.

The Increasingly Tragic Saga Also Known As My Life

Chapter Eight: Clash of the Titans

© All Rights Reserved

"I wanna watch Spongebob!" bellowed my darling young brother Tommy.

And by "darling young brother," I mean "insane little demonspawn," of course.

I took a deep, cleansing breath, counting to ten for maximum relaxation. Okay, so I didn't exactly make it past four. "NO, Tommy, I've already told you, I need this room because my friend is coming over tonight! If you want to watch TV, go up in Logan's room and watch there!"

Tommy glared up at me. "That's not fair!"

Rolling my eyes, I replied, "Life isn't fair, kid," and with that, I pushed Tommy out of the room and up the stairs.

Hey, no one ever said I was competing for the Big Sister of the Year award! That can go to Riley or something.

Unfortunately, just as I had gotten rid of one annoying brother, I was saddled with the other. A couple minutes after I had sent Tommy up to watch Spongebob on Logan's TV, Logan and his friend Austin came barreling down the stairs like a pack of wild warthogs.

Well, that's what they sounded like. Don't blame me for wanting to be creative with similes!

"Sawyer!" came the charming, melodious sound of Logan's voice. And by "charming, melodious sound" I of course mean "hideous screech."

"What is it?" I groaned. Of course, I knew exactly what the problem was, but I usually found it was best to play innocent.

I can act innocent! Sometimes.

"Don't even pretend you don't know. You told Tommy he could use my TV! Which, if I might remind you, is in my room!" exclaimed Logan, coming into the room and towering over my seat on the couch.

Austin nodded. I swear, this kid practically lives at our house now. Does he even have a home? I find it doubtful. "We had almost beaten the level!"

I rolled my eyes. "I'm sorry if my sanity is more important than your stupid video games. But I needed to get Tommy out of here. My friend's coming over…well, she was supposed to be here at 7, but…well, she's coming over any minute now and I can't take two crazy, overly violent people in here at the same time. So Tommy had to go."

Logan narrowed his green eyes at me. "I thought you said that she was a 'nice, sweet girl,'" he remarked suspiciously.

I widened my eyes. "Oh! Oh, yeah, she totally is. I meant, uh, me. I'm the crazy one," I scrambled to pull off the cover-up.

"You got that right," muttered Logan. He glanced up at the clock. "Yeah, I thought you said this meeting was supposed to start at 7. It's already fifteen minutes late."

I shrugged. Sam was never known for her punctuality.

"Who's your friend that's coming over?" asked Austin. His eyes lit up. "Is it Blair? Oh my God, is it Blair? Oh no, I'm not prepared for this! What will I say to her? Do I look all right?"

Logan and I collapsed in laughter. "No, chill Austin, it's not Blair. Her name's Sam. Samantha Remington, you know her?"

Austin nodded. "Yeah, she's been Blair's friend since forever." He grinned at me. "Wait, let me get this straight, you described Samantha Remington as a 'nice, sweet girl?'" He started howling with laughter. "Oh, man, this is too good," he chortled between gasps of air.

I frowned, glaring at him. "Austin," I said through clenched teeth. "Could you not?" I gestured to Logan with a jerk of my head.

Logan was starting to look suspicious again, so I started singing the alphabet song loudly. I was desperate, okay! Besides, boys are dumb: they're distracted easily. Sure enough, I had Logan and Austin enthralled (though it was probably mostly to do with the fact that they were mesmerized by my randomness) by the time I got to "L, M, N, O, P."

Finally, FINALLY, the doorbell rang. I had already sung through the alphabet song twice and had had to move on to "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." Austin really liked that one. He even joined in and started singing with me.

Do I need to repeat myself? Boys are dumb.

I jumped out of my seat at the sound of the bell and dashed over to the door. I opened it and spotted a frazzled Sam, her dark hair flying every which way, her thin arms laden down by many bags, a Starbucks cup in one hand and her cell phone nestled against her shoulder by her chin.

"Yes!" she was barking into the phone. "I said fifty strobe lights, twenty-five in electric blue, and twenty-five in lava red. Are you deaf?"

The poor person on the other end must have hung up on her, because a moment later, Sam had pulled away her phone, rolling her eyes. "Honestly!" she exclaimed to me. "What's so hard to understand about fifty strobe lights?"

I raised my eyebrows and decided not to respond to that one. With this whole party mess, I'd decided to just stay out of it as much as I could. It was clear that Sam had a set vision for this party, and while this vision might eventually involve blowing out a fusebox or demolishing my house, it was safer for me at this point to just let everything run its course.

