11. We Are Family

“Family… A group experience of love and support.”

~Marianne Williamson

The times I woke up and slept again that night were more than the hours the dawn needed to come. Michael’s e-mail on one hand and the heat on the other, interrupted my sleep many times. That night provided me with anything but rest.

Somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness, I started thinking that I should kick Michael out of my life before it was too late. Before one of us did something that the other would regret. And, to be honest, I’d be the one to be put in a difficult position. Even if Michael drove me off of a cliff, he would probably save himself from getting into prison. I guess being a police officer had its pros.

So, I decided that apathy and indifference were the only solutions left; whatever he’d say or do. Eventually, he would realize that he should move on with his life. And he would let me do the same.

Thinking about all that stuff, at five o’clock at dawn, I blocked every possible way that Michael had to communicate with me. I knew that this would make him feel furious. But the time when I was doing everything he said was long gone. How foolish could I be to not be able to see that he was using me? How blind could I be to not be able to see that he was trying to make me forgive him once more? I should become tougher. Just think that Aaron and Michael are the same person!, the little voice inside my head said.

My brain’s reaction was instant, so I got up even if it was too early. I needed to channel that energy and frustration into cooking, if I wanted to feel calmer later during the day. I got downstairs to prepare the perfect breakfast. Orange juice, waffles, crepes, toaster pastries, cheese and turkey slices, and coffee for everyone.

At six, everything was ready and I heard Anna coming towards the kitchen.

“Leda! What is all this?” she asked, while she was smiling at me.

“Well, in lack of a better term, it seems to be our breakfast. And good morning to you, too,” I replied.

“Good morning. But why did you get up so early?” she asked and she put some coffee in a cup.

“I couldn’t sleep. I was waking up every hour. Somebody turn off that heat!” I snorted.

“Just be patient a few more days. Summer is coming to an end. Which is why your dad and I decided to go to the beach house for a week,” she said hesitantly. “If you think that you’ll have too many chores here, I can ask Zoe to come and help you,” she went on when she saw the look in my eyes.

“No, don’t worry. Zoe has her own place to take care of. And it’s not like Eugene is here every day. Besides, things seem to be quiet lately, as you can see,” I said, in an attempt to reassure her that everything would be just fine.

Before Anna could say a thing, Eugene entered the kitchen stumbling.

“Were did you come from? When did you come?” I asked. I was taken aback that I hadn’t realize when he came home. I had woken up so many times that night.

“Good morning to you too, sis. Around two I think?” he said while he was yawning. “What are those? Crepes?” he asked. And before I could answer, he filled a plate and started to gobble them.

“You’re the only person I know who is awaken by food,” I said.

“I’ll just snack on a few crepes and I’ll sleep again until noon. What’s the big deal?” he replied.

“Whatever you say, boss,” I said ironically. I was getting pissed off that my brother could eat huge amounts of food and not gain a single pound. God, that metabolism of men!

***

Anna was simply smiling watching at me and Eugene, and she started to prepare my father’s breakfast. He entered the kitchen a few minutes later. How coordinated can those people be?, I wondered.

The time was passing pleasantly, while we were eating and talking. Anna and dad informed Eugene that the would go at the beach house and my brother literally saved me when he said that he’d come home with Cleo, while the parents would be away. Aaron was the only one left to find that out. And this happened pretty soon.

Around eight o’clock, Aaron came down in the kitchen. For a moment, he looked surprised but a few seconds later he put his indifference mask on.

“Good morning son. I’ll get you something to eat,” Anna said.

“Good morning. I’ll prepare something on my own. I’m on a diet and here’s the paradise of the obese,” he replied.

“Don’t exaggerate! My sister makes sure that we eat enough,” Eugene interfered before I could say something.

“So Leda made all this. Well, that explains a lot,” he said and he smiled ironically.

“Imagine how happy you should feel since I’ll be the one cooking for you for a whole week,” I replied, equally ironically.

“What do you mean?” he asked, trying to seem as indifferent as he was a couple of seconds ago.

“Exactly what I said. Who do you think will cook while our parents will be at the beach house?” I asked and I saw him seem nervous. You didn’t expect that, did you?

“Splendid! I’ll finally get the chance to criticize your culinary skills,” he replied.

“And you’ll finally get the chance to eat some proper food,” I said.

Anna seemed pleased. If only she knew… She would eventually understand why storms are named after people. All she had to do was to pay a little more attention to the relationship between Aaron and me.

© Victoria Moschou. All Rights Reserved 2016-2017.

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