The mornings inched by. And then the afternoons inched by. And then, days and weeks and months inched by. I finished the tenth grade last week.
Wok and Maureen suit each other. They are constantly together, but they don't hang off each other at any given moment. They've stayed best friends. Wok helped Maureen see that she'd been born for a reason. He said to her once, "You came into my life, didn't you?" And Maureen never lets him feel like he was second best.
Kit stopped coming around when they started going out. I think maybe she thought if she tried to rekindle her friendship with my brother, he would think that she was being selfish--he couldn't have her, but no one could have him. But she wasn't like that. She keeps her distance. She hadn't been lying when she said she wanted him to be happy.
Raine and Nathan broke up. She didn't go back to being lonely and detached from everyone around her. She made a couple of friends in her Drama class, which was a class she never would have thought of taken until Nathan brought her out of her shell. It's nice to see Raine finally content with her life. After being my best friend slash big sister all these years, she deserves a little happiness.
Joy went on being herself, and that's always nice. There isn't anyone like Joy in the world that I know; no one as happy-go-lucky or as childishly amusing. We all just hope growing up as a teenager in the new Information Age won't change her.
I cried when Rio moved out. I never loved my oldest brother more until it dawned on me that he wouldn't be there for me to talk to or laugh with or get into trouble with every day. He wouldn't be there when I got home from school to ask me about my day. I miss him, but he calls a few times a week, and he comes over on Saturdays. The last I heard from him, he had a girlfriend, a girl named Miranda. Apparently they were pretty serious, and unlike his previous girlfriends, he didn't find her at a whorehouse. This is a good sign.
I forgot about Nick. Well, not completely, because it took me awhile to pay attention to the male population again. Then there was Lucas. And God knows…I love that boy. And maybe for once, he might even love me back. But if not, this time I won't let some idiot boy sway my opinion of myself.
"Pass it over here!" I yell, trying to be heard above my siblings and the TV. "I like popcorn! Pass it over here!"
"Never!" Joy replies, stuffing her face full of popcorn.
Raine, Wok, Maureen, Joy and I lounge in the living room, getting along like civilized human beings. But that might change because I want to kill my little sister.
Fortunately for her, I had called the recliner and I was currently quite comfy under the quilt my grandma made for me, so I did not plan on getting up just to kill her, thus risking losing my spot.
The front door opens and closes, and the most familiar voice calls out. "Hey, Mom? Do you have any flour I can borrow?"
"Rio!" I squawk. Stretching to look over my shoulder, I see him come into the living room. He somehow looks taller now, and his face is tired and golden from working long hours for M&B construction. "It's not even Saturday!"
"I know, but Miranda and I want to make brownies," he says bashfully. "You need flour for that, don't you?"
"Hell if I know. I don't bake."
He collapses and lands on me, the cell phone in his back pocket digging into my leg. "Plus I was looking for an excuse to hang out with you guys."
"This chair is designed for one person only," I tell him. He leaves for a moment, steals the bowl of popcorn from Joy, causing her to scream in protest, and then flopped back on top of me again. "Okay, you can stay," I giggle, taking a handful of popcorn.
"What are we watching?" he asks.
"The Lost Boys," I whisper. The Lost Boys is the best vampire movie in the whole world, and it was just getting to the good part where Sam was about to stake Marco (my favourite vampire). "Shh."
"Omigod, it's Corey Feldman!" Rio squeals in his best fan-girl voice.
"Gross!" Joy exclaims. This is her first time watching the movie. "Marco's blood looks like cranberry juice!"
"It was the eighties," Raine tells her patiently. "Everyone's blood looked like cranberry juice."
"After this movie we should watch something with a lot of sex in it," Wok suggests. He and Maureen are lying on the floor, her head against his shoulder.
"We could always accidentally watch porn again," I tell him. "Then you could magically lose the batteries in the remote control."
"That was an ACCIDENT!" he barks.
"Hey, we have Interview with the Vampire don't we?" Rio asks. "That's a gooder. Lots of sex that Joy shouldn't see in that one."
"You don't live here," Joy reminds him, never liking being told that she shouldn't watch explicit sex scenes.
We watch the movie, mesmerized for the next forty-five minutes or so. At the end, Wok exclaims, "Hey! That old guy! He's the grandpa on Blossom!"
Raine refused to watch Interview with a Vampire with her brothers and sisters, so we settled on putting in The Little Mermaid. Raine fell asleep first, and by the time Ursula the Sea Witch had grown to the size of the Empire State Building towards the end, everyone except for me was dead to the world.
I look around the room. These are the people I love the most, and right now, we're all together. It might not be that way forever, but I'll settle for it while I can.