I know, I know. How very Zen of me.

"What took you so long?" I asked Sam as I led her into the family room.

She sighed dramatically. "Oh, Soybean, if only you knew. First, I couldn't find my favorite purple top, you know, the one with the flowy sleeves? Yeah! Well, it's missing! I bet that crazy maid stole it! I wouldn't be surprised! Then I was out buying just a few things," she indicated the army of bags lining her arms, "for the party. Which was hard because stores these days, they just don't have anything I need! THEN, the barista at Starbucks was absolutely ridiculous. I mean, honestly. How hard is it to make a grande caramel mocha latte with three shots of espresso, whipped cream, no foam, extra hot, with whole milk on the top and four shakes of cinnamon?" She widened her blue eyes for sympathy while sipping on her drink. "It's not like it's rocket science," she chuckled.

At this point, during her dramatic tirade, she was standing in the family room, talking to me, while Logan and Austin were seated behind her on the couch. Austin was smirking at Sam being typically Sam, but Logan's jaw was dropped and his eyes were practically bugging out of his head. When I started to shake with laughter at Logan's incredulous expression, Sam whirled around to look behind her back.

She spotted the two senior boys on the couch and smiled. "Oh, hello," she greeted cheerily, calling to mind a mental patient with her abrupt mood swing. "Didn't see you two there."

Logan still looked shell-shocked, and Austin, the idiot, was grinning too much to say anything. Ugh. As usual, I had to step in.

"Okay, so, Sam, you may know Austin Parker. He's a senior, on the football team…?"

Sam nodded. "Oh, yeah! Hey, Austin!"

"What's up?" greeted Austin in return.

"And this," I began, "is my older brother Logan. I don't think you two have met. Loge, Samantha, Sam, Logan," I hurriedly introduced. Oh, how could I make this dreaded party planning meeting go faster? I just wanted the night to end, and ASAP.

"Nice to meet you!" Sam beamed sunnily at Logan. I think Logan was still in shock, because all he did was stare blankly at Sam with his mouth open like he was a dumb dog or something.

Wow. I'm surrounded by a bunch of real Einsteins, here.

"Oh, god, these bags are weighing me down," exclaimed Sam, realizing suddenly that both of her arms were literally loaded down with shopping bags. To remedy the problem, she dumped the bags on the nearest available surface.

Which happened to be Logan's lap.

"Hey!" protested Logan.

He was drowned out, though, by the avalanche of bags currently burying him alive. Austin set about digging his friend out.

Meanwhile, Sam massaged her shoulders in relief. "Ah, that feels better," she sighed. "I guess I really did buy a lot."

"You think?" Logan snapped bitterly from the couch, where he was still covered by bags.

Sam's head whipped to face him and she narrowed her eyes at him. Logan narrowed his eyes right back.

Shit.

"So!" I exclaimed loudly, interrupting the little glarefest taking place between my brother and my friend. "Why don't we get this meeting started?"

And finished, I was thinking, but of course I didn't say that out loud.

Sam turned to face me. "Right! Yes!" She fished around in her purse and pulled out, of all things, a clipboard!

I closed my eyes and began to pray. This was not a good sign.

"Okay, so I've made a checklist, well, a few checklists," she corrected herself, "of all the things we need to do tonight to start preparing for the party on Saturday. It'll be a lot of work, but don't worry. I'm no stranger to hard work," she declared proudly. "Well, to delegating hard work to other people, that is."

Logan snorted derisively.

Sam looked over at Logan and Austin on the couch. "Right, I assume you two are here to carry out mine and Sawyer's instructions. Okay, then, what are you waiting for? Everybody follow me!" she commanded.

She was so intimidating that we really had no choice. We had to follow her, too, because she had set off for the kitchen and she had never been here before, so she had no idea where she was going. Austin seemed amused and happy (but then he was always happy), I was terrified, and Logan seemed pissed. Like really, really livid.

After Sam had finished making her way around the downstairs of our house once, checking things off on her clipboard as she went, the other three of us following her meekly, we wound up back in the family room. She stopped and glanced around the room, noting things down on her paper. We all just stood around watching her until she finally spoke.

"It's a little small," Sam paused, looking around pensively, "but I think we can make it work."

Logan sneered. "Oh, I'm so sorry that our house isn't big enough for your tastes, Princess."

Sam whirled around to face him, affronted. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Oh, nothing," replied Logan. "But don't think you can waltz in here with your millions of shopping bags and your fucking stupid caramel latte whatever and start ordering us around. You may be used to telling your maids what to do, but just because we have less money than your family doesn't mean you get to boss us around, too."

