Greetings! Here’s a chapter! Enjoy!
Most days followed a routine. I woke up, pealed my face off my comfy keyboard, found some cleanish clothes, made faces at CF as I passed her in the hallway, and took a shower. After that came the first divergence; the first split in the tree that lead to a distinctly unique day. What will Dad make for breakfast?
Dad was a world class chef and he didn’t stop working even when he was home. Sometimes breakfast was pancakes, sweet, perfectly circular, with golden crispness containing fluffy softness. Sometimes it was french toast, a specialty of Dad’s, not too eggy, not too doughy, with just the right amount of cinnamon, brown sugar and nutmeg sprinkled on top. Today it was fruit parfait, because today was special, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
Then I’d eat said breakfast, and it was always mouth-wateringly delicious, whatever it was, before driving Walter, CF, and myself to school. I attended classes, maybe I didn’t pay attention, but I at least attended. Yet another split, though not one nearly as important as breakfast.
After school I kicked around for a bit until Walter finished with his clubs. Sometimes I just sat on the swings and literally kicked around. Sometimes I wandered off to the Trade Winds Bistro and visited Dad. Sometimes I took a nap on a convenient bench. Sometimes I got my homework out of the way. It depended on my mood. And how late I was up the previous night.
Regardless of what I did, Walter was always done by 4. So I made sure to always be around at 4, then I drove him home. If CF got out from whatever-the-hell she did in time, she also got a ride home. If not, oh well!
But today was different. Today was my mother’s birthday. She was officially a senior citizen. And what better way to celebrate getting old than with loud music, annoying horns, people screaming, and cake! Everything’s better with cake. True facts.
So, this day being so different, it deserved a different start. To ensure this, I made sure to fall asleep in my actual bed the night before. Mom’s so pleased I always make my bed in the morning. I don’t think she realizes that I usually just don’t sleep there. I’m not going to correct her!
I woke up slowly, stretching languidly. I took a few moments to just enjoy the warm sunlight on my face as my consciousness tripped back from the dream it had been on. An awesome dream, I thought, a smile creeping across my face. I’d been on the moon. Just sitting, watching the sun rise from behind the earth. Just me and a backdrop of stars to witness the splendor.
After a bit, I blinked open my eyes and began the arduous task of detangling myself from my sheets. Another reason I usually chose to fall asleep at my desk: less effort to wake up.
“Tony!” The voice, high with an odd, electronic buzz to it, was accompanied by a sharp rapping on my bedroom door. Bits of dust were dislodged from their ancient resting places on the ceiling.
Even as sleep befuddled as I was, I’d be able to recognize that voice anywhere. “‘Sup, bro!” I called, slurring more than I meant to.
“Tony! Did you stay up too late again?! Now you’ll be tired all day! Again!” As my wonderful brother launched into a lecture on the merits of getting a good night’s sleep and waking up with enough energy to accomplish anything, I just chuckled and brushed my blonde hair out of my eyes.
“I’m up! I’m up!” I called back, interrupting his monologue and laughing at his indignant huffs.
I grabbed my beanie and opened the door, immediately slumping against the door jamb since it was way too early to be moving this suddenly. Regardless, I beamed up at Walter. “Besides, you’ve got enough energy and ambition for the both of us. Who could compete with that?” I gave him a wink and watched his irritation fade to mild annoyance, the small beginnings of a smile pulling at his lips.
“But it’s already 9!” Walter gasped. “You still have to get dressed and brush your teeth and…And do something with your hair!” He frowned at the offending blonde strands twisting this way and that.
Just 9? I muttered to myself and shot a longing glance at my still-warm bed. But one look at Walter’s pleading face and I knew there was no way this would be a stay-in-bed-all-day weekend. “No worries, bro!” I smiled again and swept my hair up into my beanie. “See? All good!”
“Argh! You’re impossible! You and your hat!”
I chuckled as Walter stomped away back downstairs. Oh, he’d pretend to be mad alright, but I knew he secretly loved these interactions.
Something comfy. I surveyed my closet, my brow scrunched with the effort of thought. Then I gave up and grabbed a pair of cutoff jeans and my favorite not-sweatshirt. Shower time!
Walter coming to wake my lazy ass up wasn’t different. No, Walter always did that. Probably because he always woke up at the crack of dawn and needed me around to avoid withering away from the dangerous effects of boredom. What was different was there was no CF to taunt on the way to shower.
I stopped and stared at her bedroom door for a moment. Should I wake her? Then I jumped as a loud “Hngh!” of rage split the air. Nah, not dealing with that hormonal mess today! Sixteen year old girls were wild and unpredictable in the worst kind of ways. At least, CF was. I slipped off to the bathroom as quietly as possible.
I showered while brushing my teeth, occasionally humming You’ll Be Back off-key. Then, for Walter’s sake, I decided to tidy up my hair. I didn’t usually look in a mirror. It probably showed most days. But I did today, because today was special.
A pale face, small, narrow and pointed, broken in half by a large nose that jutted out sharply. A pair of impossibly dark eyes with tired bags sat above the nose, peering out from under long, dark lashes with an inquisitive and harsh stare. A pair of thick, chapped lips sat below the stupid nose, frowning slightly. Limp curls of blonde hair wispily framed the face.
I frowned at my reflection. It frowned back. The only thing I really liked were my eyes. That was probably because they were like Dad’s, just not as soft or caring. Otherwise, I looked just like…Mom. And I hated it. There was a reason I didn’t look in mirrors.
I sighed and shoved away from the counter. I couldn’t change genetics. So, I threw on a wide grin. It split my face, wild and crazed-looking. I laughed and the grin settled into a more natural smirk. Smirks fit my face. Just like they fit Mom’s.
Eventually I made it downstairs, hiding a yawn from Walter behind my hand. CF was already there, playing with Lucky. She had new shoes today.
“Heh,” I mumbled, staring at the pink things. I didn’t know much of fashion, but I could at least tell that they were supposed to be some kind of boot. However, they were covered in so many belts, I couldn’t be bothered to count them. Very impractical and, thus, not boot-like. The soles on each were a good three inches thick, bringing CF up to my height of 5′ 3″. Yeah, we were both shorties.
“So,” I began, still staring at CF’s boots.
She immediately tensed, and I grinned, showing more teeth than was necessary.
“Just how long did those take you to do up this morning? ‘Cuz I–”
CF whirled around, still holding Lucky’s squeaky pig toy. She brandished it at me. “You finish that sentence and I’ll fist this up your ass,” she snarled.
I displayed more of my pearly whites. “Technically, it wasn’t a sentence. I can see how you would be mistaken. But a sentence needs a subject and a–”
Walter stepped in. “Please! Both of you! Can’t you at least pretend to get along?! It’s Mom’s birthday! Just one day?” His big green eyes peered down at me, and I sighed, dropping the custom-special-CF grin. For Walter, I’d do just about anything.
“Sure bro. Since it’s Mom’s b-day.” I winked at CF.
“Yeah, yeah, alright,” CF mumbled, looking away, a little ashamed.
See, the thing about CF and I was that, while we didn’t get along, we also didn’t exactly not get along. She was just always too good to mess with. And, though we disagreed on many things, upsetting Walter was a big no-no for both of us. Because an upset Walter was, indeed, a very sad Walter. And no one wants to see a sad Walter.
Tony’s very different compared to Chloe or Ellie. He’s a Couch Potato Genius with a Good Sense of Humor, as well as a bit of a Night Owl. With CF being Rebellious and Brave, they clash a lot, but CF’s also Friendly, so they stay Good Friends. XD
Thanks for reading! ^_^