We’re All Strangers: Chapter 3

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“Kelsy get up. Get up! We are home.” Sebastien started to violently shake me. I slowly open one eye at a time. Rubbing them gently as the sunlight seeps through my groggy eyelids. “Kelsy get up! Let’s go!” I groan and slowly shrug off the bus.

“How was school today, bud?”

“It was fine.” Sebastien said. Something had him upset.

“What’s wrong kid? I can tell something is up, so don’t lie to me.” I said in a concerned but stern voice.

“It’s Logan.”

 

Logan was our neighbor who was always coming over to the house to play with Sebastien. The thing about logan is that he was a spoiled little brat that ate too much and cried when he didn’t get his way. He thought he was better than us because he and his father had just moved back from Mississippi and they had the biggest truck on the block. It didn’t really make sense because they lived in a storage building in our landlord’s yard. Logan would make fun of my brother everyday calling him poor, a pussy, and most frequently, a fag. The only reason Sebastien hung out with the boy was because there were no other kids around, and he was lonely.

“What did that little bastard do? I swear if he touched you I’ll hang that little shit stain from a tree by his underwear.” I could feel the heat coming from my face.

“No it’s not what he did. It’s what I did.”

“What happened bud?” I felt my anger disappear and turn into concern.

“He kept calling me names, and I told him to stop. Then he started calling me a queer. So- so I- I got into a fight with him.” He had his head down as he told me.

“What are you upset for? That’s awesome. Did you put him in his place?” I felt joy run through my body. I was so happy he had finally stood up for himself. Logan, little brat had it coming.

“Well yea, he didn’t even get a punch in. I hit him right in the nose. Blood splattered everywhere. It was even on my hand!” I heard the excitement in his voice. “But what is mom going to say? I got suspended, I’m going to get grounded.”

“She isn’t going to say anything. She will be proud you stood up for yourself. You didn’t need to take anymore shit from that kid.” I gave him a high five as we walked into the house.

“Hey! We are home!” Sebastien and I walked through the front door, but there was no answer. The lights were off, and it seemed that no one had been home for a while. I walked into the kitchen to grab an after school snack where I found a handwritten note on the kitchen table.

Hey kiddos,

Mom went into labor! We went to the hospital. Gma n Pappy will be by later to bring y’all up. Get ready for the newest member of the family!

Love you guys

Mom, Dad, and Baby!

I felt like I had just been struck with lightning. I started to run around the table with joy. I felt like I was going a hundred miles per hour. “Oh my god! I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it!” My jubilant cheers filled the house.

“What is your problem?” Sebastien asked with a confused look. I shoved the note in his face. He instantly lit up.

“Really?” Sebastien’s grin grew from ear to ear. I whipped out my phone to dial my grandmother’s number.

….buzz….buzz…buzz…click…

“Hello?”

“Grandma, have you heard the good news?” I said excitedly

“Of course I did. We will be by in twenty minutes. Be ready.”

“Okay, we will. See you soon G-Dog. Love you.”

“Love you too.”

…click…

The ride to the hospital was quiet yet suspenseful. All that was on my mind was what the new baby looked like, the way it sounds or how its baby soft skin smells. The moment couldn’t come fast enough.

“Jenny Grill’s Room please.”

“A-209 ma’am.” Said the little receptionist lady.

“Thank you.” Grandma responded to the women. The hallways were chilled and bright. The smell of antibacterial soap filled the halls. We walk under a sign that stated Delivery Room. I started to feel butterflies in my stomach and grasshoppers in my heart the closer and closer we got to the door. I was so nervous. I couldn’t believe I was about to meet my new brother or sister.

…knock…knock…knock…

“Come in.” A voice said faintly behind the door. I couldn’t open the door fast enough. The smell of baby lotion struck me immediately, instantly sending a smile to my face. My heart leaps to my throat as I approach the bed. My mother lays with her exhausted eyes fighting to stay open and sweat glistening under her brow. On her chest, soundly asleep, an innocent, pure baby girl lay calmly against her chest, listening to the heartbeat she’d listened to for nine months. It was a priceless moment. Lips pink and plump, cheeks red and rosey, and her nose was tiny and angelic. It was love at first sight. She looked like the most peaceful creature on the earth. It seemed that all of the world’s demons had vanished. Nothing could harm me or my family in this moment. Everything was so contempt. It felt like a new beginning for us.

“Isn’t she something.” Mom said smiling down at the sleeping child.

“She’s so beautiful. What color are her eyes?” I whisper, resisting the urge to reach for a tiny hand.

“They are blue. Just like your Father’s.” Mom said as she glanced over at her husband with a look I haven’t seen from them in years.