Sam gasped loudly in shock.

Logan just raised his eyebrows at her, waiting for a comeback.

She gasped dramatically again.

I bit my lip, deciding, oh, what the hell, I'd better step in. "Okay…um…I think we should –"

"Sawyer!" Sam interrupted. "Your brother…he…I don't…did you hear…he…" she spluttered angrily.

"Yes?" Logan prodded acerbically. "Please, continue, we're all ears," he told her, sneering.

Sam huffed, crossing her arms. She glared at Logan, too shocked for words. I guess everyone had always been too scared to stand up to Sam before. She always gets her way, so she's not used to having to deal with challengers.

"Logan," I reprimanded, glaring at my brother. Honestly, way to be hospitable to my guest, Loge. Thanks a lot.

"I'm leaving!" Sam declared. "I can't possibly be expected to work under these hostile conditions. I hope you're happy!" she shot at Logan, as she whirled around and stormed toward the door.

She had almost made it outside when Logan called, "Hey, Princess, wait!"

Sam whirled around, looking at Logan expectantly, probably waiting for an apology.

Little did she know, Logan never apologized. Just another obnoxious trait of his.

He has an infinite amount.

"You forgot your bags," Logan smirked. He kicked one of the shopping bags at his feet.

"What are you doing?" Sam shrieked. "Those bags have important things in them! You could break something!" She rushed over to check on the bag. Kneeling down, she glared up at Logan. "You are the rudest boy I've ever met," she told him, then she looked over at me apologetically. "No offense, Soybean."

I shrugged. "I tell him that all the time," I joked. I felt really uncomfortable, 'cause hello, things tend to get a little awkward when your older brother and one of your closest friends start hating each other upon meeting.

"Um, can we hurry this goodbye up?" interrupted Logan, tapping his foot impatiently. "You said you were leaving, right? So can you just go, so we can start the real party planning?"

Sam narrowed her blue eyes. "Oh, so you want me to leave?" she questioned testily.

Logan widened his eyes. "Uh, obviously."

Sam smirked. "Then I won't leave," she decided triumphantly, dropping her bags back on the ground again. "I'm staying."

At Logan's anguished groan, Austin and I looked at each other. I was silently begging him for help, but he was biting back a grin. Typical. Of course he'd find this funny.

Somehow, we all managed to stay in the same room with each other to discuss party details for a while without any bloodshed. I honestly don't know how it happened. Sure, Sam and Logan were at odds with each other every other second, but they restrained themselves from physical fighting, thank god. I think it's due to my and Austin's skills as peacemakers.

Seriously. We should work for the UN or something.

A major disagreement took place when Tommy came running down the stairs and into the room, an evil grin on his face. Tommy constantly has an evil grin on his face. He looked around the room quickly, his eyes falling on Logan and Austin on the couch, me leaning against the wall, and Sam sitting in the recliner. Tommy ran up to Sam and whispered hurriedly, "You never saw me." Then he crawled back to hide behind her chair.

A few seconds later, Riley came running into the room. "Tommy!" she yelled. "You get back here right now!"

"What's wrong, Riles?" Logan asked her.

"Tommy poured grape juice on my world history project! It's ruined!" she complained. "And when I find him, I'm going to make him pay!" she finished menacingly, looking around the room in case Tommy was hiding somewhere. "Where is he?" she asked us.

Sam shrugged. "Where is who?" she asked innocently. "I haven't seen anyone."

Riley sighed and continued on to the kitchen, yelling Tommy's name.

After a moment, Tommy emerged from behind Sam's chair. "Whoa, thanks," he told her admiringly. "That was awesome."

Sam shrugged modestly and they high-fived. Tommy never stopped staring at her worshipfully. "You're so cool," he sighed in awe.

Sam grinned over at me. "I like this brother," she told me happily. She turned to Tommy. "Hey, Tommy, do you wanna come to a party on Saturday night? It's going to be here."

"What?" Logan interrupted angrily. "No, no, absolutely not. No way."

Sam wrinkled her nose. "Why not?"

"Uh, first of all he's twelve, he won't know anyone there," Logan explained to her incredulously. "But that's not the point. I always lock the little kids upstairs during my parties."

I crossed my arms. "Uh, you've always locked me upstairs, too."

Logan raised his eyebrows at me. "That's what I said," he responded.

How dare he call me a little kid! I'm only a year younger than him!

I stuck my tongue out at him in retaliation. Okay, thinking back, it wasn't the best way to prove my point.

