Family Tidings

creative, fiction

Newest Jacob piece. Enjoy.
-Turner.
It’s time for family dinner. I haven’t attended in quite awhile and my mother was becoming bothersome. I’m here to appease her, to keep up appearances and to warrant another four months without coming.

Not that I don’t like my family, I do. As much as I am capable of. Besides Angel, my emotions have never been a large part of who I am. I’m merely indifferent. Although hate is a feeling I am much more accustomed with. But I digress.

I smooth my hair back one more time before knocking on the door. Father always insists I just walk in, but that doesn’t seem right. Especially with my lack of communication as of late.

“Ah, my sweet boy, you made it!” My mother croons. Her short gray hair tucked behind her ears, her large blue eyes with the crinkles in the corners regard me with what I assume is affection. Actually, that’s not true. I know it’s affection. My mother is the most boisterous, charming woman. According to Angel, at least. I take her word for it.

“Mother.” I respond. She gestures for me to come in, rubbing her smooth hands across my cheeks before giving the left one a light tap. I want to cringe at the contact, but I school a smile onto my features. Evelyn does this every time she sees me. So I remain ever the actor.

I walk into my family home, the one where Angel and I would have play dates. Where we would read books, and play hide and seek. It might seem strange, that I would have had such a typical childhood, only to turn into what I am today. But it’s true. I wasn’t always this way. I had normal experiences. Loving parents. And an annoying…

“There you are, you little shit.” My older brother, Keith, says, grabbing my shoulder and trying to put me in a headlock. I want to stab him in the thigh for it. I restrain myself. He finally lets me go when he realizes I’m not going to take the bait and wrestle him to the ground like I used to when I was younger. I’ve gained much more control with age.

I nod my head. I really have nothing to say to him, I feel like I should. I should probably look up to my pre-med older brother, with his beautiful girlfriend and lavish predictable future, but I just don’t. His eyes turn down at my dismissal.

I head towards the dining room where my mother has a full spread out with all my favorites. I can hear her bustling in the kitchen, always the perfectionist. It’s the one thing I have inherited from her. I walk past to the den where my father is sitting, watching Wheel of Fortune, calling out the correct answers each time. He hasn’t noticed my prescene yet, I take in the room that hasn’t changed in twenty years. Same faded yellow couches, same creaky rocking chair. Same bay window with a view of the house of horrors that was once Angel’s home. I feel my pressure rising the longer I stare at it. I itch for my blades, their smooth metal between my fingers. The spray of blood as I bring it down into my victims.

“Dad, guess who’s here.” Keith says coming to join us in the living room, garnering my fathers attention. He plops his ass into his usual spot on the couch, throwing his arm over the back. I take my spot on the rocking chair.

“Well, long time no see, Jake. Where have you been? Your mother has been beside herself with worry.”

“I’ve been busy.” I respond, turning my attention to the T.V.

“Busy, too busy for your family?”

With that, Keith turns to me. “Yeah, what gives? You know Yvonne really wants to meet you.” Yvonne being his blonde, bimbo girlfriend. Whom I’ve already found every piece of dirt on. Luckily, her family line is clean, she is just a few nuts short of a bolt.

“I have a lot of clients. I’m busy, working, making money.” Hopefully that appeases them.

Dad shakes his head. “Money ain’t everything, Jacob.”

I ignore his response. And my brothers glare.

After only one more puzzle, my mother announces that dinner is done. We all gather around, piling our plates with our favorite foods. This is one thing I do indulge in whilst here. The food. My mother is a great, fantastic cook.

It doesn’t take long for the questioning to start. “So…how is Reina?”

And there it is. One of the biggest reasons why I never come here anymore.

“She’s fine.”

“Are you ever going to bring her back? We miss her around here.” My father says.

My fork stabs into my pot roast, pulling away pieces, before I shove them into my mouth to avoid answering.

Keith nods, speaking around a mouth full of food. “Yeah, I miss the little squirt.”

“I don’t know.” I whisper. Hating how weak I sound, how weak she makes me feel.

This is bullshit.

“What was that, Jake?” Mother asks.

My fork is displaced as I slam it into the table.

“I said, I. Don’t. Know.”

And with that, I’m done. Because I have no answers when it comes to her and I can’t stand to be reminded of it.

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