to over my frustration. When I brushed his hair of his face I knew who he was. It was the lead of the band and blood was coming out of his nose.
He must have passed out and hit his head while in the middle of the song. One of his buddies must have just thrown him in here and then went back to the party. So much for band loyalty, huh?
"Hey, wake up." The hot lead slowly opened his gray eyes and looked at me strangely. He slammed his head back into the window as he let out a groan.
"I so don't even remember meeting you, I'm sorry."
"Ew, no. You passed out and your friends just threw you into your car. I was just making sure you were OK."
"This isn't my car. And why in the fuckin' hell are you straddling me?"
Hey I thought I would finally try a story in frist person. Tell me what you think, honestly. Do you want me to switch POV's, I would only do it with "Mr. Hot lead" (that's so original I know but studying for exam have drained me) and Mel. But I'm not so sure. And for those of you who like very attractive head cases (AKA Luke) don't worry, his 'normal phase' isn't going to last. Warning for next chapter... You'll see why if you come back.
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