“I’m so jealous. She’s gonna be one boy magnet that’s for sure.” I say as everyone starts to giggle. The baby lets out a tiny whimper as she stretches awake. Not giving anyone the opportunity to approach the new child, I sprint to her side. Baffled by the little being, I finally reach out to softly graze her smooth cheeks. She blinks awake and gently takes  hold of my index finger. My heart begin to melts, sending a warm, fuzzy chill through my body.

“Hi sissy. I’m your big Sister. I’m so happy you’re here. You’re so beautiful.” I whispered.

“Her name is Paris.” Mom said as her voice cracked from exhaustion. What a perfect name.

“It’s beautiful,” My Grandma approached the bed to meet her newest grandchild. “Can I hold her?” Grandma reached toward Paris.

“Of course, Mom.” She began to sit up in the bed, letting out a quiet groan while stretching her back. Paris opened her little mouth to yawn.

“Oh my, she’s so small. It’s like holding a sack full of feathers.”

“She’s only 5 pounds 5 ounces. Smallest one out of them all.” Mom said with a weak smile. The room was silent as Grandma soaked up every second of the beautiful moment, until that moment was broken with the hungry wails of the starving child.

“Well, sounds like someone is hungry.” Grandma stated the obvious while handing the grumpy child to our mother, who was not looking forward to the feeding session.

“Yep, she’s got an appetite like her father. They all do.” Mom said glaring up at my brother and I.

“Okay, kids. Let’s go find something to eat and give your mom some alone time.” Dad said to us as he escorted us out the door.

“I’m going to get it first!” Sebastien yells as he begins to sprint down the long cold hallway.

“No way!” I said as I join him, right behind him the whole time. Sebastien smacked into the closed elevator door. The loud thud that traveled down the hallway. The force sends Sebastien’s shoulder to clash with the concrete floor. I jump over him, showing no mercy as I reach for the elevator button. Before I can press the button, Sebastian dives and manages to press the button a half a second before me.

“Damn you! But I got to give you props.”

“Just getting too old.” Sebastien chuckled, entering the elevator. Sebastien became bored as we wait for our turtle of a father. Starting from the top, he runs his hands down every little button arranging a shiny Christmas tree.

“Sebastien, what the hell is wrong with you? Quit being stupid.” Dad snarled, popping his head into the elevator.

Sebastien jumped, startled at harshness in Dad’s voice. He looked down at his feed and said “I’m sorry Dad.” The doors began to shut and the floor moved under our feet. I smiled over to my brother as we began to move. He smiled instantly as if he was in my head. I grabbed hold of the railing with both my hands and began to violently jump up and down. Making the floor feel like it’s going to collapse with every stomp.

“Kelsy, what the hell! Stop it! Stop it!” Dad shouted as he clenched his eyes shut. Feeling no remorse, I continued till the elevator opened its metal jaws to free us from this horror I’ve created.

“Go, stop acting like idiots.” Dad squaked at us as we exit the elevator.

“You’re such a buzzkill.” I said as we walked through the double doors of the cafeteria. As the doors opened, the scent of poorly made instant mashed potatoes and stale cheetos slapped me in the face.

“Here.” Dad said handing my brother and I $10 each. “Go get whatever. I’ll be back.”

I snatch the bill out of his gritty hands and bolted over to the fruit bar I had been eyeing since we walked in. I made myself a pleasant fruit salad with the most beautiful grapes, shiny red strawberries and some of the sweetest watermelon. Sebastien, unsurprisingly, gorged on snack cakes and cookies.

“Looks like you’re trying to eat healthy.” I said giggling to my brother.

“Oh yeah, trying to cut down a few pounds.” He said patting his flat stomach.

We sat in silence munching our meals for the next fifteen minutes waiting for Dad to come back in. We waited and waited and waited, but he was nowhere to be seen. After about twenty-five minutes we walked back up to the room without him. Walking down the cold quiet hallway. Listening to the echoes of our footsteps.

“Where do you think he went?” Sebastien asked.

“I’m not too sure bud.” I had my suspicions, but I couldn’t bring myself to say.

“He didn’t have to snap at me,” He wrung his little hands and looked to his lap.

“I know bud, he’s just a grumpy old man who doesn’t know how to have fun.” I said trying to cheer him up, padding him on the back in comfort.

“He seem to not want to be here. Is he not excited for the baby?”

“We have just been here for a while. He’s exhausted.” I said trying to come up with any excuse to keep from telling the truth. “He might have just went for a cigarette or needed to go get a new pack. He will be back.”

“Yeah, maybe.” Sebastien said looking away in a small voice.

I felt bad for lying to him but it didn’t feel as bad as I would if I had told him what was really happening.

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