"Well, obviously Sawyer and Riley are going to come to this," Sam told Logan. "They both go your school, you can't exactly say that they won't know anyone there."

"Riley?" Logan exclaimed. "No chance in hell."

Sam wrinkled her eyebrows. "Why not? She's fourteen!"

"Exactly," Logan retorted. "She's fourteen!"

"So?" Sam asked.

"So fourteen is way too young to go to this kind of party! There's going to be drinking, and horny guys, and…yeah…that's not a combination I want around my fourteen-year-old sister, thank you very much!"

Sam rolled her eyes, smiling. "Oh, please, Sawyer and I have been going to these sorts of parties since we were younger than fourteen."

I didn't have the heart to tell her that until I moved to Belmont Bay, I wasn't exactly what one would call a normal teenage girl. Before we moved here, my social life generally consisted of organizing book discussions at the local Barnes & Noble and baby-sitting Tommy on the weekends.

"Well that explains a lot," Logan shot back. "You obviously don't have an older brother, or he'd never have let you go to those parties."

Sam gasped, offended. "I don't know what you mean by that. And no, for your information, I don't have an older brother, thank God, because if he was anything like you I'd hate his guts."

Tommy giggled from next to Sam. Sam looked over at him, and then her eyes lit up maniacally. Oh shit. "I've got it!" she exclaimed. "Tommy can be a server at the party!"

Tommy smiled, "Okay!" He was just ecstatic at getting the chance to not be locked upstairs during a party. Also I'm worried that he kind of hero-worships Sam.

Which, whatever way you look at it, cannot be good.

"Yeah, it's perfect!" Sam congratulated herself. "He can walk around with a little bowtie and one of those trays and be like, 'Would you like a drink, sir?'" she smiled.

"What?" Logan looked at her like she was crazy. "You're insane!"

Yeah. I think that every day about her.

"No, I'm serious!" Sam countered. "It would make the party so much classier."

"That's just ridiculous," retorted Logan.

They went on like this for a while. So long, in fact, that eventually Tommy got bored and wandered out of the room. I may have heard sounds of Riley killing him from the other side of the house. Ah. Well. I'm too lazy of a big sister to go see what that was about.

Sam and Logan were STILL arguing, so Austin and I too eventually got bored and wandered into the kitchen.

"Do you think they'll ever agree on anything?" Austin asked me tiredly.

I groaned. "Doubtful. They both think they're always right, and they're too stubborn to admit that they're ever wrong." I rolled my eyes at the sounds of Sam and Logan yelling once again from the family room. "Plus, they're both used to everyone doing what they say."

"Yikes. I don't know how they'll ever make it through Saturday without one of them ending up in the emergency room."

"Or jail," I added darkly. Then I shook my head. "Whatever. I'm exhausted just from listening to all that fighting. I give up on them. They can assault each other for all I care."

Austin and I grabbed a snack from the cupboard. Unlike Blair's house, our house only had unhealthy food. But it didn't matter, Austin and I made ourselves a veritable feast of Ho-hos and Doritos and then sat down at the kitchen table, stuffing our faces.

It's called stress eating, people, jeez!

"So," Austin said through a mouthful of Ho-hos. "Blair's gonna be at this party on Saturday, right?" he mumbled.

"Don't talk with food in your mouth," I told him disgustedly. "But yeah, of course she's coming."

"Perfect!" Austin exclaimed, swallowing his mouthful. "I can't wait to see her!"

What, like he didn't see her enough every day at school? I knew for a fact that he stalked her through the hallways whenever she switched classes.

"But listen, Sawyer, I can't just go and talk to her. She has to be open to the idea of me first. You have been working on her, right?" he asked.

I frowned.

"Like, you know, opening her up to the idea of a relationship, pointing me out, describing how perfect we'd be together?"

I swallowed slowly. "Uhhhh…" Shit, I guess I hadn't kept my promise to Austin very well at all. "Yep! Of course I have!" Lie. But he didn't have to know that. Because I was going to start now.

Yep, now my #1 mission would have to be Operation GAABTSAWSBACAHMAB.

What, you didn't get that? Duh, it's Operation Get Austin and Blair Together So Austin Will Stop Being a Creep and Harassing Me about Blair! Honestly, people, I don't know where your head is these days.

Operation GAABTSAWSBACAHMAB is a go!

.

A/N: Argh how did this get so long? Oh well, I hope you enjoyed it! Next chapter: the much anticipated PARTY OF THE CENTURY!

(Let's hope it doesn't end with police cars.)

Please reviewwwww, my darlings!